CDS

CDS

Uncle Pap Wants You! Greece Reaches Peak Desperation As It Tries To Sell "Diaspora Bonds" To Delay Bankruptcy

Just because Greece is now terminally locked out from regular capital markets, with its CDS trading points upfront, doesn't mean the country can't drink from the same Hopium trough as every other US investor. According to Reuters: "Greece has filed a shelf registration with securities regulators in the United States to be able to sell so-called diaspora bonds to retail investors, the head of the country's debt agency said on Wednesday." In other words, Uncle Pap wants YOU to bail out the country that even the ECB appears to have given up on. And if not for G-Pap, do it for Angela: because if the euro falls apart, the the DEM returns, how will Germany export its way in a non-eurozone environment, if the fair value of Germany's currency is realized and exports plunge? And to all US citizens who are jealous they are not the target source of funds for this last ditch attempt to stave off bankruptcy (again) fear not: pretty soon (if Uncle Bill is correct), Uncle TurboTax will give the very same opportunity to all 300+ million US hopium addicts.

Greek Unemployment Surges From 13.9% In November To 14.8% In December

Do you see what happens Larry when your labor participation rate (wink wink BLS) doesn't plunge to near all time record and the unemployment rate reflects, gulp, reality (pro forma for Goldman Sachs currency swaps)? "Greece's unemployment rate in December jumped to 14.8 per cent, with
more than 40,000 people losing their jobs in a month, The Hellenic
Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) said Wednesday.
ELSTAT, providing
the latest jobless data it has available, said that the December jobless
rate compared with 13.9 per cent in November.
In December a total of 41,068 people lost their jobs, pushing the number of unemployed to almost 734,000. As
unemployment keeps rising, survey results released earlier this week by
the Greek daily Kathimerini newspaper showed that job prospects in the
coming months appeared to be gloomy, particularly in the construction
and manufacturing sectors.
Greece agreed to a series of
cost-cutting measures in exchange for a 110-billion-euro (154 billion
dollar) rescue package by the EU and IMF in May to avoid bankruptsy." Not to worry, Greek CDS have just hit all time wides well north of 1,000 bps, confirm that all is fucked, which only means that the ECB is about to bail out the totally and utterly bankrupt country once again, as more European taxpayer money is thrown down the sovereign funding black hole. In other news Greece is not Libya (for now).

One Minute Macro Update - Don’t Forget About Small Businesses

Markets are mixed this morning as they await Thursday’s EU meeting on the future of the EFSF. Yesterday showed that rising oil prices will likely cause a debate within the Fed as the rise could either accelerate inflation or even halt economic growth. Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher told conference attendees that QE2 may need to be scaled back to prevent inflation while Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart supported a possible QE3 to avoid another recession. The debate will likely escalate along with ongoing violence in the world’s oil centers. Consumer credit rose for the fourth consecutive month, increasing $5.0B in January v $3.5BE, led by federal government lending. Meanwhile, revolving credit fell $4.2B, showing a still cautious consumer despite higher borrowing. Today’s NFIB survey release at 95.0E v 94.1 prior came in at 94.5. The rise is indicative of easier lending and improved employment figures, but we note that small business still lag large ones in economic progress.

Portuguese Bond Yields, Greek CDS Both At All Time Wides

Not sure what rumor can be spread to unspook the market into believing all is well here, but the widely expected March deterioration in Europe which nobody wants to talk about, is happening just as predicted: Greek CDS have just hit an all time wide of 1,036 bps or something like 17 pts up, while Portuguese bond yields have just passed into fresh lifetime highs of 7.65%. As per the Chairsatan, this is purely driven by inverse demand courtesy of surging global economies around the world, which are all experiencing inverse peace and prosperity.

Global Market Commentary From Russ Certo

With regards to U.S. monetary policy we live in a world of opposites. Less is more and more is less. The long end of the Treasury market would like to see “Biofuel” Ben, nickname for his liquidity provisioning impacts on commodity markets worldwide, actually be a protector of price to ensure that the paltry and rudimentary semi-annual fixed income coupon payments that one receives for 30 years can purchase the same amount of cotton, sugar, gold, wheat, corn, or S&Ps without being diluted. What Ben didn’t say sent the U.S. dollar index near record lows, something inconceivable given the traditional safe haven status of the reserve currency during times of global uncertainty like oil shocks and new world order. The Euro, of all things, seemed to be the beneficiary of flows, breaching a new recent high of $1.40. They have a banker that may at least be contemplating tighter policy. And that is why the long Treasuries couldn’t maintain a bid for most of the week. Less vigilance by the Chairman is more inflation and less of that insurance policy for those fixed cash flows. In a climate such as this where the Chairman doesn’t appear to be steadfast in following his mandate of promoting stable prices, the bond vigilantes and Treasury dealers are likely to make sure they get compensated for the risk of underwriting record supply of Treasury issuance like this week’s refunding.

Guest Post: Forget The Middle East, Spain Is Still The Elephant In The European Room!

Now that the world is focused on the ongoing turbulence in the Middle East, Europe gets a rest from the financial hit men. While Europe ain’t the Middle East, there are lots of connections between the two continents. Many countries within the European Union have citizens with Arabic roots and backgrounds, and the Islam is a second largest religion. And lets face it, a few hours in a jet airplane and most Europeans can enjoy the tropical climate of the Middle East region. But there’s more, like the large trade and financial pacts between different Arabic and European nations. Take for instance the in ‘state-of-turmoil’ Libya, who holds large stakes in Italian blue-chip companies like banking giant UniCredit or defence company Finmeccanica. That makes Italy, already a EU member in financial chaos, a first potential victim of the unrest in the Middle East. But if we dig deeper in the EU/Middle East web, then we see more potential trouble ahead. The immense trading hub between Morocco and France, or the Turkish ‘gateway’ for Eastern Europe. No wonder few pundits are sounding the alarm bells. But hey, that’s the world we live in nowadays, with everyday a potential to chaos. If we take a step back, away from the heat, and have a look at the bigger picture for Europe, then the real problem and threat for Europe lies within Europe, namely Spain. Spain is for Europe what Florida is for the US: one gigantic foreclosure mess! And guess what, prices of Spanish homes are still dropping, just like oversees.

Portugal, Which Has €20 Billion In Bond Maturity And Deficit Outflows In 2011, Has Only €4 Billion In Cash

It seems there is just one market which the Fed is either unable, or unwilling to manipulate: that of Portuguese (and generally peripheral European) debt. And for good reason. As the WSJ reports, Portugal started the year with about €4 billion in cash: "Fresh borrowing and other public transactions suggest Portugal has this
year likely increased that number to around €4 billion. The official
said in an email that the figure had risen but didn't elaborate." There is one small problem: the country has a €4 billion outflow on April 15... and has to pay down €20 billion worth of debt maturities and budget deficits through the end of this year! Where the country will get this money... nobody knows. Just BTFD. But not in Portuguese bonds. As the charts below show that is still the only asset that can't find a greater idiot.

One Minute Macro Update

Markets positive this morning as the rise in oil simmered and emerging markets posted gains. World food prices met a new high in the latest U.N. report as it seems that the U.S. continues to export inflation. The Fed’s Beige Book released yesterday was optimistic and similar to January’s, with nearly all of the reporting regional banks citing growth in retail and manufacturing despite evidence of rising pressure on prices. Initial jobless claims data today 395K Expected and given last week’s large drop and fairly consistent weather, the release should be on par with last week’s 391K. Fed Chairman Bernanke spoke to House of Representatives yesterday in day two of his Humphrey Hawkins speech, again expressing dissatisfaction with the labor market, confidence in the battle against inflation and concern for America’s fiscal policy. Bernanke’s two days of speeches to Congress showed a conviction to keep short term interest rates low until unemployment levels recovered. Although recent releases show a modest rebound in labor, it may not be enough to push interest rates up as current estimates for 2012 unemployment reach 7.5 to 8.0%.

As Gaddafi Speaks, Saudi Market Continues Plunge, CDS Hits Highest Since July 2009

Despite what irrelevant US stock futures indicate, just like yesterday the true appreciation of risk comes from the Gulf region, where following yesterday's 7% rout in the Saudi index, today the drubbing continues. And for those who are confused why the Egyptian stock market continues to be closed, just take one look at what is happening with the Saudi Tadawul Index. Further confirming that Saudi Arabia is coming unglued are Saudi CDS which as we predicted a month ago, are well on their way to 200 and onward, last printing at 145, the widest they have been since July 2009.

Saudi Stock Market Drops 7%, As Saudi CDS Hit 140 bps

While US stock futures continue to be obstinately high capitalizing on the last remaining shreds of a confirmation bias out of formerly strong European economy from the time when the EUR was still low, and with the US economy failing to pick up the world slack even with the dollar at 4 month high the hangover sure to set in any minute (and the oil price certainly not helping), perhaps the only true indication of risk is being represented by the local MENA stock markets, of which the Saudi is currently the best example (after Egypt's stock market opening planned for today, was once again delayed). At last check the TADAWUL was down over 7% and the trend is certainly not your friend, while Saudi CDS was the biggest widener this morning per CMA, hitting 140 bps. The wildcards at this point are Iran and Syria, the first of which will see any push into Bahrain as a religious provocation, while the latter is a host to a brand spanking new Russian navy base. If any of these two see some media prominence in the next 48 hours, look for today's slide to continue.

Will AIG Implosion 2.0 Lead To QE 3.0?

There was a time when everyone thought CDOs are perfectly safe. That ended up being a tad incorrect. It resulted in AIG blowing up, recording hundreds of billions in losses and almost taking the rest of the financial world with it, leading ultimately to the first iteration of quantitative easing. A few years thereafter, several blogs and fringe elements suggested that munis are the next major cataclysm and will likely require Fed bail outs (some time before Meredith Whitney came on the public scene with her apocalyptic call). It would be only fitting that the same AIG that blew up the world the first time around, end up being the same company that does so in 2011, and with an instrument that just like back then only an occasional voice warned is a weapon of mass destruction: municipal bonds. AIG dropped over 6% today following some very unpleasasnt disclosures about its muni outlook, and corporate liquidity implications arising therefrom: "American International Group Inc., the bailed-out insurer, said it faces increased risk of losses on its $46.6 billion municipal bond portfolio and that defaults could pressure the company’s liquidity." So how long before we discover that Goldman has been lifting every AIG CDS for the past quarter? And how much longer after that until someone leaks a document that the company's muni strategy was orchestrated by one Joe Cassano?

Will AIG Implosion 2.0 Lead To QE 3.0?

There was a time when everyone thought CDOs are perfectly safe. That ended up being a tad incorrect. It resulted in AIG blowing up, recording hundreds of billions in losses and almost taking the rest of the financial world with it, leading ultimately to the first iteration of quantitative easing. A few years thereafter, several blogs and fringe elements suggested that munis are the next major cataclysm and will likely require Fed bail outs (some time before Meredith Whitney came on the public scene with her apocalyptic call). It would be only fitting that the same AIG that blew up the world the first time around, end up being the same company that does so in 2011, and with an instrument that just like back then only an occasional voice warned is a weapon of mass destruction: municipal bonds. AIG dropped over 6% today following some very unpleasasnt disclosures about its muni outlook, and corporate liquidity implications arising therefrom: "American International Group Inc., the bailed-out insurer, said it faces increased risk of losses on its $46.6 billion municipal bond portfolio and that defaults could pressure the company’s liquidity." So how long before we discover that Goldman has been lifting every AIG CDS for the past quarter? And how much longer after that until someone leaks a document that the company's muni strategy was orchestrated by one Joe Cassano?

ilene's picture

Of course, what sucks for the American worker is great for our Multi-National Corporate Masters and we all love a good puppet show, so they bought out the President to say "U.S. companies shouldn't worry about inflation if they're planning on expanding their business."

Saudi Arabia, Suddenly Desperate For More Bribe Cash, Says Will Boost Shipments (As If It Has A Choice)

That latest entrant to the "whorism" political class, Saudi Arabia, is getting desperate. After yesterday's attempt to prostitute itself out to its people by literally handing out $37 billion in a glaring demonstration that it has never heard the "money can't buy you love" saying, now the FT is reporting that "Saudi Arabia is in “active talks” with European oil companies to meet the production shortfall left by Libya, the clearest indication to date that the leader of the Opec oil cartel is about to boost supplies to stop further rises in the oil price, which surged to near $120 a barrel on Thursday." The FT's commentary is partially correct: "You can only expect the price to go up. It is fear of the unknown. The risks are all to the upside,” one senior oil trader said. "Saudi Arabia needs to respond." It does, but not to fill the gap. Following the latest attempt at recreating Helicopter Ben's monetary policy, Saudi Arabia suddenly finds itself clutching at cash straws.As UBS' Andrew Lees points out: "Saudi's USD37bn bonus to the population equates to USD10.45bbl on its 2009 production of 9.7m bpd. Saudi already needed USD74bbl to balance its budget in 2008. In December last year the talk was that its budget deficit would be 40bn riyals having been 86.5bn riyals the previous year as it spent heavily on salary increases for soldiers. With this increased spending it seems Saudi will need about USD85 - USD95bbl to balance its budget, or it will need to ramp up production by about 10% (more capital spending) without prices falling." Oops. Do you see what happens Larry when a country hands out money it doesn't have? We hope for Saudi's sake that it has some POMO desk interns running things there as effectively as in the US. But until we get some confirmation, we continue to back the truck up with Saudi CDS, a process which started when these were first quoted in the double digits.