Portugal

The Spain Curve Inversion In All Its Gravitational Glory

UPDATE: *ITALIAN TWO-YR NOTE YIELD RISES ABOVE 5%, 1ST TIME SINCE JAN 11

While every wannabe bond-trader and macro-strategist can quote 10Y Spanish yields, and maybe even knows what the front-end of the Spanish yield curve is doing (and why), there are three very significant events occurring in the Spanish sovereign credit market. First is the inversion of the 5s10s curve (5Y yields were above 10Y yields at the open today); second is the velocity with which 2s10s and 5s10s have plunged suggesting a total collapse in confidence of short-term sustainability; and perhaps most critically, third is the record wide spread between the bond's spread and the CDS (the so-called 'basis') which suggests market participants have regime-shifted Spain into imminent PSI territory (a la Greece and Portugal) as opposed to 'still rescuable' a la Italy for now. As we pointed out earlier, there is little that can be done (or is willing to be done) in the short-term, and the inevitability of a full-scale TROIKA program request is increasingly priced into credit markets (though its implicatios are not in equities of course).

The Issue Of 'Moments'

It was inevitable and despite all of the usual huffing and puffing on the Continent; the moves are correct. First Egan-Jones and then Moodys and Germany is downgraded or threatened with a downgrade and for sound reasons. The German economy is $3.2 trillion and they are trying to support the Eurozone with an economy of $15.3 trillion that is in recession and rapidly falling off the cliff. Each new European enterprise gives the markets a shorter and shorter bounce as we all watch the yields in Europe rise, the stock market’s fall and the Euro in serious decline against both the Dollar and the Yen. There has been no Lehman Moment to date but moment-by-moment the decline in the fortunes of Europe diminishes. There is almost no historical precedent where debt paid by the addition of more and more debt has been a successful operation. There is always the inevitable wall or walls and the concrete slabs of Greece and Spain fast approach.

Goldman Murders Muppets, Tells Them To Stay Long Spanish, Italian Bonds

Curious just how we were 100% certain that the June 29 summit was an epic disaster, in addition to the obvious? Because in a note from that morning we said the following: "Below is Goldman's quick take on the E-Tarp MOU (completely detail-free, but who needs details when one has money-growing trees) announced late last night. In summary: "We recommend being long an equally-weighted basket of benchmark 5-year Spanish, Irish and Italian government bonds, currently yielding 5.9% on average, for a target of 4.5% and tight stop loss on a close at 6.5%." By now we hope it is clear that when Goldman's clients are buying a security, it means its prop desk is selling the same security to clients." Sure enough, its prop desk was selling, and selling, and selling. Since then Spain and Italy have blown out, and only the strange tightening in Ireland has prevented yet another stop loss from the squid which is now known for cremating clients more than anything else. The stop loss is certainly not far: the basket is now at 6.20%, and has just 30 bps to go until yet another batch of Goldman clients is slaughtered. Which is now only a matter of time - Goldman just told its clients it has a little more of its 5 Year exposure left to sell, and then it will be done. Of course by then another muppet murder scene will have to be cordoned off.

Spain Not Uganda - Increasingly Looking Like Vigilante Hell With 2 Year At 6.66%, 10 Year At 7.6%

Spain is not Uganda: this morning Spain is increasingly looking like the 10th circle of bondholder vigilante hell with its 10 Year trading at 7.59% after hitting a record 7.607% moment prior. The short end has blown out even wider and the 2 Year very appropriately at 6.66% and rising. Italy has also joined the party blowing out to just why of 6.5% and Italy's banks about to be halted across the board despite the short-selling ban. Next up: selling anything forbidden. Finally, the scramble for safety into Swiss 2 year notes accelerates as these touch a mindboggling -0.44%. There was no specific catalyst to lead to today's ongoing meltdown, but the fact that Spain just paid a record price for 3 and 6 month Bills is not helping: the average yield was 2.434 percent for the three-month bills compared with 2.362 percent in June and 3.691 percent for six-month paper compared with 3.237 percent. With each passing day, the selling crew is demanding the ECB get involved and stop the carnage. For now Draghi is nowhere to be seen as Germany continues to have the upper hand. After all recall just who it is that benefits from keeping the periphery on the razor's edge and the EURUSD sliding.

Moody's Changes Aaa-Rated Germany, Netherlands, Luxembourg Outlook To Negative

In a first for Moody's, the rating agency, traditionally about a month after Egan Jones (whose rationale and burdensharing text was virtually copied by Moody's: here and here), has decided to cut Europe's untouchable core, while still at Aaa, to Outlook negative, in the process implicitly downgrading Germany, Netherlands and Luxembourg, and putting them in line with Austria and France which have been on a negative outlook since February 13, 2012.The only good news goes to Finland, whose outlook is kept at stable for one simple reason: the country's attempts to collateralize its European bailout exposure, a move which will now be copied by all the suddenly more precarious core European countries.

All The World's A Stage

The European Union has been, in a very real sense, like a masquerade ball. The intricately painted masks covering manipulated stress tests, hiding inaccurate debt to GDP ratios, falsified accounting practices, glossing over any sort of contingent liabilities as if the scars were not there and double counting assets however, like all extravaganzas of this type, is about to reach a conclusion. The night has been long and the hour is late but one by one the masks are being removed and the characters are seen for what they are; a less than pretty sight. There are negative yields in the short maturities for Germany, France and the Netherlands which might soon be found in the United States. We are not sure what Mr. Bernanke will make of institutions paying him to leave their money with the United States government but it will be a classic example of a point in time where “Return OF Capital” became much more important that “Return ON Capital” but as we have asserted time and time again, given the 36% loss of wealth during the American Financial Crisis, that “Preservation of Capital,” are manifestly the byword of the Faith at present.

Spain The Latest Domino To Fall In The Eurozone Bailouts?

Gold edged down on Monday due to the pressure from a stronger dollar, as worries about the Eurozone debt crisis grew after Spain looked like the next candidate for a sovereign bailout. Spain has two regions seeking aid from the central government and El Pais reported that six Spanish regions may ask for aid from the central government while Spanish bonds yields continue to rise. As the 4th largest economy in the Eurozone Spain looks likely to follow Greece, Portugal and Ireland seeking an international bailout. Greece’s creditors meet this week as many doubt they will meet their bailout commitments. German Vice Chancellor Philipp Roesler said he’s “very skeptical” that European leaders will be able to rescue Greece.  China’s economic expansion may fall for a 7th straight quarter to 7.4% in the three months to September, said Song Guoqing, a member of the People’s Bank of China monetary policy committee.

'Black Friday' Blame-Game Escalates As Spain Is Out Of Money In 40 Days

With Valencia bust, Spanish bonds at all-time record spreads to bunds, and yields at euro-era record highs, Spain's access to public markets for more debt is as good as closed. What is most concerning however, as FAZ reports, is that "the money will last [only] until September", and "Spain has no 'Plan B". Yesterday's market meltdown - especially at the front-end of the Spanish curve - is now being dubbed 'Black Friday' and the desperation is clear among the Spanish elite. Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo (JMGM) attacked the ECB for their inaction in the SMP (bond-buying program) as they do "nothing to stop the fire of the [Spanish] government debt" and when asked how he saw the future of the European Union, he replied that it could "not go on much longer." The riots protest rallies continue to gather pace as Black Friday saw the gravely concerned union-leaders (facing worrying austerity) calling for a second general strike (yeah - that will help) as they warn of a 'hot autumn'. It appears Spain has skipped 'worse' and gone from bad to worst as they work "to ensure that financial liabilities do not poison the national debt" - a little late we hesitate to point out.

He Who Deleverages Best: Presenting The 'Credit Intensity' Of Europe's GDP Growth

To evaluate the impact of private sector deleveraging on economic growth/GDP in the context of a rapidly releveraging sovereign, we present the following analysis from Citi which observes various European countries and analyzes the "credit intensity" of GDP growth, or in other words which country has preserved, or even grown its GDP even as its private sector has seen substantial deleveraging. The results are interesting and may present a framework for evaluation the winners and losers in Europe in the era of "great sovereign leveraging", permitting a reverse engineering of the success stories, and applying their lessons to the losers.

Europe Ends In A Sea Of Red

Spain's broad equity index suffered its second largest single-day drop in almost 4 years and Italy also tumbled almost 5% as everything European was sold hard. EuroStoxx (the broad Dow equivalent) is down almost 3% as EURUSD dropped to two year lows, EURJPY to 12 year lows. AAA safe havens were massively bid with Germany, Denmark, and Switzerland all to new low (negative) rate closes. Core equity markets did suffer though with Germany down 2% but it was the periphery that saw the damage in credit-land with Spain 10Y closing at 7.27%, 610bps over Bunds (and 5Y CDS over 605bps). Spanish spreads are +130bps from post-Summit (and pre-Summit) and Italy +78bps, but it is the front-end of the curve that is most worrisome - Spain's 2Y is 132bps wider in the last week. Europe's VIX exploded by over 4 vols to 24% today and once again looks decidedly high relative to US VIX.

Market Response To Schrodinger Spain

We are saved. No, we are doomed. The reaction to the much-heralded agreement to bailout Spain's banks is not good. Spanish bond yields are at their post-Euro highs at 7.21%, Spanish bond spreads (and 5Y CDS) are trading at 600bps as Valencia calls for its bailout, Montoro denies, then admits that indeed they are part of the fiasco. Spain's front-end is very weak with 3Y back over 6% with the entire curve at its flattest in 6 months. Italy is also cracking wider with the short-end getting crushed (2Y +42bps at 3.9%) - exactly where all that LTRO collateral is being held (more ECB margin calls?). While Italy's has reverted back to a zero basis to CDS, Spain has continued to see its bonds underperform CDS dramatically - which in the case of Greece and Portugal was the litmus test for a market switchijng from muddle-through to pending PSI as trust in CDS triggers reduces. Meanwhile, Germany's 2Y rate hits a record low below -6bps. Spain's IBEX is down almost 4% (but Italy's MIB worse) as EURUSD cracks below 1.22 once again. European financial credit (senior and sub) are getting cruyshed and it appears that broadly speaking equitieas are starting to catch up to the reality in credit markets - though have a long way to go. S&P 500 e-mini futures are down ove 9 pts from the close (and over 15pts from yesterday's highs). Europe's VIX is snapping 10% higher after capitulating al la US VIX but remains dramatically rich to crediot still.

Guest Post: The Growing Pressures Likely To Blow The Eurozone Apart

There was yet another European Union summit at the end of June, which (like all the others) was little more than bluff. Read the official communiqué and you will discover that there were some fine words and intentions, but not a lot actually happened. The big news in this is the implication the ECB will, in time, be able to stand behind the Eurozone banks because it will accept responsibility for them. This is probably why the markets rallied on the announcement, but it turned out to be another dead cat lacking the elastic potential energy necessary to bounce. Meanwhile, Germany, meant to be the back-stop for this lunacy, is losing patience. It has become clear that the agreements that arose out of the June summit were not agreements at all. The questions arises:  How can the Eurozone stay together, and if not, how quickly is it likely to start disintegrating? And where does the exchange rate for the euro fit in all this?

AVFMS's picture

Middle East situation not really in the prices, as the tension in Syria is growing to new heights.

IMF annual review of EZ policies pitches a lot of already pitched ideas (QE, etc etc). No news

Nothing crisp from Ben – outside comments that “Europe is not close to having a long term solution”… Thanks for the thumb up!

Bondholder Betrayal Leaps Anew

You may recall that the PSI (Private Sector Involvement) was a one-off event as heralded again and again in the Press by every political leader in the European Union. This proclamation was thundered from the rafters, held up like a banner by the ECB and trumpeted by every Parliament in Europe. The message was clear and rolled out like a red carpet for bond owners, “This will never happen again.” Amazingly, or perhaps not so, is the length of time that “never happen again” took to dissipate. The European Union and the European Central Bank are now signaling a change of position as tax payers always trump the owners of bonds and I fear one more example of this is about to be shoved down our throats. Mr. Draghi’s recent statements are all but a fait accompli in my opinion and you may expect some definitive announcements very soon. The situation is even more grave than this however as the question of “seniority,” already a distressing issue, is also going to be re-addressed and I think recalculated in some very non-conventional ways so that an owner of senior debt in European sovereigns and European banks will find himself behind an eight ball with absolutely no control and in serious jeopardy.