In a late rally US stocks climbed to end the day in positive territory. The SPX closed up 0.81% to be back in positive territory year on year. Whilst the markets expected a unified vote by the German government to be duly ratified disappointing consumer confidence figures weighed heavily in mid afternoon trade. Consumer confidence in the USA slumped last week to the second-lowest level on record as Americans grew more concerned with their financial situation and the buying climate worsened. The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index dropped to minus 53 in the period ended Sept. 25 from minus 52.1 the prior week.

The full outcome of the latest troika meeting is still to be revealed. Presumably the markets have, in similar fashion to the German bailout vote, already priced in a positive outcome. The depth of the rabbit hole has been potentially exposed by the head of Europe’s markets regulator who is warning banks to be consistent in their valuations of sovereign debt amid concern some lenders have failed to record sufficient losses on Greek bonds. Quite where they’ll move the hidden losses to remains to be seen. Steven Maijoor, chairman of the European Securities and Markets Authority, likened the lack of transparency about banks’ individual holdings of government debt to the subprime mortgages that triggered the credit crisis.

Lack of transparency regarding exposures to subprime mortgages created a situation of uncertainty about the financial positions of banks, a lack of transparency from banks on their exposures to sovereign debt and related instruments are generating new suspicions about the conditions of individual banks and this requires similar answers in terms of transparency. We are currently looking at how banks are applying International Financial Reporting Standards for the valuation of sovereign debt, It is very important for ESMA that financial institutions apply IFRS correctly, and are consistent in their valuations of sovereign debt exposures.

The International Accounting Standards Board have accused banks of failing to write down the value of their Greek government debt to reflect market prices; the mark to model as opposed to market phenomena is alive and well. Lenders’ impairments on Greek government ranges from 6 percent to as much as 51 percent in the second quarter, according to analysts at Citigroup Inc.

Bigger challenges loom for the euro zone now. Financial markets are already anticipating a likely Greek default and demanding more far-reaching measures to prevent the crisis that began in Athens from spreading far beyond Europe and its banks.

Source: FX Central Clearing Ltd. (FXCC – BLOG)