September 12th, 2011
With the US economy in free fall, European liquidity imploding, NASA on beneficially inclined and extremely solvent extraterrestrial life alert (someone has to bailout the world after all), at least we have political circuses, if not so much bread... or cake. Here is what DC has in store for us over the next five days. Luckily, we can forget our trials and tribulations tonight when 8 pm brings with it the second Republican presidential address in which Ron Paul will once again be the undisputed winner and will be largely ignored by everyone in the mainstream, financially-funded media.
We now know that the US is an Onion Republic, which leaves open the question: what is Greece... because we are getting very vegetably challenged here. According to the Bank of Greece, household and corporate deposits declined for the 7th month in a row, dropping by €1 billion euros in the July. Since January 2010, total deposits have declined from €233 billion to just €187 billion, or €46 billion, or 20% of the entire deposit base. Once again, we make it very clear that no matter what the government does with sovereign tax collections, spending cuts and stop gap liquidity boosts, as long as the deposits outflow continues, nothing else matters. And speaking of tax collections, according to Dow Jones, completing the unbelievable Greek farce, is the news that tomorrow in addition to the now standard customs officials and taxi drivers, among those striking will be the country's tax collectors as well. So.... just how will Greece collect those so very precious taxes it needs to pretend it is in compliance with the Troika's demands for deficit cut compliance in order for the country to get the next IMF tranche which will stave off bankruptcy for one more month. As a reminder, Greek cash runs out on October 17.
Since President Obama missed the best opportunity three years ago, it is too late for a do-over now.
The irony could.not.possibly.be.any.damn.funnier; Just as Sgt. Obama had the not so lonely unemployed club band huddled around him to tell America to "PASS THIS BILL", literally that very minute Bank of America released a statement it is sacking 30,000. Because Banana republic is so 2010, we are now officially an Onion republic.
It is quite refreshing to see some real and objective analysis come out of the sell side, particularly from one bank regarding another, but I must admit that if I had to pick a bone with Lim's analysis, it wouldn't be the content or quality, but the timeliness. What the hell took you so long to come to these rather astute observations, dude?
Just after the FTSE Mib announced it is in process of breaking once again, we get notification that the Italian banks are resuming their rolling halts as predicted earlier this morning, with Intesa the first to go offline after plunging 7.9%. What next: any selling will be punshiable by death? Or will the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to the Status QuoTM not go that far?
It is a day ending in -y, which means the TOTUS will be out there, somewhere, sharing all the juicy fiscal wonders still untapped and hidden deep in his magic sleeve, from whence they will be pulled after the American Jobs Act (the most recent Keynesian flashbang grenade to be lobbed at the middle class), fizzles out. Watch it live here.
It is too early to proclaim that ding dong, the vampire squid is dead, but it just dropped below triple digit range for the first time since March 2009. To anyone who enjoys to wager, this may be a good time to put some money that a Management/Buffet Buy Out (MBBO) of Goldman Sachs may be in the works.
For a Restructuring to Credit Event it has to meet some conditions. We have already been made to understand that anything that is “voluntary” is not a Credit Event. So if investors agreed to be paid back in another currency, it wouldn’t be a Credit Event in any case. But let’s just assume that with the bigger countries, some investors will resist any “voluntary” program. Then for a Restructuring Credit Event to occur, either the interest rate has to be lowered, some debt has to be forgiven, the maturity of the debt has to be extended, or the debt has to be changed to something other than a Permitted Currency. It is the Permitted Currency clause that would allow a country like Italy to keep all the terms of bonds the same, but pay back in Lire, and not trigger a CDS Credit Event. Permitted Currency includes the legal tender of any G-7 country. Germany and France could also play this game, but they have spent so much time defending the Euro they seem the least likely to do it. Italy on the other hand would welcome a weak lire. They could stop worrying about austerity and focus on getting a Ferrari in every garage in the Hamptons. Seriously, the Italian economy could perform extremely well if they revert back to making Lire legal tender (note, it does not say it has to be the only legal tender of a country, just that it has to be legal tender, so Italy could continue to use Euro while it re-introduces the Lire).
As Stocks Surge On Rumor Of Additional QE Measures, Someone Forgot To Tell Europe It Is Fixed: CDS RerackSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 09/12/2011 10:17 -0400
Even as stocks surge on the back of the latest rumor that yet another perpetually wrong Medley report has been released and states that the Fed may cut the IOER to zero in addition to Operation Twist (we have not seen the report nor have any interest in putting any faith in a "think tank" work product), someone has apparently forgotten to tell Europe it is all filed. Here is the CDS rerack, which unfortunately shows that this latest stock ramp is to be faded, especially since QE3-666 are already priced in, and will all eventually fail.
In The Meantime, ECB QE Is On In Full Force With About $100 Billion In Open Market Bond Repruchases In Past MonthSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 09/12/2011 09:58 -0400
And so the ECB's balance sheet, once upon a time clean of any monetization interventions, continues to deteriorate, and has now grown to a record €143 billion, after the bank disclosed €13.96 billion in PIIGS debt purchases in the prior week. This is an additional €70 billion since the SMP was expanded to purchase Italian and Spanish debt in early August (predicated by Italy complying with an Austerity prgoram that it has since made a complete mockery of). So for those complaining about the ECB pursuing Quantitative Easing, we wonder what one would call nearly $100 billion in bond repurchases in the open market in the past month: this is about as much as the Fed would purchase in its most active monetization month during either QE1 or QE2!
Nothing actually new here, but listening to Art Cashin retall the latest end of the world episode in that wise, grizzled voice of his brings a soothing element to what is set to be another dramamine-friendly week."Over the weekend, the battle has shifted. German authorities talk openly of the likelihood of a Greek default. They are said to be developing a plan to backstop German banks in the event of a Greek default. That puts pressure on other banks, especially French banks, since there is no Gallic backstop plan. Collateral damage could be to bring no bids to the next Greek auction, or make them pay such high rates as to make the auction toxic. The Euro crisis is quickly evolving into a Gordian Knot....U.S. markets are at near-critical levels. The uptrend line that caused the last bounce (S&P 1140) is around 1145. Key support levels are 1140, 1132, 1120 and ultimately 1101. The new Battle of Thermopylae is on the way."
A month after the short sale ban was implemented in French and Spanish banks, we thought it important (and perhaps educational for our European politician readers) to note the performance - French banks are down 14% and Spanish banks -8%. Can we finally put to rest the idea that a speculative cabal of mean short-sellers is responsible for the market's jitteriness? Perhaps it is simply a market trying to discern reality from manipulated machinations?