European Central Bank
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.
"Wrong" again. Just two days ago we mentioned how world-renowned wrongness appears to be a pre-requisite for selling investing newsletters as Dennis Gartman unleashed his Nikkei 25,000 prediction on the world. Crucially though, it appears the great Gartman has taken the first step on the path to rejuvenation by 'admitting' his wrongness (though appears to have fallen short of making amends) as he told CNBC this morning, "I went neutral on stocks and I actually turned quite bearish for a couple of days – clearly that was wrong." What is clear - just as was proved by no lesser investing dynamo than Whitney Tilson - investing prowess is inversely proportional to the frequency of appearance on financial media... trade accordingly.
- To salvage his presidency, Obama faces pressure to reboot - but will he? (Reuters)
- Pro-Russian separatist Zakharchenko wins Ukraine rebel vote (Reuters)
- Russia's Recognition of Ukrainian Separatist Election Is 'Incomprehensible,' Germany Says (Moscow Times)
- Man Running World’s Biggest Wealth Fund Tackles China Riddle (BBG)
- Russian Supply Underpins Global Oil Glut (WSJ)
- Argentina accuses Procter & Gamble of tax fraud, says suspends operations (Reuters)
- ECB Skips Fireworks for Day One of New Role as Supervisor (BBG)
- HSBC Hit by $1.7 Billion of Provisions (WSJ)
"Solutions to the world's problems are not produced in a meeting between Bill Gates and George Soros... Renewal has to come from below... Limiting the influence [of the richest] is of the utmost importance... so that today's upper-class, high-finance capitalism can once again revert to being a capitalism of the real economy and the societal center."
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.