The EU Denies Planning Spain Credit Line with IMF, US, although rumors and leaks are propping in more places that a Swiss damn being plugged with a bunch of slender, fair fingers of those many blond maidens - after all, Greece did not want and was not looking for aid either. That trillion dollar bailout fund was the result of a bunch of politicians with too much money on their hands having absolutely nothing else to do with their time.
Cliff Wachtel gathers much of the evidence:
After 2 German newspapers reported that Spain was seeking aid, now add a Spanish newspaper, El Economista, as the third to report a coming aid package for Spain, after 2 German papers reported this last week. All reports have been denied by the Spanish Government, which is rapidly losing credibility as the reports build. See details here from Bloomberg.
Yesterday, the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine, citing an unnamed source in Berlin, reported that Spain was discussing a bailout with EU officials following last week’s freeze in interbank lending as markets have lost confidence in the Spanish banking sector. Spain denied the report, did Greece had done the same thing earlier, so EU credibility isn’t what it once was. If the allegations prove true, look for A LOT more downside in risk markets. This was the second such report, the first was last week from from FT Deutschland
Remember that just last week Spain had a 3 year bond sale at an average yield of 3.32%, roughly double the yield needed to sell 3 year bonds as recently as April, an ominous sign given that Spain needs to sell about € 25 bln in bonds in July. It is unclear how long Spain can continue to withstand a doubling of its borrowing costs, which will counteract efforts to cut its deficit.
The global equity markets are in meltup mode again. I want to take this opportunity to reiterate that I am still quite bearish on much of the situation in Europe. Let's glance at the credit markets, major banks and the state of sovereign indebtedness in Spain.
As you can see, Spain's 3 yr CDS spreads are the highest they have ever been. They are significantly higher than they were during the entire Lehman fiasco, and they are even higher (or at least comparable) than they were right before the EU/IMF trillion dollar bailout package was announced in conjunction with threatening those who dared to speculate against Spain's fiscal health!
June 9 (Bloomberg) -- France and Germany called on the European Union to speed up curbs on financial speculation, saying some bets against stocks and government bonds should be banned as markets suffer a resurgence of “strong volatility.”
I have been bearish on European banks since the UK mortgage banks collapsed several years ago. To this day, despite mounds of fundamental and macro evidence pointing to very bad things happening, there are still cheerleaders stating that concerns are overblown. A good example can be found in the post "Greek Crisis Is Over, Region Safe”, Prodi Says – I say Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire!", on March 14th:
“The worst of Greece’s financial crisis is over and other European nations won’t follow in its path", said former European Commission President Romano Prodi. “For Greece, the problem is completely over,” said Prodi, who was also Italian prime minister, in an interview in Shanghai today. “I don’t see any other case now in Europe. I don’t think there is any reason to think the euro system will collapse or will suffer greatly because of Greece.””
Okay, I shouldn't have called him a liar, but a tad bit optimistic, maybe? I actually agree with the last part of his statement. The euro system will not suffer greatly because of Greece, it will suffer greatly because of individual member countries' problems collectively weighing on the union. As for Mr. Prodi's accuracy, let's take a look at the Greek CDS over the time period in question...
Yeah, that's right! Listening to the former EC President would have gotten you on the wrong side of the TRIPLING of CDS spreads. Not to fret though, the ECB allocated 1 trillion dollars to alleviate this problem, and now spreads have just more than doubled, but are still rising. And for those of you who believed me over Prodi (I apologize again for the "liar, liar pants on fire" bit, though)...
Relevant commentary from BoomBustBlog and sources throughout the Web on the accounting change that added 80% to the S&P since March 2009!!!
Warning Shots from the IASB: FT
- The IASB came under fire in the fall/winter of 2009 in regards to mark to market rules
- Banks wanted continued relaxation of valuing models in order to “smooth out volatility swings in asset prices”
- IASB and FASB plan to converge on mark to market ruling by 2011, both have stated a desire for more transparent financial statements, but have been politically compromised by bankers and commercial lenders
FASB Plan Would Force Banks to Report Loan Fair Value: BusinessWeek
- FASB is seeking to approve a proposal that would force banks to mark loans at market value by 2013, potentially having billions of dollars at risk for writedowns
- In April 2009, FASB gave significant leeway to banks in regards to pricing and modeling loan values, banking consultants are very opposed to a reversal of the measures
- Pension obligations and leases will be exempt from new measures
In continuing my data intense, hardcore, uber-objective dissection of the stuff that is proffered through the mainstream media (MSM), I bring you:
June 4 (Bloomberg) -- Employers in the U.S. hired fewer workers in May than forecast and Americans dropped out of the labor force, showing a lack of confidence in the recovery that may lead to slower economic growth.
Payrolls rose by 431,000 last month, including a 411,000 jump in government hiring of temporary workers for the 2010 census, Labor Department figures in Washington showed today. Economists projected a 536,000 gain, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey. Private payrolls rose a less-than-forecast 41,000. The jobless rate fell to 9.7 percent.
This was not hard to see coming if you studied the numbers with an objective eye. If we dig up last year's BoomBustBlog article on the topic, we'll ponder... "Are the Effects of Unemployment About To Shoot Through the Roof?" as excerpted below.
A recent zero-hedge article rightly questioned the reliability of the reported unemployment figures by comparing the reported increase in the unemployment benefits paid with the reported increase in the number of insured unemployed. According to the figures reported by Department of Labor (DOL), the total number of insured unemployed in the US has risen by nearly 400% since September 2007 and has reached nearly 10.5 million as of Dec 19, 2009. However, if we look at the monthly withdrawals on the unemployment insurance account (according to the Daily Treasury Statement prepared by the Financial Management Service), the expenditure has risen by nearly 550%. The difference has been widening since April 2009 (coincidentally, right about the time the S&P 500 rocketed skywards, and the housing market made several month to month gains [see If Anybody Bothered to Take a Close Look at the Latest Housing Numbers..."]) and has increased substantially in Dec 2009.
For those who have been following me in the Asset Securitization and Pan-European Sovereign Debt Crisis series this may be old news, but let's go through the exercise anyway. It looks as if we are back to those non-sense games being played by those that manipulate the market. Taking a look at Bloomberg.com's front page, you'll see "Stocks, U.S. Futures Rally on Economic Outlook; Yen Weakens, Bonds Decline" (hey, good times are here again) followed directly by "Banks Deposit Record $394 Billion With ECB, Avoiding Loans to One Another"(hey, isn't this the exact same environment wherein Bear Stearns, then Lehman Brothers collapsed leading the Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson to proclaim the end of the financial world was coming?). Then there's "Covered Bond Sales Surge; Transocean Tumbles: Credit Markets": Sales of covered bonds are accelerating as investors seek debt backed by collateral amid concern about the creditworthiness of governments and banks.
Okay, let's take this by the numbers....
For those who feel that the simple application of arithmetic and math amounts to "Doomsday Scenarios", Fear-mongering, and vultures in the market place, I present to you BoomBustBlog's scenario analysis of the Portuguese Haircut.
You think those are ugly? You ain't seen nothing yet!
The Mathematical Truth Concerning Portugal's Debt Situation
Before I start, any individual or entity that disagrees with the information below is quite welcome to dispute it. I simply ask that you com with facts and analysis and have them grounded in reality so I cannot right another "Lies, Damn Lies, and Sovereign Truths: Why the Euro is Destined to Collapse!". In other words, come with the truth, or at lease your closest simulacrum of it.
In "With the Euro Disintegrating, You Can Calculate Your Haircuts Here", I explicitly illustrated the likely loss to principal of sovereign debt investors who would be forced to take haircuts "for the cause". While we fully stand behind the calculations and the logic, chances are several sovereigns may attempt to undergo sleight of hand in order to placate investors as best they can. We suspect we will soon be hearing of significant restructuring plans in the Eurozone, starting with Greece. The piece below expands on these thoughts and offers subscribers live spreadsheets that illustrate the potential repercussions. It is recommended that these scenarios be taken into consideration in light of the info offered in the post "Introducing The BoomBustBlog Sovereign Contagion Model: Thus far, it has been right on the money for 5 months straight!" and compared to the haircut analysis as well.
Greek Restructuring Scenarios
There are several precedents of sovereign debt restructuring through maturity extension without taking an explicit haircut on the principal amount, and many analysts are predicting something of a similar order for Greece. This form of restructuring is usually followed as a preemptive step in order to avoid a country from technically defaulting on its debt obligation due to lack of funds available from the market. It primarily aims to ease the liquidity pressures by deferring the immediate funding requirements to later periods and by spreading the debt obligations over a longer period of time. It also helps in moderating the increase in interest expenditure due to refinancing if the rates are expected to remain high in the near-to medium term but decline over the long term.