6 Hour Greek Meeting Ends With No Agreement, Troika Demands Answer By 11am Tomorrow, EURUSD Drifts LowerSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 02/05/2012 15:29 -0500
The Greek endgame appears to be approaching... or not. After a "marathon" (in Greek terms) session between the Greek coalition cabinet members ended with no definitive agreement, and in fact LAOS president said that more austerity would "contribute to a recession that the country can not afford, and a revolution of misery which will then burn down Europe", while New Democracy's Samaras stated he would "not permit any more austerity", even as Papademos on the other line apparently said that the leaders have agreed on 2012 spending cuts of 1.5% of GDP, the Troika seems to have had enough of being Greek'd around, and demands an answer by 11 am tomorrow. Supposedly, "or else" no more cash. Then again, we have heard all of this before. In fact, the Troika talks are continuing right now as European representatives entered the Greek PM office, following a late night meeting with the IIF. That said, the market is once again quite nonchalant about all of this, with the EURUSD trading down a modest 50 pips to 1.3107 having touched just under 1.3080 earlier. Bottom line: it is likely that nothing will happen tonight.
A one-stop shop summary of bullish and bearish perspectives on this weeks news, data, and markets.
Just when you thought it was safe (well not really) to dip your toe back in the ocean of European equities on the back of the LTRO-enthused hope that credit contraction will cease and growth will return, we note another (perhaps more instantaneous) drag on the economic fortitude of the long-suffering people of the EU. Belgium's Beursduivel notes that the national average price for a liter of petrol (gas) has reached a Euro-zone record high of EUR1.76 which equates to a US (not imperial) gallon cost of (drum roll please) USD8.75 (given current EURUSD levels). As Greece, for example, basks in the hope of the failing Troika talks, they unfortunately will have to pay significantly more (double from 3 years ago) for their driving (or boat fuel) as despite the faltering economies across Europe, the price of petrol, diesel, and LPG are also near record highs - and all this without an actual Iran invasion.
Less than One-Fifth of All Americans Favor Military or Covert Action Against Iran … Less than Half of Israelis Want to AttackSubmitted by George Washington on 02/03/2012 14:11 -0500
No one wants war ...
While “Rates low thru ’14? was the gist of the headline – over 1/3 of the participants see ’15 and beyond as appropriate. The implications are severe from multiple fronts - a few to think about:
- Greece's Hazardous Road to Restructuring (WSJ)
- Spain Coaxes Banks to Merge to Purge Losses (Bloomberg)
- Brussels Discovers New €15bn Black Hole in Greece's Finances (Guardian)
- UK Recession Predicted to Return (FT)
- Senate OKs insider trading curbs on lawmakers (Reuters)
- China Limits Mortgages for Foreigners (Bloomberg)
- Villagers scramble for fuel in Europe's big chill (Reuters)
- SNB Head Warns of Political Fallout After Crisis (FT)
- Portugal Bond Rout Overstates Greek Likeness (Bloomberg)
- Bernanke Says He Won’t Trade 2% Inflation-Rate Target for More Job Growth (Businessweek)
With the IMF cutting its global growth forecasts and signs of slowing evident in the dramatic contraction in World Trade Volume in the last few months, it is perhaps no surprise that the central banks of the world have embarked upon what Goldman Sachs calls an 'Unprecedented Alignment of Monetary Policy Across Countries'. Our earlier discussion of the European event risk vs global growth expectations dilemma along with last night's comments on the impact of tightening lending standards around the world also confirms that this policy globalization is still going strong and is likely to continue as gaming out the situation (as Goldman has done) left optimal CB strategy as one-in-all-in with no benefit to any from migrating away from the equilibrium of 'we all print together'. Perhaps gold (and silver's) move today (and for the last few months) reflects this sad reality that all your fiat money are belong to us, as nominal prices rise (but underperform PMs) in equities (and risky sovereigns and financials).
Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke will testify at House Budget Committee (Chairman Paul Ryan, R-WI) full committee hearing on "The State of the U.S. Economy." The highlight of today's hearing will be watching Bernanke face his nemesis runner up, Paul Ryan, who will surely grill Blackhawk Ben with questions that are far more intelligent than the press corps could come up with during the last FOMC canned remark presentation. Watch the full testimony live at C-Span after the jump.
Get out Greece! Get out right now! You should have moved two years ago; you missed that chance, but now it is much better than later. Summer vacations are being planned while we speak, you must move fast to get the biggest advantage out of bolting from the euro. Don’t let the next global recession bare its teeth. Investors still have money and they are interested in buying your assets when the prices are knocked down – each day you wait their value is deteriorating and you are looking more desperate. Most important: don’t listen to the naysayers in Brussels who are warning you of disaster outside of the ‘protective euro blanket.’ It’s much better outside, even the Turks know this.
European Indices are sliding following comments from EU’s Juncker that Greek PSI talks remain “ultra-difficult”, despite earlier gains following comments from the Chinese Premier considering further contributions to the EFSF and the ESM. The Basic Materials sector is outperforming others amid news of a possible merger between Glencore and Xstrata, causing shares in both companies to trade in strong positive territory ahead of the North American open Oil & Gas are one of the worst performing sectors in Europe today, with Royal Dutch Shell shares showing the biggest losses following disappointing corporate earnings. Elsewhere, S&P released a report suggesting Eurozone recession could end in late 2012, forecasting 1% GDP growth for the Eurozone in 2013, however these comments were not followed by significant European index movements. In terms of fixed income securities, Spain held a well received bond auction earlier in the session, with all three lines showing falling yields and strong bid/cover ratios.
You're about to hear a big boom come from across the Atlantic, but I've yet to hear a peep from the rating agencies. And many of you guys think they were delinquent during the other credit bubble!!!????
Two days ago, the US Treasury announced that for the Q2 fiscal quarter (January - March), the net borrowing need of the US would be $97 billion lower than its previous estimate, coming in at $444 billion for the three months (still a $115 billion monthly run rate, not nearly enough to last until the end of the year with the current debt ceiling capacity, and likely not even through the election). What the Treasury did not specify is where this incremental cash would come from, merely noting that the higher cash balance which it ended December 2011 with compared to estimates "was driven primarily by higher-than-projected receipts and lower outlays" implying that the Treasury was confident higher than expected tax receipts would continue. There is however one problem with this: as the attached chart from the just released Q1 fiscal report from the Office of Debt Management shows, withheld taxes, the primary source of US government revenues, has just rolled over and is now posting negative Year over Year numbers (chart 1). Which is bad news for Tim Geithner if he hopes that the spike in tax receipts will continue, and for the TBAC which projects a lower than expected funding needs: in fact we are confident that the net issuance in Q2 will be substantially greater than the net forecast, and will likely be funded with short-term Bills, either ad hoc, or in the form of increased program Cash Management Bills issuance. Yet the fact that America can not live within its means is not news. What however, needs addressing is why, as Chart 2 shows, have US corporate taxes never regained their historical levels from 2007, when as is well-known, corporate profits have never been higher (if now rolling over finally), and corporate cash, especially that held off shore, at record levels? Because as the green line shows, the 12 month moving average of corporate income taxes, has barely budged from the recession lows. We wonder why nobody has asked the question: why is this the case and why have neither politicians nor individual taxpayers made an issue out of this yet?