A Wall Street Crash Course: How To Sell $1 For $100

On Wall Street, a vital skill is the ability to sell something that you know is completely worthless. Goldman Sachs did it when it sold ABACUS 2007-AC1 to investors while hedge fund manager John Paulson was betting against it. Paulson paid Goldman $15 million to peddle this junk, which was a collateralized debt obligation that would make money when millions of people lost their homes. The SEC charged Goldman with fraud, and they eventually settled for $550 million. If you're an enterprising Wall Streeter who wants to make a name for himself without breaking the rules, you can operate a tantalizing scheme that investors can't resist. It's called Shubik's Dollar Auction.

Technically Speaking - Bears Are Winning

Whether, or not, a Greek exit from the Eurozone or a potential debt default is "the thing" that sparks the next major correction in the markets is unknown. Historically, such a widely "known" event is generally already factored into the markets and has much less of an impact when that event eventually comes to fruition. As Art Cashin suggested this morning: "I think China may be more important than Greece. Stick with the drill – stay wary, alert and very, very nimble."

This Insane Debt Chart Explains Why Chinese QE Is Inevitable

Because the central government is ultimately responsible for guaranteeing local government debt, and because yields on the new muni bonds are so close to those on treasurys, the newly issued local government bonds are really just treasury bonds, meaning that, in essence, the supply of Chinese government bonds is set to jump by CNY2 trillion in the coming months. If all of the local government debt ends up being refinanced, the end result will be the equivalent on CNY20 trillion in additional treasury supply.

SocGen Says "Raise Cash" As Volatility, Turbulence Ahead

The unanticipated recent Greek political news flow and consequent market stress are addressed in our portfolio construction by the resilience we built into higher volatility scenarios and unexpected sources of turbulence. Indeed, the risk is not so much Greece but the structural illiquidity of the market which will exacerbate any moves up or down which should be part of the equation.

"Of What Use Is A Gun With No Bullets?", BIS Says Central Banks Defenseless Against Coming Crisis

Risk-taking in financial markets has gone on for too long. And the illusion that markets will remain liquid under stress has been too pervasive. But the likelihood of turbulence will increase further if current extraordinary conditions are spun out. The more one stretches an elastic band, the more violently it snaps back. Restoring more normal conditions will also be essential for facing the next recession, which will no doubt materialise at some point. Of what use is a gun with no bullets left?

VIX Bursts Above 17.5 As Sleep-Walking Markets Awake

Mainstream media-ites continue to believe that a long period of low volatility is a sign of market health. In fact it is quite the opposite. A sleep-walking market is a reflection of complete disregard as to risk. Markets enter such periods of complacency when there has been a long uptrend, with periods of very low volatility reflecting where the market has come from, not where it is going. Such periods are far more likely to be a sign of an impending trend reversal than of a continued uptrend.

ECB Strikes Back: Threatens With Greek Deposit Haircut If And When ELA Found To Be "Illegal" On Wednesday

The threats are flying fast and furious now. Moments after the WSJ quoted a Greek official as saying that Greece will not make its IMF bond payment, the ECB struck back when Bloomberg reported that the ECB would review the legality of Greek aid should there not be a deal, i.e., on July 1 post an IMF default. According to Austrian central bank Governor and ECB member, Ewald Nowotny, on Wednesday’s governing council meeting the central bank will decide whether it can continue to provide emergency support for Greece once current bailout program expires June 30, as the Wiener Zeitung originally reported.

Chinese Regulator Blames Ongoing Market Crash On "Rumors", Demands Traders "Act Rational"

After soaring exponentially over 100% in the past 12 months, amid spiking margin debt for illiterate farmers and housewives, Chinese regulators appear upset that their stock market 'wealth creation' model is failing hard. CSRC just released a statement clarifying why it is happening ("clearly profit-taking"); who is to blame ("The Government hopes investors can make independent judgement; Don't believe or follow negative rumors against Chinese economic development,"); and what to do next - Buy because it has "ample liquidity to meet investor needs." The regulator ends with a stunner - demanding investors "act rationally."

Russia Promises "Economic And Military" Aid To Syria As US Refloats Assad "Chemcial Weapons" Trial Balloon

The Syrian "chemical weapons" narrative is back and with it is the confirmaton that Russia will not leave the US dictate middle eastern borders unilaterally. Syria's foreign minister said on a visit to Moscow on Monday that top ally Russia had promised to send political, economic and military aid to his country. "I got a promise of aid to Syria - politically, economically and militarily," Walid al-Moualem said at a televised news conference in Moscow after meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Project "Make Everyone German" Has Failed...

Eurocrats have spent untold billions of other people’s money to save face, just so they wouldn’t have to admit that Project “Make Everyone Germany” has failed. But what they never acknowledged was that no matter how much they extend and pretend, the disease will always reach its crisis. And this financial disease is going to slay the patient. History is very clear on this point: debt kills.

Systemic Turmoil, Structural Reform

In the natural course of things, structural reform can occur, but that natural course entails some degree of disorder and loss.