Repeated dosages of quantitative easing to kick-start economic recovery have proved totally ineffective everywhere. Yet central bankers are talking about doing it again – in larger amounts. The obsession with spending rather than saving has led governments everywhere to suppress interest rates to near zero. Under this destructive economic model governments are the worst offenders. In their craze to spend cheap money they allocate resources blindly into projects of dubious viability, for which there was no public demand in the first place. Result: huge taxpayer-borne losses.
Perhaps realizing that another wave of social unrest and failure to obtain creditor cash may well lead to a violent social upheaval, Tsipras seems to be contemplating a Plan B, one which would see Greece accept thousands of refugees destined for Europe in exchange for getting the earmarked cash without any reform.
Much of the national debate about widening inequality focuses on whether and how much to tax the rich and redistribute their income downward. But this debate ignores the upward redistributions going on every day, from the rest of us to the rich. These redistributions are hidden inside the market. The only way to stop them is to prevent big corporations and Wall Street banks from rigging the market.
Today we got yet another tortured admission of just how ugly Greek balance sheets are, the ECB has admitted what we knew months ago, namely that more than half of all Greek loans are now nonperforming, and that as much as 57% of the loans made by Piraeus Bank the bank which fared worst, are at risk with the other Greek banks not much better off.
"I feel ashamed of Europe's inability to effectively address this human drama, and of the level of debate ... where everyone tries to shift responsibility to someone else. And now, those who sowed winds are reaping whirlwinds."
10-year Puerto Rico general obligation bond yields spiked to 12.3% - the highest on record - as the island’s Government Development Bank's $354 million of principal and interest due on December 1st looms. Puerto Rico is now 450bps 'riskier' than Greece, which means Treasury Secretary Jack Lew was wrong again in not taking the German FinMin's offer in July to swap Puerto Rico for Greece...
Venezuela has two immediate bond payments due this and next week amounting to $3.5 billion. Where did the near-insolvent country obtain the funds needed to make these debt payments? The answer: it has been dumping its gold, which its former ruler Chavez worked hard in 2011 to repatriate from London, and which its current president Maduro, just four short years later, is busy sending back to its creditors.
Well, Krugman got his wish.
Who holds the majority of the debt that would be at risk in a Russian default? Not China. Not Iran. Not Syria. No, it’s the exact same nations, and banks and funds within those nations, that are applying the sanctions against Russia. So, if Russia does default, what does it mean in terms of its political relationship with the West? Nothing. But what does it mean to its creditors? Everything... Simply put, if Putin believes that the benefits of a default outweigh the consequences to his country, he won’t hesitate to do it, no matter the international ruckus it might raise.
Germany's Suddeutsche Zeitung reports that just two (or is it three, this past summer is one big blur) months after Greece voted through its third bailout, one which will raise its debt/GDP to over 200% on a fleeting promise that someone, somewhere just may grant Greece a debt extension (which will do absolutely nothing about the nominal amount of debt), its creditors have already grown tired with the game and are refusing to pay the next Greek loan tranche of €2 billion.
"It is my duty, within my constitutional powers, to do everything possible to prevent false signals being sent to financial institutions, investors and markets"...
While even the mainstream media is now aware of the 'turn' in the credit cycle and the decoupling of high-yield credit markets from equity (and equity protection) markets, there is a lot going on under the surface of the broad lending (and borrowing) markets that warrants serious concern.
"Puerto Rico is not Greece"... but it increasingly looks like it will be in a few weeks, thanks to US taxpayers who are about to foot the bill for yet another creditor bailout.
In what amounts to a slap in the face for a coalition of Leftist lawmakers who are opposed to the austerity programs that some believe are responsible for painful economic adjustments, Portugal has reappointed PM Pedro Passos Coelho. This sets the country up for an intractable political stalemate and will serve to embed an enormous amount of uncertainty in markets going forward.
America is not Greece, but judging from the Obama administration's just-unveiled plans to bailout Puerto Rico's disastrous debt situation, the American territory may have to sacrifice a little more sovereignty to get some relief. Obama is pressing for Congress to give Puerto Rico (PR) sweeping powers to reduce its $73 billion debt burden through a form of bankruptcy protection not now available to American territories and will also ask lawmakers to establish an independent body to monitor the island’s fiscal affairs (a la Troika).