REITs

REITs

Frontrunning: May 31

  • Record unemployment, low inflation underline Europe's pain (Reuters)
  • The ponzi gets bigger and bigger: Spanish banks up sovereign bond holdings by more than 10% (FT)
  • California Lawmakers Turn Down Moratorium on Fracking (BBG)
  • China’s Growing Ranks of Elderly Beset by Depression, Study Says (BBG)
  • Tokyo Prepares for a Once-in-200-Year Flood to Top Sandy (BBG)
  • Morgan Stanley Cutting Correlation Unit Added $50 Billion (BBG)
  • IMF warns over yen weakness (FT)
  • Rising radioactive spills leave Fukushima fishermen floundering (Reuters)
  • India records slowest growth in a decade (FT)

Nikkei Plunges Another 5% But "Unsourced" Stick Save Arrives Just In Time

One look at the 5%+ plunge in the Nikkei overnight and one would be allowed to wonder if this was it for Abenomics: with a 15% drop from recent highs, and the TOPIX Real Estate index down by more than 20%+ since mid-April, entering a bear market, what's worse is that even the "wealth effect" Mrs Watanabe fanatics would be excused from having much hope going forward. The problem, however, is that in a world in which only the USDJPY matters as a risk signal, and only the stock market remains as a last bastion of "hope", the overnight weakness pushing the dollar yen to just 50 pips above 100 threatened to crush the manipulated rally and force everyone to doubt the sustainability of central planning. So, sure enough, literally seconds we got the much needed stick save without which everything could have come tumbling down, namely based on an unsourced article out of Reuters that Japan's Public Pension Fund is considering a change to its portfolio strategy that could allow domestic equity share of investments to rise in rallying market. The immediate result was an instantaneous surge in the USDJPY which in turn dragged global risk higher across the board, simply due to what algos deemed as yet another procyclical last minute rescue. More importantly this was nothing but a squeeze catalyst coming at just the right time before market open to prevent a rout in global equities. Ironically, that we are back to the Reuters "sticksave" unsourced article, indicates just how weak the reality behind the scenes must be.

Dead Cat Bounce Deja Vu Ends 2nd-Worst Week Of The Year For Stocks

The 2nd worst week of the year (2nd only to Cyprus) for US equities was accompanied by Treasury buying as the JPY carry trade unwind continues in every risky-or-'yieldy' product. On an admittedly low volume day (typically good for a magical levitation in stocks), Treasury markets closed the day unchanged (and 30Y bonds ended the week unchanged). Stocks bounced after testing yesterday's intraday lows but intriguingly (Mrs. Watanabe?) it was Utilities that were the hardest hit sector on the day as stocks fell back rapidly after bonds closed finding balance at VWAP. The JPY strength weighed on the USD as it fell 0.7% on the week with gold and silver both up notably relative to other asset classes (+1.8% and 0.5% respectively). The last minute of the day saw a ridiculous instantaneous spike to take the S&P 500 to their day-session highs to desparately try to regain green on the day (SPX cash closed -0.87 points). Futures closed green with an 8 point run from 455ET (as we note no credit police were around to stop the idiocy).

Dudley Terrified By "Over-Reaction" To QE End, Says Fed Could Do "More Or Less" QE

Up until today, the narrative was one trying to explain how a soaring dollar was bullish for stocks. Until moments ago, when Bill Dudley spoke and managed to send not only the dollar lower, but the Dow Jones to a new high of 15,400 with the following soundbites.

  • DUDLEY: FED MAY NEED TO RETHINK BALANCE SHEET PATH, COMPOSITION
  • DUDLEY SAYS FISCAL DRAG TO U.S. ECONOMY IS `SIGNIFICANT'
  • DUDLEY: FED MAY AVOID SELLING MBS IN EARLY STAGE OF EXIT
  • DUDLEY: IMPORTANT TO SEE HOW WELL ECONOMY WEATHERS FISCAL DRAG
  • DUDLEY SAYS HE CAN'T BE SURE IF NEXT QE MOVE WILL BE UP OR DOWN

And the punchline:

  • DUDLEY SEES RISK INVESTORS COULD OVER-REACT TO 'NORMALIZATION'

Translated: the Fed will never do anything that could send stocks lower - like end QE - ever again, but for those confused here is a simpler translation: Moar.

Tim Knight from Slope of Hope's picture

It’s painfully clear for all to see that the majestic United States is now firmly caught in the rapacious stranglehold of financial elites which have completely captured it in a grotesque gamed monetary process.  Our country’s once idealistic and industrious free market economy has been hijacked and is undeniably being fraudulently and overtly financialized by the craven clutches and maniacal machinations of a contemptible self-seeking banking class. They have become nothing more than avaricious parasites disgustingly feeding from the grand trough of our treasured human ingenuity and self-respecting industry.

Why Policy Has Failed

Put down the Sunday newspaper; grab a pot of coffee; and call 'mom' and tell her she has to read this. Doug Rudisch has written a far-reaching summary of the true state of the world and 'why policy has failed'. Simply put, there is no faith in the system; real underlying faith and trust in the system, as opposed to the confidence born from economic steroid injections or entitlements. There also is a subtle but important distinction between faith and trust versus confidence. Faith and trust are longer term and more powerful concepts.There is more going on than a temporary lull in animal spirits that current fiscal and monetary policy will cure. If that was the case, it would be working already... We have ended up with a system where the worst of the risk takers have the ability to take the most risk and are currently taking it at extreme levels. We wish we could be more prescriptive and offer more solutions for the problems. But in order to solve a problem, you must first realize you have one. With respect to the Fed, we don’t think the U.S. realizes it has a problem.

Guest Post: From Shirakawa To Kuroda: The Regime Change Explained

The main take away from events in Japan is that the BOJ shifted from a tactic of interventions (under former Governor Masaaki Shirakawa) to one of monetary policy (under current Governor Haruhiko Kuroda) . What strikes us is that the monetary policy is precisely to... well, destroy their money and in the process any chance of having a monetary policy. In our view, it was exactly because the Fed’s (undisclosed) intention was to engage in never ending Quantitative Easing, that Japan was forced to implement the policy undertaken by Kuroda. Coordination with the Fed was impossible. With Mr. Kuroda’s policy, we now have the BOJ with a balance sheet objective, the Fed with a labour market objective (or so they want us to believe), the European Central Bank with a financial system stability objective (or a Target 2 balance objective) and the People’s Bank of China (and the Bank of Canada) with soft-landing objective. It is clear that any global coordination in monetary policy is completely unfeasible. The only thing central banks are left to coordinate is the suppression of gold.

Frontrunning: April 19

  • Police Searching for 19-Year-Old Boston Bombing Suspect (BBG)
  • Mayhem Erupts in Boston After MIT Campus Officer Slain (BBG)
  • Elvis Impersonator Accused of Ricin Letters Sowing Fear (BBG)
  • Blackstone Pulls Out of Dell Bid on Rapidly Falling PC Sales (BBG)
  • Before Texas plant exploded: What did regulators know? (Reuters)
  • Aso Says Japan Policy Unopposed at G-20 Meeting as Yen Falls (BBG)
  • Bipartisan pair target $2.5tn US savings (FT)
  • Plan for new Cyprus vote casts uncertainty on bailout (Cyprus Mail)
  • Ireland picks through debtors’ lifestyles (FT)

BoJ Unveils 'Shock-And-Awe' Quantitative-Qualitative Easing

As Citi's Todd Elmer notes, today's BoJ outcome looks far closer to 'shock and awe' than disappointment. It appears the BoJ's actions may speak as loud as their words for now - JPY is weakening and the Nikkei is rallying after Kuroda's last shot at a first impression appeared to beat expectations (covering for disappointing macro data - despite six months of jawboning and a 20% devaluation). Expectations, though tough to extract given the range of possible actions, appeared centered on extending maturities of bond purchases, increasing the size (median expectations of around JPY5.2tn per month or 50% higher than in Q1), bringing forward the open-ended nature of the program, and increasing scope to foreign bonds and REITs. In his effort to do "whatever it takes", the BoJ is upping asset purchases, extending the maturity of purchases and merging its asset purchase program; increasing the size to JPY7tn and buy securities out to 40 years. Though no mention of foreign bond-buying was made, and increase in ETFs and REITs is included. They have given themselves a two-year window to achieve the 2% inflation goal - paging Kyle Bass - and ironically, as the news broke Tokyo was hit by a significant earthquake.