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Greece Exposes The Global Economy's Achilles Heel





The new Greek political party, known as Syriza, the Coalition of the Radical Left, has done the unthinkable: they've dared to speak the truth.

 
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Greece: Are You Finally Ready To Do The Right Thing And Leave The Euro?





The era of living off borrowed money is over in Greece, and the Greek people now have a choice: they can continue down the path of poverty by leaving their culture of corruption unchanged, or they can grasp the nettle and support a new culture based on transparency, fiscal prudence and strict adherence to the basic rules of monetary management.

 
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The Death Cross Of American Society





Presented with little comment aside to ask (rhetorically of course), who is The Fed working for?

 
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The End Of Guitar Center (And An Irrational Addiction To Growth & The Scourge Of Unregulated Structured Finance)





The fact is, the die is cast. In a couple of weeks, Guitar Center will need to report its Christmas performance to its bondholders. If things do not look good, its bonds will be ripped apart like RadioShack’s. Here’s what this really means: it’s the end of big box retail, an irrational addiction to growth, and the scourge of unregulated structured finance. For a few years, unwise urban planning and unregulated banks created a new bubble in the American suburbs. The objective truth is that the growth of the last decade was financed by banking fraud, and that financial trickery of this sort only fools people in the short-term. Eventually, you must have a product people demand, sold by competent people who care about the business, financed in a way that makes sense.

 
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What Central Bank Defeat Would Look Like, In Charts





Deflation remains the enemy thanks to debt, deleveraging, demographics, tech disruption & default risks. US aggregate debt is today a staggering $58.0 trillion (327% of GDP); the number of people unemployed in the European Union is 23.6 million; Greece has spent 90 of the past 192 years in default or debt restructuring. 7 years on from the GFC... The massive policy response continues. Central bank victory means that lower rates, currencies, oil successfully boosts global GDP & PMI’s in Q2/Q3, allowing Fed hikes in Q4. Bond yields would soar in H1 on this outcome. Defeat, no recovery, and currency wars, debt default and deficit financing become macro realities.

 
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Impact Of China 0.5% RRR Cut Is Equivalent To RMB 630 Billion Liquidity Injection, Goldman Finds





To say that the PBOC is confused at this moment is a very big understatement: on one hand, yesterday the PBOC moved its reference rate for the yuan outside the daily trading band for the first time in 21 months, forcing the currency to strengthen as authorities seek to limit volatility in capital flows. And then just hours later, as reported first thing this morning, the same PBOC announced its broad RRR cut - the first one since May 2012 -  an attempt to ease ongoing, and thus tightening, capital outflows, and pushing the currency lower in the process. In short: unlike other central banks who hope that institutional and retail investors figure out their FX intentions and help them out by "frontrunning" their moves (which may never come) in what is now a clear and global currency war, China is certainly not making it easy for FX traders to figure out what will happen next.

 
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How Elliott's Paul Singer Is Trading Plunging, No Surging, No Plunging, No Surging Crude Oil





"The price plunge is new, but if it is not reversed relatively quickly, it could make the apparently strong economic numbers in the U.S. in recent months seem like a lost warm memory by the middle of 2015. The problem, of course, is that the absence of pro-growth economic policies in the developed world (aside from monetary extremism) places a large premium on any industry that is actually growing and providing jobs and GDP. Given the fragility of both the global financial system and the economy, the plummet in the oil price is coming into a world in which any disruption can be harmful, even one resulting from a fall in prices of a major global input into the economic engine."

 
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We Officially Declare The End Of RadioShack LBO Rumors





For anyone who has traded RadioShack's bonds or stocks over the last decade or so, the constant threat of an LBO has been the bane of any fundamental analysis as one Credit Suisse memorably described it as "a company in a virtual state of constant collapse." It appears, with multiple default notices this week and the news that NYSE will suspend/delist trading in the ever-on-the-block company, that the 'LBO rumor' threat is over. With several firms (Sprint, Sanpower, and Amazon) mulling post-bankruptcy purchases, the concept of a pre-petition savior appears dead in the water...

 
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"It's A Man-Made Tragedy; And The Men Who Made It Won't Fix It"





"It's a man-made tragedy, and the men who made it won’t fix it." So it turns out Lenin wasn’t just right that the best way to destroy the capitalist system is to debauch the currency. It’s also the best way, as Venezuela can tell you, to destroy the socialist one.

 
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Frontrunning: February 3





  • RBA cuts interest rates to record low of 2.25% (SMH)
  • RBI keeps rates on hold (Reuters), India allows banks flexibility on big projects to reboot growth (Reuters)
  • BP slashes capital spending by 20% (FT)
  • Greek Retreat on Writedown May Move Fight to Spending (BBG)
  • Rosneft accounting move helps BP beat profit forecast (Reuters)
  • Amazon in Talks to Buy Some of RadioShack's Stores (BBG)
  • Behind Obama's budget proposals, a gloomy view of the future (Reuters)
  • How the Justice Department, S&P Came to Terms (WSJ)
  • Staples, Office Depot in Advanced Talks to Merge (WSJ)
 
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Greece FinMin: "No U-Turn" In Our Position; "Write-Off Can Occur In Several Methods" Spokesman Adds





a day after the FT report sent futures soaring and has been responsible for the jump in European stocks this morning, the Greek finance minister made it quite clear that, as has been happening on pretty much every day since his ascent to power, he has been misinterpreted and that as Bloomberg noted a little over na hour ago, "there has been no "U-turn" on the Greek debt position, adding that "Our promise is solid, debt will be rendered sustainable even if haircut replaced with euphemisms, swaps" Greece’s Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis comments in Twitter post.

 
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Greece Changes Strategy: No Longer Demands Debt Write Off, Ask For Debt Exchange Instead





Update, and in line with the FT report, here's Bloomberg: GREECE SAID TO DROP WRITEDOWN REQUEST AFTER OPPOSITION FROM EU

Over a week after the new Greek government came to power, it has presented its first actual proposal of how it hopes to negotiate with Europe that does not involve the infamous "debt write off", which as both Germany and the ECB have made clear, is a non-starter as it impairs the ECB's balance sheet and leads to a loss of "faith" in the money printer, the legacy monetary system and so on. So instead of yet another debt restructuring, the FT reports that Yanis Varoufakis "would no longer call for a headline write-off of Greece’s €315bn foreign debt. Rather it would request a “menu of debt swaps” to ease the burden, including two types of new bonds." Actually he still does, only he is not calling it as such.

 
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Persistently Over-Optimistic Fed Admits There Is Persistent Over-Optimism About The US Economy





In a stunningly honest reflection on itself (and its peer group of professional prognosticating panderers), The Federal Reserve's San Francisco research group finds that - just as we have pointed out again and again - that since 2007, FOMC participants have been persistently too optimistic about future U.S. economic growth. Real GDP growth forecasts have typically started high, but then are revised down over time as the incoming data continue to disappoint. Possible explanations for this pattern include missed warning signals about the buildup of imbalances before the crisis, overestimation of the efficacy of monetary policy following a balance-sheet recession, and the natural tendency of forecasters to extrapolate from recent data. The persistent bias in the track records of professional forecasters apply not only to forecasts of growth, but also of inflation and unemployment.

 
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