Greece

Overnight Summary: Same Confusion, Different Day

Once again confusion is rife overnight, following yesterday's main European event, Spain's first "mixed" regional election, which saw Rajoy's PP party in his home state of Galicia eeking a majority by a few seats, offset by wins for nationalist parties in the Basque Country. The immediate read here is that the Galician win is an endorsement of Rajoy's "austerity poilicies" and thus EUR positive (which have yet to be actually implemented as Spanish spending continues to rise, as tax revenues continue to drop), yet it makes the likelihood that Spain requests a bailout before the Spanish regional election on November 25, which is about secession, virtually nil, and thus SPGB negative. Furthermore as Bank of America points out "some euro-area govts may remain reluctant to support Spain’s request as long as yields continue to be low, banks haven’t been recapitalized; probably reinforced by Catalonia elections" but that is a reality tale for another day - the "market" can only handle so much.

"The Clock Is Running, The Cash Is Almost Gone And Make-Believe Will No Longer Suffice"

Here is the issue of legacy liabilities. Here Germany has been fairly clear. The new ESM fund will not pick up the check and it is up to each country to pay for their own past problems. You may translate this piece of jargon into a “No” to Ireland that the ESM will not pick up the bill for the Irish banks and the same response for Spain. This new German definition puts Portugal, Greece, Spain and Ireland back at square one and effectively closes the door on any further negotiations. While all of this wrangling continues the tone at the summit was no longer the nicey-nice repartee of past meetings. Cyprus needs money, Spain needs money, Portugal probably needs more money and Greece is just about out of money. The summit was held, the meeting is over and the worth of any accomplishments is about at Zero as the only agreement was a plan to have a plan to deal with bank supervision. This is not an inch forward, this is not a millimeter forward; this is quicksand where they are all stuck as both money and time run out as the Socialists scream for alms while the landed gentry, utilizing head fakes and other polite deceptions, refuse to provide it. The clock is running, the cash is almost gone and make-believe will no longer suffice. The crisis phase, in my opinion, has been entered.

Why Rajoy's 'Delay-And-Pray' Strategy Won't Work

The circular rationale for believing that Spain is anything other than a basket case is remarkable. As we pointed out last night, in context the market-based signals that so many are basing their opinion on (including Rajoy, Van Rompuy, and Hollande it seems) are extremely misleading. Fundamentally, as UBS explains, the hope that Spain will request a bailout anytime soon is misplaced as there is no immediate pressure to do so and the government would prefer to negotiate a more favorable MoU. However, two major issues stand in the way of that delayed reality - an insufficient bank recap; and the federal nature of Spanish government creating obstacles to deficit reduction.

AVFMS's picture

Spacy week, though… Song pick of yesterday’s said it all. Somehow, things have spun out of control and the rocket started stalling and then drifting into the void…

Poor Major Tom left the capsule too early.

Regional elections in Spain over the weekend. As Rajoy denies there’s any pressure to seek help, BONOs slide. Damned if you don’t; damned if you do…

Interesting to see Core EGBs’ only muted reaction to the fading Risk sentiment, though (Bunds and UST still +15 on the week).

Pass The Salt; Pass The Government

How many European nations does it take to screw in a light bulb? Twenty-seven. One from Brussels to identify that the object in question is, in fact, a light bulb. Someone from Northern Europe to hold the bulb. A group from Southern Europe to turn the guy holding the bulb around and around until the thing is screwed in. A person from Germany or France to flick the switch and then the rest of the group, after tea, strudel and champagne to stand in front of the microphones and laud the effort. The end-result from the latest EU Summit is clear: More fluff, more stuff and more "pass the risotto if you please" as no one in America or Europe wants to own up to the very serious problems facing both continents

EU Leaders Agree On Bank Supervisor

EU leaders committed to establishing a euro-area bank supervisor by year-end, leaving the door open for supplying direct aid to Spanish banks. The EU must now agree on the structure that makes the ECB (European Central Bank) the main supervisor by January 1st.  This new system was created to break the link between banks and governments at the root of the zone’s financial crisis and will roll out in the next year and expect to cover all 6,000 eurozone banks by January 2014. “Our goal is banking supervision that’s worthy of the name, because we want to create something that’s better than what we currently have,” Merkel told reporters. Germany and France argued contentiously about the timing.  Berlin has insisted the supervisor be effective before the ESM can begin cash injections into Spanish banks, those transactions are not foreseeable to occur until the latter half of the year, around the time of Germany’s national elections. Angela Merkel said it would take more than a few months before the supervisor was fully effective and direct bank recapitalisation could be considered. However, the agreement appeared to upset German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble's efforts to delay and limit the scope of European banking supervision. Germany has been averse to see its politically sensitive Savings and Cooperative banks come under outside supervision. It rejects any joint deposit guarantee under which wealthier countries might have to underwrite banks in poorer states.

If Elections Were Held In Greece Today

... Europe would be worried to quite worried:

  • Anti-bailout Syria: 30.5%
  • New Democracy: 27% - Currently ruling
  • Golden Dawn (nationalists): 14%
  • Pasok and Democratic Left: 5%

In other words, the anti-bailout party and the neo-nazis would have a near majority in parliament.

Overnight Sentiment: Another Disappointing European Summit

Yesterday for the first time in years, the irrelevant headlines out of Europe, which continues to pretend to shuffle money out of one pocket (Germany's) into another (everyone else's), was well-deservedly backstage to the Google earnings fiasco one day ahead of the 25th anniversary of Black Monday (which is today). The EU summit was one of the more toothless ones in a long time, with no discussions at all of the one item that matters - Spain's bailout (as well as Greece's) - but with a lot of fluff considerations for a EU banking union and joint deposit guarantees - events which, like in the June summit, Germany has implicitly gone along with for the ride, but explicitly has said only over its dead body and in which it will not participate (note we said "pretends" above). The summit continues today for a second day, and will hardly make any more news than it did yesterday. In real news, GE missed revenue expectations and joins virtually every other company this earnings seasons in confirming deteriorating unfudgable topline conditions. Elsewhere, in Greece a pool by VPRC for Greece Tomorrow showed that the anti-bailout Syriza party would win outright with 30.5% of the vote, with New Democracy getting 27% and the Pasok coalition partners getting 5%. The Neo-Nazis would get 14%. Also notable is that on Sunday Spanish regions Basque country and Galicia hold local elections. As Rabobank warns, Galicia is Rajoy’s home region, and traditional stronghold of his Popular Party. A poor PP showing may highlight political hurdle to making bailout request, thus challenging the recent OMT-inspired support to Spanish bonds. This in turn would confirm what we have said all along, namely that a bailout request means an end to the current ruling regime and political chaos. Finally, the November 25 Catalonian elections may also trigger Spanish euphoria reversal.

AVFMS's picture

First “decent” Spanish auction in ages, decent being just normal, if not even boring. In absence of hard facts, outside the hypnosis trick “All will be well! Believe me…", I’d like to remain on the cautious side, though.

On EU decisisons, it could look like Good Cop / Bad Cop act, if it wasn’t clear that the players actually mean what they are saying.

Won't be EZ...


  

A Small Printed Note Saying "Wait!"

The world is running down a quite slippery slope in its attempt to avoid calamity. The political machines in Europe and the United States and to a real but lesser extent in China have passed the hat to their central banks because either they cannot or will not face up to the severity of their problems. This “faith based initiative” is misplaced, as liquidity and faith are driving the boat and derelict accounting is providing the fuel. The United States, having moved far past the “safety net” that has always been in place, are faced with a very real choice between Socialism and Capitalism. In Europe the problems are also of a fundamental nature as the definition of “More Europe” in Germany is decidedly different than the definition in Spain. But the fantastical belief that the Central Bank will wave it magic wand and make everything all good again is the stuff of Mommy kissing the boo-boo and everything will be just fine.