The game is over. The trend has changed. And the Fed knows it. The question is: What will it do about it? Roll-over or fight? But will it matter much if it fights? Janet Yellen clearly lost the crowd this week as “accommodative” was met with a resounding SELL as confidence has been shaken. Her job is now to win back confidence. Whether she can or not is now largely determined how the binary set-up we face here plays out. Bottom line: Bulls need a 1998 like repeat to save this year. How did the Fed manage the big correction in the Fall of 1998: It cut rates of course...Well, good luck with that this year.
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The week that passed has left many of the so-called “smart crowd” flummoxed, disheveled, dismayed, and disrobed from their expensive facades of “expert insightful analysis.” It seems all that “expert” as well as “insight” wasn’t all it was made out to be. In less than a week: historic records weren’t only broken – they were smashed to smithereens. And the one’s that were the most historic? They weren’t set for positive things.
During Monday's flurry of tripped circuit breakers and flash crashing mayhem, ETF investors learned the hard way that Howard Marks was precisely correct when he warned that ETFs "can't be more liquid than the underlying and we know the underlying can become highly illiquid." The question now, is whether subsequent flash crashes will trigger even more spectacular divergences between fair value and ETF unit prices on the way to proving, once and for all, that ETFs may indeed be the new financial weapons of mass destruction.
One of the fallacies being propagated about yesterday's flash crash, is that somehow HFTs came riding in as noble white knights and rescued the market from a collapse instead of actually causing it. This particular lie is worth a few quick observations and explanations of what really happened.
So to be technically accurate, what happened in May 2010 was one marketwide flash crash, while today we had a market paralysis which was the direct result of countless isolated mini flash crashes, all of which precipitated the market from failing for the first 30 minutes of trading.
This will not be a one-off event. With the Fed and other Central banks now leveraged well above 50-to-1, even those entities that were backstopping an insolvent financial system are themselves insolvent.
If yesterday's market action was boring, today has been a virtual carbon copy which started with the usual early Chinese selloff levitating into a mildly positive close, with the SHCOMP closing just above the psychological 4,000 level: the next big hurdle will be 4058, the 38.2% Fib correction of the recent fall. In the US equity futures are currently unchanged ahead of a day in which there is no macro economic data but lots of corporate earnings led by Microsoft, Verizon, UTX and of course Apple. Most importantly, some modest USD weakness overnight (DXY -0.1%) has helped the commodity complex, with gold rebounding from overnight lows, while crude has at least stopped the recent carnage which sent WTI below $50.
Last Night's Gold Slam So Furious It Halted The Market Not Once But Twice, And The Funniest "Explanation" YetSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 07/20/2015 15:35 -0400
Yesterday, just before the Chinese market opened, precious metals but mostly gold, flash crashed in milliseconds with a violent urgency never before seen. We documented the unprecedented event last night, but for those who missed it, the following chart from Nanex clearly lays out just how sudden the "out of nowhere" selling was, which led to not one but two 20-second halts in the gold futures market spaced out precisely 30 seconds apart as a result of a Velocity Logic (or lack thereof) event.
The Big Crisis, the one in which entire countries go bust, has begun. It will not unfold in a matter of weeks; these sorts of things take months to complete. But it has begun.
Presented with little comment aside to ask if someone is off-script?
NOONAN: THE CRISIS HAS COMMENCED
SCHAEUBLE SAYS `HELLISH DIFFICULT TASK' ON GREECE
NOONAN: I HAVE SYMPATHY FOR THE GREEK PEOPLE
But always remember, "Greece doesn't matter," which as Mohamed El-Erian explains, is somewhat true, since European leaders have two other existential issues to contend with also...
We are running dangerously low on "conspiracy theories"
In a sign of the times, ICAP, which handles nearly two-thirds of Treasury trading activity between HFTs and banks, is considering the implementation of circuit breakers in the Treasury market to halt trading in the event of an ‘accident.’
This was the “Rubicon” moment: the instant at which Central Banks gave up pretending that their actions or policies were aimed at anything resembling public good or stability
With the Fed and other Central banks now leveraged well above 50-to-1, even those entities that were backstopping an insolvent financial system are themselves insolvent.