As far back as ancient times, whenever civilizations fell into great crisis, people in desperation have almost invariably turned to a single individual who promised them better times. Of course, history is full of examples of men who did not give up power willingly once the crisis passed. As an example, the 1920s economic crisis in the Weimar Republic had a huge impact in the rise of Adolf Hitler’s National Socialism. In the 1920s, there was one bankrupt country. And the consequences still define the world we live in. But Jim Rogers sees another "man on a white horse" that scares him even more today...
Fear not US: with a Q2 GDP of under 1% now all but assured, and with all economic data reporting now a global bizarro day farce, you will have a chance to take the torch from Europe in the ugliest girl category, and push the S&P to a new record intraday high today following what should be assured epic misses in the Industrial Production print (exp. +0.3%), Cap Utilization and the NAHB housing market index which is set to tumble now that any retail demand for housing was promptly killed following the recent spike in rates. In addition to a relatively lite economic docket, we get the all systematically important hedge fund, Goldman Sachs, reporting which is expected to announce a 21% q/q drop in revenues, led by lower gains in Investment Lending (i.e. prop), offset by 12% drop in operating expenses. Of course, nothing fundamental actually matters as markets continue to be on ultra low-volume, "drift higher" autopilot until tomorrow's Ben Bernanke semi-annual muppet show in Congress, when he is expected to refill the hopium trough once more and finally send the S&P above 1700 on central planning.
Everyone wants to know what day everything will change. Despite all the chaos in Portugal, Greece, Spain, and France; none of this will matter until after this drop-dead date. Nothing is going to be allowed to upset the bratwurst cart and we mean nothing. If more money is needed it will be spent. If favors need to be called the phone will be in use. But in the day following, however...
Risk assets are not quite (yet) back to the ‘melt-up' of May but equity markets are trading in a confident mood after Bernanke caused sentiment to flip from glass ‘half empty' to ‘half full'. China Q2 GDP data did not derail price action as equity futures anticipate a positive start of the week. The semi-annual testimony of the Fed Chairman is typically a seminal event on the market calendar but do we dare say that the one coming up this week is a non-event following last week's message on policy accommodation? The VIX index dropped 7 points over the last three weeks of which 2 points alone came last Thursday and Friday as stocks roared to new highs and shrugged off the candid observation on the Chinese economy by finance minister Lou Jiwei. If a 6.5% growth rate is tolerable in the future, there is little doubt that commodities and the AUD have further to fall. Chinese GDP slowed from 7.7% to 7.5% according to data released overnight and prospects for the second half don't look much brighter after evidence of slowing credit growth. Data on Friday showed declines of narrow money from 11.3% yoy to 9.1% in May, with broad money growth slowing to 14% yoy. Non-bank credit and new foreign currency bank lending also weakened.
Dispassionate review of some of next weeks important developments.
Amid the turmoil in Portugal, the Barcenas-Affair in Spain had dropped to the back-pages of the European press... until now. The illegal party-funding that ex-Treasurer Barcenas is now whistle-blowing on has been linked directly to Spanish prime-minister - despite Rajoy's ongoing denial of everything - via text messages uncovered by Spain's El Mundo newspaper. The opposition leadership is demanding Rajoy's "immediate resignation," noting he "is incapacitated," amid the damage that the texts - which prove an ongoing and direct link to the man at the hub of the funding debacle for at least the last two years (when Rajoy has expressly denied any relationship). "You cannot govern well," another congressman noted, when there is "very clear data" linking Barcenas with the PP (Rajoy's party) and the alleged illegal funding. Only a few screen shots have been released of the dozens of texts that the paper has apparently received...
Looks like everybody was in on the act with complying with the National Security Agency’s spying around the world according to secret files. The Guardian newspaper of the UK has just obtained secret fails from Edward Snowden detailing the full extent of the affair. The affair was revealed just about a month ago now, but it now seems that Prism had everybody doing their dirty work.
Have you ever seen a disaster movie that is so bad that it is actually good? Unfortunately, we are witnessing something just as ridiculous in the real world right now. In the United States, the mainstream media is breathlessly proclaiming that the U.S. economy is in great shape because job growth is "accelerating" (even though we actually lost 240,000 full-time jobs last month) and because the U.S. stock market set new all-time highs this week. The mainstream media seems to be absolutely oblivious to all of the financial storm clouds that are gathering on the horizon. The conditions for a "perfect storm" are rapidly developing, and by the time this is all over we may be wishing that flying sharks were all that we had to deal with.
Latin American Countries Recall Ambassadors From Spain, France, Italy And Portugal Over Snowden "Neo-Colonial" FlapSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 07/13/2013 11:41 -0500
The global fallout from the Snowden affair continues to reverberate following the latest news that four Latin American countries - Brazil, Argentina, Urugay and Venezuela - announced on Friday they would recall their ambassadors from the countries that blocked their airspace to Bolivia's Evo Morales following false rumors he was carrying Snowden, forcing an emergency landing in Austria. The four countries said this incident violated international law. As a result of Obama's "neo-colonial" practices in Europe, as Uruguay's foreign minister Luis Almagro denounces Europe's servile compliance with pax AmericaNSA, the Mercosur ambassadors in Spain, France, Italy and Portugal will be pulled back for consultations.
The move is very reminiscent of the 2007 top where we had a top, a brief collapse and then a final burst higher to a new high. Within a few months however, the markets had begun to descend into what would ultimately be the worst Crisis in 100 years.
Using simply math, it's easy to calculate that the jig is up in Portugal. Between now and this time next year, we'll likely see defaults and/or restructurings.
Following a handsome bounce driven by Draghi, Carney, and various Fed officials promising moar, peripheral European bonds and stocks are having a bad day (and week). Greece, Portugal, Spain, and Italy are all ending the week lower (after solid performance mid-week) with Germany's DAX seeing the benefits of a rotation from high-beta momo with a 5.1% rise on the week (the best week in 20 months!). Safe-haven flows dominated in bonds; Bunds rallied slightly more than Treasuries on the week but once again Peripheral nations collapsed. Spanish bond spreads jumped the most in a year. Italy was notably weak, but Portugal has seen spreads jump 28% in the last 2 weeks (the worst in over 3 years!). EURUSD had its best week in 5 weeks - and despite the peripheral collapse, Europe's VIX had its best (drop) week in 4 months ending at 19%.
UPDATE: 5Y now +126bps (biggest jump in 19 months - snce the record highs) and rest of Europe is catching their systemic risk flu
Amid all the fun and games of the last few days that have seen everyone buy everything everywhere, we noted that the President of Portugal has 'warned' his politicians that if they don't find a coalition solution in a "very short period" then he will call early elections (throwing the Troika-imposed austerity program into shambles). It seems the 'time-bomb' was on a long fuse - thanks to Bernanke - and the reaction is very evident today as Portuguese bonds implode. Spreads are 76bps wider on the day, breaking above 600bps for the first time in 8 months. The 5Y yield on Portuguese debt is now at 7.5% (up 109bps today!) - and yet still they discuss the expectation of coming to market soon for new issuance. Europe remains very un-fixed and every now and again, when the domestic buyers are overwhelmed by some real liquidity, we get a glimpse.
When Bloomberg blasts headlines like this: S&P FUTURES UP 1PT, AT SESSION HIGH, ERASE EARLIER 3.4PT DROP, you know Bernanke hasn't spoken in over 24 hours if a 4 point swing is headline worthy. That said, the exhausted S&P ramp is now going for the 6th consecutive session as all the losses since the June FOMC meeting have now been erased, the S&P is making constant all time highs, and seemingly the Fed's message on tapering and communication has been clarified. The message being that the Fed is tapering its monthly purchases but short-term rates aren't being lifted. Sadly, the market's first reaction was the right one but the herd of cats has once again been herded by the trading desk at Liberty 33.
"Our government tells us that this will be a better year. No one really believes them. But all we can do is be optimistic. Too many people are committing suicide."