This is getting to be a habit. Previous late summer holidays by this correspondent coincided with the run on Northern Rock, and subsequently with the failure of Lehman Brothers. So the final crawl towards the probable nationalisation of Deutsche Bank came as no particular surprise this year, but it is tiresome to relate nevertheless.
The 2015 annual report for Deutsche Bank runs to some 448 pages, so one rather doubts if even its CEO, John Cryan, has read it all, or has a complete grasp of, for example, its €42 trillion in total notional derivatives exposure. Continue reading
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
Just over a month ago, on March 1, the Austrian financial world was shaken by news that the first bank bail-in following Cyprus would not take place in Greece as many had expected, but in Vienna: judged by the rating agencies to be one of the safest places in the world, where the bad bank that was created to help with the wind-down of the defunct Austrian lender Hypo Alpe Aldria, would itself be unwound, with creditors suffering the bulk of the pain in the form of the first official “core Eurozone” bail in.
Truly a “black swan” event.
This, together with the revelation of the sordid state of Heta’s books which was only revealed after the bail-in fact, was certainly a shock to bondholders, who had been treating Heta bonds as money good as recently as last summer, only to face losses as large as 50%.
Debt is good, dollar is gold, and stocks only go up—things are getting curiouser and curiouser.
The phrase “mad as a hatter” refers to the 19th-century use of mercuric-nitrate in the making of felt hats. Long-term exposure to mercury caused hatmakers to experience mood swings, tremors and emotional imbalances that made them appear mad.
We live in a world gone mad. Money printing—today’s mercury—has poisoned the whole financial system.
Trusted relationships have broken down. Fundamental truths appear suspect, and economic laws no longer seem to hold true. In America especially, it’s as if the whole economic system fell down a rabbit hole into a world where up is down, debt is good, and people exuberantly celebrate unbirthday parties every day of the year but one.
Precisely one week ago in “A Black Swan Lands In Southern Austria: The Ripple Effects Of “Mini-Greece Going Off In The Heartland Of Europe“, when analyzing the consequences of the collapse of Austria’s bad bank, we noted perhaps the biggest paradox of Europe’s emergency preparedness response to the Greek collapse and imminent expulsion from the Eurozone: namely that the biggest threat to German banks was no longer in some Mediterranean nation, but in its very own back yard. To wit:
Irony #2, and the biggest one of all: while German banks had spent the past 3 years preparing for the inevitable Grexit and offloading all their exposure to the now insolvent Greek state, it was a waterfall chain of events which started in Germany’s own “back yard”, courtesy of auditors who decided it was unnecessary to mark losses to market until it was far too late, and the immediate outcome is that one ninth of until recently Aaa/AAA-rated Austria is now also insolvent. And that is just the beginning. Continue reading
The letter in full will remain here as it’s not a ‘news article’, rather a letter to the public.
Alexis Tsipras’ “open letter” to German citizens published on Jan.13 in Handelsblatt, a leading German language business newspaper
Most of you, dear Handesblatt readers, will have formed a preconception of what this article is about before you actually read it. I am imploring you not to succumb to such preconceptions. Prejudice was never a good guide, especially during periods when an economic crisis reinforces stereotypes and breeds biggotry, nationalism, even violence.
In 2010, the Greek state ceased to be able to service its debt. Unfortunately, European officials decided to pretend that this problem could be overcome by means of the largest loan in history on condition of fiscal austerity that would, with mathematical precision, shrink the national income from which both new and old loans must be paid. An insolvency problem was thus dealt with as if it were a case of illiquidity.