- Portuguese bond yields soar amid political turmoil (FT)
- Portugal Resignation Rocks European Markets (WSJ)
- Portugal, Greece risk reawakening euro zone beast (Reuters)
- Egypt’s military chiefs hold crisis meeting as Mursi snubs ultimatum (Al Arabiya)
- Egypt Crisis Deepens as Mursi Refuses to Step Down (BBG)
- Hidden microphone found in London embassy: Ecuador (AFP)
- Health Law Penalties Delayed (WSJ)
- Rise in mortgage rates cut into homebuyer demand last week (Reuters)
- Bolivia angered by search of president's plane, no sign of Snowden (Reuters)
- Olympus ex-chairman gets suspended sentence (FT)
And just like that things are going bump in the night once more. First, as previously reported, the $100+ WTI surge continues on fears over how the Egyptian coup will unfold, now that Mursi has a few short hours left until his army-given ultimatum runs out. But it is Europe where things are crashing fast and furious, with the EURUSD tumbling to under 1.2925 overnight and stocks sliding on renewed political risk, with particular underperformance observed over in Portugal, closely followed by its Iberian neighbor Spain, amid concerns that developments in Portugal, where according to some media reports all CDS-PP ministers will resign forcing early elections, will undermine country's ability to continue implementing the agreed bailout measures. As a result, Portuguese bond yields have spiked higher and the 10y bond yield spread are wider by over a whopping 100bps as austerity's "poster child" has rapidly become Europe's forgotten "dunce." The portu-litical crisis has finally arrived.
A priest, a banker and a spook… not the start of a joke or a John LeCarre spy novel, but merely the latest addition to a long list of financial scandals involving the Vatican Bank. Yet despite its quasi comedian if convoluted plotline, the latest attempt to defraud the Catholic church will likely pale in comparison to the most infamous incident involving the Institute of Religious Works (or IOR) as the Vatican Bank is also known. That one involves one Roberto Calvi, the chairman of Banco Ambrosiano, who in 1982 was found hanging from London’s Blackfriars bridge, a short distance away from JPMorgan’s gold vault, his pockets stuffed will cash and bricks in what at the time was a presumed hit by the mafia taking revenge for funds lost through the collapse of Calvi’s bank – a bank in which the Vatican was a significant shareholder. This time, however, with plenty of living loose ends, we may finally get a glimpse into how deep the rabbit hole involving the legal, and more importantly illegal, (ab)use of Catholic funds really goes.
The 'outing' of the Irish bankers for gaming the central bank and mocking zee Germans has infuriated an election-hungry (and purse-string-holding) Angela Merkel. Appealing to he populist roots, Reuters reports, Merkel exclaimed, "For people who go to work each day and earn an honest living, this kind of thing is very hard to take, it's impossible to stomach." Germany is concerned it will be asked to rescue more mismanaged banks (even with the template of bank resolution in place) as she adds - perhaps most prophetically, "this is really damaging to democracy, the social market economy and all that we work for." Of course, this show of disdain seems highly hypocritical since Merkel's main role is to keep Deutsche Bank alive (as we explained in words and pictures here).
Full Deposition of Angela Edwards “Robo-Verifier” as Servicer for the Plaintiff for Verification of Foreclosure ComplaintSubmitted by 4closureFraud on 06/28/2013 06:54 -0500
No matter the amount and severity of lawsuits, settlements, and bad publicity, it appears that the act of signing without proper authority or knowledge as to that which one is signing, continues.
"If the Fed was removing stimulus because of a desire to reduce the risk of asset bubbles then we'd have sympathy but we would argue that maybe the time to do this was around 15 years ago. To start conducting policy in this manner in 2013 after years of rolling bubbles and an extremely high global debt burden is quite dangerous." Deutsche Bank
Now that even the media world is once again looking closely at the impact of wild bond swings on bank balance sheets, and especially the P&L impact of their Available For Sale portfolios, it makes sense to take a quick glance at just which banks are considered the most overlevered in the world. Luckily, Goldman did just that, and the results are below. Some advice to our French readers: you may want to turn away. If the ongoing bond volatility continues, Credit Agricole and Natixis may be the first two banks that the French socialist president will proudly be forced to nationalize to avoid a collapse of the country's banking sector.
Extreme Developed Market (DM) monetary policy (read The Fed) has floated more than just US equity boats in the last few years. Foreign non-bank investors poured $1.1 trillion into Emerging Market (EM) debt between 2010 and 2012 as free money enabled massive carry trades and rehypothecation (with emerging Europe and Latam receiving the most flows and thus most vulnerable). Supply of cheap USD beget demand of EM (yieldy) debt which created a supply pull for EM corporate debt which is now causing major indigestion as the demand has almost instantly dried up due to Bernanke's promise to take the punchbowl away. From massive dislocations in USD- versus Peso-denominated Chilean bonds to spiking money-market rates in EM funds, the impact (and abruptness) of these colossal outflows has already hit ETFs and now there are signs that the carnage is leaking back into money-market funds (and implicitly that EM credit creation will crunch hurting growth) as their reaching for yield as European stress 'abated' brings back memories of breaking-the-buck and Lehman and as Goldman notes below, potentially "poses systemic risk to the financial system."
Murder, Death and Mobsters on Wall St....Who Knew?
With that in mind, I suggest keeping a close eye on the bond markets. These will be the “tell” of what the Fed is likely to announce.
There was non-Fed news in the overnight market. Such as Nikkei reporting that Germany's Angela Merkel was the first G-8 member to be openly critical of Japan's credit-easing policy "that has led to the yen's weakening against major currencies" in what was the first shot across the bow between the two export-heavy countries. Not helping risk in Asia was also news that China May new home prices rose in 69 cities over the past year, compared to 68 the prior month, thus keeping the PBOC's hands tied even as the liquidity shortage in traditional liquidity conduits continues to cripple the banking system and forcing the Agricultural Development Bank of China to scale back the size of two bond offerings today by 31% "as the worst cash crunch in at least seven years curbs demand for the securities." Rounding up Asia were the latest RBA meeting minutes which noted the possibility of further weakness in AUD over time, adding downside pressure on the currency and pressuring all AUD linked equity pairs lower. Still, the USDJPY caught a late bid pushing it above 95 on some comments by the economy minister Amari who said that the government would not be swayed by day-to-day market moves and the BOJ "should continue making efforts to convey its thinking to markets" adding the government was not making policy to pander to markets, confirming that Japan is making policy solely to pander to markets.
Back in May 2012, when we were making fun at the latest iteration of the now fatally discredited European stress tests, we took the first of many jabs at the what may currently be the world's most systematically important, and undercapitalized, bank in the world, Deutsche Bank, which was so bad that it wasn't even allowed to appear on a screen of Europe's most undercapitalized banks - and we helpfully pointed out its true capital ratio of just under 2%, and an implied leverage of 60x! Fast forward 13 months to a Reuters interview with former Kansas City Fed president and FOMC dissenter and sole voice of reason at the Federal Reserve, and current FDIC Vice Chairman Tom Hoenig, who confirmed that once again Zero Hedge was just a year ahead of the curve: "It's horrible, I mean they're horribly undercapitalized," said Federal Deposit Insurance Corp Vice Chairman Thomas Hoenig in an interview. "They have no margin of error."
The Plight Of Europe's Banking Sector, Its €650 Billion State Guarantee, And The "Urgent Need" To RecapitalizeSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 06/15/2013 11:37 -0500
Since the topic of quantifying how big the sovereign assistance to assorted banks - both in Europe and the US (which Bloomberg calculated at $83 billion per year) - has become a daily talking point, we are happy to read that Harald Benink and Harry Huizinga have reached the same conclusion as us in their VOX analysis, and further have shown that in Europe the implicit banking sector guarantee by the state is a whopping €650 billion. "Europe has postponed the recapitalisation of its banking sector for far too long. And, without such a recapitalisation, the danger is that economic stagnation will continue for a long period, thereby putting Europe on a course towards Japanese-style inertia and the proliferation of zombie banks... Banks are already saddled with ample unrecognised losses on their assets, estimated by many observers to be at least several hundreds of billions of euros and mirrored by low share price valuations, and an additional loss of their present funding advantage will be crippling."
What do NYU Stern School of Business, world renknown professors of risk and analytics, and BoomBustBlog have in common? Wild horses couldn't drag a penny of our money through the French banking system!
Dare 'Ye Test the Analysis To Ascertain It's Virility? Madness, I say! Sheer, Utter Madness! In other words - SYSTEMIC RISK is here, NOW!