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Last Bubble Standing

Last Bubble Standing

EM debt bubble… emaciated, FX Carry… crucified, Crude…crushed,  High yield bonds… burst, Chinese equities… blown, Trannies… trounced, Small Caps… slammed, Biotechs… busted, and FANGs finally FUBAR!But there is one big (very big) bubble left in the world that no one is talking about, and a rather large liquidity-busting pin beckons…

In May 2015 we first explained exactly why China was blowing its equity market bubble. Simply put, with more “equity,” companies were better able to refinance/roll (note, no interest in debt reduction or deleveraging) their record-breaking mountain of debt and avoid the systemic collapse that is utterly imminent for just a few more months/years.

Now that the equity market bubble has burst, Chinese authorities have chased investors into another bubble.

In October 2015, we warned of the relative risk building in the Chinese corporate bond market.

As the rout in Chinese stocks this year erased $5 trillion of value, investors fled for safety in the nation’s red-hot corporate bond market. They may have just moved from one bubble to another.

Into Chinese corporate bonds…

As we detailed just two months ago, this historic bond bubble is paradoxical for the simple reason that China’s credit fundamentals have never been worseand as we further showed, as a result of the ongoing collapse in commodity prices (which today’s Chinese rate and RRR-cut will have absolutely no impact on), more than half of commodity companies can’t generate the cash required to even pay their interest, a number which drops to “only” a quarter when expanded to all industries.

“The equity rout merely reflects worries about China’s economy, while a bond market crash would mean the worries have become a reality as corporate debts go unpaid,” said Xia Le, the chief economist for Asia at Banco Bilbao. “A Chinese credit collapse would also likely spark a more significant selloff in emerging-market assets.”

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

Bob Janjuah Warns The Bubble Implosion Can’t Be “Fixed” This Time

Bob Janjuah Warns The Bubble Implosion Can’t Be “Fixed” This Time

Having correctly foreseen in September that “China’s devaluations are not over yet” it appears Nomura’s infamous ‘bear’ Bob Janjuah has also nailed The Fed’s subsequent actions (hiking rates into a fundamentally weakening economy in a desperate bid to “convince markets that strong growth and inflation are on their way back”). In light of this, his latest note today should be worrisome to many as he warns the S&P 500 will trade down around 20% to 25% from current levels in H1, down to the 1500s and for dip-buyers, it’s over: “I now feel even more certain that debt-driven asset bubble implosions cannot merely be ‘fixed’ with even more debt and another round of central bank-driven asset bubbles.”

As Janjuah said in September (excerpted):

I believe there is more weakness ahead – both fundamentally and within markets – over Q4 and perhaps into Q1 2016.
I repeat my view that the Fed does not need to hike based on fundamentals, but I would not be at all surprised to see the Fed hike in late 2015, in an attempt to convince markets that strong growth and inflation are on their way back. Any such hiking cycle by the Fed would I believe be extremely short-lived and quickly give way to renewed dovishness.

While I think a US recession is merely possible rather than probable, the evidence is growing in my view that a global recession is more probable than possible.

Where is the Fed “put”, and what would such a “put” look like? It is very early in the process and lots will depend on global policy responses and data outcomes, but I am happy to declare my view: the next Fed “put” is not likely until the S&P 500 is trading in the 1500s at least (so more likely to be a Q1 2016 item rather than Q4 2015); and in terms of what the Fed could do, clearly QE4 has to be in the Fed’s toolkit.

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

A Disturbing Warning From UBS: “Buy Gold” Because A 30% Bear Market Is Coming

A Disturbing Warning From UBS: “Buy Gold” Because A 30% Bear Market Is Coming

As Wall Street axioms (Santa rally, January effect, as goes January etc.) are rapidly falling by the wayside at the start of 2016, following a chaotic but return-less 2015, the UBS analysts who correctly forecast last year’s volatility are out with their forecast for 2016. It’s simple – Sell Stocks, Buy Gold.

UBS Technical Analysts Michael Riesner and Marc Müller warn the seven-year cycle in equities is rolling over. 

UBS expects S&P 500 to move into a 2Q top and fall into a full size bear market, with risk of a 20% to 30% correction into minimum later 2016 and worst case early 2017

“The comeback of volatility was the title of our 2015 strategy. Last year’s rise in volatility was in our view just the beginning for a dramatic rise in cross-asset volatility over the next few years,”

Noting that while equities have had a good run, Risener and Muller warn, “we are definitely more in the late stages of a bull market instead of being at the beginning of a new major breakout.”

Our key message for 2016 is that even if we were to see another extension in price and time, we see the 2009 bull cycle in a mature stage, which suggests the risk of seeing a significant bear cycle event in one to two years.

S&P-500 trades in 4th longest bull market since 1900 Bear markets are defined by a market decline of 20% and more. It’s a fact that since its March 2009 low, with 82 months and a performance of 220%, the S&P-500 now trades in its 4th longest and 5th strongest bull market since 1900. So from this angle alone we suggest the 2009 bull cycle has reached a mature stage.

Keep in mind, since 1937 the average downside in a 7-year cycle decline was 34%…

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

 

Oil Bankruptcies Hit Highest Level Since Crisis And There’s “More To Come”, Fed Warns

Oil Bankruptcies Hit Highest Level Since Crisis And There’s “More To Come”, Fed Warns

“Two things become clear in an analysis of the financial health of US hydrocarbon production: 1) the sector is not at all homogenous, exhibiting a range of financial health; 2) some of the sector indeed looks exposed to distress [and] lifelines for distressed producers could include public equity markets, asset sales, private equity, or consolidation. If all else fails, Chapter 11 may be necessary.” That’s Citi’s assessment of America’s “shale revolution”, which the Saudis have been desperately trying to crush for more than a year now.

As Citi and others have noted – a year or so after we discussed the issue at length – uneconomic producers in the US are almost entirely dependent on capital markets for their continued survival. “The shale sector is now being financially stress-tested, exposing shale’s dirty secret: many shale producers depend on capital market injections to fund ongoing activity because they have thus far greatly outspent cash flow,” Citi wrote in September. Here’s a look at what the bank means:

Of course this all worked out fine in an environment characterized by relatively high crude prices and ultra accommodative monetary policy. The cost of capital was low and yield-starved investors were forgiving, allowing the US oil patch to keeping drilling and pumping long after it should have been bankrupt. Now, the proverbial chickens have come home to roost. In the wake of the Fed hike, HY is rolling over and as UBS noted over the summer“the commodity related industries total 22.8% of the overall HY market index on a par-weighted basis; sectors most at-risk for defaults (defined as failure to pay, bankruptcy and distressed restructurings) total 18.2% of the index and include the oil/gas producer (10.6%), metals/mining (4.7%), and oil service/equipment (2.9%) industries.”

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

The Fed Has Created A “Monster” And Just Made A “Dangerous Mistake,” Stephen Roach Warns

The Fed Has Created A “Monster” And Just Made A “Dangerous Mistake,” Stephen Roach Warns

Stephen Roach is worried that the Fed has set the world up for another financial market meltdown.

Lower for longer rates and the proliferation of unconventional monetary policy have created “a breeding ground for asset bubbles, credit bubbles, and all-too frequent crises, so the Fed is really a part of the problem of financial instability rather than trying to provide a sense of calm in an otherwise unstable world,” Roach told Bloomberg TV in an interview conducted a little over a week ago.

To be sure, Roach’s sentiments have become par for the proverbial course. That is, it may have taken everyone a while (as in five years or so) to come to the conclusion we reached long ago, namely that central banks are setting the world up for a crisis that will make 2008 look like a walk in the park, but most of the “very serious” people are now getting concerned. Take BofAML for instance, who, in a note we outlined on Wednesday, demonstrated the prevailing dynamic with the following useful graphic:

Perhaps Jeremy Grantham put it best: “..in the Greenspan/ Bernanke/Yellen Era, the Fed historically did not stop its asset price pushing until fully- fledged bubbles had occurred, as they did in U.S. growth stocks in 2000 and in U.S. housing in 2006.”

Indeed. It’s with that in mind that we bring you the following excerpts from a new piece by Roach in which the former Morgan Stanley chief economist and Yale fellow recounts the evolution of the Fed and how the FOMC ultimately became “beholden to the monster it had created”.

*  *  *

From “The Perils of Fed Gradualism” as posted at Project Syndicate

By now, it’s an all-too-familiar drill. After an extended period of extraordinary monetary accommodation, the US Federal Reserve has begun the long march back to normalization.

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

 

The World Hits Its Credit Limit, And The Debt Market Is Starting To Realize That

The World Hits Its Credit Limit, And The Debt Market Is Starting To Realize That

One month ago, when looking at the dramatic change in the market landscape when the first cracks in the central planning facade became evident and it appeared that central banks are in the process of rapidly losing credibility, and the faith of an entire generation of traders whose only trading strategy is to “BTFD”, we presented a critical report by Citigroup’s Matt King, who asked “has the world reached its credit limit” summarized the two biggest financial issues facing the world at this stage.

The first is that even as central banks have continued pumping record amount of liquidity in the market, the market’s response has been increasingly shaky (in no small part due to the surge in the dollar and the resulting Emerging Market debt crisis), and in the case of Junk bonds, a downright disaster. As King summarized it models linking QE to markets seem to have broken down.” 

Needless to say this was bad news for everyone hoping that just a little more QE is all that is needed to return to all time S&P500 highs. And while this concern has faded somewhat in the past few weeks as the most violent short squeeze in history has lifted the market almost back to record highs even as Q3 earnings season is turning out just as bad, if not worse, as most had predicted, nothing has fundamentally changed and the fears over EM reserve drawdown will shortly re-emerge, once the punditry reads between the latest Chinese money creation and capital outflow lines.

The second, and far greater problem, facing the world is precisely what the Fed and its central bank peers have been fighting all along: too much global debt accumulating an ever faster pace, while global growth is stagnant and in fact declining.

…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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