It's snowing in New York so the market must be down. Just kidding - everyone know the only thing that matters for the state of global risk is the level of USDJPY and it is this that nearly caused a bump in the night after pushing the Nikkei as low as 13,995, before the Japanese PPT intervened and rammed the carry trade higher, and thus the Japanese index higher by 1.23% before the close of Japan trading. However, since then the USDJPY has failed to levitate as it usually does overnight and at last check was fluctuating within dangerous territory of 101.000, below which there be tigers. The earlier report of European retail sales tumbling by 1.6% on expectations of a modest 0.6% drop from a downward revised 0.9% only confirmed that the last traces of last year's illusionary European recovery have long gone. Then again, it's all the cold weather's fault. In Europe, not in the US that is.
"Financial systems are unstable with excessive risk-taking," warns PIMCO's now solo guru Bill Gross, telling Bloomberg TV's Stephanie Ruhle that in a "Soros reflexivity... Once you get the levered system going, it hardly knows when and where to stop." Credit, as we have noted, has been relatively more stable (though less positive on the the way up) Gross notes and "the way to get rich in the past was to borrow money and to lever [up]," but Gross explains that now, "assets are artificially priced... from this point forward, double-digit returns, getting rich on leverage, no. You better look elsewhere for – for your profits," and not Asia. China is "the mystery meat" of emerging market countries, Gross cautions, "nobody knows what’s there and there’s a little bit of baloney."
- Only time will define Bernanke's crisis-era legacy at Fed (Reuters)
- Record Cash Leaves Emerging Market ETFs (BBG)
- Investors Look Toward Safer Options as Ground Shifts (WSJ)
- Fed Policy Makers Rally Behind Tapering QE as Yellen Era Begins (BBG)
- Rating agencies criticise China’s bailout of failed $500m trust (FT)
- Russia to await new Ukraine government before fully implementing rescue (Reuters)
- U.S. readies financial sanctions against Ukraine: congressional aides (Reuters)
- Companies resist president’s call for minimum wage rise (FT)
- Secret Swiss Funds at Risk as Italy’s Saccomanni Visits Bern (BBG)
- Top Democrat puts Obama trade deals in doubt (FT)
- Erdogan to Give Rate Increase Time Before Trying Other Plans (BBG)
Said Dr. El-Erian: “I have been extremely honored and fortunate to work alongside Bill Gross, who is one of the very best investors in the world. His talents are truly exceptional, as is his dedication. I have also been amazingly privileged to work with the most talented group of professionals in the investment management industry. Their commitment and tireless work on behalf of our clients have been a consistent inspiration for me since I first joined PIMCO back in 1999. I wish them continued great success.”
Gross: “Give me a double shot,” global mkts said to its Fed & BOJ bartenders. Can we sober up on a single jigger of saké? I doubt it.
— PIMCO (@PIMCO) January 21, 2014
"Bond King" Bill Gross may not have had a good year following over $40 billion in redemptions from his $250 billion Total Return Fund, but another aspirational Bond King, DoubleLine's Jeff Gundlach, had an even worse year on an relative basis, when his Total Return Bond Fund saw $6 billion in redemptions ending the year at $30.9 billion in AUM following seven consecutive months of withdrawals. So in his attempt to start the new year on better footing, here is his first webcast (as usual open to the public), titled "Let the Race Begin! 2014 Markets: Year of the Horse", in which as usual Jeff will discuss the economy, the markets and his outlook for the best investment strategiest of 2014. Let's hope that for bond fund manager, that 2014 is not just another "year of the donkey", as was the case in the past year which everyone managing duration would rather forget.
As stocks have vascillated in a worryingly not-straight-up manner for the last few days with today's weakness taking the Dow and S&P 500 pre-holiday lows (with th ebiggest drop in a month), it would appear more than a few 'investors' are greatly unrotating into the very shortest-term Treasuries as a safe-haven from the turbulence. The last few days have seen Treasury-Bill yields swing negative in the less-than-1-month maturity indicating anythng but risk appetite as a scramble for safety is strong enough to warrant paying (albeit marginally) for it. As we noted previously, the driver of Bill Gross' 'bet' on the short-end will not be based on always wrong expectations of what Fed monetary policy does to prices, but the exodus of speculative money from equities into safe havens, call it the Great Unrotation.
Gross: The age of getting rich quickly is over as is (most likely) the age of getting rich slowly.
— PIMCO (@PIMCO) January 12, 2014
- From the guy who said the market is not overvalued: Q&A with Fed’s Williams on Upbeat 2014 Outlook and What Keeps Him up at Night (Hilsenrath)
- Obama Readies Revamp of NSA (WSJ)
- Indian envoy leaves U.S. in deal to calm diplomatic row (Reuters)
- China overtakes US as largest goods trader (FT)
- Wall Street Predicts $50 Billion Bill to Settle U.S. Mortgage Suits (NYT)
- Low-End Retailers Had a Rough Holiday: Family Dollar, Sears Struggle as Lower-Income Customers Remain Under Pressure (WSJ)
- ECB charts familiar course as Japan, US and UK begin to diverge (FT)
- Housing experts warn of hiccups as new U.S. mortgage rules go live (Reuters)
- It's a HFT eat HFT world: Infinium ex-employees sue over $4.1m loss (FT)
- Slowing China crude imports to challenge exporters (FT)
Head Of Recently Bankrupt FX Concepts Wants You To Know He Is Back, With A Newsletter And A Bloomberg TerminalSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 01/09/2014 14:50 -0500
2013 may have been a bad year for Bill Gross, but nobody had it worse than John Taylor. The former head of FX concepts saw his hedge fund - once an FX trading behemoth and the largest in the world with $14 billion in AUM in 2007 - crash, burn, and file for bankruptcy as we reported previously. But the cherry on top was the revelation that a year before its filing, Taylor personally guaranteed some $5 million of the FX Concepts' debt owed to Asset Management Finance, a unit of Credit Suisse. Surely, such a sequence of events would be enough to turn even the staunchest financial addict away from the markets for ever. But not John Taylor - the former FX guru has a message for all of you: he is not only back, but is launching a newsletter.... oh and he has a Bloomberg terminal too.
If yesterday's 10 Year auction was a little on the weak side, stopping through the When Issued by 0.2 bps, there were no such problems for today's last of the week 29-year 10-month reopening auction, which just priced $13 billion of the previously issued CUSIP RD2, at a high yield of 3.899%, through the 3.906% WI. The strength was not only in the pricing, but the Bid to Cover as well, which came at 2.57, above last month's 2.35, and also above the 12 month trailing average of 2.45. Finally, the internals were strong as well, with Dealers taking down 38.1%, the lowest since October's 35.5%, leaving 44.4% for Indirects, above the 38.6% average, if a tad below last month's 46.0%, and Directs holding 17.5% of the final allotment, up from 12.5%, and above the 15.9% TTM average. As a result of the strong auction, the kneejerk reaction in the Ultra was a 10 tick higher move from 137.07 to 137.17, and also helped push the entire jittery complex higher.
According to Bill Gross the outlook for 2014 is all about inflation, and how it will impact bonds in the 1-5 maturity bucket: "I am amazed at the fascination and emphasis placed on the u-rate during employment Fridays. Bond prices will move (in some cases by points) with a minor up or down change in unemployment relative to expectations, but when it comes to the third little pig of the litter – inflation – no one seems to care. This number – the PCE annualized inflation rate – is released near the 20th of every month but you will not see CNBC or Bloomberg analysts waiting with bated breath for its release. I do. I consider it the critical monthly statistic for analyzing Fed policy in 2014. Why? Bernanke, Yellen and their merry band of Fed governors and regional presidents have told us so. No policy rate hike until both unemployment and inflation thresholds have been breached and even then “they’re not thresholds,” they’re forks in the road that may or may not lead in a different direction. If so, then 1-5 year bonds, combined with credit, volatility, curve rolldown, and a dollop of currency should float a bond investor’s boat in 2014 and avoid breaking the buck in total return space.... If PCE inflation stays below 2.0% and inflationary expectations don’t rise appreciably above 2.5%, then a 3-4% total return for 2014 is realistic. "
This system works as long as debt continues to stay cheap. However, in the last 12 months the Fed has definitively crossed the point of no return with its policies. It is not just a matter of timing before this debt bubble bursts.
"Rich Will Keep Getting Richer In 2014" - In 2013, Top 300 Billionaires Added Half A Trillion In Net WorthSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 01/02/2014 12:22 -0500
All the pundits who preach an economic recovery in the US always fall strangely silent when asked to share their thoughts on the following chart (taken from the St. Louis Fed), showing the annual change in real disposable income per capita in the US. What seems to stump them most is that aside from the 2012 year end aberration (due to accelerated distribution of dividends ahead of the 2013 tax hikes) is that in November the series finally posted its first Y/Y decline (-0.1%) since the Lehman collapse. But as the chart notes, the data is "per capita" and as everyone knows, under the New Normal, some "per capitas" are more equal than other "per capitas." Enter the billionaires. As Bloomberg summarizes, "The richest people on the planet got even richer in 2013, adding $524 billion to their collective net worth, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a daily ranking of the world’s 300 wealthiest individuals. The aggregate net worth of the world’s top billionaires stood at $3.7 trillion at the market close on Dec. 31, according to the ranking. "The rich will keep getting richer in 2014," John Catsimatidis, the billionaire founder of real estate and energy conglomerate Red Apple Group Inc., said in a telephone interview from his New York office.
Gross: HoHoHo! Who cant like a ~25% gain in 2013? Only a Grinch who worries abt record profit margins, corp buybacks &Fed checkwriting. Moi?
— PIMCO (@PIMCO) December 25, 2013