US Index futures, together with European and Asian shares surged after the FBI cleared Hillary Clinton one last time of her handling of emails as secretary of state which it repeated wasn’t a crime. Oil, gas rise, together with most industrial metals; the yen and Swiss franc retreated with gold, silver and other flight to safety assets.
In the 1980s, the Fed decided that economists had learned sufficiently from the grave, global mistakes of the Great Inflation such that they would compensate for the evolution of money by controlling just a single interest rate. It was, essentially, an underpants gnome schematic: "1. Target federal funds rate. 2. .... 3. Control Economy."
"And so the ECB is stuck, as it has been since 2012, between an unfavourable equilibrium of low growth, high unemployment and zero reform momentum on the one hand, and growing risks to core country balance sheets on the other. It remains to be seen how it will escape from this dilemma of its own making."
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.
European, Asian stocks fell while S&P futures rebounded as investors assessed a mixed batch of earnings reports while the dollar strengthened to 9 month highs versus most of peers on rising confidence that the Fed will raise rates this year, pushing global bond yields higher.
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.
"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).
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 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.
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.