“Defendants used electronic chatrooms, instant messaging, and other electronic and telephonic methods to exchange confidential customer information, coordinate trading strategies.”
“Traders at some of these primary dealers talked with counterparts at other banks via online chatrooms and swapped gossip.”
Those quotes are from a 61-page complaint filed in the Southern District of New York wherein Boston’s public sector pension fund accuses all US primary dealers (the cabal of usual suspect dealer banks that transact directly with Treasury and “have a special obligation to ensure the efficient function” of what was formerly the deepest, most liquid market on the planet) of colluding to manipulate the $12.5 trillion US Treasury market. Continue reading »
On Friday, alongside China’s announcement that it had bought over 600 tons of gold in “one month”, the PBOC released another very important data point: its total foreign exchange reserves, which declined by $17.3 billion to $3,694 billion.
We then put China’s change in FX reserves alongside the total Treasury holdings of China and its “anonymous” offshore Treasury dealer Euroclear (aka “Belgium”) as released by TIC, and found that the dramatic relationship which we first discovered back in May, has persisted – namely virtually the entire delta in Chinese FX reserves come via China’s US Treasury holdings. As in they are being aggressively sold, to the tune of $107 billion in Treasury sales so far in 2015.
Then, to our relief, first JPM noticed. This is what Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou, author of Flows and Liquidity had to say on the topic of China’s dramatic reserve liquidation
Looking at China more specifically, it appears that, after adjusting for currency changes, Chinese FX reserves were depleted for a fourth straight quarter by around $50bn in Q2. The cumulative reserve depletion between Q3 2014 and Q2 2015 is $160bn after adjusting for currency changes. At the same time, a current account surplus in Q2 combined with a drawdown in reserves suggests that capital outflows from China continued for the fifth straight quarter. Assuming a current account surplus in Q2 of around $92bn, i.e. $16bn higher than in Q1 due to higher merchandise trade surplus, we estimate that around $142bn of capital left China in Q2, similar to the previous quarter.
JPM conclusion is actually quite stunning:
This brings the cumulative capital outflow over the past five quarters to $520bn. Again, we approximate capital flow from the change in FX reserves minus the current account balance for each previous quarter to arrive at this estimate (Figure 2).Continue reading »
In the latest example of what happens when circular funding schemes begin to trip over each other, National Bank of Greece has refused to participate in an auction for paper issued by the bailout fund which is set to recapitalize the Greek banking sector.
“The size of the required ‘upfront’ (i.e. to be introduced in 2016) principal haircut to be €110bn (60% of annual Greek nominal GDP in 2014). Note that we do not see much difference in an alternative scenario based on a ‘tranched’ principal haircut framework (of around €15bn per year), also starting in 2016. However, a ‘backloaded’ (i.e. to be introduced in 2022) approach relying on a single haircut would be more expensive, amounting to €130bn (72% of annual Greek nominal GDP in 2014).”
Everyone seems to be focusing on Greece these days – a country so indebted that it needs even more loans to repay just a fraction of its gigantic credits. Clearly this is unsustainable and something has to give. Even the IMF agrees. But what about the other Southern European countries? Actually, Portugal’s financial situation is looking particularly shaky, and any hiccups could have serious cross-border repercussions from Madrid all the way to Berlin.
There has been so much attention on Greece in recent weeks, but the truth is that Greece represents only a very tiny fraction of an unprecedented global debt bomb which threatens to explode at any moment. As you are about to see, there are 24 nations that are currently facing a full-blown debt crisis, and there are 14 more that are rapidly heading toward one. Right now, the debt to GDP ratio for the entire planet is up to an all-time record high of 286 percent, and globally there is approximately 200 TRILLION dollars of debt on the books. That breaks down to about $28,000 of debt for every man, woman and child on the entire planet. And since close to half of the population of the world lives on less than 10 dollars a day, there is no way that all of this debt can ever be repaid. The only “solution” under our current system is to kick the can down the road for as long as we can until this colossal debt pyramid finally collapses in upon itself.Continue reading »
While Germany’s finmin Schauble is about to burst at few capillaries after reading the latest provocation from Tsipras in which he said, according to Reuters, that:
GREEK PM TSIPRAS SAYS I SIGNED I DEAL I DO NOT BELIEVE IN BUT I’M WILLING TO IMPLEMENT AND WILL ASSUME RESPONSIBILITIES
It should be the Greek people that are reeling by another, even greater stunner, just spoken by the Greek PM during his TV interview: an admission from the chosen Greek “leader” that Greece, as a
sovereign nation, no longer exists:
GREEK PM TSIPRAS SAYS LENDERS GIVE A MESSAGE THAT IN COUNTRIES UNDER A BAILOUT THERE IS NO POINT IN HOLDING ELECTIONS
So the Troika makes it clear that countries under a bailout, such as a Greece was and is about to be indefinitely again, democracy is finished and the country becomes a sovereign ward of a few unelected bureaucrats, and the Greek “prime minister” who also just admitted he is now nothing but a puppet of Greece’s new unelected leaders, is Ok with this. Continue reading »
“Several days ago when we first calculated that the new Greek debt/GDP post bailout #3 will promptly hit 200%, something the IMF agreed with earlier today. But it won’t stop here, and as the following analysis from Michael Lebowitz at 720 Global shows, just based on the country’s negative growth rate and positive interest rate, Greek debt/GDP will keep rising indefinitely and will likely hit 336% in about one decade, at which point Greece will, for all intents and purposes, cease to exist.”
Three years later the IMF itself not only admitted its original Greek debt “sustainability” predictions were total garbage (hence our quarterly humor series presenting the latest and greatest IMF projections about world growth), of which the most humorous was its forecast of Greek 2016 GDP growth as the highest in the entire Eurozone…
… but the IMF itself, under pressure from Washington, has become the biggest advocate of debt forgiveness, just not its own debt: that of the ECB will do nicely. Continue reading »
Every single mainstream media has the following narrative for the economic crisis in Greece: the government spent too much money and went broke; the generous banks gave them money, but Greece still can’t pay the bills because it mismanaged the money that was given. It sounds quite reasonable, right?
Except that it is a big fat lie … not only about Greece, but about other European countries such as Spain, Portugal, Italy and Ireland who are all experiencing various degrees of austerity. It was also the same big, fat lie that was used by banks and corporations to exploit many Latin American, Asian and African countries for many decades.
Over the weekend, we showed why contrary to unfounded speculation that Greece is entirely contained, there are still extensive linkages when it comes to the fallout a Grexit would reap if not directly on private commercial banks which over the years managed to offload their Greek exposure to the Europe’s taxpayers….
… but on the sovereign economies of the Eurozone as well as the ECB, at first via the EFSF, then also via the SMP, the MRO, Target 2 and so on.
Overnight, Barclays took this analysis and also showed the absolute national euro exposure to Greece broken down by bailout program and also as a % of respective host nation’s GDP. What it found is the following: Continue reading »
In this episode of the Keiser Report, Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert discuss the Greek referendum, the 50 ways to not pay their creditors and the future for the “demerging” economy in which debts are repaid “parametrically.” In the second half, Max interviews Simon Dixon about what Bitcoin could do for Greece and whether or not, as Citi’s global chief economist says, it is the stupidest idea since Caligula made his horse a consul.
Earlier today, Yanis Varoufakis reiterated his core thesis driving the entire Greek approach from day 1 of its negotiations with the Eurogroup: “Europe [stands] to lose as much as Athens if the country is forced from the euro after a referendum on Sunday on bailout terms.”
The only solution for Greece is to arrest the Goldman Sachs bankers immediately and all those involved in the fabrication of Greek economic data in 2000, when you became a member of the eurozone. The next step is to nationalize all banks like Sweden did in 1993. The International Monetary Fund is that last thing you need. You will lose your sovereignty. It exercises terrorism. You will be raped in such a way, that it will be the worst pain you have ever felt.
Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has described the actions of Athens’ creditors as “terrorism,” but said agreement with them was inevitable in an interview published hours before a landmark referendum to accept or reject the bailout terms.
“What they are doing with Greece has a name: terrorism,” Varoufakis told Spain’s El Mundo daily. Why have they forced us to close the banks? To make people frightened. And when it comes to spreading terror, this phenomenon is called terrorism.” Continue reading »
On Thursday, we highlighted the pitiable plight of Greek businesses which, facing an acute cash crunch and suppliers unwilling to provide credit ahead of the country’s weekend referendum, are being forced to close the doors.
The country’s banks are set to run out of physical banknotes “in a matter of days” according to a “person familiar with the situation” who spoke to WSJ and Constantine Michalos, the president of the Athens Chamber of Commerce, fears the country’s stock of imported goods will only last for two or three more weeks.
Meanwhile, Greeks have resorted to scavenging for food and picking through dustbins for scrap metal and as we noted on Wednesday, this is hardly a recent development in Greece. High unemployment has plagued the country for years , becoming endemic and relegating many Greeks to a life of perpetual and severe economic hardship. Continue reading »
By now it should be clear to all that the only reason why Germany has been so steadfast in its negotiating stance with Greece is because it knows very well that if it concedes to a public debt reduction (as opposed to haircut on debt held mostly by private entities such as hedge funds which already happened in 2012), then the rest of the PIIGS will come pouring in: first Italy, then Spain, then Portugal, then Ireland. Continue reading »
Several days ago, we posted a NSA cable leaked by Wikileaks, in which then French finance minister Moscovici (currently a European commissioner) was admitted that the French economic situation was “worse than anyone [could] imagine and drastic measures [would] have to be taken in the next two years.” It has not improved since then.
Overnight, in another perhaps even more relevant to the current quagmire in Greece leak, Wikileaks has released another intercepted NSA communication between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her personal assistant reveals that not only Merkel, but Schauble, were well aware that even with a debt haircut (which took place in 2012 but only for private creditors and whose impact was promptly countered with the debt from the second bailout) Greek debt would be unsustainable. Technically, she did not use that word: she said that “Athens would be unable to overcome its problems even with an additional haircut, since it would not be able to handle the remaining debt.” Continue reading »