The End Of Guitar Center (And An Irrational Addiction To Growth & The Scourge Of Unregulated Structured Finance)Submitted by Tyler Durden on 02/05/2015 21:15 -0400
The fact is, the die is cast. In a couple of weeks, Guitar Center will need to report its Christmas performance to its bondholders. If things do not look good, its bonds will be ripped apart like RadioShack’s. Here’s what this really means: it’s the end of big box retail, an irrational addiction to growth, and the scourge of unregulated structured finance. For a few years, unwise urban planning and unregulated banks created a new bubble in the American suburbs. The objective truth is that the growth of the last decade was financed by banking fraud, and that financial trickery of this sort only fools people in the short-term. Eventually, you must have a product people demand, sold by competent people who care about the business, financed in a way that makes sense.
"Central bank polices have ruptured the proper functioning of capital markets. Some investors myopically believe that 'money printing needs a home' and that it will end up in equities (the asset class with upside). However, such a belief needs to include a deep faith in the central bank’s abilities to navigate a soft landing. History is not on their side. Investors pouring into equities might be playing an epic game of chicken."
Six years on from the financial crisis and central banks are still hacking away at interest rates. Australia and Romania's did this week and while Poland and India held off, both are expected to prune rates later in 2015.
That didn't take long: just hours after Greece entered the ECB countdown mode, with now just 23 days until midnight on February 28, when the ECB is set to yank the final pillar of liquidity support, the ELA - as it has warned before - it is time to start contemplating Plan B, or rather plan Z. A plan, which as described by Nordea's analyst Jan von Gerich, would be quite unpleasant for that nearly extinct class of Greeks, bank depositors, because the "plan", or rather blueprint, is a well-known one: capital controls.
With an increasingly vitriolic tone, the new Greek government has come out swinging today with leader Alexis Tsipras making it clear that he will implement the election pledges the people of Greece voted for:
A NEW GREEK GOVT WILL BARGAIN TOUGH, AND PUT A FINAL END TO THE TROIKA AND ITS POLICIES, WE MANAGED TO DECONSTRUCT THE EUROPEAN STATUS QUO THAT WANTS MORE AUSTERITY AND LESS DEMOCRACY
"We will make the impossible, possible to turn things around in Greece" It took one week, Tsipras chides, to get European leaders to talk about the real problems and Greece will negotiate hard to "put an end to Troika," and "rebuild the country from the beginning."
SNB Said To Be Buying EUR Crosses In Aftermath Of ECB's Greek Fiasco; Europe Boosts Its Own Growth ForecastSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 02/05/2015 07:33 -0400
President Of Euro Parliament Warns Greece Risks National Bankruptcy; Varoufakis Replies: "Greece Already Is Bankrupt"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 02/04/2015 20:00 -0400
With the ECB escalating matters this afternoon, the craziness of European leaders talking past one another in an effort to create the next headline-driven narrative continued to gather pace today. That idiocy was nowhere more obvious than when EU President Martin Schulz warned ominously that Greece risks national bankruptcy if it continues down the path of non-agreement when Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis has previously explained quite clearly that "Greece is already bankrupt."
Meet The Man Behind The Scenes: The "Pro-Market Socialist" Banker Who Will Shape "Europe's Financial Future"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 02/04/2015 19:31 -0400
While the media world follows every step of the new Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis (or "YV") with morbid fascination, and for good reason - he is so subdued it makes him flamboyant to a media world unaccustomed with modesty - the truth is that, for all his best intentions, Yanis as well as the Prime Minister, are merely frontmen for popular consumption. The real brains behind the latest Greek attempt at tearing away the hated "oppressive" shackles of debt (which nobody had a problem incurring originally when everything was going smoothly, but that's a topic for another day) is a banker who sits 3000 kilometers away, on Paris' Boulevard Hausmann, and who is a self-described "pro-market socialist", and fan of The Clash. Meet Lazard's Matthieu Pigasse, the banker, whose actions in the next few days, as the WSJ puts it, will shape "Europe’s financial future."
- Arab World Unites to Condemn ‘Barbaric’ Death of Jordanian Pilot (BBG)
- Jordan hangs two Iraqi militants in response to pilot's death (Reuters)
- As Oil Prices Climb, Some Harbor Doubts (WSJ)
- Taiwan plane cartwheels into river after take-off, killing at least 19 (Reuters)
- Seven dead as commuter train hits car near New York City (Reuters)
- Apollo’s 600% Profit on Oil Company Leaves Rivals Behind (BBG)
- Greece's rock-star finance minister Yanis Varoufakis defies ECB's drachma threats (Telegraph)
So much for the Greek "conciliatory proposal" story, driven by yesterday's FT article, and the catalyst for Monday's late day market surge.
New Gold Fix To Be Run By Western and Chinese Banks - Still Not Transparent -- Replacement for the near-century-old London gold fix will start in March -- London gold fix to Shanghai gold fix - still not transparent --Stealth run on the London bullion market continuing?
a day after the FT report sent futures soaring and has been responsible for the jump in European stocks this morning, the Greek finance minister made it quite clear that, as has been happening on pretty much every day since his ascent to power, he has been misinterpreted and that as Bloomberg noted a little over na hour ago, "there has been no "U-turn" on the Greek debt position, adding that "Our promise is solid, debt will be rendered sustainable even if haircut replaced with euphemisms, swaps" Greece’s Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis comments in Twitter post.
It will be politics rather than economics (or Q€) that drives the shorter-term outlook in Greece. Goldman Sachs warns that the new Greek government’s position is turning more Eurosceptic and confrontational than most (and the market) had anticipated ahead of last weekend’s election. This increases the risk of a political miscalculation leading to an economic and financial accident and, possibly, Greek exit from the Euro area (“Grexit”) and while many assume European authorities have the 'tools' to address market dislocations arising from this event risk, Goldman expects significant market volatility. Rather stunningly, against this background, and in spite of Q€, recommends closing tactical pro-cyclical exposures in peripheral EMU spreads (Italy, Spain and Portugal) and equities (overweight Italy and Spain).
The Greek Elites and kleptocrats are terrified of the discipline that leaving the euro will impose, but the general public should welcome the transition to an economy and society that has been freed from the shackles of Imperial debt and the kleptocracy that has bled the nation dry.