Author Archive for Zero Hedge

IMF Sounds The Alarm On Leveraged Lending

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Five months after the IMF sounded the alarm over junk bonds, it has now moved on to the credit market bogeyman du jour and overnight joined others such as the Fed, BIS, Oaktree, JPMorgan, and Guggenheim in "sounding the alarm on leveraged loans."

By Tobias Adrian, Fabio Natalucci, and Thomas Piontek

We warned in the most recent Global Financial Stability Report that speculative excesses in some financial markets may be approaching a threatening level. For evidence, look no further than the $1.3 trillion global market for so-called leverage loans, which has some analysts and academics sounding the alarm on a dangerous deterioration in lending standards. They have a point.

This growing segment of the financial world involves loans, usually arranged by a syndicate of banks, to companies that are heavily indebted or have weak credit ratings. These loans are called “leveraged” because the ratio of the borrower’s debt to assets or earnings significantly exceeds industry norms.

With interest rates extremely low for years and with ample money flowing though the financial system, yield-hungry investors are tolerating ever-higher levels of risk and betting on financial instruments that, in less speculative times, they might sensibly shun.

For their part, speculative-grade companies have been eager to load up on cheap debt. Globally, new issuance of leveraged loans hit a record $788 billion in 2017, surpassing the pre-crisis high of $762 billion in 2007. The United States was by far the largest market last year, accounting for $564 billion of new loans.

So far this year, issuance has reached an annual rate of $745 billion. More than half of this year’s total involves money borrowed to fund mergers and acquisitions and leveraged buyouts (LBOs), pay dividends, and buy back shares from investor—in other words, for financial risk-taking rather than plain-vanilla productive investment. Most borrowers are technology, energy, telecommunications, and health care firms.

At this late stage of the credit cycle, with signs reminiscent of past episodes of excess, it’s vital to ask: How vulnerable is the leveraged-loan market to a sudden shift in investor risk appetite?  If this…
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Industrial Production Slows As Auto Assemblies Tumble, Hurricanes Blamed

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

US Industrial Production growth slowed once again in October, rising just 0.1% MoM (and revised lower historically). Of course, there is always an excuse for any disappointment – this time it was hurricanes.

"Hurricanes lowered the level of industrial production in both September and October, but their effects appear to be less than 0.1 percent per month."

Expectations were for  0.2% rise…

The year-over-year growth in industrial production slowed dramatically (from 5.6% to +4.1%)…

Manufacturing output moved up 0.3 percent in October despite a sizable drop in motor vehicle assemblies (down 4.5% MoM)

Looks like we have reached 'peak auto' too…

Is the Industrial Average about to catch down to the Industrial Output?

BBG Warns: “Mass Cabinet Walkout” Likely If Brexit Deal Isn’t Changed

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Update (9:30 am ET): With just minutes to go before US cash trading opens, Bloomberg has shattered the peace created by reports that no more cabinet resignations would follow on Friday.

Commons leader Andrea Leadsom is reportedly convening a group of five key cabinet ministers who are hoping to force a change of the Brexit draft plan.

And if they can't?

A mass walkout would be likely in the run-up to May's "meaningful vote."

* * *

Update (8 am ET): The pound is spiking heading into the US trading day, moving back above $1.28, as the anxieties over a potential leadership challenge and mass exodus of May's cabinet.

Some encouraging developments in the late morning: Parliment chief whip has canceled a meeting with lawmakers about the Brexit deal, according to Buzzfeed. And in an encouraging sign that the EU and the UK might be able to iron out some of the more controversial aspects of the backstop,  EU ministers are expected to focus on changing the wording of the deal to stop it from potentially binding the UK to the customs union "indefinitely". This would ameliorate the biggest concern voiced by intransigent Tory MPs.


Still, the confusing contradictory reports about a 'no confidence' vote have continued:

* * *

Update (7:15 am ET): As reports out of Westminster suggest that the threshold for a 'no confidence' vote in Theresa May has been reached, No.…
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Dollar, Yields Tumble On Clarida Growth Warning, But “Fed Put” Remains Distant

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Two days ago, Fed chair Powell held a much anticipated Q&A at the Dallas Fed, in which while some read incremental dovishness to his September "we are far away from the neutral rate" speech, was quite upbeat overall, and most importantly said that while "stock market turmoil is something that affects the real economy and financial conditions matter for the outlook, defied hopes for a Fed intervention to halt the market slump saying that the Fed is "looking mainly at the real economy." In fact, one could say that Powell brushed aside the recent market volatility, saying the October episode is just "one of many factors in a very large pod" and that additionally "financial conditions and financial market activity matters a lot for that, and it's not just the equity market."

Fast forward to this morning when speaking to CNBC, Fed vice chairman Richard Clarida underscored the Fed's rising concerns with the global economy, warning that there is "some evidence of global slowing" while implicitly contradicting the September Powell by saying that policy is "getting closer to vicinity of neutral and being at neutral would make sense."

Just as importantly, Clarida said that the Fed should pay attention to the (slowing) global economic outlook, and said that he doesn't expect "a big pickup in inflation next year."

These comments were enough to send 10Y yields and the dollar sliding, with both now at session lows.

In fact, the dollar has tumbled to a one week low, erasing the entire hawkish FOMC move.

And while this initial bout of dovishness may have sparked hopes of an immediate market bounce amid expectations that the Fed may push back on a December rate hike, Clarida then said that he remains "optimistic on the outlook for higher productivity growth in the U.S."

Yet while there were some contradictions between Powell on Wednesday and Clarida this morning, the Fed vice chair once again snuffed out any hope that the "Fed put" is coming, when he said that the Fed "don't get a clear signal from stock markets so far", and that the Fed's policy rate is barely above the…
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Blain: “GE’s Credit Meltdown Is Coming At Just The Right Time To Ruin Everyone’s Day”

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Blain's Morning Porridge, submitted by Bill Blain

“Reversion to the mean is the iron rule of markets..”

Let’s have a Brexit Free morning.. see how the dust settles, who kills who, and who is left standing on Monday morning..

Two of the most important of Blain’s Trading Mantras are:



Bearing these in mind, and what’s going on globally, I’m wondering if its time to set up for the big corporate bond buying moment. There is nothing to be fearful about when it comes to volatility. Just be ready for it. For bond markets to be an opportunity… prices have to move dramatically lower. And I think they will as the market wakes up to smell the proverbial coffee.

Long ago, in a galaxy far far away…

There once was a company in far-off Texas that grew and grew its energy and commodities business into a AAA rated behemoth hailed as “American’s Most Innovative Company” year after year. Everyone was happy. They all got massive bonuses right up to the moment Enron went bust on the back of massive accounting fraud, and bond holders were hosed.

17 years later there is another former AAA corporate darling on the cusp of being downgraded to Junk. After reporting $30 bln of unexpected charges and a shortfall in insurance reserves in October, GE’s bond spreads have ballooned as investors start to panic about accounting probes, crashing demand for its products, worries about its $115 bln debt mountain, and the perception of a liquidity meltdown.

Investors are right to be scared. The last few years has seen a bond binge with spreads dramatically tightening on the back of free money. Now its reversing. Investment-grade bond spreads have widened across the board as the bond market wonders who else might be swimming without their bathing suits…

You have to ask what credit analysts do all day…

Nearly half the $6 trillion investment grade bond market is now rated within a single notch
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Goldman CEO “Outraged” Over Bank’s Involvement In $4.5 Billion 1MDB Scandal

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

With Goldman shares in free fall (lending a patina of irony to the bank's call that US stocks are heading for a bear market), CEO David Solomon is doing some much-needed damage control as the DOJ digs into the bank's role in facilitating the $4.5 billion fraud at Malaysian sovereign wealth fund 1MDB.

Solomon, who inherited the scandal from his predecessor Lloyd Blankfein (who himself has been identified as the "mystery" bank executive who attended a 2009 meeting with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak that helped the bank secure the deal), told Goldman employees Thursday that he was "personally outraged" by the bank's role in the scandal, and assured employees that this wasn't consistent with the bank's "good work and integrity."


Except that, historically speaking, ripping off foreign governments is well within Goldman's wheelhouse, as a lawsuit brought against the bank by the Libyan Investment Authority showed.

"I am personally outraged that any employee of the firm would undertake the actions spelled out in the government’s pleadings," the firm’s chief executive officer said in a voicemail left with employees on Wednesday. "The behavior of those individuals is reprehensible and inconsistent with the good work and integrity that defines work that 40,000 of you do every day."


"A group of people, including some of us in the executive office, are intensely focused on this matter," Solomon said on the voicemail. "For the rest of us, our job is to focus on our clients, our business and the many opportunities ahead."

Earlier in the week, Malaysia's finance minister demanded that the DOJ force Goldman to return the $600 million in fees that it collected for the three 1MDB bond offerings that it underwrote, as well as the interest-rate spread that the bank charged Malaysia. In an interview with CNBC, the country's 93-year-old prime minister fumed that "obviously we have been cheated by Goldman Sachs."

While the prospect of a refund is one factor weighing on Goldman's shares, the risk of fines and other "sanctions" has also inspired traders to dump the stock, as some analysts suspect that the hundreds of millions of dollars…
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Futures Falls On Chip Carnage As World Await Brexit Verdict

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Stocks in Europe faded early gains and S&P futures fell after a mixed session in Asia as chip stocks were taken to the woodshed on poor guidance from Nvidia and Applied Materials sparked fears that the chip bull run is over, while investors wondered whether China and America can de-escalate their trade war after mixed signals by US officials just days before the G-20 summit.

The euro failed to rebound while the sterling halted its biggest drop in 2 years after some of the most dramatic 24 hours yet in the Brexit process and another turbulent week for world markets. With reports of a UK leadership coup still rife and fear that the country could crash out of the EU without an agreement, cable struggled to rise above $1.28.

Meanwhile traders around the world were waiting for an outcome from the ongoing Brexit saga: “If and when a vote on the withdrawal agreement occurs is uncertain. Whether the withdrawal bill is passed by both houses of Parliament is uncertain,” Joseph Capurso, a senior currency strategist at CBA, said in a note. “Whether the Prime Minister resigns or is challenged for the leadership is uncertain. And, whether there is a second referendum and/or an election is uncertain.”

Fears over political turmoil in the UK and Italy dragged Europe's Stoxx 600 back into the red, set for its first weekly drop in three, trimming Friday’s gain as AstraZeneca's drop weighed on the gauge after a cancer-drug setback while telecom names were outperforming. Utilities started the session lower in the wake of yesterday’s ECJ decision which deemed the UK’s scheme for ensuring power supplies during the winter months as a violation of state aid rules. Other individual movers include Vivendi (+4.2%) sit at the top of the Stoxx 600 after posting impressive Q3 sales metrics and announcing a potential sale of part of their Universal Music Group division. Elsewhere, AstraZeneca (-2.3%) and Shire (-1.3%) have been seen lower throughout the session after both posting disappointing drug updates.

Not helping sentiment, ECB head Mario Draghi said the bank still plans to dial back its stimulus at the end of the year, but acknowledged the economy
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“It Was All A Lie”: Homeless Vet, NJ Couple Charged In $400,000 GoFundMe Grift

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

A feel-good story about a New Jersey couple who raised over $400,000 to help a homeless good Samaritan – before they pilfered his GoFundMe account – was all a scam, a prosecutor said Thursday. 


39-year-old Mark D'Amico (left), 28-year-old Kate McClure (center) and 35-year-old Johnny Bobbitt (right) are facing theft and conspiracy charges.

Kate McClure, 28, Mark D'Amico, 39, and drug-addicted homeless veteran Johnny Bobbitt, 35, were charged with theft by deception and conspiracy to commit theft by deception, after the three concocted a story that Bobbitt had given McClure his last $20 after her car ran out of fuel, leaving her stranded on the side of I-95 in a dangerous Philadelphia neighborhood. 

In numerous media appearances, McClure claimed she was driving to meet a friend in September 2017 when she ran out of gas around midnight on the I-95 exit ramp near Philadelphia and Bobbitt, who was sleeping under a nearby overpass, came to her rescue. She claimed Bobbitt spent his last $20 to buy her gas.

"I pulled over to the side of the road as far as I could and I was going to get out and walk to the nearest gas station because it was not that far away, and that's when I met Johnny," McClure said last November in a "Good Morning America" interview. "He walked up and he said, 'Get back in the car. Lock the doors. I'll be back.' I was just like, 'OK.'" -ABC

They said they wanted to "pay it forward," and established a GoFundMe campaign with an initial goal of raising $10,000. After the story went viral, the three raised $403,000

The net proceeds were $360,000 after fees, which went into an acount controlled by McClure. Bobbitt received approximately $75,000 of it according to Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina.

"The entire campaign was predicated on a lie," said Coffina during a Thursday news conference. "Less than an hour after the GoFundMe campaign went live McClure, in a text exchange with a friend, stated that the story about Bobbitt assisting her was fake," he said. 

In one of the

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ECB Exec Calls Bitcoin The “The Evil Spawn Of The Financial Crisis”

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Authored by Marie Huillet via CoinTelegraph,

Executive Board member of the European Central Bank (ECB) Benoit Coeure considers Bitcoin (BTC) to be the “evil spawn of the [2008] financial crisis,” Bloomberg reports Nov. 15.

image courtesy of CoinTelegraph

Coeure reportedly made his acid remarks at the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) in Basel. The BIS’ general manager Augustín Carstens has likewise previously made a spate of crypto-skeptical remarks, notably characterizing Bitcoin as a “combination of a bubble, a Ponzi scheme and an environmental disaster.”

Explicitly recalling Carstens’ characterization, Coeure framed his criticisms of the ten year oldinnovation with a reference to the aftermath of the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy in fall 2008 – the tipping point for economic turmoil, global recession, and, subsequently, the controversial “too big to fail” rationale for state intervention:

“Few remember that Satoshi [Nakamoto, the inventor of Bitcoin] embedded the genesis block with a Times headline from January 2009 about U.K. banks’ bailout. In more ways than one, Bitcoin is the evil spawn of the financial crisis.”

After this historical overture, Coeure continued to address international monetary authorities’ present-day pursuit of cryptocurrency tokens and distributed ledger technology (DLT) initiatives. While acknowledging the widespread interest, he claimed that “there is broad agreement that a central bank digital currency, in whatever form, is unlikely to be issued within the next decade.”

The ECB official’s stance is at odds with remarks from International Monetary Fund (IMF) managing director Christine Lagarde just yesterday. Speaking at the the Singapore Fintech Festival Nov. 14, Lagarde urged the international community to “consider” endorsing central bank-issued digital currencies (CBDC), arguing they “could satisfy public policy goals,” specifically “financial inclusion.”

Coeure’s argument is also directly contrary to that of Stanley Yong, Chief Technical Officer (CTO) of IBM’s Blockchain for Financial Services, and a veteran of Singapore’s central bank, the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

Yong stated this week that CBDCs are “the only way” to mitigate the “kinds of risks that came about during the Lehman crisis of 2008,” and could specifically prevent a settlement system freeze – a systemic failure that affected financial systems across multiple countries during the Lehman fallout.

Global Auto Industry Collapse Continues As October EU Data Shows No Relief

Courtesy of Zero Hedge

The outlook for the global automobile market has been increasingly dire lately, especially after a third quarter that saw sales drop in many major markets across the globe, including China. Now, the latest data from Europe suggests that the difficulties may be nowhere close to over despite optimistic fourth quarter guidance by companies like Volkswagen and Daimler AG. 

Deliveries of new passenger cars were down 7.4% in the EU and the European Free Trade Association in October from the year prior. This adds to a 23% drop that occurred during September according to data from the European Automobile Manufacturers Association, and which was so acute it led to the first negative GDP print for Germany since 2015.  

Despite the ongoing sales weakness, which many attribute to one-time events, some analysts – like those at EY Consultancy - still expect the market to turn around in the fourth quarter. They argue that new emissions testing cited by many companies as the reason for disappointing sales, will only have a temporary effect.

At the same time, Citigroup analyst Angus Tweedie thinks the downside is not over for companies like BMW and Daimler AG, according to Bloomberg. In a note titled "The Golden Age Ends With a Crash", Tweedie wrote that "Heading into 2019 we see few remaining avenues of maneuver, and with volume growth slowing in most markets believe the scale of pressures will become obvious." 

Meanwhile, ongoing challenges like the slowdown in China have been exacerbated by trade wars, casting a cloud over the industry. However, one of the main potential threats, tariffs on imports from the EU, has been alleviated for now, as we wrote yesterday. Following the data release, European automakers like Daimler, VM, and BMW were all trading lower between 1% and 2%. 

The new emissions standards (dubbed "WLTP"), a remnant of German automakers' emissions test cheating days, continue to be a cause for profit warnings for companies like Daimler and BMW. The rush to get cars ready for new regulations has put pressure on auto sales this quarter. And while BMW made the deadline, it reportedly couldn't escape pricing pressure from competitors entering the market at the same time.

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Phil's Favorites

Theresa May's deal is almost exactly the Brexit the UK voted for


Theresa May’s deal is almost exactly the Brexit the UK voted for

Courtesy of Craig Berry, Manchester Metropolitan University

Forgive me, I may have missed something. There has of course been a lot to take in over the last few days. But, despite what the latest former Brexit secretary believes, it seems to me that the Brexit withdrawal agreement delivers almost exactly what the UK voted for in June 2016.

The reasons 17.4m people voted to leave the EU were mu...

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Kimble Charting Solutions

King Dollar Creating A Topping Pattern This Week?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.


King Dollar has spent the majority of the past 7-years inside of rising channel (1), as it’s created a series of higher lows and higher highs.

The 2018 rally has it kissing the underside of potential resistance this week at (2), where it could be creating a bearish reversal pattern. This one week action has NOT changed the upward trend in King Dollar.

If it breaks rising support at (3), odds favor that some selling pressure takes place in the US$, which metals would lov...

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Zero Hedge

IMF Sounds The Alarm On Leveraged Lending

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Five months after the IMF sounded the alarm over junk bonds, it has now moved on to the credit market bogeyman du jour and overnight joined others such as the Fed, BIS, Oaktree, JPMorgan, and Guggenheim in "sounding the alarm on leveraged loans."

By Tobias Adrian, ...

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Insider Scoop

Analysts Cautious On Williams-Sonoma After Q3 Print

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related WSM 48 Stocks Moving In Friday's Mid-Day Session 28 Stocks Moving In Friday's Pre-Market Session ... more from Insider

Members' Corner



This is a three-part Opinion Video Series from NY Times about Russia’s meddling in the United States’ elections as part of its "decades-long campaign to tear the West apart." This is not fake news. Read more about the series here.



By Adam B. Ellick and Adam Westbrook



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Chart School

Weekly Market Recap Nov 11, 2018

Courtesy of Blain.

This past week was saw another positive move up by bulls – especially in the Dow and S&P 500; the NASDAQ was not quite as enthusiastic.   Wednesday’s rally was on the legs of an election that was seen as market friendly or at least not as bad as it could have been.   Essentially – paying people a lot of money to get nothing done the next 2 years – woo hoo!

The market is interpreting Wedneday’s result as insuring that “no big things will get done,” in Washington between now and 2020, Craig Birk, chief investment officer at Personal Capital told MarketWatch. “The market appreciates the relative certainty of the slow legislative agenda.” he said.

“As President Trump plans his 2020 reelection campaign, a gridlocked Congress is unlik...

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Digital Currencies

Bitcoin's high energy consumption is a concern - but it may be a price worth paying


Bitcoin's high energy consumption is a concern – but it may be a price worth paying


Courtesy of Steven Huckle, University of Sussex

Bitcoin recently turned ten years old. In that time, it has proved revolutionary because it ignores the need for modern money’s institutions to verify payments. Instead, Bitcoin relies on cryptographic techniques to prove identity and authenticity.

However, the price to pay for all of this innovation is a high carbon footprint, created by Bitc...

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Vilas Fund Up 55% In Q3; 3Q18 Letter: A Bull Market In Bearish Forecasts

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

The Vilas Fund, LP letter for the third quarter ended September 30, 2018; titled, “A Bull Market in Bearish Forecasts.”

Ever since the financial crisis, there has been a huge fascination with predictions of the next “big crash” right around the next corner. Whether it is Greece, Italy, Chinese debt, the “overvalued” stock market, the Shiller Ratio, Puerto Rico, underfunded pensions in Illinois and New Jersey, the Fed (both for QE a few years ago and now for removing QE), rising interest rates, Federal budget deficits, peaking profit margins, etc...

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Gene-editing technique CRISPR identifies dangerous breast cancer mutations

Reminder: Pharmboy is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.


Gene-editing technique CRISPR identifies dangerous breast cancer mutations

Breast cancer type 1 (BRCA1) is a human tumor suppressor gene, found in all humans. Its protein, also called by the synonym BRCA1, is responsible for repairing DNA. ibreakstock/

By Jay Shendure, University of Washington; Greg Findlay, ...

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Mapping The Market

Mistakes were Made. (And, Yes, by Me.)

Via Jean-Luc:

Famed investor reflecting on his mistakes:

Mistakes were Made. (And, Yes, by Me.)

One that stands out for me:

Instead of focusing on how value factors in general did in identifying attractive stocks, I rushed to proclaim price-to-sales the winner. That was, until it wasn’t. I guess there’s a reason for the proclamation “The king is dead, long live the king” when a monarchy changes hands. As we continued to update the book, price-to-sales was no longer the “best” single value factor, replaced by others, depending upon the time frames examined. I had also become a lot more sophisticated in my analysis—thanks to criticism of my earlier work—and realized that everything, including factors, moves in and out of favor, depending upon the market environment. I also realized...

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Swing trading portfolio - week of September 11th, 2017

Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.


This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...

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Free eBook - "My Top Strategies for 2017"



Here's a free ebook for you to check out! 

Phil has a chapter in a newly-released eBook that we think you’ll enjoy.

In My Top Strategies for 2017, Phil's chapter is Secret Santa’s Inflation Hedges for 2017.

This chapter isn’t about risk or leverage. Phil present a few smart, practical ideas you can use as a hedge against inflation as well as hedging strategies designed to assist you in staying ahead of the markets.

Some other great content in this free eBook includes:


·       How 2017 Will Affect Oil, the US Dollar and the European Union


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All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

Reminder: Harlan is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Click here for the full report.

To learn more, sign up for David's free newsletter and receive the free report from All About Trends - "How To Outperform 90% Of Wall Street With Just $500 A Week." Tell David PSW sent you. - Ilene...

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About Phil:

Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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About Ilene:

Ilene is editor and affiliate program coordinator for PSW. She manages the site market shadows, archives, more. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.

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