Credit Default Swaps
Why I've come to thinking that Kyle Bass' short JGB premise may well be wrong
Today, an unholy alliance was born when Blythe Masters, the mother of the credit default swap and former member of the fabled "Morgan Mafia" was named chairman of Santander Consumer, the largest subprime auto lender in the US.
Nobody apparently learned much from the whole bubble-bust affair as banks and financial firms are at it again, this time in corporate debt. The artificial suppression of default, in no small part to perceptions of those bank reserves under QE (just like perceptions of balance sheet capacity pre-crisis), has turned junk debt into the vehicle of choice for yet another cycle of “reach for yield.” In the past two bubble cycles, we see how monetary policy creates the conditions for them but also in parallel for their disorderly closure. It isn’t money that the FOMC directs but rather unrealistic, to the extreme, expectations and extrapolations. Once those become encoded in financial equations, the illusion becomes real supply.
If marriage insurance sales take off, it's only a matter of time before Wall Street repackages it and sells it to investors via subprime marriage-backed securities. A boom in marriage speculation would ensue. Did you see your neighbor with his mistress last night? Buy some MBS credit default swaps on him and tell his wife what you saw.
At the end of the day, the “Greek” issue is in fact a “debt” issue. And Greece is just a drop in the ocean of debt sloshing around the financial system.
With the ECB reneging on its responsibility as lender of last resort – not the first time it has used its power to political ends in Greece – Greek banks may soon be forced to “bail-in” deposits – i.e. confiscate the cash of their customers.
All banks and the Greek stock exchange are closed today. Greek citizens cued in long lines at ATMs or cash machines over the weekend and a run on the banks left most ATMs empty. There is a €60 limit on withdrawals from cash machines under strict capital controls.
As we previously noted, liquidity is there when you don't need it, and it promptly disappears once it is in demand. Consider it "cocktease capitalism." If liquidity lasts longer than 4 hours, call the CFTC because you may be experiencing a spoof. Right now, the ultimate spoof is setting up as the credit default swap market collapses, and a global bond market margin call is just around the corner.
"The net effect of all that will be the disappearance of nominal wealth — it crosses an event horizon into a black hole never to be seen again. The continent discovers it is a lot poorer than it thought. Fifty years of financial engineering comes to the grief it deserves for promoting the idea that it’s possible to get something for nothing."
A recent poll suggests that 58% of Syriza supporters would rather return to the Drachma than to remain in the single currency while severe austerity measures are imposed. Syriza have a 26 point lead over the next most popular party, New Democracy.
An interesting article has neatly encapsulated the global (but primarily Western) “bond bubble”:
If and when Greece finally defaults it will be able to place the blame squarely at the feet of the European elites. If an agreement has not been reached by Friday when the Eurogroup of Finance Ministers meet in Riga it is quite likely that Greece will default.
Should Gary Gensler truly be Clinton's chief financial officer, and should Hillary become America's next president, then ladies and gentlemen, in the fine tradition started by Hank Paulson who nearly brought the entire wastern world to ruin, the next US Treasury Secretary will be the following fine former Goldman Sachs employee and "champion for everyday Americans."
Without the support of the ECB, the country’s banking system would be shut off from international markets and likely collapse.
Borrowing in USD was risk-on; buying USD is risk-off. As the real global economy slips into recession, risk-on trades in USD-denominated debt are blowing up and those seeking risk-off liquidity and safe yields are scrambling for USD-denominated assets. Add all this up and we have to conclude that, in terms of demand for USD--you ain't seen nuthin' yet.