Perhaps echoing two entire nations' frustration, one reporter loses his cool when Mario Draghi explains how everyone else in Europe gets free money except Greece and Cyprus...
Throughout history governments have often overestimated how much their citizens are willing to accept. Japan has a beautiful stoic culture that has been able to endure tremendous suffering. That said, everyone has a breaking point. And that’s when you see that there’s a big difference between love of country and love of government. Bottom line - it’s already starting to unravel.
All of the biggest problems in the financial world revolve around the bond markets today: Greece, Japan, the Fed's interest rate hike, etc.
It has been a while since we have seen the USDJPY rampathon push US equities higher, so in a day dominated by central banks (first the BOE momentarily), and then the ECB's much anticipated announcement of the actual QE launch at the Draghi press conference at 1:30pm CET (taking place, ironically enough, in the place that was the blueprint for the Eurozone's capital controls, Cyprus), it only makes sense that after weeks of stage fright, the USDJPY algos reminded the world they are alive and well, and proceeded to ramp the key FX pair above 120, even though the currency that everyone will be talking about today is the Euro, hugging 1.10 as of this moment, but the real question is what happens after Draghi gives the asset buying green light: has all of Q€ been priced in already in FX, and will the EURUSD resume its surge higher, or is parity next stop?
Should a tail event such a deflationary spiral or Grexit occur, limits on ECB asset purchases will put Mario Draghi at a disadvantage as other central banks race to the bottom. JP Morgan says this will force the ECB to cut interest rates for cash deposits to minus 3% while the dollar will appreciate by 20%, reaching parity with euro in 2015.
"There’s Going To Be Chaos" - What Is The Worst-Case Outcome Of Today's Supreme Court Obamacare HearingSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 03/04/2015 20:18 -0500
Today, for the second time since 2012, the fate of Obamacare lies in the hands of the Supreme Court, and like last time, it will likely be all about Justice John Roberts ' decision. Later today, the US Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the case of King v. Burwell, the latest challenge to Obamacare, and one that could potentially leave it gutted from an unexpected direction. As a result, nearly eight million Americans could lose their health insurance depending on how the Supreme Court interprets four words in the "Affordable" Care Act.
Pensioners are under attack. With yields depressed across asset classes, public pension funds in the U.S. are diving into risky investments in order to justify clinging to unrealistic investment rate assumptions. In Europe, low rates are causing corporations to adopt lower discount rates to determine the present value of their pension liabilities, dramatically increasing EU pension deficits. While in Greece, the government is robbing the public purse to make good on its commitments to the IMF.
For the first time in public, though practically the entire world assumed it, an official from The IMF has admitted that the various Greek bailouts were not for The Greeks at all... "They gave money to save German and French banks, not Greece,” Paolo Batista, one of the Executive Directors of International Monetary Fund told Greek private Alpha TV on Tuesday. As KeepTalkingGreece reports, Batista then went on to strongly criticized not only the euro zone and the European Central Bank but also the IMF and the Fund’s managing Director Christine Lagarde for defending Europe much too much...
What people and central bankers do not understand, is that you can't devalue your way to prosperity. Absolutely nothing has changed since the last crisis. The same too big too fail banks have only gotten much bigger. The same people that were in charge leading into the crisis and during it, are the same people who are in charge of fixing it. New regulations were established to try and regulate the industry, but they will be proven to be ineffective. Why? Because the Volcker Rule and Dodd-Frank have had all the important elements removed, thanks to the massive lobbying power of the TBTF banks and the Fed.
It is becoming clear that a pretty wide divide seems to appear between what many people think the Syriza government in Athens should do, and what they actually can do at this point in time. It should be useful to clarify what this divide consists of, and how it can be breached, if that is at all possible.
“Yes, it’s legal, but it’s just not a very nice or Canadian thing to do.“ Similarly, in Europe, an artist known as Stefanos has been defacing euro notes with images of little human figures in a painfully bleak depiction of life in Greece under austerity.
Today's Greek T-Bill rollover auction came, and it was successful, even if it means the yield on the paper rose from 2.75% previously to 2.97% - the highest yield in 11 months, since the 3.01% in April of 2014. The problem is when looking at where the funds came from: as Bloomberg reported, also citing Kathimerini, today it was the turn of Greek Social Security funds to prop up the auction, with part of the reserves of other public entities held at Bank of Greece also used to cover the Treasury-bill auction. Bloomberg adds that the "investment of common capital reserves was necessary as no foreign investors participated in auction, Greek banks couldn’t buy additional securities as they weren’t allowed to increase their exposure to Greek Treasury bills." The biggest problem is that about €750m of the T-bills maturing Friday were held by foreign investors who didn’t participate in today’s auction.
Just like yesterday, it has - so far - been mostly about Asia in the overnight session, where as reported previously, we got the latest central bank engaging in an "unexpected" rate cut, after Reserve Bank of India Governor Rajan cut rates in an unscheduled move days after the government agreed for the first time to give the central bank a legal mandate to target inflation. This was India's second rate cut in 2 months, and yet despite the Sensex surging to a all time high over 30,000, it subsequently ended up closing red on the day, down -0.7%, despite the Indian currency sliding 0.4% to 62.1463 to a dollar. Is the half-life of thany incremental rate cut in an unprecedented barage of global central bank easing now less than a day?
Not to be outdone by his partner Charlie Munger (who offended many with his comments that "gold is a great thing to sew onto your garments if you're a Jewish family in Vienna in 1939,"), Berkshire Hathaway's Warren Buffett decides to take on Europe (and The Big Lebowski), and particularly the Greeks in today's 'perhaps it's time to just STFU' moment. Responding to questions about Europe's future, Buffett compares Greece to a "dog peeing on the carpet" of Europe, suggesting Germany stop "rewarding behavior you want to get rid of."
Just yesterday we warned that, among the 'solutions' the Greek government was exploring in its scramble for cash to pay back The IMF loan, was 'borrowing' from the nation's pension funds. Today we get the sad confirmation that indeed Greece will raid cash reserves in pension funds and other public sector entities to cover its funding needs. As Reuters reports, Greece will use short-term repo transactions to transfer the cash, but one government official said they could not be used to repay the IMF. As the radical left-wing government takes from the implictly wealthier Greeks (pension funders), it is giving free electricity, a rent allowance, and food stamps to the poor.