Read on as the MSM pick up on what I've been ranting about for 2 years. Virtually every penny of the big banks' profits consists of taxpayer bailout money. This doesn't include the ~60% of revenue paid out as bonuses, of course!
S&P 500 futures lurched in a vol-driven mania above their implicit QE3 highs (stop-run) and yay verily there was much rejoicing as cash S&P 500 reached closing levels not seen since December 2007. The only trouble with all this jubilation - Treasuries rallied all day (so no 'Great Rotation'), high-yield credit was having none of it, and AAPL positively hated it (though financials had their best week since the stress tests in March). Average trade size surged as did volume into these highs and as we noted before, the VIX term-structure is now at its steepest in 5 months - as hedgers shift their positions out past the debt-ceiling deadline (and implicitly crush short-term vol spurring the rally further). But, into the close, S&P 500 futures were decidedly skittish as it appeared we ran out of greater fools for a few seconds at the close (via @nanexllc $1.1B worth of $SPY and 25,000 eMinis in last few seconds). Equities pulled away from the rest of risk-assets in the last 30-minute ramp closing the week right at the QE3-day highs, with the USD +1% on the week.
A Potentially Nasty Snapshot Of Risk Resulting In Another Trillion Of Taxpayer Funded Bank Bailouts - A WalkthroughSubmitted by Reggie Middleton on 12/21/2012 12:55 -0400
Bigger Tax Payer Bank Bailouts Cometh? If You Think Taxes Are Gonna Be Higher You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet! I welcome one and all to show me how it will not be so.
Overnight the Shanghai Composite index rose 4.3%, marking its biggest advance since October 2009, supported by the latest HSBC flash manufacturing PMI which came in at 50.9 vs Exp. 50.8 (Prev. 50.5) – 14-month high, and with hopes for supportive policy direction to come out of this weekends central economic work conference where Chinese leaders will look to set next years GDP target and layout more information on policy for urbanisation. As such WTI crude has been trending higher since the Asia session testing around the USD 87.00 to the upside with close to a 1 USD gains ahead of the NYMEX pit open. In terms of Europe, bund volumes have been light as markets head closer toward the Christmas break with European manufacturing and service PMI’s having little sustained impact with Italian and Spanish 10yr government bond yield spreads over German bunds seen 2.5bps and 3.5bps tighter respectively. Elsewhere, in the FX market there has been talk of US names selling 1 week 25 delta risk reversals in positioning ahead of this weekend’s Japanese elections.
- Obama, Boehner hold "frank" meeting amid "fiscal cliff" frustration (Reuters)
- Rice Ends Bid Amid Criticism (WSJ)
- EU summit delays crucial decisions (FT)
- EU moves to cap bank bonuses at 2 times annual salary (CBC)
- Europe Wins a Battle, but Not Yet the War (WSJ)
- Banks Spurn Europe Bond Rush Amid Central Bank Loan Largesse (BBG)
- German-French Sparring Over Euro Caps 2012 Crisis Fight (BBG)
- Fed begins stress tests on bank liquidity (FT)
- Draghi’s rallying cry for new EU powers (FT)
- EU Seeks Plan to Handle Failing Banks Amid Cost Concerns (BBG)
- Berlusconi says Monti has strong EU backing (FT)
- Abe Set for Japan Victory Faces 7-Month Window to Keep Hold (BBG)
- Japan's Abe would try to keep China ties calm-lawmakers (Reuters)
As the Euro infection commences, is it time to profit?
It just refuses to get any better in Spain, whose banks are now aggressively marking down real estate to something resembling fair value. Last month we reported that Spanish bad loans jumped by the most ever, rising by over 1% to just under 10%. Today, last month's number was revised even higher to 10.1%. But the worst news is that the August bad loan total just hit a fresh record of €178.6 billion, or 10.5% of the total €1,698.7 billion in bank loans. Making things worse is that the primary bank funding lifeline - deposits - continues to flow out. That both Spain, and its banking sector are utterly insolvent, is clear to anyone but Oliver Wyman and those who have bought SPGBs (although granted the latter are merely hoping for a quick flip). And the ECB of course. Indicatively, as a % of GDP, this would be equivalent to roughly $2.7 trillion in US bank loans going sour (for more on the collapse of Spanish banking, and the laughable stress test whose worst case has already become the baseline, read here). The chart summarizing this staggering statistic is below.
Fair enough week. Not sure data fits the performance, but if it's good enough...
We all know shorting volatility is dangerous. We learned our lessons from the financial crisis. We all meticulously read “The Black Swan” and then watched the scary movie adaption of the book starring Natalie Portman. We all know that this method produces a steady stream of smooth returns making people think you are a genius until the inevitable disaster forces you to pawn off your Nobel Prize. We all know that shorting volatility will cause you to go insane with a twisted psycho-sexual obsession to master the art of ballet. It’s picking up pennies in front of a convexity steamroller. Knowing these facts we would like to pose a question...Which is riskier right now? Shorting a collateralized far out-of-the-money S&P 500 index put or buying a “risk-free” US treasury bond? Hint: Now the market for safety has an efficient frontier on par with the penny in front of the steamroller trade? If you don’t find that scary then you’re not paying attention.
What can be said? Rinse, repeat, rinse, repeat.
Everyone basking into the market truce provided by Super Mario. And taking some easy time off…
Friday afternoon Periphery squeeze barn stomp
Quiero un iPhone para salvar el Mundo! Looks like Spain actually enjoys the sovereign-regions-banks negative loop with no wish to cut the Gordian knot.
No European data tomorrow: Mario D, the floor is all yours, after Mariano D’s bond sales.
In a world in which markets are simply policy instruments of central planners it is no surprise that the only thing that matters is how much money is injected by any given central bank at any given time. Last night, following the Fed and the BOJ, it was the turn of Australia, which in a "surprise" move cut policy rates by 25 bps. From SocGen: "Reacting to a weaker global economic outlook, which has moderated the outlook for growth in Australia, the Reserve Bank of Australia cut its policy rate today by 25bp to 3.25%, a move that was predicted by only a minority of forecasters (including us). Nevertheless, we believe that markets are too aggressively priced for further rate reductions: we expect a low of 3.00%, to be reached by year-end, but the swap market is currently discounting a low of 2.4% by mid-2013. The reasons the RBA stated for lowering rates centered mostly on the global economic outlook, which has softened over recent months, not least because of greater uncertainty about near-term prospects in China, and hence the outlook for Australia is seen as a “little weaker”. The RBA also stated that the resource investment peak may be lower than previously thought." Sure enough, the move sent Australian stocks to 5 month highs, and global equity futures spiking. Of course, in the open-ended global race to debase perhaps it is more surprising i) they did not do this sooner and ii) not more banks have "cut" yet. Ironically, while the ECB, BOE and SNB are still contemplating next steps to catch up with Bernanke, it is the BOJ which in the abysmal failure of its own QE 8 from three weeks ago, is now contemplating QE 9 - the foreign bond edition (because buying treasury and corporate bonds, ETFs and REITs is never enough). Naturally, all this additional liquidity and promises thereof, has sent futures to fresh highs as more and more latent inflation is loaded up in the global monetary system.
The biggest (non) news of the day was Oliver Wyman ("OW") conducting an "independent" audit of the Spanish banking system to validate the previously disclosed funding needs of Spain's banks which were announced back in June (just a week after Mariano Rajoy "insisted" no bank bailouts are needed). What OW really did was exercise 1 in a financial analyst's playbook: to goal seek a number in excel using a variety of input variables, especially several fudge factors that are tangential to the matter at hand, yet which provide the biggest bang for the buck. In this case the target of the goalseeking exercise was to get a final headline number for bank capital needs to be just as expected, or €60 billion. Sure enough it the number was €59.3 billion, just a little bit less than consensus. This is the total number of cash the bank system will need in order to be considered viable, and unless something has changed drastically, the cash will come from new debt issued by Spain, which in turn funds its bank bailout fund, the FROB (a process explained here). While it is a given that several months from now we will go through this whole entire exercise to find out how much more cash Spain's banks will need, for now what is curious is to understand what the fudge factor was that OW abused to allow it to get the desired result. That fudge factor is what is known as "excess capital buffer", whose usage in the model to plug a major capital shortfall gap is non-sensical and shows that the real funding needs of Spain's banks will be far greater, even absent future deterioration.
Spanish stress test results are out. Surprise - Oliver Wyman's audit finds that Spanish banks have an approximate EUR60bn shortfall - as expected - see below for pass/fails.
- *SPAIN SAYS 7 BANKS HAVE NO CAPITAL NEEDS :SAN SM, BBVA SM
- *SPAIN STRESS TESTS SHOW CAPITAL SHORTFALL OF EU59.3 BLN :SAN SM
- *SPAIN BANKS HAVE EU53.7 B CAPITAL SHORTFALL AFTER TAX IMPACT
- *BANKIA STRESS TEST SHORTFALL AFTER TAX EFFECT IS EU24.74 BLN
- *SANTANDER, BBVA, CAIXABANK, KUTXA PASS STRESS TEST :SAN SM
- *SABADELL, BANKINTER, UNICAJA PASS STRESS TEST :SAN SM, BBVA SM
The discrete needs are: Bankia: 24.7; Catalunya Caixa: 10.8; Novagalicia 7.2; Banco de Valencia: 3.5; Banco Popular 3.2; Banco Mare Nostrum: 2.2
The "mañana" approach to fiscal management, that Spain is known for, presented what is generally perceived as overly optimistic growth forecasts for 2013 and lacked details on structural reform resulted in another risk off session. As a result, Spanish stocks continued to underperform (IBEX seen lower by over 5% on the week), with 10y bond yield spread wider by around 12bps as market participants adjusted to higher risk premia. The state is due to sell 2s and 5s next week, which may also have contributed to higher yields. As a reminder, Moody’s review on Spain is set to end today, however there is a chance that the ratings agency may extend the review for another couple of months or wait until the stress test results are published to make an announcement. In other news, according to sources, Greece could return to its European partners for a Spanish-style rescue of its banking sector, as the country is looking to ease the burden via another writedown of its debts or a strong recapitalisation of its banks (no official response as yet). Going forward, the second half of the session sees the release of the latest PCE data, as well as the Chicago PMI report for the month of September.