Monday, January 18, 2021

The cloud of impeachment hangs over the markets – even Bitcoin sinks

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This is the web version of the Bull Sheet, Fortune’s daily no BS in the markets newsletter.Sign up to receive it in your inbox here.

Hello. If you’ve been expecting some respite from the news feed this week, forget it. The Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is issue an ultimatum to Vice President Mike Pence: If President Trump does not resign immediately, the House will take it upon himself to remove him for [checks notes] the second time.

A reminder: Markets largely ignored Impeachment 1.0 a long time ago – before COVID 2020. Even still, US futures are down this morning.

As UBS Chief Economist Paul Donavan reminds us, politics matters. He now gives three reasons in his note to investors:

1. A successful impeachment could prevent US President Trump from stepping down in the future. If investors think US President Trump has a political future that could matter. 2. Impeachment can deepen partisan political division, making legislation more difficult to pass. 3. Impeachment would take time under Biden’s presidency – and time is a scarce and precious commodity in Washington DC

It’s also results season. Later this week, we will receive the first wave of fourth quarter reports from the big banks – Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase – and the airlines – Delta Air Lines.

Let’s turn the globe and check out what moves the markets.

Market update

Asia

  • The mainAsia Indexare mixed in the afternoon trade with the Nikkei of Japan 2.4% and Shanghai Composite down1.1%. Meanwhile, KOSPI in Seoul was down by more than 1% after almost winning ten% last week.
  • The fallout from Trump administration order to write off some Chinese companies continue today as a trio of US banks, including Goldman Sachs, have decided to withdraw the plug 500 structured products based in Hong Kong, Bloomberg Reports.
  • Investigators Indonesia hopes to recover black box from Sriwijaya Air doomed flight site fell during the weekend. The fatal accident puts the spotlight again Boeing, down 0.2% in pre-market trade and in the commercial airline sector in Indonesia.

Europe

  • theEuropean scholarshipsare at the start of negotiations with theStoxx Europe 600 down 0.2% outdoors.
  • The financial services sector, the engine of London’s economy, has been largely left out post-Brexit trade agreement, which makes a new round of discussions between UK and EU.
  • It will not be the biggest IPO of the year, but it could be the coolest. The iconic British boot brand Dr Martens plans to go public this year, according to the Financial Times. (And, with this news, The Who’s Quadrophenia goes straight to the top of my Spotify playlist.)

WE

  • the American Futuresare in the red this morning. This is after the top three exchanges hit a series of records in the first week of 2020, with the Nasdaq lead the way, climb 2.4%.
  • Shares in Twitter are down 6.2% in the trade before marketing. It was after the social media giant decided on Friday to start permanently President Trump outside its platform, triggering threats of boycott and renewed calls at kidney in Big Tech.
  • It’s results season, everyone. We’ll find out later this week if the recovery rally has legs. Banks, major vectors of the economy, Will inform Fourth quarter and full year results. Bank stocks have recovered since early November.

Somewhere else

  • Goldis up, but it’s a brutal streak in which it has lost over $ 100 / ounce since Wednesday.
  • thedollar is on the rise as a risk averse mood sets in the markets.
  • Grossis declining, with Brent trading $ 55.50 / barrel.
  • Bitcoinfell to a low of $ 33,200 overnight, more than 13%.

***

As you like it

I had originally planned to write about earnings and fund flows and ETFs in this space today, but after the events of last week in Washington and the subsequent merger on Wall Street, I put my research on the markets aside and looked for a different kind of inspiration.

Shakespeare.

Looking for a muse last summer, during milder times, you may recall that I took a hit to underline the characters of Homer The odyssey who would feel right at home in today’s bull race.

I figured that, given the collective January-down mood that many of us are in, I would try something similar today with The Bard.

So let’s go. Much ado about … well, let’s see.

Banquo, Macbeth

Banquo is not so much a character as a dreaded symbol of what can go wrong. There is a moment in act I ofMacbethwhen Banquo, upon meeting the diviner witches, speaks, of, gasps, the B-word.

“The earth has bubbles, like water has, / And it is they. Wither disappeared?

A keen market observer would be frightened by any mention of bubbles. And of course, everything goes wrong between Banquo and his pal, Macbeth, after meeting the three witches. Macbeth murders Banquo, only to be haunted later by Banquo’s ghost. The bull markets are full of dead Banquos.Why did I bail out You’re here at $ 330, during this September faint ?,you can almost hear a modern day Macbeth pleading with the gods of the market.

Nick Bottom, A midsummer night’s dream

You’ve long worked on a bunch of empty box PSPCs that promise to revolutionize the electric vehicle market. That’s a tip you shouldn’t miss thanks to confident Nick Bottom. Yeah, he’s a player in some absurd Shakespearean comedy, but this Bottom guy looks like the real deal. After all, Titania, the fairy queen, just fell in love with the guy. He must be doing something right! … Never mind that there is a spell on both.

To recap: Titania, the Fairy Queen, woke up to fall passionately for the first thing she sees – Bottom. It’s just that Puck turned Bottom into an ass. “To tell the truth, reason and love do little together these days,” Bottom remarks to a loving Titania. Remember: Only a Bottom would question the meaning of reason and love in a bull market. A real bull would see his ass head and think,I can work with this.

Cordelia, King Lear

My favorite of all Shakespearean characters, Cordelia is honest and virtuous to fault. A recap: A father’s Cordelia mopey bully, King Lear, just challenged his children to a loyalty test. (Such a thing would never happen these days in the halls of power, but bear with me.) As her siblings gush their praise in a way that would make Kim Jong-un blush, Cordelia is all smothered. . She can’t find the words to express her true feelings for her father, which enrages the moronic king. He banishes her from the kingdom, penniless – stripped of everything, not even a downed ETF of energy. But Cordelia later returns to the room when the old fool is at his lowest moment. It is his unwavering love that finally allows this imperfect character to see the light. You are not going to like this analogy; Cordelia is a store of value. She gives back in good times and bad. Don’t read anything about how she was executed by hanging at the end.

Antonio, Portia, Shylock and Bassanio, The merchant of Venice

Antonio is one of Shakespeare’s most famous bulls. The Venetian merchant is literally betting his ships will come in. They would do better. He’s grappling with Shylock for one of the greatest margin calls of all time: A Pound of His Own Flesh.

Alas, the ships are late, the bet collapses and the merchant has to pay. Enter our hero, Portia, who skillfully pulls Antonio out of the mess. (If only the Tesla bears had a Portia to save their shorts.) Really, that’s the least Portia can do; Antonio was instrumental in creating Portia with his good friend, Bassanio. Portia, you will recall, fell in love with Bassanio even though the guy is a real poor man – not even a skinny 401 (k) to his name. But all is forgiven when Portia says the line of all the lines: “Beshrew your eyes, / They have o’erlooked me and shared me.”

What the hell is she saying? “Beshrew” is Shakespeare’s language for “curse”. A sin:Check out this forex market and your long dollar silliness!

***

There are undoubtedly more scores of Shakespearean characters worthy of an article on Bull Sheet. Who did I leave out? Let me know. You have my email below.

Oh, and if you can’t get enough of Shakespeare, I highly recommend James S. Shapiro Shakespeare in a Divided America.

***

Have a very good day everyone. I’ll see you here tomorrow… Until then, there’s more news below.

Bernhard Warner
@BernhardWarner
Bernhard.Warner@Fortune.com

As always, you can write tobullsheet@fortune.comor reply to this email with suggestions and comments.



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