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Two days ago we reported that according to a troubling - for retailers - survey conducted by Reuters/Ipsos, nearly two thirds, or 63% of US adults, did not plan to shop on Black Friday. It is unclear what exactly is causing this sharp slump in US consumerism: according to Christopher Baldwin, CEO of BJ's Wholesale Club, one excuse is that "Black Friday is no longer a one-day event; it has turned into a multi-week event." Another possible reason is that shellshocked by soaring Obamacare premiums, US adults simply have far less disposable cash which to splurge on holiday trinkets. Confirming the pessimistic outlook on this holiday's spending season, Reuters reports that according to its own spot checks as well as those of reporters and industry officials, "store traffic remained subdued across the country." "Initial reports show it's steady and not very busy at stores around the country," said Craig Johnson, president at retail consultancy Customer Growth Partners. The firm deployed 18 people nationwide to observe customer traffic. Rain hurt shopping at stores in the Northeast, Johnson said, but some retailers like Best Buy and Wal-Mart saw improved customer traffic at stores across the country. At a JC Penney store in Manhattan, Terry Bodiford, visiting from South Carolina, said he did not feel deals were better than he had found online over the past few weeks. Macy's and Best Buy on Chicago's Magnificent Mile were packed, but employees said most of the customers were tourists. The lack of enthusiasm is troubling. As Bloomberg reports, a perpetually optimistic National Retail Federation projects that about 137.4 million consumers will make purchases in stores or online over the four-day weekend that starts on Thanksgiving. The amount Americans have spent has declined in the last three years, slipping 26 percent from 2013 to an average of $299.60 per person last year, according to the trade group. To be sure, at least superficially, there should be good news: By most accounts, this holiday season is expected be a boon for retailers. Unemployment, gasoline prices and inflation are low, while wages, home values and the stock market continue to rise. Shoppers have the wherewithal to spend, and now retailers are hoping the holiday season will give them a reason to. Companies such as Kohl’s Corp., Gap Inc. and Barnes & Noble Inc. have said the U.S. presidential election was a major cause of consumers’ recent reluctance to open their wallets. With the outcome settled, they’re expecting the dollars to finally flow. Oh yes, the "I don't know who will be president so I won't buy that TV excuse." It was laughable when it first emerged, and it is even more laughable now that contrary to expectations, Americans are failing to unelash their purchasing animal spirits. Maybe now they are worried about Jill Stein's recount? And yet, nothing will dent the NRF's optimism, which expects that U.S. retail spending is expected to rise 3.6 percent to $655.8 billion in November and December as "retailers are poised to take full advantage of the Thanksgiving holiday period, now known by some as Black Week, which accounts for about 15 percent of holiday spending, according to the trade group." What is even more troubling is that physical retailers have made every possible concession to consumers to get them through the door and spend, spend, spend. J.C. Penney will open its doors at 3 p.m. on Thursday to reach shoppers before they tuck into their Thanksgiving feasts. EBay Inc. is trying to push the selling even earlier: It rebranded the day before Thanksgiving as Mobile Wednesday, using discounts to target traveling Americans. The sales will stretch through the weekend, with online and brick-and-mortar companies offering deals for Cyber Monday. Investors are confident that the retail industry will see strong sales. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Retail Index has risen 4.9 percent so far in November and is on pace for its best monthly return since July. Retail stocks have outpaced the broader market since the U.S. presidential election, with the index up 4.7 percent since Nov. 8, compared with the broader S&P 500’s 3 percent rally. Historical studies indicate that elections affect the timing of retail sales rather than the overall volume, said Jerry Storch, CEO of Saks Fifth Avenue owner Hudson’s Bay Co. “Hopefully, when we get to Black Friday, which really tolls the bell of holiday shopping, then the consumer will start looking forward to Christmas,” Storch said. Indeed, while actual revenues may be lacking, optimism is prevalent as retails hope that finally US consumer will beging spending. "That would be a welcome development for merchants that have yet to see a sales bump materialize. Dollar sales in the second week of November were 8 percent lower than in the same period a year earlier, according to research firm NPD Group. The decline was broad-based, too, with drops in apparel, toys, technology, athletic footwear and perfumes, the firm said." * * * However. what appears to be yet another year of pain for traditional, bricks and mortar retailers, will likely result in further gains for online vendors. According to Reuters, Chicago's State Street, a normally bustling shopping area popular with locals, was desolate. Shaun Smith, a 29-year-old restaurant manager, said he only came to the State Street store to take advantage of a deal for a $279 Westinghouse TV which is normally priced over $600. "I will buy most of what I need online," he said. “If Amazon had everything, like everything you need in the world, I would buy everything from there,” said Oscar Viral, a 58-year-old chef in New York. “I wanted something from Macy’s, and I got on the Internet because they didn’t have it available in the store.” Confirming this, moments ago Amazon.com reported that Black Friday is already on pace to surpass Black Friday last year, in terms of items ordered, adding that In first few hours, Amazon customers have ordered >100k toys. Alexa devices are some of the best-selling items on Amazon.com so far today, including Echo Dot, Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote. The company also adds that Instant Pot 7-in-1 Multi-functional Cooker, Hasbro’s Pie Face Game, WeMo Switch Smart Plug (Works with Amazon Alexa) and Sennheiser HD 598 Headphones also among best- selling deals today. * * * Amazon is just one of many alternatives: for shoppers who are ready to spend, they have more ways than ever to do so, with retailers including Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. offering exclusive deals to customers who download their mobile applications. Non-store sales may increase 7 percent to 10 percent this year, reaching as much as $117 billion, according to the NRF. Online sales account for the bulk of this measure, the group said. Online spending by U.S. bargain hunters climbed to above $1 billion by Thanksgiving evening, according to Adobe Digital Index, surging almost 14 percent from a year ago and reflecting a broader trend away from brick-and-mortar shopping. At the start of the first holiday shopping season since the election of Donald Trump as president on November 8, U.S. consumers loosened their purse strings and spent $1.15 billion online between midnight and 5 pm ET on Thursday, according to Adobe. The Adobe figure is collected from 21 billion online visits to 4,500 U.S. retail sites since Nov. 1. "We saw one of our strongest days ever online," Brian Cornell, chief executive of discount retailer Target, told reporters on Thursday evening. He added that online sales grew by double digits, without giving further details. "Online discounts are earlier and a lot bigger than last year," said Tamara Gaffney, principal research analyst at Adobe Digital Index. While the surge in online spending is unmistakable, the question is whether the 7-10% increase in online sales to $117 billion will offset what is shaping up to be another tepid holiday season for traditional retailers. If so, with the election now behind us, we wonder just what the next "latest and greatest" excuse used by retail CEOs will be on Q4 conference calls should the always delayed rebound in US spending fail to materialize yet again..
While most global equity markets were subdued due to the US Thaksgiving holiday, the FX world was very busy overnight, marked by the relentless dollar surge on expectations of a rate hike not only in December but further in 2017, sending Asian currencies to the weakest level in 7 years: the Bloomberg-JPMorgan Asia Dollar Index reached 103.32, the lowest level since March 2009. The regional FX plunge will likely deter regional central banks from easing monetary policies as the prospects of higher U.S. rates spurred capital outflows according to Toru Nishihama, an emerging-market economist at Dai-ichi Life Research Institute who added that depreciating currencies are making it very hard for central banks to ease on concerns about inflationary pressure and acceleration of fund outflows. The dollar also pushed its way past more of last year's peaks against the euro to hit $1.0550 in early European action, with only the March 2015 high of $1.0457 standing in the way of a drive toward parity, likewise the yen skidded to an eight-month low and China's yuan to an 8-1/2 year low, while the highly sensitive Turkish lira and Indian rupee hit new historic troughs, although the USD has since given up some of the gains. "There doesn't seem to be anything stopping U.S. yields going higher in the near-term so I think people are going to stay on the dollar trend," said Michael Metcalfe, head of global macro strategy at State Street Global Markets. "The only risk to this are that the dislocations in markets outside of the U.S., particularly in emerging markets, get to a point where they start to feed back into concerns (for the Federal Reserve as it looks to raise interest rates)," he said. While so far US equity markets have ignored the jump in the DXY to a near 14 year highs, dollar gains reverberated through emerging markets. India’s rupee and Vietnam’s dong slid to records, while the Philippine peso dropped to its weakest level in eight years. In Turkey, the lira rebounded from an all-time low after the central bank unexpectedly raised interest rates, although even that move has now been faded. Copper’s surge pulled a gauge of commodities higher for a fourth day, the longest rally in a month. Rosneft PJSC approved a $17 billion bond program, the biggest ever by a Russian company as the nation’s largest oil producer refinances debt. Copper was set to close at its highest level in more than a year. As Bloomberg writes this morning, central banks worldwide are being pushed to take action in the face of the stronger dollar. In Turkey, policy makers opted to support the nation’s beleaguered currency, while the European Central Bank warned that the risk of an abrupt global market correction on the back of rising political uncertainty has intensified, posing a threat to banks, stability and economic growth. The market odds of a December rate hike in the U.S. are 100 percent and traders are adding to bets that Fed Chair Janet Yellen will lead further action in 2017. U.S. equity benchmarks extended records last session before the Thanksgiving holiday. “The dollar has been really strong in anticipation of Yellen’s move next month and that strength in the U.S. dollar is ultimately going to mean that emerging-market assets would be seen as disadvantaged,” said Nicholas Teo, a strategist at KGI Fraser Securities in Singapore. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index added 0.1 percent, while Japan’s Topix index climbed for a 10th straight day, on the back of the ongoing surge in the USDJPY, its longest streak since June 2015. Europe’s top equity market this month, Greece, is giving signs of overheating: A technical indicator hit its most-overbought level since October 2013, meaning that gains might have come too quickly to be maintained. US equity futures were unchanged at 2201. European sovereign bonds were broadly higher as ECB Governing Council Member Francois Villeroy de Galhau was quoted by Expansion as saying the central bank was mulling many options for its debt-purchase program. They partially reversed a selloff from Wednesday that was fueled by a report that the ECB is planning to lend out securities in an effort to boost bond-market liquidity and reduce shortages in the repurchase market. France’s 10-year bond yield fell three basis points to 0.76 percent. Portugal led gains in the region, with the nation’s 10-year yield falling nine basis points to 3.59 percent. Indonesia’s 10-year sovereign bonds retreated for a sixth day, sending yields to the highest since March 2. * * * Bulletin Headline Summary from RanSquawk Subdued trade across major asset classes thus far amid the Thanksgiving holiday with European equities trading relatively flat Thanksgiving day has not stopped FX players pushing the USD higher against the JPY, EUR and CHF, with USD/JPY printing new cycle highs just above 113.50 Looking ahead, highlights include German IFO. Note that US markets are closed for the Thanksgiving Holiday Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures unchanged 0% at 2201 Euro Stoxx 50 down -0.1% FTSE 100 down -0.3% CAC 40 down -0.2% DAX down 0% IBEX 35 down -0.1% FTSE MIB up 0% German 10yr yield down -3bps to 0.24% Greek 10yr yield up 0bps to 6.92% Portugal 10yr yield down -6bps to 3.62% Italian 10yr yield down -4bps to 2.08%, Credit: iTraxx Main down 0.4 bps to 81.58 iTraxx Crossover down 2.1 bps to 343.7 Nikkei 225 +0.9% Hang Seng -0.3% Kospi -0.8% Shanghai Composite +0% ASX +0% Sensex -0.6%, Top News Spanish economy grew in line with expectations in 3Q India’s rupee sinks to a record low, Philippine peso falls to 50 per dollar for first time since 2008 Copper, nickel rises, crude oil little changed U.S. individual investor bulls at highest since Jan. 2015: AAII Looking at regional markets, Asian stocks traded mixed following a similar lead from Wall St where S&P 500 and DJIA posted a 3rd consecutive record close, while Nasdaq 100 finished negative. Nikkei 225 (+0.9%) outperformed as the index played catch up to yesterday's gains on return from holiday and was met with further JPY weakness, while ASX 200 (Unch.) was weighed on by commodities after gold slumped below USD 1200/oz amid a firm USD and after the index met resistance around 5,500. Hang Seng (-0.2%) and Shanghai Comp (flat) were indecisive and traded mixed amid a lack of key drivers. 10yr JGBs were flat with demand dampened as focus was on riskier assets in Japan, while the curve steepened amid underperformance in the super-long end in which 30yr yields rose to its highest in 8 months. PBoC academic Wang Yong said CNY depreciation will lead to a decline in FX positions and money supply, which could result to higher money market rates. The PBoC injected CNY 60bIn 7-day reverse repos, CNY 45b1n in 14-day reverse repos and CNY 10bIn in 28-day reverse repos. PBoC set mid-point at 6.9085, the weakest fixing since June 2008. Top Asian News China Wants Quick Close on Regional Trade Pact After TPP Dashed Asia’s Accelerating Currency Rout Set to Sideline Central Banks Philippine Market in a Funk as Peso Slides to 2008 Crisis Level Thailand Evokes Temasek as Junta Tries to Revive State-Run Firms Singapore Downgrades 2016 Growth Forecast as Exports Remain Weak Ctrip Extends Global Reach With $1.7 Billion Skyscanner Deal In Europe, like in Asia, trade has been subdued across major asset classes thus far amid the Thanksgiving holiday with European equities trading relatively flat. This morning has seen Russia's Energy Novak announcing Russia's support for an output freeze as opposed to a cut, which is largely a reiteration and as such WTI and Brent crude saw a muted reaction. Elsewhere, property names remain pressured after countrywide (typical barometer for housing) stated that profit will hit the lower end of their guidance. Finally, material names have been leant a helping hand by a recent uptick in gold from yesterday's slump and copper prices extending on gains with demand seen from the open of Shanghai metals trade as participants in the region jumped in on the recent advances, alongside iron ore gains which rallied by around 6% to a near-3 year high. Across fixed income markets, Bunds are higher this morning with the curve slightly steeper after a revision lower in the German GDP release, while volumes have been light due to the aforementioned Thanksgiving holiday. OPEC have yet to make a final proposal to Non-OPEC on joint production cut, adding that a discussion is to take place on 28th November, according to sources. Top European News Rio Lowers 2016 Capital Spending to Less Than $3.5b from ~$4b BNP Paribas Plans EU2b-EU3b Investments 2017-20, Les Echos Says Generali CEO Says Merger With Axa Not on Agenda : Les Echos Vinci Confirms Outlook for FY Revenue, Results Thyssenkrupp to Keep Dividend Stable as Profit Matches In Currencies, the greenback advanced 0.4 percent to 113 yen at 6:25 a.m. New York time, having reached an almost eight-month high. It slipped 0.2 percent to $1.0577 per euro, after surging 0.7 percent the previous day. Turkey’s lira strengthened 0.3 percent and stocks rallied after the central bank unexpectedly raised interest rates for the first time since January 2014. Policy makers increased the overnight lending rate by 25 basis points to 8.50 percent and the repurchase rate by 50 basis points to 8 percent. Economists had predicted no change in either rate. The rupee tumbled as global funds dumped Indian assets. The central bank will take appropriate action to deal with the currency’s decline, a government official said earlier Thursday, asking not to be identified, citing rules. State-run lenders sold dollars, probably on behalf of the central bank, three Mumbai-based traders said, asking not to be named. A gauge of implied price swings in the euro versus dollar over the next two weeks jumped to its highest level since the aftermath of the U.K.’s Brexit vote, as traders await the ECB’s Dec. 8 policy meeting. The euro has slid 4.2 percent against the dollar since the U.S. election amid speculation that the ECB will extend its stimulus, maintaining a policy divergence with the Fed. The MSCI Emerging Markets Currency Index dropped for a second day, heading for the lowest level since June 27, days after the U.K. voted to leave the European Union In commodities, the Bloomberg Commodity Index was up 0.3 percent, extending gains to a fourth day, the longest run since Oct. 19. Copper for deliver in three months rose 1.9 percent to $5,848.50 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange in London, heading for the highest close since June 2015, while zinc and lead also posted gains. The LMEX Index of six base metals on Wednesday closed at the highest level in 18 months. West Texas Intermediate crude was little changed at $48.04 a barrel after retreating 0.2 percent last session. Iraq’s prime minister said the country will cut production as part of a broader OPEC supply deal, while Russia is seen agreeing to a freeze rather than a reduction. Gold for immediate delivery dropped as much as 0.7 percent to $1,180.38 an ounce, the lowest level since February, on expectations of higher rates and a stronger dollar. * * * US Event Calendar: Closed for Thanksgiving holiday * * * DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap A happy Thanksgiving to all our US readers although if you've got enough time to read this then you obviously haven't got a big enough Turkey to cook. Pre-Thanksgiving trading was a microcosm of the volatility we expect to be a more regular feature of markets in 2017. Indeed the real excitement was in the rates market where yields darted higher on both sides of the pond. It started in Europe though where mid-way through the morning session a Reuters story suggesting that the ECB was looking at ways to lend more bonds in order to address the collateral squeeze in markets. The article suggested that possible changes could include reducing charges for firms which ‘fail to return on time the bonds that they borrowed’ as well as ‘accepting new types of collateral and extending the duration of loans’. The suggestion is that this will be discussed at the ECB meeting next month on the 8thDecember so it’s one to keep an eye on. The move was supported by a strong set of European flash PMI’s and then some bumper durable goods orders data in the US and a set of FOMC minutes which did little to move the needle. 10y Bund yields were at one stage up as much as +10bps from their lows at a shade above 0.300%. A retreat into the close however saw Bunds finish up a more modest +4.4bps at the closing bell at 0.260%. Yields in the periphery were also up between 5bps and 10bps by the end of play with 10y BTP’s trading in a 15bp range while 10y Treasury yields closed 3.8bps higher and just below Friday’s high in yield at 2.351%. Still, the high-to-low range for Treasuries was just over 12bps during the course of the session with the peak in yield of 2.415% intraday actually the highest on an intraday basis since July 2015. Meanwhile here in the UK the Gilt market also had to contend with Chancellor Hammond’s first Autumn and post-Brexit Statement. As our economists noted, their expectation was that the Chancellor would ease the UK fiscal stance modestly and that he would keep some ‘fiscal stance’ in reserve if needed for later and this is what we got with a 0.9% of GDP of fiscal relaxation and 1.2% of GDP of fiscal space in reserve. As our colleagues highlighted in their note last night, the announced relaxation is back-loaded to year three (2019/20), which coincides with the assumed timing of the UK's exit from the EU and the lead up to the next general election, assuming this parliament goes full term. The fiscal relaxation in 2017/18 is just 0.1% of GDP. The Chancellor had said he would create more flexible fiscal rules. The changes were modest though. The deficit target is now defined on a cyclically-adjusted basis and leaves him some modest room for manoeuvre if needed later. However, there was no "golden rule" to protect public investment spending. That said, public investment is the only part of spending expected to grow in cyclically-adjusted terms over the next five years. There were hints of the "new industrial strategy", but it remains a slow-moving work-in-progress. In terms of what this means for the BoE, our economists’ interpretation is that the Autumn Statement has not pushed hard against the 2017 real income shock coming from sterling’s boost to inflation. Their baseline view is BoE policy will be on hold but there is a higher probability of the next move being a loosening of monetary policy rather than a tightening. Gilts were the big underperformer in DM markets yesterday with the 10y yield closing +8.7bps higher at 1.446% with an intraday range of a little over 13bps. Elsewhere, the closing levels across risk assets were a bit more subdued although again not without a similar level of intraday chopping around. Equities were initially a touch weaker in Europe with the Stoxx 600 closing -0.07% albeit in a high to low range which spanned nearly 0.90%. Over in the US, despite REITS and utilities sectors being weighed down by the moves in rates the S&P 500 (+0.08%) did still manage to pare early losses to extend its record closing high for a third consecutive day. The move also came despite a strong day for the US Dollar with the Dollar index (+0.65%) closing at the highest level in more than a decade. On the other hand Gold (-1.98%) closed below the $1,200/oz level for the first time since February. Over in Asia this morning it’s been a fairly directionless session for equity markets. In Japan the Nikkei has reopened with a +1.09% gain despite the flash manufacturing PMI for November deteriorating a touch to 51.1 from 51.4 the month prior. The Shanghai Comp (+0.09%) is also higher however the Hang Seng (-0.35%), Kospi (-0.74%) and ASX (-0.09%) have all dipped lower. Elsewhere EM currencies continue to remain under pressure following the continued strengthening for the Greenback. The Philippine Peso has hit 50 to the Dollar for the first time since 2008 while the Malaysian Ringgit is now at its weakest level since the Asian financial crisis in 1998. Back to that data yesterday. The most significant prints were the flash November PMI’s in Europe. It was revealed that the composite reading for the Euro area rose to 54.1 this month from 53.3 in October after expectations were for no change. The services sector drove the improvement with the PMI rising to 54.1 from 52.8 (vs. 52.9 expected) and the highest since December last year. The manufacturing print was up a more modest 0.2pts to 53.7 (vs. 53.3 expected). Regionally, a slight disappointment in Germany was compensated by a marginal pick-up in France leaving the average for both flat on the month. That suggests that the positive momentum for the Euro area came from the non-core for which we will get the data for at the start of December. Significantly however, the data has led our European economists to adjust their ECB call next month. They have switched their call from a 9-12 month QE extension to a 6 month extension announcement at the December meeting. Elsewhere, there was little in the way of surprise from yesterday’s FOMC minutes. The text confirmed that ‘most participants expressed a view that it could well become appropriate to raise the target range for the federal funds rate relatively soon, so long as incoming data provided some further evidence of continued progress toward the Committee’s objectives’. The minutes also showed that members considered that labour market conditions had improved ‘appreciably’ and that some participants had argued that ‘to preserve credibility’ an increase ‘should occur at the next meeting’. Back on the data front, it was the October durable and capital goods orders that really stood out in the US yesterday. Headline durable goods orders printed at +4.8% mom for October following a boost from aircraft orders, well exceeding the +1.7% expected, while September data was also revised up. The ex-transportation reading (+1.0% mom vs. +0.2% expected) also beat while core capex orders rose +0.4% mom and a smidgen ahead of consensus (+0.3% expected). Meanwhile, the flash manufacturing PMI rose 0.5pts this month to 53.9 which is the best reading since October last year. Initial jobless claims rose 18k to 251k last week, the FHFA house price index rose +0.6% mom in September as expected but new home sales weakened more than expected in October (-1.9% mom vs. -0.5% expected). Lastly the final University of Michigan consumer sentiment reading for November was revised up to 93.8 from 91.6 – the best reading since May with both current conditions and expectations components getting revised up. Before we wrap up, one potentially important event which has crept up upon is Austria’s presidential vote re-run on the 4th of December. As a reminder this is a re-run of the vote held back in May which was then overturned on voting irregularities. The Greens-backed Independent candidate Van der Bellen won that by tiny majority of 50.3% to 49.7% over the far-right Freedom party candidate Norbet Hofer. According to the FT, Hofer holds a narrow lead in opinion polls but voting is expected to be close. Notably, in an interview with the BBC and highlighted in an article this morning, Hofer confirmed that he would push for an EU membership referendum should the EU become more centralised after Brexit, particularly in a case where ‘the national parliaments are disempowered and where the union is governed like a state’. One to keep an eye on. Looking at the day ahead, given the Thanksgiving Day holiday in the US today where both bond and equity markets will be closed, the data docket is unsurprisingly fairly light this afternoon. The focus will be on the releases this morning in Europe with the spotlight on Germany where we’ll get the details of the Q3 GDP report as well as the November IFO business climate survey. France will also be out with November confidence indicators and jobseekers data. Away from the data we’ll hear from the ECB’s Praet this afternoon in Vienna while the ECB will also publish its Financial Stability Review this morning.
Markus Schuller, founder of Panthera Solutions The OECD Financial Roundtable on October 27 gathered together 20 representatives from the banking industry, fintech companies, and other financial services, as well as trade unions and other experts, in addition to the OECD delegations. The topic Fintech: Implications for the shape of the banking sector and challenges for policy […]
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Back in February we reported that despite its abysmal forecasting track record, Goldman was preparing to launch an ETF based on its proprietary tracker of the 50 most popular hedge fund positions, the Goldman Sachs Hedge Fund VIP (known internally as the GSTHHVIP). The proposed ETF was notable because It would mark the first time a Wall Street bank uses its own research report as the basis for an ETF. But there was just one problem: as we showed at the time, anyone who may have invested in this particular index of stocks - had the ETF been available previously - would have lost a record amount of money as a result of the spectacular collapse of "hedge fund hotel" positions in late 2015 and early 2016, which sent the index to its lowest level in history over just a few short months. We also speculated about the specific reason behind this particular ETF, and decided that given the dismal performance, one can only imagine that creating this ETF enables Goldman Sachs' clients to offload huge blocks of their positions into a muppet-friendly investment vehicle that every Tom, Dick, and Day-Trader will scoop up. We also suggested that this being Goldman - the company which brought you the Made for Shorting Abacus CDO - "the guaranteed way to make money with this ETF would be to short it." And indeed, for months after our article, Goldman's Hedge Fund VIP tracker continue to tumble, ultimately reaching a level just below 88 in July. Which may explain why Goldman put its ETF plans on hold for nearly one year. However, in the late summer, the index started outperforming again, and in the latest weekly update, the hedge fund index had managed to recoup nearly half its losses from its all time high level hit in the summer of 2015. So, now that it is back on the upswing, Goldman decided to quickly capitalize on the still rising underlying securities, and today it officially launched the long-awaited ETF. As Reuters reports, the Goldman Sachs Hedge Industry VIP ETF (GVIP) will provide exposure to the 50 U.S. stocks that appear most frequently as top holdings in hedge fund's quarterly 13F filings. It is the seventh ETF Goldman has launched since September 2015. The new ETF is based on a popular research report put out by Goldman analysts Ben Snider and David Kostin in the Wall Street bank's research division. As of August, holdings in the VIP index included Amazon.com Inc, LinkedIn Corp and Citigroup Inc, according to the bank's research. Of course, if one doesn't want to own the ETF, one can simply buy the consistuent stocks as laid out in the following table, updated most recently as of June 30, 2016: Goldman isn't the first to provide an ETFs that tries to beat the market by copying hedge fund managers' stock picks. Other ETFs include the Global X GURU Index ETF and Alphaclone Alternative Alpha ETF. Hedge-fund tracker ETFs are different than so-called liquid alternatives funds, which try to replicate broader trading strategies used by hedge funds. Both types of products are marketed to Main Street investors. Since by launching the new ETFs, Goldman is entering a highly competitive $3 trillion global market dominated by the likes of BlackRock Inc, State Street Corp and Vanguard Group, which together account for about 70% of total assets globally, it will have to stand out in terms of low cost. And sure enough, the GS Hedge Industry VIP ETF is priced at 45 basis points, meaning investors will pay $45 in annual fees for every $10,000 invested. Similar funds charge between 65 to 95 basis points. However, what this particular ETF will do is two main things: i) provide a willing buyer - and thus a liquid market - for the stocks held by most hedge funds, who will now be able to offload their exposure directly to retail investors, even as Goldman collects a piece of the pie, ii) and allow traders to indirectly short the hedge fund industry by shorting not hedge funds themselves, but their most popular holdings; the same holdings which were dumped en masse in late 2015 and early 2016 (see first chart above), when the hedge fund space was forced to liquidate their most liquid assets to satisfy a surge in redemptions which are still ongoing. Which in retrospect, means that the new Goldman ETF will actually provide a useful function: it will part the most naive of "muppets" from their cash on short notice, and also present the broader investing public with a way to bet on the demise of the hedge fund industry by simply shorting the stocks that make it tick.
Gap Inc. understands both hiring math and competitive strategy when it comes to filling entry-level jobs in its 3,000-plus Gap, Banana Republic, and Old Navy stores. Across the U.S., nearly 6 million entry-level jobs will be created from 2012 to 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. With low unemployment, the competition for talent remains fierce. Gap is joining a growing corps of large companies that are turning to an overlooked pool of entry-level talent: the 5.5 million 16-to-24-year-olds, called “opportunity youth,” who are out of school and out of work. About half of these young people, once known as “at-risk youth” or “disconnected youth,” are black or Hispanic, and two-thirds face difficult life circumstances. Many come from families with incomes below the poverty line and suffer from lack of educational and career supports. The trend sees big companies such as CVS Health, State Street, and American Express evolving small hiring programs for opportunity youth, driven by corporate social responsibility, into core business strategy (see our study “Hidden Talent: How Smart Companies Are Tapping into Unemployed Youth”). The strategy offers them a rare trifecta: It’s good for the company, youth, and society. Consider two men with the same education, place of residence, and family background. If one spends a year unemployed before the age of 23, 10 years later he can expect to earn 23% less than the other. For women, the spread 10 years out is 16%. Meanwhile, the alternative — housing subsidies, unemployment insurance, health care subsidies, even incarceration costs — generate huge social costs. Tapping into this talent has implications for HR management, calling for new approaches to screening talent, including sourcing, selection, and role definition. Sourcing for Commitment Virtually every company we spoke to relied on nonprofit intermediaries to find candidates who had committed to training programs or apprenticeships in both hard and soft skills for the chance of stepping onto a career ladder. Gap Inc., for example, announced it will hire 5% of all entry-level store employees from graduates of its This Way Ahead (TWA) paid store internship program by 2025. Gap Inc. relies on TWA to teach job readiness and life skills to teens and young adults from low-income communities while also generating proven talent pipeline and business benefits. By 2020 the company expects that 10,000 teens and young adults will have participated in TWA. About 75% will receive offers for permanent positions, and company data shows that employees brought in through TWA stay twice as long as their peers. That’s strategic because 51% of store managers started as entry-level associates. Year Up, a large source of opportunity-youth trainees in the U.S., now has more than 13,000 alumni across 16 cities. It teaches young people the dress, demeanor, and collaboration skills expected in a professional setting as well as the technical skills for careers in IT, operations, finance, sales and marketing, or customer service. Similar intermediaries include BankWork$ for the banking sector, YouthBuild in construction, and iFoster in the grocery industry. Meanwhile, Starbucks, CVS Health, Walmart, and JPMorgan Chase joined with more than a dozen other large U.S. companies last year to launch the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative, a bet to get a large number of low-income young people who wouldn’t typically have these opportunities into jobs in short order. Today nearly 40 employers partner with the initiative to offer internships, training programs, and jobs for opportunity youth who face systemic barriers to employment and education. Screening In for Aptitude Sourcing eager talent is just part of the new equation. HR managers who want to capitalize on such talent need to adjust their approach from screening out candidates for lack of credentials or specific experience to screening them in for aptitude and competencies. A study conducted by Innovate + Educate, which uses research-based strategies to address the U.S. national skills gap, found that while only 1% of unemployed New Mexico young adults met criteria for jobs that required a college degree, 33% cleared the hurdle when measured by skills and aptitude. In a similar vein, hiring technology today uses key words to identify formal education or experience across thousands of résumés at a time. In their current form, these algorithms likely screen out capable youth. Analytics firm Knack, with the support of the Rockefeller Foundation, piloted game-based talent analytics to compare the aptitude of opportunity youth and current jobholders at four companies. Of the 600 young people who participated, 83% scored at or above the level of the company’s average performers on aptitudes required for succeeding at one or more roles. While still evolving, these solutions offer potential for screening in high potential hires. Defining Strategic Roles A 2015 study that we conducted with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation found that the companies with the most-successful opportunity youth HR programs had both a C-suite champion for the approach and a champion closer to the front line who could identify roles for these candidates that would provide clear value to the firm and the young people. At American Express, which began hiring opportunity youth in small numbers in 2007 through Year Up, support came from the top: CEO Ken Chenault proclaimed on 60 Minutes that the Year Up relationship was a win-win for the company and the urban communities American Express served. But it was Destin Dexter, vice president of technology, who scaled the company’s efforts to meet business objectives related to hiring entry-level IT talent in a highly competitive market. After a pilot at American Express’s Fort Lauderdale offices, she launched an eight-week software engineering boot camp with Year Up and Gateway Community College in Phoenix, a major technology hub for the company. They screened candidates for comfort with logic and numbers, and then brought them to class. “They brought aptitude, and they were ready to learn,” says Dexter. Today Dexter brings on 80–100 Year Up interns annually for tech jobs ranging from software engineering to customer service. These interns have a 72% conversion rate to full-time, versus about 60% for traditional interns. Year Up candidates also stay an average of 44 months, versus 18 months for traditional hires. “We initially approached the Year Up partnership as a great way to support the local communities where we live and work,” explains Dexter. “But over time it became clear that the program could be a breakthrough way to source entry-level talent.” Or, as Brent Hyder, Gap’s chief operating officer (who once was an entry-level employee himself), told Forbes magazine after his firm’s announcement, “Youth employment is our lifeblood.”
With October, the worst month for stocks since January, now in the history books S&P futures are eager to telegraph that the streak of five consecutive declines - the longest since August 2015 - will end, with a modest gain of 0.3% in overnight trading after U.S. equities ended Monday little changed to cap a third straight monthly decline, coupled with mixed global markets as Asian stocks rose while Europe was pressured again on the back of poor Standard Chartered results which saw the bank miss earnings on a drop in revenue, as the global bond selloff returned after strong Chinese economic data prompted concerns about rising global inflation. Oil failed to rebound after a sharp drop in recent days as hopes of an OPEC deal unwind. The recent selloff in global bonds resumed amid speculation that major central banks may be moving closer to scaling back their extraordinary stimulus measures as well as strong Chinese PMI reports overnight. Prospects for a pickup in inflation pushed the yield on 10-year Treasury notes to the highest since May relative to those on two-year securities. Gasoline in New York jumped the most in almost eight years after an explosion and fire in Alabama shut the largest fuel pipeline in the U.S. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index of equities pared gains after banks slid. Australia’s currency strengthened after the central bank refrained from cutting interest rates. In Overnight news we say both the BOJ and the RBA keep rates unchanged at -0.1% and 1.5% respectively, as expected. The BoJ also held off on expanding stimulus on Tuesday but once again pushed back the timing for hitting its inflation target. The dollar hovered around 104.80 yen. Traders focused on whether the Japanese central bank would keep its November purchases of bonds due in over 10 years at the same level to determine if Kuroda would signal an implicit taper. He did not when earlier today the BOJ announced plans to buy 110b yen of debt due in more than 25 years, and 190b yen for bonds with maturities of 10-to-25 years for its first operation in November, roughly the same as its last market operation in October, when it bought 110.7b yen of debt with more than 25-year maturity, and 191.4b yen for those in the 10-to-25-year bucket. The Fed begins its two-day meeting today, however, markets see only a small chance that the U.S. Federal Reserve will raise rates when it concludes its meeting on Wednesday, but traders will be scouring its statement for clues on the timing of its next rate hike. Chances of a rate hike in December are around 78%. The key economic update was China's October PMI data, which smashed expectations as China’s official factory gauge rose to the highest since July 2014, led by new orders, suggesting the economy’s stabilization continued into the fourth quarter as robust consumption underpins demand driven largely by an unprecedented credit injection which has seen China unleash more than $4.5 trillion in debt in the past year . Chinese Manufacturing PMI (Oct) M/M 51.2 vs. Exp. 50.3 (Prey. 50.4); 2-year high. Chinese Non-Manufacturing PMI (Oct) M/M 54.0 (Prey. 53.7). 10-month high Chinese Caixin Manufacturing PMI (Oct) M/M 51.2 vs. Exp. 50.1 (Prey. 50.1). 2-year high. Goldman's break down of the data: China’s NBS October manufacturing PMI came in at 51.2, the highest level since August 2014. Most of the sub-indexes improved, with the new order sub-index showing a visible uptick to 52.8, from 50.9 in September. The production index was also higher at 53.3, vs 52.8 in September. Inventory indicators went up: Raw material inventory was up to 48.1 from 47.4 in September, and finished goods inventory increased to 46.9 from 46.4 in September. The employment index was higher at 48.8 vs 48.6 in September. The upward trend in inflation indicator continued in October: The input prices index increased to 62.6, the highest level since early 2011. Trade indicators were weaker on the other hand: The export orders index fell to 49.2 from 50.1 in September, and the import index declined to 49.9 from 50.4 previously. The suppliers' delivery times were up to 50.2 vs. 49.9 in September. The official non-manufacturing PMI (which covers the construction and service sectors) increased to 54.0 in October from 53.7 in September, supported by a strong service PMI. The service sector PMI improved to 52.6 from 52.3 in September. Construction PMI edged down to 61.8 from 61.9 in September. The Caixin manufacturing PMI release showed a similar improvement as the official NBS one - the headline index increased to 51.2 in October from 50.1 in September, and both the production and new orders index rebounded strongly. Economists cheered China's manufacturing survey data, although some expressed caution that this is as good as it gets as the strong PMI’s will likely make the government more comfortable tightening monetary and property sector policies in Q4. "We expect economic activity to pick up further in October thanks to the booming real estate sector and infrastructure projects," Shen Jianguang, chief Asia economist at Mizuho Securities Asia Ltd. in Hong Kong, wrote in a note. "As the government has announced cooling measures to tame the overheated housing market, in addition to the return of inflationary pressure, we expect monetary policy tightening may slowly take place." "The unexpected rise in the manufacturing PMI and continued strength in the non-manufacturing PMI tell us that the Chinese economy is doing OK at the start of the December quarter," said Shane Oliver, head of investment strategy at AMP Capital Investors in Sydney. "It means less pressure for further policy stimulus for now." "It’s a very strong reading," Ding Shuang, head of Greater China economic research at Standard Chartered and a former economist at the International Monetary Fund, said in a Bloomberg Television interview. "Both current and forward-looking economic indicators bode well for growth in the fourth quarter." "The manufacturing reading is robust and is a bit of a surprise to us," said Iris Pang, senior economist for Greater China at Natixis SA in Hong Kong. "Materials prices jumped a lot, which has contributed to the surge. Since PMI and PPI are co-related, the PPI will very likely be in positive territory." The UK economy continued to defy naysayers with October manufacturing PMI printing at 54.3, in line with expectations of 54.5, but still the second highest in the past 27 months and refusing to indicate that the post-Brexit economy has fallen off a cliff, supported by ongoing weakness in sterling, and as Markit said, "boding well for Q4 GDP." UK #manufacturing PMI fell in Oct but still 2nd highest in past 27 months, boding well for Q4 GDP https://t.co/rG1g5rPnvu pic.twitter.com/LJACEUc21K — Chris Williamson (@WilliamsonChris) November 1, 2016 European shares were poised to fall for a seventh straight session while the dollar edged lower with investors largely holding back as the contentious U.S. presidential campaign entered its final week. Stronger-than-expected manufacturing data from China underpinned gains in Asian stocks and further stoked inflation expectations that drove a selloff in bonds in recent weeks. Forecast-beating results from oil major Royal Dutch Shell initially provided a boost to Europe's STOXX 600 index but those gains proved short-lived with weakness in banks, driven by poor Standard Chartered results, dragging the index 0.1 percent lower. The dollar was slightly weaker against a basket of currencies with the dollar index .DXY down 0.2 percent. "We're in limbo, unfortunately, ahead of the U.S. election," said Bart Wakabayashi, head of Hong Kong FX sales at State Street Global Markets. A global slump in government bonds resumed after the abovementioned PMI report showed an unexpected pickup in manufacturing in China, which fueled optimism about the outlook for the global economy and a rise in global inflation. Treasury 10-year notes slid before the Federal Reserve’s latest interest-rate decision on Wednesday, with futures trading showing 71 percent odds of an increase before the year is out. Banks were among decliners in European stocks, reversing an earlier gain in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index. Australia’s currency strengthened after the central bank refrained from cutting interest rates. Italy's borrowing costs hit fresh two-year highs on Tuesday with investors wary of political risks and banking sector reforms continuing to run into hurdles. Other euro zone bond yields also rose between 3-4 basis points on the day, with Ireland's 10-year bond yields hitting its highest level since June, rising 4 bps to 0.69 percent. Treasury 10-year yields increased three basis points to 1.86 percent as of 9:11 a.m. London time, while those on German bunds with a similar due date increased four basis points to 0.20 percent. The ramp-up in yields has been a central theme across markets over the past month, spurring turbulence in debt markets and sending global investors out of bonds and into cash on fears that a multi-decade bond bull run was coming to an end. In commodity markets, oil prices rose from one-month lows after OPEC agreed on a long-term strategy that was seen as an indication the cartel was reaching a consensus on managing production. Emerging-market stocks rallied and Aluminum and copper both gained. Investors will look Tuesday to data, including readings on manufacturing, for further indications of the health of the world’s biggest economy before this week’s Fed announcement. * * * Bulletin headline summary from RanSquawk European equities enter the North American crossover lower as opening gains are trimmed by a downbeat update from Standard Chartered which has hampered the financial sector The USD has seen a modest pullback from recent gains while the RBA and BoJ both kept policy unchanged overnight as expected Looking ahead, highlights include Manufacturing PMIs from across the globe, API crude oil inventories and earnings from BP, Standard Chartered and Pfizer Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures up 0.2% to 2125 Stoxx 600 down 0.2% to 338 FTSE 100 down 0.2% to 6943 DAX down 0.1% to 10651 German 10Yr yield up 3bps to 0.2% Italian 10Yr yield up 6bps to 1.72% Spanish 10Yr yield up 7bps to 1.27% S&P GSCI Index up 0.9% to 364.9 MSCI Asia Pacific up 0.3% to 139 Nikkei 225 up less than 0.1% to 17442 Hang Seng up 0.9% to 23147 Shanghai Composite up 0.7% to 3122 S&P/ASX 200 down 0.5% to 5290 US 10-yr yield up 3bps to 1.86% Dollar Index down 0.21% to 98.24 WTI Crude futuresunchanged at 46.86 Brent Futures up 0.5% to $48.87 Gold spot up 0.3% to $1,281 Silver spot up 0.7% to $18.03 Top Headline Stories Three of Fed’s Primary Dealers Warn Hikes on Hold Until 2017: HSBC, RBC, RBS say policy makers will choose to hold off Shell Beats Estimates as BG Acquisition Drives Up Oil Output: Capital expenditure seen at lower end of guidance next year BP Profit Slides on Weaker Refining, Oil-Production Loss: 49% decline in 3Q earnings as crude fell, refining margins shrank Standard Chartered Profit Misses Estimates on Revenue Decline: reported third-quarter profit that fell short of analyst estimates as revenue fell at all four of its division Sony Profit Falls Short of Estimates on Sale of Battery Unit: Impact from Kumamoto earthquake starting to recede Whole Foods Facing Investor Skepticism That 365 Can Rescue Compa: Organic-food giant stuck in worst slump since at least 2009 Ienova Hits 17-Month High Following $1.5 Billion Equity Offering: Sempra’s Mexico unit issued additional shares Oct. 13 Goldman Sachs Said Outsourcing Dark Pool Operation to Nasdaq: Has been in talks with banks, brokers for service Carney to Stay at BOE Until June 2019 to Help Address Brexit Russian Manufacturing Unexpectedly Jumps to Four-Year High: Markit PMI index rose to 52.4, the highest reading since 2012 Looking at regional markets, we start in Asia where stocks traded mixed amid a slew of key risk events including BoJ and RBA policy decisions, while China outperformed on strong PMI data. Yesterday's sell off in oil resulted to underperformance in the commodity heavy ASX 200 (-0.5%), while the Nikkei 225 (+0.1%) was indecisive following BoJ inaction and amid poor earnings with reports noting that net income of listed companies in the Q3 16 period in Japan decreased 25% Y/Y. Shanghai Comp. (+0.7%) and Hang Seng (+1.2%) were the outperformers as the they benefitted from the Caixin and Official Manufacturing PMI's which both beat expectations and printed at 2-year highs. 10yr JGBs traded flat as an uneventful BoJ policy decision kept price action muted, while Australian bonds were pressured with yields higher across the curve on an unwinding of dovish bets post-RBA. Top Asian News BOJ stands pat even as it delays timing of inflation goal: CPI forecast for next fiscal year reduced to 1.5% from 1.7% Yuan heads for first back-to-back gain in 6 weeks after data: Official manufacturing gauge jumps to highest since July 2014 China’s Oct. money demand sinks as PBOC seen curbing leverage: Repurchase contract turnover slips for second month in row Park scandal investigators sought files from 8 Korean banks: President’s associate Choi Soon-sil detained for questioning A-list bankers ensnared by one of their own in Hong Kong fiasco: Citi, Morgan Stanley bankers burned by cash-advance firm In Europe, equities opened higher across the board this morning only to be thwarted by a poor trading update from Standard Chartered . This led STAN shares to trade lower by as much as 5.2%, dragging financial names lower with the broader move in equities possibly also exacerbated by thin volumes as a result of the All Saints Day Holiday. Elsewhere, in energy names Shell (RDSA LN) posted a beat on expectations to push the energy sector higher. Despite this BP group (BP/ LN) are amongst the worst performers in the FTSE 100 (-0.2%) after Co. lowered its Capital Expenditure forecast for this year. In European Fixed income markets supply is thin today with only the UK coming to market with a 2022 treasury gilt. Nonetheless, fixed income markets have failed to recover from their opening losses despite the recent downtick seen in equities with traders keeping an eye on upcoming risk events — notably the Fed and BoE rate decisions. Also of note, we have seen the US 2/10yr spread widen this morning, moving above 100bps which is the highest seen since May. Top European News Brexit Led $17 Billion Manager to Drop U.K. Assets Before Vote: Sold out stocks and bonds in financial, consumer industies World’s Biggest Shipping Company Wants More Mergers After Japan: Maersk Line says mergers may help more than vessel sharing U.K. Must Identify Best Ways of Taxing Wealthiest, Auditor Says: Probe pursuing as much as 1.9 billion pounds in unpaid tax Japan Demands Talks With U.K. Government Over Brexit Strategy: Ambassador to London says his country is ‘major stakeholder’ In FX markets, commodities currencies have received a boost after Chinese PMI data came in ahead of expectations The Aussie strengthened 0.8 percent versus the greenback. Twenty-two of 28 economists surveyed by Bloomberg forecast the Reserve Bank of Australia would keep its benchmark interest rate at a record-low 1.5 percent, while the other six forecast a quarter-point reduction. Governor Philip Lowe expressed concern about rising property prices and said the economy is expanding at close to its potential rate with inflation seen picking up gradually over the next two years. “We think the RBA is likely on hold for the foreseeable future,” said David Forrester, a foreign-exchange strategist at Credit Agricole SA’s corporate and investment-banking unit in Hong Kong. “We don’t think they’ll cut in 2017.” The yen weakened 0.1 percent after the BOJ kept its monetary policy stance unchanged, as forecast by the vast majority of economists in a Bloomberg survey, and pushed back the projected timing for reaching its 2 percent inflation goal to the fiscal year starting April 2018. The central bank re-set its monetary program in September to target yields on Japanese government bonds following a comprehensive policy review. “It looks as though the least anticipated BOJ meeting of the year will quite rightly produce the least market impact,” said Sean Callow, a senior strategist at Westpac Banking Corp. in Sydney. “Six weeks after taking the big step to target JGB yields is not the time to make yet another change, but extending the likely time to reach 2 percent inflation is at least admitting reality.” In commodities, the Bloomberg Commodity Index rose 0.5 percent, after ending the last session at its lowest level since Sept. 27. Copper headed for the highest close in almost three months in London, while aluminum held near its best close since June 2015 following the upbeat manufacturing figures for China, the world’s biggest user of industrial metals. Zinc was near a fresh five-year high as steel gained in Shanghai. Gasoline in New York jumped as much as 15 percent to the highest level since June after Colonial Pipeline Co., which carries oil products to New York Harbor from the U.S. refining center in Houston, shut mainlines on the pipe for the second time in two months. Crude oil fell 0.3 percent to $46.71 a barrel in New York, after tumbling 3.8 percent on Monday. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries ended two days of talks on Saturday without any commitments being made to limit oil output by its members or major producers from outside of the group. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said it looks increasingly unlikely that a deal will be agreed at an OPEC meeting this month, adding that failure would warrant crude prices in the low-$40s. Looking at the day ahead, the highlight is the ISM manufacturing print for this month which is expected to show little change at 51.7. The final manufacturing PMI revision will also be made while construction spending, the IBD/TIPP economic optimism reading and finally October vehicle sales data are released this evening to round out the data. With no central bank speak to highlight the other focus will of course be earnings with 41 S&P 500 companies scheduled to release their latest quarterlies. The highlights include Pfizer and Kellogg both prior to the open. BP and Royal Dutch Shell headline releases in Europe. * * * US Event Calendar 8:55am: Redbook weekly sales 9:45am: Markit U.S. Manufacturing PMI, Oct. F, est. 53.2 (prior 53.2) 10am: Construction Spending m/m, Sept., est. 0.5% (prior -0.7%) 10am: ISM Manufacturing, Oct., est. 51.7 (prior 51.5) 4:30pm: API weekly oil inventories DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap Welcome to November. Indeed where has this year gone? It's a cliché to say that time speeds up as you get older but as the first seeds of a mid life crisis permeate I've read a bit about this topic and apparently in scientific tests when a 20 and 70 year old count in their heads without a time piece, the 70 year old counts quicker. So time is perceived to be going quicker for the latter. Some have even suggested that the perception of time between the ages of 5-10 is the same as that between 40-80. Anyway at the end today we'll go back in time a little and compile our usual monthly and annual performance review. Spoiler alert. It's not a pretty sight for Sterling asset holders. Before we get there though we’re jumping straight to the overnight news in Asia where it’s been a busy session with central bank meetings and more data out of China. Starting with the former, the BoJ has left its current policy unchanged as widely expected, however more notably has slightly tinkered with the inflation outlook. Acknowledging that momentum towards the price stability target is now ‘somewhat weaker than the previous outlook’, the BoJ has revised down its core CPI forecast for fiscal 2017 to 1.5% from 1.7% and also pushed back the 2% inflation target to ‘around fiscal 2018’. That hasn’t come as much of a surprise to the market though which was already sceptical about the BoJ’s timing for its price target. The Yen is little changed around the 104.80 area while Japanese equity markets have recovered slightly from earlier losses to trade flat as we go to print. All eyes on Kuroda now who is due to speak at 6.30am GMT and after we publish. Meanwhile, in Australia the RBA has also left current policy unchanged which was also widely expected by the market. Our economists note that there wasn’t too much new in the statement although the RBA did acknowledge that house prices are rising ‘briskly’ in some markets. The Aussie Dollar is up about half a percent with the news while bond yields in the antipodeans are up a few basis points. The ASX is currently -0.70%. Finally, in China the October PMI’s were generally supportive. The manufacturing PMI has increased 0.8pts to 51.2 (vs. 50.3 expected) and the non-manufacturing PMI is up to 54.0 from 53.7. That manufacturing print is in fact the highest level in 26 months with the details revealing that new orders, employment and raw materials were all higher. That data was also backed up by the private Caixin survey reading where the manufacturing print also came in at 51.2 (from 50.1 in September). Our China economists believe that the strong PMI’s will likely make the government more comfortable tightening monetary and property sector policies in Q4. The Shanghai Comp is +0.33% following the data while the Hang Seng is also up +1.14% So while it’s fairly mixed across bourses in Asia this morning there’s still a constant theme and that’s the underperformance for energy names following the latest plummet for Oil. Following the disappointment of the lack of any material progress from the OPEC and non-OPEC meetings over the weekend, yesterday WTI plunged -3.78% and closed below $47/bbl for the first time since September 27th. After touching an intraday high of $51.93/bbl back on the 19th of October, WTI has now tumbled nearly -10% with the market questioning whether the cartel will actually be able to fill out the finer quota level details needed to follow through on a production curb. WTI is trading marginally firmer (+0.13%) this morning. As a reminder, OPEC are due to meet at the end of this month. Unsurprisingly then it was energy names which suffered yesterday. European equities were in the red from the off and the Stoxx 600 eventually finished down -0.54% with the latest batch of earnings releases not really adding much momentum. Across the pond US equities actually kicked off with a relatively positive tone and put to rest any fears that the FBI/Clinton related headlines might have a further dampening effect. However a late dip into the close meant that the S&P 500 (-0.01%) finished marginally in the red for the fifth session in a row. That’s only the 3rd time this year that the index has fallen for five consecutive days however as we noted yesterday, the cumulative decline in that time is only -1.17% so it’s hardly been a big selloff. US credit indices did however underperform given the greater energy exposure. CDX IG ended 1bp wider and CDX HY was 3bps wider. The other notable news yesterday was over at the BoE. After much speculation Mark Carney last night surprised everyone by announcing that he would step down in June 2019. Over the last few days press speculation had suggested that he may resign within days, next year, serve his 5 year term to 2018 or alternatively take up the option of an extension until 2021. With the announcement also meaning that Carney will guide the UK through the early stages of the departure from the EU, Sterling got a rare boost to close up +0.47% at $1.2242 although it was up as much as +0.90% from the early intraday lows at one stage. It’s -0.06% this morning. The news came after the London close so we didn’t get to see any impact on Gilts (10y yield 1.5bps lower at 1.241%) or the FTSE 100 (-0.60%). Meanwhile, over at the ECB the latest weekly CSPP data was released yesterday. As at the 28th of October the ECB reported total holdings of €37.815bn. That implies that total net purchases settled last week were €1.929bn or an average daily run rate of €386m. That’s marginally ahead of the €378m run rate since the program and so suggestive of another steady week of purchases. It’ll be interesting to see if we see any slowdown in purchases as we start to approach the latter end of this month and into the holiday period. Away from central banks, with the ISM manufacturing print looming this afternoon in the US, yesterday’s regional manufacturing surveys were seen as a bit disappointing leading into the data . The Chicago PMI declined 3.6pts this month to 50.6 (vs. 54.0 expected) which is the lowest reading since May. The Dallas Fed’s manufacturing survey followed that and while the index did improve 2.2pts to -1.5, it still trailed market expectations for a bounce back into positive territory at +2.0. Treasuries weren’t hugely moved by the data with the benchmark 10y yield ending the day 2.1bps lower at 1.826%. European Banks (-1.07%) moved lower in tow. That wasn’t the only data out in the US however with the latest personal income and spending reports also released. September personal income was reported as rising a little less than expected at +0.3% mom (vs. +0.4% expected) although that was somewhat offset by a slightly bigger than expected increase in personal spending (+0.5% mom vs. +0.4% expected). That was in fact the strongest monthly gain for spending since June. Elsewhere the PCE deflator rose +0.2% mom in September which helped the YoY rate to nudge up to +1.2% from +1.0%. The PCE core rose +0.1% mom as expected and so keeping the YoY rate steady at +1.7%. There was important data in Europe too. Despite some suggestion of upside risks to the data, Q3 GDP for the Euro area ended up printing in line at +0.3% qoq and so had the effect of keeping the YoY rate on hold at +1.6%. The latest inflation data was already released in the region with the October headline estimate coming in at +0.5% and also on line. Meanwhile, the highlight of the UK data was mortgage approvals data for September. Approvals were reported as increasing to 62.9k (vs. 61.5k expected) from 61.0k in the month prior. That’s the highest level since the referendum vote. Staying in Europe, the latest referendum poll was released in Italy yesterday. According to the Demopolis Poll, 49.5% of voters would vote “Yes” in the constitutional referendum next month and 50.5% would reject the reforms. The poll didn’t take into the account the large undecided proportion which is said to stand at 27%. The last Demopolis Poll came in at 51% to 49% in favour of “Yes” so this suggests a small swing the other way. Still, voting is incredibly close and the proportion of undecided voters still remains very significant. Looking at the day ahead it’s a fairly quiet morning as far as data is concerned in the European session with the only release scheduled being the UK manufacturing PMI for October (expected to fall to 54.5 from 55.4). In the US this afternoon the highlight is the ISM manufacturing print for this month which is expected to show little change at 51.7. The final manufacturing PMI revision will also be made while construction spending, the IBD/TIPP economic optimism reading and finally October vehicle sales data are released this evening to round out the data. With no central bank speak to highlight the other focus will of course be earnings with 41 S&P 500 companies scheduled to release their latest quarterlies. The highlights include Pfizer and Kellogg both prior to the open. BP and Royal Dutch Shell headline releases in Europe.
Hillary Clinton has collected 40 times more money from the financial industry than Donald Trump has, but she doesn't seem in any hurry to reward banks for that.Clinton is supporting a move by the Federal Reserve to formally propose more increases to capital standards for eight of the largest U.S. banks early next year, just as a new administration begins.“It’s consistent with what we've been calling for,” her spokesman Donte Donald told POLITICO.Her endorsement, though not entirely surprising, is hardly welcome news to the megabanks, which are warily anticipating yet another layer of regulations added on to a swath of new capital and liquidity requirements imposed on them as part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act.“We’re paying very close attention,” one banking industry official said of the Fed’s proposal, for which the details aren’t yet clear. “It’s a top-of-mind issue."Despite the lopsided advantage in donations for Clinton, Trump might be the better bet for the banks in the long run. The real estate mogul has not only proposed a moratorium on new regulations, he has also pledged to scrap Dodd-Frank.“It’s his view that banks are overregulated rather than underregulated," said Trump economic adviser Stephen Moore, who founded the conservative advocacy group Club for Growth, when asked how the Republican nominee might respond to the Fed's plan. Though the Fed doesn’t answer to the White House, Trump — who has been a vocal critic of the central bank and Fed Chair Janet Yellen during the campaign — would have a lot of political pressure at his disposal as president. Still, financial sector employees have donated a combined $71.6 million to Clinton’s campaign compared to a meager $1.8 million to Trump. That’s in no small part because she is a known quantity whose constituents included Wall Street banks during her eight years in the U.S. Senate, while Trump is considered unpredictable. Clinton’s warm words for banks in private speeches uncovered by WikiLeaks — “the people that know the industry better than anybody are the people who work in the industry,” she said of drawing up regulations — have also cheered Wall Street officials, who have faced a growing political chill since the financial crisis. But the endorsement of higher capital standards on banks is an early sign that if Clinton occupies the Oval Office, regulators won't be getting the message to ease up. And harsh political headwinds, following an election where “Wall Street” is a toxic phrase, could blunt any push that banks consider making against what they see as poorly calibrated policy.Global Significance The Fed is phasing in the “surcharge” on the eight banks that are considered important to the global financial system. Fed Gov. Daniel Tarullo, who takes the lead on regulatory affairs for the central bank, said a few weeks ago the agency is planning to incorporate that surcharge into annual “stress tests” that examine how large banks would perform under extremely adverse economic scenarios.The result is effectively another increase in how much capital those eight banks will be required to hold. That comes on top of a base 7 percent of capital that all banks with assets above $50 billion must demonstrate post-stress. The Clearing House Association, which represents large banks, criticized what it characterized as “significant limitations and weaknesses" in the way the central bank calculated the surcharge, as well as the decision to include it in the stress tests.The banks affected are: JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Bank of New York Mellon and State Street. The proposal is likely to get a lot of support from the Hill, where many members are pleased by another change to the stress tests announced by Tarullo: the softening of requirements for most banks with less than $250 billion in assets, which House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling called a “very small step in the right direction.” “The message from the Fed is the biggest guys are going to hold more capital and are going to have a tougher test, and the smaller guys get some relief,” said Ed Mills, an analyst at FBR Capital Markets. Those moves together jibe with congressional interest in tailoring regulations more specifically to banks’ size and activities, beyond a simple $50 billion threshold, he said.“You could argue the reason why it’s happening is this is exactly what Congress has been asking for,” he added.That isn’t to say the proposal won’t face any pushback on the Hill.Reps. Randy Neugebauer and Robert Pittenger in August expressed worry that including the surcharge in stress tests would discourage banks from participating in capital markets. The two Republicans also suggested the Fed might be using the stress tests to restructure big banks rather than simply making sure those institutions are resilient.The Government Accountability Office is also expected to issue within the next month a report on the costs, benefits, effectiveness and transparency of the stress tests, which could provide fodder for Republicans critical of the secrecy of the Fed. Still, broad political support for tougher requirements on big banks makes it unlikely the proposal will undergo significant changes under the next administration. Art Angulo, a managing director at Promontory Financial Group, said the Fed has already outlined the proposal in some detail, and said proposing the rule will provide further insulation against changes.“Clearly, the Fed is attuned to the political winds, though it still has a very high degree of independence compared to other government agencies,” said Angulo, a former New York Fed official. Future of the Fed Yet if Trump were to win, the relationship between the Fed and the executive could become more complicated. Trump could decide to criticize the central bank publicly if he disagrees with the approach, something few presidents have done. The central bank vehemently defends itself against any threat to its policy independence. But it also has an aversion to the political spotlight, creating some incentive for Fed officials to work with Trump. While there’s a “bumper” between the executive branch and the financial regulators, “Trump would have no respect for that; he’s made it very clear,” said Simon Johnson, a senior fellow with the Peterson Institute for International Economics and a former chief economist at the IMF. “He could bring a lot of pressure to bear, and there’s no question that within a year he’d be able to gut all effective regulation around finance,” he added. FBR’s Mills took a less drastic view. Any changes Trump would push for in Dodd-Frank “are unlikely material — especially for the largest banks — as many of the regulations were implemented by a host of regulators, over a multiyear process,” he said in a brief to clients. “These changes would require a new notice and comment period, following new leadership that would be years away.” Trump adviser Moore said while it's unclear what immediate recourse the Republican would have to stop any regulation, Trump would ultimately appoint Fed governors more in line with his philosophy.Moore said further capital requirements are "probably not very advisable right now" because banks are already holding onto too much and criticized the Fed for "micromanaging the economy.""These decisions should be made by the market," Moore said.
Diamond Hill Large Cap A Fund (DHLAX) a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) was incepted in June 2001 and is managed by Diamond Hill Capital Management Inc
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Rise in revenues primarily led to the earnings beat at State Street (STT).
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Центр по обмену и анализу информации о финансовых услугах — влиятельная организация по кибербезопасности в финансовой сфере — объявил в понедельник о создании подразделения, целью которого является борьба с киберпреступностью и укрепление кибербезопасности финансовых институтов. Как сообщили в FS-ISAC, создание этого подразделения — результат переговоров восьми банков (Bank of America, BNY Mellon, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, State Street и Wells Fargo). О том, что эти банки планируют объединиться и создать организацию по борьбе с киберпреступностью, стало известно еще в августе. Функции самого центра по обмену и анализу информации о финансовых услугах примерно такие же, но он объединяет 7 тыс. банков. В связи с этим крупные финансовые институты решили, что им необходимо выделиться…
Huntington Bancshares Incorporated (HBAN) is scheduled to report third-quarter 2016 results on Wednesday, Oct 26, before the market opens.
Американское рейтинговое агентство Standard & Poor's объявило о понижении кредитного рейтинга восьми крупнейших банков США, среди которых JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of America Corp. и Citigroup Inc., сообщает Bloomberg.
"Инвестор и основной акционер компании Apple Карл Айкан оценил стоимость одной акции этой компании в $216, что на $91 выше их текущей стоимости. По мнению Айкана, капитализация Apple должна составлять около $1,3 трлн" (РБК) Оставим вопрос о справедливости такой фантастической стоимости акций, и примем за факт, что Apple - крупнейшая мировая компания. Зададим простой, но щекотливый вопрос, кто владеет этой компанией, по стоимости равной бюджетам нескольких европейских стран вместе взятых? Казалось бы, в цитате от РБК четко и ясно указано , что основной акционер некий Карл Айкан, эксцентричный милииардер, циничная акула бизнеса, известный рейдер и вымогатель, скандалист и многое другое. Собственно, именно он чаще всего и упоминается в СМИ как главный акционер и ньюсмейкер. Есть ещё Тим Кук - генеральный директор Apple (тот, что официальный гей), но он фигура назначаемая акционерами, то есть владельцем не является никак. Однако, внимательно изучив ситуацию, мы обнаруживаем удивительный факт - миллиардер Карл Айкан владеет всего 1(одним) процентом акций Apple. Конечно, стоимость даже одного процента - сумма огромная, но это же всего одна сотая часть! Где остальное? Вопрос не то, чтобы скрытый, но на примере того же РБК не только замалчиваемый, но и открыто фальсифицируемый в СМИ.
Банки правят миром. А кто правит банками? Сегодня уже не надо доказывать, что пресловутая гегемония США зиждется на монополии печатного станка Федеральной резервной системы (ФРС). Более или менее понятно также, что акционерами ФРС выступают банки мирового калибра. В их число входят не только банки США (банки Уолл-стрит), но и европейские банки Европы (банки Лондонского Сити и некоторых стран континентальной Европы). В период мирового финансового кризиса 2007-2009 гг. ФРС, действуя без огласки, раздала разным банкам кредитов (почти беспроцентных) на сумму свыше 16 трлн. долл. Хозяева денег раздавали кредиты самим себе, то есть тем банкам, которые и являются главными акционерами Федерального резерва. В начале текущего десятилетия под сильным нажимом Конгресса США был проведен частичный аудит ФРС, и летом 2011 года его результаты были обнародованы. Список получателей кредитов и есть список главных акционеров ФРС. Вот они (в скобках указаны суммы полученных кредитов ФРС в миллиардах долларов): Citigroup (2500); Morgan Staley (2004); Merril Lynch (1949); Bank of America (1344); Barclays PLC (868); Bear Sterns (853); Goldman Sachs (814); Royal Bank of Scotland (541); JP Morgan (391); Deutsche Bank (354); Credit Swiss (262); UBS (287); Leman Brothers (183); Bank of Scotland (181); BNP Paribas (175). Примечательно, что целый ряд получателей кредитов ФРС - не американские, а иностранные банки: английские (Barclays PLC, Royal Bank of Scotland, Bank of Scotland); швейцарские (Credit Swiss, UBS); немецкий Deutsche Bank; французский BNP Paribas. Указанные банки получили от Федерального резерва около 2,5 триллиона долларов. Не ошибёмся, если предположим, что это – иностранные акционеры ФРС. Однако если состав главных акционеров Федрезерва более или менее понятен, то этого не скажешь в отношении акционеров тех банков, которые, собственно, и владеют печатным станком ФРС. Кто же является акционерами акционеров Федерального резерва? Прежде всего, рассмотрим ведущие банки США. На сегодняшний день ядро банковской системы США представлено шестью банками. «Большая шестерка» включает Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, Citigroup. Они занимают первые строчки американских банковских рейтингов по таким показателям, как величина капитала, контролируемых активов, привлеченных депозитов, капитализация, прибыль. Если ранжировать банки по показателю активов, то на первом месте оказывается JP Morgan Chase (2.075 млрд. долл. в конце 2014 г.). По показателю капитализации первое место занимает Wells Fargo (261,7 млрд. долл. осенью 2014 года). Кстати, по этому показателю Wells Fargo вышел на первое место не только в Америке, но и в мире (хотя по активам в США он занимает лишь четвертое место, а в мире даже не входит в первую двадцатку). На официальных сайтах этих банков имеется кое-какая информация об акционерах. Основная часть капитала «большой шёстерки» американских банков находится в руках так называемых институциональных акционеров – разного рода финансовых компаний. Среди них есть и банки, то есть имеет место перекрестное участие в капитале. Количество институциональных инвесторов на начало 2015 года в отдельных банках было следующим: Bank of America – 1410; JP Morgan Chase – 1795; Morgan Stanley – 826; Goldman Sachs – 1018; Wells Fargo – 1729; Citigroup – 1247. В каждом из названных банков достаточно четко выделяется группа крупных инвесторов (акционеров). Это те инвесторы (акционеры), которые имеют более 1 процента капитала каждый. Таких акционеров насчитывается, как правило, от 10 до 20. Бросается в глаза, что во всех банках в группе крупных инвесторов фигурируют одни и те же компании и организации. В табл. 1 приведем список таких крупнейших институциональных инвесторов (акционеров). Табл. 1. Источник: http://finance.yahoo.com/q/mh?s=GS+Major+Holders Кроме обозначенных в таблице институциональных инвесторов в списках акционеров ведущих американских банков присутствуют следующие организации: Capital World Investors, Massachusetts Financial Services, Price (T. Rowe) Associates Inc., Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc., Berkshire Hathaway Inc., Dodge & Cox Inc., Invesco Ltd., Franklin Resources, Inc., Bank of New York Mellon Corporation и некоторые другие. Я называю лишь те, которые фигурируют в качестве акционеров хотя бы в двух из шести ведущих банков США. Фигурирующие в финансовой отчетности ведущих американских банков институциональные акционеры – это различные финансовые компании и банки. Отдельный учет ведется в отношении таких акционеров, как физические лица и взаимные фонды. В целом ряде банков Уолл-стрит заметная доля акций принадлежит работникам этих банков. Разумеется, это не рядовые сотрудники, а ведущие менеджеры (впрочем, некоторое символическое количество акций могут иметь и рядовые банковские служащие). Что касается взаимных фондов (mutual funds) (1), то многие из них находятся в сфере влияния все тех же институциональных акционеров, которые названы выше. В качестве примера можно привести список наиболее крупных акционеров американского банка Goldman Sachs, относящихся к категории взаимных фондов (табл. 2). Табл. 2. Источник: finance.yahoo.com По крайней мере три фонда из приведенных в таблице 2 находятся в сфере влияния финансовой корпорации Vanguard Group. Это Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund, Vanguard 500 Index Fund, Vanguard Institutional Index Fund-Institutional Index Fund. Доля Vanguard Group в акционерном капитале Goldman Sachs – 4,90%. А три взаимных фонда, находящихся в системе этого финансового холдинга, дают дополнительно еще 3,59%. Таким образом, фактически позиции Vanguard Group в банке Goldman Sachs определяются долей не 4,90%, а 8,49%. В ряде банков Уолл-стрит имеется категория индивидуальных акционеров – физических лиц. Как правило, это высшие руководители данного банка, как действующие, так и ушедшие на пенсию. Приведем справку об индивидуальных акционерах банка Goldman Sachs (табл. 3). Табл. 3. Источник: finance.yahoo.com В совокупности указанные в табл. 3 пять физических лиц имеют на руках более 5,5 млн. акций банка Goldman Sachs, что составляет примерно 1,3% всего акционерного капитала банка. Это столько же, сколько акций у такого институционального акционера, как Northern Trust. Кто эти люди? Высшие менеджеры Goldman Sachs. Ллойд Бланкфейн, например, - председатель совета директоров и главный исполнительный директор Goldman Sachs с 31 мая 2006 года. Джон Вайнберг – вице-президент Goldman Sachs с того же времени, одновременно член управляющего комитета и сопредседатель подразделения инвестиционного банкинга (последний пост он оставил в декабре 2014 года). Три других индивидуальных акционера также относятся к категории высшего менеджмента банка Goldman Sachs, причем все являются действующими сотрудниками данного банка. Достаточно ли нескольких процентов участия в акционерном капитале для того, чтобы эффективно управлять банком? Тут следует учесть, по крайней мере, три момента. Во-первых, в ведущих банках США давно уже нет очень крупных акционеров. Формально в этих банках нет ни одного акционера, доля которого была бы выше 10%. Общее число институциональных акционеров (инвесторов) в американских банках колеблется в пределах одной тысячи. Получается, что в среднем на одного институционального акционера приходится примерно 0,1 процента капитала. На самом деле - меньше, поскольку кроме них есть еще взаимные фонды (учитываемые отдельно), а также многие тысячи физических лиц. В ряде банков акциями владеют служащие. В случае банка Goldman Sachs в руках физических лиц находится около 7% акционерного капитала. Наконец, часть акций находятся в свободном обращении на фондовом рынке. С учетом распыления акционерного капитала среди десятков тысяч держателей бумаг владение даже 1 процентом акций банка Уолл-стрит – это очень мощная позиция. Во-вторых, за несколькими (или многими) формально самостоятельными акционерами может стоять один и тот же хозяин - конечный бенефициар. Скажем, хозяева финансового холдинга Vanguard Group участвуют в капитале банка Goldman Sachs и напрямую, и через взаимные фонды, находящиеся в сфере влияния указанного холдинга. Скорее всего, доля Vanguard Group в капитале Goldman Sachs не 4,90% (доля материнской компании) и не 8,49% (доля с учетом трех подконтрольных взаимных фондов), а больше. Нельзя сбрасывать со счетов и акционеров – физических лиц, чей удельный вес намного выше, чем их доля в акционерном капитале, поскольку это высшие менеджеры, поставленные на руководящие должности теми, кого называют «конечными бенефициарами». В-третьих, есть такие акционеры, влияние которых на политику банка превышает их долю в акционерном капитале по той причине, что они владеют так называемыми голосующими акциями. В то же время другие акционеры владеют так называемыми привилегированными акциями. Последние дают их владельцам такую привилегию, как получение фиксированного дивиденда, но при этом лишают их владельца права голосования на собраниях акционеров. Скажем, акционер может иметь долю в капитале банка, равную 5%, но при этом его доля в общем количестве голосов может быть 10, 20 или даже 50%. А привилегия решающего голоса для банков Уолл-стрит может иметь гораздо большее значение, чем привилегия получения гарантированного дохода. Вернемся к табл. 1 в первой части статьи. Она показывает, что почти во всех американских банках главными акционерами являются финансовые холдинги. При этом если названия ведущих банков Уолл-стрит сегодня известны всем, то названия финансовых холдингов, владеющих большими пакетами акций этих банков, говорят о чем-то лишь очень узкому кругу финансистов. А ведь речь идет о тех, кто в конечном счете контролирует банковскую систему США и Федеральную резервную систему. Например, в последнее время довольно часто упоминался инвестиционный фонд Franklin Templeton Investments, который скупил долговые бумаги Украины на 7-8 млрд. долл. и активно участвует в экономическом удушении этой стран. Между тем указанный фонд – дочерняя структура финансового холдинга Franklin Resources Inc., который является акционером банка Citigroup (доля 1,24%) и банка Morgan Stanley (1,40%). Такие финансовые холдинги, как Vanguard Group, State Street Corporation, FMR (Fidelity), Black Rock, Northern Trust, Capital World Investors, Massachusetts Financial Services, Price (T. Rowe) Associates Inc., Dodge & Cox Inc.; Invesco Ltd., Franklin Resources, Inc., АХА, Capital Group Companies, Pacific Investment Management Co. (PIMCO) и еще несколько других не просто участвуют в капитале американских банков, а владеют преимущественно голосующими акциями. Именно эти финансовые компании и осуществляют реальный контроль над банковской системой США. Некоторые аналитики полагают, что акционерное ядро банков Уолл-стрит составляют всего четыре финансовые компании. Другие компании-акционеры либо не относятся к категории ключевых акционеров, либо прямо или через цепочку посредников контролируются все той же «большой четвёркой». В табл. 4 представлена сводная информация о главных акционерах ведущих банков США. Табл. 4. Оценки величины активов, находящихся в управлении финансовых компаний, являющихся акционерами главных банков США, достаточно условны и периодически пересматриваются. В некоторых случаях оценки включают лишь собственные активы компаний, в других случаях – ещё и активы, передаваемые компаниям в трастовое управление. В любом случае величина контролируемых ими активов впечатляет. Осенью 2013 года в списке мировых банков, ранжированных по величине активов, на первом месте находился китайский банк Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) с активами 3,1 трлн. долл. Максимальные активы в банковской системе США на тот момент имел банк Bank of America (2,1 трлн. долл.). За ним следовали такие американские банки, как Citigroup (1,9 трлн. долл.) и Wells Fargo (1,5 трлн. долл.). Примечательно, что триллионными активами финансовые холдинги «большой четвёрки» ворочают при использовании достаточно скромного числа сотрудников. При совокупных активах, равных примерно 15 трлн. долл., персонал «большой четвёрки» не дотягивает до 100 тыс. человек. Для сравнения: численность сотрудников лишь в банке Citigroup составляет около 250 тыс. человек, в Wells Fargo – 280 тыс. человек. В сравнении с финансовыми холдингами «большой четвёрки» банки Уолл-стрит выглядят рабочими лошадками. По показателю контролируемых активов финансовые компании «большой четвёрки» находятся в более тяжелой весовой категории, чем американские банки «большой шестёрки». «Большая четвёрка» финансовых холдингов простирает свои щупальца не только на банковскую систему США, но и на компании других секторов американской и зарубежной экономики. Тут можно вспомнить исследование специалистов Швейцарского технологического института (Цюрих), целью которого было выявить управляющее ядро мировой экономической и финансовой системы. В 2011 году швейцарцы причислили к ядру мировых финансов 1218 компаний и банков по состоянию на начало финансового кризиса (2007 год). Внутри этого конгломерата было выявлено еще более плотное ядро из 147 компаний. По оценкам авторов исследования, это малое ядро контролировало 40% всех корпоративных активов в мире. Компании ядра были швейцарскими исследователями ранжированы. Воспроизведем первую десятку этого рейтинга: 1. Barclays plc 2. Capital Group Companies Inc 3. FMR Corporation 4. AXA 5. State Street Corporation 6. JP Morgan Chase & Co 7. Legal & General Group plc 8. Vanguard Group Inc 9. UBS AG 10. Merrill Lynch & Co Inc. Важное обстоятельство: все 10 строчек швейцарского списка занимают организации финансового сектора. Из них четыре – банки, названия которых у всех на слуху (одного из них – Merrill Lynch – уже не существует). Особо отметим американский банк JP Morgan Chase & Co. Это не просто банк, а банковский холдинг, участвующий в капиталах многих других американских банков. Как видно из табл. 1, JP Morgan Chase участвует в капитале всех других банков «большой шестёрки» за исключением банка Goldman Sachs. В банковском мире США есть еще один примечательный банк, который формально не входит в «большую шестёрку», но который невидимо контролирует некоторые из банков «большой шестёрки». Речь идет о банке The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation. Указанный банк являлся держателем акций в Citigroup (доля 1,24%), JP Morgan Chase (1,48%), Bank of America (1,25%). А вот шесть строчек швейцарского списка принадлежат финансовых компаниям, редко фигурирующим в открытой печати. Это финансовые холдинги, которые специализируются на приобретении по всему миру пакетов акций компаний разных отраслей экономики. Многие из них учреждают различные инвестиционные, в том числе взаимные, фонды, осуществляют управление активами клиентов на основе договоров траста и т.д. В этом списке мы видим три финансовые компании из «большой четвёрки», отображенной в табл. 4: Vanguard Group Inc, FMR Corporation (Fidelity) и State Street Corporation. Эти финансовые холдинги, а также компания Black Rock (сильно укрепившая свои позиции с 2007 года) и образуют ядро банковской системы США. Примечательно, что «большая четвёрка» очень хорошо представлена и в банковском холдинге JP Morgan Chase: Vanguard Group – 5,46%; State Street Corporation – 4,71%; FMR Corporation (Fidelity) – 3,48%; Black Rock – 2,75%. Другой из названных выше банковских холдингов – The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation – контролируется тремя финансовыми компаниями «большой четвёрки»: Vanguard Group – 5,15%; State Street Corporation – 4,72%; FMR Corporation (Fidelity) Black Rock – 2,62%. После того как мы выявили управляющее ядро банковской системы США, состоящее из небольшого количества финансовых холдингов, возникает ряд новых вопросов. Кто является владельцами и конечными бенефициарами этих финансовых холдингов? Как далеко распространяется влияние этих финансовых холдингов в отраслевом и географическом отношениях? Можно ли утверждать, что подход к объяснению происходящего в сфере мировых финансов на основе концепции «борьбы кланов Ротшильдов и Рокфеллеров» устарел? Однако это уже тема другого разговора. (1) Взаимный фонд (ВФ), или фонд взаимных инвестиций - это портфель акций, приобретённых профессиональными финансистами на вложения многих тысяч мелких вкладчиков. К началу XXI века в США действовало несколько тысяч взаимных фонов. К 2000 году в рамках взаимных фондов было открыто 164, 1 млн. счетов, то есть около двух на семью.
Портфельные менеджеры делают ставку на снижение "мусорных" облигаций. Денежные потоки в последнее время активно поступают в фонды ETF, которые шортят высокодоходные облигации.Сейчас ставки против высокодоходных облигаций достигли максимума за последние 5 лет, а значит, вполне возможно, что на этом сегменте рынка назревают серьезные распродажи, пишет Financial Times.Короткие позиции по ETF от BlackRock и State Street, инвестирующие в "мусорные облигации", за последние несколько недель росли стремительными темпами и достигли самого высокого уровня с октября 2007 года.За последние несколько лет инвесторы привыкли брать на себя риск инвестиций в наименее надежные облигации, причем предпочитают делать это через ETF, так как в этом варианте издержки минимальны. Немаловажная причина выбора "мусорных" облигаций - доходность. В условиях нулевых процентных ставок вложения в надежные активы не приносят желаемого дохода.Спрос на такого рода инструменты привел к снижению доходностей по ним до исторических минимумов. Впрочем, спред с американскими казначейскими облигациями, по историческим меркам, не показал такого сужения.