Since President Obama missed the best opportunity three years ago, it is too late for a do-over now.
There has been a sharp increase in risk aversion with the euro and stocks internationally falling sharply due to concerns about the coming Greek default and the real risk of contagion in the Eurozone. The euro got off to a rocky start in Asia, falling to fresh six-month lows against the dollar and a 10 year low on the yen as downside momentum picked up after several key technical levels gave way recently. Gold could see weakness today due to dollar strength and the possibility of margin calls for leveraged players on the COMEX. However, bargain hunting bullion buyers are present at these price levels and gold is likely to be supported above $1,800/oz. While dollar strength would normally result in gold weakness it is very possible that both the dollar and gold could rise together in the short term. This would result in gold making sharper gains in pounds, Swiss francs, euros and other fiat currencies. France’s largest banks by market value, BNP Paribas SA, Societe Generale SA and Credit Agricole SA, may have their credit ratings cut by Moody’s Investors Service as soon as this week because of their Greek holdings. Officials in Merkel’s government are debating how to shore up German banks in the event that Greece defaults. Merkel is due to hold talks on the debt crisis with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso today. The risk of contagion in the Eurozone sovereign, banking and entire financial system is very real and will result in continuing safe haven demand.
Like a Swiss watch, Goldman's Jim O'Neill, who refuses to acknowledge that decoupling between the US and the BRICs not only never existed, but was always a flawed premise to begin with, has released his latest dose of Kool-Aid, in which he bets the horse track on, you guessed it, Chinese decoupling.... Sigh. Then again what can one expect: just like Bernanke will keep trying QE until QE succeeds (it won't) or the market breaks; and just like the Krugmanites will keep pushing for an ever bigger fiscal stimulus (because the last one is never big enough, regardless of how big it is), why should one expect the latest addition to Goldman's biggest loss leader (GSAM) be any different. And what makes this particular episode not only tragic but very much comic, is that the former "Red Knight" now sees the Chinese launch of a fully convertible and floating Yuan by 2015 as the panacea to the US stock market, and Goldman bonus doldrums (because when one cuts to the chase, that's really what it's all about). Little does it bother the BRICer that the advent of a new reserve currency would have a devastating impact not only on existing risk markets, but on so-called risk free ones as well. Remember that 0.000% yield on last week's 4 week bond auction? Yeah... that would not come back. Ever. Anyway, with the upcoming week sure to provide significant tears, especially to European readers, here is at least some comic relief (yes, O'Neill does in fact "applauds" the move by the pegging move by the SNB - apparently loading up the asset side of your balance sheet with toxic paper which may or may not exist post the Greek expulsion is considered prudent when one is a Goldman partner) to start it off with.
Two years ago we first covered the flip side of the Chinese real estate "boom" story by presenting the ghost city of Ordos. Today, on the two year anniversary of China's Keynesian miracle being exposed for the whole world to see, Al Jazeera goes back to Ordos to see if anything has changed. And while Paul Krugman may be shocked, shocked, that the Keynesian approach of building for the sake of building does not work not only in the US but pretty much everywhere, it will be no surprise to anyone, that as Al Jazeera concludes, "it's still pretty quiet, but here's the remarkable thing - the building has't stopped, somehow people are convinced that if you keep building, people will come. If not in a few years, then... eventually." And somehow we keep bashing the Fed as the only source of Einsteinian insanity, when it is the same cretins from the Princeton economics department in both the monetary and fiscal arena, who know one thing and one thing only - do whatever ultimately fails, just keep on doing it.
Your one stop, comprehensive summary of the past week's key positive and negative events.
What do people think of 9/11 and the war on terror?
It's that time again when the IMF has just telegraphed something very big and very bad is about to happen. But let's back up, and paraphrase our post from March: "Back in April 2010, before Waddell and Reed sold a few shares of ES, effectively destroying the market on news that Europe was insolvent, we made the following observation: "The IMF has just announced that it is expanding its New Arrangement to Borrow (NAB) multilateral facility from its existing $50 billion by a whopping $500 billion (SDR333.5 billion), to $550 billion." Little did we know that our conclusion "something big must be coming" would prove spot on just a month later after Greece, then Ireland, then Portgual, and soon Spain, Italy, Belgium, and pretty much all other European countries would topple like dominoes tethered together by a flawed monetary regime. Well, based on news from Dow Jones we can now safely predict the following: "something bigger must be coming." The specific reason for this prediction was the following: "the International Monetary Fund is expected to soon activate a special funding pool that will boost the fund's ability to prevent or resolve economic crises." Sure enough something bigger came, and then some: Greece received its second bailout package about 4 months later, only to see the entire Eurozone hang by a thread following the political fallout that has since ensued. Well, it is time to shift from the comparative to the superlative: "something biggest must be coming."
Incredible that a Democrat would propose that our Social Security system should be gutted starting immediately to get an up-tick in GDP, illusory as it may turn out to be, just before the election. But President Obama's proposal to cut payroll taxes in half will do just that.
Jim Rogers Explains To Bob "Not a Cheerleader" Pisani Why He Is Short Stocks, Long Commodities, And Wants Europe To FailSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 09/09/2011 14:58 -0500
Jim Rogers was on CNBC earlier, discussing the recent intervention by the SNB and the overnight plunge in Europe, in the process generating yet another amusing episode of market "non-cheerleader" Bob Pisani attempting spin the global economic collapse in a favorable light on not one, not two but on three separate occasions, and being soundly rejected by the far more, informed shall we say, Rogers. Specifically, to Pisani's repeated attempt to get Rogers to admit the uber-secret of which stocks he is long (CNBC Ponzi playbook 101), the former Quantumanite responds that not only is he not long anything, he is mostly short stocks and very much long commodities for two simpler reasons: "if the world economy gets better i'm going to make money in commodities because of shortages that are developing. Especially in agriculture and precious metals. If the world economy doesn't get better, Bob, you're not going to make any money in Toyota or IBM but you might make money in commodities because they're going to print more money. It's the wrong thing to do but they will print money. Bernanke is already printing money again. You have to protect yourself. I'm short stocks but i don't expect the world economy to get better. Not much better anyway, if it does and I am long commodities as a protection." And on some other topic like the Chairsatan, "Bernanke has been lying to us again", on the SNB intervention attempt: "This is a terrible mistake" and on what should happen to Europe: " It would be good for the world, though, if they let people go bankrupt."
- Obama in $450bn push for growth (FT)
- Strains rise in short-term eurozone lending (FT)
- Republicans Ask Geithner for Report on U.S. Rules Reductions (bloomberg)
- ECB Stark: Ready to step in if transmission mechanism impaired (Reuters)
- Sea radiation from Fukushima seen triple Tepco estimate (Reuters)
- Ghost of Lehman Haunts G-7 Amid Debt Crisis (Bloomberg)
- G7 faces grim outlook with resignation (FT)
- Bank of America Structured Notes Sales Drop as Buyers ‘Shy Away’ (Bloomberg)
- Swiss Cap Move Riles Officials in Norway, Canada (WSJ)
It was a momentous week for markets and the ramifications of the German constitutional court decision and the SNB currency intervention have yet to be realized. The German constitutional court decision has effectively ruled out Eurobonds which has massive ramifications for the European monetary union and the euro. While promoters of Eurobonds suggest that Eurobonds may still be possible – most objective analysts believe they are now highly unlikely. The SNB decision to peg the Swiss franc to the beleaguered euro, thereby effectively devaluing the franc, stunned currency and wider financial markets. It is one of the most significant currency interventions in modern history and led to violent volatility the like of which have never been seen in foreign exchange markets. Incredibly and not widely reported the Swiss franc fell more than 7% against the euro, dollar and gold in just 15 minutes (putting gold’s relatively minor recent price fall into context). Such volatility in currency markets was not seen during 911, the Lehman’s collapse or for any other major macroeconomic or geopolitical event in modern history. The collapse of the Swiss franc in minutes greatly surpassed the collapse of sterling seen on “Black Wednesday” in 1992, when the British pound fell by 2.7% against the German mark on one day.
All you need to read and some more.
Our hats off to JP Morgan for a creative depiction of the current European debt crisis, although we typically take a dim view of any investment vehicle that's associated with the word "leveraged" as recommended by JPM.