So far today's trading session has been a repeat of what happened overnight on Monday, when following a weak start on even more weak Chinese data, US equities soared on the first trading day of the month continuing their blistering surge since that dreadful September payrolls report, which as we showed was mostly catalyzed by a near record bout of short's being squeezed and covering, which accelerated just as the S&P broke the 2100 level.
Having watched the credit markets grow more and more weary of the major US financials, it should not be total surprise that ratings agency S&P just put all the majors on watch for a rating downgrade:JPMORGAN, BANK OF AMERICA, WELLS FARGO, CITIGROUP, GOLDMAN SACHS, STATE STREET CORP, MORGAN STANLEY MAY BE CUT BY S&P. Despite all the talking heads proclamations on higher rates and net interest margins and 'strongest balance sheets' ever, S&P obviously sees something more worrisome looming. S&P blames The Fed's new resolution regime for its shift, implying "extraordinary support" no longer factored in. This comes just hours after Moody's put Bank of Nova Scotia on review also (blaming the move on concerns over increased risk appetite).
Yesterday morning, when previewing the day's tumultuous events, we said that "Futures Are Firm On Hope Draghi Will Give Green Light To BTFD." And boy did Draghi give a green light, that and then some, when his press conference unleashed one of the biggest one-day US equity rallies in 2015. This morning it has been more of the same, with global market momentum on the heels of Draghi's confirmation that Europe's economy is again backsliding (it's a good thing, if only for stocks), leading to momentum for US equity futures, which together with soaring tech/cloud, earnings if no other, are on their way to take out recent all time highs.
Already, the big banks (the ones with the closest ties to the Federal Reserve) have begun turning away deposits OR charging them.
Back in February, we noted that NIRP had officially arrived in the US as JP Morgan announced it was preparing to charge some large institutional customers for deposits. This represented a kind of de facto (if not yet de jure) NIRP. Now, a combination of pinched margins and new regulations has led some of the largest financial institutions in the US to penalize corporate and institutional deposits on the way to instituting what amounts to a stealth version of negative interest rates.
We would argue the main reason for Blackrock’s attempt to persuade the exchanges to adopt its recommendations on trading halts is that Blackrock itself is inconvenienced by downside volatility. Presumably the company is no stranger to leverage (how else can it squeeze out large returns with a portfolio this large in a ZIRP world?) and is therefore forced to exercise stop loss orders itself when the market declines fast. Such attempts to “regulate” everything, even the price swings markets are allowed to make, are attempts to stem oneself against nature.
There is little that is of greater importance to systemic confidence than faith in the abilities of central banks. Thus, when even the mainstream financial press begins to publish articles about a potential “loss of credibility” faced by these august institutions, one must begin to pay close attention.
"There’s a lack of faith in monetary policy -- you’ve thrown the kitchen sink at it, you’ve cut rates to zero, you’re printing money -- and still inflation is lower. I think this is a dangerous situation if people perceive that it has the responsibility and it doesn’t have the tools."
News That Matters
News That Matters
US Futures Surge Nearly 30 Points To Overnight Highs After Tumbling On Worst Chinese Data In 6 YearsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 09/23/2015 05:55 -0500
In many ways, the overnight market has so far been a reversal of yesterday, when a stable Asia session (with China stocks rising) gave way to a European tumble which in turn dragged the US lower.
The aggregate Buybacks to Free Cash Flow ratio for the S&P 500 exceeded 100% for the first time since October 2009. The ratio hit 108% on a TTM basis at the end of Q2, which represented a 12.9% increase quarter-over-quarter and a 42% increase year-over-year. The 10-year median ratio was 72.2%. And that, in a nutshell, is why the market is tumbling today - the biggest buyers of stock in the past 2 years, the corporations themselves, just priced themselves out of the market and no longer generate the cash needed to push their own stock to new all time highs.
In his Pulitzer-Prize-winning book, Lords of Finance, the economist Liaquat Ahamad tells the story of how four central bankers, driven by staunch adherence to the gold standard, “broke the world” and triggered the Great Depression. Today’s central bankers largely share a new conventional wisdom – about the benefits of loose monetary policy. Are monetary policymakers poised to break the world again?
Gold bugs weren’t wrong - just super early. If central banks ever got religion and pulled a Volcker and hiked rates to the moon, it would be a remarkably bad time to hold gold. However, throughout history, there have been times where people were very sad that they didn’t own gold. We talk about one of them here. It’s very real, and the history of fiat currencies is also quite sad.