As a reminder in 20 minutes we will have the first ever Nationwide Emergency Alert System Test. Just in case, you know, the internet fails and various websites can not be accessed after the test...
For once, Fitch took the words right out of our mouth, and in the process reminded us that the time of the stupendously named ASSGEN CDS (357 bps, +41 today) is here (for our previous coverage on Generali, read here, here and here). And just because we like to live dangerously, we believe the time has come to knock on the door of the grand daddy of all: Pimco parent, German uber-insurer Allianz, where the crisis will eventually hit like a ton of anvils if and when things really get out of control. ALZ CDS + 12 at 136. Going much wider. After all, recall that the deus ex machina of the EFSF as a CDO Cubed came from, that's right, Allianz. So now that it has failed, guess who has the most to lose... If we had more time we would attach the recent Credit Sights piece on ALZ here, but we don't: we hope readers can track it down on their own.
If anyone needed the proper epitaph for the insane stupidity out of Europe, Reuters may have just provided it. In an exclusive article, Reuters stuns us with the following: "German and French officials have discussed plans for a radical overhaul of the European Union that would involve establishing a more integrated and potentially smaller euro zone, EU sources say. French President Nicolas Sarkozy gave some flavour of his thinking during an address to students in the eastern French city of Strasbourg on Tuesday, when he said a two-speed Europe -- the euro zone moving ahead more rapidly than all 27 countries in the EU -- was the only model for the future." It gets much worse: "The discussions among senior policymakers in Paris, Berlin and Brussels go further, raising the possibility of one or more countries leaving the euro zone, while the remaining core pushes on towards deeper economic integration, including on tax and fiscal policy." Not sure how to further clarify this: Europe is preparing for its own end, and the dissolution of the existing structure of the Eurozone, which likely means an end to the EU in its current format, a reshaping of the customs union, and the overhaul of the zEURq.PK in its current form. Ironically, this may end up being favorable for the Euro... and detrimental for Germany. So the question is: will Germany go for it? At this point, it probably has no choice, unless it wants a mutiny on its hands.
You really can't make this up
I know it's tough to think about anything but the fast-melting ice cream cone that is Europe, but there are some things you should know about China. All the reassurances you've been reading about China's "soft landing" and its "they know what they're doing" central government are probably false. Here's why: very little in China is as it seems on the surface, or as it's presented to the Big Noses (Westerners)... The only sources who actually know what's going on in China are in local government. Another fantasy Westerners lap up is that the central government actually knows what's going on, and even more laughable, knows how to "fix" everything. If you don't even know what's happening, how can you fix the problem? Westerners also don't understand "corruption." They think in terms of bribes that could be suppressed by some new rules. That is beyond laughable, for corruption isn't bribes, it's the warp and woof of how things work in China. They don't understand that pirated goods are crushed by bulldozers for a show of face; nothing changes behind the facade presented for show. There is a lot of anger and resentment in China, especially among young people. This will not go away because some new railway is built, or a new mall opens.
The last month has been a violent one for stock and bond investors but a look at the forward curve for Crude Oil also tells a story of hugely volatile moves. Oil has shifted from contango to backwardation in the last month but it is today's dramatically disconnected move that has many scratching their heads. As we approached the European close today, oil started to rally and rally fast. Initial rumors of ECB printing were quickly dismissed as gold and silver slid back but crude kept going - all on its own. After being perfectly in sync with BTPs for the last few days, we wonder if traders were short oil as their hedge against European long risk exposures and the LCH margin call forced liquidations and unwinds - idiosyncratically cracking the oil market back over $97.50.
Earlier today, following the collapse in wholesale inventories, we noted the "the second leg of the stool of main GDP drivers appears to be splintering as Wholesale Inventories dropped MoM for the first time since Dec09 (-0.1% vs +0.5% expectations). We patiently await LaVorgna's GDP downgrade." As it turns out, JPM's Daniel Silver is the first to pull the plug on the blind hope that US GDP is rising despite the rest of the world imploding, and in the process euthanising the latest iteration of the decoupling thesis which always appears to give the bulls some hope that things in the US just may be fine this time around. They never are.
Bank of America Explains All You Need To Know About The Market: "Down In The Morning; Rally In The Afternoon"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 11/09/2011 - 12:27
Want to be a consummate stock picker and investor? Forget all you have learned in business school, from fundamental or technical analysis, or from years of trading: the only thing that matters is the position of the sun: if it is rising, sell. If it is setting, buy. Rinse. Repeat. Bank of America explains it just slightly more scientifically.
Last night we discussed the repeated regime that has occurred in equity markets over the last few days where we ramp in ES away from any other asset class (FX, credit, TSY, commodity) only to fade overnight. This morning's abrupt diminution of hope has once again caused ES to revert back to its CONTEXTual reality - trading more in line with broad risk assets for now. It appears that again and again we are seeing the buy-the-dips beta-chasing that Art Cashin so eloquently pointed out this morning - and that is not working as the overwhelming macro/systemic conditions favor risk-off.
Headlines as the outgoing PM has what may be one of his last addresses to the nation.
- PAPANDREOU RESIGNS
- PAPANDREOU DOESN'T SAY WHO WILL LEAD NEW GOVERNMENT
- PAPANDREOU SAYS AIMED FOR CONSENSUS FROM BEGINNING
- PAPANDREOU SAYS HAS CONSENSUS NOW
- PAPANDREOU SAYS NEED OF UNITY MORE THAN EVER BEFORE
- PAPANDREOU SAYS GREECE MUST DO ALL TO STAY IN EURO
- PAPANDREOU SAYS GREECE MUST DO ALL TO EXIT CRISIS
- PAPANDREOU SAYS NEED OF UNITY MORE THAN EVER BEFORE
- PAPANDREOU SAYS WILL DO WHATEVER IS NECESSARY TO IMPLEMENT EU AID DEAL
In the meantime, L-Pap appears to be gone, and with it, the Fed and ECB annexation plans, and instead the speaker of the government Filippos Petsalnikos (or F-Paps) will most likely be named interim PM. What that means for the future of the country at this point is still unclear.
Moving from this granular level to a bank-wide basis, the authors found that the CPP banks increased asset risk (using ROA & earnings volatility as proxies) while decreasing their leverage (perhaps because they knew that regulators would be keeping an eye on this metric in addition to the capitalization ratio.) What does all this mean and how should this shape actions in the future? The bail-out itself increased our chances of having the bail the banks out all over again. Moral hazard is no longer in the realm of the abstract. Further, my guess is that the bailed-out banks took on more risk so that they could earn enough to speed repayment of the aid and therefore escape the onerous strings attached. So perhaps the limits on executive compensations, dividends, etc. in a perverse way increased our chances of having to bail the banks out all over again.
Last week we pointed out that the export miracle leg-of-the-global-growth stool had been kicked out. Today , the second leg of the stool of main GDP drivers appears to be splintering as Wholesale Inventories dropped MoM for the first time since Dec09 (-0.1% vs +0.5% expectations). We patiently await LaVorgna's GDP downgrade...
Goldman's Francesco Garzarelli has just released a follow up to the "next steps" piece from yesterday (which so far has been woefully wrong in predicting a ceiling to Italian spread). So perhaps this time Goldman will be a little more accurate, which for those who may be buying Italian bunds on the dead cat bounce, will not be a good thing. Here's why: " Should Italian BTPs trade above 450bp relative to AAA-rated EMU sovereigns over a period of time, the initial margin would increase by a further 10%. Currently, the initial margin for repo on Italian securities on LCH ranges between around 4% and 20%, increasing along the maturity structure." The take away from the above - another 10% margin hike is coming. As for those who bought Italian bonds from Goldman yesterday on hope that the bottom is in, better luck next time - as Goldman says "In the meantime, the higher priced Italian government bonds will continue to be sold, as commercial banks raise liquidity buffers as higher margin requirements are applied. On our central case, intermediate to long-end bonds should continue to be supported relative to AAA-rated securities by the ECB." Considering the 5s10s is most inverted since 1994, this is not a very controversial call.