The SEC is taking a new approach to uncovering nefarious dealings within the financial markets: bar hopping.
Blackrock Inc., has written a note about gold in which it suggests that this is the “perfect time and place” for gold due to “low and even negative yields, slow growth and potential signs of rising inflation ... ”
One month after news that legendary investor Paul Tudor Jones' $11.6 billion hedge fund Tudor Investment had seen some $1 billion in redemptions as a result of poor performance and the exit of several money managers, some of whom spent decades at the firm, the inevitable next step has followed: Tudor is trimming the fees it charges some clients in its biggest fund amid losses this year.
Another week of volatility, but with no real resolution to the burning question of “where do we go next?”
With high-yield bond funds suffering the largest redemptions in their history, this week saw gold fund flows soar to their highest in 2016 as buyers took advantage of the lower prices following the same path as George Soros, Stan Druckenmiller, Jana Partners, and Canada's financial giant CI Financial.
The central bank already missed the “window of opportunity” for normalizing rates in a manner that doesn’t hamper the recovery. While the big news for the market was the release of the April 27th FOMC minutes which once again suggested the Federal Reserve may be on a path to hike rates sooner rather than later. The reality is simple, with the markets hovering on critical support, a Presidential election just around the corner and no real evidence of economic recovery, the likelihood of a rate hike in June is approaching zero.
George Soros, who once called gold “the ultimate bubble,” has resumed buying the gold ETF and shares after a three-year hiatus. Soros issued very vocal warnings a year ago in May 2015, that we are on the “threshold of a Third World War” ...
On March 10, 2016 when the ECB announced the biggest expansion to quantitative easing in European history, when it shocked the market by announcing not only a reduction in its negative rate and expansion in the TLTRO program, but also the launch of a corporate bond monetization program.Well maybe not "shocked" the market, because as Bloomberg writes, ECB board members met with representatives of banks and investment managers including Goldman Sachs, BlackRock, Credit Suisse and Moore Europe Capital Management in February, just days before the ECB's March 10 announcement.
Moments ago all of our warnings about P2P lending were validated (quite painfully for those still long the company) and the Peer2Peer bubble may have finally burst, when as part of its Q1 earnings release, the board of directors announced that on May 6, 2016 it had accepted the resignation of Renaud Laplanche as Chairman and CEO. His resignation followed an internal review of sales of $22 million in near-prime loans to a single investor.
Something happened this week that has never happened before. While outflows from equity ETFs soared, the $3.6 billion redemptions from high yield bond ETF HYG this last few days is the largest ever - almost twice as big as the previous largest outflows (seen in May last year). As Bloomberg reports, the withdrawals from equity and credit funds highlighted the lack of faith in the rally that helped stocks briefly erase their annual losses last month. Equity traders have remained on the sidelines, with volume down in recent weeks as investors sought safer assets such as gold.
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.