Futures Flat With Greece In Spotlight; UBS Reveals Rigging Settlement; Inventory Surge Grows Japan GDPSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 05/20/2015 07:00 -0400
The only remarkable macroeconomic news overnight was out of Japan where we got the Q1 GDP print of 2.4% coming in well above consensus of 1.6%, and higher than the 1.1% in Q4. Did it not snow in Japan this winter? Does Japan already used double, and maybe triple, "seasonally-adjusted" data? We don't know, but we do know that both Japan and Europe have grown far faster than the US in the first quarter.
Do you remember what happened when Cyprus decided to defy the EU? In the end, the entire banking system of the nation collapsed and money was confiscated from private bank accounts. Well, the nation of Greece is now approaching a similar endgame. At this point, the Greek government has not received any money from the EU or the IMF since August 2014. As you can imagine, that means that Greek government accounts are just about bone dry.
- A tendency to examine too few alternatives; A lack of critical assessment of each other’s ideas;
- A high degree of selectivity in information gathering; A lack of contingency plans;
- Poor decisions are often rationalised; The group has an illusion of invulnerability and shared morality;
- True feelings and beliefs are suppressed; An illusion of unanimity is maintained;
- Mind guards (essentially information sentinels) may be appointed to protect the group from negative information.
- China’s Record Capital Outflows Spark Financial Stability Fears (FT)
- U.K. Inflation Falls Below Zero for First Time Since 1960 (BBG)
- Islamic State Solidifies Foothold in Libya to Expand Reach (WSJ)
- Judge sentences 11 Afghan police over lynching of woman in Kabul (Reuters)
- The $18 Trillion Global Economic Boost If Everything Went Right (BBG)
- Eurozone Prices Confirmed Flat Year-on-Year in April, Core Inflation Inches Higher (Reuters)
- Greek Finances to Stagger On Longer Than You Think (BBG)
- Athens sees EU deal soon, Greeks' approval of government stance dwindles (Reuters)
Less than a week ago, fresh from the aftermath of the recent dramatic six-sigma move in German Bunds, one of Europe's largest banks openly lamented that so far the ECB's QE had done absolutely nothing: "two months of QE for nothing." And lo and behold, as if on demand, overnight the ECB confirmed it had heard SocGen's lament when just before the European market open, ECB executive board member Benoit Coeure delivered a speech at the Brevan Howard Centre for Financial Analysis (appropriately named after a hedge fund) at Imperial College Business School (not to be confused with the July 26, 2012 Mario Draghi "whatever it takes" speech which also took place in London) in which he said that the ECB intends to "frontload" i.e., increase, its purchases of euro-area assets in May and June ahead of an expected low-liquidity period in the summer.
We need to wake up....and FAST!!!
An increasingly desperate Greek government is once again playing the war reparations card, this time by looping video clips of the Nazi occupation on public transportation (because no Greek commute is complete without a bit of anti-German agitprop). Meanwhile, Varoufakis says he wishes Greece would have never entered the monetary union.
"The head of Germany's Bundesbank ripped into the European Central Bank on Thursday, saying emergency funding for Greek banks broke the taboo of financing governments and it was not up to central banks to decide who was or wasn't in the euro zone," Reuters reports.
As reports surface that Greece tapped IMF funds to repay the IMF, and as Christine Lagarde and company express their reservations about participating in a new Greek bailout program, the end appears to be nigh for Athens. According to Bloomberg, Europe is now drawing up the dreaded "Plan B", which just three days ago, supposedly didn't exist.
Thursday, in a long-awaited opinion, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York' three-judge panel ruled that the NSA program that secretly intercepts the telephone metadata of every American was illegal. It’s now up to Congress to vote on whether or not to modify the law and continue the program, or let it die once and for all. Lawmakers must vote on this matter by June 1, when they need to reauthorize the Patriot Act. A key factor in that decision is the American public’s attitude toward surveillance. Given the vast amount of revelations about NSA abuses, it is somewhat surprising that just slightly more than a majority of Americans seem concerned about government surveillance. Which leads to the question of why?
Greece tapped emergency reserves in its holding account at the IMF in order to make a 750 million euro payment to the Fund on Monday meaning that, as predicted, the IMF is now paying itself. Athens has one month to replenish the account. Meanwhile, the Fund has indicated it wants no part of another Greek bailout. And just to confirm how terminal the situation for Greece is, MarketNews just reported that Greece now has a paltry €90 million in cash reserves left. The end of the world's most drawn out tragicomedy is finally nigh.
It all started again in Asia, although not in China where the berserker mania bid for stocks has returned and the SHCOMP is now up nearly 5% in the past two days following the PBOC's latest easing, but in Japan where once again the massively illiquid JGB market, of which the BOJ owns roughly a third as of this moment, is going through yet another shock period (if not quite VaR yet) with last night's 10 Year JGB auction seeing the lowest Bid to Cover since 2009. This was the beginning, and promptly thereafter bond yields around the globe spiked once more, with 10-year Treasury yields climbing to a five-month high, as the global rout in debt markets deepened. The biggest casualty so far is the Bund, which having retraced some of the flash crash losses from two weeks ago is once again in panic selling mode, and while not having taken out the recent 0.8% flash crash wides, traded just shy of 0.75% this morning.
Seymour Hersh: Obama's Entire Account Of bin Laden's Death Is One Big Lie; This Is What Really HappenedSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 05/11/2015 19:23 -0400
"The White House’s story might have been written by Lewis Carroll: would bin Laden, target of a massive international manhunt, really decide that a resort town forty miles from Islamabad would be the safest place to live and command al-Qaida’s operations? It was inevitable that the Obama administration’s lies, misstatements and betrayals would create a backlash... High-level lying nevertheless remains the modus operandi of US policy, along with secret prisons, drone attacks, Special Forces night raids, bypassing the chain of command, and cutting out those who might say no." - Seymour Hersh
Hillary Clinton's family charities failed to live up to transparency promises made to the Obama administration during her tenure as Secretary of State, Reuters reports, noting that disclosures related to foreign donors are still not available on the Clinton Foundation's website. Meanwhile, New York Magazine tells the story of how the Foundation attempted to bully an influential charity monitor after winding up on its 'naughty' list.
Futures Jittery As Attention Returns To Greece; China Stocks Rebound On Latest Central Bank InterventionSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 05/11/2015 06:48 -0400
With the big macro data out of the way, attention today and for the rest of the week will focus on the aftermath of the latest Chinese rate cut - its third in the past 6 months - which managed to boost the Shanghai Composite up by 3% overnight but not nearly enough to make up for losses in the past week; any resumption of the 6+ sigma volatility in the German Bund, which already has been jittery with the yield sliding to 0.52% only to spike to 0.62% shortly thereafter before retracing some of the losses; and finally Greece, which in a normal world would have concluded its negotiations during today's Eurogroup meeting and unlocked up to €7 billion in funds for the coming months. Instead, Greece may not only not make its €770 million IMF payment tomorrow but according to ever louder rumors, is contemplating a parallel currency on its way out of the Eurozone.