European Central Bank

Is ECB 'Omnipotence' "Too Powerful For Any Democracy To Abide"?

The failure of elected politicians to act appropriately has turned central banks into the “only game in town.” And this is turning out to be less a boon to their prestige than a threat to their independence. The ECB, especially, is set to face growing pushback against its independent status, regardless of whether it manages to “save” the EMU. After all, it would have to be quite powerful to succeed – too powerful for any democracy to abide.

Six Things To Consider About Inflation

The near-zero interest rates favor short-term production schedules with minimal capital requirements, resulting in low-risk production lines of cheap goods. That’s why we have “pound- shops” and 99p shops and all the other shabby outlets that now litter every suburban high street - creating the illusion of zero inflation.

European Taxpayers Now On The Hook For Junk Debt As ECB Bond-Buying Debacle Builds

"Picking winners" was never a good idea for policymakers - no matter what the economics textbooks say - and now the 'market' has given the ECB a big headache. Draghi's corporate-bond-buying scheme has backfired as the European Central Bank finds itself holding junk bonds in its so-called 'stimulus' plan after K+S AG was downgraded by S&P (sending its price plunging).

Futures Drop As ECB Confusion Persists, Dollar Rises To Seven Month High; Yuan Plunges

Asian stocks and S&P futures fall modestly and European shares are little changed as traders digested the surprising reticence from yesterday's ECB meeting. The dollar jumped to 7 month highs, pressuring EM currencies and pushing the euro to its weakest level since March and below the Brexit lows, after Mario Draghi shut down talk of tapering, while the Yuan dropped to the lowest since 2010.

Global Stocks, US Futures Modestly Higher As Debate Digested, Draghi Eyed

Global stocks were modestly higher, before the European Central Bank gives its policy update, while investors weigh mixed earnings results. Asian stocks rise, U.S. equity-index futures are little changed.  The euro touched its weakest level since July and stocks in the region fell after their first back-to-back gains in two weeks.

ECB Wants To Curb Bitcoin Use Over Fears It May "Lose Control Over Money Supply"

In a surprising reminder how the European central bank feels about bitcoin and other virtual money, the ECB urged EU lawmakers to tighten proposed new rules on digital currencies such as bitcoin, fearing they might one day weaken its own control over money supply in the euro zone.In other words, first the ECB went after cash; now it is going after all virtual currencies like bitcoin.

US Futures, Global Stocks Mixed After Lackluster Chinese Economic Data; Oil Rises Over $51

US futures were little changed, with European shares lower, and Asian stocks higher as caution returned after last night's Chinese economic data did little to clear up how the world's second largest economy is performing, and provided few positives for investors ahead of the third and final U.S. presidential debate; imminent announcements from both the ECB and the Fed also will keep traders on their toes today.

Ganging Up On Gold

Gold remains the asset Wall Street loves to hate. It is currently under pressure due to the recent increase in rate hike odds and there was definitely a need for stale long positions to be cleared out. When we see the mainstream gang up on gold so quickly though, we tend doubt that the bears will be correct. Of course we have no crystal ball either, but we remain convinced that the monetary experiments of recent years will end quite badly.

Frontrunning: October 17

  • Bonds Selloff Spreads on Inflation Concern; Stocks Fall With Oil (BBG)
  • Trump charges U.S. election results being rigged 'at many polling places'  (Reuters)
  • CNN’s Stelter Blames Firebombing of NC Republican Office on Trump's 'Over Heated' Rhetoric (Newsbusters)
  • Britain, France seek EU condemnation of Russia over Syria (Reuters)
  • Inside the Secret Society of Wall Street's Top In-House Lawyers (BBG)