As The World Turns, The Contagion Spreads: I Can Hear The Pitter-Patter Of Feet Running From European Banks - Are YOU Ready ForSubmitted by Reggie Middleton on 08/05/2011 11:30 -0500
More evidence of European bank runs as both banks AND sovereign domicile states start to pull liquidity at the same time that said banks are trying to pull liqiodity from their customers. How do you think this will end?
Here Is What Goldman Thinks Europe Should Do To Save Italy And Spain (Hint - More Bond Buying This Time On The Books)Submitted by Tyler Durden on 08/04/2011 06:25 -0500
When it comes to its opinion on the shape of the bailout, Goldman is a force to be reckoned with (as in every other endeavor, no matter how self-serving the outcome ultimately is): after all it was Goldman which first proposed expanding the EFSF and using it as a "bad bank" SPV which has the extra benefit of being off the balance sheet, and can issue more debt than virtually any financial institution in the world (see EFSF - Too Small? Too Big? Or Just Wrong?). Which is why when Goldman discusses next steps, you can be positive, this is precisely what will end up happening, and that Goldman is already well positioned to profit from whatever policy recommendations it has imposed. So without further ado, here is Dirk Schumacher's latest outlook on how to perpetuate the European status quo.
It is premature to say something like "If U.S. debt is downgraded, will anyone care?" thinking the markets should have priced all this in, because there will be consequences to pay.
Regardless whether one or more of the Big 3 agencies would deal a credit downgrade to the U.S., the CDS market has already spoken.
Just to make sure that we all get the message that a consolidated sell off across all asset classes is what the cental planning doctor ordered, here comes Moody's to not only trim all the gains in the EURUSD since the Boehner debacle, but to remind us that the Fourth Reich is coming, even as the US of Aa- still struggles to pass its 2009 budget. Oh, and as a reminder Moody's put Italy's Aa2 rating on downgrade review on June 17, which means the formal downgrade is due right... about.... now.
Goldman On What A US Downgrade Will Bring: Spoiler Alert - Nothing Good (And Why It Is Nothing "Like Japan")Submitted by Tyler Durden on 07/28/2011 14:35 -0500
When it comes to sellside research ideas (no matter how wrong) being mysteriously converted into official policy nobody, and we mean nobody in the world, is more effective at this "task" than Goldman. In addition to being a herd leader of all the other momos on Wall Street (with Deutsche Bank being dead last), what Goldman wants, whether it is QE1, QE2, or the final layout of the eurozone bailout package #2, Goldman gets. Which is why people actually do care about Goldman's research: not because it is right, it rarely if ever is, unless of course one gauges its success with the bonus pool for Goldman Sachs itself in which case it has been a massive success without fail, but because everyone in DC reads it as gospel, and whatever is advised is eventually implemented. Which is why even as we have skipped numerous analyses of what would happen to the US should its rating be cut, Goldman's is a must read, not the least because Goldman finally puts all those economic illiterates who compares a US downgrade to that of US and assume off the bat that nothing bad can possibly happen. Wrong. Just ask Jan Hatzius: "It bears repeating that no two episodes are alike – nor is any historical episode a close parallel to current US circumstances." And while even he admits he has no idea what will happen, he doesn't get paid by the blank piece of paper so the Goldman economist did have to supply 4 summary conclusions of what will happen when the US is downgraded, sometime over the next 3-4 weeks: 1. A drop in equity markets, but probably a modest one, 2. Some weakening in the currency, 3. A steepening of the yield curve and a cheapening of Treasuries relative to OIS, 4. Some weakness in the financials sector. In other words, "we have no idea, but it won't be good." We totally agree. The full note is below for those whose brains aren't petrified enough to assume that the Japanese downgrade is in any way remotely comparable to that of the US.
ISDA is getting nervous, or rather the same contingent of clueless "asset managers" who listen to ISDA as religiously as they listen to the rating agencies, is getting nervous. The boilerplate: "The following are responses to the most frequently-asked questions that ISDA has received in connection with a potential CDS Credit Event on US sovereign debt. The following does not constitute legal advice, and is subject in all respects to any determination that the ISDA Americas Credit Derivatives Determinations Committee may make in relation to CDS referencing the United States. ISDA makes no comment on the likelihood of the events described in this Q&A." True - for the likelihood of any event happening, your best bet is to ask Turbo Tax Tim, and then multiply the answer by -1.
When we looked at the notional change in net outstanding CDS on the top 25 reference entities tracked by DTCC last week, we first made the discovery that the US has for the first time surpassed Greece in number of net speculative default bets outstanding. It was, also, the most rerisked name in total monthly notional, outpacing China and Japan in second and third place. Following tonight's weekly update from DTCC we get an even starker picture of where America lies on the risk spectrum: just to the left of UniCredit and Italy (left being bad). As the chart below indicates, the monthly percentage change in the number of net CDS contracts outstanding on the US increased by a whopping 10%, beating such insolvent entities as Italy's top bank and Italy itself (with mega black swan China, and 200% debt/GDP Japan coming in 4th and 5th place). And completing the bad news for the US from the perspective of a CDS trader, is that for the first time ever, US 1/5 year CDS inverted. Why? Because with American recovery rates well in the 80s based on trading prices of the cheapest to deliver bonds, unlike other sovereigns such as Greece which may need recovery calcs in the 20s or 30s, this is virtually equivalent to trading points up front and convexity is massive. It also means that with the 52 week Bill pricing at 0.2% earlier today, anyone who wishes to transact in a 1 year basis trade, can make a lot of money by putting on the negative basis courtesy of the blow out in 1 Year CDS compared to cash... assuming the US does not default of course. But in that case one will be bigger problems than paying their counterparty the require variation margin.
Relevant News by www.thetrader.se
Despite frantic efforts to reach an agreement to raise the US debt ceiling, no concrete measures emerged during the weekend, which allied with Moody's downgrade of Greece's sovereign rating by three notches today, promoted risk-aversion in the market. European equities traded under pressure, weighed upon by financials, which in turn provided support to Bunds, whereas the Eurozone peripheral 10-year government bond yield spreads widened across the board. Particular widening was observed in the Belgian/German spread leading up to the bond auctions from Belgium, however the spread narrowed somewhat after they went through successfully. Elsewhere, CHF and JPY emerged as major beneficiaries of the risk-averse trade, whereas commodity-linked currencies traded lower. Moving into the North American open, the economic calendar remains thin, however Chicago Fed National Activity and Dallas Fed Manufacturing reports are scheduled for later in the session. Also, Texas Instruments, and Anadarko Petroleum are among some of the companies reporting their corporate earnings today.
Yesterday was a big day in the market for EFSF and Sovereign CDS. The announcements were big enough that some junior associates must be scrambling to update their pitchbooks. Here are my thoughts on what changes need to be done to the pitchbooks and the trading ideas that come as a result.
Still confused about why nobody is calling the EFSF expansion Europe's TARP, aside from the fact that this latest European bailout is exactly Europe's TARP? Need a one page summary tearsheet on the European Council Decision as pertains to Greece now and all the other European countries later? Have no fear, because Goldman's Francesco Garzarelli is here again, explaining all you need to know about the ongoing taxpayer-to-insolvent nation-to-bank capital transfer.
So far all the news out of Europe is based on changes to EFSF. Greece will be able to borrow for 15 years at 3.5%. French bonds with a 15 year maturity trade at 3.8%. So the EFSF will have to pay more on its debt than it receives? Interesting. Have the rating agencies signed up to rate the new EFSF as AAA? From deals I've worked on, things that always hurt ratings were i) extending maturity, ii) including banks in addition to sovereigns, iii) allowing trading, iv) vague rules as opposed to written rules. The headlines all indicate the new EFSF has all of these components. I am sure the agencies have been involved in these discussions, but I remain dubious how happy the market will be to finance the EFSF at rates that are remotely in line with the rates the EFSF plans to provide financing at. Lots more details likely to come out during the day, but watch for the details. The headlines sound great, but can they be executed. I also noticed somewhere that new lending would be collateralized. If that is true, has anyone asked the borrowers if that makes sense for them?
A rather sobering report out from S&P, which has no other function than to tighten the screws even more on those who prudently are holding out against extending the debt ceiling. As for S&P: please explain to US how 120% debt/GDP is better than 100% debt/GDP, and thus more worthy of a AAA rating? Please. Because we must be bloody stupid: "In our view, the need for an agreement to raise the debt ceiling before it is breached--which the government has said would occur on or around Aug. 2--remains a major risk to the U.S. economy, in our view. Because we see a real risk that efforts to reduce future deficits may meaningfully miss the targets that Congressional leaders and the White House have discussed, we put the likelihood that we would lower the long-term rating on the U.S. within the next three months and potentially as soon as early August--by one or more notches, into the 'AA' category--at about 50-50."
For what it's worth, and probably not much, here is Goldman's Francisco Garzarelli on why it is "Decision Time or bust" for Europe. With the just commenced summit, the market has very high expectations of a favorable outcome. Should the proposed resolution end up being disappointing, and it likely will upon a close read between the lines as it can not possibly be anything more than merely another can kicking exercise, look for the EUR to tumble after this final relief rally. From GS: "We said at the start of the week that Euro-zone bond markets would be volatile, caught between attractive valuations and expectations of a deal, and the uncertainties surrounding PSI. On light flows, some of the sell-off has reversed over the past 48 hours. If our baseline case above plays out, we would expect more upside and almost all of the widening in intra-EMU spreads seen since Moody’s downgrade of Portugal could be corrected. We doubt we will see more upside than that, at least for a while. It will take some time for the new policies to be articulated and implemented, and all decisions taken today will need to be put before national Parliaments, probably at the start of September. Moreover, concerns over the pace of global growth remain in the background weighing on weaker borrowers. Last but not least, investors have been heavily affected by recent events and thus may want to reduce risk in a recovering market."