Zero (or negative) interest rates around the world have practically destroyed any reasonable expectation of savings. Simply put, saving money guarantees that you will lose after adjusting for inflation, at a time when the US government’s finances have never been more precarious. Crazy. Buying ‘risk free’ bonds, dumping money in a mutual fund, and waiting for the government pension to kick in just won’t produce the results that it used to.
Yields on $7.8 trillion of government bonds have been driven below zero by worries over global growth, forcing investors looking for income to flood into debt with maturities of as long as 100 years. Worse still, as Bloomberg reports, central banks’ policy is exacerbating matters, as the unprecedented debt purchases to spur their economies have soaked up supply and left would-be buyers with few options. This has driven the 'duration' - or risk sensitivity - of the bond market to a record high, meaning, as one CIO exclaimed, even with a small increase in rates "the positions are so huge that the damage can be massive... People are complacent."
The latest shocking example of just how intertwined central banks have become in all capital markets, comes courtesy of the Bank of Japan which days ahead of a move which may see it double its ETF purchases from the current run rate of JPY3.3 trillion to JPY7 trillion or more (if Goldman is correct), is revealed to be a top 10 holder in about 90% of all Japanese stocks. Crazier still, if as Goldman predicts the BOJ doubles its purchases of ETFs, the central bank could become the No. 1 shareholder in about 40 of the Nikkei 225’s companies by the end of 2017,
- Crude's Losses Drag Ruble, Loonie Lower; Stocks Pare Their Drop (BBG)
- Grand Oil Bargain Is Victim of Saudi Arabia's Iran Fixation (BBG)
- Both Parties’ Presidential Front-Runners Increasingly Unpopular (WSJ)
- It's up to you, New York: state takes center stage in election campaign (Reuters)
- Rousseff Hangs by a Thread After Losing Impeachment Vote (BBG)
- China March home prices rise at fastest rate in two years, top cities boom (Reuters)
It must be tempting for the believers to again revel in the brute power of the “perpetual money machine.” Yet the costs associated with the latest round of monetary inflation are steep. Not many months ago it appeared that China was determined to rein in excess, while the U.S. was ready to lead the world toward policy normalization. Today it’s become rather obvious that China is out of control and global policymakers are trapped at near zero or negative rates and perpetual QE monetary inflation. What was always sold as temporary extraordinary measures is increasingly recognized as desperate “whatever it takes” indefinitely.
- Global shares reach four-month high, forex hit by Singapore sting (Reuters)
- Dollar Rally Hits Commodities as Europe Halts Global Stock Gains (BBG)
- Currencies Across Asia Fall Sharply Against U.S. Dollar (WSJ)
- IEA expects limited impact from oil output freeze at Doha (Reuters)
- IEA Sees Oil Oversupply Almost Gone in Second Half on Shale Drop (BBG)
- BofA Profit Declines 13% on Trading Slump, Energy Reserves (BBG)
Expectations of a "less terrible" first quarter for banks may have been premature following yesterday's stronger than expected JPM earnings report. First it was both PNC and Blackrock missing on the top and bottom line, but the highlight of the day was Bank of America which moments ago reported $0.20 in EPS, missing expectations of a $0.21 print, while revenue ex-DVA dropped by $1.4 billion to $19.7 billion, also missing expectations of a $20bn print. BofA reported Net Income of $2.68 billion, down from $3.1 billion one year ago.
In Greek mythology there was a monster called Cerberus, the hound of Hades, a monstrous multi-headed dog who guarded the gates of the underworld, preventing the dead from leaving. Today central banks have taken on the role of feeding our own modern version of Cerberus to keep all the troubles away. This hound of Hades has 3 heads that are named debt, deflation and demographics. Together they make a deadly combination that will result in a massive reset of asset prices...and central bankers are running out of food to feed the monster.
it has been a rather quiet session, which saw Japan modestly lower dragged again by a lower USDJPY which hit fresh 17 month lows around 170.6 before staging another modest rebound and halting a six-day run of gains; China bounced after a slightly disappointing CPI print gave hope there is more space for the PBOC to ease; European equities rose, led by Italian banks which surged ahead of a meeting to discuss the rescue of various insolvent Italian banks, while mining stocks jumped buoyed by rising metal prices with signs of a pick-up in Chinese industrial demand.
RANSQUAWK WEEK AHEAD VIDEO 11th April 2016 - Highlights this week include BoE and BoC rate decisions, a host of CPI readings and the beginning of US earning seasonSubmitted by RANSquawk Video on 04/10/2016 21:42 -0400
- Attention this week will likely turn to rate decisions from the BoE and BoC, alongside CPI readings from China, Germany, the UK and US.
- Elsewhere, US participants will be gearing up for the start of earnings season, with Alcoa due on Monday.
Things are going from bad to worse for the efficacy of the grand - and failed from the beginning - experiment known as Abenomics. As Bloomberg reports, Larry Fink's Blackrock has changed its stance on investing in Japan, and joins Citigroup, Credit Suisse, and LGT Capital Partners, the $50 billion asset manager based in Switzerland in their decision to head for the exits. Ironically, Blackrock's decision comes only a few months after blogging about "The Case for Investing in Japan", in which they explicitly cited increased demand for Japanese stocks.
In a quiet start to the week following last week's surprisingly strong rebound which followed a stronger than expected jobs report (perhaps to demonstrate that good news is once again good news), Japan stocks continued to sink as the USDJPY dropped to fresh lows, while commodities declined for a fifth day as the supply glut from crude to copper weighed on prices, dragging down commodity currencies. European equities rose, rebounding from a one-month low.
Gold's 16.1% surge in Q1 2016 ias the best start to a year since 1974. Overall, this is the best quarter since Q3 1986 and is the best performing major commodity of the year. Gold rallied this year as it cemented its status as a store of value amid financial market turbulence and concern about the global economy, which led to speculation that the Federal Reserve would pause on tightening monetary policy in the U.S. Having seen BlackRock's gold ETF halted due to inability to meet physical demand, it appears pet rocks and barbarous relics are 'worth' something after all.
- Roller-coaster first quarter ends with shares, dollar under pressure (Reuters)
- Oil prices slide as U.S. crude stocks hit record (Reuters)
- GE Files to End Fed Oversight After Shrinking GE Capital (WSJ)
- FDA Eases Rules for Abortion Pill, Making Access Simpler (BBG)
- Kremlin denies report of Russia-U.S. deal on Assad's future (Reuters)
- Thirst for Gasoline Fuels Oil Rally (WSJ)
- Landlords in last-minute rush to beat stamp duty rises (BBG)
BlackRock Inc. have joined Pacific Investment Management Co. (PIMCO) in recommending inflation linked bonds and gold, warning costs are poised to pick up and there is a growing risk of inflation.