• Category Archives Market Commentary
  • UKIP Wants Nigel Farage Back Claiming May Has Betrayed BREXIT

    Theresa May’ Florence speech is being seen by many as a betrayal of BREXIT. Instead of getting on with it, she has said that there will be a longer transition period even two years beyond 2019 into 2021. She said that Europeans will still be able to come and work in Britain into 2021 but under a ‘registration system’ that many fear will still allow terrorists to enter from Europe.
    Prime Minister May said that the temporary transitional arrangements ‘will not go on for ever’and will end around two years after Britain leaves the European Union (EU) in 2019. She made it clear that ‘[d]uring the implementation period, people will continue to be able to come and live and work in the UK.’ She did also say that ‘[t]here will be a registration system, an essential preparation for the new regime.’

    This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Sep 24, 2017.


  • Deutsche Bank: “The Fed’s ‘Transparency’ Killed Long-Term Investing”

    Two weeks ago, one of our favorite derivatives strategists, BofA Barnaby Martin wrote something we have said for years: “QE has been the most effective way for CBs to ‘sell vol’”, arguing that accommodative monetary policies across the globe amid QE have “clearly supported a strong rebound in fixed income markets.” This should not be a surprise: as Martin calculated, there is now some $51 trillion at risk should rates vol spike, not to mention countless housing bubbles that have been created since the financial crisis where the bulk of middle class wealth has been parked, which in turn have trapped central banks, preventing them from undoing nearly a decade of unprecedented monetary largesse that has pumped over $15 trillion in central bank liquidity.

    The BofA strategist showed that every time the Fed embarked on the different phases of its QE program, credit implied vols declined significantly, while during periods of no monetary easing or when the market started pricing the possibility of easing policy removal (tapering tantrum and the subsequent tapering phase) implied vols advanced.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 23, 2017.


  • You’re Likely A Lot Less Prepared For Crisis Than You Realize

    It seems as if Mother Nature is waking up. Either she’s trying to send humans an important warning, or perhaps she’s just out to kill us all.
    Massive storms across the globe, earthquakes, and collapsing ecosystems all combine to remind us that we are indeed intimately connected to our planet’s natural systems. And that our well-being rests on staying on Mother Nature’s good side.
    Well, Mother Nature has seemed pretty pissed at us of late. Her recent punishments should be taken as a disciplinary wake-up call: It’s time.
    It’s time to prepare, everyone. Way past time.
    And it’s time to recognize that there are multiplying failure points across the many systems we depend on for our way of life — both natural and man-made. For example:
    The wealth gap between the rich and the poor is now grossly obscene and yet still growing wider. Our industrially-farmed soils are being depleted of their nutrients. Species are going extinct every single day. Global oil consumption ticks higher every year. Stock price overvaluation is about the highest it’s ever been. Bonds have never been more expensive (i.e. yields have never been lower) in all of recorded history. Debt levels have never been higher (both globally and, in most cases, locally). The planet’s population continues to explode (7.5 billion today, 10 billion by 2050) while key resources deplete at accelerating rates. Only the foolish, or the seriously self-deluded, would think that these observations and trends will be consequence-free.

    This post was published at PeakProsperity on Friday, September 22, 2017,.


  • Build Your Economic Storm Shelter Now

    If you’re idly conversing with someone you don’t know well, the weather is usually a safe topic. It affects everyone in some way, so it’s a shared experience – but there’s something else, too. The weather is no one’s fault. It is what it is, so you need not worry that the other person will blame you for it. None of us can control the weather. And lately, the weather has been interesting, unless you had to live through its more extreme manifestations. Then it’s been hell. Before this week, I would’ve said that Harvey and Irma wrought devastation in Texas and Florida. But then Maria thrashed Puerto Rico and took devastation to a whole new level. I have a lot of friends who live in Puerto Rico, and I’m not sure how things are going to go for them over the next few months.
    We can prepare for storms when we know they’re coming, but we can’t stop them in their tracks or change their path. That’s true for both hurricanes and the public pension problem I wrote about last week. Where pensions are concerned, we have the financial equivalents of weather satellites and hurricane hunter aircraft feeding us detailed data. We know the barometer is dropping fast. The eyewall is forming. But we can’t do much about the growing storm, except get out of the way.

    This post was published at Mauldin Economics on SEPTEMBER 23, 2017.


  • ‘Never Let A Good Crisis Go To Waste’ – And Short AMZN

    The ‘crisis’ quote above originated with Winston Churchill. Several U. S. politicians have referenced it since then (most recently Rahm Emanuel when he was Obama’s Chief of Staff). I’m sure the Wall Street snake-oil salesmen and economic propagandists are more than happy to attribute the deteriorating economic numbers to the hurricanes that hit Houston and southwestern Florida.
    Retail sales for August were released a week ago Friday and showed a 0.2% decline from July. This is even worse than that headline number implies because July’s nonsensical 0.6% increase was revised lower by 50% to 0.3% (and it’s still an over-estimate).
    Before you attribute the drop in August retail sales to Hurricane Harvey, consider two things: 1) Wall St was looking for a 0.1% increase and that consensus estimate would have taken into account any affects on sales in the Houston area in late August; 2) Building materials and supplies should have increased from July as Houston and Florida residents purchased supplies to reinforce residences and businesses. As it turns out, building supplies and material sales declined from July to August, at least according to the Census Bureau’s assessment. Furthermore, online spending dropped 1.1%. Finally, the number vs. July was boosted by gasoline sales, which were said to have risen 2.5%. But this is a nominal number (not adjusted by inflation) and higher gasoline prices, i.e. inflation, caused by Harvey are the reason gasoline sales were 2.5% higher in August than July.

    This post was published at Investment Research Dynamics on September 23, 2017.


  • Commerzbank to Merge with French BNP

    According to a the latest spin, the German federal government’s withdrawal from the Commerzbank has left the favored shotgun wedding merger. Commerzbank is the Frankfurt money house which will be merged with the French BNP Paribas. This is being presented as if it were a strong German-French merger which is suggesting that there is a deeper European banking union unfolding. Additionally, they are also going to merge a troubled Italian bank into BNP.
    Behind the curtain, the concern is that Commerzbank could not be merged with Deutsche bank because they have the same portfolios that are in trouble. BNP Paribas is about 10 times the size of Commerzbank. Therefore, the real world view is this is just a shotgun wedding rather than a new German-French merger.

    This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Sep 23, 2017.


  • Time To Lay Low

    Even though we’ve tried to warn and prepare, none of that makes the inevitable Spec wash-and-rinse any easier to watch.
    At the end of the day, it just is what it is. The year 2017 has unfolded almost precisely as we initially forecast back in January with two steps back following every three steps higher. We had carried a target of new highs for 2017, near $1320, through this most recent rally that began on July 10. That we instead reached $1360 was just a bonus, I guess.
    From here and with Bank NET short positions hitting extremes over the past two weeks, we must expect further downside as Specs continue to be washed out and USDJPY/CDG reacts negatively to any hint of positive economic news that serves to reinforce Mother’s hogwash of yesterday. As we discussed in yesterday’s podcast, this period of frustration could very well last all the way through the next BLSBS two weeks from tomorrow. Once that’s behind us…and hopefully haven’t fallen too far from here…the stage will be set for the final three-steps-forward part of this year’s pattern.

    This post was published at TF Metals Report on Thursday, September 21, 2017.


  • Weekend Reading: Yellen Takes Away The Punchbowl

    September 20th, 2017 will likely be a day that goes down in market history.
    It will either be remembered as one of the greatest achievements in the history of monetary policy experiments, or the beginning of the next bear market or worse.
    Given the Fed’s inability to spark either inflation or economic growth, as witnessed by their dismal forecasting record shown below, I would lean towards the latter.
    The media is very interesting. Despite the fact there is clear evidence that unbridled Central Bank interventions supported the market on the way up, there is now a consensus that believes the ‘unwinding’ will have ‘no effect’ on the market.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 22, 2017.


  • Chapter 3: Purpose Precedes Planning

    Christian Economics: Teacher’s Edition
    Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth’ (Genesis 1:26 – 28). For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil’ (Genesis 3:5).
    But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you (Matthew 6:33).
    AnalysisThe economic principle of purpose before planning is an implication of point one of the biblical covenant: God’s transcendence, yet also His presence. It has to do with sovereignty. Sovereignty is a legal classification. In economics, it refers to ownership. God was the Creator. He created the world out of nothing. He did not purchase or rent the ‘stuff’ of creation. Rather, He spoke it into existence. So, He is the cosmic Owner. The owner possesses sovereign control over his property. In God’s case, He possesses absolute control.
    The New Testament teaches the doctrine of the Trinity. This means three persons, yet one God. Paul identified Jesus, as the second person of the Trinity, as the creator.
    He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities – all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross (Colossians 1:15 – 20).

    This post was published at Gary North on September 20, 2017.


  • Pound Flash Crashes After Moody’s Downgrades UK To Aa2

    In an otherwise boring day, when Theresa May failed to cause any major ripples with her much anticipated Brexit speech, moments ago it was Moody’s turn to stop out countless cable longs, when shortly after the US close, it downgraded the UK from Aa1 to Aa2, outlook stable, causing yet another flash crash in the pound.
    As reason for the unexpected downgrade, Moodys cited “the outlook for the UK’s public finances has weakened significantly since the negative outlook on the Aa1 rating was assigned, with the government’s fiscal consolidation plans increasingly in question and the debt burden expected to continue to rise.”
    It also said that fiscal pressures will be exacerbated by the erosion of the UK’s medium-term economic strength that is likely to result from the manner of its departure from the European Union (EU), and by the increasingly apparent challenges to policy-making given the complexity of Brexit negotiations and associated domestic political dynamics.
    Moody’s now expects growth of just 1% in 2018 following 1.5% this year; doesn’t expect growth to recover to its historic trend rate over coming years. Expects public debt ratio to increase to close to 90% of GDP this year and to reach its peak at close to 93% of GDP only in 2019.
    And so, once again, it was poor sterling longs who having gotten through today largely unscathed, were unceremoniously stopped out following yet another flash crash in all GBP pairs.
    Full release below:

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 22, 2017.


  • Broken Velocity: Yellen’s Low Inflation Quandary (Hint: FHFA Home Price Index Growing At 6.62% YoY)

    Here is a brief summary of Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s thoughts from yesterday courtesy of Deutsche Bank’s Peter Hooper: The Fed is on track to raise rates once more this year and three times in 2018. Yellen recognized that inflation has been running low recently, and that while there was some uncertainty around this performance, one-off factors that are not expected to persist, and which have not been associated with the performance of the broader economy, have been important. At the same time, Yellen noted that monetary policy operates with a lag and that labor market tightness will eventually push inflation up.
    Inflation has been running low ‘recently’? Actually, ‘inflation’ (defined as core personal consumption expenditure price growth YoY) has been below 2% since April 2012 and below 3% since July 1992. Notice that hourly wage growth for production and nonsupervisory employees has remained low as well, particularly since 2007.

    This post was published at Wall Street Examiner on September 21, 2017.


  • $5.5 Billion In CMBS Exposed To Toy’s ‘R’ Us Bankrutpcy

    This is a syndicated repost courtesy of Snake Hole Lounge. To view original, click here. Reposted with permission.
    Trepp findings show that 109 outstanding loans totaling about $5.5 billion currently carry Toys ‘R’ Us exposure. A large portion of the loans are CMBS 2.0 and 3.0 notes issued after 2010. Backed by 123 Toys ‘R’ Us and Babies ‘R’ Us stores, the $404.7 million Toys R Us portfolio is the loan with the largest CMBS exposure. The loan is the only one behind the single-asset/single-borrower TRU 2016-TOYS transaction, and also includes a $102.4 million freely payable portion. Those 123 collateral properties span a combined five million square feet across 29 different states. The loan, which amortizes on a 30-year schedule, features relatively conservative underwriting metrics. At securitization in 2016, DSCR (NCF) and LTV clocked in at 1.85x and 58.3%, respectively.
    The $380 million Bronx Terminal Market loan, which is split into a $140 million piece that makes up 12.06% of COMM 2014-CR17, a $135 million note that comprises 13.96% of COMM 2014-CR18, and a $105 million piece that represents 10.13% of COMM 2014-UBS3. Toys ‘R’ Us is listed as the fourth-largest tenant (8.43% of the net rentable area) at the 912,333 square-foot, superregional mall in Bronx, New York with a lease that runs through January 2020.

    This post was published at Wall Street Examiner by Anthony B Sanders ‘ September 22, 2017.


  • Market Talk- September 22nd, 2017

    The Australian ASX was probably over-sold yesterday and therefore stood as the only core that performed today. Closing up +0.5% was a healthy recovery after yesterdays 1% decline. China’s downgrade put a small dent in confidence for the cash markets which took the Hang Seng down
    -0.8% while the Shanghai closed with just small loss. Geopolitical risks remain present after US President Donal Trump signed to expand measurers to target North Korean trade. the Nikkei although closed lower (-0.25%) was off of its earlier lows as news of the speech-plays increased between the two nations. Having seen gold break the psychological $1300 mark yesterday, today we traded comfortably below that level all day. The Yen has dipped back below 112 again as talks of possible missile launches were circulating ahead of the weekend.

    This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Sep 22, 2017.


  • In the Murk- The Live Nightmare Formerly Known As Puerto Rico

    This is a syndicated repost courtesy of Kunstler. To view original, click here. Reposted with permission.
    Welcome to America’s first experiment in the World Made By Hand lifestyle. Where else is it going? Watch closely.
    Ricardo Ramos, the director of the beleaguered, government-owned Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, told CNN Thursday that the island’s power infrastructure had been basically ‘destroyed’ and will take months to come back
    ‘Basically destroyed.’ That’s about as basic as it gets civilization-wise.
    Residents, Mr. Ramos said, would need to change the way they cook and cool off. For entertainment, old-school would be the best approach, he said. ‘It’s a good time for dads to buy a ball and a glove and change the way you entertain your children.’

    This post was published at Wall Street Examiner by James Howard Kunstler ‘ September 22, 2017.


  • German Elections Void of Any Critical Discussion

    The German Bundestag election campaign has seen a total black-out of any discussion of the major crisis that is building in Europe. Nobody is mentioning that Euro crisis, ECB monetary policy, disintegration of the EU, refugee crisis, pension crisis, the municipalities on the brink of insolvency, or the drastic increases in taxation coming AFTER the election that will only lower disposable incomes and extend deflation.
    The politicians, and the press, are in full swing to hide the real trend at foot. The press is running stories why the Germans Love Merkel, yet she has never won even 40% of the popular vote. Even the press outside of Germany is in on the ‘selling’ of Merkel because she is the leader of Europe – good – bad – indifferent.
    Perhaps the monetary policy of the ECB has set the stage for a serious monetary crisis over the coming years that will seriously disrupt the German economy, in one way or another, depending upon the industry. Mario Draghi has experimented with negative rates which has kept the Eurozone governments on life-support – but they have not used the time to reform anything.

    This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Sep 23, 2017.


  • Undun: US Treasury 30Y-5Y Curve Slope Falls To Lowest Level Since November 2007

    This is a syndicated repost courtesy of Snake Hole Lounge. To view original, click here. Reposted with permission.
    The US Treasury yield curve slope for the 5Y-30Y segment is now at the lowest level since mid-November 2007.

    The US Treasury curve is coming undun.
    And that is pronouced UN-dun, not as is Kim Jong Un-dun.

    This post was published at Wall Street Examiner by Anthony B Sanders ‘ September 22, 2017.


  • Big Brother Walmart Tries to ‘Help’ You: ‘It’s Like Magic’

    On the bleeding edge of ‘in-fridge delivery.’
    It’s great that Walmart is out there on the bleeding edge of technology, coming up with stuff and testing gizmos and doing things differently before it gets run over by Amazon. It’s trying to stay relevant in the era of online shopping and Millennials. Stopping Amazon is a dirty job, but someone has got to do it.
    But good grief – connect the lock of our home to the Internet so that Walmart can get into our fridge?
    And so soon after the Equifax hack that showed just how easy it is to crack open corporate IT systems even when they contain the crown jewels of consumer data?
    How easy must it be to hack the software in a mere door lock, the connection from the door lock to the server, the app that runs that thing, the communication system with Walmart…. One vulnerability in the chain, such as a missed security update on the server of some obscure middleman, and suddenly hackers can let themselves and others into our home at will.
    And this: Install security cameras inside our home and connect them to the Internet so that, when the system gets hacked, everyone else can see what’s going on inside our home?
    My home used to be my castle.

    This post was published at Wolf Street by Wolf Richter ‘ Sep 22, 2017.