Glencore Collapse Could Be Even Worse Than Feared

Editor’s Note: We’re sharing this update on Glencore’s collapse with you because it’s shaping up to be even worse than Michael originally thought. Glencore still poses a “Lehman Brothers”-level risk to the global economy – but it’s now clear the world’s biggest commodities trader is on the hook for hundreds of billions in “shadow debt” that it simply refuses to address. This crisis is one small step away from upending our financial system, so here’s what you need to know…

A lot of powerful voices have joined me in warning about the potential threat that Glencore Plc. (LON: GLEN) poses to global financial markets. Bank of America, for instance, has published a report on the true size of the fallout. As you’ll see in a moment, it’s staggering.

But since we talked about Glencore late last month, something insane has happened: The stock has gone up.

But not for any good reason. The company has not righted the ship. The surge is only due to short-sellers covering their positions. Continue reading

EU Exit Will Now Be “Threat To Those Who Don’t Behave The German Way,” BofA Says

While the Greek “compromise” deal may have averted an outright economic collapse in Greece in the short-term (although one would be hard pressed to describe the current situation on the ground as anything other than a depression) and may for the time being allow EU officials to cling to the notion that the euro is “indissoluble,” the fraught negotiations that took place over the weekend in Brussels laid bare for all to see the unbridgeable gap between EMU nations.

If there were any doubts about who runs the show, German FinMin Wolfgang Schaeuble erased them on Sunday by pushing through a term sheet that effectively strips Greece of its sovereignty on the way to seizing state assets and relegates its people to perpetual debt servitude. If this is the meaning of a currency “union”, it’s not entirely clear why any state would want to be a part of it. Continue reading

China “Crosses Rubicon” With Stock Bailout; BofA Says PBoC Risks “Hurting Its Credibility”

Earlier today in “Panic: China Central Bank Steps In To Bailout Stocks As Underwater Traders Pray For A Rebound,” we noted (without much surprise) that the PBoC has officially taken the plunge. Late on Sunday, the China Securities Regulatory Commission announced that China’s central bank is set to inject capital into China Securities Finance Corp which will in turn use the funds to help brokerages expand their businesses and reinvigorate stocks. Translation: China’s central bank is now underwriting brokers’ margin lending businesses. Continue reading

Warren Buffett: Derivatives Are Still Weapons Of Mass Destruction And ‘Are Likely To Cause Big Trouble’

After all these years, the most famous investor in the world still believes that derivatives are financial weapons of mass destruction.  And you know what?  He is exactly right.  The next great global financial collapse that so many are warning about is nearly upon us, and when it arrives derivatives are going to play a starring role.  When many people hear the word “derivatives”, they tend to tune out because it is a word that sounds very complicated.  And without a doubt, derivatives can be enormously complex.  But what I try to do is to take complex subjects and break them down into simple terms.  At their core, derivatives represent nothing more than a legalized form of gambling.  A derivative is essentially a bet that something either will or will not happen in the future.  Ultimately, someone will win money and someone will lose money.  There are hundreds of trillions of dollars worth of these bets floating around out there, and one of these days this gigantic time bomb is going to go off and absolutely cripple the entire global financial system. Continue reading

Deutsche Bank Exodus Continues As Real Estate Chief Leaves For Blackstone

Have you ever wondered which big bank after Lehman Brothers would be next to fall? This is why you see so much shuffling from within and people resigning suddenly and going to work for another institution.

Moreover, with over $72 TRILLIONyes trillion, in derivatives exposure — we have likely found it. To put this tiny bit of risk in perspective, the GDP of Germany itself is a mere humble $2.7 trillion.

This is why Germany is also worried in this high stakes game of chicken. If Greece goes, Deutsche Bank who’s heavily invested will go, and creates the possibility of bringing the country with it. From there you can only see how such a scenario would spread to the rest of the world.

 

Earlier this month, Deutsche Bank’s co-CEOs Anshu Jain and Jürgen Fitschen were shown the door (well, technically they resigned, but with shareholder support plummeting amid skepticism about both financial targets and ongoing legal problems, it’s easy to read between the lines). The bank, which has paid out more than $9 billion over the past three years alone to settle legacy litigation, has become something of a poster child for corrupt corporate culture. Consider the following rundown of the legal problems the bank faced as of the beginning of its 2015 fiscal year:

We are currently the subject of regulatory and criminal industry-wide investigations relating to interbank offered rates, as well as civil actions. Due to a number of uncertainties, including those related to the high profile of the matters and other banks’ settlement negotiations, the eventual outcome of these matters is unpredictable, and may materially and adversely affect our results of operations, financial condition and reputation.  Continue reading

Russian cyber group seen preparing to attack banks

As described earlier in a previous post, these are essentially proxy groups with state backing. They create a group that allows for plausible deniability, showing no attributable activity.

 

A security firm is warning that a group of Russian hackers known for targeting military, government and media organizations is now preparing to attack banks in the U.S. and elsewhere.

The group’s preparations, which have included writing new malware, registering domain names similar to those of intended targets, and setting up command-and-control servers, were discovered by analysts from security firm Root9B.

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Puerto Rico hurtles toward default

Government could run out of cash in 3 months

A severe liquidity crisis that threatens to shut down Puerto Rico’s government is making life difficult for U.S. municipal bond investors.

The island territory has been labeled “America’s Greece.” Its $73 billion in bonds trading in the U.S. municipal-bond market carry junk ratings and are trading at record-high yields.

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Bank of America warns of ‘lethal’ damage to China’s financial system as deflation deepens

‘Deflation, Devaluation, and Default’ loom in China this year. The denouement for Shanghai’s bourse will not be pretty, says the US bank.

China is at mounting risk of a financial crisis this year as growth sputters and deflationary pressures trigger a wave of defaults, Bank of America has warned.

The US lender told clients that a confluence of forces are coming together that threaten to chill the speculative mania on the Shanghai stock exchange and to expose the underlying fragility of China’s $26 trillion edifice of debt.

“A credit crunch is highly probable,” said the bank in a report entitled “Deflation, Devaluation, and Default”, written by David Cui and Tracy Tian.

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Treasury Department Seeking Survival Kits For Bank Employees

Emergency masks, solar blankets to be delivered to every major bank in the U.S.

The Department of Treasury is seeking to order survival kits for all of its employees who oversee the federal banking system, according to a new solicitation.

The emergency supplies would be for every employee at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), which conducts on-site reviews of banks throughout the country. The survival kit includes everything from water purification tablets to solar blankets. Continue reading

Anyone That Believes That Collapsing Oil Prices Are Good For The Economy Is Crazy

Are much lower oil prices good news for the U.S. economy?  Only if you like collapsing capital expenditures, rising unemployment and a potential financial implosion on Wall Street.  Yes, lower gasoline prices are good news for the middle class.  I certainly would rather pay two dollars for a gallon of gas than four dollars.  But in order to have money to fill up your vehicle you have got to have an income first.  And since the last recession, the energy sector has been the number one creator of good jobs in the U.S. economy by far.  Barack Obama loves to stand up and take credit for the fact that the employment picture in this country has been improving slightly, but without the energy industry boom, unemployment would be through the roof.  And now that the “energy boom” is rapidly becoming an “energy bust”, what will happen to the struggling U.S. economy as we head into 2015?

At the start of this article I mentioned that much lower oil prices would result in “collapsing capital expenditures”. Continue reading

Bank of America sees $50 oil as Opec dies

“Our biggest worry is the end of the liquidity cycle. The Fed is done. The reach for yield that we have seen since 2009 is going into reverse”, said Bank of America.

The Opec oil cartel no longer exists in any meaningful sense and crude prices will slump to $50 a barrel over coming months as market forces shake out the weakest producers, Bank of America has warned.

Revolutionary changes sweeping the world’s energy industry will drive down the price of liquefied natural gas (LNG), creating a “multi-year” glut and a mucher cheaper source of gas for Europe.

Francisco Blanch, the bank’s commodity chief, said Opec is “effectively dissolved” after it failed to stabilize prices at its last meeting. “The consequences are profound and long-lasting,“ he said.

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U.S. Federal Reserve to review how it supervises major banks

(Reuters) – The U.S. Federal Reserve said on Thursday it has launched a review of how it oversees major banks, calling on its inspector general to help with the probe after a series of critical reports.

Separate studies to be undertaken by the Fed’s Washington-based Board of Governors and its Office of Inspector General are meant to ensure that “divergent views” about the state of large banks are adequately aired.

The reviews will determine whether frontline supervisors and other officials at the regional Federal Reserve banks, as well as at the board level, “receive the information needed to ensure consistent and sound supervisory decisions,” the Fed said in a press release. Continue reading

World economy so damaged it may need permanent QE

Markets are realising that the five-and-a-half year recovery since the financial crisis may already be over, says Ambrose Evans-Pritchard

Combined tightening by the United States and China has done its worst. Global liquidity is evaporating.

What looked liked a gentle tap on the brakes by the two monetary superpowers has proved too much for a fragile world economy, still locked in “secular stagnation”. The latest investor survey by Bank of America shows that fund managers no longer believe the European Central Bank will step into the breach with quantitative easing of its own, at least on a worthwhile scale.

Markets are suddenly prey to the disturbing thought that the five-and-a-half year expansion since the Lehman crisis may already be over, before Europe has regained its prior level of output. That is the chief reason why the price of Brent crude has crashed by 25pc since June. It is why yields on 10-year US Treasuries have fallen to 1.96pc, and why German Bunds are pricing in perma-slump at historic lows of 0.81pc this week.

We will find out soon whether or not this a replay of 1937 when the authorities drained stimulus too early, and set off the second leg of the Great Depression.

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Dam breaks in Europe as deflation fears wash over ECB rhetoric

‘We are reaching the end game in Europe. If they don’t launch real QE soon, the consequences are too awful to contemplate,’ warns RBS

A key gauge of deflation risk in Europe is flashing red, dropping to record lows on fears of fresh recession and lack of decisive action by the European Central Bank.

The sudden lurch downwards came as Bank of America warned that France’s debt ratio could rocket to 120pc of GDP within five years, unless the EU authorities take radical steps to reflate the region’s economy. Italy’s debt could threaten 150pc even earlier.

The 5-year/5-year forward swap rate monitored closely by traders plummeted beneath 1.77pc on Friday morning as a global growth scare drove European stock markets to a 12-month low.

“This rate is the most important market signal on the planet right now. Everybody is watching the chart, and it has just gone off a cliff,” said Andrew Roberts, credit chief at RBS.

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US banks bracing for Brexit

According to sources quoted by the Financial Times, three American banks — Bank of America, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley — are “drawing up plans to move some London-based activities to Ireland to address concerns” the UK would leave the European Union after a referendum on EU membership to be held possibly in 2017.

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