Eurozone

Greece Has Already Spent 75% Of Its Bank Bailout Cash

Eurozone taxpayers and the IMF are left wondering what their bailout funds have been spent on in Greece. The Hellenic Financial Stability Fund (HFSF) has spent EUR38bn (or 75% of its total) bolstering the capital of Greece's four biggest banks (and winding down eight small lenders). The EUR50bn fund looks set to be drained further  - despite the banks comments that costs have been cut, funds raised, and assets sold - as non-performing loans continue to surge. About a quarter of all loans are non-performing and that share is likely to increase as the country's six-year recession, which has wiped out over a quarter of the economy, shows little sign of abating. Have no fear though, since stress tests will be carried out later this year to establish whether Greek banks have more capital needs. Of course the key question is - just where were these rescue funds diverted within the bank shells.

Overnight News Not Terrible Enough To Assure New All Time Highs

While the market's eyes were fixed on the near record slide in Japanese Industrial Production (even as its ears glazed over the latest commentary rerun from Aso) which did however lead to a 1.53% jump in the PenNikkeiStock market on hope of more stimulus to get floundering Abenomics back on track, the most important news from the overnight session is that the PBOC's love affair with its own tapering may have come and gone after the central bank came, looked at the surge in 7 day market repo rates, and unwilling to risk another mid-June episode where SHIBOR exploded to the mid-25% range, for the first first time since February injected RMB17 billion through a 7-day reverse repo. The PBOC also announced it would cut the RRR in the earthquake-hit Lushan area. And with that the illusion of a firm and resolute PBOC is shattered, however it did result in a tiny 0.7% bounce in the SHCOMP.

Ugly Start As Sentiment Crunched On Cracked Credit Creation In Europe

At precisely 4 am Eastern two opposite things happened: the German IFO Business Climate for July printed at a better than expected 106.2 vs 105.9 in June and higher than the 106.1 consensus: news which would have been EURUSD positive. And yet the EUR tumbled. Why? Because at the same time the ECB provided an update to the chart that "keeps Mario Draghi up at night" as we reminded readers yesterday - the ECB's all important credit creation update in the form of the M3, which not only missed expectations (of +3%) but declined from 2.9% to 2.3%. But more importantly, ECB lending to private sector shrank for the 14th consecutive month in June, and slid to a new record low 1.6% in June, down from a 1.1% in May.

What Keeps Mario Draghi Up At Night, And Why The European Depression Has A Ways To Go

Today's entertaining European PMI data has gotten quite a few participants excited, with some of the more tabloidy elements even proclaiming that the recovery has arrived. Amusing: one wonders if they did the same when the European PMI printed above 50 the last time around Europe "telegraphed" a recovery back in early 2012 only to crash and burn promptly thereafter. The answer, of course, is rhetorical. Sadly for Europe, not its subsidized industrial complex, what PMI does is a month to month phenomenon driven by FX, government injections, and restocking cycles. A far more important question to the overall European economy caught in a Keynesian debt trap is what is happening with credit creation. It is here that the true fundamental problem affecting Europe is exposed and demonstrates precisely what it is that keeps Mario Draghi up at night.

Crashing China Got You Down? Don't Worry, There's A "Soaring" Europe For That

Plunging Chinese manufacturing and an 11 month low PMI got you down? Don't worry: there's a Europe for that, which overnight reported that manufacturing and service PMI in Germany and, don't laugh, France soared far above expectations (German Mfg and Services PMIs of 50.3 and 52.5, up from 48.6 and 50.4, and above expectations of 49.2 and 50.8; French Mfg and Services PMIs of 48.3 and 49.8, up from 47.2 and 48.4 and an 11 and 17 month high, respectively, blowing away expectations of 47.6 and 48.8). The result was a composite Eurozone Manufacturing PMI of 50.1, above 50 for the first time since February of 2012, up from 48.8 and at a 24 month high - reporting the largest monthly increase in output sunce June 2011, as well as a composite Services PMI of 49.6, up from 48.3, and an 18 month high. In other words, European Composite PMI is expanding (above 50) for the first time since January 2012.

Cyprus Real Estate Prices Post Record Plunge

Days after Cyprus banks were bailed out (or, rather, in) in March, even if it meant the complete collapse of the local economy just to keep the country in the Eurozone and potentially the sale of the country's gold to provide its own funding toward the "common cause", the Eurogroup came out with a "Debt Sustainability Analysis" which predicted some hard times for the country but its eventual recovery. About a week later it emerged that the funding needs of the tiny island nation would be far greater than previously imagined, but for the time being, since the liquidity (if not solvency) situation had stabilized, all was well and that was one bridge that would be crossed when Europe came to it. That time may be coming fast. As Reuters reports, the Cypriot banking collapse has finally spilled over into the economy and resulted in a record collapse in local real estate values, which ranged from a 12.6% price drop in the valuation of an apartment to a 23.3% fall for office space in just the second quarter, which were the "sharpest recorded since RICS started collecting data in 2009, Loizou told Reuters."

This Morning's Futures Levitation Brought To You By These Fine Events

In a day in which there was and will be virtually no A-list macro data (later we get the FHFA and Richmond Fed B-listers), the inevitable low volume centrally-planned levitation was attributed to news out of China, namely that Likonomics has set a hard (landing) floor of 7% for the GDP, and that just like other flourishing economies (Spain, Italy, California) China would invest in "monorails" to get rid of excess capacity, as well as a smattering of European M&A activity involving Telefonica Deutscheland and KPN. In Japan, the government upgraded its economic view for the 3rd straight month and also raised its view on capex for the 1st time in 4 months: who says the (negative Sharpe ratio) PenNikkeistock market is not the economy? All this led to a 2% rise in the Shanghai Composite - the most in 2 weeks - and the risk on sentiment also resulted into tighter credit spreads in Europe, with the iTraxx Crossover index falling 4bps and sr. financial also declining by around 4bps, with 5y CDS rates on Spanish lenders down by over 10bps. Naturally, US futures wouldn't be left far behind and took today's first major revenue miss of the day, that of DuPont, which beat EPS and naturally missed revenue estimates, as bullish and a signal to BTFATH (all time high). On the earnings side, in addition to Apple, other notable companies reporting include Lockheed Martin, Altria, AT&T and UPS.

"Any News Is Good News" Levitation Continues

Don't look now but futures are up as usual, driven higher by both good and bad news. The biggest event of the weekend, if largely priced in, was the victory by Abe's coalition in the upper-house leading to the following seat breakdown. Of course, judging by the Yen and market reaction, which barely managed to eek out a gain: its first in four trading days, the event was largely of the "sell the news" type despite such bold proclamations: "Abe’s victory in the upper house is bullish for Japanese equities and the Japanese economy as a whole, as the removal of political headwinds bolsters the government’s ability to press forward with all ‘three arrows’ of its growth strategy," John Vail, Tokyo-based chief global strategist at Nikko Asset Management Co., which manages $162 billion, wrote in an e-mail. Elsewhere in Europe, Portugal bond yields have plunged by roughly 60 bps on news that the Portuguese President Silva has backed the centre-right coalition government, consequently ruling out snap polls. Well, what else is he going to do? This also comes on the heels of a Goldman report that said a second bailout for the country will be necessary and will likely be discussed in the fall. That too is bullish. What also was bullish in Europe apparently is that government debt hit a new record high of 92.2% of GDP. Remember: debt is wealth so just buy more futures. Looking forward to the US, the market will focus on the latest existing home sales data, the Chicago Fed activity index, as well as earnings report releases from McDonalds, Texas Instruments and Halliburton and a bunch of other companies that will beat EPS and miss revenues.

Guest Post: Is This A 2007 Redux?

Are we likely forming a market top? It is very possible.  We saw the same type of market action towards the last two market peaks.  However, it will only be known for sure in hindsight.  The many similarities between the last cyclical bull market cycle and what we are currently experiencing should be at least raising some warning flags for investors.  The levels of speculation, leverage, price extensions, duration of the rally, earnings trends and valuations are all at levels that have historically led to not so pleasant outcomes. The reality, however, is that the current "liquidity driven exuberance" could keep the markets "irrational" longer than logic, technicals or fundamentals would dictate.

 

GoldCore's picture

In testimony yesterday on Capitol Hill before the Senate Banking Committee, Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke remarked:

“Gold is an unusual asset. It's an asset that people hold as disaster insurance. A lot of people hold gold as an inflation hedge.  But movements of gold prices don't predict inflation very well, actually. But anyway, the perception is that by holding gold you have a hard asset that will protect you in case of some kind of major problem.

Global Business Confidence Slips to Multi-Year Low

Markit has released its global business confidence survey, and it makes for sobering reading. Due to sharp declines in business confidence in both the US and China, a new post crisis low has been reached in June. Only the UK was a notable exception, as business confidence there jumped. We would submit that this is no coincidence, as the pace of money supply growth is increasing sharply in the UK, while it it slowing down in both the US and China. The culprit for the slowdown in money supply growth in the US is lending by commercial banks, which is decelerating sharply even as monetary pumping by the central bank continues at full blast.