|Secondly, continued from my last post "of intersting things upon the horizon" .... please reference article number two in this section. |
I have been looking for years to find a brief staement about "what will happen".
See: Mark Grant Explains The Latest European Con Tyler Durden on 03/28/2012 09
As The ECB Crosses The Inflationary Rubicon Has Mario Draghi Lost All Control? Tyler Durden on 03/28/2012 For the charts inv this article see:
Having been heralded around the world for solving Europe's crisis, ECB head Mario Draghi confidently states (as does every other central banker in the world) that "should the inflation outlook worsen, we would immediately take preventive steps". However, a recent analysis by Tornell and Westermann at VOX suggests the ECB has hit its limit with regard to its anti-inflationary fighting measures.
The ECB appears to have lost control over standard measures of tightening: short-term interest rates (since short-term lending to banks has dropped to practically zero), increase in minimum reserve requirements (practically impossible withouit crushing the banks that they have propped up due to the sharp asymmetries - the recent cut from 2% to 1% minimum reserves saw a remarkable EUR104bn drop), and finally asset sales (the quantity of 'sensitive' or encumbered assets on the ECB's books has reached such a scale - due to LTRO, SMP, and ELA programs - leaving the 'sellable' non-sensitive assets at a level below excess deposits for the first time in ECB history).
Got that? (posters blog note, bold type mine)
As the authors note, while this does not immediately produce an inflation flare, the lack of maneuvering space will induce an inflationary bias to ECB monetary policy as Draghi will find it increasingly expensive at the margin to hit the anti-inflationary brakes. "This bias puts the Eurozone at risk of de-anchoring long-run inflationary expectations. The danger is not inflation today, but the de-anchoring of expectations about future inflation." As we have noted many times before, the ECB (and for that matter most central banks in the world) need Goldilocks.
Standard monetary 'instruments' to control inflationary concerns (or the ECB's ability to absorb an excessive increase in liquidity) have hit a limit:
Short-term interest rates will be ineffective since ECB lending to MFIs is now minimal: Increasing the minimum reserve requirement will crush banks capital - especially damaging for low-excess deposit countries where systemic bank runs would likely occur.
And finally asset sales is very limited since the unencumbered (or non-sensitive) ECB assets - that are practically saleable - have crossed below the excess deposits level for the first time - standing at just 26% of the balance sheet (simply out the ECB would not have enough non-sensitive assets to sell in order to cover a withdrawal of excess deposits by banks).
In summary, the intersections in Figures 1 and 3 make clear that the ECB has lost its ability to implement standard anti-inflationary policies.
Mark Grant Explains The Latest European Con Tyler Durden on 03/28/2012 09 From Mark Grant, author of Out of the Box and Onto Wall Street The Firewall- An Irrelevancy
“Tough luck, Lonnehan. But that's what you get for playing with your head up your ass!”
There is noise and fluff and soap bubbles floating in the wind but don’t be distracted. Like so many things connected to the European Union it is just hype. In the first place do you think that any nation in Europe is actually going to put up money for the firewall no matter what size that they claim it will be? Let me give you the answer; it is “NO.” The firewall is just one more contingent liability that is not counted for any country’s financials, one more public statement of guarantee that everyone on the Continent hopes and prays will never be taken too seriously and certainly never used. Any rational person knows that some promise to pay in the future will not solve anything and it certainly won’t create some kind of magic ring fence around any nation. Think it through; what will it do to stop Spain or Italy from knocking at the door of the Continental Bank if they get in trouble and the answer is clearly nothing, not one thing. The firewall is just a distraction to lull all of you back to sleep and all of the headlines and discussion about it makes zero difference to any outcome and so is nothing more than a ruse. “Look this way please, do not look that way, pay no attention to the man behind the curtain, put up your money to buy our sovereign debt like a good boy and everything will be just fine.”
“Did you ever hear of a hustle called Two Brothers and a Stranger?”
-The Color of Money
The more that the 170 politicians in the 17 countries discuss the size of the firewall, whether Germany will guarantee more money or not, whether the old fund will be used in conjunction with the new fund; the more the scam is in play. It is a hustle organized by a very elegant set of grifters and since Eurostat clearly states that “promises to pay” are not counted on any nation’s financials then why would you think that “promises to pay” have any value in fencing out economic contagion? Spain or Italy will hit the skids based upon solvency issues and whether the interest rate on their debt is 7.00% or 5.50% makes very little difference in determining the outcome. The core issue for these countries is whether they can pay their debts and as their recession worsens and as the payments come due the squeeze is on. The LTRO money is beginning to run dry and unless they do another one and take the debt at the ECB up to $6 Trillion or the EU starts handing out money like candy upon the street corner the debts cannot be paid. The Ponzi bonds may well roll on and the Ponzi scheme may well get bigger but just because the Bernie Madoffs on the Continent tell you that your money is safe; Mark Grant will tell you that it is not.
One Degree of Separation between “Being Right” and “Winning”
We play the Great Game to win. We do not play the Great Game to be right. Get this clearly in your minds because it makes ALL the difference. Here is the embarkation point and the disembarkation point between money managers. Here is the line, the Great Divide, between coming out on top and falling by the wayside. Winning is the thing, it is the only thing and “getting it right” may lead you to be a winner but it is not what is really important; winning is what is important. Consequently when “The Con” is on there are only two realistic choices; do not play or trade around it. For longer term investors you must recognize that the sting is underway and invest your money in other places. For the hedge fund types you can bet against or trade with the momentum but while doing so never, ever forget that “The Con” is in motion.
“Someday, following the example of the United States of America, there will be a United States of Europe.”
-President George Washington
Now here is a great example of what I am trying to explain. This comment from the first President of the United States has turned out to be basically correct. However, if you had betted on it then it would have been some two hundred and change years before you won your bet. Generations would have come and gone and so, being right, is not always the way to play the Great Game. Further, “being right” is always defined by the timeline on which the proposition depends and so Father Time, your best friend and worst enemy, forever intervenes in the outcome of any investment. An LTRO, a Quantitative Easing, the printing of money, always drives up the prices of assets in the short term; this would be as in ALWAYS. Then when the well runs dry again the opium induced swindle is played again and sometimes again and again but then, inevitably, there comes a time, a moment, when for political or economic reasons the presses are shut down and there is no longer any new money. Here, at this specific point, the road switches back, the reversal begins, and the Pied Piper demands payment for the use of the printing presses.
You do not need to go back two hundred years to the wisdom of the Founding Fathers to see what is currently happening. Try just four years ago, 2008, and the presses were rolling, the mortgages were bundled, the ratings agencies gave them a AAA based upon diversification, no documentation was needed for loans and the hustle was in full play. In Europe, in 2012, the presses are rolling, the quality of collateral is now the second lien on Mr. Popandopolous’s gyro Greek diner and the hustle is in play. In America the presses are rolling, Chairman Bernanke is engaging in “twists” and turns and now we find that our own Federal Reserve Bank, according to Bloomberg, has even bought a “small quantity” of European sovereign bonds. Our Fed is even nicer than the ECB; no demands for collateral at all so that not only does the rabbit pop out of the hat but the hat pops out of pure air. Alchemy is alive and well. The Philosopher’s Stone has been found and it is resident at the world’s central banks.
The Game Book
Now yields in the longer end of the curve are beginning to back up. This is your first indication of trouble to come. Then it will be even higher yields, the equity markets will begin to back up, assets will decline in price and your portfolios will be chock full of flung mud. Given the particularities of this crisis, with TIPS at negative yields and the yields on short term bonds just off of Kelvin’s Absolute Zero; the risks are magnified. It is out of bullets and into corporate bonds tied to Inflation, and fixed-to float bonds and anything and everything to adhere to Grant’s Rules 1-10; “Preservation of Capital.” I don’t care if you do not like structured bonds or if you keep intoning the mantra of liquidity because normal old fixed coupon bonds in the space of five years and out are going to have marks to market that will cause a gagging sensation and so the Great Game must be played from a different angle. When the time comes that the LTRO play is over and when the Fed shuts off the spigot then the Hell that will be paid will be lining up at everyone’s doors demanding cash and not accepting anymore IOU’s. Bow to Hamelin and thank the gods of the marketplace that your eye was good enough to see the Pied Piper making the turn and heading down the road.
''The music stopped, and I stood still,
And found myself outside the Hill,
Left alone against my will,
To go now limping as before”
-Robert Browning, The Pied Piper of Hamelin