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.
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Troika Wants To Strip Greece Of Defense, Auto Industries, Greece Balks: The Troika-Greece Can-Kicking Toxic LoopSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 10/23/2013 08:14 -0500
While the world awaits with bated breath until the moment that Greece can no longer afford to pretend it is solvent and has to apply for its third bailout from Europe, or else threaten to take down Deutsche Bank and its tens of trillions in gross derivatives, the world has to listen to the constant jawboning from the Troika which for the past nearly 4 years continues to express its displeasure with Greece, and yet still provides every Euro of funding the imploding country requests. In the latest iteration of this charade, the Troika has apparently flexed its muscles and made it clear that if Greece wants to receive the next round of cash, it will have to shutter the state-owned Hellenic Defense Systems (EAS) and the Hellenic Vehicle Industry (ELVO). In short: shut down the domestic defense and auto industries, and we'll talk. Oh, and if as a result you have to import your guns and cars from Germany (whose generous funding has kept you afloat so far), and have to take out Deutsche Bank loans to pay for them, so be it.
Just one day after the deal in Congress was reached, the U.S. national debt rose by an astounding 328 billion dollars. In the blink of an eye we shattered the 17 trillion dollar mark with no end in sight. We are stealing about $100,000,000 from our children and our grandchildren every single hour of every single day. This goes on 24 hours a day, month after month, year after year without any interruption. The U.S. national debt is now 37 times larger than it was 40 years ago, and we are on pace to accumulate more new debt under the 8 years of the Obama administration than we did under all of the other presidents in U.S. history combined. So what will happen when the rest of the world decides that they don't need to use our dollars or buy our debt any longer? At that point the consequences of decades of incredibly foolish decisions will result in an avalanche of economic pain that the American people are not prepared for.
Can someone please explain this whole "Grecovery" concept to use because neither we, nor apparently the people of Greece which are not only unemployed and broke, but have negative savings, and collapsing wages, social benefits and disposable income, seem able to understand it.
For the first time since July 2009, the European equity markets have risen for 8 days straight. The 4.73% rise is the best run in 3 months and took Bloomberg's European 500 index (akin to the S&P 500 in the US) to a perfect 61.8% retracement of the 2007/9 collapse. Greece and Spain are outperforming (the former +7% in the last 3 days alone). Away fdrom stocks, bonds are quiet, sovereign spreads are hardly moving as liquidity evaporates and while the EUR strengthened early on, as the US day session opened, the EUR sold off back to unchanged by the close of Europe. In the meantime, Europe's VIX dropped to 9 month lows (below 16%) today. Oh - and by the way - European Macro data has collapsed to 3-month lows.
Dispassionate discussion of some of the vexing issues.
The Bank of Japan will, for the first time in history, "own" all of Japan's GDP on its balance sheet some time in 2018 when its "assets" as a percentage of GDP surpass 100%, and then proceed in linear fashion to add about 10% of GDP to its balance sheet with every passing year until everything inevitably comes crashing down.
While "hard" data has been scarce in the US thanks to the shutdown, we recently noted that whet little we had recently indicated notable weakness relative to the survey-based "soft" data. Goldman has, in the past, indicated how little forecasting power the soft survey data has in Europe and yet still, day after day we are treated to the herd of mainstream media types proclaiming that Europe is recovering and that their fundamentals have turned a corner. The problem with that "story" is that is that is a lie. In fact, European macro data has been sliding since the start of September and has plunged recently to 3 month lows. Of course, the reality is that a record high for European stocks is all that matters to the fast-money charging momo players and betting against divergences from fundamentals is for dummies...
But I never thought it wise to sell it, because for central banks this is a reserve of safety, it’s viewed by the country as such. In the case of non-dollar countries it gives you a value-protection against fluctuations against the dollar, so there are several reasons, risk diversification and so on.
Some confidence tricks have characteristics that don’t quite fit the Fonz. Take the swindles known as Ponzi schemes. These are tricks that need an endless supply of participants to sustain confidence and stay alive. Once the participant pool depletes as it eventually must, the tricks are revealed as scams. Whereas Fonzies can persist indefinitely (at least in theory), Ponzis eventually collapse. Note that the U.S. has already passed its Ponzi point by Minsky’s definition. According to Minsky, borrowing qualifies as Ponzi finance whenever fresh issuance is needed to fund interest on existing debt. Based on the common assumption that the U.S. would miss its interest payments without regular increases in the statutory debt limit, this is indeed the case
Legitimate revolution takes time, patience and fortitude. Unfortunately, this is a strategic concept that is lost on many Americans today who suffer from a now common ailment of attention deficit disorder and an obsession with immediate gratification. Even some who have their hearts in the right place and who work to defend and resurrect our nation’s founding ideals seem to believe that any action to defeat corrupt oligarchy must be effective immediately, otherwise, it’s not worth the attempt. History, of course, teaches us the opposite. As things stand at this moment, though, the death of the system is not something to cheer, no matter how much we might wish it to crumble under the weight of its own criminality. The collapse of the existing system will not be the end of our troubles, only the beginning. Chaos always opens doors for evil men, and they will certainly take full advantage of the chaos triggered by shutdown, default or continued inflationary debt spending. We must make ourselves ready to resist by making ourselves separate from the monster we plan to fight. Crisis waits for no one, and on the path our nation now walks, crisis is assured.
Mere weeks after the Merkel re-election, it will come as no surprise to anyone that Greece is to be bailed out for the third time. Germany's Die Zeit newspaper notes the government is assembling a Greek bailout plan which essentially has four gimmicks to fill the "high-single-digit-billion" budget shortfall. Despite having been told time and again that the worst is over, Greek Bailout III will entail shifting cash from the bank recap fund, Bill sales to specific banks which can be instantly collateralized with the ECB, possible extensions of credit by existing creditors, and reduction in interest rates on existing debt. Of course, we will be told that this is the last time and that Greece will emerge victorious in just 1 or 2 more years...but after a few weeks of epic strength, the Athens stock index is giving some back in the last 2 days.
If mere hope of an "imminent" deal starting on Thursday and continuing through Monday, with no actual deal but who cares about details, was enough to push the DJIA up by 600 points, then all it would take to set a new record market high today, is for another day to pass - one day before the October 17 X-Date when one Senator can filibuster the US through the deadline on their own, and when the House still has to have a voice on what the Senate has been doing - without an actual debt deal. After all, the market is so "centrally-planned" all that is needed is knowledge that Bernanke will get to work, and is getting to work to the tune of $85 billion a month, mixed in with some hope. And with today's "market for idiots" facilitating POMO of over $5 billion which guarantees a green close, all that is needed is a complete failure in talks for the SPX to go limit up on even more hopes things will be fine any second now... if not right now.
Another of history’s many lessons is that governments under pressure become thieves. And today’s governments are under a lot of pressure.