Things are rather unsurprisingly going from worse to worserer in Europe. Perhaps it is the anecdotal evidence we see in the now weekly riot-cams from Spain and Greece but just as we warned over a year ago, the truly scariest chart in Europe remains that of youth unemployment. The correlation (and causation) that runs from extreme levels of youth unemployment to general social unrest and anarchy is stunning throughout time (as we noted here and here). With Greek 'youth' unemployment jumping to a disheartening 58% (for August) - by far its highest ever - and Spain rising inexorably at 54.2%, the under-25 populations in these nations is truly set to burst (with overall unemployment rates of 25.4% and 25.5% respectively). Euro-zone youth unemployment overall has risen to 23.3% and while Greece jumped the most, Italy was close behind with a 1.2ppt rise to 35.1%. We are sure the austerity voted for last night by the politicians will 'help' - someone...
For those who want to imitate what is once again the world's largest hedge fund (reclaiming the spot from Apple's own prop trading vehicle, Braeburn, first exposed here), Ray Dalio's Bridgewater, which at last check had $138 billion in AUM ($76 billion Pure Alpha, $63 billion All Weather), the path is simple: just recreate the performance shown on the chart below over a period of two decades. (Oh and stop "trading" on Twitter and do some real trading).
AAPL had crawled it way into the green in the pre-open, bumping around yesterday's closing VWAP. In the early minutes of the US day session open, we saw very heavy selling volume in AAPL (and surprisingly S&P 500 futures ramped vertically). This smells a lot like someone getting a tap on the shoulder on their 'hedged' Long AAPL, Short ES position. AAPL bounced off yesterday's lows to get back to VWAP and then the real selling began... At $542 now, AAPL is over $160 off the highs and reverting back to the market cap of the entire European banking system. With 230 hedge funds holding this angel of death... small doors and large crowds do not mix... paging Topeka? Widows, orphans, and value investors first...
Look up the phrase "inflection point" - it will be the most hated phrase by all those who day after day repeat that there is now way AAPL can ever drop because its "forward multiple is low" (hint: forward multiples are simply functions of forward earnings, and once the fadness and coolness of a memo, no matter how infectious in the past, is gone, so are "forward earnings', especially once the sellside behavioral finance lemmings crew takes the machete to their Price Targets and has to justify why it has been massively wrong... and also for those who have a calculator, calculate how many years of dividends $100 billion in cash funds before the cash hoard also runs out)
The people have spoken and President Obama will serve another four years presiding over the United States. Furthermore, there is very little change to the makeup of the House and the Senate, which leaves the Administration in the same battle for control as it was prior to the election. The question now is what will the next four years look like economically? The amount of debt required today to create a single dollars' worth of GDP today is clearly unsustainable. However, the current Administration has been increasing Federal debt at a run rate of more than $1.2 Trillion annually to date. The understanding of the impact of increasing debt on economic growth is crucially important to understand. Overall, the set up going forward looks like it has in the past couple of years. It is unlikely that Obama will move to the center and be more of a politician with the best interest of the economy at heart. It is also just as unlikely that the Republicans will back down and begin to cooperate with the Senate. However, the weight of evidence is stacked in favor of "more of the same" which means less for you and me.
Because AAPL was not enough, Grexit is now back and fully frontal:
- EU MINISTERS TO DELAY GREEK AID CALL FOR WEEKS, OFFICIAL SAYS
as reported previously:
- DRAGHI SAYS COLLATERAL MISTAKE DIDN'T AFFECT ECB LENDING
- DRAGHI: EUROSYSTEM AUDIT COMMITTEE TO ASSESS COLLATERAL USE
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Today's initial claims number, as well as that for the next several weeks, will be nothing but noise due to the impact of Hurricane Sandy. This is how UBS' Maury Harris explained the Sandy impact last night: "Hurricane Sandy will undoubtedly cause increased jobless claims. However, as after other hurricanes, there will probably be some lag with many potential claimants either unable to reach the Labor Department or otherwise pre-occupied. Indeed, we expect the hurricane artificially held down claims in the coming report (UBSe 340k, cons 365k after 363k)." Sure enough, today's Claims number came at 355K, below consensus expectations of 365K, and below last week's 353K, driven by the Sandy front-loading distortion as well as Seasonal Adjustments: the NSA claims number rose by 15.5K. No surprise. What is more peculiar is that after over a year of steady declines, those collecting extended benefits continued to rise, increasing by 20K in the past week, which is odd considering these programs have now been largely phased out for new entrants.
August unemployment: 25.4%, up from 24.8% in July and up from 18.4% a year earlier. Needless to say, this is a record, and at this rate will be just shy of 30% by the end of the year (sorry IMF). This is, however, good news though: the Greek unemployment is, believe it or not, the second worst in Europe, behind Spain's 25.5%. Yet a category where Greece is the indisputed champion is youth unemployment, which just hit a mindboggling 58%, up from 54.2% in July (more on that shortly).
- Obama First Since FDR Re-Elected With 7.9% Joblessness (Bloomberg)
- China Party Meets to Anoint Next Leader (WSJ)
- Hu Sets China Income Target for Xi as Communists Gather (Bloomberg)
- Hu Jintao dashes hope for political reform (FT)
- Spain Sells $6 Billion Debt, Placing Longest Bond Since 2011 (Bloomberg)
- Japanese Politicians Move to Steer Away From Fiscal Cliff (Bloomberg)
- Hu says graft threatens state, party must stay in charge (Reuters)
- Weidmann in Defeat Still Influences ECB Bond-Buying Plan (Bloomberg)
- Spain Said to Consider Palace Sales to Raise Cash (Bloomberg)
- First-term headwinds look set to turn (FT)
- Focus Shifts to 'Fiscal Cliff' (WSJ)
- Obama Victory Paves Way to Continue Fed Policies (Hilsenrath)
- Swiss, Greeks Begin Talks on Tax Deal (WSJ)
The Far More Important 'Election' Part 1: China's Political Process and The Far More Important 'Election' Part 2: China's Market Implications.
EU slashes Euro-zone Growth Forecasts
For Investors, More Fed Easing
1. More irresponsible government spending; thus, higher debts and deficits.
2. More money printing by Benji Bernanke; thus, inflation.
3. Implementing more taxes; such as, the Carbon Tax, to help cut deficits and distribute wealth.
What we are experiencing is final stages of the frog being boiled alive situation folks.
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