Nicolas Sarkozy

Daily US Opening News And Market Re-Cap: May 7

European cash equities opened sharply lower this morning following electoral uncertainties arising from various corners of Europe, notably Greece and France. Volumes also remain light as the market closure across the UK reduces the number of participants today. The mainstream political parties from Greece, PASOK and the New Democracy, failed to establish a majority this weekend as voters firmly expressed their discontent with the political establishment, evident in the rise of fringe parties. As such, the leaders of New Democracy and PASOK will now attempt to establish a coalition party with the splinter group Independent Greeks (a party notable for its anti-EU/IMF stance), due to begin as soon as today. The uncertainty in Greece’s future has taken its toll across the markets today, with EUR/USD beginning the session sub-1.3000 and all European equities trading markedly lower throughout most of the morning session. Elsewhere on the political front, Francois Hollande has won the French Presidency and is to be inaugurated on May 15th, as such; participants now look out for any comments regarding the relationship between the new French leader and German Chancellor Merkel. The Spanish government are set to make an announcement on Friday concerning the continuing troubles over the Spanish banking sector, with a government source commenting that the plans will include the creation of a 10- and 15-year ‘bad bank’. Recent trade has seen a recovery across forex and stocks as EUR/USD grinds higher and stock futures move closer to unchanged. Strong German factory orders data has helped the moves off the lowest levels, as demand from outside the Eurozone helps lift the figure above expectations of +0.5% to +2.2% for March.

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By the look of things, French youth are celebrating Hollande’s victory by picking up all of their friends and then driving up and down the streets honking their horns incessantly. Most cars were packed to the brim with passengers hanging out of every window and even the sunroof waving French flags, singing, or simply yelling pro-Hollande slogans.

 

Meet President Hollande

Courtesy of Bloomberg, below is a compilation of the key dates to know for the first French socialist president since Francois Mitterand.

Sarkophagus: Hollande Wins French Presidency

And so one more tumbles to the popular wave of anger and discontent.

Francois Hollande wins 51.9% of the vote according to exit polls

The 57-year-old Hollande got about 52 percent against about 48 percent for Sarkozy, according to estimates by pollsters CSA and Harris Interactive

Nicholas Sarzkoy concedes defeat in presidential election to Francois Hollande

A Preview Of Monday Morning In Europe

While most will be following what appears to be an almost certain Hollande victory in the French presidential runoff elections tomorrow (InTrade odds around 10%), it is very likely that the Greek election will have a greater acute impact on the political and financial facade of Europe, especially in the short term. As we noted in what we dubbed our first (of many) Greek election previews, the biggest problem facing the new political regime will be its near certain inability to form a coalition government (with just 32.6% of the vote going to PASOK and New Democracy)  that does not undo most of what has been achieved through popular sweat and tears over the past 2 years to assist Europe's bankers in transferring what little Greek wealth remains to fund the insolvent European bank balance sheets. This in turn could begin the latest cascading contagion waterfall, which coupled with an anti-austerity drive emanating from a newly socialist France will threaten to topple Angela Merkel's carefully constructed European hegemony.

Guest Post: Is An Economic Deluge Nigh?

If history has taught one certain lesson, it is that the less fettered an economy, the better humankind is able to do what it does best: run from trouble and run toward opportunity. In this way mistakes are quickly resolved and progress assured. Conversely, the deeper the muck of regulation, mandates, taxes, subsidies and other bureaucratic meddling, the slower we humans are in following our natural instincts until the point that progress is slowed or even stopped. It is said that history doesn't repeat itself, but it often rhymes. In the current circumstances, it appears that enough time has passed that current generations have completely forgotten the critical connection between the ability of humans to freely pursue their aspirations and economic progress. You can see this ignorance in the popular demand for even more, not less, meddling in the affairs of humankind. Should this trend continue – and for reasons I will touch on momentarily, I firmly believe it will – then the aspirations of the productive minority will soon be dampened by ever higher taxes and other attempts to "level the playing field" and the global economy, already in tatters, will fall off the edge. There is no more timely nor acute example of this growing trend than what is currently going on in France. I refer, of course, to the first round of the presidential election process, scheduled for this weekend.

Marine Le Pen Refuses To Cast Vote This Sunday For A "Simple Worker Of The ECB"

As the runoff round of the French presidential election approaches, the only hope for Sarkozy who was trailing Hollande by a 9-10 point margin was that right winger Marine Le Pen would endorse his candidacy. If at all, she was expected to do so this morning. She did not. Instead, she told her followers to cast a blank vote, in essence cementing the fate of Sarkozy, and setting France and Germany on a big showdown over the fate of the fiscal union, and Europe's austerity. Of course, this is for the cameras. What happens behind is quite different, and usually coincides with the wishes of he, or in this case she, who pays the bills. Yet it was her assessment of the "choice" presented to the French people that was very much dead on: "Who out of Nicolas Sarkozy or Francois Hollande will be most subservient when carrying out austerity politics? Who will obey to the letter the orders of the troika: the IMF, ECB, European Commission?" It is he who shall be elected.

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On that note, I fully believe the EU in its current form is in its final chapters. Whether it’s through Spain imploding or Germany ultimately pulling out of the Euro, we’ve now reached the point of no return: the problems facing the EU (Spain and Italy) are too large to be bailed out. There simply aren’t any funds or entities large enough to handle these issues.

Russia And Mexico Both Buy Nearly $1 Billion Worth of Gold in March

While gold demand from the western investors and store of wealth buyers has fallen in recent months, central bank demand continues to be very robust and this is providing strong support to gold above the $1,600/oz level. IMF data released overnight shows that Mexico added 16.8 metric tons of gold valued at about $906.4 million to its reserves in March. Russia continued to diversify its foreign exchange reserves and increased its gold reserves by about 16.5 tons according to a statement by its central bank on April 20. Other creditor nations with large foreign exchange reserves and exposure to the dollar and the euro including Turkey and Kazakhstan also increased their holdings of gold according to the International Monetary Fund data.Mexico raised its reserves to 122.6 tons last month when gold averaged $1,676.67 an ounce.Turkey added 11.5 tons, Kazakhstan 4.3 tons, Ukraine 1.2 tons, Tajikistan 0.4 ton, and Belarus 0.1 tonnes, according to the IMF. Ukraine, Czech Republic and Belarus also had modest increases in their gold reserves. Central banks are expanding reserves due to concerns about the dollar, euro, sterling and all fiat currencies.

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This spells MAJOR trouble for Spain and the rest of the EU. Unlike Greece, (which has its own elections, which could go very wrong for the EU, on May 6th by the way), Spain is too big to bail out.  Indeed, the Spanish banking system is a toxic sewer of bad mortgage debt: over half of all mortgages were generated and owned by the unregulated cajas. If you're unfamiliar with the caja banking system, let me give you a little background...