Posts Tagged ‘ABS’

Notes From Underground: Thursday, January 22 … “The Day The Earth Stood Still”

January 21, 2015

In the famous 1951 sci-fi movie, an alien with a ROBOT has the power to threaten the entire Earth and bring human civilization to an end. The only words that can prevent the ROBOT (algorithms) from the total destruction of the world  are: KLAATU BARADA NIKTO. Let’s hope that tomorrow ECB PRESIDENT MARIO DRAGHI has those same words at his command. There is so much riding on tomorrow’s ECB decision and the press conference that Mr. Draghi can bring financial ruin to the global money system. In all prior press conferences Draghi has been able to calm markets with mere promises of future actions. The game of securing time in an effort for improved economic performance is over.

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Notes From Underground: A Short Hiatus Before Year-End Volatility Rises

November 18, 2014

For the next few days I will be resting, hoping to enjoy some peace before the potential storms that face the financial markets at the end of 2014. Now that the Japanese election has been decided there is certain to be great volatility in all Japanese investments as polls get released and money becomes nervous. It seems that Prime Minister Abe is trying to solidify his hold on the LDP by going directly to the people. In an effort to gain the voters support Abe has decided to delay the scheduled sales tax increase and also announced a corporate tax cut. The game for Abe is to get public support to overcome the fiscal hawks that the prime minister believes are stalling the economy and preventing the completion of Abenomics and the “three arrow agenda.” The stalwarts of the LDP will be defeated by an overwhelming ABE victory.

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Notes From Underground: Mario Draghi, End Your Misery and Resign

November 7, 2014

During the last 30 months I have enjoyed listening to the Draghi press conferences as the ECB has been entertaining while he deftly handled the questions from a cadre of astute European financial journalists. Yesterday was certainly an exception as President Draghi showed none of his usual light banter and seemed unduly stressed by recent rumors of deep divisions in the boardroom of the ECB governing body. Reuters, the medium  of the rumors of factionalization, was treated brusquely by Mr. Draghi when the reporter asked a question. The reporter wanted to know if the losses on any asset-backed securities (ABS) would be shared by the individual national banks or solely by the ECB. This was a very pertinent question because President Draghi insisted that the ECB was not becoming a “bad bank” by buying low quality assets from all the European domestic banks. The ECB president insisted that the ABS and other structured financial instruments in Europe were of much higher quality than the pools of subprime loans that almost collapsed the U.S. and global financial system.

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Notes From Underground: European Stress Tests Have Passed; Now All Trading Stress Begins

October 27, 2014

After the release of the asset quality review yesterday, analysts had time to digest the information and form a modicum of market opinion prior to Monday’s market opening. I give the European authorities credit for releasing reams of information on a Sunday so the market would not be merely reacting to headlines and tweets and could actually trade on substance rather than fluff. The FED could learn a great deal about how to disseminate information from the European authorities. Yes, I know that the results were leaked on Thursday or Friday but the leaks were not significantly market-moving events. The market’s initial reactions to the 25 undercapitalized banks was a rally in the European equity markets and a short-lived rally in the European peripheral bond markets.

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Notes From Underground: Nineteen Ways To Leave Your Lover

September 16, 2014

The reference of 19 ways to leave your lover is a reference to Janet Yellen’s Labor Market Condition Index (LMCI), which is what the Fed chair noted as the most important “dashboard” for measuring SLACK in the labor market. To achieve a true measure of labor market slack it is important for the Fed to dig deep into the statistical data of the unemployment report giving the Fed latitude in its decision-making. Remember, the Fed has twice moved the parameters of the jobs data as the different thresholds established by the Fed were breached quicker than anticipated. First it was an unemployment rate of 7 percent and then moved again to 6.5 percent. The threshold was then moved lower again as slack and its impact on WAGE PRICES was deemed to be the best measure of the health of the jobs market. If the Fed’s focus is wages then the FOMC statement tomorrow should be unchanged as the recent data has continued to reflect that wage gains are stagnant.

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Notes From Underground: Mark Carney Lives Up to His Name (A Master of the Strange and Inane)

September 9, 2014

Did he really say that about currencies and sovereignty? In an article in tomorrow’s Financial Times it is reported that Mark Carney said during a Q&A that a “… currency union between England and an independent Scotland would be ‘ incompatible with sovereignty.'” Carney said a currency union needed three elements for success. “These were the free movement of goods and services across different parts of the currency, a banking union underpinned by common institutions such as a central bank, and elements of shared fiscal arrangements.” Fanning the flames of criticism against the euro and Brussels, Carney added: “You only have to look across the continent to look at what happens if you don’t have those components in place. A currency union is incompatible with sovereignty.”

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Notes From Underground: Mama, Don’t Let Your Children Grow Up To Be Global Macro Traders

September 4, 2014

Well, NOTES FROM UNDERGROUND gets an A+ for analysis and an F or incomplete for EXECUTION. Caught off guard by Draghi’s timing, the market never provided a rally for the more cautious trader. The euro currency began its break 55 minutes before the official ECB rate announcement as Reuters ran a story revealing the governing board’s discussion of a supposed EU500 BILLION ABS program. A leak during the meeting should provide reason for the ECB to investigate its security breaches and find out who is making money from revealing important information ahead of the governing officials. It must be like Congress, where elected representatives are allowed to be insider traders.

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Notes From Underground: The ECB Is On the Horns of a Dilemma … Again

August 28, 2014

Let us continue where last night’s blog ended. This week’s move by the French President Hollande to reshuffle the government’s cabinet should be perceived as a way for France to negotiate for a depreciation in the EURO and an end to the German-imposed conditions of growth through austerity. Prime Minister Valls cast out previous Economic Minister Arnaud Montebourg because his continuous attacks on the Germans’ push for austerity wasn’t appreciated by Chancellor Merkel. Montebourg is a beloved leader of the Socialist Party and has been a close confidant of President Hollande. The change in the cabinet can be disastrous for Hollande’s socialist standing so we must examine Hollande’s political maneuvering as representative of something bigger.

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Notes From Underground: CRUNCH TIME! Liquidity Addition Coming Through Strengthening ABS

April 22, 2014

If my radar is right, the coming European Central Bank QE program will be a concoction of asset-backed securities in an effort to remove non-performing loans from bank balance sheets. There have been a multitude of  “conjectures” about how the ECB is going to pump liquidity into a very low growth economy. Previously it seemed that some at the ECB wished to install negative yields on bank reserves. This would be an experiment fraught with danger as it could cause great problems for the money funds that have recently returned to Europe. The problem for money market funds was epitomized in a statement from Bank of New York Mellon’s CFO Todd Gibbons after today’s earnings release and reported in tomorrow’s Financial Times:”If the eurozone were to go to negative rates that would actually present the opportunity for us to charge for deposits and we are giving that very serious consideration.” The idea of  “negative interest rates on reserves” has been bandied about as some members of the ECB board have tried to stem the euro currency’s recent strength. It has been surmised that charging banks for parking excess reserves at the ECB would force European banks to reverse course and put the funds out to lending rather than having to pay a fee for the safety of the ECB.

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Notes From Underground: Mr. Natural Says, “It Don’t Mean Sheeit”

April 9, 2014

The idea of Mr. Natural, the guru creation of R. Crumb, comes to mind as the analysts ponder today’s release of the March 18-19 FOMC Minutes. The market seemed shocked to learn that the FED had been misunderstood on its intentions to tighten soon after the conclusion of the its tapering program. When are the markets going to stop listening to the self-proclaimed seers of the Fed’s deepest secrets? The FOMC minutes let the financial world know that the summary economic projections (SEP) have as much credibility in interest forecasting as does the man behind in curtain in the Wizard of Oz. I will offer that the market must lean toward Janet Yellen being a labor economist with a strong moral bent of providing the foundation for any person desiring a job have a job. Again, that is a noble stance but not for the Fed chair. The violent move in the YIELD CURVE after the release of the minutes reflected the markets’ misinterpretation of Yellen’s press conference. If the 2/10 curve gets back above 240 basis positively sloped, it will result in a further selloff of the notes and bonds. The FED will err on staying at the ZIRP band until it is certain that the employment situation has dramatically improved. Quoting from the minutes: “Several participants cited low nominal wage growth as pointing to the existence of continued labor market slack.”

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