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JPM Tries To Explain Why The Bailout Train In Spain Will Lead To Much More Pain

Reports citing European sources state that Eurozone finance ministry officials, followed by finance ministers themselves, will hold conference calls on Saturday. A formal request for Spanish EFSF/ESM/IMF support, solely for the purposes of bank recapitalization, could be announced after these calls, and appears to be the motivation for them. As JPMorgan notes, while the timing of such a request would come as something of a surprise, the substance does not. A key question is whether this request for external support will serve to improve conditions in the Spanish bond market and raise Spain's chances of avoiding a broader support package. Our best guess is that it will not as JPMorgan believe that this is merely a stepping stone to a broader package of support for Spain and that the request for support has at least three negative consequences.

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A Game Of Euro Chicken From The German Perspective: "Playing Until the Germans Lose Their Nerve"

"The next stage in the crisis will be blatant blackmail....

With their refusal to accept money from the bailout fund to recapitalize their banks, the Spanish are not far from causing the entire system to explode. They clearly figure that the Germans will lose their nerve and agree to rehabilitate their banks for them without demanding any guarantee in return that things will take a lasting turn for the better."

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Credit Beats Stocks In European Financials As Sovereigns Slump

With a quiet start and more violent end to the week, Europe was a technical mess across asset classes. Sovereign bond strength through Thursday seemed much more a story of a missing CDS market (Monday and Tuesday) and basis traders into the end of the week than any underlying confidence. As Spain's and Italy's basis (the spread between CDS and bonds) pushed back up and over zero so sure enough Friday saw their bonds underperforming. Further banking system bailout fears weighing on debt concerns and the contagion to Italy were evident as Italy and Spain gavce up most of the week's gains into the close. Notably France and Austria were significantly wider on the week (burden-sharing). The bailout hopes spureed significant outperformance in European financial credit spreads - both relative to their stocks and the broad credit market overall. The long credit, short stock trade played out as the capital structure effects of any banking bailout were figured into dilution or further encumbrance of whatever equity value is deemed left. Swiss 2Y rates plunged under -30bps today and EURUSD weakened notably (almost roundtripping the week's strength) as clearly the seeming positives of the word 'bailout' are beginning to sink into the reality of what more debt, more encumbrance, and more stigma means for banks and sovereigns now more and more closely tied thanks to LTRO.

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Guest Post: The "Solution" Is Collapse

We're like a sprawling family bickering over the inheritance: we'll keep arguing over who deserves what until the inheritance is gone. That will trigger one final outburst of finger-pointing, resentment and betrayal, and then we'll go do something else to get by. The "solution" is thus collapse. This model has been very effectively explored in The Upside of Down: Catastrophe, Creativity, and the Renewal of Civilization by Thomas Homer-Dixon. The basic idea is that when the carrying costs of the society exceed its output, the whole contraption collapses. The political adjunct to this systemic implosion is that the productive people just stop supporting the Status Quo because it's become too burdensome. The calculus of self-interest shifts from supporting the bloated, marginal-return Status Quo to abandoning it. 
So the root problem is the system, human nature, blah blah blah. There are no "solutions" that can fix those defaults. The "solution" is collapse, as only collapse will force everyone to go do something more sustainable to get by.

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Market Is More Fragile Now Than Pre-Lehman

The significant rise in global systemic risk that occurred in 2008 remained until mid 2010 when it began to subside a little as Jackson Hole and QE2 seemed to allay fears somewhat. However, in the last year or so, BofA's market fragility index has soared higher alarmingly signaling higher systemic risks than in the peak pre-Lehman era. This confirms the massively elevated signal for global systemic risk that credit markets are also sending.

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RANsquawk Weekly Wrap - 8th June 2012

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Goldman Cuts Q2 GDP Estimate From 2.0% To 1.8%

Just as predicted earlier, the GDP downgrades begin.

We revised down our Q2 GDP tracking estimate by two tenths to +1.8% (quarter-over-quarter, annualized) from +2.0% previously. The downward revision primarily reflects weaker-than-expected real export growth in April. This was partly offset by stronger than expected wholesale inventories, which increased by 0.6% (month-over-month) in April.

Surely this explains why the market is about to turn green.

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Live Webcast Of Obama Proposing More Spending As The Solution To All Of America's Problems

Actually, we are not sure just what the president will discuss in his 10:15 am address on the economy, but our suggestion that the president will suggest more spending as the cause solution to all of America's problems seems like a fair guess. That or blaming Merkel for the epic NFP miss last Friday. We are not sure what the shot keyword is today (aside for thingamajig of course), but we know what isn't: $15,734,596,578,458.59. That's was US Federal debt as of close on Wednesday: another fair guess is that it will receive exactly zero prominence in Obama's latest sermon.

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Does A Spanish Bank Bail-Out Give The Vigilantes The Green Light To Move To Italy?

The biggest news this morning is the talk that Spain's Rajoy will discuss 'how to shore up' his banking system with the EU officials this weekend. As SocGen noted earlier, EURUSD managed a 30 pip bounce and then promptly sold off - 'That says it all really'. A  'bailout' of Spanish banks poses a lot more questions than it answers.  Specifically that this crisis began with Greece and now has spread to Spain. Will the focus move on again?  The market believes that European officials have yet to put in place contingencies that will stem contagion and stress on other European countries. Hence the anemic response from currencies. What is clear is that Greece, and now Spain, have set the dismal example for their peers: 'Crush the banks, then get bailed out' which leaves only one course of action it seems, banks will be shorting themselves to force action from their overlords in Berlin and Brussels. If we get a risk-on bounce in Italian banks, on any weekend 'interim' resolution for Spanish banks, then shorting into that strength seems more than appropriate (or long credit, short equity as burdens are shared).

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Europe's Parabolic-est: German TARGET2 Total Hits €700 Billion

Dear German readers: please avert your eyes.

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Fed: Crushing The "Smart" Money's Hopes Since 2009

While the ever-present analogs to the last few years of crisis-response-improvement-complacency (CRIC), as Morgan Stanley so clearly described, have provided a clear picture of what to expect, the treja vu is now starting to fade in one very important market indicator. As BofA notes, the forward expectations of Fed Funds rates have finally started to shift from an endless string of 'hope' for growth and reflation just around the corner and rate hikes any quarter now (despite the Fed's 'exceptional' chatter) to a much less sanguine pit of despair that rates will indeed stay low for 'ever' reflecting a stagnating deleveraging economic reality. At some point they will be right as the Japanization of rates around the fiat world becomes the new normal and 'smart/fast-money' traders appear hope-less.

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Perhaps some novel solution is found but this is not the muddling along kind of thing at all. This is the changing of charters kind of thing, the changing of national banking regulations kind of thing; the ceding of power to Europe kind of thing and anyone who thinks that this can all be accomplished in a matter of days is out having tea with Cinderella’ fairy godmother. Yet equities have rallied and bond spreads stopped widening on just this kind of hope but I predict that this will all be short-lived because, on its face, it is irrational. There is nothing wrong with having hopes and prayers but to base investment decisions on irrational interventions of some Divine power where there is not even a door for the Divinity to enter is just poor judgment by this name or any other you may concoct. It is no longer a case of “Risk on/Risk off” but of “Reality on/Reality off” and I advise you to keep pressing the “Reality on” button!

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Crazy Pills: Here Comes The Refutation Of The Rumor Of The Conference Of The Bailout Of The Broke... And Consultants

Just as we expected earlier, when we suggested that Spain is waiting to see Germany's preliminary response to its (re)newed push for a bailout, Spain has seen the outcome, and does not like it.


And another just brilliant headline:

  • Consultants, IMF to Determine Spain Banks’ Needs

Yup. Consultants

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Spain: The Infographic

This should explain it all.

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