German Constitutional Court Halts EFSF Approval, Issues Temporary Injunction On Further Bailout DecisionsThe German constitutional court has already played a substantial role in the country's participation in the European bailout. Back in September when noting the first participation of the court in the European rescue machinery we noted that "giving the Bundestag’s Budget Committee the final say over the use of the bailout fund is welcome from a democratic point of view, but will add another element of uncertainty to the eurozone crisis. However, so far the Budget Committee has consistently taken the government line on the bailout, albeit reluctantly, and it remains to be seen whether it dares to exercise its new power." It appears the court has once again decided to step up only this time not in a favorable light, after, as Spiegel reports, that the court has "issued a temporary injunction banning the nine-person committee in the Bundestag from taking any decisions on the deployment by EFSF of German taxpayer money." In addition to this, the Court also put the whole German fast-track approval process in jeopardy after it expressed "doubts about the legality of a new panel of lawmakers set up by the German parliament to reach quick decisions on the release of funds from the euro bailout mechanism." This is hardly the ringing endorsement the EURocrats needed to hear from the only power in Europe with the funds to keep the EMU together.
Yesterday the short squeeze in the EURUSD brought the pair to within pips of Citigroup's revised stop loss of 1.4260 even as it got even more bearish on the European currency, setting a new target of 1.3150. Today the bank's FX strategists continue their onslaught, stating in a note that wonders how long the Euro-love will last that "The post-summit EUR rally is driven by a continuing squeeze in short risk positions and unwinding of worst fears of financial contagion, rather than improvement in cyclical fundamentals." Here are their full thoughts on why the time to short the pair, and thus the entire EURUSD-driven market, lower.
Earlier today Italy had an extended bond auction in which it sold 3, 6, 8, and 10 year bonds. The auction did not go quite as planned. The reason: far less than the maximum €8.5 billion target was raised, all the Bids to Cover slid and all the yields soared with a particular emphasis on the 10 Year BTP which everyone is following with great interest as it sternly refuses to trade inside of 6% despite all the worthless promises with the word "trillion" in them, lobbed in Italy's general direction from Europe, which knows too well that if the Italian bonds complex goes, so does the rest of Europe. As Reuters summarizes: 'Italy paid the most since joining the single currency to sell new 10-year debt on Friday in the first euro zone bond auction after European leaders agreed new steps to tackle the debt crisis. The auction yield on Italy's March 2022 BTP bond rose to 6.06 percent from 5.86 percent a month ago." So... when is the next "Italy bailout" summit?
- Chinese vice finance minister said details on the expansion of the European bailout fund is still unclear, adding that purchases of EFSF bonds are not on the G20 agenda. Also, EFSF’s Regling said he does not expect to reach a conclusive deal with Chinese leaders during his visit to Beijing
- The German Constitutional Court halted the use of a special parliamentary committee that was recently created to decide on changes to the Eurozone’s bailout fund in emergency situations
- Meanwhile, a German senior coalition lawmaker said the Constitutional Court's decision means the EFSF secondary market bond purchases will be de facto impossible until a verdict, as Bundestag plenary cannot meet confidentially
- Lacklustre BTAN auctions from Italy dented appetite for risk
Wondering how it was possible for Q3 GDP to post such a substantial beat yesterday driven by a surge in Personal Consumption expenditures? Wonder no more: in the last quarter, the US consumer literally tapped out, bringing their savings rate from a 2011 high 5.3% in June to 3.6% in September, after the BEA reported that while spending increase was in line with expectations at an unsustainable 0.6%, income was just barely above unchanged at 0.1% on expectations of 0.3% confirming that as far as the economy is concerned, the consumer is just getting worse and worse off. This is the lowest number since the depression started back in December 2007! The only problem is back then it had been lower and was rising in anticipation of the fallout from the Great Financial Crisis, this time it was modestly higher and is now plunging. Very soon deleveraging Americans, whose homes are getting cheaper by the day, will have no savings left to use for useless trinket purchases. How does GDP "grow" then?
With the EFSF, Italian and Spanish debt all creeping higher in yield today and a disappointing Italian auction, we take a deeper dive into the mechianics of the EFSF and the paradoxically weak impact it may have as sovereign risk deteriorates. The [EFSF] idea works well when people aren’t thinking there is a real chance of default, but as that increases, the EU may wish they had stuck to their original plan of having raised 440 billion of cash that they could lend directly. Basically, if the markets deteriorate, the first loss protection, is worth more, but provides less leverage.
Now that the kneejerk euphoria, in which nobody had done any work, confirming that the only thing worse than a clueless Europe is an even more clueless market, over the non-bailout has ended, here is the hangover, courtesy of Tullett Prebon.
Presented with little comment as we note BTPs have broken the week's low prices and are significantly off their knee-jerk response highs. It is clear that investors don't want to be too long BTPs into a weekend which will be full of research and thinking about reality as we broke the dismal Maginot line of 6% yield. Chatter of ECB buying came and went as it is very clear that managers and traders want out. The unintended consequence of banning CDS combined with an EFSF that is both self-referencing and paradoxically weakened as majors deteriorate is certainly not helping here.
A Brief Guide To The Euro Crisis
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