European Central Bank
Facing abject humiliation at the hands of the German finance ministry, Alexis Tsipras arrived at Sunday’s Eurosummit a broken man. Still, the PM did his best to fight the good fight, debating both the IMF's role in the third Greek program and the treatment of the country's debt with German Chancellor Merkel late Sunday evening in Brussels.
This weekend's events in Europe have clarified who is really running the show across the 'union'. Hans-Werner Sinn, Chairman of the Ifo Institute for Economic Research, vehemnt euroskeptic, and head of the so-called 'five wise men' advising the German government and specifically Angela Merkel, confirmed his call from 2012 for a "temporary grexit from the euro." The right wing economist previously explained "Greece and Portugal have to become 30-40% less expensive to be competitive again. This is being attempted through excessive austerity measures within the euro zone, but it won't work. It will drive these countries to the brink of civil war before it succeeds. Temporary exits would very quickly stabilize these countries, create new jobs and free the population from the yoke of the euro." Anyone positioning for more centrist union-supporting rhetoric, hope is no longer a strategy as the hardest conservatives are now in charge.
Next week's key events and data, if we can look beyond Greece and China.
"It's Not Possible To Reach A Deal Today" - EU Summit Canceled As Leaders Scramble To Keep The Dr€am AliveSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 07/12/2015 09:10 -0500
It was a weekend in which, according to traders, Greece facing an "absolutely final" was going to be saved. Instead, it may go down in history as the weekend in which the Eurozone finally split and its long-overdue disintegration began.
Every nation has a right to defend itself against attack – financial attack just as overt military attack. That is an essential element in the principle of self-determination. Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy and other debtor countries have been under the same mode of attack that was waged by the IMF and its austerity doctrine that bankrupted Latin America from the 1970s onward. International law needs to be updated to recognize that finance has become the modern-day mode of warfare. Its objectives are the same: acquisition of land, raw materials and monopolies. A byproduct of this warfare has been to make today’s financial network so dysfunctional that nations need a financial Clean Slate.
"With the drastic fall in share prices recently, social stability is clearly at stake," Credit Suisse says. With the bubble now finished it is only a matter of time before all the 'nouveau riche' farmers and grandparents see all their paper profits wiped out and hopefully go silently into that good night without starting mass riots or a revolution.
The global and European economies are increasingly dominated by bureaucrats taking arbitrary decisions on capital allocation, with little regard for rules or process. The decisions of the ECB to reject the applications of the Bank of Greece for additional funding under ELA could have only been politically motivated, and therefore in clear violation of the ECB’s independence as enshrined in Article 123 TFEU. It is time for EU bureaucrats to stop acting as autocrats.
When the going gets tough, the taxed get going and that is what Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz thinks should happen. In a Time op-ed, Stiglitz warns (likely correctly) that if Greece continues with austerity, it would be depression without end; and so his solution is simple... "The U.S. was generous with Germany as we defeated it. Now, it is time for the U.S. to be generous with our friends in Greece in their time of need, as they have been crushed for the second time in a century by Germany, this time with the support of the troika." Strawman much?
Since The FOMC's supposedly dovish June meeting, bonds have outperformed stocks rather notably and crude has crashed. The crucial aspect for the Minutes is the balance they struck between market turmoil overseas (dovish) and the domestic economic and housing recovery (hawkish) as to how that fits with an expectation for a 'gradual' post-September lift-off...
- *FOMC SAW CONDITIONS STILL APPROACHING THOSE WARRANTING LIFTOFF (dovish)
- *ONE MEMBER READY TO RAISE RATES IN JUNE BUT WILLING TO WAIT (dovish)
- *MANY FED OFFICIALS EXPRESSED CONCERN ABOUT GREECE AT JUNE FOMC (hawkish)
- *SEVERAL OFFICIALS VOICED UNCERTAINTY ABOUT CHINESE GROWTH PACE (hawkish)
With macro data having beaten expectations since then, the last best hope for stocks is that global turmoil picks up (as it has in Greece) to keep The Fed on hold (as they remain cornered to regain some ammo before the next 'event' happens). As SF Fed's Williams notes today the "safer course" for raising rates would be to start sooner and proceed gradually.
Facing an acute cash shortage and a worsening credit crunch which together threaten to leave government employees in the lurch and cut off the flow of imported goods, Kathimerini says Greece is preparing for the launch of an "alternative currency."
Greece formally requested a three-year bailout from the eurozone’s rescue fund Wednesday and pledged to start implementing some of the overhauls demanded by creditors by early next week. Crucially for Greece’s creditors, the letter says the government would start implementing some measures, including on taxation and pensions, by the beginning of next week, though it doesn’t go into details. The letter is a first step toward fulfilling a demand by international creditors, who have given Athens until Sunday to come up with tougher measures they would impose in return for desperately needed financing that could keep the country from bankruptcy and even worse economic turmoil.
In the end, finance—at any level—has to be about rules and numbers, or it becomes about nonsense. Break enough of your own rules, and your money turns to garbage, because in a world where money is debt and debt is garbage, money is garbage. But there is a proven method for solving this problem and moving on: it's called national bankruptcy. Greece is bankrupt; if its resolution brings on the bankruptcy of Spain, Italy and others, and if that in turn bankrupts the entire Eurozone, then that's exactly what must happen. But something else might happen instead.
"We Greeks have voted 'No' to slavery -- but 'Yes' to our chains... What's simply whack-o is that, while voting "No" to austerity, many Greeks wish to remain shackled to the euro, the very cause of our miseries."
For every loser there is a winner, and in the case of Greece and its tragedy, just as millions are about to lose everything, a few not only made billions but quietly, under the guise of "sovereign bailouts" transferred their entire risk onto the taxpaying public.