As the 10 Year continues to plunge, the one topic nobody on CNBC is daring to discuss is the absolute slaughter for all those calling for a steeper curve, and the resultant misery that banks are again experiencing as a result. With financials supposed to be the new market leaders one can't possibly bring up the sad truth that as QE2 fails, the US financial system will take the brunt of the hit. And even as Goldman and MS get their wish for a sell off in the 10 Year, unfortunately for them this is accompanied by a less than comparable dumping of the long-end, resulting in an even greater flattening of the curve, and validating our call from last night that the bond world is about to get a whole lot more flat. Lastly, as the 30 Year Cash Pay Mortgage jumps by 20 bps W/W, the result is about a $200 billion loss in home net worth in just one week. The Uberprinter is now torn whether QE3 should be one of monetizing municipals, or, as Bill Gross has been positioning so very well for the past two months, throw it all into MBS once again.
- Germany Trade Balance 14.2B - lower than expected
- Bachus picked to chair financial panel (Reuters)
- China’s CPI expected to hit 3.2% in 2010 (China Daily)
- Bond Vigilantes May Thwart Tax Deal (Barrons)
- U.S. sends more subpoenas in insider trading probe (Reuters)
- Banks face dark pool battle with Europe's bourses (Reuters)
- Obamanomics Takes a Holiday (WSJ)
- Every Income Group Hit as Budget Increases Taxes and Cuts Benefits (Irish Times)
- Asia's Inflation Worries Damp Holiday Shopping Cheer (WSJ)
Today's tax compromise in the US extended all expiring Bush tax cuts by two years. The story though does not end here. The most important thing missing from the tax extension was the expected extension of the Build America Bond program. The Build America Bond program has been the municipal market's saviour over the past 18 months. Since their introduction in April 2009 more than 174 Bio USD of taxable securities have been sold by municipalities backed by the program, one where the US pays 35% of the interest due on the debt.On a day when the market focussed on the Budget vote in Ireland, a country that makes up about 1.8% of Europe's GDP, we are concerned that no one is looking at the growing problems in New York, California and Illinois, three states that comprise 25% of the US GDP. The expiration of the Build America Bond program could prove to be a terrible price for the US to pay and we expect squabbles in the US Congress regarding the bailing out of States in 2011 that could easily rival that which we have witnessed from the European Union over Ireland and Greece....We continue to expect that QE3 will include the purchase of Municipal debt, a true can of worms.
Today, David Rosenberg has some good commentary which proves that those who say to not fight the Fed, may be 100% wrong when it comes to fighting adjusted for inflation, or as the case may be - deflation (conveniently, few talk about what bothers even seasoned hedge fund managers such as David Einhorn - i.e., "corn and oil"). And Rosie is spot on: the deflation in all credit-intensive purchases is accelerating, and will accelerate because the only thing that matters, as we have claimed for over a year, is the shadow capital/credit contained in the shadow banking system. That is the number that is collapsing at a rate of more than half a trillion per quarter. No matter what Bernanke does to M2 will even remotely offset this deleveraging deluge. Which is why we have long claimed that the only trump card Bernanke has is to devalue the dollar (both relative to other currencies and absolutely - relative to gold) to the point that its fate as a reserve currency is imperiled, ostensibly leading to a monetary crisis. One is free to name the resulting chaos in dollar denominated prices as one sees fit. But the bottom line is that as long as the shadow banking system continues to contract, which it will for years as the bulk of the funding came from European and Japanese banks: both of which are now gripped in austerity, and not really flooded with leveraged depositor money, everything else is merely a short-term blip on a long-term decline in both economic output and market terms. Also known as noise.
After Morgan Stanley's call for the 10 Year hitting 4.5% in 2010 ended up being one of the worst calls of the year (together with each FX call by the Goldman team), the firm's head rates strategist Jim Caron is back on the scene with his latest set of Top Trades for 2011, as well as some views on where the fixed income market is headed next year. In summary: just fast forward the firm's bearish 2009 view on yields one year forward. After all if the firm was so wrong one year, it can't possibly be wrong two years in a row...
With everyone focused on whether or not the Build America Bond program will be extended (it appears it won't, and is the main reason for the market weakness today), after rumors earlier that the program may not be part of the negotiated extension (and why not? It's not like republicans are suddenly pretending to be fiscally prudent, after pushing the latest addition to the welfare state that will cost $5 trillion in future debt) we now learn that pathological nest of infinite criminality better known as Bank of America has again settled a new SEC fraud charge, this time relating to its municipal securities program. According to Reuters headlines, the SEC has sued Bank of America Securities with fraud in connection with allegations of improper bidding practices involving municipal securities. But heaven forbid the SEC would settle on anything more than a, well, settlement: just as the charge was announced, so was the settlement, and we learn that BofA has agreed to pay more than $36MM in disgorgement, and that is and affiliates to pay another $101MM to Federal and state authorities. SEC wristslap... and the bank can go bank to stealing.
The Anatomy of a Portugal Default: A Graphical Step by Step Guide to the Beginning of the Largest String of Sovereign Defaults in Recent HistorySubmitted by Reggie Middleton on 12/07/2010 10:05 -0500
For those who don't specialize in sovereign state financial models, I have broken down the anatomy of the inevitable Portugal default into a few simple graphs with direct comparisons to the Argentina default and restructuring. As the equity markets drink the liquidity elixirs, the debt markets are about to enter the greatest string of sovereign defaults in recent history. Many of my next few posts will provide a clear road map of the event. Move over Dancing with the Stars!
British pension funds will be prevented from investing in risky assets, including stocks, by the Pensions Regulator under plans to stop weaker companies with large pension shortfalls from making huge bets.
The Truth Behind Portugal’s Inevitable Default – Arithmetic Evidence Showing Exactly How and When It Should HappenSubmitted by Reggie Middleton on 12/06/2010 15:36 -0500
You don’t need a “wikileaks.org” site to reveal much of the BS that is going on in the world today. A lot of revelation can be made simply by having motivated, knowledgeable experts scour through publicly available records. I’m about to make said point by showing that the proclamations of the ECB, IMF, the Portuguese government and all of those other governments that claim that Portugal will not default on their loans is simple nonsense.
Once again, Ireland finds itself with the rare opportunity to strike a blow against the EU and end the dream of a corporate superstate. And all they need to do is vote "No".
In this week's Straight Talk episode, Chris Martenon interviews Charles Hugh Smith, both very insightful individuals who have repeatedly appeared on the pages of Zero Hedge with unique and always original perspectives. Of all issues that dominate CHS' outlook on the economy, society and politics, the top two items that keep Smith up at night are "demographics and Peak Oil...which cannot be massaged away by policy tweaks or financial engineering." Much more in the enclosed interview.
It is confirmed: last week's incursion by the ECB in buying any and all offered Irish and Portuguese bonds is now in the history books. As the ECB reports, "in the week from Monday 29 November to Friday 3 December were of a volume of EUR 1,965 million, the rounded settled amount - and the intended amount for absorption accordingly - increased to EUR 69 billion. The transactions made between Wednesday 1 December and Friday 3 December have, with few exceptions, not yet settled and hence are not reflected in this figure." In other words, the bulk of the peripheral bond buying is not even included, and we will share the final tally with readers next Sunday night. We fully expect the amount for the week ended December 13 to be another all time record. In the meantime, the chart below shows all of the recent purchases under the ECB's SMP (aka sterilized open market monetization) program. As an aside, the biggest amount monetized occurred in the first week of the program's launch when the ECB monetized €16.5 billion.
Now that Tim Geithner has put the bond issuance machinery on autopilot, and all future bond auctions will be eventually monetized by Bernanke (and then some: after all a fiscally united Europe is expected to start bond issuance soon), he has decided to branch out into the next best thing to destroying the once greatest country in the world - blogging. And, sure enough, that titanic scion of the blogging world, Barry Ritholtz takes some time away from his busy schedule which lately involves a daily stint on CNBC's Fast Money, to share some brilliant insights with Tim Geithner on how to create a killer blog. We present this without commentary, because after one reads such words, and what can one say but... Ritholtz.
Brian Sack Sneaks A Fast One: 20% Of Today's Long-End POMO Monetization Is 30 Year Auctioned Off Last MonthSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 12/06/2010 13:13 -0500
After in the last two POMOs Brian Sack put the most recently issued bond on the exclusion list, today, as part of today's micro $2.044 billion long-end (2028-2040) POMO, the PPT head tried to sneak a fast one, after the second most monetized issue ended up being the QL5 of 11/15/2040, which just happens to be the bond auctioned off less than a month ago (November 10). This amounts to 2.6% of the entire $16 billion auction. We are confident that before all is said and done, not only will the 35% SOMA limit be raised on this 30 year CUSIP, but the Fed will be the proud owner of well over half of any and all recently issued long-end bonds.