Yesterday, we did an update of the Greek bank jog, when noting that between €100-€500 million per day was being withdrawn from Greek banks based on Kathimerini reports. 24 hours later the jog has become a trot with the most recent estimate from Reuters now estimated at nearly double: "Combined daily deposit outflows from the major Greek banks have reached 500-800 million euros over the past few days, with the pace picking up as the election draws closer and rising noticeably on Tuesday, two bankers said." This is roughly $1 billion a day in the upper case, and a number that is approaching 0.5% of the entire documented €170 billion (now likely much less) deposit base.
DTCC just released the latest and greatest details on the CDS market's net and gross notional exposure and it makes for fascinating reading. Simplifying considerably, gross notionals somewhat represent activity and net notionals proxy exposure. We see gross IG9 index notionals (the index most at the centre of the JPM debacle) jumped but IG9 tranche gross notionals were steady; but net tranched credit notionals jumped and net untranched fell. This suggests an unwind of a delta-hedged tranche position with considerably more index impact than tranche impact - which smells just like what we think JPM was struggling with (and it appears is far from over). However, there was a huge jump in the number of trades done in the on-the-run index IG18 - last week was the most active of the year by far which fits with the surge in gross notional that we saw - as it would appear (as we noted previously) that the focus is now on using liquid indices to hedge whatever risk remains on JPM's book - which further helps to explain why IG18 has underperformed so much recently relative to HY credit and stocks.
We were wondering how long Europe's insolvent, and very much scorned, banks would take the constant downgrade abuse (or reacquaintance with reality as we like to call it, but that is irrelevant) by the rating agencies without retorting. After all the same organizations that allowed bank "credit analysts" to pretend they did work for years, when they all merely fell in place in some lemming-like procession, patting each other on the back, pocketing record bonus after record bonus and praising groupthink encapsulated by the made up letters AAA, are now largely non-grata first in Europe, and soon, following the imminent downgrade of American banks, in the US as well. It appears that the response is finally coming. Sky News reports that "some of Europe's largest banks are intensifying discussions about a move to reduce their co-operation with the big three credit ratings agencies amid widespread dissatisfaction with their decision-making." After all, when all they do is downgrade, as opposed to the old standby, upgrade, who needs them. In fact, why not just shut their mouths entirely. Sadly, this is precisely what is on the horizon.
In an epic rant, trumping Biderman, UKIP's Nigel Farage appears to have reached the limit of his frustration with his 'peers' in the European Parliament after the Spanish bailout. Rajoy's proclamation that this bailout shows what a success the euro-zone has been, sends Farage over the edge as he sees the Spaniard as just about the most incompetent leader in the whole of Europe (up there with favorites like Van Rompuy and Barroso). The erudite Englishman notes that by any objective criteria "The Euro Has Failed" expanding on the insane farce of Italy funding Spain's banking bailout at a loss (borrowing at 6% to fund a loan at 3% as we discussed here). "This 'genius' deal makes things worse not better" as it merely drives other nations towards needing bailouts themselves and while his socialist colleagues in the room are mumbling and checking their blackberries, he reminds them that Spanish national debt will surge and that 100 billion does not solve the problem, and that if Greece leaves, the ECB is failed, is gone, and to rectify this there will be a cash call from the very same PIIS (Ex-G) that are tumbling towards the abyss. Blood pressure surges as he screams "you couldn't make this up" concluding that "the Euro Titanic has now hit the Iceberg and sadly there simply aren't enough lifeboats."
If we understand the difference between parasitic wealth and real value/wealth creation, we can properly align the tax structure to reality: the tax on authentic wealth creation should be low, to encourage wealth creation and the employment (broad-based wealth creation) generated by legitimate value creation. We must also understand that the Central State now protects and enables parasitic skimming as the primary function of the nation's financial system. Thus the entire financial system is parasitic on the wealth of the nation. Financial parasitic incomes should be taxed at 99%. If Mitt Romney reshuffles assets created by others and skims $100 million, 99% of that parasitic wealth should be returned to the nation via taxes. The parasite still gets to keep $1 million, more than enough to live well but not enough to buy the presidency, the Congress and the regulatory machinery of the Central State.
With the Fed buying up billions of 10 year paper 2 hours ago as we observed earlier, it was only logical that the $4.8 billion gap created by the Fed's desire to monetize would be promptly closed. Sure enough, the $21 billion 10 Year reopening just priced at a new all time record yield of 1.622%, but also priced well inside the When Issued which had been trading at 1.635%: an indication of major pent up demand heading into the auction. The Bid To Cover rose from April's 2.90 to 3.06, but the most notable number was the drop in the Primary Dealer take down which only accounted for 37.2% of the auction, the lowest since December, while Indirects and Directs received 42.0% and 20.8%, the direct number being the highest since August 2011, and only the third highest in history. Pimco's fingerprints are all over this. And maybe China's as well: recall it is now a Direct bidder too, and can bypass the Primary Dealers. All in all, a scorcher of an auction. Then again, when considering the same-day round trip already observed, perhaps this is hardly too surprising.
SocGen's Albert Edwards reflects that we have a lot to learn from Japan's Lost Decade as a prequel to the current chaos the global macro-economy is undergoing. Drawing on work by Peter Tasker, Edwards notes the similar-to-current-Euro-thinking consensus view in Japan was that their banks were at the center of the economic woes and hence bank recaps were the turning point. Critically Tasker and Edwards disagreed, as "although the banking sector was indeed damaging the economy via a credit crunch, the banks were not the problem but a symptom of the problem: the true problem was deflation and the lack of stimulative policies. Indeed, Japanese banks did not start underperforming the overall market until 1997 as they became the victims of the economic weakness; they were not the origin of that malaise. And so it is in the eurozone. The Spanish banking sector is a victim of deflationary policies enacted at the behest of German economic orthodoxy. A bailout will solve nothing."
A month after the US Treasury sold $24 billion in 10 Year bonds at what was then a record low yield of 1.86%, the US government once again approaches that mysterious primary dealer-repo nexus with the latest offer US banks can't refuse: a $21 billion reopening. What is notable about today's auction is that in about 40 minutes, the auction will price at a record low yield of just about 1.63%, or 23 bps lower to the last record yield. So far so good: after all the global economy is once again collapsing (but don't look at US stocks for validation: they only indicate whatever Brian Sack wants them to indicate). Where things get patently surreal, however, is when one takes a look at today's POMO operation conducted by the Fed (remember those). Because as can be seen on the table below from the NY Fed, at 11 am today, so precisely 2 hours before when the Treasury will complete its own sale, bought $4.8 billion of... wait for it... 10 Year bonds.
The crony capitalist show must go on: those bribed by Jamie Dimon are about to ask question of the same person. That this theatrical hearing will be a farce is by now well known by absolutely everyone, as confirmed by the rumor that late last night someone ordered 22 copies of "Credit Default Swaps for Bought and Paid For Senatorial Muppet Idiots" from Amazon.com. In the off chance Dimon slips and does say something of significance, here is your chance to follow the next 2 hours live. Everyone else will be.
Shifting away from the theatrical travesty for a moment, we move to the other such travesty: Europe, where while nothing has been fixed, despite what the BIS is trying to do with the EURUSD which is now up 100 pips in a straight line since the Dimon testimony started, we find that while the world is concerned about Greek elections, the real gamechanger may be the old and known one: Greek cash, or the lack thereof, and more specifically yet another bailout for the country. RTE reports that as of today Greece has about €2 billion in cash left, pro forma for the recent cliffhanger cash infusion from Europe which almost did not come, which is expected to last the country for just about one more month.
While a welcome development (and probably even more welcome on the other side of the Atlantic) it doesn’t make up for the fact that the explosive price increases during the boom years were never included. And it isn’t just real estate — equities was another market that massively inflated without being counted in official inflation statistics. It would have been simple at the time to calculate the effective inflation rate with these components included. A wiser economist than Greenspan might have at least paid attention to such information and tightened monetary policy to prevent the incipient bubbles from overheating. Of course, with inflation statistics calculated in the way they are (price changes to an overall basket of retail goods) there will always be a fight over what to include and what not to include. A better approach is to include everything.
Since the all-powerful JPMorgan CIO began talking at 10ET, markets have levitated. EURUSD and WTI stand out as the most impressive turnarounds but the Too-Big-To-Fails are all rallying in sync on the basis, we assume, that they have once again been proven impregnable. It seems very clear that correlation is being used to levitate markets here as the instantaneous jump in CONTEXT dragging stocks higher just as Dimon began to speak is so very reminiscent of the magical fairy that decided to buy Facebook shares as Gorman began his interview on CNBC last week. Maybe we should have Jamie speak every morning - the New QE?
After Greece, Ireland, Portugal, and Spain, we just got domino #5. They are falling real fast now:
CYPRUS LIKELY TO HAVE TO SUPPORT ONE OF ITS BANKS, SHIARLY SAYS
CYPRUS GOVERNMENT IN CLOSE CONTACT WITH EU ON BANKS: SHIARLY
CYPRUS'S BANKING SYSTEM AT CRITICAL TURN, SHIARLY SAYS
CYPRUS PREFERS PRIVATE SOLUTION TO EU BAILOUT FOR BANKS:SHIARLY
And now just the fulcrum domino is left. The boot-shaped one.
10Y Italian bond spreads are surging wider intraday as it appears Europe's bond vigilantes (otherwise known as portfolio managers executing some level of due diligence to cover their fiduciary duty) have rotated their attention to Italy. After a few days in a row of Italian bank stock halts, the implicit LTRO-driven relationship between banks and sovereign is snapping 10Y yields above their Aug 2011 crisis peaks - at almost 5 month highs. A 20bps jump from the intraday lows this morning in spreads, underperforming any other European sovereign, seems to reflect our earlier concerns of Italy's lifeline running short. 5Y CDS are also pushing higher - near record wides but do not forget Spain which is also now legging higher in yield and wider in spread after some relief earlier in the day.
It appears that more and more people are finally waking up to the sheer farce that calling a kleptofascist crony capitalist system with socialist overtones because "deficits don't matter", a democracy, has become.