The European Central Bank's (ECB) unprecedented use of a three year, low cost LTRO (Long Term Repurchase Agreement) policy initiative may have removed some of the short term pressures from the EU Banking crisis, but like the Greenspan PUT, the unintended consequences are not yet fully understood. One is the moral hazard which is fostering financial "games" to be played with reckless abandon. Some of the mischievous and cunning games are frankly questionably as being even legal! But then, nothing is illegal if the regulators and those organizations charged with surveillance are not bothering to investigate. Extend > Pretend > Bend is the new approach. MORE>>
The Obama Budget is A Campaign Budget. Nothing changes until after the fall election and precisely on december 31st, 2012. Suspect budget assumptions and and the outcome on this date will make a $5T difference over 10 years. The markets will not wait and be hedl hostage to the outcome. The World Economic Forum's 2012 Risks Report, the IMF's Global Financial Stability Report and our proprietary Aggregated Global Risk Level Index (AGRLI) all suggest that like the US, global macroeconomic risks are increasing. The consensus findings are that the center of gravity of Global Macro issues are a combination of Chronic Fiscal Imbalances and a Global Governance Failure. We submit the US Budget as evidence of the later.
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The market action since March 2009 is a bear market counter rally that has completed a classic ending diagonal pattern. The Bear Market which started in 2000 will resume in full force when the current "ROUNDED TOP" is completed. We presently are in the midst of of a "ROLLING TOP" across all Global Markets. We are seeing broad based weakening analytics and cascading warning signals. This behavior is typically seen during major tops. This is all part of a final topping formation and a long term right shoulder technical construction pattern.
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EURO EXPERIMENT : ECB's LTRO Won't Stop Collateral Contagion! Released December 27th, 2011
I would argue that the problem short term is a shortage of real collateral and that US dollar cash, versus 'encumbered' cash flow, is now king. It is clear that the rampant advancing Collateral Contagion will quickly eat the futile LTRO attempt like ravenous wolves. A well circulated Tweet from PIMCO bond king Bill Gross said it all: " What does LTRO stand for? 1- A shell game; 2-Cash for trash; 3 Three-card Monti; or 4. All of the above." Here is the stark reality of what forced the ECB to offer unprecedented three year loans at absurd rates and most alarmingly, the acceptance of collateral that no other financial institutions will accept. The ECB has sacrificed its balance sheet in yet another EU "kick at the can". MORE>>
03/20/2012 3:32 AM
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SWIFT Cuts Iran Off: The international institution responsible for around 80 percent of the world’s financial transactions announced that it will cut off Iranian financial institutions from its system from Saturday. This unprecedented move is a big blow to Iran, and follows up on EU sanctions.
Majority in Israeli cabinet for strike: Israeli newspaper Maariv (Hebrew link, quote in English) by Ben Caspit saying that 8 out of 14 Israeli cabinet members now support a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities. The cabinet can give Prime Minister Netanyahu the green light for a strike, at the time he sees fit.
Netanyahu preparing Israeli public: The Israeli Prime Minister continues the tough rhetoric against Iran also after coming back from his long visit in the US. Analysts see this as a preparation of the Israeli public for a war.
Using Oil Reserves: There was a report, later denied, that the US and the U.K. decided on releasing oil from the emergency reserves in order to lower prices. This could be another preparation.
“Last Chance” Warning: According to Russian sources, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asked the Russians to send a message to Iran that the upcoming six-nation talks with Iran are the last chance before military action.
Pimco chief Mohamed El-Erian expects 'second Greece’ in Portugal 03/18/12 Ambrose Evans-Pritchard - Mohamed El-Erian, Pimco’s chief executive, said Portugal will need a second rescue as the original package of €78bn (£65bn) falls short, setting off a political storm over EU rescue costs. “Unfortunately, that is how it will be. It will make the financial markets nervous because they are worried about a participation of the private sector,” he told Der Spiegel over the weekend
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