This is what we said on Friday afternoon when we reported that someone was aggressively bidding VIX 50 Sept calls: “what would be far scarier is if whoever is suddenly offering a nickel for the VIX Sept 50 calls actually knows something. Because if he “does”, that would suggest a market move ‘Straight out of Lehman.’” Fast forward to Monday, when we had a market move that was, drumroll, straight out of Lehman indeed, and shockingly, the VIX 50 calls, which were bought when the VIX was trading at half that value, were briefly in the money!
In spite of all the attention the nation has received in recent years, SCMP reports that thousands of so-called “politically exposed persons”, or PEPs – a category that includes heads of state and other top officials – hold Swiss bank accounts, a Swiss foreign ministry official said. But, perhaps not for much longer as Bern aims to finalize a law aimed at simplifying the process of freezing and unblocking such funds.
Swiss authorities estimate that “there are thousands of PEPs [with accounts] in Switzerland, not hundreds,” Valentin Zellweger, who heads the ministry’s Directorate of International Law, told reporters on Monday. Continue reading »
With China’s equity bubble now squarely in the rearview and the stock market crash making headlines the world over, Beijing is out for blood in a desperate attempt to find a scapegoat for a market rout that has rattled the country to the core. In what is perhaps a worrying sign of things to come, overnight China arrested a journalist and a top investment banker for “spreading fake trading information” and “illegal trading”, respectively.
Take your pick–here’s three good reasons to engineer a “crash” that benefits the few at the expense of the many.
There is an almost touching faith that markets are rigged when they loft higher, but unrigged when they crash. Who’s to say this crash isn’t rigged? A few things about this “crash” (11% decline from all time highs now qualifies as a “crash”) don’t pass the sniff test.
Exhibit 1: VIX volatility Index soars to “the world is ending” levels when the S&P 500 drops a relatively modest 11%. The VIX above 50 is historically associated with declines of 20% or more–double the current drop. Continue reading »
Update: Chinese Police arrested managing director Xu Gang of China’s No.1 brokerage CITIC Securities
The Asia morning begins mixed in stock markets, The PBOC explains itself “this is not a shift in monetary policy,” – except it is the first such set of measures since 2008, further deleveraging as China margin debt drops CNY1 Trillion from June peak to lowest since March, Regulators begin probing securities firms (and their malicious short sellers), Index futures trading fees will be raised and trading positions restricted. Stocks are limping only modestly higher (after the rate cuts) as Yuan is fixed at 6.4043 – the lowest since August 2011.
With some of the biggest hedge funds – including Greenlight, Third Point, Glenview, Lone Pine, Fir Tree, Steadfast, Omega, York, and Canyon – all heavily invested in Sun Edison, we can’t help but wonder if the total and utter collapse in the stock from yesterday’s highs indicated forced liquidations that smashed it another 18.6% lower today with dramatically escalating volumes into the last hour (when stocks collapsed…)
SUNE is now down 27% from yesterday’s bounce highs…
“Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.”
– Martin Luther King Jr.
There’s an ill will blowing across the country. The economy is tanking. The people are directionless, and politics provides no answer. And like former regimes, the militarized police have stepped up to provide a façade of law and order manifested by an overt violence against the citizenry.
Despite the revelations of the past several years, nothing has changed to push back against the American police state. Our freedoms—especially the Fourth Amendment—continue to be choked out by a prevailing view among government bureaucrats that they have the right to search, seize, strip, scan, spy on, probe, pat down, taser, and arrest any individual at any time and for the slightest provocation. Continue reading »
The CNBC bubble headed bimbos and brainless stock touting twits will be in ecstasy today as the ever predictable rebound is under way. The market will soar by over 500 points at the opening as the excuse of the day is China’s desperate interest rate cut to try and stem their downward spiraling economy and markets. The Wall Street captured boob tube brigade will tell their almost non-existent viewership that all is well. The terrifying plunge is in the past. The economy is great. Housing is strong. Stocks are now a bargain. It’s the best time to buy.
Now for some factoids. Six of the ten largest point gains in the history of the stock market occurred between September 2008 and March 2009. That’s right.
During one of the greatest market collapses in history, the market soared by 5% to 11% in one day, six times. Here are the data points: Continue reading »
Brazil’s flagging economy, which is mired in stagflation and remains a slave both to China and to what looks like intractable political turmoil, has destroyed nearly 550,000 jobs YTD. As Barclays notes, ” [the July] print is compatible with 140,939 job eliminations, pretty close to the historical low of -154,355 in June.”
In more ways than one (or two, or three) Brazil is the poster child for the global emerging market unwind that, thanks to China’s yuan devaluation, has accelerated dramatically over the course of the last week.
To be sure, the combination of slowing demand from China, the (now lower) possibility of a Fed rate hike, and, perhaps most importantly, theContinue reading »
Following yesterday’s bloodbath (and the continued carnage around the world), AsiaPac stocks are lower with Japan unable to mount any sustained bounce despite every effort to lift JPY. The propaganda-fest is in full swing as Amari claims JPY is safe-haven asset and Aso denies any coordinated G7 response is being planned (which means they are all feverishly trying to figure out how to ‘save’ the world again from a 4-day stock drop). China is ugly with stocks down hard in the pre-open (CSI-300 -4.3%) as offshore Yuan depo rates spike to 22.9% – a record high – as liquidity outflows must be accelerating (as PBOC adds another CBNY150bn liquidity). China devalues Yuan 0.2% – most in 11 days.
*CHINA SHANGHAI COMPOSITE SET TO OPEN DOWN 6.4% TO 3,004.13
*CHINA’S CSI 300 INDEX SET TO OPEN DOWN 6.3% TO 3,070.01
This is the 5th day of crashing Chinese stocks in a row…
Famed investor and author of the Gloom, Doom, Boom Report, Marc Faber, returns to the podcast this week to discuss the slowdown in the global economy, signs of which he claims are multiplying fast all around the world.
He predicts the next year is going to be an especially bruising one for investors, and recommends a combination of diversification and defense for those with financial capital to protect:
I do not believe that the global economy is healing. I believe that the global economy is heading into a slump once again.Continue reading »
Fasten your seat belts, this ride is getting interesting. Last week the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down more than 1,000 points, notching its worst weekly performance in four years. The sell-off took the Dow Jones down more than 10% from its peak valuations, thereby constituting the first official correction in four years. One third of all S&P 500 companies are already in bear market territory, having declined more than 20% from their peaks. Scarier still, the selling intensified as the week drew to a close, with the Dow losing 530 points on Friday, after falling 350 points on Thursday. The new week is even worse, with the Dow dropping almost 1,100 points near the open today before cutting its losses significantly. However, no one should expect that this selling is over. The correction may soon morph into a full-fledged bear market if the Fed makes good on its supposed intentions to raise interest rates this year. Have no illusions, while most market observers are quick to blame the sell-off on China, this market was given life by the Fed, and the Fed is the only force that will keep it alive.
The Dow has now blown through the lows from October 2014, when fears over life without quantitative easing and zero percent interest rates had caused the markets to pull back about 5%. Back then when market fear began spreading, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard publically issued a few choice words which reassured the markets that the Fed stood ready to reignite the QE engines if the economy really needed a fresh dose of stimulus. By the end of the year the Dow had rallied 10%.Continue reading »
Back in July, after a dramatic unwind in the half dozen or so backdoor margin lending channels that had helped drive Chinese stocks to nosebleed levels triggered a terrifying 30% decline (vaporizing billions in paper profits in the process), the Politburo predictably stepped in to rescue the market.
However, when it started to become clear that a succession of declarations, directives, policy rate cuts, and even threats weren’t going to be enough to alleviate the pressure on equities, Beijing looked to take back the narrative by banning the use of certain undesirable phrases.
In a just released letter to clients, the head of the world’s largest hedge fund delivers one of his usual sermons about the economy as a perpetual motion machine, affected by central banks, and where interest rates are supposed to boost asset returns by being below “the rates of return of longer-term assets.”
None of that is terribly exciting and it is in fitting with what Bridgewater has said for a long time (incidentally, it is curious that just over the weekend, the FT released a piece in which a “US asset manager warns over risk parity” which is what Bridgewater’s bread and butter is all about). Continue reading »
Hookernomices: In less than 10 years, the Federal Reserve Has Driven Millions of American Women into Prostitution
Mainstreaming Prostitution: Beginning last year, the Bank of England included prostitution in GDP measurements. According to the Office of National Statistics, prostitution generated $9B a year, adding 0.7% to the UK GDP. They aren’t alone: Sweden, Norway and a few other European countries already include it. And if you can measure it, you can tax it. And legalization is necessary for measurement.
Prostitution is legal in most of the developed world. In fact, of the G20 countries, prostitution is illegal in just 5: China, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and, of course, the United States.