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ECB confirms plans to end bonds buys in third quarter [Reuters]
Interest rates will, however, only go up “some time” after the end of bond buys and they will be gradual, the ECB added…. The ECB has bought nearly 5 trillion euros of public and private debt since 2015, all with the aim of rekindling inflation, which undershot the bank’s 2% target for years after the bloc’s debt crisis.
But inflation has unexpectedly shot up in recent months, leaving policymakers in a dilemma as they try to reconcile two opposing economic forces.

Yellen Talks Tough on China, Warning of Fallout Over Russia Ties [Bloomberg]
“The world’s attitude towards China and its willingness to embrace further economic integration may well be affected by China’s reaction to our call for resolute action on Russia,” she said.
Yellen backed the strategy of “friend-shoring,” where supply chains depend on allies rather than “countries where we have geopolitical tensions.”

CLOs Face Pain From Looming Risk of Leveraged Loan Downgrades [Bloomberg via Yahoo!]
Around a quarter of the loans in the S&P LSTA Leveraged Loan Index are rated B-, the lowest level that many money managers can easily buy. That’s the highest proportion on record, according to Barclays Plc.
If those loans are downgraded by at least one notch in another downturn, their prices could plunge, as the biggest buyers of the debt are effectively forced to sell their holdings…. Barclays analysts aren’t forecasting a wave of loan downgrades, or trouble for CLOs, in the near term. There have been more upgrades than downgrades so far this year, as corporate earnings continue to recover from the pandemic.

CLSA proposes moving flagship investor forum from Hong Kong to Singapore [FT]
CLSA’s proposal to move the event, typically attended by 1,500 institutional investors from around the world, highlights the disruption caused by Hong Kong’s strict pandemic control measures…. Relocating the conference “makes commercial sense”, the person said, “but it’s in Beijing’s hands. It is not a straightforward political decision”.

Crypto Mortgages Test Home Buyers’ Appetite in Digital-Currency World [WSJ]
Milo, a fintech company in the lending business, made the first crypto home loan in March, when it provided a 30-year mortgage in bitcoin for a Miami duplex…. “Between crypto millionaires who don’t want to sell their cryptocurrency and foreign buyers who have trouble entering the market, we see a huge demand,” says Joe Haggenmiller, head of markets for XBTO.

Quartz, the business news site, drops its paywall. [NYT]
“Quartz’s mission is to make business better, and our journalism is focused on that,” Zach Seward, the chief executive, said. He added, “The more we think about the best way to accomplish that mission, it seems clear to us that it is by making that journalism, all of those resources, as widely available to as many people as we can….” He added that advertising still made up most of the company’s revenue, allowing it to turn off the paywall, which had been in place since 2019.

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By Kiefer. from Frankfurt, Germany (Europäische Zentralbank / European Central Bank) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Opening Bell: 5.7.20

Three million more unemployed; a third default for Argentina; X Æ A-12 will have to be a nickname; and more!

By VIIRS image captured by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Suomi NPP satellite (NOAA View Global Data Explorer) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Opening Bell: 9.11.18

Flo is ferreal; China posturing; Carney staying; More bad news about farts; and more!

larry ellison

Opening Bell: 6.10.22

Inflation back on the increase; What Yellen worry?; crypto careers crater; King Larry of Lanai; and more!

recession

Opening Bell: 6.13.22

Bears! Crypto crises! Seventy-five basis point surges! And more!

By Kiefer. from Frankfurt, Germany (Europäische Zentralbank / European Central Bank) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Opening Bell: 9.30.22

Inflation high and, uh, slightly less high; “adolescent pains;” Warren Buffett’s likes and friends; and more!

Opening Bell: 11.20.12

Former UBS Trader Found Guilty (WSJ) Former trader Kweku Adoboli was found guilty on one count of fraud in connection with a $2.3 billion loss the Swiss bank suffered last year, as the juryin the alleged rogue-trading case continued to deliberate on five other counts he was charged with. The partial verdict comes nearly a week after the jury began deliberating following a roughly eight-week trial. It is unclear when the jury might reach verdicts on the other five counts or when sentencing might take place. Mr. Adoboli pleaded not guilty to all six counts. Shakeup At Credit Suisse (WSJ) Credit Suisse said Tuesday that it will combine the Swiss bank's asset management unit with its private bank, but stopped short of announcing the more drastic revamp analysts expected after crosstown rival UBS decided to fire 10,000 bankers. Robert Shafir, who currently heads the U.S. business of Credit Suisse, will take the helm of a new private banking and wealth management division jointly with Hans-Ulrich Meister, who has run the private banking business, the bank said. At the investment bank, Gael deBoissard is being promoted to co-head of the division, jointly with incumbent Eric Varvel. Following the revamp, Credit Suisse will have only two units—wealth management and investment banking--which are distinctly separate from each other, a move that is "in alignment with the new regulatory reality," Chairman Urs Rohner said. Greece Waits Nervously For Vital Bailout Funds (Reuters) Officials familiar with preparations for the finance ministers' meeting expect a "political endorsement in principle" on unfreezing loans to Athens, after Greece completed almost all the reforms that were required of it in exchange for funding. The final go-ahead from the ministers is likely to come only once the remaining few Greek reforms are in place and once there is agreement in the euro zone on how to reduce the country's huge debt and secure extra financing while it is being done. French Downgrade Widens Gulf With Germany as Talks Loom (Bloomberg) France’s loss of the top credit rating at Moody’s Investors Service may weaken President Francois Hollande’s leverage in European budget talks and deepen concern in Germany over its neighbor’s lagging competitiveness. The downgrade late yesterday of Europe’s second-biggest economy underscores the concern expressed by allies of German Chancellor Angela Merkel that the Socialist Hollande’s failure to recognize the urgency of France’s woes risks a deepening of Europe’s slump. “This downgrade will certainly increase pressure on France big-time,” Jan Techau, director of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace office in Brussels, said today in a phone interview. “It gives Germany more of an edge over France.” ‘Tide Turning’ Against France, Say Economists (CNBC) “The tide is turning for France. Although the country's bond market is likely to remain resilient — the yield on 10-year paper is little changed [Tuesday] morning and still stands a whisker above its record low of 2.06 percent on July 19 — French debt looks more and more overvalued relative to fundamentals,” Nicholas Spiro, Managing Director of Spiro Sovereign Strategy, said in a note on Tuesday. France has enjoyed low borrowing costs as investors have viewed the country as a safe haven in comparison with its southern European cousins. The downgrade of France to AA1 with a negative outlook by Moody’s has thrown its “deteriorating fundamentals….into sharp relief” Spiro said. China’s Richest Woman Divorces Husband, Fortune Declines (Bloomberg) Longfor Properties Co. Chairwoman Wu Yajun is no longer China’s richest woman after divorcing Cai Kui and transferring about 40 percent of the developer’s shares the couple used to own to her ex-husband. Her stake in Longfor, which Wu co-founded with Cai, dropped from a combined 72 percent to 43 percent, while Cai retains 29 percent, according to filings from Hong Kong’s stock exchange. Wu’s net worth is estimated at $4.2 billion, down from $7.3 billion as of 5:30 p.m. New York time yesterday, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. New York Prepares Lawsuit Against Credit Suisse (Reuters) The New York attorney-general is preparing to file a civil lawsuit against Credit Suisse for misleading investors who lost billions of dollars on mortgage-backed securities, according to a source familiar with the matter. The lawsuit, which is expected to be filed on Wednesday, will allege that Credit Suisse misrepresented the quality of loans packaged in securities, according to the source. Petraeus Mistress Paula Broadwell To Jill Kelley: 'I can make you go away' (NYDN) The notes Paula Broadwell sent to Jill Kelley were far more sinister than previously reported and seemed like the rantings of someone “clearly unhinged,” a close friend of Kelley said Monday. “This wasn’t just a catfight. Any normal person who got emails like that would have immediately called the police,” said the friend. She said Kelley read her the emails when she called, panic-stricken and seeking advice in the days before the scandal became a stunning public spectacle and led to Petraeus’ resignation as CIA director. The friend, who did not want to be identified, said Kelley saw the emails as death threats, specifically one in which Broadwell vowed to “make you go away.” [Meanwhile,] Broadwell...bloodied a female news photographer’s forehead Monday in a confrontation outside the biographer’s Charlotte, N.C., home. Broadwell smacked the photographer with the driver’s-side door of her Nissan Pathfinder SUV. “I had my camera and in all the chaos the door slammed and I got hit in the head with the flash,” said Nell Redmond, a freelancer for The Associated Press. Redmond suffered a small cut and is not pressing charges. Morgan Stanley’s Doom Scenario: Major Recession in 2013 (CNBC) The bank’s economics team forecasts a full-blown recession next year, under a pessimistic scenario, with global gross domestic product (GDP) likely to plunge 2 percent. “More than ever, the economic outlook hinges upon the actions taken or not taken by governments and central banks,” Morgan Stanley said in a report. Under the bank’s more gloomy scenario, the U.S. would go over the “fiscal cliff” leading to a contraction in U.S. GDP for the first three quarters of 2013. In Europe, the bank’s pessimistic scenario assumes a failure of the European Central Bank (ECB) in cutting rates and a delay of its bond-buying program. Judge Tosses Suit Over AIG (WSJ) A federal judge in Manhattan dismissed a $25 billion lawsuit by Starr International Co., which Mr. Greenberg runs, against the New York Federal Reserve Bank over claims the Fed breached its fiduciary duty to AIG's shareholders in the rescue during the U.S. financial crisis. It is one of two lawsuits Starr, AIG's largest shareholder at the time of the government takeover, is pursuing over the bailout. Mark Cuban Throws A Tantrum On Facebook Fee (NYP) Facebook used to be a “time suck” — now it just sucks. That’s the view of Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, who is urging marketers to take their business elsewhere after the social network started charging the tech billionaire to send messages to all the team’s fans. “In the past we put FB first, Twitter second,” Cuban wrote in a roughly 1,700-word blog post calling out the social network. “FB has been moved to the bottom of a longer list.” He added: “FB doesn’t seem to want to accept that its best purpose in life is as a huge time suck.” At issue is Facebook’s filtering of posts that appear in users’ news feeds. The site says it is trying to present users with content that they have shown an interest in while cutting down on spam. But Cuban says it is a pay-to-play move. He argues that Facebook is making it harder for marketers to reach their fans without paying for so-called “promoted posts.” And making the site more targeted and efficient is actually a mistake, according to Cuban. He claims most people go to the site because it’s a “time suck” that they enjoy. Cannibal Cop Pleads Not Guilty (NYDN) “cannibal cop,” accused of conspiring with an online buddy to kidnap, rape and slow-cook women, pleaded “not guilty” Monday to two federal charges. Gilberto Valle, 28, was arraigned in Manhattan Federal Court on charges of conspiracy to commit kidnapping and accessing the federal National Crime Information Center database without authorization. Valle’s public defender, Julia Gatto, made a third attempt at getting bail for her now-infamous client. "You have a hard row to hoe," said Judge Paul Gardephe...Valle — who was suspended after being arrested last month in a joint NYPD and FBI investigation — is accused of chatting last July with a sick online buddy about “kidnapping, cooking and eating body parts” of a woman identified as Victim 1, according to the indictment released Friday.

trump

Opening Bell: 12.2.20

The ECB translator; Trumpian procrastination begins to bite; Facebook-backed crypto asks, “Who’s Facebook?” and more!

capitol3

Opening Bell: 1.19.23

Republicans, Elon Musk playing default chicken; bigger is better for once; who wants to buy the leading crypto newsroom? And more!