A probe into October’s sterling "flash crash" has focused on the Japanese trading operations of Citigroup, which fired off repeated sell orders that exacerbated the pound’s fall. One of the US bank’s traders "panicked" and placed multiple sell orders when the currency slumped in unusually fragile market conditions.
"Has monetary policy robbed savers to pay borrowers? Has the MPC been Robin Hood in reverse? In a word, no." said BOE governor Mark Carney, which was surprising because in a study earlier this year, the BIS found that monetary policy has done precisely that.
As all experience from the past clearly demonstrates, it is a mistake to believe that the gold price is set solely by dollar interest rates, or its relative strength in other currencies. This being the case, the current weakness of the gold price is simply a reflection of temporary dollar shortages, and nothing more.
While the term 'stress test' has been applied almost mockingly to European and US banks in an effort to create confidence for investors (because if the government sees risks 'contained' then why worry), this morning's Bank of England stress test results highlighted "capital inadequacies" for three major UK banks. While Barclays and Standard Chartered fell short, it is taxpayer-owned Royal Bank of Scotland that is slumping on a need to cut costs, raise capital, and sell assets.
European, Asian stocks rise as do S&P futures as OPEC ministers gathering in Vienna appeared to be set to announce a deal to cut oil production and prop up global prices. Oil has surged over 7% as a result, also pushing US TSY yields and the dollar higher.