Tuesday, September 25, 2012

An ugly afternoon

A confluence of factors came together this afternoon to give the S&P 500 it's worse day in three months:

(click on chart for larger image)
Many reasons were given for the sell off that gained momentum into the close, from technical reasons to the violent demonstrations in Madrid that CNBC flashed on TV screens intermittently throughout the afternoon.

I've stated in past commentaries that Draghi and the ECB took the "tail risk" out of the market when they announced their bond buying scheme a few weeks ago.  However, Spain has not yet requested the aid and the demonstrations today are the big reason why.  Any request for assistance from the ESM and the ECB will require Spain to comply with more austerity measures.  But it's apparent that the populace is revolting against the present measures that have been implemented. 

One issue that has gotten very little press but in my mind is a very big deal is that fact that the region of Catalonia has been threatening to secede from the Spanish republic.  It's gotten to the point that the Spanish military has warned Catalonian officials who do not guard the sovereignty and constitution of Spain. Specifically, Spain is prepared to bring charges of treason in a military court against any and all separatists.

I'll be addressing this subject in my commentary next weekend but a revolt by this highly indebted region would cause serious reverberations throughout the global financial system because Catalonia would most certainly default on it's 42 billion euro debt.