Monetary Policy

Weekend Reading: Back Where We Started

"Acknowledge the complexity of the world and resist the impression that you easily understand it. It’s a basic fact of life that many things ‘everybody knows’ turn out to be wrong."

Will The ECB Buy Stocks?

With The SNB and BOJ already neck deep in their equity-buying experimentation, and even Janet Yellen hinting at it for The Fed, the most pressing question on most liquidity-hunting central-planer-watchers is - when will Draghi start buying stocks? The short answer, from ABN AMRO, is ECB equity purchases are unlikely in the near term.. and even so, The ECB would be increasing the risk on its balance sheet for uncertain, and at best modest gains in economic growth and inflation.

The Central Bank Power Shift From West To East, Game Of Thrones Style

The Fed clings to status quo. Other central banks are vying to knock it down, or at least loosen its grip on them. But the Fed behaves as if it has no idea there are other powerful central banks that want to grab and harness its power. It carries on refusing to acknowledge that there may come a time, sooner rather than later, where its power is attacked. The ramifications of such an attack will impact the standing of the U.S. in the world.  The Fed can carry on being oblivious, but Game of Thrones illustrates the struggles playing out right now.

Frontrunning: September 29

  • Stocks Jump as OPEC Splits Markets; Indian Assets Drop on Attack (BBG)
  • In U-Turn, Saudis Choose Higher Prices Over Free Oil Markets (BBG)
  • Congress Passes Spending Bill to Keep Government Running (WSJ)
  • Wells Fargo chief Stumpf heads to Hill with pressure mounting (Reuters)
  • Lawmakers Won’t Let Wells Fargo Forget Its Scandal Anytime Soon (BBG)

Crude Declines As OPEC Deal Doubts Emerge; Futures Roll Over

After oil soared over 5% yesterday, its biggest jump since April, overnight skepticism and doubts have emerged about the viability and compliance with the deal, coupled with a boost in production by non-OPEC producers, and as a result WTI has dipped back under $47, down 0.5%, suggesting that the OPEC surge may be short-lived, and modestly pressuring US equity futures.

No Need For Yield Curve Inversion (There Is Already Much Worse Indicated)

The bond market selloff of the past month or so, which has apparently fizzled just as Alan Greenspan was assuring the world it was only getting started (once more preserving for posterity how little he knows about bonds, interest rates, and money, as if knowing anything about any of those would be useful to a central banker). There is no bond market riddle. As each curve gets squashed by righteous pessimism, they together indicate nothing good about the near-term future.

The Banquet Of Consequences Is Being Served (By The Central Banking Cartel)

Last week, the Federal Reserve decided to keep US interest rates unchanged, marking its 96th month of life at the zero bound. Apparently, for all of its "data dependence", the Fed feels the economy could still benefit from *just* a little more of its ZIRP happy juice. But as anyone with a little common sense will tell you, More is not always better. It's quite possible to have too much of a good thing. And in its pursuit to kick the can for a little longer, the Fed has crossed a dangerous line.