The last time we opined on the possibility of a Cyprus-style "bail-in" in Greece, which is essentially a legally-mandated confiscation of private sector assets held hostage by the local financial system, until such time as the balance sheet of said financial system is viable, we were joking. Well, not really joking. But not even we thought that a banking sector "bail in", in which unsecured bank liabilities, which include bonds and of course deposits, are used as a matched source of extinguishment of non-performing bad debt "assets" could spread to the broader economy, and specifically to unencumbered private sector assets. Alas, this is precisely what Greece, which is desperately to delay the inevitable and announce it needs not only a third but fourth bailout, appears keen on doing. As Kathimerini reports, the Greek Labor and Social Insurance Ministry is "seriously considering drastic measures in order to obtain the social security contributions owed by enterprises and to avoid having to slash pensions and benefits." What drastic measures? "The ministry is planning to force companies to pay up or face having their assets seized, so that the 14 billion euros of contributions due can be recouped."
Not only does FNM seem to be unprofitable under the new FHFA guidance, but payments made to Treasury might need to be reversed.
Gold analysts are the most bullish in five months according to Bloomberg. Thirteen analysts surveyed by Bloomberg expect prices to rise next week, four were bearish and five neutral, the highest proportion of bulls since March 8.
- Critics Decry Risks Posed by Link Between China's Banks and Bonds (WSJ)
- U.S. retailers say uneven recovery keeps consumers cautious (Reuters) - er, what recovery?
- Easy Credit Dries Up, Choking Growth in China (NYT)
- Fed's Bullard Floats Idea of Small Cuts to Bond Buying (WSJ)
- EU wants one definition of bad loans for bank tests (Reuters) - because in Europe they can't even agree what an NPL is...
- Nagasaki Bomb Maker Offers Lessons for Fukushima Cleanup (BBG)
- With Gmail Overhaul, Not All Mail Is Equal (WSJ)
- Snowden downloaded NSA secrets while working for Dell, sources say (Reuters)
- Apollo co-founder buys into New Jersey Devils (FT)
- Republicans to vote on debate boycott because of Clinton programs (Reuters)
- J.C. Penney Heads for Ninth Quarter of Plunging Sales (BBG)
- This won't end well: Islamists call Cairo protest march as Egypt death toll mounts (Reuters)
- JPMorgan Said to Expect Multiple Fines for Whale Loss (BBG)
- Ex-bosses at JPMorgan unlikely to face charges in 'Whale' scandal (Reuters)
- China could target oil firms, telecoms, banks in price probes (Reuters)
- For once, it's not the weather's fault: U.K. Retail Sales Increase More Than Forecast on Heatwave (BBG)
- Japanese visits to shrine on war anniversary anger China (Reuters)
- India Fighting Worst Crisis Since ’91 Seeks to Buoy Rupee (BBG)
- Japan Signals Corporate Tax Cut a Long Shot as Deflation Eases (Reuters)
- Indonesia Tackles Graft in Energy Sector (Reuters)
- Merkel Touts Strength of German Economy (WSJ)
- and... British stuntman who parachuted into London Olympics opening ceremony as James Bond dies in fall (AP)
In a session that has been painfully boring so far (yet which should pick up with CPI, jobless claims, industrial production and the NY Empire Fed on deck, as well as Wal-Mart earnings which will no doubt reflect the continuing disappointing retail plight) perhaps the only notable news was that Japan - the nation that brought you "Fukushima is contained" - was caught in yet another lie. Recall that the upside catalyst (and source of Yen weakness) two days ago was what we classified then as "paradoxical news" that Japan would cut corporate taxes in a move that somehow would offset the upcoming consumption tax hike. Turns out that, as our gut sense indicated, this was merely yet another BS trial balloon out of Japan, which admitted overnight that the entire report was a lie.
As David Stockman, Reagan's infamous Budget Director, writes in his bestseller, The Great Deformation: The Corruption Of Capitalism In America – "the last thing hedge funds do is hedge." The hedge fund complex is "not so much a conventional industry as it is a giant moveable trade": Wall Street trading desks frequently morph into independent hedge fund partnerships, and senior hedge funds often sire “cubs” and then sons of cubs. The protean ability of this arrangement to spawn, fund, and replicate successful momentum trades cannot be overstated, and has "generated trillions of permanent momentum-chasing capital." Ultimately, he warns, "apologists for the Fed’s evisceration of the capital markets could not see... they had unleashed the financial furies in the violent momentum trading modus operandi of the hedge fund casino."
Presenting default you can believe in, as the largest municipal bankruptcy in US history, involing the one-time iconic "motor city" which now has a population of 700,000 and some $20 billion in liabilities, is about to become reality. But fear not: the Detroit bankruptcy, like rising rates, are entirely due to the economic recovery.
With spot gold prices down 28% year-to-date, it appears John Paulson's Gold Fund has managed to create some epic high-beta losses. In a letter to investors, Paulson explains his fund fell 23% in June, is down 65% in 2013; but do not fear - as he concludes time and time again, the gold fund will "produce outsized returns in the long-run".
Unless there's a shock to the system when people start seeking safety, there's not much upside momentum for gold.
The legal claims on physical gold far exceed the amount of physical gold that the banks actually have by a very, very wide margin. And right now the bankers are scared out of their wits because their warehouses are being drained of physical gold at a frightening rate. So what happens when their physical gold is gone but they still have lots and lots of people with legal claims to gold? When that moment arrives, it will represent the end of the paper gold scam. Many believe that the recent takedown of the price of paper gold was a desperate attempt by the bankers to put off that day of reckoning, but it appears to have greatly backfired on them. Instead of cooling off demand for precious metals, it has unleashed a massive "gold rush" all over the globe. This is creating havoc in the financial community, and at least one major international bank has already declared that it will only be settling those accounts in cash from now on. The paper gold scam is starting to unravel, and by the time this is all over it is going to be a complete and total nightmare for global financial markets. For years it has been widely known that the promises that banks have made regarding their gold far exceed their actual ability to deliver, but we have never reached a moment of such crisis before.
Jewellers across the world are seeing a surge in jewellery purchases because consumers are taking advantage of the price drop and purchasing investment pieces that will grow in value over time.
In the USA with Mother’s Day approaching this weekend, consumers like Whitney Court who would normally buy flowers instead wants to purchase something that won’t wilt: a silver necklace.
Moments ago, embattled hedge fund manager Phil Faclone, whose Harbinger Capital seven years ago was more profitable than Federal Reserve Capital Onshore Fund LP, and where every analyst and trader wanted to work, at least until they decided to work for Paulson 3 years later (oops), just settled with the SEC for the plethora of alleged financial wrongdoing that has troubled him in the past four years, and primarily for misuse of client funds such as using client cash to pay his own taxes, in a move that effectively ends his career in not only the hedge fund worlds, but in finance as well. It is unclear if Falcone's prenup-free marriage is also over as a result: we expect a statement from Lisa's PR group shortly.