Below is a collection of interesting links and insights from today's news with analysis filtered through our macro lens. This installment discusses the ongoing U.S. earnings recession, sliding corporate M&A, the Bank of England's latest post-Brexit salvo, and China's efforts to massage its slowing economic data.
Earnings Recession Redux
According to the Financial Times, "US companies face another bleak earnings season with analysts forecasting the longest profit recession since the financial crisis... Earnings of the major groups that comprise the S&P 500 index are seen falling 5 per cent in the second quarter from the same three-month period in 2015."
Our Take: As Hedgeye CEO Keith McCullough wrote earlier this morning, "The second quarter should be the worst quarter yet!" Proof? Below are the last year's earnings comps that 2Q16 is up against broken down by sector.
Corporate Dealmaking Grinds To A Halt?
"Global investment banking fees fell by nearly a quarter in the first half of 2016 from a year earlier as market volatility hit capital markets and M&A deal making... Global fees for services ranging from merger and acquisitions advisory services to capital markets underwriting fell 23 percent to $37.1 billion at the end of June, the slowest first half for fees since 2012," Reuters reports.
Our Take: This is precisely why Hedgeye Financials analyst Jonathan Casteleyn remains The Bear on Lazard (LAZ). As Casteleyn wrote recently, "The M&A cycle peaked last year and historically new restructuring revenue takes 2 years to offset M&A losses."
BoE's post-Brexit Scramble
Today, the Bank of England reduced a bank regulatory capital requirement that was set to be introduced next year "from the planned 0.5% of a banks' lending 'exposure' to 0%," the BBC writes.
That could potentially free up £150bn for lending the BoE says, as the Brexit vote added economic uncertainty to U.K. economy. "There is evidence that some risks have begun to crystallise," BoE head Mark Carney said today. "The current outlook for UK financial stability is challenging."
On a related note, the Pound/U.S. Dollar cross plunged to a 31-year low today and property funds M&G and Aviva halted redemption requests, as investors feared a peak in Britain's booming commercial property market.
Our Take: The worst may be yet to come for Europe's slowing economy.
China Cooking The Books
In China's latest effort to make up economic growth numbers that suit its narrative, the Chinese government is "studying new methodologies to assess the economic contribution from industries seen as part of the 'new economy,' ranging from biotech firms to online retailers," Reuters writes.
Our Take: Hedgeye cartoonist Bob Rich has been all over China's massaging of its slowing economic data for some time now.