Oct 24

Debt-Chain-Slavery

- It Will Take 398,879,561 Years To Pay Off The US Government’s Debt (Sovereign Man, Oct 22, 2014):

The US government’s debt is getting close to reaching another round number—$18 trillion. It currently stands at more than $17.9 trillion.

But what does that really mean? It’s such an abstract number that it’s hard to imagine it. Can you genuinely understand it beyond just being a ridiculously large number?

Just like humans find it really hard to comprehend the vastness of the universe. We know it’s huge, but what does that mean? It’s so many times greater than anything we know or have experienced. Continue reading »

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Oct 23

 – Equity Levitation Stumbles After Second ECB Denial Of Corporate Bond Buying, Report Of 11 Stress Test Failures (ZeroHedge, Oct 22, 2014):

A day after a Reuters headline blast proclaimed that, in a stunning turn of events, the ECB which has barely started buying covered bond (of countries like Germany today for example, because the record low yielding Bunds clearly need help from the ECB) will also buy corporate bonds, sending the stock market soaring the most in 2014, it has now backtracked for the second time, and following a report from the FT yesterday which denied the report, the second denial came straight from Reuters itself which hours ago said that the ECB “has no concrete plans to buy corporate bonds, but this could be a way to prevent the bank from paying too much for just covered bonds and asset backed securities, ECB governing council member Luc Coene told Belgian media.” Continue reading »

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Oct 23

- Someone Didn’t Do The Math On The ECB’s Corporate Bond Purchasing “Trial Balloon” (ZeroHedge, Oct 22, 2014):

In other words, the “mega-leak” from the ECB will hardly scratch the surface in terms of the required liquidity injections, and certainly will be insufficient if at some point in the coming year, the BOJ finds it too has run out of collateral and is forced to wind down its own QE.

So after actually doing the math we wonder: how long before the market realizes Draghi’s latest bazooka was another water pistol, and how long until Reuters is forced to go with the nuclear leak – that the ECB is now considering monetizing ETFs and, gasp, stocks.

Because that, ladies and gentlemen, is the endgame here.

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Oct 21

- Dan Amerman: Will Our Private Savings Be Sacrificed To Pay Down The Public Debt? (Peak Prosperity, Oct 19, 2014):

Recently, an article by Daniel Amerman caught our attention. Titled Is There A “Back Door” Method For The Government To Pay Down The Federal Debt Using Private Savings?, it details the process known as financial repression, where sovereign debts are slowly paid off by syphoning private savings from an unaware populace.

In this week’s podcast, Chris discusses the mechanics of the process, as well as its probability, with Dan:

To understand financial repression, we have to understand that we’ve been there before. Many nations have gone through periods in the past where they’ve had very high levels of government debt. And there are four traditional ways of dealing with that. Continue reading »

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Oct 21

- The Real Bubble Isn’t Stocks… and It Will Make 2008 Look Like a Picnic (ZeroHedge, Oct 2, 2014):

The 2008 crisis was just a warm-up.

The 2008 crisis was a banking and equities crisis. In the simplest terms, investment banks, leveraged to the hilt with garbage mortgage derivatives, became insolvent and began to collapse.

This collapse triggered a selling panic throughout the financial system as every financial entity questioned the quality of the assets backstopping its derivatives trades. The derivative market was over $700 trillion at the time. So just about every major global bank had broad exposure to this market. Continue reading »

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Oct 20

euro-collapse

- Europe’s Fatal Flaw Laid Bare For All To See. Again. (The Automatic Earth, Oct , Oct 17, 2014):

markets, at the end of last week, sort of refound their – shaky – feet, oil up a dollar, EU exchanges up 3% or so, Greece even up over 7%, while interestingly gold didn’t move much at all during the wild week (no safe haven), and most movement was perhaps, through all the see-saw, in bonds. To sum up the week: panic followed by plunge protection teams. And now the ‘leaders’ hope plunge protection will save another day too.

And they may. Germany sinks a bit, but Germany is strong. US housing is at least not falling further, but US consumer spending stalls and drops. The deep dark weakness has not yet hit the big economies. But the nerves are back. Volatility is back with a vengeance. As it should. And that will paint the picture going forward, plunge protection or not. Da markets will come again and again and dare central banks to plunge protect. Continue reading »

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Oct 19

- Forget about Ebola – here’s why US banks (and your savings) are now EXTREMELY vulnerable (Sovereign Man, Oct 16, 2014):

For a casual observer of the US economy (most “experts”), you could say that things look pretty good. Unemployment is at its lowest rate in six years. Earnings of S&P 500 companies are higher than ever, while their debt is lower than it’s been in the last 24 years.

Nonetheless, rather than getting excited for good economic times, the big commercial banks are all battening down the hatches. They’re preparing for bad times ahead. Continue reading »

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Oct 19

- Kudos To Herr Weidmann For Uttering Three Truths In One Speech (David Stockman’s Contra Corner, Oct 17, 2014):

Once in a blue moon officials commit truth in public, but the intrepid leader of Germany’s central bank has delivered a speech which let’s loose of three of them in a single go. Speaking at a conference in Riga, Latvia, Jens Weidmann put the kibosh on QE, low-flation and central bank interference in pricing of risky assets.

These days the Keynesian chorus in favor of policy activism is so boisterous that a succinct statement to the contrary rarely gets through – especially at Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street yarn factory. But here’s what penetrated even Brian Blackstone’s filters:

“The biggest bottleneck for growth in the euro area is not monetary policy, nor is it the lack of fiscal stimulus: it is the structural barriers that impede competition, innovation and productivity,” he said.

Continue reading »

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Oct 18

- Japanese Stocks Tumble After BoJ Bond-Buying Operation Fails For First Time Since Abenomics (ZeroHedge, Oct 17, 2014):

Having rotated their attention to the T-bill market in Japan (after demand for the Bank of Japan’s cheap loans disappointed policymakers) in an effort to ensure enough freshly printed money was flushed into Japanese markets, the BoJ now has a major problem. For the first time since QQE began, Bloomberg reports the BoJ failed to buy all the bonds they desired. Whether this is investors unwilling to sell (preferring the safe haven than stocks or eu bonds) or that BoJ has soaked up too much of the market (that dealers now call “dead”) is unclear. Japanese stocks – led by banks – are sliding as bond-demand sends 5Y yields (13bps) to 18-month lows.

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Oct 16

- 12 Charts That Show The Permanent Damage That Has Been Done To The U.S. Economy (Economic Collapse, Oct 13, 2014):

Most people that discuss the “economic collapse” focus on what is coming in the future.  And without a doubt, we are on the verge of some incredibly hard times.  But what often gets neglected is the immense permanent damage that has been done to the U.S. economy by the long-term economic collapse that we are already experiencing.  In this article I am going to share with you 12 economic charts that show that we are in much, much worse shape than we were five or ten years ago.  The long-term problems that are eating away at the foundations of our economy like cancer have not been fixed.  In fact, many of them continue to get even worse year after year.  But because unprecedented levels of government debt and reckless money printing by the Federal Reserve have bought us a very short window of relative stability, most Americans don’t seem too concerned about our long-term problems.  They seem to have faith that our “leaders” will be able to find a way to muddle through whatever challenges are ahead.  Hopefully this article will be a wake up call.  The last major wave of the economic collapse did a colossal amount of damage to our economic foundations, and now the next major wave of the economic collapse is rapidly approaching. Continue reading »

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Oct 13

- Why Tomorrow It Could Get Even Worse (ZeroHedge, Oct 13, 2014):

While today’s market dump was certainly dramatic, it was a function of the scant liquidity in the market (as we warned would be the case first thing) and outsized moves following last week’s mauling, not the result of any fundamental (or not so fundamental) news.

That could change tomorrow, and change for the worse, because as Barclays reminds us, tomorrow is when the European Court of Justice (ECJ) is scheduled to hear testimony on the ECB’s non-existent Outright Monetary Transactions program (OMT). Recall that the OMT is the imaginary (again: non-existent) byproduct of Draghi’s “whatever it takes” speech: a byproduct that was supposed to exist purely in the imaginary realm (as it was merely a verbal bluff, one which was never meant to be actually activated), and never actually take practical shape (hence, why the OMT’s legal term sheet still does not exist, over two years later).

Sadly for Draghi, and the entire Deus Ex theater that managed to send European peripheral bonds from record wides yields to record low, tomorrow it will attain some much dreaded shape.

And while a ruling on the legal questions forwarded by Germany’s Constitutional Court is not expected this year, the hearing and questions posed by EU judges may give some early insights into their views and to what extent they might share the view of the German court that, unless several restrictions are imposed, the OMT should be considered illegal under European law. Continue reading »

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Oct 13

Why Everyone Should Be Watching PIMCO (In 2 Worrying Charts) (ZeroHedge, Oct 12, 2014):

By now it is clear to everyone that the force-feeding of free-money into financial markets by The Fed et al. has led to a scale of financial repression never before witnessed as bond yields for even the riskiest of risky names collapse to record lows and cheap-financed share buybacks raise leverage to record highs and support an ever more fragile equity wealth creation machine. As Blackrock (and many others) have recently proclaimed, the corporate bond market is “broken” and the risk posed by investors trying to dump bonds is”percolating right under” the noses of regulators; so it is with grave concern we suggest the following two charts – showing the massive out-sized holdings of PIMCO’s funds in the high-yield and emerging market debt markets leave a bond marketplace in fear that forced sales via redemptions are the straw that breaks the ‘central bank omnipotence’ narrative’s back…

PIMCO – simply put – dominates the market for high-yield and emerging market debt… Continue reading »

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Oct 11

- “De-Dollarizing” Russia Pays Down Near-Record $53 Billion In Debt In Third Quarter (ZeroHedge, Oct 10, 2014):

Despite the reassuring narrative from The West that Russia faces “costs” and is increasingly “isolated” due to sanctions for its actions in Ukraine, the most recent data suggests reality is quite different. First, capital outflows slowed dramatically in Q3 (from $23.7 billion in Q2 to $13 billion in Q3) with September seeing capital inflows for the first time since Sept 2013. Second, Russia’s current account surplus was significantly stronger than expected ($11.4 billion vs $8.8 billion expected) driven by increased trade. Third, and perhaps most crucially, Russia paid down a massive $52.8 billion in foreign debt as Putin “de-dollarizes” at near record pace, reducing external debt to the lowest since 2012.

As Goldman explains, Trade and income improved notably… Continue reading »

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Oct 04

greece-athens
Athens, Greece, Nov. 2012

- Here We Go Again: Greece Will Be In Default Within 15 Months, S&P Warns (ZeroHedge, Oct 4, 2014):

Remember Greece: the country that in 2010 launched Europe’s sovereign solvency crisis and the ECB’s own helpless attempts at intervention, which later was “saved”, only to default shortly thereafter (but without triggering CDS as that would end the Eurozone’s amusing monetary experiment and collapse the Deutsche Bank $100 trillion house of derivative cards), which later was again “saved” when every single global central bank made sure Greek bonds became the only yield-generating securities in the world? Well, the country which at last count was doing ok, is about to not be ok. Because according to none other than S&P, at some point over the next 15 months, Greek debt is about to be in default when the country is no longer able to cover its financing needs. In other words, back to square one. Continue reading »

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Sep 30

Liquidation

- PIMCO Liquidations Begin; And So Does The Retaliation: All Bill Gross Tweets Deleted (ZeroHedge, Sep 29, 2014):

The last few days have been hectic for PIMCO executives. As we already noted, expectations of outflows persist and today’s open in CDS markets suggested major concerns among market participants that PIMCO redemptions would force selling through an illiquid market. Sure enough, Bloomberg reports that PIMCO’s Total Return Fund ETF was behind the auction of more than $170m of Fannie Mae CMBS on Friday (and more BWICs were seen today). As one trader noted, “you’re going to sell your most liquid stuff first.” Additionally, PIMCO has seen fit to delete all Bill Gross’ tweets… so here are the last six months for the record.

As Bloomberg reports, the PIMCO liquidations have begun… Continue reading »

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Sep 29

- Revealed – the Troika threats to bankrupt Ireland (The Irish Independent, Sep 28, 2014):

Honohan: ECB officials agreed to threaten Ireland with bankruptcy if the government tried to burn bondholders

The threat was made at a high-level teleconference meeting, details of which have been revealed for the first time by the Central Bank governor, Dr Patrick Honohan.

Mr Honohan, who famously told the nation Ireland would be entering the Troika bailout programme live on radio as government ministers were publicly denying it, also revealed he was kept out of loop about the meeting. Continue reading »

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Sep 28

- Standard & Poor’s Warns on Germany Triggering the Next Debt Crisis, Investors Would Lose their Shirts (Wolf Street, Sep 24, 2014):

A true debacle happened. Just when we thought the euro was safe, that ECB President Mario Draghi had single-handedly duct-taped the Eurozone back together in the summer of 2012 with his magic words, “whatever it takes.” Markets assumed that they were backed by the ECB’s printing press, and they loved their assumption. Spanish, Italian, even highly dubious Greek debt, some of it with a fresh haircut, soared. And hedge funds and banks gorged on it and loved it. The debt crisis was over! Stocks soared even more. Money was being made.

So bank bailouts continued, and the Eurozone recession proved to be a nasty long-term affair, but no problem, everything seemed to be guaranteed by the ECB. Debt-sinner countries, as Germans like to call them, could suddenly borrow for nearly free, and neither deficits nor debts mattered to financial markets.

But now comes ratings agency Standard & Poor’s and douses our illusions, because that’s all they were, with a bucket of ice water. The soaring popularity and electoral successes of Germany’s anti-euro party, Alternative for Germany (AfD), could push Chancellor Angela Merkel and her party, the conservative CDU, to take a harder line against bailouts, hopes of QE, and all manner of other ECB miracles that financial markets had been counting on. And it could spook them. And the nearly free money could suddenly dry up. So S&P warned: Continue reading »

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Sep 23


Jun 10, 2014

See also:


Sep 24, 2013

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Sep 23


Oct 15, 2013

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Sep 22

- Russia FinMin Calls For Shift Away From US Treasurys Into BRIC Bonds, Settlement In Non-Dollar Currencies (ZeroHedge, Sep 20, 2014):

it was Russia’s finance minister Anton Siluanov who was the designated “bad guy”, and as the WSJ reported, Russia is considering diversifying its debt portfolio away from countries that have imposed sanctions on Moscow and into the papers of its BRICS partners. Speaking on the sidelines of an annual investment forum in the Black Sea town of Sochi, Mr. Siluanov said the Finance Ministry wants to diversify its investment basket, and is looking for higher yields without too much risks. He said the ministry will consider buying papers issued by Brazil, India, China and South Africa, which along with Russia are known collectively as the Brics countries. “[We would like to] walk away from investing in papers of the countries that impose sanctions against us,” Mr. Siluanov said, adding that the reshuffle would be carried out gradually. He didn’t elaborate on when the first purchases of Brics debt may take place.

 

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Sep 17

- Germany Issues 2Y Note At Record Low Yield Of -7bps (ZeroHedge, Sep 17, 2014):

Germany sold EUR 3.34 billion 2-year notes to a desparate-for-collateral, safe-haven-seeking, ECB QE-front-running, deflation-pricing market (with exceptional demand – an elevated 2.26x bid-to-cover) for a stunning -0.07% yield… an all-time record low yield issuance for Germany. We have nothing to add…

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Sep 16

- UK Hints At Next Reserve Currency, To Issue Chinese Yuan-Denominated Bond (ZeroHedge, Sep 15, 2014):

Yuanification continues around the world. As The USA attempts to corral its allies in a ‘broad coalition’, an increasing number of people – including domestic economic policy advisors – are shifting away from the USD as primary reserve currency. However, the move by British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, announced Friday, is likely the most notable yet in the world’s de-dollarization. As Xinhua reports, the British government intend to be the first nation (ex-China) to issue Renminbi denominated bond and to use the proceeds to finance the government’s reserves of foreign currency. Osborne described this dialogue outcome as “a historic moment” and a statement of British confidence in the potential of the RMB to become “the main global reserves currency”.

As Xinhua reports, Continue reading »

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Sep 16

What could possibly go wrong?
mad_max_2_1981



For the best viewing experience, watch the above video in hi-definition (HD) and in expanded screen mode

Debt

“… today the average family of four in America is associated with roughly $735,000 of debt.”

- Debt – Crash Course Chapter 13 (Peak Prosperity, Sep 12, 2014):

There’s just too damn much of it

The fundamental failing of today’s global economy can be summarized simply: Too Much Debt

We have taken too much of it on, too fast, in too many markets around the world, to have any hope of making good on it. Not only does the math not work out, but also on a moral level, we are placing a tremendous obligation on future generations that will unfairly limit the prosperity they can enjoy tomorrow in order to finance our consumption today.

In the US alone, total credit market debt stands at over $57 trillion and is doing its damnedest to continue expanding exponentially. Since simple math shows us that this debt level cannot be supported, the key questions to ask at this stage are:

Will the unsupportable debt disappear via default, or inflation?

And very important: Continue reading »

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Sep 15

Related info:

- The Fed Has A Big Surprise Waiting For You (ZeroHedge, Sep 13, 2014):

The US economy is dead. The Fed has known this for a long time, but pumped it up to where it is now to draw in all the greater fools, the so-called big investors who have made money like honey from QE and ZIRP. They are the greater fools. The American real economy ceased being a consideration long ago. We’re in for big surprises, and they won’t be pretty, they’ll be pretty nasty. There are far too many people who think of themselves as smart who don’t see the difference between a theater play and a reality show. The Fed will raise rates because that will make the biggest banks the most money. There’s nothing else that matters. The Fed can’t revive the US economy, that’s just a foolish notion. But it can suck a lot of wealth out of it.


Federal-Reserve-Bernanke1

- Speculation swirls over Fed language on rate hike (Guardian/AP, Sep 15, 2014):

When the Federal Reserve issues a policy statement after it meets this week, the financial world will be on high alert for two words:

“Considerable time.”

The presence or absence of that phrase will trigger a rush to assess the likely timing of the Fed’s first increase in interest rates since it cut them to record lows in 2008.

The Fed’s recent statements have said it expects to keep its key short-term rate near zero for a “considerable time” after it stops buying Treasurys and mortgage bonds. Those bond purchases have been intended to keep long-term rates down to support the economy. Continue reading »

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Sep 10

- Preparing To Asset-strip Local Government? The Fed’s Bizarre New Rules (Washington’s Blog, Sep 9, 2014):

By Ellen Brown

In an inscrutable move that has alarmed state treasurers, the Federal Reserve, along with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, just changed the liquidity requirements for the nation’s largest banks. Municipal bonds, long considered safe liquid investments, have been eliminated from the list of high-quality liquid collateral. assets (HQLA). That means banks that are the largest holders of munis are liable to start dumping them in favor of the Treasuries and corporate bonds that do satisfy the requirement.

Muni bonds fund the nation’s critical infrastructure, and they are subject to the whims of the market: as demand goes down, interest rates must be raised to attract buyers. State and local governments could find themselves in the position of cash-strapped Eurozone states, subject to crippling interest rates. The starkest example is Greece, where rates went as high as 30% when investors feared the government’s insolvency. Sky-high interest rates, in turn, are the fast track to insolvency. Greece wound up stripped of its assets, which were privatized at fire sale prices in a futile attempt to keep up with the bills. Continue reading »

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Sep 09

- JPMorgan Stunner: “The Current Episode Of Excess Liquidity Is The Most Extreme Ever” (ZeroHedge, Sep 8, 2014):

“The ECB’s quantitative expansion is hitting the financial system at a time when broad liquidity is also very high. The rise in excess liquidity, i.e. the residual in the model of Figure 3, is supportive of all assets outside cash, i.e. bonds, equities and real estate. The current episode of excess liquidity, which began in May 2012, appears to have been the most extreme ever in terms of its magnitude and the ECB actions have the potential to make it even more extreme, in our view…. These liquidity boosts are not without risks. We note that they risk creating asset bubbles which when they burst can destroy wealth leading to adverse economic outcomes. Asset yields are mean reverting over long periods of time and thus historically low levels of yields in bonds, equities and real estate are unlikely to be sustained forever.”
– JPMorgan

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Sep 05

Related info:

- Making $400,000 PER HOUR, The Best Paid Hedge Fund Manager In 2013 Was …


David-Tepper

- David Tepper Is Back, Sees “Beginning Of The End” Of Bond Bubble (ZeroHedge, Sep 4, 2014):

It has been a while since Tepper warned of “nervous time” and told his hedge fund pals “don’t be too freakin’ long.”

Since then the manipulated equity market bubble has gone straight up with every single dip bought massively by the algos, in the process surely eliminating any nervous thoughts Tepper may have had. So in a world starved for pundit philosophy, Bloomberg just reported that the bond market bubble is about to pop, at least according to the folicularly challenged billionaire. The reason, paradoxically enough, the ECB’s decision to monetize private assets and cut rates.

Continue reading »

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Sep 02

Never Gazprom, never Gazprom!


putin smile_0

- More Sanctions: Europe Will Ban Purchase Of Russian Bonds; However Russian Gas Exports Remain Untouched (ZeroHedge, Sep 1, 2014):

Over the weekend, insolvent, debt-dependent Europe thought long and hard how to best punish Russia and moments ago reached yet another milestone in deep projective thought: as Reuters reports, Europeans could be barred from buying new Russian government bonds “under a package of extra sanctions over Moscow’s military role in Ukraine that European Union ambassadors were to start discussing on Monday, three EU sources said.” This will be in addition to the ban on the debt funding of most Russian corporations. So as Europe’s 7-day ultimatum for the Kremlin to “de-escalate” counts down, Putin has a choice: continue operating under a budget surplus and ignore Europe’s latest and most amusing hollow threat which is merely a projection of Europe’s biggest fears, or spend himself into oblivion as Europe has done over the past decade and become a vassal state of the Frankfurt central bank.. Somehow we doubt Putin will lose too much sleep over this latest “escalation”…

Some more details on today’s latest threat by Europe, which if nothing else has sent the ruble to a fresh record low against the dollar, leaving Europe green with envy at such currency debasement, and boosting Russian exports even more: Continue reading »

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Sep 02

- Spain Sells First-Ever 50 Year Bonds At 4% Coupon (ZeroHedge, Sep 1, 2014):

Perhaps in order to celebrate its manufacturing PMI dropping from 53.9 to a below expectations 52.8, refuting the “growth story” promoted by its definitionally re-revised GDP (where the long overdue boost from hookers and blow is finally leading the country to new and improved Keynesian growth curves), moments ago Spain joined the likes of Canada, Caterpillar and Goldman and just issued, for the first time in its history, 50 Year bonds in a private placement. From Bloomberg:

  • SPAIN SELLS EU1B 50-YR BONDS
  • SPAIN TREASURY SELLS FIRST-EVER 50-YR BONDS, COUPON 4%

And since there is no hope that Spain will ever repay this bond, whose rate is dictated by anything – mostly the ECB’s monetary policy – but the fundamentals it is functionally equivalent to Spain raising new equity without a maturity date and a 4% dividend. Continue reading »

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Aug 28

- The Greatest Depression? German Yields Now Negative Through 2017 (ZeroHedge, Aug 27, 2014):

Another night, another sell-side bank suggests European QE must be getting closer and, along with more un-de-escalation in Russia-Ukraine, the bid for German bonds continues to surge as Europe’s greater depression appears increasingly priced into bonds. Yields on all German bonds out to 3 years are now negative and 10Y Bunds have collapsed to 90.5bps – record lows. This in turn – as we explained here - is dragging Treasury yields lower (10Y 2.36%) but leaves the spread to Bunds at record highs.


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