IMF Cuts Global Forecast, Sees European Recession, Warns Of 4% Economic Crunch If No Euroarea ActionSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 01/24/2012 11:12 -0400
The latest IMF Global Financial Stability Report is out and it is not pretty. The IMF now sees:
- 2012 world growth outlook cut to 3.3% from 4.0%, 2013 growth revised lower to 3.9% from 4.5%
- 2012 US growth of 1.8%, 2013 at 2.2%
- 2012 UK growth of 0.6%, down from 1.6%
- 2012 China growth of 8.2%, down from 9.0%
- Eurozone to enter "mild" recession, whatever that is, with -0.5% economic growth, to grow again in 2013 by 0.8%. Unclear just how with all the deleveraging...
IMF also adds that without action, the debt crisis may force a 4% Euro-area contraction, in line with what the World Bank, controlled by a former Goldmanite, said. Lastly, the IMF says that Europe needs a larger firewall and bank deleveraging limits. Well there is always that €X trillion February 29 LTRO.
Despite German and French Manufacturing and Services PMI data outperforming expectations, European equity indices are trading down at the mid-point of the European session on extended concerns over the still-not-settled Greek PSI agreement. Further downward pressure on German markets came from Siemens’ earnings report earlier this morning, with the company missing their revenue targets and foreseeing a difficult economic environment for them in Q2 of this year. In UK news, despite an unexpected fall in government spending, UK debt has topped the GBP 1tln mark for the first time.
RED ALERT TO EVERYBODY INTERESTED IN THE ESM: THERE IS NO CURRENT VERSION OF THE ESM TREATY AVAILABLE!!! Europe's most important treaty on the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), which will lead the EU into a financial dictatorship, has been pushed through by EU finance ministers late Monday evening. But the latest version of the ESM cannot be found on English and German EU websites. A link on consilium EU only leads to a 'file not found' message and the German EU website "Europa von A - Z" does not mention the ESM at all. This reminds one of the secrecy around the Federal Reserve Act, that was pushed through in 1912. Is the EU Commission now playing the same fishy game 100 years later? Significant changes have been made, a few media reported. The capital of the ESM will now be only €80 billion instead of the €700 billion proposed in the only available draft version from July 2011 (see treaty text below). The finance ministers also agreed to bring the ESM into existence one year earlier by July 2012, putting national governments under immense pressure to ratify the ESM treaty without sufficient public discussion.
- Fears Mount That Portugal Will Need a Second Bailout (WSJ)
- EU to Have No Deadline for End of Greek Talks (Bloomberg)
- Japan economy predicted to shrink in 2011 (AFP)
- Japan’s Fiscal Pressure Intensifies as Tax-Boost Plan Insufficent: Economy (Bloomberg)
- Berlin ready to see stronger ‘firewall’ (FT)
- Obama Speech to Embrace U.S. Manufacturing Rebirth, Energy for Job Growth (Bloomberg)
- EU Hits Iran With Oil Ban, Bank Asset Freeze in Bid to Halt Nuclear Plan (Bloomberg)
- China's Oil Imports from Iran Jump (WSJ)
- Croatians vote Yes to join EU (FT)
- Japan’s $130 Billion Fund Unused in Biggest M&A Year in More Than Decade (Bloomberg)
- Buffett Blames Congress for Romney’s 15% Rate (Bloomberg)
There was a time, about 4 weeks ago, when the overnight session was assumed by default to mean lower futures just because it was "the time of Europe." Then markets took one glimpse at the ECB's balance sheets and realized it had grown by more in 6 months than the Fed's during all of QE2, and decided that the central bank will not let the continent fail, and despite how ugly the European interbank market continues to be, Europe was ironically a source of optimism, no matters how ugly the actual news. In other words, a carbon copy of January 2011. Alas, January 2011 ended, and so is the currency phase of Risk On on everything European. Which explains the shift in overnight sentiment. As Bloomberg explains, the First Word Cross Asset Dashboard shows sentiment retracing from early European session rise, with commodities, FX, equities lower after Greek debt negotiations hit snag, according to Bloomberg analyst TJ Marta. EU finance chiefs balked at private investors’ offer of 4% coupon for new Greek bonds; EU wants lower; IIF’s Charles Dallara to hold press conference at 8:30am EST; EU equity indexes lower, led by OMX -1.6%; U.S. futures moderately lower, led by S&P -0.5%; US$ outperforming on risk aversion; Commodities generally modestly to moderately lower. Finally both Portugal, and thus Spain, are once again back on the radar screen. Only this time the Greek "deleveraging" model will not apply, as Zero hedge first noted, and as MUFJ picked up on in its overnight note: "It would likely be more difficult for “Portugal to restructure its private-sector debt than for Greece,” Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ’s Lee Hardman says, without necessarily noting where he got the idea. A higher share of Portugal’s outstanding debt is governed by English law which offers greater protection to creditors vs 90% of Greek government bonds covered by local law. Finally, Hardman says that Eurozone lacks a credible firewall to ensure contagion from eventual default in Greece. That may be the case until the ECB does some gargantuan LTRO on February 29, as those in the know already expect.
Hank Paulson started the extortion racket. Greek prime ministers practice it weekly. Now Christine Lagarde jumped in too. Taxpayers please step up to the plate. Or else—
10 Good And Bad Things About The Economy And Rosenberg On Whether This Isn't Still Just A Modern Day DepressionSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 01/23/2012 17:17 -0400
Two things of note in today's Rosie piece. On one hand he breaks out the 10 good and bad things that investors are factoring, and while focusing on the positive, and completely ignoring the negative, are pushing the market to its best start since 1997. As Rosie says: "The equity market has gotten off to its best start in a good 15 years and being led by the deep cyclicals (materials, homebuilders, semiconductors) and financials — last year's woeful laggards (the 50 worst performing stocks in 2011 are up over 10% so far this year; the 50 best are up a mere 2%). Bonds are off to their worst start since 2003 with the 10-year note yield back up to 2%. The S&P 500 is now up 20% from the early October low and just 3.5% away from the April 2011 recovery high (in fact, in euro terms, it has rallied 30% and at its best level since 2007)." Is there anything more to this than precisely the same short-covering spree we saw both in 2010 and 2011? Not really: "This still smacks of a classic short-covering rally as opposed to a broad asset- allocation shift, but there is no doubt that there is plenty of cash on the sidelines and if it gets put to use, this rally could be extended. This by no means suggests a shift in my fundamental views, and keep in mind that we went into 2011 with a similar level of euphoria and hope in place and the uptrend lasted through April before the trap door opened. Remember too that the acute problems in the housing and mortgage market began in early 2007 and yet the equity market did not really appreciate or understand the severity of the situation until we were into October of that year and even then the consensus was one of a 'soft landing'." Finally, Rosie steps back from the noise and focuses on the forest, asking the rhetorical question: "Isn't this still a "modern day depression?" - his answer, and ours - "sure it is."
This is not the rumor that the central planning doctor ordered. This time from Dow Jones:
- No Intention By Euro Zone, IMF To Give More Money To Greece, Say Dow Jones Sources -DJ
- Major Greece creditors made clear EUR130 bn bailout loan "won't be increased by a single euro" - DJ
It remains to be clear if Greece will even get the €130 billion loan still, but that is a different story. EURUSD, and stocks, not happy.
Macro news from Europe has refuted claims made last week that the ESM fund would be doubled to EUR 1tln, with a German spokesman commenting that the country is not of mind that ESM resources should be increased to that level. Discussions concerning the management of the EFSF and the ESM from German members of parliament have spurred talks that the funds could be run in parallel and even together in an emergency scenario. The ECB’s Weidmann has commented on his confidence in the Eurozone and the German economy, stating that current stagnation is temporary and that we should see a recovery in the Eurozone during 2012. Financial stocks have shown volatility this morning following comments from French and German Finance Ministers that banking regulations may be relaxed under the Basel III agreement, however this was later denied by the German Finance Minister.
Reuters report that the EU has agreed to freeze the assets of the Iranian central bank and ban all trade in gold and other precious metals with the Iranian Central Bank and other public bodies in Iran. According to IMF data, at the last official count (in 1996), Iran had reserves of just over 168 tonnes of gold. The FT reported in March 2011 that Iran has bought large amounts of bullion on the international market to diversify away from the dollar, citing a senior Bank of England official. Currency wars continue and are deepening. Many Asian markets are closed for the Lunar New Year holiday which has led to lower volumes. Of note was there was an unusual burst of gold futures buying on the TOCOM in Japan, which has helped the cash market to breach resistance at $1,666 an ounce. Investors are also waiting for euro zone finance ministers to decide the terms of a Greek debt restructuring later today. This would be the second bailout package for Greece.
Stocks usually follow the Fed, but this time when the ECB pumped, so much of it flowed into the US that not only Treasuries, but also stocks, got a lift.
The market will look for any signal on the pace of discussions over the ESM pre-funding details and the fiscal compact. Flash PMIs in the Eurozone and the IFO will also be key to watch given market fears over the activity impact of tight fiscal policy linked to the Eurozone fiscal crisis. Attention will likely shift to the US this week. Q4 GDP will likely exceed 3% mostly due to one-off drivers and less so due a genuine pick-up in final demand in our view. The FOMC statement and press conference are unlikely to lead to a change in US monetary policy. However, we will be focusing on the publication of the FOMC participants’ views of appropriate policy (specifically the path for the federal funds rate and guidance for the size of the balance sheet going forward). In addition, President Obama will give his State of the Union speech Tuesday night.