Ever since the beginning of the year we have been saying that in order for the Fed to unleash QE, stocks have to drop by 20-30% to give political cover to the Fed (and/or ECB) to engage in another round of wanton currency destruction. Because while on one hand the temptation to boost stocks is so very high in an election year, the threat to one's presidential re-election chances that soaring gas prices late into the summer does, is simply far too big to be ignored. Yet here we are: stocks are just 4% off their 2012 highs, even as bonds are near all time low yields, and mortgages are at their all time lows. As such, even with the latest batch of economic data coming in simply atrocious, the Fed finds itself in a Catch 22 - it wants to help the stock market hoping that in itself will boost the "economy", yet it knows what more QE here will do to the priced of gold and inflation expectations: something which as Hilsenrath himself said yesterday does not compute, as it runs against everything "Economic textbooks" teach. What is more important, is that the market, like a true addict, is oblivious to any of these considerations, and has priced in a massive bout of Quantitative Easing to be announced tomorrow at 2:15 pm. There is one problem though: has the market, by pricing in QE on every down day - the only buying catalyst in the past month have been hopes of more QE - made QE impossible? Observe the following chart from SocGen which shows 6 month forward equity vol. What is obvious is that due to precisely being priced in, QE is now virtually unfeasible, irrelevant of what Goldman and its "FLOW QE" model tell us. As SocGen simply states: "More stress is needed to trigger ample policy response."
"Private Debt Doesn't Matter" Because "Banks Can't Create Money Out of Thin Air"
Will the DOJ Investigate if JP Morgan Used LCH.Clearnet As a Front to Tank MF Global and Take Customer Money?Submitted by EB on 06/18/2012 09:35 -0400
LCH under investigation by Holder under antitrust statutes. And just who was the ultimate counterparty to the Corzine trade?
Having been the first, back in January, to propose positioning to gain from (or to protect client funds from - for bond managers) the implied subordination (or cram-downs) that the ECB's, or any other 3-letter acronym's, unintended consequences cause, as they decide to bailout the next European nation - via positioning in non-local-law bonds in all PIIGS nations (or 'swapping' local-law for non-local-law), our most recent Spanish-specific example has performed exceedingly well. Last Tuesday, we urged fixed income managers (for fear of fiduciary duty recrimination) to swap to the non-local law Spanish bonds and traders to arbitrage the litigation risk between local- and non-local-law bonds. In that time, the difference in price between the two bonds has dropped dramatically as the local-law bonds have dropped almost 8% in price, while non-local-law are practically unchanged. On a 50% margin basis, the trade is up around 80% in real returns in the past week (with the basis shifting from around EUR10 to EUR5.8).
With all the europhoria over Greece, some may have forgotten Spain. It is time to remind them that the real "fulcrum country" of Europe has now shifted a few thousand kilometers to the West, where as also reported on Friday the pain will come primarily from more home price declines (up to another 25% lower from here), and loan loss recognitions. How much? As Market News reports, the number may be as large as €150 billion. Of course, if that full number flows through the insolvent banking sector's bottom line, and forces a comparable FROB capital infusion via any of the bailout channels, this is €50 billion more in bond subordination (because good luck raising the capital via equity) than even the worst case Spanish bailout scenario had anticipated. It also explains why as of this morning, Spanish bonds traded at all time record lows. Because, sadly, nothing continues to be fixed in Greece, Spain, or anywhere else in Europe.
As Syriza Concedes Defeat, EURUSD Forgets To Soar - Is A Spanish "Bail Out" Market Response In The Works?Submitted by Tyler Durden on 06/17/2012 17:31 -0400
In a perilous replay of the Spanish bank "bailout", the proxy for bailout sentiment, the EURUSD pair, was up 61 pips to just under 1.2700... and that's it. Naturally, if the world suddenly thought Europe was "fixed", Spain notwithstanding, one would imagine the reaction by the FX market would be just a little more invigorated than merely confirming that what is playing out (namely the lack of a definitive Greek government) has already been priced in. And yet here we are...
So the Greek elections come and go and someone takes over or there is no government and new elections are called. In the meantime either Europe hands Greece more money or Greece defaults. It is at the point of default where consequences require central bank action and where even the best made plans may careen out of control because so much information has been hidden and not accounted for so that their consequences were not considered. Dealing with incorrect facts leads to incorrect conclusions and this is my greatest fear at present for all of the financial markets; that the pending default, it will most likely come, will not have been assessed in the manner that was needed because Europe did not allow all of the necessary data to be correctly appreciated.
Spain's Fixed??? Even Spain's PM Admits that REAL Capitalization Needs Are Closer to 500 billion Euros!!!Submitted by Phoenix Capital Research on 06/16/2012 10:04 -0400
Indeed, one has to wonder… just how does a €100 billion bailout solve Spain’s banking woes when its Prime Minister was suggesting the real damage is more to the tune of €500 billion in a text message to his Finance Minister??? Indeed, if Rajoy’s text is even remotely truthful, then we can assume that Spain’s real capitalization needs are multiples of the €100 billion bailout… something that the EU media is picking up on already. As one example, JP Morgan believes that when all is said and done Spanish banks could be looking at €350 BILLION in capital needs.
The announcement by the UK Treasury and BoE to take co-ordinated steps to boost credit and with the central bank re-activating its emergency liquidity facility has resulted in a sharp move higher in UK fixed income futures. GBP swaps are now pricing in a cut of 25bps in the base rate by the end of this year and following on from Goldman Sachs, analysts at Barclays and BNP Paribas are now calling for an increase in QE next month. The new measures have seen the likes of Lloyds Banking Group (+4.3%) and RBS (+7.0%) outperform the more moderate gains observed in their European counterparts. Meanwhile in Europe the focus remains on the possibility of co-ordinated action from the major central banks. However, it would seem more realistic that any new measures will likely come after the Greek election results are known and once ministers have conducted their G20 meetings. Given that there is an EU level conference call this afternoon scheduled for 1500BST the likelihood of rumours seem high but as the wires have indicated already these conversations are purely based upon co-ordination ahead of the meeting which is usual practice. The yields in Spain and Italy have been a lot calmer so far with the 10yr in Spain at 6.88%, off the uncomfortable test of 7% seen yesterday.
Lower growth expectations and higher risk premia on peripheral European assets have weighed heavily on the EUR since the sovereign crisis began in late 2009. But, as Goldman's FX anti-guru Thomas Stolper notes, we have not seen evidence of a net capital flight crisis out of the Euro area that would have led to disruptive EUR depreciation (yet). Much of the reasoning for the relative stability is the Target 2 system and the high degree of capital mobility in European capital markets which have enabled the rise in risk aversion to be expressed by internal flows (as well as repatriation). With this weekend's election (and retail FX brokers starting to panic), it is clear that the interruption of these internal channels may well lead to a disorderly capital flight and a full-fledged crisis in flows. Stolper outlines four potential catalysts to trigger this chaos (which is not his base-case 'muddle-through' scenario) as we already noted the huge divergence between implied vols and realized vols indicate the market is starting to price in more extreme scenarios and safe-havens (swissy) are bid.
Two months ago, as we were carefully reading the latest Goldman explanation of how the firm had completely missed something Zero Hedge predicted back in January, namely the record warm winter's impact on skewing seasonal adjustments for payroll data (which has since validated our day 1 of 2012 predication that 2012 will be a carbon-copy replica of 2011, and which has made the comedy value of another Goldman masterpiece, that of Jim O'Neill's idiotic "2012: Not a Repeat of 2010 or 2011" soar through the roof) we stumbled upon something we knew was about to get much, much more airplay: Goldman's quiet and out of place admission that what matters for a country's central bank is the flow of its purchases, not the stock (another massive economic misconception we have been trying to debunk since the beginning). Recall these words: "...we have found some evidence that at the very long end of the yield curve, where Operation Twist is concentrated, it may be not just the stock of securities held by the Fed but also the ongoing flow of purchases that matters for yields..." This is how we summarized this observation two months ago (pardon the all caps): "UNLESS THE FED IS ACTIVELY ENGAGING IN MONETIZATION AT EVERY GIVEN MOMENT, THE IMPACT FROM EASING DIMINISHES PROGRESSIVELY, ULTIMATELY APPROACHING ZERO AND SUBSEQUENTLY BECOMING NEGATIVE!"
Halfway into the year, my warnings on the FIRE sector are starting to come into there own. The first look, banks and bank stock analysts!
Shifting away from the theatrical travesty for a moment, we move to the other such travesty: Europe, where while nothing has been fixed, despite what the BIS is trying to do with the EURUSD which is now up 100 pips in a straight line since the Dimon testimony started, we find that while the world is concerned about Greek elections, the real gamechanger may be the old and known one: Greek cash, or the lack thereof, and more specifically yet another bailout for the country. RTE reports that as of today Greece has about €2 billion in cash left, pro forma for the recent cliffhanger cash infusion from Europe which almost did not come, which is expected to last the country for just about one more month.