Sovereigns

Default Risk Soars After Ukraine's 'American' FinMin Suggests Severe Haircuts For Creditors (Including Russia)

Ukraine’s American Finance Minister has announced a broad restructuring plan with a wide range of severe haircuts for creditors, and she – well, obviously – wishes to include Russia in the group of creditors who are about to get their heads shaved. Russia sees the world as one in which multiple major powers can govern together. The US sees Russia as a power that must be defeated by any means necessary, and subdued. One of these worldviews must prevail in the end. Perhaps we won’t know which one that will be until the third power, China, raises its voice. What we do know is that Russia will back down only so far, and then it will no more.

The Fed’s Trapped In The Corner With An Empty Bucket

In response to questions posed by Santelli, former Dallas Fed president Richard Fisher made two points which were both salient if not downright prophetic. The first: “Well, what worries me is how totally lazy investors have gotten, totally dependent on the Federal Reserve and I find this to be a precarious situation.” The second: “Are we vulnerable in my opinion to a significant equity market correction? I believe we are. Not only has the Fed painted themselves into an even tighter corner – they’ve left no clear path as to now kick the empty can.

No Longer Quiet On The Eastern Front (Part 2)

In the first part of this series we discussed Greece and its ongoing negotiations with the European Union – particularly with Germany – and how the complicated history between these two countries makes it exceedingly difficult for the Greek people to accept the terms on offer from the EU. This time we will turn our attention north, to a different kind of conflict.  This one has also wrought economic devastation to a European country, but of a much higher intensity.  It is the first civil war that the European continent has seen since the Balkan Wars of the 1990s, when the regional superpower of Yugoslavia was ultimately broken up amidst a series of separatist and independence movements.  Today’s conflict will almost certainly result in a similar outcome for its host country. I’m talking, of course, about Ukraine.  Let’s take a closer look.

We Must Rethink "Everything" If We Are To Survive This Strange New World

These negative rates that we see in Europe are a first glimpse of fiat currency destruction due to imploding economies.  And again the negative rates are nominal rates meaning they are negative by way of something beyond inflation.  Specifically they are moving to their natural minimum state of valuelessness because the economy is no longer strong enough to provide alternative investments for the fiat currency.  Fiat currency is shown then not to be a storage of value whatsoever.  But only a representation of strength of its respective economy.  As the economy goes to zero so does the value of its currency.  This point is exceedingly imperative to understand in our current global environment.

 

When Even Varoufakis Mocks The QE "Wizard", The Game Is Almost Up

Someone call the ECB because it looks like the game is well nigh up. Greek FinMins are taking time away from photo shoots and looting pension funds to call out QE for creating equity bubbles and the mainstream financial news media has figured out that there’s an acute collateral shortage and that buying €1.1 trillion in bonds €15 million at a time probably indicates a forced deviation from the original plan.

How The ECB Is Distorting Euro Money Markets

Central banks' ability to distort markets, inhibit price discovery, and create systemic risk is alive and well as ECB asset purchases ripple through euro money markets. "The ECB’s liquidity bazooka will likely create the conditions for all rates money markets to stay in negative territory. This would represent a very challenging environment for investors, especially those focusing on the euro money markets, whose resilience to negative rates has not fully tested yet," Barclays warns.

Futures Sell Off As Soaring Dollar Weighs On Risk, European Yields Slide To Fresh Record Lows

As noted earlier, starting early with the overnight session there was already some serious fireworks in Asia, when first the USDJPY soared then tumbled, pushing the Nikkei lower some 0.7% with it, driven entirely by the surge in Dollar which rose to a fresh 12 year high overnight after gaining as much as 0.59%, in an extension of Friday’s post-NFP gains. Additionally, the EUR/USD slipped below 1.0800 to touch its lowest level since Sept’03 while USD/JPY rose above 122.00 for the first time since Jul’07, after breaching long-term resistance at 121.85. However, in recent trade the pair has seen a straight line sell-off which in turn has sent US equity futures sliding, and the ES down about 14 points as of this moment. Meanwhile, the frontrunning of the ECB continues, with German 10 Year yields sliding -3bps to 0.281%, the lowest in series history. Also touching fresh record lows were Austrian, Belgian, Dutch, Finnish, Irish, Italian, Spanish 10 Year rates.

The Great Bund Short Slaughter

With the world and his cat positioned for spread compression in European peripheral sovereigns ahead of the ECB's Q€, the natural 'short' that weighs on Bunds (against Spain, Italy, Portugal etc.) is being massively squeezed this morning. 10Y Bund yields have ripped 11bps from the start of the ECB press conference... in context, that's a 25% collapse in yield.

ECB Will Cut Rates To Minus 3%: JP Morgan

Should a tail event such a deflationary spiral or Grexit occur, limits on ECB asset purchases will put Mario Draghi at a disadvantage as other central banks race to the bottom. JP Morgan says this will force the ECB to cut interest rates for cash deposits to minus 3% while the dollar will appreciate by 20%, reaching parity with euro in 2015.

A Complete Preview Of Q€ — And Why It Will Fail

To be sure, we’ve written quite a bit lately about the ECB’s upcoming plunge into the world of 13-figure debt monetization (or as we call it, Draghi’s Waterloo), and while we hate to beat a dead horse, the sheer lunacy of a bond buying program that is only constrained by the fact that there simply aren’t enough bonds to buy, cannot possibly be overstated. Here is everything you need to know about Q€ ahead of the ECB's Thursday meeting.