ESM

Insider

Off the Cuff: The Plot Thickens

Developments are happening faster now
Thursday, September 13, 2012, 1:11 AM

In this week's Off the Cuff with Mish & Chris podcast, Mish and Chris tackle

  • The German Constitutional Court decision
    • What importance does it have? Any?
  • America is back in recession
    • More hard-to-refute data
  • Whither the Fed?
    • Why markets will be disappointed by Bernanke

Surprising to those who don't read this site, a number of notable announcements are happening this week besides Apple's unveiling of the iPhone 5...

Today, the German Constitutional Court made its ruling on the legality of Mario Drahgi's plans to flood European banks with liquidity. The court has the power to block the ECB's profligacy; but it seems that once again, politics trumps justice. Draghi will be allowed to proceed with some tissue-thin restraints. 

Meanwhile, new data show North America's economies are slowing down. Indeed, more and more analysts are coming to the conclusion that the US has slipped back into recession (even though to many it feels as if America had never left it). Jabbering of 'recovery' and slight declines in the official employment rate – which is a complete farce, as those unable to find work after a time are removed from the lists of those counted as 'unemployed' – are fooling no one at this point.

Which leads all eyes to the Fed. What will it do (or better asked, what can it do) to combat this dismal data? » Read more

Blog

The Growing Pressures Likely to Blow the Eurozone Apart

Look for Finland to exit first
Wednesday, July 18, 2012, 1:18 AM

There was yet another European Union summit at the end of June, which (like all the others) was little more than bluff. Read the official communiqué and you will discover that there were some fine words and intentions, but not a lot actually happened. However, there are some differences when compared with past meetings that need explaining:

  1. The European Council is being asked to consider permitting the European Central Bank to have a regulatory role alongside national central banks “as a matter of urgency by the end of 2012.” When this new super-regulator is eventually established, perhaps the ECB might be able to recapitalize banks directly. This was needed three years ago; the Eurozone will be lucky not to have a new banking crisis in the next few months, let alone by the year-end.
  2. A bail-out for Spain’s banks is agreed in principle, but it is to be funded by the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) until the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) is up and running. The EFSF has no money and relies on drawing down funds from all member states including Greece, Spain, Italy, Ireland, and Portugal, and the chances of the ESM being ratified by the individual Eurozone parliaments is very slim. We are told that Spain’s banks need about €100bn, but how much they really need is not known.
  3. The ESM will not rank as a prior creditor to the disadvantage of bond holders. This is a positive step, but makes it more difficult for national parliaments to authorize the ESM.

The big news in this is the implication the ECB will, in time, be able to stand behind the Eurozone banks because it will accept responsibility for them. This is probably why the markets rallied on the announcement, but it turned out to be another dead cat lacking the elastic potential energy necessary to bounce.

e another dead cat lacking the elastic potential energy necessary to bounce. » Read more

Insider

Off the Cuff: Contagion Within Europe

Europe's leaders are resorting to shoddy number tricks a 4th
Sunday, June 17, 2012, 7:15 AM

In this week's Off the Cuff with Mish & Chris podcast, Mish and Chris discuss:

  • Desperate Measures
    • The math behind the latest 'rescue' attempts is so broken it falls apart at first glance
  • How Much Time Do We Have Left?
    • The day of reckoning is approaching, but Europe is showing us we still have time left to act
  • Where to Park Capital
    • The options worth considering grow fewer in number, though Europeans should take action soon

Europe continues to figure prominently in Chris and Mish's minds at the moment. The action there is what's driving the world agenda right now, and the decisions taken to address the European crisis will have tremendous impact on the financial markets around the globe. Much is happening right now -- but for longtime 'Off the Cuff' listeners, it's important to keep in perspective that little has actually changed. Europe's problem is a mathematical one. Too many bad loans were made. In practically every country. Steep losses will need to be taken. Taking those losses will place painful deflationary pressure on asset prices. The key question is: how much new money will central banks print to service and retire those debts?...