Diapason's Sean Corrigan does a succinct review of how the "multi-trillion" ponzi has progressed, where we are now (a point where even intellectually challenged anchors on CNBC gasp in wonder that entire countries are failing merely to save a few not so good bankers), and where we are headed: "under the rules of this multi-trillion
shell game, the sovereigns guarantee the ECB which funds the banks which
buy the government debt which provides for everyone else's guarantees." All in all, nothing that should surprise our readers (as should none of the things that are "suddenly" headline news), but still one of the better summaries of how and why we are now at a point where even the second biggest economy in the world (the EU) is unable to stop the unraveling. It is only fitting that America is today demonstrating to the world the apogee of its consumerist orgy, even as the austerity belt is tightening for yet more hundreds of millions of people all across the world, and where resentment toward America is once again reaching unprecedented levels. At this point it is just a matter of time before said unraveling crosses the Atlantic. One year from today the media will be running amused retrospectives how a deranged bubble chasing hedge fund world was buying NFLX and AMZN at triple and quadruple digit forward multiples. But until then the insanity has just a little longer left to run.
Since once again we may have been a little too far ahead of the curve in demonstrating just who the biggest beneficiaries of the Irish taxpayer funded bailout are, we would like to repost an analysis from over a month ago presenting the key bondholders in Anglo Irish bank, who incidentally happen to be the cross-holders across most of the Irish capital structure, and which banks will likely be next in line for the bailout wagon. Not surprisingly, there are some names here (especially one) which Zero Hedge readers are all too familiar with.
"Black Friday" Market Volume Lower Than 2009 Christmas Eve, Run Rating Below Half Of Last ThanksgivingSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 11/26/2010 - 11:44
At last check, MVOL E (total volume of shares on all US exchanges) was running at 3.8 billion shares, putting it on a run rate to close at below half of last Thanksgiving, and in contention for the lowest volume day of 2009: Christmas Eve, when just under 6 billion shares traded. There is nobody trading, and there is no liquidity. The 4 people who are in front of a terminal better pray that Waddell and Reed does not decide to sell a block of ES right about now.
All those who may have had the displeasure of trading CDS in late 2008, just after Lehman collapsed, will recall that the most perplexing phenomenon was the massive surge of US IG spreads, coupled with the very modest move out of Europe. How the market back then was so retarded not to realize that the US banking system is just a fraction of the European one, and thus the carnage that would follow in Europe should all hell break loose in the US would be orders of magnitude worse, is merely an indication of just how stupid most market participants are. Yet looking at the chart below shows that after years of denial, finally credit traders are realizing the sad truth: namely that the European financial system is far more risky than the American one. After having traded tighter pretty much since inception, the US IG index went tighter to iTRAXX Europe for the first time in May, when it became obvious that the best Europe can hope for is a delay of the inevitable. Yet even back then the widest the now positive spread differential hit was 14 bps. Enter November 26, and a new all time wide of about 16+ bps. In other words, the incipient risk of the "safest" of European names is now the widest it has been to comparable US risk. We expect iTRAXX to continue surging ever wider as the European implosion, after well over two years of denial, is finally accepted by all. Of course, just like in the inverse case, should Europe collapse, the US will follow shortly, as the great globalization experiment ends, and America's ability to fund an endless current account deficit, the Sino-US decoupling, and the myth that Keynesianism is in any way viable ends with a massive thud.
Once Spain tumbles, the costs of bail-outs will become astronomical and overwhelm the cohesion of the Euro-zone. Things will get out of control quickly if only for the unavoidable bank runs (depositors in weak countries withdrawing their Euro deposits before a mandatory exchange into a new currency). Government “guarantees” of deposits will become worthless once the government is bankrupt, too (as seen in Ireland). Equity investors have an admirable lightheartedness amidst an outlook which can only be described as dire. Do they understand they are the last asset class to get paid back? When a company cannot pay back its debt, the equity is usually worthless. The same applies on a national level. Before a country goes bankrupt, it will apprehend all available profits (if any) and funds at companies in its jurisdiction. Surely some profits can be stashed away at foreign subsidies, but which investors will rely on those when pictures of rioting masses are dominating the headlines?
As "Proper Venue" Becomes The Chief Senior Debt Restructuring Topic, Look For Populist Hatred To Shift To The World's Army Of LawyersSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 11/26/2010 - 10:36
The biggest news of the day is that in what has to be one of the most inexplicable moves by the financial oligarchy, the Irish Times reports that EU and IMF missions in Dublin are looking at ways to impair Senior bondholders in Ireland - the first time such a move is even being considered. Whether this will actually occur is open to much debate as banker rhetoric of guaranteed "end of the world" intensifies as the possibility of reduced year end bonuses (particularly for European banks) becomes all too real, and the time will come to revert to the trusty old stand-by threat that deep down bankers are just much smarter than all of us, and if they don't get their way the apocalypse is sure to follow. Yet even assuming this proposal passes, the next (long overdue) question is just how will such an impairment take place? After all, we have progressed over 2 years in the depressionary crisis without one institution being forced to restructure its balance sheet in an out of court fashion. And as Paul Mason of the BBC summarizes it best, the real unknown will be one of "proper venue" - just under whose jurisdiction will such a restructuring occur? When one considers the complete cllusterfuck of a foreign bank operating out of Dublin, whose senior debt holders are tens of international banks, most of which based in various European countries, a problem further compounded by the fact that Irish law has no relevant provisions for impairment, just what is correct jurisdiction? If Europe relents and banks are at least on paper forced to take haircuts, what will be the last bastion before an all out domino collapse? Why millions of lawyers of course.
Chinese Exchanges Hike Margins On Virtually All Commodities In (Temporary) Attempt To Cool Surging PricesSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 11/26/2010 - 01:01
Just because the CME's hikes in all sorts of commodity margins were perfectly innocent and only had to do with "risk management" functions, we read with little surprise that China's Dalian Commodity and Shanghai Futures Exchanges are now also in the indirect price suppression, pardon, risk management business. Earlier reports confirm that both exchanges will hike margins on virtually every single commodity traded in China. This is likely the last stop gap measure before the central bank is forced to implement a rate hike and cool already near record inflation. As the CME's failed attempts to kill silver and gold price appreciation using margin pressure have so far done very little, we expect that the short-term impact of this move will wear off within a weak, at which point prices will resume their upward climb with a vengeance.
CLSA's Chris Wood has released his latest outlook on the world is out, and it is getting progressively gloomy: when even a banker says that he is "aghast" at the "grotesque" extent to which senior creditors are being bailed out left and right in Europe, one has to stop and wonder. Judging by the frequency of protests, even the most rudimentary levels of European society seem to be realizing that with each passing day it is they that are funding decades of greed and foolish, not to mention wrong, decision making on behalf of the kleptoklass. And as such each rescued country is one more straw on the camel's back of public patience, which will probably run out just as, or after, Spain is rescued, which should be within a few weeks, the reprieve for Europe's fantastically intertwined cross creditors is shortly running out. In terms of trades, Wood recommends shorting Europe with an emphasis on Spain. On the other hand, his pro Asian bias is still here, although with ever louder rumors of tightening out of China, even that has been curbed somewhat. Looking into 2011, the CLSA strategist sees increasing signs of weakness in the US, borne out of the muni space. Of course, should senior bondholders in Europe be impaired, the weakness will come far sooner due to the extremely interconnected nature of global financial balance sheet where a writedown for one will promptly trickle down via a domino-like effect into massive haircuts for all.
The fact that looking at market performance on a nominal basis (i.e., unadjusted for the decline in purchasing power, or the increase in hard asset prices) is foolish, has recently been understood by even some of the most garish financial tabloids. That said, Ben Bernanke could not be happier if the general public remained broadly dumb about the so-called Zimbabwe phenomenon: i.e. when the stock market goes up by a billion percent, yet purchasing power drops by a trillion. Which is why today we present a visual projection by Sean Corrigan of Diapason Securities, which looks at the S&P on a trade weighted basis, and which looks at the various market cycles not so much from a stock/PE boom-bust basis, but from the view of monetary strength of the underlying currency backing the US stock market, namely the dollar. Corrigan says: "Remember that it never does to get carried away by nominal prices, meaning one should always try to adjust for either or both of currency changes and alterations in the purchasing power of the cash in which an asset is quotes. On that first reckoning, asll you triskaidekaphobes might want to review the prospects for the S&P500, where a 50% loss of dollar-adjusted value over the next year or two, would just be neurologically exact for words." Why 50%? As the chart below shows, a 50% real retracement in stock prices is precisely where the downward channel of the lower lows of the S&P would take us. What that wouold mean is that by October 2012, the S&P will hit approximately a 20 year low. Considering all the monetary fornication that the chairman has embarked on vis-a-vis the middle class and the US currency, we will be lucky if in 2 years the market IS down just 50% adjusted for the amount of KY poured down (or as the case may be, up) the appropriate middle class orifice.
RANsquawk Thanksgiving Update - Stocks, Bonds, FX etc. – 25/11/10
Europe Begins Push To Ban HFT: Calls "Quote Stuffing" Market Abuse, Dark Pools "Tragic Error", And "Explicitly Rules Out...Submitted by Tyler Durden on 11/25/2010 - 14:07
The push back against the HFT market-propping travesty is finally starting to gain steam...but for now only in Europe. After all, the Fed realizes all too well that it needs all the resources it can get in its bid (no pun intended) to keep stocks as artificially high as possible, of which the HFT upward biased feedback loop is a critical one (the PD POMO monetization circuit being a second one... and when both fail, there is always the Citadel dark pool direct purchasing channel). Reuters reports thet "Britain and France flagged on Thursday a looming crackdown on ultra-fast share trading that featured in May's brief "flash crash" freefall on Wall Street, alarming regulators and investors globally. French Economy Minister Christine Lagarde said a
form of computerized trading known as high-frequency trading (HFT) may
need banning in some cases." Lagarde, who has recently shown a willingness to be seen as not part of the Bernanke mold, told reporters that her "natural tendency would be at least to
regulate, to oversee it very strictly and after a cost-benefit analysis
of these methods, maybe to forbid it." Elsewhere, a European Parliament November 16 report on MiFID "Calls for the practice of ‘layering’ or ‘quote stuffing’ to be explicitly defined as market abuse." This is something Zero Hedge has been demanding for about a year now, and obviously something that the corrupt regulators at the SEC, headed by the galactically incompetent Mary Schapiro continue to pretend does not exist. Lastly, in an attempt to make the life of the NYSE easier, whose primary source of revenue, now that Chinese IPOs have been uncovered to be a pathological, unauditable scam, has collapsed, the target has now shifted to dark pools: "The proliferation of dark pools was a tragic error and I would like us to come back to it" according to Bank of France Governro Christian Noyer. The latest onslaught against dark pools is not at all surprising: after all the NYSE is pushing hard to preserve some semblance of relevance (and EPS) as it is now attempting to create "a global network of as many as 40 "liquidity hubs" in data centers around the world." All in all, this smells like the role of HFT right here in our own back yard is about to get seriously curbed. Add the fact that Prett Bharara is about to open at least one criminal case against a domestic HFT outfit, and the robotic permabid behind the market may soon be very, very scarce.
Nigel Farage To European Parliament: "The Euro Game Is Up... Just Who The Hell Do You Think You Are? You Are Very Dangerous People"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 11/25/2010 - 13:07
Famous euroskeptic Nigel Farage (as seen previously here), in just under 4 brief minutes tells more truth about the entire European experiment than all European bankers, commissioners, and politicians have done in the past decade. As we have already said pretty much all of this before, we present it without commentary: "Good morning Mr. van Rompuy, you've been in office for one year, and in that time the whole edifice is beginning to crumble, there's chaos, the money's running out, I should thank you - you should perhaps be the pinup boy of the euroskeptic movement. But just look around this chamber this morning, look at these faces, look at the fear, look at the anger. Poor Barroso here looks like he's seen a ghost. They're beginning to understand that the game is up. And yet in their desperation to preserve their dream, they want to remove any remaining traces of democracy from the system. And it's pretty clear that none of you have learned anything. When you yourself Mr. van Rompuy say that the euro has brought us stability, I supposed I could applaud you for having a sense of humor, but isn't this really just the bunker [or banker?] mentality. Your fanaticism is out in the open. You talk about the fact that it was a lie to believe that the nation state could exist in the 21st century globalized world. Well, that may be true in the case of Belgium who haven't had a government for 6 months, but for the rest of us, right across every member state in this union, increasingly people are saying, "We don't want that flag, we don't want the anthem, we don't want this political class, we want the whole thing consigned to the dustbin of history." We had the Greek tragedy earlier on this year, and now we have the situation in Ireland. I know that the stupidity and greed of Irish politicians has a lot to do with this: they should never, ever have joined the euro. They suffered with low interest rates, a false boom and a massive bust. But look at your response to them: what they are being told as their government is collapsing is that it would be inappropriate for them to have a general election. In fact commissioner Rehn here said they had to agree to a budget first before they are allowed to have a general election. Just who the hell do you think you people are. You are very, very dangerous people indeed: your obsession with creating this European state means that you are happy to destroy democracy, you appear to be happy with millions and millions of people to be unemployed and to be poor. Untold millions will suffer so that your euro dream can continue. Well it won't work, cause its Portugal next with their debt levels of 325% of GDP they are the next ones on the list, and after that I suspect it will be Spain, and the bailout for Spain will be 7 times the size of Ireland, and at that moment all the bailout money will is gone - there won't be any more. But it's even more serious than economics, because if you rob people of their identity, if you rob them of their democracy, then all they are left with is nationalism and violence. I can only hope and pray that the euro project is destroyed by the markets before that really happens."
A few weeks ago, Hitler realized he was in deep doodoo when the fraudclosure scandal was refusing to go away. Well it still hasn't, although for the time being it has been brushed under the carpet, courtesy of Europe which once again dominates the airwaves with its sad existence. Today, a far more industrious Hitler presents his plan to save Ireland. Oddly enough, it just may work.
Goldman's Thomas Stolper joins Erik Nielsen with an updated, and painfully bullish, Euro forecast: "our baseline is that these risks will not escalate much further." As Stolper is the guy who has successfully top.ticked.every.single.move in FX, it is time to call the undertaker (the profit margins on a coffin the size of Europe will be sufficiently high no matter the input cost of lumber). Not surprisingly then Stolper follows up: "we believe EUR/$ remains very much on track for the projected trajectory of 1.40 in 3mths as well as 1.50 and 1.55 in 6 and 12 months." Recall that Stolper came out with his upward revised EURUSD forecast just before the pair topped out in the low 1.40s (which was shortly after he scrapped his 1.15 target just after the eurozone stopped its implosion last time around after the Stress Test lie and QE2 rumors started). In other words, we just doubled down on our bet that John Taylor is once again spot on. What is unsaid here is that Goldman expects the world to start pricing in QE3 imminently, and punish the USD: "one question we face very often is about the viability of Eurozone
growth with EUR/$ at 1.55. Our answer is that we really believe in broad
USD weakness." At the end of the day, as we have claimed for over a year, the key dynamic is between the race of USD and EUR to devaluation: on one hand via outright currency printing and on the other via a continental disintegration. The one thing that many are forgetting, is that the faster a European crisis unwinds, the bigger the European banks' funding needs for dollars due to record FX asset-liability mismatch (and now, due to the dollar serving as a carry funding currency). In other words, the worse Europe gets, the doubly-faster that the Fed will need to print reserves to keep the dollar low. All that is a long-winded way to say that we anticipate Stolper will revise his EURUSD forecast lower within a month, once Goldman's ex-prop-now-"client facing" desks have accumulated enough USD positions.
Who would have thought a little pre-thankgsiving truth that the EFSF is missing a zero would set off such a firestorm of protest. From Die Welt (google translated): "The EU Commission wants to double the rescue to calm the markets. But so far, the federal government off against the proposal."