Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Europe Update and more

by Calculated Risk on 11/30/2010 04:16:00 PM

On Europe:
• From the WSJ: Fresh Round of 'Stress Tests' Planned for European Banks

The [first stress] tests were largely discredited by revelations that they lacked rigor, including a Wall Street Journal report in September that the tests understated some banks' holdings of potentially risky sovereign bonds. ... "There was some variety in terms of rigor and application of [the initial] tests," European Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn said in Brussels.
Oh yeah. Ireland's banks passed the initial stress tests in July! And we know how that worked out.

• From the Financial Times: Trichet hints at more bond purchases. The Financial Times quotes European Central Bank president Jean-Claude Trichet as saying “pundits are under-estimating the determination of governments” and “I don’t think that financial stability in the eurozone, given what I know, could really be called into question.”

• From Bloomberg: Italy-Germany 10-Year Yield Spread Reaches 200 Points, Widest Since 1997. That is just a sample of the headlines on European bonds. And everyone is trying to figure out how to add "B" to PIIGS.

And on a more positive note ...
• The Chicago PMI for November (released this morning) was stronger than expected. Production (at 62.5) "reached its highest level since February 2005", and new orders (67.2) increased "to a level not seen since 2007. The employment index increased to 56.3 from 54.6 in October. This continues the trend of stronger reports recently. I'll have an employment preview on Thursday, and I'll probably take the over again this month (consensus is 145,000 non-farm payroll jobs).