Update: gold is now at a fresh all time nominal high, with a price equivalent to that fateful year in which the world's biggest and perfectly legitimate criminal cartel was founded on Jekyll Island some years ago.
When it comes to gold, one can now officially skip the foreplay (because apparently there is such a thing s a 2G spot). Unlike two weeks ago when the latest Shanghai margin hike caused gold to temporarily lose its equilibrium and flop, however briefly, somewhere in the lower 1700s, as of tonight it has valiantly processed, and completely ignored, news from the Shanghai Gold Exchange that trading margins for the gold forward contract, Au(T+D), will be raised, temporarily starting Sept 9 to 13 percent from 12 percent, while the daily circuit breaker would be lifted to 10 percent from 9 percent, and has proceeded to rise to within nickels of the all time high, with spot trading over $1910 at last check. Since Europe is about to open shortly, and since the free fall in risk will resume now that virtually every rhetorical gimmick has been used and abused ad inf, it appears that absent the CME doing away with margin altogether, we will see $2G spot within hours.
There are those who may be surprised to find that China is not completely insulated from the latest fun in Europe, America, and all those other places where the ponzi is imploding. To those same people we suggest a casual reading of the following two articles by Bloomberg and MNI - frankly we are too lazy to summarize. As for the market: it already knows whats up. Below is the nth consecutive drift up in most Asian CDS as once again credit predicts and idiots momos react, and after losing a shitload of money, confirm.
Following the lovely goose egg of a jobs report last week, markets started the week with an Asian Invasion rout led by the Hang Sang down 3%, and the Kospi shedding 4.4%. The second act of this sonata was Europe getting hammered led by a German Blitzkrieg 1-2 punch with the DAX losing 5.28% but more uniquely, the German 10-yr setting a new record below 2%. With all these trick-or-treats haunting the markets one has to ask, ‘Is the Ticking Time Bomb Going Off and the Inception-Style Dream Collapsing?’ We think so and we will begin by looking to a place that would seem most odd…the institutional players.
Bring Out Your Dead - UBS Quantifies Costs Of Euro Break Up, Warns Of Collapse Of Banking System And Civil WarSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 09/05/2011 - 19:15
Any time a major bank releases a report saying a given course of action is too costly, too prohibitive, too blonde, or simply too impossible, it is nearly guaranteed that that is precisely the course of action about to be undertaken. Which is why all non-euro skeptics are advised to shield their eyes and look away from the just released report by UBS (of surging 3 Month USD Libor rate fame) titled "Euro Break Up - The Consequences." UBS conveniently sets up the straw man as follows: "Under the current structure and with the current membership, the Euro does not work. Either the current structure will have to change, or the current membership will have to change." So far so good. Yet where it gets scary is when UBS quantifies the actual opportunity cost to one or more countries leaving the Euro. Notably Germany. "Were a stronger country such as Germany to leave the Euro, the consequences would include corporate default, recapitalisation of the banking system and collapse of international trade. If Germany were to leave, we believe the cost to be around EUR6,000 to EUR8,000 for every German adult and child in the first year, and a range of EUR3,500 to EUR4,500 per person per year thereafter. That is the equivalent of 20% to 25% of GDP in the first year. " It also would mean the end of UBS, but we digress. Where it gets even more scary is when UBS, like many other banks to come, succumbs to the Mutual Assured Destruction trope made so popular by ole' Hank Paulson : "The economic cost is, in many ways, the least of the concerns investors should have about a break-up. Fragmentation of the Euro would incur political costs. Europe’s “soft power” influence internationally would cease (as the concept of “Europe” as an integrated polity becomes meaningless). It is also worth observing that almost no modern fiat currency monetary unions have broken up without some form of authoritarian or military government, or civil war." So you see: save the euro for the children, so we can avoid all out war (and UBS can continue to exist). The scariest thing, however, by far, is that for this report to have been issued, it means that Germany is now actively considering dumping the euro.
As if we didn't have enough to worry about with sovereign shenanigans in Europe, which bridges to build in the US, and a slowing China, Israel's top-brass now fears a winter of radical Islam, an increase in the chance of a multi-front war, and notes Hamas using a new advanced rocket (perhaps this will be the bazooka that Trichet borrows?).
While NATO members, led by France, piously proclaimed at the onset of their military offensive in Libya that their concerns were solely humanitarian, a covert tussle to gain a commanding lead in developing the country’s energy riches in light of Colonel Gaddafi’s departure is well underway. The Libyan economy depends primarily upon revenues from the oil sector, which contribute about 95 percent of export earnings, 25 percent of GDP, and 80 percent of government revenue. Prior to the outbreak of conflict, Libya was exporting about 1.3-1.4 million barrels per day from production estimated at roughly 1.79 million barrels per day, of which approximately 280,000 barrels per day were indigenously consumed. But analysts believe that with reconstruction Libya could soon be exporting 1.6 million barrels per day of high-quality, light crude. But current production is the proverbial mere drop in the bucket. Libya has the largest proven oil reserves in Africa with 42 billion barrels of oil and over 1.3 trillion cubic meters of natural gas. Causing oil company executives from Houston to Beijing to drool on their Gucci loafers, only 25 percent of Libya’s territory has been explored to date for hydrocarbons.
Since it will be a slow news day until futures open in a few hours, readers who are locked indoors can waste it by listening to the oddly named Palmetto Freedom Forum which is basically another GOP presidential debate where candidates will take to the stage one at a time to substantively answer questions on their views from three panelists: South Carlolina Sen. Jim DeMint, Rep. Steve King of Iowa, and Dr. Robert George, founder of the American Principles Project and McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University. The participating candidates will include the major GOP contenders: Rep. Michelle Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Rep. Ron Paul, and Mitt Romney. As Townhall observes: "Sen. DeMint, et al's questioning is sure to challenge the participants on the hard-hitting issues, and should serve as a great preview to this Wednesday's GOP debate." That said, Rick Perry, and his Bank of America supporters, will be materially missing so no hard-hitting answers from the Texan.
BIG PIS: The CEO Of Europe's Most Troubled Bank, Dexia, Quits As Contagion Tsunami Sweeps Over BelgiumSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 09/05/2011 - 13:45
Just when we thought the world was running out of headlines, here come something that will send futures scurrying for even more safety. According to Belgian Nieuwsblad, the CEO of Belgium's biggest bank has just resigned. As a reminder, Dexia is the one European bank that in the 2008-2009 period borrowed more money from the Fed than anyone else, and which we have discussed on several occasions in the past few months as being rumored to be on the receiving end of a variety of liquidity "complications" and countreparty concerns. Typically rumors of that nature, coupled with the sudden departure of the CEO, end up being proven as fact shortly to quite shortly. In other news, we are happy to announce the expansion of the PIIGS to BIG PIS following the arrival of the latest country to join the sovereign and bank funding crisis.
Three weeks ago we predicted that should the austerity in Italy be truly enacted, then the Syntagma square strikecam would have to be promptly carted out of Athens, and into Rome, where Michele Caruso Cabrera would have to wear a gas mask in some 5 star hotel high above the Piazza Navona. Well, for now the austerity has been delayed, but not for long: the ECB no longer wants to play ball with Berlusconi and even if it takes a complete government overthrow, massive spending cuts are at most months away. In the meantime however, the labor unions have decided to not wait, and in a first for the soon to be en-Greeced country, have occupied the Milan stock exchange. Since next steps from here are all too clear, prepare for yet another interesting overnight futures session, once electronic trading reopens in 3 hours.
Open Europe Briefing On What The German Constitutional Court Ruling Will Mean For The Eurozone CrisisSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 09/05/2011 - 13:14
While today's market action is merely a reaction to pent up negative news over the weekend, all attention now moves to this week's most critical binary event: the much anticipated German Constitutional Court's vertdict on Eurozone bailouts. While a ruling that destroys the eurozone is unlikely, there are quite a few interesting nuances that may come out of the main event on Wednesday. For those who are unfamiliar with the story here is a critical briefing from Open Europe. "On 7 September, the German Constitutional Court will deliver its keenly anticipated verdict on the eurozone bailouts, following several challenges against the rescue packages of Greece, Ireland and Portugal in addition to complaints against the ECB’s bond buying programme. The Court will almost certainly approve the bailouts, fearing that any other decision would spell disaster for the euro. In order to protect its reputation, however, the Court could well demand more influence for the German parliament and lay down additional constitutional red lines – possibly including restrictions on joint debt liabilities in the eurozone – in return for approving the bailouts. Any such limits would hugely complicate any move towards a fiscal union in the eurozone. Injecting more parliamentary democracy into the eurozone crisis is clearly a good thing, but it will also further limit EU leaders’ room for manoeuvre when dealing with the crisis, which in turn could increase market uncertainty. Unfortunately for the ECB, under such a scenario it would once again be forced to pick up the responsibility of lender of last resort, as the EFSF will be too inflexible and unresponsive to play that role."
No video here: just audio - like his last "Irene is a national catastrophe" videoconference from the vacation. Soundbites include the following (via Bloomberg):
- OBAMA SAYS UNIONS CRUCIAL TO AMERICA'S MIDDLE CLASS
- OBAMA SAYS AMERICA NEEDS 'STRONG LABOR MOVEMENT'
- OBAMA SAYS U.S. AUTO INDUSTRY PROVED 'THE CYNICS' WRONG
- OBAMA SAYS CONGRESS NEEDS TO 'GET ON BOARD' ON ROAD REPAIR WORK
- OBAMA QUOTES 1948 TRUMAN SPEECH PRAISING UNIONS
- OBAMA SAYS HE WILL STAY FOR COLLECTIVE BARGAINING
and the kicker:
- OBAMA SAYS ROADS AND BRIDGES NEED REBUILDING IN U.S.
Enjoy America: you are about to have many bore roads and bridges rebuilt.