European Central Bank
Our political-financial system has gone from the dysfunctional to the failed to the surreal. Speculation, once left to individuals and investors, is now federally sponsored, subsidized and institutionalized. When this sham finally buckles and the next shoe falls and rates do eventually rise, the stock market will tank, liquidity will die, and the broader economy will plunge into a worse Depression than before. We are not there yet because of these coordinated moves and the political force behind them. But we are on a precarious path to that inevitability.
The march of global de-dollarization continues. In the last few days, China has signed direct currency agreements with Canada becoming North America's first offshore RMB hub, which CBC reports analysts suggest "could double maybe even triple the level of Canadian trade between Canada and China," impacting the need for Dollars.But that is not the week's biggest Petrodollar precariousness news, as The Examiner reports, a new chink in the petrodollar system was forged as China signed an agreement with Qatar to begin direct currency swaps between the two nations using the Yuan, and establishing the foundation for new direct trade with the OPEC nation in the very heart of the petrodollar system. As Simon Black warns, "It’s happening... with increasing speed and frequency."
"When the next period [of real market turmoil] appears... there is a very real possibility that the (central banks and major governments) cavalry’s thundering hooves will cause investors to get even more frightened and run away, perhaps having lost confidence in the effectiveness of the central bankers’ toolkit..."
The risks unleashed by central bank funding of massive carry trades, policy-driven devaluations and currency crises have yet to manifest. When they do, we'll rediscover why traders consider the FX market the 800-pound gorilla that stomps on the stock and bond markets without even noticing the squishing sound.
- The $9 Billion Witness: Meet JPMorgan Chase's Worst Nightmare (Matt Taibbi)
- Explains the midterm results: Optimism precedes job data (Reuters)
- EU Dream Ebbs Amid Weak Growth, Putin's Jets, 25 Years After Wall Came Down (BBG)
- SEC Probing Trading Activity at Apple Supplier GT Advanced (WSJ)
- Boehner touts bills to repeal Obamacare, build Keystone (Reuters)
- China Gold Buying Means Price Floor to Standard Chartered (BBG)
- High-Speed Ad Traders Profit by Arbitraging Your Eyeballs (BBG)
- Central Banks Can’t Be ‘Only Game in Town’ Boosting Economies (BBG) - less talking, more getting to work
The Keynesian notions of “potential GDP” and “aggregate demand” have no basis in the real world. They are revealed doctrine. They are the religion of the state’s economic policy apparatus. Its bad enough that this destructive economic religion leads to the farcical forecasting games evident in the EC’s chronic updates and slow-walks of the GDP numbers down. The evil, however, is that the Keynesian apparatchiks will not desist in their destructive money printing and borrowing until they have suffocated free market capitalism entirely, and have monetized so much public debt that the financial system simply implodes.
"Central bank policies are no longer about the general state of an economy, or about jobs numbers, they’re about the threat of specific price levels. Now, I think that unlike the western press, Yellen and Draghi and other central bankers are acutely aware of what Kuroda stated yesterday. But perhaps I give them too much credit."
The ECB will not be able to implement a QE program. Even Ben Bernanke admitted it.
With last night's latest Japanese flash crash firmly forgotten until the next time the trapdoor trade springs open and swallows a whole lot of momentum chasing Virtu vacuum tubes, it is time to look from east to west, Frankfurt to be precise, where in 45 minutes the ECB may or may not say something of importance. As Deutsche Bank comments, "Today is the most important day since.... well the last important day as the ECB hosts its widely anticipated monthly meeting." Whilst not many expect concrete action, the success will be judged on how much Draghi hints at much more future action whilst actually probably doing nothing.
"... the admissions of financial danger by internationalists, the sharp drop in stocks at the beginning of fall, the reversal of the political theater, and the fact that mainstream investors now recognize the illegitimacy of the markets yet continue with the scam anyway, signals the last gasp of the global economy. I expect increasing market instability from this point on, as well as numerous geopolitical distractions which will be blamed for the fiscal chaos. Needless to say, the coming storm is a deliberately engineered one, meant to achieve very specific goals, including a fearful and panicked populace, easy to manipulate as the system goes off the rails for the last time."
The legendary Hungarian-American investor, George Soros, told Handelsblatt that the European Union and euro currency zone could unravel if member countries can't agree on a unified response to Russia's aggression in Ukraine. "Wake up Europe," he chides, adding that Western economic sanctions against Russia, which are limiting the ability of Russian businesses to obtain financing on the global market, are a necessary evil, concluding "Freedom sounds like a free good, but you have to be ready to defend it."
What if we were as skeptical of the reports on the ECB as we are of the Fed ?
Just three months ago, Mario Draghi embarked on his own Quixotic folly by taking certain interest rates into negative territory (convincing himself that he was saving Europe from disaster). On November 1st, the first European bank has passed along these negative interest rates to its retail customers. So if you maintain a balance of more than 500,000 euros at Deutsche Skatbank of Germany, you now have the privilege of paying 0.25% per year... to the bank.
Watch Spain closely in the months ahead. It will be another canary in the coal mine for the entire Western world.
Game changer? It appears there is a mutiny afoot in Europe as Reuters and Bloomberg report that a number (rumored to be between 7 and 10) central bankers are set to challenge ECB head mario Draghi's leadership style and question his decisions on quantitative easing. As Reuters reports, bankers faulted his secretiveness and communication style making it hard for ECB to take bolder steps. Stocks are not happy and peripheral bond risk is cracking higher.