The past two weeks it was Spain, now it is back to Portugal, which overnight announced it is bailing out three banks to the tune of €6.65 billion. If at this point who is bailing out whom is becoming a confusing blur - fear not: that is the whole point. From AAP: "Portugal will inject more than 6.65 billion euros ($A8.49 billion) into private banks BCP and BPI, and the state-owned CGD to meet criteria established by the European Banking Authority. "In all, the state will inject more than 6.65 billion euros in these banks," though five billion euros is to come from an envelope worth 12 billion included in a financial rescue plan drawn up in May 2011, the finance ministry said. Portugal last year became the third eurozone country after Greece and Ireland to be bailed out, receiving an EU-IMF package worth up to 78 billion euros in return for a commitment to reform its economy and impose austerity measures." And surely that will be it, and Portugal will be fixed. Just like Spain was fixed, until someone actually did some math and found a hole up to €350 billion out of left field. Funny how those big undercapitalization holes just sublimate into existence, usually moments before client money is vaporized.
Two weeks of utter confusion by most market participants out there, when the complete deja vu scenario is so very clear. To help out those banging their heads over what is happening, here, once again, is the full playbook as it was laid out here for eveyone to read and prepare, because it explained to the dot precisely what will happen, and has been happening since May 19. And yes, that 1000 bps on XO is still about 25% away... Do the math.
What would the weekend be without at least one rumor that Europe is on the verge of fixing everything, or failing that, planning for a master fix, OR failing that, planning for a master plan to fix everything. Sure enough, we just got the latter, which considering nobody really believes anything out of Europe anymore, especially not something that has not been signed, stamped and approved by Merkel herself, is rather ballsy. Nonetheless, one can't blame them for trying: "The chiefs of four European institutions are in the process of creating a master plan for the euro zone, the daily Die Welt reports Saturday, in an advance release of an article to be published Sunday. Suggestions targeting a fiscal, banking, and political union, as well as structural reforms, are being worked out..." Less than credible sources report that Spiderman towels (which are now trading at negative repo rates) and cross-rehypothecated kitchen sinks are also key components of all future "master plans" which sadly are absolutely meaningless since the signature of Europe's paymaster - the Bundesrepublik - is as usual lacking. Which is why, "the plan may well mean that the euro zone adopts measures not immediately accepted by the whole of the European Union, the article adds." So... European sub-union? Hardly strange is that just as this latest desperate attempt at distraction from the complete chaos in Europe (which will only find a resolution once XO crosses 1000 as we and Citi suggested two weeks ago and when the world is truly on the verge of the abyss), none other than George Soros has just started a 3-month countdown to European the European D(oom)-Day.
Dodge City, Kansas is a lovely place. The home to 26,101 people regularly enjoy old west casinos, old west rodeos and old west movies. Like we say – it is a lovely place. Yet years ago when it was still cool to be a cowboy, cowboys of all types were getting’ out of Dodge. And who could blame them - bullets flew around town on a regular basis. As we look across the globe today, Dodge City’s are popping up all over the place across America, Europe and Asia. However, within the World of financial markets, government sponsored economic policies are desperately trying to keep everyone in the 2012 financial version of Dodge. Today’s question of the century is which market is the equivalent of Dodge? One thing is for sure, financial bullets are flying fast and furious these days forcing every sane investor to keep their head down. For all other investors, be a good cowboy and be sure to have an exit plan – you never know when you’ll need it.
We finally get to continue what we started in 2008. Becuase the TPTB insisted on kicking the can down the road, the resulting pain will be excruciatingly devastating versus simply horrible! Alas, once you get you short positions/puts/futures in before the inevitably ill-informed short ban, money can still be made.
“Gear up!” That is what I say to you this morning. Open your closet door, drag out the flak jacket from 2009, lace up your boots, unlock your guns, bring out the ammo and get ready to go at it one more time because the placid fields of Verdun, long silent, finds the Germans and the French at it once again and we are all about to be dragged back into it; like it or not. There is quite serious business afoot and, just like in war, the political statements made are nothing more than propaganda to mislead the enemy and the enemy is YOU.
- Germany shifts, gives Spain more time on deficit (Reuters)
- Europe must prepare an emergency plan (FT)
- EU Spain reveals €100bn capital flight (FT)
- Spain’s Guindos says future of Euro at stake in Spain (Bloomberg)
- ECB, EU officials warn euro’s survival at risk (Reuters)
- China can ‘cope’ if Greece exits Euro, NDRC Researcher says (Bloomberg)
- Japan Warns Against Rising Yen (WSJ)
- Global stocks investors head for exits (FT)
- Hot Copper Shorts Burning Commodity Firms (Caixin)
Here we go again. Back in July 2011 we wrote an article entitled "The Real Banking Crisis" where we discussed the increasing instability of the Eurozone banks suffering from depositor bank runs. Since that time (and two LTRO infusions and numerous bailouts later), Eurozone banks, as represented by the Euro Stoxx Banks Index, have fallen more than 50% from their July 2011 levels and are now in the midst of yet another breakdown led by the abysmal situation currently unfolding in Greece and Spain.... Although the last eight months have not played out the way we would have expected for gold, they have played out the way we envisioned for the banks. The question now is how long this can go on for, and how long gold can remain under pressure in a banking crisis that has the potential to spread beyond Greece and Spain? So much now rests on the policy responses fashioned by the US Fed and ECB, and just as much also rests on what's left of European citizens' confidence in their local banking institutions. Neither of these things can be precisely measured or predicted, but we continue to firmly believe that depositors in Greece and Spain will choose gold over drachmas or pesetas if they have the foresight and are given the freedom to act accordingly. The number one reason we have always believed gold should be owned, and why we believe it will go higher, is people's growing distrust of the banking system - and we are now there. We will wait and see how the summer develops, and keep our attention firmly focused of the second phase of the bank run now spreading across southern Europe.
Update: as expected, "IMF Says Spain Discussions Internal, No Talks With Spain"
Wondering what prompted the most recent "month end mark up" ramp in stocks? Look no further than the IMF, which one month after failing miserably to procure a much needed targeted amount of European bailout funds as part of Lagarde's whirlwind panhandling tour, hopes that markets are truly made up of idiots who have no idea how to use google and look up events that happened 4 weeks ago. So here it is: the Spanish bail out courtesy of the IMF. Well, not really. Because according to other headlines the IMF claims no plans are being drafted for a bailout. Why? Simple - if the IMF admits it is even considering a bailout, it will launch a bank run that will make the Bankia one seem like child's play, as the cat will truly be out of the bag. So instead it has no choice, but to wink wink at markets telling them even though it has been locked out from additional funding by the US, UK, Canada and even China, it still has access to funding from... Spain.
The most significant event of yesterday was not the Spanish banking system unlocking the door to the horror chamber and clicking the melt-down button that it found on the wall but what happened at the European Union. Brussels turned, and looking Berlin squarely in the eye, it used impolite words and gestures and essentially said: "Stick it." Brussels has now called for Eurobonds, has called for the ESM to fund the European banks and it a sign of their new felt independence, has thrown all of this squarely in the face of Germany, the Netherlands, Finland et al who are providing the money. The game has changed. It will no longer be push and shove and muddle through but convictions and ideology that are in stark opposition so that surprises and inflamed statements will become the order of the day and not the exception. If it is to be either Germany for the Germans or Germany for the citizens of Athens, make no mistake in your thinking; Berlin will prevail regardless of the outlying costs to either the nation or to the future of the Union that theoretically governs Europe.
Gene Arensberg of the Got Gold Report says that the COT data “suggests that dips for gold and silver should be exceedingly well bid just ahead. Indeed, the structure of the COT is about as bullish as we have seen it for silver futures.” The supply demand fundamentals remain very sound with gold demand expected to exceed supply again this year, according to the World Gold Council who have said that gold has bottomed or close to bottoming. Gold will extend annual gains for a 12th year as bullion is “near” a bottom and demand will keep exceeding mine output, according to the World Gold Council. Mine production will grow 3% this year from last year’s 2,800 metric tons, while demand may be unchanged or slightly lower from a record 4,400 tons, said Marcus Grubb, managing director of the WGC in an Bloomberg interview in Tokyo. Mine supplies will remain in a deficit “for a foreseeable future,” Grubb said. Bullion is “near to the bottom at current prices, indicating gold will move back up again,” he said. Recycling has risen to make up for the gap between demand and mine output, he said. “Some of the drivers of the increase in demand are structured, central banks for example, the rise of Chinese demand and the wealth increase in Asia, including India and China as well as smaller economies,” he said. Central banks have increased gold purchases on concern about the dollar, the euro and the sovereign debts, Grubb said. The banks’ net purchases last year were the most since 1964. In 2010, they turned to a net buyer for the first time in 15 years.
Time To Load Up On Denmark CDS - Moody's Cuts Nine Danish Financial Institutions: Luxor Thesis In PlaySubmitted by Tyler Durden on 05/30/2012 16:35 -0400
Last time we looked at Denmark it it was in the context of Luxor Capital which had some very ugly things to say about the Scandinavian country in "Rotten Contagion To Make Landfall In Denmark: CDS Set To Soar As Hedge Funds Target Country." Now, 6 months later, Moody's has finally gotten the memo: "Moody's Investors Service has today downgraded the ratings for nine Danish financial institutions and for one foreign subsidiary of a Danish group by one to three notches. The short-term ratings declined by one notch for six of these institutions. The rating outlooks for five banks affected by today's rating actions are stable, whereas the rating outlooks for two banks and for all three specialised lenders affected by today's rating actions are negative The magnitude of some of today's downgrades reflects a range of concerns, including the risk that some institutions' concentrated loan books deteriorate amidst difficult domestic and European conditions, with adverse consequences on their ability to refinance maturing debt. The latter concern is exacerbated by structural changes in the terms of Danish covered bonds and the mix of underlying assets that lead to increased refinancing risk. While Moody's central scenario remains that financial institutions show some resilience to what will likely be a prolonged difficult environment - and the revised rating levels for most Danish financial institutions continue to reflect low risks to creditors - today's rating actions reflect the view that these risks have increased."
And to think it was not even 2 hours ago that a regurgitated and largely impotent news story hit the WSJ (following up on an identical Reuters story yesterday, as ZH noted), sending the EURUSD higher by 50 pips. As we said, expect Germany to come out with a prompt refutation in minutes. The minutes in question were 90. The official denial to Gollum's lie panderings has arrived courtesy of Market News: "Government spokesman Steffen Seibert said at a regular press conference here that the German rejection of the idea of any direct recapitalisation of banks by the ESM "is well known." Summary: B+ for effort, C for execution, C- for market reaction halflife, and F for content, as usual.
You know the something is really, really wrong when the best rapper is a white guy, the best golfer is a black guy, the tallest guy in the NBA is Chinese, the Swiss hold the America's Cup, the Pope is German, Europe's central banker is Italian, France is accusing the U.S. of arrogance and Germany doesn't want to go to war.