Investment Grade

The End Of Europe As We Know It?

Amid secular stagnation, the Eurozone's old fiscal, monetary and banking challenges are escalating, along with new threats, including the Brexit, demise of Schengen, anti-EU opposition and geopolitical friction. Brussels can no longer avoid hard political decisions for or against an integrated Europe, with or without the euro.

Misplaced Confidence In The ECB - Lessons From John Law's Mississippi Bubble


Everyone in the Eurozone believes that the ECB is all-powerful, because to believe otherwise is unthinkable. This was also true of Banque Royale, until it faltered. It was not a loss of confidence in the bank that was responsible for the collapse, it happened as a result of the difficulties encountered in sustaining the bubble. The lesson is that it need not take a loss of confidence in the ECB to start its destruction.


The New New 'Deal' - "Markets Are Too Important To Be Left To Investors"

In the same way that FDR had an existential political interest in generating inflation and preventing volatility in the US labor market, so does the US Executive branch today (regardless of what party holds the office) have an existential political interest in generating inflation and preventing volatility in the US capital markets. Transforming Wall Street into a political utility was an afterthought for FDR; today the relative importance of the labor markets and capital markets have completely switched positions. Today, the quote would be "markets are too important to be left to investors."

The Narrative 'Fix' Is In - "Bold" Is The New "Buy"

Risk assets are up because "investors reassessed" the ECB announcement. Really? That's what happened? Real world investors stayed up till the wee hours last night and en masse concluded that they had just gotten it completely wrong yesterday? How about this for an alternative explanation: the allocation heads at one or two European mega-insurance firms were informed that they would be supporting risk assets this morning, the Narrative machine got into gear, and real world investors do what they always do, they play the Common Knowledge Game.

How To "Pre-Trade" FOMC Days

The market "pre-trades" The FOMC, with the biggest movers on FOMC days being the Dollar Index, Investment-grade credit, Homebuilders and Real Estate. Some residual momentum also carries over to the following week.

A Whiff Of Panic & The Pretense Of Europe's Monetary Cranks

There once was a time when economists would have been in an uproar upon witnessing the shenanigans of today’s central bankers. Nowadays they are not only acquiescing to them, they are actively demanding more and more intervention. Instead of being the voice of reason warning of the dangers such policies harbor, they have become cheerleaders for them. It is only a very small consolation that they will eventually be discredited. The cost will be extremely high.

The Good, The Bad, And The Petulant Child: Three "Morning After" Reactions To The ECB's All-In Gamble

As can be seen by the violently volatile markets themselves, over the past 24 hours there has been substantial confusion about the implications of the ECB's "all in" gamble, with the initial kneejerk euphoria leading to a rapid selloff and surge in the EUR, followed by an overnight levitation in all risk assets (and gradual EUR fade) as virtually the entire ECB move has now been undone on both sides. Still, much confusion remains as can be seen by the following three reactions by financial pundits... two of whom even work for the same company.

What We Know About Draghi's Coming Corporate Bond Purchases: The Winners And Losers

No doubt, more about the ECB’s plans for credit will be revealed in the weeks ahead. But if ECB buying is material in size (something we questioned though last week), investors could end up “crowded into” what the ECB isn’t buying. And, if a large, price-insensitive buyer in the corporate bond market (The ECB) has indeed just emerged today, we think credit market liquidity may deteriorate even further.

Where Have We Seen This Before: Hungary Central Bank Will Prop Up Economy By Boosting Stock Market

Today the Budapest stock exchange, now majority-owned by the central bank - just a few conflict of interest there - approved a new strategy on Wednesday to boost new listings and attract new investors, helping the government's efforts to buoy the economy. The bourse will aim for five share or corporate bond listings per year and boost stock market capitalisation to about 30 percent of gross domestic product from less than 20 percent today.