Greece

On Europe And The Future Of International Relations

Since the 2008 financial crisis the foundations of the global economy have been in repair, translating into a prolonged period of economic frailty. Against this backdrop, social and political tensions have increased between citizens and government, international institutions and governments, and individual nation states. The European debt crisis remains the largest challenge facing the global economy. A negative resolution emanating from the world’s largest economic bloc would cause harmful ripple effects worldwide in global trade flows. More importantly, it could also mark a paradigm shift in international relations, dealing a critical blow to what has been a relentless trend towards liberalism since the end of World War II, while providing fecund ground for a resurgence in realist ideology. Interestingly though, constructivism may be at the forefront in explaining the current dilemma between the European core and its periphery. It would also be wise to ponder the idea of whether a supranational government could exist. Proceeding down a path with a likely dead end would consume precious resources and lead to widespread suffering among every day citizens.

As Thousands Of Italians March Against Austerity On "No Monti Day", Berlusconi Threatens To Scuttle Monti Government

First, it was Greece who failed to stick with the "do not rock the boat until the US election" script so meticulously crafted by Tim Geithner, and now it is Italy's turn as Europe threatens to come unhinged precisely in the week when complete peace and quiet is needed to avoid deflecting attention from the peak season of the US presidential theater. As Reuters reports, "Tens of thousands of people marched through Rome in a "No Monti Day" on Saturday, some throwing eggs and spraying graffiti to protest against austerity measures introduced by Prime Minister Mario Monti's government. Appointed in November when Italy risked being sucked into the euro zone debt crisis, Monti has pushed through painful austerity measures to cut the country's massive debt, including tax hikes, spending cuts and a pension overhaul. "We are here against Monti and his politics, the same politics as all over Europe, that brought Greece to its knees and that are destroying half of Europe, public schools, health care," said demonstrator Giorgio Cremaschi... In another demonstration in northern Italy, a small group of protesters scuffled with police near where Monti was addressing a rally on the theme of family values." So who gets to capitalize on the latest bout of surging discontent with the Goldman appointed technocrat? Why the same man who yesterday was sentenced to several years in jail (a sentence that will be never carried out of course), Silvio Berlusconi, and whom the ECB singlehandedly took down nearly a year ago, when it sent Italian bond yields to record highs: "The center-right bloc will decide "in the next few days" whether to withdraw confidence for Prime Minister Mario Monti in parliament or support him until elections in April, former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said on Saturday. Monti's government of non-elected technocrats is backed by the center-left, the center and the center-right. It would have to resign if it lost the support of the entire center-right."

AVFMS's picture

Uhhhh. It just couldn’t last. Risk had been pushed higher and higher in anticipation, but a combination of reality-check, rather unsettling Q3 earnings and renewed Spanish jitters just made players come down hard from their previous week’s high flying exercise.
Nothing new.

Spailout OMT still not in play. Greece, haggling not over. Earnings rather bad. PMIs dismal. Central Banks on hold, as everything is on the table, at least for the moment.

The Complete 'Advanced' Economy Sovereign Ratings Cheat-Sheet

S&P recently acted to markedly downgrade Spain, and Moody’s has ended its recent ratings review, leaving Spain at Baa3; and while ratings could remain largely stable in the short-term (supported by OMT's promise and the possible delay of GRExit), there are a few exceptions such as France and and the UK that Citi's Rates group expect to see downgrades on in the short-term. The following table provides the full breakdown of Moody's and S&P's ratings for the advanced economies along with Citi's model views - which imply weak outlooks for most of Europe in the medium-term as Greek reality hits home.

AVFMS's picture

If it wasn’t because the government sponsorship doping Q3 US GDP, we wouldn’t have much on the bright side.

European equities still desperate to shoot up. Feels like too many fickle shorts and too many uncomfortable longs at the same time.

Markets uneasy after round-tripping back to OMT / QE unleash levels and no follow-up stimuli to be seen.

Hark! The Herald Angels Aren't Singing

"No matter where you stand, no matter how far or how fast you flee, when it hits the fan, as much as possible will be propelled in your direction, and you will not possess a towel large enough to wipe all of it off."

You thought it was tough; it is going to get tougher. You thought that Europe would not affect America and that we lived in some sort of bubble over here; think again. You thought that the liquidity provided by the world’s major central banks would carry us across the divide and intact; keep dreaming. We are at the cross roads...

Greek Deadline - Sunday Evening

Tim Geithner's carefully scripted plan to avoid European "reality" until the US election is unraveling. While previously Greece was not supposed to be an issue until after November 6, the recent escalation with the Greek FinMin openly lying about a Troika interim bailout outcome (which may or may not happen, but only following yet another MoU which would see Greece fully transitioning to a German vassal state in exchange for what is now seen as a €30 billion shortfall over the next 4 years, and which would send Syriza soaring in the polls in the process ensuring that a Grexit is merely a matter of time) has forced a retaliation. According to the Greek press, the Troika now demands that Greece resolve its objections to labor reforms (which as reported earlier have forced the ruling coalition to split) by Sunday night, or else...

Frontrunning: October 26

  • Greece Faces Need for Additional Assistance: €30 billion (WSJ)
  • Greeks fail to agree on bailout terms (FT)
  • The report that got the NYT banned on the Chinese interweb: Billions in Hidden Riches for Family of Chinese Leader (NYT)
  • Bo Xilai: China parliament expels disgraced politician (BBC)
  • Japan Adds Stimulus Amid Threat of Bond-Sale Disruption... $9.4 billion (Bloomberg)
  • Hubbard Said to Prefer Treasury Chief to Fed If Romney Wins (Bloomberg)
  • 9 More Banks Subpoenaed Over Libor (WSJ)
  • Romney raises $112m in 17 days (FT)
  • Amid Cutbacks, Greek Doctors Offer Message to Poor: You Are Not Alone (NYT)... no, we are all broke
  • Muni Downgrades Top 2011 Total on Weak Economy: Moody’s (Bloomberg)
  • Ireland urges ECB to commit to bond-buying (FT)
  • Cameron and Clegg unite in EU demands (FT)

Overnight Sentiment: Defending 1400 and 1.29

There have been no major overnight events or surprises, with Europe continuing a war of semantics whether the Spanish bailout is a bailout, and attempting to avoid it as long as possible while reaping the benefits of Spanish bonds which are trading at post-bailout levels for a 3rd months now, as well as whether Greece will receive more Troika money (the WSJ reported that Greece requires €30 billion through 2016 to close its funding gap: a number which will eventually double, then triple), and yet as of moments ago the EURUSD slipped under the psychological 1.2900 support, which also means that 1400 on the SPX cash is in play. Italy did not help after business confidence declined from 88.3 to 87.6 on expectations of a rise to 88.7 What news there has been is largely the realization that reality is here to stay, following misses and guides lower from Amazon and Apple, and no matter what some low-volume algo tries to represent by buying the stock in the after hours session, profitability and cash flow creation for both companies will be lower going forward. In terms of newsflow, the NYT released a report last night that China's Premier may have been hiding billions in "related-party" transactions - imagine that, and one which promptly got the NYT blocked from China's internet. Obviously this is a touchy topic for China days ahead of its internal party vote, and one which will hardly score the US brownie points with the domestic administration. Concurrently, Japan announced a new fiscal "stimulus" for a whopping ... $9.4 billion. That is roughly the amount of money needed to evade deflation for 2-3 hours. More apropos, Bild reports what Bloomberg noted earlier, namely that Merkel has no majority for reported Greek aid, further blowing up the hole that Greek finmin Stournaras dug himself in with his lies earlier this week. So while everyone is once again on edge, with the Shanghai composite sliding 1.7%, and key technical levels either breached or in play, today's session promises to be quite interesting.

Guest Post: The Dark Age Of Money

If you often wonder why ‘free market capitalism’ feels like it is failing despite universal assurances from economists and political pundits that it is working as intended, your intuition is correct. Free market capitalism has become a thing of the past. In truth free market capitalism has been replaced by something that is truly anti-free market and anti-capitalistic. The diversion operates in plain sight. Beginning sometime around 1970 the U.S. and most of the ‘free world’ have diverged from traditional “free market capitalism” to something different. Today the U.S. and much of the world’s economies are operating under what I call Monetary Fascism: a system where financial interests control the State for the advancement of the financial class. This is markedly different from traditional Fascism: a system where State and industry work together for the advancement of the State. Monetary Fascism was created and propagated through the Chicago School of Economics. Milton Friedman’s collective works constitute the foundation of Monetary Fascism. Today the financial and banking class enforces this ideology through the media and government with the same ruthlessness of the Church during the Dark Ages: to question is to be a heretic.   When asked in an interview what humanities’ future looked like, Eric Blair, better known as George Orwell, said “Imagine a boot smashing a human face forever.”

 

Presidential Election Preview 3: Swing States And The Horserace

The 2012-2013 election season is exceptional, with more than 100 elections in economies accounting for approximately 60% of global GDP. So far, Goldman notes that markets have navigated through elections in Russia, Egypt, Greece, France, Mexico and Venezuela, among others. The closely watched Presidential election in the US will take place shortly, followed by the culmination of the political transition in China. Later on, markets will see countries like Italy, Iran, and Japan go to the ballots too. This extraordinary election season brings several questions to the forefront: Why are elections important market events? What are the main factors affecting that market-driving impact and its seasonality? And which states are key? Critically, Goldman finds that a divided government has on average produced considerably tighter fiscal policy - not a good sign for the Keynesians.

What Do Spain And Greece Have To Look Forward To? SocGen Answers: "Not A Lot"

The increasingly short-termist attitudes of both policy-makers, analysts, and investors leaves market and economic indicators in the US and Europe all anticipating some magic in 2013. If only we can get through the elections, the fiscal cliff, a banking union, a Spanish bailout request, Greek extensions; not to mention another round of weak earnings and a sliding Chinese demand backdrop. As SocGen's FX and Rates desk notes, the battle against disinflation in Europe is not over and nominal GDP outlooks remain far too optimistic - only highlighted by the morning's weak lending data.  The moribund growth backdrop also begs the question what palpable difference any relief over Spain or Greece (if it comes) will do to the long end. The answer is probably not a whole lot.
The deleveraging has a long-way to go!

A Great Victory For Windmills

There are two countries that are going to give you a whopper of a headache in the coming months. We are leaving Greece to the side for a moment because that country could provide a heart attack and necessitate bypass surgery as the Troika fiddles while Athens burns. We are just waiting to see what is agreed to for Greece and then how the citizens of that country respond but the home of Democracy is not the only place that could ratchet out of control; keep your eyes on Spain and France. Yes, France, while no one has paid particular attention to the antics in Paris and Monsieur Hollande scurries about siding with the troubled nations and advocating a 75% tax burden and leaving Berlin to wallow in schemes of their own making; they are on the verge of getting in real trouble. Furthermore, they say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and in my eyes, the finances of Spain are one ugly mess of spoiled tapas. We recall Prime Minister Rajoy’s “A great victory for Europe speech” and we state that the last time Europe had such a victory it was at Waterloo!

Sovereign Self-Interest Versus European Hegemony

There were moments yesterday when it felt we stood at the edge of the abyss preparing to take a giant leap forwards. Apparently Draghi did a great job meeting German legislators yesterday; Greece is being touted as a crisis averted - if you believe all the guff; and more of the same from Spain. However, it does feel the crisis is developing in some new directions. Until recently it’s been about sovereigns and banks – but now we’re seeing corporates struggle. There is a general consensus France had no choice but the bailout Peugeot’s finance arm PSA. So why are the problems of the French car industry so important for the Euro? If French industrial policy is founded on preserving the country’s manufacturing base is that really something German/Finish/Dutch taxpayers could have been bailing out through a single European banking union. Perhaps not! These are national choices that illustrate sovereign self interest not European hegemony. We simply ask the question how is Europe supposed to move towards closer Union when national interest remains paramount?

Guest Post: Secession Fever Sweeping Europe Meaningless Without Debt Repudiation

While regional independence is superior to both the failing European Union and the façade of special interest controlled democracy, one further action should taken by any jurisdictions that choose secession: Newly restored sovereign nations should repudiate their share of the illegitimate sovereign debt when they exit existing unions and nation-states. Created by distant banking elites buying national politicians and parliaments to load up on sovereign debts that can never be paid off, this massive national debt load is illegitimate and destructive to existing and new national economies. Governments have three ways to deal with debt loads of this magnitude: The first is hyperinflation designed to destroy the payoff value of the debt, second is the official repudiation of the debt or third, a combination of both options. Attempting to hold the bankers accountable is not an option. The first nations to repudiate sovereign debt will have the advantage; and as nations undertake this endeavor, they should keep this in mind: All government bureaucracies grow until contained, taxes rise until curtailed and politicians borrow and seek power until thrown out of office.