After what were described as "marathon" negotiations, Greece and its creditors have agreed to the terms of the country’s third bailout program. Although some remain optimistic, the general consensus seems to be that, as Finnish Foreign Minister Timo Soini said over the weekend, "we should just admit that this isn't going to work."
"But an increase in the quantity of money and fiduciary media will not enrich the world... Expansion of circulation credit does lead to a boom at first, it is true, but sooner or later this boom is bound to crash and bring about a new depression. Only apparent and temporary relief can be won by tricks of banking and currency. In the long run they must lead to an all the more profound catastrophe."
According to a transcript of an internal meeting of the China Banking Regulatory Commission, bad loans jumped CNY322.2 billion in H1 to CNY1.8 trillion, a 36% increase. Meanwhile, The PBoC will include loans made to CSF, China’s plunge protection vehicle, in its monthly loan data, meaning Beijing will pretend that the state-directed effort to artificially shore up the country’s stock market represents real, organic demand for credit.
After trading limit-down on Monday when Greek stocks opened for trading for the first time since PM Alexis Tsipras called a referendum, shares of Greek banks once again flirted with the daily 30% loss limit on Tuesday as there were simply no bids for a set of institutions that everyone knows is insolvent. Meanwhile, Kathimerini reports that "the state’s losses from indirect taxes alone in the first couple of weeks of capital controls and the shuttering of banks [amounted to] more than half a billion euros."
As China Admits It Lied About Its Local Debt Levels, Local Billionaires Are Quietly Liquidating Their AssetsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 08/02/2015 13:26 -0400
Overnight something unexpected happened: Sheng Songcheng, the director of the statistics division of the People's Bank of China (PBOC), was quoted by the National Business Daily on Saturday whereby he essentially admitted China had been lying about not only its local debt exposure but the level of NPLs across the economy. The punchline: Sheng warned about the risks of local government debt, saying that 2 trillion yuan in bond swaps may not be able to fully cover maturing debt, according to the report. What he really said, as paraphrased by Bloomberg, is that "local govt's tended to not report all their debts when audited in June 2013, thus the 2 trillion yuan debt swap plan arranged this year may not cover all debts due, Sheng cited as saying."
With every passing day that Greece maintains its capital controls, the already dire funding situations is getting even worse, as Greek bank NPLs are rising with every day in which there is no normal flow of credit within the economy. This has led to a massive bank funding catch-22: the longer capital controls persist, the less confidence in local banks there is, the longer the bank run (capped by the ECB's weekly ELA allotment), the greater the ultimate bail out cost, and the greater the haircut of not only equity and debt stakeholders but also depositors.
The divergence theme is not longer being eclipsed by the Greek drama and the Chinese stock market slide. See how this week's developments fit into the bigger picture.
The ongoing downshift in property construction will continue to undercut China's demand for commodities, raw materials and machinery, weigh on property as well as mining and industrial investment, and be a drag for overall GDP growth in 2016. The most direct and important channel through which this impact spreads is trade linkages, given China's role as the top exporter and second largest importer in the world.
It was less than three weeks ago that, in the aftermath of the surprising announcement of the Greek referendum and the even more surprising cap on the ECB's now clearly conditional ELA, the world was greeted to massive lines of Greeks waiting at ATMs where they were allowed to withdraw only €60 per day. Following the Greek capitulation, whose sole directive was recovering access to locked up bank funds, hopes were that Greek banks would promptly reopen, and now, according to a Greek senior banker cited by Reuters we know just when that will happen: Monday.
The Euro Summit statement (or Terms of Greece’s Surrender – as it will go down in history) was just annotated by Yanis Varoufakis as it pertains to ordinary Greek citizens. As the former finance minister writes "The original text is untouched with my notes confined to square brackets (and in red). Read and weep…"
The real danger to the euro area probably doesn’t emanate from Greece, but from two of its heavyweights, namely France and Italy. If one thinks things properly through, Greece is really a side-show. The euro zone remains full of accidents waiting to happen and some of them have the potential to become truly gigantic accidents.
Just when you thought it was safe to buy Greek Banks (which it is not!) based on the mainstream media narrative that Greece is now fixed, ekathimerini reports that not only are deposits flying out the door at unprecedented pace (albeit stalled by capital controls) but non-performing loans have increased dramatically in the last few weeks as hundreds of households and enterprises have stopped making their repayments either due to a genuine inability to pay or because of the general uncertainty in the economy that has seen transactions freeze.
"In case no agreement could be reached, Greece should be offered swift negotiations on a time-out from the euro area with possible debt restructuring."
While there is "hope" in the unforgettable words of France's Moscovici, it is once again up to Greece to convince Europe it really wants to stay in the Union. According to Reuters, the Eurogroup is about to release a statement, whose draft it has seen, which will demand much more from the tiny country caught in a state of permanent depression. To wit: Greece will not be able to start negotiations on a third bailout until it makes changes to its sales tax and pension systems and strengthens the independence of its statistics office, a draft statement of euro zone finance ministers said on Sunday.
"There is an estimated need of about 10 to 14 billion euros in new capital. Given the magnitude of the shock we have been through, regulators will take stock of the situation and the impact on non-performing loans."