European Union

Frontrunning: May 3

  • Global stocks slide as yen, euro gains question policy potency (Reuters)
  • U.S. Index Futures Signal Stock Losses as AIG Drops on Earnings (BBG)
  • EU Sees Weaker Growth in Eurozone and Wider EU as China Slowdown Weighs (WSJ)
  • Euro Set for Longest Run of Gains Since 2013 as Fed Focus Fades (BBG)
  • German Bonds Advance as EU Cuts Euro-Area Inflation Outlook (BBG)

"Unexpected" Australian Rate Cut To Record Low Unleashes FX Havoc, Global "Risk Off"

Overnight Australia finally admitted it has succumbed to the global economic weakness plaguing the rest of the world when in a "surprise" move, Australia’s central bank cut its benchmark interest rate for the first time in a year to a record low and left the door open for further easing to counter a wave of disinflation that’s swept over the developed world. The move sent the local currency tumbling and local stocks climbing. Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Glenn Stevens and his board lowered the cash rate by 25 basis points to 1.75 percent Tuesday, a move predicted by just 12 of 27 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. The announcement has, not surprisingly unleashed havoc across FX markets and broadly pushed global mood into its latest "risk off" phase.

"If..."

If the world’s economies were really out of intensive care, why would ultra-radical monetary policies like helicopter money be increasingly debated at the highest level of governments? Also, how come 70% of Americans believe the US economy is on the wrong course? And why do almost half of US citizens admit they couldn’t come up with $400 to meet an unexpected need? Yes, I know why ask why? And it is what is, and a bunch of other clichés. But this isn’t normal, it isn’t healthy, and - at least in the opinion of this author—it isn’t going to end well.

Europe's Migration Crisis: No End In Sight

According to France's Defense Minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, 800,000 migrants are currently in Libyan territory waiting to cross the Mediterranean. The multitude of very costly social problems that Muslim migration into Europe has caused thus far, do not exist in this whitewashed European Union report, where the "research" indicates that migrants are always a boon. Similarly, any mention of the very real security costs necessitated by the Islamization occurring in Europe, and the need for monitoring of potential jihadists, simply goes unmentioned. Several European states have a less optimistic picture of the prospect of another three million migrants arriving on Europe's borders than either the Pope or the European Commission do.

Leaked Docs Reveal TTIP Trade Deal In Jeopardy As "Irreconcilable Differences" Emerge

According to leaked negotiating drafts and internal positions, which were obtained by Greenpeace and seen by the Guardian, it seems the stumbling blocks ahead of the TTIP's implementation are indeed substantial, and potentially dealbreaking. As the Guardian reports, talks for a free trade deal between Europe and the US face a serious impasse with "irreconcilable" differences in some areas.  The leaked texts also show that the two sides are at odds "over US demands that would require the EU to break promises it has made on environmental protection."

Gold And Negative Interest Rates

In Japan, the European Union and Switzerland, where negative nominal interest rates have already been adopted, it was observed that demand for safes and cash increased. At the same time, we learn that negative rates have boosted demand for gold in Japan (sales of gold to Japanese consumers rose to 32.8 metric tonnes in 2015 from 17.9 tonnes a year earlier). According to Takahiro Ito, chief manager at Tanaka Kikinzoku Kogyo K.K.’s store in Tokyo’s Ginza shopping district, “Many customers are wagering that it’s better to turn their savings to gold as a safe asset rather than deposit money at banks that offer low interest rates." 

Let's Stop Pretending Nuclear Power Is Commercially Viable

Nuclear power is not commercially viable but has become a state-sponsored technology. There is nothing wrong with state supported technology. But we could save a lot of time and money by not pretending that it is something else.

Global Stocks Plunge After Bank Of Japan "Shock"

Less than one week after the BOJ floated a trial balloon using Bloomberg, that it would reduce the rate it charged some banks which set off the biggest USDJPY rally since October 2014, we are back where we started following last night's "completely unexpected" (for everyone else: we wrote "What If The BOJ Disappoints Tonight: How To Trade It" hours before said "shock") shocking announcement out of the BOJ which did absolutely... nothing. "It’s a total shock,” Nader Naeimi, Sydney- based head of dynamic markets at AMP Capital Investors told Bloomberg. "From currencies to equities to everything -- you can see the reaction in the markets. I can’t believe this. It’s very disappointing."

Greek Default Looms In July After EU Rejects Greek Emergency Summit

Those who thought the situation in Greece was solved after prime minister Alexis Tsipras suddenly caved in to creditors’ demands need think again. Greek tax revenues are running well under expectations. A default looms in July unless the creditors give more money to Greece so that Greece can pay back the creditors. As convoluted as that sounds, that’s precisely the way this madness works. The creditors demand still more austerity but Tsipras said “no”. Instead, Tsipras seeks an emergency meeting, but European Commission president Donald Tusk said “no” to that proposal.

Iran's Supreme Leader Accuses Obama Of Lifting Sanctions Only "On Paper"

Relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia, which supposed had thawed as part of Obama's landmark 2015 nuclear deal which also allowed Iran to resume exporting its oil, are once again on the fence following a statement by Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, which accused the United States of scaring businesses away from Tehran and undermining a deal to lift international sanctions. 

As Fed Meeting Begins Futures Are Flat In Sleepy Session; Apple Earnings On Deck

With the Fed decision just one day away, followed the very next day by the increasingly more irrational BOJ, stocks had no desire to make significant moves and overnight's boring session was the result, as European stocks and U.S. index futures rose modestly but mostly hugged the flatline while Asian declined 0.2% for a third day as raw-material shares declined and Tokyo equities slumped before central bank meetings in the U.S. and Japan this week. China’s stocks rose the most in almost two weeks, up 0.6% but failed to rise above 3000 on the Shanghai Composite, in thin trading.

"Brexit" - What Else Is Wrong With The European Union?

Ever since the inception of the European Economic Community, British politicians across the entire political spectrum have been perceptive enough to realize that Britain will lose its sovereignty and turn into a vassal of the France-Germany axis. Unfortunately, most voters in the British referendum glean their information from the sound bites of politicians on television. This circumstance leaves the public open to manipulation, uninformed, and ignorant of the facts.

Latest Shock From Europe's Refugee Crisis: Austria Right-Wing Party Sweeps First Round Of Presidential Election

The fallout of popular anger emanating from Europe's refugee crisis continued today with a dramatic result from the first round of Austria's presidential election, where initial results showed that the candidate of the Freedom Party, Austria's right-wing, anti-immigrant party has swept his competition, gathering over 35% of the vote and leaving the other five candidates far behind.