Sovereign Debt

The Biggest Short

Some reversals of financial trends prove so momentous they define the generation in which they occur. The stock market crash in 1929 kicked off the Great Depression, which ushered in the welfare and then the warfare state and redefined the relationship between government and citizens. Bonds and stocks began their bull market runs in the early 1980s. Now, those markets are fonts of optimism increasingly unhinged from reality. The US has come full circle. The New Deal and World War II marked a massive shift of resources and power to the federal government. Conversely, financial reversal will fuel a virulent backlash against the government and its central bank.

Japan Goes Full Krugman: Plans Un-Depositable, Non-Cash "Gift-Certificate" Money Drop To Young People

The Swiss, the Finns, and the Ontarians may get their 'Universal Basic Income' but the Japanese are about to turn the Spinal Tap amplifier of extreme monetary experimentation to 11. Sankei reports, with no sourcing, that the Japanese government plans to unleash "vouchers" or "gift certificates" to low-income young people to stimulate the "conspicuous decline" in consumption among young people. The handouts may not be deposited, thus combining helicopter money (inflationary) and fully electronic currency (implicit capital controls and tracking of spending).

BofA Explains Why The ECB Will Be Forced To Buy Junk Bonds

When judged against the BoJ, the ECB probably still has a ways to go before hitting the limits of central banker insanity and so, we think it's entirely possible that Draghi moves into HY next. But the reasons to believe the ECB will take the plunge into non-IG corporate credit go beyond the “MOAR is always better” line. As BofAML’s Barnaby Martin explains, the EU corporate sector’s penchant for bond buybacks may ultimately force Draghi further down the ratings ladder lest the ECB should end up entangled in tender offers or else find itself without enough debt to monetize.

Misplaced Confidence In The ECB - Lessons From John Law's Mississippi Bubble

 

Everyone in the Eurozone believes that the ECB is all-powerful, because to believe otherwise is unthinkable. This was also true of Banque Royale, until it faltered. It was not a loss of confidence in the bank that was responsible for the collapse, it happened as a result of the difficulties encountered in sustaining the bubble. The lesson is that it need not take a loss of confidence in the ECB to start its destruction.

 

The New New 'Deal' - "Markets Are Too Important To Be Left To Investors"

In the same way that FDR had an existential political interest in generating inflation and preventing volatility in the US labor market, so does the US Executive branch today (regardless of what party holds the office) have an existential political interest in generating inflation and preventing volatility in the US capital markets. Transforming Wall Street into a political utility was an afterthought for FDR; today the relative importance of the labor markets and capital markets have completely switched positions. Today, the quote would be "markets are too important to be left to investors."

Central Bank Rally Fizzles: Equity Futures Lower As Attention Turns To "Hawkish Fed" Risk

While Asia was up on China's bad data, and Europe was higher again this morning to catch up for the Friday afternoon US surge, US equity futures may have finally topped off and are now looking at this week's critical data, namely the BOJ's decision tomorrow (where Kuroda is expected to do nothing), and the Fed's decision on Wednesday where a far more "hawkish announcement" than currently priced in by the market, as Goldman warned last night, is likely, in what would put an end to the momentum and "weak balance sheet" rally.

Why This Sucker Is Going Down - The Case Of Japan's Busted Bond Market

The world financial system is booby-trapped with unprecedented anomalies, deformations and contradictions. It’s not remotely stable or safe at any speed, and most certainly not at the rate at which today’s robo-machines and fast money traders pivot, whirl, reverse and retrace. Indeed, every day there are new ructions in the casino that warn investors to get out of harm’s way with all deliberate speed. And last night’s eruption in the Japanese bond market was a doozy.

The "Terrifying Prospect" Of A Triumph Of Politics Over Economics

All of life’s odds aren’t 3:2, but that’s how you’re supposed to bet, or so they say. They are not saying that so much anymore, or saying that history rhymes, or that nothing’s new under the sun. More and more 'they's seem to be figuring out that past economic and market experiences can’t be extrapolated forward - a terrifying prospect for the social and political order.

Which Countries Have The Highest Default Risk: A Global CDS Heatmap

Sweden beats USA and Germany as the least likely to default on its bonds but at the other end of the global sovereign risk spectrum lie two socialist utopias - Venezuela (CDS just shy of 6000bps) and Greece (CDS around 1800bps) are the nations most likely to default.

"The European Project Was Always Bound To Fail" - Europe Without The Union

Any project attempting to fuse these disparate cultures into one monolithic state over the course of just 70 years was by its very nature doomed. It would inevitably encounter insurmountable levels of nationalistic resistance, and eventually the project would stall. That is the point at which we now find ourselves.

The Printing Press: A Great Way To Fool People

"The reason that we’re still here, when we really should have fallen apart based on how much debt there was out there, and various other measures of instability, is that a printing press has turned out to be a great tool for fooling people...but in the longer term gold is a beneficiary of the instability that necessarily flows from borrowing too much money"

Stocks Tumble After Fed Plans Too-Big-To-Fail Bank Counterparty Risk Cap

US financials are tumbling after The Fed proposed a rule that would limit banks with $500 bln or more of assets from having net credit exposure to a “major counterparty” in excess of 15% of the lender’s tier 1 capital. Bloomberg reports that The Fed's governors plan to vote today on the proposal. The implications of this are significant in that it will force some banks to unwind exposures and delever against one another (most notably with potential affect the repo market which governs much of the liquidity transmission mechanisms). Guggenheim's Jaret Seiberg warns the proposal is likely to be "stringent," though less onerous than the Dec 2011 proposal... which Goldman Sachs more specifically warned that it could destroy 300,000 jobs.