Firms with over $11 trillion in assets would remain troubled even if interest rates rise, IMF says in new report
A third of biggest banks in the world’s richest countries are so weak their problems could not be solved even by a recovery and rising interest rates, the International Monetary Fund said in a new report released Wednesday.
About a third of European banks, with $8.5 trillion in assets, and a quarter of U.S. banks, with $3.2 trillion in assets, are in this too-weak-to-recover category, the IMF said. Continue reading
China currency devaluation signals endgame leaving equity markets free to collapse under the weight of impossible expectations
When the banking crisis crippled global markets seven years ago, central bankers stepped in as lenders of last resort. Profligate private-sector loans were moved on to the public-sector balance sheet and vast money-printing gave the global economy room to heal.
Time is now rapidly running out. From China to Brazil, the central banks have lost control and at the same time the global economy is grinding to a halt. It is only a matter of time before stock markets collapse under the weight of their lofty expectations and record valuations.
The FTSE 100 has now erased its gains for the year, but there are signs things could get a whole lot worse.
“We could now be at a crossroads,” warns Deutsche Bank in its annual default study report. As the ‘artificial bond market’ is exposed and yield curves flatten on Fed rate hikes so carry risk-reward is reduced and default cycles have often been linked to the ebbing and flowing of the YC through time with a fairly long lead/lag. With HY defaults having spent 12 of the last 13 years below their long-term average (with the last 5 years the lowest in modern history), “a perfect default storm could be created for 2018 if the Fed raises rates in 2015.”
Defaults will stay unusually low so long as current artificial conditions continue. However, as Deutshe Bank explains, the benign default environment of the last few years may be about to change… Continue reading
Athens’ finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, says referendum or new election on fiscal policy is possible if deadlock remains
Racheting up the pressure ahead of a crucial meeting of his eurozone counterparts on Monday, the Greek finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, said the leftist-led government would hold a plebiscite on fiscal policy if faced with deadlock.
“We are not attached to our posts. If needed, if we encounter implacability, we will resort to the Greek people either through elections or a referendum,” he told Italy’s Il Corriere della Sera in an interview on Sunday. Continue reading
Default is a major disaster for a government, but not much will happen right away now that Standard & Poor’s has declared Argentina to be in “selective default.”
S&P (MHFI) took the action today after Argentina’s talks with holdout creditors continued past the end of the 30-day grace period for a $539 million bond payment. Continue reading
The central banks signed a memorandum of understanding in Berlin today, when Chinese President Xi Jinping met German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the Frankfurt-based Bundesbank said in an e-mailed statement.
Germany’s financial capital prevailed over Paris and Luxembourg in a euro-area race to win trade in renminbi, which overtook the euro to become the second-most used currency in global trade finance in October, according to the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication. The U.K. Treasury said on March 26 that the Bank of England would sign an initial agreement with the PBOC on March 31 to clear and settle yuan transactions in London.
“Frankfurt is one of Europe’s foremost financial centers and home to two central banks, making it a particularly suitable location,” said Joachim Nagel, a member of the Bundesbank’s executive board. “Renminbi clearing will strengthen the close economic and financial ties between Germany and the People’s Republic of China.” Continue reading
The World Bank’s former chief economist wants to replace the US dollar with a single global super-currency, saying it will create a more stable global financial system.
“The dominance of the greenback is the root cause of global financial and economic crises,” Justin Yifu Lin told Bruegel, a Brussels-based policy-research think tank. “The solution to this is to replace the national currency with a global currency.” Continue reading
China’s shadow banking system is out of control and under mounting stress as borrowers struggle to roll over short-term debts, Fitch Ratings has warned.
The agency said the scale of credit was so extreme that the country would find it very hard to grow its way out of the excesses as in past episodes, implying tougher times ahead.
“The credit-driven growth model is clearly falling apart. This could feed into a massive over-capacity problem, and potentially into a Japanese-style deflation,” said Charlene Chu, the agency’s senior director in Beijing.
“There is no transparency in the shadow banking system, and systemic risk is rising. We have no idea who the borrowers are, who the lenders are, and what the quality of assets is, and this undermines signalling,” she told The Daily Telegraph. Continue reading
Wednesday night’s panic in Tokyo, where the Nikkei dropped a stomach churning 7pc, kicking off a global chain-reaction that saw the FTSE fall 143.48 points, demonstrates just how difficult it is going to be for the world’s central banks to exit their loose money policies.
It’s not even as if Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Fed, said he was planning to exit; in fact, initially he said the reverse, in testimony to Congress. It was only in the Q&A, and in minutes to the last meeting of the Fed’s Open Markets Committee, that a clear bias emerged to slow the pace of asset purchases “in the next few meetings”, so long as the economic data were strong enough. Continue reading
When you print money, the money does not flow evenly into the economic system. It stays essentially in the financial service industry and among people that have access to these funds, mostly well-to-do people. It does not go to the worker. I just mentioned that it doesn’t flow evenly into the system. Continue reading
The S&P 500 is set to fall another 8 percent by the end of the year, on top of the 7 percent decline seen since the year’s high reached in September, according to a new strategy note by Goldman Sachs.
“Uncertainty swirling around the “fiscal cliff” that must be resolved by year end, the pending jump in capital gains taxes at the start of 2013, and the debt ceiling that will be reached in late February, represent clear and present downside risks to the market in the near term,” wrote the analysts, headed by Chief U.S. Equity Strategist David Kostin. Continue reading