View Full Version : Prepare for riots in euro collapse, Foreign Office warns
11-26-2011, 04:22 PM
British embassies in the eurozone have been told to draw up plans to help British expats through the collapse of the single currency, amid new fears for Italy and Spain.
As the Italian government struggled to borrow and Spain considered seeking an international bail-out, British ministers privately warned that the break-up of the euro, once almost unthinkable, is now increasingly plausible.
Diplomats are preparing to help Britons abroad through a banking collapse and even riots arising from the debt crisis.
The Treasury confirmed earlier this month that contingency planning for a collapse is now under way.
A senior minister has now revealed the extent of the Government’s concern, saying that Britain is now planning on the basis that a euro collapse is now just a matter of time.
“It’s in our interests that they keep playing for time because that gives us more time to prepare,” the minister told the Daily Telegraph.
Recent Foreign and Commonwealth Office instructions to embassies and consulates request contingency planning for extreme scenarios including rioting and social unrest.
Greece has seen several outbreaks of civil disorder as its government struggles with its huge debts. British officials think similar scenes cannot be ruled out in other nations if the euro collapses.
Diplomats have also been told to prepare to help tens of thousands of British citizens in eurozone countries with the consequences of a financial collapse that would leave them unable to access bank accounts or even withdraw cash.
Fuelling the fears of financial markets for the euro, reports in Madrid yesterday suggested that the new Popular Party government could seek a bail-out from either the European Union rescue fund or the International Monetary Fund.
There are also growing fears for Italy, whose new government was forced to pay record interest rates on new bonds issued yesterday.
The yield on new six-month loans was 6.5 per cent, nearly double last month’s rate. And the yield on outstanding two-year loans was 7.8 per cent, well above the level considered unsustainable.
Italy’s new government will have to sell more than EURO 30 billion of new bonds by the end of January to refinance its debts. Analysts say there is no guarantee that investors will buy all of those bonds, which could force Italy to default.
The Italian government yesterday said that in talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Prime Minister Mario Monti had agreed that an Italian collapse “would inevitably be the end of the euro.”
The EU treaties that created the euro and set its membership rules contain no provision for members to leave, meaning any break-up would be disorderly and potentially chaotic.
If eurozone governments defaulted on their debts, the European banks that hold many of their bonds would risk collapse.
Some analysts say the shock waves of such an event would risk the collapse of the entire financial system, leaving banks unable to return money to retail depositors and destroying companies dependent on bank credit.
The Financial Services Authority this week issued a public warning to British banks to bolster their contingency plans for the break-up of the single currency.
Some economists believe that at worst, the outright collapse of the euro could reduce GDP in its member-states by up to half and trigger mass unemployment.
Analysts at UBS, an investment bank earlier this year warned that the most extreme consequences of a break-up include risks to basic property rights and the threat of civil disorder.
“When the unemployment consequences are factored in, it is virtually impossible to consider a break-up scenario without some serious social consequences,” UBS said.
11-26-2011, 04:24 PM
We have been doing the same. It is called Northcom.
11-26-2011, 04:27 PM
Thanks for the heads up. I'll get another loaf of bread into the pantry
11-26-2011, 05:15 PM
last week no one wanted to prop up the German bond market- and France is more precarious than Germany -
its only a matter of time
11-27-2011, 07:49 AM
Thanks for the heads up. I'll get another loaf of bread into the pantry
I thought according to you it never could happen and anyone who thought it could was a nutter?
Oh, I forgot. We must pick a day. :)
11-27-2011, 07:52 AM
$707,568,901,000,000: How (And Why) Banks Increased Total Outstanding Derivatives By A Record $107 Trillion In 6 Months
While everyone was focused on the impending European collapse, the latest soon to be refuted rumors of a quick fix from the Welt am Sonntag (http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/11/27/us-eurozone-integration-ecb-idUSTRE7AQ00F20111127)notwithstanding, the Bank of International Settlements reported a number that quietly slipped through the cracks of the broader media. Which is paradoxical because it is the biggest ever reported in the financial world: the number in question is $707,568,901,000,000 and represents the latest total amount of all notional Over The Counter (read unregulated) outstanding derivatives reported by the world's financial institutions to the BIS for its semi-annual OTC derivatives report titled "OTC derivatives market activity in the first half of 2011 (http://www.bis.org/publ/otc_hy1111.pdf)." Indicatively, global GDP is about $63 trillion if one can trust any numbers released by modern governments. Said otherwise, for the six month period ended June 30, 2011, the total number of outstanding derivatives surged past the previous all time high of $673 trillion from June 2008, and is now firmly in 7-handle territory: the synthetic credit bubble has now been blown to a new all time high. Another way of looking at the data is that one of the key contributors to global growth and prosperity in the past 10 years was an increase in total derivatives from just under $100 trillion to $708 trillion in exactly one decade. And soon we have to pay the mean reversion price.
What is probably just as disturbing is that in the first 6 months of 2011, the total outstanding notional of all derivatives rose from $601 trillion at December 31, 2010 to $708 trillion at June 30, 2011. A $107 trillion increase in notional in half a year. Needless to say this is the biggest increase in history. So why did the notional increase by such an incomprehensible amount? Simple: based on some widely accepted (and very much wrong) definitions of gross market value (not to be confused with gross notional), the value of outstanding derivatives actually declined in the first half of the year from $21.3 trillion to $19.5 trillion (a number still 33% greater than US GDP). Which means that in order to satisfy what likely threatened to become a self-feeding margin call as the (previously) $600 trillion derivatives market collapsed on itself, banks had to sell more, more, more derivatives in order to collect recurring and/or upfront premia and to pad their books with GAAP-endorsed delusions of future derivative based cash flows. Because derivatives in addition to a core source of trading desk P&L courtesy of wide bid/ask spreads (there is a reason banks want to keep them OTC and thus off standardization and margin-destroying exchanges) are also terrific annuities for the status quo. Just ask Buffett why he sold a multi-billion index put on the US stock market. The answer is simple - if he ever has to make good on it, it is too late.
Which brings us to the the chart showing total outstanding notional derivatives by 6 month period below. The shaded area is what that the BIS, the bank regulators, and the OCC urgently hope that the general public promptly forgets about and brushes under the carpet.
Try not to laugh. Or cry. Or gloss over, because when it comes to visualizing $708 trillion most really are incapable of doing so.
Total outstanding gross market value by 6 month period:
There is much more than can be said on this topic, and has to be said, because an increase of that magnitude is simply impossible to perceive without alarm bells going off everywhere, especially when one considers the pervasive deleveraging occurring at every sector but the government. All else equal, this move may well explain the massive surge in bank profitability in the first half of the year. It also means that with banks suffering massive losses, and rumors of bank runs and collateral calls, not to mention the aftermath of the MF Global insolvency, the world financial syndicate will have no choice but to increase gross notional even more, even as the market value continues to get ever lower, thus sparking the risk of the mother of all margin calls: a veritable credit fission reaction.
But no matter what: the important thing to remember is that "they are all hedged" - or so they say, a claim we made a completely mockery of a few weeks back (http://www.zerohedge.com/news/how-us-banks-are-lying-about-their-european-exposure-or-how-bilateral-netting-ends-bang-not-whi). So ex-sarcasm, the now parabolic increase in derivatives means that when the bilateral netting chain is once again broken, and it will be (because AIG was not a one off event), there will simply be trillions more in derivatives that no longer generate a booked cash flow stream for the remaining counterparty, until at the very end, the whole inverted credit0money pyramid collapses in on itself.
And for those wondering what the distinction is between notional and
Notional amounts outstanding: Nominal or notional amounts outstanding are defined as the gross nominal or notional value of all deals concluded and not yet settled on the reporting date. For contracts with variable nominal or notional principal amounts, the basis for reporting is the nominal or notional principal amounts at the time of reporting.
Nominal or notional amounts outstanding provide a measure of market size and a reference from which contractual payments are determined in derivatives markets. However, such amounts are generally not those truly at risk. The amounts at risk in derivatives contracts are a function of the price level and/or volatility of the financial reference index used in the determination of contract payments, the duration and liquidity of contracts, and the creditworthiness of counterparties. They are also a function of whether an exchange of notional principal takes place between counterparties. Gross market values provide a more accurate measure of the scale of financial risk transfer taking place in derivatives markets.
Well, no. It is logical that the BIS will advise everyone to ignore the bigger number and focus on the small one: just like everyone was told to ignore gross exposure and focus on net... until Jefferies had to dump all of its gross PIIGS exposure or stare bankruptcy in the face; so no - the correct thing to say is "gross market values provide a more accurate measure of the scale of financial risk transfer" if one assumes there is no counterparty risk. Because one the whole bilateral netting chain is broken, net becomes gross. And gross market value becomes total notional outstanding. And, to quote Hudson, it's game over.
As for the largely irrelevant gross market value, which is only relevant in as much as it will be the catalyst which will precipitate margin calls on the underlying notionals, all $700+ trillion of them:
11-27-2011, 07:52 AM
Gross positive and negative market values: Gross market values are defined as the sums of the absolute values of all open contracts with either positive or negative replacement values evaluated at market prices prevailing on the reporting date. Thus, the gross positive market value of a dealer’s outstanding contracts is the sum of the replacement values of all contracts that are in a current gain position to the reporter at current market prices (and therefore, if they were settled immediately, would represent claims on counterparties). The gross negative market value is the sum of the values of all contracts that have a negative value on the reporting date (ie those that are in a current loss position and therefore, if they were settled immediately, would represent liabilities of the dealer to its counterparties).
The term “gross” indicates that contracts with positive and negative replacement values with the same counterparty are not netted. Nor are the sums of positive and negative contract values within a market risk category such as foreign exchange contracts, interest rate contracts, equities and commodities set off against one another.
As stated above, gross market values supply information about the potential scale of market risk in derivatives transactions. Furthermore, gross market value at current market prices provides a measure of economic significance that is readily comparable across markets and products.
And here again, what they ignore to add is that the measure of economic significance is only relevant in as much as the world's banks don't begin a Lehman-MF Global tango of mutual margin call annihilation. In that case, no. They are not measures of anything except for what some banks plug into some models to spit out a favorable EPS treatment at the end of the quarter.
Expect to see gross market value declines persisting even as the now parabolic increase in total notional persists. At this rate we would not be surprised to see one quadrillion in OTC derivatives by the middle of next year.
And, once again for those confused, the fact that notional had to increase so epically as market value tumbled most likely means that the global derivative pyramid scheme (no pun intended) is almost over.
Source: OTC derivatives market activity in the first half of 2011 (http://www.bis.org/publ/otc_hy1111.pdf) and Semiannual OTC derivatives statistics at end-June 2011 (http://www.bis.org/statistics/derstats.htm)
11-27-2011, 07:53 AM
And here I was worrying about Nuclear Weapons. :)
11-28-2011, 07:48 AM
Italy is Closer to Collapse Than Anyone Realized, And So is the World
Some stories in European press (La Stampa - Zero Hedge (http://www.businessinsider.com/blackboard/zero-hedge) link (http://www.zerohedge.com/news/uncle-sam-rescue-after-all-latest-rumor-sees-%E2%82%AC600-billion-bailout-italy-us-pardon-imf)) suggest that Italy is working on a very big loan package from the IMF. I have no doubt that there are ongoing discussions. There has to be. Either someone puts a finger in the dike or Italy goes tapioca.
That thought is difficult for me to fathom. How could we be so close to the brink? At this point there is zero possibility that Italy can refinance any portion of its $300b of 2012 maturing debt. If there is anyone at the table who still still thinks that Italy can pull off a miracle, they are wrong. Iím certain that the finance guys at the ECB and Italian CB understand this. I repeat, there is a zero chance for a market solution for Italy. Either the ECB (aka Germany) steps in and underwrites the debt with some form of Euro bonds or the IMF (aka the USA) steps in with some very serious money.
I have acknowledged in recent articles that I misread the Italian story. I didn't see this coming at the pace that it has. Italian bond yields more than doubled in a month. I was not alone in this very big misread. I believe it has caught everyone flatfooted. Central bankers and finance officials all over the globe are crapping in their pants.
I think the Italian story is make or break. Either this gets fixed or Italy defaults in less than six months. The default option is not really an option that policy makers would consider. If Italy canít make it, then there will be a very big crashing sound. It would end up taking out most of the global lenders, a fair number of countries would follow into Italyís vortex. In my opinion a default by Italy is certain to bring a global depression; one that would take many years to crawl out of. The policy makers are aware of this too.
So I say something is brewing. And yes, if there is a plan in the works it must involve the IMF. And yes, itís going to be big.
Please do not read this and conclude that some headline is coming that will make us all feel happy again. I think headlines are coming. But those headlines are likely to scare the crap out of the markets once the implications are understood.
In the real world of global finance the reality is that any country that is forced to accept an IMF bailout is also blocked from issuing debt in the public markets. IMF (or other supranational debt) is ALWAYS senior to other indebtedness of the country. Thatís just the way it works. When Italy borrows money from the IMF it automatically subordinates the existing creditors. Lenders hate this. They will vote with their feet and take a pass at Italian new debt issuance for a long time to come. Once the process starts, it will not end. There will be a snow ball of other creditors. That's exactly what happened in the 80's when Mexico failed; within a year two dozen other countries were forced to their debt knees. (I had a front row seat.)
I donít see a way out of this box. The liquidity crisis in Italy is scaring us to death, the solution will almost certainly kill us. Note:
The news announced last week where the IMF is providing EU countries a new "crisis" lending facility equal to 5Xs their IMF quota is a joke. What has been offered is a drop in the bucket against what is required. The La Stampa story today and this discussion are about something separate and distinct. What would be required is a step without precedent. It would dwarf what the IMF put forward just a few days ago.
Read more: http://brucekrasting.blogspot.com/2011/11/italy-next-week.html#ixzz1f0MQqDC1
11-28-2011, 08:29 AM
Moody's: "The Probability Of Multiple Defaults By Euro Area Countries Is No Longer Negligible"
11-28-2011, 08:32 AM
So if this drifts off to guns and or catboats will it get deleted too? ;):d
11-28-2011, 08:33 AM
I reserve the right. :)
11-28-2011, 08:34 AM
That wife drift was surely going somewhere Paul. Could have made a funny day of it here on the forum but it's back to gang rape I suppose.
11-28-2011, 08:35 AM
Markets pricing in endgame for the euro, warns UBS Markets are “pricing in the endgame” for the euro as the situation moves faster than politicians can act, UBS has warned ahead of a key meeting between eurozone leaders and US President Barack Obama.
11-28-2011, 08:36 AM
keeping ones head in ones rectum is preferable to reality for some I suppose :)
11-28-2011, 08:40 AM
At least when the time comes you can smell them coming. :)
11-28-2011, 08:57 AM
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