Forget Norway. Japan. Iceland. Switzerland. Or any of the other places around the world that are notorious for being painful on the wallet. Venezuela is now the most expensive country in the world, hands down. To give you an idea, the cost of a 15-minute taxi ride to the beach yesterday afternoon totaled an eye-popping $158.
Just a day after no lesser world-renowned newsletter writer than Dennis Gartman went full bull-tard of crude oil (in $29.95 terms), Goldman Sachs has come out with a "lower for longer" warning about the crude complex noting that the gains have been exacerbated by still large short positioning and the break of key technical levels. Despite the magnitude of this rally, Goldman does not believe that data releases over the past week suggest a change in oil fundamentals. In fact, high frequency data continue to point to an oversupplied market despite a gradual decline in US production.
ECB Will Again "Frontload" Bond Purchases Ahead Of The Winter, No Advance Leak To Hedge Funds This TimeSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 10/08/2015 07:56 -0400
Moments ago, as part of its quite stale and otherwise irrelevant minutes of its September 2-3 governing council meeting, the ECB did precisely the same, announcing that as part of its ongoing open-ended QE program (which the ECB expects will be implemented fully by September 2016 "or beyond") it would frontload purchases between September and November because, you guessed it, volatility once again declines in December.
It was supposed to be the day China's triumphantly returned to the markets from its Golden Holiday week off, and with global stocks soaring over 5% in the past 7 days, hopes were that the Shanghai Composite would close at least that much higher and then some, especially with the "National Team" cheerleading on the side and arresting any sellers. Sure enough, in early trading Chinese futures did seem willing to go with the script, and then everything fell apart when a weak Shanghai Composite open tried to stage a feeble rebound into mid-session, and then closed near the day lows even as the PBOC injected another CNY120 bn via reverse repo earlier.
After a "no change" statement from The BoJ, today's dismal Japanese data was terrible enough to be great news in the new normal as August machine orders drop the most in at least a decade and stocks, USDJPY dipped and ripped. However, it was the China open that investors waited for (after China shares rising 10% in US trading, and CNH strengthening on lower than expected reported outflows) as Goldman slashed its 12m target for Chinese stocks, and Bocom's chief strategist (who called the boom and the bust) says "rally is mirage of new dawn, volume is dying, sell the rallies." PBOC fixed the Yuan at its strongest in 2 months and while Chinese stocks opened up notably it was less than US ADRs suggested (CSI +4% vs ASHR +9.5%).
It is erroneous to believe that free traders have been historically in favor of free trade agreements between governments. Paradoxically, the opposite is true. Curiously, many laissez-faire advocates fall into the government-made trap by supporting “free-trade” treaties. The very fact that governments are negotiating in the name of free trade should be suspicious for any libertarian or true advocate of free trade. It’s time for genuine free trade.
What if we were to redraw the world map based on the (un)sustainability of national debt levels?
"They're Converging To Dire Levels!": SocGen's Edwards Delivers Critical Warning On Inflation ExpectationsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 10/07/2015 18:00 -0400
"The collapse in inflation expectations tells us that the market believes the central banks, despite their monetary profligacy, are failing to prevent the western economies from turning Japanese, and thus at risk of repeating their devastating slide into outright deflation in the 1990s."
In what seems like a nervous populist move amid Bernie Sanders' gains, Hillary Clinton has flip-flopped rather stunningly to oppose President Obama's Trans-Pacific Partnership. Despite supporting the bill at least 45 times, as CNN's Jake Tapper points out, Clinton told PBS' Judy Woodruff Wednesday in Iowa that, "As of today, I am not in favor of what I have learned about it." It's also a departure from the Clinton legacy, as CNN notes, it was President Bill Clinton who, two decades ago, signed the first mega-regional pact: the North American Free Trade Agreement.
"You Never Go Full-Krugman": Insane Helicopter Money Calls Continue As Trapped Central Banks Face Keynesian EndgameSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 10/07/2015 15:31 -0400
"The helicopter. Rather than buying assets, central banks drop money on the street. Or even better, in a more modern and civilised fashion, credit our bank accounts!" Yes, "even better!"...
Having government control over the levers of the economy can have advantages. For example, by taking prompt action, the Chinese government was able to pull the economy out of the recession remarkably fast, basically by fire-housing the stimulus package that was equivalent to 12% GDP. That’s the advantage. The only problem is that these kinds of short-term advantages come with long-term, painful consequences.
- How Iranian general plotted out Syrian assault in Moscow (Reuters)
- China FX reserves post record quarterly fall as cenbank steps up yuan support (Reuters)
- MSF calls for independent inquiry into U.S. attack on Afghan hospital (Reuters)
- Yen Advances as Bank of Japan Refrains From Adding to Stimulus (Reuters)
- Abu Dhabi Said to Explore Asset Sales After Slump in Oil Price (BBG)
- U.S. Oil Approaching $50 Boosts Stocks as Emerging Markets Surge (BBG)
The big overnight story was certainly the BOJ's announcement at 11pm Eastern whether or not the Japanese central bank would boost QE. This is how we previewed it: "now all eyes to the BOJ when tonight around 11pm Eastern, Japan's central bank is expected do and say precisely... nothing." Sure enough, nothing is precisely what the BOJ delivered, leading to a big, if brief tumble in the USDJPY suggesting many were expecting at least a little tip from the BOJ.
"That’s why I often said that monetary policy was not a panacea — we needed Congress to do its part. After the crisis calmed, that help was not forthcoming. When the recovery predictably failed to lift all boats, the Fed often, I believe unfairly, took the criticism."
The Trans-Pacific Partnership: Permanently Locking In The Obama Agenda For 40% Of The Global EconomySubmitted by Tyler Durden on 10/06/2015 18:29 -0400
We have just witnessed one of the most significant steps toward a one world economic system that we have ever seen. Negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership have been completed, and if approved it will create the largest trading bloc on the planet. In this treaty, Barack Obama has thrown in all sorts of things that he never would have been able to get through Congress otherwise. And once this treaty is approved, it will be exceedingly difficult to ever make changes to it. So essentially what is happening is that the Obama agenda is being permanently locked in for 40 percent of the global economy.