Less than one week after the BOJ floated a trial balloon using Bloomberg, that it would reduce the rate it charged some banks which set off the biggest USDJPY rally since October 2014, we are back where we started following last night's "completely unexpected" (for everyone else: we wrote "What If The BOJ Disappoints Tonight: How To Trade It" hours before said "shock") shocking announcement out of the BOJ which did absolutely... nothing. "It’s a total shock,” Nader Naeimi, Sydney- based head of dynamic markets at AMP Capital Investors told Bloomberg. "From currencies to equities to everything -- you can see the reaction in the markets. I can’t believe this. It’s very disappointing."
- Markets Get the Worst Kind of Kuroda Surprise as BOJ Stands Pat (BBG)
- Bank of Japan brushes aside calls for more easing despite price falls (WSJ)
- Ford Profit Surges to Record as Sales of SUVs, F-150 Gain Speed (BBG)
- Valeant Pharmaceuticals to Make Sweeping Changes to Board (WSJ)
- Trump breaks taboos, attacks Clinton on gender issue (Reuters)
It’s been about 15 years now since passenger airliners struck the World Trade Center towers on 9/11, and we are still suffering the consequences of that day, though perhaps not in the ways many Americans might believe. The 9/11 attacks were billed by the Bush Administration as a “wake-up call” for the U.S., and neocons called it the new Pearl Harbor. But instead of it being an awaking, the American public was led further into blind ignorance. Clearly, after 15 years of disastrous policy, it is time to admit that the U.S. response to 9/11 has damaged us far more than the actual attacks ever could.
Last week, Nazimuddin Samad sat at his computer at home and penned a few critical lines against the Islamist drift of his country, Bangladesh. The day after, Samad was approached by four men shouting "Allahu Akbar!" ("Allah is great!") and hacked him to death with machetes. But this and other shocking killings have not been worth of a single line in Europe's newspapers. Is it because these bloggers are less famous than the cartoonists murdered at Charlie Hebdo? Is it because their stories did not come from the City of Light, Paris, but from one of the poorest and darkest cities in the world, Dhaka? No, it is because the West has capitulated on freedom of expression.
We finally got confirmation of news from two days ago that a German nuclear power plant had been infected with malware after Reuters reports that the nuclear power plant was indeed infected with not one but several computer viruses. But don't worry, Reuters is quick to calm a concerned public, "they appear not to have posed a threat to the facility's operations because it is isolated from the Internet, the station's operator said on Tuesday." The Gundremmingen plant in question is located about 120 km (75 miles) northwest of Munich, is run by the German utility RWE.
- Trump, Clinton press closer to general election showdown (AP)
- Acela primaries: Winners, losers (Hill)
- Trump Says He's `Presumptive Nominee' as Clinton Wins Four (BBG)
- In the battle for Hollywood endorsements - and cash - Clinton rules (Reuters)
- U.S. Oil Rises Above $45 a Barrel for First Time Since November (BBG)
- Spin: Near-Zero Growth Happens Often in Slow-Motion U.S. Economy (BBG)
For those who thought that the world's biggest company losing over $40 billion in market cap in an instant on disappointing Apple earnings, would have been sufficient to put a dent in US equity futures, we have some disappointing news: with just over 7 hours until the FOMC reveals its April statement, futures are practically unchanged, even though the Nasdaq appears set for an early bruising in the aftermath of what is becoming a disturbing quarter for tech companies. Instead of tech leading, however, the upside has once again come from the energy complex where moments ago WTI rose above $45 a barrel for the first time since November after yesterday's unexpected 1.07 million barrel API inventory drawdown.
The history of economic central planning is not exactly glorious. In fact, as American economist Thomas Sowell once noted, "in general [central planning] has a record of failure so blatant that only an intellectual could ignore or evade it."
With the Fed decision just one day away, followed the very next day by the increasingly more irrational BOJ, stocks had no desire to make significant moves and overnight's boring session was the result, as European stocks and U.S. index futures rose modestly but mostly hugged the flatline while Asian declined 0.2% for a third day as raw-material shares declined and Tokyo equities slumped before central bank meetings in the U.S. and Japan this week. China’s stocks rose the most in almost two weeks, up 0.6% but failed to rise above 3000 on the Shanghai Composite, in thin trading.
An economic and financial system premised on perpetual growth was bound to run into trouble. What happens as population growth turns to population decline is honestly and literally a complete and total game changer. A flat to declining number of buyers and consumers opposite ramping elderly sellers plus their unfunded liabilities is a problem with no happy resolutions. Currencies (what will constitute "money"), "free-markets", and perhaps the basis of civilization hang in the balance of the transition from high population growth to potential outright depopulation.
Two American F-22 Raptor 5G stealth fighter jets and a refueling aircraft have been deployed to an airfield in Romania as manifestation of NATO’s support to its Eastern European members against Russian aggression. “For the first time in Romania, the next-generation combat aircraft F-22 Raptor, part of the US Air Force Europe mission, arrived today at Mihail Kogalniceanu military base,” the US Embassy said on its Facebook page Monday.
Remember when "someone" used the Stuxnet virus in an Iranian nuclear plant several years ago to freeze Iranian nuclear production, leading to a major diplomatic scandal involving the spy agencies of both the US and Israel, as the world learned that in the present day industrial sabotage only needed a flash drive and a computer virus to render even the most sophisticated piece of industrial machinery obsolete? Well, a few minutes ago, Bloomberg reported that a computer virus was discovered in a German nuclear power plant.
The April FOMC gathering headlines a crowded economic events calendar this week. The post-meeting statement, released Wednesday afternoon, should continue to strike a cautious tone. There will be no press conference and updated economic and financial forecasts will not be released. Few expect the FOMC to add the “balance of risks” sentence back into its communiqué at this point. Doing so would be quite bearish for risk assets as it would definitely open the door for a June rate hike.
Futures are currently unchanged, but the E-mini was down as much as 12 points less than two hours earlier after the European open when this time it was up to the PBOC to intervene in global markets by pushing the Yuan higher (selling USDCNY via intermediary banks) sending global stocks sharply higher off session lows and leaving the S&P futures virtually unchanged. As Bloomberg reported, there has been increasing USD/CNY selling in afternoon session as Dollar Index edged lower. This is the PBOC entering the building and levitating stocks.