The NY Post tweeted that "Federal Reserve head Yellen announces bail-in in emergency meeting, rumored negative rate to be set at 4pm EST today," and US equity markets briefly started to rise... followed by a tweet that "The Fed would peg the Dollar to the Swiss Franc" and "Chinese anti-ship missile fired at USS George Washington." Both seemed odd and shortly after, The NY Post had deleted the tweets and explained that it had been hacked...
Marilyn Tavenner, head of the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, plans to step down at the end of February, she told her staff in an e-mail. As Bloomberg reports, Tavenner didn’t say why she was leaving. In November, she acknowledged that her agency had made a mistake in its calculation of the number of people enrolled under Obamacare.
UMich Consumer Sentiment surged to 98.2 - smashing expectations of 94.1 by the most in almost 2 years. This is the highest sentiment since February 2004...!!This all seems very odd... especially in light of the dismal retail sales data and weak wage growth (and we note this is the preliminary print). Inflation expectations plunged to 2.4% (from 2.8%) - the lowest since 2010. American optimism remains unphased as a majority (55.2%) now expect higher wages in the next year (despite earninsg actually dropping!!) 54% of Americans think it is a good time to SELL a house.
Just a flashing headline for now from Bloomberg citing AFP:
HOSTAGES TAKEN IN POST OFFICE IN PARIS SUBURB, POLICE SAY: AFP
Three people have been taken hostage by an unknown gunman at a post office in Colombes, a northwest suburb of Paris, French media reported. The gunman is armed with a Kalashnikov rifle, French RTL radio reports. He is holding from two to five people hostage, Le Figaro reports, citing police sources.
Today, the "developed nation" hecklers are deathly silent after what may be the biggest western central bank faux pas in recent history, and which has - perhaps for the first time in history - manifested in lines of people in front of currency exchange bureaus nowhere else but in that bastion of capitalism: Geneva.
Belgium has raised its terror alert level from 3 to 4 for police forces (maintaining alert level 2 for everyone else) as it unleashes 10 raids in Verviers (near the capital) on returning Syrian fighters:
*BELGIAN SUSPECTED TERRORISTS OPENED FIRE AT POLICE DURING RAID
*BELGIAN POLICE KILLS TWO TERRORISTS, NO WOUNDED AMONG POLICE
Anti-terrorist operations continue (despite reassurances that this not linked to the Paris attacks) as prosecutors say the suspected terrorists planned large, imminent attacks.
"By our calculation the FX reserves portfolio on FX alone will have lost in the region of 60bn CHF, assuming EURCHF at 1.03 and USDCHF at 0.88. Though some of this is likely to have gained on bond holdings; this would be far outweighed by losses on FX." - Citi's Stephen Englander
How will the US government fund a sudden additional shortfall of $281 per American per year?
Market Wrap: "It's Turmoil" - Overnight Gains Wiped Out, Futures Trade Below 2000 On SNB "Shock And Awe"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 01/15/2015 06:56 -0500
To paraphrase a trader who walked into the biggest FX clusterfuck in years, "it's total, unprecedented market turmoil." So while the world gets a grip on what today's historic move by the SNB means, which judging by the record 13% collapse in the Swiss Stock Market shows clearly that the SNB market put is dead and the SNB may be the first central-banking hedge fund which just folded (we can't wait to see what the SNB P&L losses on its EURCHF holdings will be), here is what has happened so far for anyone unlucky enough to be walking into the carnage some 2 hours late.
"It's Carnage" - Swiss Franc Soars Most Ever After SNB Abandons EURCHF Floor; Macro Hedge Funds CrushedSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 01/15/2015 06:07 -0500
Over a decade ago, George Soros took on the Bank of England, and won. Less than two hours ago the Swiss National Bank took on virtually every single macro hedge fund, the vast majority of which were short the Swiss Franc and crushed them, when it announced, first, that it would go further into NIRP, pushing its interest rate on deposit balances even more negative from -0.25% to -0.75%, a move which in itself would have been unprecedented and, second, announcing that the 1.20 EURCHF floor it had instituted in September 2011, the day gold hit its all time nominal high, was no more. What happened next was truly shock and awe as algo after algo saw their EURCHF 1.1999 stops hit, and moments thereafter the EURCHF pair crashed to less then 0.75, margining out virtually every single long EURCHF position, before finally rebounding to a level just above 1.00, which is where it was trading just before the SNB instituted the currency floor over three years ago.
Just yesterday, the SEC charged Canadian Aleksandr Milrud with orchestrating a lucrative market manipulation scheme that relied on "layering" in which a trader places orders solely to trick others into buying or selling at artificially inflated or depressed prices... So we found it ironic that twice today, Nanex exposed examples of the "spoofing" manipulation in crude oil futures (which soared) and S&P 500 e-mini futures (which soared)... These are your "most liquid and transparent capital markets in the world."
In all the drama over the recent terrorist events in France, Americans almost forgot that there is evil, pure, concentrated evil, as opposed to CentCom Twitter account hacking evil, in their own backyard and only the government can possibly protect them from it. Sure enough, what better way to remind them of just this than to merge a deranged lunatic, bombs, ISIS, and an attack on DC all into one. That is precisely what ABC blasted about an hour ago, when it reported that the FBI had arrested an Ohio man (different from the one who wanted to kill John Boehner) for plotting an Islamic State-inspired attack on U.S. Capitol, where he hoped to set off series of bombs aimed at lawmakers whom he allegedly considered enemies.
WTI Crude futures are up almost 6%, spiking above $48.50 into the close and options expiration... no fundamental catalyst for now... Once again, crude futures have been 'spoofed' all day so this is hardly a surprise.