Kyle Bass Best Summarizes The "Profligate Idiots" In Europe: "They Have A German Pope And An Italian Central Banker"Anyone needing a quick summary of the main tension lines in Europe as they currently stand can probably not do any better than the attached 3 minute explanation by Kyle Bass. And while he just participated in a far longer Q&A with BBC's Hardtalk program, which we will bring to you shortly, the attached video explains more in 150 seconds than a full day of watching the financial funny channel from basic cable. In a nutshell: Europe is about to see trillions in debt written down (the only mathematical explanation which makes sense, as presented for the nth time earlier by Charles Hugh Smith), the "profligate idiot" spenders of Southern Europe are not going to be bailed out by Germany, which has decided it has had enough of the "Mexican standoff" within the Eurozone, and will not be held by the short hairs any longer. And as for the quote that captures the total and utter chaos in Europe: "they have a German pope and an Italian central banker." Nuf said.
Earlier we warned everyone that the Goldman stop loss triggers were if not hot then would be any minute. That just happened and the EURUSD tumbled a good 40 pips in seconds as soon as the several supporting bids just below 1.35 were finally eradicated, bringing the Euro to a 5 week low. And as a reminder, tomorrow we have some very interesting Spanish and French bond auctions (for full list see here). As another reminder, both closed at record spreads. Better set that alarm for 2:45 am: things are getting dramaminy once again.
The primary reason for today's (and last week's) dramatic overnight market weakness was the fact that several auctions, either Italian, or Spanish, went off about as badly as they possibly could. But luckily that's over, right: all the auctions in the near term are over and there is nothing to worry about for at least a few more days so traders don't have to get up at 3 am Eastern to see just how abysmally bad the latest Italian Bill issuance was? Uhm, no. Below we present the balance of Europe's bond auctions for November, for December... oh, and Bills as well, because apparently issuing 3 Month paper in Europe is about as difficult as selling 30 Years.
Two weeks ago we reported with sheer disgust that the outgoing CEO of bankrupt Freddie Mac, Ed Haldeman, was to pocket over $4 million for his brief two year stay at the nationalized GSE, which money was to reward him for lots of hard work collecting bail out cash from the Treasury. $21 billion to be precise. Apparently it is not easy to beg from Tim Geithner which explains the compensation for a task which is essentially supervising a financial black hole with an attached run off portfolio. Nonetheless the optics of this farce are rather unpleasant which is why we said that this is the (one of many) reason "why people in America are very, very pissed." Today Congress, which has yet to ban itself from trading on inside information, has decided to at least rectify this one sticking point, and moved forward with a "bill to block multimillion-dollar executive pay packages at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac even as their regulator defended them as necessary to retain top talent and limit taxpayer losses at the bailed-out companies." And where are they going to go: MF Global? Morgan Stanley? RBS? Jefferies? As for what new pay wil be: "The committee adopted an amendment that would use the pay scale that applies to independent financial regulators, such as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp, which allows for higher pay than at most federal agencies. Representative Al Green, who offered the amendment, said this would have the effect of limiting the highest salaries to about $260,000 per year." While still about 3 times more than what they deserve, this is a good start. And an even better one would be to if not unwind the GSEs, then to at least recognize that their $7 trillion in debt should be counted toward the US Federal debt, as Peter Orzsag suggested once. Naturally were that to happen US total debt/GDP would be over 150%, and the bond vigilantes would suddenly be confused whether their time is not better spent on this side of the Atlantic. Yet the biggest twist in this story, is that not only are the GSEs bankrupt, but as the NYT reported earlier, the FHA itself has a "close to 50% chance of requiring a bailout." Add to that that the corporate retirement guys (PBGC) and the post office (USPS) are now effectively broke as well, and very soon being the CEO of a bankrupt company will be the new killing it.
$$$ THE NEW US DOLLAR IS UNDERWAY reports Bob Chapman