Instead of sticking to selling short-term, LTRO covered debt, Spain was so desperate to show it has capital markets access that this morning it tried selling bond due 2014, 2017 and 2019 with a maximum issuance target of €3 billion. It failed to not only meet the target, but to price the €1.074 billion in bonds due 2017 at anything less than an all time high (6.459%) as a result sending the entire curve blowing out wider, and the 10 Year above the critical 7% threshold again, for the first time since the June Euro summit, whose only function was to give a positive return for the fiscal year to such US pension funds as Calpers and New Year. In summary: Spain sold 2.98 billion euros of short- to medium-term government bonds on Thursday in a sale at which borrowing costs rose and demand fell. The average yield at a sale of 1.07 billion euros of five-year bonds rose to 6.46 percent compared with 6.07 percent at the previous auction of the debt last month. Investors' bids were worth 2.1 times the amount offered for the five-year paper versus 3.4 times at the last auction, and 2.9 times for the seven-year bond. The average yield at the seven-year sale rose to 6.7 percent from 4.83 percent.
That Lieborgate is about to spill over and take down many more banks is well known: as previously reported that the world's biggest bank Deutsche Bank, has become a rat for the Liebor prosecution having turned sides. The reason: "Under the leniency programs of the EU, companies may get total immunity from fines or a reduction of fines which the anti-trust authorities would have otherwise imposed on them if they hand over evidence on anti-competitive agreements or those involved in a concerted practice." However, just like in the case of Barclays (with Diamond), JPM (with Bruno Iksil), UBS (with Kweku) and Goldman (with Fabrice Tourre), there always is a scapegoat. Today we find just who that scapegoat is. From Bloomberg: "Regulators are investigating the possible roles of Michael Zrihen at Credit Agricole, Didier Sander at HSBC and Christian Bittar at Deutsche Bank, the person said on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing. The names of the banks and traders were reported earlier today by the Financial Times." Of course, as so very often happens, the link between the investigated firm, and the person in question no longer exists - after all what better brute way to tie up loose ends, than to fire the person in question at some point in the past: "Michael Golden, a spokesman for Deutsche Bank, confirmed that Bittar left the bank last year and declined to comment on the investigation." And since neither Bloomberg, nor the earlier FT article have any discussion of just where Mr. Bittar ended up, knowing quite well there is very likely a full-scale investigation forming into his Libor transgressions. The first place we went to, naturally, was LinkedIn, not because we expected to find his profile there: very few higher echelon bankers actually post their resumes on LinkedIn, but because we were fairly confident that the very useful function of seeing whose other profiles had been looked at in the context of even a "fake" Bittar, would provide us with clues. Sure enough that's precisely what happened.
The Financial Services Authority (FSA) primary role is to make retail markets for financial products and services work more effectively, and so help retail consumers to get a fair deal. In June 2006, the FSA created its Retail Distribution Review (RDR) programme which they are enacting in order to enhance consumer confidence in the retail investment market. The RDR has a target for full-implementation of 31 December 2012. The RDR is expected to have a significant impact on the way in which financial services are delivered to retail investors in the UK. The primary delivery mechanism of financial services to retail customers is via approximately 30,000 Independent Financial Advisers (IFAs) who are authorised and regulated by the FSA. They are expected to bear the brunt of the force of the RDR. Gold bullion is set to benefit from the axing of commission for IFAs and the implementation of the RDR “should be regarded as a game changer” for gold as an investment in the UK, according to the World Gold Council. Managing director of investment Marcus Grubb, says: “These extremely challenging times mean it’s impossible to quantify the risks for UK investors. They are facing an unprecedented combination of threats to their assets including extreme and unexpected market shocks that can trigger widespread value destruction.” “As UK investors reduce allocations to traditional investments such as equities and bonds and increasingly dash to cash, they face a double whammy, with the potential for stagnation of capital due to the lack of returns from cash and the increased possibility of inflation as a result of ongoing monetary stimulation.”
Life ain’t fair
Why Don’t the Corrupt Players On Wall Street and In D.C. Show Remorse for Their Destructive Actions…And Why Don’t We Stop Them?Submitted by George Washington on 07/14/2012 10:57 -0400
Scandal After Scandal, Lie Upon Lie ... What's Going On?
Because I pay attention to these things; I have the sense that there has been a lot of praying recently. Prayers for QE3, prayers for Quantitative Easing mortgage bond buying, “Please SIR;” and for words to the effect in each and every FOMC minutes that “Money will be printed forever and ever Amen.”
“Now I know I'm not normally a praying man, but if you're up there, please save me, Superman!”
Now I hate to do this to you and I feel like the bad boy with the pin about to prick someone’s bubble but these prayers have gone unanswered as you know and are not likely to be answered any day soon unless Europe goes up in pixie dust which, while certainly possible, will be far more serious for the markets and will more than offset the Fed dragging out their printing presses and plugging them in once again.
U.S. Gave Tens of Billions to Libor-Manipulating Banks ... Even AFTER Learning about the ManipulationSubmitted by George Washington on 07/11/2012 12:51 -0400
Federal Reserve REWARDS Fraud By Throwing Money At Criminal Manipulators
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)