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French Yields Fall By Record, Other Sovereign Spreads Collapse Following Successful French, Spanish Auctions

The first, if very transitory, fruits of a US-taxpayer (insufficient) bailout of Europe bear fruit. This morning Italy’s 10-year yield has dropped below the psychological 7% barrier while the yield of Spain’s 10 year bonds is testing a break below 6% after strong auction results in France and Spain. As noted by Bloomberg, "easing funding concerns is also buoying core bonds as French yields drop the most on record while spreads on Austrian, Belgium bonds over bunds narrow significantly to break/test key 50- and 100-DMA supports." Naturally the safe-havens, Bunds and Gilts, slump, which makes the probability of another failed German auction remote as primary market demand will rise at lower prices. Specifically, in France the 10 year yield dropped -25bps to 3.15% the biggest decline since at least 1990; lowest since Nov. 9. France today sold €1.571 billion bonds due Oct. 2021, Average yield 3.18% vs prev 3.22% and a Bid/cover 3.05 vs prev 2.24. France also sold: €595 million bonds due Oct. 2017, at an average yield 2.42% and a bid/cover 4.4; €1.1 billion bonds due April 2026 at average yield 3.65% and bid/cover 3.24; €1.08b bonds due April 2041 at average yield 3.94% and Bid/cover 2.26. Elsewhere Spain also performed quite well: Spain met its maximum auction target today to sell EU3.75b in 3 bonds, fetching higher bid/cover ratios for all of them: Spain sold EU1.2b 3-yr bond due April 2015 bonds at an average yield 5.19% vs prev 4.27% and a bid/cover ratio 2.7 vs prev 1.66; also sold were €1.15 billion 4-yr bond due January 2016, an average yield 5.276% vs prev 5.187% and aid/cover ratio 2.83 vs prev 2.7, and €1.4b 5-yr bond due January 2017 average yield 5.54% vs prev 4.85% - a bid/cover ratio 2.69 vs prev 1.62. Yet in terms of outright liquidity, the primary beneficiary were USD-factors: 3-month Euribor/OIS  spread continues to rise today to reach highest levels since March 2009 despite the concerted central bank actions on dollar swap funding, specifically the 3-mo Euribor/OIS +1 bp to 1.0 from 0.99 yesterday, highest since March 2009. However, funding strains ease further in cross-currency basis swaps. 3-mo EUR/USD cross currency basis swap +10.63bps to -120.63bps, least since Nov. 15.



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Global Bailout Surprise Twist Endings Presents: "Stocks Soar As Investors Bet On Gov't Rescue Plan"

First Black Friday, and now the Modern Finance Farce Company Surprise Twist Ending takes on the global bailout...



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Guest Post: How The U.S. Will Become A 3rd World Country (Part 1)

The United States is quickly becoming a post industrial neo-3rd-world country. Partly as a consequence of worsening unemployment and lack of economic opportunity, falling real wages and household incomes, growing poverty and increasing concentration of wealth, the U.S. government faces a historic fiscal crisis. Dominant corporate influence over the U.S. government, particularly by large banks, weakening rule of law at the federal level and destructive tax policies are compounding the economic problems facing the United States. Barring fundamental reforms or a hyperinflationary collapse of the U.S. dollar (due to the fiscal problems of the U.S. government), the deterioration of the U.S. economy will continue and accelerate. As the U.S. economy continues its decline, public health, nutrition and education, as well as the country’s infrastructure, will visibly deteriorate and the 3rd world status of the United States will become apparent.



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Of Imminent Defaults And Self Deception. Kyle Bass Prepares For The Worst

In his latest letter to LPs, Kyle Bass of Hayman Capital Management, offers his tell-tale clarity on what may lie ahead for Europe and Japan. With his over-arching thesis of debt saturation becoming more plain to see around every corner, Bass bundles the simple (and somewhat unarguable) facts of quantitative analysis with a qualitative perspective on the cruel self-deception that we all see and read every day about Europe.

Whether it is Kahneman's "availability heuristic" (wherein participants assess the probability of an event based on whether relevant examples are cognitively "available"), the Pavlovian pro-cyclicality of thought, or the extraordinary delusions of groupthink, investors in today’s sovereign debt markets can't seem to envision the consequences of a default.

His Japanese scenario is no less convicted, as we have discussed a number of times, with the accelerant of this debt-bomb being the very-same European debacle and his time-frame for this is set to begin in the next few months.



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China Manufacturing Contracts As New Export Orders See Biggest 2 Month Drop Since Dec2008

UPDATE: HSBC China Manufacturing PMI prints at 47.7, deteriorating at fastest rate (and lowest level) in 32 Months

Suddenly this morning's RRR cut doesn't feel quite so much like China doing Europe a favor. Chinese Manufacturing PMI printed at a lower-than-expectations 49, signaling its first contraction (<50) since Feb 2009. As if it was really ever so, as clearly concerns were growing since we had the Flash PMIs earlier in the month. Across the board, sub-indices were weak with New Orders and New Export Orders falling significantly as the latter remains below 50 and Inventories rose significantly. Notably New Export Orders have now fallen the most over two months since Dec 2008.



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Peter Schiff Explains What Today's Global Fed-Funded Bailout Means For The Future

If anyone is still confused by what has transpired today, here is Peter Schiff explaining in simple words, why what happened "may be one of the most important economic events of the year" and what to do next: "Today’s unprecedented announcement by the world’s most powerful central banks was a loud and clear bell ringing to buy precious metals. The move, disguised as an attempt to help the fragile state of the global economy, is in reality a move to prop up failing banks in Europe and the US. By reducing interest rates paid for dollar swaps, central bankers are in effect increasing the quantity of global dollars in circulation. The result? The dollar will weaken, inflation will rise, and gold will soar. Gold was up more than $30 today, and the dollar got crushed. I urge you to take 7 minutes to watch the video I recorded exclusively for my subscribers a few hours ago. It explains, in plain language, what happened today – and what is the likely outcome for your portfolio. This may be one of the most important economic events of the year." And pardon Schiff's self-promotional piece at the end, but the truth is that he is essentially correct about what the actions means from a big picture perspective. Furthermore, as Goldman made all too clear, this is merely the beginning as more and more inflationary actions have to be undertaken by central banks to save banks from being crushed by untenable debt loads. Whether they succeed in overturning the deflationary tsunami is unknown. What is certain is that they will bring fiat currencies to the verge of viability (and beyond) in trying.



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Goldman On Today's Coordinated Central Bank Bailout: "It Isn’t Enough To Save Anyone Or Solve Averything" And "Why Now?"

Naturally, if there was one party that would be disappointed by today's action, it would be Goldman Sachs: on one hand because it is nowhere near enough to actually fix anything, and on the other because it delayed the moment when the 2-3 European banks which we have been saying for over a week would keel over and die leaving a power vacuum for Goldman to fill, has just been delayed. As a result, Goldman dissatisfied note makes more than enough sense: "Up, up, and away for stocks after the coordinated ease this morning. USD funding just got cheaper, which is of course a good thing. But the difference between OIS + 50 and OIS + 100 isn’t enough to save anyone or solve everything. It’s the symbolism of policy-makers again acting in concert that I find most encouraging." But, and there is always a but: "Although there is the obvious counter: why act now – is there something lurking around the corner? Those are worries for tomorrow though." Indeed, and when the worries resurface, as they will, especially following the resumption in European record yielding auctions, which incidentally the Fed's action does nothing to fix, following France and Spain bond auctions. And who knows what else. Oh yes, Goldman just cut its GDP forecast for Europe from +0.1% to -0.8%: hello, recession, the very same catalyst which S&P said a month ago will be sufficient for it to downgrade France. As usual, Egan-Jones was way ahead of the crowd.



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The Punch Line: "Crash Test - Bracing For Breakup"

And now it is time for our favorite monthly chart-only newsletter, The PunchLine by Abe Gulkowitz, who unlike the momentum chasing crowd which has an attention span measured in inverse significant digits, and has a brokerage account (but endless monopoly money) that is even smaller courtesy of always being on the receiving end of a market which actually needs commission payments on both sides of those candle charts, sees well behind the headlines designed to sucker in the feeble minded twitter-traders, and presents it all with gorgeous, chartific clarity. And the only thing better than the insight of his hand-picked charts is the focus of his narrative, which speaks volumes without actually speaking volumes: "European banks are dumping government debt, deposits are draining from south European banks and a looming recession is aggravating the pain, fuelling doubts about the survival of the single currency in the European zone. Between the bookends of economic data points, rating agency actions, and political developments - - market gyrations are seriously affected by policy directions. A key consideration for any 2012 forecast is the impact of public policy on risk premiums and business confidence. Persistent fears of major policy missteps could come to a head at any time regarding the U.S. fiscal nightmare and Europe’s responses to the sovereign and banking crisis. One now needs to believe that the policy environment – both in the US and Europe – could serve as significant headwinds to growth in 2012."



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Nigel Farage Slams Supposedly-Austere EU For Bribing Croatia To Join The 'Bent, Corrupt, And Distorted' Party

As the central bankers and political leaders of the 'supposedly-developed' world sit back in their chaise-longues sipping mojitos at a job-well-done for today's mindless rally on the back of a slightly lower cost of funds in a facility that already existed but was hardly utilized, perhaps they will cough a little at Nigel Farage's  (the cantankerously correct MEP from The UK) comments today. Describing the process of 'bribing' Croatia to join the EU as a 'bent, corrupt, and distorted' effort, he remarks that he has never seen this kind of pressure. It is remarkable, he notes in an undeniably intelligent-sounding English accent,  that after only 20 years out of the former Yugoslavia, after such a long period of seeking independence, they are now voting to rejoin a 'new Yugoslavia' - a failing political experiment. Perhaps, Van Rompuy and friends would be better spending the money on more mojitos for their friends at the Fed and PBOC?



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Market "Inverse-Plunges" But Not Everyone Happy

Today's tremendous rally in equities was well supported by broad risk assets initially, but as financials took off this afternoon to end the month down only 4.8%, CONTEXT remained less exuberant. The 6.2% rally in financial stocks today was not so evident in corporate bond-land where we saw net-selling overall. Copper slipped well off its highs of the day but ended very well as Oil was only able to match USD weakness on the day while Gold and Silver outperformed (with the former touching $1750). VIX was a popular topic as it dropped below 30% but we note that implied correlation did not drop from the open suggesting macro-hedges remained more bid than underlying sentiment might suggest. IG credit outperformed (relatively speaking) which seemed more a squeeze move into the month-end close but HY's move was impressive as an early afternoon fade in HYG reverted to end at its highs. Equities and Credit ended back at 11/14-15 levels with IG and HY ahead of equity.



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"China Will Not Hesitate To Protect Iran Even With A Third World War"

Fast forward to 2:08: "It is puzzling to some that Major General Zhang Zhaozhong, a professor from the Chinese National Defense University, said China will not hesitate to protect Iran even with a third World War... Professor Xia Ming: "Zhang Zhaozhong said that not hesitating to fight a third world war would be entirely for domestic political needs...." And don't forget Russia, which recently said it is preparing to retaliate against NATO and has put radar stations on combat alert: "Russia is another ally of Iran, with similar policy to that of China. Toward Iran." Watch, and please forward the entire video, for an explanation of how China is approaching the situation not only in Iran, but a perspective of how they view the western "threat", as well as what tensions they face domestically.



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14th Consecutive Week Of Stock Outflows: Retail Refuses To Go Back Into Stocks No Matter What Market Does

So much for engineered stock market "rallies" and global "bailouts" - per the latest ICI update, we can now confirm that no matter how or what the market does, retail investors have firmly decided that the ridiculous market volatility is simply too much for most, and have withdrawn another $3.7 billion from domestic equity funds, and have now taken out money for 14 straight weeks ($44 billion) since the US debt downgrade (but, but, the S&P barely lower), or 31 weeks ($130 billion) if one ignores the statistically irrelevant blip of a $715mm inflow on August 17. Perhaps instead of trying to fabricate a makeshift price for the SPX which nobody believes any more, the Fed should focus on moderating the insane volatility which is the primary reason preventing any normal investors from putting cash into stocks. And yes, $6.2 billion went into bonds, despite the record low yields. Said otherwise, retail investors have withdrawn $214 billion from domestic equity mutual funds since the beginning of 2010. Put a fork in stocks: America's infatuation with the stock market is officially over.



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Is The Risk-On Rally Real?

Whether its non-confirming volumeless rallies in stocks, hard-to-find collateral, sovereign risk, counterparty risk, USD funding stress, GDP growth dislocations, EM credit dispersion, or equity market outperformance, Nomura's EEMEA FX and Fixed Income team has a little for everyone in today's '10 Things We Did Not Know'. Today's obvious risk-on knee-jerk-response rally is perhaps not so broadly supported even as Ben's promise trumps a totally failed Grand Plan.



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