The Central Bank of Portugal conveniently released their results between Christmas and New Year, when the trading desks in Europe are virtually empty...
With all the action in Syria, the Ukraine is no longer a subject for discussion in the West. In Russia, where the Ukraine is still a major problem looming on the horizon, and where some 1.5 million Ukrainian refugees are settling in, with no intentions of going back to what's left of the Ukraine, it is still actively discussed. But for the US, and for the EU, it is now yet another major foreign policy embarrassment, and the less said about it the better. In the meantime, the Ukraine is in full-blown collapse - all five glorious stages of it - setting the stage for a Ukrainian Nightmare Before Christmas, or shortly after.
As FT reports, “Argentines woke up on Thursday richer than Poles, Chileans and Hungarians [but] by bedtime they were not only poorer than all three, but also more pecunious than Mexicans, Costa Ricans and the good people of Equatorial Guinea.”
Futures Slide As Quad-Witching Has A Violently Volatile Start After Massive BOJ FX Headfake; Oil TumblesSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 12/18/2015 07:49 -0400
Following the latest BOJ statement, the market found itself wrongfooted assuming the BOJ was actually launching another episode of easing, sending the USDJPY soaring, until suddenly the realization swept the market that not only was the incremental action not really material, but even Kuroda spoke shortly after the announcement, confirming that "today's decision wasn't additional easing." The result was one of the biggest FX headfakes in recent days, perhaps on par with that from December 4 when EUR shorts were crushed, as the biggest carry pair first soared then tumbled and since the Yen correlation drives so many risk assets, also pulled down not only Japanese stocks but US equity futures.
The build-up in credit or leverage in many Emerging Market economies has been an important focus for EM investors given historical episodes of credit crunches and subsequent growth slowdowns. While broadly speaking, EM stocks began to drastically underperform DM stocks at the start of QE3, Goldman summarizes in a heat map, the EM nations with greatest potential for the upcoming Fed liftoff to cause a major disruption.
Calling for a moratorium on Muslim immigration “until our country’s representatives can figure out what the hell is going on,” Donald Trump this week ignited a firestorm of historic proportions. As all the old hate words - xenophobe, racist, bigot - have lost their electric charge from overuse, and Trump was being called a fascist demagogue and compared to Hitler and Mussolini. Why the hysteria? Comes the reply: Trump’s call for a temporary ban on Muslim immigration tramples all over “American values” and everything we stand for, including the Constitution. But is this really true? In fact, is this move a well thought out cunning plan?
Having won Time's "Person of the Year" award, German chancellor Angela Merkel may have little time, or cause, for celebration. The reason for that is shown in the chart below.
While EM sovereigns as a group may be in better shape now in terms of “original sin” (i.e borrowing heavily in foreign currencies) than they were during say, the Asian Currency Crisis, the confluence of factors outlined above means no one is truly “safe” in the current environment as moving from liquidation back to accumulation will entail a sharp reversal in commodity prices and a pickup in the pace of global growth and trade.
The recent attacks in Paris evoke strong emotions for many people, but investors need to look through those feelings to the short, medium, and long-term implications. We believe Paris may mark an important turning point for Europe and the global business cycle... but for different reasons than you may think. There is a chance that the slow disintegration of Europe will drive more capital onto US shores, boosting valuations and fueling a blow-off top in the US equity market; but beware global shocks and take any rally as a chance to get defensive.
The successful completion of the Balkan Silk Road would lead to a significant sum of European trade being profitably redirected towards China and other booming non-Western locations like India and Ethiopia. The US fears losing its position as the EU’s top trading partner, knowing that the slippery strategic slope that could soon follow might lead to the rapid unraveling of its hegemonic control. The inevitable New Cold War clash that this represents and the extraordinarily high stakes that are involved mean that the Balkans will remain one of the main flashpoints in this dangerous proxy struggle, despite the hierarchical switch of its multipolar protagonists.
The U.S. is, in fact, Europe’s enemy - not merely Russia’s enemy. Not merely the truth’s enemy. Not merely democracy’s enemy.
Between the French (Interior Minister Cazeneuve: "we're face with a new kind of terrorism", and Hungary (PM Orban: "allowing people into our own back yard" who may then commit acts of terrorism was irresponsible), AP reports that the EU's founding treaty with regard to passport-free travel - the so-called Schengen Agreement - is to be reformed. "We want Europe, which has lost too much time on a certain number of questions, to note the urgency and take decisions today," exclaimed Cazeneuve, with Orban adding "the founding treaty is currently an obstacle to this and I believe it needs to be reconsidered." According to Cazeneuve, the reforms will happen by year-end.
- French, U.S. Troops Enter Mali Hotel as Gunmen Hold Hostages (BBG)
- Top suspect seen on CCTV in metro during Paris attacks (Reuters)
- Paris Attacks’ Alleged Ringleader, Now Dead, Had Slipped Into Europe Unchecked (WSJ)
- Global shares march on as alarm bells ring for metals (Reuters)
- European Stocks Rise With Asian Shares as Zinc, Ringgit Advance (BBG)
- World leaders arrive for summit amid heavy security (Reuters)
At the core of global power stands the conflict between the Sauds (and their Sunni clergy) and the Iranians (and their Shiite clergy). One can’t understand U.S.-Russian relations, nor much else of what is happening in the world, without knowing the relevant historical background; and the origins and nature of the Sunni war against Shiia are arguably the most essential part of that to comprehend just how the United States came to back the Sunnis, and how Russia came to back the Shiites, in this war.
The European Union Is Disintegrating: Austria Builds New Fence; Germany, Sweden Resume Border ChecksSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 11/13/2015 14:20 -0400
In the latest from Europe's border battles, Austria has responded to Slovenia by building its own version of an anti-migrant fence while Sweden has began checking trains coming from Denmark and removing anyone without the proper papers. Saving Schengen truly is a "race against time."