The ECB Is Considering A Parallel Greek Currency

Today, to our dismay, we find that the ECB has not only considered a "parallel currency" alterantive but for Greece this may be a reality before long. According to Reuters, the ECB "has analyzed a scenario in which Greece runs out of money and starts paying civil servants with IOUs, creating a virtual second currency within the euro bloc, people with knowledge of the exercise told Reuters." "The fact is we are not seeing any progress... So we have to look at these scenarios."


Grexit Lives As "Deluded" Forecasters Predict The Unpredictable


As Greeks take to the streets, Varoufakis calls predictions about Grexit reverberations delusional, and Bloomberg proposes a list of Greek default scenarios. Meanwhile, central banks move to ringfence Greek exposure and analysts scramble to outline the risk of bank runs, capital controls, and contagion. 

Frontrunning: April 17

  • Fed Shies Away From June Rate Hike (Hilsenrath)
  • Europe Stocks Fall Most in Three Weeks Amid Greece as Banks Drop (BBG)
  • China Futures Tumble on Trust Curbs, Expansion of Short Selling (BBG)
  • Oil slips below $64 as ample supplies weigh (Reuters)
  • Fed officials lean all ways on rate hikes, data in focus (Reuters)
  • Eurozone deflation eases in March (FT)

This Is China's Short Selling Announcement Which Sent Chinese Futures Plunging

As noted earlier, while tens of thousands of Bloomberg terminal users were twiddling their thumbs during an outage that lasted several hours, China crashed.  There was some confusion about the cause of the rapid move, but it appears the catalyst was an announcement by the China Securities Regulatory Commission in which it allowed fund managers to lend shares for short-selling, and will also expand the number of stocks investors can short sell, in a bid to raise the supply of securities in the market.

After Rescuing Ukraine, US Taxpayers To Bail Out Iraq Next

Having generously (if not obliviously) stepped up to the plate to bail out Ukraine (with open-ended bond guarantees), US taxpayers are opening their wallets again - this time for Iraq. As Reuters reports, cheap oil has ravage Iraq's state finances just as the government faces rising military spending from the war it is waging against ISIS; and so it has decided to issue $5 billion in international bonds. However, Iraq is considering other ways to cover its budget deficit, including asking the IMF (i.e. US taxpayers) for relief funding and also requesting the controversial U.S. Export-Import Bank (US Taxpayers) finance the purchase of 10 planes from Boeing Co, which cost the government $500 million.

Frontrunning: April 16

  • Euro zone bond yields sink to historic lows (Reuters)
  • Clinton Foundation to Keep Foreign Donors (WSJ)
  • Russia says U.S. forced it to act on Ukraine (Reuters)
  • Bankers to China's Rescue (BBG)
  • Saudi Arabia Adds Half a Bakken to Global Oil Market in a Month (BBG)
  • Valuations of Hong Kong's stock market operator go interstellar (Reuters)
  • Switzerland Attracts Fewer Firms as Politics Hurt Business Image (BBG)

The Collapse Of The Petrodollar: Oil Exporters Are Dumping US Assets At A Record Pace

Back in November we chronicled the (quiet) death of the Petrodollar, the system that has buttressed USD hegemony for decades by ensuring that oil producers recycled their dollar proceeds into still more USD assets creating a very convenient (if your printing press mints dollars) self-fulfilling prophecy that has effectively underwritten the dollar’s reserve status in the post WWII era. Now, with oil prices still in the doldrums, oil producers are selling off their USD assets in a frenzy threatening the viability of petrocurrency mercantilism and effectively extracting billions in liquidity from the system just as the Fed prepares to hike rates.

Artist's Impression Of China's Soft Landing

The following clip seemed to sum up perfectly just what The PBOC is attempting to do (and just exactly how it will end). With Chinese equities entirely decoupled from any sense of fundamentals, elementary-school-educated people piling their life savings into a market that is up 100% YoY amid the worst economic conditions in a decade or more, and margin trading that is surging (and now being probed - as Reuters reports, PBOC Shanghai has asked banks to check margin trading risks); how could anything go wrong?