Finland

Frontrunning: August 10

  • Grim China data keeps stimulus hopes alive (Reuters)
  • Berkshire Hathaway to Buy Precision Castparts for About $37 Billion (BBG)
  • Greece, lenders in final push to seal new bailout (Reuters)
  • Quantitative Easing With Chinese Characteristics Takes Shape (BBG)
  • Greece nears €86bn accord with creditors (FT)
  • Oil Futures Signal Weak Prices Could Last Years (WSJ)
  • Drop in long-term investment hinders eurozone recovery (FT)
  • Two shot in Ferguson amid standoff between police, protesters (Reuters)

Futures Flat, China Slides Again, Oil Tumbles Near 2015 Lows

It has been more of the same in the latest quiet overnight session where many await tomorrow's NFP data for much needed guidance, and where Chinese markets opened weaker, rose during the day, then went through a mini rollercoaster, then sold off in the afternoon.  The Shanghai Composite and HS China Enterprises indices finished down .9% and .3%, respectively. Trading volume continued to be very subdued, running at half the thirty day average as some 20 million "investors" have pulled out of the market to be replaced with HFTs such as Virtu.  But while stock action has been muted, the story of the night so far is oil and the energy complex broke out of a tight overnight range early in the European session to continue yesterday's downward trend, seeing WTI Sep'15 futures fall below the USD 45.00 handle after yesterday's DoE crude oil inventories saw US crude output rise by 0.552%. As of this moment oil was trading at $44.72, just pennies above the low print of 2015.

The Great Greek Fudge

A third Greek bailout involving loans from the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), the eurozone’s bailout scheme, is now being negotiated. The start was quite rocky, with haggling over the precise location in Athens where negotiations need to take place and Greek officials once again withholding information to creditors. Therefore, few still believe that it will be possible to conclude a deal in time for Greece to repay 3.2 billion euro to the ECB on 20 August. Several national Parliaments in the Eurozone would need to approve a final deal, which would necessitate calling their members back from recess around two  weeks before the 20th, so it’s weird that French EU Commissioner Pierre Moscovici still seems so confident that the deadline can be met.

A Veteran Trader Slams The Fed: "Savers Are The Patsies For Share Buybacks"

There will always be some "crisis" or excuse to do nothing. But the fact remains that the U.S. economy is not at zero interest rate health. Monetary policy is broken with the status quo. Unlimited and constant central bank participation in the markets is ultimately destructive, encourages dangerous risk taking (just buy every dip, nothing can go wrong,) and has become too much of an aphrodisiac for policy makers. Savers are being told you are the patsies for share buybacks.

According To One Veteran FX Trader, "Greece Is Playing It Correctly"

"Greece is playing it correctly. Agree to everything. Give Germany no excuse to do what they want. Get the money. This is why France, among others, want this all agreed as quickly as possible, because they know this deal is not how it will end, but an end that keeps the EUR together must be found. The Germans know it too. They also know that they have been had and it is their own fault."

Greece Isn't The Problem; It's A Symptom Of The Problem

All eyes may be on Greece right now, but in reality, the economic malaise is widespread across the continent.  It’s clear that Greece is not the problem. It’s a symptom of the problem. The real problem is that every one of these nations has violated the universal law of prosperity: produce more than you consume. This is the way it works in nature, and for individuals.

French President Calls For The Creation Of United States Of Europe

French President Francois Hollande said that the 19 countries using the euro need their own government complete with a budget and parliament to cooperate better and overcome the Greek crisis. “Circumstances are leading us to accelerate,” Hollande said in an opinion piece published by the Journal du Dimanche on Sunday. “What threatens us is not too much Europe, but a lack of it.”... Countries in favor of more integration should move ahead, forming an “avant-garde,” Hollande said.

When It Comes To Total Debt, Greece Is Not That Much Worse Than France (Or The USA)

Now that even the IMF has admitted Greece has an unsustainable debt problem with a debt-to-GDP ratio which will soon cross 200% after its third bailout (even if it leaves open the question what the IMF thinks about Japan's debt "sustainability") we wonder what the IMF thinks when looking at Greece's net government liabilities, which as SocGen's Albert Edwards reminds us are rapidly approaching 1000%. Which incidentally means that Greece is only marginally better than the USA, whose comparable net liability is a little over 500%, while its other nearest comparable is none other than France, whose next president may will be "Madame Frexit" and whose biggest headache will be how to resolve government promises to creditors and retirees that are five times greater than the country's GDP.

Ex-IMF Chief: Germany Should Leave The Euro, Not Greece

In her euro-hegemonic role Germany failed to properly handle the Greek Crisis. What economics have been whispering among themselves after the scandalous Brussels Agreement of July 13th is now on the public discussion. One of IMF’s former European bailouts official, Ashoka Mody made it very clear in his article on Bloomberg on Friday morning: It’s Germany not Greece that has to leave the eurozone.

Why A Third Greek Bailout Is A Bad Idea

Last Sunday, Eurozone countries submitted yet another ultimatum to Greece: implement a whole round of reforms, from eliminating early retirement over scrapping exemptions from sales tax to opening shops on Sunday, and we’ll start negotiations on providing a new bailout of possibly €86bn from the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), the Eurozone’s bailout scheme, which will carry yet another series of strings attached. As Finland’s Foreign Minister Timo Soini said this week about the idea of a third Greek bailout round: “the Finnish public can’t understand that this is allowed to continue”. Can anyone else?