Friday, October 14, 2011

ECB Tells Belgium Not To Backstop Dexia Interbank Deposits, Says Bailout Plan May Be Against The Euro Charter

If anyone is surprised that things in Europe will get massively surreal before this is all over, we suggest finding another thread. In the meantime, for the latest example of the utter chaos and "make it up as we go along" we go to the ECB which has just, in very polite terms, warned Belgium that its bailout-cum-nationalization plan may not be quite feasible. From Bloomberg: "The European Central Bank advised Belgium not to backstop Dexia SA’s interbank deposits and to avoid providing guarantees on debt maturing within three months because it risks interfering with the central bank’s monetary policy." Reading between the lines here, it means that the ECB is effectively telling national governments to not try and become their own central banks under the ECB's umbrella, which would likely result in not only in various sovereign downgrades (that is guaranteed) but in loss of conviction in the European Central Bank, something which the insolvent European continent and the insolvent hedge fund in its core, aka Jean-Claude Trichet Capital et Cie. which holdings hundreds of billions of Greek bonds at par, can certainly not avoid. It gets better: "The ECB also said the planned debt guarantees for Dexia may last as long as 20 years, which is inconsistent with European Union guidelines for national support measures to be temporary in nature, according to a statement published on the Frankfurt- based central bank’s website and dated Oct. 13. Belgium sought the ECB’s opinion on draft legislation that would grant state guarantees on Dexia loans." Oops: the ECB may have just scuttled the currently envisioned Dexia bailout plan. Oh well, just like with the Greek 50% bond haircut, so here to it is now back to the drawing board.

Nanex White Paper: High Frequency Trading Is Insatiable - Its Hidden Costs

We have spent the last 24 years working with real-time market data on a tick-by-tick basis. We monitor our commercial datafeed in real-time to stay on top of market changes or issues. This past year, we have spent considerable time and effort studying the relentless growth of equity quotes. Based on our findings, virtually all of the additional quotes contribute zero or negative economic value to stock pricing, because they are either way outside the market or end up expiring before any investor or trader could possibly act on them. Furthermore, we can't find any self-limiting mechanism in place that will ever put a stop to this unnecessary and expensive growth of misinformation. The only thing that prevents a sudden explosion in quote traffic is the capacity limitation set by SIAC which runs the Consolidated Quote System (CQS) for the exchanges.

S&P Downgrades Spain One Notch, Highlighting Contagion Risks

Eric De Groot at Eric De Groot - 54 minutes ago
Who's next? Market forces anticipate vulnerable well-ahead of rating agency changes. Even the slightest pressure on a weak position, regardless of the assurances provided by stress tests, has the potential challenge the cartoon-based accounting practices quickly adopted by the West after the onset of the crisis. UPDATE: S&P Downgrades Spain One Notch, Highlighting Contagion Risks Standard... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]] 

Don't Believe The Hype

Dave in Denver at The Golden Truth - 1 hour ago
The monthly retail sales report was released to great media hype, as the "preliminary estimated" retail sales number for September was calculated to be up 1.1% from August and exceeded the Wall Street Einstein consensus estimate. HOWEVER, and remember, with me "however" always surfaces when I pull up the actual data and take a closer look at it than does that babbling bald moron on CNBC. Here's the report if you would like to peruse the numbers yourself: LINK Now for "however:" First, please note that the reported headline number is a "seasonally" adjusted estimate using some ... more » 


Precisely a week ago, a fringe blog had the temerity to warn that PrimeX could very well be the next coming of Subprime (and make those who got on board early very, very rich). A week later, those who got in early may not be very, very rich... but they are richer (there is time for the very, very part), while PrimeX is the worst weekly performing fixed income product in the known universe. Today, following Jeff Gundlach's presentation to David Faber which agreed with the ZH outlook that PrimeX is substantially overpriced, the entire PrimeX rack has seen its biggest plunge yet. At this rate, by Monday even the most sturdy PrimeX FRM1 will be trading below par. At that point it is Sayonara, Sam. Oh, and for those who don't realize that European banks which are now entering asset liquidation mode, are substantially pregnant with exposure to both synthetic and unhedged cash product (recall which entities were stuck holding ABX on the wrong side of the trade back in 2007) we have one thing to say: "European banks which are now entering asset liquidation mode, are substantially pregnant with exposure to both synthetic and unhedged cash product." Have fun spinning that as a function of liquidity (which for some odd reason none of the structured and synthetic product "experts" out there appear to not realize that notional outstanding can and will soar overnight if there is sufficient client demand - a bank can write $10BN or $100BN of product in a second) when the bottom falls out. Lastly, once contagion spills out from the synthetic product to cash, have fun trying to ramp stocks to unch for the year on nothing but the most recent short covering spree. Oh, and remember: the basis trade is different this time...

Guest Post: You Don’t Need A PhD In Economics– You Just Need To Understand Basic Arithmetic

We recently received a note from a German journalist writing for a national paper there. He asked, “Simon, German politicians swear to support the well-being of the German people. Given this, what would you advise the German government about the euro– keep saving it? Or let everything fail regardless of the consequences?” Europe and the United States have much in common in that their sovereign debt problems are really quite simple to understand. You don’t need a PhD in economics– you just need to understand basic arithmetic.

S&P Downgrades BNP From AA To AA-, Lower Hybrid Capital Instrument Rating On All Top Five French Banks

The rating agency cavalry is relentless in its attempt to catch up to credit implied spreads, which are all about 6-10 notches below where the raters have the banks and countires. Yesterday it was UBS. Today, it is BNP's turn. S&P leaves it off with the following warning: "We could move to a more negative view about the French banking industry if French and European economic and market conditions turn out to be tougher than our base case, moving for instance toward a double-dip recession, which is likely to hurt asset quality and earnings. Or, in case of a prolonged disruption of capital markets that would reduce access to euro-denominated resources."

Is the US Economy in a Recession?

Why Gold Could Hit $10,000

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