Budget Deficit

Saudi Arabia Unleashes Capital Controls: Bans Bets Against Dollar Peg

One thing policy makers should have learned after watching Greece unravel last summer is that capital controls almost always backfire. Once the market (not to mention the populace) senses panic, it's all downhill from there and make no mistake, there's blood in the water here.

"The Oil Market Could Drown In Oversupply," IEA Warns

With Brent and WTI having dipped below $30 (today’s rebound notwithstanding), and with some grades going for less than zero in the US, the question on everyone’s mind is simply this: can oil continue to move lower? According to the IEA, the answer is “an emphatic yes.”

"You Lie" - Fact-Checking Obama's SOTU Job "Gains" Claims

President Barack Obama’s final State of the Union address came up short of the facts on several topics. Obama apparently omitted part of his presidency in boasting of nearly 900,000 manufacturing jobs “in the past six years.” Over his entire time in office, manufacturing jobs have gone down by 230,000.

China's Hard Landing To Trigger Meltdown In India: "We Will See Another Crisis"

The collapse of China's economy will have serious implications for India, the country's top investment banker warns. With exports in free fall and the government caught between fiscal retrenchment and the need to keep the economy afloat, it could be a rough year for the country Goldman swears will be a top economic performer in 2016.

Saudi Aramco Confirms "World's Most Valuable Company" May Go Public

"Saudi Aramco confirms that it has been studying various options to allow broad public participation in its equity through the listing in the capital markets of an appropriate percentage of the Company’s shares and/or the listing of a bundle its downstream subsidiaries."

Trader Psychology Is Reversing, Scotiabank Warns Market Is "Ripe For Volatility Spikes"

Market psychology established in recent years is reversing. Market volatility is rising and will remain pervasive for a while as psychology, the change in direction of Fed policy, and the increases in general uncertainties, will all conspire to shape an environment ripe for sharp spikes in volatility which will be further amplified by rickety market liquidity.

Saudi Default, Devaluation Odds Spike As Mid-East Careens Into Chaos

On the heels of a tumultuous weekend that saw Saudi Arabia cut diplomatic ties with Iran after the Saudi embassy was torched by protesters angry at the execution of a prominent Shiite cleric, CDS spreads for the kingdom have blown out to six-year wides while the implied odds of the riyal peg finally breaking are hitting new record highs.

Oil Slumps As Saudis "Won't Change" Policy, Russia Rethinks 2016 Price Forecast

“We will satisfy the demand of our customers. We no longer limit production. If there is demand, we will respond. We have the capacity to respond to demand," Saudi oil minister Ali al-Naimi told reporters on Wednesday, underscoring the kingdom's belligerent stance as "lower for longer" heads into 2016. Meanwhile, Russia's Finance Ministry may reconsider its forecast for $50/bbl crude, a move which could inflate Moscow's budget deficit.

The Russian Economy Is Cracking, "Social Unrest" Coming In "A Few Months", Official Warns

As the ruble plunges to record lows against the dollar, we take a close look at the outlook for inflation and GDP growth in 2016 in the context of The Kremlin's budget, which assumes $50/bbl crude. We also ask whether the deficit - expected to balloon to 4.4% of GDP in the event oil hovers around $35/bbl - will grow as a result of a planned bailout for insolvent state lender VEB. 

Frontrunning: December 29

  • The World's Richest People Got Poorer This Year (BBG)
  • Oil hovers near 11-year lows on abundant supply, slowing demand (Reuters)
  • Oil-Producing States Battered as Tax-Gushing Wells Are Shut Down (BBG)
  • A Bold Few Traders Earn Billions Flouting Rivals (WSJ)
  • Islamic State ruling aims to settle who can have sex with female slaves (Reuters)
  • Winter Storm Snarls Republican Presidential Traffic (BBG)
  • Donald Trump Urges Supporters to the Polls (BBG)

Something Just Snapped In Saudi Arabia

Following yesterday's budget (deficit) and the 'sacrifice-the-people's-comfort-for-the-death-of-US-Shale' plan that we detailed here, it appears market concerns about Saudi Arabia's forward-looking health are rising. As Bloomberg reports, USDSAR 12-month forwards jumped 250pts (the most since December 2007) to 725bps (the highest level since March 1999) implying expectations of a looming de-pegged, devaluation. Perhaps just as worrying is this is the same pattern that played out in August as Yuan weakness sparked HIBOR stress, leading to SAR forward weakness and then US equity market collapse.