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, May 31, 2018

Part and parcel

Let’s check in on the Great White North, and its long-formidable housing machine which was the subject of a Feb. 9 bearish analysis in Grant’s (“Bay Street blues”). 
 
This morning, Canadian first quarter GDP growth registered at an annualized 1.3%, well below the 1.8% consensus and the slowest quarterly reading since the April-June quarter of 2016. While the post-2014 swoon in energy prices contributed to the prior GDP hiccup, there was a different culprit this time: Housing investment fell by an annualized 1.9%, the worst showing since the first three months of 2009.
 
While growth abates, inflation stirs. Canadian CPI for April rose by 2.2% year-over-year, the third straight print north of the 2% threshold. Yesterday, the Bank of Canada opted to keep the overnight lending rate unchanged at 1.25%, but noted that: “Developments since April further reinforce Governing Council’s view that higher interest rates will be warranted to keep inflation near target.”  Interest rate futures currently price in an overnight rate of 1.73% by year-end.
 
The rise in short-yields is not only compressing the Canadian yield curve (the spread between five- and 30-year yields has flattened to just 14 basis points, down from an eight year average of 112 basis points) but is also putting the squeeze to homeowners. The Bank of Canada’s posted five-year mortgage rate (most Canadian mortgages are structured as five-year bullets subject to regular refinancing, as opposed to the 30-year fixed rate norm seen in the U.S.) has risen to 5.34% from 4.64% as recently as mid-2017.  
 
Then there’s the B-20 regulation, implemented as of Jan. 1 by Canada’s Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, which requires all borrowers to be subjected to a stress test at the greater of that benchmark rate or the contracted mortgage rate plus 200 basis points. Canadian consumers appear particularly vulnerable to an interest rate squeeze: Statistics Canada reports that household debt stood at 170.4% of personal income in the fourth quarter, just off the record high of 170.5% in the third quarter. By comparison, that metric topped out at 143% in the U.S. in 2007.
 
Needless to say, the combination of slower growth, tighter regulation and higher rates is an unpleasant one for Canada’s real estate industry. April sales across the country fell by 13.9% year-over-year, and marked their weakest seasonal showing since 2011, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association. Toronto, Canada’s largest city, has seen sales drop for four straight months on a seasonally-adjusted basis for the slowest start to the year since 2009. Vancouver sales plummeted to a 17-year monthly low in April, according to the local real estate board.
 
As the Canadian housing market retrenches, one relatively small mortgage lender can’t seem to get its numbers in order. In December, Laurentian Bank Financial Group in December announced it would need to repurchase C$304 million ($235 million) in mortgages due to “documentation issues and client misrepresentations.” A month later, Laurentian upsized that figure to C$392 million. Tuesday, the bank issued a press release cheerfully headed: “Laurentian Bank Financial Group Announces Progress on Mortgage Situation.” The text contained some less-upbeat details:
 
During the second quarter, CMHC [Canada Mortgage Housing Corp., the Fannie and Freddie of the north] completed a normal course audit of the bank’s portfolio insured mortgage loans. The audit highlighted similar issues as those identified in the fourth quarter of 2017, as certain mortgage loans that were inadvertently portfolio insured while they did not meet CMHC portfolio insurance eligibility criteria. 
 
 
Laurentian price chart, eight-year view. Source: The Bloomberg
 
Indeed, the bank now expects to repurchase an additional C$125 million to C$150 million in insured mortgages. On the subsequent conference call, Laurentian CEO François Desjardins noted it was the CMHC that detected the problem, explaining that the review would last the rest of the fiscal year owing to the fact that: “These loans could not be found without opening the physical files.”  Desjardins also asserted its business as usual with the CMHC, telling listeners that: “The conduit remains available with the same terms and conditions.”
 
Grant’s sought comment from the CMHC, whose spokesperson replied:
 
We actively monitor all institutions who participate in our programs. To date, we have received good cooperation from Laurentian Bank and we continue to work with them to resolve the present matter and ensure proper controls are put in place moving forward.  
 
Laurentian Bank’s status as a CMHC Approved Lender and as an Approved Issuer is not affected by the present matter and they remain a valuable partner as [we] work to give more Canadians a place to call home. 
 
Whether or not misery loves company, it often finds it. 

QT progress report

It was MBS week at the Eccles Building.  The Fed’s portfolio of securities held outright now foots to $4.126 trillion, a $9.5 billion decline from a week ago. In a reversal of recent norm, it was mortgage-backed securities accounting for more than 100% of the drop as the Treasury’s portfolio ticked slightly higher. Compared to the trailing four-week average, securities held outright have dropped by $14.5 billion, mostly consisting of MBS. 
 
Since the Fed began the QT portfolio unwind on Oct. 1, its total assets have declined by 2.88%, for a simple annualized pace of 4.25%. 

Recap May 31

Reappearing trade war risk helped drive stocks moderately lower, leaving the S&P 500 a bit less than 1% in the red for the week with one session remaining.  Upward pressure in short-dated Treasury yields helped push the curve flatter, with the two- and 10-year spread reaching a fresh post-crisis low of 42 basis points, while commodities traded lower amid an unchanged greenback. The VIX ticked a bit higher to settle just above 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