Europe is dead. The European nations are the victors, and the way ahead will be one hell of a mess. Without taxing and borrowing power, there is no way to square the inter-euro trade balances between the countries except ‘internal devaluation,’ which means years of deflation and poverty for the voters – and protestors – of the deficit countries. Our pencil pushers and Excel experts have made lots of projections on the Greek situation and can find almost no possibility of success. The EU/IMF team projects Greek debt at 149% of GDP when this rescue ends, but their nominal GDP estimates are incredibly optimistic when salaries and jobs are cut dramatically. We see a 20% decline over the three years as a good outcome, the debt would stay the same, and the ratio goes to 186% of GDP. Almost like Japan, but foreigners own the Greek debt – no way! This rescue reminds us of Bob Rubin’s rescue of Russia in July 1998, which lasted about one month before the whole house of cards collapsed. We knew that one couldn’t work, and this one can’t either. It might take longer, but the euro is finished. Goodbye euro, hello drachma, peseta, lira, and the others. The world had hoped for more, none more than the Europeans themselves, but now we are all left to pick up the pieces. - John Taylor, ultra EURUSD bearish, and thus very rich, CIO of F/X Concepts, world's largest FX hedge fund.
Numerous European Banks And Re/Insurers Identified With Tens Of Billions In Greek Failed Repo ExposureSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 05/06/2010 - 08:33
BNP, Commerzbank, HSBC, SocGen, Natixis, BNP, CA, AXA, ING and Rabobank all identified as banks with massive Greek repo exposure. The next question: will writedowns on these now illiquid and, as the Greek bond market is effectively shut down for a second day running, untradeable positions be taken, or will Europe follow the US in pretending tens of billions in valuation gaps will be filled by Hopium? Also, as bankingnews.gr reports, and as we first highlighted, a variety of French re/insurers are about to get whacked.
European Corporate CDS Blowing Out Wider, Xover At 505, HiVol At 152 bps, Public Funding Crisis Becoming Private AgainSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 05/06/2010 - 08:26
The greatest fear of central banks, that the "isolated" sovereign contagion could spill right back into the private sector, is starting to be realized: now in Europe and soon in the US. Market News reports that high beta European CDS names and indices are all blowing out as fears of a funding/liquidity crisis are becoming prevalent. From MNI: "The CDS market has seen another session of sharp widening in many sectors, taking its cue from falling Eurozone peripheral government bond prices rather than stocks which are more stable today. Greece and other widening government bond spreads continue to drive sentiment, with the CDS market seeing underperformance in places, with high beta cyclicals, TMT and basic materials dragging the market wider." Corporate have so far been relatively spared from the deterioration in sovereign spreads, however if the risk perception in the public arena spills right back to the private sphere, then the entire private-to-public risk transfer episode will have been for nothing. And if corporate funding costs shoot higher, with no sovereigns to back them out (themselves in need of a bailout), well then our thesis that only Mars could possibly bail out the world's bankers will be all too real.
- Crude oil little changed after falling to six-week low on stronger dollar
- Nigerian President Umaru Yar'Adua Dies, Aged 58
- Oil spill threatens price for jumbo crab cakes at top-ranked U.S. eateries
- U.S. retailers may report smallest monthly sales increase since November after shutting it because of a leakage on May 2.
- Alcatel-Lucent shares plunge after quarter's loss is double estimates
- BNP Paribas 1Q net rises 47% on fortis assets and lower provision
- BP plans to lower containment dome on to seabed of gulf of Mexico
We are in the third gold war since the Second World War – the US (and other western countries/institutions, notably the IMF) lost the first one in the late-1960s to the French and the second one in the late-1970s to the Arab nations. In the report, I’ve used declassified documents from the US State Department to show how on those occasions the US authorities believed they could
defy economic gravity right up until the moment when they were overtaken by events, how they falsified economic data to support the dollar and how they negotiated secret deals to stop other governments buying gold. Food for thought I think.
Finally what we have been saying for weeks is starting to filter through to the broader population and even the politicians... Too bad Americans are too apathetic to even pretend to care that their money is being sued to fund the continued and massively mismarked existence of a few French, German and UK banks. Then again, with American Idol hitting its lowest ratings since 2002, a revolution may just be what the doctor ordered.
Barely did we have time to read the previous bearish note on the EURUSD, that we just got this latest piece from the masters of the universe: "Inverse-EURUSD overlaid with 10-year Eurozone-Periphery/-Core Spreadbasket– Continues to imply much lower levels for EURUSD" The euro will be lucky to hold 1.2700 today. 1.2400 target within a week. Some other vol pair related observations: "1-year EURUSD/USDJPY implied vol. spread– EURUSD vol. looks set to rise significantly further versus USDJPY - In the current environment it would seem reasonable to assume higher EURUSD vol. would be associated with lower-EURUSD"
Yesterday we pointed out that France was a global top three derisker in sovereign CDS as traders have shifted their worries from the periphery to the core. We have long discussed that the reason for this is that France, not Germany, has the greatest exposure to Greece and the PIIGS. Below is an RT clip in which Hugh Hendry confirms just this: according to the Ecclectica head man, a mark to realistic market of Greek debt would wipe out E35 billion in French bank capital, "and it is questionable whether the French banking system would take such a hit." Hendry's solution, as has been the case from the solution, is for Greece to leave the euro, and points out that due to FX inflexibility, there will be no tourists in Greece this year as everything becomes painfully expensive, not in Drachmas but in Euros. We would add that the burning parliament is probably not that much of a tourist draw either. In typical fashion, Hugh dismembers Angela Merkel's hypocrisy: "When the truth becomes unpalatable, what is the truth. Angela Merkel, when we say she is being generous, there is nothing generous about spending taxpayers' money in another country, that is not generosity, that is merely trying to salvage a bankrupt set of political ideology. So to blame the messenger when it's the truth that hurts, I find that inexcusable." Just as Hugh's huge bet against the euro has proven to be a terrific success, we are confident that he will be correct about the end of the EMU quite soon as well. And as the moderator adds "Shame on you, Europe, for needing the IMF to bail you out. Europe is like an African nation." Amen.
Moody's notes that the banking systems of Portugal, Spain, Italy as well as Ireland and the UK face different challenges of different magnitudes; warns that contagion risk could dilute these differences and impose very real, common threats on all of them. Rating agency is particularly worried about contagion spread to Italy.
The Eur collapse continues and what has until now be an orderly and persistent move is threatening to become erratic and disorderly ; panic is starting to set in. Today we have the ecb press conference and the market will be focused on every word of Trichet's address. We have seen mainly buying interest this morning as people do the prudent thing and take some profit in case Trichet is able to pull a rabbit out of his hat. But I am at a loss to think what he can really deliver that will assuage the markets growing concerns. I think there is a real likelihood that the market will again be disappointed and the euro will accelerate lower once he stops talking. We may be entering a new more violent phase of the sell off with bigger whips in both directions but with more risk still to the downside. We are sticking with a core short position and will look to add quickly should Trichet offer nothing new or on a bounce back to 1.2860-70 (unless a genuine rabbit is forthcoming) and roll down our stop to 1.30. Technicians have important support at 1.2740 and a close below this level should open a test of last years 1.2457 low.
RANsquawk European Morning Briefing - Stocks, Bonds, FX 06/05/10
As Spain Prepares New Debt Issuance, Euro Tumbles, Greek 3 Years Hit 15%, And Portugal CDS Blows OutSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 05/06/2010 - 04:27
Today Spain will test the capital markets with a downsized E2-3 billion 5 year issue (from E4.5 billion) carrying a 3% coupon. The yield on the note is expected to come higher than existing comparable maturities which are trading at 3.3%, thus pricing will likely be in north of 3.5%. At the end of March, Greece managed to raise 5 year bonds at 2.8%: there are no concerns that Greece will be able to repeat that result, much to the negative P&L of all those who bought into the last bond issue. "Spain is firmly in the eye of the storm, and the Spanish treasury cannot allow this sale to fail," said Jose Garcia Zarate at consultancy 4Cast. Yet as we showed yesterday, traders are not so worried about Spain, whom they have pretty much written off now, as the UK, France and Germany. In the meantime, the PIIGS fire is raging: Greek 3 Years just hit 15%, as its CDS trades 30 bps wider since the NY close, now at 877 bps. And the eye of the hurricane is moving west: Portugal CDS hit another high of 456 bps today, implying a 33% chance of a sovereign default. Lastly, the euro is plunging and after hitting an overnight support in the low 1.27 area, has bounced slightly. Spain will need all the help it can get. In the very least, today will be a test whether the recent rumor spread by a prominent nationalized and GGB heavy UK bank, that Spain has requested a E280 billion rescue package, was true or not.
Portugal... Spain...Greece...these are all last week's news based on CDS trading patterns. Indeed, this week saw the biggest trade unwinds of all top 1000 CDS entities (including all corporates) precisely in these three names. As the PIIGS implosion is finally being appreciated by everyone and their grandmother, the "speculators" are booking massive profits: the net cover/rerisking in Portugal and Spain was a massive $500 million net notional unwinds in each in the week ended April 30. Also known as taking profits. Greece and Ireland were also in the top 5, so as we have repeatedly claimed, the market will no longer make the news in Club Med. So where will it? No surprise there - the UK, France and Germany. The smartest money in the world is now actively betting the core of the eurozone is where the next CDS blow up will take place. With a stunning $630 million, $558 million and $370 million in net notional derisking, France, UK and Germany are the top three most active recipients in negative bets in the prior week, not just in sovereigns but in all names. The greatest non-sovereign derisker in the last week? Goldman Sachs, with $175 million. Nuff said. Yet a tangent on the UK: last week the UK saw $443 million in net notional derisking. This week the number is even higher: $558 million. There is now over $1 billion in net risky bets made that the UK may not last. And Zero Hedge's outside bet to be the first core country to blow up, thanks to its massive PIIGS exposure, France, finally made the top spot in net derisking, with $629 million in net notional, or 189 contracts. The smart money is now massively betting that Europe's core is done for; as the PIIGS have demonstrated, the blow out in spreads for the core trifecta can not be far behind.
Oil markets were hammered again on Wednesday, as the selling continued for a second consecutive day in equities and commodities. The US dollar was strong again on Wednesday, and it seems that concerns over euro-zone sovereign debt have plucked the yarn that has unraveled the whole cloth of risk appetite. The DJIA finished with losses of slightly less than 60 points, and it seems that oil and equities are the two taking the real brunt of the risk regurgitation. Gold, silver and platinum prices have been kicked lower these last two days, but buying re-emerged in the precious metals – and in copper – even as oil prices and equities refused to rally.
Things are heating up again in Greece. Literally. After a firebomb at a Marfin branch earlier today was the cause of three tragic deaths, the latest building to succumb to rioting pyrotechnics is a branch of the Greek ministry of finance, reports Market News. We eagerly await for the Greek FinMin to announce that the docs burned down were the only copies of all sovereign lending agreements with foreign entities... all $300 billion of them. Perhaps now that Greece has lost all control is why the Greek president Karolos Papoulias just said that "The country is at the edge of the abyss." Luckily for the country, its riot police is not striking just yet. Which is more than one can say about Greek journalists: "Even Greek journalists were on strike, but they later went back to work in order to cover the riots." And that about explains all you need to know about Greece.