“If they end up doing nothing to address this budget issue ... Houston could be facing the same problem Chicago is now."
The Fed's confidence trick this week was, once again, the Keyser Soze gambit (via Beaudelaire)- "convincing the world of Yellen's hawkishness, when no such character trait exists." However, unlike the movies, stocks and FX markets have already seen through the con, leaving Fed Funds futures alone to believe the hype. As we noted previously, "The Fed Can't Raise Rates, But Must Pretend It Will," repeating its pre-meeting hawkishness to dovishness swing time and again in a "Groundhog Day" meets "Waiting For Godot"-like manner. Time is running out Janet, tick tock...
"We can look forward... not precisely to a 1929-type depression, but to an inflationary depression of massive proportions."
Remember when two months ago Schauble, jokingly, offered Jack Lew to "trade" Greece for Puerto Rico? Something tells us in the interim period the German finmin changed his mind because while the Greek can has been kicked again, if only for the time being until bailout #4, the full severity of the Puerto Rican insolvency was laid out for all to see moments ago when top officials and outside advisors to the commonwealth released a highly-anticipated report showing that island's whopping funding gap of $28 billion will at best be reduced to "only" $13 billion over the next several years. Worse: according to the report of the so-called Working Group, the Treasury’s single cash account and Government Development Bank would exhaust available liquidity before the end of the year
The bail out is a cynical ruse, not to benefit Greece as a whole, but to benefit the banks and other creditors (the ECB and the IMF) who should take their medicine and move on. The one thing keeping the whole blighted euro project in place is an arrogant denial of the facts. A loss of political face now is a small price to pay for a much better outcome that will disadvantage far fewer people than the disorganised chaos into which Euroland will descend if the current bunch of lunatics are not put back in the asylum. Is this a Europe we want to be part of?
"Millions of people in ex-Communist Bulgaria, Macedonia, Albania, Serbia and Romania have deposits in banks owned by Greek lenders, putting this corner of south-eastern Europe in the frontline if there is contagion from the Greek crisis."
"Kansas is in trouble. After slashing income taxes in 2012, the state faces a revenue gap of more than $400 million. Republican Governor Sam Brownback and state legislators are debating how to make up the shortfall. So far they’ve agreed on one way to control how state money is spent. Starting in July, people on the dole will be limited to a single ATM withdrawal of no more than $25 per day," Bloomberg says, adding that "Kansas is among several Republican-controlled states that have recently cut or limited public-assistance funds."
The next several weeks are likely to be relatively eventful in Washington...
Kansas, which is laboring under an $800 million funding gap, will limit cash withdrawals on state-issued benefit cards to $25 per day starting on July 1, forcing some beneficiaries to go to the ATM more often. Because the state charges $1 per trip, and because many low-income families do not have a checking account, the new law amounts to a sizeable 'poor tax'.
"Protesters hailing from as far away as Kansas City and New York City participated in a demonstration at McDonald's Oak Brook headquarters Wednesday, urging that hourly wages for the burger giant's front-line workers be increased to $15 an hour", the Chicago Tribune reports. Police estimated the crowd at about 2,000 people. Organizers had projected that upward of 5,000 would participate in the demonstration.
Central bank liquidity lines like those the Fed used to bailout the world seven years ago have become a fixture of the post crisis financial system. Since 2009, China has essentially blanketed the globe with yuan liquidity lines, inking swap agreements with nearly three dozen countries with the primary goal of increasing the degree to which the renminbi is used in international trade.
Goldman Gets Cold Feet:"It Is Difficult To Predict How Negative The Market Reaction To Grexit Would Be"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 04/26/2015 13:18 -0500
"We think that, at the 10-year tenor, the spread between Spanish and Italian bonds yield versus Bunds yield could still widen to around 350-400bp before a policy response is enacted. We stress that the departure of a country from the ‘irrevocable’ monetary arrangements of the EMU would take us into unchartered waters and it is difficult to predict how negative the market reaction could be."
This will make every American feel much better about handing over that check today... as Simon Black notes today "I believe we have an obligation to starve the beast..."
Either Greece will stop trying to save the failed past and look into the future, treating the crisis and the adjustment program as opportunities to finally implement urgently needed reforms, or the country will be eventually forced to exit the euro, in our view. Economics 101 teaches us that an economy can survive within a monetary union only if it has fiscal policy room and structural flexibility to respond to asymmetric shocks. In our view, Greece had none and has none. We see no solution for Greece within the Eurozone without reforms.
Greece will need to find €2 billion by Friday in order to repay creditors as Schaeuble, others see no way out. With no contingency plan, Athens' day of reckoning may be at hand. Morgan Stanley is out today with a note diagramming what happens next.