Posts from Friday Feb 15 2013

Have you had one of those weeks, Walmart? Have you?

Welcome to see such punchy prose from an executive, surely.

“Have you ever had one of those weeks where your best- prepared plans weren’t good enough to accomplish everything you set out to do?” Geiger asked in a Feb. 1 e-mail to executives. “Well, we just had one of those weeks here at Walmart U.S. Where are all the customers? And where’s their money?”

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Manufacturing vs construction, revisited

Matt Yglesias posts:

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The dangers of German wage growth

The eurozone’s largest economy has defied the crisis better than most expected, yet it couldn’t maintain growth in the final quarter of last year, shrinking by an estimated 0.6 per cent. That compares to France’s 0.3 per cent and Spain’s 0.7 per cent respective falls. But given that usually Germany is the region’s engine of growth, the key question is how long this weakness might last.

Fortunately it seems that the recovery might be brisk. Read more

Mi casa es all you’re going to get

Mortgage markets come in many different flavours. Some American states, for example, like theirs to be non-recourse. In such locations, a homeowner can walk away from their mortgage, and send the house keys to the lender secure in the knowledge that the only asset that can be seized is the property.

Such tastes no doubt contribute to a higher proportion of non-performing loans, as mortgage-holders are quite aware of their right to walk away — an option that becomes increasingly more attractive in an economic and housing downturn.

And now it would appear that the Spanish might prefer their mortgage market to have a taste of the non-recourse mortgage in future, as a pressure group succeeded on Tuesday in getting the country’s parliament to debate an initiative for making the change. Read more

A Rosneft hedge distortion?

This is a follow up to Thursday’s post about Rosneft’s 500 million barrel collateralised financing (to raise money for its purchase of BNP-TNK) and how the market managed to absorb it almost without any price impact.

Most of the previous post was based on the observations of Philip. K. Verleger, who believed the latter point represented a triumph for the futures markets, which had reached a whole new level of maturity.

And yet, as we have been reporting, it’s always more important to look to the curve. Spot price, or “flat price” as traders like to call it, is almost irrelevant. What’s happening in so-called time-spreads is usually much more critical. (And yes, nobody usually takes unhedged positions on flat price.) Read more

Markets Live: Friday, 15th February, 2013

Live markets commentary from 

The (early) Lunch Wrap

Anglo slumps to full-year loss || ECB won’t cut rates to weaken euro, says Weidmann || Broker draws Tullett into Libor scandal || Buffett and Brazil tycoon make Heinz offer || Commerzbank chief to forgo bonus || Cameron blasts retailers over horsemeat || JPMorgan’s Gulati to launch own fund || Meteorite hits central Russia, 400 hurt || Markets: Traders are in cautious mood  Read more

Muto ado about something

It’s the latest in Japanese swings and roundabouts, pushing the yen higher and JGB yields and stocks lower… What to blame? What to blame?

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Further reading

Elsewhere on Friday,

– I wealth a value?

– Gone are the days of the two and twenty.

Trolls are winning. Read more

The 6am Cut London

Asian markets lower || Muto reportedly leading BoJ contender || Tullett Prebon drawn into Libor scandal || Dell on offensive over buyout || Portugal confident of bond market return || Lehman wants to talk to London Whale || Browett returns to UK high st after Apple || The EU FISH Read more