March 26, 2011
Back in April 2010, before Waddell and Reed sold a few shares of ES, effectively destroying the market on news that Europe was insolvent, we made the following observation: “The IMF has just announced that it is expanding its New Arrangement to Borrow (NAB) multilateral facility from its existing $50 billion by a whopping $500 billion (SDR333.5 billion), to $550 billion.” Little did we know that our conclusion “something big must be coming” would prove spot on just a month later after Greece, then Ireland, then Portgual, and soon Spain, Italy, Belgium, and pretty much all other European countries would topple like dominoes tethered together by a flawed monetary regime. Well, based on news from Dow Jones we can now safely predict the following: “something bigger must be coming.” As if the IMF’s trillions in open lending facilities (many of which have recently been adjusted to uncapped) were not enough, we now learn that the world lender of last resort (which in theory is the Fed, but apparently Bernanke has been getting a little shy lately so is offsetting his direct lending directives to secondary organizations like the IMF, leaving the Fed with only USD liquidity swaps) is about to activate a “Special Funding Pool” – Dow Jones explains: “The International Monetary Fund is expected to soon activate a special funding pool that will boost the fund’s ability to prevent or resolve economic crises, two people familiar with the situation said Thursday. One of the people said the activation of the funding–which can only be made by a special request from the IMF managing director to the board–was in anticipation of an expected wave of new IMF programs, including the possible expansion of the Greek bailout package.” Wonderful. Global financial cataclysm rinse repeat all over again…
More from Dow Jones:
Activating access to the funding pool could provide assurance to the market of the IMF’s ability to backstop any major funding crisis amid ongoing fears that Europe’s sovereign debt woes will worsen. The IMF board recently approved a boost to the so-called New Arrangements To Borrow, bringing the special pool of funding to around $580 billion, adding several hundred billion dollars to the total amount the fund has to tap. According to the IMF, the pool of supplementary resources are only to be activated when “needed to forestall or cope with a threat to the international monetary system.”
Although no request has been made, markets, analysts and economists say rejection by the Portuguese parliament Wednesday of a belt-tightening budget all but sealed the likelihood Lisbon will request aid from the IMF and the European Union.
Bottom line: there is a new threat to the international monetary system which means Europe May 2010 redux is imminent.
US taxpayers: our condolences.
This article was posted: Saturday, March 26, 2011 at 3:11 am