Sunday night edition of America’s favorite game: kick the can down the street, better known as “someone else’s problem.” From the WSJ
The final term sheet still needs to be reviewed by the various financial and legal advisers, said the people familiar with the matter. And there is the chance that a final deal could falter over last-minute negotiations.
Under the proposal, CIT would likely pay interest rates 10 percentage points above the London interbank offered rate, said these people. (As of Friday, three-month Libor stood around 0.5%.) CIT has also agreed to pledge some of its highest-quality loans as collateral on the $3 billion package.
The new loan could act like a “bridge” to a series of debt-exchange offers that CIT would launch in order to get bondholders to swap some of their bonds for equity in the company or for new debt that matures later.
J.P. Morgan would have considered lending if CIT were first to seek bankruptcy protection, but the bank “couldn’t get comfortable with a deal outside (bankruptcy) court,” said one person familiar with the matter.
CIT’s advisers, which includes Evercore Partners, then launched talks with its bondholders, led by investment firm Centerbridge.
You mean after Dana and Extended Stay Centerbridge is still around? And now CIT? Did these guys just buy whatever bonds Goldman was a size seller in?
The $3 billion rescue financing plan will be backed by remaining unsecuritized assets which likely exceed $10 billion, another source familiar with the matter said.
“The $3 billion is new money but securitized by all the remaining unsecuritized assets which probably exceed $10 billion,” that source said.
So i) bondholders are screwed either way, ii) the company will pay 10%+ on the bridge instead of paying 3.5% on a DIP, iii) the stock will pop tomorrow only to crash to zero ala GM soon enough, iv) Peek will cash out, and v) in 6 months when chapter 11 is inevitable, the company will suddenly become Too Big To Fail and taxpayers will be on the hook after the bulk of any salvagable value will have been leaked away.
Continuing the series of State Street presentations on relevant market topics, the latest piece “What are the Implications of the Growing Use of Electronic Trading” focuses on the nuanced difference between “real liquidity” and “liquidity hazard”, depending on whether one is a price taker or market maker. Yet based on limited available public disclosure, non-premium clients of the NYSE and other PT-espousing exchanges have no visibility of who and under what conditions any given broker/dealer and quant become one or the other. And while merely a few years ago HFT was less than half of traded stock volume, recent data indicates high frequency trading now accounts for over 70% of US volume, and thus it is important to reassess what is the relevant set of data disclosure by dominating broker/dealers. The risk is palpable – as State Street itself notes, there is “equity capital at risk.”
And closing off this weekend’s program reading series is the following 2005 panel piece from Euromoney, which captures the insights of insiders such as John Elay of Hotspot FX, Scott Freeman of GFX, Bank of America, George Houlihan of GETCO, Ed Hulina of UBS, Ulf Lindahl of A.G.Bisset & Company and Mark Robson of Reuters. Particularly notable is the disclosure by Ed Hulina who discusses the liquidity mirage: “There are a lot of banks making prices and there’s ultimately only so much end-user volume to support those prices. So, yes, I think there is a risk of a liquidity mirage in some respects if there is a proliferation of platforms and people providing prices and representing more liquidity at any given time than is actually there.“
Zero Hedge has disclosed how HFT/PT is now unquestionably dominating the markets as traditional trading mechanisms have fallen on the sidelines. Hulina’s point in 2005 is exponentially more relevant now: how can we possibly know what liquidity is real in this market dominated by intermediaries and evaporating end-users? Absent regulatory reform, the only way to know would be a forensic analysis once the current topology breaks and the components are analyzed in retrospect. Of course, by then it would be too late.
I want to explain the concept of trend days, v churn days that I’ve been mentioning of late. I’ve noticed these patterns over the past few quarters, but have only in the past 4 weeks or so tried to take advantage of it. So far, with good success. What has really stood out aside from the fact what happens yesterday has nothing to do with today (the market has no memory) is how few reversal days we have anymore. I am not sure the cause of this; I am sure part of it is the dominance of program trading over humans with momentum based strategies but who knows how much. All I know is it has continued repeatedly and while obvious to me (and I assume others) it keeps repeating. So until the pattern ends, there is no reason not to take advantage of it – there are actually some low risk strategies that keep your cash protected overnight but allow you to allocate capital via the levered ETFs (long or short) or even calls or puts (which I’ve started doing); and you can be done by the end of the day and have that money cozy under your mattress.
By a reversal day I just mean a very choppy day where we start the day up by a significant margin and then go down significantly later in the day, or vice versa. Those happen occassionally but seemingly far less than in the past. Instead, we have had a dominance of 2 kind of days: (a) churn days or (b) trend days. Most of the time you know by 10:30 – 11:00 AM what it is going to be.The churn days have also been remarkable of late – we had a few examples last week during the downturn… immediately after a huge swoon the very next day (remember, the market has no memory from day to day) we get an almost silent day. The market will essentially ping pong back and forth in a very small range, from top to bottom of the range but never making a new high or a new low. Shape wise it…
The board of directors of JP Morgan Chase will hold a board meeting in the nation’s capital for the first time on Monday, the New York Times reports. In attendance, also a first, will be the chief of staff of the President of the United States, Rahm Emmanuel.
You can read all about the historic occassion in the Times article right here.We’d pull an excerpt for you, but it’s worth reading in it’s entirety. Instead, we’re inspired to pull this from the concluding chapter of Animal Farm.
A week later, in the afternoon, a number of dogcarts drove up to the farm. A deputation of neighbouring farmers had been invited to make a tour of inspection. They were shown all over the farm, and expressed great admiration for everything they saw, especially the windmill. The animals were weeding the turnip field. They worked diligently hardly raising their faces from the ground, and not knowing whether to be more frightened of the pigs or of the human visitors.
That evening loud laughter and bursts of singing came from the farmhouse. And suddenly, at the sound of the mingled voices, the animals were stricken with curiosity. What could be happening in there, now that for the first time animals and human beings were meeting on terms of equality? With one accord they began to creep as quietly as possible into the farmhouse garden.
At the gate they paused, half frightened to go on but Clover led the way in. They tiptoed up to the house, and such animals as were tall enough peered in at the dining-room window. There, round the long table, sat half a dozen farmers and half a dozen of the more eminent pigs, Napoleon himself occupying the seat of honour at the head of the table. The pigs appeared completely at ease in their chairs. The company had been enjoying a game of cards but had broken off for the moment, evidently in order to drink a toast. A large jug was circulating, and the mugs were being refilled with beer. No one noticed the wondering faces of the animals that gazed in at the window.
Thousands of jobless Pennsylvanians are joining the growing ranks of people around the country who are exhausting unemployment benefits, as some experts worry about another blow to a stumbling economy.
Gov. Ed Rendell said 17,800 Pennsylvanians exhausted their jobless benefits in the week that ended Saturday, the first big wave of Pennsylvanians to do so. He urged legislators to pass a bill to extend the benefits.
Around the country, the number of people exhausting their benefits is piling up. By the end of September, more than 500,000 people will exhaust their benefits checks, with the biggest groups in Pennsylvania, California and Texas, according to estimates by the National Employment Law Project, an advocacy group for low-wage workers based in New York City. That number will nearly triple by the end of the year, the group said.
The number of jobless New Yorkers across the state jumped significantly during the month of June, according to state Department of Labor statistics released Thursday.
The unemployment rate increased from 8.2 percent in May to 8.7 percent in June. That’s the highest level since October of 1992.
In New York City, the rate increased from nine percent in May to 9.5 percent in June — the highest level in more than a decade. That translates into more than 850,000 people out of work in the state.
"Because of our 8.7 percent unemployment rate, we will qualify for an additional seven weeks of unemployment insurance benefits," said New York State Labor Commissioner M. Patricia Smith. "So right now New Yorkers will be eligible for 79 weeks of unemployment insurance benefits."
Unemployment benefit extensions are expected to help an additional 47,000 jobless New Yorkers who would have lost their benefits in August.
Urban.org provides a nice background on Unemployment Insurance benefits and the problems certain states faced at the end of 2008:
The states finance UI benefits with payroll taxes paid by employers into state trust funds maintained at the U.S. Treasury. State balances earn interest income. The Treasury also makes loans to states whose trust funds have been exhausted. At the end of 2008, trust fund balances were low in several states, and three (Indiana, Michigan, and South Carolina) had already borrowed to maintain benefit payments to eligible workers.
$10.9 billion. That’s the amount of money currently lent by Federal Department of Labor (DOL) to a group of 15 states whose unemployment insurance (UI) trust funds have run dry.
How did we get here? Back to Urban.org (bold mine):
For the aggregate U.S. economy, the highest-ever payout rate was 2.22 percent of payroll experienced during January-December 1982. Before the current recession, reserves across 51 state UI programs totaled $37.6 billion in December 2007 and represented just 0.80 percent of total payroll for the year. The RRM at the end of 2007 was 0.36, that is, the reserve ratio of 0.80 percent divided by the high cost rate of 2.22 percent. Reserves totaled about a third of the recommended actuarial standard and represented roughly four months of benefits at the highest-ever payout rate.
In other words, based on the level of unemployment insurance needed in the 1982 recession, states only had about 4 months worth of unemployment ready to pay out. Thus, the following can’t be a surprise. Back to Economic Populist:
And it’s about to get a whole hell of a lot worse. By the end of the year that number will likely have have grown to 35 states. Total DOL emergency loans to states at that time? Nearly $50 billion dollars. The situation will be far worse for some states than others. The states appearing in red on the map below are those that will need DOL loans to keep unemployment benefits rolling.
When discussing high-frequency trading, Zero Hedge recently asked "As Goldman is becoming the primary conduit of trading (whether principal or agency) in virtually all markets, the risk of a massive liquidity drain becomes exponentially larger, and the risk of an exogenous event approaches LTCM and Lehman levels. It is this key risk driver that regulators should be focusing on, instead of chasing and attempting to punish the perpetrators of the most recent market crash (we are not saying they should not, but they should prioritize and now should focus on what is most critical to maintaining a functioning market topology). " It seems we were wrong about authoritarian figures never predicting the implicit risk of this subset of program trading – ironically, it was well over 20 years ago and none other than the future Chairman of the Federal Reserve Larry Summers who had some prophetic words of caution. In a paper titled "Commentary on ‘Policies to Curb Stock Market Volatility" in which Larry was discussing the cause and effect of Black Monday (about which he is quite wrong that nobody had seen coming), he lays out some oddly forward looking observations about program trading, or positive-feedback trading as high frequency trading was yet to become a staple market diet.
"In any event, positive-feedback trading is likely to increase volatility substantially. If one wants to design regulatory interventions that will decrease volatility, one must think about measures that will discourage positive-feedback trading rather than negative-feedback trading. Positive-feedback trading is substantially discouraged when traders using that strategy suffer massive losses, which is what one observed after the crash. Everyone who had been pursuing positive-feedback strategies bought more and more as the market went higher and higher, thinking that their portfolio insurance would enable them to get out. They were wrong. It’s clear that the crash reduced volatility by reducing the attractiveness of positive-feedback trading."
And some very peculiar observations on margin requirements by Larry, which may have much to do with why it has become so difficult to borrow any heretofore presumed liquid stock:
"More generally, the case for margin requirements raises a question. Instead of asking why the market fell
With Google (GOOG) announcing earnings that ‘disappointed’ Thursday night and Intel’s (INTC) earnings earlier in the week surprised, let’s take a quick look as of July 17th at these two market moving stocks.
First, with Google (GOOG):
Google, like Apple (AAPL), has been in a very strong uptrend off the early March lows. With only one pullback before the June highs, price rose almost without pausing.
The run-up into the June high was tremendously powerful (that’s why people trade Google – for the action and volatility) which terminated in a doji that gapped up into an exhaustion/reversal bar just above $440.
We had an “abc” move down off those highs into what appears to have formed a “double top” at prior resistance with a slight negative momentum divergence.
Notice how volume spiked Thursday as traders/investors took positions in expectation of blow-away profits (similar perhaps to Intel). Playing the ‘earnings game’ can be very risky, as expectations were not met by Google’s latest announcement. We are now in a ‘pullback/retracement’ mode.
Next, on to Intel (INTC):
As opposed to Google, expectations for Intel (INTC) were lower, and so better than expected numbers caused the stock to surge, driving the S&P minis up nine points after Tuesday’s close (which preceded a trend day on Wednesday… though strangely enough Intel formed a doji on Wednesday and a ‘trend day’ on Thursday).
Volume surged to a new 2009 high as did price and the 3/10 momentum oscillator – all signs of fresh and enduring momentum that should lead to higher prices in the established up-trend (though expect a pullback/retracement instead of a parabolic rally – the new momentum high indicates a short-term overbought reading, as do all oscillators).
So it’s a different picture as painted by two market leaders.
While Tim Geithner is out in the Middle East making the obligatory rounds, professing support for a strong U.S. dollar, investment strategists are wondering aloud whether a weak U.S. dollar is really what the U.S. government wants. David Rosenberg put out the following note over at Gluskin, Sheff.
It is the second anniversary of the credit crunch and after all of the fiscal and monetary policy initiatives, the best we get are green shoots and now that story is getting stale. Go back two years and you will see that the funds rate was 5.25%. Today it is zero. The fiscal deficit was 2.0% of GDP two years ago. Today it is 13%. Mortgage rates were 6.5%. Today they are 4.7%. Homeowner affordability with all the government measures is 70% stronger today than it was then too. The Fed’s balance sheet then was $850 billion. Today it is bloated at $2 trillion. The government has tried just about everything. Or has it? What if we were to tell you that the one policy tool that is unchanged since the summer of 2007 is… the U.S. dollar? It is exactly the same level now, on any trade-weighted measure, as it was back then. The greenback is struggling at the 50-day moving average, and this could well be the next policy shoe to drop.
We have seen huge fiscal and monetary stimulus. We have seen the Fed buy up toxic assets and bloat its balance sheet to unprecedented levels. There have even been mammoth changes in the affordability of homes, largely due to lower mortgage rates (and declining values). In short, everything has been done in the last two years to spur growth in America – that is everything except devaluing the greenback.
With unemployment still rising and Congress’s biannual election season coming up in no time, it would be quite tempting to orchestrate a devaluation in order to get a short-term boost.
As we said above, the U.S. government has practically exhausted all of its policy options … except for one; the U.S. dollar. It is the only policy tool that has not budged one iota since the crisis erupted two years ago. As we mull this over, we recall all too well this great book that a client referred us
Market Shadows Virtual Value Portfolio put most of our remaining cash reserves to work this morning in buying 38 ADRs (American Depository Receipts) of Toyota Motor Company (TM) the world’s largest seller of automobiles and trucks. We like and already own shares of Honda (HMC) as well.
The stock was down overnight due to negative action in the Japanese marketplace so we got a great entry price of just $106.57 per ADR today.
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The BCI at 169.3 is down from last week's upward revised level of 169.5. BCIg, the smoothed annualized growth of BCI, at 16.9 is down from last week's upward revised 17.5. This week's BCI shows no recessionary trends.
Figure 1 plots BCIp, BCI, BCIg and the S&P500 together with the thresholds (red lines) that need to be crossed to be able to call a recession.
Ukraine's Deputy Foreign Minister Danylo Lubkivsky exhorted to US State department officials, "let's not look for further time frames," demanding "all necessary pressure" be applied now. The red line has already been crossed and, as Bloomberg reports, Lubkivsky says he hopes U.S., EU don’t prioritize political concerns over moral ones and that the West will help with economic, diplomatic and military assistance.
As Bloomberg reports,
“Let’s not look for further time frames” and instead exert “all necessary pressure,” Ukrainian deputy foreign minister Danylo Lubkivsky tells State Dept officials, jo...
Initial jobless claims surged from 304k to 329k this week, the biggest weekly rise since mid-December. From exuberance at new cycle lows, we swing to the average of the last 8 months. This is the biggest miss to expectations in over 2 months. Continuing Claims dropped further to new cycle lows at 2.68 million (beating expectations) - its lowest since Dec 2007. So this is as good as it gets for continuing claims - America is back at its best!
Initial claims surges back up to its average of the last 8 months...
Zogenix, Inc. (Nasdaq: ZGNX), a pharmaceutical company developing and commercializing products for the treatment of pain-related and central nervous system (CNS) disorders, announced today that it has entered a definitive agreement to sell its SUMAVEL® DoseP...
Shares in Las Vegas Sands Corp. (Ticker: LVS) are up sharply today, gaining as much as 5.7% to touch $80.12 and the highest level since April 4th, mirroring gains in shares of resort casino operator Wynn Resorts Ltd. (Ticker: WYNN). The move in Wynn shares appears, at least in part, to follow a big increase in target price from analysts at CLSA who upped their target on the ‘buy’ rated stock to $350 from $250 a share. CLSA also has a ‘buy’ rating on Las Vegas Sands with a $100 price target according to a note from reporter, Janet Freund, on Bloomberg. Both companies are scheduled to report first-quarter earnings after the closing bell on Thursday.
Yesterday, the market continued its winning ways for the fifth consecutive day. The S&P 500 closed within 1% of its all-time high, and the DJI was even closer to its all-time high. Healthcare, Energy and Technology led the sectors while Financials, Telecom, and Utilities finished slightly in the red. All three sectors in the red are typically flight-to-safety stocks, so despite lower than average volume, the market appears poised to make new highs.
Mid-cap Growth led the style/caps last week, up 2.87%, and Small-cap Growth trailed, up 2.22%. This week will bring well over 100 S&P 500 stocks reporting their March quarter earn...
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[Facebook] The social network is only weeks away from obtaining regulatory approval in Ireland for a service that would allow its users to store money on Facebook and use it to pay and exchange money with others, according to several people involved in the process.
The authorisation from Ireland’s central bank to become an “e-money” institution would allow ...
I just wanted to be sure you saw this. There’s a ‘live’ training webinar this Thursday, March 27th at Noon or 9:00 pm ET.
If GOOGLE, the NSA, and Steve Jobs all got together in a room with the task of building a tremendously accurate trading algorithm… it wouldn’t just be any ordinary system… it’d be the greatest trading algorithm in the world.
Well, I hate to break it to you though… they never got around to building it, but my friends at Market Tamer did.
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Ladies and Gentlemen, hobos and tramps,
Cross-eyed mosquitoes, and Bow-legged ants,
I come before you, To stand behind you,
To tell you something, I know nothing about.
And so the circus begins in Union Square, San Francisco for this weeks JP Morgan Healthcare Conference. Will the momentum from 2013, which carried the S&P Spider Biotech ETF to all time highs, carry on in 2014? The Biotech ETF beat the S&P by better than 3 points.
As I noted in my previous post, Biotechs Galore - IPOs and More, biotechs were rushing to IPOs so that venture capitalists could unwind their holdings (funds are usually 5-7 years), as well as take advantage of the opportune moment...
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