In the second massive short-squeeze of the year for Chesapeake 'speculators', the company of the verge of bankruptcy has exploded 35% higher today, perfectly tagging (to the penny) the 200-day-moving-average. Breaking above the McClendon probe/suicide "squeeze" rally highs, at $6.13, CHK is at 5-month highs... as 'modeled' CDS spreads collapse after the management was forced to pledge the entire company to maintain existing credit lines.
Total chaos reigns as equity market "participants" flip from manic-sellers (IMF un-growth and Italian bank bailout failure) to panic-buyers after the following headline hits Bloomberg: SAUDI ARABIA, RUSSIA REACH CONSENSUS ON OIL FREEZE: INTERFAX
Today the stock of CHK is surging following the good news that contrary to some expectations, it did not lose access to its $4 billion line of credit. However, that came at a cost: to preserve its full $4 billion availability, Chesapeake was forced to pledge almost all of its natural gas fields, real estate and derivatives contracts. In addition to most of its gas and oil reserves, Chesapeake pledged as collateral all hedge contracts, property, deposit accounts and securities, subject to certain undisclosed carve-outs, according to the regulatory filing. In other words, the entire company.
This morning's 160 point spike in Dow Futures - out of nowhere - was predicated on hopes of an Italian bank bailout. While this may seem like an odd reason to "buy buy buy" US equities, in the new normal, it really is not.. and when put in context, the 'bounce' in EU banks should do more to scare than soften investors' concerns...
"We do not expect the meeting to deliver a bullish surprise as we believe production cuts make little sense given it has taken 18 months for the rebalancing to finally start. In addition, any resolute agreement that would support prices from current levels would prove self-defeating, in our view, as we believe that sustained low prices are required for the nascent non-OPEC supply adjustments to deliver a deficit in 2H16. Finally, a production freeze at recent production levels would not accelerate the rebalancing of the oil market as OPEC (ex. Iran) and Russia production levels have this year remained close to our 2016 average annual forecast of 40.5 mb/d." - Goldman
The US Dollar Index is sitting at 94.62, just above a critical support zone at 93-94. Meanwhile, the Trade-Weighted Dollar Index has pulled back ~3.4% from its high on Jan20’16. It is hard to tell that long USD is a consensus trade because investors have lost their conviction.
"We continue to think Greece has the potential to return to the headlines, and we do not rule out the prospect of “Grexit” returning... We note the more fragile European political environment (Dutch referendum, UK’s EU referendum, likely snap elections in Spain, key elections in France and Germany in 2017) compared to previous episodes, and the possibility that the increased noise around Greece could potentially influence the UK referendum on EU membership. Furthermore, the ongoing migration crisis in which Greece plays a central role is exacerbating tensions at both domestic and European levels."
This morning, the Boston Globe published a satirical front page predicting headlines about a Donald Trump presidency one year from today, alongside a “Stop Trump” editorial. The fake front page will be the lead of the Globe’s Sunday Ideas section and "is a work of political satire and commentary produced by the Globe's Editorial Board, not the newsroom.”
Over time, Bubble Economies become increasingly vulnerable to economic stagnation, Credit degradation and asset price busts. Bubbles are fueled by Credit excesses that distort risk perceptions and resource allocation. Credit and asset price inflation will incentivize speculation, another key dynamic ensuring misallocation and malinvestment. In the end, Bubbles redistribute and destroy wealth. Major Bubbles will tear at the threads of society.
If this was the work of the CIA, it was an extremely sloppy and obvious hit job. On the other hand, if this was the work of Putin for the purposes of blackmail, it’s one of the most ingenious chess moves I’ve ever seen played on the global stage. If this theory is correct, it’s the worse case scenario for American citizens. So if Putin is behind this, and does have the goods on the U.S. elite, not only do we not get rid of the these corrupt oligarchs, we now have to live with them in an even more compromised state than they were before.
Today the largest U.S. health insurer, UnitedHealth, announced it has decided to pull the plug on two state Obamacare markets. Going forward, UnitedHealth said it will no longer sell plans for next year in Georgia and Arkansas, according to state insurance regulators. Tyler Mason, a UnitedHealth spokesman, confirmed the exits and declined to say whether the company would drop out of additional states
Away from the headlines about The Panama Papers, global financial markets turmoiled quietly this week with a surge in equity and FX volatility and banks suffering more death blows. However, something happened in Saudi Arabia's banking system that was largely uncovered by anyone in the mainstream... overnight deposit rates exploded to their highest since the financial crisis in 2009...
In the final day of the week, it has again been a story of currencies and commodities setting stock prices, however instead of yesterday's Yen surge which slammed the USDJPY as low as 107.67 and led to a global tumble in equities, and crude slide, today has been a mirror imoage after a modest FX short squeeze, which sent the Yen pair as high as 109.1, before easing back to the 108.80 range. This, coupled with a 3.5% bounce in WTI, which is back up to $38.54 and up 4.9% on the week as speculation has returned that Russia and OPEC members can reach a production freeze deal on April 17, led to a global stock rebound which will see the S&P open back in the green for 2016.
If the IMF is engineering a financial crisis in Europe in order to gain more power and influence, why wouldn’t the Fed be doing the same for the IMF in America? Just as the international bankers use stimulus and rate policy as tools, so, to, do they use chaos.