"They're Making Idiots Of Us!": Eastern Europe Furious At West For Doing Gas Deals With Russian DevilsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 09/11/2015 17:40 -0400
"You can’t talk for months about how to stabilize the situation and then take a decision that puts Ukraine and Slovakia into an unenviable situation."
We have been anxiously reminding investors of the drip-drip-drip increases in market-perceived credit risk for US financials for much of 2015. Having risen to almost 90bps amid the chaos of 2 weeks ago (almost double the lowest levels post-Lehman hit in June of last year), it appears systemic counterparty risk is very much on the rise. What is more concerning however, as Alhambra's Jeffrey Snider notes, the TED spread has exploded higher (since China's devaluation) indicating, as convention has it, a marked increase in perceptions of interbank credit risk.
The topic of immigration has become increasingly pressing but, unfortunately, the libertarian movement has not reached a consensus on this issue. But it should be easy, considering how government is at both ends of the problem: government is the number one reason people choose to escape their countries, whether because of governments’ war or devastating poverty due to the lack of opportunities in regulated markets; and government is the reason ordinary people, in a desperate state because their lives have been forcefully uprooted, have a hard time choosing where to lead their lives in peace. The desperation is due to the so-called “failings” of their own governments, and augmented by ours.
This level of global inter-connected financial risk is hazardous in Mexico, where it’s peppered by high bank concentration risk. No one wants another major financial crisis. Yet, that’s where we are headed absent major reconstructions of the banking framework and the central bank policies that exude extreme power over global economies and markets, in the US, Mexico, and throughout the world. Mexico’s problems could again ripple through Latin America where eroding confidence, volatility, and US dollar strength are already hurting economies and markets. The difference is that now, in contrast to the 1980s and 1990s debt crises, loan and bond amounts have not just been extended by private banks, but subsidized by the Fed and the ECB. The risk platform is elevated. The fall, for both Mexico and its trading partners like the US, likely much harder.
Don’t let anyone fool you: As we have detailed since 2013, sectarian strife in Syria has been engineered to provide cover for a war for access to oil and gas, and the power and money that come along with it.
The lack of leadership to tackle this clear and present danger to Europe's future is truly concerning. Both the migrants and the Europeans might be worse off as a result.
Europe's handling of its refugee crisis has led to much criticism and left even more to be desired, but until now Europe's general population was largely on the side of the misplaced migrants who are trying to reestablish their lives away from the daily horrors of the middle east, all in the name of a Qatari gas pipeline. That may soon change as Europe realizes the influx of tens of thousands of refugees will result in a dramatic surge in public costs, costs which have to be footed by someone. That someone will be the general population (with the wealthy targeted at first) courtesy of even higher taxes.
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Following Hungarian cameramen kicking 10-year-old girl refugees, and Czech police hauling immigrants of trains and writing numbers on their arms, it appears the horrors of the past are quickly forgotten when it comes to 'solutions' for the present. As The Jerusalem Post reports, the leader of the Czech 'nationalist' National Democracy Party, has called for refugees to be placed in Terezin - a former Nazi concentration camp - "Why build tent camps for the aliens? We have the beautiful fortress town of Terezin where the aliens could concentrate before they are taken home by trains." Police are investigating whether his comments constitute a criminal act and Czech Jewish leaders have refused to comment on the incident.
It would be a welcome gesture for an incoming government to declare the actions of previous governments to be against the interests of the taxpayers and repudiate the national debt. This would not only relieve the taxpayers of a present burden but would also mean that any future government would find it hard to borrow from international creditors forcing them to bear the negative effects of their fiscal and monetary policies much earlier and with greater severity. Unfortunately Greece’s “anti-bailout” government’s decision to ignore a plebiscite opposing a new bailout deal and the German parliament’s recent approval of said deal (going against the will of the majority of Germans) proves that any concept of democratic legitimacy is not only logically flawed but will always be discredited in practice.
Some strange things are going on with Greek gold mining projects...
Bank profitability will remain under pressure for some time to come in light of the new capital regulations currently in the works. This will make it more difficult for banks to generate new capital internally, so they will have to tap the capital markets and dilute their shareholders further. It is no wonder that bank stocks remain way below the valuations they once commanded (we actually wouldn’t touch these stocks with a ten-foot pole). From a wider economic perspective, the new capital regulations are rendering banks moderately safer for depositors (as long as the markets don’t lose faith in government debt that is), but they also contribute to their ongoing “zombification”. Bank lending is going to remain subdued. This wouldn’t represent a big problem, if not for the fact that it is likely to provoke even more government activism.
As WSJ reports, "the European Union on Wednesday proposed redistributing 160,000 refugees across the bloc and speeding up procedures to send back those who don’t qualify for asylum, in a bid to improve a stuttering response to the largest wave of migration on the continent since the aftermath of World War II."
Remember when two months ago Schauble, jokingly, offered Jack Lew to "trade" Greece for Puerto Rico? Something tells us in the interim period the German finmin changed his mind because while the Greek can has been kicked again, if only for the time being until bailout #4, the full severity of the Puerto Rican insolvency was laid out for all to see moments ago when top officials and outside advisors to the commonwealth released a highly-anticipated report showing that island's whopping funding gap of $28 billion will at best be reduced to "only" $13 billion over the next several years. Worse: according to the report of the so-called Working Group, the Treasury’s single cash account and Government Development Bank would exhaust available liquidity before the end of the year