Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The FOMC minutes were a nonevent -- nothing of note regarding QE, inflation, interest rates or the economy.

Dallas Fed head Fisher calls QE3 a 'fantasy of Wall Street.'

High-end and luxury retailers could be excellent shorts in slowing domestic and European economies.

More Greece headlines on tape:

* "Some of Greece's Euro Zone Creditors Mulling Possible Bailout Curtailment"
* "Bridging Loan Possible to Help Greece Pay March Bond Redemption"
* "New Arrangement Would Delay Full Bailout Until After April Greek Elections"
* "Possible New Greek Plan Hasn't Been Proposed or Detailed, Support Uncertain."

The European leaders can't change the fact the Greece is bankrupt.

I continue to believe that the optimism surrounding Greece is misplaced.

Greece is bankrupt, and almost nothing the European leaders can do will change it.

Today the yield on the two-year Greek note rose to above 200% for the first time in history.

From the Financial Times:

Sounds like European governments are moving to delay any decision until March 2, another two weeks beyond Monday's Eurogroup meeting. A working document distributed last week says the governments will try and force through the PSI debt swap (expected to be announced tomorrow) before committing any more money. Both Lazard and Cleary Gottlieb advised the officials that PSI without Troika pushing through the second bail out would mean take up could suffer (forcing CACs?) and that bond holders would have weeks of uncertainty. As the article ends, "In its legal advice, Cleary Gottleib said it would be legal to scupper the debt swap even after the invitation went out, but it warned against it...Each sovereign restructuring is unique and sets a precedent," says the legal note. "The adverse reputational consequences (for [Greece] as well as the rest of the EU) of launching a transaction that fails as a result of their collective failure to meet the conditions should be assessed very carefully."