Archive for the ‘Germany’ 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.

(more…)

Notes From Underground: Trump Has Weaponized The Dollar. Do the Longs Know?

June 12, 2019

Some shots were fired last Friday, but it seems that the markets can only hear the siren song of White House tweets. There was an important story from Bloomberg reporter Saleha Mohsin titled, “Trump’s Currency War Plan Puts Treasury and Commerce at Odds.” The article noted that “a Commerce Department proposal to impose countervailing tariffs on countries that it determines have devalued their currencies has alarmed officials at the Treasury Department.”

It appears that President Trump has grown frustrated by Treasury’s failure to name any country as a “currency manipulator.” It has been Treasury’s bailiwick to monitor the foreign exchange interventions of countries who strive to artificially hold down the value of their currencies in an effort gain a competitive advantage versus any G20 country, especially the U.S. (from the Treasury Department perspective).

(more…)

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.

(more…)

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.

(more…)

Notes From Underground: Why So Much Weight on Italy and Its Gold?

February 14, 2019

There has been much discussion this week about how the current Italian government wants the nation’s GOLD to be the “property of the state” instead of on the Bank of Italy’s balance sheet. The coalition of Five Star and League have thought to gain control over the gold and some pundits have raised the idea of Italy selling its gold holdings, the world’s third largest, in an effort to plug holes in the budget. (NOTE: The Italian government is actually the fourth largest when the IMF is included.) Italian Prime Minister Matteo Salvini maintains that the government has no plans to sell any of the people’s GOLD. Maybe the Salvini Government is deciding to take the advice offered for the last eight years here at NOTES and monetize the GOLD by issuing GOLD-BACKED BONDS. (Securitizing the gold by selling bonds backed by one-fifth of an ounce of gold.)

(more…)

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.

(more…)

Notes From Underground: Germany and France Codify the Premise of Europe

January 22, 2019

In a desperate attempt to deflect from the damage to his presidency, Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday codified what Bernard Connolly has written about for 25 years. As Charles de Gaulle supposedly said to Konrad Adenauer: “Europe is France and Germany, the rest trimmings.” In a resurrection of European history, Angela Merkel and Macron signed a new Treaty of Aachen. While the treaty language is vapid, the symbolism cannot be minimized. Germany and France promise to come to each other’s defense if attacked while also promising to work for a more unified financial and fiscal system.

(more…)

Notes From Underground: Angie, Where Will It Lead Us From Here?

December 9, 2018

Germany chose a new CDU party leader to replace Angela Merkel. Membership chose Merkel’s hand-picked choice Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, also known as AKK. This is a very poor choice as it reflects a continuation of the status quo at a time that the traditional German ruling parties are struggling to maintain voter support. These are turbulent times for Germany, Europe and the world and Chancellor Merkel has proven to be too staid to deal with a world threatened by a populist upheaval.

(more…)

Notes From Underground: Rome Is Alive With the Sound of Music

October 31, 2018

There was singing in Rome when Angela Merkel announced that she is stepping down as the leader of the Christian Democratic Union. The two most recent German regional elections has solidified the unmitigated truth about the weakened condition of the German chancellor. For the last six years, I have been highly critical about Merkel’s policies. The bumbling French President Nicholas Sarkozy out-maneuvered Merkel in 2011 as he prevented then-Bundesbank President Axel Weber from leading the ECB.

(more…)

Notes From Underground: Volatility Will Remain in Financial Markets

October 28, 2018

First,I have the extreme pleasure of participating in another PODCAST with Richard Bonugli at the Financial Repression Authority. It is always a pleasure to “JAM” with Peter Boockvar in an effort to discern the rhythms of the global financial system. Peter, along with Jim Bianco, are two of the best analysts covering the entire rubric of money flows being impacted by the data. Enjoy the exchange and remember that this recorded on Tuesday, October 23. There was a great deal of volatility and data after our podcast, but much of it is relevant heading into this week’s trading.

(more…)