China short goes long

By Jennifer Hughes in Hong Kong

Watchers of the Hong Kong market might have classified a China short seller going long as a pigs-might-fly situation. But Shenguan Holdings, a maker of sausage casings, is flying (well, up 7 per cent at pixel) after Anonymous Analytics published a positive report on the stock on Wednesday.

Anonymous, which claims links to the shadowy hacker collective, says it is not actually a short seller. True enough. But it is still the first time a group best-known for putting out damning reports has published detailed research praising a company that has already come under attack from other short sellers.

 Read more

Want your own marquee at Camp Alphaville?

Serious opportunity this.

If you attended Camp Alphaville at the Honourable Artillery Company grounds last summer, you’ll know we had a lovely outside area with food vans, beer, frozen yoghurt, dancers, comedians and drones….

Well this year — on July 1, again at the HAC — we have lots more space. In fact we have up to half a cricket pitch of extra space. Read more

Video: FOMC analysis

Cardiff and Matt discuss Wednesday’s Fed action:

Macro Live, FOMC presser edition

Live markets commentary from FT.com 

FOMC statement for 18 March 2015

Some quick highlights, and don’t forget we’ve got Markets Live coming at 2:25pm ST:

– “Patient” has been removed, as expected. Read more

Man vs chimp, demographics edition

Some early morning preconception bashing courtesy of Hans Rosling, including the fact that “the number of children in the world has stopped increasing”:

 Read more

Bund cookies

In its implementation of the PSPP, the Eurosystem intends to conduct purchases in a gradual and broad-based manner, aiming to achieve market neutrality in order to avoid interfering with the market price formation mechanism…

‘Implementation aspects of the public sector purchase programme’, European Central Bank Read more

This is nuts (uh, you missed the crash)

Via TVLine:

Chase Crawford of Gossip Girl has been tapped to lead ABC’s Boom, in which one of the largest oil discoveries in American history leads to an economic explosion in a North Dakota town, our sister site Deadline reports. Read more

Is that a kleptocrat in your balance of payments?

This is a Russian bomber — no doubt with its transponder off, about to sneak into the airspace of some Nato country or other.

 Read more

Bring you joyful living and/or cents on the dollar

And so to the restructuring proposal sent to offshore bondholders this weekend by Kaisa — the Shenzhen property developer with frozen assets, a political purge problem, and a RMB 65bn ($10.3bn) pile of debt which has more than doubled in six months…

 Read more

Apple joins dumb index at No 6

The good people at Dow Jones indices are busy dragging themselves into the current century, and good for them. But while they are replacing AT&T — which originally stood for “American Telephone and Telegraph” — with Apple in the world’s most storied benchmark, the Dow Jones Industrial Index, maybe they should consider another futuristic leap and acknowledge that price does not equal value.

Apple’s arrival in Charles Dow’s creation was accompanied by the observation that it will sit at number six – behind Visa, Goldman Sachs, 3M, IBM and Boeing. It’s share price, $129 or so at pixel, is a smaller number than, say, Visa at $274. Read more

Ammunition, then and later

If we’re unsatisfied with the situation and we think the federal funds rate ought to be minus 4 percent, why aren’t we doing even more? Here again, I don’t think we should rule that out, but I feel some sympathy to what President Evans said, which is that, given all the uncertainties we have and the issues about our balance sheet and exit and our uncertainties about the effects of these programs, it’s not obvious that we do have a lot of ammunition left even on this unconventional dimension. Having said that, I think we should obviously keep this possibility alive if the situation warrants it, but it’s not clear to me at this point we should be doing more either.

– Ben Bernanke, September 2009 (from the newly released FOMC meeting transcripts) Read more

Yellen’s bleak outlook in March 2009

At the January 2009 FOMC meeting, Janet Yellen was cautiously hopeful that fiscal stimulus would lead the economy out of recession before the end of the year, but she worried that the economy would remain mired in a period of high slack and low inflation for many years.

This mood was reinforced by her comments at the March meeting, which included this bit: Read more

The fog of financial crises, FOMC transcripts edition

Given how tense and chaotic was the last half of 2008, Ben Bernanke had to make a number of decisions quickly and without the guidance of any well-established protocol.

In at least a couple of the 2009 transcripts, Ben Bernanke regrets that he bypassed either an FOMC vote or a wider consultation with others at the Fed. Read more

Fed releases 2009 meeting transcripts

Opening one of the transcripts at random, the January 27-28 meeting starts with a casual laugh as Ben Bernanke observes the small number of sitting governors on the FOMC during one of the the most consequential years in monetary policymaking history:

CHAIRMAN BERNANKE. As you know, Governor Kroszner resigned in anticipation of the appointment of the new Governor, Dan Tarullo. But Dan has not yet cleared the Senate, so obviously he won’t be attending the meeting, which leaves the Governors here as an embattled few, [laughter] and I think the lowest number of sitting Governors probably in a very long time. Read more

Greek funny money: no thanks

Does money have value because the state says it’s money, or because the population trusts that it’s money?

It’s a great, perennial question. It’s also really not one Greece wants to find the answer to right now.

The question comes up reading yet another proposal for Greece to use a parallel currency so it can fight with its creditors without leaving the euro. So, coming fresh after Wolfgang Munchau’s appeal for Greek IOU issuance last week, Paul Mason has resuscitated “future tax coin”Read more

FirstFT (the new Cut)

Athens’ chances of finding itself without an EU financial backstop in one week will come down to a bitter face-off in Brussels today between the Greek and German finance ministers, after Berlin rejected Greece’s request to extend its €172bn rescue by six months.

The German rebuff came just hours after Yanis Varoufakis, the Greek finance minister, reversed his government’s long-held promise to kill the current bailout in a letter to his fellow ministers. But the letter, obtained by the Financial Times, had clauses that Berlin told counterparts amounted to “a Trojan horse” designed by Athens to change the conditions it must meet to receive €7.2bn in aid available for finishing the bailout. (FT)

In the news Read more

Fed up, caption competition

But, for a change, you’ll have to supply the image.

Retiring Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Richard Fisher supplies the caption:

Having proven themselves unable to cobble together with colleagues a working fiscal policy or to construct a regulatory regime that incentivizes rather than discourages investment and job creation — in other words, failed at their own job — they simply find it convenient to create a bogeyman out of an entity that does its job efficiently.

 Read more

Igor, how do these ETFs work?

On May 21 2013, an unnamed “Russian state-owned news organization” wanted to question more about the NYSE.

Where to get some good questions from, though?

Well local Russian economic spies Evgeny and Igor, obviously. Read more

This is nuts. When’s the revolution?

Over in Russia:

This is illegal interference with my personal life, with my information,” Yakunin told state television. “We are a natural monopoly, we live according to decisions taken by the state, so we make as much as the state allows us to make. Read more

This is nuts. When’s the crash?

This is an urgent Alphaville appeal: kill this trend now.

 Read more

Your 2007-2009 BoE

Today we get the minutes of the BoE Court from June 2007- May 2009 (minus a redacted 3 per cent, of course).

The apologia news release gives a hint of what’s to come:

In the period covered by these minutes the Bank was operating within the statutory framework established in 1998. Court was much larger than the present Court, a number of members had standing conflicts of interest, and there was no provision for a non-executive chairman (to compensate for that, the Governor established the practice of having all Court business discussed first in the non-executive directors’ committee). At the time, the Bank had no powers to take actions to manage macro-prudential risks. It was not responsible for banking supervision and there was no bank resolution authority. The roles, in a crisis, of the Bank, the Treasury and the FSA were ill-defined. These deficiencies were rapidly identified during the period covered by the minutes, and were addressed both by the 2009 Banking Act and subsequently by the 2012 Financial Services Act, which radically changed both the role of the Bank and the structure of its governance.

Click here for the actual PDFs. Read more

Of doves, hawks and Mary Poppins

Ever wondered how and why the terms dovish and hawkish got applied to central banking-speak?

FT Alphaville’s Izabella Kaminska took some time out to track down the source and in the process found herself on an exploratory journey that touches everything from the Cold War and Game Theory to comic books and Mary Poppins. Here’s the vid:

 Read more

FirstFT (the new Lunch Wrap)

Opec ok with $20 oil, Santa bucks and Palestinian bagpipers

We may never see $100 oil again. That’s according to Saudi oil minister Ali al-Naimi, who said Opec producers would not cut production even if the price of oil fell to $20 a barrel. (FT) Read more

The FT Alphaville Christmas Podcast

It’s that time of year when FT Alphaville invites you, our dear readers, to take the plunge into podcast “review of the year” territory.

This year we asked our contributors to bring along sound-effects to acoustically enhance their stories so as to, you know, better imprint them on your neural network. Read more

“Alphaville Person of Interest 2014″ — you decide!

With Tim Cook out of the way, we can get on with the main award this holiday season. Introducing the inaugural…

 Read more

CBR rate hike in keeping with orthodox policy… for now

The reactions from research shops and sell-side analysts to the Russian rate hike will soon be flooding your inbox, but one of the first to land in ours comes from Alex Kliment, FT Tilt alum and director of emerging markets strategy at the Eurasia Group:

What happened: At an emergency midnight meeting, the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) has raised the benchmark interest rate by 650bp to 17%, tightened ruble liquidity provisions, and increased allotments of USD to the Russian market, effective 16 December. Read more

Rouble, re-routed

The rouble tumbled more than 10 per cent in its biggest fall since 1998 as the implications of the fall in oil prices for the country’s energy-dependent economy triggered a rout across Russian markets.

In the bleakest official forecast yet from Moscow, the Russian central bank warned that the country could see a 4.5 per cent to 4.7 per cent contraction in GDP next year if oil prices remained at $60 a barrel. Read more

FCA = British Transport Police

Remember Jonathan Burrows? The ex-Blackrock serial fare dodger?

Well, the FCA are on it:

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has banned Jonathan Paul Burrows from performing any function in relation to any regulated activities for not being fit and proper.

 Read more

Holding over London…

London airspace at pixel time:

 Read more