The "ECB Taper" Twitter feed is born and SocGen says QE in Europe has a long ways to go with Mario Draghi having fulfilled only 7% of his promise to monetize the entirety of euro net issuance.
The FOMC surprised the market on March 18 by lowering "the dots" by about 50 basis points. While Yellen gave a fairly exhaustive explanation for this in her speech on March 27 (and Dudley just managed expectations this morning), SocGen notes that market participants hope for more color from the FOMC minutes today. As for the timing of the rates lift-off, the FOMC minutes are unlikely to offer any new insight.
While we doubt that the ECB will, of its own volition, elect to scale back PSPP out of a highly uncharacteristic respect for sanity and prudence, there are a variety of factors which could lead to a forced taper. Some market participants are already betting that the ECB scales back purchases by the end of the calendar year.
"Saudi leaders have said that if troops do go in, they won't leave until they have degraded the Houthis' ability to fight. The Houthis are apt guerrillas. A fight on the ground could prove bloody and lengthy," CNN notes. Unfortunately, it now appears that this “bloody and lengthy” conflict just got a little closer to becoming reality as Reuters reports that Houthi rebels have gained access to a military base at the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, the 4th largest oil-shipping chokepoint in the world.
As German yields hit fresh record lows (and continue to collapse/flatten dramatically) amid Draghi's monetary excess, the size of ineligible debt surges across Europe. As SocGen notes, before today, there was already a stunning EUR 2.17 trillion of negative yielding debt in Europe (dominated by Germany and France) and today's moves mean that number is growing rapidly as Germany is now negative to a 7.5 year maturity.
"Will The Fed Allow Irrational Exuberance, Season 2?"
Regarding the major problem of the more domestic issue of economic recovery, unless we would agree, which we really shouldn’t, that making a small group of the population richer while the much larger rest is made poorer, is how we define ‘recovery’, we have no recovery. But it is still accepted and proclaimed like a gospel: our economies are in recovery. If you take a step back and watch things from a distance, it’s truly too silly to be true, but endless repetition of the same lines, be they true or not, has them accepted as being cast in stone. It’s like selling detergent. Of course it doesn’t hurt that people very much want to believe a recovery is here. The stories we are bombarded with 24/7 under the quite hilarious misnomer ‘News’ have been prepared, pre-cooked and pre-chewed for our smooth and painless digestion, and as such they contain only tiny little flakes of reality. They are designed to make us feel good, not understand the world around us. And, as Scott Minerd says, the economic future for your entire families will look utterly bleak. Because that recovery they talk about? It’s not for you.
It's a day of ‘master of the universe,’ central bank speeches as both Bank of England governor Mark Carney and Fed chief Janet Yellen preach their ultra loose policies and certain market participants lap up the Gospel according to Mark … and Janet ...
In light of the social and economic devolution of the world, it should hardly come as a surprise that as SocGen attempts to quantify the biggest Black Swans risks (and hopes) of 2015 (yes, a foolish endeavor since nobody can actually envision what a black swan may be, by its very definition an event that was predicted by no one), it notes that "political and financial risks now outnumber real economy risks."
Rich valuations point to the likelihood of low returns across asset classes. [W]e develop a cross-asset approach to risk premia and implement it across the asset classes. The results show that valuations are rich across the board. This indicates markets may become shaky as we get closer to the first Fed rate hike in nine years.
Gold's up 11% against the euro this year, in addition to 12% last year. It has risen versus many major currencies and suffered only modest declines in a few currencies this year. Most central banks are involved in competitive currency devaluations.
What is the chance of the S&P 500 entering a bear market in 2015?
- Fed Likely to Remove ‘Patient’ Barrier for Rate Increase as Soon as June (Hilsenrath) - which year?
- Clinton says used personal email account for convenience (Reuters)
- Euro sinks to 12-year lows as yield gap grows (Reuters)
- Get Ready for Oil Deals: Shale Is Going on Sale (BBG)
- EIA raises 2015 US oil production forecast, cuts 2016 outlook (Reuters)
- How Falling Oil Prices Are Hindering Iraq’s Ability to Fight Islamic State (WSJ)
- China economic data weaker than expected, fuels policy easing bets (Reuters)
- ECB ‘Chasing Own Tail’ as Bond Rates Turn Negative, SocGen Says (BBG)
- Swiss makers quietly gear up with smartwatches of their own (Reuters)