Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Pounding The Pound

The Queen is probably "not amused" .........

Sterling continued its slide on currency markets on Tuesday, dropping 2.7% on a trade-weighted basis amid uncertainty about the terms of the government insurance for toxic assets held by banks and fears of creeping nationalisation of the sector. Analysts said sterling had been trading with strong correlation with UK bank stocks, which suffered fresh falls. The likelihood that the Bank of England would soon create money to buy assets has intensified speculation that sterling’s value will be progressively eroded. This week, it has fallen 4.5% against the euro, 5.8% against the yen and 6.1% against the dollar, retreating about 34% against the dollar from highs in November 2007

A Tumbling Currency

> The following chart is a little bit outdated but gives a good impression what is going during the past 6 month..... See the FT link to take yesterdays action into account.....

> Der nachfolgende Chart beiinhalted noch nicht die Bewegugen siet Beginn der Woche......Verweise auf den FT Link für die aktuellen Absicherungspreise....

CDS report: Sovereigns rattle markets
The cost of buying five-year credit protection on the UK gapped wider to 133bp on Tuesday, compared to Monday’s close at 124.9bp. Ireland was out at 281bp from 275.2bp yesterday, Spain was at 156.3bp, compared to 142.5bp, Austria climbed to 157.5bp from 146bp and Germany edged wider to 55.8bp from 55bp on Monday, according to CMA.

The UK has nothing left to sell, official

To quote Jim Rogers (he who broke the Bank of England with George Soros on Black Wednesday in 1992): “It’s simple, the UK has nothing to sell.”

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard is SERIOUSLY ALARMED

For the first time since this crisis began eighteen months ago, I am seriously worried that British government is losing control.

If the Government is forced to nationalise RBS and perhaps Barclays with their vast exposure in dollars, euros, and yen, it risks being submerged. It is one thing for a sovereign state to let its national debt jump in a crisis — or a war — perhaps even to 100pc of GDP. It is another to take on foreign debts on such a scale with no reserves. Yes, the banks have foreign assets as well to match the debts. But how much are these assets really worth?

We cannot even do what Iceland did to save its skin. Reykjavik refused to honour the foreign debts of its buccaneering banks. It let them default, parking the losses in Resolution Committees. Small islands can do that. Iceland has fish instead, and lots of metals

England has not defaulted since the Middle Ages. There is a real risk it may do so now.

RBS et mon droit: HM deficits
Did you know that by assets, RBS is the world’s largest company?

Naturally, the UK government is rather keen RBS does not fail. And indeed, it has gone all out. Just about every conceivable measure has now been thrown down to stave off disaster for the UK banking system: recapitalisation, asset guarantees, commercial paper guarantees, liquidity backstops, quantitative and qualitative easing and subversion of Basel II risk weightings.

The hope is that they will work. Clearly RBS’s shareholders don’t believe so. It would seem that they are discounting for the effect of the one policy option remaining: Nationalisation.

Nearly matching RBS’ £1.9 trillion of assets, RBS has £1.8 trillion of liabilities.

To put that into perspective with regard to the (small) risk of nationalisation: inclusive of the Northern Rock nationalisation, the UK public debt, defined by the ONS, is currently only £650bn. Nationalising RBS would increase UK public debt 369 per cent.

A couple of other pieces of info for UK Plc: the world’s third largest organisation by assets is Barclays. And the fourth is HSBC.

UPDATE Bloomberg Barclays Falls Seventh Day on Nationalization Fears

> After looking at the next graph it not surprising that the BOE is now ready to use "unconventional measures"....

> Nachdem man einen Blick auf die nächste Grafik geworfen hat ist es nicht weiter verwunderlich das die BOE demnächst die Notenpresse anschmeissen wird........

Bank of England to Start Quantitative Easing Naked Capitalism

In his first speech of the year, Mr King outlined radical plans for the Bank to buy up an initial £50bn of illiquid assets in the market to increase the flow of credit, with the option of ex-tending the scheme to boost the money supply by effectively creating new money.

> Probably no surprise Gold in Pound is at a historic high & that the the flight to "the real money" around the globe continues .....

> Sicher kein Zufall das ausgerechnet in diesen Zeiten Gold in Pfund gerechnet neue historische Hochs erklimmt & die Flucht in "wahre Werte" weltweit anhält .......

Thanks to Tim from The Mess That Greenspan Made

Just in time to "celebrate" Gordon Brown´s wisdom ( see Gordon Brown's 415 tonnes Gold Sale Blunder, 10 Years On ) & Times

Da paßt es gut das der jetzige Premierminister Gordon Brown vor ziemlich genau 10 Jahren 50% aller britischen Reserven zum absoluten Tief verscherbelt hat ( Times )

Brown offloaded the gold at a 20-year low in the market — now nicknamed the “Brown Bottom” by dealers. The 17 auctions achieved prices for the gold of between $256 and $296 an ounce, with an average of $275.

Couldn´t resist......... Konnte einfach nicht widerstehen.........

> Needless to say that the UK has still a AAA rating...... I wouldn´t be surprised to see "The Sex Pistols" with their "Anarchy In The UK" to get quite popular again..... :-)

> Überflüssig zu erwähnen das UK immer noch ein AAA Rating hat....... Ich persönlich würde mich nicht wundern wenn wir zukünftig die Sex Pistols mit "Anarchy In The UK" demnächst wieder öfter zu hören bekommen...... :-)

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