News That Matters
After what were described as "marathon" negotiations, Greece and its creditors have agreed to the terms of the country’s third bailout program. Although some remain optimistic, the general consensus seems to be that, as Finnish Foreign Minister Timo Soini said over the weekend, "we should just admit that this isn't going to work."
The ruling does not outlaw “bail-ins” per se. It simply ensures that guarantees given to bondholders cannot be retrospectively revoked. EU nations who have not yet ratified the BRRD have until the end of July to adopt the new EU bail-ins rules
In a key ruling that may have implications far beyond Austria's borders, the country's constitutional court has struck down a bail-in that would have imposed losses totaling some €800 million on junior Heta bondholders.
Update: CHINA TO CONTINUE STABILIZING MARKET, SENTIMENT, PREVENT RISKS, CSRC SAYS
As Beijing pledges to remain supportive amid a harrowing decline in Chinese stocks, China may find itself with no exit strategy for its plunge protection program. As BofAML notes, "An 'indefinite' holding period is certainly possible – it’s how the government had dealt with the last round of bad debts in the banking system, i.e., by shifting them to bad banks and never crystalizing the losses. But even under such a scenario, there may be unintended consequences."
The WSJ has released yet another gold hit piece calling it a "pet rock' and gold bugs "subjects of a laboratory experiment on the psychology of cognitive dissonance" just one day after the PBOC reveals it has added the biggest amount of gold in history in order to "ensure security." But the biggest irony is that none other than Citigroup made a far bolder case that it is not the ownership of gold but of stocks that is the ultimate act of faith: "investors remain united in their faith in the central banks – if not for their ability to create growth, then at least in their ability to push up asset prices. And yet the limits of that faith are increasingly on display." So who is right?
- Greek central bank issues 'Grexit' warning if aid talks fail (Reuters)
- Kerry says 'patience wearing thin' on Syria's Assad (Reuters)
- Juncker accuses Athens of misleading Greek people (FT)
- Al Qaeda kills two Saudis accused of spying for America (Reuters)
- Hedge-Fund Bet Hits Pensions (WSJ)
- ‘Flash Crash’ Trader Navinder Sarao Worked With Fund Network Now Under Investigation (WSJ)
- 'Me? Rich?' U.S. presidential hopefuls play middle-class card (Reuters)
- You’ve Been Warned: Central Bankers Turning Less Market-Friendly (BBG)
Caught between a recalcitrant Left Platform and exasperated creditors, Greek PM Alexis Tsipras must decide how he wants history to remember his tenure as Prime Minister. Either he will be the leader who allowed Greece to crash out of the euro on its way to a redomination-driven economic collapse, or he will go down as the fiery advocate for change who caved under pressure and allowed the troika to stamp out democracy in the place where it was born.
Deutsche Bank’s derivatives position is truly enormous. It was recently estimated to be around $54 trillion. Germany's GDP, the 4th largest in the world, was a mere $3.64 trillion in 2015. Were Deutsche Bank caught off-side in its derivatives positions there is not a government or institution on earth that could bail it out and it could lead to contagion in the German financial system and indeed in the global financial system.
With each passing year the currency fell in value to ever more absurd depths until by November 1923 an ounce of gold - which had cost 170 Marks only five years previously - was trading at 87,000,000,000,000 Marks per ounce. Silver saw similar price gains (see chart) - or rather to put it more accurately silver too remained a store of value and maintained purchasing power as the currency collapsed.
Amid tense negotiations between Greek PM Tsipras, the IMF, and EU creditors, some officials say the chances of an agreement have increased materially since Yanis Varoufakis was sidelined after infuriating his eurozone counterparts in Riga last month. Now, just when there appeared to be some hope that Athens may avert a catastrophic default, Varoufakis has reportedly distributed a new "blueprint" for Greece that has little in common with the plan advanced by the country's reshuffled negotiating team.
According to Bloomberg, the Greek government is €400 million short of the amount needed for payment of pensions and salaries this month, citing a Kathimerini report. Surprisingly, this takes place even as Greece’s IKA, OGA pension funds have been informed by the government that amount needed for payment of pensions will be deposited today, while the Greece’s OAEE pension fund has said payment of pensions won’t be a problem. In other words, someone is not telling the truth: either there is enough money or there isn't. And if the latter case is valid, then either the government or the pensions are now openly lying to the population.
Finance Minister Hans Joerg Schelling has said repeatedly that the Austrian government isn’t liable to cover Carinthia’s guarantees." Herr Schelling's warning is about to be tested. Yesterday, Carinthia officially asked Vienna for financial support. The spokeswoman said Carinthia would run out of money in June without help, confirming local media reports. No Austrian province has ever gone bankrupt and there is no legislation on how to handle such an event.
Here we are, just barely into our first earnings season without the incessantly added fuel provided by QE and the markets are stumbling. At times on Friday the indexes were hovering near the possibility of posting 2% losses going into the weekend. In today’s media mindset of “everything is awesome.” That’s near – unthinkable. No Fed speaker saved the day; no HFT-induced ramp came to the rescue... Maybe it’s because all ammo (and there has been no silver bullet more powerful of late than a Central Banker press conference) is being reserved for a much larger crisis looming on the horizon (i.e. Greece and all its tenuous implications calling for an “All hands on
printing presses deck, battle stations” response).
Confidence in the system likely hangs by a much thinner thread than is currently widely perceived. Since “risk asset” prices are soaring in much of Europe, the underlying currents of suspicion are well masked, but that certainly doesn’t mean they don’t exist. While we believe that central bank and regulatory interventions in the market are a major reason why so many bond yields have dropped into negative territory, the role played by distrust in the banking system is probably quite large as well – a suspicion that seems to be confirmed by the strength of the euro-denominated gold price.