"Graccident" Will Trigger The Demise Of The ECB And The World's Toxic Regime Of Keynesian Central BankingSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 05/27/2015 03:00 -0400
The euro-19 area is now close to having a 100% debt to GDP ratio, and that’s flattered by German surpluses from an export boom that is rapidly cooling, and the fact the for a few quarters Mario’s printing press has conferred huge interest rate subsidies on their depleted fiscal accounts. The pending Graccident will puncture that illusion, tipping most of Europe into acute fiscal crisis and political upheaval of the type that has already roiled Greece and was starkly evident in Spain’s elections last weekend. The odds that the European superstate and the ECB’s Keynesian monetary regime will survive the resulting upheaval are, thankfully, somewhere between slim and none.
If governments have proven anything to us over the last seven years, it is that they will do anything to keep the banks from going down. If just 10% of people hit their breaking points and withdrew their money in cash - there wouldn’t be enough cash in the system to support this demand. And the banks would subsequently collapse. When a government is bankrupt, the central bank is nearly insolvent, the banking system is illiquid, and an entire population suffers from interest rates that are either negative or below the rate of inflation, capital controls are a foregone conclusion. In fact, we expect the next round of capital controls will be designed to protect the banks... from you.
Will Greece default or is this a bluff? The larger implication is that Greece may be the straw that breaks the proverbial camel’s back: a Greek default or breakup from the Euro would, trigger considerable US Dollar strength.
In an important interview with Reuters in 2012, John Butler suggested that if one country - he cited Russia - were to back its currency with gold it could cause a 20% collapse in the dollar in just 24 hours. In order to stabilise the currency and in an attempt to preserve the reserve currency status of the dollar, the U.S. would be forced against its will to back its currency with gold.
On the heels of a vote which betrayed fractures within PM Alexis Tsipras’ ruling Syriza party, a Eurogroup meeting in Brussels scheduled for today has now been postponed, according to a Greek official who did not give a reason for the cancellation. Meanwhile, there are rumors that the country will impose a levy on ATM withdrawals in an effort to encourage Greeks to use credit cards for purchases.
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While yesterday most markets were closed and unable to express their concerns at the very strong showing of "anti-austerity" parties in Spain's municipal election from Sunday, then today they have free reign to do just that, and as a result European stocks are broadly lower, alongside the EURUSD which dripped under 1.09 earlier today, with Spanish banks among the worst performers: Shares of Banco Sabadell, Bankia, Caixabank and Popular were down 1.8 to 2.3% earlier this morning, and while the stronger dollar was a gift to both the Nikkei and Europe in early trading, after opening in the green, Spain's IBEX has since slid into the red on concerns of what happens if the Greek anti-status quo contagion finally shifts to the Pyrenees.
Over the weekend, in a surprisingly close vote showing just how deeply the ruling Greek Syriza party has splintered, the hard line "Left Platform" a faction within Syriza, proposed that Greece stop paying its creditors if they continue with "blackmailing tactics" and instead seek "an alternative plan" for the debt-racked country. Its motion called for the government to default on the IMF loans rather than compromise to creditor demands, among which a change to value-added tax rates, further liberalization of the labor market and changes to the pension system, including further cuts to pensions and wages. According to the NYT, which reported the vote first, the proposal was narrowly rejected, with 95 people voting against and 75 in favor.
Everything is better (and fixed) once you can print...
There has to be a very clear line between central banks and governments. The latter should never be able to influence the former, because it would risk making economic policy serve only short term interests (until the next election). Likewise the former should stay out of the latter’s decisions, because that would tend to make political processes skewed disproportionally towards finance and the economy, at the potential cost of other interests in a society. This may sound idealistic and out of sync with the present day reality, but if it does, that does not bode well. It’s dangerous to play fast and loose with the founding principles of individual countries, and perhaps even more with those of unions of sovereign nations.
Between escalating Grexit concerns and Podemos 'victory' in Spain, European bond and stock markets shuddered somewhat today. EURUSD continues to close lower - back below 1.1000. All major bourses across Europe are in the red with Greece and Spain worst (ASE -3%) but the most notable shift is a collapse in Poruguese bonds. Illiquidity has always been an issue for PORTUG bonds but today's near 4 point collapse in 10Y bond prices (and 48bps spike in spreads) is dramatic to say the least. Bond yields and spreads are now higher than before Draghi announced Q€ in January and dramatically higher since bond-buying began. If EU leaders proclaim they can see no contagion from Greece, show them these charts. Finally, despite cash markets being closed, US equity futures also suffered (despite an exuberant BTFD rip higher in China overnight).
With just 10 days until a June 5 IMF payment that Athens almost certainly will not make unless it strikes a deal for the disbursement of more bailout funds, things just got quite a bit more interesting on the EU political front after Spain’s Popular Party was dealt a dramatic electoral blow on Sunday by the leftist Podemos and center-right Ciudadanos.
With US markets closed for the Memorial Day holiday, and some of the key European markets likewise shuttered for public holiday including the UK, Germany and Switzerland, it is difficult to find where one can observe or trade the weekend's newsflow, which is once again centered on developments in Europe, where on Sunday Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s People’s Party suffered its worst result in a municipal election in 24 years while Greece continues to threaten with default 5 some years after it should have officially pulled the plug.
"Greek hospitals have run out of supplies such as painkillers, scissors and sheets as budget cuts have left the health service unable to provide even basic provisions for operations and medical procedures," The Independent reports. With Tsipras still refusing to compromise on campaign "red lines," the end game is quite clearly approaching.
"I would be more than happy to see the cradle of democracy put the imperial autocrats and financial kleptocrats in their place, teaching them a thing or two about enlightened self governance."