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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Prophetic Perspectives

Europe Faces €123 Billion In December Coupon Payments

Europe may be fixed for the next week or two (until someone once again figures out that by manipulating the market, the ECB is merely making it easier for peripheral governments to do nothing to fix their unprecedented intra-Eurozone imbalances, as has been the case all along with the only strategy Europe has deployed to date namely kicking the can), but that doesn't mean all event and newsflow ends. Here is what to expect out of the insolvent continent as it attempts to put a very volatile (and violent) 2012 to bed with just one more month. Of particular note: €123 billion in Euro coupon payments in the month of December, which serves as a timely reminder that in 2013 European banks better be ready to buy up the record gross and net issuance of their sovereigns with gusto, or else Europe may promptly become "unfixed" all over again.

From SocGen:

Most of the focus this month will understandably be on the US fiscal cliff. An estimated $661bn of temporary tax cuts and spending changes is set to take effect in early January if Congress does not act. Also, extraordinary measures could temporarily delay the US reaching the $16.3trn debt ceiling from year-end until mid-February/early March. Bridging the political divide between Congressional leaders and the President on both issues is again proving no easy task and should favour USTs relative to Bunds into Q12013, especially with the Greek debt buy-back programme now clearing the way for the disbursement of fresh bailout funds.

Total eurozone bond flows in December are roughly EUR123bn, divided between bonds (EUR52.7bn) and bills (EUR70.96bn). Coupon payments from Italy top the list with an estimated EUR30.185bn in bonds (18.685bn on 13 December and 11.57bn on 31 December), and EUR26.2bn in bills. Payments from Germany total EUR21bn, of which EUR17bn is for redemption of 2y notes on 14 December. If the tightening in periphery spreads over Bunds of recent days is any guide, appetite for risk could force the 10y Bono/Bund spread to test the October low of 371bp and the 10y BTP/Bund spread to break below 300bp for the first time since March.

No change in ECB policy rates is expected on December 6th. SG economics (On our minds today, 30 November) argue that the central bank will leave the initiative firmly with national governments, preferring to keep the (limited) powder dry until absolutely necessary. Three-month Eonia already trades at 0.065%, down 2bp since the ECB last revised its projections in September for 2012/13 real GDP and CPI.

Timeline (subject to change)
Dec 4 – BEL sells 98d, 161d bills
Dec 4 – EFSF sells max EUR1.5bn 91d bills
Dec 5 –SPA sells 2015, 2019, 2022 bonds
Dec 5 – GER sells EUR4bn 2y notes (tap)
Dec 6 - ECB rate meeting, press conference
Dec 6 – FRA sells 2018, 2019, 2027 bonds
Dec 10 – NETH sells 3mth bills
Dec 10 – FRA sells bills
Dec 11 – SPA sells 12mth, 18mth bills
Dec 11 – AUS sells bonds
Dec 11 – GRE sells bills
Dec 11 – BEL sells bills
Dec 12 – Fed FOMC rate decision
Dec 12 – ITA sells 3mth, 12mth bills
Dec 13 – SPA sells bonds
Dec 13/14 – EU Leaders’ summit
Dec 13 – ITA sells 3y bonds
Dec 14 – GERM bond redemption, est EUR17.0bn
Dec 14 – BEL sells bonds
Dec 15 – ITA bond redemption est EUR18.685bn
Dec 16 – Japanese general election
Dec 17 – FRA sells bills
Dec 18 – SPA sells 3mth, 6mth bills
Dec 24 – FRA sells bills
Dec 26 – FRA bond redemption, est EUR5.435bn
Dec 27 – ITA sells 6mth bills
Dec 28 – ITA sells 5y, 10y bonds
Dec 31 – ITA bond redemption, est EUR11.517bn
Jan 1 2013 - US fiscal cliff
Expiry of 2001, 2003 and 2009 tax cuts (est $281bn)
Expiry of payroll tax holiday (est $115bn)
Deadline for addressing tax extenders and business depreciation (est $75bn)
Expansion of Alternative Minimum Tax (est $40bn)
Expiration of extended unemployment benefits ($34bn)
Imposition of patient protection and affordable care act taxes (est $24bn)
Expiration of Medicare ‘doc fix’ (est $14bn)
Jan 2 2013 - US imposition of sequester cuts (est $78bn)

Euro coupon payments are over EUR123bn in December

Zero Hedge

Alliance of six former Soviet republics plans to build an integrated air and missile defense system

MOSCOW, December 4 (RIA Novosti) - The Collective Security Treaty Organization, a Russian-led military alliance of six former Soviet republics, plans to build an integrated air and missile defense system, the chief of the Russian military’s General Staff said on Tuesday.

“The structure of the CSTO troops will be upgraded and an integrated air defense/missile defense system will be built,” Col. Gen. Valery Gerasimov said during a meeting with foreign military attach├ęs in Moscow.

The CSTO's current members are Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

Gerasimov provided no timeframe for the project, only saying that a “CSTO military committee” is to be set up before the end of the year.

Moscow has been irked by US plans to deploy missile defense elements in Europe. NATO and the United States insist that the shield would defend NATO members against missiles from North Korea and Iran and would not be directed at Russia.

Russia proposed a joint missile defense system, an idea that many experts both at home and abroad dismiss as unviable and unrealistic.

Then it demanded “legally binding guarantees” that US/NATO missiles would not be targeted at Russia. Since Moscow’s proposal received a lukewarm response in the West, it has been warning of unspecified low-cost “asymmetric measures” to counter the future Western missile defense system.

Nikolai Makarov, Gerasimov’s predecessor, has famously said Russia does not rule out a preemptive strike against a NATO missile defense system in Europe as a last resort.

Last year, then-President Dmitry Medvedev announced plans to deploy Iskander missiles in Russia’s westernmost Kaliningrad Region to counter the threat posed by the US system.

RIA Novosti

Deadly Typhoon in Philippines as thousands flee

Likud hopeful prays on Temple Mount

Likud politician Moshe Feiglin on Monday violated the unwritten rule that prohibits Jews from practicing religion on the Temple Mount, as he prayed at the holy site.

Feiglin, a political hard-liner, is No. 15 on the Likud list for the upcoming elections and head of the Jewish Leadership faction within the right-wing party, a nationalist group defined by many as extreme.

Footage obtained by Channel 10 showed a group of Jews, including the likely future MK, as they prayed on the Temple Mount.

Feiglin recently wrote his political vision on Facebook, remarking that the mission would be over when “we build the [Jewish] Temple on top of the Temple Mount and fulfill our purpose in the land.”

Though there is no law against Jews praying on the Temple Mount, for years both Israeli officials and the Islamic Wakf — the religious group in charge of managing the site — have told Jews not to carry out religious ceremonies or prayers at the site, for fear of violence and a potential outbreak of riots.

The site is considered the holiest in Judaism as the site of the First and Second Temples. The esplanade is also revered by Muslims as the place where Mohammed ascended to heaven.

The Times of Israel

UN calls on Israel to open nuclear facilities

The UN General Assembly overwhelmingly approved a resolution Monday calling on Israel to quickly open its nuclear program for inspection and backing a high-level conference to ban nuclear weapons from the Middle East which was just canceled.

All the Arab nations and Iran had planned to attend the conference in mid-December in Helsinki, Finland, but the United States announced on Nov. 23 that it wouldn't take place, citing political turmoil in the region and Iran's defiant stance on nonproliferation. Iran and some Arab nations countered that the real reason for the cancellation was Israel's refusal to attend.

The resolution, approved by a vote of 174-6 with 6 abstentions, calls on Israel to join the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty "without further delay" and open its nuclear facilities to inspection by the International Atomic Energy Agency. Those voting "no" were Israel, the US, Canada, Marshall Islands, Micronesia and Palau.

Resolutions adopted by the 193-member General Assembly are not legally binding but they do reflect world opinion and carry moral and political weight.

Israel refuses to confirm or deny it has nuclear bombs though it is widely believed to have a nuclear arsenal. It has refused to join the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, or NPT, along with three nuclear weapon states - India, Pakistan and North Korea.

The Arab proposal to create a weapons-of-mass-destruction-free zone in the Mideast, and to pressure Israel to give up its undeclared arsenal of perhaps 80 nuclear warheads, was endorsed at an NPT conference in 1995 but never acted on. In 2010, the 189 parties to the 1970 treaty called for convening a conference in 2012 on the establishment of a WMD-free zone in the Middle East.

The resolution, which was approved by the assembly's disarmament committee before the conference was cancelled, noted the decision to hold it "with satisfaction."

But Israel has long said there first must be a Mideast peace agreement before the establishment of a Mideast zone free of weapons of mass destruction. The region's Muslim nations argue that Israel's undeclared nuclear arsenal presents the greatest threat to peace in the region.

Just before Monday's vote, Iranian diplomat Khodadad Seifi told the assembly "the truth is that the Israeli regime is the only party which rejected to conditions for a conference." He called for "strong pressure on that regime to participate in the conference without any preconditions."

Israeli diplomat Isi Yanouka said his country has continuously pointed to the danger of nuclear proliferation in the Mideast, singling out Iran and Syria by name.

"All these cases challenge Israel's security and cast a dark shadow at the prospect of embarking on a meaningful regional security process," he said.

"The fact that the sponsors include in this anti-Israeli resolution language referring to the 2012 conference proves above all the ill-intent of the Arab states with regard to this conference," Yanouka said.

Syrian diplomat Abdullah Hallak told the assembly his government was angry that the conference wasn't going to take place because of "the whim of just one party, a party with nuclear warheads."

"We call on the international community to put pressure on Israel to accept the NPT, get rid of its arsenal and delivery systems, in order to allow for peace and stability in our region," he said.

The conference's main sponsors are the US, Russia and Britain. British Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt has said it is being postponed, not cancelled.

While the United States voted against the resolution, it voted in favor of two paragraphs in it that were put to separate votes. Both support universal adherence to the NPT, and call on those countries that aren't parties to ratify it "at the earliest date." The only "no" votes on those paragraphs were Israel and India.


'Iran & Russia next NATO targets after Syria'

Nobody believes them and they are against the will of the people.
Systematically continue doing what is good for them and put the planet in chaos....until we reach the point of needing a new world order.


Following Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ success with his bid for statehood at the United Nations last week, the prime minister of Hamas is seeking to get his organization removed from designated terrorist lists.

An offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas is primarily located in the Gaza Strip and has become markedly more aggressive since Israel pulled out of the area in 2005. A designated terror group by the United States and other international bodies, the organization’s founding documents call for the destruction of Israel.

Now, though, they are turning the tables, and are marketing themselves as the victims.

Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said Sunday to a European delegation that Hamas is a “national liberation movement” seeking only to defend itself against Israeli “aggression,” the Jerusalem Post reports.

“It is no exaggeration to say that the occupation is committing war crimes, given the cruelty and hardship our people faced in these eight days of war,” he added, saying Hamas eventually aims for “a Palestinian state with complete sovereignty, with Jerusalem as its capital, and the return of the refugees to the lands they owned in 1948.”

Though such an outcome would effectively mean the end of the state of Israel, Haniyeh claims he is happy to coexist with Jews, just not those in Israel.

“We have no problem with Jews worldwide, and we don’t oppose Jews because of their Jewish identity,” Channel 10 reportedly quoted him saying. “We have a problem with the occupation that controls our land.”

Israel National News reminds that the move comes days after Hamas indiscriminately fired roughly 1,500 rockets into Israel during an 8-day November conflict.

Not exactly transformed from their violent origins, it should also be noted that Hamas’ military wing publicly executed six “suspected collaborators” with Israel just two weeks ago, dragging at least one of the bodies semi-naked behind a motorcycle. The rest of the murdered were left in the streets, where crowds stomped and spit on them.

The Blaze

Debt Pimps Are Taking Total Control

Tax Hell: 73% rates cripple UK families

CEO Warns ObamaCare Will Be 'Very Costly'

On Monday's CBS This Morning, Cheesecake Factory CEO David Overton spotlighted the looming economic impact of Obamacare's implementation, especially on small enterprises: "For those businesses that don't cover their employees, they'll be in for a very expensive situation." Overton also warned that the cost of the law would be passed on to customers.

Anchor Norah O'Donnell raised the issue of the still-controversial health care law: "One of the things that's going to change, of course, in the new year is ObamaCare, or the Affordable Care Act. How do you implement that at Cheesecake Factory, and how will you pay for health care for all of your employees?"

The restaurant chain executive pointed out that, unlike many businesses, The Cheesecake Factory is "already...paying a great deal in health care. So, we're not sure how much more it will be - or how much less - or what exactly we'll do. So, for us, it won't be as bad as it will be for others, which it will be very costly."

O'Donnell followed up by asking about the possibility increased prices for customers: "When you say it will be very costly, it will be passed on to who - the customers?" Overton confirmed that this would be the case: "Well, I believe most people will have to do that or cheapen their product."

It's surprising that the liberal morning newscast would bring on a critic of ObamaCare. The decision could be explained by anchor Charlie Rose mentioning ex-Al Gore adviser Dr. Atul Gawande's compliment of The Cheesecake Factory in a recent article in The New Yorker.

Rose later rephrased his co-anchor's earlier question: "Are you worried about this - ObamaCare - and how you provide the health care?" The CEO replied by again pointing out the high cost to businesses:

DAVID OVERTON: Not worried yet - and, when I hear the numbers, I might be. But, again, because we spend millions and millions of dollars today on health care, we don't know exactly how much more we'll pay. For those businesses that don't cover their employees, they'll be in for a very expensive situation.
When Papa John's CEO John Schnatter sounded the same warning earlier in 2012, liberals called for a boycott of the pizza chain. Conservatives responded by organizing a National Papa John's Appreciation Day online. It shouldn't be a surprise if left-of-center activists target The Cheesecake Factory next.

Read more: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/matthew-balan/2012/12/03/cbs-cheesecake-factory-ceo-warns-obamacare-will-be-very-costly#ixzz2E5djW3Pn