A sharp increase in Middle East geopolitical tensions, first with the resurgence of a radical al-Qaeda affiliate – now called the Islamic State – making substantial territorial gains in major oil producer Iraq, and more recently with an escalating military conflict between Israel and Hamas, has barely caused a blip in global markets and even in oil prices despite the fact that oil supply today is tight. At the same time, the conflict between Ukraine and Russia – the largest oil producer globally – has reached a more dangerous level, also with little oil price response. Indeed, it is difficult to identify another point in recent history when the Middel East – for all its troubles – was in such a precarious state; yet, as Goldman, rather rhetorically asks, this raises the question of whether the markets are being too dismissive about the recent turn of events.
Today we’re going to explain what the “final outcome” for this process will be. The short version is what happens to a cancer patient who allows the disease to spread unchecked (death).
Police are still investigating the tragic death of 39-year-old Goldman Sachs Managing Director Nicholas Valtz this weekend. As Bloomberg reports, Valtz, a "novice kiteboarder," was found dead yesterday by family members who went searching for him after he didn’t return from a kiteboarding outing. While there is no accusation of suicide in this case, it sadly brings the number of young financial services executives deaths to 16 this year.
Benzinga noted on June 27, 2014 “The demand created by Abenomics, along with the demand rush prior to a hike in consumption tax, is viewed as fleeting by corporations”
While we have again and again explained why Abenomics is ultimately doomed as you simply cannot print your way to prosperity (a message The Fed appears to be discovering rapidly), when Goldman Sachs unleashes an Abenomics-bashing piece, one has to wonder just what options Abe has left as economic data starts to collapse (and approval ratings drop just as fast). Simply put, as we concluded before, "Monetary debasement does NOT result in an economic recovery, because no nation can force another to pay for its recovery... Eventually the monetary debasement raises all costs and this initial benefit to exporters vanishes. Then the country is left with a depleted capital base and a higher price level. What a great policy!"
Despite being dismissed as "noise", inflation is here and it's rising. As the following chart shows, if you eat, drive, use electricity, or live in a house, you are paying dramatically more this year than you did last year. On the bright side, if you wear clothes or use electronics, prices have dropped (but remember deflation is bad...). How much longer can the Fed pull the wool over the eyes of the people?
For a centrally-planned market that has long since lost the ability to discount the future, and certainly respond appropriately to geopolitical events, yesterday was a rough wake up call with a two punch stunner of not only the MH 17 crash pushing the Ukraine escalation into overdrive, but Israel's just as shocking land invasion of Gaza officially marking the start of a ground war, finally dragging global stocks out of their hypnotized slumber and pushing risk broadly lower across the globe, even if the now traditional USDJPY and AUDJPY ramp algos have woken up in the past few minutes and will be eager to pretend as if nothing ever happened.
No one knows how this will play out. We all know on some level that it will not end well, but exactly how and when it will all backfire remains to be seen. We’ve already had two epic Crises in the last 15 years. By the look of things, we’re heading for a third one in the not to distant future.
35,000 global M&A deals will likely be made this year, promising “efficiencies” and “synergies,” hence job cuts. The Great M&A Frenzy of 2007/8 ended in the Great Jobs Crisis!
The sell off was greeted by Chinese buyers as Chinese premiums edged up to just over $1 an ounce on the Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE).
Gold price drops this year have led to a marked increase in demand for gold as seen in very large increases in ETF holdings (See chart - Orange is Gold, Purple is absolute change in gold ETF holdings). The smart money in Asia, the West and globally continues to use price dips as an opportunity to allocate to gold.
The media giant 21st Century Fox, the empire run by Rupert Murdoch, made an $80 billion takeover bid (around $86.00) in recent weeks for Time Warner Inc. but was rebuffed, people briefed on the matter said on Wednesday. As WSJ reports, The offer was first made orally in June and then with a formal letter in July. Time Warner rejected the offer curtly, after Chief Executive Jeff Bewkes took the proposal to the board. The deal - which valued Time Warner at 12.6x LTM EBITDA - was notably above even recent record high LBO multiples (and would be financed by none other than Goldman). Of course, this deal - should it ever be consummated (as the stock price suggests) would give Murdoch control of both the left and the right propoganda with CNN and Fox.
- BRICS set up bank to counter Western hold on global finances (Reuters)
- Fed's Yellen Hedges Her View on Rates (Hilsenrath)
- China GDP Grows 7.5% in Second Quarter (WSJ)
- Get More Acquainted With Your Knees as Boeing Reworks 737 (BBG)
- Israel Warns Gazans of New Attack After Hamas Rejects Truce (WSJ)
- Israel poised for Gaza incursions after truce collapses (Reuters)
- China Housing Sales Fall in First Half of 2014 (WSJ)
- IBM to offer iPads and iPhones for business users (Reuters)
- Fed's George says strengthening economy warrants quick rate rise (Reuters)
If last week's big "Risk Off" event was the acute spike in heretofore dormant Portugese bank troubles (as a reference Banco Espirito Santo has a market cap at the close last night stood at around €2.1bn ($2.9bn), contrasting to Goldman Sachs ($78.1bn) and JP Morgan ($220.5bn)), then yesterday's acceleration in the Portuguese lender's troubles which as we reported have now spread to its holding company RioForte which is set to default, were completely ignored by the market. Today this has conveniently flipped, following a Diario Economico report that Banco Espirito Santo has the potential to raise capital from private investors. No detail were given but this news alone was enough to send the stock soaring by nearly 20% higher in early trading. Still, despite the "good", if very vague news (and RioForte is still defaulting), Bunds remained bid, supported by a good Bund auction, in part also dragged higher by Gilts, which gained upside traction after the release of the latest UK jobs report reinforced the view that there is plenty of spare capacity for the economy to absorb before the BoE enact on any rate rises. Also of note, touted domestic buying resulted in SP/GE 10y yield spread narrowing, ahead of bond auctions tomorrow.
Who best to summarize what Yellen just said (aside from Bernanke of course, however he will demand at least $250,000/hour for his profound insight), than the bank which actually runs the NY Fed: Goldman Sachs. So without further ado, here is Goldman's Jan Hatzius on what Yellen really said. "BOTTOM LINE: The Q&A of Yellen's semi-annual monetary policy testimony contained a few bits of interesting information, including a slightly hawkish shift in her description of when FOMC participants think the first rate hike may occur."
Goldman Is Baaack: Slide In Trading Volume Offset By Second Highest "Prop" Trading Revenue Since LehmanSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 07/15/2014 08:18 -0400
Moments ago Goldman Sachs surprised Wall Street by trouncing expectations of a $3.09 EPS print with a beat over $1, printing at $4.10, coupled with a surge in revenue which declined from Q1's $9.3 billion by far less than consensus (Est. $7.98 billion) had expected, printing at $9.125 billion. What drove this? Clearly not a pick up in trading volumes: FICC declined 10% Y/Y and 22% from a quarter ago, while total Institutional Client Services dropped 11% Y/Y. Investment Banking did pick up modestly, up 15% from last year's $1.552 billion to $1.781 billion but this too did not explain the difference. The answer: Goldman's prop trading group is baaaaack.