David Rosenberg has issued yet another piece of blistering common sense (which most mainstream and sellside economists seem to lack in wholesale amounts these days), in which he explains why the action at the margin is all that matters for asset prices and all that follows. As he says "this is about change, not levels" - a jab directly at the Federal Reserve, whose core underlying premise is that "stock" is all that matters, whereas "flow" (or change) is irrelevant. This is arguably one of the biggest errors that Fed chairman after Fed chairman perpetuates, and further explains why the Fed will always have to be engaged in some (ever greater) form of monetary intervention in order to simply keep asset prices constant as the "stock" theory is disproven time and time again. Alas, since we are dealing with brilliant PhD Economists they will never admit their foolish theory is flawed until it is too late. In the meantime, for everyone else who does not live in Bernanke's ivory towers, here is Rosenberg's explanation why what happens at the margin is all that matters.
While it is unclear if the news reported by Shia-News, and amplified by Bahrain News, is in retaliation for the recent deterioration in Iran-US relations following an allegation that Iran sought to assassinate diplomats and blow up embassies in the US using Mexican hitmen, or if this is what led to it, it appears that Iran is playing hard ball. As Bahrain News reports, referencing a new posting in Shia-News, "The Iranian leaders, furious over the Saudi intervention in Bahrain and what they call crimes against the Shiites of that country, have openly created centers to recruit volunteers for suicide bombings against Saudi Arabia’s interests worldwide. Several grand ayatollahs in Iran have issued a fatwa for Muslims to come to the aid of their Shiite brothers in Bahrain, who they claim are suffering horrific crimes from their government in collaboration with the Saudi armed forces. They further emphasized that the people of Bahrain have every right to demand freedom and their fair share from the state. Shia-News, a site associated with Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi (a hard-line Shiite Twelver and an influential figure in the suppression of Iranians during their uprising to protest the fraudulent presidential election of 2009), is registering volunteers to participate in suicide bombings against Saudi interests around the world. Hundreds have already registered. Reports from inside Iran indicate that an alert has gone out to the Revolutionary Guards Quds forces throughout the world to prepare for attacks on Saudi establishments."
Work In Banking? Find Out If You Will Be Laid Off... And If You Work At Bank Of America Click Here Now: Update - And Goldman SachsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 10/13/2011 - 13:54
Something tells us this formerly well-hidden treasury trove of imminent layoff information will soon be the most visited webtsite for every bankers in the Manhattan area. Presenting the Department of Labor's Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification program, aka the "advance notice of mass layoffs on Wall Street" website. A great example of why 554 people should not look forward to the holidays presented below (our condolences Bank of Americans and Goldman Saches).
Van Rompuy And Barroso Announce €440 Billion EFSF Fully Functional; Now, How Do They Expand It To €3 Trillion?Submitted by Tyler Durden on 10/13/2011 - 13:38
Following the Slovak approval vote earlier, the EFSF is now fully functional, or so say Europe's two unelected leader Herman Van Rompuy and Jose Barroso (full statement here). Which is great, considering it only took Europe 3 months to ratify something that was supposed to be operational 2 months ago, and take over for the ECB's SMP declining bond purchases sometime in mid-September. And now, as Zero Hedge explained back in July, comes the hart part where the Eurozone realizes that the EFSF, which recently has found it has more uses than a Swiss Army Knife and can be used as a central bank, as a guarantor, as an insurance policy, as a CDO squared, cubed, etc, etc, or at least so the rumors go, has to be expanded from $440 billion to €3.5 billion. Recall: "slowly the sell side is coming to the realization that not only will the EFSF have to be expanded (that much was known), but that Germany, and specifically the outright economy, will be on the hook by an unprecedented amount of money. And expanded it will have to be: not by two, not by three, but by a cool four times, to a unbelievable €3.5 trillion which according to Daiwa's Head of Economic Research, Grant Lewis, is an act which will be necessary to convince financial markets of euro area resolve to save Italy and Spain." That was two months ago. Finally, the governments, which back then religiously denied such reporting as scaremongering, are getting on the bandwagon. It was none other than Le Figaro, mouthpiece of the country that has the most to lose from the inability to ringfence a Greek fallout, that said yesterday: "The euro area reflects one of several options to increase by up to five times, or more than 2500 billion euros, the firepower of its relief fund for countries in financial difficulty (EFSF), said on Wednesday AFP European sources." In other words, the target number is now known, and nobody is ashamed to put it out there: between €2.5 and €3.5 trillion. The only question is what form it will take: yesterday it was a bank, today it is an insurance "fund", tomorrow who knows - gotta keep those rumors a surprise after all: they don't call the EFSF the modern version of the Swiss Army Bailout knife for nothing.
The "benefit" of Operation Twist for the long end shone through today as the Treasury priced $13 billion in a 30 Year reopening, which came at a record low yield of 3.12%: this was 4 basis points inside the When Issued of 3.16% so at first sight the auction was a stunning success, confirmed by the second highest Bid To Cover in the auction history of 2.94. Perhaps... The only problem is when one looks at the internals, where just like yesterday, the most prominent observation was the total collapse in the Indirect Bid, which accounted for just $3.7 billion of the take down or 28.7% of the total, less than the Direct portion which despite having plunged in all other recent bond auctions soared to a virtual record 29.5% of the total auction (less than just the 29.6% from March 2010). And now the question again arises: are the Directs merely London-based offshore entities doing China's bidding away from the Indirect bidder spotlight, or, is this some other operation that kicks in every time when a plunge in Indirects is expected, such as over the past two days with China seemingly doing all it can do show it is telegraphing a plunge in interest for US paper. We will know more today when at 4:30 pm the Fed discloses its most recent custodial Treasury holdings for the past week. In the meantime, the Primary Dealers and the Directs have the long-end firmly under control.
Parts of Thailand have experienced terrible flooding lately, and much of the country’s production shut down as a result. Thailand makes everything from tire factories to hard disk drive manufacturers to rice… and given the slowdown in the economy, it couldn’t have come at a worse time. Not to worry, though, the government has a plan to fix it. Let me explain: Thailand’s central bank is sitting on roughly $212 billion in net foreign reserves right now. That’s up 37% from last year and nearly 80% from 2009. Curiously, it all starts with Ben Bernanke.
Meet "Ben Pu" - The Aleynikov Sequel: Quant Powerhouse Citadel Arrests Former Employee For Stealing "Alpha" CodeSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 10/13/2011 - 12:18
Chicago hedge fund Citadel may not have the best of luck when it comes to running traditional financial businesses (it's recent disastrous foray into advisory and capital markets - nuf said), but when it comes to picking up nickels and dimes ahead of slower traders (yes there is a name for it, but for lack of immediate legal retaliation by an uber-sensitive Ken Griffin we will leave it to our readers' imagination) by virtue of faster computers and a massive collocated infrastructure, Citadel is second to none (well, except maybe now infamous Latour Trading). Which explains why it is so sensitive to any former employees "borrowing" its special sauce, aka the computer code that is the only thing that gives the hedge fund its fro... er, superior trading execution. It was only last year that the fund went all Friend-O on Misha Malyshev, whose Teza technologies was implicated as the future employee of one now legendary Sergey Aleynikov. Well, it is time for a redux. As Dow Jones reports, "a former technology employee of hedge fund manager Ken Griffin's Citadel LLC was arrested for allegedly stealing sensitive computer trade secrets from the company for his own personal use, the Department of Justice said. According to the complaint affidavit, 24-year-old Yihao Pu, also known as "Ben Pu," was found by Citadel's information technology department to have "downloaded several unauthorized programs," which allegedly allowed him to bypass Citadel's security protocols and transfer files or data from his Citadel computer to an external storage device."
While Angelo Mozilo is working on his tan and pretending he did not engage in blatant 10(b)-5 fraud for years and years. Oh well, justice is served. Don't look for the Gerson Lehrman IPO any times soon.
- RAJARATNAM GETS 132 MONTH PRISON TERM FOR INSIDER TRADING. - BBG
Well, that's that.
- SLOVAK PARLIAMENT APPROVES EXPANSION OF EFSF RESCUE FUND, CONCLUDES RATIFICATION IN ALL EURO ZONE COUNTRIES -RTRS
- 114 voted for the EFSF, 30 against and 3 abstained from 147 present (out of 150
Now: perhaps we can finally get some details of what will happen next instead of just blind short covering squeeze on rumor-based headfakes? Oh wait, we won't? Because there are no real details and it is all just rhetoric?
Credit Suisse Buries European Banks, Sees Deutsche Bank And 65 Other Bank Failing Latest Stress Test, €400 Billion Capital ShortfallSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 10/13/2011 - 11:06
A day after Credit Suisse killed the Chinese bank sector saying that the equity of virtually the entire space may be worthless if NPLs double, as they expect they will to about 10%, the Swiss bank proceeds to kill European banks next. Based on the latest farce out of Europe in the form of the third stress test, which is supposed to restore some confidence, it appears that what it will do is simply accelerate the flight out of everything bank related, but certainly out of anything RBS, Deutsche Bank, BNP, SocGen and Barclays related. To wit: "In our estimation of what could be the “new EBA stress test” there would be 66 failures, with RBS, Deutsche Bank, and BNP needing the most capital – at €19bn, €14bn and €14bn respectively. Among the banks with the highest capital shortfalls, SocGen and Barclays would need roughly €13bn with Unicredit and Commerzbank respectively at €12bn and €11bn. In the figure below we present the stated results. We note RBS appears to be the most vulnerable although the company has said that the methodology, especially the calculation of trading income, is especially harsh for them, negatively impacting the results by c.80bps." Oops. Perhaps it is not too late for the EBA to back out of this latest process and say they were only kidding. And it gets even worse: "We present in this section an overview of the analysis which we published in our report ‘The lost decade’ – 15-Sep 2011. One of our conclusions was that the overall European banking sector is facing a €400bn capital shortfall which compares to a current market cap of €541bn." Said otherwise, we can now see why the FT reported yesterday that banks will be forced to go ahead and proceed with asset firesales: the mere thought of European banks raising new cash amounting to 75% of the entire industry's market cap, is beyond ridiculous. So good luck with those sales: just remember - he who sells first, sells best.
Today, instead of the traditional market observations by the Chairman of the Fermentation Committee, we share with readers a critical historical lesson from Art Cashin, focusing on an event that took place 89 years ago, which as Cashin says is "one of the most devastating economic events in recorded history and an important backdrop to Europe today. It all began with the efforts of a few, well-intentioned government officials." Many will know what we are talking about already...
A Slovak Twist: Slovakia's Sulik Announces EFSF Vote Has To Be Adopted By Constitutional Court FirstSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 10/13/2011 - 09:55
With everyone so certain the Slovak EFSF vote passage was just a formality, it was only a matter of time before Richard Sulik's SaS threw a wrench in the best laid plans.... Sure enough, as of a few minutes ago, Sulik has announced that he is considering getting the constitutional court involved, a process which if anything will create an indefinite delay in the EFSF ratification, even assuming there is no additional doublecrossing of the outgoing PM Radicova involved.