Spanish sovereign bond spreads blew almost 60bps wider today - that is the single-largest absolute move in spreads on record. Almost the entire gain in bonds post-Draghi 'Believe' speech from last week has been retraced in a mere few hours and while the front-end of the Italian and Spanish curves has outperformed, the sad fact is that in promising to maintain that end, then the entire rest of the curve becomes subordinated and therefore is sold as hope fades. Swiss, German, and Dutch short-dated bond yields all dropped to new record low rates. EURUSD has retraced its entire gain from Draghi-'believe', back to 1.2150 - despite his call not to short the EUR. Equity markets in Europe has dumped across the board today - with Italy and Spain -7% from pre-Draghi this morning - though notably still full of some hope from last week. It would seem that perhaps Mr. Draghi should keep his arrogant mouth shut a little more as we thought price stability was his mandate? The largest rise in EGB yields in a decade - all on the back of his misguided and over-confident egotistical attempt to jawbone markets to his reality. All mouth; no trousers.
Ron Paul’s signature Audit the Fed legislation finally passed the House; on July 25, the House bill was passed 327 to 98. But the chances of a comprehensive audit of monetary policy — including the specifics of the 2008 bailouts — remain distant. All that the current state of secrecy does is encourage conspiracy theories. What is the FOMC trying to hide? Are they making decisions that they think would prove unpopular or inexplicable? We can’t have a real debate about policy unless we have access to all the data about decisions. Those who believe the Fed’s monetary policy has worked should welcome transparency just as much as those who believe the Fed’s monetary policy has not worked. If the Fed’s actions have been beneficial, then transparency will shine kindly on it. If not, then transparency will help us have a better debate about the road forward.
It seemed as Rajoy and Monti let us all down, so something 'snapped'. EURUSD cracked lower and Spanish and Italian bonds re-accelerated lower but most critically an anomalously large volume rip went through S&P 500 e-mini futures (ES). 72,000 contracts traded very suddenly dragging ES down 8pts as it crossed the almighty VWAP line. 65,000 down volume or around $4.4bn notional equivalent wanted out very rapidly.
As hope fades of an ECB-funded lift to their bonds, Spain's Rajoy and Italy's Monti skip hand in hand to a press conference where they just agreed that water is wet and the sky is blue and that:
- *RAJOY: WE WANT BANKING UNION, FISCAL UNION SOON (and ponies)
- *RAJOY SAYS WE ARE ASKING GREAT SACRIFICES FROM CITIZENS
- *RAJOY SAYS SPAIN, ITALY CONVINCED ON NEED FOR BUDGET CUTS
But, as the market is indicating - no request for a bailout (why would they need that?) - and so Italian and Spanish bond yields are soaring and EURUSD is plunging further. It seems the Kubler-Ross model remains front-and-ceter with denial critical as beggars once again believe they can be choosers but the inexorable belief that they can magically grow their way out of over a decade of debt-fueled excess remains. (Spain 10Y Spread +65bps now from pre-Dragi and Italy +62bps)
In the aftermath of Knight's crushing algo-driven error and subsequent cash loss, which may well prove terminal for the business - an artifact of a broken market we have been warning and writing about since 2009 - we present some informative insights into the various eras of Wall Street trading errors courtesy of that grizzled trading veteran, the Chairman of the Fermentation Committee, Art Cashin.
Here are the choice highlights from the interview with Knight CEO Tom Joyce, who is inexplicably on Bloomberg TV without any clear point, purpose or spin, and nothing to tell anyone and restore confidence.
While absolute yields are back over 7% for 10Y Spain (and over 6% for Italy), the spread has retraced over 60% of the gains post 'believe' speech.
As he began to speak the EUR rallied, EGBs rallied and ES rallied - last minute hopiness wrung out of the system, but as soon as he explained that his plan to promise a plan which plans to promise a solution was nothing but another promise and not an actual plan, so everything reversed. S&P futures are -17pts from pre-Draghi, Gold back under $1600, and the USD is ripping higher, Treasury yields are down 8bps from pre-Draghi, EURUSD is down 50pip sfpom, pre-Draghi after trading up over 1.24 as he began, and has retraced over 75% of the post-Draghi 'believe' speech. Spain and Italy have given back the immediate euphoria with Italy now 50bps wider from pre-Draghi and Spain +25bps (having retraced over 60% of the post-'believe' rally).
Summary of what has been said so far: Nothing, just as we said last week. Draghi basically repeated the June 29 summit bottom line that the EFSF should buy PIIGS bonds, the ECB "May" act, which means Germany is still not on board, and that after talking markets up by 5%, he has delivered nothing but a delay. This is a huge blow to his and the ECB's credibility.
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With speculation ripe out of everyone from Reuters to the FT about what Draghi may or may not say, with or without Germany's blessing, the best at this point is just to hand over the microphone to the former Goldmanite. Here is the live webcast of Draghi's press conference. Pay attention as a word out of place will send the EURUSD plunging by 200 pips. Or soaring.
While JPMorgan thought it was $170mm, we said last night the number was notably higher - and sure enough, via Bloomberg:
- *KNIGHT SAYS TRADING OUT OF POSITION YIELDED $440M PRETAX LOSS
- *KNIGHT SEEKS OPTIONS TO BOOST 'SEVERELY' HURT CAPITAL POSITION
- *KNIGHT CAPITAL PURSUING STRATEGIC, FINANCING ALTERNATIVES
KCG is down another 50% this morning to $3.45! And here is what we explicitly warned yesterday: "In other words, with Knight losing about $300 million in market cap today, investors are speculating that the net loss to the firm will be just that as it has to foot the bill. Considering the volume and breadth of the impaired universe, this will likely be very big underestimation of just what the final bill will be to Knight." Sure enough...
Both the ECB and the BoE have held their benchmark borrowing rates unchanged at 0.75% and 0.5% respectively at their rate announcements. The ECB decision provided instant support for EUR/USD, in firm positive territory at the North American crossover. In the fast money move, European equity futures sold off, but half the move has been rapidly pared. In fixed income, Bund futures declined, and are now seen marginally higher on the day. Despite this decision being largely expected, markets have priced in action from the ECB today, and some analysts pointed to a potential rate cut today. This reaction was seen on initial disappointment and the retracement move made as the ECB could still announce measures at the press conference scheduled to begin at 1330BST/0730CDT. Risk appetite has boosted European equities are in positive territory at the North American crossover as speculation that the ECB will announce further stimulus at the press conference later today rises. Financials are the best performing sector led by BNP Paribas whose earnings beat analyst expectations despite a decline of 13% year-over-year for its net.
Today there will be no discussion of the weather. Today platitudes, arcane phrases, vague promises couched in banalities will no longer do. Mr. Draghi has laid down the gauntlet of actually providing a solution for Europe by having the ECB act as Superman, Batman and the Avengers and show up and make the last minute rescue and I fear that anything short of this will now send the markets into a tailspin. Expectations run high, Mr. Draghi may well have over-promised and any sort of under delivery will not be taken well. Today may be the most critical meeting, ever, of the European Central Bank and it is Mr. Draghi’s reputation, the ECB’s reputation that has been put on the line by Mr. Draghi’s bold comments.