"The takeaway message from New Hampshire is powerful but not new. Voters in Greece have rejected establishment parties – twice. Voters in Portugal recently rejected the establishment. Voters in Iceland did so years ago and their nation is now thriving. So what's behind all of this rejection? I reckon it's because you can only push people so far. As Popeye the Sailor is famous for saying, "That's all I can stands, I can't stands no more.""
It has been a morning session of two halves. In Asia, the mood was somber, and stocks fell with the Shanghai Composite (+1.1%) outperforming on another late session binge-fest by the National Team. The European session on the other hand surged higher and did not look back when the USDJPY proceeded to soar 100 pips from overnight lows, and push the Stoxx 600 +1.7% and US equity futures up with it, with the ES trading above 1900 as of this posting, adding to the best 2-day rally in the S&P in five months.
Fundamentally, Credit is unstable. It is self-reinforcing and prone to excess. Credit Bubbles foment destabilizing price distortions, economic maladjustment, wealth redistribution and financial and economic vulnerability. 'Activist' government intervention and manipulation have pushed protracted Bubbles to the point of precarious systemic fragility.
The stock markets of the so-called PIIGS are breaking down on an absolute and relative basis – not a positive development for global markets.
Because so much is riding on what so few decide,once the faith in the Central Banks fail, the chances of us getting out of this diminish every second...
"Whatever it takes" is not enough, it would appear as the fragility and interconnectedness forced upon the European banking/sovereign finance ponzi has rapidly come home to roost for Draghi and his followers. Peripheral bond risk has flipped from "hold your nose" buys to panic sells with Portugal risk exploding 200bps in the last week. As the European banking system's credit risk rises 2012-crisis-like, it seems belief in a bigger bazooka is fading fast.
"There is excessive debt everywhere and negative interest rates are dangerous... My number one fear? That’s the same as asking me where it will start. When you view the economy as a complex, adaptive system, like many other systems, one of the clear findings from the literature is that the trigger doesn’t matter; it’s the system that’s unstable. And I think our system is unstable... Central Bank models are just wrong"
All signs are that things are in fact in danger of getting out of hand...
The ECB's "whatever it takes" ponzi strategy of keeping the dream alive in Europe's financial system has finally been caught as rapid collapse in the banking system is contagiously spreading to peripheral sovereigns once again. Portugal risk spreads are up 120bps in the last 3 weeks and Spain and Italy are soaring over 35 and 50bps respectively as the almost self-dealing nature of banks buying "risk-free" EU bonds and repoing for cash via The ECB comes home to roost...
With China offline for the rest of the week, global markets have found a new Asian bogeyman in the face of Japan which as reported last night saw its markets crash, and the Yen soar, showing that less than 2 weeks after the BOJ unveiled NIRP, yet another central bank has lost control.
There is a new element to the latest European selloff, one which turned vicious just minutes after Europe opened for trading this morning with not just commercial banks (who are now all subject to bail-ins courtesy of the BRRD) being dumped with the Deutsche Bank water, but peripheral spreads and equity markets have all joined in. And moments ago, the Athens stock market just dropped to the lowest level since 1990, while the Greek banking index just crashed over 21% to a new all time low.
Everything went from bad to worse once Europe opened, and things started going "bump in the morning" across the European banking sector, where not only has it been more of the same with CDS spreads for major banks - most notably Deutsche Bank - continuing their surge wider, but also EM spreads to Bunds all following, with the Portugal-Germany Yield spread blowing out above 300 bps for the first time since 2014, and other peripheral nations following.
A multi-decade Credit Bubble is coming to an end. The past seven years has amounted to an incredible blow-off top and the ongoing worldwide collapse in financial stocks provides powerful support for the bursting global Bubble thesis. Few are yet willing to accept the harsh reality that the world has sunk back into crisis as mal-investment, over-investment and associated wealth destruction remain largely concealed so long as financial asset inflation persists. This is true as well for wealth redistribution. The unfolding adjustment process will deflate asset prices so as to converge more closely with deteriorating underlying economic fundamentals.
"... the growing perception that central banks are moving away from QE-style programmes to negative interest rates is less supportive for equities, in our opinion. With little evidence so far that negative rates boost aggregate economic activity, the risk is that this policy tool increasingly resembles a more blatant form of 'beggar thy neighbour' currency devaluation. A shift towards a more nationalistic and perhaps less coordinated global policy response could signal a quickening in the pace of fiat currency debasement and augurs badly for risk appetite, in our view."