July 23rd, 2012
While repeating the same thing and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity, the Italian and now Spanish regulators, in their wisdom, have banned short-selling once again (supposedly not just on stocks but OTC derivatives also) - because, of course, this is all speculation and not just real money exiting the increasingly encumbered 'bail-in-able' worst banks in the world. When will the long-selling ban begin and what does this S-S ban mean? Very little in reality - within a few days of the last ban, following a very short-term squeeze - European banks were back below the pre-short-sale-ban level as we noted here and here. The trouble with the ban is that managers will look to hedge the implicit stress that this means those banks are under (that may otherwise be manipulated out of the price). How to do this? Well, last time, it was Morgan Stanley that was the most correlated on the way down and was the worst performer immediately after the ban began - and this time seems like it should be no different. Already in the pre-market, MS is -4%, notably underperforming its peers.
Moments after we reported the announcement of the Italian short-selling ban we had a simple question:
Where is the Spanish short selling ban? They are slacking
— zerohedge (@zerohedge) July 23, 2012
We now have our answer, as Spain has jumped on the banwagonTM
- SPAIN STOCK MARKET REGULATOR BANS SHORT SELLING
- SPAIN'S SHORT SELLING BAN INCLUDES DERIVATIVES, OTC INSTRUMENTS
- SPAIN'S SHORT SELLING BAN COULD BE EXTENDED BEYOND 3 MONTHS
And just because in Europe one has to constantly outdo everyone else, the Spanish short selling ban is on all stocks, not just financials.
Plow Horse Enters Quicksand - America's Abysmal June Economic Report Card: 7 Positive Surprises; 23 NegativeSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 07/23/2012 08:25 -0400
There was a time when we mocked all those who said the US economy can sustain some sort of organic, Fed-free recovery on its own, and perhaps, just perhaps, regain the virtuous cycle. We now just feel sad for them. The latest confirmation why those perpetual optimists will likely never again get it correct in their lifetimes, except for the 1-2 month (and increasingly shorter) period just after a new LSAP program is introduced by the Fed, is the June US economic report card. Courtesy of Bank of America we see that 22 of the 30 most important economic indicators in June missed expectations. And since this includes the seasonally adjusted July 7 claims beat, which was discovered to have been merely a seasonal auto-channel stuffing gimmick, the real number of misses is 23 out of 30, or a whopping 76% fail rate.
While it seemed somewhat inevitable given the trend, the dismal reality from Europe has sent investors scurrying for the 'safety' of the US Treasuries overnight. The entire yield curve has fallen to all-time record lows with 10Y trading below 1.40% and 30Y below 2.48%. 7Y - the seeming cusp of Twist - is below 90bps now and 2Y below 20bps. The shortest-dated T-Bills still trade around 4-6bps (as opposed to the deeply negative rates in Switzerland and Germany this morning with FX risk premia expectations, and Twist+, affecting this differential). Not a good sign at all - and definitely not yield curve movements on the basis of renewed QE as we see stock futures plunging to the old new reality (as those pushing dividend yields as the 'obvious move here may note that since Friday's highs, you've lost half a year's dividend as equity capital has depreciated 2%). Perhaps the sub-1% 10Y we noted yesterday is not such a crazy idea after all...
In fact, the only thing that can circumvent the price cycle is QE3.
Risk-off trade is firmly dominating price action this morning in Europe, as weekend reports regarding Spanish regions garner focus, shaking investor sentiment towards the Mediterranean. The attitudes towards Spain are reflected in their 10yr government bond yield, printing Euro-era record highs of 7.565% earlier this morning and, interestingly, Spanish 2yr bill yields are approaching the levels seen in the bailed-out Portuguese equivalent. As such, the peripheral Spanish and Italian bourses are being heavily weighed upon, both lower by around 5% at the North American crossover.
Here we go again: just like the summer of 2011, when it achieved absolutely nothing but succeeded in increasing the panic to a fever pitch, Italian regulator Consob has just reintroduced a selling ban for financial stocks. Supposedly, it will last only a week. Last year it was also supposed to be short-term but was only removed after the LTRO fooled everyone (well, not everyone) into believing Europe was fixed. It wasn't. Expect a modest blip higher, followed by the inevitable flush lower as every other European country follows suit, starting first with Spain.
Last week when we wrote about the imminent default of Sicily which Mario Monti tried to sweep under the rug by demanding the local governor resign for not masking the situation with lies, and doing all he can to prevent the advent of reality, we noted, rather sarcastically, that the "resignation of Sicily Governor Lombardo will somehow allow all those who care about the fundamentals of Italy to stick their heads in the sand... at least until Sicily is followed by Calabria, Campania, Lazio, Abruzzo, Tuscany, Lombardy, Umbria, Liguria, Veneto and so on. At least the governors of those respective provinces now have an advance warning what the endgame is." Sure enough, now that this particular floodgate has also been opened, it is only fitting that in the aftermath of this weekend's main news that a total of 6 Spanish regions will demand bailouts, that Italy follow suit with its own blacklist, and as La Stampa has reported, there are now ten major Italian cities at risk of an imminent financial collapse, yet another factor pushing Italian yields well on their way to the country's own 7% rubicon, now at 6.34%.
Gold edged down on Monday due to the pressure from a stronger dollar, as worries about the Eurozone debt crisis grew after Spain looked like the next candidate for a sovereign bailout. Spain has two regions seeking aid from the central government and El Pais reported that six Spanish regions may ask for aid from the central government while Spanish bonds yields continue to rise. As the 4th largest economy in the Eurozone Spain looks likely to follow Greece, Portugal and Ireland seeking an international bailout. Greece’s creditors meet this week as many doubt they will meet their bailout commitments. German Vice Chancellor Philipp Roesler said he’s “very skeptical” that European leaders will be able to rescue Greece. China’s economic expansion may fall for a 7th straight quarter to 7.4% in the three months to September, said Song Guoqing, a member of the People’s Bank of China monetary policy committee.
- Greece should pay wages in drachmas - German MP (Reuters)
- Greece Seeks More Cuts as Deadlines Loom (WSJ)
- Greece Back at Center of Euro Crisis as Exit Talk Resurfaces (Bloomberg)
- Berlusconi seeks return to liberal roots (FT)
- For brokers like Peregrine, from bad times to worse (Reuters)
- Japan Sees More ‘Widespread’ Global Slowdown With China Cooling (Bloomberg)
- China Central Bank Adviser Forecasts Growth Slowdown to 7.4% (Bloomberg)
- London Out to Prove It's Still in the Game (WSJ)
- Stockton Reveals Bondholder Offers From Mediation (Bloomberg)
- US lawmakers propose greater SEC powers (FT)
The last time a sovereign bond issue was imploding at this rate without the ECB's intervention, Silvio Berlusconi was about to be forcibly retired. This time, however, we fail to see what the assorted globalist elements will benefit by having Rajoy displaced: after all he has been a studious and versatile pawn of the status quo, who squawks repeatedly and whenever needed that Spain is solvent and that its banks are not in need of a bailout. That said, stick a fork in Spain, and all those newsletter writers who were saying to buy its bonds, or equities: at last check the IBEX was down nearly 5%, after falling by the same amount on Friday. This is the equivalent of the Dow Jones tumbling by just about 600 points. The catalyst - the 10 Year which touched on 7.565% minutes earlier, as virtually all hope is now lost - it is now every country and region for himself, and he who panics first, panics best.
As the flow of subsidies from Washington slowly ebbs, the TBTF banks will begin to feed upon one another...