- San Bernadino: Another Calif. city goes bankrupt (247)... It appears Hell's Angels don't pay municipal taxes after all
- Rajoy announces 65 Billion Euros Of Cuts To Fight Crisis (Bloomberg)... And Spaniards prepare to not pay taxes
- Spain pressed to inflict losses on savers (FT)... And Spaniards prepare to sue
- Spain to Cede Bank Control (WSJ)... And Spaniards prepare to protest
- Rate Scandal Stirs Scramble for Damages (NYT)... but who do you sue: the Fed?
- Paulson Ex-Lieutenant Caught in Fund's Slide (WSJ)
- ILO warns 4.5m jobs at risk in eurozone (FT)
- Global economic crunch confirmed every day: Airbus Scraps Target of 30 A380 Sales as Demand Dwindles (BBG)
- Same old: Finland says requires collateral from Spain for bank aid (Reuters)
- Cameron and Hollande clash on tax (FT)
- Wen Says Boosting Investment Now Key to Stabilizing China Growth (Bloomberg)
Fear and trepidation: eight German justices to decide what happens next in the world, or so it seems
The devil is in the details and we finally have the Spanish Bank rescue details. The cost is not mentioned. We do not know the cost of the borrowing or how long it will last for. That ultimately will be key. Short dated, high coupon loans will not help much. Long dated, low coupon loans will help. The seniority issue doesn’t seem too bad but reading the documentation it looks like it must have been extremely contentious as it can’t help but say it is going to Spain time and again where it was unnecessary. The other reason the seniority doesn’t look too bad is because it doesn’t look like much money will get doled out. The timing seems far too long. This is a political fix and one where they live in some bankers world rather than a traders world. We are VERY concerned about the long timeframe for implementation. The immediate availability of €30 billion is good, but as TF Market Advisors' Peter Tchir confirms, we have our doubts that it will be distributed. However, as we noted earlier, even if fully implemented there would be well under EUR200 billion by year-end anyway and now with the German Court stalling implementation further, the devil in the details may just be overwhelmed by the god of reality.
Earlier today, when futures were soaring, we rhetorically asked whether "A German Constitutional Court Delay Today Cripple The EUphoria?" a delay which "could have “serious economic consequences” for the Eurozone as well as Germany, and in turn would risk placing the entire euro project “in question,” Schaeuble warned." Specifically, in terms of timing we said "Judges during the hearing suggested a two-part decision was likely, first on the injunction in about three weeks, and then in early 2013 on the broader constitutional question." Moment ago, according to CNBC's Sylvia Wadhwa, the court has announced the delay could be as great as large as three months, which in turn would put the Schauble scenario into play.
European equities are seen firmly in the green at the North-American crossover, with outperformance noted in the peripheral bourses. Overnight news from the Eurogroup has confirmed that the EFSF/ESM rescue funds will be given the powers to intervene in the secondary bond markets, easing sentiment towards the European laggard economies. Gains are being led by a particularly strong technology sector, with the riskier financials and basic materials also making solid progress. Asset classes across the board in Europe are benefiting from risk appetite, with the Bund seen lower and both the Spanish and Italian 10-yr yields coming below their key levels of 7% and 6% respectively. The moves follow a spurt of activity in Europe with a number of factors assisting the way higher.
While early news are still abuzz with last night's largely irrelevant FinMin meeting, which came up with nothing new, but merely regurgitated the June 28 summit decisions in a way to send Peripheral bonds modestly higher, however briefly, the real news this morning will be out of Karlruhe, where the German Constitutional Court - which holds the fate of the European bailout mechanism - has already said there will be no final decision on the constitutionality issue. The question now is whether the Court will issue a temporary injunction, which however, the court itself admits "will be interpreted by the foreign press as ‘euro-rescue is halted." Instead, what will likely take place is a two step process. As Market News reports, "Judges during the hearing suggested a two-part decision was likely, first on the injunction in about three weeks, and then in early 2013 on the broader constitutional question." Obviously, the court is not in any rush to come up with a definitive judgment. The problem is that Spain is. As is Italy: unless the ESM is able to promptly roll out its rescue functionality, the entire bailout mechanism will be halted and all the "progress" achieved so far will be for nothing. Sure enough, "a delay could have “serious economic consequences” for the Eurozone as well as Germany, and in turn would risk placing the entire euro project “in question,” Schaeuble warned." Yet not even the German FinMin will dare to tell German's constitutional arbiters to hurry up. Which is why keep a close eye on those Red flashing headlines out of Germany: they can make or break both the Euro, the PIIGS bonds, and broadly risk, if there is indeed a major delay, and certainly, if the court does order an injunction.
Who Are the Biggest Manipulators of All?
Netherlands, that one of four remaining AAA-rated Eurozone countries (by the big 3 rating agencies at least), was just downgraded by Egan Jones. And for good measure, EJ also cut Austria, both to A, outlook negative.
By now, it seems clear that the US earnings season will be softer than was forecast a couple of months ago. In fact, there was more negative guidance during the second quarter than any time in this cycle and Morgan Stanley, like us, believes these soft results and weaker guidance are not fully discounted into a QE-hungry market. Lower oil, a stronger dollar (e.g. a one-standard deviation appreciation in the US Dollar against a basket of currencies decreases expected S&P 500 earnings by 2.6%), lower 10-year yields and a preponderance of evidence of lighter growth from economically sensitive companies are reasons for a lower view of Q2 EPS than we previously expected as UBS notes the 'official' US Q2 reporting season kicks off in earnest today with Alcoa followed by over 3,000 global companies reporting in the next two months. At the sector and stock level UBS sees particular risk around some of the higher rated areas such as consumer staples and consumer discretionary, where relative multiples are high and expectations are demanding and while they see consensus estimates for 2012 global EPS growth have been falling - at 9.7%, they remain too high given the Eurozone crisis / policy response; deteriorating global macro data; and the corporate profit cycle - and in that order of importance.
European equities have been grinding lower throughout the European morning, with basic materials seen underperforming following the release of a multi-month low Chinese CPI figure, coming in at 2.2%, below the expected 2.3% reading. The focus in Europe remains on the Mediterranean periphery, as weekend reports from Spanish press suggest that the heavily weighted Valencia region may be pressed into default unless it receives assistance from the central government. The sentiment is reflected in the Spanish debt market today, with the long-end of the curve showing record high yields, and the 10-yr bond yield remaining elevated above the 7% mark. News from an EU council draft, showing that Spain is to be given extra time to meet its deficit targets did bring the borrowing costs off their session highs, but they do remain stubbornly high at the North American crossover. The gap between the core European nations and their flagging partners continues to widen, as Germany sell 6-month bills at a record low of -0.0344%. As such, the 10-yr government bond yield spread between the Mediterranean and Germany is seen markedly wider on the day.
- Euro zone fragmenting faster than EU can act (Reuters)
- Wall Streeters Lose $2 Billion in 401(k) Bet on Own Firms (Bloomberg)
- Eurozone crisis will last for 20 years (FT)
- Chuckie Evans: "Please suh, can I have some moah" (Reuters)
- Quote stuffing and book sales: Amazon ‘robo-pricing’ sparks fears (FT)
- Situation in Egypt getting worse by the minute: Egypt parliament set to meet, defying army (Reuters)
- Chinese goalseek-o-tron speaks: China’s inflation eased to a 29-month low (Bloomberg)
- A contrarian view: "Barclays and the BoE have probably saved the financial system" (FT)
- Flawed analysis: Dealers Declining Bernanke Twist Invitation (BBG) - Actually as shown here, ST Bond holdings have soared as dealers buy what Fed sells: more here
- Obama team targets Romney over taxes, Republicans cry foul (Reuters)
- And all shall be well: Brussels to act over Libor scandal (FT)
- Bank of England's Tucker to testify on rate rigging row (Reuters)
Remember the running joke about Spain's constantly deteriorating budget? Or was that Greece's? No matter: there was a time when Spain was expected to hit a 5.3% budget deficit in 2012, and the Maastricht mandated 3.0% by 2013. So much for that. It turns out the Spanish economy has deteriorated so much in the last few months, that the EU had no choice but to grant Spain a 1 year extension, according to Europapress. In doing so, the EU has eased deficit targets for Spain by 1% in 2013, granting it a 6.3% deficit miss, a number which will be revised at least once more before the year is over, and the 2013 target is now widened by 1.5% to 4.5%. So much for serious deficit cutting. But let's blame "austerity" while we are at it. It would, however, be great if countries in Europe, or anywhere, were actually austere, and cut their deficits, instead of just blaming austerity for every economic problem while never actually enacting such policies (as we explained before). So while Spain gets an extension due to a "recession of rare violence", the trade off will be even greater supervision by the Eurogroup, or said otherwise, more people will watch how Spain does nothing to actually fix itself and then 6 months from now everyone will be shocked, shocked, when the 2013 deficit is over 8%. In other news, Spain 10 Year bond were trading at 7.08%, well wide for the day and about 20 bps shy of the all time record lows.
Recent economic data, and especially today's unemployment numbers reveal the powerlessness of the Fed in the face of underlying economic problems that they fail to understand. The Fed has tried every trick in the book for the past 4 years to revive the economy only to see it continue to weaken. Unfortunately they only know how to do one thing—print. The ultimate effect of this will be more economic stagnation, not real economic growth. Here is why.
“We are prepared for all scenarios, including abandoning the euro.”