Editor's Note: The chart and excerpt below are from this morning's Early Look which was written by Hedgeye analyst Matt Hedrick. Click here for more information on how you can subscribe.
...While the Bundesbank’s recent monthly report highlights a few shoots of positive economic indicators in Germany, we continue to be on the other side, signaling declines in rate of changes terms of our high frequency gauges, with our proprietary GIP (growth, inflation, policy) model signaling that Germany will enter the ugly Quad 3 in 4Q15, equating to growth slowing as reported inflation accelerates (or stagflation).
“We Europeans should remember well that Europe is a continent where nearly everyone has at one time been a refugee. Our common history is marked by millions of Europeans fleeing from religious or political persecution, from war, dictatorship, or oppression.”
Juncker, President of the European Commission, made this remark in his 2015 State of the Union address titled “Time for Honesty, Unity and Solidarity”, which he delivered at the European Parliament on September 9th, 2015. In recent days Juncker’s Commission has put forward a proposal to resettle 120,000 asylum seekers, which will be evaluated by the EU ministers beginning today.
Clearly Juncker and his Eurocrat colleagues are at a huge crossroads on the region’s next policy move to deal with the mass influx of refugees (and migrants) seeking shelter in Europe. Data suggests that since the beginning of the year, nearly 500,000 people have made their way to Europe, the majority fleeing war and terror in Syria, Libya and Eritrea, and landing in the highest concentrations in the member states of Greece, Hungary, and Italy. (For perspective Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon are hosting over 4 million Syrian refugees).
One aspect that’s striking about this refugee crisis is its parallels to the concurrent Eurozone debt crisis. Note the media’s darling word choice, ‘crisis’. By definition, crisis has a connation of a “short term or sudden event”, yet it has been anything but— Greece’s first crisis started way back in 2010!
But getting beyond the language choice, I suspect that Europe’s refugee crisis will be far from short term or sudden in nature. In fact, I think the resettling of refugees stands to have a very long tail, one that could have very disparate outcomes, and financially may pose far greater risk than the Eurozone debt crisis.
Again and again we’ve witnessed the Eurozone and EU’s major challenge as a “union” incapable of effective coordination and implementation of policy given the uneven nature (political, economic, and cultural) of member states. The Czech government has already notified Brussels that it believes compulsory quotas are illegal. And so even in a best case scenario in which Eurocrats agree to sign on a dotted line on how many refugees they’ll be willing to take on, then what happens with the refugees?
If we take Germany as an example, the longer term prospects may not look so favorable. There, Chancellor Angela Merkel has been very vocal on her country’s willingness to take on refugees, even boosting the number of asylum seekers to 800,000 (or about 0.9% of the population) this year and 500,0000 a year for a foreseeable future.
Yet if we rewind the clock back to 2010, this is the same Merkel who very adamantly stated that multiculturalism (where Germans live side-by-side with immigrants) is a failed project. Specifically, she was referencing the inability of Turks to integrate with Germans, and vice-versa. The Turks were originally recruited as guest workers (Gastarbeiter) in the 1960s and 1970s to help rebuild the country following the war. History shows that many of those Turks didn’t return home and had children in Germany, contributing to Germany’s Muslim population that represents ~ 5.4% of the country today (2009 est.). [For perspective, Muslims make up ~ 0.9% of the U.S. population (2010 est.)].
So multiculturalism is dead? Well then what’s the plan to integrate these Syrians into Germany, so that they are a benefit and not a tax to the society, to the economy? If there’s no integration, is there really any hope that these immigrants can support Germany’s generous welfare system – or at least replace Germany’s aging and declining population?
Let’s hope this time is different, that European heads of state take the time to address the longer term solutions for asylum seekers; simply signing on the dotted line will doom the region to repeat past integration failures.
Back to the Global Macro Grind…
Notably tomorrow, ECB President Mario Draghi will stand before the European Economic Affairs Committee in its quarterly monetary meeting to discuss the state of the Eurozone.
While we don’t have a crystal ball, we think it’s well worth pointing out that this presents Mr. Draghi yet another large stage to make a “splash” should he so choose.
We continue to point out that European equities have been bombed out (the German DAX is down over -20% since April = crash), in-line with our 3Q15 Macro Theme of #EuropeSlowing. At the meeting, we wouldn’t be surprised to see Draghi 1) talk down the euro (in the near past, European equity markets have acted favorably to a weak EUR/USD – Germany in particular with 46.5% of the economy levered to exports – and 2) suggest more QE may be in the pipe (an increase in monthly purchases above the original target of €60B/month).
While the Bundesbank’s recent monthly report highlights a few shoots of positive economic indicators in Germany, we continue to be on the other side, signaling declines in rate of changes terms of our high frequency gauges, with our proprietary GIP (growth, inflation, policy) model signaling that Germany will enter the ugly Quad 3 in 4Q15, equating to growth slowing as reported inflation accelerates (or stagflation).
Can Draghi be the market’s elixir to tone down the European equity market volatility?
While we’re not throwing the chips in on German equities, on Friday (9/18) we signaled to buy German bonds via the etf BUNL. If Germany has to do what Japan did, QE forever, we like buying bunds on any/all pullbacks!
Our immediate-term Global Macro Risk Ranges are now:
UST 10yr Yield 2.11-2.21%
Oil (WTI) 43.28-47.93
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HEDGEYE HOTEL CALL: TIME TO CHECK BACK IN TO HOTEL STOCKS?
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Client Talking Points
Euro Down, Stocks Down? Oh boy, that’s not what European Equities are used to – so ECB President Mario Draghi has his work cut out for him tomorrow testifying in front of Euro Parliament. With the DAX and IBEX signaling oversold (both in crash mode, down > 20% vs. April highs) tomorrow = big central-planning event day. Reminder: they can’t CTRL+Print Growth.
The USD was straight up on some kind of hope yesterday that the Fed is going go “raise rates in OCT”… C'mon man! They don’t have a press conference in OCT – and, again, the rate of change in all U.S. data continues to slow here so take these Dollar Up, Rates Up days as buying opportunities in things that have fundamentals, like Housing (ITB).
Shall we call this the head-fake “breakout” chart of the year? Or of the last 4 years? Right back down to 0.68% this morning and there’s plenty of downside left if the “data dependent” Fed calls Q3 GDP for what it is #SLOWING – staying with Long-term Bonds and stocks that look like bonds, because that’s what’s working – still short Financials (XLF).
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Top Long Ideas
McDonald’s remains one of our Restaurant teams Best Ideas on the LONG side. We continue to believe that 3Q15 will be the inflection point for the company’s turnaround and that we are going to be looking at a much different company 1-3 years from now.
Urgency has been instilled from the top down by new CEO Steve Easterbrook. He wants more speed and is encouraging people to get things done faster. The food and experience provided to the customer will greatly improve over the coming months as “Experience the Future” is implemented across the system. It won’t be instantaneous though, as MCD has a lot of work to do around changing the perception to bring back customers it may have lost.
Penn National Gaming continues to be our favorite Regional Gaming stock.
Regional numbers for August have come in soft, but we predicted the August weakness. September revenues should rebound and serve as a catalyst for the stock going into Q3 earnings. On the research side we have not altered our views of PENN’s long term growth story. We continue to see more upside from current price levels.
Slower (and Lower) For Longer remains our non-consensus call. It's nice to see that the Fed is finally starting to see what the #GrowthSlowing late-cycle data does.
Our estimate for Y/Y% GDP for Q3 is a range of 0.1% to 1.5%. Even the Q/Q SAAR # that consensus hangs on will be comping against a 3.7% Q/Q SAAR GDP print (second revision). Good luck positioning for a rate hike. Prepare for the fade…. AGAIN.
Three for the Road
TWEET OF THE DAY
DAX Support Is ‘Gone. Shot. Dead.’ https://app.hedgeye.com/insights/46452-mccullough-dax-support-is-gone-shot-dead… via @hedgeye
QUOTE OF THE DAY
The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitude of mind.
STAT OF THE DAY
Macy's plans to hire 85,000 employees for this Holiday Season, which is down from 86,000 last year. 12,000 of the employees will be for DTC fulfillment centers.
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