It has been a while since the Guardian came up with a European "bailout" rumor. Time to change that. In a nutshell: Germany will somehow allow a fund, the ESM, which does not yet even exist, overturn the primary principle of the Eurozone, the no sovereign bailout clause, and use money which has not been funded, to subordinate bondholders across the entire continent (because ESM is priming) and serve as an additional secured lender in addition to the ECB... In other words, the ESM will take place of the ECB's SMP. With the only difference that the ECB can print money, while the unfunded ESM will at best rely on the murky details of repo lending. Same subordination either way, of course.
What the MSM is missing is that Spain's failings make this real. Spain is big enough to bring down the whole shebang, right now, and its banks cannot be salvaged with just a hundred billion or so.
We have long been concerned at the implicit and explicit subordination of both financial and sovereign bondholders in Europe by the actions of their overlords political elite in pursuit of short-term liquidity fixes to insolvency issues. As talk of the ESM coming to life in the short-term and a 'Redemption Pact' in the intermediate term - which as Goldman describes involves mutualizing a portion of each country's debt (resulting in a partial upgrade of the existing pool of Eurozone sovereign bonds) in a European Redemption Fund (ERF) and, in the process, extending debt maturities (kicking that can) onto the public sector's balance sheet. As with all these mutualization schemes, the ERF ineluctably raises the twin problems of 'moral hazard' and 'subordination', which need to be mitigated. Goldman discusses these two sides of the same coin as it notes subordination is explicit when the ESM intervenes (and also with the ECB's SMP) but a little less obvious in the ERF (though still as painful) which is, we note, perhaps more appealing to keep the masses unaware.
The key headline in the overnight session was that China was willing to add a token pittance to the IMF "warchest" even as it itself is struggling to find ways to stimulate its economy. Ignore that China had demands of a complete quota overhaul that would see China nearly on par with the US in voting rights, something the US, which incidentally have exactly $0.00 to the bailout effort, would agree to. The amount that warchest has increased to is now $456 billion. It was $430 billion in April just to keep things in perspective. Hardly the Deus Ex the EURUSD is trying hard to make it appear. In the meantime, a gaping hole, as large as $350 billion has opened in Spain. And that excludes the hundreds of billions that will shortly be needed by Italy. Also out of Greece we get rumors that a government may or may not be formed. As to how long said pro-bailout government will last when over half the country voted against he memorandum, that is a different question entirely. Overall, expect a quiet session with everyone praying loudly that Bernanke will launch a new LSAP program tomorrow. If the Chairman does something far less spectacular like merely expanding Twist or raising the maturity of bonds for sale from 1-3 year to 1-4 year, the market will not be happy. Lastly, the G-20 came, ordered lots of shrimp Ceviche at the best restaurants Las Ventanas and One and Only Palmilla has to offer (charge the taxpayers of course), and conquered nothing. But issued a statement that they hope things will fix themselves all over again. In short: nothing but solid reasons for the futures to be up, up, and away.
- With big conditions, China Offers $43 Billion for IMF Crisis War Chest (Reuters)... US offers $0.00
- Mexico is not Spain: Mexican Yields Drop to Record as Spain’s Borrowing Costs Soar (Bloomberg)
- And live from Las Ventanas al Paraiso: G-20 Leaders Focus on Banks as Spain's Woes Challenge Merkel (Bloomberg)
- German Constitutional Court Gives Victory to Opposition in ESM Suit (WSJ)
- EU Europe’s Leaders Urged to Resolve Crisis (FT)
- Backing Grows for One EU Bank Supervisor (FT)
- Greek Leaders Close to Coalition, Aim to Ease Bailout (Reuters)
- China Economy Improves in June, Commerce Minister Chen Says (Bloomberg)
- China Looks for Loan Boost (WSJ)
Spain Sells 1 Year Bills At Record Post-Euro Yield, ING Says Spain To Need €250 Billion More; German ZEW ImplodesSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 06/19/2012 06:02 -0500
In a meaningless "test" of investor appetite for Spain's Thursday issuance of 2, 3 and 5 years bonds, Spain today sold €3.04 billion in 12 and 18 month bills, well inside the LTRO maturity, and completely meaningless from a risk perspective - after all even Greece is issuing Bills. Yet for some reason the market which continues to be dumber by the day, somehow took the "successful" auction as an indication that there is actual demand for standalone Spanish subordinated debt. And what a 'success' it was: €2.4 billion in 12 month Bills were sold at 5.074%, the highest since at least 2003 and possibly on record. This is more than 2% greater than the same such auction at the end of May. In other words, Spain just locked in absolutely unsustainable 1 year rates. It also sold €639 million of 18 month paper at 5.107% compared to 3.302% less than a month ago. The good news: bids to cover for the two maturities, from 1.8 and 3.2, to 2.2 and 4.4 respectively. And of course they would: Spanish banks found what little LTRO cash they had lying around and in act of total desperation tried to do a carry trade whereby 3 year paper priced at 1% is used to buy 1 year paper yielding 5%.
Relief in the markets, after the worst case scenario from the Greek elections was averted, proved to be decidedly short-lived. Although the pro-bailout New Democracy party came in first with 129 seats (with an additional 50 seat bonus) the markets still await confirmation of an actual working coalition given a caretaker government has been in place now for approximately two months. A degree of uncertainty in regards to the demands the new coalition will place on negotiating the country's bailout terms has resulted in many investors being unwilling to get their toes wet just yet. Away from the election fever, rising Spanish yields continue to spook the market with the 10yr yield breaching the 7% level, prompting aggressive re-widening of the 10yr government bond yield spreads. The move comes at a crucial time for Spain as they look to come to market tomorrow in 12 and 18 month bills followed by three shorter dated bonds to be tapped this Thursday. Meanwhile, the FX markets have reflected the shift in sentiment with EUR/USD well off its overnight highs and the USD index firmly supported by the prevailing flight to quality bid. However, the biggest currency move of the day came in the early hours after the rupee (INR) weakened substantially following the RBI's decision to leave rates on hold, this coupled with Fitch changing the country's outlook to negative from stable has kept the currency under pressure throughout the day.
CNBC Asks, "So Why Are Spanish Bond Yields Falling?" I Ask The Better Question, "Why Are Spanish Banks Considered Solvent?"Submitted by Reggie Middleton on 06/15/2012 11:05 -0500
Remember, both as my research and the past 5 yrs have made clear, counterparty induced banks runs are the most damaging and Spains banks are hit from both RE and Sovereign debt crises. Who wouldn't run from this?
More than 80 institutions with collective assets under management of over $8 trillion attended the event and were polled regarding macroeconomic matters and their outlook for various asset classes. Gold is seen as one of the assets likely to outperform again in 2012 due to risks posed to the euro and longer term risks for the dollar. Those polled by UBS were also positive on emerging market debt. Both asset classes, gold and emerging market debt, were the top pick of 22.5% of the assembly – thereby accounting for 45% of the votes. On gold’s role as a reserve asset, the importance reserve managers attach to the yellow metal has slipped back to 2009 levels, with about 14% having the opinion that it will be the most important reserve currency in 25 years. This marks a decline from the past two years’ surveys wherein over 20% viewed gold to be the most important reserve currency.
Mark Grant has been on Wall Street for thirty-eight years now. You may claim brains and brilliance and the best investment committee this side of Alpha Centauri but he can smell the napalm in the morning and his nostrils are jumping as if infused by pepper gas. It was in the spring of 2010 that he concluded that Spain was going to get put in “time out” and put it in black and white. Yesterday as Moodys downgraded Spain by three notches to just above junk and likely today the Spanish banks will feel the pain and as the yield on the Spanish ten year is just under 7.00% the heat is on and the stove has been turned up to high. The Italian 10 year yield is 6.25% now and financial markets operate as a matter of faith and it is obvious that the parishioners are leaving the church. There should be no surprise that Greece and Spain and Portugal and Ireland keep asking for money and it should not shock anyone that many clever schemes have been postulated to try to get Germany’s money and it should also not surprise anyone that Germany mouths all kinds of nice and polite phrases to object but in the end Germany will keep rejecting any plot that will lessen their lifestyle.
- How original: Syria prints new money as deficit grows (Reuters)- America is not Syria
- Former SNB head Hildebrand to become BlackRock vice chairman (FT)
- Osborne says Greece may have to quit euro (Reuters)
- Osborne Risks the Wrath of Merkel (FT)
- China second-quarter GDP growth may dip below 7 percent - government adviser (Reuters)
- Italian Borrowing Costs Surge at Auction of 1-Year Bills (Bloomberg)
- Greeks withdraw cash ahead of cliffhanger vote (Reuters)
- Merkel’s Choice Pits European Fate Against German Voter Interest (Bloomberg)
- Italy Tax Increases Backfire as Monti Tightens Belts (Bloomberg)
- Dimon says JPMorgan failed to rein in traders (Reuters)