It's getting to the point where the rating agencies are so far behind the reality curve that they are putting the system at risk again, and again, and again...
In a move that will surely shock, shock, the monetary purists out there, the Bank of Japan has just gone and done what we predicted back in May 2011, with the first of our "Hyprintspeed" series articles: "A Look At The BOJ's Current, And Future, Quantitative Easing" (the second one which discussed the imminent advent of the ¥1 quadrillion in total debt threshold was also fulfilled three weeks ago). So just what did the BOJ do? Why nothing short of join the ECB, the BOE, and the Fed (and don't get us started on those crack FX traders at the SNB) in electronically printing even more 1 and 0-based monetary equivalents (full statement here). From WSJ: "The Bank of Japan surprised markets Tuesday by implementing new easing policies and moving closer to an explicit price target, the latest sign of growing worries around the world about the ripple effects of the European debt crisis on the global economy. With interest rates already close to zero, the BOJ has relied in recent months on asset purchases to stimulate the economy. In Tuesday's meeting, the central bank expanded that plan by ¥10 trillion, or about $130 billion. The facility, which includes low-cost loans, is now worth about ¥65 trillion, or $844 billion." The rub however lies in the total Japanese GDP, which at last check was $6 trillion (give or take), and declining. Which means this announcement was the functional equivalent to a surprise $325 billion QE announced by the Fed. What is ironic is the market reaction: the BOJ expands its LSAP by 18% and the USDJPY moves by 30 pips. As for gold, not a peep: as if the market has now priced in that the world's central banks will dilute themselves to death. Unfortunately, it is only at death, and the failure of all status quo fiat paper, that the real value of the yellow metal, whose metallic nature continues to be suppressed via paper pathways, will truly shine.
Interesting & Informative Documentary on the Power of Rating Agencies, Along With Reggie Middleton ExcerptsSubmitted by Reggie Middleton on 01/31/2012 11:46 -0400
Ever want to know what a documentary that spits the truth about the rating agency scam and overall Ponzi would look like if it actually aired on international TV???
One won't find many orthodox strategists who believe that currency printing, and thus dilution, is favorable for said currency. Yet they do exist (as a reminder, this is precisely what saved the REITs back in early 2009, who came to market with massively dilutive follow on offerings, but the fact that they had market access was enough for investors to buy the stock despite the dilution). One among them is Citi's Steven Englander who has released a rather provocative piece in which he claims that as a result of reduction in tail risk, or the possibility of aggressive ECB bond buying (and implicitly, Englander suggests that what we believe is a core correlation: between the sizes of the Fed/ECB balance sheets and the relative value of the respective currencies, is not as important as we suggest), the "EUR will be stronger if the ECB compromises its ‘principles’, but succeeds in convincing investors that the sovereign risk is limited to the smaller peripherals, rather than the core." Currency stronger on central bank printing? And by implication, an x-trillion LTRO being FX positive (and thus risk-FX recoupling)? We have heard stranger things. And remember it is the bizarro market. And finally, Morgan Stanley, which won that shootout with Goldman's Stolper two months ago on the EURUSD, has just turned tactically bullish on the currency (more shortly). For now, here is how Steven Englander explains his contrarian view.
Yesterday, in a must read post, Gluskin Sheff's David Rosenberg played the devil's advocate and presented a much needed experiment in contrarianism, attempting to unravel what it is that bulls may be seeing in the economy and the market (an analysis which may have to be revised after today's pro forma 400K in initial claims and deplorable retail sales update). While we don't know if anyone was converted into the permabullish fold as a result, it certainly was useful to have a view of what "sliding down the wall of satisfaction" means currently . Today, Rosie is back to his traditional skeptical self with today's publication of the "Laments of a Bear", which is yet another must read inverse view of everything that yesterday was not. Our advise to readers: be aware of both sides of the argument and make up your own mind. Plus at the end of the day the only thing that really matters is what side of the bed Bernanke wakes up on...
The iconoclastic outcast being called in to shake things up a little. I'll appear on CNBC @2:30 with my outlook for 2012. I'm not shy about my track record & here's what I'll have to say.
Where Are The Ratings Agencies Before UK & German Banks Go Boom? How About Those Euro REITs? Agencies Anybody?Submitted by Reggie Middleton on 11/30/2011 13:25 -0400
I'm calling the ratings agencies on this...
Wondering why the future for housing as an asset is so bleak, why median housing prices continue to tumble and recently saw their biggest three month drop ever, and why there is no bottom in sight? Simple: the American public appears to have woken up to the reality that homes are no longer a flippable asset, and in fact continue to drop in price, an observation that is obvious to virtually all now. So what happens next? Why renting of course. Here is Morgan Stanley explaining (granted in a pitchbook for REITs but the underlying data is quite useful) why the Housing 2.0 paradigm is all about renting.
The Japanese government has just authorized the BOJ to buy more ETFs and REITs in order to stabilize the market. In times like this apparently preserving the global "wealth effect" is of paramount importance. In the meantime the news is getting worse- according to the French Nuclear Watchdog the containment vessel on Reactor #2 is no longer sealed (meaning radiation can enter the environment freely), while according to Kyodo the radiation level is now too high for normal work at the Reactor #4 control room.
Japan Decision To Allow BOJ To Monetize ETFs, REITs And BBB-Rated Bonds Sends Yen Higher, Gold SpikesSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 10/28/2010 09:02 -0400
Earlier, the Japanese government approved the BOJ decision to monetize in addition to the traditional JGB securities, also ETFs, REITs, and BBB and higher-rated bonds. In other words, the BOJ is now permitted to do what the Fed will have authority to do with a few months: buy virtually all risk assets, as buying ETFs is the same as buying the general market courtesy of the most traded security in the world, SPY, to push and pull the entire market in whatever direction it goes. There are two questions at this point: is the BOJ allowed to buy foreign (read US) assets that fall under the above buckets, and whether the FX currency swap line recently established with the BOJ will allow the Fed to use Japanese proxies to monetize various US assets. Or will the Fed first seek input from the BOJ on how to proceed with sending the Dow to 36k.
How many times can they run the same play over and over? The Eurozone dive bombs, and investors immediately start buying REITs, retailers, and other assorted garbage. Maniacal trading has overtaken the stock exchanges as the 20-yr. old motion chasers are getting frantically horsewhipped by the FemBot portfolio managers to "buy whatever is going up, regardless of fundamentals".
Once again, the algospasms have turned many funds into dust as those attempting to short brokerage stocks, REITs, etc. in front of the European implosion are getting killed. Clearly, investors are voting that U.S. commercial real estate is the last bastion of safety, and the primary growth industry in 2011 will be stock trading.
Total Spread Blowout on PIIGS, Algospasms Trigger Forced Short Covering in Consumer Stocks and REITsSubmitted by RobotTrader on 04/22/2010 15:24 -0400
Today is proof that the Algo/Igor/Robo computer trading programs have run amok. While Wall St. engages in bear raids against foreign countries, panicked algos are triggering wild squeezes everywhere, causing lots of head scratching among the pundits trying to explain these insane moves. Proof that the worse the Greece situation gets, the retail stocks simply go up faster.
Another day where the problems of the PIIGS, gyrating interest rates, skyrocketing unemployment and vacancies, imploding housing starts, and other assorted ills are totally shucked off by the favored "must own" sectors: REITs, retail, and financials.
Anyone notice that Michelle C-Squared has been gradually dolling up for the inevitable Dow 11,000? Hate to sound like a broken record, but it appears that each day we have another round of breakouts in the retail and REIT sector, as if fund managers are giddy at the prospect of Michelle losing a few buttons on her blouse on Monday.