International Monetary Fund
Finally some details of the mythical revised and most certainly Dead on Arrival EFSF program, to be fully announced on Friday, emerge with Retuers bringing the scoop. Here are the preliminary bullets:
- EFSF to be able to grant two types of precautionary credit lines, normal and enhanced, based on IMF instruments.
- Typical size of both types of EFSF precautionary credit lines for Euro-zone sovereigns could be between 2 and 10 % of GDP according to a document
- To be eligible for EFSF precautionary credit lines Euro-zone sovereign must respect EU budget rules, have sustainable debt, external position, no bank solvency problem and seek to reduce macroeconomic imbalances according to a document
- Both types of EFSF precautionary credit lines would be for 1 year, renewable for 6 months twice
- IMF involvement in design and implementation of EFSF precautionary credit lines will be sought in all cases according to guidelines
Of course, if bullet point 3 is actually enforced, nobody would be eligible. Which means the whole framework is a joke. Yet nothing here changes the fact that with €100 billion set aside for bank recaps, a woefully low number and one which will do nothing to assure investors that banks have sufficient capital, there is still not enough cash to "guarantee" all future issuance, as was described in great detail previously. Lastly, it is too late to do much if anything except spike the EURUSD by a few hundreds pips for a day or two.
Following two poor bond auctions in the overnight session from Spain and France, things once again looked set to fall apart in both the stock futures and the FX (EURUSD) markets until the latest deus ex appeared after the latest report by international creditors on Greece’s finances recommended paying the next installment of aid to Greece as soon as possible. Naturally: after all such a payment is merely passthru funding which Greece hardly sees one sent of, and the bulk of the capital is immediately recycled to creditors in the form of interest expense and debt maturities. Bloomberg quotes “The Commission services recommend the sixth disbursement to Greece to take place as soon as possible: as soon as the agreed prior actions on fiscal consolidation, privatisation and labour market reform, which were announced by the government, have been legislated,” the report by the so-called troika of officials from the European Central Bank, EU Commission and IMF said. Of course, were the Troika to allow full disbursement without any "stern" warnings over the deterioration in the Greek economy, in which nobody works any more, the Finance Ministry is occupied and a general strike is the "new normal", it would have been beyond farcical. Which is why the Troika noted that the Greek debt ratio, which exceeded 140% of GDP at the end of 2010, will remain “at very high levels for many years,” according to a draft report by the Troika. “If fiscal consolidation and privatization targets are respected, and growth responds to structural reforms, the debt ratio may start declining from 2013 onwards...When compared with the outlook of a few months ago, the debt sustainability has effectively deteriorated’." And it will continue deteriorating because Greece now knows too well it can demand anything and everything from Europe and it will get it, since nobody at the Troika can ever refuse to fund the insolvent country's monthly pre-alimony payment.
We may have posted this already minutes ago, but at this point it is all one big blur, so we will go ahead and regurgitate. The latest counter-disinformation from Europe comes from Reuters: "Plans to tackle the euro zone debt crisis have stalled with Paris and Berlin at odds over how to increase the firepower of the region's bailout fund, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Wednesday. Sarkozy told French parliamentarians the dispute was holding up negotiations. He then flew to Frankfurt to talk with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in an attempt to break the deadlock ahead of a make-or-break European leaders' summit on Sunday. A French presidency source said the French and German leaders were meeting other euro zone policy chiefs and International Monetary Fund head Christine Lagarde on the sidelines of an event mark the end of Jean-Claude Trichet's presidency of the European Central Bank. France has argued the most effective way of leveraging the European Financial Stability Facility is to turn it into a bank which could then access funding from the ECB, but both the central bank and the German government have opposed this. "In Germany, the coalition is divided on this issue. It is not just Angela Merkel who we need to convince," Sarkozy told the parliamentarians at a lunch meeting, according to Charles de Courson, one of the legislators present. His comments fuelled doubts about whether euro zone leaders will be able to agree a clear and convincing plan when they meet on Sunday. " Judging by the reaction of the EURUSD, this IS news because it only made Bloomberg minute ago, even though it hit Reuters about 45 minutes earlier.
David Rosenberg On The Insanity Of Fixing Excess Leverage With More Leverage, And The Relentless Euro RumormillSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 10/19/2011 12:51 -0400
We though we were the only ones brought to the verge with the relentless lies out of a completely clueless Europe, which as we learned at last weekend's G20 meeting, has 3 more days to get is act together. Oh wait, they were lying too? Got it. Well, no, David Rosenberg has also had it pretty much up to here. More importantly, Rosenberg also, like us, but also like Citi's and RBS, to throw some more "credible" names, is convinced that this latest deux ex machina is D.O.A. To wit: "How cool is it that we live in a world where complicated financial engineering in a radically overleveraged system forms the cornerstone of the solution to these debt problems...Why are we so skeptical? Well, when you go back to the opening months of 2010, it was all about Greece and the prime goal was to prevent contagion to Portugal and Ireland. We know how that went. Then that fall, the risk was Greece, Ireland and Portugal and this was when the term PIG was coined. At that time, the goal was to protect Spain and Italy. And we know how that went. Then just this past July, the crisis moved beyond just Greece, Ireland and Portugal to include Italy and Spain (and this is where PUGS was coined). At this point it was about preventing contagion to the banks, but nothing has worked. The contagion has merely spread, and this is not the first time a late-day press release or policy announcement was leaked to juice the market. So, we are still living in a world were levering up is somehow deemed to be a solution to a world of excessive credit and all this will do, again, is just kick the can down the road." As we made it all too clear, far less diplomatically yesterday, "Are we the only ones dazed, confused, and tired beyond comprehension with this endless, ridiculous, pathetic, grovelling Groundhog Day bullshit? Stop risking civil and international war just to satisfy your bureaucratic vanity. THERE IS NO MONEY! YOU KNOW IT, WE KNOW IT, THE PEOPLE KNOW IT. ENOUGH!!!" So much for enough: 6 hours later we had the latest European rumormongering fiasco courtesy of The Guardian which has now devolved to the status of England's latest "paid for publication" tabloid.
First it was Citi's turn, when earlier, via Willem Buiter, it explained in granular detail, how the EFSF's latest incarnation as a 20% first loss insurance fund, will be not a bazooka but a "peashooter." Now it is the turn of RBS' Harvinder Sian (yes, yes, the same guy who in February 2010 accused Zero Hedge of falsely concluding Greek banks are insolvent... ahem) to mock and ridicule the Guardian's blatant attempt to lift the EURUSD just so momos and piggybackers provided a convenient receptacle for assets that French banks were offloading beginning at 3pm courtesy of this bogus plant, since refuted by Dow Jones. Seeing how Harvinder works for RBS (and was protecting his bank's Greek bond exposure last year...how did that work out), don't expect much original thought. After all, the specter of no Christmas Party must put what few employees the bank has in a perpetually ill mood. That said he does provide a convenient echo chamber for those who have already said the original things ahead of him.His conclusion is sufficient: "If this is delivered alongside more detail on a harder Greek PSI and an early ESM adoption, then expect the crisis to get more elevated and seriously engulf the early-stage stressed Belgian and French markets. In the meantime, such news headlines will make for choppy price action and destroy low conviction trading positions." Hear that momos? This Bud's for you.
There Is No Bailout Spoon: The Math Behind The €2 Trillion EFSF Reveals A "Pea Shooter" Not A "Bazooka"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 10/18/2011 13:53 -0400
The latest and greatest plan to bail out Europe revolves around using the recently expanded and ratified €440 billion EFSF, and converting it into a "first loss" insurance policy (proposed by Pimco parent Allianz which itself may be in some serious need of shorting - the full analysis via Credit Sights shortly) in which the CDO would use its unfunded portion (net of already subscribed commitments) which amount to roughly €310 billion, and use this capital as a 20% "first-loss" off-balance sheet, contingent liability guarantee to co-invest alongside new capital in new Italian and Spanish bond issuance (where the problem is supposedly one of "liquidity" not "solvency"). In the process, the ECB remains as an arm-length entity which satisfies the Germans, as it purportedly means that the possibilty of rampant runaway inflation is eliminated as no actual bad debt would encumber the asset side of the ECB. A 20% first loss piece implies the total notional of the €310 billion in free capital can be leveraged to a total of €1.55 trillion. So far so good: after all, as noted Euro-supporter Willem Buiter points out in a just released piece titled "Can Sovereign Debt Insurance by the EFSF be the "Big Bazooka" that Saves the Euro?" there is only €900 billion in financing needs for the two countries until Q2 2013. As such the EFSF would take care of Europe's issues for at least 2 years, or so the thinking goes. There are two major problems with this math however, and Buiter makes them all too clear....Buiter's unpleasant, for Allianz, Merkel and Sarkozy conclusion is that "that would likely not fund the Spanish and Italian sovereigns until the end of 2012. It would not be a big bazooka but a small pea shooter."
As Greece Launches Latest 2 Day General Strike, Unions Warn Of Austerity "Death Spiral" - A Primer On Greek PoliticsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 10/18/2011 12:54 -0400
A few days ago we pointed out that Greece has now effectively shut down following a relentless barrage of strikes and occupations which not only have halted the economy, but now prevent the economy from even collecting tax revenues (one wonders if the country has finally borrowed the ink it needs to print tax forms, from Ben Bernanke). It appears the irony of the vicious loop whereby more austerity means more strikes, means less tax revenues, means bigger budget deficits, means more austerity, means even more strikes, has not been lost on the population, and now, according to Reuters, local unions warn that the country "risks sliding into a "death spiral" if the government continues to slash salaries and lay off workers instead of cracking down on tax evasion and raising money from the rich, the head of the biggest public sector union said Tuesday. "This will exacerbate recession, unemployment and state revenues will continue to fall, creating a death spiral. It must not continue," Tsikrikas told Reuters in an interview and urged lawmakers to reject the package when it is voted in parliament Wednesday and Thursday." He is right, and unfortunately for him, as the attached Nomura primer on near-term Greek politics indicates, both parties have no upside in severing monetary ties with Europe and realize all too well that unlike what G-Pap is saying, specifically that the country is being held hostage by strikes and protests, it is Greek strikes and protests that are holding Europe and its taxpayers hostage. However, since productive Europeans have no problem with that, it will continue indefinitely, even as the Greek economy grinds to a halt and nobody does or produces anything, and the entire country becomes a permanent ward of the European state, receiving its bi-monthly IMF bail out funding which in turn is flipped right back and used to pay off European bank interests. Rinse. Repeat.
Better late .....here is all you need to read.
Given the economic backdrop in the US and Europe, I remain convinced we’re breaking out of this range to the low side. I’ve warned to get defensive for over a month now. This week looks to be a good time to add to shorts as I expect we’re going to likely see a top this week as earnings season kicks into higher gear and the usual options expiration nonsense ends.
Appetite for risk was observed during the Asian and European sessions on enhanced prospects that the eight-day deadline given by the G-20 leaders to resolve an ongoing Eurozone debt crisis would bring some positive outcome before the EU leaders' summit on October 23rd. Nikkei (+1.41%) closed higher and European equities also received a boost, with financials as one of the better performing sectors, which was further helped by comments from Moody's that accelerating talks to recapitalise European banks are credit positive for the banks. News that China has offered to spend tens of billions buying European infrastructure projects and government debts strengthened the appetite for risk. However, later in the European session, comments from the German finance minister and a German government spokesman that a concrete solution for the Eurozone crisis couldn't be found by the EU summit dented risk-appetite. In the forex market, after trading lower during early European trade, the USD-Index ventured in positive territory, which in turn weighed upon EUR/USD, GBP/USD and commodity-linked currencies, however GBP did receive support following a sharp jump in the Rightmove House Prices from the UK overnight. In other news, CHF received a boost across the board following market talk that SNB's president Hildebrand may resign, whereas CAD received support on news that the Canadian finance minister and the Bank of Canada governor may go beyond inflation-beating monetary policy measures. Moving into the North American open, markets will look ahead to key economic data from the US in the form of Empire manufacturing, industrial production and capacity utilisation.
A new study concludes that so far, oil exporters were winners and oil importers losers of Arab Spring. In aggregate, the Arab Spring has actually provided a positive economic boost across the region worth almost $39 billion.
The last time (May 2010) when the head of the worst performing division at Goldman, GSAM's Jim O'Neill openly taunted the market skeptics ("Anyhow, dear grizzlies....bet your [sic] worried about today’s rally? See u later.") the market proceeded to implode with such ferocity (not to mention see the first and biggest SEC fine charged against his firm for CDO rigging) that it took QE2 to prevent a depressionary relapse. Now, following the latest two week surge in risk assets, driven as we currently speculate primarily due to a FX repatriation out of French banks on asset liquidation and USD to EUR conversion, Jim O'Neill has once again crawled out of his shell and has gone "bear hunting." However, so as not to jinx the ongoing melt up on proceeding liquidations, he is far more subdued and rhetorically answer himself: "So are the bears beaten? As tempting as it is, alas I think not - at least yet." He continues, putting the onus of the growth thesis once again squarely on China: "While the Euro challenges are immense, I don’t see them as being necessarily of the power to drag down either China or the US, or both. While it is perfectly possible, the US and China have coped perfectly well with Japan’s weakness for a long period, so I don’t see why they can’t cope with a struggling Europe. A collapsing Europe would be a different story, but a struggling Europe, that shouldn’t be too demanding. As for Europe, the bar has been raised these past few weeks, as markets have recovered and expectations of a Big Bang increased. There are all sorts of dilemmas remaining, ranging from Berlusconi’s tentative hold of power in Italy to the divergence of stances on the right broad European solution. What we really need from Europe is to just not implode, that would be a problem for the rest of us and the markets." Unfortunately for Jim, he appears to have missed the "paradigm shift" when few if any buy the China as world savior phenotype any more, and instead most finally see what Jim Chanos and other fringe bloggers have been claiming for year. As for the bears, Jim, just like last time, fear not - the bears will once again have the last laugh.
It's not just uninformed people who want to end the Fed.
Sunday sarcasm. Or not?