While the latest European FinMin summit desperately tried to put on a united facade when responding to the latest and greatest Greek proposal, which incidentally is so weak that the IMF will throw up all over it as shown below, the reality behind the scenes was anything but. In fact, Greece was this close to having capital controls forced on it earlier today, and would have, if the demand of not just its old "BFF", Germany's finmin Schauble, but Ireland's Noonan, had materialized. As the FT reported moments ago, "Germany’s Wolfgang Schäuble and Michael Noonan, his Irish counterpart, pushed for curbs on emergency liquidity for Greek banks unless capital controls were imposed, one of the officials said.
"The estimated earnings decline for Q2 2015 is -4.7%. If this is the final earnings decline for the quarter, it will mark the first year-over-year decrease in earnings since Q3 2012 (-1.0%), and the largest year-overyear decline in earnings since Q3 2009 (-15.5%)."
It would appear, whether by plan or unintended consequence, Obama's dream of a single-payer socialized healthcare is getting closer by the day, and as WSJ reports, drastically increasing the risk that ObamaCare is creating oligopolies, with the predictable results of higher costs, lower quality and less innovation. The five largest commercial health insurers in the U.S. have contracted merger fever, and if the logic of ObamaCare prevails, this exercise will conclude with all five fusing into one monster conglomerate.
While we have seen countless such reports in recent weeks and months, and take each and every one with a mine of salt, the reason ES algos just took out overnight highs was due to a BBC interview - which will be broadcast "shortly" - in which BBC economic editor Robert Peston was told by the Greek economic minister George Stathakis that "he believes Greece's new proposals to balance the government's books have broken the deadlock with its creditors." He said he expects eurozone government heads to issue a communique later today that will say there is now a basis for a formal agreement with Athens to complete the current bailout programme and release €7.2bn of vital funds.
The market has shaken off Friday’s Greece jitters and has convinced itself a deal remains the base case, or indeed the only case. Even with capital controls as an interim step, the argument goes, such a harsh reality will bring compromise. This argument is proffered by those who think Greece is being “difficult” Another argument says the EU and IMF know that a Greece default is a bad thing, perhaps a really bad thing (despite all the protesting to the contrary) and will see their way to a deal. If only Greece would give them a face-saving way to pull it off
How can it be implied that the markets are too fragile to deal with an unexpected raise of interest rates to (gasp) 1/4 of 1%, if all the “data” we were told (or sold) has been showing signs of all this “improvement?” The question still remains: How does any Ivory Tower prognosticator, or Wall Street talking head, square all these circles? Simple – they don’t. They just act as if it they didn’t or won’t happen. Or, just continue to act as if we’re too dumb to answer. This is complacency, idiocy, and more – all turned up to 11!
The 1960s visibly changed society in a few short years, and less visibly, the economy. Two books published in 1970, at the end of the tumultuous 1960s, attempted to weave a coherent narrative of what everyone was experiencing: Future Shock and The Greening of America. If Future Shock and Present Shock have any predictive value, then we must conclude the speeding up of change is eroding our ability to make sense of present-day trends, as the velocity of change is outrunning our ability to construct coherent narratives.
Eerily reminiscent of the determinedly evil oil baron from the movie 'There Will Be Blood', Reuters reports the growing tensions amid California's drought-stricken wineries are boiling over: "There is way too much demand. I blame a lot of vineyards like other people do... It's a matter of who has the longest straw at the bottom of the bucket." No one should worry though, because the government is here to help - with a new water management agency...
“We ran the model forward to the year 2040, along a business-as-usual trajectory based on ‘do-nothing’ trends - that is, without any feedback loops that would change the underlying trend. The results show that based on plausible climate trends, and a total failure to change course, the global food supply system would face catastrophic losses, and an unprecedented epidemic of food riots. In this scenario, global society essentially collapses as food production falls permanently short of consumption.”
With a Greek default, shortly followed by a Grexit, a collapse of the "irreversible union" (but... but... "political capital"), and ultimately the end of the latest European monetary union experiment (the latest in a long and illustrious series of prior failures) now seemingly imminent, the blame game has begun. As the NYT noted overnight "the recriminations that would then fly would be so bitter that they would inflict a second round of damage." But who is really to blame? Simple: anyone and everyone who willingly and voluntarily was complicit with the great "can kicking" bailout fiction of the past 5 years...
The West is impotent to prevent Armageddon. It is up to Russia and China, and as Washington has framed the dilemma, Armageddon can only be prevented by Russia and China accepting vassal status. This is not going to happen. Why would any self-respecting people submit to the corrupt West? The hope is that Washington will cause its European vassals to rebel by pushing them too hard into conflict with Russia. If European politicians were to break from Washington’s hegemony and instead represent European interests, Washington would be deprived of cover for its war crimes. The breakdown of the neoconservative unipower model would then be apparent even to Washington, and the world would become a safer and better place.
What the stock bubble shows is the unthinkable degree of difficulty in trying to actually manage letting air out of any bubble in an orderly fashion. It may already be too late, as growth declines still further month by month, but stock prices go even more insane, drawing in more and more “retail” accounts and regular Chinese. In other words, the reform idea may have been impossible from the start; that the PBOC went ahead anyway, and still continues despite all that has happened, more than suggests that they now recognize the most dangerous existence is asset bubbles, far and away more important than even “necessary” growth.
As we move toward the second half of 2015, signs of financial turmoil are appearing all over the globe. Slowly but surely, we are starting to see the smart money head for the exits. As one Swedish fund manager put it recently, everyone wants “to avoid being caught on the wrong side of markets once the herd realizes stocks are over-valued“.
The Greek case offers quite a relevant view into the world of 21st century monetary alchemy, because that is what it really amounts to. What is left, however, is the worst of all cases; no recovery, no lending and now just more financial imbalance piled onto the same negative pressures and imbalances that never really went away. What is amazing is how short the attention of “investors” may be, and how they allow themselves to think monetary complexity passes for proficiency or even expertise despite all and continued observation otherwise.
In the wake of the Chicago downgrade, state and local governments are moving away from Moody's as the ratings agency questions pension fund return assumptions.