FIRE Burns From Hurricane Sandy - Fear The Insurance Companies, Twice Over - Just Ask the ECB, Greece, Spain & PortugalSubmitted by Reggie Middleton on 11/02/2012 11:39 -0400
Do you want to see FIRE burn as a result of hurricane level water. Visit NYC from the perspective of the insurance industry. The same industry poised to make sooo much money from EU sovereign debt.
It’s my understanding that Synthes has another headache on its hands.
Hedge Fund "gating", or the forced administrative limit on how much money hedge fund investors can redeem at any given moment, is one of those bad memories that most wish could remain dead and buried with the peak of the credit crisis, when virtually every hedge fund was swamped with redemption requests as impatient LPs couldn't wait to get what was left of their money back. However, the problem for hedge funds, in addition to underperforming the market substantially for a 5th year in a row, with almost all hedge funds now returning far less than the broader market (which continues to successfully defend the 1400 barrier every day) especially after October when the two biggest hedge fund darling stocks GOOG and AAPL finally reincountered gravity, is that their LPs have once again gotten restless and are now again actively seeking their money back from underperformers. Sadly, it was thus only a matter of time before the "gates" returned. As of this weekend they have.
If you bought the deep OTM, high theta option that is the Greek stock market on October 1, or wheat on January 1, 2012, you can now retire. For everyone else who still hasn't gotten the hang of this here "New Normal" Cramer market, better luck next time.
Europe is, supposedly, fixed: between the upcoming one year anniversary of the 3 year LTRO, which has flooded the continent in excess €1 trillion of liquidity, and the OMP, which has supposedly backstopped sovereigns in perpetuity (even though the market has fully frontrun what now appears to be a massively unpopular political decision, as Spain has been demonstrating for the past 2 months), European bank liquidity needs are supposed to be fully taken care of. Yet something went bump on Halloween. As the ECB reports, borrowing on the prohibitive, and largely "last resort" ECB "Marginal Lending Facility" (whose rate is an usurious 1.50%), one or more banks saw their need for EUR explode in the last day of the month, sending overall usage on this credit line to €7.8 billion, the most since mid-March, and a surge of over €7 billion overnight. What spooked European banks so much (whose liquidity needs are not month or quarter-end window dressing driven) that the ECB had to step in on top of everything else it has already done? We will surely find out soon.
"Obama/Romney, Romney/Obama – the most important election of our lifetime? Fact is they’re all the same – bought and paid for with the same money. Ours is a country of the SuperPAC, by the SuperPAC, and for the SuperPAC. The “people” are merely election-day pawns, pulling a Democratic or Republican lever that will deliver the same results every four years. “Change you can believe in?” I bought that one hook, line and sinker in 2008 during the last vestige of my disappearing middle age optimism. We got a more intelligent President, but we hardly got change. Healthcare dominated by corporate interests – what’s new? Financial regulation dominated by Wall Street – what’s new? Continuing pointless foreign wars – what’s new? I’ll tell you what isn’t new. Our two-party system continues to play ping pong with the American people, and the electorate is that white little ball going back and forth over the net. This side’s better – no, that one looks best. Elephants/Donkeys, Donkeys/Elephants. Perhaps the most farcical aspect of it all is that the choice between the two seems to occupy most of our time. Instead of digging in and digging out of this mess on a community level, we sit in front of our flat screens and watch endless debates about red and blue state theologies or listen to demagogues like Rush Limbaugh or his ex-cable counterpart Keith Olbermann."
Every Halloween people are engaging in free-market anarchism whether they like it or not. To the economist, it’s clear that the child values receiving candy, even if it means dressing up in a funny or scary costume and going door-to-door, sometimes for hours, saying “trick or treat”. It’s clear that for the adults, joining in for the festive evening is valued more-so than the monetary value of the candy, or else they wouldn’t be giving it away. And some don’t. Some people, adults and children alike, shy away from Halloween night neither tricking nor treating nor allowing their homes to be used as candy repositories. To the free-market anarchist, Halloween is a perfect example of a non-coercive display of voluntary goodwill. Here is a spontaneous order of people partaking in a festive holiday without any expectation of monetary gain.
If the just released 2013-2016 latest re-re-revised budget out of the Athens Finance Ministry (whose basement was forever memorialized in the following picture) is all Greek to you, it's because it is. But even it wasn't, it would still be absolute gibberish and yet another failed study in the analysis of animal entrails in order to predict the future. Why? We have extracted merely one data series: the brand new debt/GDP (ignoring for a second the -4.5% 2013 GDP forecast - already 0.5% worse than the just released IMF forecast for Greece for the same period and certainly worse than the May forecast of 2013 "growth"), and have compared it to the Debt/GDP "forecast" as of May 2010, when the first Greek bailout was announced. The numbers speak for themselves.
”We now live in a world with fiat-based paper money being printed with impunity. There are no risk- free assets anymore, anywhere."
What is really causing the economic malaise that the U.S. faces today? Most economists believe that it is the lack of aggregate demand that is causing the problem which can be rectified by continued deficit spending. The current Administration believes that it is simply the lack of the "rich" not paying their "fair share" and that a redistribution of wealth will solve the issue. Romney believes that his 5-point plan will create 12 million jobs in the near future. All are wrong.
The choice of the word “unadulterated” is not accidental. There were many different kinds of gold standard, including what we now call the Classical Gold Standard, the Gold Bullion Standard, and the Gold Exchange Standard. Each contained flaws; each was adulterated.
It was only yesterday that we pointed out the ever decreasing halflives of central bank interventions. We are grateful that none other than the biggest intervention basket case of all came out and proved us 100% correct, when the BOJ announced none other than QE 9 just one month after the impact from QE 8 fizzled about 8 hours after it was disclosed. This time around, the destructive "benefit" to the JPY was negative from the first second, resulting in the first instance of monetary easing that.. wasn't. Japan just came up with a brand new New Normal concept: tightening through easing, when its ¥11 trillion intervention proved to be woefully insufficient for a market addicted to ever more liquidity injections.
"The sale of Treasury securities that was tentatively scheduled for today, Monday, October 29, will take place as scheduled, with a 10:15 AM open and 11:00 AM close. However, settlement will take place on Wednesday, October 31, not Tuesday, October 30. The purchase of Treasury securities previously scheduled for tomorrow, Tuesday, October 30, has been postponed, and the schedule of Treasury security operations will be updated in the coming days with details of the rescheduled operation. After today's sale, Treasury purchase and sale operations are anticipated to resume on Wednesday, October 31. Similarly, there will be no agency mortgage-backed securities (MBS) trading on Tuesday, October 30. MBS trading operations are anticipated to resume on Wednesday, October 31."
It is cloudy out there as Sandy enters the mid-Atlantic region, although for all the pre-apocalypse preparations in New York, the Frankenstorm may just be yet another dud now that its landfall is expected to come sufficiently south of NYC to make the latest round of Zone 1 evacuations about overblown as last year's Irene hysteria (of course it will be a gift from god for each and every S&P company as it will provide a perfect excuse for everyone to miss revenues and earnings in Q4). That said, Wall Street is effectively closed today for carbon-based lifeforms if not for electron ones, and a quick look at the futures bottom line, which will be open until 9:15 am Eastern, shows a lot of red, with ES down nearly 10 ticks (Shanghai down again as the same old realization seeps day after day - no major easing from the PBOC means Bernanke and company is on their own) as the Friday overnight summary is back on again: Johnny 5 must defend 1400 in ES and 1.2900 in EURUSD at all costs for just two more hours.
There is down-sizing; there is trimming-the-fat; and then there is UBS. The once-giant Swiss Bank just announced it will cut up to 10,000 jobs. This comes on top of the 3,500 from last year - which makes a rather dramatic weight-loss strategy for the 63,500 employee firm. As the FT reports, they will not happen all at once (so just after the election then?) but will lead to the closure of a sizable part of UBS' fixed-income trading operations (and other capital intensive areas of the investment bank). Perhaps in the understatement of the day: "There were several options on the table but UBS has decided on the most radical one," a person familiar commented as the plan is hoped to reduce complexity and costs - so no more Bloomberg Terminals? One thing surely gone is a source of fixed income axes: "The new strategy, hammered out in several executive board meetings in New York this week and set to be announced next Tuesday, will lead to the closure of a sizeable part of UBS’s fixed-income trading operations and other capital-intensive areas of the investment bank." The winner: Goldman of course, which in a world of collapsing trading revenues has taken to Lehmaning its competition once again, only this time not using brute force but the far more classical war of attrition in a collapsing economy.