“The real problem is the following: we have paleolithic emotions; medieval institutions; and god-like technology. And it is terrifically dangerous, and it is now approaching a point of crisis overall.”
Stock markets in the US and Europe are in for a correction, while the euro is set to rise, according to Saxo Bank’s Chief Economist Steen Jakobsen, nomatter what happens between Greece and its creditors. Steen also looks at the impact a rate hike from the US Federal Reserve would have on USD and what currencies could gain once the Fed decides to move on rates, noting that "the consensus has it wrong on the timing of US rate hike," as the credit cycle topped in June 2014. He believes that commodities and metals in particular offer opportunities for investors.
"... the immediate aftermath of such a non-payment will be to push bond yields up across the periphery. This rise in the fiscal risk premium (Exhibit 3) will of course be limited, because the ECB will likely accelerate QE, including via the Bundesbank. That will push rate differentials, especially longer-dated ones, against EUR/$. We estimate that the initial fiscal risk premium effect could be three big figures, while the subsequent QE effect could be worth around seven big figures"
While the latest European FinMin summit desperately tried to put on a united facade when responding to the latest and greatest Greek proposal, which incidentally is so weak that the IMF will throw up all over it as shown below, the reality behind the scenes was anything but. In fact, Greece was this close to having capital controls forced on it earlier today, and would have, if the demand of not just its old "BFF", Germany's finmin Schauble, but Ireland's Noonan, had materialized. As the FT reported moments ago, "Germany’s Wolfgang Schäuble and Michael Noonan, his Irish counterpart, pushed for curbs on emergency liquidity for Greek banks unless capital controls were imposed, one of the officials said.
Early hope began to fade as nothing appeared to be settled... and then The BBC unleahed the ultimate "Greece is rescued" quote from an EU Minister. Bond risk is now collapsing (PORTUG -55bps!) as Bunds & TSYs are dumped, Greek stocks are up 9%, and all European Bourses are surging as even EURUSD is rallying (breaking its earlier correlation)...
A fund manager for one of the largest mutual fund and investment groups in the world, Fidelity, has warned investors and savers to have an allocation to “physical cash,” “including precious metals” to protect against "systemic risk".
today is Friday taken to the nth degree, with the markets having already declared if not victory then the death of all Greek "contagion" leverage, following news that a new Greek proposal was sent yesterday (which as we summarized does not include any of the demanded by the Troika pension cuts), ignoring news that Greece had again sent Belgium the wrong proposal which the market has taken as a sign of capitulation by Tsipras, and as a result futures are surging higher by nearly 1%, the German DAX is up a whopping 3.1%, on track for the biggest one day gain in three years, Greek stocks up over 8%, German and US Treasurys sliding while Greek and peripheral bonds are surging.
“Systemic risk is in the system [and] we are in uncharted territory. Think about holding other assets. That could mean precious metals, it could mean physical currencies.”
Unnamed "officials" have proclaimed a new set of Greek proposals received by Brussels tonight as "a good base," according to AFP, and thusly the Euro is very modestly bid. However, both Socgen (without a 3rd bailout of €60-80 billion over the next 3 years, Greek uncertainty remains high and leaves Grexit risk merely semi-stable) and Goldman (a deal will come only after the introduction of capital controls, a technical default on the IMF and issuance of IOUs/and a further build-up of arreas... and the damage resulting from a breaking of the integrity of the Euro would not be fixed by monetary policy alone) leave us wondering just who is buying Euros and US stocks and selling Swiss Francs as D(efault) Day looms and the 'C' word (contagion) spreads.
Among the renewed Greek drama, many missed a key development in the past week, namely Jefferies Q2 earnings, and particularly the company's fixed income revenue: traditionally a harbinger of profitability for Wall Street's biggest source of profit (or at least biggest source of profit in the Old Normal). And while not as abysmal as the 56% collapse in the first quarter, in the three months ended May 31 what has traditionally been the bread and butter of Dick Handler's operation generated just $153 million in revenue. CEO Handler blamed that decline on a lack of trading in the market and fewer companies selling junk bonds.
There are large signs of stress now present in the credit markets. You might not know it from today's multi-generationally low interest rates, but other key measures such as liquidity and volatility are flashing worrying signs. While some may hope that rising yields are signaling a return to more rapid economic growth, or at least that the fear of outright deflation has lessened, the more likely explanation is that something is wrong and it’s about to get... wronger.
More and more insiders are warning of a potential systemic event.
Amid escalating violence in Ukraine and stepped up efforts by the Pentagon to rally support for Washington's increasingly aggressive posturing towards Moscow, NATO conducts war games in Poland designed to replicate the conflict in Ukraine.
What the stock bubble shows is the unthinkable degree of difficulty in trying to actually manage letting air out of any bubble in an orderly fashion. It may already be too late, as growth declines still further month by month, but stock prices go even more insane, drawing in more and more “retail” accounts and regular Chinese. In other words, the reform idea may have been impossible from the start; that the PBOC went ahead anyway, and still continues despite all that has happened, more than suggests that they now recognize the most dangerous existence is asset bubbles, far and away more important than even “necessary” growth.
As we move toward the second half of 2015, signs of financial turmoil are appearing all over the globe. Slowly but surely, we are starting to see the smart money head for the exits. As one Swedish fund manager put it recently, everyone wants “to avoid being caught on the wrong side of markets once the herd realizes stocks are over-valued“.