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Posts tagged ‘ECB’

Greece Willing To Do “Whatever It Can” To Reach Deal After Greek Liquidity Situation Deteriorates Rapidly

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Three days ago we observed that after surging in January, Greek deposits had slowed to a trickle in February, with just €1 billion in outflows, following the €12 billion redeemed in January. At least that was the case according to Reuters which cited a “senior banker who declined to be named.” The news appeared a little too good to be true, and as we suspected was merely an attempt at boosting “Greek leverage” ahead of the Euromeeting which ended in a spectacular, chaotic fashion, and no decision being made. Remember: the greater the bank outflows, the weaker the Greek negotiating stance when debating the Eurozone (whose leverage in turn is calculated by the level of the Eurostoxx 50).

Overnight Greek Kathimerini came out with a different report, one which appears to capture the reality of the situation better, especially following Wednesday’s disappointing Eurogroup meeting and yesterday’s news that the ECB has boosted the Greek ELA availability from €59.5 to €65, suggesting the bank run had accelerated and bank funding was on the verge of evaporating again.

Senior bank officials have told Kathimerini that almost all the liquidity available to Greece (59.5 billion euros) has been absorbed and that banks’ total dependence on the Eurosystem amounts to 90 billion. The rapid deterioration in liquidity conditions has been attributed to the uncertainty that arose when the snap general elections were called as well as the new government’s inability to reach a swift agreement with the country’s creditors. Following the 4-billion-euro outflow in December and 12 billion in January, bank deposits have already shrunk by another 3 billion this month.

So the €1 billion deposit outflow now becomes €3 billion in just 48 hours? What a difference “anonymous sources” make.

As for the logic behind the ECB’s decision to first yank Greek collateral and then to trickle it to Greece on an ad hoc basis, it is quite simple: keep Greece on a short leash and remind it that should it try to pull away, all the funding will disappear.

Frankfurt’s decision shows its intention to place stricter controls on the supply of cash to Greek banks in the wake of Wednesday’s inconclusive Eurogroup meeting. “The more time that passes without an agreement with the eurozone, the more the ECB will restrict the limits by supplying liquidity that only covers a few days’ needs, and as the February 28 deadline approaches [when the bailout extension expires], the risk of an ‘accident’ will grow,” a bank official noted.

And of course, while “The ECB council is to convene again on Wednesday to examine another increase to the Greek limit” everything depends on the outcome of Monday’s Eurogroup meeting.

Which brings us back precisely to the negotiation at the heart of the Greek drama, where as we reported yesterday, it was first reported that Germany is caving in its strict demands toward Greece.

Greece and Germany are pursuing a deal on the conditions required to continue the Greek bailout as each side signals a willingness to compromise, according to government officials taking part in the talks.

 

Germany won’t insist that all elements of Greece’s current aid program continue, said two officials in Berlin. As long as the program is prolonged, they said, Germany would be open to talking about the size of Greece’s budget surplus requirement and conditions to sell off government assets.

full article at source: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-02-13/greece-willing-do-whatever-it-can-reach-deal-after-greek-liquidity-situation-deterio

Why Goldman Is Closing Out Its “Tactical Pro-cyclical” European Trades On Grexit Fears

It will be politics rather than economics (or Q€) that drives the shorter-term outlook in Greece. Goldman Sachs warns that the new Greek government’s position is turning more Eurosceptic and confrontational than most (and the market) had anticipated ahead of last weekend’s election. This increases the risk of a political miscalculation leading to an economic and financial accident and, possibly, Greek exit from the Euro area (“Grexit”) and while many assume European authorities have the ‘tools’ to address market dislocations arising from this event risk, Goldman expects significant market volatility. Rather stunningly, against this background, and in spite of Q€, recommends closing tactical pro-cyclical exposures in peripheral EMU spreads (Italy, Spain and Portugal) and equities (overweight Italy and Spain).

Via Goldman Sachs,

Bottom line:

  • It will be politics rather than economics that drives the shorter-term outlook in Greece. Our base case remains that, eventually, some accommodation will be found between the new Greek government and Greece’s official creditors. This view has led us, so far, to expect modest spillovers from financial tensions in Greece to other Euro area markets. Thus far, this has proven correct.
  • But the new Greek government’s position is turning more Eurosceptic and confrontational than we anticipated ahead of last weekend’s election. This increases the risk of a political miscalculation leading to an economic and financial accident and, possibly, Greek exit from the Euro area (“Grexit”). While the European authorities now have better tools to address market dislocations in general (and the re-emergence of convertibility risk in particular), these are unlikely to be activated in a manner that entirely pre-empts market tension should Grexit risks intensify or materialise. We would expect significant market volatility surrounding an event of such systemic nature as Grexit. The intensity and persistence of such volatility would depend on the process by which Grexit occurred, and on the nature of the policy and political response to it in other Euro area countries.
  • Against this background, we recommend closing tactical pro-cyclical exposures in peripheral EMU spreads (Italy, Spain and Portugal) and equities (overweight MIB and IBEX vs. SXXP) until more clarity emerges about the direction ongoing negotiations between the new Greek government and the European authorities are taking. However, we continue to see the medium-term prospects for the European equity market as attractive given the high equity risk premium, the impact of QE in moderating deflationary fears, and improving cyclical prospects driven by the impact of lower oil prices and a weakening Euro exchange rate. We continue to see tighter intra-EMU spreads, steeper EURIBOR and ‘core’ yield curves over the balance of this year, and forecast 390 on the SXXP and 3800 on the SX5E over 12 months.

Greece: Taking stock post-election

Background – Pre-election expectations

1. Ahead of the Greek elections, it was widely anticipated that a new Greek government led by the radical-left Syriza party would embark on its promised renegotiation of the terms at which Greece receives financial support from the European and international authorities. Key elements of such a renegotiation would be: (a) demands for debt relief; (b) less strenuous (or even a reversal of) fiscal adjustment; and (c) relaxation of the conditionality and control over Greek policies imposed by the ‘troika’ (the European Commission, ECB and IMF overseers of Greece’s adjustment programme). These demands run counter to the terms offered by the European authorities in their proposed extension to the existing Greek adjustment programme.

2. The threat of renegotiation promised a period of heightened political tension between the new Greek government and the European authorities, as each staked out its bargaining position. In turn, these political tensions were likely to create strains in the Greek financial sector, reflecting market participants’ concerns that external financial support could be disrupted by the political stand-off.

3. In these circumstances, the risk of a Greek exit from the Euro (“Grexit”) would rise. Whatever the economic incentives to seek a compromise, in a fraught political situation the danger of a miscalculation leading to disorderly exit always exists. Yet nevertheless, ahead of the elections our base case was that ultimately a new accommodation would be found (see: “Greece: Uncertainty to persist and peak well after the election”, Global Markets Daily, January 23, 2015).

On the Greek side, the stated ambition of Syriza (and its leader, the new Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras) – in line with the overwhelming view of Greek public opinion (as reflected in polls) – was to retain the Euro and Greek membership of the Euro area. The realities of financial and economic dependence on external support, as well as the moderating effect of the anticipated more pro-European coalition partners in the new government, would eventually lead Syriza to seek some compromise.

full article at source: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-02-02/why-goldman-closing-out-its-tactical-pro-cyclical-european-trades-grexit-fears

Comment:

By Thomás Aengus O Cléirigh
No matter what happens to Greece, the rest of Europe, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Ireland, Belgium France, peoples are now awakening only to see that the whole austerity “Thing” was nothing short of an engineered smash and grab of the savings ( National pension fund) and cash cow potential ( Tax collections) of the working class! A financial /economic system that rewards private gamblers who infest the national banks and are able to do as they please and if the reckless and downright criminal and treasonable actions result in massive debts the citizens of said countries are forced to pick up the tab! NO MORE! Greece is just the beginning and we the peoples of the various enslaved countries will not stop until we have rid ourselves of this toxic financial system: We want a better future for our children we have shafted all our lives and we are slowly waking up to the lies of this insane financial and political system where we always lose! We must always put of having a decent liven now for some unspecified future, but our political parasites and the bankers can have lottery lifestyles now! NO More! We will ensure our children will not have to pay these odious debts period!
We must end this monopoly money financial system where the ordinary people are always the losers!

ECB Says May Buy Gold, Stocks Next, Admits “Not Sure If Japan’s QE Has Worked”

While it remains to be seen if a majority of the Swiss population want their central bank to purchase a whopping 1,500 tons of gold in the coming years, perhaps the most notable event for gold overnight (aside from news that while India exports fell 5% in October, gold and silver imports soared by 280% and 136% Y/Y, respectively), came from ECB Executive Board member Yves Mersch who in a speech in Frankfurt said that the ECB balance-sheet expansion is “neither an end in itself nor a fetish.” As quoted by Bloomberg, the ECB member said that  “the effect on rates that comes along with it is at best a collateral benefit.”

Nothing new here: we have discussed why unlike Japan and the US, the biggest gating factor for Europe is the presence of freely-available, unencumbered collateral that could, at least in theory, be purchased by the ECB. Which brings us to the Mersch punchline: “Theoretically the ECB could purchase other assets such as gold, shares, ETFs to fulfill its promise of adopting further unconventional measures to counter a longer period of low inflation.”

In other words, for the first time ever, the ECB revealed just what the endgame for the Eurozone would looke like: full-blown monetization of virtually everything that is not nailed down. Including gold.

More from Mersch via Bloomberg: “The ECB should allow current stimulus measures to take effect first, then potential new measures must be analyzed in advance for effectiveness and conformity to ECB mandate.” He concluded by saying that “Monetary-policy easing can bring no positive effect if Europe’s economy isn’t structurally well-positioned” through reforms.

Which is ironic because in the same speech the same Mersch also opened a whole new can of worms when he admitted that he is not sure if the BOJ’s QE has worked.

“I’m not so sure it has worked, considering that this morning we saw that Japan has officially slid into recession again.”

full article at source: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-11-17/ecb-says-may-buy-gold-stocks-next

The Unfolding Economic Crisis in Europe

By: Christopher M. Quigley

B.Sc. (Maj. Accounting), M.I.I. (Grad.), M.A. www.wealthbuilder.ie

Since October 24th, the German newspaper Der Spiegel has been running a fascinating series of essays on the unfolding economic crisis in Europe.

The scope and detail of the series has caused a bit of an online stir since this bastion of German mainstream journalism painted a very negative view of the future; accordingly, many are wondering whether the German elite are finally beginning to question the sustainability of the current monetary paradigm.

The main issues addressed in the articles were the lack of economic inclusion, the instability of contemporary European economic policy and the increasing wealth disparity among European social groups. One example with regards to the latter outlined how, in the Swiss Canton of Zürich, the 10 richest residents own as much as the poorest 500,000.

Surprisingly, Der Spiegel was very critical of the European Central Bank. The paper went to pains to point out that despite years of easy monetary policy the Euro was still very much a vulnerable project and highlighted the fact that while many problems still remained there was “no more ammunition” left in the ECB’s arsenal of “weapons”.

[Read: ECB Policy Misstep Poses Biggest Risk to Markets]

This “conclusion” perturbed a number of Irish politicians because vary rarely has such a negative German spin been placed on European monetary policy. Upon reading the four articles, one is left with the distinct impression that Euroland is a failing entity exhausted from years of fighting ongoing crises ready to finally roll over and die when the next recession hits.

Thus, despite the glam and glitter surrounding the memorial celebrations for the fall of the Berlin wall, things are not so rosy in the European garden. Next year the British go to the polls to pick a new parliament. The English Prime Minister David Cameron has publically stated that if he wins he will hold a referendum to take Britain out of the European Union. Many believe that such an event might just be the catalyst to push the EU over the edge. 2015 could prove to be a momentous year for Europe and it is my view that Der Spiegel is beginning to see the writing on the wall.

European Deflation Raises Its Ugly Head

Apart from the issue of economic, social and political exclusion, Europe’s other major problem is that of deflation.

To combat a serious collapse in the circulation of money the ECB has embarked on the drastic policy of negative interest rates. Here is what Simon Black of Sovereign Man had say on this matter:

It Begins: German Bank ‘Charging’ Negative Interest To Its Retail Customers

Central bankers today have a delusional view of the world. Just three months ago, Mario Draghi (President of the European Central Bank) embarked on his own folly by taking certain interest rates into NEGATIVE territory. Draghi convinced himself that he was saving Europe from disaster. And like Don Quixote of Spanish lore, everyone else has had to pay the price for his delusions.

On November 1st, the first European bank has passed along these negative interest rates to its retail customers. So if you maintain a balance of more than 500,000 euros at Deutsche Skatbank of Germany, you now have the privilege of paying 0.25% per year… to the bank.

We’ve already seen this at the institutional level: commercial banks in Europe are paying the ECB negative interest on certain balances. And large investors are paying European governments’ negative interest on certain bonds. Now we’re seeing this effect bleed over into retail banking. It almost seems like an episode from the Twilight Zone… or some bizarre parallel universe. That’s the investment environment we’re in now.

In my opinion the main reason why this deflationary banking policy is spreading throughout Europe is the fact that stratospheric structural unemployment rates exist among European youth in Cyprus, Greece, Portugal, Spain and Italy. Seven years and no strategic initiative has emerged from Brussels to tackle this serious human catastrophe. How long it can continue without social breakdown is anyone’s guess but it is this factor which is behind regions such as Catalonia and Scotland seeking to “go it alone”.

Many believe that the only long-term solution to Europe’s economic malaise is reversion back to a union of sovereign states within an economic union rather than a political and monetary one. Such a move would allow the inefficient southern European states devalue their currencies and thus achieve economic competitiveness. However, it would appear the powers that be will not countenance such a move. Sometimes it requires fate to take a hand. I am sure in 1989 the politburo of the Soviet Union did not wish to see their hegemony diminish but their Empire collapsed, not due to desire but due to the sovereign power of economic truth.

Is the Market Preparing to Go Hyperbolic?

Despite the recent run up in the markets since the 17th of October, when you look at the S&P 500, the Dow Industrials, and the NASDAQ, there is no evidence to be seen of real momentum breakdown.

Yes the market advance has lost some power over the last week but this looks to me like the market is merely catching its breath in preparation for a strong rally into the New Year.

Such price action allows the main indices to wear down their overbought positions through time rather than through price retraction.

Thus while, ideally, I would like a nice pullback to give some technical support to new long positions entered into I do not think it is going to happen. Thus, any major moves up should be taken advantage of as I believe the market has a higher probability of going hyperbolic in early 2015 than contracting.

Chart: S&P 500: Daily
sp500 nov 13

Chart: Dow Industrials: Daily
dj30 13 nov

Chart: QQQ ETF: Daily
qqq 13 nov

Charts Courtesy Of Worden Bros.

Sources: Der Spiegel “The Zombie System”, Michael Sauga, October 24th 2014.

Sovereign Man blog, Simon Black, 4th. November 2014.

© Christopher M. Quigley 14th. November 2014

Grillo Italy At War With ECB

Next week, Italy’s Beppe Grillo – the leader of the Italian Five Star Movement – will start collecting signatures with the aim of getting a referendum in Italy on leaving the euro “as soon as possible,” just as was done in 1989. As Grillo tells The BBC in this brief but stunning clip, “we will leave the Euro and bring down this system of bankers, of scum.” With two-thirds of Parliament apparently behind the plan, Grillo exclaims “we are dying, we need a Plan B to this Europe that has become a nightmare –  and we are implementing it,” raging that “we are not at war with ISIS or Russia! We are at war with the European Central Bank,” that has stripped us of our sovereignty.

 

Beppe Grillo also said today…

It is high time for me and for the Italian people, to do something that should have been done a long time ago: to put an end to your sitting in this place, you who have dishonoured and substituted the governments and the democracies without any right. Ye are a factious crew, and enemies to all good government; ye are a pack of mercenary wretches, and would like Esau sell your country for a mess of pottage, and like Judas betray your God for a few pieces of money. Is there a single virtue now remaining amongst you? A crumb of humanity? Is there one vice you do not possess? Gold and the “spread” are your gods. GDP is you golden calf.

 

We’ll send you packing at the same time as Italy leaves the Euro. It can be done! You well know that the M5S will collect the signatures for the popular initiative law – and then – thanks to our presence in parliament, we will set up an advisory referendum as happened for the entry into the Euro in 1989. It can be done! I know that you are terrified about this. You will collapse like a house of cards. You will smash into tiny fragments like a crystal vase. Without Italy in the Euro, there’ll be an end to this expropriation of national sovereignty all over Europe. Sovereignty belongs to the people not to the ECB and nor does it belong to the Troika or the Bundesbank. National budgets and currencies have to be returned to State control. They should not be controlled by commercial banks. We will not allow our economy to be strangled and Italian workers to become slaves to pay exorbitant interest rates to European banks.

 

The Euro is destroying the Italian economy. Since 1997, when Italy adjusted the value of the lira to connect it to the ECU (a condition imposed on us so that we could come into the euro), Italian industrial production has gone down by 25%. Hundreds of Italian companies have been sold abroad. These are the companies that have made our history and the image of “Made in Italy”.

*  *  *

As Martin Armstrong asks rather pointedly…

Since the introduction of the euro, all economic parameters have deteriorated, the founder of the five-star movement in Italy is absolutely correct. The design or the Euro was a disaster. There is no fixing this any more. We have crossed the line of no return. Beppe is now calling for referendum on leaving euro. Will he be assassinated by Brussels? It is unlikely that the EU Commission will allow such a vote.

source: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-11-14/italys-grillo-rages-we-are-not-war-isis-or-russia-we-are-war-ecb

A Closer Look Why Futures Bounced 30 Points Off The Lows On Today’s ECB BTFD Bailout

As commented previously, the reason for today’s 30 point rip in emini futures from the lows hit just 4 hours ago, was a test of the ECB emergency BTFD service, today provided courtesy of Reuters which, just after the European close, gave what is ever more incorrectly called the “market” its dose of upward momentum ignition, when it reported that, in addition to the previously announced “private QE” which includes ABS and covered bond purchases, that Goldman’s head of the European central bank would also go ahead and monetize corporate bonds, taking a step even further than the Fed, which at least is confined to public securities, and directly influencing private asset prices.

The reason is well-known: in Europe there is a scarcity of unencumbered public debt, something we observed years ago

… and certainly ABS

… which means that for Draghi’s intervention to be felt, if only in the markets if not the economy, he will be forced to go down the capital structure until finally the ECB has no choice but to monetize equities.

Because when it comes to fixing the economy, helping the poor and “fixing inequality”, nothing succeeds like artificially inflating the EuroStoxx 50 higher yet again.

In any event, here is the catalyst for today’s market move, which Reuters attributes to “several sources familiar with the situation ” and “one person familiar with the work inside the ECB, speaking on condition of anonymity” :

full artile at source:HERE

The Eu

Europe Is Crumbling Into Economic Collapse

By: Raul_I_Meijer

For me, the quote of the day is this one: “If there’s a periphery of the eurozone’s periphery, that’s Naples.”. The city of Napoli hosts ECB boss Mario Draghi and the heads of Europe’s central banks this week in some very posh former Bourbon family royal palace, and the contradictions involved couldn’t be more striking.

Napoli is home to an immense amount of poverty and misery, and the advent of the EU and the euro has done absolutely nothing to make life in the city any better. Quite the contrary. And there’s not a single thing in sight that holds any promise of alleviating the deepening Italian downfall. Therefore things can, and will, only get worse from here.And that’s not just true for Italy, or Napoli. It’s true for all of Europe. That is not because Mario Draghi hasn’t spent enough money, or too much of it, or that he’s spent it in the wrong places. It’s because Napels is not Berlin or Frankfurt, or even Milan in the much richer north of Italy. And because Italy is not Germany, and Greece is not Finland, and trying to force all of them into one and the same economic mold can only possibly end in the poor getting poorer.

Unless there would be a massive wealth transfer from rich to poor, from north to south, but that’s never been in the cards. The intention was always to make the EU a tide to lift all boats, or even, in the wildest dreams, a boat to lift all tides. That intention has failed in dramatic fashion. But not one single one of the architects and present day leaders is ready to fess up to their failures.

Almost 15 years after the euro was introduced, the battlefields are littered with dead and wounded bodies. And the only answer that comes from Brussels is to strengthen the – financial and political – army. The only answer that comes from Brussels is that Europe, including Italy, Greece, Spain, needs more Brussels, more centralized control.

And Napoli is not the only place that can lay claim to the title “periphery of the eurozone’s periphery”. Spain and Greece have unemployment numbers just like Napoli, only for them it’s in their entire countries. All have had youth unemployment at well over 50% for years now, a sort of real life version of throwing your babies away with the bathwater. And all have regions and cities where things are much worse still.

Oh well, at least Bloomberg has a poetic headline for once:

Draghi Takes ECB to Land of Gomorrah as Naples Prays

full article at source HERE: http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article47572.html

As Europe’s central bankers gather in Naples to discuss the state of the region’s economy, the city stands as a stark warning of just how bad things can get. “If there’s a periphery of the eurozone’s periphery, that’s Naples,” said economist Riccardo Realfonzo, a former councilman of the Southern Italian city. “The gap between the debate at the Royal Palace in Capodimonte and everyday life can’t be filled with just monetary policy.”

In Naples “there is a hunger for bread and justice, hope and future, work, legality and planning,” local Catholic Archbishop Crescenzio Sepe on Sept. 19 told the faithful gathered in the city’s medieval cathedral for the ritual of the so-called miracle of San Gennaro, the patron saint.

Last year, Naples scored the highest among Italy’s main cities on the misery index, a gauge which combines unemployment and deflation. With a reading of 26.7% it stood above Greece. Much like Greece, Naples, hard hit by Italy’s longest recession on record, risked default this year after a court rejected plans to cut municipal debt of about €1 billion ($1.3 billion). [..] Naples’ 2013 gross domestic product per capita was one-third less than Italy’s average and its unemployment was more than double the national average at 25.8%.

 

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