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Guest Post: Dude, Where's My Job

The storyline being sold to the American public by the White House and the corporate mainstream media is that the economy is growing, jobs are being created, corporations are generating record profits, consumers are spending and all will be well in 2011. The 2% payroll tax cut, stolen from future generations to be spent in 2011, will jumpstart a sound economic recovery. Joseph Goebbels would be proud. The economy is growing due to unprecedented deficit spending by the government, fraudulent accounting by the Wall Street banks, the Federal Reserve buying $1.5 trillion of toxic mortgage “assets” from their Wall Street owners, various home buyer and auto tax credits and gimmick programs, and Fannie, Freddie, and the FHA accumulating taxpayer loses so morons can continue to purchase houses.

One Minute Macro Update

Quick stop review of all the events shaping today's trading (and that's using the term loosely) action.

Must Read Introspective: A Look Back At 2010 Events, Key Market Themes And The Circular Nature Of Everything

Tonight's must read piece of introspection comes from the keyboard of Russ Certo over at Gleacher, who has compiled a fantastic look back at the key events that transpired and shaped 2010, and summarizes the key market themes that prevailed in the now past year. In summary: "the answer to the question of what were the main themes in the market
is ...............valuations in equities, credit spreads, sovereign
spreads, exchange rates, mortgage interest costs, bank earnings, net
interest margin, accounting schemes, tax code, debt ceiling and more are
all related.  Related to the ebb and flow of monetary and fiscal policy
aspiring to make adjustments to imbalances caused by earlier failed
fiscal and monetary policies.  How, circular indeed." In other words, not only does history not only rhyme, but chases its tail, and the more things change, the more absolutely nothing has changed. We are where we started, and in fact are in a far worse position, as increasingly fewer last resort levers to push and pull are available to the fiscal and monetary authorities. We jest when we suggest that a Martian bail out of plant Earth will soon be required, but pretty soon, in our Onion (or is that Douglas Adams?) reality, NASA may find itself with the prerogative to rapidly find semi-intelligent and very wealthy life on other located within a few parsecs. We can only hope that the restaurant at the edge of the universe is an In and Out Burger.

Scott Minerd's Detailed Pre-Mortem On What Europe's Bank Run Will Look Like, And Other Observations

We traditionally enjoy the periodic letters by Guggenheim's CIO Scott Minderd. His latest piece, "The Opening Act to the Broader Crisis" is no exception. In it, the strategist dissects the European crisis, compares it to the subprime debacle and sees it as the precursor to the eventual downfall of the euro, a surge in the dollar, the "federalization" of Europe and the adoption of QE by the ECB. The key must read item in the current report is Minerd thought experiment of what a  wholesale bank run, first in Ireland, and then everywhere else in Europe, would look like. This is especially important as one could, as Scott claims, start at any moment. What does this mean for investments? "If we are on the brink of crisis in Europe, which I believe we are, then there are several expectations we can draw about the investment landscape. First and foremost, the dollar will strengthen rapidly against the euro; U.S. Treasuries will rally; equity prices in Europe will fall; and credit spreads will widen, at least temporarily. In general, risk assets will experience choppier waters, especially as the crisis intensifies." Yet somehow this is a disconnect with the Guggenheimer's recent Barron's round table bullish statements on stocks and high yield bonds: "Let me be clear, I am not changing my mind on any of these investment theses, but a crisis in Europe will likely interrupt, but not derail, certain bullish trends at some point in 2011." It is ironic that Minerd brings up subprime as an analogy to Europe: after all his response is precisely the same that everyone else who appreciated the gravity of the subprime contagtion used at the time, starting with The Chairman. To wit "it is contained." All else equal, and it never is, we fail to see how a surge in the world's funding currency, the USD, will not generate an all our rout in every single risk asset, The Chairman's gushing liquidity notwithdtanding, due to trillions in short dollar funding positions.

Frontrunning: December 22

  • IMF announces it has concluded its gold sales (IMF)
  • Euro helped by report China will buy Portugal's debt (Reuters)
  • Huge South Korea Drill Likely to Infuriate North (Reuters)
  • And wristslaps for all: Deutsche Bank to Pay $554 Million in Tax Shelter Case (Bloomberg)
  • Another proposal to use a firehose to kill those pesky CDS speculators: Derivative Blitz Needed to Tame Anarchic Bonds (Bloomberg)
  • China Inflation Risk Leads to Asia's Worst Bond Returns (Bloomberg)
  • Does a Low VIX Signal Danger? (Barrons)

One Minute Macro Update

One stop summary for all the events that are making the markets in this snowy, volumeless day.

smartknowledgeu's picture

One of F. William Engdahl’s latest articles is titled “Wikileaks, a Big Dangerous US Government Con Job”. In this article, Engdahl implies that Wikileaks is a US government-run propaganda operation with an end goal of restricting freedoms on the internet. Here are some of the key excerpts from this article.

Guest Post: The Bennie Who Stole Christmas

Ben Bernanke is a highly educated PhD from Princeton who has never worked a day in the real world since he graduated from college in 1975. His entire life has been spent in the ivory tower of academia surrounded by models and theories that work perfectly in the comfort of his office. After building his reputation as an “expert” on the Great Depression by studying it and reaching the wrong conclusions, he came down from his ivory tower in 2002 to join an organization that has systematically destroyed the value of the US currency, thereby undermining the well being of the once vibrant middle class...If the Grinch had been pimping for a small pack of Grinchsters who impoverished the honest people of Whoville, then the Dr. Seuss poem would have perfectly described Ben Bernanke, the Federal Reserve and the banksters that run the show here in the USA. The actions taken by Ben Bernanke, Alan Greenspan and their brethren on the Federal Reserve over the last quarter century have destroyed the middle class and left senior citizens impoverished, while enriching its Wall Street masters. Now he is stealing Christmas from the hard working middle class of this country.

ECB Peripheral Bond Buying Plunges From €2.7 Billion To €600 Million In The Prior Week

In the past few days, European peripheral spreads have once again taken to widening both in absolute terms and relative to Bunds. The culprit: the ECB's permabid for insolvent debt has plunged from €2.7 billion to €603 million in the past week: this represents the lowest amount of bonds purchased by the ECB since the beginning of November. And without the backstop of wanton ECB buying sure enough the sellers emerge. Total debt holdings in the ECB's SMP program are now €72.5 billion. Incidentally one country which is certainly not benefiting from Jean Claude Trichet's largess with his bank's money is France, whose CDS earlier today hit an all time wide of over 100 bps on completely unfounded rumors that the country may be downgraded by one or more rating agencies. At this point expect to see the chart below yoyo in direct correlation to just how steep the sell off of European bonds may have been in the prior week.

Reggie Middleton's picture

I bet that either you, or someone that you may know, weren't privvy to the TARP 2.0 tax payer funded bailout right under your noses, and the government released the evidence buried in one of over a dozen spreadsheets featuring over 70,000 transactions, with the incriminating one featuring over 340,000 cells and over 10,000 transactions. We at BoomBustBlog suppose they thought no one would be good enough at Excel to ferret it out, or maybe they believed we were all just numb over hearing a trillion here, a trillion there. You know, after a while it starts to add up to real money.

Nic Lenoir On Why The Euro Is About To Crash And Burn, And Why His Concern For The "New Normal" Is Not Slow Growth But Civil War

Today 6 countries in Europe were the theater of riots. I highlighted in the past that voting turn-out has been on the rise in the past 8 years after a steady decline the 3 previous decades. During the credit boom fat and happy citizens had no time to vote, too busy producing or even more so consuming. Now with unemployment through the ceiling and poor economic perspectives people have started voting again. The next step is that they realize that no one in the political spectrum currently has any guts or brain and therefore no one offers a real credible fair solution, at least for now. When they do they burn things up. Because things are a little worse in Europe economically, and because the people there actually do realize the people in power are monkeys, they have now reached that stage of realization where burning things up is the logical response. Don't think the US will remain immune to this symptom of the new normal (unlike El Erian I have not revised up my forecast, and my concern is not slow growth but civil war).

One Minute Macro Update

A summary of all the key events overnight that are shaping market today. Of note, a particularly weak 3M €500 million Bill auction in Portugal which came at 3.403%, up 159 from prior, with a lower bid to cover: 1.9x vs 2.2x before.

Ron Paul, Head Of Monetary Policy Subcommittee: "Yes I Would End The Fed"

In what is increasingly shaping up to be a showdown of epic proportions, the brand new chair of the Monetary Policy Subcommittee, Ron Paul, whose sole purpose in life for the past 20 years has been putting the Federal Reserve out to pasture, and returning to the gold standard, will soon spar with none other, than his, and every middle-class American's nemesis, the Chairman. And it could soon get even messier. In an interview with Fortune magazine's Nin-Hai Tseng, not only does the Texas doctor make it all too clear that he once again has presidential ambitions, but when asked whether he wants to end the Fed, gives the following brilliant reply: "Well, I don't expect to. The Fed's going to end itself when they destroy the system. So yes I would end the Fed but I would do it gradually and have a transition." Good luck Ron. However, there will be no gradual transition. If anything, it will be protracted, very much involuntary, and quite likely violent, as it would mark the end of a century-long scheme to transfer countless ounces (no pun intended) of tangible wealth to the ruling oligarchy in exchange for worthless and infinitely dilutable linen.