Posts Tagged ‘credit markets’

Has the Fed Painted Itself Into a Corner?

Has the Fed Painted Itself Into a Corner?

Courtesy of Yves Smith

[unclescrooge.jpg]A couple of articles in the Wall Street Journal, reporting on a conference at the Boston Fed, indicates that some people at the Fed may recognize that the central bank has boxed itself in more than a tad.

The first is on the question of whether the Fed is in a liquidity trap. A lot of people, based on the experience of Japan, argued that resolving and restructuring bad loans was a necessary to avoid a protracted economic malaise after a severe financial crisis. But the Fed has consistently clung to the myth that the financial meltdown of 2007-2008 was a liquidity, not a solvency crisis. So rather than throw its weight behind real financial reform and cleaning up bank balance sheets (which would require admitting the obvious, that its policies prior to the crisis were badly flawed), it instead has treated liquidity as the solution to any and every problem.

Some commentators were concerned when the Fed lowered policy rates below 2%, but there we so many other experiments implemented during the acute phases that this particular shift has been pretty much overlooked. But overly low rates leaves the Fed nowhere to go if demand continues to be slack, as it is now.

Note that the remarks by Chicago Fed president John Evans still hew to conventional forms: the Fed needs to create inflation expectations, and needs to be prepared to overshoot.

This seems to ignore some pretty basic considerations. First, the US is suffering from a great deal of unemployment and excess productive capacity. The idea that inflation fears are going to lead to a resumption of spending (ie anticipatory spending because the value of money will fall in the future) isn’t terribly convincing. Labor didn’t have much bargaining power before the crisis, and it has much less now. Some might content the Fed is already doing a more than adequate job of feeding commodities inflation (although record wheat prices are driven by largely by fundamentals).

From the Wall Street Journal, “Fed’s Evans: U.S. in ‘Bona Fide Liquidity Trap’”:

The Federal Reserve may have to let inflation overshoot levels consistent with price stability as part of a broader attempt to help stimulate the economy, a U.S. central bank official said Saturday.

“The U.S. economy is best described as being in a bona


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THE IMPORTANCE OF SHORT-TERM DEBT MARKETS

THE IMPORTANCE OF SHORT-TERM DEBT MARKETS

Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist 

Excellent analysis here from Peter Eisenhardt at ICMA.  Mr. Eisenhardt describes why the short-term credit markets are so important and why the recent seizure in the credit markets is an important indicator to keep an eye on:

ICMA THE IMPORTANCE OF SHORT TERM DEBT MARKETS

Source: Reuters Insider


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AN INVERTED DEATH CROSS IN INVESTMENT GRADE CREDIT

AN INVERTED DEATH CROSS IN INVESTMENT GRADE CREDIT

Skull

Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist 

As we’ve previously described the primary differentiating factor between this sell-off and every sell-off since March 2009 has been the action in the credit markets.  For the first time in over year we are seeing substantial deterioration across credit markets.  This has been notable in IG credit.  Spreads have started blowing out again as the sovereign debt fears raise memories of Lehman Brothers.

The action in yesterday’s market was notable due to the strong technical movement we saw in spreads.  The 50 day moving average moving upward crossed the 200 day moving average moving downward.  In a typical market this would be known as a “golden cross”, but as widening spreads are a negative indicator this is actually an inverse “death cross”.  It sounds very phony as most technical analysis chart patterns do, but this is one that is worth noting.  The crossing of the moving averages is a very rare event and generally indicates the beginning of a very strong directional trend.  We have noted similar patterns in several markets over the last few years including the golden cross in the S&P 500 in June 2009 at S&P 900 and the death cross in Chinese equities just prior to their  recent 20% decline.

From a purely simplistic technical perspective IG credit’s death cross is forecasting more difficult days ahead in the credit markets and that is certain to coincide with more difficulty in the equity markets.  Investors would be wise to take note.

IG AN INVERTED DEATH CROSS IN INVESTMENT GRADE CREDIT

(Chart Courtesy of CDR)

Source: Tim Backshall at CDR 


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THE MULTIPLICATION OF MONEY

THE MULTIPLICATION OF MONEY

Courtesy of John Mauldin at Thoughts from the Frontline 

Business people filling pockets and bag with fallen money

Where Is All that Greek Gold? 
The Greeks Write Back 
The Euro and a Conspiracy of Hedge Funds 
So Where’s the Inflation? 
No Help for Homebuilders 

The economy grew in the fourth quarter by 5.9%, the most in years. The adjusted monetary base is exploding. Bank reserves are literally through the roof. The Fed is flooding money into the system in an effort to get banks to lend. An historically normal response by banks (to increase lending) would have been massively inflationary, causing the Fed to stomp on the brakes. Despite raising the almost meaningless discount rate (as who uses it?), this week Ben Bernanke assured Congress of an easy monetary policy, with rates remaining low for a long time. Many ask, how can this not be inflationary?

This week we look at some fundamentals of money supply and the economy. If you understand this, you won’t get misled by people selling investments, telling you to buy this or that based on some chart that shows whatever they are selling to be what you absolutely have to have to protect your portfolio and/or make massive profits. And we touch on a few odds and ends. And yes, I can’t resist, a few more thoughts on Greece. It will make for an interesting letter, as I’m writing on a plane to San Jose. And it will print a bit longer than usual, because there are a lot of charts.

Before we get into the
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SHOULD YOU SHORT THE TREASURY MARKET?

SHOULD YOU SHORT THE TREASURY MARKET?

Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist 

Good thoughts on the credit markets from this week’s episode of Wealth Track.  Nassim Taleb has described treasuries as a “no brainer” short position.  Marc Faber refers to treasuries as junk bonds.  Bond experts David Darst and Robert Kessler provide their outlooks for obtaining yield in a de-leveraging world:

Source: Wealth Track 


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Corporate Bond Spreads Key To Continued S&P Rally

Corporate Bond Spreads Key To Continued S&P Rally

Courtesy of Mish

Want to know where the S&P 500 (SPY) is headed? The corporate bond market likely holds the answer.

So far this year, investment grade debt sales are on a record pace according to the article Blackstone Group to Sell Debt as Investment-Grade Spreads Widen.

Bloommberg notes that Blackstone (BX) joined Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), the world’s largest software maker, in making a debut offer this year and that investment-grade debt sales of $774 billion are on pace to reach a record.

Meanwhile yield spreads on corporate debt vs. treasuries have declined from 603 basis points on Jan. 2, to 254 basis points today according to Merrill Lynch & Co.’s U.S. Corporate Master index.

Access To Debt Markets Keeps Zombie Corporations Alive

Ability to raise cash now will keep many zombie corporations alive. GM went under when its borrowing dried up. Ford (F) stayed in business because it had a bigger pile of cash relative to its burn rate.

Thus it’s no wonder that stocks are rallying in the face of record demand for debt, demand that has dramatically reduced long term corporate borrowing costs.

“Liquidity is the name of the game for financial-related firms,” said Guy Lebas, chief economist and fixed-income strategist with Janney Montgomery Scott LLC. “Many issuers as well as buyers realize that the improvement we’ve had in spreads over the last eight weeks marks the final step in the credit rally for 2009.”

23 Day Rally In Corporates

The question now is where to from here? The article notes the investment grade bond rally lasted 23 consecutive days, ending two days ago. The widening today is a statistically irrelevant 1 basis point.

Evidence of a pullback is more readily apparent in junk bonds.

Yields on high-yield, high-risk, bonds relative to benchmark rates widened 14 basis points yesterday to 878 basis points, the third straight day of increases after 16 consecutive days of tightening, according to Merrill Lynch & Co’s U.S. High-Yield Master II index. High-yield notes are rated below BBB- by Standard & Poor’s and less than Baa3 by Moody’s Investors Service.

S&P 500 During Corporate Bond Rally

click on chart for sharper image

Keep an Eye on Bonds!

As long as corporate bonds fetch a good bid, which in turn allows companies to raise cash at decreasing costs, the


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Are They Smarter Than You?

Are They Smarter Than You? 

Einstein, CEOs and CFOsCourtesy of Karl Denninger at The Market Ticker


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Wall Street’s Gains Equal Main Street’s Loss?

My Latest Huffington Post Column: ‘Wall Street’s Gains Equal Main Street’s Loss?’

Courtesy of Michael Panzner at Financial Armageddon

Below is my latest column for the Huffington Post, entitled "Wall Street’s Gains Equal Main Street’s Loss?":

Stock prices have been on a tear lately, bolstered by quarterly earnings reports that have in many cases outpaced expectations and growing optimism that the worst of the crisis-cum-downturn is behind us.

The S&P 500 index, for instance, is up more than 40 percent since its early-March lows, while the technology-laden Nasdaq Composite has scored a 13 percent gain — and, through yesterday, a 12-session winning streak — in the last two weeks alone.

Ordinarily, a bull run like this would be cause for optimism, on the belief that savvy investors see a light at the end of the tunnel. But in the currrent environment, could the good news that is powering share prices be bad news for the economy?

Consider the following recent reports from a cross-section of corporate America:

  • Microsoft announced that revenues declined more than 17 percent amid falling global demand for PCs and servers. According to the Financial Times, the world’s largest software company "sounded a far more cautious note about the prospects for a recovery in the second half of 2009" and its CFO said ‘it’s going to be difficult for the rest of the year….We’re really still not sure we’re out of the woods.’"
  • The CFO of UPS, the 100-year old package delivery giant with a presence in 200 countries, warned the company didn’t have "any confidence that either demand or activity is going to pick up substantially" in the next several months.
  • Diversified manufacturer 3M, with operations in 60 countries, cautioned that it’s "still facing a challenging sales environment with no meaningful improvement in demand yet from several major industrial customers," the Wall Street Journal reported. "He added there is a risk that recent upticks in orders could be a ‘false dawn’ caused by an over-correction in inventory levels earlier this year by 3M’s customers rather than a sustainable recovery in demand."
  • Texas Instruments, the second largest U.S. chipmaker, said "there’s little evidence yet that real growth — based on an improving market for cell phones, computers and other tech products, instead of inventory corrections


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ValueWalk

Ray Dalio Urges 'Beautiful Deleveraging' of Police Departments

By The Stonk Market. Originally published at ValueWalk.

During a YouTube livestream from a bathroom at an undisclosed location, Ray Dalio looked into the camera and reminded viewers, “I’m not just rich, I’m also socially relevant.”

“I’m looking at these protests, and these calls to defund the police, thinking ’how can I insert myself into this conversation?’ That’s when I realized that police departments need a beautiful deleveraging,” said Dalio. “And I swear this isn’t just the Ambien talking.”

“Don’t get me wrong – I love surveillance, obvi...



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Phil's Favorites

Why are white supremacists protesting the deaths of black people?

 

Why are white supremacists protesting the deaths of black people?

A member of the far-right Boogaloo Bois group walks next to protestors in Charlotte, N.C., on May 29, 2020. Logan Cyrus/AFP via Getty Images

Courtesy of Matthew Valasik, Louisiana State University and Shannon Reid, University of North Carolina – Charlotte

As protests...



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Zero Hedge

Orphaned Silver Is Finding Its Parent

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Authored by Alasdair Macleod via GoldMoney.com,

This article examines the prospects for silver, which has been overlooked in favour of gold. Due to the economic and monetary consequences of the coronavirus lockdowns and the earlier turning of the credit cycle, there is an increasing likelihood of a severe and sustained downturn that will require far more monetary expansion to deal with, favouring the prospects of both gold and silver returning to their former monetary roles.

...

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Biotech/COVID-19

COVID-19: A Data-Driven Analysis

 

COVID-19: A Data-Driven Analysis

By John Mauldin and Mike Roizen, MD 

Should you wear a mask in public? This seemingly simple question immediately generates emotional, political, and social anxiety.

It is just one of many provocative questions COVID-19 is forcing upon us. They should be simple, data-driven policy issues but many are not.

Today’s letter is in a different format from the usual Thoughts from the Frontline. As long-time readers know, I am in frequent (and lately almost daily) contact with Dr. Mike Roizen, emeritus head of wellness at the famous Cleveland Clinic, member of the Cleveland Clinic’s leadership team, and author of many books which, thanks ...



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The Technical Traders

WOW, look at this huge setup unfolding in S&P 500. Squeeze the FOMO !!

Courtesy of Technical Traders

If you have FOMO on the stock market you better watch this video because it will make you feel better if what is unfolding is exactly what I have been talking about for the past week. The Short/FOMO Squeeze!

I offer membership services for active traders, long-term investors...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Is the 39 Year Treasury Bond Bull Market Over?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

10 Year US Treasury Bond Yield “inverted” Chart

This chart should look familiar, as I’ve shared and updated it a few times to alert clients and readers.

It is the 10 Year US Treasury Yield Chart… inverted.

As you know, bond yields and price move in opposite directions. So this is a way to analyze and think about bonds. And as I’ve pointed out before, inverted charts can also reduce bias.

As you can see, bond yields created the largest reversal pattern in decades. When inverted (as this chart is), yields look like bond prices. So this is action is very bearish for bond prices on a long-term historic...



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Chart School

Silver volume says something is near boiling point

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Fundamentals are important, but they must show up in the chart. And when they do and if they may matter, it is a good sign if price and volume waves show a change of character.

The Point and Figure chart below is readtheticker.com version of PnF chart format, it is designed to highlight price and volume waves clearly (notice the Volume Hills chart).

Silver ETF volume is screaming at us! The price volatility along with volume tells us those who have not cared, are starting to, those who are wrong are adjusting, and those who are correct are loading up. Soon the kettle will blow and the price of silver will be over $20. 

Normally silver suffers in a recession, maybe this time with trillions of paper money being creat...

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Lee's Free Thinking

US Southern States COVID19 Cases - Let's Give Credit Where Due

 

US Southern States COVID19 Cases – Let’s Give Credit Where Due

Courtesy of  

The number of new COVID 19 cases has been falling in the Northeast, but the South is not having the same experience. The number of new cases per day in each Southern state has been rangebound for the past month.

And that’s assuming that the numbers haven’t been manipulated. We know that in Georgia’s case at least, they have been. And there are suspicions about Florida as well, as the State now engages in a smear campaign against the fired employee who built its much praised COVID19 database and dashboar...



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Digital Currencies

Blockchains can trace foods from farm to plate, but the industry is still behind the curve

 

Blockchains can trace foods from farm to plate, but the industry is still behind the curve

App-etising? LDprod

Courtesy of Michael Rogerson, University of Bath and Glenn Parry, University of Surrey

Food supply chains were vulnerable long before the coronavirus pandemic. Recent scandals have ranged from modern slavery ...



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Members' Corner

Coronavirus, 'Plandemic' and the seven traits of conspiratorial thinking

 

Coronavirus, 'Plandemic' and the seven traits of conspiratorial thinking

No matter the details of the plot, conspiracy theories follow common patterns of thought. Ranta Images/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Courtesy of John Cook, George Mason University; Sander van der Linden, University of Cambridge; Stephan Lewandowsky...



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Insider Scoop

Economic Data Scheduled For Friday

Courtesy of Benzinga

  • Data on nonfarm payrolls and unemployment rate for March will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET.
  • US Services Purchasing Managers' Index for March is scheduled for release at 9:45 a.m. ET.
  • The ISM's non-manufacturing index for March will be released at 10:00 a.m. ET.
  • The Baker Hughes North American rig count report for the latest week is scheduled for release at 1:00 p.m. ET.
...

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Promotions

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Feb. 26, 1pm EST

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Phil will discuss positions, COVID-19, market volatility -- the selloff -- and more! 

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Mike will show off the TradeExchange's new platform which you can try for free.  

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Mapping The Market

How IPOs Are Priced

Via Jean Luc 

Funny but probably true:

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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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