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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Phil's Favorites

Jack Dorsey's decision to quit Twitter is not a vote of confidence in future of social media

 

Jack Dorsey’s decision to quit Twitter is not a vote of confidence in future of social media

Courtesy of Theo Tzanidis, University of the West of Scotland

When Jack Dorsey made the sudden public announcement that he had quit as CEO of Twitter, it was only ever going to have happened in one place – Twitter itself. It reminded me very much of Elon Musk’s entertaining tweet adventures, as Dorsey tossed his resignation letter onto the social medi...



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Zero Hedge

Biden To Impose Tighter Travel Restrictions On Foreigners

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Update (0900ET): More reports about the new CDC-recommended travel restrictions have hit on Wednesday as the Biden White House has all but confirmed its plans to impose new restrictions on travel despite the WHO's pleas that South Africa not be penalized for warning the world about the new variant.

To be sure, the restrictions being considered by the administration would still allow travelers with up-to-date COVID testing (within the last 24 hours) to enter the country. Presently, vaccinated travelers must get tested within three days of boarding their fligh...



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Biotech/COVID-19

Omicron and market sell-off: don't be surprised if there's more turbulence to come

 

Omicron and market sell-off: don’t be surprised if there’s more turbulence to come

shutterstock.

Courtesy of Arturo Bris, International Institute for Management Development (IMD)

Until the Omicron variant hit the headlines, the signs were that 2021 was going to close with a stellar stock-market performance. Most markets have been on the rise since the beginning of the year, with the S&P500 up about 25% and the FTSE All Share index up by about 10%.

There had ...



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Politics

The first Thanksgiving is a key chapter in America's origin story - but what happened in Virginia four months later mattered much more

 

The first Thanksgiving is a key chapter in America’s origin story – but what happened in Virginia four months later mattered much more

In the 19th century, there was a campaign to link the Thanksgiving holiday to the Pilgrims. Bettman/Getty Images

Courtesy of Peter C. Mancall, USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

This year marks the 400th anniversary of the first Thanksgiving in New England. Remembered and retold as an allegory for perseverance and cooper...



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Chart School

Gold and Silver still working higher

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Using Gann Angles from zero we can time the next run up, and it is near.

The last two days gold and silver are down on the back of central bankers talking the US Dollar higher in a attempt to off set inflation. A rising dollar is a form of tightening. Also the talk of a faster 'taper' has sent interest rates higher. But Luke Gromen knows this cant not last.

@LukeGromen Externally-financed twin deficit nations with insufficient external financing (ie the US, not Japan) cannot abide rising real rates for long.


RTT Comments: What this means a higher US Dollar makes it harder for those outside the US to buy the vast quantity of US Treasuries. 


U...

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Digital Currencies

Stablecoins: these cryptocurrencies threaten the financial system, but no one is getting to grips with them

 

Stablecoins: these cryptocurrencies threaten the financial system, but no one is getting to grips with them

Safe as houses? iQoncept

Courtesy of Jean-Philippe Serbera, Sheffield Hallam University

Cryptocurrencies have had an exceptional year, reaching a combined value of more than US$3 trillion (£2.2 trillion) for the first time in November. The market seems to have benefited from the public having tim...



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Promotions

Phil's Interview on Options Trading with TD Bank

TD Bank's host Bryan Rogers interviewed Phil on June 10 as part of TD's Options Education Month. If you missed the program, be sure to watch the video below. It should be required viewing for anyone trading or thinking about trading using options. 

Watch here:

TD's webinar with Phil (link) or right here at PSW

Screenshots of TD's slides illustrating Phil's examples:

 

 

&n...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Crude Oil Cleared For Blast Off On This Dual Breakout?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

Is Crude Oil about to blast off and hit much higher prices? It might be worth being aware of what could be taking place this month in this important commodity!

Crude Oil has created lower highs over the past 13-years, since peaking back in 2008, along line (1).

It created a “Double Top at (2), then it proceeded to decline more than 60% in four months.

The countertrend rally in Crude Oil has it attempting to break above its 13-year falling resistance as well as its double top at (3).

A successful breakout at (3) would suggest Crude Oil is about to mo...



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ValueWalk

Managing Investments As A Charity Or Nonprofit

By Anna Peel. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Maintaining financial viability is a constant challenge for charities and nonprofit organizations.

Q4 2020 hedge fund letters, conferences and more

The past year has underscored that challenge. The pandemic has not just affected investment returns – it’s also had serious implications for charitable activities and the ability to fundraise. For some organizations, it’s even raised doubts about whether they can continue to operate.

Finding ways to generate long-term, sustainable returns for ...



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Mapping The Market

Suez Canal: Critical Waterway Comes to a Halt

 

Suez Canal: Critical Waterway Comes to a Halt

Courtesy of Marcus Lu, Visual Capitalist

The Suez Canal: A Critical Waterway Comes to a Halt

On March 23, 2021, a massive ship named Ever Given became lodged in the Suez Canal, completely blocking traffic in both directions. According to the Suez Canal Authority, the 1,312 foot long (400 m) container ship ran aground during a sandstorm that caused low visibility, impacting the ship’s navigation. The vessel is owned by Taiwanese shipping firm, Evergreen Marine.

With over 2...



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The Technical Traders

Adaptive Fibonacci Price Modeling System Suggests Market Peak May Be Near

Courtesy of Technical Traders

Our Adaptive Fibonacci Price Modeling system is suggesting a moderate price peak may be already setting up in the NASDAQ while the Dow Jones, S&P500, and Transportation Index continue to rally beyond the projected Fibonacci Price Expansion Levels.  This indicates that capital may be shifting away from the already lofty Technology sector and into Basic Materials, Financials, Energy, Consumer Staples, Utilities, as well as other sectors.

This type of a structural market shift indicates a move away from speculation and towards Blue Chip returns. It suggests traders and investors are expecting the US consumer to come back strong (or at least hold up the market at...



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Lee's Free Thinking

Texas, Florida, Arizona, Georgia - The Branch COVIDIANS Are Still Burning Down the House

 

Texas, Florida, Arizona, Georgia – The Branch COVIDIANS Are Still Burning Down the House

Courtesy of Lee Adler, WallStreetExaminer 

The numbers of new cases in some of the hardest hit COVID19 states have started to plateau, or even decline, over the past few days. A few pundits have noted it and concluded that it was a hopeful sign. 

Is it real or is something else going on? Like a restriction in the numbers of tests, or simply the inability to test enough, or are some people simply giving up on getting tested? Because as we all know from our dear leader, the less testing, the less...



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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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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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