Hey, at least a handful of Ben's buddies will make a bundle ...
The much anticipated Goldman Sachs list of "Top Trades Recommendations for 2012" is out... And the squid is bearish. Which is bad news, as if there is one thing one does not want is to be aligned with Goldman's salesforce. Let's dig in.
Need a reason to explain the massive central bank intervention from China, to Japan, Switzerland, the ECB, England and all the way to the US? Forbes may have one explanation: "It appears that a big European bank got close to failure last night. European banks, especially French banks, rely heavily on funding in the wholesale money markets. It appears that a major bank was having difficulty funding its immediate liquidity needs. The cavalry was called in and has come to the successful rescue." Granted the post is rather weak on factual backing and is mostly speculative, but it would certainly make sense. That said, it harkens back to our original question: just how bad was the situation if the global central banking cabal had to intervene all over again, and just what was not being told to the general public? Lastly, and most important, slapping liquidity bandaids on solvency gangrenes does nothing but buy a few days at most. Furthermore, we now expect the stigmata associated with borrowing from the Fed to haunt each and every European bank as vigilantes will now use the weekly ECB update on borrowings from the Fed as a signal to hone in on this and that weak Italian and French, pardon, European bank.
Those wondering about the global Fed bailout (this is not the first time, recall How The Federal Reserve Bailed Out The World) can read the FAQ from none other than the source of the global liquidity tsunami itself.
Some thoughts on FX interventions and the job the ECB has in front of it.
As expected, the Fed has just bailed out the world once again:
- FED, ECB, BOJ, BOE, SNB, BANK OF CANADA LOWER SWAP RATES - BBG
- ECB, FED other major central bank to lower the pricing of existing USD liquidity swaps by 50BPS
And as we have been writing every single day, the worldwide dollar crunch is now confirmed:
- At present, there is no need to offer liquidity in non-domestic currencies other than the U.S. dollar,
This means that the global situation is far, far more dire than the talking heads have said. Luckily, when this step fails, which it will, Mars can always come and bail us out.
“Japan’s economy is likely to continue to face a severe situation,” said the Governor of the BoJ. He blamed the euro crisis and the strong yen. Bland language, ugly meaning.
FX Concepts' John Taylor has not had a good year. A month ago, talking to Bloomberg he admitted that "What’s really frustrating is that we’re supposed to do well in a lousy world market,” said John Taylor, the founder of New York-based FX Concepts LLC, the world’s largest currency hedge fund. Taylor said in an Oct. 19 interview in London that he has lost 12 percent this year and assets under management fell to $5 billion from as much as $8 billion. "We’re doing very badly." Naturally that is to be expected: after his banner year last year, and doing what is logical in 2011, it is not surprising that he did not anticipate the level of central bank involvement, and the resulting surge of the EURUSD in the past month. Either way, he very bearish stance on the EUR will soon be vindicated. In a brand news interview with Bloomberg he says that the the Euro has entered a "death struggle" and that it is "really worse than I could have dreamed it being." Logically, to every seller there is a buyer. To wit: "What’s stupid is that the ECB is holding it up. Why are they holding up the euro? One of the problems, besides the ECB, is the banks are shrinking, and the banks are selling all of their offshore assets and bringing them back to Europe. That means in fact there is a persistent buyer of euros and it’s their own financial institutions." All this, and more in the full interview below with transcript.
Gross On The Futility Of The European Deus Ex Machina: "A French/German Guillotine Hangs Over The Markets"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 11/29/2011 09:25 -0400
Bill Gross continues with his rational Keynes bashing with the following statement from his latest monthly piece just released: "What has become obvious in the last few years is that debt-driven growth is a flawed business model when financial markets and society no longer have an appetite for it. In addition to initial conditions of debt to gross domestic product and related metrics, the ability of a sovereign to snatch more than its fair share of growth from an anorexic global economy has become the defining condition of creditworthiness – and very few nations are equal to the challenge." In addition he also meaks it all too clear why the sudden reappearance of the Federal states of German-funded Europe proposal is a dead end: "On the fiscal side the EU’s solution has been to “clean up your act,” throw out the scoundrels and scofflaws (eight governments have fallen) and balance your budgets. Such a process, however, almost necessarily involves several years of recessionary growth and deflationary wage pressures on labor markets in the offending countries." Gross picturesque analogies never fail to amuse (maybe not the French though): "The ultimate vote of the working men and women in these countries will always hang over the markets like a Damocles sword or perhaps a French/German guillotine. If the axe falls, then bond defaults may follow no matter what current policies may promise in the short term." That's right. He went there. As for his conclusion, he is spot on: "Investors and investment markets will likely be supported or even heartened by recent days’ policy proposals. The problem of Euroland is twofold however. First of all, they will remain a dysfunctional family no matter what the outcome. You can’t tell a German much, and while they can issue what appear to be constructive orders and solutions to the southern peripherals, there is little doubt that none of them will “like it very much.”....Secondly, and perhaps more importantly however, investors should recognize that Euroland’s problems are global and secular in nature, reflecting worldwide delevering and growth dynamics that began in 2008." And that's it folks: Europe will never submit to a federalist union controlled by Germany. And even if it does, it is not just Europe that is broken. It is the entire world. Speaking of broken marriages, we wonder just how many CDS Gross is long parent risk-soaring Allianz?
Japan is starting to heat up a little in terms of risk and we hope that Noda is watching carefully. While the strengthening trend in USDJPY and JGBs has been a long one, the last few days are starting to worry some traders and most notably, Bloomberg points out that not only are FX options the most USD bullish-biased (JPY-bearish) in seven years, swaptions (bearish rate bets) have screamed to their highest in over seven months at 54bps. The growing concern that the European crisis will spread to Japan is extremely evident in these option bets, supporting the sentiment of S&P's recent 'downgrade' chatter, Bass's grave concerns, and the IMF's decidely negative perspective on fiscal sustainability as Japan's 'savior' trade-surplus is expected to drop significantly. Perhaps the sad inevitability of the real endgame of Richard Koo's balance sheet-recessionary view of Keynesianism is closer than many believe.
With the European End Game now in sight, the primary question that needs to be addressed is whether Europe will opt for a period of massive deflation, massive inflation, or deflation followed by inflation.
Uncle Sam To The Rescue After All: Latest Rumor Sees €600 Billion Bailout Of Italy From US, Pardon IMFSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 11/27/2011 11:15 -0400
The European desperation is palpable ahead of the EURUSD open in a few hours, which has to deal with the aftermath of the Friday afternoon downgrade of Belgium, the junking of Portugal and Hungary, and the prospect of an imminent downgrade of AAA-stalwarts Austria and France. So what does Europe do instead of actually proposing the inevitable debt repudiation that is the only and final outcome? Why more rumors of course. To wit: last night saw the preannouncement of Welt am Sonntag indicating that in order to bypass the lengthy process of treaty changes, Europe would instead proceed with bilateral agreements that would somehow enforce fiscal stability and convince the market that European states would follow the German leader. Well since that is sure to have absolutely no impact, overnight Italian La Stampa is out with a fresh new rumor which cites "IMF sources" according to which the US-headquartered and funded organization would provide a €600 billion loan to Italy at 4-5%. In other words, Uncle Sam, in his role as primary funding agent of the IMF would lose massive amount of money on the "market to fair value" arbitrage, only to bail out the latest European domino. As a reminder, the whole "under market rates" loan from the IMF was implemented in Greece and worked out just swell: at last check the 1 Year Greek bond was trading with a yield of over 300%. Oh, and La Stampa forgot to mention one thing: any changes to the IMF, which currently is massively underfunded and is why the organization was forced to create two new liquidity facilities: a Precautionary and Liquidity Credit line, since it is unable to fund its New Arrangements to Borrow, have to go through US Congress when it comes to expanding funding capacity. Yup, the most dysfunctional, corrupt and criminal thing in the world - the US House of Representatives, where unless everyone is short Italian CDS, this will never pass. In other words: this rumor is dead in the water.
Alabama immigration law, a Mercedes-Benz executive from Germany, and Republican bifurcation on illegal immigrants: the outcome was ... flip-flopping.