That’s what the news outlets say …
Emphasis mine (via Telegraph)
Despite the relative calm, Europe’s debt crisis remained the central focus. The euro, which came off fresh four-year lows around $1.21 on Wednesday after a massive €9.5bn intervention by the Swiss central bank, edged lower.
The currency was around $1.2324 by mid morning. It had spiked above $1.24 earler on speculation of a possible intervention from the Federal Reserve, European Central Bank and Bank of England, and talk that Greece may be about to leave the eurozone.
“The day will be a roller coaster, no doubt,” said David Keeble, an analyst at Credit Agricole. “The German short ban has emphasised that Europe is not unified and this is at a juncture when it really, really needs to be.”
Ms Merkel, in a wide-ranging speech on financial regulation, stressed the importance of tightening the fiscal rules governing the euro area, the breech of which has contributed to the current crisis.
“If you have a currency like the euro … then you need stricter rules than other governments that just decide for their own currency,” she said.
“We need to tighten up the Stability and Growth Pact,” she insisted, ahead of a meeting of EU finance ministers and the EU president Herman van Rompuy to discuss the pact Friday in Brussels.
On an global bank levy, she quipped: “This is something that won’t find agreement at our first dinner … but I do not think it would ruin markets if we had international taxation.”
She also called for a European version of the rating agencies which have been accused of exacerbating the crisis.
“I would be in favour of introducing a European rating agency which would act as a competitor to other rating agencies on a level playing field,” she said.
- Greece out of the EMU is already a done deal, not going forward with that would be ruinous for EMU/Euro/Europe/Greece
- The Maastricht Treaty was always watered down since its inception by Germany, France and other finance ministers. EMU has substantial short-comings - visible when the Makeup came off. The same EMU finance ministers who went over the pact, decided what penalties to enact. Conflict of interest again.
- You don’t solve rating-agency-problem with more EU rating agencies and more competition. You don’t solve the legitimate conflict of interest between rating agencies and banks. Period. And in case you think to introduce an EU Commission operated rating agency (aka gov run) - then you have another conflict of interest.
Shouldn’t we be happy being bailed out?
» Welcome to Bailout Nation «
“The big picture is of a world which (a) can’t afford to make more mistakes, and (b) is certain to make more mistakes, thanks in part to the increasingly important role of politics in national economies. The world seems to be converging on a model of “state capitalism”, but no one really knows what that model looks like, and with national and international politics becoming increasingly fractious, tail risks are increasing even as the base-case outlook remains underwhelming.
We seem to be leaving the era of independent central banks behind us, as they are now the only institutions capable of taking on the debt which moved during the most recent crisis from banks to now-overburdened sovereigns. The last major holdout, Jean-Claude Trichet, threw in the towel last weekend, and we’re now in a world where the only real guarantee of central bank independence is a small government debt. (Think Australia, which, alongside Canada, is one of the few relatively bright spots in the non-EM Pimco universe.) El-Erian is not happy about this development.” (via)
Shouldn’t we be happy being bailed out? No? That may be because you weren’t bailout out! Am I right?
Hand up who was not bailed out!
Support for my ‘complexity disaster’ hypothesis.
I recently noted after the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster;
Our world is addicted, dependent on oil. A complex problem. And what are we doing? We make it even more complex.
Here is the support I found (came across) via greenresearch.com in my hypothesis of ‘complexity disaster’ - that by solving a complex problem with complex approaches and not solving the problem itself in its entirety. We don’t get rid of this complex problem plain speaking, delaying the breaking point. We merely make it several orders of magnitude more vulnerable to human error.
Humans are prone to err. Changing only at the precipice of the problem.
“The current news cycle links continuing coverage of the disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, whose cause remains uncertain and whose solution so far elusive, with puzzlement about the cause of a recent 1,000-point plunge in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
It may appear that these two traumas have nothing in common. Indeed, the havoc in the stock market will prove ephemeral, while the devastation of the Gulf oil spill could be with us for a generation or more. But they are linked by the role technology played in each of them.
As the New York Times noted, the oil drilling platform that exploded and sank in the gulf “was described before the accident as one of the most technologically advanced drilling platforms in the world.” Drilling for oil miles below the earth’s crust and a mile below the sea was once inconceivable. But now it’s a proud triumph of technological advancement. In the case of the stock market plunge, suspicions center on the role of computer-driven flash trading, the esoteric and technologically sophisticated mechanism for making profits by deploying more computing power than one’s competitors in the market.
The common thread joining these two stories is the ability of technology to elude the understanding of its creators, and its power to wreak havoc beyond our control.
It was over two years ago that the $7.2 billion dollar loss inflicted on Societe Generale by a rogue trader evoked for me the Exxon Valdez and the principal that technological sophistication brings power that tends to outpace our ability to understand it and leaves us unprepared for the consequences of its misuse.
It would be a good thing if our technophilic society learned humility from these episodes.”
Fed Preparing To Bail Out World Again: WSJ Reports Dollar Swap Lines Likely To Be Reopened By The Fed
Thanks to Leo for pointing out that the WSJ’s Jon Hilsenrath has reported that the Fed is considering reopening swap lines with central banks, likely in conjunction with the rumored rescue package. This is the news that shot the market up in the last 10 minutes of trading as the Fed would never allow the market to close at the days lows, as it was preparing to do. “Apparently New York Fed President Dudley and Vice Chair Don Kohn are in Basel this weekend for an already scheduled meeting with European central bankers. A Sunday announcement seems like a growing possibility.” Lehman weekends are back baby. And with that, we are paging Alan Grayson, who personally had a thing or two to tell the Fed lunatic about bailing out the world ever again without getting prior approval first. (via ZH)
The Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index (VIX), known as the “fear index,” rose on Friday to close at its highest level since April of 2009.
European markets were hammered, with Germany’s DAX closing down 3.27 percent and France’s CAC 40 closing down 2.45 percent.
U.S. stocks fell this week largely because the market was unsatisfied with the response of European governments to their ongoing sovereign debt crisis.
The announcement of the 110 billion euro bailout package for Greece on Sunday, May 2 proved woefully insufficient in calming the market as the euro has sold heavily against the dollar since Monday.
The markets steadily pressured the sovereign bonds of Greece and other heavily indebted European nations and the cost of insuring these bonds against default also rose.
Deteriorating market conditions were exacerbated by the adverse moves of rating agencies and reports of increasingly violent protests in Greece against austerity measures. (via)
Rogoff was right. This time is different.
Fri 7th 2010. Who is with me in my assumption that markets will be down tomorrow. Lets say +300 points? At least.
Senate Rejects Brown-Kaufman Proposal To Break Up Largest Banks
The Senate is officially bribed, paid for and in the pocket of the big banks. Too disgusted to even comment on this. This country deserves all that the “big banks” have in store for it.
A year ago, before anyone aside from a hundred or so people had ever heard the words High Frequency Trading, Flash orders, Predatory algorithms, Sigma X, Sonar, Market topology, Liquidity providers, Supplementary Liquidity Providers, and many variations on these, Zero Hedge embarked upon a path to warn and hopefully prevent a full-blown market meltdown. On April 10, 2009, in a piece titled “The Incredibly Shrinking Market Liquidity, Or The Black Swan Of Black Swans” we cautioned “what happens in a world where the very core of the capital markets system is gradually deleveraging to a point where maintaining a liquid and orderly market becomes impossible: large swings on low volume, massive bid-offer spreads, huge trading costs, inability to clear and numerous failed trades. When the quant deleveraging finally catches up with the market, the consequences will likely be unprecedented, with dramatic dislocations leading the market both higher and lower on record volatility.” Today, after over a year of seemingly ceaseless heckling and jeering by numerous self-proclaimed experts and industry lobbyists, we are vindicated. We enjoy being heckled - we got a lot of it when we started discussing Goldman Sachs in early 2009. Look where that ended. Today, we have reached an apex in our quest to prevent the HFT “Black Monday” juggernaut, as absent the last minute intervention of still unknown powers, the market, for all intents and purposes, broke. Liquidity disappeared. What happened today was no fat finger, it was no panic selling by one major account: it was simply the impact of everyone in the HFT community going from port to starboard on the boat, at precisely the same time. And in doing so, these very actors, who in over a year have been complaining they are unfairly targeted because all they do is “provide liquidity”, did anything but what they claim is their sworn duty. In fact, as Dennis Dick shows (see below) they were aggressive takers of liquidity at the peak of the meltdown, exacerbating the Dow drop as it slid 1000 points intraday. It is time for the SEC to do its job and not only ban flash trading as it said it would almost a year ago, but get rid of all the predatory aspects of high frequency trading, which are pretty much all of them. (via Zero-hedge.com)