Just when the Chinese plunge protection team (and "arrest shortie" task force) seemed to be finally getting "malicious selling" under control, first we saw a crack yesterday when the composite broke the surge of the past three days as a result of yet another spike in margin debt funded purchases, but it was last night's reminder that "good news is bad news" that really confused the stock trading farmers and grandmas, which goalseeked Chinese economic "data" beat across the board, with Q2 GDP coming solidly above expectations at 7.0%, and retail sales and industrial production both beating, but in the process raising doubts that the PBOC will continue supporting stocks.
"The International Monetary Fund has sent its strongest signal that it may walk away from Greece’s new bailout programme. Under its rules, the IMF is not allowed to participate in a bailout if a country’s debt is deemed unsustainable and there is no prospect of it returning to private bond markets for financing. The IMF has bent its rules to participate in previous Greek bailouts, but the memo suggests it can no longer do so," FT reports.
On November 7, 2011 Dr. Eric Ben-Artzi walked into a conference room at Deutsche Bank’s U.S. headquarters in lower Manhattan. Seated at a conference table was Sharon Wilson from the Human Resources department. Lars Popken, DB’s head of market risk methodology and Ben-Artzi’s manager, was videoconferenced in. Ben-Artzi’s job, Popken said, was being moved to Germany. Ben-Artzi thought back to the summer when, in response to rumors that some U.S. positions were likely to be moved overseas, he had mentioned he’d be happy to relocate to Berlin. No such luck. Minutes later, he was terminated and Wilson hurriedly ushered him out of the building. Ben-Artzi wasn’t even allowed to collect his personal belongings.
"The dramatic deterioration in debt sustainability points to the need for debt relief on a scale that would need to go well beyond what has been under consideration to date - and what has been proposed by the ESM. European countries would have to give Greece a 30-year grace period on servicing all its European debt, including new loans, and a very dramatic maturity extension, or else make explicit annual fiscal transfers to the Greek budget or accept 'deep upfront haircuts'."
Or, more simply: "Mark it zero."
In his Pulitzer-Prize-winning book, Lords of Finance, the economist Liaquat Ahamad tells the story of how four central bankers, driven by staunch adherence to the gold standard, “broke the world” and triggered the Great Depression. Today’s central bankers largely share a new conventional wisdom – about the benefits of loose monetary policy. Are monetary policymakers poised to break the world again?
In the final act of what has become a modern Greek tragedy, lawmakers will now be forced to choose between "approving" what is effectively a German overthrow of the Greek government, or face the collapse of the banking system and an economic depression of unimaginable propotions.
While Greek PM Alexis Tsipras is busy figuring out how best to go about pushing the "deal" he reached on Monday morning in Brussels through parliament, EU finance ministers are scrambling to put together billions in bridge financing that will hold Athens over until the activation of the ESM program which is likely at least four months away. Although it's as yet unclear which "least bad" option is preferable for Greece's external debt, Wolfgang Schaeuble has an idea for how the country might pay public sector employees.
It is only fitting that almost exactly 24 hours after the Greek "pre-deal", which may and will end up crashing and burning in very short notice, another long expected "deal", one which has been about a decade in the making, was reached, when Iran reached a landmark nuclear agreement with the U.S. and five other world powers, a long-sought foreign policy goal of the Obama administration. However, just like with the Greek deal celebrations, these too will likely be short lived as the outcome sets the White House on course for months of political strife with dissenters in Congress and in allied Middle Eastern nations.
"Mr. Varoufakis, who kept reminding everyone that he is a professor of game theory, believed that the European leaders would prefer to make concessions now rather than manage the disruption of a Greek default. He must not be familiar with the Tyler Durden school of negotiation: the first rule of using game theory is you do not talk about using game theory. What’s more obvious is that Syriza didn’t understand what the game is."
It’s not just about Greece, it’s about the whole EU. The Troika thinks that by scaring the living daylights out of the periphery, its power will increase. Germany just killed its golden goose. And boy, is that ever stupid. The main thing here is that Don Corleone was not a psychopath or sociopath, and that’s more than you can say for Schäuble and Dijsselbloem and Juncker and their ilk. While brute force may look attractive and decisive and all, in the end it will be their undoing. The Italians and Spanish and French have noted every word of this, and more. Europe as it is, is already over. Everything from here on in is a mere death rattle.
The whole thing feels a bit like the summer of 2008 all over. Once again, the global economy is weakening, a significant crisis has erupted, and temporary solutions to said crisis are being hailed as a success.
If there's something funny about all of this, someone forgot to tell Wolfgang Schaeuble...
Similar to the US banks who funded home owners that shouldn’t have received mortgages and made a fortune doing so – at least initially, the Germans funded the periphery nations in an effort to drive output growth domestically. However, financing a large portion of ones’ customer purchases is a high risk endeavour. And the Germans are in the midst of this hard lesson.
"The idea was that with Greece out, Germany would be more likely to provide the financial support the eurozone needed because the German people would no longer perceive aid to Europe as a bailout for the Greeks. At the same time, a Grexit would be traumatic enough that it would help scare the rest of Europe into giving up more sovereignty to a stronger banking and fiscal union."