Following this evening's lengthy finger-pointing lecture from Argentina's Kicillof, Argentina formally defaulted. Shortly thereafter the hoped-for private bank bailout deal also failed leaving the default process likely to take a while. So how has Argentina defaulted three times in the last 28 years? Simply put, the problem is not Judge Griesa’s ruling. The problem is that Argentina had decided to once again prefer deficits and unrestrained government spending to paying its obligations.
While last night saw'The Holdouts' and 'The Argentina Delegation' come face-to-face for the first time in a decade for negotiations, when they went to bed late last night, there was no resolution. No news yet this morning of when the meeting will reconvene but it appears market participants are hopeful... The Argentina 2033 bonds are exploding higher. ARG 2033s are up over 10 points to a record-high price of 97.50. Let's hope they are not disappointed at the hopes for a bank bailout. Of course, we saw this kind of exuberant jump right after the initial pro-holdouts ruling drop...
- Fed Decision-Day Guide: QE Tapering to Inflation Debate (BBG)
- Obama says strains over Ukraine not leading to new Cold War with Russia (Reuters)
- Siemens to BP Prepare for Downward Russia Business Spiral (BBG)
- Paying Ransoms, Europe Bankrolls Qaeda Terror (NYT)
- Argentina Banks Preparing Bid to Help Argentina Avoid Default (WSJ)
- Obama Weighs Fewer Deportations of Illegal Immigrants Living in U.S. (WSJ)
- India Warships Off Japan Show Rising Lure as China Counterweight (BBG)
- Hong Kong Popping Housing Bubbles London Can’t Handle (BBG)
- Carnage at U.N. school as Israel pounds Gaza refugee camp (Reuters)
This week's US data onslaught begins today, with the ADP private payroll report first on deck (Exp. 230K, down from 281K), followed by the number of the day, Q2 GDP, which after Q1's abysmal -2.9%, is expected to increase 3%. Anything less and in the first half the US economy will have contracted, something the purists could claim is equivalent to a recession. The whisper numbers are to the downside since consumption and trade never caught up and the only variable is inventory as well as Obamacare, whose impact was $40 billion "contribution" in Q1 was entirely eliminated and instead led to a deduction, something we expect will be reversed into Q2. Following the backward looking GDP (which will be ignored by the sellside penguins if it is bad and praised if good) at 2:00 pm Yellen Capital LLC comes out with a correction on her call to short social networking stocks, as well as admit once again that the "data-driven" Fed really has no idea what it is doing and how it will tighten, but that tightening is imminent and another $10 billion taper to QE will take place ahead of a full phase out in October. Joking aside, the Fed is expected not to do much if anything, which may be just the right time for Yellen to inject an aggressively hawkish note considering her inflation "noise" refuses to go away.
With hours to go until Argentina's grace period runs out and default occurs, investors are less than frantically selling Argentine bonds and pesos. They are lower but do not appear in full panic mode as we presume investors cling to hope that Argentina folds and pays off the holdouts (though there has been no sign of that so far). ARG 2033 bonds are down 3 points to 81 and the black-market peso is modestly weaker at 13.0 (near its record lows). Argentine CDS tightened modestly (as BofA warns the facts surrounding Argentina’s bond payments continue to be unique and deciding if CDS are triggered could take longer than expected) but 1Y CDS are holding at 4600bps (equivalent) - a 52% probability of default. Paul singer continues to defend himself (and the holdouts) from claims they are "dangerous fundamentalists" hell-bent on making it impossible for foreign sovereigns to restructure their debts.
There has been little in term of tier 1 data releases to drive the price action so far in the overnight session which means participants focused on the upcoming US related risk events including the Fed, Q2 GDP and July Payrolls. This, combined with WSJ article by Fed’s Fisher who opined that the FOMC should consider tapering the reinvestment of maturing securities and begin shrinking the Fed’s balance sheet (note that Fisher’s opinion piece is written based on a speech he gave on July 16th) meant that USTs came under pressure overnight in Asia and in Europe this morning. There has been little notable equity futures action (for now: the USDJPY algo team gave it a good ramp attempt just before Europe open, and will repeat just around the US open despite Standard Chartered major cut to its USDJPY forecast from 110 to 106 overnight), although we expect that to change since today is the day when Tuesday frontrunning takes place with full force. We expect equities to completely ignore the ongoing deterioration in Ukraine and the imminent release of EU's own sanctions against Russia, as well as what is now shaping up as an Argentina default on July 30.
Amazon is Exhibit A of how the Fed’s free money for Wall Street and corporate mastodons is destructive to the rest of the economy.
Working for the government was always pitched as somehow being better guaranteed than risky private corporations. However, the problem with government pensions has been they promised whatever sounded nice, with zero accountability. The presumption that tax revenue was an endless pit is one of those fallacies that nobody ever investigates. The ramifications of what happens in Detroit will ripple through the entire debt structure nationally for if this will be the new game plan to follow, why should people buy any government debt whatsoever if not even bankruptcy laws apply? As we said – he who makes the laws never goes to jail for breaking them.
Having admitted that the banking system problems in Portugal could be systemic, the President has a bigger problem now as the 3rd (and final) Holdco of the Banco Espirito Santo capital structure fiasco just filed for bankruptcy:
*ESPIRITO SANTO FINANCIAL GROUP SEEKS PROTECTION FROM CREDITORS
First it was ESI (storm in a teacup), then RioForte ("contained"), and now ESFG ("systemic"), and given the CEO's recent "detention" for money-laundering, we wonder how long before Banco Espirito Santo is forced to liquidate?
Argentina Debt "Mediation" Goes Surreal As Neither Side Turns Up For Meeting, Black-Market Peso TumblesSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 07/23/2014 13:02 -0500
Despite Judge Griesa's demands that the holdouts and the Argentinian government hold "continuous" mediation until the debt conflict is resolved "or fear the worst," this morning's headlines are somewhat surreal:
*NEITHER SIDE IN ARGENTINE DEBT CONFLICT HAS ARRIVED TO MEETING
Argentina decided not to send the economy minister (just a 'delegation') as BTG analysts warn that "all the music from the Argentine government indicates default," and judging by the tumble in Argentina's black-market Peso (Dolar Blue) the last few days, that risk is starting to rise.
Despite yesterday's lackluster earnings the most recent market levitation on low volume was largely due to what some considered a moderation in geopolitical tensions after Europe once again showed it is completely incapable of stopping Putin from dominating Europe with his energy trump card, and is so conflicted it is even unable to impose sanctions (despite the US prodding first France with BNP and now Germany with the latest DB revelations to get their act together), as well as it being, well, Tuesday, today's moderate run-up in equity futures can likely be best attributed to momentum algos, which are also rushing to recalibrate and follow the overnight surge in the AUDJPY while ignoring any drifting USDJPY signals.
As RioForte joins its parent ESI in bankruptcy, in a strangely honest turn of events from a European leader, Portugal's President Anibal Cavaco Silva warned on Monday that fallout from the financial troubles of the founding family of Banco Espirito Santo (BES) could affect the wider economy. With Portugal's hope-strewn GDP growth expectations at only 0.9% for 2014, they do not have much room for disappointment before the nation (whose yields remain near record lows) double- or triple-dips back into recession. Silva concluded, "We cannot ignore that there will be some impact on the real economy," which is odd given every talking-head has explained it is "contained" and "priced-in."
Bank of England officials led by Mark Carney, the Bank of England governor, are attempting to bridge sharp differences among leading G20 countries as they prepare a landmark set of proposals aimed bringing in the new bail-in regime. The issue is of major consequence also to depositors who could see their savings confiscated as happened in Cyprus. Bail-ins are coming to banks in the western world with consequences for depositors.
"Dear Grandma and Grandad, thank you for making the valiant effort over these past decades to achieve a measure of self-reliance in your dotage and for allowing us jacks-in-office full use of your savings in the meanwhile as both a means to fulfill our political ambitions and as a way to act out our own economically-illiterate and usually illiberal prejudices at the expense of you and yours... Sadly, it transpires that we have not only wasted a goodly part of your savings, but we have greatly added to the host of irredeemable promises which we made to you..."
Following this morning's farce of huge investor demand and then Bank of Portugal's Costa 'hoping' for demand from investors willing to pile more money on losing money into Espirito Santo, it appears things have escalated rapidly...
*ESPIRITO SANTO INTERNATIONAL SAYS IT CAN'T MEET OBLIGATIONS
*ES INTERNATIONAL APPLIES FOR `CONTROLLED MANAGEMENT' REGIME UNDER LUXEMBOURG LAW
The "controlled management" application is the equivalent of declaring a breakup or controlled bankruptcy process (as we explained here). ESI is the ultimate HoldCo in the Banco Espirito Santo family.