At least one central bank refuses to drink the Kool Aid: following today's announcement by the ECB which kept its interest rate as expected at 1%, JC Trichet is now making waves in the FX market after announcing, or rather not announcing, that "rates are appropriate" in his opening statement line, a traditional opener to the press conference that follows. Just as notable is that the ECB staff has now hiked the low-end of its inflation expectations for 2011 by about 40%, from a range of 1.3% -2.3% to 2.0%-2.6%, and 2012 from 0.7%-2.3% to 1%-2.4%. Trichet also adds that now very strong vigilance is now warranted and it is paramount to avoid second round effects. Most troubling is Trichet's admission that the latest staff forecasts exclude the impact of the most recent oil jump. And while it is very clear that Trichet is dying to hike rates, the reason he won't is, that's right, Europe's insolvent banks, about which he said that they "should retain earnings, turn to market to strengthened capital bases, and take full advantage of govt. support measures." In other words, it is once again the banks fault that in the inflationary cycle people will be forced to pay more, as the alternative would see the bankruptcy of numerous financial institutions.
The result of all this: a surging euro which is about to pass the psychological barrier of 1.40