Seeking Alpha

FocalPoint Analytics

View as an RSS Feed
View FocalPoint Analytics' Comments BY TICKER:
Latest  |  Highest rated
  • Stability Of The European Union (23) January 1, 2015. [View instapost]
    January 26, 2015

    Tsipras’ Anti-austerity Coalition Government In the Making After Election.
    From: Greek Reporter, by Anastasios Papapostolou

    SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras is expected to become the new Prime Minister of Greece spearheading a new coalition government of SYRIZA and Independent Greeks (ANEL).

    The SYRIZA leader, along with Independent Greeks leader Panos Kammenos, campaigned on anti-austerity promises and reversing Troika measures that the Samaras government had undertaken to satisfy European and international lenders.

    Immediately after first election results were announced on Sunday, Kammenos called Tsipras to congratulate him for his party’s win as well as express support for an anti-austerity coalition government that will try to renegotiate Greece’s debt.

    SYRIZA is now the primary political power in Greece electing 149 MPs of the total 300. The coalition with ANEL will add 17 Independent Greeks MPs. This means Tsipras will form a new government that will most likely be officially announced on Wednesday.

    My guess is they will receive additional support from other parties as well. A lot of government positions are going to be in-play on this one.
    Jan 26, 2015. 03:33 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Stability Of The European Union (23) January 1, 2015. [View instapost]
    SYRIZA heads for historic victory but might not have a majority

    SYRIZA was on the verge of a historic election victory on Sunday night but one that might not hand the leftist party an outright parliamentary majority, raising doubts about whether a government can be formed in the next few days.

    In the run-up to the elections the conservative party (New Democracy) played what one Greek newspaper called: its somewhat exhausted trump card, that of attempting to provoke a wave of panic among the voters without offering any realistic proposal for the amelioration of a situation that has plunged the country into five years of recession.

    With 89.8 % of the votes counted at around midnight, SYRIZA held 36.3 % and New Democracy (Last Government) 27.9 %. This would give SYRIZA 150 seats in Parliament, one short of a majority.

    The euro fell in early trading as traders reacted to exit polls showing a convincing lead for Syriza, with the currency nearing the 11-year low against the US dollar it hit last week.

    The result means there will be watchful eyes on the currency when markets in Europe open tomorrow morning. Watch for any continuation of the bank runs as well.

    Syriza’s victory (Mr. Tsipras) is a dramatic milestone for Europe at a time when continuing economic weakness has stirred an angry, populist backlash from France to Spain to Italy, as more voters grow fed up with policies that demand sacrifice to address the discipline of financial markets without delivering more jobs and prosperity. Syriza is poised to become the first anti-austerity party to take power in a eurozone country, and would shatter the two-party political establishment that has dominated Greece for four decades.

    Mr. Tsipras's biggest promise — and the one that has stirred deep anxiety in Brussels and Berlin as well as on financial markets — has been his pledge to force Greece’s creditors, led by Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, to renegotiate the terms of the country’s 240 billion euro financial bailout.

    Squeezed by belt-tightening policies intended to stabilize the government’s finances, Greece has endured an economic crisis, as economic output has shrunk by 25 percent and unemployment still hovers at roughly 26 percent.

    The Syriza victory will lift the hopes of euroskeptic parties elsewhere in Europe, especially in Spain, where the left-leaning, anti-austerity Podemos party, not yet a year old, is already drawing 20 percent support in national opinion polls. The leader of Podemos, Pablo Iglesias, joined Mr. Tsipras last week during Syriza’s final campaign rally. Euroskeptic parties gained heavily in last years's European parliament elections, particularly Marine Le Pen's National Front Party, which has campaigned against fiscal austerity in France.

    The EU has a difficult situation here. If the EU relents on debt to Greece, the other PIIGS countries: Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain will be expected to be standing in the same line.
    Jan 25, 2015. 07:36 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Stability Of The European Union (23) January 1, 2015. [View instapost]
    Here we go folks! The Greeks are voting…

    Fasten your seat belts!!
    Jan 25, 2015. 01:28 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • QuickChat #277, January 7, 2015 [View instapost]
    Wonderful set of articles Mark!
    Jan 18, 2015. 12:27 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • QuickChat #277, January 7, 2015 [View instapost]
    Three day weekend! Even better reason to be out of FAZ.
    Jan 16, 2015. 03:34 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • QuickChat #277, January 7, 2015 [View instapost]
    Closed out my FAZ position for a small profit.. I don't like to stay in leveraged plays over the weekend. Will reevaluate on Monday. I believe QE favors banks, so given the expected EU action, getting out of FAZ seems prudent at this point.
    Jan 16, 2015. 03:12 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Stability Of The European Union (23) January 1, 2015. [View instapost]
    January 16, 2015
    On-going Greek Bank Runs and Greek Government Issuance of T-Bills for Immediate Funding Causing Significant Liquidity Problems for Greece's Major Banks Prior to Elections.

    Two major Greek banks have submitted requests to the Bank of Greece for cash via the emergency liquidity assistance (ELA) system on Thursday.

    The move of the two banks came after the pressing liquidity conditions resulting from the increasing outflow of deposits [bank-runs] as well as the acquisition of treasury bills forced onto them by the state. In December 2014, depositors withdrew 3 billion euros from Greek banks. The trend continues through January.

    Another factor that caused the request for ELA was the surprising change in the exchange rate between the euro and the Swiss franc, something that dealt a huge financial blow on 60-70,000 debtors who have taken mortgages and are tied to the Swiss currency. That cost Greek banks 1.5 - 2 billion euros in losses.

    The requests by the two lenders will be discussed by the ECB next Wednesday. Analysts say that the rest of Greece's major banks will also need to request ELA assistance.

    However, the ECB said last week that Greek banks’ access to ECB funding beyond February would depend on Greece completing a final bailout review with the troika and reaching a deal on a follow-up plan with its lenders.
    Jan 16, 2015. 07:18 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • QuickChat #277, January 7, 2015 [View instapost]
    I see that Switzerland abandoned its currency peg to the euro. Don't know the ramifications of that.
    Jan 15, 2015. 05:23 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • QuickChat #277, January 7, 2015 [View instapost]
    Futures going wild at around 2am West coast time... Europe looks to be the source.. but I have not seen any news yet...
    Jan 15, 2015. 05:13 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • QuickChat #277, January 7, 2015 [View instapost]
    Sounds like a lot of us lately… Taken to the wood shed and beaten down hard.
    Jan 14, 2015. 10:34 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • QuickChat #277, January 7, 2015 [View instapost]
    Hi OG, Yes, I was looking for an explanation on how countries pulling out of the Petrodollar would hurt western economies. In other words, I wanted an article that explained the importance of the petrodollar to the US. The article is old, but I think it helped illuminate some of the ramifications.

    There is also more news. Russia has turned off a chunk of the gas going to Europe via the Ukraine. EU gas prices should sharply increase. This should do wonders for EU economies. I am also watching the Greeks and the Russians.
    Jan 14, 2015. 10:08 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • QuickChat #277, January 7, 2015 [View instapost]
    Well done LT :)
    Jan 14, 2015. 03:03 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • QuickChat #277, January 7, 2015 [View instapost]
    And on top of all this, today, Russia apparently pulled out of the Petrodollar.

    Here is a link to an article that talks about what might happen if the Petrodollar is weakened:
    Jan 14, 2015. 03:01 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • QuickChat #277, January 7, 2015 [View instapost]
    Yes, this is the article that said capital expenditures could go to zero… It seems to me that lower CapEx will lead to lower profits for the financial industry… What do you think Mercy, should we be thinking about shorting financials? Something like FAZ?
    Jan 14, 2015. 01:50 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Swine Flu, MERS, Ebola And Medical News Concentrator January 1, 2015 To ?? [View instapost]
    LT, here is a link that contains an update to the original article by Feuerstein
    Update: Since publishing this story, I've heard from some institutional investors who believe drug pricing overall is not at significant risk because hepatitis C is different from other diseases.
    "Hepatitis C is a short-term cure market, so Express Scripts can force patients to take a regimen that is more inconvenient with more side effects because treatment is over in 12 or 24 weeks," commented one institutional investor via email. He adds: "Hepatitis C is also a prevalence market, meaning there are relatively no new cases diagnosed. Companies are looking to just drain the prevalence pool with no future market to protect, which creates incentives to use price to win share before the market disappears. Cancer is different. Even Express Scripts says cancer is the 'third rail' for PBMS because patients who are dying will not tolerate having their doctors' choices interfered with."

    The whole area of formulary coverage needs to be looked at more closely.
    Jan 14, 2015. 11:10 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment