About a year ago, we speculated that as part of the ongoing currency warfare between Brazil and the "developed" world, its finance minister Guido Mantega would keep his trade surplus trump card until the moment of biggest impact. That moment has come, after the financial head (with the Playboy-posing daughter) just told Europe to take a hike. "I believe that European countries do not need funds from Brazil to buy bonds. Brazil is not considering it," Mantega told reporters in Brasilia. "They have to find solutions to the European problems within Europe." And with Brazil out, it is certain that China will not step up over fears of appearing weak and needing to provide vendor financing to its biggest export partner. Unfortunately for Europe this means that at least one component of the revised SPIV: that which foresees public investment from third parties into the EFSF (a new twist proposed only last week), can now be safely forgotten, bringing us back to page one and the entire 5x levered CDO structure which as has been explained numerous times, is Dead on Arrival. There is, however, one loophole. "Mantega said Brazil would be willing to provide financial help via the International Monetary Fund." Which is rather laughable considering that by IMF, one typically refers to, at least in polite society, Uncle Sam. Then again, with a French woman (and one who until recently was solely reponsible for the grave French financial condition) in charge, it is easy to lose sight and to be, there is that phrase again, baffled by irrelevant bullshit even as following the bailout money always lead to the same old source.
Is it safe to say that the Goldman love affair with the government is officially over? From Reuters: "Former Goldman Sachs director Rajat Gupta will surrender to the FBI on Wednesday to face criminal charges, a person familiar with the investigation said. Gupta was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in hedge fund founder Raj Rajaratnam's trial earlier this year. He has denied wrongdoing. Rajaratnam was sentenced to 11-years in prison this month. Gupta's attorney, Gary Naftalis, did not immediately respond to a call seeking comment." Perhaps it is also safe to say that the war between Obama and Wall Street is now official. Of course, we give Obama about 24 hours before the economy tanks, the stock market implodes, the great unwashed see their meager 201k's converted into 100.5k's, and decide to #OccupyTheWhiteHouse. In other words, our money is not on the administration on this one. In fact, when the smoke settles, we expect a few extra tentacles from 200 West to penetrate even deeper into the three farcical branches of government of this once non-banana republic.
Over the next 24 hours expect many post of this nature:
- DE JAGER SAYS ITALY NEEDS TO TAKE EXTRA GOVERNANCE MEASURES
- GREEK BONDHOLDER LOSS WILL BE 60%, ANA CITES VERHOFSTADT SAYING
Liesman spin on how 60% losses is not a CDS trigger event coming in 10 minutes.
While the US may have its "committee" decision to every problem in the world, Europe has the "summit meeting" which in the past would kiss and make everything better. No longer. As the following chart from Reuters indicates, annotating the relentless rise in Italian yields (which have about 100 bps in buffer from full out Eurozone collapse: if the 10 Year BTP hits 7.00% it's game over), the half life of the mere meeting in terms of favorable impact is now negligible and in fact, negative. Just like BOJ (and, some would add, Fed) interventions in the market now do more harm than good, so hollow Eurozone meetings without any actual resolution, simply make the Eurozone troubles that much more acute. Keep a close eye on the BTPs. They are already at 6% following last week's tumble first documented on Zero Hedge. If the price drops that much more, that will be it for the EMU experiment.
Newsletter writer Dennis Gartman has done a swift about turn and is now adding to his gold position by buying the metal priced in dollars, pounds and euros, he wrote today in his daily Gartman Letter. Only last Tuesday, Gartman wrote that the gold market is suffering "very real damage." His comments were picked up very widely making headlines in the financial media internationally. Gartman warned that he feared that the rally from September's lows is "now under assault." Today, Gartman said in his newsletter that he was certain gold prices would break upwards sooner rather than later. Gartman said that the EU debt plan would hurt currencies. Therefore, gold will rally as currencies fall. "The authorities have no choice but to inflate their way out of the morass that they’ve found themselves falling into and that shall mean the diminution of currencies generally and the advancement of gold as the only currency not diminished", he said.
- German lawmakers win full say on EFSF (Reuters)
- Spain Slipping on Deficit Increases Chances of Contagion (Bloomberg)
- China faces tight power supply this winter (China Daily)
- Greece, China sign memorandum of cooperation (Kathimerini)
- Gov. Corbett launches state takeover of Pa. capital, declares fiscal emergency (WaPo)
- In Cautious Times, Banks Flooded With Cash (NYT)
- An apocalyptic end to world’s biggest bubble (MarketWatch)
- US Treasury considers new debt security (FT)
- Obama to announce help on housing, student loans (Reuters)
- China on China: Double-dip recession unlikely in China (China Daily)
- Berlusconi calls crisis cabinet meeting (FT)
- Sarkozy yields on ECB crisis role, pressure on Italy (Reuters)
- France, U.K. Spar on Role of Non-Euro Nations (Bloomberg)
- Hong Kong looks to private IPOs from China (FT)
- Medicare Program for Doctor Groups Gets Looser Rules (WSJ)
- Banks must find €108bn in new capital (FT)
One of the major issues and talking points in the precious metal markets in recent years has been allegations by GATA and others that bullion banks and central banks may be intervening in free markets and surreptitiously manipulating gold and silver prices and keeping them artificially low. It is an issue that is quite divisive amongst investors and in the market - including in GoldCore where opinions differ. It is an important debate and one that has ramifications not just for the gold and silver market but for markets in general and for free market capitalism. The ‘Great Silver Debate’ took place at the Silver Summit in Spokane, Washington on Friday where Bill Murphy of the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee (GATA) debated Jeffrey Christian of the CPM Group. The debate, hosted by Kitco, did not see a knockout blow with both contestants voicing their long held opinions regarding the manipulation of silver and precious metals. It was a bit short on time at just 30 minutes and a full hour may have been needed in order to flesh out some of the many issues raised. Christian recently accused GATA of being "a group that makes money by basically bilking gold investors out of fees to support GATA so they don't have to get legitimate jobs." In the aftermath of the debate, GATA secretary Chris Powell accused Christian of "graduating from his usual distortions to outright contrivance." Most of the mainstream media has ignored GATA’s allegations and the debate was not reported. However, an important development over the weekend was an op-ed piece by the respected Gillian Tett in the Financial Times.
Confirmation Of European Recession Following "Miserable" Composite PMIs Means French Downgrade ComingSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 10/24/2011 07:04 -0400
While the market continues to look forward to the latest Eurosummit on Wednesday (which rumor is may be postponed once again) with mouth-gaping expectations, the truth is that Europe "may have already entered a recession" as Goldman predicted some weeks ago, a prediction which was confirmed by today's miserable manufacturing and services PMI numbers. From Goldman: "The Euro-zone flash composite PMI came in at 47.2 in October, down from 49.1 in September. The October reading is below consensus expectations, which pointed to a somewhat more modest drop to 48.8. The decline was registered in both manufacturing and services, though it was slightly more pronounced in the latter (Manufacturing: down from 48.5 to 47.3, Services: down from 48.8 to 47.2). The pace of the decline in the headline output component of the Composite PMI accelerated in October. With its sixth consecutive monthly decline, the composite PMI has reached its lowest reading since July 2009." This is bad, and it gets worse. As Reuters concludes: "The euro zone's debt crisis might already have pushed the bloc's economy back into recession, according to business surveys that showed China's economy taking a stride forward in October." So why is this an issue? Simple - as a reminder in a little noticed statement last week, S&P said it "would likely downgrade the credit ratings of France, Spain, Italy, Ireland and Portugal if the euro zone slips into another recession." Well there's you recession confirmation. So: where is the European bailout killing downgrade of France?
Even our non-polyglot readers will have zero problems understanding the response (in French) by Merkozy, when asked during the press conference, whether Italy, which has the second largest debt load in Europe at $2.2 trillion and inches behind German, will succeed in implementing promised 'reforms.' The wholesale laughter 19 seconds in the the clip, by not only the entire audience, but by Merkel and Sarkozy pretty much explains what the "next steps" in Europe are as the continent has now given up any pretense it is even trying to keep a serious facade on the upcoming serial defaults... and why 10 Year BTPs will need much more than just the SMP, EFSF and the hand of god to stay above 90 in the coming week.
Europe has officially entered the Tropic Thunder zone, where one, forget one thousand , monkeys armed with one simple solar-powered calculator, can come up with a better plan than (JP Morgan-advised) Europe. Because as we pointed out on Thursday, "nothing changes the fact that with €100 billion set aside for bank recaps, a woefully low number and one which will do nothing to assure investors that banks have sufficient capital, there is still not enough cash to "guarantee" all future issuance" - well it appears that Europe finally did the math which led us to conclude that the EFSF is DOA. So what is Europe's solution? Why double counting aid already pledged of course: "EU bank plan may include aid already pledged to bailout states-sources." Uh, what? "A drive to lift bank capital across Europe by up to 110 billion euros ($153 billion) is expected to include the roughly 46 billion euros already pledged to Ireland, Greece and Portugal to help their lenders, EU sources told Reuters....Another official confirmed the intention to count money already earmarked for banks in Ireland, Greece and Portugal in any recapitalisation plan. "The problem with shock and awe numbers is that it implies that the money is there," said one official, reflecting on ministers' reluctance to set public goals for recapitalisation. "But governments don't have the money."... Just as was repeated here over and over and over and over... And yes, that red stuff shooting out of the place where your head was a few second ago, is blood. It is now Europe's official "plan" (for at least the next 2-3 hours) to use mystical, magical money, which is somehow double-counted to bail out both a bank and a country at the same time...
In typical European leadership fashion, the need to speak useless words to an audience waiting for some sense of real actionable solution outweighs any actual ability to add value or say something new. What is even more incredible is that we expect the 17 (or 27) nations to agree on anything when they can't even communicate effectively internally as we see the Sarkozy/Merkel press conference perfectly overlap with the Barroso/Van-Rompuy conference. Bloomberg is reporting the headlines - which are the same old same old - and awe-inspiring in their lack of specificity and potential for total opposition in view. Grant Williams (of Things That Make You Go Hhmm fame) perhaps sums it up best: "Europe is broken and the people charged with trying to fix it are clearly not up to the job."