Greece

Greek Ruling Coalition Collapses Days Ahead Of Critical Vote

If one is curious why the EURUSD has been ramping as if no one will ever sell one more euro ever again, the reason is simple: the BIS is desperate to mask the fact that the fragile Greek coalition, whose creation sent Europe to the edge back in June during the Greek re-elections that just barely avoided a Grexit, has just crumbled. And with an illiquid market, the reflexive argument always is a simple one: if someone is buying, the news must be good, so dear momo-chasers - buy along. Only the news isn't good, and in a centrally-planned world, the only buyer left are central banks, who are now solely political, and not market, forces. What the news really is, is that with Greece poised to vote on critical labor reforms (read more layoffs) next week, which must be passed in Parliament with a majority vote in order to get the next Troika bailout tranche, the Samaras-led coalition just lost one of its three members, after the Democratic Left announced it would take its 16 votes and vote against any further austerity. In doing so it has effectively joined Syriza and any other anti-bailout powers, and has made certain that yet another Greek election is imminent, one which will finally see the rise of the "anti-memorandum" forces on top, and finally launch the 3 year overdue departure of the Greek ferryboat from the monetary landmass, with even more dire consequences for the USS EURtanic.

Frontrunning: October 30

  • U.S. Super Storm’s Record Flooding Lands Blackout Blow (Bloomberg)
  • Sandy Carves a Path of Destruction Across the U.S. East Coast (WSJ)
  • Losses May Exceed Those of 2011 Storm (WSJ)
  • Hurricane Sandy Threatens $20 Billion in Economic Damage (Bloomberg)
  • Huge fire in Sandy's wake destroys dozens of NYC homes (Reuters)
  • Possible levee break in New Jersey floods three towns (Reuters)
  • Apple Mobile Software Head Forstall Refused to Sign Apology (WSJ)
  • Stagflation in Spain (Bloomberg)
  • German Oct. Unemployment Rose Twice as Much as Forecast (Bloomberg)
  • A declining Japan loses its once-hopeful champions (WaPo)
  • Unable to copy it, China tries building own jet engine (Reuters)
  • Obama Signs Disaster Declarations for NY, NJ (YNN)

With American Markets Shut For Second Day, China And Japan Come To Its Rescue

With the stock markets of the "developed world" in limbo for the second straight day and leaderless as New York is paralyzed, and the US was set to be closed for a second straight day, and with futures tumbling to their lowest level in over 2 months overnight, it was time for the East to step up. And step up it did! First, it was China's turn, which while still refusing to ease outright, conducted a massive 395 billion yuan reverse repo - this operation is the biggest on record, according to Bloomberg data going back to 2004, which in turn sent China's seven-day Repo rate plunging the most since January. And because this whopping injection would prove to be promptly internalized, a few short hours later Japan followed with nothing less than QE9! Just around 2 am eastern, the BOJ announced the 9th installment in its neverending monetary farce, when it said it would proceed to monetize an additional Y11 trillion in assets. From BusinessWeek: "The BOJ expanded its asset-purchase program by 11 trillion yen ($138 billion) to 66 trillion yen, the central bank said after a policy meeting today. The range of forecasts in a Bloomberg survey was from 10 trillion yen to 20 trillion yen." Of course, in this bizarro world in which intervention is the only thing left, the latest Japanese QE had an immediate and opposite effect of that planned, sending the USDJPY lower the second it was announced, as the amount announced was disappointing to most who had expected even more easing, and the halflife was for the first time in recorded monetary intervention history, absolute zero! But at least this failed intervention for Japan, helped America, sending ES from 1393, a full 13 ticks higher, where they are now. And so the epic defense of 1400 (and 1.2900 in EURUSD) continues for a 5th straight day!

Overnight Sentiment: Cloudy, If Not Quite Frankenstormy

It is cloudy out there as Sandy enters the mid-Atlantic region, although for all the pre-apocalypse preparations in New York, the Frankenstorm may just be yet another dud now that its landfall is expected to come sufficiently south of NYC to make the latest round of Zone 1 evacuations about overblown as last year's Irene hysteria (of course it will be a gift from god for each and every S&P company as it will provide a perfect excuse for everyone to miss revenues and earnings in Q4). That said, Wall Street is effectively closed today for carbon-based lifeforms if not for electron ones, and a quick look at the futures bottom line, which will be open until 9:15 am Eastern, shows a lot of red, with ES down nearly 10 ticks (Shanghai down again as the same old realization seeps day after day - no major easing from the PBOC means Bernanke and company is on their own) as the Friday overnight summary is back on again: Johnny 5 must defend 1400 in ES and 1.2900 in EURUSD at all costs for just two more hours.

On Europe's Three Year Insolvency Anniversary - The Definitive Interactive Infographic

Looking back, it seems like only yesterday that the world's realized, "out of the blue" that Europe was, gasp, insovlent. Alas, as the following terrific "walk through memory lane" interactive infographic from the Guardian reveals, it has now been well over three years and counting, with everything starting with this October 2009 article in the FT, "Greece vows action to cut budget deficit" in which then-PM G-Pap revealed a massive hole in the Greek official economic data and that its budget deficit would be double what was previously forecast. The rest is history, and now Greece is a shell, with unemployment off the charts, its finances and economy in shambles, and the whole country serving as a passthru funding vehicle for Europe to keep its own banks, and the ECB, solvent.

On Europe And The Future Of International Relations

Since the 2008 financial crisis the foundations of the global economy have been in repair, translating into a prolonged period of economic frailty. Against this backdrop, social and political tensions have increased between citizens and government, international institutions and governments, and individual nation states. The European debt crisis remains the largest challenge facing the global economy. A negative resolution emanating from the world’s largest economic bloc would cause harmful ripple effects worldwide in global trade flows. More importantly, it could also mark a paradigm shift in international relations, dealing a critical blow to what has been a relentless trend towards liberalism since the end of World War II, while providing fecund ground for a resurgence in realist ideology. Interestingly though, constructivism may be at the forefront in explaining the current dilemma between the European core and its periphery. It would also be wise to ponder the idea of whether a supranational government could exist. Proceeding down a path with a likely dead end would consume precious resources and lead to widespread suffering among every day citizens.

As Thousands Of Italians March Against Austerity On "No Monti Day", Berlusconi Threatens To Scuttle Monti Government

First, it was Greece who failed to stick with the "do not rock the boat until the US election" script so meticulously crafted by Tim Geithner, and now it is Italy's turn as Europe threatens to come unhinged precisely in the week when complete peace and quiet is needed to avoid deflecting attention from the peak season of the US presidential theater. As Reuters reports, "Tens of thousands of people marched through Rome in a "No Monti Day" on Saturday, some throwing eggs and spraying graffiti to protest against austerity measures introduced by Prime Minister Mario Monti's government. Appointed in November when Italy risked being sucked into the euro zone debt crisis, Monti has pushed through painful austerity measures to cut the country's massive debt, including tax hikes, spending cuts and a pension overhaul. "We are here against Monti and his politics, the same politics as all over Europe, that brought Greece to its knees and that are destroying half of Europe, public schools, health care," said demonstrator Giorgio Cremaschi... In another demonstration in northern Italy, a small group of protesters scuffled with police near where Monti was addressing a rally on the theme of family values." So who gets to capitalize on the latest bout of surging discontent with the Goldman appointed technocrat? Why the same man who yesterday was sentenced to several years in jail (a sentence that will be never carried out of course), Silvio Berlusconi, and whom the ECB singlehandedly took down nearly a year ago, when it sent Italian bond yields to record highs: "The center-right bloc will decide "in the next few days" whether to withdraw confidence for Prime Minister Mario Monti in parliament or support him until elections in April, former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said on Saturday. Monti's government of non-elected technocrats is backed by the center-left, the center and the center-right. It would have to resign if it lost the support of the entire center-right."

AVFMS's picture

Uhhhh. It just couldn’t last. Risk had been pushed higher and higher in anticipation, but a combination of reality-check, rather unsettling Q3 earnings and renewed Spanish jitters just made players come down hard from their previous week’s high flying exercise.
Nothing new.

Spailout OMT still not in play. Greece, haggling not over. Earnings rather bad. PMIs dismal. Central Banks on hold, as everything is on the table, at least for the moment.

The Complete 'Advanced' Economy Sovereign Ratings Cheat-Sheet

S&P recently acted to markedly downgrade Spain, and Moody’s has ended its recent ratings review, leaving Spain at Baa3; and while ratings could remain largely stable in the short-term (supported by OMT's promise and the possible delay of GRExit), there are a few exceptions such as France and and the UK that Citi's Rates group expect to see downgrades on in the short-term. The following table provides the full breakdown of Moody's and S&P's ratings for the advanced economies along with Citi's model views - which imply weak outlooks for most of Europe in the medium-term as Greek reality hits home.

AVFMS's picture

If it wasn’t because the government sponsorship doping Q3 US GDP, we wouldn’t have much on the bright side.

European equities still desperate to shoot up. Feels like too many fickle shorts and too many uncomfortable longs at the same time.

Markets uneasy after round-tripping back to OMT / QE unleash levels and no follow-up stimuli to be seen.

Hark! The Herald Angels Aren't Singing

"No matter where you stand, no matter how far or how fast you flee, when it hits the fan, as much as possible will be propelled in your direction, and you will not possess a towel large enough to wipe all of it off."

You thought it was tough; it is going to get tougher. You thought that Europe would not affect America and that we lived in some sort of bubble over here; think again. You thought that the liquidity provided by the world’s major central banks would carry us across the divide and intact; keep dreaming. We are at the cross roads...

Greek Deadline - Sunday Evening

Tim Geithner's carefully scripted plan to avoid European "reality" until the US election is unraveling. While previously Greece was not supposed to be an issue until after November 6, the recent escalation with the Greek FinMin openly lying about a Troika interim bailout outcome (which may or may not happen, but only following yet another MoU which would see Greece fully transitioning to a German vassal state in exchange for what is now seen as a €30 billion shortfall over the next 4 years, and which would send Syriza soaring in the polls in the process ensuring that a Grexit is merely a matter of time) has forced a retaliation. According to the Greek press, the Troika now demands that Greece resolve its objections to labor reforms (which as reported earlier have forced the ruling coalition to split) by Sunday night, or else...

Frontrunning: October 26

  • Greece Faces Need for Additional Assistance: €30 billion (WSJ)
  • Greeks fail to agree on bailout terms (FT)
  • The report that got the NYT banned on the Chinese interweb: Billions in Hidden Riches for Family of Chinese Leader (NYT)
  • Bo Xilai: China parliament expels disgraced politician (BBC)
  • Japan Adds Stimulus Amid Threat of Bond-Sale Disruption... $9.4 billion (Bloomberg)
  • Hubbard Said to Prefer Treasury Chief to Fed If Romney Wins (Bloomberg)
  • 9 More Banks Subpoenaed Over Libor (WSJ)
  • Romney raises $112m in 17 days (FT)
  • Amid Cutbacks, Greek Doctors Offer Message to Poor: You Are Not Alone (NYT)... no, we are all broke
  • Muni Downgrades Top 2011 Total on Weak Economy: Moody’s (Bloomberg)
  • Ireland urges ECB to commit to bond-buying (FT)
  • Cameron and Clegg unite in EU demands (FT)

Overnight Sentiment: Defending 1400 and 1.29

There have been no major overnight events or surprises, with Europe continuing a war of semantics whether the Spanish bailout is a bailout, and attempting to avoid it as long as possible while reaping the benefits of Spanish bonds which are trading at post-bailout levels for a 3rd months now, as well as whether Greece will receive more Troika money (the WSJ reported that Greece requires €30 billion through 2016 to close its funding gap: a number which will eventually double, then triple), and yet as of moments ago the EURUSD slipped under the psychological 1.2900 support, which also means that 1400 on the SPX cash is in play. Italy did not help after business confidence declined from 88.3 to 87.6 on expectations of a rise to 88.7 What news there has been is largely the realization that reality is here to stay, following misses and guides lower from Amazon and Apple, and no matter what some low-volume algo tries to represent by buying the stock in the after hours session, profitability and cash flow creation for both companies will be lower going forward. In terms of newsflow, the NYT released a report last night that China's Premier may have been hiding billions in "related-party" transactions - imagine that, and one which promptly got the NYT blocked from China's internet. Obviously this is a touchy topic for China days ahead of its internal party vote, and one which will hardly score the US brownie points with the domestic administration. Concurrently, Japan announced a new fiscal "stimulus" for a whopping ... $9.4 billion. That is roughly the amount of money needed to evade deflation for 2-3 hours. More apropos, Bild reports what Bloomberg noted earlier, namely that Merkel has no majority for reported Greek aid, further blowing up the hole that Greek finmin Stournaras dug himself in with his lies earlier this week. So while everyone is once again on edge, with the Shanghai composite sliding 1.7%, and key technical levels either breached or in play, today's session promises to be quite interesting.

Guest Post: The Dark Age Of Money

If you often wonder why ‘free market capitalism’ feels like it is failing despite universal assurances from economists and political pundits that it is working as intended, your intuition is correct. Free market capitalism has become a thing of the past. In truth free market capitalism has been replaced by something that is truly anti-free market and anti-capitalistic. The diversion operates in plain sight. Beginning sometime around 1970 the U.S. and most of the ‘free world’ have diverged from traditional “free market capitalism” to something different. Today the U.S. and much of the world’s economies are operating under what I call Monetary Fascism: a system where financial interests control the State for the advancement of the financial class. This is markedly different from traditional Fascism: a system where State and industry work together for the advancement of the State. Monetary Fascism was created and propagated through the Chicago School of Economics. Milton Friedman’s collective works constitute the foundation of Monetary Fascism. Today the financial and banking class enforces this ideology through the media and government with the same ruthlessness of the Church during the Dark Ages: to question is to be a heretic.   When asked in an interview what humanities’ future looked like, Eric Blair, better known as George Orwell, said “Imagine a boot smashing a human face forever.”