Erste

Central Banks Are In A Lose-Lose Situation: Low-Rate-Policy "Has Rendered The System Profoundly Fragile"

"...abandoning the low interest rate policy would likely trigger a severe recession... but, continuing this policy would distort and corrode the economic structure even more, which would jeopardize the business model of pension funds, insurers and banks, and further inflate the real estate and stock market bubbles. The low interest rate policy has rendered the system profoundly fragile, with central banks virtually in a lose-lose situation."

Futures Levitate To Session Highs As ECB Enters The Bond Market; Crude Hits $51

In an overnight session dominated by the latest political developments out of the US where Hillary Clinton officially claimed the democratic nomination, the financial newsflow focused on China's trade data, where exports fell 4.1% from a year earlier, in line with expectations, but imports dropped 0.4% from a year earlier, the smallest decline since they turned negative in November 2014, driven entire by soaring "imports" from Hong Kong - aka capital outflows - which soared by 243% y/y.  The other main news was the official launch of the ECB's corporate bond buying, which helped drive government bonds yields in German to new record lows, and the average yields on investment-grade corporate debt below 1%.

The Madness Of Negative Bond Yields

Confidence in the system likely hangs by a much thinner thread than is currently widely perceived. Since “risk asset” prices are soaring in much of Europe, the underlying currents of suspicion are well masked, but that certainly doesn’t mean they don’t exist. While we believe that central bank and regulatory interventions in the market are a major reason why so many bond yields have dropped into negative territory, the role played by distrust in the banking system is probably quite large as well – a suspicion that seems to be confirmed by the strength of the euro-denominated gold price.

The Bonds Of The Third Largest Austrian Bank Are Crashing

Last year Austria's largest bank, Erste Bank, sent shudders of Credit Anstalt through the European Banking System. This year it is Austria's 3rd largest bank that is scaring investors senseless. On the heels of the Swiss National Bank's decision to un-peg from the Euro, Raiffeisen Bank's Swiss-Franc-Denominated mortgage worries have resurfaced (along with Russian/Ukraine writedowns) and nowhere is that more evident than the total collapse of the bank's bonds (from over 95c to 65c today). Even after the ECB Q€ (and some apparent intervention to weaken the Swissy) bonds kept free-falling. Perhaps, The Freedom Party's demands for a bailout will grow louder as the contagion concerns across Europe's banking system explode...

2014 Year In Review (Part 2): Will 2015 Be The Year It All Comes Tumbling Down?

Despite the authorities' best efforts to keep everything orderly, we know how this global Game of Geopolitical Tetris ends: "Players lose a typical game of Tetris when they can no longer keep up with the increasing speed, and the Tetriminos stack up to the top of the playing field. This is commonly referred to as topping out."

"I’m tired of being outraged!"

Overnight Futures Fail To Ramp As Algos Focus On New York's First Ever Ebola Case

And just like that, the Ebola panic is back front and center, because after one week of the west African pandemic gradually disappearing from front page coverage and dropping out of sight and out of mind, suddenly Ebola has struck at global ground zero. While the consequences are unpredictable at this point, and a "follow through" infection will only set the fear level back to orange, we applaud whichever central bank has been buying futures (and the USDJPY) because they clearly are betting that despite the first ever case of Ebola in New York, that this will not result in a surge in Ebola scare stories, which as we showed a few days ago, may well have been the primary catalyst for the market freakout in the past month.

40% Of Eurozone Banks Are In Bad Shape

130 banks are being tested. 12-18 will fail. And on top of that, almost a third of 130, that’s over 40, will pass while still getting their feet wet. That means anywhere between 40% and 44% of Eurozone banks either fail or are in bad shape.  If 40% of your banks are either dead in the water or barely floating, I’d say you have a major problem. We all know our world, be it politics or economics, consists almost exclusively of spin these days, but in the face of these numbers we very much wonder how many people will be willing to bet their own money that Europe can get away with another round of moonsmoke and roses come Monday.

Frontrunning: October 22

  • Russia Loses Oil Ally in De Margerie After Moscow Crash (BBG)
  • Austria's Erste denies report it has failed stress tests (Reuters)
  • Sweden gets two new sightings, as hunt for undersea intruder goes on (Reuters)
  • Companies Try to Escape Health Law’s Penalties (WSJ)
  • Mud and Loathing on Russia-Ukraine Border (BBG)
  • NOAA employee charged with stealing U.S. dam information (Reuters)
  • Lower Oil Prices Seen Easing Japan’s Trade Pain (WSJ)
  • Michigan becomes 5th U.S. state to thwart direct Tesla car sales (Reuters)
  • Maglev Train Seen Making Washington-to-Baltimore Trip at 311 MPH (BBG)

Equity Levitation Stumbles After Second ECB Denial Of Corporate Bond Buying, Report Of 11 Stress Test Failures

If the ultimate goal of yesterday's leak was to push the EUR lower (and stocks higher of course), then the reason why today's second rejection did little to rebound the Euro is because once again, just after Europe's open, Spanish Efe newswire reported that 11 banks from 6 European countries had failed the ECB stress test. Specifically, Efe said Erste, along with banks from Italy, Belgium, Cyprus, Portugal and Greece, had failed the ECB review based on preliminary data, but gave no details of the size of the capital holes at the banks.

The Gold Market: An Analysis Of Recent Geopolitical, Economic And Banking Events

Physical gold is migrating to the East (Russia, China) and, with it, power and influence. We see it with China and Russia progressively imposing their will, building consensus with a great many countries that wish to end American domination made possible by their capacity (privilege) of issuing the world reserve currency. The saying, “He who holds the (physical) gold makes the rules”, is truer than ever. The announcement of the creation of the BRICs development bank is just the first cornerstone in the new international monetary edifice. All we have to wait for is the first official announcement from the East of a new means of settlement of commercial trade based on one or more tangible assets, with gold. Afterwards, logically, an announcement of the convertibility of certain currencies into gold, or even the creation of a new currency that would be convertible to gold, should be made.

Draghi Knows Narratives Are No Longer Enough, But "There Are No Easy Choices Here"

The problem for the ECB, of course, is that Espirito Santo and Erste are not isolated incidents, any more than Laiki and Fortis and Anglo Irish and WestLB and BMPS and... should we go on? ...were isolated incidents. "...with apologies to Lewis Carroll, here’s the choice facing our modern-day Alice (Mario Draghi) – does (s)he sing a lullaby that keeps the Red King (investors) sleeping for a few more years, albeit at the cost of drinking a terrible potion that will turn her into a hideous giant... or does she let the Red King wake up, shattering the dream and risking the existence of everything, herself included, but preserving the story of her beautiful face and form?" If we were betting men (and we are), we’d wager on Draghi drinking the potion and keeping the dream alive, no matter how complicit it makes him in preserving a very ugly and very politically-driven status quo. But there’s a non-trivial chance that it’s just too much to swallow...