Monetary Policy

Why The G7 May Be Hastening Helicopter Money

Faced with a sharply appreciating yen, and lacking G7 support, Japan may need to take extreme measures. More than three years into Abenomics, and with policymakers running out of options on how to reverse the economy's trend, the Bank of Japan may be forced to intervene with unorthodox and untested policy, such as “helicopter money.”

ECB Leaves Interest Rates Unchanged, Will Start Corporate Bond Purchases On June 8

As expected, at least based on its less informative press release, the ECB remains in "wait and see" mode by keeping all three interest rates unchanged. The ECB also said that on 8 June the Eurosystem will start making purchases under its corporate sector purchase programme (CSPP). It adds that starting on 22 June, it will conduct the first operation in its new series of targeted longer-term refinancing operations, and will share more details in the press conference.

Frontrunning: June 2

  • Global stocks struggle as ECB and OPEC meetings loom (Reuters)
  • Iran Resists Saudi Gesture for Unity as OPEC Fractures Reappear (BBG)
  • Clinton to blast Trump on North Korea, NATO in foreign policy speech (Reuters)
  • Hillary Clinton Shifts to California as Race Tightens There (WSJ)
  • Puerto Rico’s U.S. Rescue Won’t Come Soon Enough to Halt Default (BBG)

Preview Of Today's ECB Announcement

With the ECB announcement due in a few minutes, followed by Draghi's press conference, today's ECB meeting should be a relatively dull affair as they are currently in 'wait and see' mode with regards to previous policy actions. As RanSquawk notes, general consensus among analysts is that the ECB are to keep rates on hold this month and avoid added stimulus.

Global Markets Flat, Coiled Ahead Of Today's Risk Events: OPEC And The ECB

There are just two drivers setting the pace for today's risk mood: the OPEC meeting in Vienna which started a few hours ago, and the ECB's announcement as well as Mario Draghi's press statement due out just one hour from now. Both are expected to not reveal any major surprises, with OPEC almost certainly unable to implement a production freeze while the ECB is expected to remain on hold and provide some more details on its corporate bond buying program, although there is some modest risk of upside surprise in either case.

The Death Of The Virtuous Cycle

Current economic policy is not simply flawed in its logic and application but actually destructive. As should be evident to all by now, these experimental monetary and fiscal policies provide short term economic relief but only serve to exaggerate the problems they claim to solve. The elegant Virtuous Cycle that propelled western economies to prosperity has been quietly dismantled and replaced with an unproductive imitation. This new, Un-Virtuous Cycle euthanizes discipline and prudence in exchange for the immediate gratification of debt-fueled consumption.

World's Largest Asset Manager Downgrades Global Equities To Neutral

With one after another bank issuing downgrade reports on global stocks, including such stalwarts as JPM and, most recently, Goldman, overnight a far more important market entity - the world's largest asset manager - joined the club when BlackRock downgraded U.S. and European stocks to neutral, citing elevated U.S. valuations and the higher probability of a midyear interest-rate increase by the Federal Reserve. 

The Message From The Collapsing Yield Curve

The FOMC is tightening monetary policy because Fed officials believe that the US economy is showing more signs of sustainable growth with inflation rising back near their 2% target. Yet the yield curve is warning that the Fed’s moves could slow the US economy and halt the desired upturn in the inflation rate. Most worrying for the Fed's narrative is the fact that the yield curve spread on a weekly basis has been highly correlated with the y/y growth rates in both the forward revenues and forward earnings of the S&P 500. The recent narrowing of the spread isn’t a good omen for either of them.

Global Stocks, US Futures Slide On Mediocre Manufacturing Data, Yen Surge

Following the latest set of global economic news, most notably a mediocre set of Chinese Official and Caixin PMIs, coupled with a mix of lackluster European manufacturing reports and an abysmal Japanese PMI, European, Asian stocks and U.S. stock index futures have continued yesterday's losses. Oil slips for 4th day, heading for the longest run of declines since April, as OPEC ministers gather in Vienna ahead of a meeting on Thursday to discuss production policy. The biggest winner was the Yen, rising 1%, with the USDJPY tumbling overnight and pushing both the Nikkei 1.6% lower and weighing on US futures.

Will We Never Learn? The Economic Lessons From Venezuela's Current Collapse

Shops are being looted as Venezuela's citizens, who live on top of the world’s largest oil reserves, are literally starving and dying for lack of food and medicine; all while the country’s gold reserves are being sold to finance its debt. With 1.8 million signatures on a petition for a referendum on Nicolas Maduro’s presidency, the country is threatening to become a failed state. So what should the world learn from the country’s descent into misery? In short, Venezuela is the poster child of the perils of rejecting economic fundamentals.

"An Unusual Number Of Known Unknowns" - These Are The Key Event Risks In June

In June there will be "an unusual number of known unknowns from several sources. June 2016 is a month in which the number of event risks is particularly high. In our baseline scenarios we do not see market upsets, but the potential is there: Japanese fiscal policy; meetings of the ECB, Fed and BoJ; new ECB policy implementation; a German Constitutional Court ruling; the UK referendum; elections in Spain; and a decision on the FTT are all thrown into the mix."

Former Morgan Stanley Chief Asia Economist: "Don't Listen To The Ruling Elite, The World Economy Is In Real Trouble"

"Don't listen to the ruling elite," warns former Morgan Stanley Asian Economist, Andy Xie, "the world economy is on the cusp of a prolonged period of stagnation and instability." Xie points out that the ruling elite is blaming it on people seeing things (skeptic and fiction peddlers), and that "their strategy is to change people’s psychology." Unfortunately for them he concludes, "the world is catching fire and that fire will eventually reach their Davos chalets."

Global Stocks Unchanged; US Futures Rise Above 2,100 As Traders Celebrate Memorial Day

With the US closed for Memorial Day and UK markets also offline, overnight volumes have been weaker than normal on little newsflow. The main story remains the stronger USD which not only led to the lowest Yuan fixing since February 2011 but pushed the USDJPY as high as 111.50 overnight before paring gains. Europe’s Stoxx 600 is unchanged on poor volume, after earlier rising above the 200 DMA for the first time in 2016. US equity futures were 0.2%, or 4 points higher, currently resting just above 2,101 with the last trading day of May tomorrow expected to push the cash market over 2,100 as well.

The Global Bear Market In Freedom

Americans will be celebrating Memorial Day this weekend, to honor those who fought and died for the values they have traditionally cherished the most as a nation: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The world has changed dramatically in recent decades. The geopolitical situation is much more complex, with rising powers challenging America's supremacy. The intractable war on terror seems interminable. Old foes appear to spring back to life even more powerful than before. And things at home look dicey in terms of politics and economics. As we reflect upon the ultimate sacrifice that others have made‎, it is an opportune moment to consider a very important question: is the US winning the fight for freedom?

China Sends Yellen Another Warning, Fixes Yuan At Lowest In Over Five years

We had expected sailing would not be smooth for the FX market, when on Friday afternoon, after Yellen's' unexpectedly hawkish comments at Harvard, which sent the USD surging, we predicted a stormy sea for the Monday Yuan fix.  That is precisely what happened when moments ago the PBOC set the official exchange rate of the onshore Yuan lower by nearly 0.5%, from 6.5490 to 6.5794, the lowest fixing in more than 5 years, or February 2011.