Rating Agencies

"Escaping The Clutches Of Financial Markets" - An Essay On Europe's Debt-For-Democracy Prepackaged Bankruptcy

In today's Europe, the people are no longer in control. Instead, politicians have become slaves to financial institutions and the markets. We are partly to blame -- and changes are urgently needed to nurse European democracy back to health.We are doing well. In fact, we're doing splendidly. The economy is booming, with 1.5 percent growth in the first quarter. We are as prosperous as we were before the crisis, which has finally been overcome. Congratulations are in order for everyone. The banks, Deutsche Bank above all, deserve particular congratulations. In the first quarter, it earned €3.5 billion ($5.1 billion) in pretax profits in its core business, and by the end of the year the bank will likely report a record €10 billion in pretax profits, its best results ever. That number is expected to rise to €11 billion or even €12 billion in two or three years. Less than three years after the peak of the crisis, it seems as if it never happened. That is true of the economy, but it also true of us as economic subjects. But is that all we are? No, we are also citizens and participants in a democratic society. As such, we have no reason to be celebrating. Instead, we ought to be sad and outraged. Democracy, after all, is not doing splendidly, or even well. It is gradually becoming a casualty of the financial crisis.

Don Coxe On Everything From The Markets Rolling Over, To Persistent Food Inflation, To The Coming US Sovereign Debt Crunch

There is a plethora of original insight in Don Coxe (BMO Capital Makets) among them observations on sovereign risk moving from east to west, state finances (or lack thereof), the ongoing correction in financial stocks which portends nothing good for the equity investors, the ongoing violence in MENA, why this inflationary spike in food may last far longer than previous ones, and naturally, some very spot on thoughts on gold, which conclude with: "The only gold bubble likely to burst is the bubbling ridicule of gold."

Reggie Middleton's picture

I called it the coming RE Depression in 2007! I put MY money where my mouth was and sold off all of my investment real estate. I put YOUR money where my mouth was and shorted all that had to do with real estate (REITs, banks, builders, insurers). I called almost every major bank collapse months in advance. I warned the .gov bubble blowing does not = organic economic recovery. Now I'm saying we need to, and will, continue what's left of the crash of 2009, with ample global company. There will be no RE recovery this year, and there will be a crash. OK, you heard it here!

Dagong Downgrades The UK From AA- To A+, Outlook "Negative"

With everyone trading the GBP in the overnight session eagerly awaiting the leaked Moody's report that the rating agency, which has yet to be at least 2 years behind the curve, is set to downgrade "more than a dozen British financial institutions to reflect the eventual withdrawal of Government support for the banking industry", China has gone and upstaged the beating around the bush poser by downgrading the UK outright from AA- to A+, with an outlook negative. The premise: stagflation and deteriorating "debt repayment capability." Poor fools: they have yet to meet the full debt repayment capability of 20 Primary Dealers.

Jean-Claude Juncker - Europe Is Doing God's Work By Lying About Greek Insolvency, And Keeping EURUSD Longs Profitable

A few weeks ago, the entire world was made aware that nobody in Europe is to be trusted any longer after Jean Claude Jun(c)ker admitted he lied to the media ahead of what Spiegel had leaked earlier was a "secret" meeting to kick Greece out of the eurozone (turned out to be only half true - Greece was not and will not be kicked out... voluntarily). The purpose for the lie: "self-preservation." Today, in a much anticipated showdown between the magazine (which Greece said would sue for spreading salacious, yet true, rumors), and the bureaucrat, we learn that it is not Goldman, but Europe, that is doing God's work by lying on a daily basis about the Greek insolvency: "The most important commandment is not to inflict harm on others. Although it isn't stated quite that way in the Ten Commandments, it follows from them. The finance ministers of several Euro Group nations had agreed to meet on Friday with the president of the European Central Bank (ECB), Jean-Claude Trichet. Because the financial markets in Europe were still open and trading was still underway on Wall Street, we had to deny the existence of the meeting. Otherwise the course of the euro against the dollar, which had already fallen as a result of your report, would have plunged disastrously." Ah yes, doing God's will by focusing on the greater good, which is making sure those EURUSD longs are not impaired. If this is not confirmation that Europe is run by sociopaths, then nothing is. All this, and much more, including such pearls as "If the donkey were a cat it could climb a tree. But it is not a cat" read the full surreal interview below.

Olli Rehn Says Unlikely Greece Will Meet €50 Billion Privatization Target

It is now as if Europe is urging Greece to fail. The EU's Olli Rehn, better known as lord protector of Ireland (and now Portugal), for once said the sensible thing when he commented on Greek prospects to privatize €50 billion worth of assets: the latest condition for the country to procure additional bailout funding. In word (or two) - not good. This obviously could be a major issue because as we noted yesterday, the country now suddenly only has 2 months of cash left. So if even the very entity that imposed this condition is saying it is a moot point (something we observed yesterday), then why engage in the exercise at all? And how long before Europe (and whoever heads the IMF at that time) decides to pull the plug entirely...

The Week Ahead In Beltway Drama: May 16-20

As GS summarizes the week ahead in politics, it will be "a somewhat quiet week, with the House on recess and energy legislation on the Senate floor; fiscal debates will continue in the background, with possible action in the Senate on competing budget plans starting later this week…" In other words, the soap opera on the debt limit will soon start getting very interesting.

Total Confusion Rages Over Greece Which [May|May Not] Get A New Bailout Package, [And|Or] [Kept|Kicked Out] Of Eurozone

This morning the news wires are filled with the now usual contradictory, and full of lies propaganda about a Greece imminent [restructuring|golden age]. Since very likely all are wrong, we will focus on what appear to be the most credible ones: we will start with the Dow Jones story which has been official refuted by Greece, thus giving its extra validity. As Reuters reports: "News agency Dow Jones, citing a senior Greek government official, reported that Athens expects to receive a new aid package totalling nearly 60 billion euros . Greece denied it was discussing a new package..."It's certainly positive for peripheral sentiment and is assisting in the unwinding of some yesterday's safe-haven flows into Bunds," said Rabobank rate strategist Richard McGuire. Senior euro zone policymakers acknowledged on Monday that Athens will need a second bailout package soon to avert a disorderly overhaul of its debt obligations but rating agencies said more drastic measures may be necessary." Of course, this news comes out strategically and just in time for Greece to auction off a fresh 26-week T-Bill for €1.625 BN at a new record yield of 4.88% (compared to 4.80%) before an an even lower bid to cover of 3.58 vs. 3.81 previously. One can only imagine what a flop the auction would have been without the latest rumor (and even China appears to have given up on Greece: "Foreign take up in Greek 6-month T-Bill sale 34.2% vs. Prev. 41%, according to debt agency chief.") Bottom line as some trader summarized it: "It's very difficult to trade as there are so many conflicting headlines about a restructuring being the only way forward or not. Something will have to give." Exactly - here is a hint: a restructuring, in the city square, with a Molotov Cocktail... and damn soon.

Reggie Middleton's picture

When I say that much of the EU is lying about their financial prospects and Greece (among other countries) will restructure or default, you may or may not listen (quite possibly to your detriment). When the ratings agencies (who are always accurate and timely) say restructuring is on the horizon (a year after me) and the head of the Euro-zone finance ministers finance ministers outright says 'Of course we're lying', then what do you do?