*EU MEETING ON GREECE PUSHED BACK AGAIN TO 11AM ET., GREECE SENT THE WRONG LETTER TO EU
Finance ministers from across Europe are arriving in Brussels for the latest, most critical (until the next one) stare-down across the table at The Greeks. As Germany's Schaeuble noted somewhat pessimistically "we shall see," on the outcome of today's meeting, adding that Greece "must take seriously" previous agreements and "Europe needs mutual trust." Varoufakis on his arrival explained that he "hopes for white smoke" by the end of the day adding that "Greece has gone the extra 10 miles... and hopes EU can meet them one-fith of the way."
All of the biggest problems in the financial world revolve around the bond markets today:
Following "optimistic" comments from Dijsselbloem (which were couched in total uncertainty) and reports that the Eurogroup Meeting had been delayed, Stocks and EURUSD started to soar as it appears confusion reigns... or who leaked something?
** Greek Bank Runs Accelerate as Possible ‘Grexit’ Looms
** Fatigue with Greek Crisis Breeding Massive Complacency
** Ukraine a Significant Setback for NATO
** India Demand To Rise To 35 - 40 Tonnes This Month
** Gold Oversold - Fundamental and Technical Position Good
While markets remain in "well it is Europe and it's OPEX so BTFD" mode, entirely ignorant of what Goldman describes as the risk of a systemic shock, the EU-Greece negotiations continue... to go badly. As Bloomberg reports:
*EU OFFICIAL SAYS GREECE DEAL FRIDAY NIGHT LOOKING UNLIKELY
In fact, the official dropped his expectations so low as to say "it is possible that they could agree on progress." Which at least is one better than the no-progress meeting last week.
- Greece Should Not Give In to Germany’s Bullying (FP)
- Greece Can Pay Its Debts in Full, but It Won’t (WSJ)
- Early Friday humor: Euro Region Economy Strengthens Amid Wrangling on Greece (BBG)
- Euro zone may need extra summit to clinch Greek deal (Reuters)
- Oil-Drop Pain Spreads to Saudi Arabia’s Energy Behemoth (WSJ)
- Yellen Confronts Economists’ Ignorance (BBG) - where does one even start with this one
- ECB Plans to Push Greek Banks to Shed State Debt If Talks Fail (BBG)
This is what peak bluffing looks like. Moments after there was much hope for a deal, suddenly ze Germans yanked the carpet from under any potential leverage Greece may have though it had when the Maltese foreign minister said:
- GERMAN-LED BLOC WILLING TO LET GREECE LEAVE EURO, SCICLUNA SAYS
- "I think they’ve now reached a point where they will tell Greece if you really want to leave, leave"
This in turns follows minutes after a Spigel article said that the ECB prepares for Greek euro exit.
With the new and revised (until it is re-revised again to some future date), Greek D-Day set for today's third in the past 2 weeks Eurogroup meeting, every favorable headline serves as a springboard for ES-buying algos, while every negative headline is promptly ignored. And since this is Europe's style trial ballooning, there have been many of both with just these two hitting in the last hour:
- GREECE, EURO ZONE NEAR DEAL ON PACKAGE, REUTERS CITES UNIDENTIFIED GREEK OFFICIAL
- GREECE DID NOT GO FAR ENOUGH IN THEIR LATEST PROPOSAL: GREEK GVOERNMENT SPOKESMAN
Guess which one pushed ES into the green?
Goldman recently warned that they are "more worried than we have been since the start of the Euro area crisis," and judging by the extraordinary surge in "Grexit" headlines, it appears this time is different from 2012...
With reports of near mutiny in Syriza's ranks amid the back-bending they have done to try to meet Germany's demands - only to be abjectly denied by a non-ultimatum-setting Schaeuble - it is perhaps time to prepare (ahead of tomorrow's apparent "G" day) for the possibility that Greece creates a systemic event. As Goldman recently warned, there are aspects that leave us more worried than we have been since the start of the Euro area crisis with a tight schedule to avert a disorderly outcome. Risk markets so far have traded in a resilient (well managed) manner but risks of an accident remain and here is how Goldman suggests you hedge that exposure.
Official Greek deposit data began tumbling in December (outflows around EUR3bn), and accelerated in January in the run up to the Syriza election (proxied by JPMorgan at over EUR 12bn). During the last two weeks, however, the absence of ATM lines and visible bank runs has been curiously lacking as, at least on the surface, there appears to be no panic. However, as Dody Tsiantar reports, sources in the Greek banking sector have told Greek newspapers that as much as EUR 25bn euros have left Greek banks since the end of December with outflows surging this week. Perhaps they are getting anxious that authorities will take Cypriot advantage of the Bank Holiday that is planned in Greece on Monday.
The global financial system desperately needs a big, bloody sovereign default - a profoundly disruptive financial event capable of shattering the current rotten regime of bank bailouts and central bank financial repression. Needless to say, Greece is just the ticket: A default on its crushing debt and exit from the Euro would stick a fork in it like no other. But don’t count on the Greeks.
Meet Guan Tao. He oversees the foreign exchange of China’s $4 trillion stockpile of reserves (so he has an incredibly unique view of capital flows and currency movements in and out of the country), and he just admitted that capital flight from China is accelerating suggesting that outflows could be considerably higher than official channels show.