One of the most widely accepted truisms of our time is that deflation is bad: bad for debtors, bad for the indebted government, and therefore bad for the economy. What all this overlooks is how wonderful mild deflation is for those who owe no debt but who own the debt and the income streams that flow from debt. What the "deflation is bad" argument ignores is who controls the financial and political systems, and what set of conditions benefits them. Everyone assuming the Federal government has the power to create inflation and that inflation is "good" should examine the interests of those who control the government's policies, i.e. those who own the debt. Put another way: here's what will be scarce: reliable income streams and liquidity.
With IBEX down 6%, 10Y yields over 7.30%, 10Y spread over 610bps, and EURJPY at 12 year lows; the hits just keep coming...
- EWP: Egan-jones cuts Spain sovereign rating to CC+ from CCC+
- Spain Won't Grow Until 2014 as Eurozone Agrees Bank Bailout
- *SPAIN BAD BANK MAY INCLUDE NON REAL-ESTATE DETERIORATED ASSETS
- *SPAIN BAD BANK TO APPLY `REAL LONG-TERM' ECONOMIC VALUATIONS
- *SPAIN TO MAKE ROADMAP BY END-NOV FOR LISTING OF RESCUED LENDERS
- *SPAIN'S LOAN-LOSS PROVISIONING FRAMEWORK TO BE REASSESSED (will we see the same in the US?)
From the mysterious pre-Summit ramp in the afternoon of 6/28, the major US financials managed gains from 6 to 11% within a few days. As reality sets in and that sinking feeling rears its ugly head, so one-by-one, all that exuberance has faded. While the financial ETF XLF remains higher, the major US financials are considerably lower with BofA -6%, MS -5%, and JPM -3% from those pre-Summit levels...
EURUSD just traded under1.2150, down over 130 pips on the day. The question is - will wee see the ubiquitous rip-roaring reversion rally into the European close again? Rather notably this is as big a liquidity/break-up premium to its swap-spread-implied fair-value as we have seen since the peak of the crisis in mid November last year!
With 'safe-haven' yields at extreme lows (and negative in some cases), there is sense in 'reaching for yield' but - obviously - any increase in yield implies an increase in risk (and just because it is called a 'bond' doesn't mean its safer than an 'equity'). By way of example, moving to investment grade credit is the 'strategy du jour' of many asset allocators - "a little more yield and it's still IG after all." However, while this is a decent safety strategy overall - in a diversified and actively managed credit book, falling for the easy route of buying the liquid IG bond ETF LQD may run some into problems - no matter how much its 'price' tracks Treasuries. The last month has seen LQD experience a 7-sigma rally and it stands at multi-month rich levels to its intrinsic value (which implicitly places technical bids in the cash market). What worries us the most about LQD specifically is, we suspect retail investors who are piling in are unaware of the exposures within the portfolio of bonds. LQD is 24.3% weighted in financials - the very same Libor-rigging, beached-whale, NIM-compressing financials that are anything but 'risk-free'. As a reminder, an old adage from credit portfolio management, "the loss from losers far exceeds the gains from winners" and at these levels of price (and therefore yield) there is a lot of convexity in that risk-reward. Understanding the credit risk you are taking is key.
Following the release of ugly earnings, Chipotle has finally been reacquainted with reality (down 18%), and the stock that has long been a darling of momo "investors" everywhere, because in a reflexive broken market, a stock is worth not a penny less than what the previous biggest fool is willing to pay for it, is getting decimated. Naturally, adding insult to muppet monkeyhammering, here is Goldman Sachs who decide to, after the fact, drop CMG from its conviction buy list.
ECB Says Greek Bonds No Longer Eligible As Collateral, Leaves Greece With Under €65bn Of ELA Borrowing CapacitySubmitted by Tyler Durden on 07/20/2012 - 09:13
Due to the expiration on 25 July 2012 of the buy-back scheme for marketable debt instruments issued or fully guaranteed by the Hellenic Republic, these instruments will become for the time being ineligible for use as collateral in Eurosystem monetary policy operations.
Presented with little comment but it seems that in yet another unintended consequence of the short-term haste to make noise ralative to any sustainable long-term solution, the nations that were supposed to benefit the most from the EU Summit are now the biggest losers as their equity markets are the only ones in Europe that are down from pre-Summit levels after today's sell-the-news events. It seems once again those looking at the equity markets to signal the success of an 'event' have been dangerously wrong-footed once again... Spain swung from an 8% gain to a 4% loss
We are saved. No, we are doomed. The reaction to the much-heralded agreement to bailout Spain's banks is not good. Spanish bond yields are at their post-Euro highs at 7.21%, Spanish bond spreads (and 5Y CDS) are trading at 600bps as Valencia calls for its bailout, Montoro denies, then admits that indeed they are part of the fiasco. Spain's front-end is very weak with 3Y back over 6% with the entire curve at its flattest in 6 months. Italy is also cracking wider with the short-end getting crushed (2Y +42bps at 3.9%) - exactly where all that LTRO collateral is being held (more ECB margin calls?). While Italy's has reverted back to a zero basis to CDS, Spain has continued to see its bonds underperform CDS dramatically - which in the case of Greece and Portugal was the litmus test for a market switchijng from muddle-through to pending PSI as trust in CDS triggers reduces. Meanwhile, Germany's 2Y rate hits a record low below -6bps. Spain's IBEX is down almost 4% (but Italy's MIB worse) as EURUSD cracks below 1.22 once again. European financial credit (senior and sub) are getting cruyshed and it appears that broadly speaking equitieas are starting to catch up to the reality in credit markets - though have a long way to go. S&P 500 e-mini futures are down ove 9 pts from the close (and over 15pts from yesterday's highs). Europe's VIX is snapping 10% higher after capitulating al la US VIX but remains dramatically rich to crediot still.
Valencia Announces SOS, Needs To Tap Government LIquidity Support Just Eurogroup Accepts Spanish Bailout PlanSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 07/20/2012 - 08:06
UPDATE: It would appear the right hand has no idea what the left hand is doing in Spain, as via Bloomberg:
- *MONTORO SAYS VALENCIA HASN'T SOUGHT RESCUE
- *VALENCIA TO TAP SPAIN'S REGIONAL FINANCING FACILITY
- *VALENCIA GOVT COMMENTS IN STATEMENT ON WEBSITE TODAY
Just as today's largely expected announcement that the Eurogroup has formally agreed to accpet the Spanish bail out (details still lacking), the Spanish region of Valencia just became the second to officially demand a bailout following Catalunya's comparable announcement at the end of May, and has announced it will need to tap the government liquidity mechanism. Kneejerk reaction: EURUSD sharply lower and below 1.22 for the first time in days.
Just over a year after the tragic mass shooting in Norway which left 77 children dead, America has its own episode of senseless mass killing and violence: overnight, a mass shooting at a Aurora, CO movie theater during a Dark Knight screening has left at least 14 dead and 50 injured in one of America's most horrific mass execution-style events in recent history. As of right now, the FBI has said it does not believe the tragedy to be terrorism related.
- Gunman kills 14 in Denver shooting at "Batman" movie (Reuters)
- Full retard meets Math for Retards: Spain Insists $15 Billion Aid Need for Regions Won’t Swell Debt (Bloomberg)
- World braced for new food crisis (FT)
- Banks in Libor probe consider group settlement (Reuters)
- U.S. banks haunted by mortgage demons that won't go away (Reuters)
- Ireland Bulldozes Ghost Estate in Life After Real Estate Bubble (Bloomberg)
- China will not relax property control policies (China Daily)
- Russia, China veto U.N. Security Council resolution on Syria (Reuters)
- Kim to reform North Korean economy after purge (Reuters)