Download any of these for free at https://oppfiles.com/585933 DM me if you have any requests for anything not on the list. Please subscribe the sub to find all the eBook releases. Enjoy! [BOOK] 'The macabresque : human violation and hate in genocide, mass atrocity and enemy-making' Edward Weisband, Oxford University Press 2018(self) 1 [BOOK] Scotland After the Ice Age Environment, Archaeology and History 8000 BC - AD 1000(self) 1 [Book] Ethics of Captivity edited by Lori Gruen(self) 1 [Book] Aspects of American History By Simon Henderson(self) 1 [Book] The Soviet Colossus History and Aftermath By Michael G. Kort(self) 1 [BOOK] Challenges to Political Decision-making Dealing with Information Overload, Ignorance and Contested Knowledge(self) 5 [Article] The EU Competition Law Fining System: A Reassessment, Damien Geradin(self) 1 [Book] Russia and the USSR, 1855–1991 Autocracy and Dictatorship ByStephen J. Lee(self) 1 [Book] Søren Kierkegaard: Epistemology and psychology : Kierkegaard and the recoil from freedom - Daniel W. Conway, K. E. Gover(self) 4 [ARTICLE] 'A History of Reason in the Age of Insanity: The Deconstruction of Foucault in Hegel’s Phenomenology' The Owl of Minerva, Volume 25, Issue 1, Fall 1993, Andrew Cutrofello Pages 15-21(self) 1 [BOOK] Mere Civility by Teresa M. Bejan(self) 2 [book] The Philosophy Shop by Peter Worley(self) 1 [BOOK] Sentenciando Trafico - Marcelo Semer(self) 1 [Article] GENETIC INSTABILITY ASSOCIATED WITH BREAK-INDUCED REPLICATION(self) 1 [Article] Properties of elastic bodies in contact - J. Dundurs 1975(self) 2 [Article] Transition alumina phases induced by heat treatment of boehmite: An X-ray diffraction and infrared spectroscopy study(self) 1 [Book] Russian Companion by James Cooper(self) 1 [Book] Model Stock Purchase Agreement with Commentary, by American Bar Association(self) 1 [Book] A History of Modern France By Jeremy D. 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Postal(self) 4 [Book] The Global Economy A Concise History Edited By Franco Amatori, Andrea Colli(self) 7 [Article] "Sorting out the ethics of propaganda", Stanley Cunningham(self) 1 [Book] Diet, Life-Style, and Mortality in China: A Study of the Characteristics of 65 Chinese Counties(self) 2 [Article] “Some Degenerate Entrepreneur Fleeing From a Medicine Show”: Judge Holden in The Age of P.T. Barnum(self) 4 [Article] Christoph Witzel and Matteo Toscani, "How to make a #theDress," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 37, A202-A211 (2020)(self) 4 [Article] [Heinonline] The Emergence and Fallacy of 'China's Debt-Trap Diplomacy' Narrative(self) 5 [Article] [Heinonline] US-Philippines Defense Cooperation during the Duterte Administration: Adjustments and Limitations(self) 8 [Supplement] Polariton Z Topological Insulator, A. V. Nalitov, D. D. Solnyshkov, and G. Malpuech(self) 4 [BOOK] HILL, Christopher. 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Author: Mads Hvilshøj, Simon Bøgh, Oluf Skov Nielsen, Ole Madsen.(self) 1 Removed: Pending moderation REQUEST [eBook] The Assessment Book – Physiotutors Guide to Orthopedic Physical Assessment(self) 1 [Article] [Brill] The Tragedy of Small Power Politics: The Philippines in the South China Sea by Charmaine Misalucha-Willoughby and Robert Joseph Medillo(self) 1 [BOOK] Echo and Reverb: Fabricating Space in Popular Music Recording, 1900-1960(self) 5 [Article] EFFECTS OF HIGH CONCENTRATIONS OF PLANT OILS AND FATTY ACIDS FOR MYCELIAL GROWTH AND PINHEAD FORMATION OF HERICIUM ERINACEUM(self) 1 [Article] [HeinOnline] "Disposable Deontology: The Death Penalty" by Tung Yin(self) 2 [Article] Efficient conversion of pretreated brewer’s spent grain and wheat bran by submerged cultivation of Hericium erinaceus(self) 1 [Chapter] The Imperial Institute: The state and the development of the natural resources of the Colonial Empire, 1887–1923(self) 1 [Book] Pieter Steyn - Zapuphizo: Voice of the Nagas(self) 3 [Article] Critical Constructivism and Postphenomenology: Ethics, Politics, and the Empirical(self) 5 [BOOK] Political Populism: A Handbook - Reinhard C. 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G.(self) 6 [Chapter] MULTICULTURALISM, OR, THE CULTURAL LOGIC OF MULTINATIONAL CAPITALISM by Slavoj Zizek(self) 5 [Article] Value articulation : A framework for the strategic manage- ment of intellectual property by Conley, James G., Peter M.Bican, and Holger Ernst(self) 3 [Book](JSTOR)Why We Believe: Evolution and the Human Way of Being by Agustin Fuentes(self) 1 [Book](self) 1 [Book] Ottoman Explorations of the Nile: Evliya Çelebi’s Map of the Nile and The Nile Journeys in the Book of Travels (Seyahatname) - Dankoff, Tezcan & Sheridan(self) 1 [Article] The Jewels of Adad by FNH Al-Rawi, JA Black(self) 1 [article] A measurement of collective learning effects in Italian high-tech milieux(self) 1 [Article] Parasympathetic activity is reduced during slow-wave sleep, but not resting wakefulness, in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome - Fatt et al., 2020(self) 1 [Book] Linked Data for Libraries, Archives, and Museums, by Seth van Hooland and Ruben Verborgh(self) 4 [Book] The Oxford Handbook of Well-Being and Public Policy - Edited by Matthew D. 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Latest interview with Jeffrey Gundlach. Transcript of interview.
CNBC Exclusive: CNBC Transcript: DoubleLine Capital CEO Jeffrey Gundlach Speaks with CNBC’s Scott Wapner Today Published Mon, Dec 17 2018 • 4:06 PM EST WHEN: Today, Monday, December 17, 2018 WHERE: CNBC’s “Fast Money Halftime Report ” The following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC EXCLUSIVE interview with DoubleLine Capital CEO Jeffrey Gundlach and CNBC’s Scott Wapner on CNBC’s “Fast Money Halftime Report” (M-F 12PM – 1PM) today, Monday, December 17th. The following are links to video from the interview on CNBC.com: https://www.cnbc.com/video/2018/12/17/doublelines-jeffery-gundlach-this-is-definitely-a-bear-market-stocks.html, https://www.cnbc.com/video/2018/12/17/doubleline-jeffrey-gundlach-government-dysfunction-negative-world-economy-congress-demorcrat-house.html, https://www.cnbc.com/video/2018/12/17/a-high-quality-bond-portfolio-is-2019s-best-bet-says-doublelines-gundlach.html, https://www.cnbc.com/video/2018/12/17/jeffrey-gundlach-federal-reserve-should-not-raise-interest-rates-december-jay-powell.html, and https://www.cnbc.com/video/2018/12/17/doublelines-gundlach-tariffs-are-only-going-to-get-worse-in-the-trade-war-before-they-get-better.html. All references must be sourced to CNBC. SCOTT WAPNER: Welcome to Los Angeles Jeffrey. Thank you for having us back. JEFFREY GUNDLACH: Welcome to DoubleLine. SCOTT WAPNER: Almost a year to the day we were last with you. JEFFREY GUNDLACH: I think it was December 13th last year. SCOTT WAPNER: That’s right. We’re still volatile in the market. Today is another representation of that. We’re still about 50 points above on the S&P of the February lows. JEFFREY GUNDLACH: Yes. SCOTT WAPNER: Do you think we’re going to go below that? JEFFREY GUNDLACH: Well in the fullness of time, I think absolutely we’ll go below that. I’m pretty sure this is a bear market. People like this definition of 20% down as a bear market, but that’s obviously very arbitrary. I’ve been around over 35 years in the business and have seen a number of bear markets. It’s more about how you lead into it, how it develops and how the sentiment changes, and I think we’ve had pretty much all of the variables that characterize a bear market I remember going -- usually something happens that really doesn’t make any sense at all and I’m kind of amazed how it goes on longer than it should like back in the dotcom days when companies were being IPO’d and had no sales let alone revenues that’s hard to be and they would actually explode to the upside on the IPO. That’s kind of crazy and then we had the subprime lending with pick a pay loans back in ’05 and ’06 and that was kind of crazy and that went on longer than it should have. This time like we talked about a year ago it was crypto, bitcoin which was truly a mania, we talked a year ago it just went up. Maybe in the end it’s a good thing or the block chain technology is a good thing. The way it was being treated and believed in was a mania and then it crashed about a week after we met a year ago and it was at 17,500 when we were speaking right in this spot and of course now it’s down below 3,500 so an 85% decline. And one after another you start to see various sectors of the global financial markets give it up. The global stock market peaked January 26th. And so did the New York Stock Exchange composite, January 26 but the Dow Jones Industrials, the Nasdaq, the S&P 500. All of these things, one by one, started to roll over and come the summertime or later in the summertime you were down to the FAANGs and then you were down to two stocks it was amazon and apple and then amazon gave it up. And then finally when they decided they weren’t going to tell you how many phones they sold anymore apple gave it up. SCOTT WAPNER: That was the last straw. JEFFREY GUNDLACH: That was kind of the last straw. It was October 3rd when the tariffs -- well, it was that USMC -- whatever it’s called, it’s really NAFTA but it was announced we would have this change in NAFTA that would lead to a requirement that a certain fraction of car parts be made in higher costs locales which basically meant not Mexico. A senior executive at ford motor said, well obviously we’re going to have to raise the prices on our cars if input prices are going up. Suddenly the market seemed to wake up to the fact that this was real and the next day the stock market tipped over in fact, on October 3rd, Jay Powell said we’re a long way from neutral. And that was a big problem, too. SCOTT WAPNER: That seemed to be the tipping point. JEFFREY GUNDLACH: Yes that with the USMCA thing and the Ford Motor executive, those things seemed to come together and coalesce into we’ve had enough. And, yeah, the Jay Powell thing was interpreted by the market as a scary thing, the fed was going to keep going a long distance further and then the market dropped over 10% and suddenly the Fed had to massage the rhetoric. And suddenly it was, well, we have a new definition of neutral maybe. We’re actually within the lower bound or close to the lower bound of neutral in an attempt to stabilize the market. So, yeah, it seems like a bear market to me in the way things trade with late day volume being bad and the like the best thing for the near term, I think, is that the most export sensitive stock market, South Korea, the Kospi bottomed October 29 so at least that’s not pushing to new lows and emerging markets broadly are doing better because they’re extremely export driven. Maybe this leg down is getting toward an exhaustion point the sentiment is pretty dark right now. I’d be happier on the short term outlook if the VIX would go above 40 which is usually a sign. SCOTT WAPNER: That would be quite a spike. JEFFREY GUNDLACH: Well, that’s typically what happens when you get to the bottom, there’s so much nervousness and fear but the Vix is a little bit disturbing how it doesn’t go higher. Actually as the market pushes to the down side. But i think this is a bear market and i think we’ll go below the February lows almost with certainty. SCOTT WAPNER: Is it a long lasting bear market or it can be short term as some have suggested on our air and then this secular bull market will resume? JEFFREY GUNDLACH: I don’t think so. I think it’s a bear market. I think we’ve had the first leg down and the second leg down is usually more painful than the first leg down if this is indeed a bear market. Maybe in the short term we’re getting flushed out. I think it’s lasted a long time. It has a lot to do with the fact i believe we’re in a situation that maybe unprecedented was too strong but it is highly unusual that we are increasing the budget deficit so spectacularly so late in the cycle while the fed is hiking interest rates. I know you’ve teased the segment by talking about the suicide mission I’ve been talking about for months. The fed almost seems to be on a suicide mission. What i mean by that the deficit in the United States is extraordinarily high from where we are in the economic cycle and given what the debt level accumulated is already. In the first two months of fiscal ’19 it was just announced last week there’s a funny thing that happened in November where the payments for December ended up being pushed to November because December 1st was on a Saturday if you take that out it’s $44 billion that’s a big number. So if you wake that out and say that’s December and not November. Still, the first two months of fiscal ’19, the budget deficit is going up at an annualized rate of $1.62 trillion. And that’s the official budget deficit. The actual budget deficit is larger than what the report -- for example, for fiscal ’18, which ends September 30th, the deficit was around $800 billion. But the national debt went up by $1.3 trillion almost now. Why? What’s the difference there? There are items that are off budget. So the budget deficit really for fiscal ’18 was $1.3 nearly trillion that’s 6% of GDP and we’re supposedly having a good economy and we’re supposedly having jobs growth and all this other great stuff. In actuality we increase the deficit by 6% of GDP since government deficit change is a significant fraction – a significant variable in the GDP equation it seems to me there’s no real economic growth that’s happening away from the deficit. So what worries me is that as we move into a weaker economy, which will happen at some points and certainly the economy looks weaker now than it did entering 2018, that the deficit will continue to expand at a rate which could be prohibitive for the usual decline in interest rates helping to stimulate the economy. That’s what I think is the real big variable investors need to focus on. And while this is happening with the deficit exploding, the fed is raising interest rates which means the interest expense is going to be increasing year by year as these zero interest rates that we had for a number of years start to roll off and the bonds have to be refloated once they mature, the next five years we have something like $7 trillion of treasuries that are maturing the average coupon on those treasuries is almost as low as 2%, slightly higher, 2.1%. When they roll over, they’re going to be at a higher interest rate because the fed has been on the suicide mission of raising interest rates so the interest expense on that $7 trillion of treasuries is going to be -- maybe the rate will be at 3% like it is now or maybe 4% and you might even see we have an expense that goes up $100, $140 billion. So kind of the … of our government is coming back to haunt us ultimately. In financial markets, these things go on so much longer than they should Ross Perot ran for president running infomercials about we were doomed on the deficit and there was a book written in 1992, that same year, that was somewhat sponsored by the Peterson Foundation called bankruptcy 1994. And the idea behind the book was we have this compounding curve and this debt problem that is going to come back and really cause us problems. Well, he was early. He was early by at least 26 years. But he’s right, you can’t keep going on with the debt finance scheme, and I’m worried when the next recession comes we could be looking at, well heck, we’re supposedly in a good economy and the next two months we’re running $1.6 trillion what if we go into a recession what’s the deficit going to be $3 trillion? And does that mean interest rates don’t go down during the next recession, which is an idea I’ve been noodling around for a long time maybe they go higher with I’ve had a call the next two years that come 2021 the ten-year treasury will be at 6%. I get a lot of pushback a lot of debt deflation is out there in the twitter-sphere absolutely wrong the economy can’t handle higher interest rates. Interest rates might have a life of their own. It might not matter what the market can handle or can’t handle. SCOTT WAPNER: they haven’t to this point. It’s been somewhat surprising that rates have remained where they are you said 3%. They hit 3%. 3.25%. Here we are below 2.9% today. JEFFREY GUNDLACH: yes, on the ten year. I was focusing on the three year when it broke above 3.25% that was incredibly important frankly, I didn’t think we’d go back below 3.25 once we broke above because it seemed like such an important level. Here we are back below 3.25. But not impressively not in a way that would be consistent with a big decline in the global stock market. There’s a thing called the death cross. It’s a 50-day moving average goes below 200 a day particularly when they’re both declining. Presently about 80% of the countries in the MSCI World Index are in a death cross 80%. It’s amazing. And there was a chart that got a lot of play put out by deutsche bank about how many risk assets globally are in officially bear market down the arbitrary 20% number that, again, i don’t really ascribe to but so commonly used at that they used it and the highest in the data series going back to 1901. It’s like 90% of the risk assets around the world in dollar terms are in bear markets. So it’s a pretty widespread and coordinated set of weaknesses. SCOTT WAPNER: Are you saying that by embarking on this suicide mission that the fed shouldn’t raise interest rates this week? JEFFREY GUNDLACH: I don’t really think that’s the main thrust of my idea this week, yeah, they shouldn’t raise them this week. SCOTT WAPNER: They shouldn’t? JEFFREY GUNDLACH: No I don’t think they should. The bond market is saying, fed, you’ve got no way you should be raising interest rates look at the 2s, 3s, five-year part of the yield curve which are flat at 270 I guess that corroborative of a hike. But it is basically saying in the year 2019 you’re going to have a cut, this big, but a cut that was priced into the yield curve and in 2020 another cut. The problem, though, isn’t that the fed shouldn’t be raising rates. The problem is the fed shouldn’t have kept them so low for so long. SCOTT WAPNER: Sure. JEFFREY GUNDLACH: The problem we shouldn’t have had negative interest rates like we still have in Europe. We shouldn’t have done quantitative easing which is a circular financing scheme. The problem really is the deficit. The fed is kind of helpless here. The fact that the deficit is so out of control this late in the economic cycle, we have never before had the fed raise interest rates while the budget deficit was expanding it’s never happened. Because usually the budget deficit expands in response to a recession. It’s a way of stimulating to get us out of recession. Instead, we did it as a last gasp of keeping this economic recovery going by making it completely deficit based. SCOTT WAPNER: So this morning, President Trump once again Tweeted about the Fed. Quote, “It’s incredible that with a very strong dollar and virtually no inflation, the outside world blowing up around us, Paris burning, China way down, that the Fed is even considering another interest rate hike. Take the victory,” he stayed. Stan Druckenmiller, today, Op-Ed “Wall Street Journal”: The Fed should quote “Pause its double-barreled blitz of higher rates and tighter liquidity.” So they’re right, you agree with them? JEFFREY GUNDLACH: I do agree with them. I’ve been saying this pretty much all year, the double-barreled was actually -- he may have borrowed that from me, that’s how I’ve been talking about – it’s how I’ve been phrasing it all year – that we’ve really been tightening interest rates in a way that’s more than people understand. There’s a duo of economists at the Atlanta Fed called Wu and Xia, who did a study a few years back ‘What was the effect of quantitative easing?’ If they hadn’t done the quantitative easing and instead had taken the European model and gone to negative interest rates, how negative would those rates have had to be to have the same stimulative effect as the quantitative easing? And they concluded – and I don’t know if they’re right or not it’s very hypothetical – but their conclusion was that the quantitative easing amounted to 300 basis points of further cuts. So if they hadn’t done quantitative easing, to have the same stimulative effect, the Fed funds would have had been negative 300 basis points. Well let’s just say they’re right. Since they did about 2.5 trillion of quantitative easing and it was 300 basis points, 2.5 trillion divided by 3 is roughly $800 billion. Okay? So $800 billion is -- $800 billion divided by 4 means that’s what quantitative easing is one cut. So 100 basis points is $800 billion. So divided by 4. 25 basis points is $200 billion of quantitative easing. Well so far we’re pushing towards $400 billion -- we’re not there yet but we’re soon to be there -- of quantitative tightening. That means we’ve had would more rate hikes from quantitative tightening if Wu and Xia are right. So the Fed hasn’t just raised rates in that context eight times. They’ve raised them ten times. And the quantitative tightening is stated to be as high as $600 billion over fiscal ’19. So that’s another three rate hikes. So if they were going to follow their dots and raise rates so many times, there’s another three on top of that. So the amount of tightening has been underappreciated, I think, and Stan is right as he often is – he’s one of the greatest investors ever for, him and Chanos, the two titans of the hedge fund industry. They’re right that we are seeing the bond market react in a way that is historically very predictive of the Fed should not be doing this. And yet, we have this strange dynamic that they’ve almost promised a rate hike here in December. And then the President shows up with his Tweets trying to bully them into not doing it and it puts Jay Powell and the team in a very tough position. Because they’re damned if they do and damned if they don’t.
Current State & The Future Of Digital Assets From Ariel Ling, BitMax COO.
Ariel Ling, co-founder and COO of BitMax, has shared her thoughts on the current state of digital assets and what to expect in the next years, what retail investor should take into account when buying any cryptocurrencie and the key factors that drive the value of the token/coin. Ariel Ling, BitMax COO Why, when and how have you started your crypto journey? I started my crypto journey at the beginning of 2018 when my long-time friend, the co-founder and CEO of BitMax.io, Dr. George Cao “pulled” me out of the traditional Wall Street and asked me to join him in launching this exciting venture. Three main drivers are 1) to learn more about blockchain technology and its transformational applications in different industries; 2) to leverage in-depth traditional finance expertise to improve overall crypto trading and exchange market structure for better efficiency and transparency; 3) to have a chance to work with a talented and driven team who share similar vision, passion and conviction to build a top global digital asset trading platform as well as a wonderful organization from good to great! If your friend will ask you: should I consider cryptocurrencies as investment opportunity? What will be your answer? Will you recommend any specific digital asset? Coming from traditional finance perspective, I would explain my thoughts process from three angles — 1) types of crypto or digital assets as the foundation for understanding; 2) whether they, are more for short-term trading or mid-term investment 2) what are elements for investment valuation and decision-making so our friends can assess and make decision for themselves. First, in general there are three types of digital assets:
Major currency / coin-type like Bitcoin, ETH, XRP, Litecoin, etc. and stable coins;
Security-type tokens representing some equity or debt rights of underlying projects;
Utility tokens for usage on specific blockchain platform or network.
Each type represents different type of opportunity and risk. Second: is digital asset good for trading or investment? due to the nascent nature and very short history of market development with most of retail investors’ participation and lack of proper regulatory framework globally, there are quite some market manipulation, speculation and fraud activities in the current market, causing significant volatility and investors loss across all types within very short period of time. This made it very hard for any investors to assess the real valuation and momentum drivers behind those large swings. So at this point, I would think with its high volatility and risk, digital asset in general is more of very short-term trading product than investment vehicle. From liquidity perspective, major currency/coin-type will have more market depth across exchanges, hence more suitable for short-term trading-focused strategies. Third, from traditional investment perspective, it is critical to assess digital asset investing from valuation and fundamental perspectives, such as business model, future growth, economic return vs. person’s risk tolerance and investment objectives. For major coins, especially Bitcoin itself with its longest history among all the digital assets, have started to provide certain payment function similar to fiat currencies in certain countries. Hence, there are more interesting dynamics to the Bitcoin investing based on one’s view of Bitcoin usage over mid-term horizon and the relative valuation vs its production (mining cost) especially with the price down to 3,500–3,650 USD. For security-type or utility tokens, the performance over short-to-medium term really comes down to combination of intrinsic value of underlying blockchain projects and token economics. Similar to Internet in 1990s, blockchain technology projects are still at the early stage of development and looking for meaningful and applicable use cases to bring real economic benefit from the economics and business model perspective, so it becomes very difficult to apply traditional finance valuation and assess the real intrinsic value of those projects. Recent market crash has brought many of those tokens down to near zero value. So the investment in those tokens are extremely high risk and everyone should be really careful and prudent in the evaluation of any specific projects for the decision-making and risk protection. What is the story behind BitMax? Who are the foundefounders? When it was founded? Q1 2018, Dr. George Cao and I founded Global Digital Mercantile (GDM), global operator of digital asset platforms, including BitMax.io based on Singapore for overseas markets and North America’s trading platform aiming for the first half of 2019. BitMax.io started public beta testing mid July, 2018, and was officially launched later mid August. On November 18th , we launched our mining mechanism, the industry very first transaction-mining & reverse-mining mechanism, which has made us the industry leading third-generation cryptocurrency exchange — after first generation of traditional exchanges like Binance, Gemini, Coinbase, etc. and 2nd generation of transaction-mining ones like FCoin, Bitthumb, etc. Just a quick introduction of my partner. Dr. Cao studied Computer Science in the University of Science and Technology of China, and earned his PhD degree from the University of Chicago. Dr. Cao was the Founder and the Chief Investment Officer of Delpha Capital Management, LLC., New York, specializing in trading equity, ETFs and commodity future products in all major exchanges across the globe. He is also the founder and managing partner of Whitestone Investment Group, a New York based venture fund that invests in a large variety of startup companies that are in the high tech, fintech, big data and medical area. Before founding Delpha Capital, Mr. Cao worked at the Equity Division of Barclays Capital in both the New York and London offices. During that period, he oversaw equity electronic trading in the U.S., European and Asian markets. Prior to Barclays, he researched and traded U.S. equity as a Portfolio Manager at Knight Capital Group. For me, I have built more than 18-year extensive experience in strategic planning, business development, financial risk management and regulatory implementation across major trading asset classes (Equity, FX, and Fixed Income) at several top global banks. Previous to jumping into digital asset trading, I ran USD liquidity and investment product for top financial institutions and corporate clients at tier-one global investment bank. Before that, I ran US Broker Dealer as COO and head of Business Development for Germany 2nd largest bank. Earlier from 2007 to 2012, I was global equity trading COO across Lehman Brothers and Barclays Capital, building out trading franchise and market making businesses globally. I have four degrees — graduated top of class from Nankai University with two Bachelor degrees in Finance and English Literature and got my MBA from NYU and Master of Mass Communication from University of Georgia. Where is Bitmax located? Are you a distributed team or do you have an office to work together? How many people work for Bitmax? Our global team of 50 members are based off two main location — New York with 20 members, including all the founding members, and Beijing with 30 members. Would you be so kind to introduce briefly the core team members? Both George and I are very proud of our 10-member founding team. Similar to us, they are all from Wall Street top firms like Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Bloomberg, and top high-frequency hedge funds with deep experience in the fields of financial engineering research and development of large-scale quant trading infrastructure. Our educational background span across multiple prestigious institutions including Columbia University, University of Chicago, Carnegie Mellon University, and New York University in the United States, as well as Peking University and Tsinghua University in China. So one special thing about BitMax.io is that very few exchanges in the crypto trading space are built by solid team like ours with strong traditional finance mindset and trading background. You’ve started BitMax during market downtrend in pretty competitive environment. What is your value proposition? Why traders should switch to BitMax? I think BitMax.io is actually very special in this market, and our team is very proud of what we have built in the short period of six months. There are at least three reasons I think traders should chooseBitMax.io:
It’s our real-word professional trading experience and expertise;
It’s is our platform, resilient, high volume quantitative-trading platform;
It’s is our top-quality customer-centric strategy.
First of all, as I mentioned in the last question, architected by a group of Wall Street veterans, BitMax.io builds upon the core value of blockchain, transparency and reliability, and delivers high-quality client services and trading experience through its innovative trading platform. Second, our quant-driven tech platform. Our development members were all from high frequency and quantitative systematic trading shops. They definitely make sure the platform was resilient and it can actually handle billions of volume during the design and build. The platform resilience and scalability were fully being tested when we launched the transaction mining and reverse-mining. The first day, we actually had, within the first 24 hours, the trading volume of 1.6 billion in notional; and our system didn’t flinch, didn’t slow down, and didn’t shut down. This is very rare in any of today’s exchanges where you can frequently see the slowdown, the crash, and very slow user responses, especially with transaction mining exchanges. Third, what we are extremely proud of and all the users can see, is our 24/7 customer services built upon the core Wall Street client-centric concept. Besides our customer support team who never sleep, George actually stands behind the platform almost 24/7 answering questions from the customers, seeking solutions for their issues, and providing the most responsive customer service for the entire crypto trading space. BitMax CEO, George Cao, is often seen in official Telegram group answering different questions. We constantly remind our team: customer first. When we design a product, when we launch a system, and when we look at user needs, we all look from customers’ perspective, from how we can protect the users. When we look at primary listing, we only select the high-quality projects because we want our users to have the best investment and trading experience on BitMax.io. Are you satisfied with the current results of BitMax? Is transaction mining model giving expected volume? What is the % of traders using this model? We are very pleased with current business development and delivery results from client acquisition and trading perspectives. On the business development side, we completed the global setup for both 50-member team organization and comprehensive legal entity structure from Asia to North Americas in 2018, which laid down foundation and paved way for 2019 business expansion especially with US. Since our platform launch in mid Aug, we successfully started Industry FIRST transaction mining and reverse-mining exchange and built out the most active global communities and users within four months in the bear market, with registered users more than 95k; average daily active traders more than quadrupled since the start of transaction mining; average daily trading volume of $465mm through the month of January and February in 2019. Those are extremely promising under this tough market condition. From the composition of trading volumes, there are two parts — transaction mining which grows exponentially; second is organic, the regular trading which has experienced healthy increase as well because of all the listing activities and all the incentives we have. The regular trading takes about 5% of total trading volume, which is very good for an exchange which was launched in August and running right into the bear market. What are the key factors that drive the value of the token/coin? From traditional finance /investment view token economics is really a balance act between business / economic model and exchange market force, driven by three factors: intrinsic value and sustainability, supply and demand, and liquidity and depth. First, from a traditional finance perspective, we need to look at the intrinsic value, the economic valuation behind a project. How does this project make money? Do they really have fundamentals? Do they really have a viable business model? Do they really have a solid user base for future growth? For example, our exchange business model is very simple. We are exchange; People trade on our platform. The more they trade, the more transaction fee the exchange collect — the revenue source. The exchange will last when people keep trading on the platform and the transaction revenue generated covers the operating cost of running an exchange. Second, it is the supply and demand of token on the market — who will buy and for what purpose; who will sell and under what scenarios. For major currency coins like Bitcoin, people might buy and sell for potential investment or use in actual payment processing. For other types of token, it is more driven by short-term trading pattern and profit taking. So it is extremely important to set up certain token mechanism to support the equilibrium of supply and demand like how Central Banks manage the supply of currency in circulation through monetary policies. Third, when the market force comes in, it comes down to the liquidity and depth. Exchange is about liquidity and market depth. That means there has to be enough of trading volumes at each pricing level for each token. For BitMax.io, we have very sophisticated market making model that is similar to Designated Market Maker model of New York Stock Exchange. We focus on providing liquidity and maintaining a fair and orderly market for those token listings who agree to engage our market making services. Every exchange is looking for good projects in order to become a premiere market for this new asset. Can you name some projects that impressed you recently (even if you are not discussing possible listing with them)? BitMax.io has strict listing requirements in order to identify high-quality projects for our users. Very proud that we have listed five industry star projects in the last several weeks, with more in the pipeline. All of them have the following attributes that made them successful — viable and profitable business model, growing user bases, strong community support, and comprehensive funding sources. One of the shining examples is European project named LTO Network listed mid Jan. Its price has been steadily rising since then, as more and more people get to know their business model and more project support comes into the market place to buy the tokens — It uses blockchain technology to streamline a lot of legal processing for one of EU governments, which is very easy to understand its economic value from a revenue perspective. This is simply what people need to see eventually, clean and clear from business economic model perspective. Let’s imagine a crypto market in 5 or 10 years. Can you make any prediction what the market will look like? What customers will expect from exchange in 5–10 years? Based off my long-time experience in traditional trading, especially how equity market evolved last twenty years, I would imagine maturing market structure and entrance of institutional investors are key mandatory and healthy development of digital asset market. First, As the market develops and expands globally, traditional institution participation is a must, in order to upgrade and strengthen the overall market structure and maturity, making it more transparent and resilient, and most importantly enabling the real broad-base adoption of digital assets. Most institutional investors, such as mutual fund, pension fund and other financial institutions, hold the majority of world investment assets, not individual retail investors. Only when those big guys join the market, will there be real revolutionary improvement and expansion of the digital asset just like any other financial markets. Second, I would expect the market to become more structured with major building blocks for transparent trade life cycle processing and separate risk analytics supporting services. Current crypto trading market is very fragmented with exchanges taking on different roles of trading, wallet management, custodian, etc. Also the lack of clear and consistence regulation on market structure has led to many aspects of market inefficiency — inconsistent liquidity and depth, wide spread, high transaction cost, high volatility, speculation, etc. This definitely hampers the broader adoption of digital assets from institutional investors. Forward looking, multi-tier structure under some level of regulatory framework with clear guidance is required for future maturing market. Similar to security market, there should be at least three layers of different and independent roles: the role of broker dealer to handle the client relationship with good KYC/ AML processes, retail clients, other financial institutions, blockchain players and to take client order as agent or dealer; the role of exchange to focus on listing and trading — liquidity provision and order matching; the role of clearing house to provide clearing and settlement and custodian on custody of assets with proper control and independence. It is very clean and clear with good check and balance in place. What are the key challenges for 2019? During our 2018 business planning, we clearly view 2019 to continue being full of challenges with market uncertainty from both asset price and valuation as well as regulatory development globally. In prep for that and further growth of our platform, we have laid out the following four main strategic objectives and they are all well underway:
To launch North America trading platform for high networth and institutional clients. With North America being heavily regulated market, there are two aspects of our plan — First is to leverage a trust structure to facilitate the major coin trading with fiat, and the second is broker-dealer license application with potential for securitized tokens pending regulatory guidance in place.
To enhance BitMax.io platform and reach global top-tier exchange. We will continue listening to our users and working hard to enhance user interface and experience by upgrading website vs. other competitors for better client retention.We will continue leading product innovation among the competitors with margin trading (successfully launched in mid Feb) and then derivative to attract new clients.
Relent focus on implementation and expansion of current business lines — listing, Market Making, marketing advisory services to grow current revenue base; and further seek new revenue opportunity through North America platform while maintaining cost discipline.
we are always on the lookout in terms of exchange alignments, acquisition target, and any business partnership from different aspects of the value chain.
When do you expect a market recovery or next bull run? What are the factors that will influence the start of the market recovery? With current market crash or correction, there are two possibilities from trading perspective — recovery depending on whether this is a V down or U curve. The U curve occurs when the market collapses, it takes a longer time for market to find the bottom and struggle to rise up. The V down is like a quick collapse — dropping down very fast and reaching the bottom, and then, with some catalyst event, either catalyst from market structure, or catalyst from the market expansion itself, suddenly it gives a boost and bounces right back up. For market recovery, besides all the investment and economics elements I’ve discussed above, I believe one critical factor is the regulatory development especially clear guidance from key regulatory bodies of those major financial markets such as US, UK, EU, etc. on those key building blocks I mentioned in the maturing market structure. Once those in place, more traditional institutional investors will be ready to get in and hence boost the liquidity and valuation of the digital assets. That is the new beginning of digital assets being accepted as part of Main Street investment globally.
Agustín Carstens, General Manager of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS, the central bank of central banks) on Cryptocurrencies today
I'd like to hear your thoughts on his lecture held today at the Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany. Read the full transcript here or via pdf link. https://www.bis.org/speeches/sp180206.pdf 1/10 Money in the digital age: what role for central banks? Lecture by Agustín Carstens General Manager, Bank for International Settlements House of Finance, Goethe University Frankfurt, 6 February 2018 Introduction Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for that kind introduction, Jens. I am very happy to be here at this prestigious university and to be part of this impressive lecture series sponsored by Sustainable Architecture for Finance in Europe (SAFE), the Center for Financial Studies (CFS) and the Deutsche Bundesbank. I would also like to thank Professor Brigitte Haar for being such a generous host today. It is an honour to discuss money at an event organised by the Bundesbank, which has been a beacon of stability since its foundation some 60 years ago. As Jens can attest, being a central banker is a fascinating job. In fact, it is a privilege. During the last decade it has been anything but quiet in the central banking world. We have been confronted with extraordinary circumstances that have required extraordinary policy responses. In such an environment, it has been of the utmost importance to share experiences and lessons learnt among central banks, creating a body of knowledge that will be there for the future. One of the reasons that central bank Governors from all over the world gather in Basel every two months is precisely to discuss issues at the front and centre of the policy debate. Following the Great Financial Crisis, many hours have been spent discussing the design and implications of, for example, unconventional monetary policies such as quantitative easing and negative interest rates. Lately, we have seen a bit of a shift, to issues at the very heart of central banking. This shift is driven by developments at the cutting edge of technology. While it has been bubbling under the surface for years, the meteoric rise of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has led us to revisit some fundamental questions that touch on the origin and raison d’être for central banks: • What is money? • What constitutes good money, and where do cryptocurrencies fit in? • And, finally, what role should central banks play? The thrust of my lecture will be that, at the end of the day, money is an indispensable social convention backed by an accountable institution within the State that enjoys public trust. Many things have served as money, but experience suggests that something widely accepted, reliably provided and stable in its command over goods and services works best. Experience has also shown that to be credible, money requires institutional backup, which is best provided by a central bank. While central banks’ actions and services will evolve with technological developments, the rise of cryptocurrencies only highlights the important role central banks have played, and continue to play, as stewards of public trust. Private digital tokens posing as currencies, such as bitcoin and other crypto-assets that have mushroomed of late, must not endanger this trust in the fundamental value and nature of money. What is money? “What is money?” is obviously a key question for any central banker, and one on which economists have spent much ink. The answer depends on how deep and philosophical one wants to be. Being at a university, especially one named after Goethe, I think I can err on the side of being philosophical. Conventional wisdom tells you that “money is what money does”.1 That is, money is a unit of account, a means of payment and a store of value. But telling you what something does does not really tell you what it is. And it certainly does not tell you why we need or have money, how it comes about and what the preconditions are for it to exist. In terms of the “need” for money, you may learn that money is a way to get around the general lack of double coincidence of wants. That is, it is rare that I have what you want and you have what I want at the same time. As barter is definitely not an efficient way of organising an economy, money is demanded as a tool to facilitate exchange. What about the other side of the coin, so to speak? How does money come about? Again, conventional wisdom may tell you that central banks provide money, ie cash (coins and notes), and commercial banks supply deposits. But this answer is often not fully satisfactory, as it does not tell why and how banks should be the one to “create” money. If you venture into more substantive analyses on monetary economics, things get more complex. One theory, which proposes that “money is memory”, amounts to arguing that a “superledger” can facilitate exchange just like money. This argument says a ledger is a way of keeping track of not only who has what but also who owes, and is owed, what. I will come back to this later. Moving beyond this line of thought, other scholarly and historical analyses provide answers that are more philosophical. These often amount to “money is a convention” – one party accepts it as payment in the expectation that others will also do so.2 Money is an IOU, but a special one because everyone in the economy trusts that it will be accepted by others in exchange for goods and services. One might say money is a “we all owe you”. Many things have served as money in this way. Figure 1 gives some examples: Yap stones, gold coins, cigarettes in war times, $100,000 bills, wissel (Wechsel), ie bills of exchange or bearer notes, such as those issued by the Bank of Amsterdam in the first half of the 17th century. It includes an example from my own country, Aztec hoe (or axe) money, a form of (unstamped) money made of copper used in central Mexico and parts of Central America. 1 See J Hicks, Critical essays in monetary theory, 1979. 2 See D Lewis, Convention: a philosophical study, 1969. Common to most of these examples is that the nominal value of the items that have served at one time as money is unrelated to their intrinsic value. Indeed, as we know very well in the case of fiat money, the intrinsic value of most of its representations is zero. History shows that money as a convention needs to have a basis of trust, supported by some form of institutional arrangement.3 As Curzio Giannini puts it: “The evolution of monetary institutions appears to be above all the fruit of a continuous dialogue between economic and political spheres, with each taking turns to create monetary innovations … and to safeguard the common interest against abuse stemming from partisan interests.”4 Money can come in different institutional forms and colours. How to organise them? The paper by Bech and Garratt in last September’s BIS Quarterly Review presented the money flower as a way of organising monies in today’s environment.5 It acknowledges that money can take on rather different forms and be supplied in various ways. The money flower Allow me to explain, noting that we do not sell seeds to this money flower! 3 Fiat means “by law“. So, in principle, it should be said that money exists by convention or by law. But if trust in money does not prevail, the legal mandate that conveys value to money becomes meaningless. 4 C Giannini, The age of central banks, 2011. 5 M Bech and R Garratt, “Central bank cryptocurrencies”, BIS Quarterly Review, September 2017, pp 55–70. The money flower highlights four key properties on the supply side of money: the issuer, the form, the degree of accessibility and the transfer mechanism. • The issuer can be either the central bank or “other”. “Other” includes nobody, that is, a particular type of money that is not the liability of anyone. • In terms of the form it takes, money is either electronic or physical. • Accessibility refers to how widely the type of money is available. It can either be wide or limited. • Transfer mechanism can either be a central intermediary or peer-to-peer, meaning transactions occur directly between the payer and the payee without the need for a central intermediary. Let us look at where some common types of money fit into the flower, starting with cash (or bank notes) as we know it today. Cash is issued by the central bank, is not electronic, is available to everyone and is peer-to-peer. I do not need a trusted third party such as Jens to help me pay each of you 10 euros. Let us try another one: bank deposits. They are not the liability of the central bank, mostly electronic, and in most countries available to most people, but clearly not peer-to-peer. Transferring resources from a bank deposit requires the involvement of at least your own bank, perhaps the central bank and the recipient’s bank. Think here not only of commercial bank deposits but also bills, eg non-interest bearing (bearer) certificates, issued privately, as in the case of the Bank of Amsterdam mentioned earlier. Local or regional currencies are the ones that can be spent in a particular geographical location at participating organisations. They tend to be physical. The túmin, for example, was a local currency circulating (illegally) for some time around 2010 exclusively in the Mexican municipality of Espinal. What does digitalisation mean for the flower? Digitalisation is nothing new: financial services and most forms of money have been largely digital for many years. Much of the ongoing transformation is just adding a mobile version for many services, which means that the device becomes a virtual extension of the institution. As such, there is not a new model. The money flower then also easily accommodates these forms. That is also the case for the digital, account-based forms of money that central banks traditionally have made available to commercial banks and, in some instances, to certain other financial or public institutions (ie bank reserves). It would also be the case if the central bank were to issue digital money to the wider public for general purposes. Each central bank will have to make its own decision on whether issuing digital money is desirable, after considering factors such as the structure of the financial system and underlying preferences for privacy. The central bank community is actively analysing this issue. A potentially important and leapfrogging digital-related development, however, is distributed ledger technology (DLT), the basis for Bitcoin. Many think DLT could transform financial service provision, maybe first wholesale, then possibly retail. For example, it could enhance settlement efficiency involving securities and derivatives transactions. A few central banks have conducted experiments in this area, for example the Bank of Canada, the Bundesbank, the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Bank of England.6 Yet doubts remain regarding the maturity of DLT and the size of associated efficiency gains relative to existing technologies. Moreover, their robustness, including to cyber-risk, is still to be fully understood and ascertained. Still, there are potential benefits, and I expect that central banks will remain engaged on this topic.7 For now, DLT is largely used to “create” bitcoin and other digital currencies. Such cryptocurrencies can be placed easily in the money flower. Nobody issues them, they are not physical and they are peer-to-peer. But beyond that, how should one think about them? What constitutes good money? Just because we are able to find a place for bitcoin in our money flower does not mean we should consider it as “good” money. As I mentioned before, trust is the fundamental tenet that underpins credible currencies, and this trust has to be earned and supported. There are many lessons from history and institutional economics on the earning of trust that we can use as we move further into digitalisation.8 Over the ages, many forms of private money have come and gone. It is fair to say that the same has happened with various experiments with public money (that is, money issued by a public entity that is not the central bank). While some lasted longer than others, most have invariably given way to some form of central bank money. The main reason for their disappearance is that the “incentives to cheat” are simply too high. Let me give three historical examples: one in Germany, another in the United States and the last one in Mexico. In Germany, the Thirty Years War (1618–48), involving small German states of the Holy Roman Empire and neighbouring regional powers, was associated with one of the most severe economic crises ever recorded, with rampant hyperinflation – just as happened three centuries later during the Weimar Republic – and the breakdown of trade and economic activity. The crisis became known as the Kipper- und Wipperzeit (the clipping and culling times), after the practice of clipping coins (shaving metal from their circumference) and sorting good coins from bad. This morning, we are launching a BIS Working Paper, by Professor Isabel Schnabel and BIS Economic Adviser Hyun Song Shin, which further details and explains this experience, as background to my speech. 6 See Bech and Garratt, op cit. 7 See Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures, Distributed ledger technology in payment, clearing and settlement: an analytical framework, February 2017. 8 See D North, Institutions, institutional change and economic performance, 1990. While episodes of currency debasement have occurred throughout history, this one stands out for two reasons. First is the severity of the crisis and its rapid regional spread. Debasement proceeded at such a pace that public authorities quickly lost control of the downward spiral. Second is how the debasement was brought under control. This occurred through standardisation of wholesale payments by public deposit banks, for example the Bank of Hamburg and the Bank of Amsterdam. These were in many ways examples of the precursors of modern central banks. As the working paper argues, monetary order could be brought to an otherwise chaotic situation by providing reliable payment means through precursors to central bank money, which at the end means the use of a credible institutional arrangement. In the period in the United States known as the Free Banking Era, from 1837 to 1863, many banks sprang up that issued currency with no oversight of any kind by the federal government.10 These so-called free bank notes did not work very well as a medium of exchange. Given that there were so many banks of varying reputations issuing notes, they sold at different prices in different places, making transactions quite complicated. And as supervision was largely absent, banks had limited restraint in issuing notes and did not back them up sufficiently with specie (gold or silver), thereby debasing their values. This era of “wildcat banking” ended up being a long and costly period of banking instability in the history of the US, with banking panics and major disruptions to economic activity. It was, after some further hiccups, followed by the establishment of the Federal Reserve System in 1913. Let me present a final example, from Mexican monetary history. A little known fact is that Mexico had the first series of hyperinflations at the beginning of the 20th century. My country had a revolution from 1910 to 1921, in which no central government existed in an effective way, with many factions fighting and disputing different territories. A winning faction would arrive in a territory, print its own money and make void previously issued cash. So different bills issued by different factions coexisted, leading to chaos and hyperinflation. To give you an idea of the disorder, in 2015 four trunks full of bills were returned to Mexico after having been appropriated by the US Navy in 1914, when the US occupied the port city of Veracruz. In the trunks, the Bank of Mexico discovered dozens of types of bills that the central bank had not even known existed.11 At the end of the conflict, a new constitution was drafted, having as a central article one which gave the Bank of Mexico the appropriate institutional framework, designating it the exclusive issuer of currency in the country. Once this was in place, hyperinflation ceased, illustrating the importance of controlling fiscal dominance (which tends to be the result of the abuse of publicly issued money). Based on these experiences, most observers, and I suspect all of you here, would agree that laissez-faire is not a good approach in banking or in the issuance of money. Indeed, the paradigm of strict bank regulation and supervision and central banks overseeing the financial and monetary system that has emerged over the last century or so has proven to be the most effective way to avoid the instability and high economic costs associated with the proliferation of private and public monies. 9 I Schnabel and H S Shin, “Money and trust: lessons from the 1620s for money in the digital age”, BIS Working Papers, no 698, February 2018. 10 See G Dwyer, “Wildcat banking, banking panics, and free banking in the United States”, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta Economic Review, vol 81, nos 3–6, 1996; A Rolnick and W Weber, “New evidence of the free banking era”, The American Economic Review, vol 73, no 5, December 1983, pp 1080–91; and C Calomiris, “Banking crises yesterday and today”, Financial History Review, vol 17, no 1, 2010, pp 3–12. 11 See Bank of Mexico, “La SRE entregó al Banco de México un acervo de billetes de la época del porfiriato”, press release, 1 June 2015, www.banxico.org.mx/informacion-para-la-prensa/comunicados/billetes-y-monedas/billetes/%7B3A41E6F8-FBD8-2FA7-DA0B-66FCCE46430A%7D.pdf. The unhappy experience with private forms of money raises deep questions about whether the proliferation of cryptocurrencies is desirable or sustainable. Even if the supply of one type of cryptocurrency is limited, the mushrooming of so many of them means that the total supply of all forms of cryptocurrency is unlimited. Added to this is the practice of “forking”, where an offshoot of an existing cryptocurrency can be conjured up from thin air. Given the experience with currency debasement that has peppered history, the proliferation of such private monies should give everyone pause for thought. I will return to this shortly. We have learned over the centuries that money as a social institution requires a solution to the problem of a lack of trust.12 The central banks that often emerged in the wake of the private and public money collapses may not have looked like the ones we have today, but they all had some institutional backing. The forms of this backing for their issuance of money have differed over time and by country.13 Commodity money has often been the start. History shows that gold and other precious metals stored in the vault with governance (and physical) safeguards can provide some assurance. Commodity money is not the only or necessarily sufficient mechanism. Often it also required a city-, state- or nation-provided charter, as with the emergence of giro banks in many European countries. Later, the willingness of central banks to convert money for gold at a fixed price (the gold standard) was the mechanism. Currency boards, where local money is issued one-to-one with changes in foreign currency holdings, can also work to provide credibility. The tried, trusted and resilient modern way to provide confidence in public money is the independent central bank. This means legal safeguards and agreed goals, ie clear monetary policy objectives, operational, instrument and administrative independence, together with democratic accountability to ensure broad-based political support and legitimacy. While not fully immune from the temptation to cheat, central banks as an institution are hard to beat in terms of safeguarding society’s economic and political interest in a stable currency. Where do cryptocurrencies fit in? One could argue that bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies’ attractiveness lies in an intelligent application of DLT. DLT provides a method to broadcast transactions publicly and pseudonymously in a way that achieves in principle ledger immutability.14 Who would have thought that having people guessing solutions to what was described to me by a techie as the mathematical equivalent of mega-sudokus would be a way to generate consensus among strangers around the world through a proof of work? Does it thus provide a novel solution to the problem of how to generate trust among people who do not know each other? If DLT provides the potential for a superledger, could bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies then substitute for some forms of money?15 We do not have the full answers, but at this time the answer, also in the light of historical experiences, is probably a sound no, for many reasons. In fact, we are seeing the type of cracks and cheating that brought down other private currencies starting to appear in the House of Bitcoin. As an institution, Bitcoin has some obvious flaws. 12 See M King, “The institutions of monetary policy”, speech at the American Economic Association Annual Meeting, San Diego, 4 January 2004. 13 See Giannini, op cit. 14 See Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures, op cit. 15 See N Kocherlakota, “Money is memory”, Journal of Economic Theory, vol 81, pp 232–51, 1998. In fact, he shows in a very stark setting that having a costless means to record the memory of all economic actors, both present and past, can do as much as money, and sometimes more. Conversely, money effectively functions as memory by providing an observable record of past transactions – that is, agents can tell whether a potential trader is running a current deficit or surplus with society by looking at the money balances that trader is carrying. The finding, however, is theoretical and not robust to slight changes in assumptions, including the risk of loss of data. Debasement. As I mentioned, we may be seeing the modern-day equivalent of clipping and culling. In Bitcoin, these take the form of forks, a type of spin-off in which developers clone Bitcoin’s software, release it with a new name and a new coin, after possibly adding a few new features or tinkering with the algorithms’ parameters. Often, the objective is to capitalise on the public’s familiarity with Bitcoin to make some serious money, at least virtually. Last year alone, 19 Bitcoin forks came out, including Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin Gold and Bitcoin Diamond. Forks can fork again, and many more could happen. After all, it just takes a bunch of smart programmers and a catchy name. As in the past, these modern-day clippings dilute the value of existing ones, to the extent such cryptocurrencies have any economic value at all. Trust. As the saying goes, trust takes years to build, seconds to break and forever to repair. Historical experiences suggest that these “assets” are probably not sustainable as money. Cryptocurrencies are not the liability of any individual or institution, or backed by any authority. Governance weaknesses, such as the concentration of their ownership, could make them even less trustworthy. Indeed, to use them often means resorting to an intermediary (for example, the bitcoin exchanges) to which one has to trust one’s money. More generally, they piggyback on the same institutional infrastructure that serves the overall financial system and on the trust that it provides. This reflects their challenge to establish their own trust in the face of cyber-attacks, loss of customers’ funds, limits on transferring funds and inadequate market integrity. Inefficiency. Novel technology is not the same as better technology or better economics. That is clearly the case with Bitcoin: while perhaps intended as an alternative payment system with no government involvement, it has become a combination of a bubble, a Ponzi scheme and an environmental disaster. The volatility of bitcoin renders it a poor means of payment and a crazy way to store value. Very few people use it for payments or as a unit of account. In fact, at a major cryptocurrency conference the registration fee could not be paid with bitcoins because it was too costly and slow: only conventional money was accepted. To the extent they are used, bitcoins and their cousins seem more attractive to those who want to make transactions in the black or illegal economy, rather than everyday transactions. In a way, this should not be surprising, since individuals who massively evade taxes or launder money are the ones who are willing to live with cryptocurrencies’ extreme price volatility. In practice, central bank experiments show that DLT-based systems are very expensive to run and slower and much less efficient to operate than conventional payment and settlement systems. The electricity used in the process of mining bitcoins is staggering, estimated to be equal to the amount Singapore uses every day in electricity,16 making them socially wasteful and environmentally bad. Therefore, the current fascination with these cryptocurrencies seems to have more to do with a speculative mania than any use as a form of electronic payment, except for illegal activities. Accordingly, authorities are edging closer and closer to clamping down to contain the risks related to cryptocurrencies. There is a strong case for policy intervention. As now noted by many securities markets and regulatory and supervisory agencies, these assets can raise concerns related to consumer and investor protection. Appropriate authorities have a duty to educate and protect investors and consumers, and need to be prepared to act. Moreover, there are concerns related to tax evasion, money laundering and criminal finance. Authorities should welcome innovation. But they have a duty to make sure technological advances are not used to legitimise profits from illegal activities. 16 See Digiconomist, “Bitcoin energy consumption index”, digiconomist.net/bitcoin-energy-consumption. What role for the central bank? Central banks, acting by themselves and/or in coordination with other financial authorities like bank regulators and supervisors, ministries of finance, tax agencies and financial intelligence units, may also need to act, given their roles in providing money services and safeguarding money’s real value. Working with commercial banks, authorities have a part to play in policing the digital frontier. Commercial banks are on the front line since they are the ones settling trades, providing real liquidity, keeping exchanges going and interacting with customers. It is alarming that some banks have advertised “bitcoin ATMs” where you can buy and sell bitcoins. Authorities need to ensure commercial banks do not facilitate unscrupulous behaviours. Central banks need to safeguard payment systems. To date, Bitcoin is not functional as a means of payment, but it relies on the oxygen provided by the connection to standard means of payments and trading apps that link users to conventional bank accounts. If the only “business case” is use for illicit or illegal transactions, central banks cannot allow such tokens to rely on much of the same institutional infrastructure that serves the overall financial system and freeload on the trust that it provides. Authorities should apply the principle that the Basel Process has adhered to for years: to provide a level playing field to all participants in financial markets (banks and non-banks alike), while at the same time fostering innovative, secure and competitive markets. In this context, this means, among other things, ensuring that the same high standards that money transfer and payment service providers have to meet are also met by Bitcoin-type exchanges. It also means ensuring that legitimate banking and payment services are only offered to those exchanges and products that meet these high standards. Financial authorities may also have a case to intervene to ensure financial stability. To date, many judge that, given cryptocurrencies’ small size and limited interconnectedness, concerns about them do not rise to a systemic level. But if authorities do not act pre-emptively, cryptocurrencies could become more interconnected with the main financial system and become a threat to financial stability. Most importantly, the meteoric rise of cryptocurrencies should not make us forget the important role central banks play as stewards of public trust. Private digital tokens masquerading as currencies must not subvert this trust. As history has shown, there simply is no substitute. Still, central banks are embracing new technologies as appropriate. Many new developments can help. For example, fintech and “techfin” – which refers to established technology platforms venturing into financial services. These are changing financial service provision in many countries, most clearly in payments, and especially in some emerging market economies (for example, China and Kenya). While they introduce the possibility of non-bank financial institutions introducing money-type instruments, which raises a familiar set of regulatory questions, they do present scope for many gains. Conclusion In conclusion, while cryptocurrencies may pretend to be currencies, they fail the basic textbook definitions. Most would agree that they do not function as a unit of account. Their volatile valuations make them unsafe to rely on as a common means of payment and a stable store of value. They also defy lessons from theory and experiences. Most importantly, given their many fragilities, cryptocurrencies are unlikely to satisfy the requirement of trust to make them sustainable forms of money. While new technologies have the potential to improve our lives, this is not invariably the case. Thus, central banks must be prepared to intervene if needed. After all, cryptocurrencies piggyback on the institutional infrastructure that serves the wider financial system, gaining a semblance of legitimacy from their links to it. This clearly falls under central banks’ area of responsibility. The buck stops here. But the buck also starts here. Credible money will continue to arise from central bank decisions, taken in the light of day and in the public interest. In particular, central banks and financial authorities should pay special attention to two aspects. First, to the ties linking cryptocurrencies to real currencies, to ensure that the relationship is not parasitic. And second, to the level playing field principle. This means “same risk, same regulation”. And no exceptions allowed.
Reposting this with some updates. Originally posted to this sub 3+ months ago when there were fewer than 100 subs. I am more bullish on ICX than ever before and plan on increasing my position via OKEx, possibly doubling my 30 Eth position depending on how low the price drops. Thoughts on price: I don't give a lot of credence to the HitBTC futures but I DO pay attention to the trend they reflect. I've seen many ICOs with futures trading below the ICO price. ICX is currently at a crazy premium. Will ICX trade at >$3 on day 1? I don't think so. But I'm willing to bet good money (and will bet good money) that it will trade well north of $3 within the next few months assuming we don't have another massive market correction. My two cents. One piece of advice to the ICON team: Pay more attention to this sub than you do to Telegram. Make announcements here. It will get to the Telegram almost instantly while remaining visible (instead of having to "pin" posts on Telegram) and easily searchable in the future. We need this subreddit to grow. Thanks! New information marked with "UPDATE:" Website: https://icon.foundation/en/ Team: On the site. Lots of folks that went to the best Universities in Korea (Seoul National is the Harvard of Korea, KAIST is the MIT of Korea). Lots of American educated folks too. Biz guys that worked for top tier investment banks (JP Morgan, Deutsche Bank). Parent Company: ICON is a project of Dayli Financial Group. Dayli used to be called Yello Financial Group and it is an arm of Yello Mobile. (Techcrunch source) (Article about name change) Note that theloop is the company that built the underlying blockchain technology. They are also owned by Dayli Financial Group. It appears many Korean companies take this "conglomerate" approach which has made research a bit tricky. In summary, Dayli Financial Group, Icon Foundation, theloop, Yello Financial Group all the same company. Furthermore -- Yello Mobile is HUGE. They are one of the largest startups in Korea with a valuation north of $4b. (Source) We're talking about the largest mobile start up in Korea...a start-up that was started by a team that spun off of Kakao, the most popular app in Korea that almost everyone uses (similar to WhatsApp or WeChat in China). Confused yet? Basically, by Korean standards, this is as big as it gets. Vision UPDATE: I wanted to throw in something I've heard one of the ICON Council members say many times in interviews on Youtube. They view blockchain networks akin to cellular networks. There will be many of them, they will be regulated, and there will be incredibly successful regional networks in addition to international networks. ICON is the first blockchain network in Korea focusing on pulling that country towards blockchain adoption (see article linked at the bottom of this post). They're setting up dozens of partnerships and side chains that they're building themselves for clients with the goal of connecting the entire ecosystem using ICX. This is a BIG vision that, in my opinion, makes a ton of sense. ICON isn't just saying, "Here's our network, come use it" -- they're signing up industries and those industries are paying up for their own blockchain networks that will become part of the ICON ecosystem. We haven't really seen something this "professionalized" in crypto yet, besides perhaps Ripple. Partnerships/Other:
The "Financial Firms" mentioned in the above article are VERY legit. Daishin Securities has close to a $1b USD market cap and 185 employees on Linkedin. Kiwoom's market cap is well over $1.5b USD. The others also manage billions or hundreds of millions US.
Signed an agreement with Woori (appears to be the second largest bank in Korea) to create something like Tether but for the Korean Won. (source)
They own Coinone, the second largest crypto exchange in Korea. Source (Click on cryptocurrency and then look under trading)
They have a partnership with multiple universities including Sogang University. Source
UPDATE: The university group blockchain project is called U-Coin. Latest tweet showing a prototype vending machine at Sogang University. The other side of that vending machine has the ICON logo on it. It was posted in Telegram but I can't find it again.
UPDATE: Latest tweet on the insurance project from ICON team.
UPDATE: A weak point up until now has been community communication. The team asserts that they are looking for a professional, full-time CMO. They've also posted a teaser screen shot of a clean new website design that's on the way. While marketing/communication has been weak, ICON has one of the strongest technical teams of any project I've seen. Ever. Most of the technical hires are not listed on the website.
UPDATE: The regulations brewing in Korea are good for ICON. First of all, they got their ICO in and finished before ICOs were banned (similar to NEO in China) and second, they're doing everything by the book, working with regulators, etc. That's why the KYC took so long. But remember, this is a long-term GOOD thing for the project. Regulations create moats. Moats keep out the competition.
UPDATE: The community didn't seem to love the fact that the first exchange to list ICX will be OKEx. That's because most crypto folks today haven't been around long enough to know what OKEx is or was (OKCoin, one of if not THE largest crypto exchange in the world pre-China crack down.) It's currently returning to it's former glory and volumes are crazy high. Getting listed on OKEx is a big freaking deal for a brand new ICO. And Coinone is certainly coming. I think it's a great idea that they aren't launching with the exchange that they own. This shows more strength.
ICO Terms: 150k Eth, first round caps you at 30 eth per person, then 100 eth, then 1,000 eth. I maxed the pre-sale and am planning on doubling down assuming I get a reasonable price discovery here in the next few days. Advisors: Don Tapscott is the big one. He wrote one of the definitive books on blockchain with his son who runs a crypto hedge fund. Here's him speaking. Here's his son Alex speaking at Google. Here's a Bloomberg article that mentions their investment. UPDATE: They also added Jehan Chu as an advisor. He's a pretty big deal and has been around the space for a LONG time. Here he is on Bloomberg TV mentioning South Korea. He doesn't mention ICON (and does mention two other investments) but I'll give him a pass given that he's on an American TV show. Other: Korea is obsessed with crypto (based on trading volumes) and they are early adopters of nearly every new technology -- usually way before China or the US. Other Articles: READ THIS ARTICLE (page 2 has best info)
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Brent Crude down 0.18% to $56.90
Natural Gas down 0.44% to $2.91
Corn down 0.07% to $3.49/bu
Wheat up 0.06% to $4.41/bu
Bitcoin up 1.55% to $4,414.56
Treasuries 2yr yields are up ~1.3bps at 1.500%, 10yr yields are up ~1.6bps at 2.364% and 30yr yields are up ~0.9bps at 2.899%
Japan 10yr yields 0.045%, up ~1.0bps on the day
France 10yr yields 0.750%, up ~1.9bps on the day
Italy 10yr yields 2.156%, up ~1.8bps on the day
Spain 10yr yields 1.704%, up ~1.8bps on the day
Germany 10yr yields 0.474%, up ~2.2bps on the day
What’s happening this morning? It was another slow evening of news other than the German Aug factory order numbers (which were very strong although the euro and Eurozone stocks are both in the red), a few US earnings reports (COST and YUMC), andsome M&A (GIMO, HON, JWN, PENN/PNK, SNCR, and more). The overall macro narrativeremains the same as it was at the Thurs close (see below for an update on the macro narrative as well as potential upcoming risks). The major Asian indices generally saw gains – TPX +0.28%, NKY +0.3%, Hang Seng +0.28%, HSCEI +0.54%, Taiwan +0.14%, Australia +1.04%, and India +0.5-7% (mainland China and Korea were both closed). There weren’t any huge themes in Asia although Macau casino stocks were weak in HK on back of underwhelming Golden Week visitor numbers (autos and financials led HK on the upside). Australia’s 1% rally was led by banks, miners, and telecoms. The major Eurozone indices are trading off small (~10-20bp); autos are outperforming while banks, retail, energy, and utilities lag. The GBP is extending its losses from Thurs amid more uncertainty around UK PM May (the DXY spiked ~50bp Thurs and is up small so far Fri morning). US S&P futures are trading down 1-2 points.
Calendar for Fri 10/6 – the focus will be on the US jobs report for Sept (8:30amET), US wholesale inventories/trade sales for Aug (10amET), US consumer credit for Aug (3pmET), and Fed speakers (Kaplan 8:30amET on CNBC, Bostic 9:15amET, Dudley 12:15pmET, Kaplan 12:45pmET, and Bullard 1pmET). o US jobs preview – there is very little anticipation or focus on the Sept jobs report (Fri morning 8/6 8:30amET) as 1) most are anticipating large storm-related distortions and 2) at this point in the cycle it only requires ~75K monthly adds to keep the UR steady (as was discussed in this JPMorgan report http://bit.ly/2fbT6cE). The St is in print at +80K for adds (vs. ADP for Sept at +135K and Aug BLS +156K) w/a 4.4% UR (unchanged w/Aug) and wages +0.3% M/M and +2.5% Y/Y (vs. Aug +0.1% M/M and +2.5% Y/Y). It’s very difficult to see the Sept BLS report changing the near-term US monetary policy trajectory (w/ongoing normalization and a FF hike on 12/13). The potential for a hike on 11/1 is very low and if anything the Sept CPI on Fri 10/13 may be a more important data point than jobs on Fri 10/6. Instead, the bigger Fed uncertainty has nothing to do w/data or policy but instead concerns staffing (i.e. who will be the next chair? A Trump announcement could come as soon as next week – Powell and Warsh are the frontrunners according to media reports w/the former appearing to have a slight edge).
Top Headlines for Friday
Eco data recap for Fri morning 10/6 – the big data came out of Germany where factory orders for Aug beat expectations by a wide margin (orders +3.6% M/M vs. the St +0.7% and +7.8% Y/Y vs. the St +4.7%). See JPMorgan’s comments on the German data (http://bit.ly/2y42sh4). Japan’s wage inflation figures for Aug were soft, as expected (http://bit.ly/2kuygr0). o Fed chair – markets would be comfortable w/any of the main candidates (including Powell, Warsh, Cohn, Yellen, etc.) w/the exception of one person: John Taylor. Bloomberg. o Fed update – Kansas City Fed President George spoke Thurs night and said the US economy needed further rates hikes (http://cnb.cx/2kqTiqj). JPMorgan’s Mike Feroli published an updated FOMC hawk/dove chart following the confirmation of Quarles (http://bit.ly/2z1jSti). o Japan’s “Party of Hope” unveils an economic agenda that pledges to rely less on aggressive fiscal and monetary stimulus – Reuters http://reut.rs/2ghahXu o AUD hit as RBA’s Harper doesn’t rule out a rate cut in a WSJ article. http://on.wsj.com/2xW3nkD
UK PM May the subject of more speculation amid disclosure of plot to topple her; former party chairman, Grant Shapps, said May’s leadership should now be challenged. Reuters http://reut.rs/2yMrmzB
Spain/Catalonia – Spain’s Constitutional Court ordered the suspension of the Catalan parliament’s regional session scheduled for Mon; Catalonia had planned on declaring independence at the session. Reuters http://reut.rs/2xlDfjC o Spain’s gov’t will change rules and make it easier for firms to move their legal base out of Catalonia – Reuters http://reut.rs/2z1WQCF
Tax update - there is a lot of focus on taxes in the US as the Senate Budget Committee (right at the Thurs close) and the full House (at ~1pmET Thurs afternoon) advance budget resolutions (the full Senate will presumably vote within the next two weeks). This is a necessary step in the tax process (as these resolutions contain the reconciliation instructions allowing tax to pass via a simple majority in the Senate) but also a relatively minor one. Far more complicated will be agreeing on rates, deduction schedules, deficits, etc., and if anything all the press in the last few days and weeks point to divisions within the GOP on these matters being larger than anticipated. o Schumer warns that the proposal to eliminate the SALT deduction will kill the GOP tax plan – Bloomberg. https://bloom.bg/2xXX8KL o GOP desire to repeal the estate tax runs into resistance - from Republicans. As a result this piece of the 9/27 tax blueprint (among others) may wind up being scrapped - WSJ. http://on.wsj.com/2gf9G8E o Fed officials express concern over tax plans – Fed officials warned the tax plan may only provide a temporary boost to growth while fueling inflation and driving debt to unsustainable levels – Reuters http://reut.rs/2xWMrdG
Republican headaches keep growing as donors withhold money, a tax consensus fails to materialize, and “establishment” figures depart the scene (Strange losing to Moore, Corker retiring, etc.). Republican leaders are increasingly concerned about the party’s grip on the House and Senate should it fail to pass a tax bill. Leaders “fear that the inchoate populism that Mr. Trump personifies, and which Mr. Bannon is attempting to weaponize against incumbents, is on the march” – NYT http://nyti.ms/2y3lUKT
Trump looks to jolt NAFTA – the White House is considering a proposal that would represent a radical shift to the principles underlying NAFTA. According to rule changes being considered, automobiles would need to have a specific level of US-made content in order to qualify for tariff breaks (right now autos only need to have a specific level of content from within the NAFTA region). WSJ. http://on.wsj.com/2y4LXlo
Trump makes cryptic comment ahead of a dinner with US military leaders. Trump said the dinner might represent “the calm before the storm”. Asked repeatedly by reporters to clarify his comments, Trump said, “You’ll find out” – Bloomberg https://bloom.bg/2xXI2r6
Trump was “furious” over NBC’s Tillerson “moron” article; John Kelly was forced to rearrange his schedule and stayed in Washington in order to try and calm tensions – NBC. http://nbcnews.to/2fOGx3B
Iran/Trump – Trump will “decertify” the Iran nuclear accord next week (speech on 10/12) and declare the agreement as not being in the US national interest according to the Washington Post (article out at ~2:40pmET Thurs afternoon). This is consistent w/what the AP and Politico reported earlier in the week. Note that Trump’s 10/12 declarations won’t end the Iranian nuclear pact as it will be up to Congress whether re-impose sanctions on Tehran (and Trump will hold off on recommending such a step). Washington Post http://wapo.st/2z1zeOw o Decertifying the Iran Deal Wouldn’t Have to Kill It – WSJ http://on.wsj.com/2y40dKY
North Korea – US lawmakers are pressuring the Trump White House to toughen sanctions against North Korea – WSJ. http://on.wsj.com/2xlKdVQ
The Economist's lead article this week speaks to sentiment at the moment and this is one of the big reasons why stocks are proving to be so resilient. "Asset prices are high across the board. Is it time to worry?" (http://econ.st/2xVXOjv). o The WSJ notes that a key European junk-bond index is now yielding less than 10yr US TSYs although it offers a reasonable explanation for this ostensibly irrational price level – WSJ. http://on.wsj.com/2xkwYVb
Company-specific news update from Thurs night. There were a few earnings reports out Thurs AMC but for the most part it was another slow evening. COST EPS beats thanks to better SG&A and favorable tax while GMs were light; Sept same-store-sales beat w/upside in the US (the stock ended down 3% during the Thurs after-hours trading session). YUMC’s results came in ahead of expectations (EPS/same-store-sales) and it increased capital return. SNCR reentered M&A talks w/Siris Capital (Siris is looking to buy SNCR’s Intralinks and may take a ~20% equity stake in SNCR); SNCR ended up ~27% during the Thurs after-hours trading session. According to the WSJ, HON is pursuing an acquisition of Evoqua Water Tech in a deal that could be worth $3B (http://on.wsj.com/2yseCSp). The WSJ reported (during trading on Thurs http://on.wsj.com/2xjE24p) on merger talks between PENN and PNK (the firms have been unable to agree to terms but PENN is still interested in buying PNK).
JWN buyout not completely dead – the Nordstrom family is exploring a new deal structure w/Leonard Green that would involve less debt. The family is trying to raise more equity (although it isn’t clear where the money will come from). WSJ. http://on.wsj.com/2ggTvbh
GIMO – Elliot’s takeover talks w/the company have ground to a halt according to Reuters over price disagreements – Reuters http://reut.rs/2fNCepo
SUM, ASHG – SUM has made a rival bid for ASHG as it looks to scuttle the existing Ash Grove-CRH PLC transaction. Ash Grove’s board said the offer could result in a superior proposal and that it would engage in talks with the third party. Bloomberg.
AMZN: the one market where Amazon is failing to dominate: Hollywood. The WSJ discusses AMZN’s failure to become a force in content. WSJ. http://on.wsj.com/2xZcJtr
Macau casino stocks slump during Fri trading as Golden Week visitor numbers disappoint expectations – Bloomberg https://bloom.bg/2fOuGmd
Identifying risks – what could go wrong?
Reflation enthusiasm is undercut by less aggressive CB normalization, dramatic curve flattening, and/or a softening in nominal growth. Of all the reflation pieces (monetary policy normalization, expansionary fiscal policy, firming inflation, and ongoing real growth strength), the last piece (real growth) is increasingly being taken for granted.
Bank investors wind up focusing too much on reflation/yields (which are tailwinds) but miss weakening credit (higher provisions) and tepid loan growth.
The first speech by the next Fed chair unsettles sentiment (assuming the chair isn’t Yellen).
The tax process slows in Washington as Republicans prove incapable of reaching a consensus on rates, deductions, and deficits.
Paul Ryan decides to “pull a Boehner”, stepping down as Speaker out of frustration with his inability to pass legislation.
The final tax bill results in materially higher rates for upper-income Americans.
May winds up stepping down as UK PM, sowing ongoing Brexit uncertainty.
Abe does much worse than anticipated during the upcoming Japan election (10/22).
North Korea conducts an above-ground nuclear bomb test (or even worse, an atmospheric test).
Iran decides to resume its nuclear weapons program, sparking an immediate escalation of Middle East geopolitical tensions (Trump’s Iran speech is coming up on 10/12).
Washington introduces (or threatens to introduce) tough new regulations aimed at internet/social media companies following the Russia election investigations (note that US internet giants will be testifying before Congress on 11/1).
Prominent members of the Trump team decide to leave the gov’t (the market would be particularly sensitive to Tillerson, Mattis, Kelly, and/or Cohn departing; recent media reports suggest the Tillerson-Trump relationship is particularly strained).
The pro-reflation bias commenced back on 9/11 and has been propelled ever since by ongoing real growth strength, firming inflation, normalizing monetary policy/rhetoric, and expansionary fiscal policy (in particular in the US w/the 9/27 tax blueprint but also in Germany following that country’s election outcome and fin min change).
This enthusiasm can extend for a few more weeks but the ECB/BOE decisions (on 10/26 and 11/2, respectively) will mark the culmination of a series of pro-reflation catalysts/developments and thus the trade may enter a period of extended consolidation around those central bank events.
Meanwhile the nuances of this present reflation process aren’t being appreciated – growth and corporate earnings are late-cycle (not early), multiples are already rich (although not necessarily ridiculous), inflation is only very gradually firming to target, the economy faces enormous structural headwinds in the form of labor supply and productivity growth, and while central banks are normalizing policy will stay extremely accommodative for years to come (the structural headwinds and slow tightening pace will prevent yields from materially rising and curves from significantly steepening).
The tenor of sentiment is beginning to evolve and there is definitely greater frustration w/people being forced to participate in a tape many don’t particularly love at present levels – this helps fuel runs such has occurred over the last few weeks (the SPX hasn’t closed in the red since Mon 9/25) but it also makes for a precarious setup w/a lot of weak “renters” who will be quick to sell the minute momentum pauses.
Bottom Line: the lack of major catalysts is helping the rally propagate and the calendar is relatively clear until earnings (which kick off w/banks on Thurs 10/12). The reflation impetus will likely stay in place into the ECB/BOE (10/26 and 11/2, respectively) after which a consolidation (at least) is likely (note that a lot of the “easy” tax steps are occurring now – the blueprint on 9/27, the budget resolutions, etc. However, reaching a consensus on rates, deductions, and deficits will be extremely difficult and this will become more apparent later in Oct and into Nov, around the same time as the ECB/BOE decisions).
Calendar of events to watch for the week of Mon Oct 9
Calendar for the week of 10/9 – overall it should be a relatively slow week although a few items are in focus. The current reflation emphasis makes the US CPI on Fri 10/13 prob. the single most important eco data point of the week but there are other numbers in focus (German trade/IP for Aug and China imports/exports for Sept). The CQ3 earnings season kicks off in earnest with the banks on Thurs and Friday. Away from scheduled events, media reports suggest Catalonia could formally declare independence on Mon (although this could easily be delayed following court challenges and as the region’s leaders seek a settlement w/Madrid) while the White House may unveil its infrastructure spending blueprint during the week of 10/9 (http://bit.ly/2wwiop9). South Korean security officials have warned that North Korea may fire additional missiles between 10/10 and 10/18 while Trump’s Fed chair selection could come soon (media reports suggest Powell and Warsh are the two frontrunners). Trump is expected to deliver an Iranian policy speech on/around Thurs 10/12 during which he will declare the nuclear deal as no longer being in the US national interest. HON has said it will announce its formal portfolio review decision prior to earnings (media reports, including on CNBC, suggest it will retain its aerospace unit).
Calendar for Mon 10/9 – the day should be pretty quiet owing to the US Columbus Day holiday (equities will be open but fixed income is closed). The focus will be on the China FX reserve numbers for Sept (Fri night/Sat morning 10/7), the China Caixin services PMI for Sept (Sun night/Mon morning), Germany’s industrial production for Aug (2amET), and earnings (LVMH reports results after the European close).
Calendar for Tues 10/10 – the focus will be on the German trade figures for Aug (2amET), a bunch of analyst meetings (including TECD, Santander, WDAY, and WMT), the PG shareholder meeting (at which the Trian/Peltz board seat request will be voted on), and earnings (CUDA after the close).
Calendar for Wed 10/11 – the focus will be on the US JOLTs report for Aug (10amET), Fed minutes from the 9/20 meeting (2pmET), analyst meetings (KR), and earnings (DAL, BLK, FAST, and OZRK before the open).
Calendar for Thurs 10/12 – the focus will be on Eurozone IP for Aug (5amET), the US PPI for Sept (8:30amET), Trump’s Iran speech, analyst meetings (BOX, HPQ, LSCC, and WDC), and earnings (C, DPZ, JPM, LNN, Sky PLC, and Tata Consultancy pre-open).
Calendar for Fri 10/13 – the focus will be on China’s imports/exports for Sept (Thurs night/Fri morning), the US CPI for Sept (8:30amET), US retail sales for Sept (8:30amET), the Michigan Confidence numbers for Oct (10amET), US business inventories for Aug (10amET), analyst meetings (SAFM), and earnings (BAC, DRFG, FHN, FRC, JBHT, Man Group, PNC, and WFC pre-open).
Catalysts – big events to watch over the coming months
China mainland markets closed Mon 10/2-Fri 10/6 for the National Day holiday.
US jobs report for Sept – Fri 10/6.
US infrastructure spending - the Trump White House may unveil its long-anticipated infrastructure plan during the week of 10/9 according to House Transport chairman Rep. Bill Shuster.
North Korea - South Korea’s national security adviser Chung Eui-yong said he expected Pyongyang to act around Oct. 10 and 18 (Reuters).
WMT analyst meeting – Tues 10/10 (note that KR has an analyst meeting the next day, Wed 10/11).
PG shareholder meeting – Tues 10/10 (decision to be made on Peltz’s board seat request).
Fed minutes – minutes from the 9/20 meeting will be released Wed 10/11. 2pmET.
HON – the co will announce its portfolio review decision before earnings in Oct.
Iran - Trump is planning to deliver an Iran policy speech on 10/12 and he is expected to say that the landmark 2015 nuclear deal is no longer in the U.S. national security interest (AP)
Bank earnings – the CQ3 earnings season kicks off w/Citigroup and JPM Thurs morning 10/12 while BAC, PNC, and WFC all report Fri 10/13.
US inflation – the Sept CPI will hit Fri 10/13.
IMF/World Bank - 2017 Annual Meetings of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund. Oct 13-15 in Washington.
CQ3 earnings – the week of Mon 10/16 is the first busy week of the CQ3 reporting season.
Fed chair decision during the week of 10/16? Based on Trump’s “two to three” weeks comment (on Fri 9/29), his decision on a Fed chair could come as soon as the week of 10/16 (this week is also the first busy period of the CQ3 earnings season, the deadline for Trump to rule on the Iran nuclear deal, and the beginning of the China National Congress on 10/18). Media reports suggest the Fed chair frontrunners are Warsh and Powell followed by Yellen and Cohn.
China - the National Congress of the Communist Party of China starts Oct 18.
China Q3 GDP and Sept retail sales, IP, and FAI (Wed night/Thurs morning) – Thurs morning 10/19.
EU leaders hold summit in Brussels. Oct 19-20. Brussels.
Japan – the country will hold snap elections on Sun 10/22.
Flash PMIs for Oct – Tues 10/24
ECB meeting/press conf. Thurs Oct 26. The ECB is expected to provide guidance on LSAP tapering at this meeting (St assumes LSAP drops from EU60B now to EU40B w/6 month extension).
1949: The Year That Set the Course of Chinese-American Relations – NYT http://nyti.ms/2z2hGSv M&A/Strategic Actions
Brooklyn Nets – multiple suitors are in talks to buy a 49% stake in the NBA deal. Mikhail Prokhorov is seeking a valuation of >$2B for the entire team. NY Post. http://nyp.st/2y3KFY0 o Brooklyn Nets – BABA denied that its vice chairman, Joseph Tsai, was in talks to buy a stake in the Nets – Reuters http://reut.rs/2yuCBRa
GIMO – Elliot’s takeover talks w/the company have ground to a halt according to Reuters over price disagreements – Reuters http://reut.rs/2fNCepo
HON - according to the WSJ, HON is pursuing an acquisition of Evoqua Water Tech in a deal that could be worth $3B (http://on.wsj.com/2yseCSp).
HPQ, Samsung – China said it will approve HPQ’s purchase of Samsung’s printer business – Reuters http://reut.rs/2y06khP
JWN buyout not completely dead – the Nordstrom family is exploring a new deal structure w/Leonard Green that would involve less debt. The family is trying to raise more equity (although it isn’t clear where the money will come from). WSJ. http://on.wsj.com/2ggTvbh
PENN, PNK - the WSJ reported (during trading on Thurs http://on.wsj.com/2xjE24p) on merger talks between PENN and PNK (the firms have been unable to agree to terms but PENN is still interested in buying PNK).
Retailers helped through bankruptcy process – Reuters notes that many retailers are obtaining help during the bankruptcy process w/many being allowed to stay in business w/their store bases largely intact – Reuters http://reut.rs/2y3NcAN
SNCR - On October 4, 2017, SNCR and Siris determined to restart discussions regarding a potential transaction. Specifically, Siris is offering to buy Intralinks for $915MM cash, invest $185MM for a convert worth ~20% of SNCR’s common shares, and cancel the ~6MM SNCR common shares it now owns.
SUM, ASHG – SUM has made a rival bid for ASHG as it looks to scuttle the existing Ash Grove-CRH PLC transaction. Ash Grove’s board said the offer could result in a superior proposal and that it would engage in talks with the third party. Bloomberg.
Unilever – the co is seeking PE bids for its spreads business by 10/19; a sale could be worth $8B – Reuters http://reut.rs/2fNDYPe
Full catalyst list
Fri Oct 6 – German factory orders for Aug. 2amET.
Fri Oct 6 – US jobs report for Sept. 8:30amET.
Fri Oct 6 – US wholesale inventories/trade sales for Aug. 10amET.
Fri Oct 6 – US consumer credit for Aug. 3pmET.
Fri Oct 6 – Fed speakers: Bostic, Kaplan, Bullard
Sat Oct 7 – China FX reserves for Sept (Fri night/Sat morning)
Mon Oct 9 – China Caixin services PMI for Sept (Sun night/Mon morning)
Mon Oct 9 – German industrial production for Aug. 2amET.
Mon Oct 9 – earnings after the European close: LVMH.
Mon Oct 9 – Columbus Day holiday in the US (equities will be open while fixed income is closed).
Tues Oct 10 – German trade balance for Aug. 2amET.
Tues Oct 10 – analyst meetings: TECD, Santander, WDAY, WMT
Tues Oct 10 – PG shareholder meeting
Tues Oct 10 – earnings after the close: CUDA
Wed Oct 11 – US JOLTs report for Aug. 10amET.
Wed Oct 11 – Fed minutes from the Sept 20 meeting (2pmET).
Wed Oct 11 – analyst meetings: KR
Wed Oct 11 – earnings before the open: BLK, DAL, FAST, OZRK.
Thurs Oct 12 – Eurozone industrial production for Aug. 5amET.
Thurs Oct 12 – US PPI for Sept. 8:30amET.
Thurs Oct 12 – analyst meetings: BOX, HPQ, LSCC, WDC.
Thurs Oct 12 – earnings before the open: C, DPZ, JPM, LNN, Sky PLC, Tata Consultancy.
Thurs Oct 12 – earnings after the close: EXFO
Fri Oct 13 – China imports/exports for Sept (Thurs night/Fri morning)
Fri Oct 13 – US CPI for Sept. 8:30amET.
Fri Oct 13 – US retail sales for Sept. 8:30amET.
Fri Oct 13 – US Michigan Sentiment for Oct. 10amET.
Fri Oct 13 – US business inventories for Aug. 10amET.
Fri Oct 13 – analyst meetings: SAFM
Fri Oct 13 – earnings before the open: BAC, DRFG, FHN, FRC, JBHT, Man Group, PNC, WFC.
Mon Oct 16 – China CPI/PPI for Sept (Sun night/Mon morning)
Mon Oct 16 – Eurozone trade balance for Aug. 5amET.
Mon Oct 16 – earnings before the open: SCHW
Mon Oct 16 – earnings after the close: BRO, IEX, NFLX, Rio Tinto
Tues Oct 17 – Eurozone Sept auto registrations. 2amET.
Tues Oct 17 – German ZEW survey results for Oct. 5amET.
Tues Oct 17 – US import prices for Sept. 8:30amET.
Tues Oct 17 – US industrial production for Sept. 9:15amET.
Tues Oct 17 – US NAHB housing index for Oct. 10amET.
Tues Oct 17 – earnings before the open: BMI, CMA, CSX, GS, GWW, HOG, JNJ, MS, Pearson, PLD, Remy Cointreau, UNH
Tues Oct 17 – earnings after the close: ADTN, BHP, CP, CREE, IBM, LRCX, NAVI.
Wed Oct 18 – US housing starts for Sept. 8:30amET.
Wed Oct 18 – US building permits fro Sept. 8:30amET.
Wed Oct 18 – US Beige Book. 2pmET.
Wed Oct 18 – earnings before the open: ABT, Akzo Nobel, MTB, NTRS, USB
Wed Oct 18 – earnings after the close: AA, AXP, BHE, CCI, CCK, EBAY, LLNW, SLG, TCBI
Thurs Oct 19 – China Q3 GDP and Sept retail sales, IP, and FAI (Wed night/Thurs morning)
Tues Oct 24 – earnings after the close: AKAM, AMP, CMG, COF, DFS, ESRX, IRBT, T, TSS, TXN.
Wed Oct 25 – US durable goods for Sept. 8:30amET.
Wed Oct 25 – US FHFA home price index for Aug. 9amET.
Wed Oct 25 – US new home sales for Sept. 10amET.
Wed Oct 25 – earnings before the open: ALK, ALLY, ANTM, Antofagasta, AOS, BA, BAX, Dassault Systemes, DPS, FCX, FLIR, Fresnillo, HBAN, Heineken, IP, IR, KO, LEA, LH, Lloyds Banking Group, NDAQ, NSC, NYCB, Peugeot, TMO, TUP, V, WBA, WEC.
Wed Oct 25 – earnings after the close: ABX, ACGL, AFL, AMGN, CLGX, DLR, FFIV, FTI, KIM, LSTR, NOW, ORLY, PKG, PLXS, RJF, TSCO, UNM, VAR, XLNX.
Thurs Oct 26 – US wholesale inventories for Sept. 8:30amET.
Thurs Oct 26 – US advance goods trade balance for Sept. 8:30amET.
Thurs Oct 26 – US pending home sales for Sept. 10amET.
Thurs Oct 26 – earnings before the open: Aixtron, ALLE, ALV, Anheuser Busch, APD, Bayer, BMY, BSX, BWA, CCMP, CELG, CHTR, CMCSA, CME, Deutsche Bank, ENTG, EQT, F, HLT, MMC, NEM, Nokia, ODFL, Santander, Schneider Electric, UNP, UPS, WM, XEL.
Thurs Oct 26 – earnings after the close: AIV, ATEN, CB, CDNS, EXPE, FLEX, FTNT, GILD, GOOG, HIG, INTC, LPLA, MSFT, NATI, PFG, SYK, VDSI, VRSN.
Fri Oct 27 – China Sept industrial profits (Thurs night/Fri morning).
Fri Oct 27 – US Q3 GDP, personal consumption, and core PCE for Q3. 8:30amET.
Fri Oct 27 – US Michigan Confidence numbers for Oct. 10amET.
Fri Oct 27 – earnings before the open: B, MRK, PSX, SC, TRU, Volkswagen, WY, XOM.
Mon Oct 30 – US personal income/spending and PCE for Sept. 8:30amET.
Mon Oct 30 – US Dallas Fed index for Oct. 10:30amET.
Mon Oct 30 – analyst meetings: CSX
Mon Oct 30 – earnings before the open: HSBC
Mon Oct 30 – earnings after the close: AVB, CGNX, RE, RTEC, VNO
Tues Oct 31 – US Employment Cost Index for Q3. 8:30amET.
Tues Oct 31 – US Case-Shiller home price index for Aug. 9amET.
Tues Oct 31 – US Chicago PMI for Oct. 9:45amET.
Tues Oct 31 – US Conference Board Sentiment readings for Oct. 10amET.
Tues Oct 31 – earnings before the open: ADM, AET, Airbus, AMT, Barclays, BNP, CMI, ECL, GGP, K, MA, OSK, PFE, XYL.
Tues Oct 31 – earnings after the close: APC, CHRW, CXO, WFT, X
Wed Nov 1 – US ADP jobs report for Oct. 8:15amET.
Wed Nov 1 – US Markit Manufacturing PMI for Oct. 9:45amET.
Wed Nov 1 – US Manufacturing ISM for Oct. 10amET.
Wed Nov 1 – US construction spending report for Sept. 10amET.
Wed Nov 1 – US auto sales for Oct.
Wed Nov 1 – FOMC meeting decision. 2pmET.
Wed Nov 1 – earnings before the open: AGN, APO, CLX, EL, GRMN, HFC, Novo Nordisk, ORBK, Standard Chartered, TAP, TRI.
Wed Nov 1 – earnings after the close: ALL, BHF, BXP, CAVM, CSGS, FB, LNC, MANT, MET, MUSA, OXY, PRU, QCOM, ULTI, XPO.
Thurs Nov 2 – US nonfarm productivity and unit labor costs for Q3. 8:30amET.
Thurs Nov 2 – earnings before the open: ADP, AN, BCE, CI, Credit Suisse, DISCA, H, ICE, Royal Dutch Shell, Sanofi, Swiss Re, WRK.
Thurs Nov 2 – earnings after the close: AAPL, AIG, CBS, CRUS, FLR, HLF, RMAX, SBUX, UNIT.
Fri Nov 3 – US jobs report for Oct. 8:30amET.
Fri Nov 3 – US trade balance for Sept. 8:30amET.
Fri Nov 3 – US factory orders and durable goods orders for Sept. 10amET.
Fri Nov 3 – US non-manufacturing ISM for Oct. 10amET.
Tues Nov 7 – US JOLTs jobs report for Sept. 10amET.
Tues Nov 7 – US consumer credit for Sept. 3pmET.
Thurs Nov 9 – US wholesale trade sales/inventories for Sept. 10amET.
Fri Nov 10 – US Michigan Confidence preliminary numbers for Nov. 10amET.
Tues Nov 14 – US PPI for Oct. 8:30amET.
Wed Nov 15 – US CPI for Oct. 8:30amET.
Wed Nov 15 – US Empire Manufacturing for Nov. 8:30amET.
Wed Nov 15 – US retail sales for Oct. 8:30amET.
Wed Nov 15 – US business inventories for Sept. 10amET.
Thurs Nov 16 – US import prices for Oct. 8:30amET.
Thurs Nov 16 – US industrial production for Oct. 9:15amET.
Thurs Nov 16 – US NAHB housing index for Nov. 10amET.
Fri Nov 17 – US housing starts and building permits for Oct. 8:30amET.
Mon Nov 20 – US Leading Index for Oct. 10amET.
Tues Nov 21 – US existing home sales for Oct. 10amET.
Wed Nov 22 – US durable goods for Oct. 8:30amET.
Wed Nov 22 – US final Michigan Confidence numbers for Nov. 10amET.
Wed Nov 22 – FOMC 11/1 meeting minutes. 2pmET.
Fri Nov 24 – US flash PMIs for Nov. 9:45amET.
J.P. Morgan Market Intelligence is a product of the Institutional Equities Sales and Trading desk of J.P. Morgan Securities LLC and the intellectual property thereof. It is not a product of the Research Department and is intended for distribution to institutional and professional customers only and is not intended for retail customer use. It may not be reproduced, redistributed or transmitted, in whole or in part, without J.P. Morgan’s consent. Any unauthorized use is strictly prohibited.
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