Insolvency will keep dragging the Euro-Area economy down until sovereign and bank balance sheets are repaired, but as Lombard Street Research points out: eliminating the Ponzi debt without fracturing the entire credit system is impossible. The Lehman default occurred 13 months after the US TED spread crossed 100 basis points. The European equivalent crossed 100 basis points in September 2011, so its banking crisis would occur this autumn if a year or so is a normal incubation period. A Greek or any other significant default will precipitate a European banking crisis in the foreseeable future. Markets are already speculating on Portuguese negotiations for haircuts and Ireland can’t be far behind and the contagion to US (and global) banking systems is inevitable given counterparty risks, debt loads (and refi needs), and capital requirements (no matter how well hidden by MtM math). The contagion will likely show up as a risk premium in the credit markets initially as we suggest the recent underperformance of both US and European bank credit relative to stocks is a canary to keep an eye on.
Dallas Fed's Fisher "Perplexed" By Wall Street "Fetish" With QE3 And Disgusted With The Addiction To "Monetary Morphine"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 03/05/2012 14:36 -0400
And now for some pure irony, we have a member of the Fed, granted a gold bug, but a Fed member nonetheless, one of the same people who not only enacted ZIRP, but encourage easy money every time there is a downtick in the market, complaining about, get this, Wall Street's "continued preoccupation, bordering upon fetish" with QE3. The irony continues: "Trillions of dollars are lying fallow, not being employed in the real economy. Yet financial market operators keep looking and hoping for more. Why? I think it may be because they have become hooked on the monetary morphine we provided when we performed massive reconstructive surgery, rescuing the economy from the Financial Panic of 2008–09, and then kept the medication in the financial bloodstream to ensure recovery....I believe adding to the accommodative doses we have applied rather than beginning to wean the patient might be the equivalent of medical malpractice." So let's get this straight: these academic titans, who for one reason or another, are given free rein to determine the fate of the once free world with their secret decisions every two or three months, are completely unaware of classical conditioning, discovered by Pavlov nearly 90 years ago, also known as a salivation response. The same Fed is shocked, shocked, that every time the market dips, the red light goes off, and the "balls to the wall" crowd scream for more, more, more free money. Really Fisher? Really? Oh, and let us guess what happens the next time the S&P slides into the tripple digits: will the Fed a) do nothing, thereby letting the market slide to its fair value in the 400 point range, or b) print. Our money, in the form of hard yellow metal, is on the latter, just like we predicted, correctly, back in March 2009 in " Bailoutspotting (Or The Search For The Great Financial Methadone Clinic" that nothing will ever change vis-a-vis the great market junkie until it all comes crashing down.
"Emotions exceeding known parameters cause extreme events, such as stock market booms and busts. They are self-reinforcing spirals upward and especially downward that, once established, keep diverging from equilibrium until the driving forces fade or stronger counter forces reverse them. Ever-increasing desires for accumulating ever greater wealth faster and faster ignited a credit bubble that spiralled upwards until it burst in 2007 from a lack of new borrowers. The multi decade credit bubble and its bursting were extreme events. No model recognized the credit bubble or its collapse and no model is giving any indication of the plethora of problems now brewing in Europe."
While everyone was busy ruminating on how little impact a Greek default would have on the global economy, the IIF - the syndicate of banks dedicated to the perpetuation of the status quo - was busy doing precisely the opposite. In a Confidential Staff Note that was making the rounds in the past 2 weeks titled "Implications of a Disorderly Greek Default and Euro Exit" the IIF was doing its best Hank Paulson imitation in an attempt to scare the Bejeezus out of potential hold outs everywhere, by "quantifying" the impact form a Greek failure. The end result: "It is difficult to add all these contingent liabilities up with any degree of precision, although it is hard to see how they would not exceed €1 trillion." In other words, hold out at your own peril. Of course, what the IIF does not understand, is that for hedge funds it is precisely this kind of systemic nuisance value that makes holding out that much more valuable, as they understand all too well that they have all the cards on the table. And while a Greek default could be delayed even if full PSI was not attained by Thursday, it would simply make paying off the holdouts the cheapest cost strategy for the IIF, for Europe and for the world's banks. Unless of course, the IIF is bluffing, in which case the memorandum is not worth its weight in 2020 US Treasurys.
It was only sugar water anyway.
Not the US Dollar of course: why would the only country to successfully overthrow the chains of banker tyranny and default in their face want to ever have anything to do with the USD, the source of all the world's problems. No, the dollar in question is that of Canada. According to the Globe and Mail tiny Iceland, "is looking longingly to the loonie as the salvation from wild economic gyrations and suffocating capital controls...And for the first time, the Canadian government says it’s open to discussing idea. There’s a compelling economic case why Iceland would want to adopt the Canadian dollar. It offers the tantalizing prospect of a stable, liquid currency that roughly tracks global commodity prices, nicely matching Iceland’s own economy, which is dependent on fish and aluminum exports." Yes, yes, there are all the fundamental reasons, but more importantly, it is a huge slap in the face of those statists (and the United States of course) who keep repeating no matter the facts that the USD will never lose its reserve status. Here's a hint: it can and it will. And so much for the thought experiment of printing endless amounts of currency in non-reserve format and getting away with everything unpunished. Finally, there is this startling dose of reality from an earlier and calmer time, when S&P, back in 2006, released its long-term baseline scenario of sovereign debt ratings. This oddly prescient table speaks for itself.
European indices are trading in minor positive territory ahead of the North American open with tentative risk appetite. This follows news that the EU leaders have signed off on the EU fiscal pact, with German Chancellor Merkel commenting that 25 out of 27 countries have signed the agreement. The effects of the ECB’s LTRO continue to trickle through as the ECB announce they received record overnight deposits of EUR 777bln from European Banks. Little in the way of data today, however UK construction PMI released earlier in the session recorded the highest rate of increase in new orders for 21 months. In the energy complex, Brent futures have come down below USD 125.00 from yesterday’s highs with WTI echoing the movements, following market reaction to the confirmation that there were no acts of sabotage on Saudi pipelines yesterday, according to Saudi officials. EUR-led currency pairs are trading down on the session, and USD/JPY continues to climb, hitting a 9 month high earlier today at 81.72.
Overnight sentiment is turning south, after 4 successive days of breakout attempts have failed to conquer Dow 13K, and with crude sticky at multi month highs. The EURUSD is down over 100 pips and is testing 1.32 support. BBG summarizes the key overnight events that are shaping the mood: EU leaders, bowing to German demands, signed a deficit-control treaty at the 17th summit since the outbreak of the crisis. The treaty puts tighter restrictions on spending. A test of Europe’s commitment to austerity will come when the region debates whether to ease the deficit-reduction target for Spain, which is part of the overnight downbeat mood in stocks after PM Rajoy announced that the deficit target for the coming year is 5.8% of GDP and the 4.4% deficit goal is unattainable. The European Central Bank said overnight deposits soared to a record after its second allocation of three-year loans. Elsewhere, investors are complaining that the European Investment Bank doesn’t deserve the same exemption from losses on its Greek bond holdings as the euro region’s central bank because it didn’t buy the notes to support monetary policy. Well - don't complain, and merely just say no to the PSI. Treasuries steady; Bloomberg’s Soveriegn Debt Movers shows Greek yields plunging, Portugal slightly higher. European stocks mostly higher, U.S. futures steady. Will this downbeat mood remain - all depends on which way the momentum algos move, and whether they have been recalibrated from the prior program of following crude with a positive correlation.
- Brazil declares new ‘currency war’ (FT)
- Postal Cuts Are Dead Letter in Congress (WSJ)
- China state banks to boost selected property loans (Reuters)
- ECB Says Overnight Deposits Surge to Record (Bloomberg)
- Van Rompuy confirmed for 2nd term as EU Council president (Reuters) - you mean dictator
- BOJ Shirakawa: Japan consumer prices to gradually rise (Reuters)
- IMF Says Threat of Sharp Global Slowdown Eased (Reuters)
- Eurozone delays half of Greece’s funds (FT)
- BOJ Openings Can Shape Monetary Policy (Bloomberg)
Busy day for our friends from Goldman who are now turning quite bearish it appears following the two GDP cuts earlier.
Today's Busy Event Roster: ISM, Lack Of Personal Income, Job Losses, Construction Outlays, and GM Channel StuffingSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 03/01/2012 09:20 -0400
Very busy day today with personal lack of savings, an ISM number which will likely beat consensus so much it will be above the highest Wall Street estimate, construction lack of outlays, Ben Bernanke speech day two, GM channel stuffing, and many Fed speakers.
- China’s Holdings of Treasuries Dropped in ’11 (BusinessWeek)
- Bundesbank at Odds With ECB Over Loans (FT)
- Euro zone puts Greece's efforts under microscope (Reuters)
- Bank of America Considers a Revamp That Would Affect Millions of Customers (WSJ)
- In Days Leading Up to MF Global's Collapse, $165 Million Transfer OK'd in a Flash (WSJ)
- Greece Approves Welfare Cuts for 2nd Bailout (Bloomberg)
- Irish Minister Pushes to Cut Bail-Out Cost (FT)
- China to Support Tech Sectors (China Daily)
- Spanish Bond Yields Fall in Debt Auction After ECB (Reuters)
- China to Expand Cross-Border RMB Businesses (China Daily)