Prudential

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Futures Flirt With Unchanged Despite BOJ's "Surprising", If Completely Factored-In, Announcement





The key event overnight was the monetary policy announcement by the BOJ in which its kept it QE unchanged while the Board decided by unanimous vote to double the scale of two funding facilities, namely the Stimulating Bank Lending Facility and Growth-Supporting Funding Facility and to extend the application period for these facilities by a year. Both facilities are designed to stimulate the provision of funding to Japanese banks, allowing them to borrow from the BoJ at a fixed rate of 0.1%pa, for a period 4 years now, instead of 1-3 years previous. Some are arguing that by expanding its funding programmes but not changing its asset purchase targets, the BoJ has signalled its intention to ease policy whilst preserving firepower for extra stimulus in coming months when a sales-tax hike is due to kick-in. The result was a surge in both the Nikkei and USDJPY. The problem, and confirmation that once again the market is now a bunch of cluless automatons unable to analyze even one sentence below the headline level, is that as Goldman explained overnight, the "surprise" announcement was already fully factored in.

 
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Frontrunning: February 17





  • Venezuela's Lopez says ready for arrest at Tuesday march (Reuters)
  • Record Chinese liquidity sends Shanghai Composite back to green for the year (WSJ)
  • Deflation Threat Worries G-20 Roiled by Emerging Markets (BBG)
  • Neither U.S. nor EU has strategy for Ukraine (Reuters)
  • AngloGold Ashanti Chairman Steps Down (WSJ)
  • Italy Yields Seen Climbing as Renzi Gets Mandate (BBG)
  • Group Led by Starr Near Deal to Buy MultiPlan (WSJ)
  • Thai PM under siege, lengthy protests take toll on economy (Reuters)
  • The Value of Annoying Co-Workers (WSJ)
 
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Spoos Rise To Within Inches Of All Time High As Overnight Bad News Is Respun As Great News By Levitation Algos





After tumbling as low as the 101.30 level overnight on atrocious GDP data, it was the same atrocious GDP data that slowly became the spin needed to push the USDJPY higher as the market became convinced that like everywhere else, bad news is great news and a relapse in the Japanese economy simply means more QE is coming from the BOJ despite the numerous articles here, and elsewhere, explaining why this very well may not be the case. Furthermore, as we noted last night, comments by the chairman of the GPIF panel Takatoshi Ito that the largest Japanese bond pension fund should cut its bond holdings to 40% were used as further "support" to weaken the Yen, and what was completely ignored was the rebuttal by the very head of the GPIF who told the FT that demands were unfair on an institution that has been functionally independent from government since 2006. The FSA “should be doing what they are supposed to be doing, without asking too much from us,” he said, adding that the calls for trillions of yen of bond sales from panel chairman Takatoshi Ito showed he "lacks understanding of the practical issues of this portfolio.” What he understands, however, is that in the failing Japanese mega ponzi scheme, every lie to prop up support in its fading stock market is now critical as all it would take for the second reign of Abe to end is another 10% drop in the Nikkei 225.

 
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There Is "No Evidence" We Encouraged Forex Manipulation, Bank of England Says





In what has to be the most disappointing denial of central bank manipulation of a market in recent history, and probably never, the Bank of England today announced that it "has seen no evidence to back media allegations that it condoned or was aware of manipulation of reference rates in the foreign exchange market." As a reminder, last week we reported, that according to a Bloomberg, "Bank of England officials told currency traders it wasn’t improper to share impending customer orders with counterparts at other firms" or, in other words, the highest monetary authority in England, and the oldest modern central bank, explicitly condoned and encouraged manipulation. Fast forward to today when Andrew Bailey, the Bank's deputy governor and chief executive of the Bank's Prudential Regulation Authority, told parliament's Treasury Select Committee on Tuesday it had no evidence to suggest that bank officials in any sense condoned the manipulation of the rate-setting process. In other words, it very well may have... but there just is no evidence - obviously in keeping with the bank's very strict "smoking manipulation gun document retention policy."

 
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On The Lessons 'Economists' Fail To Learn





How quickly emerging markets’ fortunes have turned. Not long ago, they were touted as the salvation of the world economy – the dynamic engines of growth that would take over as the economies of the United States and Europe sputtered. Economists at Citigroup, McKinsey, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and elsewhere were predicting an era of broad and sustained growth from Asia to Africa. But now the emerging-market blues are back. This is not the first time that developing countries have been hit hard by abrupt mood swings in global financial markets. The surprise is that we are surprised. Economists, in particular, should have learned a few fundamental lessons long ago...

 
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Frontrunning: February 6





  • Draghi as ECB Master of Suspense Keeps Investors on Edge (BBG)
  • Abe lays out detailed plan for expanding defense powers (Nikkei)
  • Inflation Fuels Crises in Two Latin Nations (WSJ)
  • Obama walks into crossfire of Asian tensions (FT)
  • Harvard Makes Professor Disclose More After Blinkx Slides (BBG)
  • Hedge Funds Rework Currency Positions in Market Drop (BBG)
  • Canada, U.S. Strike Tax-Information Sharing Deal (WSJ)
  • Indonesia calls for greater clarity from Fed on tapering (FT)
  • Sony to cut 5,000 jobs, split off PC, TV operations (Reuters)
 
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Housing Bubble 2.0: "More Flipping, Bigger Profits, In Less Time" With 156,862 Homes Flipped In 2013





The topic of home flipping is not new here ("Flip That House" In These Bubbling Cities, Housing Bubble 2.0 Edition: "25 Markets Where Flipping Homes Is Most Profitable", etc) - indeed that best-known flashback of the last housing bubble is easily one of the best indications just how fragile the current housing bubble truly is as investors gobble up real estate not with the intention of keeping it but merely to sell to the next greater fool, in the process setting marginal prices based purely on the availability of cheap money, money which has now been tapered by $20 billion in the past two months. However, to get the full picture on just how pervasive "house flipping" has become, we go to the source, RealtyTrac, which has just released its 2013 summary of this troubling trend.

 
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Frontrunning: January 30





  • Only time will define Bernanke's crisis-era legacy at Fed (Reuters)
  • Record Cash Leaves Emerging Market ETFs (BBG)
  • Investors Look Toward Safer Options as Ground Shifts (WSJ)
  • Fed Policy Makers Rally Behind Tapering QE as Yellen Era Begins (BBG)
  • Rating agencies criticise China’s bailout of failed $500m trust (FT)
  • Russia to await new Ukraine government before fully implementing rescue (Reuters)
  • U.S. readies financial sanctions against Ukraine: congressional aides (Reuters)
  • Companies resist president’s call for minimum wage rise (FT)
  • Secret Swiss Funds at Risk as Italy’s Saccomanni Visits Bern (BBG)
  • Top Democrat puts Obama trade deals in doubt (FT)
  • Erdogan to Give Rate Increase Time Before Trying Other Plans (BBG)
 
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Frontrunning: January 22





  • Winter Storm Expected to Make Northeast Commutes Harder  (BBG)
  •  Invasion of Spanish Builders Angers France Struggling to Compete  (BBG)
  • Toronto mayor, caught ranting on video, admits drinking a 'little bit" (Reuters)
  • IBM's Hardware Woes Accelerate in Fourth Quarter (WSJ)
  • Sharp Divisions Come to Fore as Peace Talks on Syria Begin (NYT)
  • Afghanistan cracks down on advertising in favor of U.S. troops (Reuters)
  • Microsoft CEO Search Rattles Boards From Ford to Ericsson (BBG)
  • Banks Sit Out Riskier Deals (WSJ)
  • Netflix Seen Reporting U.S. Web Users Reach 33.1 Million (BBG)
 
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Frontrunning: January 7





  • Yellen’s Record-Low Senate Support Reflects Fed’s Politicization (BBG)
  • Euro-Zone Inflation Rate Falls in December, even further below ECB's target (WSJ)
  • Zambia politician charged for calling president a potato (AFP)
  • Blame gold: India Savings Deposit Scam Collapse Leaves Thousands Penniless (BBG)
  • Hedge Funds Raise Gold Wagers as Yamada Sees $1,000 (BBG)
  • George Osborne limits cuts options with pensions promise (FT)
  • Vietnam Raises Foreign Bank Ownership Caps to Aid System (BBG)
  • But they said buy a year ago... Goldman to JPMorgan Say Sell Emerging Markets After Slide (BBG)
  • SAC Trial Seen by Probe Convict as Latest Abusive Tactic (BBG)
 
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Frontrunning: January 3





  • Heavy snowstorm hammers northeastern U.S. (Reuters)
  • Coins Remain a Bright Spot for Gold (WSJ)
  • Gross’s Mistake on Fed Taper Echoes Across Pimco Funds (BBG)
  • China December services PMI falls to four-month low (Reuters)
  • General Mills Starts Making Some Cheerios Without GMOs (WSJ)
  • U.S. considers flammability risk of Bakken crude after accidents (Reuters)
  • China Mobile’s Costly iPhone Deal with Apple (WSJ)
  • Hezbollah Upgrades Missile Threat to Israel (WSJ)
  • UK House Prices Cap Best Year Since 2006 as Mortgages Surge (BBG)
  • China tells police to be loyal to party amid graft crackdown (Reuters)
 
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Frontrunning: November 29





  • So much for the euphoria: Stores open early on Thanksgiving but shoppers in no rush (Reuters)
  • Get to work Mr. Chairwoman: Do-Nothing Congress Dithers on Budget as Deadline Nears (BBG)
  • FX to Libor Probes Leave U.K. Traders Looking for Lawyers (BBG)
  • Protesters Briefly Storm Thai Army Headquarters (WSJ)
  • Berlusconi accused of bribing witnesses in prostitution trial (Reuters)
  • Japan Price Gauge Rises Most Since ’98 in Boost to Abe (BBG)
  • S&P downgrades Netherlands’ AAA credit rating (FT)
  • GrainCorp Verdict Clouds Australia Open-For-Business Pledge (BBG)
  • Hertz Fix in Dollar Thrifty Deal Fails as Insider Warned (BBG)
  • Narrow Budget Agreement Comes Into View (WSJ)
 
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The Unspoken, Festering Secret At The Heart Of Shadow Banking: "Self-Securitization" ... With Central Banks





The implication of this particular and quite unprecedented shadow banking circle jerk, which could very easily make even the direct wealth transfer resulting from trillions in QE pale by comparison, is so stunning that we leave it up to the reader to come to their own conclusion.

 
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Frontrunning: November 15





  • China to Ease One-Child Policy (WSJ), China announces major economic and social reforms (Reuters)
  • Consumers line up for launch of PlayStation 4 (USAToday)
  • Trust frays between Obama, Democrats (Politico)
  • Yellen Stands by Fed Strategy  (Hilsenrath)
  • Hero to zero? Philippine president feels typhoon backlash (Reuters)
  • Brussels warns Spain and Italy on budgets (FT)
  • Moody’s Downgrades Four U.S. Banks on Federal Support Review  (BBG)
  • CIA's Financial Spying Bags Data on Americans (WSJ)
  • Germany Digs In Against Risk Sharing in EU Bank-Failure Plan (BBG)
  • Bill Gates wants Norway's $800 billion fund to spend more in Africa, Asia (RTRS)
 
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Frontrunning: November 7





  • Twitter's IPO to Make Market Debut (WSJ); Twitter Raises $1.82 Billion, Pricier Value Than Facebook (BBG)
  • Worried Senators Press Obama on Health Law (WSJ)
  • Greenspan Says Yellen Was His Guide to Economics Research at Fed (BBG)
  • European Central Bank seen holding rates despite inflation tumble (Reuters)
  • Wall St. Bonuses Over All Are Predicted to Rise 5 to 10% (NYT)
  • Cautious consumers seen curbing U.S. economic growth (Reuters)
  • China Grants U.S. Investors Indirect Access to Its Stock Markets (WSJ)
  • Higher Tax Rates Give Top U.S. Earners Year-End Headaches (BBG)
  • Iran Loses Nuclear Leverage as World Ignores Export Drop (BBG)
  • NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly in the running for JPMorgan job (Post)
 
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