Posts Tagged ‘European Union’

Another Bank Bailout

Another Bank Bailout

Courtesy of MIKE WHITNEY writing at CounterPunch

Jean-Claude Trichet, President of the European Central Bank (ECB) addresses the media during his monthly news conference at the ECB headquarters in Frankfurt June 10, 2010. The ECB kept interest rates at 1.0 percent as expected on Thursday and predicted an uneven, moderate economic recovery.   REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski (GERMANY - Tags: BUSINESS HEADSHOT)

On Thursday, European Central Bank head Jean-Claude Trichet announced that he would continue the ECB’s low interest rates (1 per cent) and easy lending policies for the foreseeable future. Wall Street rallied on the news, sending shares rocketing up 273 points on the day. Trichet also said that he would continue his controversial bond-purchasing program which has drawn fire from wary German leaders who fear the onset of inflation. The bank chief dodged questions on the program suggesting that he will operate secretively like the Fed, buying up downgraded assets and concealing their original owner. By appointing himself the de facto Fiscal Czar of the European Union, Trichet has stopped the fall of the euro, scattered the short-sellers, and zapped the markets upward.  Not bad for a day’s work.

Up until yesterday, credit conditions in the EU had been steadily deteriorating. Hoarding by banks had intensified while the rates that banks charge each other for short-term loans was on the rise. Lenders were afraid that the $2.4 trillion in loans to countries in the south (Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal) and East Europe would not be repaid and that that would push more banks into default.  Euribor (the rate at which euro interbank term deposits within the euro zone are offered by one prime bank to another ) had been creeping upwards while overnight deposits at the ECB were setting new records every day.  Jittery banks have parked over $390 billion at the ECB’s  deposit facility since the crisis began. Banks would rather get low interest on their deposits then lend in the money markets where they might not be repaid at all. 

From Bloomberg News:

“Jean-Claude Trichet said the European Central Bank will extend its offerings of unlimited cash and keep buying government bonds for now as it tries to ease tensions in money markets and fight the European debt crisis.

“ ‘It’s appropriate to continue to do what we’ve decided’ on sovereign bonds, ECB President Trichet said at a press conference  in Frankfurt today. ‘We have a money market which is not functioning perfectly.’

Trichet’s ECB is buying debt and pumping unlimited funds into the banking system as part of a European Union strategy to stop the euro region from breaking apart. While Trichet refused to bow to some investors’ demands for more details


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Six Impossible Things

Six Impossible Things

Opening Night Of FIDM Exhibit For Walt Disney Studios Alice In Wonderland

Courtesy of John Mauldin 

Six Impossible Things 
Delta Force 
Reduce your Deficits! 
Pity the Greeks 
Should the US Bail Out European Banks? 
Italy at Last!

Alice laughed. "There’s no use trying," she said" One can’t believe impossible things."

"I daresay you haven’t had much practice," said the Queen. "When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."

- From Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll

Economists and policy makers seem to want to believe impossible things in regards to the current debt crisis percolating throughout the world. And believing in them, they are adopting policies that will result in, well, tragedy. Today we address what passes for wisdom among the political crowd and see where we are headed, especially in Europe.

I am reminded of the great line from the movie, The Princess Bride. Vizzini is the short bad guy who is trying to get away from Westley and every thing he attempts does not work. Westley just keeps on coming. At each failed attempt, Vizzini mutters, "Inconceivable." Finally, Vizzini has just cut the rope and The Dread Pirate Roberts (Westley) is still climbing up the cliff.

Vizzini: HE DIDN’T FALL? INCONCEIVABLE.

Inigo Montoya: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

European leaders keep telling us that the break-up of the eurozone is inconceivable. I do not think they know what that word really means. Let’s see if I can explain the problem so that even a politician can understand.

But first, and quickly. We have transcribed the speeches from my recent 7th Annual Strategic Investment Conference I put on with my US partners Altegris Investments. To say they were awesome is somewhat of an understatement. If you have registered for my free accredited investment letter, you should already have gotten a link or will get one soon to the speeches. David Rosenberg, Dr. Lacy Hunt, Paul McCulley, Niall Ferguson, Jon Sundt, Jason Cummins, Gary Shilling and your humble analyst. That is a world class line-up.

If you are an accredited investor (basically $1.5 million net worth) and have not yet signed up for my letter, then go to www.accreditedinvestor.ws and do so now. One…
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Geithner on “Sustaining the Unsustainable”; Bill Gross, Robert Mundell say Sovereign Default Likely Inevitable

Geithner on "Sustaining the Unsustainable"; Bill Gross, Robert Mundell say Sovereign Default Likely Inevitable

tim geithnerCourtesy of Mish

Sustaining the Unsustainable 

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner had me laughing out loud over his statement yesterday in Beijing where he took part in the two-day U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue.

"European leaders face the difficult challenge of trying to restore sustainability to an unsustainable system."

Yes Tim, that challenge would indeed be "difficult", in fact, impossible by definition.

It is a contradiction in terms and thus logically impossible to suggest it is possible to "sustain the unsustainable". Geithner needs math lessons or logic lessons, most likely both.

Sovereign Default Inevitable

With Geithner focused on the impossible, others have a more practical outlook. For example, Bill Gross and Noble Prize winning economist Robert Mundell say Sovereign Default May Prove Inevitable for Nations.

Pacific Investment Management Co.’s Bill Gross said restrictive lending rates and austerity measures that slow growth may leave default as the “only way out” for some sovereign borrowers dealing with mounting debt and deficits.

“Credit and equity market vigilantes are wondering if in many cases sovereigns haven’t already gone too far and that the only way out might be via default or the more politely used phrase of ‘restructuring,’” Gross wrote in his June investment outlook today on the Newport Beach, California-based company’s website. “It may not be possible for a country to escape a debt crisis by reducing deficits.”

“At the now-restrictive yields of Libor plus 300-350 basis points being imposed by the EU and the IMF alike, there is no reasonable scenario which would allow Greece to ‘grow’ its way out,” said Gross, co-chief investment officer of Pimco and manager of the world’s biggest mutual fund.

Nobel Prize-winning economist Robert Mundell said reworking debt may be “inevitable” for one or two countries that share Europe’s common currency in the next five years.

“Debt restructuring may be needed for one or two fiscally weak euro members,” he said today at a conference in Warsaw. “In five years it may be inevitable, but it doesn’t mean euro deconstruction, it just means debt restructuring.”

Geithner Pleads Bazooka Be Fired

As noted above, it is not only “difficult” it is impossible by definition to achieve the unachievable, thus extremely foolish to even attempt such a maneuver.

However, logical impossibilities did not stop Geithner’s plea to fire the $1 trillion


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New Analysis About Euro and European Debt

Complimentary Report: New Analysis About Euro and European Debt

Courtesy of Elliott Wave International 

Euripedes (c480-406 BC)

European Debt: Market moves around the world can impact your portfolio. So whether you know it or not, you probably have a stake in Europe’s financial future. We’ve been anticipating and tracking the growing debt crisis in Europe, and we’re giving away our forecasts and analysis of the region — for free. Learn more and download your free report now >> .

Europe’s debt crisis has been a mainstay in the news — and in the minds of investors — over the past few months. The Greek bailout has calmed some nerves, but it has failed to recognize the true cause for the crisis.

Back in February, when the modern-day Greek tragedy appeared to be contained by all media accounts, EWI anticipated yet another wave of debt woes across Europe. Here’s what EWI’s European chief market analyst, Brian Whitmer, wrote on Feb. 26:

"Greece’s woes aren’t over, and neither are its neighbors, meaning that more surprises are sure to come."

What’s next for the euro and European solidarity? Whitmer and his colleagues have been anticipating and tracking the growing debt crisis in Greece, Spain, Portugal and other European nations. Their valuable and time analysis reveals the REAL story on Europe — independent from media assumptions and conjecture — read this prescient new report from EWI.

Download your free report, "European Debt: An Elliott Wave Perspective," now. 

 


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Europe’s Sleepless Night

Europe’s Sleepless Night

Courtesy of Gregory White at Clusterstock 

europe

Europe remains in chaos, after another day of heavy losses. What was once a crisis of the PIIGS is now felt by Germany and France as both come to grips with the meltdown in the eurozone.

Tomorrow, Germany votes to approve or deny the bailout of Greece. On that vote could hinge the future of the eurozone. It is likely it will pass.

But other problems remain. The risk of contagion from the continent’s debt crisis could soon cripple inter-bank lending, if it hasn’t already.

After announcing a bailout weeks ago, tomorrow is follow through day for the eurozone. Will they need to burn the midnight oil in Brussels yet again on Sunday?

Check out why, even if Germany saves Greece tomorrow, Spain is the real problem lurking in the eurozone > 


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Counterparty Risk Increasing

Counterparty Risk Increasing

Courtesy of Rom Badilla, CFA – Bondsquawk.com

Due to the European debt crisis, counterparty risk is increasing as banks are reluctant to lend to each other, which is remiscient of the bank freeze at the beginning of the fiancial crisis of 2008. The LIBOR-OIS spread which is a gauge of banks willingness to lend, widened 2 basis points today to a spread of 26. Despite the unveiling of the near one trillion dollar Stabilization Fund last week, it continues to drift higher.  The spread has now increased 20 basis points from the most recent low achieved on March 15.

As mentioned last week here at Bondsquawk, the spread inched higher from 13 basis points in late July 2007 to 19 basis points the following week. As market conditions deteriorated, the widening accelerated. By late August, the spread widened to 73 basis points and the route was on. During the height of the financial crisis which is marked by the fall of Lehman Brothers, the spread reached a high of 364 basis points by October of 2008. While it remains to be seen if this will turn into another credit crunch as we have warned several days ago and as Bank of America’s Jeff Rosenberg had suggested earlier today, today’s action is certainly a growing concern and deserves further monitoring. 


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To Greece: Nut Up Or Shut Up

Karl Denninger’s advice…

To Greece: Nut Up Or Shut Up

Time to call the bluff:

The euro fell from the session high against the dollar and Swiss franc on Wednesday after Greece categorically denied market rumors which said it was considering leaving the European Union or the euro zone.

Of course that didn’t take long to be "officially denied":

"We categorically deny any thought of leaving the European Union, or the euro zone," said government spokesman George Petalotis.

Then you have no chance.

Let’s be clear: The only way to do this is by surprise.  Unilaterally, without any discussion with anyone else.  Just like Germany did.

And Greece should do it right here, right now, today.

Nail those European Banks that played "too cute by half" and bought Greek debt expecting an intervention and "sticksave", then effectively extorted the Eurozone nations into providing it, exactly as happened here in the US with Fannie and Freddie paper.

Note that Spain was unable to make its debt auction yesterday; they are thus going to be unable to fund the alleged bailout.  As such the promises Greece was made are in fact empty, and intended to screw the Greek people and their government.

It is time for someone to stand up and say in return "screw you!" to such tactics.  Germany has laid the groundwork, now Greece needs to deliver the "coup de grace" to Sarcozy and his butt-buddies in Brussels.

Depart the Euro and at the same time declare by fiat all Euro-denominated Greek debt held…
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China Equities Sink 5%, Down 22 % for the Year; What will China do with its much beloved peg to the US dollar?

China Equities Sink 5%, Down 22 % for the Year; What will China do with its much beloved peg to the US dollar?

Courtesy of Mish 

Rabid believers in the China growth story may need to reconsider.

Already deep in the red on the year, China Stocks Plunge Most Since August on Property Curbs, Europe 

China’s stocks plunged, driving the benchmark index to the biggest loss since August, on concern government steps to cool the property market and European austerity measures will hurt economic growth.

China Vanke Co. paced declines by developers after Premier Wen Jiabao said the government will “decisively” contain gains in home prices. Jiangxi Copper Co. tumbled 6.3 percent after commodity prices plunged the most in nine weeks and the Ministry of Commerce said the euro’s decline is pressuring exporters. Guangzhou Shipyard International Co., which got more than half of last year’s sales from Europe, tumbled 8.4 percent.

“Investors are worried that more property tightening is on the way even as Europe throws up more uncertainties about the global economy,” said Michelle Qi, a Shanghai-based portfolio manager at Bank of Communications Schroders Fund Management Co., which oversees about $6.5 billion.

The Shanghai Composite Index tumbled 136.69, or 5.1 percent, to 2,559.93 at the close, the biggest drop since Aug. 31 and the lowest since May 4, 2009. The CSI 300 Index slid 153.31, or 5.4 percent, to 2,714.72.

The Shanghai Composite has lost 22 percent this year, the world’s fourth-worst performer among the 93 gauges tracked by Bloomberg, on concern the government will keep tightening monetary policy to contain inflation and avert asset bubbles. The measure on May 11 entered a bear market after falling 21 percent from its Nov. 23 high.

Another Sea of Red in Asia

Heading into Monday’s US open, this is what I see for Asia.

click on table for sharper image

What will China do with its much beloved peg to the US dollar? 

Tonight, the Euro fell to as low as 1.235 to the US dollar.

Bear in mind, Europe is China’s biggest trading partner, further exacerbating China’s problems with its currency peg to the US dollar. This can get very interesting in a hurry if the Euro collapses.

What all the jaw-boning from Washington D.C. did not accomplish, a collapse in the Euro might.

Currency pegs work, until they don’t.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock  


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Will The EU’s Collapse Push The World Deeper Into The Great Depression II?

Will The EU’s Collapse Push The World Deeper Into The Great Depression II?

Courtesy of Timothy D. Naegele[1]

First World War

“For want of a nail . . .  the kingdom was lost.”[2] Will Greece’s debt crisis lead to a Greek debt default and the collapse of the euro and an ensuing collapse of the 27-member European Union (or EU), and trigger the next round of crashes that will be described by economic historians decades from now as “the Great Depression II”?[3] The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife in Sarajevo, Serbia brought the tensions between Austria-Hungary and Serbia to a head.  In turn, it is said this triggered a chain of international events that embroiled Russia and the major European powers; and World War I broke out in Europe.[4] Will Greece’s debt crisis set a series of events in motion that sends the world into a downward economic spiral of unfathomable proportions?

For years, I have wrestled with the question of whether the Europe would collapse economically, politically, socially and militarily.  Sounds absurd, you say?  The countries are too interwoven and mutually dependent now for that to happen, and at the very least they will muddle along, making the worst of the best situations, and achieving the lowest common denominator?  The United States of Europe, they are not and never will be, but they have achieved a degree of cohesiveness that I never thought was likely years ago.

I believed jealousies and rivalries and, yes, the hatreds of the past would linger barely beneath the surface, coming unglued at the most inopportune times when it really mattered the most.  When the chips were down, I felt the EU would splinter and fall apart; and that its participants and the world would write it off as a noble experiment that failed, much like the League of Nations.  After all, its successor—the United Nations—is considered to be a colossal joke by Americans, many of whom would love to see it shipped to Europe, and its building on the East River in Manhattan bulldozed and turned into a park, or made into co-ops or condominiums.

The bitter hatreds of the past seem to have subsided in Europe though, and it has become a cultural melting pot, more and more.  Airbus was the first tangible sign of economic integration that I never thought would…
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How the US Has Perfected the Use of Economic Imperialism

How the US Has Perfected the Use of Economic Imperialism Through the European Union!

Courtesy of Reggie Middleton

The IMF, like many other international institutions, asserts that it has a “preferred creditor status”, and this has been a practiced convention in the past. Thus, IMF has de facto seniority rights over private creditors despite the fact that there is no legal or treaty-based foundation to support this claim and this seniority of rights for IMF will continue under the recent EU rescue plan announced as well as it has not been noted otherwise implicitly nor explicitly. This is the reason why Sarkozy said it is a said day when the EU has to accept a bailout from the IMF (aka, the US). The EU now, and truly, contains a significant parcel of debtor nations.

To add fuel to this global macro tabloidal fire, the Euro members’ loan will be pari passu with existing sovereign debt i.e. it will not be considered senior. Although there is no written, hard evidence to support this claim, it is our view that otherwise there will be no incentive for investors to hold the debt of troubled countries like Greece, which will ultimately defeat the whole purpose of the rescue package. Moreover, there are indications that support this idea. As per Dutch Finance Minister Jan Kees de Jager, “We are not talking about a special preference for the eurogroup loans, that’s not possible because then you would have the situation that already-existing rights of creditors at the moment would be harmed.” (reference http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-04-16/netherlands-excludes-senior-status-for-greek-aid-update1-.html). Of course, if more investors did their homework and ran the numbers, that same disincentive can be said to exist with the IMF’s super senior preference given the event of a default and recoverable collateral after the IMF has fed at the trough.

The ramifications:

IMF’s preferred creditor status coupled with the expensive Euro members’ loans which are part of the rescue package can create a public debt snowball effect that could push the troubled countries towards insolvency when the IMF debt becomes repayable in three years time. This could be seen particularly in case of Greece (subscribers, please reference Greece Public Finances Projections). Even if all the spending cuts and revenue raising are achieved as planned for Greece, its debt will peak to 149.1% of the GDP in 2013. Please keep…
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Zero Hedge

House Ethics Committee Finds Rashida Tlaib Violated Campaign Finance Rules

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Authored by Jack Philips via The Epoch Times,

The House Ethics Committee found Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), a member of the so-called “Squad,” violated campaign finance rules by receiving a campaign salary after she was no longer a candidate.

...



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Phil's Favorites

Why stock splits disappeared from our lives

 

Why stock splits disappeared from our lives

Courtesy of 

Apple is splitting its stock 4-for-1 in two weeks. What does it mean for you? What might it mean for the broader market? And why have stock split announcements become so scarce in recent years? Did something change?

The peak of the stock split era was from 1995 through 2000. Investors were buying stocks specifically because they were about to split. It was one of the dopiest aspects of an ...



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The Technical Traders

Melt-Up Continues While Metals Warn of Risks

Courtesy of Technical Traders

What a week for Metals and the markets, folks. The Transportation Index is up nearly 4% for the week.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up over 3% for the week.  Silver is up over 14% and reached a peak near $30 (over 23%).  Gold is up over 2.5% and trading above $2025 right now – with a peak price level near $2090.  If you were not paying attention this week, there were some really big moves taking place.

MELT-UP WITH HIGH RISKS – PAY ATTENTION

Overall, our research team believes the current “melt-up” price action is likely to continue as global investors continue to believe the US Fed will do everything possible to save the...



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Digital Currencies

Raoul Pal: "It May Not Be Worth Owning Any Asset Other Than Bitcoin"

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Authored by Turner Wright via CoinTelegraph.com,

Raoul Pal, CEO and founder of Real Vision, says Bitcoin may soon become his only asset for long-term investments.

image courtesy of CoinTelegraph ...



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ValueWalk

Ubben Helping Investors Steer Away From Activist Investing With Inclusive Capital

By ActivistInsight. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Our profile in this month’s issue of Activist Insight Monthly is with Jeff Ubben, who recently shocked the activist community by taking his environmental and socially-focused Spring Fund outside of ValueAct Capital Partners, the firm he founded two decades ago. Under a new banner – that of Inclusive Capital Partners – he will have plenty of surprises up his sleeve and may face a few himself as he battles to change the way investors think about valuing companies and steer them away from short-term ac...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Silver Headed Back To $50, Top Of The Cup & Handle Pattern?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

Could Silver be creating a multi-decade bullish “Cup & Handle” pattern? Possible!

Did a retest of a handle breakout take place in March at (1), where Silver created one of the largest bullish reversals in decades? Possible!

Could Silver be creating a 40-year bullish pattern? Anything is possible! I humbly have to say share this; I’ve been in the business for 40-years and I haven’t seen anything like this.

Silver looks to have double topped back in 2011 at $50, which was the 1980 highs. After double topping, Silver ...



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Biotech/COVID-19

What the huge COVID-19 testing undercount in the US means

 

What the huge COVID-19 testing undercount in the US means

Health care workers use a nasal swab to test a person for COVID-19 in Pembroke Park, Florida. Joe Raedle / Getty Images News

Courtesy of Melissa Hawkins, American University

Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other institutions recently published a study which estimated that the true number of people infected by COVID-19 could be six to 24 times high...



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Chart School

RTT browsing latest..

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Please review a collection of WWW browsing results. The information here is delayed by a few months, members get the most recent content.



Date Found: Sunday, 29 March 2020, 07:00:37 PM

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Comment: Silver Shorts Are In a Bind | Ted Butler youtu.be/qQc0AoJp-Q8



Date Found: Monday, 30 March 2020, 05:21:45 PM

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Comment: 5 Questions From You for Luke Gromen youtu.be/nVZD_fuxbQE


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Lee's Free Thinking

Texas, Florida, Arizona, Georgia - The Branch COVIDIANS Are Still Burning Down the House

 

Texas, Florida, Arizona, Georgia – The Branch COVIDIANS Are Still Burning Down the House

Courtesy of Lee Adler, WallStreetExaminer 

The numbers of new cases in some of the hardest hit COVID19 states have started to plateau, or even decline, over the past few days. A few pundits have noted it and concluded that it was a hopeful sign. 

Is it real or is something else going on? Like a restriction in the numbers of tests, or simply the inability to test enough, or are some people simply giving up on getting tested? Because as we all know from our dear leader, the less testing, the less...



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Members' Corner

Coronavirus, 'Plandemic' and the seven traits of conspiratorial thinking

 

Coronavirus, 'Plandemic' and the seven traits of conspiratorial thinking

No matter the details of the plot, conspiracy theories follow common patterns of thought. Ranta Images/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Courtesy of John Cook, George Mason University; Sander van der Linden, University of Cambridge; Stephan Lewandowsky...



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Insider Scoop

Economic Data Scheduled For Friday

Courtesy of Benzinga

  • Data on nonfarm payrolls and unemployment rate for March will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET.
  • US Services Purchasing Managers' Index for March is scheduled for release at 9:45 a.m. ET.
  • The ISM's non-manufacturing index for March will be released at 10:00 a.m. ET.
  • The Baker Hughes North American rig count report for the latest week is scheduled for release at 1:00 p.m. ET.
...

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Phil will discuss positions, COVID-19, market volatility -- the selloff -- and more! 

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Mapping The Market

How IPOs Are Priced

Via Jean Luc 

Funny but probably true:

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About Phil:

Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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