Stress Test

As A Shocking $100 Billion In Glencore Debt Emerges, The Next Lehman Has Arrived

And now the real shocker: there is over US$100bn in gross financial exposure to Glencore. From BofA: "We estimate the financial system's exposure to Glencore at over US$100bn, and believe a significant majority is unsecured. The group's strong reputation meant that the buildup of these exposures went largely without comment. However, the recent widening in GLEN debt spreads indicates the exposure is now coming into investor focus."

Forget The Greek Crisis, Immigration Will Divide Europe Against Itself

Europe has complex immigration rules. But, as the recent influx of refugees and economic migrants has shown, the EU government is able to flex its muscle in an ad hoc fashion in the service of compelling member states to accept the migrants and refugees. Ultimately, however, the imposed "solutions" to the migrant and refugee crisis may be a signal to many members that the EU isn't quite what they thought it was.

Central Banker Urges Lying To The Public About Bank Health

For years, many had mocked both European and US stress tests as futile exercises in boosting investor and public confidence, which instead of being taken seriously repeatedly failed to highlight failing banks such as Dexia, Bankia and all the Greek banks, in the process rendering the exercise a total farce.  The implication of course, is that regulators, thus central bankers, openly lied to the public over and over just to preserve what little confidence in the system has left.  Now we know that this is precisely the policy intent: as Reuters reports citing a paper co-authored by a Bundesbank economist, "banking supervisors should withhold some information when they publish stress test results to prevent both bank runs and excessive risk taking by lenders."

In other words: lie.

Third Time's The Charm? Greece Agrees To Bailout Amid Rampant Skepticism

After what were described as "marathon" negotiations, Greece and its creditors have agreed to the terms of the country’s third bailout program. Although some remain optimistic, the general consensus seems to be that, as Finnish Foreign Minister Timo Soini said over the weekend, "we should just admit that this isn't going to work."

Standard Chartered Profit Collapses, Dividend Halved Amid Commodities Carnage

Standard Chartered’s new CEO Bill Winters thinks the bank is positioned well in "markets which will offer outstanding opportunities for decades to come", and while that may be true, the opportunities in those markets didn’t prove to be all that outstanding in the first half of the year, as the bank’s EM and commodities exposure contributed to a 44% decline in H1 profits and prompted a 50% dividend cut. 

Greek Bank Stocks Crash Again Amid Fresh Signs Of Economic Disintegration

After trading limit-down on Monday when Greek stocks opened for trading for the first time since PM Alexis Tsipras called a referendum, shares of Greek banks once again flirted with the daily 30% loss limit on Tuesday as there were simply no bids for a set of institutions that everyone knows is insolvent. Meanwhile, Kathimerini reports that "the state’s losses from indirect taxes alone in the first couple of weeks of capital controls and the shuttering of banks [amounted to] more than half a billion euros."

Greek Banks Crash Limit Down For Second Day; China And Commodities Rebound; US Futures Slide

After a lukewarm start by the Chinese "market", which had dropped for the past 6 out of 7 days despite ever escalating measures by Beijing to manipulate stocks higher, finally the Shanghai Composite reacted favorably to Chinese micromanagement of stock prices and closed 3.7% higher as Chinese regulators stepped up their latest measures by adjusting rules on short-selling in order to reduce trading frequency and price volatility, resulting in several large brokerages suspending short sell operations. At this pace only buy orders will soon be legal which just may send the farce of what was once a "market" limit up.

Former FDIC Head Sheila Bair Resigns From Parent Of World's Largest Subprime Auto Lender

Just days after Blythe Masters took up her role as Chairman of Santander Consumer - the world's largest subprime auto lenders; former FDIC head Sheila Bair has resigned her position on the board of Banco Santander citing excess "travel" as a reason. One cannot help but wonder if the clash of the titans was too much, if the embrassment of a failed stress test was unbearable, or if Ms. Bair sees the rapidly approach light at the end of the tunnel of subprime lending for what it is... a bigger train that 2008's.

Frontrunning: July 23

  • Greek PM keeps lid on party rebellion to pass bailout vote (Reuters)
  • Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras Remains Popular Despite Tough Bailout Deal (WSJ)
  • Beijing's stock rescue has $800 billion bark, small market bite (Reuters)
  • Capital exodus from China reaches $800bn as crisis deepens (Telegraph)
  • Why Investors Shy Away From China’s $6.4 Trillion Bond Market (WSJ)
  • Oil Rigs Left Idling Turn Caribbean Into Expensive Parking Lot (BBG)
  • Bank of America replaces CFO in management shake-up (Reuters)
  • The Financial Buzz? Pearson to sell Financial Times (Reuters)

Attention Greek Bankers: Bridge In Brooklyn For Sale On The Cheap

If you were a shareholder of a Greek bank, you wouldn’t lose sleep over your relationship with your regulator. In that context, the statement of the 12 July Euro Summit may have come as a shock—particularly the bit about the new program for Greece having to include "the establishment of a buffer of EUR 10 to 25bn for the banking sector in order to address potential bank recapitalisation needs and resolution costs." You could be forgiven for thinking—where did that come from?