Merrill Lynch

Cracks At The Core Of The Core

It is the “Core of the Core” that now concerns us the most. That is where Federal Reserve (and global central bank) policies have left their greatest mark. It is at the “Core of the Core” where momentous misperceptions and market mispricing have become deeply entrenched. It’s the “Core of the Core” that has attracted enormous amounts of “money” over recent years. It’s also here where I believe leverage has quietly been used most aggressively. Over recent years it became one massive Crowded Trade. Now the sophisticated players must contemplate beating the unsuspecting public to the exits.

Order Book For Biggest Bond Sale Ever Takes Shape: Over $100BN In Orders For $40BN AB InBev Offering

While the market for corporate bond issuance has been relatively quiet among the recent broader market turbulence, in a few hours a historic new bond is about to price and be sold to investors. Earlier today, Anheuser-Busch InBev NV, the acquiror in the second largest M&A deal of 2015 valued at $117 billion and just shy of Pfizer's massive $160 billion merger with Allergan, started offering bonds that will back its takeover of SABMiller Plc in a sale that according to Bloomberg will stretch into Europe and is set to become the biggest corporate-debt offering on record.

Global Stocks, Futures Dragged Lower By Commodities As Oil Slumps Back Under $37

With just two days left in 2015, the main driver of overnight global stocks and US equity futures remains the most familiar one of all of 2015 - crude oil, which, after its latest torrid bounce yesterday has resumed the familiar "yoyo" mode, and again stumbled dropping below $37 on yesterday's surprising API 2.9 million crude inventory build, as well several more long-term "forecasts" by OPEC members, with Kuwait now budgeting for $30 oil, while Venezuela's Maduro said the oil price fell to $28/bbl and is "headed downward." As a result U.S. futures declined and European stocks fell, extending their worst December drop since 2002 in thin volume on the last full trading day of the year.

Guest Post: Has There Ever Been A More Selfish Generation?

Because we squandered our opportunity to correct our own problems, our problems shall be our legacy. It’s wretched how dumb we are in our greed to have everything right now in the cheapest way possible and how willing we are to force the debts of that consumption upon our grandchildren and to pretend that won’t hurt them. We live in economic denial.

Markets Brace For More Fund Liquidations As Record Outflows Slam Debt Funds

As new investor liquidity evaporates and as billions are redeemed first from the junk bond universe, then investment grade and then loans, the debt crisis which was unleashed in anticipation of the Fed's rate hike, is about to get much worse, and lead to even more prominent hedge fund "gates" and liquidations.

The Eerie Echo Of 2007: It Really Is Bear Stearns, All Over Again

In a supreme twist of irony, Bear Stearns is back - maybe not the firm itself - but the people who were in charge of its distressed and junk bond trading group, and just like the summer of 2007, it is an ex "Bear"-run hedge fund that was the first to gate, just as the credit cycle is turning and the default cycle has begun, as we explained last week, just one day before everyone's attention finally focused on junk debt.

Ever Greater Distortions Hint At Rising Crash Probabilities

Government interference by both central banks and regulators (the latter are desperately fighting the “last crisis”, bolting the barn door long after the horse has escaped, thereby putting into place the preconditions for the next crisis) has created an ever more fragile situation in both the global economy and the financial markets. As the below charts and data show, price distortions and dislocations have been moving from one market segment to the next and they keep growing, which indicates to us that there is considerable danger that a really big dislocation will eventually happen.

Did Merrill Lynch Just Cancel Christmas?

From "Thundering Herd" to thundering-mad. Having recently laid off 100s of staff and cut compensation plans, AdvisorHub reports that Mother Merrill may be canceling Christmas for its roughly 14,500 brokers - "we’re hearing that in many regions the Bank of America-owned brokerage firm has sent out word that there will be no Merrill-financed holiday parties this year." Such Grinch-like moves have little precedent, and brokers in some areas have retaliated.