Thursday brings the announcements from two of the major rate setters in Europe: the Bank of England and the European Central Bank. First the BOE will announce at 6:00 a.m. CST and consensus says the bank will keep rates steady at 0.50% and the QE program at 375 billion pounds. Though the U.K. economy is soft, Governor Mervyn King will maintain a steady path so to keep his options available in case the global economy begins a new downturn. The present BOE head is retiring July 1 so it would be prudent to let his successor have as many tools to work with in a new regime.
Posts Tagged ‘Real’
Following up last night’s post, Arthur left a note on the blog linking an article from Bloomberg Businessweek, written by Brendan Greeley. The language of the article is crystal clear and provides another example of a Euro policy maker claiming far more insight than the collective wisdom of Mr. Market. “Investors ,he told the Bundestag, are ‘charging interest rates to countries they perceived to be the most vulnerable that [go] beyond levels warranted by economic fundamentals and justified risk premia. This fear is “unfounded. The market is wrong.’”
First of all, NOTES will be on HIATUS for a well deserved rest from the turmoil of global events and the chaotic impact they have had on markets.
DON’T SPEAK TOO SOON
FOR THE WHEEL’S STILL IN SPIN
AND THERE’S NO TELLIN’ WHO
THAT ITS NAMIN’
FOR THE LOSER NOW
WILL BE LATER TO WIN
FOR THE TIMES THEY,
THEY ARE A-CHANGIN’
The markets have greeted Sunday’s purported U.S. budget deal with a great sigh of relief as the S&P futures have opened 1.5% higher. At this moment it is difficult to determine what exactly has been agreed. It seems that Boehner was able to placate the “TEA PARTY” caucus for the moment–enough to get some compromise.
Notes From Underground: The Swiss are yodeling about the strength of the FRANC; Brazil wants the capital markets to get REALJanuary 10, 2011
There were a few stories today about the SWISS complaining about the negative impact the FRANC‘s record strength is having on the economy. Both Bloomberg and the Financial Times ran articles citing Swiss policy makers and SNB officials raising the issue of currency strength and the possible need for intervention to halt the FRANC‘s rise. In an article by Haig Simonian in the FT, he details the high cost of SNB intervention on the CANTONS. Under Swiss law, the central bank disperses a share of its annual gains to the different CANTONS to help them meet their budgets. This year, SNB has a sizable loss of 21 billion FRANCS through November from foreign exchange and an overall loss of 8.5 billion FRANCS because of windfall gains from GOLD and other trading.
Let me state out again as to why the FOREX markets are going to be a difficult investment in 2011. The emerging markets and commodity-based currencies have been the repositories of global capital seeking to take advantage of the Chinese and India growth phenomena without having to actually invest in the countries themselves. If you like China, buy the Australian equity or currency as it provides a proxy on Beijing’s growth policies: A classic case of providing picks and shovels rather than mining yourself.
No major stories this New Year’s weekend. Dilma Rousseff was sworn in as the new president of Brazil and spoke to the need to continue the policies of LULA. She said her influence will be on battling inflation but the markets will watch her cabinet’s actions as she has also voiced concern about the rapid appreciation of the REAL, as the Brazilian currency has appreciated 39 percent during the last two years. The strong REAL has begun to hamper the Brazilian equity markets as it was up a mere 1.25 percent in a year that global commodities were the star performer. Brazilian debt markets are anticipating rates to rise this year so our eyes will be on the Brazilian central bank and watching to see how aggressive it is in stemming inflationary pressures.
Again, the world is given a Christmas “surprise.” Last year, the U.S. Treasury was nationalized Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae on Christmas Eve when no newsrooms were stirring with even a click of the mouse. This year, the Chinese Central Bank took center stage and announced a rate increase of 25 basis points. Now, I am convinced that this rate increase is NEGLIGIBLE to say the least. The world financial news is going to make this rate increase into an effort by the Chinese authorities to combat inflation but that is pure NONSENSE. The benchmark lending rate was raised 25 basis points to 5.81 percent and the benchmark deposit rate increased to 2.75 percent from 2.75 percent. The economic impact won’t even register.
The biggest story making the rounds is the op-ed in Wednesday’s Financial Times by two European heavyweights: Finance Ministers Giulio Tremonti of Italy and Jean-Claude Juncker of Luxembourg. In the FT piece, they argue for the ECB and Ecofin to get behind a push for a EUROBOND that is backed by the entire Eurozone and guaranteed by its coffers. While a good idea in theory, the Germans immediately said NEIN to the idea as they realized that they would be the one holding the bag for the entire project.