This Thursday and Friday the European Union had hoped to put the finishing touches on the European Stability Mechanism that will go into effect in 2013. The Sarkozy/Merkel-crafted plan would give succor to Chancellor Merkel ahead of this Sunday’s elections in Baden-Wurttemberg and hopefully halt the German voters’ antipathy toward all things EU. However, there appears to be friction between the giants of the European Union. Sarkozy is reportedly furious at the Germans for abstaining on the UN vote to impose a no-fly zone in Libya. Also, the French believe that Frau Merkel played politics and an anti-French card by moving to halt electricity production at seven NUCLEAR POWER plants, thus making the French look bad as well as having the impact of driving up electricity prices.
Posts Tagged ‘Canada’
There is a story circulating that the Canadian Parliament may have a “NO CONFIDENCE” vote on Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government. The Conservative Party holds power but it is not a majority government and therefore always susceptible to losing a vote. Tomorrow, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is to table the new budget. The problem appears to be the opposition to the proposed cuts in the corporate income tax that will cost the government C$6 BILLION in revenue.
Let me state out again as to why the FOREX markets are going to be a difficult investment in 2011. The emerging markets and commodity-based currencies have been the repositories of global capital seeking to take advantage of the Chinese and India growth phenomena without having to actually invest in the countries themselves. If you like China, buy the Australian equity or currency as it provides a proxy on Beijing’s growth policies: A classic case of providing picks and shovels rather than mining yourself.
Notes From Underground: Pimco calls for some of the PIIGS to leave the STRAW HOUSE AND HIT THE BRICSDecember 20, 2010
A note from Andrew Bosomworth, head of Pimco’s European Portfolio, suggests that Greece, Ireland and Portugal would be better off leaving the euro currency until they get their houses in order. Bosomworth wrote it will be difficult but it can be done and the currency devaluations that will be part of exit will aid the PIG in its attempt at economic recovery.
Something to put on your radar screens for the new year: contingent capital, or CoCo bonds. These instruments are contingent convertible and will be a very respected form of TIER 1 capital under the foggy regulations of Basel 3. The regulators like these instruments as they are DEBT that converts to equity if/when the bank-in-question’s equity/capital ratio falls below a certain level. Rather than the BOND holders getting a free ride and the equity owners bearing the burden with an equity raise, the CoCos will automatically convert to EQUITY, which will lower the level of DEBT and increase equity capital to a regulatory acceptable level. Credit Suisse announced it’s going to do a $30 billion CoCo so you can be certain that other large multinational banks will be joining in. It has yet to be determined what effect CoCos will have on the markets overall. If its popularity catches on, as I suspect, it could provide a boost to the global behemoths as it would lower the need to float more stock to reach the needed capital levels.
Last night, the RBA voted to hold Australian rates steady at 4.75 percent. Governor Stevens showed us his usual, steady hand in the BANK‘s statement as he provided us with a global view that weighed heavily on Aussie monetary policy. The strength of the Aussie dollar kept the RBA from raising rates as the bank had unexpectedly raised rates in November and was content to see if the U.S. and European economies can overcome their current malaise. The Chinese and Indian demand were responsible for the best terms of trade for OZ since the 1950s and growth in other Asian nations was brightening the jobs and capex picture even more. In a few paragraphs, Governor Stevens and his comrades are very clear that Australia is the epicenter of the Asian growth story and the RBA will be watching for indicators that Australian employment is getting too tight for the BANK to move rates higher.
Well, my guesstimate on jobless claims was way off as the previous number was not supported by further improvement. The consensus was 425,000 and the number actually reported was 436,000, well above what I anticiapted and hoped would be a three handle.
Friday morning we will get the third-quarter GDP reports from the U.S. and Canada, both coming out at 7:30 a.m. CST. The U.S. is looking for growth of 2.1 percent and it will give us a good look to see if there was enough growth to support the equity rally and corporate profit picture we have seen this quarter. A bigger number may give the FED the cover to proceed down a less robust QE path and push out a liquidity addition on a glide path that was proposed by ST.LOUIS FED President James Bullard.
The biggest news from the weekend is that the Aussie elections resulted in a hung parliament–the first in 70 years–as neither the Liberals nor Labor Party received the necessary 76 seats in the Lower House that would’ve given them the majority that was needed. The Liberals (Conservatives) are in front with 72 confirmed seats to the Labor’s 71, but both must seek a coalition. The GREEN PARTY controls one seat in the Lower House, making them a potential factor in any coalition, but if the Liberals can coax four independents they will be able to form a government.