In what was a very slow new weekend the most significant story is that Spanish PM Rajoy’s political party held on to power in the PM’s home state of Galicia. This was considered to be an important test for Rajoy for if his support in his traditional support base had turned against him, there would be no chance that the PM would have proceeded down the road of further austerity. Now Señor Rajoy may be emboldened to surrender to the demands of German-imposed CONDITIONALITY so as to receive the proposed bailout from the ESM. This should be short-term bullish for the EURO as it will remove one of the obstacles that was blocking a massive dose of liquidity into the Spanish financial system. The trade-off game of financial support for enacting more austerity should help the markets as near-term fears of a Spanish collapse should be postponed.
Posts Tagged ‘Bank of Canada’
OKAY, so the FOMC minutes were released and all the pundits who never trade were kibbitzing about the THIRD coming of QE. Upon several reviews of the MINUTES, I AM OF A FAR DIFFERENT OPINION. AND, UNLIKE THE PUNDITS OF THE GREAT WASTELAND, MY MONEY TALKS WHILE THEIR BULLSHIT WALKS. Yes, it is indeed frustrating to hear opinions morph into facts. As I reread the FOMC MINUTES I fail to see the certainty of a FED ACTION AT THE NEXT FOMC MEETING AND I OPINE THAT BERNANKE WILL NOT OFFER ANY GREAT INSIGHTS AT THE JACKSON HOLE SYMPOSIUM. AGAIN, ANY FED ACTION WOULD BE A REWARD TO THE CONGRESSIONAL DERELICTS WHO CONTINUALLY FAIL TO DO THEIR DUTY AND CONSTRUCT A RATIONAL FISCAL POLICY.
Today’s SEMIANNUAL MONETARY POLICY REPORT TO THE SENATE: All posturing and no substance. In the usual scene of playing for the folks back home, Chairman Bernanke was lectured to about the need to do his job and feed the system with so much liquidity that “job growth” would have to take place. (Mr. Schumer, to you a copy of the work of Richard Koo and the concept of a balance sheet recession). Some Senators were berating Bernanke for the LIBOR scandal in an effort to show that the U.S. Congress was serious about banking abuses. For the record: When the banking sector is under stress the FED’s only concern is the repair of banking balance sheets and if the profits come from manipulating the setting of a short-term bank rate, the means justifies the ends.
The BOC announced that rates will remain on hold and the Canadians will watch to see what happens in Europe as an important indicator of bank policy. It is unanimous that all central banks are concerned about the economic situation in Europe. Even the Chinese have noted the deterioration in Europe as a reason to be cautious about trying to slow the economy too quickly. However, in a confusing headline, “IMF PREDICTS MODEST GROWTH AS EUROPE STARTS TO EXIT RECESSION,” the Washington Post seems to think the worst is over for Europe. This headline is off base as the body of the article reveals, but such is the crap that drives the markets. IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde is begging for increased funding for a bigger firewall for Europe and then this headline appears. Which is it: Crisis averted or further vigilance and action necessary to calm the European debt markets?
This morning the Bank of Canada (BOC) voted to keep rates steady as 1% as Governor Mark Carney voiced concern over the troubling situation in Europe. The BOC noted that weakness in the EUROPEAN ECONOMY could spread as more austerity is applied to the profligate peripheries. The Canadians are in a difficult situation as the growth in household debt is growing because of continued low rates and this is causing angst with economic policy makers. Finance Minister Flaherty noted that the Canadian government may have to find other ways to halt the increase in household borrowing. I am not a fan of Mr. Flaherty but it is nice to see a government actually thinking ahead of the problem and looking for ways to “LEAN AGAINST THE WIND.”
The new autocratic regime in Italy has agreed to a ramped up AUSTERITY BUDGET in which an extra 30 BILLION EUROS will have to be found and then cut from the public arena. Being that Mario Monti was the Eurocrats’ choice to head the Italian government, it seems that PM MONTI is only concerned about meeting the desires of the powers that insisted on his taking the reins of governance. ITALIAN BOND FUTURES staged a very impressive rally as the BTP (10-year note) dropped 71 basis points to close under 6%. Also, the 2/10 year curve in Italy also steepened to +52 basis points from Friday’s close of +38 points. Spain and the other PERIPHERALS also performed well and the FRENCH/GERMAN 10-year differential closed at a mere 92 basis points. As the BTP futures rallied 500+ points, the EURO actually underperformed and by the close the EURO currency was basically unchanged .
Today the new President of the ECB, Mario Draghi, established himself as a true leader and moved to undo the damage of the über arrogant Jean Claude Trichet. The two rate increases in the last six months by the European bank were an overshoot of mammoth proportions as the peripherals were in the midst of a severe credit crisis and moving toward austerity budgets. Spain, which maybe in the worst condition of all–21.5% unemployment and a deflating housing market–was not in need of a EURIBOR increase as its mortgage rates float in reference to the bank rate. If Trichet did not understand the depths of the credit crisis then he should have never been the ECB president. It was always reported that the ECB decisions were unanimous, but today’s move by Draghi indicates that Mr. Trichet rode roughshod over the bank’s policy making for it was reported that it was a 25 basis point decision by unanimous consent.
The global markets are on tenterhooks waiting for the European leaders to come to some definitive plan of action to secure the European banking sector and provide relief to the problem of sovereign solvency issue of the so-called PIIGS. This problem has plagued the financial landscape since January 2010, when the Chinese SWF failed to buy a Greek 25 billion euro bond offering. When China didn’t fund Greece, the spotlight was directed to the European debt markets and the result has been a steady decay in the value of the sovereign debt of the European peripheries. After previous crisis meetings to stem the debt crisis, the time has come for the EUROCRATS and their political leaders to provide a program that has some genuine credibility.
The unemployment report on Friday was much weaker than expected as zero net jobs were created. More disheartening was that average hourly earnings produced a negative number, which failed to confirm and support the earlier released personal consumption data. The equity markets went into risk-off mode as the economy went into the Labor Day weekend in a very fragile state.
Notes From Underground: Canada Casts Aside the Liberal Party as Ignatieff Rolled the Dice and Crapped OutMay 3, 2011
The election that never should have happened is in the books and the result proved that personal arrogance masquerading as public policy is a poison unless you live in a totalitarian dictatorship. Michael Ignatieff pursued a no-confidence in the hope of achieving his desire to become prime minister of Canada. His roll of the dice has cost the long esteemed LIBERAL PARTY its position in parliament and brought to the fore a more left-oriented NDP.