As the rest of the world appears happy to assume everything is fixed in Europe (and if it's not, Draghi will buy it back to being awesome), Greece is looking unwell once again. Initial exuberance has faded dramatically in the last 3 days as IMF default warnings and a 22.5% plunge in tax revenues has sparked concerns about Greece's sustainability once again. Default (or restructuring) risk is soaring, Greek bond yields are surging, stocks sliding, and Greek banks (bonds and stocks) are getting hammered. As The Guardian's Helena Smith notes, "the country is in a strategic vacuum," and next week's T-Bill auction could be a major catalyst.
Despite some compression today in anticipation of ECB QE (as if that was not anticipated enough in the idioctically marginal yields across European peripheral bonds), it appears Europe is 'not' fixed. With Brexit odds around 1 in 6 and Podemos' lead in Spain extending, it appears redenomination risk (as we discussed, clearly lacking in many spreads) is re-emerging. Since the Greek election, Spanish credit risk is up 30%... more than Greece!
If "everything is awesome" in Greece (and Europe) then why - oh why - did Greek government bond yields surge higher today, Greek stocks tumble, Greek bank stocks (and less so bonds) collapse, and Greek CDS jump? It appears that as the euphoria relief wears off, as WSJ reports, doubts over the willingness of Greece’s left-wing government to follow its creditors’ orders on budget cuts and economic overhauls spilled into the public today. IMF's Lagarde stated that the Greek proposal "is not conveying clear enough assurances that the government intends to undertake the reforms," and even Syriza officials admitted, "it is difficult to determine how the government can fulfill its promises, including the debt write-off, with this agreement,” as doubts arise across Europe's policymakers and markets.
This bubble, literally dwarfs all other bubbles. To put this into perspective, the Credit Default Swap (CDS) market that nearly took down the financial system in 2008 was only a tenth of this ($50-$60 trillion).
Past: Scarily Prescient Analysis of @Grexit meets Present: Analysis of the Goldman Hedge meets Future: Goldman DisintermediationSubmitted by Reggie Middleton on 02/20/2015 15:12 -0500
A literal Tour de Force, likely the most indepth, practical analysis of the Grexit situation as you will ever read. This is why I like blogging... You can never find stuff like this in the mainstream media.
With reports of near mutiny in Syriza's ranks amid the back-bending they have done to try to meet Germany's demands - only to be abjectly denied by a non-ultimatum-setting Schaeuble - it is perhaps time to prepare (ahead of tomorrow's apparent "G" day) for the possibility that Greece creates a systemic event. As Goldman recently warned, there are aspects that leave us more worried than we have been since the start of the Euro area crisis with a tight schedule to avert a disorderly outcome. Risk markets so far have traded in a resilient (well managed) manner but risks of an accident remain and here is how Goldman suggests you hedge that exposure.
Three hours ago, when the NY Fed trading desk was patting itself on the back for another day without hitches or major glitches in the "market" (except for that HFT-snafu in the USDCAD of course), one person was live-tweeting his arrest. The person is Antonio Ledezma, who is not only the mayor of Caracas but the leader of Venezuela's, and around 5:20 pm local time, he was taken to the intelligence service’s headquarters in Caracas after the local police broke into his office and arrested him. The moment of the arrest was captured on video.
It turns out that the next best thing to Greek contagion in this bizarro, centrally-planned world is... anti-contagion.
Last week, German equities soared to record highs with the Dax surpassing 11K, not only on the imminent arrival of the ECB's Q€ which provides a risk-less bid to all asset classes, but on news that a second Ukraine ceasefire had been achieved in Minsk. Well, just like the first Minsk "ceasefire", one can promptly forget the just as "successful" second one, because overnight, after a several week siege, the Ukraine town of Debaltseve finally fell to rebel forces with "troops of Ukraine’s Armed Forces laying down arms en masse,” according to Donetsk rebel official Maxim Leschenko says, cited by Tass news service.
From a Citi global credit survey: "...over 65% of respondents said they believed action from central banks in Europe and the US would be the principal force driving credit index spreads [and] surprisingly, in a year with major political catalysts in Europe, and ongoing regional tensions in the Middle East and Russia, only 4% of respondents felt that geopolitical risk would be the major factor driving spreads.”
In a world in which the NSA's fingerprints are already on every form of electronic communication and information exchange, the latest revelation - conveniently presented by a Russian-based security firm - may have just implicated the US digital supespy agency in the biggest "backdoor" infiltration scandal of all time... and with it crushed the future revenue potential of countless US technology corporations.
The 2008 Crisis was not THE Crisis. The 2008 Crisis was largely a banking crisis focused on securities. The REAL Crisis will hit when the bond bubble collapses.
"...there seems to have been a shift from using derivatives as a hedging tool, to using them more for alpha generation [as] most products are now used more for adding risk and directional views."
The dominoes are beginning to fall. The initial spark in 2008 has triggered a series of unyielding responses by those in power, but further emergencies and unintended consequences juxtapose, connect and accelerate a chain reaction that will become uncontainable once a tipping point is reached. The fabric of society is tearing at points of extreme vulnerability, with depression, violence and war on the foreseeable horizon. Mr. President, the shadow of crisis has not passed. The looming shadow of crisis grows ever larger and darker by the day as this Crisis enters the most dangerous phase, where the existing social order will be swept away in a torrent of carnage and ferocious struggle. We are not a chosen people. We are not immune from dire outcomes.
Market Wrap: Equity Futures Subdued On Oil, Energy Profit Taking Following Latest Crude Inventory SurgeSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 02/04/2015 06:54 -0500
Following the torrid surge in crude in the past 4 days, overnight oil price have taken a step back - if only until the "newer normal" 2:30pm ramp into the Nymex close - with both Brent and WTI down nearly 3%, with yesterday's latest API inventory data showing another massive crude build when it was released after the close, which in turn is pressuing futures modestly if decidedly, and not even the surprise PBOC RRR-cut (which many had seen as likely if only in advance of the liquidity sapping Chinese New Year) which hit the tape an hour ago managed to push ES into the green, at least for now. Curiously, not even the now standard low volume levitation in the USDJPY in recent trading has had any impact on US futures, which appear to have found a new correlation regime for the time being, one which tracks what oil does more than any other asset class.