Jim O'Neill Describes Europe's Surreal Times, Asks If Germany And The Euro Area Even Want The Monetary Union Any LongerSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 11/20/2011 22:45 -0400
Among the traditionally meandering permabullish ramblings of a man who continues to ignore the disconnect between reality and his view of the world, tonight's note by GSAM loss leader Jim O'Neill "Surreal Times" has a very ominous rhetorical question inbetween all the bullish propaganda: "The ECB doesn’t seem to regard 10-year Italian bonds as a bargain and, of course, it is rather tricky as they need to be sure that Monti will deliver. In turn, this means that what is really important is that Mario gets support from those in the background and, ultimately, the Italian voters. And then there is Spain. And still, of course, the troubling Greek situation. And ultimately, the complex world of Berlin and Frankfurt. As many European newspapers are asking in recent days, does Germany actually really still want the EMU? And, as I shall now provocatively ask, does the Euro Area? All very surreal." No Jim, all very logical, because for the first time in decades, Europe is finally starting to do the math and realizes it is failing miserably. It is those stuck in a world in which combined total exports are greater than total imports by over $300 blilion: a mathematical lunacy, who think that what is happening is "very surreal." To everyone else, the right phrase is "very much expected."
Kyle Bass Destroys The Ponzi-Prone Debt Sustainability Arguments Of The Status Quo...And Why Germany Can't Save The WorldSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 11/20/2011 17:08 -0400
Another noteworthy Kyle Bass moment as he discusses debt sustainability among major global sovereign nations. Simply and proficiently, the hedge fund manager describes how a dwindling current account surplus in Japan, US welfare economics, and the peripheral-to-core European stressors are all Madoff-like and unsustainable. Switching from broad-brush terms to the idiosyncratic complexities of each region, Bass offers his inimitable take - in a mere six minutes - on how the status quo is quivering under its own self-deception. His rightful conclusions remain extremely worrisome and should be required reading/watching for every central banker and politician trying to keep the dream alive.
The Complete And Annotated Guide To The European Bank Run (Or The Final Phase Of Goldman's World Domination Plan)Submitted by Tyler Durden on 11/19/2011 20:38 -0400
"Nervous investors around the globe are accelerating their exit from the debt of European governments and banks, increasing the risk of a credit squeeze that could set off a downward spiral. Financial institutions are dumping their vast holdings of European government debt and spurning new bond issues by countries like Spain and Italy. And many have decided not to renew short-term loans to European banks, which are needed to finance day-to-day operations. " So begins an article not in some hyperventilating fringe blog, but a cover article in the venerable New York Times titled "Europe Fears a Credit Squeeze as Investors Sell Bond Holdings." Said otherwise, Europe's continental bank run in which virtually, but not quite, all banks are dumping any peripheral exposure with reckless abandon is now on. Granted, considering the epic collapse in bond prices of Italian, French, Austrian, Hungarian, Spanish and Belgian bonds which all hit record wide yields and spreads in the past week, and furthermore following last week's "Sold To You": European Banks Quietly Dumping €300 Billion In Italian Debt" which predicted precisely this outcome, the news is not much of a surprise. However, learning that everyone (with two exceptions) has given up on Europe's financial system should send a shudder through the back of everyone who still is capable of independent thought - because said otherwise, the world's largest economic block is becoming unglued, and its entire financial system is on the edge of a complete meltdown. And just to make sure that various fringe bloggers who warned this would happen over a year ago no longer lead to the hyperventilation of the venerable NYT, below, with the help of Goldman's Jernej Omahan, we bring to our readers the complete annotated and abbreviated beginner's guide to the pan-European bank run.
As the hopes and prayers of every European central banker (and long-only manager) rest on age old battles; 'good vs evil', 'woman vs man', 'Germans vs the-rest-of-us', we found today's helpful note from The House Of Squid very amusing. Goldman, in their puppet-masterly way, suggest (in an ever so logical manner) that perhaps Mrs. Merkel should allow for the print-fest and provide their right-hand man Draghi with the ammo he needs to have that discussion.
"There are no easy choices and it would have been, no doubt, better if the ECB had never got in the position it is in now. But the current situation demands a careful weighing of the risk involved with any decision taken. The inflationary risk thereby seems to be getting an unduly high weight in the consideration of German policy makers."
The more unequal countries are doing worse on all these kinds of social problems. It's an extraordinarily close correlation.
It is no surprise that everyone's attention, hopes and dreams, are now on the shoulders of a principled and sensible Bundesbank as they fight-the-good-fight against a torrent of seemingly-sensible print-baby-print commentators (and politicians). Of course, if they did the equity markets would rally (despite the circular EUR weakness, correlated equity weakness, equity strength on we-are-all-saved, EUR strength game theory response) and the trade would be equity to outperform credit (as we've seen before). The pragmatist might argue that this is not a solution, but interestingly Dylan Grice of SocGen, suggests that as opposed to prospectively common-knowledge (and Germany's anti-Weimar reputation), the notion to devalue first, does best and maybe it is time for the ECB to take that plunge. This is somewhat opposed to his previous views on the path to hyperinflation (as akin to being half-pregnant) and our perspective remains that once the ECB starts, how will they ever stop?
A system which suppresses information and the low-level instability of dissent and negative feedback thus suppresses the information the system needs to remain stable. Suppressing dissent, facts, transparency and feedback inevitably destabilizes the system. It is ironic, isn't it, that the suppression of dissent, facts and transparency creates the surface illusion of stability, but it is only a facade. Beneath the surface, the lack of information and low-level fluctuation/volatility builds up system instability which is suddenly released as non-linear, chaotic volatility and collapse. What Europe, the U.S., China and Japan have now are leaderships that substitute lies for fact, obfuscation for transparency, artifice for feedback and propaganda for communication. The essential negative feedback of dissent has been choked off, leaving only self-reinforcing positive feedback loops in the system, feedback that inevitably leads to runaway collapse.
Are The Conservative Dutch Immune To Contagion? Are You Safe During An Earthquake Because You Keep You Keep Your Shoes Tied?Submitted by Reggie Middleton on 11/17/2011 16:35 -0400
This collapse will come in waves, and the CRE wave hasn't even started yet. When it does come, it will crash against the Sovereign defaults and rate storms to combine with a derivative malaise that will collapse much of the banking system. Ok, now for the bad news...
Based on its debt maturation cycle I expect we’ll see an Italian default within the next six months. Indeed, no matter what happens with Greece, Italy will make sure that the EU in its current form no longer exists within the next year.
Like two children bickering over spilled ink... Listen fellas, there's only one way out of this, and that way is not through the ACME Print-O-Matic 2000 (Euro edition). It didn't work for Japan, it didn't work for the US, and it ain't gonna work for the EU!
Physics has the elusive Theory of Everything which consists of several Grand Unified Theories and which represents the holy grail of the science and which "fully explains and links together all known physical phenomena, and predicts the outcome of any experiment that could be carried out in principle." In other words, once proven it would make life boring. We doubt it ever will be. Finance does not have anything like it, for the simple reason that while physics is a deterministic science, finance, predicated to a big extent on assumptions borrowed from the shaman cult known as 'economics' is always and everywhere open ended, and depends just as much on chaotic 'strange attractors' as it does on simple linear relationships. Yet when it comes to presentations, especially of the variety that attempt to explain not only where we are in the world, and how we got there, but also where we are headed, we have yet to see anything as comprehensive as the Investment Strategy guidebook from Pictet's Christophe Donay. If there is indeed a holy grail of presentations, this is it, at least for a few more instants, until something dramatically changes and the whole thing becomes an anachronism. In the meantime learn everything there is to know about global decoupling and the lack thereof, the reality of an over-indebted global regime and its 3 incompatible targets, the outlook for the US and the 30% probability of a hard recession, a recessionary Europe and the five possible outcomes of its crisis, China and its hard landing, and how this all ties into an outlook on where the world is headed together with appropriate investment strategies and proper asset allocation, the fair value of the EURUSD, systemic risk evaluation, cross asset correlation, the impact of central bank intervention, debt redemption profiles, the role of gold and commodities in the new reality, and virtually everything else of importance right here and right now.
Kyle Bass Un-Edited: "Buying Gold Is Just Buying A Put Against The Idiocy Of The Political Cycle. It's That Simple!"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 11/16/2011 21:55 -0400
If the abridged summary from BBC's Hardtalk interview with Kyle Bass that we published yesterday was not enough for those seeking sense, truth, and direction, then (as promised) the full 24'30" interview will quench that desire. Reflecting on the similarities of his subprime perspective, he provides a crucial context for the debt-laden world of sovereign debt that he is now hedging. Shrugging off the somewhat snarky 'nefarious short-sellers' angle of questioning (and insuring the uninsured prod), he simply and elegantly points out how massively asymmetric the European sovereign debt bet was, how the asymmetry in Europe has largely disappeared now, and all the asymmetry now lies in Japan. From the 14-minute mark, Bass describes the demographic disaster, destroys the savings myth of the land of the rising sun, and brings into focus how Italy's rapid demise should be a forewarning for the debt-servicing needs of Japan. Ending up on the Fed's printing and the need for guns and gold, there's a little here for everyone!
"Buying gold is just buying a put against the idiocy of the political cycle. It's That Simple"
Watch Rosenberg And Krugman Debate Larry Summers and Ian Bremmer On Whether The US Is Turning Into JapanSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 11/14/2011 22:54 -0400
Minutes ago, the always delightful Munk Debate on the American economy concluded, which pitted two skeptics: David Rosenberg and (yes, he is a skeptic when it comes to his belief in the "proper" implementation of Keynesianism) Paul Krugman on the one hand defending the null motion of the debate, against Larry "Warren (watch the clip)" Summers, best known for destroying capitalism, and Ian Bremmer. The core debate topic was as follows: "North America faces a Japan style era of high unemployment and slow growth an accurate forecast of the future." Naturally, as Krugman immediately explained, by North America the organizers mean the US, simply because Canada is too small and hasn't screwed up enough (we would add that the screw up has not been perceived yet: everyone has screwed up, but luckily we have enough distractions for the time being). Either way, the progression of the debate should not come as a surprise to most, neither how each particular economist will perform: that Rosie sees Japan in every aspect of the US should not surprise anyone; that Krugman does too unless the politicians agree to being invaded by aliens, is also to be expected. On the other side, "Warren" Summers' argument can be simplified to his fallback motto of Keynesianism and Central Planning 101 in which he believes that the printing of money and job creation are sufficient to fix all US problems. No surprise there either: after all this is the man who three weeks ago said: "The central irony of financial crisis is that while it is caused by too much confidence, too much borrowing and lending and too much spending, it can only be resolved with more confidence, more borrowing and lending, and more spending."