Greece

Quiet Start To #Turbulent Day Summarized In Just Over 140 Characters

When it comes to US equities today, the picture below summarizes it all... the only question is whether the NYSE breaks to celebrate the year's overhyped social media IPO.Aside from the non-event that is the going public of a company that will likely not generate profits for years, if ever, the overnight market has been quiet with all major stock indices in Asia trading modestly lower on the back of a modestly stronger dollar, although the main currency to watch will be the Euro (German Industrial production of -0.9% today was a miss of 0.0% expectations and down from 1.6% previously), when the ECB releases its monthly statement at 7:45 am Eastern when it is largely expected to do nothing but may hint at more easing in the future. On the US docket we have the weekly initial claims (expected at 335k) which now that they are again in a rising phase, have been the latest data item to be ignored in the Bizarro market, as well as the latest Q3 GDP estimate, pegged by consensus at 2.0%.

"Very Low" Obamacare Enrollment Admitted As Young People Just Say No

For the first time today, in addition to previous anecdotal evidence that the first several days of the Obamacare rollout (with 248 enrollees in the first two days) have been an abysmal failure, and the days since have fared no better, HHS Secretary Sebelius finally admitted to the Senate Finance Committee that over a month after the rollout of healthcare.gov, the enrollment figures have been "very low." Of course, being able to qualify the number didn't mean she could or would actually put it in numeric terms - it would have been simply too humiliating and may have forced her to finally do what so far nobody in the Obama administration has done: take responsibility for one after another failure (after all, for everything else, there's "Mr. Chairwoman getting to work") and resign. One thing, however, is certain, the "very low" number whatever it may be, is orders of magnitude below Obama's mission critical goal of enrolling 494,620 people in October, and another 706,600 for November.

BofA Warns "Further Euro Appreciation Is A Problem"

With only 3 of 70 economists surveyed by Bloomberg expecting a rate cut at tomorrow's ECB press conference, Credit Agricole's Frederik Ducorzet suggests seven signals to watch for from Draghi that could signal ECB easing ahead. Crucially, as BofAML puts it, "further euro appreciation is a problem, particularly for the periphery," and with empirical Phillips curves in hand, there is little room for further compensation via wage reduction. In other words, if Draghi stands pat (or doesn't offer up some sacrificial forward guidance hint of easing being likely), the drumbeat of social unrest in the periphery will grow ever louder.

Mike Maloney's Top 10 Reasons To Buy Gold & Silver

As Mike "Hidden Secrets Of Money" Maloney has said many times before, the economic crisis of 2008 was only a speed bump on the way to the main event.  He believes that before the end of this decade there will be an economic crisis so historic that it will eclipse the crash of 29 and the subsequent great depression.  He also believes it is both unavoidable and inevitable, because it is merely the free market releasing the stored up energy from decades of economic manipulation. As Maolney notes, "the best investment that you will ever make in your lifetime is your own financial education," and the following provides a succinct reminder of the top reasons to buy gold and silver...

Greek Companies Unable To Pay Taxes Explode From 182K To Over Half A Million In One Month

The US bug, whereby the worse the economy, the higher the stock market and bond prices must have shifted to Greece, because while the Greek stock market was the best performing "asset" class in October, and Greek bond yields are plunging just because the greater fool stock posse has now moved to the insolvent nation if only for a few months, the economic reality just gets worse by the minute. Case in point - Greek corporations, or what's left of them, and what Greece needs more than anything - taxes. Kathimerini reports, in what is now nail overkill on the Greek economic coffin, that "hundreds of thousands of enterprises are unable to fulfill their tax obligations, according to the data published on Monday by the Finance Ministry. Within just one month, from the end of August to end-September, the number of corporations that have fallen behind on their taxes soared from 182,785 to 526,477." No, you read that right: the number of companies that went in arrears on their tax obligations has tripled to over one half million in one month. The same month in which the Grecovery was rumored to be in full swing and when John Paulson was buying every Greek stock he could find.

Goldman's Stolper Opines On The EUR, Says ECB Rate Cut Is A Buying Opportunity

After briefly becoming the strongest currency in the world for 2013, yesterday's stunning inflation report out of the Eurozone has not only left the massively overblown European recovery story in tatters (but... but... those soaring PMIs, oh wait, John Paulson is investing in Greece - the "recovery" is indeed over), has sent the sellside penguins scrambling with the new conviction that the ECB now has no choice but to lower rates once again, either in November or in December. So with everyone confused, we were hoping that that perpetual contrarian bellwether Tom Stolper, who just came out with a report, may have some insight. And sure enough, while the long-term EUR bull admits that "the ECB could move the EUR/USD cross by about 5 big figures by cutting the refi rate by 25bp" and that "it is quite possible that we will see EUR/$ drop further towards 1.33", he concludes that "an ECB rate cut could turn out to be a buying opportunity to go long the EUR." And now we know: because what Stolper tells his few remaining muppets to buy, Goldman is selling: if and when the ECB cuts rates, do what Goldman does, not what is says: sell everything.

Greek Banks Broke Twice Over, As Bad Loans More Than Double Capital Base

Back in January,  we highlighted the main problem plaguing the Greek financial system, and why a bailout (at least third, but likely fourth and fifth, and so on) is inevitable because "the amount of non-performing loans has exploded by a laughable amount, rising some 50% from December 2011, when it was "only" 16% and stood at a gargantuan 24% last month (indicatively, in the US this would mean that some $1.7 trillion in loans was nonperforming). And therein lies the rub, because as Kathimerini prudently notes, the "bad loans come to a considerable 55 billion euros. This means that the sum of NPLs already exceeds the total funds set aside for the recapitalization of the local credit system, which amounts to €50 billion." Yesterday, Kathimerini provided a much needed update on the amount of NPLs in Greece: according to the latest PwC report, NPLs have risen by another €10 billion in under one year, and now amount to €65 billion, which is now larger than the recapitalization funding and amounts to more than double the €30 billion capital base of local banks!

Europe Stuns With "Surprising" Record High Unemployment Print, Inflation At 4 Year Low; Euro Tumbles

Those following the Euro FX pairs saw a plunge at 6 am Eastern, when Eurostat released the latest Eurozone unemployment and inflation statistics. They were, in a word, abysmal. After the August unemployment data finally saw a modest drop forcing many to announce the end of the European depression, not only did the the September number revise the August print from 12.0% to 12.2%, a new record high as 73,000 thousand people became unemployed, but more importantly made the September unemployment rate 12.2% as well following another 60,000 Eurozoneans losing their jobs, effectively meaning that for all the talk of a European recovery, its unemployment rate keeps hitting new all time record highs every single month.

"Evil, Populist" Nigel Farage Blasts Barroso: "We Don't Want Political Union"

There is a fear stalking the corridors of European politics. It is not the surging unemployment in France, or record delinquencies in Spain, or all-time low credit creation across the region; it is the growing concern that the powers that be have from the rise of Euroskepticism. As UKIP's Nigel Farage exclaims to Barroso and his brood, "years ago, you were less worried... but now we are "evil", "populists", we are "dangerous" and are going to bring down Western Civilization." As the outspoken Brit implores in this brief clip, there is nothing extreme in his views. "The real European debate is about identity," he notes, "what we are saying, large numbers of us from every single EU member state is: we don't want that flag, we don't want the anthem that you all stood so ram-rod straight for yesterday, we don't want EU passports, we don't want political union." As Greece faces down its 3rd bailout and deflationary threats loom across the region, we suspect top-down and bottom-up angst will bubble back to the surface soon enough.

The Four Horsemen Of Europe's Deflationary Threat

We recently noted that, despite all the hot money flows and self-congratulatory extrapolation, European macro data is collapsing (as opposed to supporting ideas of recovery). In fact, it is falling at the fastest pace in over a year as the prospect of the euro area falling into deflation may be increasing; as Bloomberg's Niraj Shah notes the single currency rises, growth loses momentum, money-supply expansion slows and bank lending stagnates. As Shah fears, that may push the region into a debt spiral as the real value of debt increases, marking a new phase in the crisis.

Frontrunning: October 28

  • Budget deficit priorities people: U.S. NSA spied on 60 million Spanish phone calls in a month (Reuters)
  • Stuck in countless scandals, Obama does what he does best: speak. Obama To Speak At Installation Of FBI Director James Comey (TPM)
  • Five killed as car ploughs into crowd in Beijing's Tiananmen Square (Reuters)
  • U.K. Storm Brings Power Cuts, Snarls Transport in South (BBG)
  • China Signals ‘Unprecedented’ Policy Changes on Agenda at Plenum (BBG)
  • Sandy's Legacy: Higher Home Prices (WSJ)
  • Merkel Enters Concrete SPD Talks as Finance Post Looms (BBG)
  • Keep arming those Syrian al-qaeda rebels: Car bombs kill scores in Baghdad, in sign of crisis in Iraq (WaPo)
  • J.P. Morgan's Mortgage Troubles Ran Deep (WSJ)
  • Detroit’s public library contains story of city’s decline (FT)
  • Argentina elections: President loses in Buenos Aires province (BBC)
  • Phone-hacking: trial of Andy Coulson and Rebekah Brooks to begin (Guardian)