The eurozone is in serious trouble and Greece is just a symptom. Whether or not they default on their debt may not matter as similar problems plague Spain, Ireland, Portugal, and even Italy. The European Monetary Union is built on a house of cards and they don't have the time for needed radical reforms. Like all sovereigns who owe more than they can pay, they will resort to monetary inflation to bail themselves out. This article explains how the EMU works, why it is failing, and why they will resort to fiat money printing to solve it.
Imagine being told that you need to do something in life and you attempt to do it, but the person that’s very insistent that you do X takes his other hand and actively goes out of his/her way to prevent you from attaining X while each passing moment in time said person begins to label you as “lazy” or not trying hard enough?
LGD - To Infinity and Beyond! What's the Possibility of Certain European Banks Having a Loss Given Default Approaching 100%?Submitted by Reggie Middleton on 06/22/2011 13:19 -0400
With mainstream acceptance of my presumptions of the potential of serial sovereign debt defaults, its time to take a more realistic look at how it may happen & the potential consequences.
Nothing surprising in the statement.
One notable observation is that for the first time since the Japanese events, the Fed is finally recognized the impact of the Japan-induced contraction. Odd that all the morons who said Japan would be a boost to GDP growth now applaud the Fed's appreciation of reality.
The slower pace of the recovery reflects in part factors that are likely to be temporary, including the damping effect of higher food and energy prices on consumer purchasing power and spending as well as supply chain disruptions associated with the tragic events in Japan.
All that matters today is the Chairsatan's second post-meeting press conference and updated forecasts from the FOMC. And yes, there is no POMO today due to the early FOMC decision.
Just like yesterday's G-Pap vote of confidence was largely a snoozer and a "sell the news" type of event, so today's FOMC meeting and subsequent press conference, will likely disappoint, despite the 2 Year now trading at an Operation Twist 2 "priced in" 0.358%. It is certain that this expectations of at least some modest Fed intervention has slipped into equities. Thus, should Gross' prediction of a tentative QE3 announcement today fall through, and remember that the S&P has to be about 20% lower for the green light in our humble opinion, look for Waddell and Reed to be put under quarantine again at 12:30 when the decision is released.
Remember the whole UK stagflation scare, where the misery index recently hit a 20 year high, as both inflation and unemployment surged to two decade highs, keeping the GBP strong on expectations of rate hikes by the BOE? Well, the stagflation is still there, but according to just released BOE minutes, there has been a sudden 180 within the Monetary Policy Committee, which has now flipflopped, and just as we predicted, has fallen back to the traditional central bank fall back plan, namely "buy more bonds" as despite surging inflation, the country's central planners once again view deflation as a greater threat. As Bloomberg reports: "Bank of England minutes showed some policy makers see a potential need for further bond purchases as the economic recovery struggles and “downside” risks to growth and inflation mount. For the majority of the nine-member Monetary Policy Committee, “the fiscal challenges in the euro-area periphery highlighted the potential for further adverse shocks to demand,” according to minutes of the June 8-9 meeting published today in London. “For some of these members, it was possible that further asset purchases might become warranted if the downside risks to medium-term inflation materialized." So the spin now is not to worry about that surging inflation: it's "transitory"... just as the imminent UK QE2 will be: "While U.K. inflation was 4.5 percent in May, more than twice the central bank’s target, Governor Mervyn King said last week that the current price surge is temporary as he defended keeping the key rate on hold to aid the economic recovery during the government’s budget cuts. Paul Fisher said yesterday that adding to the bank’s bond program remains “very much on the table” as a policy tool." Next up: a major quantitative easing episode out of Japan as the two "peripheral" developed economies attempt to fill the void left by the Fed and fail miserably, at which point Bernanke will have no choice but to get involved as well.
Elijah Cummings Asks Darrell Issa Why It Is Taking So Long To Subpoena The Big Banks On FraudclosureSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 06/21/2011 23:31 -0400
Describing new evidence of illegal foreclosures, inflated fees, and other widespread abuses, Ranking Member Elijah E. Cummings wrote to Chairman Darrell Issa today to request that the Committee issue subpoenas to require mortgage servicing companies to produce previously-requested documents. “You have not hesitated—in other investigations—to issue subpoenas in a matter of days when your deadlines were missed, so it is unclear why a different standard applies to this investigation,” Cummings wrote. “This same sense of urgency should apply even when the targets of the Committee’s investigation are banks.” On February 10, 2011, the Committee voted unanimously to investigate “the foreclosure crisis including wrongful foreclosures and other abuses by mortgage servicing companies.” “If mortgage servicing companies are allowed to disregard requests for documents that are integral to this investigation, the Committee’s integrity will be called into question and, more importantly, abuses may continue,” Cummings wrote. Today’s letter from Cummings marks the fourth in a series of letters he has sent to Issa over the past six months urging the Committee to take action on wrongful foreclosures and other egregious abuses by mortgage servicing companies. On May 24, Cummings sent a letter to Issa requesting that the Committee issue subpoenas to six mortgage servicing companies that have refused to provide documents relating to foreclosure abuses. “The best long-term solution that our Committee can offer in response to illegal acts committed by mortgage servicing companies is vigorous investigation, oversight, and reform,” Cummings added. “Inaction will tacitly reward abuse and signal tolerance for major corporate wrongdoing.” So... what's wrong with that exactly?
More lies from the discredited, conflicted and data manipulating NAR which for some stunning reason continues to move the market, even more paradoxically after the existing home sales number came at 4.81 million on expectations of 4.80 million: if there ever was a Gargantuan beat of expectations, this is it. But courtesy of a prior downward revision which took down the April number from 5.05 million to 5.00 million, the decline was 3.8% instead of the expected 5.0%. Total housing inventory at the end of May fell 1.0 percent to 3.72 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 9.3-month supply4 at the current sales pace, up from a 9.0-month supply in April. Somehow this sends futures up nearly half a percent. And from the master of mendacity, the one and only Larry Yun, the weakness was due to "Spiking gasoline prices along with widespread severe weather hurt house shopping in April, leading to soft figures for actual closings in May." Obviously there is never a simple explanation for deteriorating economic data such as people don't actually have money...
A few weeks ago we pointed out what may be the most troubling (and Marxist) observation in America's labor arena, namely that the labor's share of national income has dropped to the lowest in history as a record number of Americans now focus on wealth creation through assets (i.e. owners of capital) instead of labor. In his just released latest letter (below) Bill Gross piggybacks on this observation in what is one of the most scathing notes blasting the traditional of higher education, and in essence claiming that college, as means of perpetuating a broken employment status quo whcih redirect labor to a now-expiring Wall Street labor model, is now worthless: "The past
several decades have witnessed an erosion of our manufacturing base in
exchange for a reliance on wealth creation via financial assets. Now,
as that road approaches a dead-end cul-de-sac via interest rates that
can go no lower, we are left untrained, underinvested and overindebted
relative to our global competitors. The precipitating
cause of our structural employment break is both internal neglect and
external competition. Blame us. Blame them. There’s plenty of blame to
go around." And why college graduates have only a 6 digit loan to look forward to: "American citizens and its universities have experienced an ivy-laden ivory tower for the past half century. Students, however, can no longer assume that a four year degree will be the golden ticket to a good job in a global economy that cares little for their social networking skills and more about what their labor is worth on the global marketplace." And some very bad news for the communists in the White House and the chimpanzees in the San Francisco Fed who continue to believe that unemployment is anything but structural: "The “golden” days are over, and it’s time our school and jobs “daze” comes to an end to be replaced by programs that do more than mimic failed establishment policies favoring Wall as opposed to Main Street."
PIMCO Scott Mather has released a fascinating Q&A in which the key topic of discussion is the artificial push to keep rates low in developed economies, also known as central bank hubris to maintain the "great moderation" in which he clearly explains i) what this means for global fund flow dynamics (using developed country reserves and purchasing EM bonds) and ii) for the future of a system held together with glue and crutches. To wit: "Financial repression is any public policy
that is designed to influence the market price of financing government
debts, either through government bonds or the nation’s currency. Direct
methods of repression include things like setting target interest rates,
monetizing government debt or implementing interest rate caps. Indirect
methods include polices designed to change the amount of debt or
currency at a given price. Examples include requirements to hold minimum
amounts of government debt on bank balance sheets or establishing
minimum requirements for government bonds in pension funds." Just in case anyone is confused why central planning is a bad idea: "Governments may take these steps to improve their ability to
finance public debt and forestall more painful adjustment processes,
though there can be other motives, and because these methods are less
transparent, and thus less controversial, than direct tax hikes or
spending cuts. Investors should be wary of financial repression because
it is primarily a tool to redistribute wealth from creditors (citizens)
to debtors (governments) to the detriment of creditors, fixed income
investors and savers." Needless to say, central planning always fails: "It is important to realize these methods as practiced are only
partially effective and cannot go on forever, as advanced economies
continue to add significantly to their public debts despite low
financing costs. Some intensification of financial repression, fiscal
austerity, or stronger growth must occur to lower the likelihood of a
future debt crisis." Bottom line: "kicking the can" can only go on for so long before EMs (read why below) provide a natural counterbalance to an artificial market created by developed world central banks. PIMCO's advice: get out of balance sheet risky DM bonds ahead of central planning failure, and buy up every EM bond possible, or bypass paper and just buy EM currencies as "EM policymakers who have resisted appreciation will
eventually allow more appreciation over the next three to five years as
they nurture domestic consumption and their economies become less
dependent on export demand." We expect to see much more on this topic as the MSM realizes the implications of this new risk regime change.
On Friday, the BLS released its monthly state employment and unemployment summary. The Bberg chart below summarizes the results. Bottom line: lots of red, a little green and quite a bit unchanged.
For those who may not have noticed it, the headline says "deficit" and pertains to Japan: once upon a time a booming export economy. The reason: the ongoing collapse in export trade, after May exports dropped by 10.3% from a year ago, and just better than April severe economic contraction of 12.4%. Consensus was for an 8.4% decline. The net result was a monthly deficit of 853.7 billion yen, or $10.7 billion, the second biggest inverse surplus ever. And just like in Europe, where things are going to go from insolvent to perfectly solvent any minute now... just not yet... so in Japan the economic renaissance which will cause the economy to surge (unclear how: no new monetary stimulus, and the recently announced fiscal stimulus of Y500 billion in new loans will do precisely nothing to boost anything except for some corrupt bureaucrats Swiss bank accounts) is coming any minute.... just not yet. Bloomberg says: "Shortages of power and parts have disrupted production and slowed overseas sales, prompting Japanese companies including Honda Motor Co. to forecast weaker earnings. Higher unemployment in the U.S. and weakening demand in Asia indicate Japan won’t be able to rely on global demand to pull itself out of a slump caused by the quake." And the understatement of the weekend comes from BNP economist Azusa Kato: "The state of the global economy is a little worrying. Both the U.S. and Europe aren’t doing that great and emerging economies are also tightening at an incredible pace, increasing uncertainty." Surely this enough is enough to explain why futures are up, since the Fed has no option but to do QE3. Alas, as the dumber by the minute algos continue to not realize, the market has to plunge from here (just like what crude has been doing for the past 2 weeks), before the Fed gets the greenlight to engage in Operation Twist 2.
Goldman Sachs summarizes the key events in what promises to be a most exciting week: "The Eurogroup Finance Ministers are meeting Sunday night and Monday (June 19-20), while a G7 conference call on Greece is scheduled for Sunday night as well. Germany has already softened its position regarding private sector participation in a second Greek support package. More headlines with respect to the Greece rescue can be expected in the coming days. The upcoming week will also be marked by the EU summit of Heads of State towards the end of the week. Beyond Greece the two key events are the FOMC meeting and press conference, which will be interesting, given the Fed currently faces a challenging deterioration in the growth-inflation trade-off. Finally, cyclical data disappointed last week, further adding evidence of a "soft patch" with the Philly Fed and the U of Michigan consumer confidence reports printing below consensus. Next week, we will find out whether European survey data and US durable goods orders confirm this trend of cyclical deceleration or whether they point to cyclical divergence across the Atlantic."
From the Telegraph (UK): Moves by [UK] stronger banks to cut back their lending to weaker [EU] banks is reminiscent of the build-up to the financial crisis in 2008, when the refusal of banks to lend to one another led to a seizing-up of the markets that eventually led to the collapse of several major banks and taxpayer bail-outs of many more.
This is exactly what I've been crowing about for 2 years. It's actually much worse than Lehman... Much Worse!