The reason the liberal mainstream corporate media demonized the Tea Party is because it threatens the status quo. The reason the conservative corporate mainstream media demonizes Occupy Wall Street is because it threatens the status quo. These are textbook divide and conquer strategies being used on the American people. Do not fall for it. Yesterday I read a really interesting gallup poll that stated: “Not surprisingly, Americans who consider themselves supporters of the Occupy Wall Street movement (26% of all Americans) are more likely to blame Wall Street than the federal government for the nation's economic problems. Supporters of the Tea Party movement (22% of Americans) are overwhelmingly likely to blame the government.” What is most compelling to me is that 26%+22% = 48% so basically almost a majority. All we need to do is teach people that Washington D.C. and Wall Street are now the same corrupt entity. They are one gigantic rogue trader sucking the lifeblood out of America. If we can unite these forces, which I can say with certainty agree on the important issues, we can put an end to the status quo and free ourselves of this bondage.
There are still so many alternatives on the table and each is so confusing it is hard to come up with a decent analysis. In the meantime, here is something to think about. EFSF walks into a meeting with a potential investor. EFSF is looking to raise some additional capacity so needs to borrow some money.The meeting starts off great. The investor is told that EFSF has 780 billion of capital. That is amazing, says the investor, not many people walk through the door with that much capital at launch. The investor is curious as to when the fund will get the funding. For the first time, EFSF looks a bit uncomfortable and has to explain it doesn't really have funding, it just has some guarantees. The investor is a bit confused about this since they would rather have money than guarantees, but decides that if the guarantors are good enough, maybe it's okay. The EFSF instantly replies that the guarantors are great, they are all highly rated. Well, some of them are at least. Well, actually a few are so weak that they won't actually ever provide the guarantees, they just let us include them in the pitchbook so we could have a bigger number. The Investor is getting a little nervous at this time, but still intrigued, so wants to know how much from the good guarantors? They are reasonably happy that the answer is 726 billion. Still very impressive, but at least a little confused why they bother with the 780 billion. Their experience as investors tells them that when someone lies a little, they tend to lie a lot.
As much as the current round of negotiations are being framed as “France vs Germany” there is more to the story than that. The battle is forming up along the lines of those who are trying to show some restraint and prudence and are willing to deal with the consequences of that decision against those who want to do everything possible, giving the highest chance of “success” with absolutely no downside protection.
COT data in the US shows that speculative sentiment has fallen dramatically which is bullish from a contrarian perspective. The Got Gold Report reports that silver futures market data is the most bullish it has been since 2003 - eight years ago. Silver was priced at about $4.40 per ounce then. Large commercial shorts have dramatically reduced their positions after the selloff in recent weeks suggesting that we are likely at or very close to silver bottoming. While the figures for gold are not as dramatic they too show that speculative positions and sentiment has been reduced significantly. Venezuela will repatriate some gold reserves held abroad before December 24th, Central Bank President Nelson Merentes told reporters today in Caracas according to Bloomberg. “I can’t give you an exact date for security reasons,” Merentes said. Venezuela will keep an unspecified portion of its gold reserves in foreign institutions, he said. In August, President Hugo Chavez ordered the central bank to repatriate $11 billion of gold reserves as a safeguard against volatility in financial markets. Venezuela held 211 tons of its 365 tons of gold reserves in US, European, Canadian and Swiss banks as of August.
- France, Germany Split on Crisis Solution (Bloomberg)
- Franco-German deadlock over ECB’s role in rescue fund (Telegraph)
- Merkel Risks Own Downfall to Save Greece (Bloomberg)
- Sustainable debt needed to qualify for EFSF support (Reuters)
- Bill Would Give Residence Visas To Foreigners Who Spend At Least $500,000 To Buy Houses In The U.S. (NYT)
- Couldn't happen to a nicer person: SAC Capital Faces Second Deal Probe (WSJ)
- Bullard Says Fed Policy ‘Appropriately Easy’, Relapse Unlikely (Bloomberg)
- Eurozone leaders meet in Frankfurt (FT)
- Geithner: TARP Refinancing Under Lending Program ‘No Mystery’ (WSJ)
Ugly numbers speak volumes on how Fed policies hurt the economy. But those policies enable Congress and the White House to run up deficits that make the Eurozone look benign.
FT Reports Europe To Sacrifice Its Banks To Bailout Sovereigns - Under €100 Billion In Bank Recap Funding AvailableSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 10/19/2011 14:22 -0500
It's 3pm: do you know where you last hour of trading bailout rumor is? Today, the Guardian passes the baton back to the FT, which however has released a report which when digested will be very negative for the zEURo.qq. It appears that in order to accommodate more funds for sovereign bailouts under the total max EFSF guarantee cap, as reported on several occasions yesterday by Zero Hedge, only €100 billion will be set aside for bank recapatialization. There is a problem with this number: it is predicated on the European Banking Authority's estimates of capital shortfalls of between €70-90 billion, the is the same EBA which 4 months ago said Dexia was in sterling health when it passed the 2nd Stress Test in pole position. As a reminder, Goldman predicted a €1 trillion capital shortfall, while Credit Suisse said €400 billion. No matter: the EU will come out with a number from its lower colon, just to make the residual maximum sovereign debt "guarantee" notional appear that much bigger. Too bad, however, that in the process it will once again crush Europe's banks which the market will suspect, rightfully so, that they are undercapitalized even post the recap, anywhere between 90% and 75% and will have to accelerate their asset liquidations to fund themselves one more day in lieu of a functioning interbank liquidity market. And so the risk flaring will shift from Europe's sovereign to Europe's banks, and their main proxy in the US - none other than Morgan Stanley which repeatedly refuted it has any exposure to France... but said nothing about its gross (gross because counterparties will blow up fast and furious) to French banks. End result: this is very bad for Europe because it means they have finally done the math and realize that to get the €2 trillion or so in EFSF insured capital they have to sacrifice their banks. Alas, there is no outcome that saves both the banks, and guarantees future European sovereign issuance under the currently contemplated structure. None.
With $30 Billion In Structuring Fees On The Table, Moody's Calls For Larger EFSF Even As WSJ Reports It May Be DOASubmitted by Tyler Durden on 10/19/2011 12:54 -0500
Even as the realization that the "EFSF as an insurance policy" is dead on arrival, just as Zero Hedge predicted following some simplistic math exercises yesterday, is spreading following a report just out by the WSJ that "EU lawyers have rejected direct EFSF guarantees", the multi-trillion CDO-insurance hybrid has received an endorsement from a most surprising source: Moody's which "called for increasing by as much as fivefold the firepower of the euro area’s temporary rescue fund, the European Financial Stability Facility. A 2 trillion-euro ($2.8 trillion) EFSF “is not an unfair figure. What is needed is that there are resources to cover the entire area including Spain and Italy." Well, when one considers that there are about $30 billion in structuring fees on the table, a lot of it payable to the rating agencies, and quite a bit due to the EU's financial advisor (which has remained very stealthy through this point: we wonder just who is advising the EU and Eurozone on the daily changes to the bailout proposals - is it Goldman Sachs? BNP? SocGen? Inquiring minds deserve to know), it is probably not that strange that Moody's will pull a 180 and now demand a far larger "rescue facility." After all, without one, not only will the rating agency make billions less in the current fiscal year, but it will have no excuses to not downgrade the countries in Europe's core whose fiscal situation is deteriorating with each passing day.
David Rosenberg On The Insanity Of Fixing Excess Leverage With More Leverage, And The Relentless Euro RumormillSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 10/19/2011 11:51 -0500
We though we were the only ones brought to the verge with the relentless lies out of a completely clueless Europe, which as we learned at last weekend's G20 meeting, has 3 more days to get is act together. Oh wait, they were lying too? Got it. Well, no, David Rosenberg has also had it pretty much up to here. More importantly, Rosenberg also, like us, but also like Citi's and RBS, to throw some more "credible" names, is convinced that this latest deux ex machina is D.O.A. To wit: "How cool is it that we live in a world where complicated financial engineering in a radically overleveraged system forms the cornerstone of the solution to these debt problems...Why are we so skeptical? Well, when you go back to the opening months of 2010, it was all about Greece and the prime goal was to prevent contagion to Portugal and Ireland. We know how that went. Then that fall, the risk was Greece, Ireland and Portugal and this was when the term PIG was coined. At that time, the goal was to protect Spain and Italy. And we know how that went. Then just this past July, the crisis moved beyond just Greece, Ireland and Portugal to include Italy and Spain (and this is where PUGS was coined). At this point it was about preventing contagion to the banks, but nothing has worked. The contagion has merely spread, and this is not the first time a late-day press release or policy announcement was leaked to juice the market. So, we are still living in a world were levering up is somehow deemed to be a solution to a world of excessive credit and all this will do, again, is just kick the can down the road." As we made it all too clear, far less diplomatically yesterday, "Are we the only ones dazed, confused, and tired beyond comprehension with this endless, ridiculous, pathetic, grovelling Groundhog Day bullshit? Stop risking civil and international war just to satisfy your bureaucratic vanity. THERE IS NO MONEY! YOU KNOW IT, WE KNOW IT, THE PEOPLE KNOW IT. ENOUGH!!!" So much for enough: 6 hours later we had the latest European rumormongering fiasco courtesy of The Guardian which has now devolved to the status of England's latest "paid for publication" tabloid.
But, but, but...
- France's Sarkozy says Euro zone deal talks stuck over relations between EFSF and ECB according to centre right legislators - RTRS
And the scramble:
- France's Sarkozy ready to travel to Berlin this afternoon to make progress on Euro-zone deal according to MPs - RTRS
Time for the counterrumor from whatever British tabloid has not discredited itself
And here we go again. Wondering what caused the surge in the market? Nothing short of this latest rehash of all the previous rumors, this time focusing on the EFSF as an insurance policy, only this time with the added twist that Europe has agreed on implementation (of something which as analyzed previously just does not work). From the Guardian, (and please note the bolded word in the middle): "France and Germany have reached agreement to boost the eurozone's rescue fund to €2tn as part of a "comprehensive plan" to resolve the sovereign debt crisis that the eurozone summit should endorse this weekend, EU diplomats said. The growing confidence that a deal can be struck at this Sunday's crisis summit came amid signs of market pressure on France following the warning by ratings agency Moody's that it might review the country's coveted AAA rating because of the cost of bailing out its banks and other members of the eurozone. The leaders of France and Germany hope to agree a deal that will assuage market uncertainties or, worse, volatility in the run-up to the G20 summit in Cannes early next month. France would now have to pay more than a full percentage point – some 114 basis points – more than the price paid by Germany to borrow for 10 years as the gap between the two country's bond yields widened to their highest level since 1992." Said otherwise - this is simply the last ditch "plan" proposed by PIMCO parent Allianz to use the EFSF as a 20%-first loss insurance policy, which as we already demonstrated using arcane concepts such as mathematics, DOES NOT WORK. But hey, it is Groundhog Day all over again.
There Is No Bailout Spoon: The Math Behind The €2 Trillion EFSF Reveals A "Pea Shooter" Not A "Bazooka"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 10/18/2011 12:53 -0500
The latest and greatest plan to bail out Europe revolves around using the recently expanded and ratified €440 billion EFSF, and converting it into a "first loss" insurance policy (proposed by Pimco parent Allianz which itself may be in some serious need of shorting - the full analysis via Credit Sights shortly) in which the CDO would use its unfunded portion (net of already subscribed commitments) which amount to roughly €310 billion, and use this capital as a 20% "first-loss" off-balance sheet, contingent liability guarantee to co-invest alongside new capital in new Italian and Spanish bond issuance (where the problem is supposedly one of "liquidity" not "solvency"). In the process, the ECB remains as an arm-length entity which satisfies the Germans, as it purportedly means that the possibilty of rampant runaway inflation is eliminated as no actual bad debt would encumber the asset side of the ECB. A 20% first loss piece implies the total notional of the €310 billion in free capital can be leveraged to a total of €1.55 trillion. So far so good: after all, as noted Euro-supporter Willem Buiter points out in a just released piece titled "Can Sovereign Debt Insurance by the EFSF be the "Big Bazooka" that Saves the Euro?" there is only €900 billion in financing needs for the two countries until Q2 2013. As such the EFSF would take care of Europe's issues for at least 2 years, or so the thinking goes. There are two major problems with this math however, and Buiter makes them all too clear....Buiter's unpleasant, for Allianz, Merkel and Sarkozy conclusion is that "that would likely not fund the Spanish and Italian sovereigns until the end of 2012. It would not be a big bazooka but a small pea shooter."