How Much Are Intelligence Analysts Front Running Markets?
While the situation for Edward Snowden remains uncertain, Russian officials report that he has handed them an appeal to 15 nations for political asylum. As the LA Times reports, an official noted, "Snowden reiterated once again that he is not a traitor and explained his actions only by a desire to open the world's eyes on the flagrant violations by US special services." This somewhat desperate act follows what Russian officials describe as "Ecuador disavowing [Snowden's] political protection credentials," though we have seen nothing confirmed by Ecuador (yet) especially in light of last week's strong anti-US rhetoric. Russia's President Putin just proclaimed that "Snowden isn't, has never been a Russian agent," and added that Russia doesn't plan to extradite anyone.
There is no European Banking Union. This is a good place to start. It does not exist which is why all of the ballyhoo and discussion in the Press is of such little importance. This grand scheme is nothing more than theory at this point and not a very good theory at that.
#BREAKING France's Hollande tells US to 'immediately stop' spying
— Agence France-Presse (@AFP) July 1, 2013
The president of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, said he was "deeply worried and shocked about the allegations of U.S. authorities spying on EU offices" made in a report published Sunday by Der Spiegel. The latest round of NSA 'transparency' suggests U.S. intelligence agents bugged EU offices on both sides of the Atlantic, leaving some EU lawmakers calling for concrete sanctions against Washington - calling for an immediate investigation into the claims and suggesting that recently launched negotiations on a trans-Atlantic trade treaty should be put on hold. "If the media reports are accurate, then this recalls the methods used by enemies during the Cold War," notes one German minister, adding that, "it is beyond comprehension that our friends in the United States see Europeans as enemies." Schulz concludes, "It would be an extremely serious matter which will have a severe impact on EU-US relations."
From time to time it is necessary to quietly sit down and assess where we are going. Sovereign revenues cannot, by any stretch of the imagination, support the imbedded costs of countries. Investors of the world are in another reality altogether. They do not want to hear anything about these sorts of things. They are in the state of, "ignore and deplore." You can live there for a while. Government induced fantasies have occupied the center stage before and for some time. Our current denial of reality is fueled by all of the money that the central banks have pumped into the world but that will be diminishing as the Fed and others examine the longer term consequences of their actions. There are always consequences. What has been put off will arrive. It was always just a matter of time.
- Hilsenrising interest rates Business Feels Pinch of Swift Rate Rise (WSJ)
- Yellen Betting Defies 100-Year Jinx of Fed No. 2 Never Elevated (BBG)
- No sign of cyber leaker Snowden on flight to Cuba (Reuters)
- Back to the Future 2 is finally coming: Honda Sees ‘Flying Sports Car’ Making Profit by Decade’s End (BBG)
- Europe’s Richest Person Kamprad to Move Back to Sweden (BBG)
- Li’s Shock Treatment to China Lenders Evokes Ex-Reformer (BBG)
- In India, Gold-Related Shares Melt Down (WSJ)
- Citigroup Opens in Iraq to Tap $1 Trillion of Oil Spending (BBG)
- France warned on budget deficit (FT)
Turns out that for Europe, Cyprus was a "bail-in" template after all, and following an agreement reached early this morning, Europe now has a joint failed-bank resolution mechanism. Several hours ago, EU finance ministers announced that they had reached agreement on the principles governing the imposition of losses on creditors in bank 'bail ins'. Having already agreed to establish "depositor preference" in the pecking order of creditors at risk, the stumbling block to agreement was the availability of flexibility at the national level to complement the bail in with injections of funds from other sources. Under the compromise achieved overnight, once a bail in equivalent to 8% of total liabilities has been implemented, support from other sources can be used (up to 5% of total liabilities) with approval from Brussels. So investors (i.e. yield chasers) will foot the cost of bank bailouts? Maybe on paper. In reality, last night's agreement is the usual fluid melange of semi-rigid rules filled with loopholes designed to benefit large banks whose impairment may be detrimental to "systemic stability". To wit, from the FT: "While a minimum bail-in amounting to 8 per cent of total liabilities is mandatory before resolution funds can be used, countries are given more leeway to shield certain creditors from losses in defined circumstances." In other words, here is the bail in regime... which we may decide to ignore under "defined circumstances."
- Scalpel in Hand, Chinese Premier Li Stirs Reform Hopes (Reuters)
- Obama Sets Conditions for Keystone Pipeline Go-Ahead (FT)
- World’s Most Indebted Households Face Rate Pain (BBG)
- SAC Probers Weighing 'Willful Blindness' Tack (WSJ)
- Draghi Says ECB Ready to Act, Calls for Investment Over Tax (BBG)
- U.S. Tops China for Foreign Investment (WSJ)
- Basel Presses Ahead With Plans to Limit Bank Borrowing (FT)
- Gillard Ousted as Australia PM by Rival Rudd (FT)
- Japan Economic Strength Will Show in Stocks, Nishimura Says (BBG)
And What About Your Smart Meter?
As if the Greeks don’t have enough to deal with right now with their country cut off from the benefits of a national television and radio station. What is it they say in the UK? Something like ‘when it rains it pours’.
As noted yesterday, and perhspa even more prescient now Anastasiades is back with the begging bowl, the debt crisis in Cyprus and the subsequent "bail-in" confiscation of bank depositors' money matter for two reasons: 1. The banking/debt crisis in Cyprus shares many characteristics with other banking/debt crises. 2. The official Eurozone resolution of the crisis may provide a template for future resolutions of other banking/debt crises. It also matters for another reason: not only is the bail-in a direct theft of depositors' money, the entire bailout is essentially a wholesale theft of national assets. This is the inevitable result of political Elites swearing allegiance to the European Monetary Union.
A mixed picture is starting to emerge from the Middle East in terms of oil production. Several members of the 12-member OPEC oil cartel are embroiled in turmoil or struggling to ensure post-war political gains. Oil production from the Middle East declined by 1.5 million barrels per day in 2009. Production from most Middle East countries has slowed down or leveled off, though gains from Iraq have offset some of those declines. With economic recovery seemingly on the horizon, a new OPEC may be developing from the ashes of the recession.
When the S&P, always so conveniently ahead of the curve, yesterday revised its forecast for Europe from growth in the second half of 2013 to 2014 one couldn't help but golf clap, as well as wonder if they finally started looking at the fundamental depressionary reality on the ground instead of the rating agency's infamous "models." A depressionary reality confirmed by the latest car sales number for May which just hit a fresh 20 year low.
- Obama Says Bernanke Fed Term Lasting ‘Longer Than He Wanted’ (Bloomberg)
- Merkel Critical Of Japan's Credit Policy In Meeting With Abe (Nikkei)
- China Wrestles With Banks' Pleas for Cash (WSJ)
- Biggest protests in 20 years sweep Brazil (Brazil)
- Pena Nieto Confident 75-Year Pemex Oil Monopoly to End This Year (Bloomberg)
- G8 leaders seek common ground on tax (FT)
- Putin faces isolation over Syria as G8 ratchets up pressure (Reuters)
- Former Trader Is Charged in U.K. Libor Probe (WSJ) - yup: it was all one 33 year old trader's fault
- Draghi Says ECB Has ‘Open Mind’ on Non-Standard Measures (BBG)
- Loeb Raises His Sony Stake, Drive for Entertainment IPO (WSJ)