Fitch

Gulf Markets Melting Down: Saudi Arabia Plunges 7%, Dubai Sold

Following the end of a horrible week for petroleum importers (not to mention shale producers) despite WTI briefly dipping under $40 (wasn't this supposed to be great news for the US economy?) we have the start of a just as ugly week for the Persian Gulf oil exporters, whose Sunday market open can be described as a continuation of last week's broad risk carnage, and where Saudi Arabia, until recently the region's best performing market, is now down 10% for the year and down 30% compared to 12 months ago.

Saudi Arabia Faces Another "Very Scary Moment" As Economy, FX Regime Face Crude Reality

Over the weeks, months, and years ahead we’ll begin to understand more about the fallout from the death of the petrodollar and nowhere is it likely to be more apparent than in Saudi Arabia where widening fiscal and current account deficits have forced the Saudis to tap the bond market to mitigate the FX drawdown that's fueling speculation about the viability of the dollar peg. As Bloomberg reports, the current situation mirrors a "very scary moment" in Saudi Arabia’s history.

Cyanide Thunderstorms Feared As Mystery Deepens Around $1.5 Billion Tianjin Explosion

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.

How One Hedge Fund Is Betting Against The $1.2 Trillion Student Loan Bubble

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."

Frontrunning: August 7

  • July job gains may favor September interest rate rise (Reuters)
  • It's all about Trump at raucous Republican debate (Reuters)
  • The 5 Most Important Takeaways From the First Debate of 2016 (BBG)
  • Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina wins the Web (Reuters)
  • Hedge Fund Losses From Commodity Slump Sparking Investor Exodus (BBG)
  • Winners and losers from the first Republican presidential debate (WaPo)
  • Bush turns in workmanlike debate performance, but will it be enough? (Reuters)

Bad Debt Soars 35% In China As Government Set To Fabricate Dismal Loan Data

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.

"This Is The Largest Financial Departure From Reality In Human History"

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…

Greek Capital Controls To Remain For Months As Germany Pushes For Bail-In Of Large Greek Depositors

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.