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European Banking Monitor: SMP Remains on Hold

Takeaway: Sovereign yields come in but remain elevated as Draghi elects not to reactivate the SMP last week.

Below are key European banking risk monitors, which are included as part of Josh Steiner and the Financial team's "Monday Morning Risk Monitor".  If you'd like to receive the work of the Financials team or request a trial please email .

 

Key Takeaways:

 

* European financials acted a lot like European sovereigns, both tightening week-over-week. The Draghi rally continues for now. As the SMP chart below shows, Draghi elected for yet another week to refrain from buying sovereign peripheral paper. We expect this to change in the coming weeks.

 

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If you’d like to discuss recent developments in Europe, from the political to financial to social, please let me know and we can set up a call.

 

Matthew Hedrick

Senior Analyst

 

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Security Market Program – For the 22nd straight week the ECB's secondary sovereign bond purchasing program, the Securities Market Program (SMP), purchased no sovereign paper for the latest week ended 8/10, to take the total program to €211.5 Billion.

 

Following President Draghi’s conference call remarks on 8/2 in which he addressed rising yields in the periphery and said that the ECB “may undertake” non-standard  measures, we continue to expect that the ECB will reactivate the SMP to buy Spanish and Italian bonds, in particular, in the coming weeks.

 

European Banking Monitor: SMP Remains on Hold - aaa. SMP

 

European Financials CDS Monitor French and Italian banks tightened, alongside the sovereigns. Spanish banks were mixed, with a few of them posting sizable widening. Overall, however, swaps throughout Europe's financial system were notably tighter. 

 

European Banking Monitor: SMP Remains on Hold - aaa. Banks

 

Euribor-OIS spread – The Euribor-OIS spread tightened by 3 bps to 28 bps. The Euribor-OIS spread (the difference between the euro interbank lending rate and overnight indexed swaps) measures bank counterparty risk in the Eurozone. The OIS is analogous to the effective Fed Funds rate in the United States.  Banks lending at the OIS do not swap principal, so counterparty risk in the OIS is minimal.  By contrast, the Euribor rate is the rate offered for unsecured interbank lending.  Thus, the spread between the two isolates counterparty risk.

 

European Banking Monitor: SMP Remains on Hold - aaa. Euribor

 

ECB Liquidity Recourse to the Deposit Facility – The ECB Liquidity Recourse to the Deposit Facility measures banks’ overnight deposits with the ECB.  Taken in conjunction with excess reserves, the ECB deposit facility measures excess liquidity in the Euro banking system.  An increase in this metric shows that banks are borrowing from the ECB.  In other words, the deposit facility measures one element of the ECB response to the crisis.  

 

European Banking Monitor: SMP Remains on Hold - aaa. ECB facility


Moral Markets

Takeaway: Yep, today it’s a race to the bottom. Who can implement the more left-leaning 2-stroke combo of Monetary and Fiscal Policy?

This note was originally published August 13, 2012 at 07:41 in Early Look

“Moral purpose characterized the march in an age of increasing amorality and political duplicity.”

-Victor Davis Hanson (The Soul of Battle)

 

Markets don’t have morals; people do. People and politicians plan; markets rise and fall. All the while our society changes. Contrary to many economically partisan beliefs, the stock market’s price doesn’t always reflect that either.

 

Some say that market prices reflect the health of a country. We say a country’s currency does. Some say that market volumes “don’t matter.” We say they reflect The People’s trust in the market’s price.

 

Newly minted Republican VP candidate Paul Ryan says fiscal and monetary policy have causal effects on jobs, growth, and inflation expectations. President Obama says Ryan is an ideologue. Both are probably right. If there ever was a pervasive economic ideology of both the Bush and Obama Administrations, Keynesian Economics swallows the cake.

 

Back to the Global Macro Grind

 

Everything that really matters in Macro Markets happens on the margin. We think that, on the margin, Paul Ryan is going to be US Dollar bullish over the intermediate-term TREND (3 months or more). He will, at a bare minimum, change the economic debate.

 

To contextualize that, across our core risk management durations (TRADE/TREND/TAIL), here’s how the US Dollar looks:

  1. TRADE = bearish (resistance = $83.06)
  2. TREND = bullish (support = $81.69)
  3. TAIL = bullish (support = $78.62) 

In other words, like it did in the early 1980s, our math thinks the intermediate (TREND) to long-term (TAIL) resuscitation of a decade of political Dollar Debauchery is coming to an end. With the inverse of what Dollar Down has meant to Global Consumers for the last 10 years now in play (Brent Oil prices up +337.5% since August 13th, 2002), that’s a very good thing.

 

Back to this whole ideologue vs. demagogue thing…

 

As a reminder, our ideological framework on what inflates/deflates currencies (i.e. the only risk management process that’s really worked across the last 99 years of economic history post the Federal Reserve Act of 1913) has 2 key components:

  1. Monetary Policy
  2. Fiscal Policy 

If short-termism (politics) is driving both of these policies the wrong way (printing money and deficit/debt spending as far as the eye can see in order to prop up stock market prices), you ultimately get a nasty employment, growth, and stagflation situation in store for your people. Sound familiar?

 

Examples:

  1. Britain 1960s
  2. USA 1970s
  3. Europe/USA today

Yep, today it’s a race to the bottom. Who can implement the more left-leaning 2-stroke combo of Monetary and Fiscal Policy?

 

Thankfully, I’m not a Bush Republican or an Obama Democrat so I don’t have to shape my storytelling to a partisan conclusion. Economically speaking, I’m center-right. I don’t lever my family or firm up with debt. I’d rather die than beg for a bailout.

 

Both Bush and Obama were center-left. Krugman vs Bernanke is hard left versus center-left (Bush and Obama had Geithner and Bernanke).

 

Ideologically speaking:

  1. Keynesian Economics = center-left
  2. Hayekian Economics = center-right

Paul Ryan is a professional politician, but not unlike many successful politicians who have come before him he has effectively borrowed what Margaret Thatcher did in the late 1970s, slamming it down at the Tory Convention, saying “this is what we believe!”

 

Hayekian Economics.

 

What do you believe? It’s hard for me to believe that more than 1 out of 100,000 Americans can explain the difference between Keynesian and Hayekian Economics, never mind which one they believe. That will change. Unless this time is different, of course.

 

Do you believe piling more debt-upon-debt, taxing, and spending, is going to give you the elixir of promised economic growth? Do you believe that easy monetary and fiscal policy debauches your currency and gives you inflation in food/energy, perpetuating a slow growth, no jobs, economy?

 

Do you believe in partisan fairy tales? Moral Markets don’t. Because they aren’t moral. This election is now going to be all about something that’s at least a little closer to what’s been driving us all apart.

 

My immediate-term support and resistance ranges for Gold, Oil (Brent), US Dollar, EUR/USD, Russell2000, and the SP500 are now $1611-1628, $110.89-115.35, $81.79-83.03, $1.21-1.23, 790-803, and 1390-1407, respectively.

 

Best of luck out there today,

KM

 

Keith R. McCullough
Chief Executive Officer

 

Moral Markets - 1111. el

 

Moral Markets - Virtual Portfolio


MACAU BACK ON TRACK

Average daily table revenues accelerated from last week’s slow start

 

Average daily table revenues accelerated from last week’s slow start, HK$664 up to HK$757 million.  We had anticipated acceleration on par with historical seasonality.  Note that the corresponding week from last year in August benefited from high hold and had an ADTR of HK$793 million.  Our full month August projection remains unchanged at HK$24.5-26.0 billion which would represent YoY growth of +2-8%, up from July’s 1.5% growth. 

 

For market share, LVS continues to maintain 20% plus market share.  We are hearing the Mass floors at the company’s properties have been extremely busy.  The company’s initial marketing efforts appear to be finally paying off at SCC.  We believe market share will take another big jump in September when the Sheraton rooms open at SCC.  LVS continues to look like a nice long trade into that opening.  Wynn’s share jumped up in the past week while MPEL and MGM remain below trend. 

 

MACAU BACK ON TRACK - 8 13 2012 11 43 31 AM

 

MACAU BACK ON TRACK - 8 13 2012 11 50 13 AM


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IDEA ALERT: MGM

Takeaway: The fundamental and quantitative analysis suggest an attractive entry point on the short side.

Keith shorted MGM in the Virtual Portfolio at $9.76.

 

 

MGM management was surprisingly upbeat on ‘improving consumer trends’ in Q3.  However, we are skeptical since companies such as Priceline and Orbitz have warned of worse than expected leisure bookings.  Meanwhile, slot volumes, which are the ultimate barometer of the health of Vegas, have fallen in three straight months and we forecast July volume declines to accelerate.

 

MGM still has a long way to go to get back to acceptable leverage ratios.  De-levering will have to occur in the face of bad demographics and a structurally much different economy than the housing fueled environment of the past 15 years that allowed MGM to thrive.  We are negative on the long-term fundamental outlook of domestic casinos.

 

Keith sees the TRADE line at $10.07 and TREND at $10.84 so the current entry point is below both lines.  There is no support to below $9.


SOFT SINGAPORE: 2Q MARKET REVIEW

In 2Q12 Singapore experienced its gross gaming revenue decline, falling 2% YoY and 17% QoQ

 

 

In 2Q12 Singapore gross gaming revenues fell 2% YoY and 17% QoQ to S$1.736BN.  For comparison, 2Q Macau GGR was flat QoQ and up 14% YoY.  Singapore property EBITDA also experienced its first YoY and QoQ decline to S$734MM, falling 14% YoY and 25% QoQ.

 

Q2 hold was 2.74%, the lowest quarterly hold rate experienced by the market and way below Singapore’s historical hold rate of 3.06%.  Hold was also weak in 2Q11 at 2.82%.  If we use 3% to normalize VIP revenues, GGR would have been S$1.81BN and up 1% YoY but still down 7% QoQ.

 

For the 3rd consecutive quarter, RC turnover declined YoY.  In 2Q, RC turnover was S$28.2BN, down 11% YoY and QoQ.  We estimate that while slot and ETG handle grew 21%, mass drop fell 2% YoY to S$7.2BN and S$2.7BN.  We have seen the number of slots and ETGs expand by 21% YoY to 4,934 while the total number of tables has only grown 2% over the same period to 1,173.

 

As a result of MBS’s very low hold percentage, RWS did manage to gain share sequentially across GGR, net casino revenue, EBITDA, VIP win, and slot win.  MBS gained sequential share across the following metrics: VIP RC, slot handle, mass win and drop.

 

 

SOFT SINGAPORE: 2Q MARKET REVIEW - S1

 

SOFT SINGAPORE: 2Q MARKET REVIEW - S2

 

SOFT SINGAPORE: 2Q MARKET REVIEW - S3

 

SOFT SINGAPORE: 2Q MARKET REVIEW - S4

 

SOFT SINGAPORE: 2Q MARKET REVIEW - S5

 

SOFT SINGAPORE: 2Q MARKET REVIEW - S6

 

SOFT SINGAPORE: 2Q MARKET REVIEW - S7

 

SOFT SINGAPORE: 2Q MARKET REVIEW - S8

 

SOFT SINGAPORE: 2Q MARKET REVIEW - S9


The Paul Ryan Trade

Takeaway: With the announcement of Paul Ryan as Mitt's VP, we examine if he has what it takes to turn this economy and country around.

THE PAUL RYAN TRADE

 

 

CLIENT TALKING POINTS

 

THE PAUL RYAN TRADE

Ryan is all about Hayekian economics – that’s the Austrian breed you know. Romney’s pick for vice president is going to change the game with the level at which he is a fiscal conservative. He is bullish on the US dollar and anti-Bernanke. Regarding the central planner, he will likely keep a close eye on the Fed and will delay any sort of QE before the election in November. Ryan will also bring a focus on the debt ceiling debate, an issue of which Congress desperately needs to take care of. Ryan is going to change the market dynamic – no doubt about it. Let’s see how he pulls it off.

 

FIXING THE DOLLAR

Monetary policy and fiscal policy are the two main drivers of our currency. When Ryan is pounding the table over an issue and Ben Bernanke is lowering rates, it moves the dollar. This is the only thing that has been certain over the last 100 years. According to our numbers, it looks like a Reagan-era surge is about to occur, particularly if Romney wins. The dollar has been down for about three weeks now and a reversal is coming. I mean, show us one person who’s a big fan of these prices of crude oil. Go for it. Consumers are proponents of a strong dollar. They are tired and sick of inflation and expensive fuel and food.

 

 

ALL THAT DEBT

Getting our ducks in order with regard to America’s debt problem is paramount. This country is being driven apart over issues that really need to be addressed at this point. Too bad no one in Congress can agree on anything. We’re not cheerleading for any particular side, but Paul Ryan is the closest thing we have to fixing our debt problem. Our President apparently would rather focus on his career rather than pushing Congress to get things done. Whatever the outcome, we better come out of this election with jobs and a better economy or heads are going to roll.

 

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ASSET ALLOCATION

 

Cash:               Flat   

 

U.S. Equities:   Flat   

 

Int'l Equities:   Flat   

 

Commodities: Flat

 

Fixed Income:  Flat   

 

Int'l Currencies: Flat   

 

 

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TOP LONG IDEAS

 

JACK IN THE BOX (JACK)

This company is transitioning from cash burn to $75mm annual free cash flow generation thanks to completion of a reimaging program and refranchising of JIB units. Qdoba is the leverage; a maturing and growing store base will bring higher margins. We see 8.5% upside over the next 6-9 months.

  • TRADE:  LONG
  • TREND:  LONG
  • TAIL:      LONG            

 

FIFTH & PACIFIC COMPANIES (FNP)

The former Liz Claiborne (LIZ) is on the path to prosperity. There’s a fantastic growth story with FNP. The Kate Spade brand is growing at an almost unprecedented clip. Save for Juicy Couture, the company has brands performing strongly throughout its entire portfolio. We’re bullish on FNP for all three durations: TRADE, TREND and TAIL.

  • TRADE:  LONG
  • TREND:  LONG
  • TAIL:      LONG

 

LAS VEGAS SANDS (LVS)

LVS finally reached and has maintained its 20% Macau gaming share, thanks to Sands Cotai Central (SCC). With SCC continuing to ramp up, we expect that level to hold and maybe, even improve. Macau sentiment has reached a yearly low but we see improvement ahead.

  • TRADE:  LONG
  • TREND:  NEUTRAL
  • TAIL:      NEUTRAL

  

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THREE FOR THE ROAD

 

TWEET OF THE DAY

“Zambia has banned dollar-denominated transactions. Offenders can face 10 year jail term. WSJ       ” -@insidegame

 

 

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“Every composer knows the anguish and despair occasioned by forgetting ideas which one had no time to write down.” – Hector Berlioz

 

 

STAT OF THE DAY

$114. The price of Brent crude oil, which is now at a 3-month high.

 

 


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