Financial Market For Septemeber 19, 2010
1) … US Treasuries, TMF, Zeroes, ZROZ, 30 Year US Government Bonds, EDV, Ten Year US Government Notes, and 2 Year US Notes, SHY, soared taking bonds, BND, higher as a perceived safe haven investment.
Thailand, THD, Indonesia, IDX, Taiwan, EWT, South Korea, EWY, SKOR, Malaysia, EWM, Sweden, EWD, Norway, NORW, Russia, RSX, RSXJ, Germany, EWG, GERJ, Austria, EWO, Europe, VGK, Latin America, LATM, China, YAO, HAO, Brazil, EWZ, BRF, Australia, EWA, KROO, Singapore, EWS, South Africa, EZA, The UK, EWU, Hong Kong, EWH, Emerging Markets, EEM, led world stocks, ACWI, and world small cap stocks, VSS, lower, on continuing Greek debt concerns and failure of growth prospects.
World government bonds, BWX, plummeted on falling world currencies, DBV, and emerging market currencies, CEW, as competitive currency deflation manifested on falling stock, VT, and commodity, DJP, prices, which saw agricultural commodities, JJA, and food commodities, FUD, fall strongly. Precious metal prices, JJP, turned lower as gold, GLD, manifested bearish engulfing and silver, SLV, turned lower.
Coal, KOL, Copper Miners, COPX, and Industrial Metal Producers, CRBI, fell lower as Base Metals, DBB, and Copper, JJC, fell, on slowdown fears. Steel, SLX, was a loss leaders on the failure of growth prospects, which took oil, USO, and energy service, OIH, lower as Business Insider reports ECRI: “Risk of recession is quite high.We are skating on very thin ice”.
Leveraged Buyouts, PSP, European Financials, EUFN, China Financials, CHIX, Brokers, IAI, Financials, XLF, and Banks, KRE, fell lower.
The Brazilian Real, BZF, and the South African Rand, SZR, led country currencies significantly lower, as demand for the US Dollar, $USD, was strong; and the Yen, FXY, rose.
2) … Open Europe reports Eurozone finance ministers delay payment of next tranche of Greek bailout funds; Bundesbank President: ECB has taken on “considerable risks” during the crisis
Eurozone finance ministers agreed during a meeting on Friday to delay the decision on whether to disperse the next tranche of Greek bailout funds until mid-October, leaving Greece needing to adopt further austerity measures in order to ensure the necessary funds are released.
Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos will today hold a conference call with the EU/IMF/ECB team reviewing the Greek economy in an attempt to reach an agreement. Venizelos warned yesterday that Greece was being “threatened and humiliated” by the continuing demands for increasing austerity, adding, “[Greece] should not be the scapegoat or the easy excuse that will be used by European and international institutions in order to hide their own lack of competence to manage the crisis.”
During Friday’s meeting both Chancellor George Osborne and US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner were critical of the eurozone leaders handling of the crisis, with Osborne saying, “people know that time is running out,” while Geithner said that delays in dealing with the crisis has created a “catastrophic risk” to financial markets.
Despite these warnings eurozone finance ministers decided to push back the time frame for approving the expanded scope of the EFSF, the eurozone’s bailout fund, until mid-October. The meeting also failed to yield any significant progress on finding a solution to the Greco-Finnish collateral deal which has threatened to derail the second Greek bailout. And Bloomberg reports that former IMF Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn said that everyone must be willing accept losses on Greek debt because “they [the Greeks] can’t pay”, adding, “The efforts of European leaders have been too little, or too late, or often both too little and too late.”
In an interview with Bild am Sonntag, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble hinted at a potential Greek exit from the eurozone, by saying that it is up to Greece to decide whether it wants to shoulder the burden of being in the single currency.
Dutch RTL Z TV reports that, according to a confidential report, the Dutch Finance Ministry estimates that an uncontrolled Greek default could cost the Netherlands up to €120bn, mostly due to extra guarantees needed to stop contagion to other peripheral economies. Dutch Finance Minister Jan Kees de Jager said that he will issue the report confidentially to Dutch MPs.
In an interview with Der Spiegel Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann said that the ECB had taken on “considerable risks” during the crisis, adding, “If we accept risk onto the books of the eurosystem that means, simultaneously, a redistribution of risk among the taxpayers of individual states.” Weidmann warned that these risks “must be reduced” particularly as they represent an extra burden on the German taxpayer.
Open Europe’s Pieter Cleppe was interviewed by Polish Radio, arguing that “there is an irresponsible unwillingness amongst European policy makers to deal with the problems of European banks.” Belgium’s financial daily De Tijd features an interview with Open Europe’s Director Mats Persson on the role of the ECB in the eurozone crisis, Mats argued, “The weakening of the balance sheet of the ECB threatens to erode its credibility. Markets are losing trust in a central bank which has been weakened…In theory, the ECB can ‘inflate’ away the losses, by simply printing money, but that option is simply unacceptable in Germany.” Open Europe’s Raoul Ruparel appeared on LBC yesterday discussing the eurozone crisis and its impact on the UK.
FT CityAM WSJ EurActiv El País Expansión Irish Times Irish Times 2 Welt IHT BBC BBC 2 Independent EUobserver Independent on Sunday Sunday Telegraph Sunday Telegraph 2 Sunday Times Sunday Times 2 Guardian FT Weekend FT Weekend 2 FT Weekend 3 FT Weekend 4 Saturday’s Mail Saturday’s Guardian Saturday’s Independent Saturday’s Times Saturday’s Times 2 Saturday’s Times 3 Kathimerini Reuters Le Figaro Les Echos FT 2 FT 3 WSJ 2 WSJ 3 IHT Spiegel EurActiv 2 Irish Times 3 Le Figaro: Passos Coelho La Tribune: Reynders FT Weekend Handelsblatt RTL Z Elsevier Bloomberg Reuters France Reuters France 2 Le Figaro 2 Handelsblatt FTD Spiegel 2 Bild Les Echos 2 Le Figaro 3 Le Monde YLE TS YLE 2 Kauppalehti
Chorus of Conservatives call for new relationship with EU; Clegg and Alexander reject repatriation of powers from Brussels
In the Sunday Express, Conservative MP Chris Heaton-Harris, co-founder of the new backbench group of MPs calling for a new approach to Europe, argued, “Last Monday’s meeting lasted just over 60 minutes and 34 MPs spoke. A single message came out: we need a new relationship with the EU. I’d like to think it was heard in Downing Street.” In the Sunday Telegraph, former Chancellor Lord Lamont wrote, “It is not just the euro but the whole European Union that needs rethinking. In a continent with such a patchwork of nation states, there is a need for some European institutions, but ones that are less intrusive.” Writing in today’s Telegraph, Conservative MP and Secretary of the 1922 Committee Mark Pritchard argues for a referendum on the EU, asking whether Britain should be part of a “political union” or a “trade-only relationship”, followed by an “in or out” vote if the UK fails to agree favourable terms.
Meanwhile, in the Times, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Lib Dem MP Danny Alexander, argues that, “Demanding wide-ranging renegotiation of the UK’s membership will only deter others from pursuing solutions with us, forcing them to seek exclusive arrangements where we have no voice but are directly affected by the decisions they make.” The Independent cites senior Lib Dem party officials saying that Deputy PM Nick Clegg will oppose any Government plans to repatriate powers in any treaty negotiations. Sunday Express: Heaton-Harris Sunday Telegraph: Lamont Mail on Sunday Sunday Telegraph: Booker Mail Telegraph: Pritchard Telegraph Express Telegraph: Bootle Independent Times: Alexander
Eurozone comment round-up
In the FT, Wolfgang Münchau argues, “We are moving closer towards an involuntary break-up” of the eurozone. On the FT’s A-list blog, Nouriel Roubini argues, “Greece must now begin an orderly default, voluntarily exit the eurozone and return to the drachma…Those who claim contagion will drag others into the crisis are also in denial too. Other peripheral countries have Greek-style debt sustainability and competitiveness problems too; Portugal, for example, may eventually have to restructure its debt and exit too. Illiquid but potentially solvent economies, such as Italy and Spain, will need liquidity support from Europe regardless of whether Greece exits.”
In Le Figaro, French Professor Édouard Tétreau argues, “France has already voted two bailout plans for Greece in two years, coming with a cost of more than €30bn – the equivalent of what is raised from income taxes in France in seven months. Who would agree, in our country, to work seven months to subsidise the lifestyle of people who are unable to pay their own taxes? By subsidising this organised robbery, we are not doing Greece, or Europe, a favour.” He suggests that the time has come to “drop Greece in order to save Europe. Sometimes, one needs to have an arm cut to survive.”
In the WSJ, columnist Holman W. Jenkins Jr. notes, “Behind the euro was an a-historical dream of a European super-state, in a world that – if you haven’t noticed – has been moving steadily in the opposite direction. European elites may crave unification, but most societies seem to crave democratic independence. The United Nations boasts 193 member states today, up from 127 in 1970.” On Conservative Home, Bruce Anderson writes, “Those who invented the euro can console themselves on one remarkable feat. They have devised a problem which may be beyond the power of the human mind to solve. For the rest of us, at least in Britain, there is good news and bad news. The good news is that British federasty is dead. The bad news is that no-one is sure how to keep the European economy alive.”
FT: Munchau FT: Summers FT: Roubini FT: Dizard CityAM: Drake WSJ: Jenkins WSJ The Outlook WSJ Heard on the Street WSJ: Fidler Saturday’s Telegraph Editorial Saturday’s Mail: Heffer Saturday’s Independent: Prosser Saturday’s Times: Fleming Guardian: Elliott Guardian: Editorial Telegraph: Evans-Pritchard Sunday Times: Dey Sunday Telegraph: Vander Weyer Independent on Sunday: McRae Sunday Times: Leader Sunday Telegraph: Aldrick Observer: Hutton Conservative Home: Anderson El País: Editorial Corriere della Sera: Alesina & Giavazzi Independent: King Welt: Hildebrand
3) … EuroIntelligence in its for fee news service questions Is Merkel’s coalition on the brink?
- FDP implodes in Berlin regional election with only 1.9% of the vote, less than the fascists and the Pirate Party;
- FDP’s poor performance raises questions about the future of the coalition, and its strategies towards the EU;
- more and more German coalition politicians defy Angela Merkel’s call not to speculate in public about a Greek exit, as the chairman of CSU became the latest to break the ranks;
- Hans Dietrich Genscher is reported to work behind the scenes to ensure that the FDP’s referendum on the ESM will fail;
- Wolfgang Schäuble warns the Greeks that Germany was serious about the conditionality of the programme – and implied that a eurozone exit was not completely inconceivable;
- at Ecofin, Timothy Geithner warned the Europeans that they are taking a catastrophic course;
- ministers rejected his criticisms, pointing towards the US’s own dire situation
- A German constitutional justice says that Angela Merkel’s and Nicolas Sarkozy’s agreement for a joint eurozone government were unconstitutional;
- hitherto unreported regional debt will increase Portugal’s overall deficits;
- Greece is planning another round of austerity measures after troika expresses scepticism of measures taken so far;
- ECB is hostile towards the latest Irish plans to restructure the financial sector;
- Wolfgang Münchau, meanwhile, argues that the ECB cannot, on its own, end the crisis.
This is the low point for Angela Merkel’s liberal coalition partner.
At the state elections in Berlin the FDP scored 1.9%, less that the extreme right-wing NPD. This last of seven state elections this year is certain to increase the sense of panic and confusion within the party and make it an even less predictable force within the coalition. The incumbent SPD mayor Klaus Wowereit won the election, albeit not convincingly, with a fall in the share of the SPD’s vote by 2.5% to 28.3%. Wowereit now has the option to form a grand coalition with the CDU (up by 2.1% to 23.4%) or the Greens (up by 4.5% to 17.6%). The real sensation was the rise in the Pirate Party, a group of anarchists, who scored 8.9%. Their main agenda point is uncensored and free access to the internet, legalization of cannabis and a minimum guaranteed revenue for everybody. For results and analysis check
Der Spiegel, Financial Times Deutschland and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
Merkel’s declining authority and her coalition’s potential implosion
Independently of the election disaster for the liberal FDP in Berlin, there are clear signs that Angela Merkel is losing control of her coalition. Talking to Der Spiegel the Bavarian Prime Minister and CSU chairman Horst Seehofer defied Merkel’s request to stop the loose talk about Greece leaving Eurozone. Should Greece be unable to deliver on reform promises “an exit of Greece from the Eurozone must be an option”, he said. Seehofer is under huge pressure because Peter Gauweiler, one of Germany’s most vocal eurosceptics, has announced his candidature to become deputy party chairman at the CSU congress in the beginning of October. Simultaneously, the liberal FDP will present a position paper on Europe today that may put it on a eurosceptic course. Der Spiegel also reports that Hans-Dietrich Genscher, honorary party president, is discreetly pulling the strings behind the scene to guarantee that the party referendum against the ESM fails and that the party stays on a pro-European course. Berlin was full of rumours of a possible collapse of Merkel’s coalition. SPD chairman Sigmar Gabriel and influential Green party deputy Jürgen Trittin said his party would support Merkel on the EFSF vote and be constructive so that a caretaker minority government could be capable to act until early federal elections.
Schäuble hints at a Greek euro exit
Talking to Bild am Sonntag Wolfgang Schäuble pointed to the CSU’s request that Greece may have to leave the eurozone and did not rule out such an scenario himself. “That is not foreseen in the treaties until now. Membership in a monetary union is a chance, but also a heavy burden. The adjustment measures are very tough. The Greek must know if they want to carry that burden on their shoulders.” Schäuble also tried to minimize the consequences should the coalition not be able to have its own majority in the vote on the EFSF September 29. While most analysts agree a failure to have its own majority would prompt the collapse of Angela Merkel’s current coalition he called such a scenario “not very exciting”. In votes were huge majorities are a given “discipline is not so strong”, he explained.
The eurozone crisis is now a transatlantic crisis
Informal Ecofins are normally little more than a wasteful bonding exercise, in which ministers and central bankers can talk for a little longer than they usually do. This time, Timothy Geithner intruded into this club and warned them bluntly that they are heading towards a catastrophe by following the policies they do. The European response was unsurprising. The FT quotes Maria Fekter, the Austrian finance minister, as saying that the Americans should stop lecturing the Europeans, considering that they are in a much worse position.
Larry Summers’ on why the world must force Europe to act
This is quite an extraordinary column, which we urge Eurointelligence readers to read – if only to understand this big looming transatlantic conflict. Larry Summers starts by invoking a famous essay by Daniel Ellsberg on the Vietnam War, with some obvious parallels to the policy process in the eurozone: “Policymakers acted without illusion. At every juncture they made the minimum commitments necessary to avoid imminent disaster – offering optimistic rhetoric, but never taking the steps that even they believed could offer the prospect of decisive victory. They were tragically caught in a kind of no-man’s-land, unable to reverse a course to which they had committed so much, but also unable to generate the political will to take forward steps that gave any realistic prospect of success. Ultimately, after years of needless suffering, their policy collapsed around them.” Summers argues that the European incrementalism will likewise end in catastrophe. He agrees with Christine Lagarde’s analysis that a solution must involve a partial loss of financial sovereignty, a big bank recapitalisation, and stimulus. He close by urging the rest of the world to nudge the EU in that direction. (It will be interesting to see what happens once the irresistible force hits the immovable object.)
Weidmann opposes ECB liquidity for the EFSF
The proposal is from Deutsche Bank’s chief economist Thomas Mayer and CEPS director Daniel Gros. Both want to give the EFSF a bank licence so it can go to the ECB and get liquidity against euro government bonds which would increase the future effective lending capacity of €440bn fivefold. But Jens Weidmann shot down this proposal which apparently had some supporters within the EU finance ministers at the informal Ecofin meeting in Wroclav. “This contravenes against the interdiction to finance states”, the Bundesbank president said, according to Financial Times Deutschland. Weidmann opposes all attempts to solve the fiscal crisis through the back door on monetary policy. According to FTD Jean-Claude Trichet is also opposed whereas Mario Draghi’s views on this issue are unknown.
Karlsruhe judge doubts constitutionality of Merkel’s and Sarkozy’s European economic government
In an interview with Süddeutsche Zeitung the constitutional judge Peter Michael Hubert doubts that Angela Merkel’s and Nicolas Sarkozy’s idea of an economic government of the 17 heads of state and government is in line with the German constitution. Should this body, which Merkel and Sarkozy wants to meet at least twice a year in order to reform the eurozone and increase its competitiveness, have relevant decision powers it would violate the constitutional principle that the “majority of tasks and competencies” must remain with the nation state, according to Huber. In order to overcome this, there would have to be a change of the constitution that would have to ratified by a referendum.
Unreported debt in one of Portugal’s autonomous regions
Unreported debt of the small autonomous region Madeira will increase the deficit by 0.3% of GDP, the Portuguese central bank and statistical office revealed on Friday. Madeira did not report debts or expenses since 2003 that would have had a combined impact of €1.1bn in the 2008, 2009 and 2010 deficits, according to Bloomberg. The Portuguese government needs to improve control over expenditure and cut spending to meet its budget-deficit targets as it seeks to regain access to bond markets in 2013, the IMF said earlier this week. FT Alphaville points out that this is an important lesson for the eurobond debate, where one of the assumptions is that fiscal coordination becomes more automatic not only between states but also within states.
Venizelos is expected to announce new round of measures
Evangelos Venizelos will announce the next moves of the Greek government today after a teleconference with troika officials and further meetings with cabinet colleagues, Kathimerini reports. Venizelos suggested that his eurozone counterparts had not been convinced that an emergency real estate tax designed to plug a €2bn hole in public finances this year would work. The tax, which will see homeowners pay several hundred euros this year and next, was announced last Sunday and prompted heavy criticism from opposition parties, commentators and unions. Greece’s trustworthiness is being called into question. This cannot continue, he said, lashing out at opposition leader Samarras for being irresponsible. WSJ blog has Venizelos statement in full.
Noonan plans to cut rates on Anglo notes could meet resistance of ECB
The Irish government’s attempt to restructure the €30bn promissory note used to bailout Anglo Irish Bank is likely to meet significant resistance from the ECB, the Irish Independent has learned. Finance Minister Michael Noonan as good as admitted he was giving up on forcing losses on Anglo’s senior bondholders in favour of pursuing changes to the promissory notes used to finance Anglo. Noonan was hopeful of reducing the interest rate and/or extending the duration of the payouts so the State will have to pay less every year over a longer period. After meeting with Jean-Claude Trichet, Noonan admits that the ECB president had been “pretty non-committal” on the promissory notes issue. The proposals have not yet been discussed with ratings agencies or with the bank’s own management.
Wolfgang Münchau on why the ECB won’t bail out the eurozone
In his FT column, Wolfgang Münchau argues that the ECB can, and will, do a lot more, but they will not raise the SMP for €150bn to €1000bn, and cross a threshold beyond which they are clearly engaging in fiscal operations. The only scenario in which this might be possible is in support of a genuine multi-step political process towards that might lead to a single European bond, and which could take as long as 10 years to complete. By ruling out Eurobonds so forcibly on the political and judicial level, Germany is moving away from what appears to be the only feasible long-term scenario under which the eurozone can exist.
4) …The American Prospect asks United States of Europe?
6) … Marketwatch relates More Warnings on China’s Debt as shadow banking sparks new worries and Telegraph relates China faces subprime credit bubble crisis and questions Can China escape as world’s debt crisis reaches Act III? and relates China risks hard landing as global woes spread (Hat Tip to Between the Hedges)
7) … CNBC relates Foreign credit growth risk for emerging markets (Hat Tip to Between the Hedges)
8) …Zero Hedge relates Frankfurter Allgemeine says German Banks need $175 billion more in capital”.
9) … Financial Times relates Spanish lenders to be seized by Madrid.
Spain’s official bank rescue fund, Frob, is preparing to nationalise three more groups of savings banks at the end of the month at a cost of nearly €5bn ($6.9bn), but could allow two others extra time to find investors to help boost their capital, according to people familiar with the discussions. NovaCaixaGalicia (NCG), Caixa Catalunya and Unnim are expected to be recapitalised by Frob after failing to present adequate plans to secure new investors by a September 10 deadline. (Hat Tip to Between the Hedges)
10) … Business Insider reports Obama to propose $1.5 Trillion in tax increases.
President Barack Obama will ask the Super Committee to double its mandate and cut $3 trillion from the federal deficit, according to White House officials, with half of the savings coming from tax increases on corporations the wealthy. Rep. Paul Ryan called the tax increase “class warfare,” saying it would hurt small businesses and pledging that GOP lawmakers would rally against it. (Hat Tip to Between the Hedges)
12) Moneyness Now Comes From The World Central Banks Pledge To Offer Unlimited Dollar Liquidity … But After The Global Economic Breakdown, Both Seigniorage And Credit In Europe, Will Comer From Diktat And From Nationalized Banking As A European Super State Exercises Fiscal Power Over Former Sovereign Nation States
Market News reports Troika Conference to decide next steps tonight
Open Europe writes Central banks agree to offer unlimited dollar liquidity.
Business Insider relates Nomura presents 5 possible outcomes for Europe.
Washington Post relates Davis calls ECB liquidity plan `band-aid’ for crisis.
Zero Hedge relates Graham Summers saying I fully believe that we may in fact be on the verge of a crash in the markets; all the red flags are there. Mr. Summers S&P, SPY, chart, shows a head and shoulders formation in a bear flag. “I fully believe that behind the scenes, the groundwork has already been laid for Greece to default. The market is already pricing this as a 100% certainty. France has its own problems and won’t be able to provide another Greece bailout. Germany is now in another round of elections in which voters are destroying Angela Merkel and her party for supporting the bailouts at a time when it’s being revealed that even German banks needs tens of billions more in capital. In simple terms, the “bailout” madness is ending in Europe. What will follow will be a Greek default followed by debt collapses and restructurings in Italy and Spain. Europe is already aware of this, which is why liquidity has dried up to the point that the world’s Central Banks had to stage a coordinated intervention last week.Indeed, I fully believe that we may in fact be on the verge of a Crash in the markets. All the Red Flags are there. Europe’s entire banking system is on the verge of systemic collapse.”
After a global economic collapse, moneyness will come by diktat.
Angela Merkel’s career is likely dust blowing in the wind, nevertheless, she is an an Ambassador of the Ten Toed Kingdom of regional economic government, called for by the Club of Rome n 1974. The Iron Lady, whose power appears shattered, is a precursor and a forerunner of Europe’s Iron Chancellor, who will emerge out of sovereign crisis to lead a European Superstate, as leaders waive national sovereignty, and announce regional framework agreements, a European Fiscal Union, and affirm a President of the EU, with a European Banker to lead Europe and the world out of global economic collapse.
Fate is operating to provide the Beast Regime of Neoauthoritarianism, to replace the Milton Friedman Free To Choose Regime, together with the post colonial British rule and US Dollar Hegemony, that governed political and economic life from the mid 1800s, up through the time when the world went off the gold standard in 1971 to May 2011, when world stocks began to turn lower.
The Sovereign, and his Seignior, will provide a new moneyness, which will be based not upon sovereign debt and carry trade investing, but rather diktat. The word, wll and way of these two will provide both credit and seigniorage, that is moneyness. And the people will be amazed and follow after it, giving it their full allegiance. As for freedom and choice, they are illusions, yes, mirages, on the Neoauthoritarian Desert of the Real.
The chart of world stocks, ACWI, relative to world government bonds, BWX, shows that seigniorage failed beginning in February 2011, and also in May 2011 with the downturn, as a result of the exhaustion of quantitative easing and consequent failure of economic growth and expansion.
The chart of small cap value shares, RZV, relative to small cap growth shares, RZG, shows that debt deflation, that is currency devaluation, began in May 2010, with the onset of the European sovereign debt crisis, and then intensified in July 2011, as competitive currency deflation commenced in currencies such as the Australian Dollar.
Chart of World Stocks, ACWI, shows the failure of prosperity that came with US Federal Reserve ZIRP.
Chart of the Australian Dollar, FXA, shows the failure of the Milton Friedman Fee To Choose Floating Currency Regime.
Chart of the US Dollar, $USD, shows a close at 77.09 which is basically its March 2011 value.