Fitch

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The Christmas Hope: A To-Do List for a Better World





"I’ve seen enough of the world in my 68 years to know that wishing is not enough. We need to be doing. It’s not possible to solve all of the world’s problems right away. For most people, putting an end to world hunger, poverty, disease and the police state may seem too insurmountable a task to even tackle. But, there are practical steps each of us can take to hopefully get things moving in the right direction..."

 
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Frontrunning: December 24





  • Russia says NATO turning Ukraine into 'frontline of confrontation' (Reuters)
  • Oil Drillers Under Pressure to Scrap Rigs to Cope With Downturn (BBG)
  • Demonstrators Defy NYC Mayor's Call to Suspend Police Protests (BBG)
  • U.S. to send more private contractors to Iraq (Reuters)
  • ISIS Shoots Down Jet From U.S.-Led Coalition, Syrian Monitors Say (NYT)
  • Russians Race to Secure Mortgages Before Costs Spiral (BBG)
  • Abe Brings in Former Soldier Nakatani as Defense Minister (BBG)
  • At Coke, Newest Flavor Is Austerity (WSJ)
  • Fear and retribution in Xi's corruption purge (Reuters)
  • UBS Raises Flag on China’s $1 Trillion Overseas Debt Pile (BBG)
 
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Crude Continues Slide, Ruble Stabilizes, US Futures Rebound As Global Stocks Slump: All Eyes On Yellen





Previewing today's market: near record low liquidity, with chance of ridiculous volatility in the Ruble, energy and equity markets. While no doubt today's main event will be the "considerable" FOMC announcement and the Fed's downward-revised economic projections followed by Yellen's press conference, what traders will be most excited by is that, finally, Jim Bullard will no longer be bound by the blackout period surround FOMC decisions, and as such can hint of QE4 again at his leisure during key market inflection (i.e., selling) points.

 
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Futures Rebound, Crude "Flash Smashes" Higher As Dollar Strengthens





After the worst week for stocks in years, and following a significantly oversold condition, it will hardly come as a surprise that the mean reversion algos (if only to the upside), as well as the markets themselves (derivative trading on the NYSE Euronext decided to break early this morning just to give some more comfort that excessive selling would not be tolerated)  are doing all they can to ramp equities around the globe, and futures in the US as high as possible on as little as possible volume. And sure enough, having traded with a modestly bullish bias overnight and rising back over 2000, the E-Mini has seen the now traditional low volume spike in the last few minutes, pushing it up over 15 points with the expectation being that the generic algo ramp in USDJPY ahead of the US open should allow futures to begin today's regular session solidly in the green, even if it is unclear if the modest rebound in the dollar and crude will sustain, or - like on every day in the past week - roll over quickly after the open. Also, we hope someone at Liberty 33 tells the 10Y that futures are soaring: at 2.13% the 10Y is pricing in nothing but bad economic news as far as the eye can see.

 
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Fitch Downgrades France To AA: Full Text





And the final punch in the gut on this bloodbathy Friday some from French Fitch which just downgraded France from AA+ to AA: "The weak outlook for the French economy impairs the prospects for fiscal consolidation and stabilising the public debt ratio. The French economy underperformed Fitch's and the government's expectations in 1H14 as it struggled to find any growth momentum, in common with a number of other eurozone countries. Underlying trends remained weak despite the economy growing more strongly than expected in 3Q, when inventories and public spending provided an uplift. Euro depreciation and lower oil prices will provide some boost to growth in 2015. Fitch's near-term GDP growth projections are unchanged from the October review of 0.4% in 2014 and 0.8% in 2015, down from 0.7% and 1.2% previously. Continued high unemployment at 10.5% is also weighing on economic and fiscal prospects."

 
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Crude Drops, Yields Slump, Futures Tumble





Anyone who was hoping the market would rebound on last-minute news that the US government has gotten funding for another 9 months, will be disappointed this morning, when futures are finally starting to notice the relentless decline in crude, and with Brent down another 1% as of this writing following yet another cut in the forecast of Global oil demand by the IEA (the 4th in the last 5 months) and with Chinese industrial production also missing estimates (recall that the Chinese slow-motion hard landing has been said by many to be the primary catalyst for the crude collapse) which however pushed Chinese stocks higher on hopes of even more stimulus, the S&P is trading lower by some 14 points, the 10 Year is in the red zone at 2.12%, and the USDJPY is close to session lows. In short: Kevin Henry's "ETF" desk at the NY Fed will have its work cut out to generate one of the now traditional pre-weekend feel good, boost confidence stock market ramps.

 
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Frontrunning: December 10





  • New Normal headlines: Global stocks up on hopes of China policy easing (Reuters)
  • China inflation eases to five-year low (BBC)
  • U.S. Lawmakers Agree on $1.1 Trillion Spending Bill (WSJ)
  • U.S. Braced for Blowback as CIA Report Lays Bare Abuses (BBG)
  • CIA tortured, misled, U.S. report finds, drawing calls for action (Reuters)
  • CIA Made False Claims Torture Prevented Heathrow Attacks (BBG)
  • Oil Resumes Drop as Iran Sees $40 If There’s OPEC Discord (BBG)
  • OPEC Says 2015 Demand for Its Crude Will Be Weakest in 12 Years (BBG)
  • Greek yield curve inverted as politics raise default fears (Reuters)
 
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China's Stock Market Whiplash Extends As Greece, Crude Slump More





Now that China is on the same boat as the rest of the world, and its stock market is a direct reflection of hopes for constant liquidity injections by the central banks, nothing could be better for stocks than bad news, which is precisely what it got. After the biggest crash in the Shanghai Composite in 5 years, what China got just the bad economic update it needed, when it reported a PPI of PPI (-2.7%, Exp. -2.4%), the 33rd consecutive decline and a  CPI (1.4%, Exp. 1.6%), lowest since November 2009, when the big banks’ RRR rate stood at 15.5% vs. current 20%. And so hope of yet more PBOC interventions to halt China's deflation promptly reversed SHCOMP losses of over 4% on the session (at which point it was just shy of correction territory from recent highs hit just this week), and stocks surged to close up almost 3%, erasing half of yesterday's losses. This spike came despite reports Chinese regulators may limit brokerages' interbank borrowing.

 
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China Surges, Japan Closes Green On Horrible Econ Data; Oil Tumbles To Fresh 5 Year Lows





Without doubt, the most memorable line from the latest quarterly report by the BIS, one which shows how shocked even the central banks' central bank is with how perverted and broken the "market" has become is the following: "The highly abnormal is becoming uncomfortably normal.... There is something vaguely troubling when the unthinkable becomes routine." Overnight, "markets" did all in their (central banks') power to justify the BIS' amazement, when first the Nikkei closed green following another shocker of Japanese econ data, when it was revealed that the quadruple-dip recession was even worse than expected, and then the Shanghai composite soaring over 3000 or up 2.8% for the session, following news of the worst trade data - whether completely fabricated or not - out of China in over half a year.

 
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Stocks Rebound, Oil Resumes Slide, Ruble Tumbles As Yen Flirts With 119





A few days of near-record crude volatility (which the CME is scrambling to reduce following 2 crude margin hikes in the past week) is giving way to the New Normal default thinking: that central banks will soon take care of everything. And sure enough, just an hour earlier, US equity futures had jumped 8 points on virtually zero volume, wiping out all of yesterday's losses, driven higher by that new "old favorite", the USDJPY, which has once again resumed its climb higher, briefly rising above 119.00 once again and sending the Nikkei and the Topix to fresh 7 year highs, perfectly oblivious to both yesterday's Moody's downgrade and now open warnings from both Eisuke Sakakibara and Goldman Sachs that further declines in the Yen will accelerate the collapse of the Japanese economy. And, since there is also zero liquidity in the market, that entire gain was also just as promptly wiped out with futures now practically unchanged from yesterday's close.

 
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A Tale Of Two Credit Markets: New Auto Loans Highest In 9 Years As New Mortgages Slump Near Record Lows





Remember when three weeks ago, everyone was stunned as the Manufacturing ISM soared to new 3 year highs, continuing this summer's trend of blistering manufacturing, which was largely attributed to a burst of automotive production? Now, courtesy of the latest Q3 household credit report by the NY Fed, we know just how it was funded. According to the report, some $105 billion in new car loans were issued is the third quarter, the highest amount since 2005, and just $20 billion shy of an all time high. That's the good news. The bad news as Equifax reported two months ago, new subprime loan origination is trending at about 31% and rising. And what's worst, is that recently both Moody's and Fitch joined forces in making up for their past oversights, and "slammed subprime auto bonds" suggesting this latest bout of subprime driven euphoria boosting the US manufacturing sector may not last. Or it may: after all the central banks are always on the lookout for new things to monetize.

 
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Who’s Ready For $30 Oil?





All the stimulus, all $50 trillion or so globally, has been thrown into the fire, and look at where we are. There’s nothing left, and there won’t be another $50 trillion. Sure, stock markets set records. But who cares with oil at $40? Calling for more QE, from Japan and/or Europe or even grandma Yellen, is either entirely useless or will work only to prop up stock markets for a very short time. Diminishing returns. The one word that comes to mind here is bloodbath.

 
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Fear Of "Surge In Debt Defaults, Business Failures And Job Losses" Means Many More Chinese Rate Cuts





The PBOC, which cut rates for the first time in two years on Friday, will have its work cut out for it. And in the worst tradition of "developed world" banks, Beijing will now have no choice but to double down on the very same bad policies that got it into its current unstable equilibrium, and proceeds with a full-blown policy flip-flop, leading to a full easing cycle that reignites the bad-debt surge once more. And sure enough, today Reuters reports citing "unnamed sources involved in policy-making" (supposedly different sources than the unnamed sources Reuters uses to float trial balloons used by the ECB and the BOJ), that "China's leadership and central bank are ready to cut interest rates again and also loosen lending restrictions" due to concerns deflation "could trigger a surge in debt defaults, business failures and job losses, said sources involved in policy-making." In other words, China has once again looked into the abyss once... and decided to dig a little more.

 
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Petrobrast From The Past





Four years ago, bankers, politicians, and traders were patting themselves on the back after Petroleo Brasiliero (Petrobras) raised a stunning $70 billion in the world's largest share sale, as Bloomberg reported at the time, investors bet on its plans to double output within a decade by tapping offshore fields. Things haven't worked out so well...

 
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Frontrunning: November 14





  • "The hate us for our..." Americans’ Cellphones Targeted in Secret U.S. Spy Program (WSJ)
  • Ukraine and Russia take center stage as leaders gather for G20 (Reuters)
  • Moscow and Kiev trade accusations; U.S. warns Russia against escalation (Reuters)
  • Heartland Central Banker Calls Asset Bubbles Top Concern (BBG)
  • U.S. Said to Give Banks December Deadline in FX Probe (BBG)
  • Series of Failures Enabled White House Breach, Report Finds (WSJ)
  • Yen plumbs seven-year trough on likely Japan sales tax delay (Reuters)
  • JPMorgan Chase Bankers Said to Lead Moscow Departure (BBG)
 
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