Eurozone

Capital Controls & Confiscation - The Most Important Strategy Investors Ignore

“If I scare you this morning, and as a result you take action, then I will have accomplished my goal," is how Casey Research's Jeff Clark began a recent conference speech. But the reality is that he didn’t need to try to scare anyone. Sadly, the evidence is overwhelming and has already alarmed most investors; our greatest risk is not a bad investment but our political exposure. And yet most of these same investors do not see any need to stash bullion outside their home countries. They view international diversification as an extreme move. Many don’t even care if capital controls are instituted. We're convinced that this is the most common - and important - strategic investment error made today...

Weak Chinese And European Macro Data Briefly Halts Futures Levitation

It is unclear how much of this morning's momentum-busting weakness in futures is the result of China's horrendous Service PMI, which as we reported last night dropped to the lowest print on record at the contraction borderline, but whatever low volume levitation was launched by the market after Europe's close yesterday may have fizzled out if only until Europe close (there is no POMO today). Still, futures may have been helped by yet another batch of worse than expected European data, namely the final Eurozone PMI prints, which in turn sent the EURUSD to day lows and the offsetting carry favorite USDJPY to highs, helping offset futures weakness. Because in the New Normal there is nothing like a little bad macro data to goose the BTFATH algos...

Frontrunning: August 4

  • New War Risk on Russia Fringes Amid Armenia-Azeri Clashes (BBG)
  • Palestinians accuse Israel of breaking seven-hour Gaza truce (Reuters)
  • Argentine Default Sours Outlook for Peso as Talks Ordered (BBG)
  • Espírito Santo Saga Entangles Swiss Company (WSJ)
  • Booming African Lion Economies Gear Up to Emulate Asians (BBG)
  • CME Profit Falls as Trading Volume Declines (WSJ)
  • Why Recalled Cars Stay on the Road (WSJ)
  • London Renters Win in Billionaire Backyard as Prices Soar (BBG)
  • Junk-Debt Liquidity Concerns Bring Sales (WSJ)
  • Rescuers race to find survivors after 400 die in China quake (AFP)

G-20 Revolt? France Gets "Positive Reception" To Challenge US Bank Fines

In recent weeks France has defied US demands not to build Mistrals for Russia, has questioned dollar imperialism and the Petrodollar, and has blasted the US banking regulator's fines as "accelerating the decline of the dollar." So it is likely not a huge surprise that ahead of the G-20 meeting of world leaders later in the year, The FT reports, France has gathered support to challenge US regulators imposing heavy penalties on foreign banks. Berlin, London and Rome have backed Paris in its push to have its concerns about so-called US extraterritoriality discussed when leaders of the world’s top 20 economies meet hoping to bring "more proportionality" to bank fines. With allies like this...

Guest Post: The EU's Anti-Austerity Hypocrites

The European Union (EU) is still in the midst of an economic slump. Many members of the political class in Brussels claim that fiscal austerity is to blame. But, this diagnosis is wrong. It's time for the public to stop listening to the EU's anti-austerity hypocrites and start looking at the numbers.

Frontrunning: August 1

  • As we predicted yesterday, the "big" Gaza ceasefire lasted all of a few hours (Reuters)
  • To Lift Sales, G.M. Turns to Discounts (NYT)
  • Espirito Santo Family’s Swift Fall From Grace Jolts Portugal (BBG)
  • Argentine Debt Feud Finds Much Fault, Few Fixes (WSJ)
  • Fiat Says Ciao to Italy as Merger With Chrysler Ends Era (BBG)
  • Euro zone factory growth eases in July as inflation fades away (Reuters)
  • CIA concedes it spied on U.S. Senate investigators, apologizes (Reuters)
  • Ukraine Reports Losses After Pro-Russian Ambush Near Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 Crash Area (WSJ)
  • U.S. says India refusal on WTO deal a wrong signal (Reuters)
  • Why Putin Has 2006 Flash Before His Eyes After Sanctions (BBG)

Russia And Germany Allegedly Working On Secret "Gas For Land" Deal

While many were amused by this photo of Putin and Merkel during the world cup final showing Europe's two most important leaders siding side by side, some were more curious by just what the two were scheming: Thanks to the Independent, we may know the answer, and it is a doozy, because according to some it is nothing shy of a sequel to the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact: allegedly Germany and Russia have been working on a secret plan to broker a peaceful solution to end international tensions over the Ukraine, one which would negotiate to trade Crimea's sovereignty for guarantees on energy security and trade. The Independent reveals that the peace plan, being worked on by both Angela Merkel and Vladimir Putin, "hinges on two main ambitions: stabilising the borders of Ukraine and providing the financially troubled country with a strong economic boost, particularly a new energy agreement ensuring security of gas supplies."

Futures Tumble On Espirito Santo Loss, European Deflation, Argentina Default

It has been a deja vu session of that day nearly a month ago when the Banco Espirito Santo (BES) problems were first revealed, sending European stocks and US futures, however briefly, plunging. Since then things have only gotten worse for the insolvent Portuguese megabank, and overnight BES, all three of its holdco now bankrupt, reported an epic loss despite which it will not get a bailout but instead must raise capital on its own. The result has been a record drop in both the bonds (down some 20 points earlier) and the stock (despite a shorting ban instituted last night), which crashed as much as 40% before stabilizing at new all time lows around €0.25, in the process wiping out recent investments by such "smart money" as Baupost, Goldman and DE Shaw. The result is a European financial sector that is struggling in the red, while adding to its pain are some large cap names such as Adidas which also tumbled after issuing a profit warning relating to "developments" in Russia. Then there was European inflation which printed at 0.4%, below the expected 0.5%, and the lowest in pretty much ever, and certainly since the ECB commenced its latest fight with "deflation", which so far is not going well. The European cherry on top was Greece, whose dead cat bounce is now over, after May retail sales crashed 8.5%, after rising 3.8% in April.

Futures Push Higher Ahead Of Data Deluge, Yellen Capital Statement

This week's US data onslaught begins today, with the ADP private payroll report first on deck (Exp. 230K, down from 281K), followed by the number of the day, Q2 GDP, which after Q1's abysmal -2.9%, is expected to increase 3%. Anything less and in the first half the US economy will have contracted, something the purists could claim is equivalent to a recession. The whisper numbers are to the downside since consumption and trade never caught up and the only variable is inventory as well as Obamacare, whose impact was $40 billion "contribution" in Q1 was entirely eliminated and instead led to a deduction, something we expect will be reversed into Q2. Following the backward looking GDP (which will be ignored by the sellside penguins if it is bad and praised if good) at 2:00 pm Yellen Capital LLC comes out with a correction on her call to short social networking stocks, as well as admit once again that the "data-driven" Fed really has no idea what it is doing and how it will tighten, but that tightening is imminent and another $10 billion taper to QE will take place ahead of a full phase out in October. Joking aside, the Fed is expected not to do much if anything, which may be just the right time for Yellen to inject an aggressively hawkish note considering her inflation "noise" refuses to go away.

Can Germany Carry Europe’s Weight In The Next Financial Crisis?

Within the European economic context Germany has been a star performer in recent years, outgrowing in GDP terms its Eurozone peer group as a whole in all but one year since 2006 (complete with a magnificent football/soccer team). This was quite a reversal of fortune from the ten years prior, when Germany consistently lagged in wealth creation. Together with its size and unwavering historical commitment to the EU project, this has created the expectation in political and even financial circles that if Europe faces another major economic crisis Germany will have no choice but to support the most vulnerable member states, possibly even relenting to the mutualisation of the Eurozone's debts. While this is a very complex topic, the following graph puts the odds in favor of one outcome: the next time push comes to shove in a big way, Germany will likely say NEIN!

GoldCore's picture

Singapore’s plans to become a gold and precious metals hub took a key step on Thursday. Jim Rogers, Jim Sinclair and Marc Faber have extolled the virtues of owning physical coins and bars in Singapore. “Individuals are making a mistake if they’re holding all their assets in one country.…I still have the majority of my gold in Switzerland, but I am already moving gold to Asia,” Faber recently said.

Frontrunning: July 25

  • Argentine holdout NML says government "choosing" to default (Reuters)
  • Crunch time for Gaza truce talks as death toll passes 800 (Reuters)
  • Don’t Tell Anybody About This Story on HFT Power Jump Trading (BBG)
  • U.S. Accuses Russia of Shelling Eastern Ukraine (BBG)
  • France’s Wheat Exports in Question as Rain Spoils Quality (BBG)
  • Tapering in action: Lower printer sales hurt Xerox's revenue (Reuters)
  • No liquidity? No Problem, there's an ETF for that: Bond ETFs Swelling in Europe as Trading Debt Gets Tougher (BBG)
  • Herbalife hires ex-Biden chief to fend off regulators (NYPost)
  • GM recalls far from calamity for some dealers who find new customers, business (Reuters)
  • Bad weather likely cause of fatal Air Algerie crash: French officials (Reuters)