Today’s big event was Italy's 10% auction. Buyers can’t ignore yield, and we suspect many were “encouraged” to participate. But a decent Italy auction doesn't change the brutal facts. Electoral fall-out blankets the Euro battlefield, but it was decisions made years ago that have brought us to this blasted heath. Markets are caught in... Stalemate. On one side you have the disbelief on the Italy election (although why markets are surprised we cannot fathom) and all that entails about rising uncertainty on the Euro. On the other is the fact buyers need to invest. From there it becomes a debate about whether the Italy election was just another minor stumble that can be glossed over, or is it part of a more significant fundamental shift? We suspect market fears, uncertainty, and the global fundamentals will likely see the Euro crisis reveal itself again in four distinct ways in coming months.
- Italy sold EUR 6.5bln in 5y and 10y BTPs this morning, solid b/c and competitive yields, especially when considering the uncertain political situation in Italy.
- Moody's also said that Italian election is indirectly credit negative for other pressured EU sovereigns.
- Fears rise that ECB plan has a weakness as the strings in the Eurozone bond buying programme may be its frailty.
- Wal-Mart's Sales Problem—And America's (WSJ)
- Investors fret that Italy may undermine ECB backstop (Reuters)
- Monti Government Mulls Delaying Monte Paschi Bailout (BBG)
- Norway Faces Liquidity Shock in Record Redemption (BBG)
- ECB's Praet Says Accommodative Policy Could Lose Effectiveness (BBG)
- EU Chiefs Tell Italy There’s No Alternative to Austerity (BBG)
- New Spate of Acrimony in congress As Cuts Loom (WSJ)
- BOE's Tucker hints at radical growth moves (FT)
- Kuroda Seen Getting DPJ Vote for BOJ, Iwata May Be Opposed (BBG)
- Russian Banks Look to Yuan Bond Market (WSJ)
- Dagong warns about rising debt (China Daily)
- Italy Election Impasse Negative for Credit Rating, Moody’s Says (BBG)
...by charging insane amounts for services, such as these...
With little on the event calendar in the overnight session, the main news many were looking forward to was Italy's auction of €2.5 billion in 5 and €4 billion in 10 year paper, to see just how big the fallout from the Hung Parliament election was in the primary market. As SocGen explained ahead of the auction: "The target of Italy's 2017 and 2023 BTP auction today is a maximum EUR6.5bn, but in order to get to that tidy amount the Tesoro may be forced to offer a hefty mark-up in yield to compensate investors for the extra risk. Note that Italian 6-month bills were marked up at yesterday's sale from 0.731% to 1.237%. Who knows what premium investors will be asking for today for paper with the kind of duration that is not covered by the ECB OMT (should that be activated)? Will Italian institutions, already long BTPs relative to overall asset size, be forced to hoover up most of the supply?" The outcome was a successful auction which, however, as expected saw yields spike with the 4 year paper pricing at 3.59% compared to 2.95% before, while the 10 Year paper priced some 60 bps wider to the 4.17% in January, yielding 4.83%. The result was a brief dip in Italian OTR BTP yield, which have since retraced all gains and are once again trading in the 4.90% range on their way to 5%+ as JPM forecast yesterday. And as expected, talk promptly emerged that the auction was carried by "two large domestic buyers" in other words, the two big local banks merely levered up on Italian paper hoping furiously that they are not the next MF Global.
This is the second of three articles on the suppression of gold. In the first article we showed that, under mainstream economic theory, the suppression of the gold market is not a conspiracy theory, but a logical necessity, a logical outcome. This second article will show how that suppression takes place, and potentially how to protect ourselves from that manipulation.
In the final part of History Channel's four-part series (Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 here) we see how these five men - John D. Rockefeller, Cornelius Vanderbilt, Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford and J.P. Morgan - led the way from Civil War to the Great Depression and through to World War I. Whether for better or worse; for richer or poorer, in ethical and societal sickness or health, railroads, oil, steel and electricity had all been harnessed in less than 50 years, but the face of America was changing and would never be the same.
By 1789, a lot of French people were starving. Their economy had long since deteriorated into a weak, pitiful shell. Decades of unsustainable spending had left the French treasury depleted. The currency was being rapidly debased. Food was scarce, and expensive. Perhaps most famously, though, the French monarchy was dangerously out of touch with reality, historically enshrined with the quip, “Let them eat cake.” Along the way, the government tried an experiment: issuing a form of paper money. It didn’t matter to the French politicians that every previous experiment with paper money in history had been an absolute disaster. The Bourbon monarchy paid the price for it, eventually losing their heads in a 1793 execution. History shows there are always consequences to entrusting a paper money supply to a tiny handful of men. The French experiment is but one example. Our modern fiat experiment will be another.
The sequestration bullshit is driving TrimTabs' CEO Charles Biderman nuts - and rightly so. As we showed recently, the actual scale of the earth-shattering cuts, while not insignificant, are small and if the shills on TV preaching the end of the world from sequestration did the math they would see it is a mere 6% drop in non-entitlement government spending that is set to destroy the economy. Biderman exclaims, "what is apparent to me is that our government is becoming very good at the big lie," as they exaggerate any and everything to their own needs. It is obvious, he adds, "that our government is deeply committed to not reducing the size of government, and is willing to outright lie," but he saves the epic rant that we come to expect for Paul Krugman. Just as Irving Fisher's infamous 1929 pre-crash call that equities have reached a permanently high plateau; Biderman suggests Krugman will be remembered as erroneously claiming that 'deficits don't matter', as he reminds us of Emperor Caracella's 268AD reign of insidious taxation and currency debasement that ended in 1000% inflation and the end of the Roman Empire. Well worth the price of admission...
Bernanke's Tools: "Belts, Suspenders... Two Pairs Of Suspenders" And Other Senate Testimony HighlightsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 02/26/2013 21:20 -0400
Ben Bernanke: "In terms of exiting from our balance sheet, we have put out -- a couple of years ago we put out a plan; we have a set of tools. I think we have belts, suspenders -- two pairs of suspenders. We have different ways that we can do it."
There are many complexities in the socio-economic structures that the nations (and corporations) of the world have used (and abused) over the years. Volumes have been written to explain the intricacies of Capitalism, Fascism, Communism, and Socialism; and how these impact various corporations from Iran to Greece to Australia. However, in the interest of brevity, the following infographic - utilizing nothing more than two cows (which perhaps should now be horses, considering their inflationary displacement capacity for firms like IKEA and Nestle) to provide everything you need to know about ecomoomics.
Russia is back. President Vladimir Putin wants the world to acknowledge that Russia remains a global power. He is making his stand in Syria. The Russians are troubled by what they see as a growing trend among the Western Powers to remove disapproved administrations in other sovereign countries and a program to isolate Russia. Again, Russia is seeing Washington’s hand in Syria in the conflict with Iran. The Russians are backing their determination to block another regime change by positioning and manning an advanced air defense system in what is becoming the Middle East casino. Putin is betting that NATO will not risk in Syria the cost that an air operation similar to what was employed over Libya will impose. Just in case Russia’s determination is disregarded and Putin’s bluff is called, Surface to surface Iskander missiles have been positioned along the Jordanian and Turkish frontiers. Putin is certain that he is holding the winning hand in this very high stakes poker game. When the Turks and U.S see that there is little chance of removing Al-Assad, they will have no option other than to negotiate a settlement with him; and that would involve Russia as the protector and the mediator.
For all the groundless, starry-eyed optimism permeating Europe's bureaucratic corridors of the fading oligarchy these days (because this time is not like every other time that, too, was different), there has always existed one sure, never-fail antidote: Germany, which without fail has managed to ground Europe any time its delusion of grandure hit escape velocity. Sure enough, while all the statist soothsayers who threatened with armageddon if the outcome of the Italian elections happened to be precisely the one that transpired, were stuck in backpedal mode, and scrambling to calm nerves that all shall be well after all, one person who refuses to play by the script is Lars Feld, member of panel of economic advisers to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who in an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung tomorrow says the euro crisis is to return shortly and "with a vengeance" as capital loss will lead to higher risk premiums for Italy’s interest rates.
While China depends on only one nation for 15% or more of its exports (US 17.3%), Bloomberg's Michael McDonough notes that an incredible 35 nations depend of China for at least 15% of the exports; up from just 4 in 2001. Most are emerging markets or major commodity producers with the shift being driven by China's demand for raw materials, fueled by its investment-led growth model and the stimulus package following the global financial crisis. This gross dependence leaves the world's economy increasingly susceptible to shifts in the Chinese business cycle - most notably Australia which relies on China for a massive 30% of its export demand. This is almost double the next largest developed nation of Japan (which relies on China for 18.5% of its exports) though tensions between the two nations has led to an almost 10% decline in Chinese imports of Japanese goods since September. As we have noted, China has become a key source of FDI in Africa in recent years and 12 of the 20 most-China-dependent economies are from that continent; but as China attempts to transition from investment toward consumption, demand for commodities may slow and downside risk grows for these dependent commodity-producing nations.