- This is the solution? - Germany Writing Six-Point Plan for Europe Growth, Spiegel Says (Bloomberg)
- JPMorgan Gave Risk Oversight to Museum Head Who Sat on AIG Board (Bloomberg)
- Vatican bank president Gotti Tedeschi ousted -statement (Reuters)
- Bribery, crime and stupidity pays. From this: SEC Staff Ends Probe of Lehman Without Finding Fraud (Bloomberg)
- To this: Lehman to buy remaining Archstone stake for $1.58 billion (Reuters)
- Governments must restore faith in debt sustainability: ECB's Praet (Reuters) - by issuing more debt
- IMF Helping EU Explore Alternatives to Euro Bonds (WSJ)... such as US-funded bailout bonds?
- China Banks May Miss Loan Target for 2012, Officials Say (Bloomberg)
- Facebook market makers' losses total at least $100 million (Reuters)
- World Bank’s Sri Mulyani Says Asean Is Resilient to Europe Woes (Bloomberg)
- Time to flip "The Scream" - Tiffany Cuts Full-Year Profit Forecast (Bloomberg)
- Definitely Maybe: Italy's Monti says Greece will probably keep euro (Reuters)
We have spent a considerable amount of time in the last week or two explaining just why depositor withdrawals (or bank runs) are the death knell for the Euro experiment. We first described the 'run on banks and governments' on the basis of the potential for overnight loss of 'fungibility' back in December but the escalation last week in Greece (and the contagion to Spain's Bankia) signals things are shifting to 11 on the amplifier of Euro-Fail. This evening brings new information from The Guardian that 'Police are urging Greeks to keep their money in bank accounts rather than putting it at risk of theft, amid further uncertainty about whether the austerity-struck country will remain in the eurozone.' Greece's national police spokesman, Thanassis Kokkalakis, told Reuters: "Many people have withdrawn their money from the banks fearing a financial crash, and they either carry it on them, find a hideout at home or in storage rooms. We urge people to trust the banking system, leave their money there, or at least in a safe place, not hide it at home" Is anyone picturing Cramer and his 'Bear Stearns' call? Speculation of a Euro-wide deposit guarantee scheme was quashed somewhat by yesterday's dismally predictable non-event summit - especially given the only three-week span to the next elections. That leaves Greek citizens juggling the possibility of having their home robbed against the probability that the government, via GEURO-isation, will do it for them in the bank.
As Bankia Bailout Costs Grow Exponentially, Is A Stealth Bank Run Taking Place... And What Happens To Ronaldo?Submitted by Tyler Durden on 05/24/2012 18:44 -0400
Note the following sequence of events, bolded numbers, and dates:
- Bank Of Spain Formally Nationalizes Bankia, Says Insolvent Bank Is "Solvent", Adds There Is No Cause For Concern, Zero Hedge, May 9
- Spain is taking over Bankia by converting its 4.5 billion euros of preferred shares in the group’s parent company into ordinary shares, BusinessWeek, May 21
- Spain said on Wednesday its rescue of problem lender Bankia would cost at least 9 billion euros ($11 billion), as the government tries to clean up a banking system that threatens to drag the country deeper into the euro zone crisis, Reuters, May 23
- Bankia SA will have to ask the Spanish government for more than 15 billion euros as part of its effort to restore its financial health, state-owned news agency EFE reported Thursday, citing financial sources, Dow Jones, May 24
Hopefully we aren't the only ones to notice how the bailout cost has oddly doubled almost on a daily basis.
Facebooking The Chinese Wall: A Step-By-Step Guide On How To Build An Unassailable Case Against Muppet Manipulators!!!Submitted by Reggie Middleton on 05/24/2012 12:12 -0400
For anyone who can't see the "WHY" or "HOW" in a Muppet Manipulators suit, re: Facebook IPO, here's a step by step guide comparing my research to that of the top 4 underwriters showing exactly what they did wrong & how everyone is ignoring it
Gold’s London AM fix this morning was USD 1,558.50, EUR 1,239.27, and GBP 993.62 per ounce. Yesterday's AM fix this morning was USD 1,555.00, EUR 1,229.44, and GBP 989.56 per ounce.
Gold fell $5.60 or 0.36% in New York yesterday and closed at $1,561.20/oz. Gold has been trading sideways in Asia and was slightly lower in Europe prior to buying which saw gold rise to about the close in New York yesterday.
- China Pledges More ‘Fine-Tuning’ in Support for Growth (Bloomberg)... more promises, just never any actual funding
- Spain Calls for Help to Lower Borrowing Rates (AP)
- China Is a Black Box of Misinformation (Bloomberg)
- Fed data expose US$100bn JP Morgan blunder (IFRE)
- EU Chiefs Clash on Bonds Amid Call Greece Keep Cutting (Bloomberg)
- Spain to Recapitalize Bankia in Latest Bailout (WSJ)
- The running schizo tally: EU urges Greece to stay in euro, plans for possible exit (Reuters)
- The Seeds of the EU’s Crisis Were Sown 60 Years Ago (Bloomberg)
- Fed's Bullard says orderly Greek exit possible (Reuters)
- Some Big Firms Got Facebook Warning (WSJ)
- Chesapeake Raises Big Bet in Ohio (WSJ)
If there was one catalyst for the market to be "convinced" of an imminent coordinated liquidity injection, as Zero Hedge first hinted yesterday, or simply a 25-50 bps rate cut from the ECB as some other banks are suggesting and Spain's ever more desperate Rajoy is now demanding, it was the overnight battery of European Flash PMI, all of which came abysmal, throughout Europe, the consolidated Eurozone PMI posting the worst monthly downturn since mid-2009, the PMI Composite Output and Manufacturing Index printing at a 35 month low of 45.9 and 44.7 respectively. PMIs by core country were atrocious: France Mfg PMI at 44.4 on Exp of 47.0 and down from 46.9, a 36 month low; German Mfg PMI at 45.0 on Exp. of 47.0 and down from 46.2. The implication, as the charts below show, is that GDP in Europe is now negative virtually across the board. Adding insult to injury was the UK whose GDP fell 0.3%, more than the 0.2% drop initially expected. The cherry on top was German IFO business climate, which tumbled from 109.9 to 106.9 on Expectations of 109.4 print, as the European crisis is finally starting to drag the German economy down, or as Goldman classifies it, "a clear loss in momentum." What does it all add up to? Why nothing but a massive surge in risk, as the market's entire future is now once again in the hands of the #POMOList, pardon, the central banks: unless the ECB steps up, Europe will implode due to not only political but economic tensions at this point. Sadly, as in the US, by frontrunning this event, the markets make it more improbable, thus setting itself up for an even bigger drop the next time there is no validation of an intervention rumor: after all recall what sent stocks up 1.5% yesterday - a completely false rumor of a deposit insurance proposal to come out of the European Summit. It didn't, but that didn't prevent markets to not only keep their massive end of day gains, but to add to them. it is officially: we have entered the summer doldrums, when bad is good, and horrible is miraculous.
Back in late March, we pointed out - much to the chagrin of the LTRO-funded Spanish-sovereign-debt-stuffing banks of the tapas-nation - that, in a similarly misleading manner to Greece's 'leverage' the debt-to-GDP data for Spain was significantly higher than official estimates. Once sovereign guarantees, contingent liabilities and their responsibilities to the EU and the ECB were included things got a whole lot uglier. Now, slowly but surely, as reported by Reuters this evening, some of these bilateral guarantees/loans are coming to light. Instead of the expected EUR8 billion of 'regional refinancing' expected for 2012, it turns out there is EUR36 billion and as Reuters notes "the difference is due to bilateral loans from Spanish banks to the regions worth 28 billion euros that were not made public previously" adding that "It could unnerve further investors concerned by the capacity of Spain to curb its public finances and reform its banking sector." Critically this stunning 'discovery' should be worrisome since the plan, given the regions are virtually blocked from public market financing - due to the high cost of funds, was/is for the sovereign to guarantee (there's that word again) their issuance explicitly. Ironically, as de Guindos and Hollande are chummy borrow-and-spendaholic growth-seekers versus Merkel's safe-and-austere determination, so now the Spanish authorities must lend exuberantly to their regions while at the same time demanding deficit targets are met (or else?) - or as one Reuters' source objects: "You can't tell them on one side that they have to be austere and on the other side give them unlimited liquidity". Irony indeed.
Maybe the real reason that the Treasury offered China direct access (thus cutting out the middleman and offering China cheaper access than ever) was precisely because China was selling, and because the Treasury was concerned about the effect on rates, and wanted to give China some incentive to keep buying. As Jon Huntsman noted in a 2010 cable leaked by Wikileaks, the PBOC has felt pressured to keep buying, and as various PBOC officials have hinted in recent months, China is actively seeking to convert out of treasuries and into gold. And that makes sense — treasuries are yielding ever deeper negative real rates. People holding treasuries are losing their purchasing power. No wonder the treasury is willing to cut Wall Street out of the deal. And it isn’t like the Treasury would have taken this move lightly — cutting Wall Street out of the equation is a slap in the face to Wall Street
Earlier today we were delighted to predict precisely what the script of the European headline flow would be now that the only thing that matters is instilling the fear of Chairsatan in the Greek people, who are so confused that 75% of them wish to keep the Euro, but 80% wish for austerity to end - two mutually exclusive events. We outlined the daily event flow for the next month as follows:
- Europe releases definitive rumor that everyone is preparing for a Greek exit full of bombastic jargon and details of how Greece will be annihilated if it does exit the EMU;
- Immediate election polls are taken;
- If "anti-memorandum" Syriza support is not materially lower, rumor is promptly withdrawn for the day, only to be unleashed the next day with even more bombastic end of world adjectives describing the 9th circle of hell Greece will enter unless the Greek people vote "for" the pro-bailout parties, "for" the Euro, and "for" a perpetuation of the status quo;
We got the first confirmation of precisely this a few short hours later.
Gold’s London AM fix this morning was USD 1,555.00, EUR 1,229.44, and GBP 989.56 per ounce. Yesterday's AM fix this morning was USD 1,575.75, EUR 1,233.95, and GBP 998.76 per ounce.
Gold fell $26.20 or 1.64% in New York yesterday and closed at $1,566.80/oz. Gold fell in Asia and those falls continued in Europe where gold has been trading in a $16 range.
Courtesy of Reuters, we now have a handy, bookmarkable interactive chart for everyone's convenience to keep track of this data. And while we still believe the actual result will be meaningless, as a coalition government, either pro or against bailout, will be unformable, we are certain that the second we read that Syriza support is waning (one day, only to surge the next), the EUR, courtesy of its record short interest, and all related risk assets will soar. Keep a close eye on this chart.
Europe's game of chicken, all of which is geared to one simple thing - to spook the Greeks into voting for pro-bailout powers, and against Syriza - has now officially entered the Twilight Zone. In the latest episode of what can now simply be described as the world's most entertaining yet terrifying mutual assured destruction showdown, because should Greece leave, the destruction, at least in the short-term, will impact both Europe and Greece, although Greece will recover far, far faster as the standard of living there has already been crushed (which incidentally is the primary reason why Europe has lost control over the situation: without the carrot of welfare state promises, a Ponzi regime is meaningless), we learn that on Monday a Eurogroup Working Group held a teleconference in which officials "agreed to prepare for individual contingency plans if and when Greece exits." Here is the problem - the contingency plan can be summarized in one word: panic. Because absent a full blown coordinated monetary intervention, Europe's individual states are completely powerless, and they know it. Sadly, and this is where the farce and charade are complete, the Greek people know it too. As a result, this little adventure, leaked subsequently to Reuters, loses all utility. But we expect many more such escalations from Europe: after all we have nearly a full month before June 17: plenty of time to crush the market in order to get a reaction out of the Greek voters, European politicians and ECB bankers, just as Citigroup suggested. Only issue is, the more Greek voters are prodded into a corner, the more likely they are to simply snap.
- Rajoy to ask for ECB assistance, according to reports (Sharecast)
- Bundesbank Suggests Greek Exit From Euro Would Be Manageable (Bloomberg)
- Unemployed Burn as Fed Fiddles in Debate Over Natural Rate (Bloomberg)
- Regulators, investors turn up heat over Facebook IPO (Reuters)
- China to boost private energy investment to bolster economy (Reuters)
- OECD fears euro woe to snap brittle world recovery (Reuters)
- China slowdown threatens Australia - World Bank (Herald Sun)
- Guessing game begins over next Treasury chief (Reuters)
- Italians spurn main parties in local polls (FT)
- A fragile Europe must change fast (FT)
- Spain to outline Bankia plan, may announce bailout size (Reuters)
- China Should Adjust Policy Early - Government Researcher (WSJ)