Digging into the details of US and UK Liebor duing the crisis period is stirring both bad memories and some very clear disclocations from reality. While we noted many of these at the time, they seem even more egregious now and as Peter Tchir of TF Market Advisors notes, outliers seem to be Citi, RBS, and to a less extent UBS. Our perception was that RBS was viewed as a worse credit than Barclay’s. CDS seems to confirm that, yet they are posting LIBOR significantly tighter. UBS always seemed to have some decent government support, so while maybe a stretch that they were quoting LIBOR close to JPM and DB, it isn’t totally unreasonable. DB if anything looks conservative relative to other prices. Citi just seems ridiculous. The CDS market was trading it as the worst of the credits, yet here they are with the best LIBOR. That looks consistent throughout the entire the period. Maybe there is something we're missing and just don’t remember, but it does seem surprising that Citi thought they could fund at the same level as JPM at the time in the unsecured interbank market. At this point it is all just speculation where the information Barclay’s has provided the FSA leads, but so many people have been talking about LIBOR so long, that we would be shocked if it ends at Barclay’s and there is enough data, in our mind, to warrant some much deeper investigation.
Fed Chairman Bernanke should be impeached if he does not restore Fed surveillance over primary dealers immediately.
All 3 Libor Arguments Fail
Hundreds of billions of dollars of additional potential legal liability, much of which likely borne by US banks, yet very few are paying attention. Here's how I see it...
It seems IT professionals around the world are #failing as the 'glitch' that affected millions of account holders in the UK has leaped the channel and spread across Europe to infect Sberbank - which just happens to be the largest Russian bank. Via Bloomberg:
- *SBERBANK CARDS NOT WORKING IN RUSSIA, ABROAD, COMPANY SAYS
- *SBERBANK SAYS WORKING TO RESOLVE TECHNICAL MALFUNCTION :SBER RU
and from Interfax:
RUSSIA-SBERBANK-CARDS-MALFUNCTION MOSCOW. July 6. (Interfax) – Sberbank of Russia (RTS: SBER) has suspended credit and debit card operations due to a technical malfunction, the bank told Interfax. “All cards are not being serviced,” it said.
How many times did these glitches occur among the world's largest and likely highest paid IT services groups before the European financial crisis pulled back the curtain and showed the proximity of the liquidty cliff for so many of the 'biggest' banks in the world?
While the Lieborgate scandal gathers steam not so much because of people's comprehension of just what is at stake here (nothing less than the fair value of $350 trillion in interest-rate sensitive products as explained in February), but simply courtesy of several very vivid emails which mention expensive bottles of champagne, once again proving that when it comes to interacting with the outside world, banks see nothing but rows of clueless muppets until caught red-handed (at which point they use big words, and speak confidently), the BBC's Robert Peston brings an unexpected actor into the fray: the English Central Bank and specifically Paul Tucker, the man who, unless Goldman's-cum-Canada's Mark Carney or Goldman's Jim O'Neill step up, will replace Mervyn King as head of the BOE.
What goes down, must shoot right back up. In this case we are talking about Spanish bond yields of course, which have yoyoed from a record 7.3% two weeks ago, back down to 6.3% last week, and right back up over 7% as of this morning. While the hope last week was that since the ECB is expanding its collateral it means an LTRO3 is on the way, the market promptly realized (even before LTRO3 was launched), that such a step means that Europe has run out of actual assets, and at this point is merely diluting the taxpayer collateral base. The result is that Spain is right back in purgatory where talk is cheap and unless Europe comes up with something concrete, purgatory will promptly be upgraded to the 8th circle of hell.
- France to Lift Minimum Wage in Bid to Rev Up Economy (WSJ)... weeks after it cut the retirement age
- Merkel Urged to Back Euro Crisis Measures (FT)
- Monti lashes out at Germany ahead of summit (FT)
- Italy Official Seeks Culture Shift in New Law (WSJ)
- Migrant workers and locals clash in China town (BBC)
- Romney Would Get Tough on China (Reuters)
- Bank downgrades trigger billions in collateral calls (IFRE)
- Gold Drops as US Data, China Speculation Temper Europe (Bloomberg)
Talks are already underway of suspending the Schengen agreement and implementing border and capital controls. The Schengen agreement and freedom across borders was at the very basis of the Eurozone. And now the political elite want to suspend this?
6 days... and counting.
Over the past week, various entities controlled by bailed out UK-bank RBS, focusing primarily on NatWest, have seen clients unable to access virtually any of their funds, perform any financial transactions, or even get an accurate reading of their assets. The official reason: "system outage"... yet as the outage drags on inexplicably for the 5th consecutive day, the anger grows, as does speculation that there may be more sinister reasons involved for the cash hold up than a mere computer bug.
Gold may have its worst week in 2012 as it is currently down 3.5% for the week in dollar terms and nearly 3% in euro and pound terms. However, gold is still higher so far in June and the fundamentals suggest we have bottomed or are very close to a market bottom prior to a summer rally.
However, further short term weakness is possible as speculators go to cash and support is at $1,540/oz (see chart above).
- Mario Monti: We Have a Week to Save the Eurozone (Guardian)
- Europe Central Bank Prepares to Relax Collateral Rules (WSJ)
- EU Banks' Risk in Eyes of Beholder: Worry Is That Lenders Are Boosting Gauge of Their Health (WSJ)
- Europe finally learns about subordination: Bailouts' Creditor Hierarchy Scares Private Bondholders (WSJ)
- Merkel Isolated in Race for Euro Crisis Solution (Spiegel)
- Fed’s Re-Twist May Lift Treasury Repurchase Agreement Rates (Bloomberg)
- China Said to Propose Keeping Limit on Local Government Loans (Bloomberg)
- Moody’s Downgrade Hits 15 Top Banks (FT)
- IMF Challenges Berlin’s Crisis Response (FT)
- Colombia to Auction Rights in 2013 to Gold and Coal, Not Coltan (Bloomberg)
- Greek radical leftist SYRIZA leader Tsipras says will not join coalition government (as expected)
- Egypt Islamists claim presidency as army tightens grip (Reuters)
- French Socialists vow reforms after big poll win (Reuters)
- Greeks Back European Bailout (WSJ)
- France, Socialists Win a Solid Majority (WSJ)
- Denmark Warns over Pressure on Krone (FT)
- Obama to press Putin on Syria at G20 amid skepticism (Reuters)... Putin to smile
- China Home Prices Fall in Record No. of Cities (Bloomberg)
- Europe Gets Emerging Market Crisis Ultimatum As G-20 Meet (Bloomberg)
- Wolfgang Münchau – What Happens if Angela Merkel Does Get Her Way (FT)
The announcement by the UK Treasury and BoE to take co-ordinated steps to boost credit and with the central bank re-activating its emergency liquidity facility has resulted in a sharp move higher in UK fixed income futures. GBP swaps are now pricing in a cut of 25bps in the base rate by the end of this year and following on from Goldman Sachs, analysts at Barclays and BNP Paribas are now calling for an increase in QE next month. The new measures have seen the likes of Lloyds Banking Group (+4.3%) and RBS (+7.0%) outperform the more moderate gains observed in their European counterparts. Meanwhile in Europe the focus remains on the possibility of co-ordinated action from the major central banks. However, it would seem more realistic that any new measures will likely come after the Greek election results are known and once ministers have conducted their G20 meetings. Given that there is an EU level conference call this afternoon scheduled for 1500BST the likelihood of rumours seem high but as the wires have indicated already these conversations are purely based upon co-ordination ahead of the meeting which is usual practice. The yields in Spain and Italy have been a lot calmer so far with the 10yr in Spain at 6.88%, off the uncomfortable test of 7% seen yesterday.