Credit Suisse

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Credit Suisse "Fear Barometer" Hits All Time High





With the market firmly under the control of the Fed, VIX plunging and the S&P at all time highs is the a different indicator to look at for "fear"? For one possible answer we refer to the latest note by FBN's JC O'Hara who looks at a different "fear" index, namely the Credit Suisse Fear Barometer. He finds that, at 37%, it has never been higher.

 
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Argentina Bonds Tumble Further After 'Swap' Plans Unveiled, Then Ruled In Violation





After 2 days of weakness following the SCOTUS decision against them, Argentina unveiled a plan to restructure their debt - swapping existing foreign law debt to local law (more manipulatable and less legally enforceable) bonds, though Citi warns "implementing [the swap] may be technically challenging.". This 'voluntary swap' action is not a clear 'default event' but CDS spreads surging to over 3000bps and longer-dated bond prices tumbling once again suggest the market believes the path is clear as holdouts will once again hold out. As we explained here, there are five main scenarios and it appears, given these actions - that Argentina is playing hardball and will restart negotiations over the debt exchange. As Jefferies warns, "there's a high chance of default," but Argentina's economy minister Kicillof explained "everyone stay calm, the reconstruction of Argentina is not jeopardized." This plan was then ordered in violation of the anti-evasion policy SCOTUS set in place.

 
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Frontrunning: June 17





  • Obama to tout manufacturing gains, highlight economic progress (Reuters)
  • Iraq Gunmen Attack North of Baghdad as Obama Weighs Plan (BBG)
  • Chinese Regulators Block Shipping Alliance Abandoned Deal (WSJ)
  • Russian $8.2 Trillion Oil Trove Locked Without U.S. Tech (BBG)
  • Ukrainian forces, rebels clash near Russian border (Reuters)
  • M&A talk lifts stocks, Iraq tensions ease slightly (Reuters)
  • Wealthy Clintons Use Trusts to Limit Estate Tax They Back (BBG)
  • Argentina vows to service debt despite new legal blow (Reuters)
  • Allergan's Bitter Pill for Morgan Stanley (WSJ)
  • Islamists kill 50 in Kenya, some during World Cup screening (Reuters)
  • American Express Revs Up Pursuit of the Masses (WSJ)
 
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Frontrunning: June 12





  • Iraqi Drama Catches U.S. Off Guard (WSJ)
  • Al-Qaeda Offshoot on NATO Border Threatens Turkish Rally (BBG)
  • It's just the snow, people: U.S. Economic Recovery Looks Distant as Growth Lingers (NYT)
  • Freed Taliban leaders may remain in Qatar beyond one-year travel ban (Reuters)
  • BNP Paribas Executive Chodron de Courcel to Quit Post (WSJ)
  • Greenmail is back (WSJ)
  • Facebook Places Multiple Bets to Win Messenger Wars (BBG)
  • ECB easing to benefit Ukraine, Russia corporate bonds (Reuters)
  • Rome Shows the World How Not to Run Bike-Sharing Program (BBG)
 
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Frontrunning: June 11





  • World Bank Cuts Global Growth Forecast After ‘Bumpy’ 2014 Start (BBG)
  • Al-Qaeda Offshoot Threatens Iraq Oil Site After Taking Mosul (BBG)
  • Fed Prepares to Keep Record Balance Sheet for Years to Come (BBG)
  • EU investigates tax rulings on Apple, Starbucks, Fiat unit (Reuters)
  • Cantor Loss Shocks Republicans, Dims Immigration Changes (BBG)
  • More surveillance: Google to Buy Satellite-Imaging Startup for $500 Million (WSJ)
  • Tea Party activist who defeated Cantor focused on budget, immigration (Reuters)
  • Airbus Suffers Worst Order Loss as Emirates Deal Scrapped (BBG)
  • Amazon.com plans local services marketplace this year (Reuters)
  • Amazon Stops Taking Advance Orders for ‘Lego’ and Other Warner Videos (NYT)
 
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Frontrunning: June 10





  • Ukraine, Russia Fail to Reach Deal in Natural-Gas Talks (WSJ)
  • Boko Haram Kidnaps More Girls in Nigeria (WSJ)
  • Déjà vu: echoes of pre-crisis world mount (FT)
  • Money market rates hit new low as ECB moves gain traction (Reuters)
  • 'Dark Pools' Face New SEC Probe (WSJ)
  • Buffett Ready to Double $15 Billion Solar, Wind Bet (BBG)
  • White House-Congress rift over Bergdahl deal deepens (Reuters)
  • Taxpayers Face Big Medicare Tab for Unusual Doctor Billings (WSJ)
  • Lean Retirement Faces U.S. Generation X as Wealth Trails (BBG)
  • Employers’ skills gap claim does not show up in US wage data (FT)
  • He is holding out for the Zuckerberg overbid: Donald Sterling says LA Clippers not for sale (WSJ)
 
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Risk Analysis In The Golden Age Of The Central Banker





Because we are living in the Golden Age of Central Bankers, and that wreaks havoc on the fundamental nature of market expectations data....

  1. the VIX is not a reliable measure of market complacency.
  2. the wisdom of crowds is nonexistent.
  3. fundamental risk/reward calculations for directional exposure to any security are problematic on anything other than a VERY long time horizon.
  4. I’d rather be reactive and right in my portfolio than proactive and wrong.

The Golden Age of the Central Banker is a time for survivors, not heroes. And that’s the real moral of this story.

 
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Frontrunning: June 9





  • Attorneys Known for Large Civil Settlements Line Up to Sue GM Over Company's Handling of Defective Ignition Switches (WSJ)
  • Pakistani Taliban attack airport in Karachi, 27 dead (Reuters)
  • U.S. Official: Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl Has Declined to Speak to His Family (WSJ)
  • Ukraine Gas Talks Resume in Brussels to Avoid Cut-off This Week  (BBG)
  • China's Central Bank Flexes Muscle (WSJ)
  • China says Vietnam, Philippines' mingling on disputed isle a 'farce' (Reuters)
  • World Needs Record Saudi Oil Supply as OPEC Convenes (BBG)
  • Kraft Raises Prices on Maxwell House, Yuban U.S. Coffee Products (BBG)
  • United Continental: One Sick Bird (WSJ)
 
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What Wall Street Expects Of Today's Jobs Number





  • HSBC 175K
  • Goldman Sachs 175K
  • Citigroup 185K
  • JP Morgan 200K
  • Deutsche Bank 200K
  • Bank of America 225K
  • Barclays 225K
  • UBS 230K
 
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Frontrunning: June 5





  • Inside the White House's decision to free Bergdahl (Reuters)
  • Dimon’s Raise Haunts BNP Paribas as U.S. Weighs $10 Billion Fine (BBG)
  • Jobs Are on the Line as Banks' Revenue Slides (WSJ)
  • Wall Street Adjusts to the New Trading Normal (WSJ)
  • Nothing like objective, intense probes: GM recall probe to clear senior execs, finds no concerted coverup (Reuters)
  • ECB ready to cut rates and push banks into lending to boost euro zone economy (Reuters)
  • China Should Resist Further Stimulus, IMF Says (BBG)
  • Carney Finds Ally in Draghi as Key Rate Kept at 0.5% (BBG)
  • Assad wins Syria election with 88.7 percent of votes (Reuters)
 
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The Penguin Parade Begins: Goldman, BofA, Credit Suisse All Cut Q2 GDP Forecasts By 0.5% On Average





Remember when the "thesis" for Q2 growth was that just because Q1 was so horrible, Q2 will have to bounce back? Well, oops.

 
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Frontrunning: June 4





  • U.S. sets new import duties on Chinese solar products (Reuters)
  • U.S.-China Solar-Products Dispute Heats Up (WSJ)
  • China Mulls Offshore Yuan Gold Trade in Free Trade Zone (BBG)
  • Insider-Trading Probe Could Snarl a Deal for Icahn (WSJ)
  • KCG Holdings Suspects Its Trading Code Was Stolen (WSJ)
  • ‘Period. Full Stop’ Is the New ‘At the End of the Day’ (BBG)
  • Draghi not so goof for bonds: Investors Flag Risk of ECB Disappointing After Europe Bond Rally (BBG)
  • But great for stocks: Equity Traders See Draghi Turning Throttle Up on Rally (BBG)
 
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Frontrunning: June 3





  • At least 74 dead in crashes similar to those GM linked to faulty switches (Reuters)
  • Obama Calls for $1 Billion Europe Security Fund; Will Increase U.S. Military Presence in Eastern Europe (WSJ)
  • Euro Inflation Slowing More Than Forecast Pressures ECB (BBG)
  • China accelerates as euro zone stumbles (Reuters)
  • Russia says Ukraine situation worsening, submits U.N. resolution (Reuters)
  • Secondary Sales Squeeze Investors (WSJ)
  • Barclays Said to Start Cutting Jobs in Investment Banking Unit (Bloomberg)
  • Backlash Grows on Release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in Taliban Prisoner Swap (WSJ)
  • For fallen soldiers' families, Bergdahl release stirs resentment (Reuters)
  • PIMCO's Gross stares at record outflow (Reuters)
 
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France Furious At US $10 Billion BNP "Masterful Slap", "Racketeering" Fine





With Eric Holder suddenly playing hardball with the banks (most notably not US banks), it has not gone unnoticed among the largest European newspapers. The potential $10 billion penalty for BNP Paribas - France's largest bank - for alleged dealings with a sanctioned Iran has been called a "masterful slap," by Le Monde and Le Figaro said the U.S. was making an example of BNP to deflect criticism it had been "lenient with the American banks responsible for the financial crisis." This could make for an awkward week for Obama, not only facing Putin as he visits Europe to celebrate D-Day but as the allies themselves turn on him with France's Hollande likely to raise the matter and, as Bloomberg reports, newly elected National Front party called on the French government to "defend the national interest" in the case.

 
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Market Tranquility Is Sowing The Seeds Of Its Own Demise





The mainstream media is latching on to the idea that all is not well in the world of 'markets'. The FT's Gillian Tett notes that, as we have vociferously explained, almost every measure of volatility has tumbled to unusual low levels, "this is bizarre," she notes, "financial history suggests that at this point in an economic cycle, volatility normally jumps." But investors are acting as if they were living in a calm and predictable universe, "[Investors in] the options markets are not pricing in any big macro risks. This is very unusual." In reality, as Hyman Minsky notes, market tranquility tends to sow the seeds of its own demise and the longer the period of calm, the worse the eventual whiplash. Tett concludes, that pattern played out back in 2007... and there are good reasons to suspect it will recur.

 
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