Probably not the news those who hopped on the Hilsenrath bandwagon of hope, prayer and bullshit were looking for. From Bloomberg:
- Spain likely to lose market access in near term, and will probably ask for precautionary sovereign bailout MOU “within days,” strategist Harvinder Sian writes in client note.
- ECB can act as agent to EFSF and buy Spanish bonds, lowering yields for Spain; BTPs to benefit by “correlation”
- Due to small size, this backstop would have “no credibility”; excluding risk that Moody’s cuts Spain to junk, ultimately SPGBs and BTPs will head to “double-digit” yields
- Giving ESM banking license is only “high-impact turnaround policy left”; however, Germany likely only to drop opposition to move at close to point of failure for EMU
It also means that those who bought non-local law Spanish bonds are about to be cremated as the PSI rears its ugly head once again. Everyone else who listened to us and bought UK, Swiss and Japanese law near-term bonds, should get taken out at par.
While we were 'trained' in the 70s and 80s on what 'our brain looks like on drugs', it appears we never learned what it looks like when hope is crushed... until today. With Netflix and Radioshack smashed down over 20%, the darlings of momentum, tech, and LBO rumor ping-pong appear to be facing up to a new reality - "this is your portfolio on hope". We can only assume that everyone's favorite newly-standalone investment manager is licking his lips at the 'opportunity'. As a gentle reminder, Radioshack's CDS implies a cumulative 85% probability of default in the next five years (and 27% within a year, and 14% by the holidays).
But, but, but... the housing recovery. Was demand pulled forward? Could it be that warm weather encouraged people to venture out of their igloos? It appears so as new home sales plunge 8.4% MoM on expectations of a rise of 0.7%, days after the already fudged NAR data showed a huge miss in existing home sales as well. This is the first miss since October of last year and the biggest miss of expectations since October 2010. This is the biggest absolute drop since January with the actual number of new homes sold, not annualized, in June was 33,000 - of which a mere 1,000 was in the NorthEast. Median home prices also fell appreciably. Hope.is.fading as we note that of the 33,000 total new houses sold in June, 11,000 have not even been started, and 11,000 are still under construction and the number of homes sold at a price over $750,000 was less than 1,000.
Gary Gensler Explains How CFTC Allowed PFG To Steal $200 MM In Client Funds 8 Months After MF GlobalSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 07/25/2012 10:13 -0400
Former Goldman appartchik Gary Gensler is about to take the stage (again) and explain why the CFTC should exist at all after allowing not only MF Global but a few weeks ago, Peregrine Financial, to steal hundreds of millions in client money without any regulatory supervision at all. All we can say here is: Free Corzine!
Well not really, but it will be someone else's fault of course that there was gambling going on here. There is no way the head of the New York Fed at the time could have possibly known that Barclays was manipulating its Libor rate. Recall: : “Barclays: You know, LIBORs being set too low anyway, but uh, yeah, that-that is correct. Fed person: “Yeah.” Supposedly Geithner is not the Fed person. Anyway, the scheduled topic of today's hearing in the House Financial Services Committee is the annual report of the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) but the hearing seems likely to be dominated by questions about manipulation of LIBOR rate. Watch it live here.
In the last four days much has been made of Swiss and German short-dated bonds moving negative as investors seek the preservationist path of least resistance but perhaps even more critically, the real flight to safety globally has been from Europe to the US. The spread between 10Y US Treasuries and 10Y German Bunds has collapsed the most in over 3 months in the last few days as the world and their pet rabbit jump to front-run Bernanke and seek the safety of the most print-worthy currency in the world. Notably though, 2Y Treasuries are at their cheapest (widest spread relative) to German 2Y since Q3 2007! It appears domestic European capital is flooding into short-dated Bunds and any foreign money is being repatriated back to longer-dated US Treasuries.
With GGB prices, down 53% from post-PSI, plunging to all-time lows (offering Greywolf more opportunities to add to its 'no-brainer' trade) it appears Europe's ever-hopeful self-perpetuating banks are turning tail and realizing that the truth will set them free. In a turnabout from a late May note detailing 'why Greece will not leave the Euro', Credit Suisse now expects a return to some form of local currency for Greece within one year (an event they now assign a probability greater than 50%). The reason for their change of view is the slowness of structural reforms/privatizations and the lack of available capital to bail out the increasing number of distressed euro zone countries. It seems almost impossible for Greece to pull itself out of the contractionary hole it's in without additional support that few are politically able or willing to provide. Expecting another round of PSI - extending to ECB losses - and ending the ridiculous state of affairs that exists currently whereby the euro area is providing funding to Greece to enable them to repay the ECB. Ominously, they note, against the backdrop of the situation in Spain, we believe that such a development in Greece will have a highly negative impact on sentiment, further putting into question the sustainability of the euro area as a whole.
"The global growth picture is, as per our long-term contention, weak and deteriorating, pretty much everywhere – in the US, in the eurozone and in the emerging markets/BRICs.... We in the Global Macro Strategy team still think the market consensus is far too optimistic on policy expectations both in terms of the likelihood of seeing more (timely) fiscal and/or monetary policy assistance (globally), and in terms of any meaningful and/or lasting success of any such policy moves. In particular, we think that the period August through to November (inclusive) represents a major global policy and political vacuum. Based on the reasons set out earlier and also covered in my two prior notes, over the August to November period I am looking for the S&P500 to trade off down from around 1400 to 1100/1000 – in other words, I expect over the next four months to see global equity markets fall by 20% to 25% from current levels and to trade at or below the lows of 2011! US equity markets, along with parts of the EM spectrum, will I think underperform eurozone equity markets, where already very little hope resides. For iTraxx crossover, this equates to a spread wide for 2012 of – in my view – 800/1000bp.... And of course I still see a very clear path to 800 on the S&P500 at some point in 2013/2014, driven by market revulsion against pump-priming money printing central bankers, but this discussion is also for nearer the time."
Gold has pushed back above $1600 this morning (and +2.6% year-to-date) as it appears the Hilsenrath-rumor is sinking in and the day of reckoning printing draws nearer. There was little new in the statement, as we have stated, but its timing and specificity is to be noted though we, like BofAML are more predisposed to expectations of a rate extension next week to mid-2015 followed by NEW QE in September (with a disappointed equity market slump in between that 'enables' NEW QE). The herald cry from every hypocritical CEO and retired banker this morning appears to be "but, but, but the central banks have to do something" - even if they 'know' the economic impact is nil - as pre-emptive omnipotence has always worked before.
It’s funny, I was worried about my Second Amendment rights just a moment ago, but now that the Council On Foreign Relations, a global governance think tank and inbred cesspool of despotic elitism, has explained the situation to me, I suddenly feel at ease… In preparation for the fast approaching UN summit on “international conventional arms trade” in New York, the CFR has published yet another disinformation piece skewing the facts and twisting reality to lull Americans into a state of apathy. Am I surprised that the CFR would rehash the talking points of the UN and declare uninhibited support for their worldwide gun grabbing bid? Of course not. The CFR and the UN are part and parcel of the same nefarious sea monster; each tentacle does its duty to rend sovereign ships asunder. However, such propaganda articles from establishment organizations do give us an opportunity to dissect and annihilate a host of lies and misdirections in one fell swoop. There may not be much sport in pulling apart the CFR’s poorly composed arguments, but, it has to be done…
In Defining Hypocrisy, Weill, Who Led Repeal Of Glass Steagall, Now Says Big Banks Should Be Broken UpSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 07/25/2012 08:18 -0400
Who is Sandy Weill? He is none other than a retired Citigroup Chairman, a former NY Fed Director, and a "philanthropist." He is also the man who lobbied for overturning of Glass Steagall in the last years of the 20th century, whose repeal permitted the merger of Travelers of Citibank, in the process creating Citigroup, the largest of the TBTF banks eventually bailed out by taxpayers. In his memoir Weill brags that he and Republican Senator Phil Gramm joked that it should have been called the Weill-Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. Informally, some dubbed it “the Citigroup Authorization Act.” As The Nation explains, "Weill was instrumental in getting then-President Bill Clinton to sign off on the Republican-sponsored legislation that upended the sensible restraints on finance capital that had worked splendidly since the Great Depression." Of course, by overturning Glass Steagall the last hindrance to ushering in the TBTF juggernaut and the Greenspan Put, followed by the global Bernanke put, was removed, in the process making the terminal collapse of the US financial system inevitable. Why is Weill relevant? Because in a statement that simply redefines hypocrisy, the same individual had the temerity to appear on selloutvision, and tell his fawning CNBC hosts that it is "time to break up the big banks." That's right: the person who benefited the most of all from the repeal of Glass Steagall is now calling for its return.
Caterpillar Beats Estimates But Lowers Guidance, Blames Downbeat Outlook On China, Strong Dollar And Slow FedSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 07/25/2012 07:51 -0400
Caterpillar's stock has gotten pummeled recently, which explains why after posting results that were better than expected the stock has seen a big short squeeze, pushing it up 4% in thin pre-market trading. Of note, the company reported EPS of $2.54 on Expectations of $2.28, and revenues of $17.4 billion on estimates of $17.1 billion, yet it cut its full year revenue guidance from $68-72 billion to $68-70 billion on what it says is a weaker economy and a stronger dollar: "From the time the previous outlook was first established in January of 2012, the U.S. dollar has strengthened versus most currencies around the world. That has negatively impacted the full-year outlook by about $1 billion as sales in currencies other than the U.S. dollar are translating into fewer U.S. dollars. While the world's economic environment is weaker than we had expected, our sales have continued to grow." Yet what is most curious is that even CAT has become schizophrenic with respect to the Fed, in one bullet point saying the Fed's easing has done nothing to "benefit economic growth" yet in another claiming more easing will not come "soon enough to benefit growth in 2012." The Bernanke put is now so pervasive even non-financial companies have to rely on the Chairman getting out of bed at just the right angle and sitting down on the CTRL-P macro.
- ECB's Nowotny - ESM banking license could be advantageous (Reuters) - just keep regurgitating headlines until they generate a short squeeze
- IMF Says China Downside Risks Significant as Growth Slows (Bloomberg)
- Moody's cuts outlook on EU stability facility to negative (Reuters)
- Rome places spending controls on Sicily (FT)
- Big banks' glory days feared to be gone for good (Reuters)
- China's CNOOC scoped Nexen, partnered, then pounced (Reuters)
- Germany backs Spanish austerity plans (FT)
- Are 2012 Games one too many for London? (Reuters)
- Euro Crisis Spreading East Damps Growth, Development Bank Says (Bloomberg)
- Japan Flags Yen-Sales Impact as BOJ Eyes More Easing (Bloomberg)
Nowotny "Hilsenraths" EUR, Futures By Reviving Doomed "Red Herring" Discussion Of ESM Banking LicenseSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 07/25/2012 06:57 -0400
Europe is once again scrambling by clutching at broken straws and juggling dead ends. To wit: instead of actually proposing a realistic solution to its massive debt overhang, the ECB's Ewald Nowotny "said there are arguments in favor of giving Europe’s rescue fund a banking license, reviving the debate on bolstering its firepower as leaders face the prospect of a full-scale Spanish bailout." As a reminder, this is an absolute dead end that Germany and the ECB have both repeatedly rejected as implementation would confirm just how hollow the European gutted shadow banking market (you can't have shadow banking without credible collateral). Further slamming the Nowotny comment was Daiwa which called the Nowotny statetment a Red Herring and that "remarks that ECB council member sees arguments for giving bailout fund banking license "look to be just noise," Grant Lewis, head of research at Daiwa Capital Markets Europe, says in client note. Comments appear to have been off the cuff and purely personal opinion; such a move remains “highly improbable,” as Germany and ECB “implacably opposed” to this. Finally Daiwa adds that markets will soon focus again on fact that if ESM can’t be activated in early autumn, there’s no money available to bail out Spain, “let alone Italy."