The European status quo and EU elites are becoming increasingly concerned by popular calls in Italy for Italy to leave the European Monetary Union and the euro "as soon as possible" and return to the lira.
And the overnight futures ramp started off so promising.
The lofty leaders at the ECB, and Berlin, Paris, Brussels, pretend they can make everything right that’s wrong inside their toy monetary union through asset purchases, sovereign bond purchases, and anything that falls in the ‘whatever it takes’ category. But it’s all just bluff. Because, what it all boils down to, they can’t keep buying Greek bonds with German taxpayer money until the end of time. And the markets know this.
Once in a blue moon officials commit truth in public, but the intrepid leader of Germany’s central bank has delivered a speech which let’s loose of three of them in a single go. Speaking at a conference in Riga, Latvia, Jens Weidmann put the kibosh on QE, low-flation and central bank interference in pricing of risky assets.
"I see deflation flirting with America." Retail sales equals consumer spending equals velocity of money. And unless the money supply is rising, hardly likely in the taper, less spending is deflation by definition. Forget about PMI and all that kind of data, it’s much simpler than that. Central banks can do all kinds of stuff, but they can’t make us spend our money on things we don’t want or need. Let alone make us borrow to do so. And if we don’t, deflation is an inevitable fact. That doesn’t mean prices for some items won’t go up, but that’s not what counts. It’s about how fast we either spend the money we have – if we have any left – or how much we borrow. And if time is money, then borrowed money is borrowed time. So we really shouldn’t.
The Fed’s public relations firm of Hilsenrath & Blackstone was out this morning with the official line on the market’s tremors of recent days. It seems that $10 trillion in freshly minted digital money at the world’s major central banks over the last eight years—-that is, a tripling of their balance sheets to $16 trillion—- is not enough. Not only is 2% inflation still MIA, but it now threatening to enter the dark side: Behind the spate of market turmoil lurks a worry that top policy makers thought they had beaten back a few years ago: the specter of deflation. Never mind that there is nothing close to a sustained run of negative consumer price indices anywhere in the world.
"We all hear nonsense in the course of our lives. Sometimes we talk it. Over the past 48 hours I have heard that this apparently unforeseeable re-pricing of global markets is down to Greece, down to Ebola, and/or down to the fact that the street is not offering much liquidity. However, I think the re-pricing was foreseeable and has – so far – barely anything to do with these first two items. At some point I’m sure the market will accept that the re-pricing is much more about reassessing global growth and deflation expectations and collapsing policymaker credibility. And as for the liquidity argument – which HAS been a factor, in my view – how can this be a surprise? After all, as I see it, one of the cornerstones of regulation over the past five or six years has been to ensure that banks are unable to provide liquidity when clients really need it en masse."
Forward inflation expectations for Europe have collapsed to all-time record lows (based on 5Y forward implied 5Y inflation) as the market grows increasingly impatient at Draghi's dragging his "whatever it takes" feet on pulling the sovereign QE trigger. With 8 European nations now in outright deflation, the growing political pressure on the ECB to actually "do" something is, however, equal and opposite to Germany's (read Buba's) insistence that member states have some fiscal discipline (oh and the fact that OMT may just be exactly what we always said it was - illegal and a mirage).
Greece (-6.5% today), Italy (-4.4%), Spain (-3.6%), and Portugal (-3.2%) all saw major stock price collapses today dragging the broad European Stoxx 600 index down 11.4% from its highs just 18 days ago... All European stock indices are now red for 2014
Blood in the leveraged momo streets. Nikkei was crushed overenight as USDJPY could not hold 107. European stock indices are tumbling led by weakness in Spain, Portugal, and Italy. The peripheral bond markets are also getting crushed (spreads wider by 15-20bps). This has bled over into US equities with Nasdaq leading the way lower. Treasury yields are collapsing (10Y tests below 2.15%). The USD is modestly lower but oil is continuing to collapse testing the $80 handle for WTI.
Nearly two decades of central bank financial repression have created huge distortions and imbalances in the world economy. Now they are coming home to roost as the impossibility of ZIRP forever dawns on even our mad money printers. Having created yet another round of ebullient financial bubbles, they are now getting palpably nervous.
Having noted last week of the rising tensions between the French (pushing forward with plans for a budget deficit that far exceeds EU Treaty rules) and Germany (letting a Frenchman run EU's finances is "an unwise personnel decision") and Brussels (planning to reject the French budget); it seems the French are unimpressed. As les Echos reports, French finance minister Michel Sapin has proclaimed he won't change the budget, arguing that the EU commission has no power to reject a budget as sovereignty belongs to France's parliament... fighting words for a 'union'! In addition, the EU is now planning to reject Italy's budget, due to its "serious violation" of EU rules.
Futures Euphoria Deflated By Latest Batch Of Ugly European News: Germany Can't Exclude "Technical Recession"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 10/14/2014 05:47 -0500
So far the overnight session has been a mirror image of Monday's, when futures languished at the lows only to ramp higher as soon as Europe started BTFD. Today, on the other hand, we had a rather amusing surge in the AUDJPY as several central banks were getting "liquidity rebates" from the CME to push the global carry-fueled risk complex higher, only to see their efforts crash and burn as Europe's key economic events hit. First, it was the Eurozone Industrial Production, which confirmed that the triple dip is well and here, when it printed -1.8%, below the expected -1.6%, and far below last month's 1.0%. This comes in the month when German IP plunged most since 2009, confirming that this time it's different, and it is Germany that is leading Europe's collapse into the Keynesian abyss not the periphery. And speaking of Germany, at the same time Europe's former growth dynamo released an October ZEW survey of -3.6%, the 10th consecutive decline and well below the 0.0% expected: first negative print since late 2012!
Most planned cities probably aren't designed with the view from space in mind, but, as Wired.com's Betsy Mason notes, some of them create incredible patterns on the landscape that can only be truly appreciated from above.