Can Someone Please Finally Explain What CDS Are To The Mainstream Media And The Greek Minister Of PrimeSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 03/09/2010 - 15:31
This is just getting ridiculous. First the NYT had some choice words over the weekend in describing the whole CDS fiasco, which alas did not have quite the desired effect, and now the BBC is out with a primer on SPECULATION ANALYSIS (yes, a primer), in which it has the following stunner:
Government bonds come with an insurance policy, called a credit default swap (CDS).
At this point: i) everyone has become an overnight "expert" on CDS, ii) every "expert" is patently wrong on what CDS is, iii) insane college green preachers have incorporate the word CDS to go right before harlot, and right after apocalypse, iv) "Unprincipled speculators are making billions every day by betting on a Greek default" according to Papandreou, even though the DTCC notes the net notional in Greek CDS is only $9 billion, v) the SEC is about to get involved meaning activation of WOPR can't be far behind.
Charlie Gasparino over at Fox Business News reports a rumor that the government may be looking to dispose of its 27% Citi stake at some point over the next 3 months. Logistics aside, presumably somehow this means that even more bankrupt companies like AIG, FNM and FRE are probably next in line for offloading the taxpayer stake into the hands of hapless hedge/sovereigns funds. We hope it is not the same hedge funds that have recently received subpoenas and C&D orders from ever shorting the euro (i.e., going long the dollar).As a reference point the gov't owns 27.01% of Citi which has a hilarious market cap of $108 billion, and owns 80.66% of AIG with its $23.5 billion capitalization. This explains why the government is now actively pulling the borrow: gotta sell at the highest possible price. Meanwhile, Doug Kass reports that a rumor of "new stringent short-selling rules is causing a squeeze in heavily shorted names this afternoon." Last but not least, here is the rumor as reported by Seeking Alpha. So yes, it appears we are back to the joyful days of late spring 2009 when the rumorsphere drove crap financials into the troposphere, even as nobody knows anything, and rumors are generated simply to explain massive short squeezes.
Retiree Confidence About Comfortable Retirement At Generational Lows Even As Millionaire Ranks Jump By 16%Submitted by Tyler Durden on 03/09/2010 - 14:13
The fundamental schism within American society continues, with $1 million plus households spiking in 2010 by 16%, even as the broader population has increasingly less (if any) money saved up, and the confidence of retirees who believe they have enough money saved up to last them through their retirement years drop to a generational low. The split between the bankers and Main Street is continuing to crystallize as simply one between the rich and the poor. One wonders how long before pitchforks are involved?
The ravenous algo has just sniffed out AIG. Because now that the firm has no relevant core assets to sell, it surely merits a 10% spike in several minutes. Or is there merely a rumor that there is a rumor. Hopefully the government isn't back to its old trick of rolling buy-ins in financial firms. All's fair in love and getting the market higher, higher, higher.
$40 Billion 3 Year Auction Closes At 1.437% High Yield, 3.13 Bid To Cover Second Highest In Past Six MonthsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 03/09/2010 - 13:23
$40 billion 3 Year closed at 1.437% high yield, 15.66% allotted at high; 1.403% median; 1.34% low
WI last traded at 1.447% at 1pm
Bid To Cover 3.13; previous 2.83, average 2.98
Primary Dealers bid 67.28% of total competitive bids of $124.9 billion
Indirect take down: 51.84% versus 53.53% average
Indirect hit ratio: 75.67%
We have closely tracked the Q4 bank influx into the SPY ETF, which on ever declining volume breadth has become the one most dominant market determining factor, on both a push and a pull basis. It is no surprise that in February the SPY was once again, by a wide margin, the biggest source of capital inflows in the equity ETF space. As the chart below from Invesco demonstrates, institutions that still have remaining cash, ploughed over $1.5 billion into the SPY, which now has over $70 billion in net assets. Ironically this occurs as on a YTD basis US Market Cap-related ETFs have seen over $14.5 billion in net outflows, as virtually all equity ETF exposure has been broadly shunned.
Two weeks after the indirect hit ratio in the 4 week auction came at a record 100%, today it was once again at almost at the all time possible high, with Indirect Bids of just $6.744 billion taking down $6.683 billion, resulting in a 99.1% hit ratio. The chart of the recent Indirect hit ratio in recent 4 week bill auctions is attached.
A quick glance at today's ECB open market operations section indicates that even Trichet may be getting a little worried about liquidity gone wild in Europe. Of course, his US counterpart has no such concerns. Earlier today, the European Central Bank announced that it had drained a whopping €295 billion in an unscheduled, one-time liquidity-absorbring, fine-tuning operation. There were 193 bidders supporting the ECB operation. Is liquidity getting a little frothy? "Fine-tuning" liquidity by almost a third of a trillion may seem to indicate so.
The reality is that as the fluff was written down, reported earnings slumped 90% in the bear market and the S&P 500 dropped 60%. This is why the market bottom occurred a year ago with valuations at stretched levels relative to previous troughs. What changed were the rules of engagement as the Fed blew out its balance sheet in support of the mortgage industry, the government guaranteed the survival of the large banks, the shorting industry was sharply curtailed and the banks were allowed to hide losses again on their illiquid assets via accounting changes that were foisted onto the SEC from Congress in the name of saving the system. And of course, a government deficit that is now running at a record $1.5 trillion, and the spending to get the economy going has been so acute that even if revenues had not gone down with the economic turndown, the budget gap would still far exceed the $1 trillion mark. - David Rosenberg
Following Up On The Japan Disaster Scenario; Or Can Still We Learn From The Failure Of Keynesianism?Submitted by Tyler Durden on 03/09/2010 - 10:31
"A few months ago I wrote about an impending government funding crisis in Japan. The pushback was so interesting I thought it worth writing up. None of you really disputed the long-term problems facing Japan but, for various reasons – which I’ll look at below – very few of you thought it was worth worrying about just now. Meanwhile, the biggest JGB holder on the planet – the Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF) – which has already admitted it’s no longer able to roll maturing bonds, has announced that it will open credit lines so it doesn’t have to sell them to fund its obligations. With ¥213 trillion of JGBs to roll this year, or around 45% of GDP (see chart below), maybe I’m not the only one scared stiff after all!" Dylan Grice, SocGen
The bond vigilantes are back in town as indicated by the blowout earlier in the month in sovereign credit spreads of the PIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain), and widening of corporate spreads over Treasuries. It was precipitated by Greece’s catastrophically high fiscal deficit (13% of GDP), debt (120% of GDP) and current account deficit (10% of GDP), numbers that imply default is likely. Bond investors have reassessed risk in a number of countries whose fiscal position is tracking Greece’s. - Boeckh Investment Letter
The most probable replacement to Trichet, Axel Weber who is a member of ECB's governing council said earlier on Bloomberg TV that extend and pretend is now shifting to Europe warning that Germany's Q1 growth could be negative, of course qualifying the statement that everything past this quarter will be stronger. Weber said that "a very weak first quarter means that the second and third quarters will be stronger." Even so he said there was still no reason to revise the expectation of German growth in 2010 to just over 1.5%. German growth in 2010 to just over 1.5%. We fail to see how with austerity measures sweeping across traditional German import partners, particularly within the PIIGS, there is any hope that the German economy will regain an upward trajectory, although by Q2 and Q3 when various additional stimulus measures will have to be announced globally, and the ECB will likely finally commit to QE, he may very well be right. As more and more of the world is becoming like China in goalseeked GDP growth virtually all economic indicators are starting to lose any predictive value, especially on an adjusted "stimulus-free" basis.
- Merkel urges ‘quick’ regulation as Greece takes plea to U.S. (Bloomberg)
- Eaton Vance dumps dirt bonds as Florida land districts default (Bloomberg)
- Collapse of the American Empire: swift, silent, certain (MarketWatch)
- Gold "unlikely" to be main China reserve investment (Bloomberg)
- M&A target IRRs lowered, what does it say for CapEx IRRs: Exxon lowers bar, buys assets previously deemed unattractive (Bloomberg)
- China committed to US debt, wary on gold (Reuters)
- Bank of England sees 'grounds for optimism' on Britain's recovery as risks diminish.
- China's interest-rate gap driving pressure for Yuan gains, regulator says.
- German industrial output rises 0.6% in Jan , despite 14.3% fall in construction activity.
- Gold is “unlikely” to be China’s primary investment to diversify its reserve hldgs: regulator.
- Taiwan's February exports rose 32.6%, suggesting strong economic growth.
- Yen strengthens as exporters bring home profits; most Asian stocks slide.