Followng Pope Francis' demand that the Vatican Bank review its procedures, Reuters reports that the bank is likely to close all accounts held by foreign embassies, following concerns about large cash deposits and withdrawals by the missions of Iran, Iraq and Indonesia, according to people with knowledge of the situation. The private bank IOR has around EUR7.1 billion in assets but is concerned it could be "an unwitting vehicle for money laundering and other illicit finances."
European equities trade negatively as political tensions on both sides of the Atlantic dampens risk appetite and a lower than expected HSBC manufacturing PMI figure from China further weighs upon investor sentiment. In the US, government is on the precipice of the first shutdown since 1996 after House Republicans refused to pass a budget unless it involved a delay to Obama’s signature healthcare reforms. If the Republicans follow through with their threat a shutdown will occur at midnight tonight. As a result a fixed income in the US and core Europe benefit with investors wary of the immediate harm a shutdown will do to confidence in the economy.
Back in August, just after the false flag chemical weapon attack in Syria, we showed that despite all the posturing by the Obama administration (and, of course, France's belligerent, socialist leader Francois Hollande), the nation behind the entire Syrian campaign was not one of the "democratic", Western nations but none other than close neighbor Saudi Arabia, and the brain orchestrating every move of the western puppets was one Bandar bin Sultan, the nation's influential intelligence chief. We also explained the plethora of geopolitical and mostly energy-related issues that Saudi and Qatar had at stake, which they were eager to launch a regional war over, just to promote their particular set of selfish interests. A month later, in clear confirmation that this was precisely the case, the WSJ reported that the recent overtures by Obama, brilliantly checkmated by Putin, to push for a peaceful resolution with not only Syria, but suddenly Iran as well, has managed to infuriate Saudi Arabia: traditionally one of the US' closest allies in the region and the key source of crude oil to the western world.
With President Obama now on closer talking terms with Iran's President Rouhani than the Republicans, we thought the "major geopolitical shift," that this is supposed to be should be offset with a glance at the 'known' nuclear facilities that Iran possesses as the White House proceeds along its "difficult" path to "resolution" - not not regime change...
- House GOP banking on Plan C (Politico)
- Pimco shook hands with the Fed - and made a killing (Reuters)
- BlackBerry's Torsten Heins has a $55 Million golden parachute (Reuters)
- JPMorgan Urged to Pay More in Mortgage Deal (NYT)
- Soros Adviser Turned Lawmaker Sees Crisis by 2020 (BBG)
- U.N. Members Agree on Syria Disarmament (WSJ)
- U.N. Says Humans Are 'Extremely Likely' Behind Global Warming (WSJ)
- The non-falsifiable threats emerge: Shutdown Would Shave Fourth-Quarter U.S. Growth as Much as 1.4% (BBG)
- Swaps Rules Worry Industry: Coming Regulations Have Market Players Concerned About Possible Disruption (WSJ)
BREAKING. Iranian FM Zarif: there has to be a lifting of all sanctions, hope to be able to move in that direction in a short span of time
— Charlie Kaye (@CharlieKayeCBS) September 26, 2013
- The new normal name of a broken market: glitches - NYSE, Nasdaq Consider Cooperating to Address Glitches (WSJ)
- Early Thursday Humor: Abe Tells Wall Street Japan’s Economy Is Exceptionally Good (BBG)
- Rising Rates Seen Squeezing Swaps Income at Biggest Banks (BBG)
- JPMorgan Mortgage Talks Said to Discuss $11 Billion Deal (BBG)
- Can't make this up: HFT firm "finds" Fed did not leak data early to benefit HFT firms (FT)
- Hertz Cuts Full-Year Forecast on Weak U.S. Airport Rentals (BBG)
- Greece does not need third bailout, seeks debt 'reprofiling' - deputy PM (Reuters) - right, it needs a fourth and fifth
- Hezbollah gambles all in Syria (Reuters)
- Twitter Adds J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley as Bankers on IPO (WSJ)
- Messi in Court Shows Tax Collectors Set to Pursue Star Athletes (BBG)
The best summary of what has (not) been going on in the downward drifting equity markets comes from DB's Jim Reid, quoting: "Markets are in non-panicky limbo at the moment ahead of the upcoming US budget debate. US equities fell for the 5th day in row (S&P 500 -0.27%) and although this is the worst run since the Christmas/New Year’s Eve period of 2012 (due to the fiscal cliff debacle), the cumulative fall is only -1.9% over this decline. Meanwhile Treasuries hit a 7-week low in yield as they recorded their 12th decline in the last 14 days." As has been the case over the past week, stocks in Asia have generally traded lower with the exception of the Nikkei225 which day after day continues to do its insane penny stock thing, first dropping -1.5% only to close up 1.2% on absolutely no news, but some chatter the Abe administration would raise the sales tax on October 1, only to offset the fiscal benefit by lowering corporate tax. How this has any net impact is beyond us. Proceeding to Europe, stocks failed to sustain the initial higher open and moved into negative territory, with Italian asset classes underperforming, as market participants digested reports citing Italian MP Gasparri saying that PdL lawmakers are ready to quit if Berlusconi is ousted. This in turn saw a number of Italian banking stocks come under intense selling pressure, with the Italian/German yield spread widening in spite of supportive reinvestment flows that are due this week.
The last time the State Department issued a comparable worldwide terror alert, the majority of US embassies in the Muslim world were promptly evacuated and a few weeks later the Syrian false flag affair was unleashed upon the world. One wonders just what provocation John Kerry has in mind this time.
STATE DEPT ISSUES NEW WORLWIDE CAUTION ON TERRORIST THREATS; STATE DEPT DETAILS POSSIBLE THREATS IN EUROPE, ASIA, AFRICA
At least the evil terrorizers have not infiltrated the Arctic circle yet. As for the always convenient scapegoat:
STATE DEPT SAYS AL-QAEDA PLOTTING IN MULTIPLE REGIONS
They sure are: mostly in Syria, but luckily they are now armed with US weapons.
- JPMorgan eyes $4bn ‘pay for peace’ deal (FT)
- Prosecutors Pursue Big SAC Settlement (WSJ) - in the US if you are rich enough, no crime is bad enough
- Cruz's Defiant Stand Is Also a Lonely One (WSJ); Texas senator speaks for more than 14 hours (FT)
- Iran Applies Brakes to U.S. Mideast Plans (WSJ)
- Americans in Poll Doubt Economy Rebound in Defiance of Forecasts (BBG)
- Big Banks Cut Basel III Shortfall by $112 Billion at End of 2012 (BBG) - the equivalent of 10 bridges to the Kalahari desert
- Obama’s Jabs at Russia on Syria Shows Diplomacy Tensions (BBG)
- ICAP Staff Face Criminal Charges Tied to Libor (WSJ)
- Alibaba Is Said to Shift Target for I.P.O. to U.S. From Hong Kong (NYT)
- Home gold rush is over (Reuters)
- Conoco in landmark Alaska drone flight (FT)
Early weakness in Asia driven by US-follow thru selling and ongoing concerns about the us fiscal showdowns as well as the debt ceiling, if not by actual news, resulted in a red close in both the Nikkei and SHCOMP, as well as other regional indices such as the Sensex. This then shifted to Europe, where however stocks reversed the initial move lower and are seen broadly flat, with Bunds remaining bid on the back of month-end, as well as coupon and redemption related flows. However the move higher in stocks was led by telecommunications and health care sectors, which indicates that further upside will require another positive catalyst. There was little in terms of fresh EU related macroeconomic commentary, but according to a report published by the European Banking Authority, the EU’s biggest 42 banks cut their aggregate capital shortfall with respect to the “fully loaded” 2019 Basel III requirements to €70.4bln as of December 2012. This is amusing since not one European bank has actually raised capital, but merely redefined what constitutes capital courtesy of a liberal expansion of RWA, Tier 1 and various other meaningless definition which works until such time as the perilous European balance kept together by the non-existent OMT, is tipped over.
Despite President Obama's heavy focus on Iran in his speech this morning, a potential encounter at the UN (like ships passing in the night?) between the US President and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani failed to take place. Iranian officials indicated that "it was too complicated," and "there will be no meeting." As Reuters reports, the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told reporters that Obama had been open to a meeting with Rouhani while both were in New York for U.N. activities but the Iranians were not ready to have an encounter at the presidential level. The good news - following Rouhani's speech decrying external intervention and use of drones - John Kerry will meet with his Iranian counterpart - that should end well.
We listened to President Obama with bated breath... one wonders how many times President Rouhani will mention the US...
*IRAN POSES NO THREAT TO THE WORLD OR REGION, ROHANI SAYS
*MOVE TO REDRAW POLITICAL BORDERS DANGEROUS, PROVOCATIVE: ROHANI
*IRAN IS A HARBINGER OF JUST PEACE AND SECURITY, ROHANI SAYS
*ROHANI CRITICIZES VIOLATIONS OF PALESTINIANS' RIGHTS
*USE OF DRONES TO FIGHT TERRORISM SHOULD BE CONDEMNED: ROHANI
Update: Reuters confirms that the new island was in fact not a hoax: "The earthquake was so powerful that it caused the seabed to rise and create a small, mountain-like island about 600 meters (yards) off Pakistan's Gwadar coastline in the Arabian Sea."
As reported earlier, Pakistan and India were both shaken by a strong 7.8 magnitude earthquake with numerous aftershocks. While the damage and the casualties from the quake are not fully known yet although according to Raza news agency the latest death toll is at 45, one quite stunning development has emerged, quite literally, out of the sea. As Pakistani's The News reports, an entire island emerged off the country's Gwadar coast in the aftermath of the quake. "According to DIG Gwadar Moazzam Jah, the island's altitude is 20 to 40 feet and width around 100 feet. Talking to Geo news, the DIG said that the island emerged at a distance of 350 feet in the sea from the Gwadar coast."
This should be fun. With Rouhani in the house, Nobel-Peace-Prize-winner President Obama will address the oh-so-supportive-of-his-wars United Nations this morning. As AP reports, seeking to build on "diplomatic opportunities" is expected to signal his openness to discussions with Iran (even a wink in his direction would work since there has been no face-to-face contact in 30 years). Also high on Obama's agenda at the U.N. was rallying Security Council support for a resolution that would establish consequences for Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime if it failed to adhere to a U.S-Russian plan to turn over its chemical weapons. And we wonder if he'll mention them nasty Republicans wanting to shut his government down?