I wish I could download to your brain everything you need to know about the European Crisis unfolding right now. The possibility of the breakup of the European Union could be the spark that sets off the global debt implosion that leads to violent conflict across the globe.
The actions of Greece, it turns out, could set off a chain reaction that leads directly to a Wall Street panic and the “bail-in” seizure of your savings accounts at your favorite hometown bank. It could also radically destabilize Eastern Europe, heightening the risk for conflict between Russia and Western European nations (including NATO members like the United States). Continue reading »
Dear Greek readers: the writing is now on the wall, and it is in very clear 48-point, double bold, and underlined font: when the ECB “leaks” that it is modelling a Grexit, something Draghi lied about over and over in 2012 and directly in our face too, take it seriously, because it is time to start planning about what happens on “the day after.” And incidentally to all those curious what the fair value of peripheral European bonds is excluding ECB backstops, the ECB has a handy back of the envelope calculation: a 95% loss.
Which also is the punchline, because while the ECB is making it very clear what happens next in the case of a “Graccident“, it has yet to provide an explanation how it will resolve the billions of Greek debt held on its own balance sheet which are about to be “marked-to-default“… Continue reading »
With everyone’s attention focused these days on Greece’s Tsipras (and Varoufakis), and also casting concerned glances at Spain’s Pablo Iglesias, head of the poll-leading Podemos party which may well be the next Syriza, many have forgotten that Italy has its own “anti-austerity” voice, that of Beppe Grillo, a voice which had been relatively quiet in the recent past. However, judging by his latest blog post, he too will want to be heard in the seaschange in Europe in the aftermath of the Syriza surge and the resultant chaos that has shaken the Eurozone to its core.
The Eurozone chess game has entered its third and final stage. Germany wins in three moves – Euro, deflation and purchase of public debt by the ECB (QE) – and in the last few years it has found a way to maximise its profits and reduce to zero its risks as Europe’s creditor.
Still negotiating Athens and the Euro-partners about new grants.Behind the scenes alternatives are already being played: The ECB is preparing by SPIEGEL information on the Greek exit from the euro before.
Frankfurt – The European Central Bank (ECB) is preparing for a Greek exit from the monetary union. To that effect, Employees by information obtained by SPIEGEL, an internal simulation games by how the rest of the euro zone could be held together.
Despite all the denials to urge the European monetary authorities the Greeks to finally introduce capital controls. According to the findings of the ECB, the Greeks have a day more than one billion euros abroad.Continue reading »
“There is a great game of poker taking place for the future of this currency,” Nigel Farage exclaims as he deservedly takes a small victory lap over his warnings of the anti-democratic nature of the dis-union that has been created. As his warnings that “the EU will crush, and kill, and destroy nation state democracy,” have gone unheeded, this last week has seen The Eurogroup’s behavior justify everything Farage has feared… Juncker: “there can be no democratic choice against the Euro.”
As we explained yesterday, when we wrote that “Greece Gambles On “Catastrophic Armageddon” For Europe, Warns It “Only Has Weeks Of Cash Left“”, and as confirmed further by today’s fire and brimstone speech by Greek PM Tsipras, in which he not only did not concede one millimeter to Europe but raised the stakes even higher, by promising among other things to raise the minimum wage and to halt foreclosures, Greece is now betting everything that Europe will not allow it to exit, hoping that “this time is not different”, and the existential terror that would be heaped on the Eurozone as forecast in 2012 by the likes of Citi’s Buiter and IIF’s Charles Dallara, will still take place, and Europe will concede that spending a few more billion on Greece’s bridge program is worth to avoid what could potentially spiral into an out of control collapse.
To be sure, that is precisely what Yanis Vaourfakis implied today when he said that “if Greece is forced out of the euro zone, other countries will inevitably follow and the currency bloc will collapse, Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said on Sunday, in comments which drew a rebuke from Italy.” Continue reading »
Yesterday the European Central Bank acknowledged that the currency it manages is being sucked into a deflationary vortex. It responded in the usual way with, in effect, a massive devaluation. Eurozone citizens have also responded predictably, by converting their unbacked, make-believe, soon-to-be-worth-a-lot-less paper money into something tangible. They’re bidding gold up dramatically.
So after falling hard in 2013 and treading water for most of 2014, the euro price of gold has gone parabolic in the space of a couple of months. This sudden rather than gradual awakening is the standard pattern for a currency crisis, mainly because it takes a long time for most people to figure out their government is clueless and/or lying. But once they do figure it out, they act quickly.
Europe’s gold chart isn’t as dramatic as Russia’s (see it here) because Europe doesn’t depend on oil exports and the euro, while dropping versus the dollar, isn’t yet in free-fall. But with another trillion euros due to hit the market in the coming year, and a series of currency union-threatening political crises in the pipeline, the flight to safety could easily become a stampede.
Europe and Russia, meanwhile aren’t the only countries with incipient currency crises. Here’s gold in Canadian dollars: Continue reading »
… because there would be nothing more ironic if the man who “broke the Bank of England” ended up being FXCMed himself by another central bank, over two decades later and just as he was set to finally retire, at the age of 84, formally, something he supposedly announced in Davos yesterday. Continue reading »
Axel Weber says it is “hard to say” whether Europe would be in better shape today if the euro had never been launched, a tactful evasion understood as nostalgia for the stability of the D-Mark
The former head of the German Bundesbank has warned that the European Central Bank (ECB) will not succeed in raising inflation for years to come and is almost powerless to revive the fortunes of the eurozone on its own.
Axel Weber, now chairman of UBS and widely-regarded as Europe’s most influential private banker, said Europe’s leaders had squandered the chance to rebuild the eurozone’s foundations when the going was good and markets were calm.Continue reading »
It seems everyone was short the franc (CHF) as a matter of taking monetarism at face value. In other words, it amounted to believing the central party line about the economy and normalcy despite the fact that markets have been increasingly pessimistic about it all and actively and aggressively betting against it. Goldman Sachs is just one of many: Continue reading »
Here are a few theories on what really happened at the Swiss National Bank on January 15, 2015. That fateful day, the SNB suddenly decided to end suppressing the value of the Swiss Franc versus the Euro.
UPDATE: Knight Trading 2.0? Jefferies executive are reportedly on-site at FXCM discussing a $200 million bailout
As we first reported last night, FXCM was among the first of many retail FX brokers (and the largest) to see its clients suffer massive losses from yesterday’s Swiss Franc surge following the SNB decision to unleash market forces. There are now at least 4 retail FX brokers (FXCM, Excel Markets, OANDA, and Alpari) who have announced “issues” but FXCM, being among the largest and publicly traded is the most transparent example of wjust what can go wrong when average joes are allowed 100:1 leverage. FXCM is now stuck chasing clients for money they do not (and will never) have.. and its stock is down 90%, trading a $2 this morning (down from $17 on Wednesday). As Credit Suisse notes, time is running out as regulators “tend to be impatient once capital requirements are breached.”
By ending its three year currency peg to the weakening euro Switzerland has become the first major economy to surrender in the international currency war, and in so doing has given a long-delayed victory to the Swiss people. Contrary to the indignant reaction by the media and financial establishment, the decision is not a disaster for Switzerland. A continuance of an open-ended peg to the euro could have ultimately ruined the country. Its surprise move, perhaps prompted by the European Central Bank’s recently announced intentions to unleash its own quantitative easing program, may be looked at in the future as the first significant counter-attack against our current global system of monetary insanity. Continue reading »
Central banks lie. That is what they do. Not too long ago, the Swiss National Bank promised that it would defend the euro/Swiss franc currency peg with the “utmost determination”. But on Thursday, the central bank shocked the financial world by abruptly abandoning it. More than three years ago, the Swiss National Bank announced that it would not allow the Swiss franc to fall below 1.20 to the euro, and it has spent a mountain of money defending that peg. But now that it looks like the EU is going to launch a very robust quantitative easing program, the Swiss National Bank has thrown in the towel. It was simply going to cost way too much to continue to defend the currency floor. So now there is panic all over Europe. On Thursday, the Swiss franc rose a staggering 30 percent against the euro, and the Swiss stock market plunged by 10 percent. And all over the world, investors, hedge funds and central banks either lost or made gigantic piles of money as currency rates shifted at an unprecedented rate. It is going to take months to really measure the damage that has been done. Meanwhile, the euro is in greater danger than ever. The euro has been declining for months, and now the number one buyer of euros (the Swiss National Bank) has been removed from the equation. As things in Europe continue to get even worse, expect the euro to go to all-time record lows. In addition, it is important to remember that the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s began when Thailand abandoned its currency peg. With this move by Switzerland set off a European financial crisis? Continue reading »
Having closed the Friday session less than 1 pip above the hugely important 1.2000 level below which there lay many stops, following this weekend’s news onslaught which seemed like a deja vu of the newsflow from the fall of 2011, where the main catalyst was the Reuters report that Germany is preparing to let Greece go once and for all (with the subsequent attempts at retraction barely noticed), or maybe just because someone wanted to price in a little more of the more than fully priced in by now ECB QE – which very well may not happen – the moment the EURUSD opened for trading it took out not only the critical 1.2000 stops, but within milliseconds the Euro found itself bidless and crashed to a low of 1.1864, promptly taking out the lows set in May 2010 when the first Greek bailout took place, and tumbled to a level not seen since March of 2006!