European Central Bank
From a market perspective the move today was almost perfectly timed coming on the heels of a Federal Open Market Committee meeting which ended quantitative easing and expose the big difference on future monetary paths between the BoJ and the Fed. There is, however, a dark side to this big move.. telling a story of how central banks, even the desperate ones like BoJ, are and remain one-trick-pony institutions: "this is the final round – Japan was ALWAYS going to give it one more shot – now it happened."
As Deutsche Bank observes, the Fed has been wanting to hike rates on a rolling 6-12 month horizon from each recent meeting but never imminently which always makes the actual decision subject to events some time ahead. They have seen a shock in the last few weeks and a downgrade to global growth prospects so will for now likely err on the side of being more dovish than in the last couple of meetings. They probably won't want to notably reverse the recent market repricing of the Fed Funds contract for now even if they disagree with it. However any future improvements in the global picture will likely lead them to step-up the rate rising rhetoric again and for us this will again lead to issues for financial markets addicted to liquidity. And so the loop will go on for some time yet and will likely trap the Fed into being more dovish than they would ideally want to be in 2015.
A summary of the key things on traders' minds this morning, as reported by Peter Garnry, head of equity strategy at Saxo Bank
It never gets old... Stocks have spiked - leaving all other asset classes in the dust - as Reuters unleashes their latest rumor:
ECB STIMULUS MAY LACK DESIRED SCALE, QE AN OPTION ACCORDING TO SOURCES: REUTERS
Reuters adds that the ECB plan to buy private sector assets may fall short and pressure is likely to build for bolder action early next year. So to sum up - Reuters first leaks the possibility of Corporate bond QE.... we do the math showing it is idiotic... and now Reuters confirms its source was enitrely wrong; we were right, and ECB has to do what everyone though it would do anyway.
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Europe is fast turning into a freak comedy show. Very fast. Or maybe we should say it’s always been one, and it’s just that the Larry, Curly and Moe moves are only now coming out in droves. Or maybe, what do I know, we’re just starting to understand how much talent for farce and slapstick the boys from Brussels have always had. Someone finish off that inane union before it starts to do real serious harm. Because it will.
Overview of the capital markets as if they were not managed by an evil cabal.
Over the last few weeks, the markets have seen wild vacillations as stocks plunged and then surged on a massive short-squeeze in the most beaten up sectors of energy and small-mid capitalization companies. While "Ebola" fears filled mainstream headlines the other driver behind the sell-off, and then marked recovery, was a variety of rhetoric surrounding the last vestiges of the current quantitative easing program by the Fed. “You will know that the financial markets have reached peak instability and volatility when Britney Spears rings the opening bell.”
130 banks are being tested. 12-18 will fail. And on top of that, almost a third of 130, that’s over 40, will pass while still getting their feet wet. That means anywhere between 40% and 44% of Eurozone banks either fail or are in bad shape. If 40% of your banks are either dead in the water or barely floating, I’d say you have a major problem. We all know our world, be it politics or economics, consists almost exclusively of spin these days, but in the face of these numbers we very much wonder how many people will be willing to bet their own money that Europe can get away with another round of moonsmoke and roses come Monday.
Who are they trying to fool? (again)
The seemingly insatiable appetite of the growing Indian middle class for gold is causing the government in India to again consider imposing sanctions on the importing of gold.
Equity Levitation Stumbles After Second ECB Denial Of Corporate Bond Buying, Report Of 11 Stress Test FailuresSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 10/22/2014 06:57 -0400
If the ultimate goal of yesterday's leak was to push the EUR lower (and stocks higher of course), then the reason why today's second rejection did little to rebound the Euro is because once again, just after Europe's open, Spanish Efe newswire reported that 11 banks from 6 European countries had failed the ECB stress test. Specifically, Efe said Erste, along with banks from Italy, Belgium, Cyprus, Portugal and Greece, had failed the ECB review based on preliminary data, but gave no details of the size of the capital holes at the banks.
FT Rejects Reuters Unsourced Trial Balloon About ECB Buying Corporate Bonds, Futures Refuse To PlungeSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 10/21/2014 08:08 -0400
Precisely half an hour ago, we mocked the overnight Reuters trial balloon about ECB corporate bond buying, whose only purpose was to send futures higher, when not only did we question the credibility of the report based on "one person familiar with the work inside the ECB, speaking on condition of anonymity" and said that now "we await Germany to throw up all over what is a clear Reuters trial balloon floated by "one person familiar with the work inside the ECB, speaking on condition of anonymity" to see what the market reaction is to even more stimulus (as if it is unclear)." Well, it wasn't Germany. At least not yet. It was Reuters' competitor in the coverage of ECB rumors and innuendo, the FT, which moments ago blasted this, via Bloomberg:
- ECB SAID NOT TO HAVE PUT CORPORATE BOND BUYING ON AGENDA: FT
So just in case anyone forgot how credible the Reuters rumor mill is when bailing out European risk (think summer of 2011 and 2012), here is a stark reminder.
As commented previously, the reason for today's 30 point rip in emini futures from the lows hit just 4 hours ago, was a test of the ECB emergency BTFD service, today provided courtesy of Reuters which, just after the European close, gave what is ever more incorrectly called the "market" its dose of upward momentum ignition, when it reported that, in addition to the previously announced "private QE" which includes ABS and covered bond purchases, that Goldman's head of the European central bank would also go ahead and monetize corporate bonds, taking a step even further than the Fed, which at least is confined to public securities, and directly influencing private asset prices.
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