Creditors

Frontrunning: May 27

  • FIFA Raided by Swiss Authorities in 2018, 2022 World Cup Probe (BBG)
  • Companies Send More Cash Back to Shareholders (WSJ)
  • Time Warner Cable Deal Stirs Debt Concerns (WSJ)
  • Qatar $200 Billion World Cup Under More Scrutiny Amid FIFA Probe (BBG)
  • Philippine, Vietnamese troops play soccer and sing on disputed island (Reuters)
  • The G-7's Problem: Can the World Deal With a Greek Default? (BBG)
  • SocGen Deal for Bache Illustrates Commodity-Trading Woe (WSJ)
  • China’s Naval Abilities Test Asia’s Insecurities (WSJ)

Futures Flat After News Greek Deal Distant As Ever, Dollar Surge Continues

It had been a painfully quiet session in Asia (where Chinese levitation continues with the Shanghai Composite up another 0.6% oblivious of yesterday's rout in the US, because as we explained for China it is now critical to blow the world's biggest stock bubble) and Europe, where the only notable news as that for the first time in months the ECB had not increase the Greek ELA, keeping it at €80.2 billion on conflicting reports that Greek deposit withdrawals had halted even as Kathimerini said another €300MM had been pulled just yesterday, suggesting the ECB has reached the end of its road when it comes to funding nearly two-thirds of what Greek deposits are left in local banks. But the punchline came moments ago when Bloomberg reported that "Greece will likely miss a deadline for a deal with creditors by the end of the week as the two sides have made little progress during talks in recent days."

Greece Postpones Meeting With Creditors, Denies ATM Tax

On the heels of a vote which betrayed fractures within PM Alexis Tsipras’ ruling Syriza party, a Eurogroup meeting in Brussels scheduled for today has now been postponed, according to a Greek official who did not give a reason for the cancellation. Meanwhile, there are rumors that the country will impose a levy on ATM withdrawals in an effort to encourage Greeks to use credit cards for purchases.

Frontrunning: May 26

  • Developed-Country Growth Slows, OECD Says (WSJ)
  • Charter Agrees to Buy Time Warner Cable for About $55 Billion (BBG)
  • Dollar hits one-month high as periphery woes weigh on Europe (Reuters)
  • IMF Says Yuan No Longer Undervalued Amid Reserve-Status Push (BBG)
  • Hanergy secured $200m loan ahead of solar group stock tumble (FT)
  • Congressional Inaction Threatens NSA Spy Program (WSJ)
  • Germany sees progress on Greece, EU officials to confer on Thursday (Reuters)
  • Hayes ‘motivated by greed’, prosecutor says in Libor case (FT)
  • Whistleblowers Find SEC Rewards Slow and Scarce (WSJ)

Futures In The Red On Europe Jitters Ahead Of Obligatory Low-Volume Levitation

While yesterday most markets were closed and unable to express their concerns at the very strong showing of "anti-austerity" parties in Spain's municipal election from Sunday, then today they have free reign to do just that, and as a result European stocks are broadly lower, alongside the EURUSD which dripped under 1.09 earlier today, with Spanish banks among the worst performers: Shares of Banco Sabadell, Bankia, Caixabank and Popular were down 1.8 to 2.3% earlier this morning, and while the stronger dollar was a gift to both the Nikkei and Europe in early trading, after opening in the green, Spain's IBEX has since slid into the red on concerns of what happens if the Greek anti-status quo contagion finally shifts to the Pyrenees.

Greece Was 20 Votes Away From Defaulting This Weekend

Over the weekend, in a surprisingly close vote showing just how deeply the ruling Greek Syriza party has splintered, the hard line "Left Platform" a faction within Syriza, proposed that Greece stop paying its creditors if they continue with "blackmailing tactics" and instead seek "an alternative plan" for the debt-racked country. Its motion called for the government to default on the IMF loans rather than compromise to creditor demands, among which a change to value-added tax rates, further liberalization of the labor market and changes to the pension system, including further cuts to pensions and wages. According to the NYT, which reported the vote first, the proposal was narrowly rejected, with 95 people voting against and 75 in favor.

Greek "Anti-Austerity" Wave Spreads In Dramatic Loss For Spanish Status Quo

With just 10 days until a June 5 IMF payment that Athens almost certainly will not make unless it strikes a deal for the disbursement of more bailout funds, things just got quite a bit more interesting on the EU political front after Spain’s Popular Party was dealt a dramatic electoral blow on Sunday by the leftist Podemos and center-right Ciudadanos.

With All Major Markets Closed For Holiday, Here Are The Major News

With US markets closed for the Memorial Day holiday, and some of the key European markets likewise shuttered for public holiday including the UK, Germany and Switzerland, it is difficult to find where one can observe or trade the weekend's newsflow, which is once again centered on developments in Europe, where on Sunday Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s People’s Party suffered its worst result in a municipal election in 24 years while Greece continues to threaten with default 5 some years after it should have officially pulled the plug.

Grexit "Disaster" Looms As Greek Hospitals Run Out Of Sheets, Painkillers

"Greek hospitals have run out of supplies such as painkillers, scissors and sheets as budget cuts have left the health service unable to provide even basic provisions for operations and medical procedures," The Independent reports. With Tsipras still refusing to compromise on campaign "red lines," the end game is quite clearly approaching.

Is Greece Still A Country If Someone Else Owns Its Assets?

Foreign investment is of course common around the world and is generally seen as a good thing. Americans mostly like it, for instance, when Japanese investors bid up shares of US companies or Chinese expats pay above asking price for Manhattan apartments. With only a few exceptions we take the money and don’t look back. But there must be a limit, a point where foreign interests own so much of a country that they call the shots and the locals become in effect their serfs. Greece might be the test case that shows us where that point is...

Junk-Rated Chicago Has A Billion Dollar Pension Problem

In downgrading the city, Moody’s said it expected “Chicago's credit challenges will continue, both in the near term and in the long term [as] unfunded liabilities of the Municipal, Laborer, Police, and Fire pension plans grow and exert increasing pressure on the city's operating budget.” That looks to have been an accurate assessment, because as Bloomberg reports, Chicago’s budget gap is set to triple by 2017.

Willem "Gold-Is-A-6000-Year-Bubble" Buiter Says A New Greek Currency "Would Be Rubbish"

Having shown his true colors in recent months by embarking not just on an anti-gold crusade, but more recently on an anti-cash mission, Citi's Willem Buiter has once again exposed his newly minted CFR status-quo-embracing status this morning. During an appearance on CNBC, Buiter notes that there would be "havoc" if Greece left the euro zone and adopted an alternative currency; but then he went on the pre-prescription blasting that any kind of alternative currency tied to the euro "would be rubbish." These comments come just hours after German FinMin Schaeuble raised the possibility that Greece may need a parallel currency alongside the euro if the country’s talks with creditors fail.