In continuing the quantum physics scramble of the past 48 hours in the aftermath of the potential Higgs Boson discovery which confirms mass exists (and will soon be blamed for America's obesity epidemic) we ask if three of the world's largest central banks eased and futures turned red, did three of the world's largest central banks actually ease? Because if today is any indication, either all the EURUSD-ES algos are being furiously shut down right now to prevent risk from being dragged far lower, or we have reached peak central planner intervention. In other news, the entire EURUSD ramp since last week's summit is now gone, which incidentally is just what Germany always wanted.
The global central bank market propping continues with the ECB following in the footsteps of the BOE and PBOC, and cutting its benchmark rate by 25 bps to 0.75%, and the deposit rate to 0%. EURUSD slides. In other news, today the BOE, PBOC and now ECB have all eased.... and ES is up a whopping 0.2%. Houston: we have a problem.
- Finland (which with Holland account for 50% of the Eurozone's AAA rated countries), just says "Ei" to stripping ESM subordination (Bloomberg)
- Libor Rate Scandal Set to Spread (WSJ)
- #ByeBarclays flashmob descends on bank (FinExtra)
- What is financial reform in China? (Pettis)
- Cities Consider Seizing Mortgages (WSJ)
- China Beige Book Shows Pickup Unseen in Official Data (BBG)
- China’s New Rules May Curb Credit Growth, CBRC Official Says (BBG)
- India Said to Pay in Euros for Iranian Oil Due to Rupee Hurdles (BBG)
- Wealthy Hit Hardest as France Raises Taxes (FT)
- Euro Bank Supervisor Faces Hurdles (WSJ)
Bank Of England Hikes QE By £50 Billion As Expected, As China Cuts Benchmark Rate In Surprising MoveSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 07/05/2012 - 07:06
While everyone was expecting the BOE to return back to QEasing with a £50 Billion increase in its asset purchase program(me), to a total of £375 billion, which is what just happened, the bigger news came 1 second before the BOE announcement, with China declaring it has cut benchmark interest rates as once again the fate of the whole world is in the hands of small groups of academics, promising each other bottles of Bollinger if they can only get the S&P500 over 1,400. In other words, once again small groups of people around the world sat down and conspired (perfectly legally) to manipulate global interest rates. No hearings are scheduled.
So much for the latest European bail out. Not even a full week after the last European dead of night summit, which supposedly "was different this time", and Spanish bond yields have already retraced virtually the entire move lower, and after sliding to as low as 6.1%, are now back to 6.62% as of this morning, 22 bps wider on the day, as a result of the now generic realization that nothing actually changed, and also following the latest abysmal and unsustainable (there's that key word again) auction out of Spain, which sold bonds due 2015, 2016 and 2022, even as its default risk is now wider than that of Ireland.
The plan to fleece the entire country in order to sustain the survival of an obsolete social welfare system is doomed, yet it may be implemented for a few months. But endeavouring to also fleece our German friends is a dangerous and reckless ambition. Why should they accept to contribute to the financing of a 60 year retirement age in France when they have just raised it domestically to 67? Certainly, Germany would have a lot to lose with the implosion of the euro. But it is politically untenable to demand support for social benefits that the Germans have denied for themselves and unrealistic to imagine they can single-handedly carry the burden of a spendthrift Europe.
Confused by all the amusing arguments of a housing "recovery" (because if you believe in it, it just may come true.... maybe) in the sad context of a reality in which the economy is once again turning from bad to worse missing expectations left and right (for every report surprising to the upside, two do the opposite), corporate earnings and margins have rolled over, US states and cities and European countries are filing for default or demanding bailouts at an ever faster pace, and only headlines such as "stocks rise on hopes of more central bank easing" appear in the good news columns of mainstream media? Don't be: David Rosenberg explains it all.
Whether gold-bug, permabull, or deflationst; BofAML provides a little something for everyone in the most complete picture guide to 'financial markets since 1800'. A collection of almost 100 charts on asset price returns, correlations, volatility, valuations and many other market and macro factors for the US, UK, Europe, Japan, and Emerging Markets.
“History does not repeat itself but it does rhyme.”
The Fed does everything it can to keep LIBOR low. The Fed cannot affect LIBOR directly, but in general LIBOR trades in line with Fed Funds. You can see that historically as Fed Funds was changed, LIBOR responded appropriately. That all started to break down in 2007 and re-ignited in the late summer of 2008 and peaked after Lehman and AIG. The Fed was blatantly clear that it wanted borrowing costs to go down. They had the obvious tool of reducing Fed Funds to virtually zero, but when LIBOR didn't follow, the Fed took further action. The Fed has done a lot and trying to control LIBOR as a key borrowing rate is one of the things they have worked on, both directly and indirectly.
"Our forefathers shed blood rather than render unto King George. Yet today we madly mortgage our nation’s future to foreign powers, piling debt upon debt without limit or thought as to how it will be repaid. These debts ensnare our children and grandchildren even as we stop having them, confident in the knowledge that the government will take care of us in our old age, so why bother with the trouble and expense? If we were still a nation capable of shame with enough intellectual integrity to call things as they are, if we hadn’t debauched our language as badly as our currency, if we had the courage to look in the mirror and see how woefully we have squandered our Founders’ legacy, this Fourth of July would be a day not of celebration but of atonement. Give some thought to what we have lost as we mark another In Dependence Day. May providence have mercy on our nation, lest we end up getting what we deserve."
With Spanish bond spreads over 30bps wider from their open this morning, EURUSD has just broken its 200-hour moving average trading back close to 1.2500 for the first time since the summit. While this is an 75% retracement of the EUphoria, broad equity markets are only modestly off their highs (we assume on rate cut hopes - which is likely helping driven EUR down a little) - and yet corporate and financial credit spreads are at two-day lows. Hope fades even in equity markets where once we dig into the individual indices that most are down modestly (though Spain and Italy are down around 1%). We also note that Bunds have outperformed Treasuries by 20bps from the initial risk-transfer spike on Friday morning - though TSYs are closed today as Bund yields dropped 10bps from open to close today. On a side-note, Spanish 5Y CDS briefly traded wider than Ireland 5Y CDS today for the first time in two years.
The idea that short-duration bond funds are a good bet due to “the FED’s complete control with regards to suppressing and maintaining short-term interest rates” is completely wrong on every level; they’ve been a losing investment in real terms for most of the last 5 years, and the Fed is determined to keep it that way. The Fed’s control over nominal interest rates is precisely the reason that I wouldn’t want to invest in treasuries; not only has it consistently made bonds into a real losing proposition, but it also creates a good deal of systemic currency risk. Simply, the Fed will — in the pursuit of low-rates — monetise to the point of endangering the dollar’s already-under-threat reserve currency status. The only things that would turn bonds into a winning proposition — rising interest rates, or deflation — are anathema to the Fed, and explicitly opposed by every dimension of current Fed policy. Of course, creating artificial demand for treasuries to control nominal rates has blowback; if the buyers are not there, the Fed must inflate the currency. Hiding inflation is hard, so it is preferable to a central bank that old money is used; this is why Japan has mandated that financial institutions buy treasuries, and why I fear that if we continue on this trajectory, that the United States and other Western economies may do the same thing.