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 Global Markets have reached the point of waht can be best labeled as "Elevated Risk". Analytics measurements including Fundamenal Analysis, Techncial Analysis and Risk Anlysis all are independently signalling this along with warnings. This months report lays out the Risk Assessment, Risk Levels as determined by our proprietary aggregated Global Financial Risk Index, changes in Tipping Points and the Macro Risk-On, Risk-Off Drivers.
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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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TRIGGER$ publications combine both Technical Analysis and Fundamental Analysis together offering unique perspectives on the Global Markets. Every month “Gordon T Long Market Research & Analytics” publishes three reports totalling more then 380 pages of detailed Technical Analysis and in depth Fundamentals. If you find our publications TOO detailed, we recommend you consider TRIGGER$ which edited by GoldenPhi offers a ‘distilled’ version in a readable format for use in your daily due diligence. Read and understand what the professionals are reading without having to be a Professional Analyst or Technician.
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Latest Public Research ARTICLES & AUDIO PRESENTATIONS
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>>
04/17/2012 3:00 AM
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TIPPING POINT or 2012 THESIS THEME
HOTTEST TIPPING POINTS
BUNDESBANK & TARGET2 - How Long Can Germany Finance this Debacle?
What is the origin and meaning of the Target2 balances? Deutsche Bundebank 03/15/12 - This has considerably changed the Eurosystem’s role as a liquidity provider. Whereas before, it provided only the bare minimum of central bank money, the Eurosystem has now largely taken over the liquidity functions of the interbank market and other cross-border capital flows. The total volume of refinancing transactions has risen from approximately €460 billion on the eve of the finan-cial crisis to over €1,100 billion at last count, and the average maturity of the transactions has spiralled from a few weeks to almost three years. The share of euro-area peripheral countries in the volume of refinancing operations has concurrently climbed from one-sixth to around two-thirds. The continued net outflow of liquidity from the peripheral countries has caused them to accumu-late combined Target2 liabilities in excess of €750 billion. Zur problematik der TARGET2
We are just at the beginning of a great divergence where credit assets, risk assets, decline in value and where Treasuries head in a quite separate direction as driven by U.S. data in part but, more significantly, by the travails in Europe.
SPAIN CDS: The CDS for Spain reached an all-time high on Friday reflecting the financial issues in Spain as the Spanish bond yields creep higher held back, in part, by the threat of intervention from one of Europe’s stabilization funds.
SPAIN / ITALIAN LTRO LEVELS: We have just been presented with one very red flag signaling the seriousness of the issues in both Italy and Spain.
Spain just announced that its banks borrowed $415 billion from the LTRO funding while net borrowing stood at almost $300 billion and accounted for 63% of the net borrowing at the ECB.
For Italy the number is $354 billion in LTRO borrowing and they are not that far behind Spain in needing aid. The actual debt to GDP ratio, which I detailed on March 29, is 133.8% for Spain, not the official 79% number, and is getting worse as their economy shrinks and as the country guarantees ever more bank debt to be used as collateral. It is not much better in Italy as the combined national debt and their share of the debts at the ECB and the EU peg Italy’s actual debt to GDP ratio right at 200% and while Italy’s ability to self-fund is appreciably better than Spain; their funding needs are becoming appreciably larger as the country sinks into recession.
EU BANKS: The one other area I am becoming quite concerned about are the banks; in particular the European Banks. Of the twenty-five largest banks in the world there is only one that does not need to raise additional capital to de-lever to a 20x leverage and a 5% of Tangible Capital Ratio and that is Citigroup which has a current leverage of just 13 times and I also point out that Wells Fargo with a 14 times leverage needs a minor amount of capital to accomplish these goals. At the far other end of this scale is Deutsche Bank which is levered 62 times and would need a massive amount of new capital and tremendous shrinkage to accomplish these goals. The assets of DB are also equivalent to the entire GDP of Germany so that the bank could devour the country if Deutsche Bank were to hit the wall. Then the most leverage can be found at Credit Agricole at 66 times which would also swamp France, given its size, if asset values continue to decline or if Spain or Italy need to be bailed out and the contagion worsens.
QE ON HOLD: For the moment both the Fed and the ECB are not engaged in Monetary or Quantitative Easing. This has been the driving force for both equities and for bonds for the last four years. Yields have been lowered, spreads have compressed but I think we are now in the early stages of a massive reversal where stocks decline and where yields rise and a widening takes place between Treasuries and every other asset class.
In my view, during the next several months, the situation will continue to deteriorate and so I continue to advise taking profits in both equities and bonds and re-deploying the money.
I would stick with various structures that float or step-up and I would avoid bullets as losses will accumulate both from the absolute rise in yields but also from the widening in spreads.
“It is in the uncompromisingness with which dogma is held and not in the dogma or want of dogma that the danger lies.”
SPAIN - Clear Market Message
ITALY - Industrial Production Suggests Budget Problems Ahead.
Global Macro Monitor
2- Sovereign Debt Crisis
ANALYTICS - Initial Jobless Claims
The Market's Best Indicator Continues To Work Perfectly 04/14/12 BI - The blue line is the S&P 500. The red line is the inverse of initial jobless claims. For over 5 years, they've moved in virtual lockstep, and they're doing it again. Lately the improvement on initial jobless claims has stalled out, and the rally in the S&P 500 has stalled out. It alone is a good reason to think that fundamentals, not central banks, are what's driving this market.
MOST CRITICAL TIPPING POINT ARTICLES THIS WEEK - APR 8th- APR 15th, 2012
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