The market is plunging with accelerating volume. This is most assuredly a victory for the bulls, as it provides tremendous double, triple and dodecatuple down opportunities for all those who believe that rosy economic data based on a flawed and soon to be thoroughly disproven theory and assorted 'seasonal adjustments' provides a sufficient due diligence replacement, when the name of the game is merely chasing momentum.
With the $ rally starting to broaden i.e. to the AUD and CAD and the Fed discussing asset sales (I've written extensively about how I believe the Feds balance sheet = the $ supply) owners of risk assets need to be EXTREMELY CAREFUL. $ rallies are truly toxic. Don't forget that during the last one 1995-2000 we blew up Asia in 97-00 and stocks in 2000! - Credit Agricole
The market is starting to appreciate the "controlled demolition" of the fiat system. The concern: the thin line between controlled and uncontrolled is one brief freakout away. In which case, gold will certainly be below lead on the valuation chain.
The market is getting ridiculous: a day after surging well over 1%, which in turn was preceeded by a day in which it plunged by 1%, will apparently be followed by yet another plunge in the broader market as the European selloff gathers steam and makes day traders and momo chasers cross-eyed following the high beta heatmaps. ES right now is preparing to take out yesterday's lows, as the EURUSD is trading at one year lows. But, but, US consumers are no longer making any contractual payments as this country plunges into payment anarchy, so it should take the market to 36k right? Wrong. With the next support for the EURUSD at 1.28, as things are now really getting serious over the atlantic, absent a complete decoupling in US stocks (from reality), we may be on the verge of a major correction.
European Re/Insurers On The Hook For E100 Billion In PIIGS Losses, Munich Re Leads List Of Greek ExposureSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 05/04/2010 - 09:02
Research firm CreditSights has put together a comparison of all the major European Re/Insurer entities highlighting their exposure to PIIGS sovereign debt. In total insurers are on the hook for just under E100 billion in cross-linked exposure. The three riskiest countries, Portugal, Ireland and Greece, account for E13 billion in risk for the top 11 insurers, with Munich Re accounting for the bulk of this exposure, or E4.4 billion. However, when one adds Spain, and particularly Italy, the total notional risk surges to E96 billion. Italy, with E70Billion in Re/Insurer risk could be the Maginot line for this business, and especially a firm like Generali which has 46.5 billion in Italian positions will likely see its fate with the next logical focal point of risk after Portugal and Spain. Munich Re's big Greek bet explains why the company is willing to participate in a Greek bailout package - in the world of sovereign bailouts throwing good money after bad is a given: the firm will do all it can to buy itself some extra time before the inevitable. Something tells us a wave of selling for the Re/Insurers may be coming quite soon.
- Consumer spending in the U.S. rose in March by the most in five months.
- Most banks in the U.S. didn’t tighten lending standards during the first quarter - FED
- The Senate may take its first votes on amendments to the financial-overhaul bill.
- Apple sold 1 million of its new iPad tablet computers.
- BP Plc is trying to install a new valve to staunch one of three leaks in an undersea well.
- British Land and Blackstone Group plan to redevelop part of Broadgate.
- China Petrochemical resumed operations at a crude oil pipeline in Shandong province after shutting it because of a leakage on May 2.
- Citigroup proprietary trader Jay Glasser quit to join Nomura.
Ok, so Lazard has 1) confirmed it has been retained by Greece but 2) denied it would be facilitating a restructuring. One wonders what the firm, which exclusively specializes in advisory and M&A could be doing with the bankrupt company: distressed island M&A does come to mind. And ostensibly that activity does not fall under the "restructuring" assignment umbrella. Perhaps Lazard can disclose the terms of their engagement letter with G-Pap: we are confident that in keeping with Lazard's sincere denial, is there any mention of fee-generation associated with x% of outstanding debt restructured or new identification of new equity investors in Greece. Market News broke the news citing blog Zero Hedge. Thanks to Market News we are now painfully aware we are in dire need of a proof-reader.
Now that Greece is thoroughly irrelevant, the market just told the ECB, the IMF, and the EMU to prepare another $1 trillion in bailout packages. The reason: the Greek bailout just made it abundantly clear the bond vigilantes have free reign to call the bureaucrats' bluff whenever they see fit. The result: CDS of all non Greek PIIGS are now blowing out, and represent the top 4 names of all biggest CDS wideners for the day, each pushing a 10%+ change from yesterday. This movement wider will not stop until the IMF resolves to backstop all the PIIS ex. G. At this point nothing that happens in Greece is important, although the thing that will most likely happen is that the Greek government will fall imminently, killing the austerity package and destroying whatever credibility the EMU and the EU have left, but not before the IMF and the EU soak up another 110 billion euro in their slush funds. However, even with the bailout the Greek stock market is tumbling: the Athens Stock Exchange is now down 3.4% to just under 1,800. As we expected, the euro is about to breach 1.31 support. At that point, not even the US algos and the Liberty 33 traders will be able to prevent the contagion. And adding insult to injury is the latest rumor of an upcoming downgrade or very cautious language of Germany by the suddenly hyperactive rating agencies. When that occurs, you can kiss Europe goodbye.
This article was inspired by a conversation in January 2010 with fellow directors of the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee: Chairman Bill Murphy, Secretary/Treasurer Chris Powell, and Directors Adrian Douglas and Ed Steer. In speaking about the growing role of the exchange traded funds in the precious metals market, it was clear that the disclosure that the precious metals ETFs described below were providing to investors was inadequate. However, was there a material omission under securities law? I found the issues complex. Understanding the commodities markets can seem daunting to someone like myself with a securities background. Meanwhile, the securities markets and related legal and regulatory issues can be unfamiliar to those with a background in commodities. I decided to ask my attorney to help me gather the relevant information into one document to make it easier for GATA supporters and other interested parties—whether from the commodities or securities markets—to examine these issues and to better understand and price these securities. - Catherine Austin Fitts, Solari Report
The latest RealPoint monthly CMBS delinquency report update is out and it continues to get worse and worse. In March, the total amount of delinquent CMBS increased by $3.2 billion to $51.5 billion, or 6.4% of the total notional outstanding. "Overall, the delinquent unpaid balance is up almost 268% from one-year ago (when only $13.89 billion of delinquent unpaid balance was reported for March 2009), and is now over 23 times the low point of $2.21 billion in March 2007. The distressed 90+-day, Foreclosure and REO categories grew in aggregate for the 27th straight month – up by $2.57 billion (7%) from the previous month and $30.31 billion (352%) in the past year (up from only $8.6 billion in February 2009)." And this data excludes the now defaulted Peter Cooper village which still remained current in March courtesy of its reserve. This loan will effectively go into real default in April or May at the latest, pushing the total delinquencies by at least another $3 billion. That's not the worst: RealPoint now sees the total delinquency rate surpassing 12% under a more stressed scenario, or double from here. Don't worry, the inability of the administration to delay the implosion of Commercial Real Estate is a victory of the bulls, and is just an indication of the "decoupling" of the CRE market fundamentals from the broader Alice in Lalaland parameters that set the everyday stock market.
We recently highlighed the words of Erik Nielsen who stated that the E110 billion Greek bailout package will simply not be sufficient, expecting that at least another 40 billion will be needed for an effective rescue operation. Today, the WSJ and German Bild, get on board this theme, likely causing further anguish for Greece and for the euro, as it once again highlights just how incompetentEuropean bureaucrats are. Ironically, in their attempt to lowball the rescue numbers, they may have just doomed the package, because we are confident German opposition (and you should see the cover pages of all German newspapers - there are 99 headlines blasting the rescue for 0.5 praising it) will use this disclosure to mount an attack on the "openendeness" of the what may soon turn out to be a neverending rescue package. And this does not even contemplate Portugal and Spain.
With America on the fast-track to a centrally planned economy, courtesy of a surging budget deficit and a debt load that would make Greece blush (at the current rate of debt accumulation, US debt will surpass 100% of GDP by mid-2011) it is imperative toreassess the macroeconomic framework of America from a simplistic Econ 101 perspective, as the US economy of the past 50 years (or even of two years ago) is no longer the prevalent model. This reevaluation should necessarily consider the thoughts of Smith, Pareto, and Hayek, as to whether these are even relevant any longer, now that both the government will be running the majority of the country (at least those sectors that are Too Big To Not Be bailed Out), and a corrupt DC will be regulating the multi-trillion financial industry with the dexterity of gloved Parkinson-afflicted kickboxer. Incidentally, none other than current Fed visiting scholar Stephen LeRoy, a professor emeritus at UC Santa Barbara, has put together a coherent investigation into just how relevant the whole premise of the Adam Smith "invisible hand" (not to be confused with the FRBNY "invisible hand" appearing every night in the futures market at around 2 am) is in our day and age. While somewhat theoretical, economic purists and particularly Austrians may enjoy this brief essay.
Fresh signs that the global recovery is taking a firm root helped oil prices soar to new year-and-a-half highs. Traders were also struggling to figutre out what impact, if any, the oil spill in the US Gulf may have on future supplies. Near-term, the impact is likely to be negigible. But, longer-term, it is possible that this catastrophe could lead to much lower off-shore drilling activity off the coastal United States. At this stage, it looks like it will be the reason for a moratorium on new offshore drilling for the foreseeable future. As a result of this outlook, deferred months have started to rise in reaction to the oil spill. Just a few weeks ago, when President Obama discussed opening up the outer continental shelf, it looked like offshore drilling would get an unexpected boost. Now, it looks potentially dead in the water.
After seeing its demands for secrecy rejected soundly twice, once in district court and once in appellate, the Fed is now appealing the "Pittman" decision yet again. As Bloomberg reports, "attorneys for the Fed today asked the full U.S. Court of Appeals in New York to reconsider a unanimous ruling by a three- judge panel." On the other side of the Fed is, as usual, the Clearing House Association: the organization of bankers that stands to lose the most should its secretive bailouts by the Fed no longer be subject to unconstitutional secrecy. There is no reason to expect that the second appeal will work. However, it is the escalation from there that will be most critical. " If the court refuses the request, the Fed may appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court." That Supreme Court Decision, which will likely come around the time of Obama's mid-term elections, may prove to be more critical for Obama' reelection chances than unemployment, healthcare and regulatory "reform" combined. If the Supreme Court does ultimately side with the Fed, it will become clear once and for all who truly runs this country (and the world), and the the US constitution is at best something the oligarchy uses when it runs out of one ply Treasury Paper.
Volume today was a fraction of Friday's, which is probably why the numerous breakout attempts (at least three) over 1,200 in ES failed. The distribution on Friday pushed out many of the momo hands at lower levels, so few were willing to jump right back in, even with the Primary Dealers gunning for new post 1,200 highs, and the algos frontrunning every large block order with reckless abandon. Since many of the algos are controlled by the PDs, champagne was served all around at 4:15pm. In the meantime, the US treasury is facing another imminent debt ceiling increase most likely at about the time of the mid-terms, as we have been predicting since December of 2009. Those massive repo-based capital gains don't come cheap (to the taxpayers).