Greece

AVFMS's picture

Strong start in Risk to take out new 2012 highs in Equities and trying to retrace near 2012 Credit lows, too. Core EGBs cool. Bunga Square’s rug pulling scuttled all that easy living by noon, weighting on the Periphery and boosting Core EGBs. ECB gloomy. Equity – bond divergence not a flyer yet, though… US sideways and Risk Watchers back to scanning European politics. EUR falling of the carpet.

"Magic Carpet Ride" (Bunds 1,29% -6; Spain 5,46% +8; Stoxx 2605 +0,6%; EUR 1,297 -100)

Il Giornale: "The Monti Government Is Increasingly Hanging By A Thread"

As predicted in our overnight summary piece titled, "Sentiment Shaken By Concerns Of Political Circus Returning To Italy" Europe appears set to be gripped by yet another political crisis, this time by the country that most forgot in 2012, with the attention focusing primarily on Spain and Greece. The reason is what some may call Berlusconi's revenge, who after being eliminated by the ECB in November 2011 when Draghi sent Italian bond spreads soaring, and made Berlusconi's departure a condition to returning normalcy in exchange for planting yet another Goldman tentacle in Italy, Mario Monti, has now shaken the credibility of his successor by having his party PDL abstain from a vote of confidence in favor of Monti's growth measures. The result, as Il Giornale reported moments ago, is that the "the government is increasingly hanging by a thread". It continues: 'Now Prime Minister Mario Monti is likely to no longer have the numbers in parliament. The majority creaks." Is this the end of the technocratic quiet in the austerity regimes? And if the people have said Basta to Goldman and its appointees, does this open the door wide for the likes of Berlusconi to retake the power and force Goldman to scramble to regain status quo "normalcy" for another several months just as every sellside firm has bet the ranch on a global renaissance in 2013?

Greece 'Selective Default' And Geithner's 'Selective Memory'

Late last night S&P placed Greece into “Selective Default” again, raising the issues, once again, of the $90 billion in Greek derivatives, the Greek bank bonds guaranteed by the country and now at the ECB, some central banks and some commercial banks where some clause may get triggered, various clauses in repos, inter-bank lending contracts and guarantees by Athens of various corporate entities all potentially seeing triggers. In the meantime, because Americans hate to be left out of anything, we continue to behave like fools. The raising of the tax rate on the wealthy will operate the country for about eight days and it seems like the savants in Washington have forgotten that there are three hundred and forty-eight days left in the year. Secretary Geithner’s ,“We are prepared to go over the fiscal cliff,” has all of the dramatics of some bluff on World Wide Poker. The focus on redistribution of wealth is a secondary consideration when you cannot pay your bills. We propose that unhappy Americans unite, buy the Abaco islands from the Bahamas, they need the money, and begin our own island nation and let the 46.5 million on food stamps fend for themselves. We honestly feel that way some days as the idiocy in Washington D.C. seems to recognize no boundaries.

Sentiment Shaken By Concerns Of Political Circus Returning To Italy

While trading during US hours is all about the Cliff On/Cliff Off debate, the rest of the world is simple: the overnight session begins (and largely ends) with whether or not China has done another reverse repo (if yes, then PBOC will not lower rates, and inject unsterilized billions into the market) and whether the Shanghai Composite is up or down. Last night, after jumping by 3% the session before, it was down 0.13% to 2029. Was this it for the great Chinese "bottom?" Japan may or may not figure in the equations, although with the 10 Year future just hitting a record overnight, it is amusing to see how the bond complex is indicating record deflation just in time for the market to anticipate a surge in inflation. Ah, the joys of frontrunning central planning's monetization of government bonds. And then we move on to Europe, which is a whole new level of basket case-ness...

Greece Is In Selective Default

On October 22, we alone asked a very relevant question, which apparently nobody was able to answer:

Well, one entity did. S&P.

  • GREECE CUT TO SD FROM CCC BY S&P
  • S&P CUTS GREECE'S LONG-TERM DEBT RATING TO 'SELECTIVE DEFAULT'

Citi Firing 11,000

Big news ahead of this Friday's NFP report:

  • CITI TO CUT OVER 11,000 JOBS, TAKE PRETAX CHARGE $1B IN 4Q

"Sandy's fault?" Or maybe the economy is collapsing despite all the propaganda one is spoonfed. Considering the recent termination of over 50,000 by UBS we think we know the answer. And while C stock may jump on the news, the end result is that New York and the US have both just lost 11,000 less key taxpayers most of whom are almost certainly in the $250,000+ bucket. That said we can't wait for the BLS to take this data as somehow beneficial for the unemployment rate.

Frontrunning: December 5

  • LA port workers to return Wednesday (AP)
  • Iran says extracts data from U.S. spy drone (Reuters)
  • Obama to stress need to raise debt limit "without drama" (Reuters)
  • Big Lots Chief Probed by SEC (WSJ)
  • NATO missiles to be sent to Turkey, Syria clashes rage (Reuters)
  • GOP Deficit Plan Irks Conservatives (WSJ)
  • Japan Can End Deflation in Months, Shirakawa Professor Says (BBG) ... almost as good as Bernanke ending inflation in 15 minutes.
  • Osborne Prepares to Breach Fiscal Rules Amid U.K. Growth Slump (BBG)
  • Global Banking Under Siege as Regulators Guard National Interest (BBG)
  • Freeport plans return to energy (FT)
  • Serbian NATO envoy jumps to death at Brussels airport (Reuters)
  • Tide Turns After a Flood of Chinese Listings (WSJ)
  • Australian economy loses steam (FT)
  • Euro Crisis Feeds Corruption as Greece Slides in Rankings (BBG)

Another Overnight Futures Ramp

To think it took a really ugly economic number, such as the Services PMI reported last night, to stir the Chinese stock market out of a hypnotic drift lower, and push it up by 2.7%. Why? Because in the New Normal bad economic news means hope that central banks get involved, and as we have explained the ongoing SHCOMP collapse is purely a function of the PBOC remaining on the sidelines. Last night, rumors (very unfounded and very incorrect) that the central bank would intervene put a stop to the drop. Sadly, as the PBOC has no intention of ending its ultra-short term reverse-repo driven market support strategy, the bounce will be very short lived. However, that coupled with more jawboning out of the BOJ that it would act, if it has to (whether under Abe or Noda), sent the JPY even weaker, and futures ramping on tiny overnight volume which wiped out all the previous day's losses.

The Social Depression Within Europe's Recession

When people become desperate or hope-less, two things tend to coalesce; 1) they become easily led by charismatic leaders (no matter how crazy the ideas would appear previously), and 2) they resort to actions deemed previously un-possible. Putting a roof over your family's head, feeding your kids (or yourself), or buying the next iPad can drive people to these acts of desperation. Greece's homelessness rate has risen 25% since 2009 (with 20,000 living on the streets of Athens) and over 30% are at risk of poverty (with Ireland close behind). Suicide rates had risen by 40% in the first half of 2010 (and Greece was still relatively low). HIV infections from injecting drug-users has surged 20-fold in two years! And while crime rates remain among the lowest in Western Europe, robberies have surged since 2005 and prison populations (per capita) are on the rise - though, thankfully not as bad as in the US (yet). With sovereign bond spreads at multi-month lows, stocks at multi-month highs, and Barroso et al. claiming victory at every opportunity, perhaps some internal (Farage-like) reflection on the social depression they have enabled is required as the Bank of Greece warned the nation’s social cohesion is under threat.

Frontrunning: December 4

  • Two weeks ago here: The Latest Greek "Bailout" In A Nutshell: AAA-Rated Euro Countries To Fund Massive Hedge Fund Profits... and now on Bloomberg: "Hedge Funds Win as Europe Will Pay More for Greek Bonds" (BBG)
  • Oracle sends shareholders cash as tax uncertainty looms (Reuters)
  • GOP Makes Counteroffer In Cliff Talks (WSJ)
  • Iran says captures U.S. drone in its airspace (Reuters)
  • IMF drops opposition to capital controls (FT)
  • Vogue Editor Wintour Said to Be Possible Appointee as U.K. Envoy (BBG)
  • Juncker Stepping Down French Finance Minister to Head Euro Group? (Spiegel)
  • Australia cuts rates to three-year low (FT)
  • Europe’s banking union ambitions under strain (Reuters)
  • EU Nations Eye New ECB Bank Supervisor Amid German Doubts (BBG)
  • Frankfurt's Ambitions Get Cut Back (WSJ)
  • House Republicans Propose $2.2 Trillion Fiscal-Cliff Plan (BBG)
AVFMS's picture

Fiscal Cliff Discussion Risk Event still very much alive. Spain maths on budget. Italian maths, French… Bah… Still feels like things are a bit out of touch with reality here (equities vs. bonds). And that Greek buy-back looks really, really  generous. Outwordly. Then again, best way to get rid of private ownership. After the OMT, the OPM… Obviously, other people’s money. PMI paint a slightly less bleak picture, but on rock bottom levels.

"Out Of Touch" (Bunds 1,41% +3; Spain 5,24% -6; Stoxx 2580 unch; EUR 1,306 +50)