Unfortunately, we remain stuck in the cleanup phase so long as economists and their ability to direct policy continue to suggest the Great Recession was anything other than systemic revelation along these lines; a permanent rift between what was and what can be. It is and was never about oil; only now that oil projects volatility into the dying days of eurodollar leverage.
As oil stays "lower for longer", and as many more European banks are forced to first reserve and then charge off their existing oil and gas exposure, expect much more diluation. Which, incidentlaly also explains why European bank stocks have been plunging since the beginning of the year as existing equity investors dump ahead of inevitable capital raises.
Simply put, either large cap Financials are cheap, or the entire U.S. equity market is still overpriced. Their precipitous decline year to date means markets fear they are both the transmission mechanism for a global slowdown/recession to come and a primary victim of that event.
The Central Banks have turned us into dispensible members of the Suicide Squad
In a testament to how the ground is shifting beneath the Bentonville behemoth’s feet when it comes to e-commerce, we bring you the following brief commentary and graphic from Wells Fargo, who shows that when it comes to retail sales growth in the US, WalMart is, well, damn near dead.
- Global stocks, dollar struggle ahead of Fed as oil falters (Reuters)
- Bond Bulls Bank on Fed Mention of Market Chaos as Drag on Growth (BBG)
- Fees on Mutual Funds and ETFs Tumble Toward Zero (WSJ)
- China Climbs Back Up Janet Yellen's Worry List (BBG)
- The World’s Favorite New Tax Haven Is the United States (BBG)
- New Jersey Gov. Christie backs Atlantic City takeover plan (Reuters)
Between 1990 and 2010, eventually 37 banks would become JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Citigroup. The “Big Four” retail banks in the United States collectively hold 45% of all customer bank deposits for a total of $4.6 trillion... as the biggest got biggest-er all thanks to the very visible hand of The Fed's free money.
Please, take umbrage of my experiences before you decide it's time to press the button on your SHTF nuclear option plan and retreat into the bunker.
One thing is clear: banks are not only not telling the full story, but the story they are telling is compromised. Still one has to start somewhere with whatever data is publicly available, so courtesy of Reuters, here is a summary of what the big U.S. banks who have reported Q4 earnings so far, say about their energy exposure.
The end of America’s oil “miracle” is coming and there’s nothing Wall Street can do to stop it. At this point in the game, no one is going to finance the oil patch's cash flow deficits and the fundamentals in the oil market are laughably bad. As Bloomberg reports, Wall Street is about to have a serious bout of “indigestion” because recent auctions suggest that “some bankrupt oil and gas drillers can’t give their assets away.”
With the US closed today for Martin Luther King Holiday, global risk tone has once again been set entirely by oil, which opened sharply lower at fresh 12 year lows on fears of an Iran oil glut, but has steadily rebounded on the latest OPEC comments, and at last check both WTI and Brent were unchanged trading in the low $29's on muted volume. With Asian markets mixed, European shares swung between gains and losses, while the yen weakened as China stepped up efforts to curb foreign speculation against its currency. Crude oil rose from a 12-year low after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries forecast a decline in supplies from rival producers.
"While we are taking what we believe to be the appropriate reserves for that, I'm just not prepared to give you a specific number right now as far as the amount of reserves that we have on that particular book of business."
<Q - Mike L. Mayo>: What percent of the $17 billion is not investment grade?
<A - John R. Shrewsberry>: I would say most of it. Most of it.
<Q - Mike L. Mayo>: So most of the $17 billion is non-investment grade.
<A - John R. Shrewsberry>: Correct.