Today at 7pm, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou will address “the economy, the productive model, the credibility of the state mechanism, the confidence of our European partners and, above all, the daily life and prospects of Greeks." The reason for this extraordinary measure (keep in mind this is Greece, not D.C., where the president provides hourly updates on the latest BLS releases) is the recent plunge in Greek stocks and government bonds, and culminating with several rating agencies either downgrading the country (Fitch) or putting it on downgrade review (S&P). Most recently, the yield on Greek 10 years hit 5.295% on concerns the country's fiscal deficit of 12.7% will makes its already extreme leverage even more unmanageable. And the biggest wildcard: the massive reliance of Greek banks on ECB repos backed by potentially soon to be much lass valuable government debt.
- The bank with the worst balance sheet remembers it is bonus time, systemic risk be screwed, pays back TARP (Bloomberg)
- Matt Taibbi takes on... Steve Liesman in a blast from the past (The Nation)
- And all is good again: Nakheel bonds double from 51 to 109.5 (Bloomberg)
- Exxon to buy XTO energy for $31 billion in stock, not a single dollar in cash (Bloomberg)
- Goldman fueled AIG gamles (WSJ)
- Tullett Prebon will help brokers move out of U.K. (Bloomberg)
RANsquawk 14th December Morning Briefing - Stocks, Bonds, FX etc. (Dubai Bailout Special)
- Asian markets rebounded Monday after Dubai received $10B in financing from Abu Dhabi.
- China launches landmark natural gas pipeline tapping into Central Asia's vast reserves.
- Dubai gets $10B in financing from Abu Dhabi, part to be used to pay down Dubai World debt.
- Euro gains after Dubai gets $10 billion of aid from Abu Dhabi.
- France's Sarkozy to unveil details of euro35B plan to spur investment in universities.
- Germany's budget sees a record of $125B in new borrowing next year, spending rise of 10.5%.
The government of Abu Dhabi and the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates agreed to provide $10 billion to the Dubai Financial Support Fund, allowing Dubai World to repay $4.1 billion of Islamic sukuk bonds that are due today, the government of Dubai said in an e-mailed statement. Statement from Dubai Supreme Fiscal Committee attached.
Lately there has been much back and forth over the definitions of (un)employment, of improving (deteriorating) trends therein, and of just what is going on with the labor pool in the U.S. Due to the lack of a definitive data series that tracks comprehensive unemployment over time, the possibility for loose interpretation exists and is (ab)used by many. In order to hopefully mitigate a lot of the debate on the margin, here is probably one of the more comprehensive charts available, which tracks Initial Claims, Continuing Claims and Emergency Unemployment Compensation (the last being somewhat notorious lately, and a datapoint that has to be considered due to the skyrocketing exhaustion rate) since 1967. The result does not need much commentary.
Obama Hypocrisy Meter Off The Charts: "I Did Not Run For Office To Be Helping Out A Bunch Of Fat Cat Bankers On Wall Street"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 12/13/2009 - 18:59
"I Did Not Run For Office To Be Helping Out A Bunch Of Fat Cat Bankers On Wall Street. Some people on Wall Street still don't get it" - Barack Obama
Unfortunately, the people on Main Street get it, and at this point they can see right through your ever-escalating hypocrisy.
Continuing our series of impending Commercial Real Estate debacles, today we focus on CMBX 3 (H1 2007 transactions). As Fitch disclosed on Friday, the November delinquency rate across CMBS increased by 43 bps to 4.29%, while more than double, 9.16% of the entire Fitch universe, was in special servicing. Of this CMBX 3 (together with 4) hold the brunt of the collapse in CRE. Of the 25 deals in CMBX 3, those performing the worst as of the latest remittance report were:
- COMM 06-C8, with 18.3% of all deals delinquent or in special servicing ($680.4 million of $3.7 billion total)
- CSMC 07-C1, with 16.5% of all deals delinquent or in special servicing ($552.3 million of $3.3 billion total)
- LBUBS 07-C1, with 15.6% of all deals delinquent or in special servicing(576.4 million of $3.7 billion total)
And highlighted below are the properties most indicative of the CRE collapse within CMBX 3, and in CRE in general. Once again, this is merely a sample with many other properties already in foreclosure and/or delinquency.
Populist anger is starting to awake all over the world, as the G-20's actions continue favoring only the "aristocratic" banker class. We hope Berlusconi's mistresses will still find him just as attractive even with a black eye, bleeding lips and busted teeth.
With a charactersitic [sic] bout of nerve over wisdom, let me offer just one more reply:
What exactly are you arguing about here? Whether I'm a jerk or a tool? Is that even worthy of a single reply? Ok, don't answer that.
What would seem to be worth everyone's time is the focus on the issue raised by the essential disagrement between Rick and myself: are the jobs numbers improving or not and what is the right investment play relative to the direction of jobs and the economy?
Earlier today the general public got one of its first public disclosures of what Goldman believes its prop trading operation contributes to the firm's top and bottom line. For those uninitiated with banker lingo, prop trading is basically the profit that Goldman makes by transacting exclusively as a hedge fund: this is not agency or facilitation revenue, but merely principal positions that represent balance sheet risk for the firm. Of course, with the Fed having made clear that America would fail before Goldman does, the definition of risk as it applies to Goldman is laughable. Yet considering that Goldman must disclose a trading VaR , or value at risk on a quarterly basis, which over the past year has averaged over $200 million, one can back into what the actual prop capital and revenue generated by prop strategies is (VaR is simply a statistical calculation of how much Goldman would stand to lose if a "one in twenty" event occurred. It is not the maximum loss risk that Goldman has exposure to - a good example of a terminal event, i.e., one which would leave the firm bankrupt overnight, or aVaR of infinity with a narrower confidence range, would be something like the recently notorious "what if" of an aborted AIG bankruptcy, courtesy of Tim Geithner). Goldman's head of PR claims the Goldman's prop trading accounts for only 12% of net revenue. Zero Hedge disagrees, and we would like to pose a question to Mr. van Praag which we hope Goldman will answer for us in order to refute our observation that Goldman may be disingenuous in its public statements.
The Rogers Retort: When Everyone Is On One Side Of The Boat, Invariably Run To The Other Side... And Buy GoldSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 12/12/2009 - 17:36
Any day that has Roubini making waves, means Rogers (of R'n'R dynamic duo fame) can't be far behind. Which is precisely the case today: as per the interview below, Jim is still bullish not only on dollars (a contrarian play) but on gold, which he seems to value just a tad more than spam, expecting the precious/worthless metal to hit "several thousand dollars an ounce some time in the next decade." Roubini: ball is in your court. Or maybe it is just time to let this one die.
The High Yield Market Has Officially Topped, With Bondholders Eager To Cash Out Existing Equityholders In The Crappiest Of NamesSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 12/12/2009 - 17:12
If the recent $750 million Clear Channel deal was not indication enough that the high yield market is now back to 2007 market top levels, the sudden resurgence of dividend recap deals should be a sufficient and necessary condition that company boards are now willing to throw any debt leverage caution to the wind and extract as much proceeds as possible during the current HY offering megaspree before the window closes with a bang. And with investors no longer even demanding any negative covenants, the rush to relever and cash out existing equity-holders will definitely end in tears. Of course, the Fed is there to backstop each and every balance sheet. If Goldman is too big to fail, bond investors will claims, so is 10x leveraged port-a-potty maker UnitedSiteServices (or so PE sponsor DLJ Merchant Banking would hope). And if there is one entity that is ecstatic with the current HY mania (in addition, of course, to equity sponsors who a year ago were staring bankruptcy in the face and are now extracting hundreds of millions on the back of gullible and potentially semi-retarded "long-onlies"), it is Wall Street banks, which have perfected the art of finding retarded idiot investors (in exchange for a meager 3% fee) who are happy to ignore the whited-out "Use Of Proceeds - dividend payment to existing equity" and throw their LPs' money down said port-a-potty.
In a headline piece on roubini.com, Nouriel Roubini writes an extended article slamming both gold bugs, and the so-called gold bubble, which he believes is far too volatile, and which, contrary to ever increasing claims to the opposite, will likely not get to the mythical price of $2000/ounce, and instead will head lower. The argument presented, as is widely the case, boils down to the trifecta of i)gold having no industrial utility, ii) no intrinsic value (no associated cash flow streams) and iii) costing an arm and a leg to store. While Roubini's thesis is attractive on the surface (if somewhat Keynesian and thus often reiterated by mainstream Economists), we present some counter arguments to Roubini's thesis.
A chart of the past two days' cumulative trading volume speaks...well, volumes. At this point it is safe to say that even machines no longer derive any binary pleasure in scalping humans, and are off to spend the spoils of having run up markets to such heights that nobody will either buy or sell any longer, but merely stare with disbelief.