Portugal

"First, God Made Idiots. That Was Just For Practice. Then He Made Politicians"

"Preservation of Capital" must be the watchword in this market; in all markets. Any mistake made is now magnified by our very low interest rates so that any error is compounded by the ability to make back the loss. In America we are facing our national elections. In Europe we are facing a hardening of positions where the divisions between the North and the South, with France lining up with the Socialist South, are edging closer to some nation or another refusing to fund. The scheme of diversion can last only so long as real decisions with real consequences are about to be forced upon the Continent as funding must come or not come.

Chinese Gold Imports Through August Surpass Total ECB Holdings, Imports From Australia Surge 900%

First it was more than the UK. Then more than Portugal. Then a month ago we said that as of September, "it is now safe to say that in 2012 alone China has imported more gold than the ECB's entire official 502.1 tons of holdings." Sure enough, according to the latest release from the Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department, through the end of August, China had imported a whopping gross 512 tons of gold, 10 tons more than the latest official ECB gold holdings. We can now safely say that as of today, China will have imported more gold than the 11th largest official holder of gold, India, with 558 tons. Yet despite importing more gold than the sovereign holdings of virtually all official entities, save for ten, importing more gold in July than in any month in 2012 except for April, importing more gold in 8 months in 2012 than all of 2011, and importing four times as much between January and July than as much as in the same period last year, here is MarketWatch with its brilliant conclusion that the 'plunge' in gold imports in August can only be indicative of the end of the Chinese gold market, and the second coming of infinitely dilutable fiat.

"The Clock Is Running, The Cash Is Almost Gone And Make-Believe Will No Longer Suffice"

Here is the issue of legacy liabilities. Here Germany has been fairly clear. The new ESM fund will not pick up the check and it is up to each country to pay for their own past problems. You may translate this piece of jargon into a “No” to Ireland that the ESM will not pick up the bill for the Irish banks and the same response for Spain. This new German definition puts Portugal, Greece, Spain and Ireland back at square one and effectively closes the door on any further negotiations. While all of this wrangling continues the tone at the summit was no longer the nicey-nice repartee of past meetings. Cyprus needs money, Spain needs money, Portugal probably needs more money and Greece is just about out of money. The summit was held, the meeting is over and the worth of any accomplishments is about at Zero as the only agreement was a plan to have a plan to deal with bank supervision. This is not an inch forward, this is not a millimeter forward; this is quicksand where they are all stuck as both money and time run out as the Socialists scream for alms while the landed gentry, utilizing head fakes and other polite deceptions, refuse to provide it. The clock is running, the cash is almost gone and make-believe will no longer suffice. The crisis phase, in my opinion, has been entered.

AVFMS's picture

First “decent” Spanish auction in ages, decent being just normal, if not even boring. In absence of hard facts, outside the hypnosis trick “All will be well! Believe me…", I’d like to remain on the cautious side, though.

On EU decisisons, it could look like Good Cop / Bad Cop act, if it wasn’t clear that the players actually mean what they are saying.

Won't be EZ...


  

A Small Printed Note Saying "Wait!"

The world is running down a quite slippery slope in its attempt to avoid calamity. The political machines in Europe and the United States and to a real but lesser extent in China have passed the hat to their central banks because either they cannot or will not face up to the severity of their problems. This “faith based initiative” is misplaced, as liquidity and faith are driving the boat and derelict accounting is providing the fuel. The United States, having moved far past the “safety net” that has always been in place, are faced with a very real choice between Socialism and Capitalism. In Europe the problems are also of a fundamental nature as the definition of “More Europe” in Germany is decidedly different than the definition in Spain. But the fantastical belief that the Central Bank will wave it magic wand and make everything all good again is the stuff of Mommy kissing the boo-boo and everything will be just fine.

Once "Jollying The Markets" With "Faith, Hope And Charity" Fails, What Comes Next: A Primer On Europe's Next Steps

Back in January, Zero Hedge proposed a pair trade, which to date has returned well over 100% on a blended basis, namely the shorting of local law peripheral European bonds, while going long English law (or strong covenant) bonds (a relationship best arbed in Greece, when various foreign-law issues were tendered for at par to avoid a bankruptcy, even as the local law bond population saw a massive cram down a few months later as part of the second Greek "bailout"). In big part, this proposal stemmed from the work of Cleary Gottlieb's Lee Buccheit, who has been the quiet brain behind the real time restructuring of Europe's insolvent states. In fact, one can say that what is happening in Europe was predicted to a large extent in his "How to Restructure Greek Debt" and "Greek Debt; The Endgame Scenarios." Which is why we read his latest white paper: "The Eurozone Debt Crisis - The Options Now", because it presents, in clear, practical terms, just what the flowchart for Europe looks like, unimpeded by the ceaseless chatter and noise of clueless politicians and career bureaucrats who have never heard the term pro forma or fresh start. In brief, Buccheit, unlike all European politicians, is hardly optimistic.

Overnight Sentiment: Celebrating Spain's Non-Junk Status

To summarize: European stocks are little changed although Spanish shares rise. Spain 10-yr bond yields fall to the lowest level in more than 6 months. S&P futures are now higher on the trading session, driven by correlation engines as the euro is up vs the dollar, despite major disappointments by IBM and Intel. In other news Germany formally shut down the debt redemption fund proposal, ending one more rescue avenue for when the recent baseless euphoria ends, even as Spanish La Vanguardia reports that Germany is pressuring Italy to request European aid alongside Spain so that the government of Prime Minister Mario Monti doesn’t reap the benefit of lower borrowing costs without being tied to tougher economic reforms. Needless to say, Italy is said to resist the proposal: after all in Europe one just wants the upside from being bailed out, as opposed to actually being bailed out...

Frontrunning: October 16

  • Hillary Clinton Accepts Blame for Benghazi (WSJ)
  • In Reversal, Cash Leaks Out of China (WSJ)
  • Spain Considers EU Credit Line (WSJ)
  • China criticizes new EU sanctions on Iran, calls for talks (Reuters)
  • Portugal sees third year of recession in 2013 budget (Reuters)
  • Greek PM says confident Athens will secure aid tranche (Reuters)
  • Fears over US mortgages dominance (FT)
  • Fed officials offer divergent views on inflation risks (Reuters)
  • China Credit Card Romney Assails Gives Way to Japan (Bloomberg)
  • Fed's Williams: Fed Actions Will Improve Growth (WSJ)
  • Rothschild Quits Bumi to Fight Bakries’ $1.2 Billion Offer (Bloomberg)

European Car Sales Crash Most In 2 Years But Q4 Earnings Hope Remains

Just when the channel-stuffed world was hoping for some good news, European car registrations pop up to smack the dream back to reality. A 10.8% YoY decline, the biggest drop in two years, makes it 11 months-in-a-row of dropping YoY comps. Before the crisis began, car registrations had risen on average 1.7% YoY each month; in the 4.5 years since they have dropped on average 4.7% YoY each month. The Eurozone year-to-date is -10.5% with Cyprus (-19.4%), Greece (-42.5%), Italy (-20.5%), Portugal (-39.7%), and Spain -11.0%. However, Spain's very recent past has been extreme to say the least with a 36.8% YoY drop from last September. Interestingly, Land Rovers are up 42.3% YTD while Alfa Romeos are down 31.6% YTD (and Mercedes and BMW down around 1% YTD). But apart from that, Europe is doing great - just look at earnings expectations for Q4.

Overnight Sentiment: Greek Euphoria

After starting the overnight trading at its lows, the EURUSD has once again seen the now traditional overnight levitation, this time with absolutely no economic news, in the process raising equity futures across the Atlantic, even as unfounded Chinese optimism for more liquidity has waned leading to the SHCOMP closing down 0.3%. Perhaps the most notable event in the quiet trading session so far has been the surge in 10 year Greek debt whose yield has tumbled to post-restructuring lows, driven by more and more hedge funds piling in to piggyback on Dan Loeb's recent public GGB purchase announcement (strength into which he has long since sold), and hopes that Greece will somehow see an Official Sector Initiative (OSI) to make recovery prospects for Private Investors more attractive: a capital impairment the ECB has said would happen only over its dead body. But in the new normal, facts and rules are for chumps, and only exist to be broken. More on this amusing stupidity here. Amusingly, this comes just as Greece’s Staikouras says the economy’s downward spiral is not over yet. But, again, who cares about fundamentals.