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ECB Tells Deutsche Bank To Simulate A “Crisis Scenario”

In a stark reminder that despite all the operational and management turmoil over the past three years, few if any of the outstanding concerns involving Europe’s banking behemoth – Deutsche Bank, which has gone thorugh – with €48 trillion in net notional derivatives has been resolved…

… in its Monday edition, Suddeutsche Zeitung reports that the ECB has asked that Deutsche Bank simulate what a “crisis scenario” would look like, and what it would cost to complete a “resolution”, i.e. wind-down, of its own investment banking division. 

While DB’s calculations have reported been taking place for several months, SZ notes that this is the first time that the ECB supervisory authority has demanded such a measure from a major bank. The German publication also notes that the ECB will demand similar simulations of other banks.

According to the report, banking regulators want to know what the impact would be on the value of Deutshe Bank’s capital market and derivatives business if, as a solvent bank, it had to simulate an abrupt end to new business.

One possible need for such a simulation may stem from the recent termination of CEO John Cryan, and his replacement with Christian Sewing, a lifelong retail banker, who some have speculated may seek to wind-down Deutsche Bank’s i-Banking division.

To be sure, in order to avoid a panic that the ECB is preparing for the worst and simulating a full-blown Deutsche Bank bankruptcy, SZ adds that the exercise is not about simulating an event of bankruptcy, “which would be many times more expensive and difficult.” In response to the article, the ECB said that it generally gives banks many tasks, without elaborating on the “crisis scenario” it has requested.

Meanwhile, Deutsche Bank said it is routinely tasked by regulators to determine “the consequences of orderly settlement of positions in its trading books.” Perhaps, but never until now was Europe’s biggest bank asked to quantify how the abrupt end of its banking business, with its associated €48.3 trillion in gross notional derivatives, would affect both the bank itself, and would percolate across markets.

Bank of Japan Buys Record Amount of Equity ETFs: Once Upon a Time

The Japanese stock market fell, so the Bank of Japan bought more equity funds.

After cornering the bond market, the Bank of Japan has its sight on the stock market with a Record Buying Binge in March.

The Bank of Japan spent 833 billion yen ($7.8 billion) on exchange-traded funds tracking the country’s shares last month, the largest amount ever according to data back to 2010. The BOJ stepped in as the Japanese market slumped and its benchmark Topix index inked its first back-to-back monthly declines since the start of 2016. Haruhiko Kuroda’s bank is now ahead of its scheduled goal to spend about 6 trillion yen a year on ETFs. “If the market keeps on falling, there will be the problem of what they do next,” said Kazuyuki Terao, chief investment officer for the Japan arm of Allianz Global Investors.

Problem? What Problem?

Just buy them all. 100% of every ETF. Given the Bank of Japan has cornered the bond market, it’s simply the logical next step.

Once Upon a Time

Once upon a time, I seem to recall central banks discussing and setting monetary policy in a very strange way.

For those of you not old enough to remember, the Fed and other central banks actually discussed the growth rate of money supply at monetary policy meetings.

How peculiar, to actually discuss money at monetary policy meetings. Those silly days are gone.

New Normal

  • Central banks now sponsor negative interest rates, something that could never happen in the real world.
  • The Bank of Japan and the Swiss National Bank are playing roulette with the stock market.
  • The Fed embarked on three rounds of QE to force bond yields lower.
  • The ECB is still at it, in a clear attempt to keep Italy on life support.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Monetary Policy is a Complete Failure? Will Shutting Down the Fed Solve All the Problems?

I recently did an interview and was asked about the Federal Reserve. There is so much absolute nonsense sophistry that circulates where people think that ending the central bank will somehow cure everything. I really just laid it out plain and simple. The Fed’s balance sheet is a tiny fraction of the economy or the real money supply. Everyone blames the Fed for everything and they NEVER bother to look at (1) the fiscal policy of Congress, and (2) the banking system as a whole.

Even if you want to scream from the top of every hill that $4 trillion worth of Fed’s Quantitative Easing was pure evil and should have created hyperinflation (which it did not), the deficits created by Obama topped $1 trillion per year and those never die whereas the Fed’s QE evaporates as they do let the debt they bought mature and expire without rebuying it again, whereas Draghi and the ECB have conceded they will reinvest their holdings. Look at 2009-2012. Obama created $5.4 trillion that will never expire but will be rolled until there are no more buyers.

So let’s do the math. The entire Federal Reserve QE program was equal to 1/5th of the national debt. The ECB bought 40% of all public debt and the Bank of Japan bought 75% of new debt coming to the market. Yet all we get is dollar bashing and people actually have called the yen the safe-haven play. I really do not know if I am arguing is drunks, people with dementia, or just con-artists. All these people pushing the end of central banks because they are clueless about how the real world functions.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

Then They Came for the Globalists

Then They Came for the Globalists

Photo by Francisco Osorio | CC BY 2.0

Thank God for the corporate media. If it wasn’t for them, and the ADL, I’d have probably never discovered that I’m a Nazi. Apparently, I’ve been one for quite some time … which is weird, as I had no idea. Here I was, naively believing that I’d been writing about global capitalism and the realignment of political power and ideology in the post-Cold War world, when all along I had really just been persecuting the Jews. I didn’t think I was persecuting the Jews. But such is the insidious nature of thoughtcrime. When you’re a Nazi thought criminal (as I apparently am), it doesn’t matter what you think you’re thinking. What matters is what the global capitalist ruling classes tell you you’re thinking, which it turns out is often a lot more complicated and horrible than what you thought you were thinking.

For example, I’ve been thinking and writing about globalism, which most dictionaries define as “a national policy of treating the whole world as a proper sphere for political influence,” or “the development of socioeconomic networks that transcend national boundaries,” or something like that … which was more or less my understanding of the term. Little did I know that these fake “definitions” had been infiltrated into these dictionaries by discord-sowing Strasserist agents to dupe political satirists like myself into unknowingly spreading anti-Semitism as part of Putin’s Master Plan to destroy the United States of America and establish worldwide Nazi domination.

Fortunately, the lexicography experts in the corporate media and the Anti-Defamation League cleared that up for me earlier this month. According to these experts, words like “globalist” and “globalism” don’t really mean anything. They are simply Nazi code words for “the Jews.” There is actually no such thing as “globalism,” or “global capitalism,” or “transnational capitalism,” or “supranational quasi-governmental entities” like the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organization, the European Commission, and the European Central Bank … or, OK, sure, there are such entities, but there is no legitimate reason to discuss them, or write about them, or even casually mention them, and anyone who does is definitely a Nazi.

Now, imagine my horror when I took that in, especially given my repeated references to “the corporatocracy,” “global capitalism,” and “the global capitalist ruling classes” in the essays I’ve been publishing recently. I didn’t want to accept it at first, but the more “authoritative sources” I consulted, the more glaringly obvious my thoughtcrimes became.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

The Central Bank Bubble: It Will Be Ugly

The Central Bank Bubble: It Will Be Ugly

The global economy has been living through a period of central bank insanity, thanks to a little-understood expansion strategy known as quantitative easing, which has destroyed main-street and benefitted wall street.

Central Banks over the last decade simply created credit out of thin air. Snap a finger, and credit magically appears. Only central banks can perform this type of credit magic. It’s called printing money and they have gone on the record saying they are magic people. 

Increasing the money supply lowers interest rates, which makes it easier for banks to offer loans. Easy loans allow businesses to expand and provides consumers with more credit to buy goods and increase their debt. As a country’s debt increases, its currency eventually debases, and the world is currently at historic global debt levels. 

Simply put, the world’s central banks are playing a game of monopoly.

With securities being bought by a currency that is backed by debt rather than actual value, we have recently seen $9.7 trillion in bonds with a negative yield. At maturity, the bond holders will actually lose money, thanks to the global central banks’ strategies. The Federal Reserve has already hinted that negative interest rates will be coming in the next recession.

These massive bond purchases have kept volatility relatively stable, but that can change quickly. High inflation is becoming a real possibility. China, which is planning to dethrone the dollar by backing the Yuan with gold, may survive the coming central banking bubble. Many other countries will be left scrambling. Some central banks are attempting to turn the current expansion policies around. Both the Federal Reserve, the Bank of Canada, and the Bank of England have plans to hike interest rates. The European Central Bank is planning to reduce its purchases of bonds. Is this too little, too late?

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

The Perfect Storm for 2020: Weidmann at the ECB, Trump’s trade war, Macron’s failure, Italy’s turmoil

The Perfect Storm for 2020: Weidmann at the ECB, Trump’s trade war, Macron’s failure, Italy’s turmoil

Clouds are gathering: Weidmann will end QE while Macron’s reform will not solve any problem whatsoever. It’ll be the final push for a Eurosceptic Italy, where plans for parallel currencies are popping up. Add Trump’s trade war to the soup and 2020 promises to turn nasty.

It is becoming increasingly clear that at the end of 2019 Jens Weidmann, current President of the Bundesbank, will replace Mario Draghi at the helm of the European Central Bank. The change in terms of economic beliefs will be radical and, combined with the other developing issues in Italy and the US, which will be discussed later in the text, might as well put an end to the misery of the Eurozone.

What does Jens Weidmann believe in?
As a typical post-Weimar German, he believes in strong currency and low inflation. The Financial Times carried an interesting interview with him a few weeks ago,1)in which the German financier expressed his opposition to everything that Mario Draghi has stood for in the last few years and made known his wish to stop the quantitative easing program and replace it with raised interest rates. What happens when interest rates increase? If they go up too fast, markets crumble. Low interest rates offered for too long have contributed to the subprime mortgages debacle of 2007-8. In 2012, at the peak of the Eurozone sovereign debt crisis, Draghi promised to do ”whatever it takes” to preserve the European common currency. Weidmann was the only one on the board of the ECB who was opposed to this too. Draghi’s statement had a therapeutic effect on financial markets which quickly calmed down after it. Once he’s gone, however, Weidmann is unlikely to show the same resolve to indeed do whatever it might take to keep the currency together. Finally, just like most Germans, he is not a fan of Emmanuel Macron’s idea of creating a Eurozone budget because the money transfer is seen as too much of a concession towards “lazy Southerners”. Maybe in the end Weidmann will opt to preserve the status-quo, but if he sticks to his beliefs, rates will increase, markets will fall and it’ll be the end of the Eurozone.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Eurozone Banking Crisis – ECB Delays Rules for Bad Loans until 2021

The European Central Bank (ECB) has postponed its new guidelines for banks because if it did not, the Italian banking system would simply collapse. The ECB has given Eurozone area banks more time to adapt to new guidelines on how to deal with bad loans. The deadline has been postponed from 2018 off into 2021. The new rules require banks to increase their capital for all loans, which are now classified as risk-taking. Bad loans are systemic in Europe as they increased after the 2007-2009 financial crisis.

After almost 10 years of Quantitative Easing to help banks, nothing has been achieved. Because of the Quantitative Easing, Europe has become very aggressive in collecting taxes. That is deflationary and Southern Europe still suffers from joining the Euro as a whole. The Quantitative Easing has simply kept governments on life-support while failing to stimulate the economy. Mario Draghi moved to negative interest rates in an effort for force people to spend. Instead, the bought safes and withdrew cash from the banks.

This latest move is once again trying desperately to keep the Eurozone afloat until Draghi ends his term next year. Then Draghi could care less what happens, for he will not be blamed if he can just get out the door before it all comes crashing down.

Despite Years of ECB’s QE (Ending Soon), Italy’s “Doom Loop” Still Threatens Eurozone Financial System

Despite Years of ECB’s QE (Ending Soon), Italy’s “Doom Loop” Still Threatens Eurozone Financial System

Even banks outside Italy have an absurdly out-sized exposure to Italian sovereign debt.

The dreaded “Doom Loop” — when shaky banks hold too much shaky government debt, raising the fear of contagion across the financial system if one of them stumbles — is still very much alive in Italy despite Mario Draghi’s best efforts to transfer ownership of Italian debt from banks to the ECB, according to Eric Dor, the director of Economic Studies at IESEG School of Management, who has collated the full extent of individual bank exposures to Italian sovereign debt.

The doom loop is a particular problem in the Eurozone since a member state doesn’t control its own currency, and cannot print itself out of trouble, which leaves it exposed to credit risk.

The Bank of Italy, on behalf of the ECB, has bought up more than €350 billion of multiyear Treasury bonds (BTPs) in recent years. The scale of its holdings overtook those of Italian banks, which have been shedding BTPs since mid-2016, making the central bank the second-largest holder of Italian bonds after insurance companies, pension funds and other financials.

But Italian banks are still big owners of Italian debt. According to a study by the Bank for International Settlements, government debt represents nearly 20% of banks’ assets — one of the highest levels in the world. In total there are ten banks with Italian sovereign debt holdings that represent over 100% of their tier 1 capital (or CET1), according to Dor’s research. The list includes Italy’s two largest lenders, Unicredit and Intesa Sanpaolo, whose exposure to Italian government bonds represent the equivalent of 145% of their tier 1 capital. Also listed are Italy’s third largest bank, Banco BPM (327%), MPS (206%), BPER Banca (176%) and Banca Carige (151%).

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Interbank Rates Starting to Rise – Monetary Crisis is Beginning

 

Extremely reliable sources from Behind the Curtain in Europe are becoming deeply concerned that Draghi at the ECB has created a monumental economic disaster he is just praying to holding off until he leaves next year. Interest rates are already starting to rise significantly in several important money and interbank markets. Both banks and debtors are facing a rapid rise in interest expenditures that will shock the world. This is going to blow-out budgets around the globe and both private and public debtors face higher costs of funds.

The Libor (London Interbank Offered Rate), the most important reference rate for the global interbank market, is currently at its highest level since 2008. We elected a Yearly Bullish Reversal on the close of 2016. Once we see the rate close above 213 on a monthly basis, LIBOR rates will be poised to jump to 510. When the Libor price rises, the short-term borrowing for banks becomes more expensive, and for borrowers in the financial market, such as sellers of bonds or buyers of mortgages, debt service becomes more difficult. The demand for debt is exceptionally high. We are looking at LIBOR rates rising sharply. The dollar-lending rate for dollar loans has been rising steadily in all maturities since about the end of 2014. The dollar-Libor for three-month loans in March 2017 were trading at around 1.1%. Currently, this dollar-Libor rate stands at around 2%.

This year’s WEC will be focused on the next major crisis and how all the markets will interact. This is the beginning of the Monetary Crisis Cycle. Our Yearly Models on LIBOR are already in a bullish posture on both short-term indicators. A closing on an annual basis above 208 will signal rates will rapidly more than DOUBLE into 2020. A closing above 510 on an annual basis will warn of a MAJOR financial crisis hitting just about every economy.

Will US Companies Repatriating Cash Home Create Banking Crisis Outside USA?

QUESTION: Mr. Armstrong; Do you believe that if American companies do repatriate dollars to get the low tax rate in the USA, will this impact foreign banks as capital withdraws? I figured you are the best qualified to answer that question nobody seems to be discussing.

Thank you for sharing your expertise.

SY

ANSWER: That is a very interesting question and it is indeed unique. I cannot think of anyone who has asked that one yet.  Let us assume that U.S. corporations will repatriate at least 25% of their estimated US$2.6 trillion of offshore funds to take advantage of a one-off 14% tax holiday. It will not matter if they are selling euros, yen, pounds, or yuan. Switching their funds from the offshore dollar funding markets to domestic dollars will have a similar impact on the same trend that took place between 1980 and 1985 that drove the dollar to all-time record highs.

American corporations moving capital sends a powerful impulse through global finance system. Despite the rise of China and the creation of the euro, the world has never been so “dollarized” as it is today. The euro is a complete failure for there is no single market with a centralize debt to compete with the dollar as an alternative. China is rising, but it is not ready for prime time. There is no alternative to the dollar. That is the real crisis in the world economy.

U.S. lending rates are critical to the world economy. The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) says offshore dollar funding has risen fivefold to US$10.7 trillion since the early 2000s, with a further US$14 trillion of global dollar debt hidden in derivatives. BIS research also confirms that the rise and fall of the dollar is the major cycle of dollar liquidity which is driving the world’s investment appetite and global asset prices. This liquidity spigot is clearly being turned off. The Fed is not only raising rates, it is also reversing bond purchases exactly OPPOSITE of the ECB which openly admits it will repurchase government debt as it expires because they know there are no buyers at these rates. The Fed is shrinking its balance sheet while the ECB is trapped and cannot dare take the same steps.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Lativa Banking Crisis Unfolding on Schedule – Will There Be a European Contagion?

 

The Latvian Financial Supervisory Authority is concerned announcing a resolution plan for the crisis bank ABLV that is threatening a contagion risk of further closures of financial institutions in the country with a predominantly foreign customer base. There is a serious risk of a contagion unfolding that will also force consolidation and mergers in the industry as a whole. The financial system of the Baltic country has seen a run with customers withdrawing about 500 million euros in deposits in recent weeks. There are about ten banks in Latvia who have been serving primarily foreign customers. Concerns and a decline in confidence unfolding in Europe as a whole over the banking system as a whole may force a change in the business model of Latvian banks where they must return to a reliance upon domestic deposits rather than foreign.

Latvia’s third largest financial institution, ABLV, is about to collapse after being accused by the US of being involved in money laundering by customers from neighboring Russia and Ukraine. The bank denied the allegations but simply making those allegations by New York prosecutors can have a devastating impact upon foreign banks. A run on the bank began after the allegations were made public. The European Central Bank (ECB) came to the conclusion that the bank was facing collapse. The European Agency for the Settlement of Marged Banks (SRB) classified the bank as non-systemically important and left it to its fate. In Latvia, loans are provided mainly by Scandinavian banks located in Sweden. Many Latvian banks have specialized in financing themselves mainly through deposits of foreigners rather than domestic Latvian citizens. The crisis brewing stems from the fact that about 40% of Latvian bank deposits come from abroad. Allegations of money laundering by the US authorities have been sending foreign depositors into a state of panic.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

An Apocalyptic Paul Tudor Jones Warns The Fed Is About To Lose Control

In a striking interview with Goldman’s Allison Nathan, legendary trader Paul Tudor Jones argues that US inflation is set to accelerate sharply, making bonds a very poor investment, and that the Fed must act swiftly to tackle financial bubbles created by prolonged monetary easing.

Joining such luminaries as Bill Gross and Ray Dalio, who have both claimed the bull market in bonds is over, PTJ joins the choir and warns that “markets disciplined Greece for its budget transgressions; it’s just a matter of time before they discipline us” and as a result he sees the 10-year yields rising to 3.75 percent by year-end as a “conservative” target amid the now traditional and widely discussed bogeymen: supply outweighing demand, economic momentum outpacing the monetary policy response, and “glaring” bond valuations. Oh, and central banks ending the party, of course:

Beginning next September, when the ECB concludes its asset purchases, the aggregate balance sheet of the main central banks will start contracting after nearly a decade of expansion. That will be a major data break, making it a horrible time to own bonds.

PTJ also pours cold water on the repeated suggestion that higher yields will lead to more buying from pension funds: “Bond pension buying, for example, is very pro-cyclical. When stock prices rise, pensions reallocate their capital gains from stocks into bonds. As we’ve seen, this depresses the term premium and fuels more gains in the stock market. If and when the Fed raises rates enough to stop and reverse the stock market rise, that virtuous circle predicated on increasing capital gains will reverse, and bonds and stocks will decline together like they did in the 1970s.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Draghi Admits He Cannot Stop Buying Gov’t Debt

Draghi has realized that he has singlehandedly destroyed the European bond market. Besides the fact that it is illegal to short government bonds, he has come face to face with the stark reality that IF the ECB stops buying government bonds, there will be NO BIDat these price levels. Interest rates will skyrocket dramatically. On the German 10-year bond, once we see a monthly closing above .79, we are looking at a DOUBLING of rates and that is in Germany. Once rates rise above 1.55, then expect it to rapidly DOUBLE again.

Consequently, Mario Draghi has been warned there is a serious problem. He told the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee of the European Parliament that he would maintain a very loose monetary policy because it was necessary despite the upturn in the euro area. He said that INFLATION remains critically dependent on a strong push using monetary policy. Of course, you would assume that after 10 years of this policy and there is no sign of a major return of inflation, that you would start to question the entire Quantity of Money Theory.

Draghi said Monday that he will continue to include the billion-dollar bond purchase program and he will reinvest expiring bonds exactly OPPOSITE of the policy at the Federal Reserve. While the dollar-bears keep calling for the end of the Greenback, they are deaf, dumb and blind when it comes to international capital flows or monetary policy outside the USA.

Draghi realizes that he is subsidizing the European governments. He is not stimulating the economy, he simply has them on life-support.  Stopping the bond program will lead to a major crisis when there is NO BID for government bonds.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

It’s Raining Money

It’s Raining Money

With apologies to the Dire Straights:

Now look at them yo-yo’s that’s the way you do it
You play the bull on the fin TV
That ain’t workin’ that’s the way you do it
Money for nothin’ and stocks for free

After 9 years of artificial liquidity drenching markets the same game continues in 2018: It’s raining money. Again. Still.

Last week we saw the standard script of the last 9 years unfold: Dovish talk by central bankers and artificial liquidity taking over markets. The latest avalanche of free money entering markets are of course buybacks courtesy of tax cuts which now are expected to reach $650B in 2018 announcements coming to $50B a month.

In many cases companies don’t know what to do with all that free cash, but to buy back their own shares. Warren Buffet pretty much spelled it out this weekend and today:

“A large portion of our gain did not come from anything we accomplished at Berkshire,” Buffett wrote.

The firm’s most recent annual letter revealed the investment conglomerate’s net worth surged $65 billion in 2017, with $29 billion of that stemming from tax proceeds. That gain was realized in December, after the passage of the tax plan.

So he has a problem, knowing that stocks are expensive he’s having a hard time investing the cash so he’s opening the door to buy back his own shares over issuing more dividends. None of this creates jobs, jobs, jobs of course, but is a refection of the absurdity of the ill devised tax cuts that will continue to expand wealth inequality but will continue to produce a bid underneath markets until the bitter end.

Lest also not forget that the ECB keeps running QE at 30B Euro a month and overnight the BOJ’s Kuroda announced persistent monetary easing is needed while China injected 150b yuan in overnight liquidity as well and voila a sea of global green:

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Bank Run Feared After ECB Unexpectedly Pulls Plug On Latvia Largest Private Bank

Last week we reported that as part of a rapidly deteriorating banking crisis in Latvia, which culminated with the detention of central bank head Ilmars Rimsevics on suspicion of accepting a bribe of more than €100,000 (which prompted both the prime minister and president to demand his resignation, something he has so far refused to do), the European Central Bank froze all payments by Latvia’s largest private bank, ABLV, following U.S. accusations the bank laundered billions in illicit funds, including for companies connected to North Korea’s banned ballistic-missile program.

Then overnight the Latvian banking crisis escalated when in a statement released early Saturday, the ECB said ABLV Bank’s liquidity had deteriorated significantly, making it unlikely to pay its debts and declaring it “failing or likely to fail.” As a result, Latvia’s third largest bank will be wound up under local laws after the European Central Bank

Following the ECB’s decision, which also included the bank’s subsidiary in Luxembourg, the WSJ reported that Europe’s banking resolution authority decided the banks didn’t represent a systemic risk for their countries or the region and should be wound up by local authorities rather than be “bailed in” under EU rules.

And so, on Saturday ABLV said it would be liquidated. In four days, the bank claimed, it had raised enough capital to meet all its depositors’ demands and keep functioning, however “Due to political considerations the bank was not given a chance to do it,” it said in a statement.

As we discussed previously, ABLV’s fall follows a move by the U.S. Treasury last week to block its access to U.S. dollars, accusing it of “institutionalized money laundering.” It said most of the bank’s customers were shell companies registered outside Latvia.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

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Olduvai III: Cataclysm
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