- Irish parliament to vote on EU/IMF bailout (Reuters)
- China Consumers Signal Deepest Inflation Concern Since 1999 in PBOC Survey (Bloomberg)
- Japan Confidence Deteriorates for First Time Since Crisis (Bloomberg)
- Japan Cuts Corporation Tax in Growth Bid (FT)
- U.S. at Risk of Rare Earths Supply Disruption (Reuters)
- US SEC's ABS Quandary Still Pending Business (Market News)
- George Soros Op-Ed: Europe should rescue banks before states (FT)
- The countless exemptions, credits and deductions cost the government more than $1 trillion annually in foregone revenue. It's time for an overhaul. (LA Times)
- Germany Stiffens Opposition to Bigger Bailout in ECB Face-Off (Bloomberg)
Mark Zuckerberg Named Time 2010 Person Of The Year, Beats Out Assange And Tea Party, Time Magazine About To Be DDOSed Into OblivionSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 12/15/2010 08:57 -0400
Must Watch: Stockman Explains To Ratigan How In Thirty Years America Spent Enough Debt To LBO Itself, And Ended Up BankruptSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 12/14/2010 20:18 -0400
After recently debunking the economic "recovery's" flagrantly misrepresented employment data, the OMB's David Stockman makes a third appearance in as many months (previously here and here), this time on Dylan Ratigan. And as always, it is a must see: key soundbite: "We have had a Fed engineered serial bubble, that has created the appearance of wealth, that has caused people to consume beyond their means through borrowing, and that has flushed the income and wealth of our society up to the top, as a result of the Fed turning the financial markets into a casino. These are pure casinos, they are not capital markets, they are not adding to the productive capacity of our economy, they simply are a bunch of robots trading with each other by the millisecond as a result of the Fed giving them zero cost overnight money, and giving them all kinds of hand signals on what to front-run." It is almost as if Stockman reads Zero Hedge... And he continues: "The Fed is destroying prosperity by funding demand that we can't support with earnings and productions, causing massive current accounts deficits and the flow of funds overseas and the build up in China, OPEC and Korea of massive dollar reserves which is a totally unsustainable, unsupportable system, and we are coming near the edge of where that can continue to remain stable." Ironically, Stockman is spot one when he notes that America incurred enough debt to have effectively LBOed itself. The net result, as every PE principal knows all too well, is a husk of an entity, whose most valuable assets have been bled dry. At this point, the last straw for America will be the inevitable rise in interest rates (at some point over the next five years, the Fed and Treasury will have to sell a combined $5 trillion in debt - that alone will destroy the supply/demand equilibrium and send rates surging) which will result in either debt repudiation or outright bankruptcy. The only good outcome is that the great experiment of LBOing America by the kleptocratic elite is coming to its sad conclusion.
A summary of all the key events overnight that are shaping market today. Of note, a particularly weak 3M €500 million Bill auction in Portugal which came at 3.403%, up 159 from prior, with a lower bid to cover: 1.9x vs 2.2x before.
RANsquawk European Morning Briefing - Stocks, Bonds, FX etc. – 15/12/10
EURUSD whoosh. Somehow the fact that Europe is insolvent is once again lost on the markets who need Moody's to remind them. Let's see how the upcoming Spanish auction will fare under these circumstances. From Moody's:"Moody's Investors Service has today placed Spain's Aa1 local and foreign currency government bond ratings on review for possible downgrade. The main triggers for placing the rating on review for possible downgrade are: (1) Spain's vulnerability to funding stress given its high refinancing needs in 2011. This vulnerability has recently been amplified by fragile market confidence. (2) A potential further increase in the public debt ratio should the cost of bank recapitalisation prove to be higher than expected so far, whether to meet higher-than-expected asset impairments or simply to retain the confidence of the wholesale markets. (3) Increased concerns over the ability of the Spanish government to achieve the required sustainable and structural improvement in general government finances given the limits of central government control over the regional governments' finances."
In what is increasingly shaping up to be a showdown of epic proportions, the brand new chair of the Monetary Policy Subcommittee, Ron Paul, whose sole purpose in life for the past 20 years has been putting the Federal Reserve out to pasture, and returning to the gold standard, will soon spar with none other, than his, and every middle-class American's nemesis, the Chairman. And it could soon get even messier. In an interview with Fortune magazine's Nin-Hai Tseng, not only does the Texas doctor make it all too clear that he once again has presidential ambitions, but when asked whether he wants to end the Fed, gives the following brilliant reply: "Well, I don't expect to. The Fed's going to end itself when they destroy the system. So yes I would end the Fed but I would do it gradually and have a transition." Good luck Ron. However, there will be no gradual transition. If anything, it will be protracted, very much involuntary, and quite likely violent, as it would mark the end of a century-long scheme to transfer countless ounces (no pun intended) of tangible wealth to the ruling oligarchy in exchange for worthless and infinitely dilutable linen.
If you can't beat them, might as well get paid by them. Such were the prevailing thoughts in the head of New York Fed veteran Theo Lubke, who after 15 years at Liberty 33, most recently as head of reform efforts in the private derivative market, famous due to its size of roughly €583 trillion which may or may not take the financial system down with it during the next market meltdown. And so, after realizing the derivatives reform is impossible, and further realizing that getting paid a grossly exaggerated government salary for what is basically a lobby job, Lubke has instead decided to get paid an even more exorbitant amount by everyone favorite monopolistic bloodsucking parasite. What is most ironic is that during an ISDA conference in Beijing in April 2009, Ludke said: “It is simply unacceptable in today’s environment that the design and structure of the OTC derivatives market can be controlled by a handful of large dealers.” Oh well - an average government salary is $119,982, an average Goldman Sachs salary is about 4 times greater, an infinite amount of hypocrisy - priceless. For everything else there is the taxpayer bailout debit card.
In One Day, Federal Reserve Posts $8 Billion In Unrealized Capital Losses (And Possibly Double That)Submitted by Tyler Durden on 12/14/2010 17:41 -0400
We had highlighted last week that a lot of reversal patterns were in the works for beta assets. A lot of them were not validated by a follow through the next day, with the exception of precious metals. Still, the picture remains the same: if you buy equities here you buy a market that rallied 25% since July 1, with bullish sentiment at its highest since the Nasdaq bubble, trading anemic volume on the uptick, with the 10-day NYSE TRIN at its lowest since before the 1987 crash, and a put-call ratio telling you no long is hedged. With that in mind some will tell me that I am going to miss an 8% move or something like that. When you start getting worried about missing out on some upside that's exactly when you start thinking like the guy who is going to be left holding the bag. Personally I would gladly miss even 20% to make sure I am not left long when this one bursts. I won't extend too much again into why I think we missed a great opportunity to clean up the system in 2008 and instead set ourselves up for a harsher fall as I fear I might lose my most bullish readers to their brickgame. In short, a lot of the flashing lights technically that we observed last week are still very worrying for the risk-on theme. - Nic Lenoir
Some financial types need some honest introspection about what integrity and decency really mean. Banks should admit it if they were on the brink and needed the bailout—just once, admit it! Taking funding from a Fed acronym is all the proof anyone needs. You’ll find honesty is far less shameful than the alternative. And be thankful to taxpayers and their children for the unwilling generosity—and thank China for those treasury purchases. By all means do God’s work. Tell the truth, and make a client for your clients instead of a profit off your clients. It will go a long way to healing legitimate grievances. Faust showed that even those who bargain with the devil can find redemption.
US Air Force Blocks Internet Access To New York Times, Guardian And 23 Other Website Posting WikiLeaks DocumentsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 12/14/2010 18:25 -0400
Score one more for freedom of speech (and leaking of documents so secret only 3 million people have access to them). We are trying to discover just why the Air Force has resorted to this drastic move (and having hosted a few WikiLeaks docs ourselves, curious to see if we fall in this latest black list).
RANsquawk Market Wrap Up - Stocks, Bonds, FX etc. – 14/12/10
Just like yesterday, shortly before 3 pm the market started selling off, amid substantially higher volume and notably larger block size, indicating that while the melt up during the day was due to the now traditional liquidity-rebate HFT crew (funded ironically in large part by the same Chinese IPOs that pay NYSE bills then promptly spontaneously combust a few months later), the selling was primarily by real money. And while the catalyst for the selloff most certainly was not the FOMC decision, many are wondering just what is it about the close of trading that is forcing a market correction (ignore the Dow: it was materially higher only due to IBM which is majorly skewing the index) at about the time when the ETF rebal trade traditionally pushed stocks higher. According to some, the recent surge in SPY shorts may have something to do with it, due to the distribution of rebalancing estimates ahead of time by brokers. If ETFs are indeed creating a feedback loop that now leads to selling instead of buying, very soon we may see a very unique battle between the two main market momentum vehciles: the HFTs which their upward bias, and ETFs, which may now be a downward pressure vehicle. That particular duel may end up being far more interesting than the endless polemic of whether or not fighting the Fed is worth it. Today, the market closed green by a whisper. Yesterday it was not as successful. Tomorrow may prove to be a very informative tie-breaker.