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Another trading session and all-around boring day for the market. However, Goldman Sachs (GS) gives us some entertainment with its latest muppet manipulation. From Zero Hedge,
The muppet slaying shall continue until no clients remain.
From April 10, via Francesco Garzarelli, two weeks into Q2:
"Our recommendation to be short 5-yr Spanish bonds (Oct-2016) against their Italian counterparts (Sept-2016), initiated on March 14 at a yield differential of -6bp, is now at -24.9bp, against our target of -50bp. We would now close the trade, with a potential period total return of 0.35%. in light of the re-pricing that has already occurred, we advise investor to close this particular trade as markets tensions originated on concerns over Spain are now also affecting Italian rates and we do not see much more room for Italian rates to further outperform Spanish ones."
And of course this from June, which just happened to be was a tag-end in June:
"We recommend being long an equally-weighted basket of benchmark 5-year Spanish, Irish and Italian government bonds, currently yielding 5.9% on average, for a target of 4.5% and tight stop loss on a close at 6.5%."
In other words, Goldman advised clients to be buying Italian bonds exiting Q1 and heading into Q2, as well as exiting Q2 and heading into Q3.
The important question here is why are Goldman clients still sticking with the firm if they know their financial future is not in the best interest of Goldman. There are several possible explanations:
- These muppet scenarios are extremely rare and affect only a very small number of clients.
- Client portfolios are still performing well enough each year compared to market averages that they stick with Goldman.
- They have no idea any of this is taking place and just shun off the damage when they find out their portfolios underperformed the market at year end. The "Don't worry Mr. Smith, we'll get 'um next year" philosophy.
Perhaps it is a combination of all the above, but whatever way you see it, it is nearly impossible to ignore the facts.
Updated indices below. Stay frosty (sharp) out there.