We have seen this pattern before, and it did not end well. While the most mainstream indications of China's "stability" are droned on about as indicating some level of control (i.e. Yuan volatility suppression), the fact is that no matter how hard China tries to centrally plan the entire world, segments of the credit market are screaming "uncontained."
The economic emergency decree and any measures that the government could take at this point may be too late. After two years of inaction and the recent decline in oil prices, a credit event in 2016 is becoming increasingly difficult to avoid, in our view. After two years of inaction, with depleting external assets and the recent decline in oil prices, a credit event in 2016 may be becoming hard to avoid, in our view.
Let’s just say that if you are focused on domestic North American issues…you are missing the point.
Italian bank stocks are crashing (with BMPS down 40% year-to-date) as Reuters reports that investors are growing increasingly nervous about how the sector will cope with lower interest rates and a 200 billion euro ($218 billion) pile of loans that are unlikely to be repaid. The broad banking sector is down 4% with stocks suspended, and in light of this bloodbath, Italian regulators have decided in their wisdom, to ban short-selling of some bank stocks (which has driven hedgers into the CDS market, spking BMPS credit risk).
Glencore's 2021 bonds just hit a 5 year low, taking out the September crash levels, and trading at about 64 cents on the dollar. Following the recent junking of Noble Group which has sent its stock price to 12 year lows and hitning that a bankruptcy is now virtually inevitable, we expect Glencore to be junked any minute, with the ensuing cascade of margin and collateral calls testing just how "systematically unimportant" the world's largest commodity traders really are.
On the heels of new reserve ratio regulations and the biggest strengthening in the Yuan fix in 4 weeks, offshore Yuan has strengthened notably (despite Chinese default/devaluation risk surging in the CDS markets). Chinese stocks are weaker in the early going but corporate bond yields continue to slide to new record lows as the "last bubble standing" stands ignorant of the risks around it.
With the feds probing Deutsche Bank's exaggerating Auto ABS demand, car dealerships suing automakers for being forced to channel-stuff, direct evidence of massive channel-stuffing with near-record inventories-to-sales, and sales now beginning to tumble after last month's weak credit growth, it is perhaps no wonder that Fitch has raised the warning flag about automotive vehicle and parts makers...
There’s more than a whiff of 2008 in the air. The sources of systemic financial sector risk are different this time (they always are), but China and the global industrial/commodity complex are even larger tectonic plates than the US housing market, and their shifts are no less destructive. There’s also more than a whiff of 1938 in the air, as we have a Fed that is apparently hell-bent on raising rates even as a Category 5 deflationary hurricane heads our way, even as the yield curve continues to flatten.
With Freeport McMoran at the top of the list of entities due to be downgraded to junk (in fact trading in credit markets with a 79% chance of default), it is perhaps not entirely surprising that yesterday's dead-cat-bounce is fading fast this morning as Carl Icahn's big bet turns sour-er.
Following Noble Group's downgrade to junk and "Enron moment," we thought it worth considering who is next to be junked?
Having told banks and investors "don't panic" in September, amid spiking interbank lending rates and surging default/devaluation risks, it appears the massive shortage of dollars that we warned about in December has washed tsunami-like ashore in oil-producing Nigeria. Following the Central bank's decision this week to halt dollar sales to non-bank FX market operators, black market exchange rates spiked to 282/USD (vs 199 official) and CDS spiked to record highs implying drastic devaluations loom.
The default of Sherwin Alumina, a US subsidiary of Glencore, refocused the market's attention on the one company which in September was among the hardest hit in the post-China devaluation rout, and the immediate result was that while Glencore stock plunged and is once again approaching all time lows, a more ominous development was that GLEN's CDS spiked to as much as 950 basis points, the highest since April 2009 and suggesting far more pain is in store for the commodity trading giant.
"... what we are going to see next is a credit cycle, and in a credit cycle you see some losses, but if China's banking system loses 10%, you are going to see them lose $3.5 trillion."
Earlier today everything changed when Saudi Arabia's unveiled what may be a stunning Hail Mary: one which is great news for the suddenly liquidity challenged Saudi government, and is very bad news for the future price of oil. According to the Economist, Saudi Arabia is contemplating taking Saudi Aramco - arguably the world's most valuable company - public. Here are the implications.
Saudi Arabia, which entered 2015 with virtually no debt and an FX reserve war chest that amounted to around three quarters of a trillion dollars, is now viewed as less creditworthy than a country where a coalition of socialists, left-wingers, and communists just overthrew the government.