Gold futures saw a massive $1.5 billion liquidation in one minute yesterday which had all the hallmarks of a "non profit" liquidation - a large seller trying to manipulate gold futures lower rather than maximise profits.
The story behind the deadly chemical explosion that rocked China’s Tianjin port last Wednesday continues to evolve amid fears that the public could be at risk from the hundreds of tonnes of sodium cyanide stored at the facility. Indeed, new samples show that the cyanide level in the water around the site is some 28 times the safety standard. It looks as though determining who actually owns Ruihai will be complicated by the fact that in China, it’s not uncommon for front men to hold shares on behalf of a company’s real owners. In an effort to pacify the country’s censored masses, party mouthpiece The People’s Daily said 10 people, including the head and deputy head of Ruihai had been detained since Thursday. Finally, initial estimates put the cost of the blast at bewteen $1 billion and $1.5 billion.
On Monday, we got some color on Hillary Clinton’s $350 billion plan to make college more affordable. Students and former students across the country owe more than $1.2 trillion in college loans, and as Bill Ackman so eloquently put it earlier this year, "there’s no way they’re going to pay it back." Now, one Boston-based hedge fund is building a short position on what it says is "runaway inflation in post-secondary education."
According to a transcript of an internal meeting of the China Banking Regulatory Commission, bad loans jumped CNY322.2 billion in H1 to CNY1.8 trillion, a 36% increase. Meanwhile, The PBoC will include loans made to CSF, China’s plunge protection vehicle, in its monthly loan data, meaning Beijing will pretend that the state-directed effort to artificially shore up the country’s stock market represents real, organic demand for credit.
We have lived through a credit hyper-expansion for the record books, with an unprecedented generation of excess claims to underlying real wealth. In doing so we have created the largest financial departure from reality in human history. Bubbles are not new – humanity has experienced them periodically going all the way back to antiquity – but the novel aspect of this one, apart from its scale, is its occurrence at a point when we have reached or are reaching so many limits on a global scale. The retrenchment we are about to experience as this bubble bursts is also set to be unprecedented, given that the scale of a bust is predictably proportionate to the scale of the excesses during the boom that precedes it. Deflation and depression are mutually reinforcing, meaning the downward spiral will continue for many years. China is the biggest domino about to fall, and from a great height as well, threatening to flatten everything in its path on the way down. This is the beginning of a New World Disorder…
With every passing day that Greece maintains its capital controls, the already dire funding situations is getting even worse, as Greek bank NPLs are rising with every day in which there is no normal flow of credit within the economy. This has led to a massive bank funding catch-22: the longer capital controls persist, the less confidence in local banks there is, the longer the bank run (capped by the ECB's weekly ELA allotment), the greater the ultimate bail out cost, and the greater the haircut of not only equity and debt stakeholders but also depositors.
Now you see it: "The chances that that data is real is very low," said Alicia Garcia Herrero, Natixis's chief economist for the Asia-Pacific region. "Would you publish GDP data that looks south at this point in time? I don't think so."
Moody's and Fitch are taking a hard look at student loan-backed ABS and they don't necessarily like what they see. Fortunately, Citi has some pointers on how the ratings agencies might go about avoiding downgrades.
It’s happening. As expected, dynastic politics is prevailing in campaign 2016. After a tease about as long as Hillary’s, Jeb Bush (aka Jeb!) officially announced his presidential bid last week. Ultimately, the two of them will fight it out for the White House, while the nation’s wealthiest influencers will back their ludicrously expensive gambit. And here’s a hint: don’t bet on Jeb not to make it through the Republican gauntlet of 12 candidates (so far). After all, the really big money’s behind him.