Rating Agencies

EUR Plunges After Lagarde Intimates On Greek Bankruptcy

It appears that the market refuses to be baffled with bullshit any longer. The EURUSD just took a big tumble following a report that Christine Lagarde, the IMF's new boss, announced that her new agency has not yet discussed Greek aid details, and made it clear that "nothing should be taken for granted on Greece." Since the only thing that is being taken for granted is that Greece will be bailed out, it is easy to see why the EURUSD just lopped off 60 pips in seconds. Not very surprisingly, this fits with what the Chairman of Commerzbank Martin Blessing told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung earlier. It appears that the dining room table is being set for what the EUR's chef believe will be a brief feast on the Greek carcass, following the country's plunge into SD, or temporary default status. What will happen next, however, is the same thing that happened when Lehman filed: sheer panic, as a global bank runs ensues, and the USD, not to mention gold, all go parabolic. The only possible brief saving grace is once again China, which just reported that its FX reserves rose from $3,197 billion to $3.233 billion. The bulk of that money is now going to purchase EURs and keep Europe afloat one more day.

An Explanation Of What Is Really Going On Behind The Scenes As Rome Burns

Unable to keep with the events in Europe which are now literally changing on an hourly basis? Fear not: SocGen's James Nixon has compiled the most succinct explanation for why we are where we are, and why things will get much worse, before they get even remotely better. In a nutshell, everything you know about the existing proposals is finished: what is currently on the table is "a wider strategy which includes lowering the interest rate on lending to Greece and returning to the idea of bond buybacks." Ah, yes, the Goldman proposal. However did we know we may end up precisely here. The problem with this proposal is that all bond buybacks at prices below par are, and always have been, considered by the rating agencies as immediate events of technical default. How this eliminates the ECB liquidity scramble bogeyman we have no idea. At this point we are absolutely certain that the only thing on the Eurozone and ECB's plate is to baffle everyone with steaming pile after pile of bullshit so unbelievable, that people are stunned for days, buying bankers valuable time to convert even more freshly printed paper into hard assets. In the meantime, there is no actual plan to deal with the problems of untenable debt, or at least not one that does not involve the outright monetization of debt and thus, the spurring of hyperinflation, which unfortunately is the last recourse to wipe out the tens of trillions in bad debts dispersed proratedly across Europe's insolvent banking system.

Comedy Hour: Full Letter From A Pissy G-Pap Blasting His Rescuers And Confirming Beggars Can Be Choosers

Yep. G-Pap, up until a week ago completely reliant on the good will of Europe to prevent a revolution in Athens, has now turned the tables on his saviors and has dispatched a scathing letter blasting his rescuers: ""Crunch time" has arrived and there is no room for indecisiveness and errors such as: (1) taking decisions that in the end prove 'too little, too late' to convince the markets we are serious; (2) making compromises that satisfy our internal political 'red lines' that in the end substitute tactical politics for sound management of the crisis (although I do recognize the problems some governments have and the democratic demand for a greater say of Parliaments in trying to deal with this crisis); (3) failing to use in-depth technical analysis and consultation before decisions are made; (4) allowing a cacophony of voices and views to substitute for a shared agenda, thereby creating more panic than security; (5) nd I would add more global issues such as doing nothing substantive about the destabilizing role of the rating agencies, credit default swaps, tax havens or about plausible new revenues such as a financial transaction tax....The above have in one way or another had profound effects on my country and others facing similar challenges." Yeah, it's all Europe's fault Greece is broke. And the vile, evil speculators of course.

EU Prepares Law To End Influence Of Rating Agencies, Tells Banks To Police Themselves

The schizophrenic EU once again confirms it has forgotten to take its daily dose of Geodon. Reuters reports that banks in the European Union face curbs on how much they can depend on ratings from credit agencies to calculate the size of their capital safety cushions. Michel Barnier, the EU's financial services chief, said he will make the proposals as part of his reform to bring EU bank capital requirements in line with a global accord known as Basel III that will increase the size of capital buffers. "To limit overreliance, we will be strengthening the requirement for banks to carry out their own analysis of risk and not rely on external ratings in an automatic and mechanical way... We will also make other concrete proposals before the end of the year to limit over-reliance to deal with insurance, asset management and investment fund sectors," Barnier also told the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA). Translation: banks will be told to .... police themselves. As for the basis of this move, it is all too clear: remove the influence of the ratings agencies on the fact that the European ponzi is unravelling faster than Lady Gaga's costume at next year's VMA. But wait, what about that AAA rating on the "CDO at the heart of the Eurozone." Oh, well, since that's an AAA, they are fine with that. Of course, if the CRA's say enough, and actually slap a rating that is truly appropriate with this reverse synthetic debt contraption, it's game over.

Dagong Puts Italy Ratings On Downgrade Review

The farce is now complete, as the Chinese rating agency Dagong, which was the first one to downgrade the US, reminds the world it is there to lend its weight in destabilizing the ponzi house of cards. From Dow Jones: "Chinese ratings agency Dagong Global Credit Rating Co. said Monday it is putting Italy's sovereign debt on negative watch for a possible downgrade. The Italian government's debt accounts for 119% of gross domestic product, with most of the debt coming due in the next five years, Dagong said in a statement. Dagong has often issued controversial ratings. In November last year, it cut its rating on the U.S. to A+ from AA, with a negative outlook. It ranks the U.S. as a riskier borrower than China. Italian debt is in focus at the moment, as spreads between 10-year Italian and German bond yields reached a record 2.47 percentage points on Friday. Dagong said in its statement that it will downgrade Italian debt if the government's debt-financing costs continue to rise. "(Italy's) financing needs are huge each year, and the debt burden of the government will be seriously constrained by financing costs," Dagong said. Dagong gave Italy an A- rating with a negative outlook in June 2010." Who could have possibly thought that Italy's surging issuance load over the short term could be an issue. Oh wait... And yes, the irony that China, which as of this morning has telegraphed it is just as helpless in controlling the global liquidity implosion as everyone else, is downgrading another insolvent country is not lost on us. But yes, earlier Dagong did announce that that Moody's report on local government debt is "unfounded" and "vicious." Perhaps the most ironic thing is that the rating agencies got us here... And they will be those who get us out (courtesy of the escalating downgrades to the global reset ushering bottom).

Reggie Middleton's picture

No matter what financial engineering scheme you attempt to wrap around it, no matter what socio-political financial nomenclature you attempt to drape it in, and no matter how far you attempt to kick said can down the road in a "delay and pray" tactic of pushing the inevitable collapse past your particular tenure at the helm, the only way out of this is the recognition of capital destruction, AKA Default!

Greek "Rollover" Bailout Proposal On Verge Of Collapse, After Germany Puts Bond Swap Idea "Back On The Table"

The much ridiculed "MLEC-type" bailout proposal of Greece, which contemplates the rolling of existing debt into a guaranteed SPV, and which was the European rescue deux ex machina for exactly two weeks, appears to have been pulled off the table, following the announcement by German Deputy Finance Minister Joerg Asmussen to Reuters Insider TV that "Germany has put a Greek bond swap back on the table as a model for private sector involvement in fresh aid for Athens." More: "The model put forward by some French banks is still a good base for discussions and we are currently working on this. But since rating agencies have signalled that they will consider modalities (such as) the French proposal as a selective default -- that means a rating event -- we can also put other options like a bond exchange on the table." he said, adding discussions would take place over the summer break. Translation: back to square minus one. And actually it is much worse, because if Asmussen is aware of rating agency policy, a debt exchange would most certainly qualify for an event of default. Which confirms our initial expectation from a month ago that there is nothing absent a complete loss of ECB credibility that can possibly transpire next, as the ECB realizes there is no way around accepting defaulted Greek bonds as collateral. The only question is what happens then: will the market, head currently deep in the sand, scramble upon the confirmation that the ECB emperor is naked, or will it continue acting as if nothing has changed yet again.

Iceland Going For Trifecta As "Gateway To Hell" Volcano Prepares To Blow

Last year's Eyjafjoell and the recent Grimsvotn eruptions will have been a walk in the pyroclastic park if, as AFP reports, the most feared of all Iceland volcanoes, Hekla, is indeed about to blow. "Experts say one of Iceland's most feared volcanoes looks ready to erupt, with measurements indicating magma movement, raising fears of a new ash cloud halting flights over Europe. The Iceland Civil Protection Authority says it is closely monitoring the situation. "The movements around Hekla have been unusual in the last two to three days," University of Iceland geophysicist Pall Einarsson said." Hekla's eruption would certainly have far more dire consequences on European airspace than Grimsvotn, which merely succeeded in getting Obama to vacate Ireland sooner than expected: "The volcano, dubbed by Icelanders in the Middle Ages as the "Gateway to Hell," is one of Iceland's most active, having erupted some 20 times over the past millennium, most recently on February 26, 2000. Over the past 50 years, Hekla has gone off about once a decade." And so Europe, once again caught in the maelstrom of a sovereign debt crunch, will be sensitive to headline risk, as the last thing the continent which is now doing all it can to ostracize rating agencies, as if its insolvency is their fault, is a continent-wide grounding of all flights.

Daily US Opening News And Market Re-Cap: July 6

Moody's downgraded Portugal's sovereign rating to "junk" status yesterday (Ba2 from Baa1; outlook negative), which promoted risk-aversion during the European session, and weighed on EUR and equities. Bunds traded higher and record widening was observed in the Portuguese/German 10-year government bond yield spread. Meanwhile, the German deputy finance minister said that Germany will put the idea of a bond swap in Greek debt deal back on the table, adding that all options should be considered as rating agencies have signalled that the French model will lead to a selective default. Risk-appetite was further dented after the PBOC raised its one-year benchmark lending and deposit rates by 25 basis points each, effective from July 7th. Moving into the North American open, markets look ahead to Challenger job cuts data from the US, and building permits figures from Canada. In fixed income, Fed's Outright Treasury Coupon Purchase operation in the maturity range of Jan'14-Jun'15, with a purchase target of USD 2.5-3.5bln, is scheduled for later in the session. Markets will keep a close eye on any development with respect to Greek or Portuguese economies.