Over a month ago, I discussed the outcome of the bailouts the European PIIGS started to receive in May of last year. In short, that final outcome would indeed involve a restructuring (read: default) of debt at some point in the very near future. The unsustainable bond yields at that time, prevented any of the peripheral members to go to the market for money. Further, as contagion spread rapidly from one member to another, it was clear to predict they would all fall like dominoes in a chain. All it would take is a spark; no shortage of sparks these days as sustained $100pb oil alone is enough to set the fragile economy into a tailspin and things are spiraling out of control rapidly. Consider:
Greek bonds quite literally exploded today, with the 10yr bond yielding a whopping 14.81% and the 2yr yielding an absolutely astronomical 22.03%! In layman's terms- a default is imminent. But the circus called the EU would not be quite the entertaining show it is without the stupendous theatrics from Finance Minister Papa Papaconstantinou, who obviously drinks too much ouzo before breakfast as his latest
The show is not over. With today's latest explosion in bond yields almost guaranteeing a restructuring (read: default) one can predict a minimum of a 40% haircut on GGB with the possibility of 70% not far away. Contagion will spread to the other PIIGS as well and despite Spain's "successful" bond auction today, the yields will continue to rise as the first four PIIGS have already passed a point of no return on the CDS spreads - the favorite, Greece CDS at 1820, Ireland at 690, Portugal at 650 and Spain at "just" 195. I say "just" because that is much lower than the other PIIGS, for now, but it is rising and closing in on the record set a few months ago. Only a matter of time before Spain CDS is above the magic 200. Needless to say, Spain's latest auction was spun as "successful," but only after the yield was pushed up to 5.47% to attract investors looking for a safer place to park their money compared to the other PIIGS (a fast peek at the markets show it's already rising from that level, so keep an eye on 5.55% level as that is a key technical level). Additionally, Spain needs to pay back $23Billion worth of bonds by the end of the month so they are in essences holding on by a toenail.
Speaking of toenails, as Greece inches closer to a total economic meltdown, so does their government as anarchy has broken out. Since Sunday the 17th of April, chaos has spread dramatically and the Police were forced to surrender two cities after 129 days of struggle with the people. This, coupled with a general strike on May 1st, is definitely bullish for the Greek economy and should be worth a few hundred points today on the DOW. Of course you know by now the DOW could go to 40k and it won't mean a thing (besides record bonuses to bankers), as all that matters is the value of your currency priced in gold and silver - two tangible items which can not be devalued by printing presses. A quick look at silver shows that shiny metal going parabolic. So is gold. So is oil. Great call by the team at Goldman Sachs, again... They wouldn't be Goldman if they weren't correct 150% of the time.
Wonder why gas is already $5.00 in our nation's capitol? Take a look at the value of the Yen, the Pound, the Euro, the US Dollar, the Canadian Dollar priced in gold and silver and that's why. On the current path, and with QE not ending anytime soon, here or in Europe, we can all expect to pay $5/gal gasoline in a few months even with demand dropping. Pure madness.
Which bring us back to Japan. The most important information to come out of Japan today again comes from the guys at ENE News. According to that report, radiation levels at reactor 2 are now thousands of times higher than troubled reactor 4, which means only one thing - the situation has crossed the point of no return. Already levels were too high for
In other news, Apple
Finally, with all of the absurdly odd behavior around the world that is taking place, it seems as if we live in an utterly upside-down world from a 1980's sci-fi movie. One person recently stated "the situation in Japan has proven that when the authorities have no idea how to handle a catastrophic event because they know the world is doomed anyways, they pull a Fukushima. In 2008, we witnessed a financial Fukushima." As the old cliche goes, "Expect the unexpected."