Posts Tagged ‘Italy’

Notes From Underground: Going Where Others Fear to Tread

October 3, 2018

In a surprise visit with Rick Santelli on Wednesday, we picked up where we left off in our discussion about rising interest rates. This time we had live ammunition as the data releases revealed suggested robustness in the U.S. economy. Now that the “accommodative” language was removed from the FOMC statement, Chairman Powell will have the luxury of FLEXIBILITY in reacting to economic signals. The markets responded to Powell’s new policy by sending interest rates higher, taking out long-time technical resistance on the U.S. 10- and 30-year Treasuries. Is the rise in yields sustainable? Friday’s unemployment report will provide a powerful test for the markets because if wages increase more than anticipated there will be renewed selling all along the curve.

Click on the image to watch me and Rick discuss the rise in Treasury yields.

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Notes From Underground: Another FRA Podcast

September 30, 2018

I am posting the latest PODCAST from the Financial Repression Authority (FRA), in which Peter Boockvar and I talk markets with Richard Bonugli. This PODCAST sets out the market issues that financial markets will confront in the fourth quarter.

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Notes From Underground: Bored By Italy, But I Digress

June 5, 2018

Sorry. The current situation in the European Union has been well forecasted by NOTES FROM UNDERGROUND so until the storm clouds clear and the Italian ruling coalition begins to initiate some of its campaign proposals I treat everything in Europe as a trade and not an investment. Even the talking heads are waking up to the potential financial damage that bank balance sheets loaded with ZERO RISK-WEIGHTED sovereign bonds can cause a healthy bank’s bloated balance sheet.

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Notes From Underground: Like Holden Caulfield, I Digress

May 29, 2018

As the Italian political situation maintains a boil, the elites of the Davos clique are out in full force trying to calm markets. The only problem is that established elites are so removed from reality that every move they make results in more turmoil. The airwaves were full of establishmentarians portraying themselves as conciliatory but their analysis of the economic consequences of the Italian election outcomes are similar to Ben Bernanke’s claim that the housing crisis was contained in early 2007. Let’s review some of today’s inane comments and analysis:

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Notes From Underground: Back On the Floor

May 28, 2018

On Friday, Rick Santelli and I discussed the situation in Europe, especially the FRAGILE situation in Italy. An important metric that needs to be watched is the huge amount of sovereign debt that is “comfortably” sitting on the Italian banks’ balance sheets. Under BIS rules (and other global financial regulations) sovereign debt carries a ZERO RISK WEIGHTING, meaning that commercial banks can hold sovereign bonds and hold no reserves against such an asset class.The Italian banks have been the repository of their sovereign bonds, which makes them vulnerable to a rise in BTP yields as the price drops due to the political concerns involving the inability of FIVE STAR/LEGA to come to an agreement on an acceptable cabinet.

(Click on the image to watch me and Rick discuss the Italian situation)

 

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Notes From Underground: The Magician of Frankfurt Will Be Called to Answer

May 22, 2018

We’ve been discussing the problems in the Italian debt market at NOTES FROM UNDERGROUND for many years but with the Five Star/Lega coalition coming into government many of the issues that were once theoretical are now an increasing possibility. The Five Star group is openly proposing a debt restructuring for Italy in the hopes of spurring growth and improving the Italian unemployment situation. Economic growth in Italy has lagged the developed world economies and none more so then its neighbor, Germany.

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Notes From Underground: The Mother of All Debt Crises

May 14, 2018

Everything in global financial crisis emanates from too much debt being unable to be serviced. The current situation in Argentina is that the state and private sector borrowers won’t be able to pay the INTEREST on its dollar-based loans as the PESO weakens. It takes more domestic currency to purchase the needed dollars to pay creditors, resulting in a NEGATIVE FEEDBACK LOOP that brings the economy to a crawl as all the economic actors have to find ways to pay the interest costs or go bankrupt. The Argentinian government won’t go bankrupt. But it will force a debt restructuring if its borrowing costs move higher (yet another burden for a debt-plagued economy).

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Notes From Underground: The Unemployment Number is Wall Street’s Version of Picasso’s `The Dream’

March 11, 2018

It was the best that Wall Street could dream of: It was a huge headline nonfarm payroll number with a large number of workers jumping into the labor market, which kept the unemployment rate at 4.1% and wage growth at a very tepid pace. Average hourly earnings were 0.1%, which is nirvana for the wealth managers: solid economic growth with stagnant wages. This may certainly be a one-off month as NFP could return to its average or wages begin to rise by at least 0.3% every month. Rick Santelli and Ed Lazear made the case that the increase in the labor participation rate was a great outcome as long time unemployed are gaining confidence in the genuine strength of the economy. The return of the long-term unemployed will show the real amount of slack in the economy, reflecting even more downward pressure on wages. If the slack is greater than the FOMC has previously believed, then the FED may well slow its rate increases. People returning to the labor force is a positive but it may be another kink in the Fed’s models.

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Notes From Underground: Feeding the Ducks (Part Two)

January 10, 2018

Tonight, I’d like to expound on the recent musings from Chris Whalen, titled, “Bank Earnings &Volatility.” Whalen stresses that the FED will not be selling assets but merely ending “its reinvestment of cash when securities are REDEEMED,” (emphasis mine). In what I consider a key point raised, Whalen said, “Yet as we and a growing number of investors seems to appreciate, the FED cannot force up long-term rates so long as it is sitting on $4 trillion worth of securities THAT IT DOES NOT HEDGE. More given that the Treasury intends to concentrate future debt issuance on short-term maturities, downward pressure on long-term bonds yields is likely to intensify.” Whalen also said, “What the FOMC has done to the markets via QE is essentially reduce potential volatility by holding securities and not hedging these securities.” The key point is enhanced by the fact that both the ECB and BOJ do not hedge their security exposure either so volatility has been diminished by the reduced hedging.

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Notes From Underground: Did I Miss Anything?

December 17, 2017

There were myriad central bank meetings last week as the FED, ECB, BOE, SNB, Bank of Mexico and others rendezvoused. With the exception of the Fed, all maintained their current policies. (The U.S. FED raised rates, which was 99% baked in.) The ECB was as dovish (as expected) and President Draghi has a few new issues to confront as Italian elections are scheduled for March 4, 2018. The Italian situation is already impacting sovereign bonds as the Italian 10-year yield rose against the German and French equivalents. BUT I FULLY EXPECT FOR THE ECB TO BREAK THE CAPITAL KEY RULES BY PURCHASING MORE ITALIAN DEBT THAN ALLOWED. POLITICS WILL BE DRAGHI’S MAIN CONCERN.

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