Jerome Kerviel, who was convicted of causing a record trading loss of €4.9 billion at Societe Generale SA, won a payout of more than 450,000 euros in a Paris employment lawsuit over claims he was unfairly dismissed. "It’s a scandalous decision," said Arnaud Chaulet, a lawyer representing Societe Generale.
One does not have to be financial wizard to to know that a firm which has to borrow more than it can generate from core operations is not a sustainable business model, and yet today's CFOs, pundits and central bankers do not. But more are starting to pay attention as the corporate debt pile hits epic proportions. As Bloomberg writes this morning, when it also issued a stark warning about the next source of credit contagion, while "consumers were the Achilles’ heel of the U.S. economy in the run-up to the last recession. This time, companies may play that role."
"It would seem to us that the equity outcome in the weighted average view is a lot less positive. There are few S&P 2500 optimists even at 2.5% growth but plenty of S&P 1600 or less pessimists on the negative scenario. Bottom line – one more and pretty much done is unlikely to be as risk positive as recent asset market prices action suggests."
If anyone is still confused about the not so subtle dynamics between markets and monetary policy in China, or the country's bipolar, and ever more frequent boom and bust cycles, you won't be after seeing this chart from Socgen.
"As SOE restructuring progresses, it will also become more apparent that Chinese banks need to be rescued. We estimate that the total losses in the banking sector could reach CNY8 trillion, equivalent to more than 60% of commercial banks’ capital, 50% of fiscal revenues and 12% of GDP."
Following a scramble by European nations to issue ultra long-dated government paper, which saw France and Belgium sell 50-year bonds last month, while Ireland and Belgium went all the way and issued century bonds, with even Switzerland locking in 42-year paper yesterday, moments ago Spain was the latest to extend maturities all the way to 2066 when it sold €3 billion in 50 year bonds at Midswaps+50. According to MarketNews, the issue was over 3 times oversubscribed with the orderbook closing at €10.5 billion.
The dollar's recent rapid slide has been accompanied by a constant backdrop of dovish cooing from the Fed. Until this week, SocGen's Albert Edwards notes that both equity and commodity markets had embraced the weak dollar as the elixir to solve all their ills. That relief, however, has now proved fleeting as fear of weak economic activity has reasserted its influence on investors. The weak dollar, Edwards warns, should be seen as merely a shuffling of deckchairs on the Titanic before the global economy sinks below the icy waves.
In what may be one of the least relevant payroll reports in a long time as the Fed already knows the labor market is doing better quantiatively (qualitatively it has been all about low-paying jobs gaining at the expense of higher paying manufacturing and info-tech positions) and as has further demonstrated it is no longer jobs data dependent, here is what Wall Street consensus expects: total payrolls +200,000, down from 215K in March; a 4.9% unemployment rate; average hourly earnings rising 0.3% (last 0.3%) M/M and 2.4% Y/Y (last 2.3%); on labor force participation of 63%.
Net debt growth skyrocketing nearly 30% y/y, while EBITDA has been contracting for the past year. In fact, as SocGen shows below, the difference in the growth rate between these two most critical data series is now over 35% - the biggest deficit in over 20 years.
Update: after widening by 2bps earlier, Malaysia CDS is now +4 at 167bps and starting to move as macro "analysts" finally catch up on the entire story and comprehend the implications.
Malaysian CDS rose to near 3-month highs and the Ringgit has spiked over 300 pips - back near recent lows - after the Malaysian slushfund government investment fund 1MDB is reportedly in default. This is exactly the scenario we laid out last week that initially sent the currency lower and CDS higher, as the Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund has by all appearances started a potential waterfall default on Malaysian sovereign debt (due to cross-default triggers at the sovereign).
For those who believe that broad-based stimulus is coming to save the world from China (via RRR cuts or even pure QE) - as opposed to the hole-filling credit pump they just supported - think again. As we warned last year, this is 'western' thinking as the go to policy of the rest of the world's central banks has been - put on pants, print money, paper over cracks, proclaim victory. However, in China there is one big problem with this... stoking inflation... and most crucially the social unrest concerns when suddenly a nation of newly minted equity - and now bond - losers can no longer afford their pork - which is surging to record highs.
The economy’s capital structure remains imbalanced as a result of the enormous amount of monetary pumping since 2008 (total TMS-2 growth since then: approx. 128%). There is a limit to this though, even if it cannot be quantified. What can be stated though is that the greater the boom, the greater the eventual bust usually is. There are now more and more indications that a decisive inflection point may be quite near.