Thursday, November 10, 2011

Goldman On Italy - Part 3

This morning brings the latest, or the third, in the ongoing pitch book of Italian bonds by Goldman's Francesco Garzarelli, in which the strategist hopes that third time will be the charm for calling the bottom to the BTP collapse (sold to you, Goldman client). What apparently has Goldman confused is how its former employee Mario Draghi has let BTP spreads hit the record and unsustainable levels they did yesterday. To wit: "We were actually quite surprised not to see more forceful intervention by the central bank in secondary markets after the LCH announced it would raise initial margin requirements (and wrong in assuming it would have helped keep the Italy vs. AAA spread close to 450bp – it closed yesterday at 500bp over, but is now back at 450bp)." Here Goldman confirms what we suggested on Monday: that the ECB is now nothing but a policy enactment and dictator overhaul tool: "In this context, Italy still has to comply fully with the ECB’s ‘requests’ dated August 8, while Greece’s commitment to more austerity in exchange for financial support has continued to sway (at the time of writing, news that former ECB no. 2 Papademos would take the helm is encouraging)." Even so, the future to Goldman is quite cloudly :Granted, one positive collateral effect of market tensions has been to precipitate a political shakeup in Italy. But the collateral damage created by the price shock in Italian bonds to the stability of the EMU project (aggravated by explicit talk of countries being expelled from the single currency) is high and quite lasting. It will probably take a leap forward into deeper forms of fiscal risk-sharing (Prof Monti is a long-time proponent of Eurobonds) to get the market properly functioning again." OTOH, Barclays has done the math, and as we pointed out a few days ago, is not surprised.


Snap Reactions To Italy's €5 Billion Bill Auction, Which Reeks Of Illegal ECB Intervention

Earlier today Italy sold €3 billion in 1 year Bills at an average yield of 6.087%, the highest since September 1997, and almost 3% higher compared to a month ago, when it prices at 3.570%. Yet there was a stunning twist: the 1 Year was trading at a whopping 7.75% in the gray market minutes before the auction, or almost 200 bps wide of the auction result, something which never happens under normal conditions unless the invisible hand of the central bank has anything to say about it. Now we know already that the ECB stepped in to aggressively mop up Italian bonds in the secondary market immediately after the auction to bring 10 year yields below 7%, however briefly: the bond has since widened above that level once again. Yet what is shocking is the primary market strength for the 1 year: since the ECB is prohibited by law from intervening in the primary, auction market, we wonder just what illegal backdoor funding scheme the ECB has concocted with friendly banks in order to have the auction price where it did, and how much money was transferred by back door channels to keep Europe from imploding one more day. Considering that the EURUSD was trading below 1.35 just prior to the auction at around 3 am, and has since regained losses, just as we expected yesterday, please remind us to add this latest illegal central bank intervention feature to the list of things to uncover once Europe blows up and the ECB's secret trading records are laid out for all to see. In the meantime, here is the Wall Street snap reaction to the Bill auction.

Be Honest CNBC - You Are Biased Against Ron Paul

Those of us who have supported Ron Paul since his presidential run in 2008 (and some who supported him long before that) have come to expect an astonishing array of mainstream media tricks, lies, and censorship when it comes to the “journalistic” examination of the good doctor. This doesn’t mean, however, that we have ever or will ever come to ACCEPT this consistent trend of deception and disinformation as a forgone conclusion of our political lives. We will never throw up our hands and walk away from the mess the MSM has deliberately created, because that is exactly what they would like us to do; give up, shut up, go home, vote for Romney (an establishment crony with the creepy grin of a pedophile), and watch him lose to Obama (yet another establishment crony) in 2012. With this stated up front, it was brought to my attention that CNBC was running a poll asking readers who they thought won the recent Republican Presidential Debates in Michigan. Now, as in many polls in 2008, the name “Ron Paul” has been rising to the top of the charts in 2011 despite all efforts by media lapdogs to dissuade the public from even considering such a candidate. CNBC did not fail to play its roll this time around either. Ron Paul won by a substantial margin, and of course, their response was to take the poll down!

To ECB Or Not To ECB - That Is The Only Question

Europe started the day poorly, following up on the weak close and its own poor economic data. Then the ECB got involved and started buying Spanish and Italian debt aggressively. Rumors is that the ECB will have unlimited buying power for Italian debt once the austerity bill is passed. The current buying spree is completely expected. They can't resist intervention and in spite of a massive inventory of unmarked underwater bonds, still believe it does something. This intervention didn't do much for a 1 year auction and the price action in the secondary market has become routine. Some quick short covering. Dealers snapping up some paper to offer back to the ECB. A few additional purchased to goose the market higher, tell the ECB how great they are doing and that it is impossible to source paper, sell your inventory at an even higher level, spoof around while trying to figure out when the ECB is done for the day and what targets they have, sell into the last bit of strength and then let the shorts who covered early reset at much higher prices.

Italy 2s10s Inverts For First Time Since August 1994 As French and Spanish Spreads Widen To Records

Dismal data from French manufacturing and industrial production along with growing chatter of a 'core' Europe strategy having been discussed is sending spreads among sovereign bonds notably wider. As a reminder Italy faces a rather large 1Y bill auction later this morning and the front-end of the BTP curve is underperforming as 2s10s inverts for the first time since August 1994.

EURUSD Breaks 1.35 (Lowest In A Month) As Data Disappoints

UPDATE 1: Italian Bond Futures opened -1.7%
UPDATE 2: Credit cracking hard now XOver +35bps, Main +8bps, SENFIN +13bps
UPDATE 3: BTPs opened +16bps at 569bps over Bunds
UPDATE 4: OATs trading over 150bps wider than Bunds for first time ever
With German Consumer Price inflation coming a little hot, Wholesale Price index deflating MoM (and less than expected YoY), and Finnish Industrial Production turning negative unexpectedly, (and now French Industrial Production and manufacturing dropping significantly), sellers returned in the early European day with EURUSD breaking below 1.35 (for the first time since 10/10) and ES -7pts from the close (and 12pts from overnight highs) at overnight lows. As everyone anxiously awaits the open of BTPs, credit markets are already playing catch up to the US afternoon with Main 5bps wider and XOver 23bps wider.

Goldman Summarizes Q3 Earnings' Key Themes As CEO Confidence Ebbs

The last few weeks have seen numerous discussions of the less-than-perfect quarterly earnings picture and outlook and despite an endless barrage of 'well, 73% of firms beat expectations', it is the outlook that is critical to understanding valuations. With CEO Confidence, from Chief Executive magazine, at its lowest in a year and having dropped at its fastest rate since the first quarter of 2009, Goldman dissects the conference calls of Q3 earnings to discern four key themes: Uncertainty is hurting confidence and reducing activity, a more cautious tone on margins, and belief/hope in emerging markets' ability to power growth. Goldman's 'Beige Book' equivalent provides all the detail one needs to comprehend what is at best a defensive strategy going forward.

Frontrunning: November 10

  • Permanent EU Bailout Fund Said to Face Delay (Bloomberg)
  • Deal Greek President to Meet Party Leaders (Bloomberg)
  • EU Lowers Euro-Region Growth Forecasts (Bloomberg)
  • Italy Senate Speeds Vote That May Lead to Monti Government (Bloomberg)
  • U.S. Dems Offer $2.3 Trillion Deficit Plan (Bloomberg)
  • Friendship Is Tossed in MF Global Storm (WSJ)
  • Clients who fled MF Global face clawback risk (Reuters)
  • Yuan Bet Losing Its Luster (WSJ)
  • Fannie Alabama’s Jefferson County Enters Biggest Muni Bankruptcy as Crisis Victim (Bloomberg)

It's (Re-Re-)Official: L-Pap Is PM

To everyone who was hoping the latest Greek PM would be a double letter, triple word score game killer in Scrabble, our apologies. In the end the ECB's puppet ended up in control, just as initially expected. Kneejerek reaction in the EURUSD higher which will be promptly faded and all that jazz. Fact is nobody cares about the ECB/Fed protectorate known as Greece any longer.

RANsquawk European Morning Briefing - Stocks, Bonds, FX etc. – 10/11/11

ETC Morning Briefing RANSquawk

MF Global, Repo-to-Maturity and Large Bank OBS exposures
11/09/2011 - 16:18
Indeed, the MF Global failure suggests that the US and EU banking systems may be facing a far larger problem than even the most bearish analysts suspect.

11/09/2011 - 23:10
Toyota and Honda are planning to export U.S.-made vehicles to Korea. But to what banana-republic levels will the dollar and real wages have to sink before U.S. manufacturing is competitive with China?

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