Greece

Daily US Opening News And Market Re-Cap: October 8

Risk averse sentiment dominate the session, as market participants looked forward to the latest European finance ministers meeting who are due to discuss Spain’s finances, as well as Greece, which is yet to formalise spending cuts in order to receive the next aid tranche. Reports that China's economic growth is expected to have slowed to 7.5% in Q3 from 7.6% in Q2 weighed on basic materials and industrials stocks. The World Bank cut its 2012 GDP forecast for China to 7.7% from 8.2%; 2013 to 8.1% from 8.6%. Uncertainty surrounding the never-ending sovereign debt crisis in Europe weighed on financials, and in turn translated into lower 3m EURUSD cross currency basis. Peripheral bond yields rose, with Italy underperforming, ahead of the supply later on in the week. Going forward, given the Columbus Day holiday across the pond, trade volumes are expected to be below the average.

Frontrunning: October 8

  • Italy rejects need for EU control (FT)
  • ‘Worst US quarterly earnings since 2009’ (FT)
  • Chinese firm helps Iran spy on citizens (Reuters)
  • World Bank cuts East Asia GDP outlook, flags China risks (Reuters)
  • Foxconn factory rolls on in spite of strike (China Daily)
  • Economic recovery ‘on the ropes’ (FT)
  • Japan Tries Cars That Make the Mini Look Maxi (Businessweek)
  • Euro Finance Chiefs to Give Positive Greece Statement, Rehn Says (Bloomberg)
  • Romney attacks drones policy (FT)
  • Euro zone mulls 20 billion euro separate budget (Reuters)
  • Hong Kong’s Leung Seeks Turnaround With Economy Focus (Bloomberg)
  • RBA Keeps Some Documents Private in Securency Bribe Probe (Bloomberg)
  • India Inflation to Remain at 7.5%-8% Till Early 2013 (WSJ)

Overnight Sentiment: European Grumbles With US Semi-Closed

Usually on semi-US holidays such as today, when bonds are closed but equities left to the whims of vacuum tubes, equities do their mysterious ramp and never look back. So far today, however, this has failed to happen with futures at lows, driven by a noticeably weak EURUSD, which has traded down nearly 100 pips from the Friday late day ramp close, currently at 1.2940. It is unclear what has spooked the Euro so far, although all signs point to, as they did 2 months ago, the Spanish lack of willingness to throw in the towel and demand a bailout, thus easing conditions for everyone else if not for Spain PM Rajoy. Today's main event will be European finance ministers meeting in Luxembourg to discuss the recent Spanish economic transformation efforts as well as an attempt to accelerate banking cooperation and implement a banking regulator - something which is needed for the ESM to monetize bank debt, and something which Germany has been firmly against from day one. Additionally, a day ahead of Merkel's visit to German (where she will be protected by 6-7,000 cops), the ministers are likely to make a positive statement on Greece’s progress toward austerity targets, according to European viceroy Olli Rehn said. In other overnight news, German Industrial Production saw a -0.5% decline, which was modestly better than the -0.6% expected. Over in Asia, China reopened from its 1 week Golden Week hibernation with the SHCOMP down -0.56% to 20.76.42 following a small bounce in the China HSBC Services PMI to 54.3 from 52 in August, and with average house prices rising for a 4th month in a row, and even more repo operations by the PBOC, the result is that the market's ungrounded hopium for an immediate PBOC liquidity injection was taken away pushing regional markets lower.

Guest Post: America’s Hijackers – Where Are They Now?

Spoiler Alert: They’re mostly still in office  (so much for building suspense).

On October 3, 2008, 338 elected officials (263 House reps, 74 Senators and 1 President) took it upon themselves to save America from certain financial doom by passing the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, completely ignoring the will of the American people,  opting instead to fulfill a Thomas Jefferson prophesy:

“The end of democracy and the defeat of the American Revolution will occur when government falls into the hands of lending institutions and moneyed incorporations.” 
~ Thomas Jefferson

Guest Post: Do The Swiss Know Something The Rest Of Us Don't?

Ueli Maurer, the Swiss defense minister, has been making coy statements about the European crisis getting ugly – as in really ugly, like needing armed troops to deal with it. This sounds more like Greece, where the rioting is regular and increasingly scary, than anything in Central Europe, but where the whole EU furball is headed does seem less than clear of late. The Swiss are famous for preparing for everything and having an absolutely huge army, relative to their population, to deal with any eventuality. It’s easy to dismiss the Swiss, since they are a tiny country whose military hasn’t actually fought anybody in a couple centuries. On the other hand, they managed to stay out of both of Europe’s catastrophic World Wars precisely though preparing for eventualities and maintaining a strong defensive capability. They’re clearly on to something.

Over 6,000 Cops Will Protect Merkel On Her 6 Hour Visit To Athens

Angela Merkel is finally coming to the one country where the local media will not tire of photoshopping her in various Nazi outfits. The result: at least 6,000 policemen (and more like 7,000 according to Spiegel) will be deployed to protect her on her 6 hour visit to Greece on Tuesday, the first since the crisis erupted in 2009, and which has seen Greek unemployment explode from manageable to 25% at last check. Another result: parties from across the spectrum have said they will protest her visit, and strikes will further shut down what is already a completely shuttered economy. "She does not come to support Greece, which her policies have brought to the brink. She comes to save the corrupt, disgraced and servile political system," said Alexis Tsipras, who leads the opposition Syriza alliance. "We will give her the welcome she deserves."..."We don't want her here," said Yannis Georgiou, 72, who has seen his pension cut by one third. "We will take to the streets against austerity and against the government. Maybe Merkel will hear something and see what we're going through." Finally, with virtually the entire police force tasked with defending Merkel from the residents of her Southeastern European colony, it means that virtually every other place of interest will be left unguarded. Hopefully, nobody in Greece has seen Die Hard with a Vengeance and has access to dump trucks. The one thing Greece has going for it: there is virtually no official gold left anywhere that can be stolen (most of it already has been transferred elsewhere), or otherwise any tourist armed with a camera and located in the vicinity of the National Bank of Greece could film a sequel to what many consider the best Die Hard of all.

Guest Post: What Could Go Right?

A number of macro-issues could "go the right way" in the coming months. However, nothing good can possibly come from artifice, propaganda, misdirection and simulacra "fixes." Something must break through the facade for good things to happen. It's a long shot, but we can always hope. Without truth, there is truly no hope.

Poor Athens; The Gods Flee Mt. Olympus

The Greeks only assume the mantle of serfdom to keep the pipeline of capital flowing. They have damaged their national psyche in the process and caused undue pain for their citizens but it must seem simpler, to the elite of Greece, to beg rather than go back to work. The problem for Europe now is that the amount of money is so large and the pain will be so great that they wince at the consequences of their misbegotten strategy. Europe provided money, demanded austerity, and kept the charade in play far longer than good sense would dictate. Now, however, I would assert; the tragedy is about to end and the farce about to begin.

Frontrunning: October 5

  • Draghi Says Next Move Not His as Spain Resists Bailout (Bloomberg)
  • EU Doubts on Deficit Cutting May Hinder Spain’s Path to Bailout (Bloomberg)
  • Merkel to Visit Greece for First Time Since Crisis Outbreak (Bloomberg)
  • Fed's Bullard warns inflation won't ease U.S. debt burden (Reuters)
  • Walmart Workers Stage a Walkout in California (NYT)
  • Natural Gas Glut Pushes Exports (WSJ)
  • BOJ Refrains From More Stimulus as Political Pressure Mounts (Bloomberg)
  • Big funds seek to rein in pay at Wall Street banks (Reuters)
  • Hong Kong Luxury Sales Fall as Chinese Curb Spending (Bloomberg)
  • Dave and Busters Pulls IPO due to "Market Conditions" (Reuters) - so market at anything but all time highs now is market conditions?
  • Weak U.S. labor market looms ahead of elections (Reuters)
  • Glut of Solar Panels Poses a New Threat to China (NYT)

Meanwhile, In Greece...

It would seem the austerity-to-social-unrest 'correlation' is proving out as 250 furious shipyard workers stormed the Greek Defense Ministry in Athens demanding to be paid their wages (which they have not seen for six months)...

Daily US Opening News And Market Re-Cap: October 4

Markets were in sleep mode for most of the session, ahead of the BoE monetary policy decision, as well as the ECB’s press conference where the President is unlikely to outline any new measures and instead reiterate that the ECB stands ready to do whatever is necessary. The BoE held both their rates and asset purchase target unchanged, however it is widely expected that the central bank will boost the facility by another GBP 50bln in November. Today’s supply from both Spain and France was easily absorbed by the market, both were supported by the recent decline in bond yields. Going forward, apart from digesting comments from Draghi, market participants will get to see the release of the latest weekly jobs report, durables revisions and the minutes from the FOMC.