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“Not A QE” Begins: Fed Start Buying $60BN In Bills Per Month Starting Next Week

“Not A QE” Begins: Fed Start Buying $60BN In Bills Per Month Starting Next Week

Just one day after we laid out what Goldman’s revised forecast for the Fed’s “NOT A QE” will look like, which for those who missed it predicted that the Fed would announce “monthly purchases of about $60BN for four months, split across Treasury bills and short maturity coupon Treasuries, in order to replenish the roughly $200bn reserve shortfall and support the pace of growth in non-reserve liabilities”, the Fed has done just that and moments ago – well ahead of consensus expectations which saw the Fed making this announcement some time in November – the US central bank announced it would start purchasing $60BN in Bills per month starting October 15. This will be in addition to rolling over “all principal payments from the Federal Reserve’s holdings of Treasury securities and the continued reinvestment all principal payments from the Federal Reserve’s holdings of agency debt and agency mortgage-backed securities received during each calendar month.”

In short, the proposed schedule is virtually identical to the one Goldman “proposed” yesterday, one which sees the Fed purchase a grand total of $100BN or so in TSYs the near term, and one which is meant to “engineer a one-off level shift of roughly $200bn over the course of four months.

But wait there’s more, because just as today’s surprising spike in repo use suggested, mere “NOT A QE” may not cut it, and just in case, in order to provide an “ample supply of reserves”, the Fed will continue with $75BN in overnight repos and $35 billion in term repos twice per week, “at least through January of next year.”

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

How Much Will Oil Surge When Trading Reopens

How Much Will Oil Surge When Trading Reopens

Now that Goldman has successfully sparked a near-frenzy of chaos, confusion (and market buy orders) ahead of tonight’s trading open, the only question is how high will oil surge. And according to some preliminary estimates, oil analysts expect crude prices to jump at least $5 to $10 a barrel at 6pm on Sunday after some 5% of world oil supply was pulled off the market after a drone strike hit a critical Saudi oil facility.

Saudi Aramco lost about 5.7 million barrels per day of output after several unmanned aerial vehicles on Saturday struck the world’s biggest crude-processing facility in Abqaiq and the kingdom’s second-biggest oil field in Khurais. And with Saudi Arabia admitting that it could take weeks to restore full production, Bloomberg reports that the Trump administration is ready to deploy the nation’s emergency oil reserves and help stabilize markets if needed.

While oil slumped 3% last week, dropping amid expectations of an Iran detente following John Bolton’s departure, expect a violent reversal when trading reopens tonight.

“This is a historically large disruption on critical oil infrastructure and these events represent a sharp escalation in threats to global supply with risks of further attacks”, wrote Goldman chief commodity strategist Damien Courvalin. “These events are therefore set to support oil prices at their open on Sunday, especially given recent growth concerns and low levels of positioning. The magnitude of such a price rally is difficult to estimate in the absence of official comments on the timeline and scale of production losses.”

Still, one can try to make some educated estimates of what happens next, with consensus gravitating to a $5-10 spike in kneejerk response.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Goldman: Here’s Why The Fed Is About To Shock The Market

Goldman: Here’s Why The Fed Is About To Shock The Market

As discussed earlier, and as both Bank of America and JPM explained, the biggest risk for the market next week is if the Fed not only doesn’t cut – the market assigns a very low probability to such a “pre-emptive” move – but fails to signal an aggressive dovish reversal in the form of a rate cut in July. And yet, despite its upbeat outlook – it still expects the S&P to close the year at 3,000, Goldman’s strategists are certainly taking the over on how hawkish the Fed will sound next week.

As Goldman’s chief economist Jan Hatzius writes, the bank expects “unchanged” policy at the June 18-19 FOMC meeting and sees the subjective odds of a June cut at only 10%. More importantly, while Goldman looks for a dovish tilt to the proceedings it won’t be nearly enough to appease markets that have aggressively priced rate cuts in the fall. 

Barring an unlikely surprise on the funds rate, we expect the market to focus on four key developments:

  1. the statement’s policy stance/balance of risks paragraph,
  2. the number of participants projecting cuts in the Summary of Economic Projections (SEP),
  3. the extent of dovish changes to the statement and economic forecasts, and
  4. the tone of Powell’s press conference.

Rather than Goldman’s standard “Then and Now” table, the chart below “plots the setup for next week’s meeting across three dimensions, as well as their averages ahead of three major dovish shifts: September 2007 (at which the Fed abandoned the hiking bias and cut 50bps in response to subprime turmoil), September 2010 (formally signaled QE2), and March 2016 (scuttled the hiking cycle until global risks abated). Here, Hatzius also shows the three-month evolution of these four variables: stock prices, IG credit spreads, and consensus GDP growth.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

What Would Stocks Do in “a World Without Buybacks,” Goldman Asks

What Would Stocks Do in “a World Without Buybacks,” Goldman Asks

Companies buying back their own shares has “consistently been the largest source of US equity demand.” Without them, “demand for shares would fall dramatically.” Too painful to even imagine.

Goldman Sachs asked a nerve-racking question and came up with an equally nerve-racking answer: What would happen to stocks “in a world without buybacks.” Because buybacks are a huge deal.

In the fourth quarter 2018, share repurchases soared 62.8% from a year earlier to a record $223 billion, beating the prior quarterly record set in the third quarter last year, of $204 billion, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices on March 25. It was the fourth quarterly record in a row, the longest such streak in the 20 years of the data. For the whole year 2018, share buybacks soared 55% year-over-year to a record $806 billion, beating the prior record of $589 billion set in 2007 by a blistering 37%!

Share buybacks had already peaked in 2015 and ticked down in 2016 and 2017. Then the tax reform act became effective on January 1, 2018, and share buybacks skyrocketed.

The record buybacks in Q4 came even as stock prices declined on average 5.3%, according to S&P Down Jones Indices. On some bad days during the quarter, corporations were about the only ones left buying their shares.

For the year 2018, these were the top super-duper buyback queens:

  • Apple: $74.2 billion
  • Oracle: $29.3 billion
  • Wells Fargo $21.0 billion
  • Microsoft: $16.3 billion
  • Merck: $9.1 billion

But who, outside of corporations buying back their own shares, was buying shares? Goldman Sachs strategists answered this question in a report cited by Bloomberg, that used data from the Federal Reserve to determine “net US equity demand.” These are the largest investor categories other than corporate buybacks, five-year totals:

  • Foreign investors shed $234 billion.
  • Pension funds shed $901 billion, possibly to keep asset-class allocations on target as share prices soared.
  • Stock mutual funds shed $217 billion.
  • Life insurers added 61 billion
  • Households added $223 billion.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

U.S. Shale’s Glory Days Are Numbered

U.S. Shale’s Glory Days Are Numbered


There are some early signs that the U.S. shale industry is starting to show its age, with depletion rates on the rise.

A study from Wood Mackenzie found that some wells in the Permian Wolfcamp were suffering from decline rates at or above 15 percent after five years, much higher than the 5 to 10 percent originally anticipated. “If you were expecting a well to hit the normal 6 or 8 percent after five years, and you start seeing a 12 percent decline, this becomes more of a reserves issue than an economics issue,” said R.T. Dukes, a director at industry consultant Wood Mackenzie Ltd., according to Bloomberg. As a result, “you have to grow activity year over year, or it gets harder and harder to offset declines.”

Moreover, shale wells fizzle out much faster than major offshore oil fields, which is significant because the boom in shale drilling over the past few years means that there is more depletion in absolute terms than ever before. A slowdown in drilling will mean that depletion starts to become a serious problem.

A separate study from Goldman Sachs takes a deep look at whether or not the shale industry is starting to see the effects of age. The investment bank says the average life span for “the most transformative areas of global oil supply” is between 7 and 15 years.

Examples of these rapid growth periods include the USSR in the 1960s-1970s, Mexico and the North Sea in the late 1970s-1980s, Venezuela’s heavy oil production in the 1990s, Brazil in the early 2000s, and U.S. shale and Canada’s oil sands in the 2010s. Each had their period in the limelight, but ultimately many of them plateaued and entered an extended period of decline, though some suffering steeper declines than others. Supply Soars

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…


Fed Inspector Turned Whistleblower Reveals System Rigged For Goldman Sachs

Five years after we first reported on the “Goldman whistleblower” at the NY Fed, Carmen Segarra, the former bank examiner is out with a new book based on more than 46 hours of secret recordings.

Noncompliant: A Lone Whistleblower Exposes the Giants of Wall Street” is a 340-page exposé which vastly expands on the breadcrumbs Segarra has been dropping since word of her recordings first came to light, according to the New York Post.

Segarra was a former bank examiner who looked into Goldman Sachs for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and claims she got fired in 2012 after making too much noise about Goldman’s alleged conflicts.

The New York Fed has often been blasted for its lackadaisical approach to overseeing banks leading up to the 2008 financial crisis. Its last president, William Dudley, was named in 2009 after spending 21 years at Goldman. But Segarra’s book claims that the problem persisted for years after the crisis, with regulators happy to act on the banks’ behalf.

We want [Goldman] to feel pain, but not too much,” her boss — who goes by the pseudonym Connor O’Sullivan in the book — told her, Segarra claims. –NY Post

The recordings were made over a seven month period while Segarra worked at the New York Fed. Neither Goldman nor the NY Fed have disputed the authenticity of the tapes.

Central to allegations of shady reglulation was a 2012 deal in which energy giant Kinder Morgan would acquire rival El Paso Corp. for $21.1 billion – a deal which Goldman advised both sides of, while “its lead banker advising El Paso, Steve Daniel, owned $340,000 in Kinder Morgan stock” according to the Post.

That didn’t matter to newly minted CEO David Solomon, who took over for Lloyd Blankfein last week.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Wednesday’s Rout Was An 8-Sigma Event: The 5th Largest Tail Event In History

With markets in rebound mode today, the sellside’s fascination with Wednesday’s sharp, unexpected selloff continues.

In the latest “hot take” on Wednesday’s dramatic drop, Goldman’s derivatives strategist Rocky Fishman takes on a different approach to the Wednesday rout, looking at it in terms of pre-event realized vol (of 6.4%), and notes that in this context, “Wednesday’s 3.3% SPX selloff naively represents an 8-standard deviation event, the 5th-largest tail event in the index’s 90-year history, as 6.4% annualized vol implies a 40bp one-standard deviation trading day; instead the drop was more than 330 bps.

As Fishman adds, what makes the drop unique is that most of the top events of this severity, and listed in the chart above, “have often had a clear, dramatic, catalyst (1987 crash, Eisenhower heart attack, Korean war, large M&A event breakup).”

Part of the reason this week’s volatility looks like a tail event is that realized volatility had been surprisingly low prior to Wednesday: the five least-volatile quarters for the SPX over the past 20 years were Q1/2/3/4 of 2017, and Q3 of 2018.

For Goldman, the Wednesday spike is reminiscent of the Feb. 27, 2007’s China-led selloff, “which marked the end of an extended low-vol period.”

That said, Fishman also notes that mathematical tail events have been more common recently, almost as if central bank tinkering with markets has broken them, To wit, “five of the top 20 one-day highest-standard deviation moves (comparing the SPX selloff with ex-ante realized vol) since 1929 have happened in 2016-8.”

Fishman then shift focus to the VIX, which while not as violent as the February record spike, “was also the 25th-largest one-day VIX spike on record.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

How Will The Surge In Oil Prices Impact US GDP: One Bank Answers

Back in late 2014, when oil prices tumbled after the OPEC “thanksgiving massacre“, the conventional narrative was that dropping oil prices were a boon for the economy as they resulted in lower gas prices and thus greater discretionary income. The stark reality emerged quickly, however, once US corporations halted capex spending, resulting in a mini-recession for business investment coupled with dozens of shale bankruptcies.

Fast forward 4 years when Brent oil prices are trading back near $85/barrel, their highest level since October 2014, right before they tumbled. And with the “lower oil is beneficial for GDP” narrative discredited, following the recent rally, questions about the economic impact of oil prices have resurfaced, among them: have higher oil prices contributed to the upside surprises to 2018 growth via higher energy capex, as Chairman Powell suggested last week? Can US shale further ramp up production when capacity constraints are looming? Do higher energy prices still exert a meaningful drag on consumer spending and boost core inflation in an era of increased energy efficiency?

This is an analysis that Goldman conducted this week, and found that higher oil prices have had a neutral impact on GDP growth so far this year with a -0.25pp contribution from lower real consumption roughly offset by a +0.25pp contribution from higher energy capital spending. However, if oil prices remain at their current level the net growth contribution will decline to -0.1pp to -0.2pp in 2018Q4 and 2019H1.

The key reason is that while higher oil prices will remain a steady drag on consumption growth, the boost to energy capex is likely to shrink as the shale industry runs into transportation capacity constraints. It is only in 2019 H2 that the eventual arrival of new pipelines will likely trigger a re-acceleration of energy capital spending.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Goldman Warns Of A Default Wave As $1.3 Trillion In Debt Is Set To Mature

Ten years after the Lehman bankruptcy, the financial elite is obsessed with what will send the world spiraling into the next financial crisis. And with household debt relatively tame by historical standards (excluding student loans, which however will likely be forgiven at some point in the future), mortgage debt nowhere near the relative levels of 2007, the most likely catalyst to emerge is corporate debt. Indeed, in a NYT op-ed penned by Morgan Stanley’s, Ruchir Sharma, the bank’s chief global strategist made the claim that “when the American markets start feeling it, the results are likely be very different from 2008 —  corporate meltdowns rather than mortgage defaults, and bond and pension funds affected before big investment banks.

But what would be the trigger for said corporate meltdown?

According to a new report from Goldman Sachs, the most likely precipitating factor would be rising interest rates which after the next major round of debt rollovers over the next several years in an environment of rising rates would push corporate cash flows low enough that debt can no longer be serviced effectively.

* * *

While low rates in the past decade have been a boon to capital markets, pushing yield-starved investors into stocks, a dangerous side-effect of this decade of rate repression has been companies eagerly taking advantage of low rates to more than double their debt levels since 2007. And, like many homeowners, companies have also been able to take advantage of lower borrowing rates to drive their average interest costs lower each year this cycle…. until now.

According to Goldman, based on the company’s forecasts, 2018 is likely to be the first year that the average interest expense is expected to tick higher, even if modestly.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Global Economic Warning: “A Day Of Reckoning Is Coming”

Global Economic Warning: “A Day Of Reckoning Is Coming”

The world is awash in debt – some $233 Trillion is currently outstanding on a global scale. And though stock markets have seen unprecedented growth in recent years, cracks have started to appear. Just this week analysts at Goldman Sachs warned that a crash is coming, a sentiment echoed by JP Morgan Chase, which recently said that the next economic collapse could very realistically lead to social unrest and chaos on the streets of America that has “not been seen in half a century.”

Patrick Donnelly, a director at Harvest Gold Corp, suggests that it won’t be long now. In an interview with SGT Report Donnelly warns that the day of reckoning is rapidly approaching:

Countries like Greece are teetering… and that’s just a tiny little country… it’s going to take them 75 years to climb out of their debt…

You look at a country like Canada, the United States or China… the amount of debt is just staggering…

…For these tech stocks, the valuations we’ve seen… the multiples they trade at are ridiculous. 

The markets are supposed to be rational… but the markets are totally irrational. 

It’s frightening… there’s going to be a day of reckoning…

Watch Full interview:

(Watch at Youtube)

There’s no question that what goes up must come down, and given that stock market growth over the last decade has been fueled not by revenue and profit, but by central bank money printing, the coming crash will send shockwaves across the globe.

The crash of 2008 will look like a small correction compared to what’s coming next.

And when the bottom finally falls out amid panic selling unlike anything we’ve ever witnessed before, Donnelly says that capital will begin to flow into historical safe haven assets of last resort.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

These 4 Charts Show How World Trade Has Collapsed In Just One Year

These 4 Charts Show How World Trade Has Collapsed In Just One Year

Lately, nothing seems able to shake Wall Street’s bullish attitude.

Investors and the mainstream continue to still ignore the worsening trade war – which is evolving into a currency war – with China.

But since early May – we at Palisade have maintained that there’s going to be a worldwide earnings recession sometime in summer 2019. . .

I haven’t been shy writing about this topic – and if you haven’t read my thesis of why I think this yet, you can check it out here – and here.

If you looked at the markets enthusiasm today – and share prices – you’d think I was dead wrong.

But if you look between the lines – things are getting even worse for global corporations.

Goldman Sachs recently published some damning data that only bolsters my global earnings recession hypothesis. . .

To summarize: world trade has continually declined since early 2017 – long before the trade war talks – and the recent data only suggests this trend is worsening.

The U.S. Dollar has rallied significantly since March of this year – after declining nearly 15% between January 2017 and February 2018.

This paired with the Federal Reserve’s tightening has created chaos for the emerging markets and their currencies throughout much of 2018.

And yet, instead of weaker currencies boosting foreign exports, things have only worsened since. This signals that there’s a deceleration in world wide demand.

Just take a look at the following charts. . .

If you study the growth of ‘global air and sea freight volumes’ year-over-year (YoY), there’s significant declines over the last 24 months – especially for air freight volume. It recently dipped into negative YoY growth.

Making matters worse – China’s economy has slowed down considerably the last couple of years. This no doubt has affected world trade.

But it’s not just China that’s seeing a slowdown in trade activity. . .

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Goldman Warns Turkish Banks Will Be Wiped Out If Lira Hits 7.1

After its worst day in 10 years, the Turkish Lira’s early rebound is already starting to fade amid denied rumors of US officials predicting Lira’s demise, a record high yield at its bond auction, and Goldman warning of the collapse of Turkey’s financial system.

Turkey’s 10Y bond yield topped 20% for the first time ever and Turkey’s Treasury sold 539.7 million liras of 5Y debt today at 22.1% compound yield.

With tensions remaining high, the U.S. Embassy in Turkey has denied news in Turkish media that a U.S. official predicted the lira would weaken to 7 per dollar, calling the claim an entirely baseless “lie.” In two tweets, the Embassy said:

“Despite current tensions, the United States continues to be a solid friend and ally of Turkey. Our countries have a vibrant economic relationship.”

“For this reason, it is unfortunate and disturbing that an American official, who estimates that the U.S. dollar will be $7 TL, is completely unfounded and irresponsible in the Turkish media. It’s a fabricated and baseless lie.”

Well, they are right, it was not “officials” from the US government, it was “unofficials” from Government Goldman Sachs warns that further lira depreciation to 7.1 would erode all of Turkey’s banks’ excess capital.

Within the current backdrop, we view banks as being vulnerable to Turkish Lira depreciation given that it impacts:

(1) capital levels due to a meaningful portion of FC assets, which increase RWAs in local currency terms on Turkish Lira depreciation,

(2) asset quality and cost of risk, as Turkish Lira volatility can put stress on borrowers’ ability to repay as well as underlying collateral values. Moreover, Lira depreciation leads to higher provisioning requirements for FC NPLs, though banks are hedging this risk and can offset the impact through trading income.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Ignore Tariffs, According To Goldman This Is The Biggest Risk From A Global Trade War

One month ago, when previewing the potential fallout from an “all out” global trade war, which for simplicity’s sake many have equated with an across-the-board 10% tariff on all US imports and exports, we presented an analysis from Barclays, according to which the hit to 2018 EPS for S&P 500 companies would be ~11% and, thus, “completely offset the positive fiscal stimulus from tax reform.”

Furthermore, the impact on exporters which would be directly affected, would be 5%, while that on US companies that import finished goods or inputs would be higher, at roughly 6%. This, to Barclays, highlights the unintended consequences of imposing tariffs given the global nature of current supply chains.

Since then, trade tensions have only escalated at an alarming pace. In context, the US has already imposed tariffs on $79 billion of US imports and proposed tariffs on an additional $702 billion, with the combined $781 billion in targeted goods representing 27% of total US imports.

Reflecting this escalation in trade tensions, the Trade Policy Uncertainty Index recently notched its highest reading since 1994 around the time of NAFTA’s inception.

Adding fuel to the fire, in recent days all out currency war has also broken out following a sharp devaluation in the Yuan, which has tumbled at an annualized pace of 30%, far faster than during the 2015 devaluation

… and eventually prompted Trump to also enter the fray, when he first complained about the Yuan “dropping like a rock” on a CNBC interview (coupled with some not so veiled suggestions against the Fed rate hiking ambitions), followed by vows to impose more tariffs and complaints about “illegal currency manipulation”, which have resulted in a rollercoaster move in the Yuan and, inversely, the dollar, and prompted Goldman to write that “trade war is evolving into currency war.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Goldman: US-China Trade War Set To Worsen

Echoing the comments laid out last night by Standard Chartered’s Steven Englander, this morning Goldman Sachs doubled down on how the US-China trade war will progress in the near-future, warning that it expects the tensions to get worse, at least initially. Speaking to Bloomberg TV, Goldman’s co-head of EM and FX research, Kamakshya Trivedi, said that “we think that trade tensions will probably worsen before they get better.”

Trivedi also predicted that “we’ll see probably see more weakness in the renminbi” over the next three to six months, a prediction that certainly has proven accurate today, with the onshore Yuan sliding to the lowest level since August 2011.

“There’ll be more stability after that, thanks in part to China’s growth holding up ok”, according to the analyst who doesn’t think that Beijing will “treat the currency as a weapon, but some of the weakness so far won’t be unwelcome to Chinese policy makers.”

In a separate note, overnight Goldman economist Alec Phillips writes that the release of the list of $200BN in tariffs on Chinese imports “raises the probability that further tariffs will be implemented” adding that Goldman was somewhat taken aback by the timing of the announcement: ”

“We had expected that the next round of tariffs on $16bn in goods could be implemented by late August or early September, so the implementation of this next round of $200bn, if it happens, looks unlikely to occur until September at the earliest.”

Phillips also writes that networking equipment, computer components, and furniture would be the most heavily impacted imports in the newest round of tariffs. He adds that the list avoids consumer goods, including apparel more than Goldman had expected, while share of computer components, furniture affected is larger than anticipated.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

“Truly Awful Numbers”: Lira Tumbles After Turkish Inflation Explodes Most In 15 Years

Having stabilized modestly after its mid-June rout, which sent the Turkish Lira to a record low of 4.74 – on the re-election of president Erdogan of all things – overnight the TRY tumbled as much as 1.4% to 4.6813 after Turkey reported that headline inflation soared from +12.1%y/y in May to +15.4%y/y in June, significantly above the 13.9% y/y consensus expectations.

This was the worst inflation print since the runaway inflation days at the start of the century, and the highest since October 2003.

The monthly jump in inflation of 2.61%, was more than double the median Bloomberg estimate and higher than the highest est. of 1.8%.

As Goldman details, prices rose across the board: Food and nonalcoholic beverages inflation increased by 7.9pp to +18.9%yoy, on the back of a sharp rise in vegetable prices, and accounted for 1.8pp of the overall 3.3pp rise in the headline figure.

Core inflation also increased sharply, from +12.6%yoy in May to +14.6%yoy in June, above consensus expectations of +13.4%yoy. The rise in core inflation was broad-based with all major categories except education registering increases. Nevertheless, the sharp rises in the purchase of vehicle and telecommunication services categories were notable.

Understandable, currency traders were shocked at the print, which if anything is an underestimation of real price tendencies, and sent the Lira sliding to the lowest level against the USD since June 26.

In light of Erdogan’s recent comments, some of which have gone so far as suggesting the president may soon take over the rate-setting process himself making the Turkish Central Bank redundant, commentators were horrified at today’s data: commenting on the number, Medley Global EMEA analyst Nigel Rendell warned that “if policymakers react with only half-hearted measures, President Erdogan’s new term in office will quickly morph into a financial crisis”, quoted by Bloomberg.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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