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Plunge Protection Myths = Keynesian Economic Myths

QUESTION: What about what China did by buying stocks a few years ago to stop the hang sang from dropping

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ANSWER: Do not confuse attempts to support a market from actually being able to do so. This is the same as Keynesian economics that government could prevent recessions. Larry Summers admitted the government cannot even forecast such events. Not only during the Great Depression did companies jump in to buy their shares during the crash to try to prevent the decline. Most of the companies that took that action actually failed for they bought the stock back trying to hold the price and lost needed cash reserves. They could not sell stock again nor could the borrow.

During the collapse of the Nikkei after 1989, companies held believing that the government would support the market. When they realized the government could not then the government encouraged us to bail out the Japanese corporations. We helped well over 300 public companies issuing a note to buy their portfolios at their cost with 10-year payouts and each note had to be approved by the Japanese government individually. If the governments were able to actually prevent declines, then they would. But nobody can do that for the size of the public at large far outweighs any institution, group of institutions, or banks.

People would rather believe in conspiracy theories than simply look at the reality. Attempts to manipulate markets ALWAYS fail because the majority is far greater than any minority. The trend is made by the MAJORITY. A panic sell-off like the Crash of 1987 took place BECAUSE there was not bid – not that there was a massive short position. Scare the MAJORITY and they then try to sell, you find no bid and that is how a flash crash unfolds. This is why outlawing short positions is destructive for the only person with the courage to try to catch a falling knife is the one who is taking profit – not initiating a long position.

“It Tells People: Don’t Worry” – Saudi Stock Market Plunge Protection Team Exposed

In politics, “when it gets serious, you have to lie.”

In the increasingly intermingled worlds of geopolitics and financials markets, when it get serious, you have to rescue your nation’s stocks…

America’s Plunge Protection Team has been a long-standing feature behind the scenes since Greenspan (some even think it has been around since 1944), ready as equity market buyer of last resort (and even getting subsidies for doing so from the exchanges).

See any number of magical and sudden reversals from 2008/9 and 2014USA Today finally realizes, fundamentals don’t matter anymore…

2015… The rescue bid arrives…

in dramatic size!!

But America’s lessons have spread.

China’s National Team is more erratic, sporadic, and definitely less successful.

But is nevertheless conspicuous in its sudden panic-buying sprees when Shanghai Composite nears critical levels (or economic strength needs to be projected domestically or otherwise).

For instance, this week…as China begins to fold on its strong-man trade war tactics…

And now, amid the current crisis of confidence in The Kingdom, The Wall Street Journal has exposed Saudi Arabia’s stock market rescue squad

The Journal pulls no punches in turning the conspiracy theory into conspiracy fact, noting that the government of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has spent billions to counter selloffs in recent months.

According to a Wall Street Journal analysis of trading data and interviews with multiple people with direct knowledge of government intervention efforts, the Saudi government has placed huge buy orders, often in the closing minutes of negative trading days, to boost the market.

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

Playing for All the Marbles

Playing for All the Marbles

Global Plunge Protection Teams must be ordering take-out food; every night is a long one now.

The current stocks/bonds game is for all the marbles, by which I mean the status quo now depends on valuations and interest rates remaining near their current levels for the system to function.

If interest rates soar and/or stocks plummet, the game is over: pension funds collapse, tax revenues drop, debt based on high asset valuations defaults, employment craters and the much-lauded “wealth effect” reverses into a “negative wealth effect” (i.e. everyone looking at their IRA or 401K statement feels poorer every month).

Let’s scan a few relevant charts to understand why this game is for all the marbles. Given the systemic fragility of the global economy, a crash in one asset class or a rise in interest rates trigger defaults, sell-offs, etc. that forcibly revalue other assets.

So the Powers That Be can’t afford to let any asset crash, as a crash will bring down the entire system. Why is this so? The resiliency of the system has been eroded by permanent central bank/central state intervention/stimulus. Withdrawing the stimulus means markets have to go cold turkey, and they’ve lost the ability to do so.

Permanent stimulus creates dependencies and distortions, and both the distortions and the dependencies introduce a host of unintended consequences. What’s the “market price” of assets? You must be joking: the “market” prices assets based on policies of permanent stimulus and asset purchases by central banks.

In effect, markets have been hijacked to function as signaling mechanisms(everything’s great because your IRA account balance keeps going up) and as floors supporting pensions, insurance companies, IRAs/401Ks, etc.: all these financial promises are only plausible if asset valuations keep rising.

Fly in the ointment #1: equity valuations have lost touch with the real economy, as measured (imperfectly) by GDP:

 

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

Do Financial Markets Still Exist?

Do Financial Markets Still Exist?

For many decades the Federal Reserve has rigged the bond market by its purchases. And for about a century, central banks have set interest rates (mainly to stabilize their currency’s exchange rate) with collateral effects on securities prices. It appears that in May 2010, August 2015, January/February 2016, and currently in February 2018 the Fed is rigging the stock market by purchasing S&P equity index futures in order to arrest stock market declines driven by fundamentals, and to push prices back up in keeping with a decade of money creation.

No one should find this a surprising suggestion.  The Bank of Japan has a long tradition of propping up the Japanese equity market with large purchases of equities. The European Central Bank purchases corporate as well as government bonds.  In 1989 Fed governor Robert Heller said that as the Fed already rigs the bond market with purchases, the Fed can also rig the stock market to stop price declines. That is the reason the Plunge Protection Team (PPT) was created in 1987.

Looking at the chart of futures activity on the E-mini S&P 500, we see an uptick in activity on February 2 when the market dropped, with higher increases in future activity last Monday and Tuesday placing Tuesday’s futures activity at about four times the daily average of the previous month.  Futures activity last Wednesday and Thursday remained above the average daily activity of the previous month, and Friday’s activity was about three times the previous month’s daily average. The result of this futures activity was to send the market up, because the futures activity was purchases, not sales.  http://www.cmegroup.com/trading/equity-index/us-index/e-mini-sandp500_quotes_volume_voi.html 

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

China’s Plunge Protection Team Arrives: Urges Companies To Boost Stocks, “Avoid Selling”

Over the weekend, we along with Bank of America and probably most carbon-based traders wondered if any central bank or government official would step up on Monday and intervene in the markets, either verbally or directly. The answer emerged overnight, when China officially urged controlling investors in listed companies to boost their holdings and told some mutual funds to limit equity selling this week, Bloomberg reported,  citing sources.

The directive from the Chinese Plunge Protection Team was sent out over the weekend, when the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) and other regulators “advised and encouraged” some major stockholders to purchase more shares in the mainland-listed firms they invest in. The regulators also called on some mutual funds to avoid being net sellers of equities as well.

The Shanghai Stock Exchange said on Friday that it has issued warnings and limited intraday trading to prevent large equity sales that affected the market’s stability. Meanwhile, the China Securities Investment Services Center — a body serving smaller investors that’s managed by the CSRC — said major shareholders can boost investor confidence by purchasing stocks, Shanghai Securities News reported on Monday.

Additionally, the CSRC, which is also known as the “National Team” once it begins manipulating markets, told Chinese brokerages to provide trading summaries from last week to the regulator as well as trading plans and previews for this week.

To some, the intervention was only a matter of time: Chinese shares on the mainland plunged the most in two years amid last week’s global market turbulence, fueling speculation the government would step in to calm trading, as it did repeatedly during past selloffs in 2005 and 2006 as well as ahead of the 2007 Party Congress.

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

China’s Plunge Protection Team Holds $150 Billion In Stock, Claims “State Meddling” Stabilizes Markets

China’s Plunge Protection Team Holds $150 Billion In Stock, Claims “State Meddling” Stabilizes Markets

It was two years ago, in June of 2015, when just as the Shanghai Composite was flirting with 5,000 and when literally the local banana stand guy was trading stocks, that the Chinese stock bubble burst, unleashing an unprecedented selling spree, a 40% drop in just two months, and Beijing’s nationalization of the stock market, courtesy of the domestic plunge protection team, the China Securities Regulatory Commission also known as the “National Team”.

The decision by local authorities to effectively shut down price discovery had a huge confidence crushing impact on local investor confidence. As Gavekal Research put it overnight, “the lack of trust was crystallized by the decision in the summer of 2015 to “shut down” the equity markets for a while and stop trading in any stock that looked like it was heading south. That decision confirmed foreign investors’ apprehension about China and in their eyes set back renminbi internationalization by several years, if not decades.”

Understandably, with the realization that China (or any other nation for that matter), no longer has a an efficient, discounting stock market, but merely a policy tool meant to inspire confidence on the way up, and punish short sellers and “speculators” on the way down, the China Securities Regulatory Commission kept a low profile: after all why remind traders and investors that the local market only exists in the imaginations of several Beijing bureaucrats who sit down every day to decide the “fair value” of all market-traded equities.

That changed last week, when for the first time in years, the Chinese Plunge Protection Team broke its silence and said that “state meddling has successfully stabilized China’s US$7 trillion stock market by curbing volatility and steering valuations to rational levels.

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

Lord of the Flies: Dystopia is Arising

Lord of the Flies: Dystopia is Arising

Paper money eventually returns to its intrinsic value – zero  – Voltaire

I was driving around Denver yesterday doing my “boots on the ground” due diligence scouting of the local housing market.  I continue to see some “sold” and “under contract” signs but I’m seeing a pile-up forming in new “for sale,” “price reduced,” and “for rent” signs.   The traffic update on the sports radio reported a back-up at an intersection in Denver caused by a fist-fight that had broken out between two drivers.  This country is sliding back into neanderthal times.

The U.S. economic system is slipping into dystopia and the Government/Fed is doing everything it can to try and prevent the process.  The two most obvious signs of this are the perpetual market interventions by the PPT to prevent a stock market dump and the relentless propaganda flowing through the mainstream media which originates from the policy-implementing elitists (business and political).  Both efforts are insidious attempts to force control over our system

Overnight the S&P 500 e-mini futures were halted twice.   The SPX mini is the Fed’s choice intervention tool because it can direct the market with minimal capital requirements.  The e-mini is hyper-sensitive to big orders and tends to lead the big SPX directionally because of this.   The emini trading was halted after a sudden plunge in the futures at 5:51 a.m. EST, after which a massive buy order (the PPT) hit the tape and spiked the eminis straight up. The market was halted again after the spike up stalled and the emini was about to plunge again.   You can see the action here:   E-mini Market Halt

The graphic linked above was provided by Nanex’s Eric Hunsader.  Prior to the market’s first market halt, Hunsader tweeted:  “emini getting tossed around like a rag doll:”

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

 

Plunge Protection Teams of the World, Unite!

Plunge Protection Teams of the World, Unite!

The herd must be turned away from selling by any means available, and at this point, that means coordinated buying by all the world’s Plunge Protection Teams.

Central bankers are watching Marx’s dictum all that is solid melts into air play out in global stock markets with a terror informed by the scalding memories of 2008’s global financial meltdown.

Once the trap-door opens, there is no bottom without prompt action by the world’s Plunge Protection Teams–the plausible-deniability action heroes of the hyper-speculative status quo who leap into action when global stock markets threaten to melt down.

After half a decade of ceaseless saves, we all know the mechanics of Plunge Protection.

Since the majority of trading is now done by software programs (trading bots, algorithms, etc.), the first step is to create positive momentum so the bots will detect an “up day” and buy, buy, buy.

The easiest way to generate positive momo is to buy a truck load of S&P 500 futures in a time of low volume, where the impact will be the greatest. usually this is pre-market open.

If this fails, the next step is to send a central bank Talking Head out to discuss more quantitative easing. Announcing the central banks’ readiness to do more of what has goosed markets higher for six years will generally spark a buying frenzy, as those who have bet against central banks over the past six years have had their heads handed to them on a platter.

If this fails, grandiose but purposely vague claims of “doing whatever it takes” are issued. there is no need to actually have a plan, or to lay out a plan in public; the open-ended announcement is generally enough to reverse a trap-door decline.

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

 

 

 

China’s Plunge Protection “National Team” Bought 900 Billion In Stocks, Goldman Calculates

China’s Plunge Protection “National Team” Bought 900 Billion In Stocks, Goldman Calculates

In, “The Complete Guide To China’s CNY 4 Trillion Margin Doomsday Machine,” we presented a comprehensive look at the various backdoor channels the country has used to skirt official restrictions on leveraged stock trading. Here, courtesy of BofAML, is a breakdown of these channels and the bank’s best estimates of their size.

The dramatic sell-off that made international headlines last month and, along with the Greek drama, dominated financial market news, was precipitated by an unwind in these unofficial margin lending channels.

In a frantic attempt to restore the equity bubble that has for the better part of a year served as a distraction for China’s flagging economic growth and bursting property bubble, Beijing unleashed a plunge protection effort of epic proportions that included everything from threatening to arrest sellers to using China Securities Finance Corp. as a state-controlled margin lender.

In short, the PBoC, with the help of the country’s banks, helped CSF mushroom into a multi-trillion yuan Frankenstein and now that the mentality of the retail crowd (which in China had accounted for around 80% of daily turnover) has transformed from “buy the dip and get rich” to “sell the rip and break even,”any indication that CSF is set to exit the market is greeted with panic by market participants.

Here with a breakdown of just how much money has been funneled into Chinese equities by the so-called “national team” and on how, just like the Fed with QE, the PBoC will find that a swift exit is effectively impossible, is Goldman.

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From Goldman

China musings: How much has the government bought in the market?

The Chinese government’s recent measures to support the domestic equity market through the so-called ‘national team’ institution are being frequently discussed by investors and in the media. In this commentary, we estimate the amount of money the ‘national team’ has spent to support the market, the remaining capital left available for use, the sectors that have likely benefitted from government support, the potential overhang on the equity market from government support measures, and our views on the equity market over coming months.

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

 

 

 

Global Plunge Protection Team Rescues Chinese Stocks Back To Unchanged At Break

Global Plunge Protection Team Rescues Chinese Stocks Back To Unchanged At Break

In what appears like a coordinated USDJPY-driven intervention, the Panic Plunge Protection Team has swung into action not once but twice tonight so far. After China opened down between 5% and 7%, and initial momentum bounce from USDJPY failed onlyt to be followed by a bigger more energentic push to get Shaghai Composite back to unchanged… but Chinese stocks are once again losing momentum…

Double PPPT effort tonight…Spot The Difference

 

But it appears to be fading fast… as dip-buyers cover into the government buying

 

We’re gonna need moar JPY selling…

MUST.REGAIN.CONTROL… MUST.SHOW.OMNIPOTENCE… #FAIL

  • *CHINA’S SHANGHAI COMPOSITE FALLS 1% TO 3,688.48 AT BREAK
  • *CHINA’S CSI 300 INDEX FALLS 0.2% TO 3,810.65 AT BREAK

 

Charts: Bloomberg

 

Ex-Plunge Protection Team Whistleblower: “Governments Control Markets; There Is No Price Discovery Anymore”

Ex-Plunge Protection Team Whistleblower: “Governments Control Markets; There Is No Price Discovery Anymore”

One year after the great stock market crash in 1987, US President Ronald Reagan launched the “Working Group on Financial Markets.” Conspiracy theorists believe, however, that the real task of this committee is to protect against a renewed slump in the stock market. In the jargon of Wall Street, the working group is known as the “Plunge Protection Team.”

One glimpse at a few days suring 2007/8 and it is clear that ‘someone’ with infinitely deep pockets was able to support markets on several critical days – though, of course, anyone proclaiming intervention was propagandized away as a conspiracy theory wonk. However, as Dr. Pippa Malmgren – a former member of the U.S. President’s Working Group on Financial Markets – it is not conspiracy theory, it is conspiracy fact: “there’s no price discovery anymore by the market… governments impose prices on the market.”

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In this 38 minute interview Lars Schall, for Matterhorn Asset Management, speaks with Dr Pippa Malmgren, a US financial advisor and policy expert based in London. Dr Malmgren has been a member of the U.S. President’s Working Group on Financial Markets (a.k.a. the “Plunge Protection Team”). They address, inter alia:

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

 

 

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