Archive for the ‘ECB’ Category

Notes From Underground: ECB, Political Pawn?

July 4, 2019

Warning: There’s a great deal of colorful language in this very important discussion regarding the nomination of Christine Lagarde to the post of European Central Bank president. This is another political move by the EU elite to avoid placing a German at the helm of the ECB. Jens Weidmann may be a tough choice but Lagarde is preposterous, as Jean Claude Trichet might say. If you thought Mario Draghi was a politician and a dove by design, Lagarde will make Draghi look like a HAWK. In my opinion, IMF Director Lagarde has been and remains the ultimate politician. The role she played in the Greek bailout was pure politics and the price paid by the Greek citizenry has been steep. All in an effort to bailout many European financial institutions. Ask Yanis Varafoukis what he thinks of the Lagarde nomination.

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Notes From Underground: Draghi and Trump Are Putting Powell In a Difficult Position

June 18, 2019

On Tuesday asset classes around the world got a sharp boost when ECB President Draghi delivered the ultimate dovish speech from the annual conclave in Sintra, Portugal. The ECB has set up this annual meeting in an effort to mirror the Kansas City Fed gathering in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. What did Draghi discuss? The failure of Euorpean inflation to reach the self-imposed target of 2% set by the central bank.

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Notes From Underground: Just When It Couldn’t Get More Volatile

June 5, 2019

The above reference is from the wonderful cult movie, Putney’s Swope. The CEO of a major advertising firm has a heart attack during a board meeting and the sycophants don’t realize it as they continue peppering him with questions. When he’s unable to respond they ask, “How Many Syllables, Mario?”

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Notes From Underground: Draghi Is Waiting On a Sunny Day

April 10, 2019

President Mario Draghi’s press conference proceeded as expected as the European Central Bank laid out its plans for dealing with a slowing global economy suffering from the slings and arrows of president Trump’s trade war threats against the Chinese and now the Europeans. The ECB plans on keeping its interest rate policy intact through 2019 and probably longer as it confronts the recent headwinds to growth. The media asked several times about the possibility of tiering of rates in an effort to remove the adverse impact from the NEGATIVE DEPOSIT RATE FOR RESERVES PARKED AT THE ECB.

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Notes From Underground: Wednesday, 6:45 CST … Our Day Begins

April 9, 2019

There are so many issues plaguing Europe right now, and surprisingly, Brexit is not the most significant. On Wednesday morning — yes, Wednesday — the ECB announces its rate decision and it is expected that rates will remain unchanged,  with the main refinancing rate at zero. The only possible news will be that the ECB actually engages in a tiered financing. This would mean that some banks would get relief from the -0.40% rate that the ECB charges banks to deposit cash at the central bank. There have been rumors that the ECB was planning on raising interest rates in the hope that boost for some European domestic rates would help lift the equity valuations of some profit-stressed financial institutions.

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Notes From Underground: Fitch Rates U.S. AAA (An Ode to the Printing Press)

April 2, 2019

On Tuesday afternoon the Fitch Ratings assigned a AAA rating for U.S. sovereign debt. This is about as good as rating subprime mortgages AAA up until the housing market crashed, giving way to the financial crisis. The statement acknowledged that the U.S. deficit was 4 percent of GDP this year based on IMF measures, with general government debt reaching 98.9 percent of GDP. Fitch also said by 2028 general government debt could reach 120 percent of GDP.

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Notes From Underground: It’s a Drag Listening to Draghi Get Old

March 7, 2019

ECB President Mario Draghi’s press conference was, once again, another act of flim-flam as he PIVOTED away from any tightening for the next [FILL IN THE YEAR]. There was NO SURPRISE as the TLTRO was well telegraphed various news outlets in recent weeks. What’s amazing is that the currency markets were surprised by Draghi’s press conference as the U.S. DOLLAR staged a sizable rally, reaching its highest level in more than three months. The YEN was stronger as the weak stock markets provided a sense of Japanese repatriation of invested capital, while GOLD performed dismally.

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Notes From Underground: Be Vigilant, Very Vigilant

February 26, 2019

Today, I am writing this for all traders and investors. For many years I have been concerned that the market is sometimes plagued by headlines that create volatility as algos react to six words crossing the wire, only to be completely out of context when the article is published. But the damage is done. Most actors in the investment arena are unaware that MOST data releases and FED documents are provided to the media roughly 30 minutes early so that they can get their headlines and stories written for the scheduled time. My problem is that this antiquated methodology OUGHT to be extinguished because trades and information move in nano seconds rather than on Telex rollers as financial news was reported when this policy was enacted. When high frequency trading groups are spending millions of dollars to get edges in micro seconds it is certainly time to say goodbye to long-held operations.

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Notes From Underground: Mario Draghi’s Circus

January 24, 2019

The ECB did exactly as expected, which was less than its deposit rate (if that’s even possible). President Draghi answered questions for an hour and said absolutely nothing except that risks were now weighted to the downside. The structural theme of his composed narrative was the concept of persistence and assessment. Draghi laid the need for continued ECB monetary ease on many factors inhibiting growth:

  1. German auto production slowing;
  2. U.S.trade actions are creating greater uncertainty due to tariff threats;
  3. China slowdown; and
  4. Brexit

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Notes From Underground: Mario the Magician Has Lost His Assistant

January 23, 2019

The Bank of Japan did not surprise the markets as they remained committed to the lunacy of QQE, even with positive growth for many years. In an effort to make the central bank’s policy ever more relevant the BOJ lowered their inflation expectations, which the markets interpreted as lower for longer, resulting in a flurry of YEN selling of against all of the major traded currencies. There was even movement in the Swiss/yen cross as both central banks battle to keep their currencies in check by keeping interest rates negative.

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