Almost Daily Grant's

“Almost Daily” is the end-of-day delectation from Grant’s.

ADG tells you what happened. It speculates on what may happen and tracks and develops Grant’s themes. Look for it after the New York close of trading—almost daily.

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Thursday, February 28, 2019

Hundred Dollar General

From CNBC:
 
The amount of $100 bills in circulation is surging. And it’s leaving some economists scratching their heads. The number of outstanding U.S. $100 bills has doubled since the financial crisis, with more than 12 billion of them across the world, according to the latest data from the Federal Reserve.
 
C-notes have passed $1 bills in circulation, Deutsche Bank chief international economist Torsten Slok said in a note to clients this week.

Trudge report

“Eurozone slowdown helps keep Draghi’s dissenters in line,” declares a headline in today’s Financial Times.  The catalyst: Recent comments from Bundesbank president and European Central Bank governing council member Jens Weidmann acknowledging ongoing economic softness in Europe’s largest economy. No need to lift those rates, notes the FT, which breathes a journalistic sigh of relief for Mario Draghi, who has to spend so much of his precious time “trying to curtail sniping from the sidelines by policy hawks.” 
 
So it goes on the Old Continent, where Draghi’s balance sheet has grown to 39% of GDP, twice the relative size of the Fed’s, and where the overnight rate rests at negative 0.4% (it first settled there in March 2016); the benchmark rate has remained below zero since June 2014. 
 
Weak data points, including flat sequential German fourth quarter GDP, a surprise contraction in December factory orders and eight straight months of declining economic sentiment across the eurozone, plausibly argue for the status quo. Other factors do too: Succession at the ECB is unclear as Draghi’s term ends on Oct. 31, while political risk is on the upswing, evidenced by growing discord between Italy and other member states as well as popular discontent movements like France’s Gilets Jaunes. 
 
Thus, the negative-rate epoch drags on and on. According to analysts at Bank of America, some $11 trillion worth of sovereign debt is priced to yield less than zero, up 21% from October and not so far off the $13 trillion peak logged in 2016. 
 
The resurgence of such financial anomalies (historians Sidney Homer and Richard Sylla find that substantial volumes of negative-yielding notes had never been seen in 3,000 years of financial history prior to this cycle) has even some members of the ECB concerned. Of those negative yields, governing council member Francois Villeroy de Galhau was quoted as saying on Wednesday: 
 
If maintained for too long, they could weigh negatively on the profitability of financial intermediation with possible adverse consequences for the smooth transmission of monetary policy.
 
Four years and counting aren’t long enough, apparently. An analysis in the April 6, 2018 edition of Grant’s (“Let the ECB pay you”) noted the realistic potential for the central bank to enter the next recession with rates already in negative territory. But how can investors, deprived of income by these monetary machinations, profit from the ECB’s demonstrated willingness to do “whatever it takes”, for however long it takes? 
 
Deputy editor Evan Lorenz identified interbank lending rates as a potentially attractive investment proposition. In particular, the three-month Euribor futures contract expiring on March 2020 then traded at 99.88, implying a future rate of positive 0.12%. That compared to the negative 0.33% Euribor rate on offer at publication time, as expectations of so-called policy normalization were then widespread. 
 
Lorenz observed that if Euribor remained unchanged through that March 20 expiration, the 100.125 strike call option would deliver a 183% return, with additional upside possible were the ECB forced to further cut rates during that period.  Since publication time, that contract has rallied to 100.21, or an imputed negative 0.21% Euribor rate in March of next year.  That compares to negative 0.31% currently.  
 
 
March 2020 three-month Euribor futures, one-year chart.  Source: The Bloomberg

QT Progress report

The Fed’s portfolio of securities held outright registered at $3.792 trillion this week, down $6.7 billion from a week ago.  Mortgage-backed securities accounted for almost all of the sequential decline, while Treasurys represented roughly two-thirds of the $33.6 billion drop compared to the trailing four-week average. 
 
Since the Oct. 1, 2017 commencement of QT, total balance sheet assets are down by 10.8%, for a simple annualized pace of 7.74%. 

Recap Feb. 28

Stocks turned a bit lower, snapping three days of consolidation as the S&P 500 finished at a one-week low.  Treasury yields ticked higher across the board with the belly (middle) of the curve seeing additional pressure, leaving the 10-year yield at 2.72%.
 
Commodities finished slightly weaker with gold retreating to $1,312 an ounce, and the VIX remained below 15. 
 
- Philip Grant

Monday, November 11, 2019

Hot and sour soup
Trouble in Hong Kong is intensifying:

Recap Nov. 11

Friday, November 8, 2019

Lap of luxury
From the Daily Mail:

Down in the bottom
There's more where that came from.

Recap Nov. 8

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Time share
Forget subscriber counts.

Trend zone
“Passing on at least parts of the negative interest rates to parts of the customers – not to Joe Six-pack or Herman the German obviously.

Not-QE progress report

Recap Nov. 7

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Soft serve
Hindsight is 20/20.

Recap Nov. 5

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Child's play
From CNN:

Block party
The command economy received its orders

Recap Nov. 5

Monday, November 4, 2019

Under the bridge
Will the referees blow the whistle?

Recap Nov. 4

Friday, November 1, 2019

The Daily Beast
On Monday, state-owned

Her cup spilleth over
Yesterday,

Recap Nov. 1

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Knife Catchers, Inc.
The space between the basement and penthouse

Not QE Progress Report

Recap Oct. 31

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Ring that bell
The call came through.

Recap Oct. 29

Monday, October 28, 2019

Care bears
Put it on the tab.

Recap Oct. 28

Friday, October 25, 2019

The Snapper
Many happy returns, sort of.

Recap Oct. 25

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Protest chic

When doves fly
A perfect score.

Recap Oct. 24

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

He said it
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

The bold and the beautiful
Back to the drawing board.

Just wing it
Just how dire is The We Co.'s financial state following the pulled IPO?

Recap Oct. 22

Monday, October 21, 2019

Peg leg
Look out below.

Recap Oct. 21

Friday, October 18, 2019

Today in hedging
Here's Mario Draghi,

Manifest destiny
Into the wild frontier.

Recap Oct. 18

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Mystery train
The signal's gone from green to yellow.

Recap Oct. 17

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Is it safe?
The hits keep coming.

Recap Oct. 15

Monday, October 14, 2019

Disrupted
A real headline, from RealClearMarkets:

Porous the spider
Last one out, turn off the lights?

Recap Oct. 14

Friday, October 11, 2019

Space force
From Bloomberg

Dine and dash
The struggles continue for the restaurant industry,

Recap Oct. 11

Thursday, October 10, 2019

The King's Speech
A job opening, on LinkedIn

P.O. Box
It's a gusher

Recap Oct. 10

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

ADG 10/9: How to train your Draghi
A new frontier in "whatever it takes."

Recap Oct. 9

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

QT, we hardly knew yee
This afternoon,

The dreadful wind and rain
A major snowstorm

Recap Oct. 8

Monday, October 7, 2019

He said it
Here's President Trump today, on Twitter:

Put it on the tab

Recap Oct. 7

Friday, October 4, 2019

Now is the winter of our streaming content
Amazon, Inc. and Walt Disney Co. are feuding over terms which the former would carry the latter’s

Discovery channel
The renewed bloodletting in the energy patch has seen West Texas Intermediate crude

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Reach and pull
As bond yields the world over continue to hug the ground, issuers reach for the sky.

Recap Oct. 3

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Utah, get me two

Tandem bicycle
Change is in the air at PMI, the trading division of

Recap Oct. 1

Monday, September 30, 2019

Under the hood
According to research from Morgan Stanley,

Animalistic
Today, troubled U.K.-based closed-end investment fund Woodford Patient Capital Trust plc.

Recap Sept. 30

Friday, September 27, 2019

Say it ain't so
Spotted yesterday in Gramercy

One-stop shop

Recap Sept. 27

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Dead air
The timing could hardly be worse.

Recap Sept. 26

Recap Sept. 26

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Sentiment check
Karz for Kidz, 2019 edition.

Ya gotta believe

Recap Sept. 25

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Banks for nothing
He’s positive that rates should be negative.

Recap Sept. 24

Monday, September 23, 2019

If you build it

Price-to-choose-your-own-adventure
At least eyeballs are countable.

Recap Sept. 23

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Masa of leverage

Polonius, call your office

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Recap Sept. 17

After the deal
Four years ago, roll-ups were the vogue of Wall Street,

Monday, September 16, 2019

Price gusher

Recap Sept. 16

Friday, September 13, 2019

Everything burns

Recap Sept. 13

Thursday, September 12, 2019

The science of central banking
Investor eyes were trained towards Frankfurt

How now Kowtow

Recap Sept. 12

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Flow rider
According to a recent report from Bank of America Merrill Lynch,

Recap Sept. 11

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Flickering lights

Recap Sept. 10
Yesterday, California utility PG&E Corp. (PCG on the NYSE)

Monday, September 9, 2019

Dueling banjos
From NBC4 New York:

T party
Today, hedge fund Elliott Management Corp. disclosed a $3.2 billion stake in AT&T, Inc. (T on the NYSE)

Recap Sept.9

Friday, September 6, 2019

Vision zero
The office space company intent on “elevating the world’s consciousness” is set to downsize.

Recap Sept. 6

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Let's pretend
During an interview with Bloomberg radio yesterday,

Fan depreciation day
The loan machine comes alive once more.

Recap Sept. 5

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Devalue investor
The arrival of September brings $100 billion in additional tariffs on Chinese goods.

Recap Sept. 3

Friday, August 30, 2019

Too much info
The Real Deal reports today

Pro AM
According to the Financial Times,

Recap Aug. 30

Thursday, August 29, 2019

He said it

Meet the new boss
Same as the old boss.

As the world turns
The recent bull stampede in rates,

Recap Aug. 29

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Falling off the bike

Recap Aug. 28

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

The final frontier

Recap Aug. 27

Monday, August 26, 2019

Fiat accompli
As the European Central Bank prepares for its policy meeting on Sept. 12,

Recap Aug. 26

Friday, August 23, 2019

Engineering major
3G Capital giveth, 3G Capital taketh away.

Recap Aug. 23

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Silver slugger
According to data from the U.S. Treasury Department

Boom goes the dynamite
A blip on the radar, or something more?

Recap Aug. 22

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Bogey board
The latest dive in interest rates

Recap Aug. 6

Monday, August 5, 2019

Shine a light
The public debut of The We Company,

Recap Aug. 5

Friday, August 2, 2019

I hate when that happens
From Nine News Australia:

Climate change field trip
From the New York Post on Wednesday:

See that my grave is kept clean
This roll-up is not exactly on a roll.

Recap Aug. 2

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Heart of darkness

QT progress report

Recap Aug. 1

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Triple threat
Fed chair Jerome Powell accomplished

General hospital
This morning, General Electric Corp. (GE on the NYSE)

Recap July 31

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Golden years
From the New York Post:

Pay now, grow later
As of last Friday, 44% of the S&P 500 had reported earnings

More where that came from
It’s a done deal.

Recap July 30

Monday, July 29, 2019

You can't do that to our pledges!

Buyer beware
The London Stock Exchange Group plc. today confirmed reports

Auditing Potemkin village

Recap July 29

Friday, July 26, 2019

What does he know about safety?

Financing secured

Easy come easy go
From the Rio Times:

For whom the bell tolls
This afternoon, T-Mobile U.S., Inc won approval

Recap July 26

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Keep digging
Today, the European Central Bank held a stand-pat meeting,

Yellow light
As we close out month 121 of the longest economic expansion on record,

QT Progress report

Recap July 25

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Chapter two: The next chapter

Recap July 23

Monday, July 22, 2019

Technical analysis
From the Daily Beast:

Hello Neumann
With the stock market near all-time highs and money losing IPOs seemingly coming to market daily,

Modern monetary medicine
Let the bloodletting commence.

Recap July 22

Friday, July 19, 2019

What we have here is a failure to communicate
Following yesterday’s remarks from New York Fed president John Williams,

Talking his book
BlackRock, Inc. (BLK on the NYSE) reported second quarter results this morning,

Recap July 19

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Fake cruise
From Motor1.com:

He said he said she said

Three's a crowd
Business is booming for a titan of private equity.

QT Progress report

Recap July 18

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

The Wire
Yesterday, California governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 1054,

Recap July 17

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Float upstream
Yesterday, China reported that

Recap July 16

Monday, July 15, 2019

Get your shinebox
A friend checks in from the Long Island Expressway:

Swamp things
A trio of corporate situations unfolding in Washington, D.C.

Recap July 15

Friday, July 12, 2019

Bears on vacation
From June 29 at the Omni Hotel Mount Washington,

Bond-splainin'
From Bloomberg Opinion today:

Merger, she wrote
A pair of notable deal-related

Stag party
A whiff of stagflation in the heavy summer air?

Recap July 12

Thursday, July 11, 2019

We're gonna need a bigger boat
Mexican finance minister Carlos Urzúa resigned

QT progress report

Recap July 11

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Detergent needed
Canada’s housing market continues to bifurcate.

Recap July 9

Monday, July 8, 2019

Hong Kong rumbles
Massive protests

Prosperity gospel
On Saturday, Turkish President Recep Erdogan announced he fired

Recap July 8

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Justice league
Two down, one to go?

Car man
Auto executive Lee Iacocca,

Three musketeers
Yesterday was a busy one for the future of central banking,

Recap July 3

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Real deal
On Friday, online luxury consignment retailer The RealReal, Inc. (REAL on the Nasdaq)

Recap July 2

Monday, July 1, 2019

Expansion team
Today, the post-2009 streak of economic growth rolls into a record 121st month,

Color me repressed
Over the weekend, Agustín Carstens,

Recap July 1

Friday, June 28, 2019

Fill 'er up
Oil prices continue their recovery from last fall’s swoon,

Recap June 28

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Powerfinger
Time for a survey of recent happenings in leveraged loans.

QT progress report

Recap June 27

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Dance of the living dead

Recap June 25

Monday, June 24, 2019

Gig inequality
The New Republic,

Trump friends China
Whack-a-mole in the Middle Kingdom.

Recap June 24

Friday, June 21, 2019

Tricky Dix
Let's hit redial.

Recap June 21

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Chickens counted
Another step forward for the never-ending merger saga.

QT progress report

Recap June 20

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Wax on wax off
Cognitive dissonance reigns supreme,

Recap June 19

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

So much winning
“The cultural level of a nation is mirrored by its rate of interest: the higher a people’s intelligence and moral strength, the lower the rate of interest.”

Recap June 18

Monday, June 17, 2019

That was then
How the turntables have turned.

Everyone's a critic
A shocker this morning:

Recap June 17

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Liquidity shortage

Recovery room
Yesterday, the U.S. Treasury reported that Uncle Sam’s

QT Progress report

Recap June 13

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Inspector Gadget
Will the taxpayer say no más?

Recap June 11

Monday, June 10, 2019

Alberta king

Recap June 10

Friday, June 7, 2019

Step Brothers 2
Alternative lodging by the Bay

Right place wrong time
Yesterday, Fitch Ratings downgraded Petróleos Mexicanos (A.K.A. Pemex)

Recap June 7

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Grand central
Following today's press conference

QT progress report

Recap June 6

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

The world is yours
Received in the Grant’s inbox today,

The blind side
Forbes reports this afternoon that Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers

Lobby horse
The Department of Defense’s forthcoming $10 billion cloud computing award,

Recap June 5

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Minority report
Many unhappy returns.

Today's debt hearings
An analysis of the leveraged loan market

Recap June 4

Monday, June 3, 2019

Bar none

Dots plotted

Recap June 3

Friday, May 31, 2019

Hail Mary

This is what happens Larry

Trading sardines?
What selloff?

Recap May 31

Thursday, May 30, 2019

With a side of fries
Yesterday, the Department of Energy

Down in the bottom
Credit-centric consumer business models are in focus today,

QT Progress report

Recap May 30

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

ETF phone home
Time to batten down the hatches?

Recap May 28

Friday, May 24, 2019

Bouncy-bouncy
This is no joke.

Damage control
Big doings in the Middle Kingdom.

House of cards
Bloomberg asserts today that Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s

Dem bones
Yesterday, French retailer Rallye S.A.,

Recap May 24

Thursday, May 23, 2019

He said it
Sports talk radio mainstay and overall renaissance man Mike Francesa

Fake schmooze
Today, Facebook, Inc. (FB on the Nasdaq) said

Yield yodel

QT Progress report

Recap May 23

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

In the shop
The auto industry caught a break last week,

Recap May 22

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Peanut allergy
The Gauls are on the rampage

Recap May 21

Monday, May 20, 2019

Concession stand
One down, two to go?

Track changes
Morningstar reports today

Recap May 20

Friday, May 17, 2019

The sound of silence
An emailed invitation from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York:

Fruit flies
Chinese fruit prices have been on the march,

Influx capacitor
Yesterday, VanEck Securities Corp. rolled out

Recap May 17

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Looney tunes
From CNN:

Post no bills
An update on Post Holdings, Inc., the cereal and processed food maker

QT Progress report

Recap May 16

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Can you hear me now?
Yesterday, Bloomberg reported that Sprint Corp. (S on the NYSE)

Recap May 14

Monday, May 13, 2019

Cut rate
The latest escalation of the U.S./China

Swing LO
This morning, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) unveiled

Recap May 13

Friday, May 10, 2019

Bank teller
From Reuters:

Mr. Erdogan's wild ride

Thursday, May 9, 2019

To infinity, and beyond
A slide from SoftBank

He said it
Art Cashin,

Suffer for your art
Retail magnate Yusaku Maezawa, founder of Zozo, Inc.

QT Progress report

Recap May 9

Monday, May 6, 2019

Drivers' side
From the Associated Press:

Service industry
The Toronto Real Estate Board released its monthly report for April today,

Recap May 6

Friday, May 3, 2019

Ticker tailor
Speaking on CNBC today,

If you build it
From last weekend's edition of the London Sunday Times:

The buck stops over there
In a Wednesday speech in London, European Central Bank

Recap May 3

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Downhill from here
On Tuesday, Mexico’s state-owned oil company Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex)

QT progress report

Recap May 2

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Cross check
This morning, McDonald’s Corp. (MCD on the NYSE)

Recap April 30

Monday, April 29, 2019

Come on in, the water's warm

Owe negative
The Chinese economy continues to muddle along,

Recap April 29

Friday, April 26, 2019

'gram reaper
Trouble in paradise, 2019 style.

Augean stable
Yesterday, New York attorney general’s office announced

Rubber duck
This morning, Uber Technologies, Inc.

Recap April 26

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Modern monetary practice
At the end of today’s policy communique, the Bank of Japan

Sincerely yours
Things are once again heating up in emerging markets,

QT Progress report

Recap April 25

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Beast of burden
This morning, AT&T, Inc. (T on the NYSE) reported

Recap April 24

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

So, they'll have two?
An afternoon headline from The Wall Street Journal:

Cyprus hill

Kicked in the 'coin
Timing is everything.

Recap April 23

Monday, April 22, 2019

Meet the new boss
This morning, The Kraft Heinz Co.

Sold to you
China’s Shanghai Composite fell by nearly 2% today,

Recap April 22

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Born on the bayou
Amazon.com, Inc.’s Web Services (AWS) unit

QT progress report

Recap April 18