... but not from us: after all we are known for being biased, which in the mainstream media parlance means calling it like it is. No - instead we leave it to none other than Bloomberg's Jonathan Weil who does as good a job of being "biased" as we ever could: "Egan-Jones, which has been in business since 1992, could have continued operating as an independent publisher of ratings and analysis, not subject to government oversight or control. Instead it chose to play within the Big Three’s system, exposing itself to regulation and the whims of the SEC in exchange for the government’s imprimatur. Now it’s paying the price." And not only that: as the most recent example of Spain just shows, where Egan Jones downgraded Spain 9 days ago and was ignored, but well ahead of everyone else, only to be piggybacked by S&P, and the whole world flipping out, it has become clear: calling out reality, and the fools that populate it, is becoming not only a dangerous game, but increasingly more illegal. Then again - this is not the first time we have seen just this happen in broad daylight, with nobody daring to say anything about it. In fact, this phenomenon tends to be a rather traditional side-effect of every declining superpower. Such as the case is right now...
Just in case one is wondering what is a greater crime in America: vaporizing $1.5 billion in client money or having the temerity to downgrade the US (twice), JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley, here is the SEC with the answer:
- SEC SUES EGAN-JONES, SEAN EGAN ON ALLEGED MISREPRESENTATIONS
Somewhere Jon Corzine is cackling like a mad cow.
Japanese Finance Minister said an IMF funding increase to USD 400bln is "coming into sight", and that he expects the BRIC nations to offer funds to the IMF at the appropriate time. The finance minister sees funding figures to be released as early as tomorrow. (Sources) The IMF looks set to reach or pass that target, with USD 320bln secured yesterday and many of the largest emerging economies still to contribute. ECB’s Knot and EU’s Rehn have said IMF commitments may have to be up to USD 500bln, and expects China to boost resources. Brazil’s finance minister has said his country is still not ready to give numbers on their IMF contribution. The Indian finance minister has said he will take time to provide an answer to the funding question for the IMF. China also remains undecided on an increased IMF contribution.
- Current account surplus recycling goes global: BRICS demand bigger IMF role before giving it cash (Reuters)
- Obama oil margin plan could increase price swings (Reuters)
- Britons Abandoning Pensions Amid ‘Outdated’ Rules (Bloomberg)
- Hedge-Fund Assets Rise to Record Level (WSJ)
- Way to restore confidence: SEC considers case against Egan-Jones (FT)
- Qatari wealth fund adds 5% Tiffany stake (FT)
- "Do we file?" Dewey Pitches Plan for Rescue (WSJ)
- French president slips further behind Socialist challenger Hollande (ANI)
- Nine U.S. Banks Said to be Examined on Overdraft Fees (Bloomberg)
- Capital Rotation: Investors fret on emerging markets and look to U.S. (Reuters)
- Verizon's Answer to iPhone: Windows (WSJ)
This is so pathetic, it is beyond words:
- US SEC EXPECETED TO VOTE ON POSSIBLE CHARGES AGAINST RATING FIRM EGAN JONES ON THURSDAY - RTRS
- POSSIBLE CHARGES STEM FROM ALLEGED WILFUL MISTATEMENTS ON EGAN JONES' REGULATORY APPLICATION WITH SEC - RTRS
If nothing else, it explains the recent WSJ hit piece against Egan, just so it can make the public record in the SEC documentation. In other news, this will surely teach any other rating agency to downgrade the US not once (ahead of everyone else), but twice. In the meantime, the SEC still has NO IDEA what liquidity is, and continues to refuse to take ANY action against High Frequency Trading, to press criminal charges against ANY banker, or for that matter, to do anything that may jeopardize its staffers future careers as 7th assistant general council at assorted bailed out Wall Street firms. Now we wait to hear news that Fitch and Moody's will receive a cash bonus from the SEC for not downgrading the US properly filing their regulatory applications. And now back to midget porn.
- This is just hilarious on so many levels: Japan Will Provide $60 Billion to Expand IMF’s Resources (Bloomberg) - just don't look at Fukushima, don't look at the zero nuclear plants working, don't look at the recent trade deficit, and certainly don't look at the Y1 quadrillion in debt...
- US Senate vote blocks ‘Buffett rule’ (FT)
- Reserve Bank of Australia awaiting new data before considering rate move (Herald Sun)
- Merkel Offers Spain No Respite as Debt Cuts Seen As Key (Bloomberg)
- RBI cuts repo rate by 50 bps; sees little room for more (Reuters)
- China allows banks to short sell dollars (Reuters)
- Central bankers snub euro assets (FT)
- Shanghai Econ Weakening’ Mayor Vows to Pop Housing Bubble (Forbes)
- Wen's visit to boost China-Europe ties (China Daily)
- Madrid threatens to intervene in regions (FT)
Americans have been listening to the mainstream financial media’s song and dance for around four years now. Every year, the song tells a comforting tale of good ol’ fashioned down home economic recovery with biscuits and gravy. And, every year, more people are left to wonder where this fantastic smorgasbord turnaround is taking place? Two blocks down? The next city over? Or perhaps only the neighborhoods surrounding the offices of CNN, MSNBC, and FOX? Certainly, it’s not spreading like wildfire in our own neck of the woods…Many in the general public are at the very least asking “where is the root of the recovery?” However, what they should really be asking is “where is the trigger for collapse?” Since 2007/2008, I and many other independent economic analysts have outlined numerous possible fiscal weaknesses and warning signs that could bring disaster if allowed to fully develop. What we find to our dismay here in 2012, however, is not one or two of these triggers coming to fruition, but nearly EVERY SINGLE conceivable Achilles’ heel within the foundation of our system raw and ready to snap at a moment’s notice. We are trapped on a river rapid leading to multiple economic disasters, and the only thing left for any sincere analyst to do is to carefully anticipate where the first hits will come from. Four years seems like a long time for global banks and government entities to subdue or postpone a financial breakdown, and an overly optimistic person might suggest that there may never be a sharp downturn in the markets. Couldn’t we simply roll with the tide forever, buoyed by intermittent fiat injections, treasury swaps, and policy shifts? The answer……is no.
The USS Europa Discorida story just gets more and more surreal.
- ITALY PROSECUTORS WIDEN RATINGS AGENCY PROBE TO FITCH, UNDER INVESTIGATION FOR MARKET ABUSE, INSIDER TRADING - INVESTIGATIVE SOURCE
- ITALY FINANCE POLICE SEARCHING FITCH OFFICE IN MILAN, ANSA SAYS
S&P maybe? Sure. But piss off the French rating agency? As if anyone even trades in collusion with the completely unmoving announcements by the most irrelevant of the NRSROs? This is just the definition of irrational Italian scapegoating which will do nothing to help Italy-French relations, but at least it will provide "justification" for Fitch's evil downgrade when it comes - after all it was obviously in retaliation for the Italian police just doing its job. Finally, how long would an Egan-Jones office in Milan stand before it was burned to the ground: 1 week? 1 day? 1 hour?
Sean Egan strikes again, this time downgrading Germany from AA to AA-.
Following today's increasingly more adverse news for Sears, which saw primary vendor funder CIT cut ties with the Eddie Lampert mega investment, it was only a matter of time before the market realized that the jig for the once bankrupt retailer may be up, and a Chapter 22 is the only possible option. Sure enough, the first to respond to this is the rating agency that not only is capable of forward looking activity, unlike all the other NRSROs, and also managed to get Jefferies to admit it had a far greater European exposure than the market was comfortable with (resulting in a major cut in gross and net, and a far greater transparency into its balance sheet). As of minutes ago, Egan Jones just downgraded Sears Holdings to the lowest rating just above default: C, from CC.
Lately, the Egan-Jones credit ratings agency has experienced a lot of bad publicity from the co-opted and conflicted media, especially those in which GE has a minority stake, for no other reason than being the only organization that is in some way a part of the status quo yet dares to constantly lash out at the lies behind the scenes and expose the fraud and corruption that permeates the modern Ponzi system. Frankly, we have had it with this propaganda. Confirming that when it comes to honesty and integrity, EJ may or may not be at the front of the pack, but they sure tried to warn other about the impending systemic collapse. Presented below is an interview conducted by Kate Welling with Sean Egan back on June 30, 2006, or the absolute peak of the credit bubble frenzy, in which everything Egan said: down to the most dire prediction, has occurred. Somehow we are confident people slighted, mocked and ridiculed him then as well. He was right then. He will be right again.
Goldman On Today's Coordinated Central Bank Bailout: "It Isn’t Enough To Save Anyone Or Solve Averything" And "Why Now?"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 11/30/2011 20:16 -0400
Naturally, if there was one party that would be disappointed by today's action, it would be Goldman Sachs: on one hand because it is nowhere near enough to actually fix anything, and on the other because it delayed the moment when the 2-3 European banks which we have been saying for over a week would keel over and die leaving a power vacuum for Goldman to fill, has just been delayed. As a result, Goldman dissatisfied note makes more than enough sense: "Up, up, and away for stocks after the coordinated ease this morning. USD funding just got cheaper, which is of course a good thing. But the difference between OIS + 50 and OIS + 100 isn’t enough to save anyone or solve everything. It’s the symbolism of policy-makers again acting in concert that I find most encouraging." But, and there is always a but: "Although there is the obvious counter: why act now – is there something lurking around the corner? Those are worries for tomorrow though." Indeed, and when the worries resurface, as they will, especially following the resumption in European record yielding auctions, which incidentally the Fed's action does nothing to fix, following France and Spain bond auctions. And who knows what else. Oh yes, Goldman just cut its GDP forecast for Europe from +0.1% to -0.8%: hello, recession, the very same catalyst which S&P said a month ago will be sufficient for it to downgrade France. As usual, Egan-Jones was way ahead of the crowd.
Egan Jones With Latest Jefferies Shocker: "Unsustainable... 77 Cent Recovery On Senior Debt... We Will Cut Without A Major Deleveraging"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 11/22/2011 13:43 -0400
And here is Egan-Jones again: "Synopsis: Unsustainable, in our opinion - JEF needs to raise equity (i.e., $1B) AND deleverage to reduce its 9.5+% LT yield. JEF's total debt to capital is 90.4% vs. 67% for IBKR, 62% for RJR and 43% for GFIG. GS and MS have ratios near 88% but they are significantly larger and should have some federal support via their banking charters. Furthermore, MF's freezing and shortchanging client funds have increased scrutiny of other medium-sized brokers. Raising $1B in new equity and reducing assets by $5B would reduce total debt to capital to only 86%. Email us for a more granular liq. analysis showing a 77% recovery for the sen. debt. Watch the recent rise in int. exp. relating to an acq. and the cost and avail. of funding. We will cut without a major deleveraging."
Update: Here is the full two page list
Yesterday, when Jefferies CEO Richie Handler issued his 3rd, and probably not last, public promise that "the firm is fine", he also promised to release granular level detail of every single European holding it has via a complete CUSIP dump. To wit: "These are fragile times in the financial market and we decided the only way to conclusively dispel rumors, misinformation and misplaced concerns is with unprecedented transparency about internal information that is rarely, if ever, publicly disclosed,“ said Richard Handler, Chairman and CEO of Jefferies. “Later today, after the markets are closed in Europe and we have completed our inventory control accounting, we will post on our web-site our day-end, CUSIP-level holdings in the securities of these countries. We care for our clients, shareholders, bondholders and employees and want to allay any concern that may have arisen. As was the case yesterday, the facts about our sovereign debt exposure and other matters are straightforward and easily understood. We encourage all market participants and interested parties to review our public filings that contain extensive disclosure of the nature, extent and financing of our assets. Our firm stands on a solid foundation of over $8.5 billion of long-term capital and we look forward to continued success." This was yesterday. Now, we can only assume we simply are unable to navigate the company's news release section quite efficiently, because it is now tomorrow, and all those clients, shareholders, bondholders and employees of the firm are quite curious just why the firm still has not released what it has promised. Just as they are curious why the firm's public net European exposure fluctuates materially in 48 hours.