Posts from Friday Jan 18 2013

SLV and the mystery inventory build up

It’s come to our attention that the precious metals investing community has been rendered a little “worried” by a sudden and sizable accumulation of inventory in the iShares physical Trust, the SLV for short. (H/T Kid Dynamite)

According to ZeroHedge, 572 tonnes were added to the trust in just one day. And while that does not represent a record for the fund, it is “the biggest one day addition of physical silver to SLV in ordinary course operations”. Or so, at least, ZeroHedge says (though we haven’t double checked the numbers ourselves at this point). Read more

Caption contest! PE penguin edition

Via Blackstone. Keep ’em clean. (Unlike what the SeaWorld penguins — Blackstone owns the resort, which is planning an IPO — left behind at its offices, apparently.)

Solipsist & Poor’s

Thanks to Reuters Jamie McGeever for spotting this rather circular bit of introspective logic from S&P. You see, the ratings agency has discovered that its own sovereign ratings are a good guide to its future sovereign ratings. So, for example, since 1989, they have never lowered a sovereign rating with a positive outlook.

It’s the kind of record you fight to keep. Read more

2007 FOMC transcripts: a few more excerpts

The quotes below speak for themselves, and if you’re on Twitter then check out the #FOMC hashtag, where the gang at the NYT and a few others have rolling updates as they make their way through the statements.

Our earlier post is here, and emphasis ours in each excerpt…

Stockton (chief economist), September: Read more

Guilty gilts and central bank independence

This alarming gilt fact is brought to you by Bank of America Merril Lynch and it underlines one of the main fears many people raised about the QE surplus “raid” staged by the Her Majesty’s Treasury on the Bank of England last year.

From BofAML’s John Wraith (our emphasis):

As a result of the dramatic spike higher in yields that occurred over the first week or so of the New Year, the mark-to-market value of the BoE’s portfolio of Gilts acquired through QE over the past four years dropped by more than £7bn. This exceeds the largest decline in the portfolio’s value in any full month since QE began by more than £1.5bn, emphasizing both the extent of the rise in yields, and also the very large size the BoE’s holdings have reached (£326.7bn in nominal terms, with a basis point value of about £360m).

 Read more

From subprime to crisis: the Fed’s 2007 transcripts

MR. KOHN. Before we get illegal here, I am honored and pleased to nominate Ben Bernanke to be Chairman of the Committee…

They’re all here, released on Friday: transcripts of previously secret Fed meetings in the first year of the credit crisis. Read more

All pain and no (productivity) gains

One of the reasons that the eurozone’s peripherals should be willing to put up with austerity is that it’s helping address internal balances and address falls in competitiveness. That’s the story being sold by the politicians at least. But now that the crisis is coming into its fifth year, there is a decent amount of data that allows us to see if those imbalances are indeed being corrected and that lost competitiveness regained.

James Nixon at SocGen has has done some clever number crunching with unit labour costs in the most crisis-hit eurozone countries since 2000, and found that any apparent improvements in competitiveness are likely to be fleeting. Read more

Dutch paper, 1606-2013

The Dutch central securities depository recently completed the full-scale dematerialisation process of all Dutch securities classes (bonds, equities and depository receipts) for the Dutch capital market…

Can’t believe we missed this (hat-tip Finextra). Why’s it news? Read more

A debt ceiling timeline (of sorts), and other stuff

A cut out and keep chart from Nomura (click to expand):

Timelines are handy. So are specific dates, especially if avoiding catastrophe. Read more

Today’s regulatory word of the day: “pre-funding” [updated]

On Friday, the FSA has published its feedback and responses to a review of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme funding model issued back in July. It’s long. Lucky for us then that we were looking for one thing and one thing only — the stance on “pre-funding”.


The revised Liquidity Coverage Ratio of course! Read more

Markets Live: Friday, 18th January, 2013

Live markets commentary from 

Coming soon: the 2007 FOMC transcripts

Neil Irwin of Wonkblog has an excellent preview of what to expect when the Fed releases the transcripts from the 2007 FOMC meetings. (The Fed doesn’t say in advance when they’ll be posted, but we’re expecting them anytime now, possibly even today.) Read more

The (early) Lunch Wrap

China’s Q4 GDP above forecasts || Cameron’s EU speech delayed by Algerian hostage crisis || BoJ eyes open-ended asset buying || Barclays eyes bonus pool for Libor fines || Glencore and Xstrata agree deal extension || Republicans consider short-term debt ceiling increase FAA || Boeing experts examine grounded ANA Dreamliner || Intel’s profits fall 15% || US experts examine ANA Dreamliner || Markets  Read more

The European house of mum and dad

Young Europeans in countries hit hardest by the Continent’s economic crisis are finding it difficult to move out of their parents’ home. Data shows that over 50 percent of those aged 25 to 34 in some countries have yet to move out.

That’s the subheading of a Spiegel Online article that caught our eye this week. It came with the attention grabbing headline: Read more

Further reading

Elsewhere on Friday,

– Debating Tim Geithner’s legacy.

– Here’s the transcript of his WSJ interview.

– The economics of America’s great geographic divergenceRead more

The 6am Cut London

China’s Q4 GDP above forecasts || Asian markets rise, yen falls || Cameron’s EU speech delayed by Algerian hostage crisis || Barclays eyes bonus pool for Libor fines || FAA, Boeing experts examine grounded ANA Dreamliner || Why US companies are really hoarding cash Read more

Reading the China GDP growth entrails

China’s GDP grew 7.8 per cent in 2012; the slowest full-year of growth in 10 years, as the FT points out.

However the figure for Q4 was 7.9 per cent; a little above the consensus for 7.8 per cent. This was the first quarterly increase after seven straight quarters of decline, so it’s probably going to be seen as turning point after which China gets back towards the 8 per cent-plus growth that most forecasts are anticipating. Read more