Archive for the ‘ECB’ Category

Notes From Underground: Welcome Back, Rick

May 28, 2019

On Tuesday, Rick Santelli and I dissected the European Parliamentary elections. The results weren’t far off the projections as the GREEN PARTY was able to siphon off voters from the established left-leaning parties as they attracted more young voters than in previous EU-wide elections. There will be much to discuss as we head into the “horse trading” of Brussels politics but I stick to my insistence that the ECB needs the leadership of Jens Weidmann.

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Notes From Underground: If Gross, Gundlach and Even Buffet Are Correct, Then THE FED IS WRONG

May 5, 2015

The last seven weeks has brought out the bond bears in the forms of Bill Gross, Jeff Gundlach and also well-known stock picker and financial wizard, Warren Buffett. While Gundlach and Gross were very bearish on the European sovereign debt markets, the Omaha denizen opined on how stocks may be rich but bonds offer a terrible risk/reward return. Large bond investors are nervous that they have possibly bought an overvalued asset and may experience sizable losses on a quarter-to-quarter to basis. The problem for pensions, insurance companies and those saddled with a defined payout obligation, the FED and other central banks have broken the bond market as a value barometer so it is very difficult to match assets with potential liabilities.

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Notes From Underground: A Well Respected Man About Town

February 2, 2015

The fact that today is GROUNDHOG DAY means that we have to keep discussing Greece again and again. The alarms sound over the demands of Syriza’s and its leader Alexis Tsipras and his efforts to craft a NEW DEAL for Greece in relation to its creditors. Any debt or interest rate relief Mr. Tsipras can attain from the TROIKA would allow his ruling party to declare victory and also provide a template for renegotiation of all previous austerity measures to which European debt plagued nations agreed. (I am not making a qualitative judgment about the Greek restructuring but just raising the issue of the great uncertainty it will cause in currency and bond markets.)

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Notes From Underground: Gold, Huh, Yeah, What Is It Good For?

April 14, 2013

This is the question investors all over the world are asking after the massive selloff on Friday. I have argued that gold was a tired bull for the last six months and that global equities had replaced gold as investors’ and traders’ haven and store of value. Gold has done yeoman’s work as a store of value in the world of central bank hyperactivity resulting in negative real yields all over the globe. As gold prices have stagnated, investors have sought out other asset classes to supplant the need for increased risk and hopefully positive returns. Multinational corporations with high dividends have become the new store of value and the rush to unload traditional hard assets for productive real assets has gained traction. The Cypriot debacle scared global investors and sent them scurrying from bank deposits to corporate assets, with a higher yield via dividends and possible appreciation. (Especially if the assets are domiciled in a jurisdiction that has a court system that protects property rights.)

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Notes From Underground: Draghi … Could’ve, Should’ve, Would’ve

August 8, 2012

The interest rate variable is alive, well and affecting global markets. Mario Draghi has played the “WIZARD OF FRANKFURT” as he has sought to forestall a financial implosion of Europe. Draghi’s comments in London on July 26, in that the ECB would stem the crisis at end with the tools at its disposal, markets had to believe that ECB policy would be “SUFFICIENT.” As we all know by now, President Draghi has been successful as the Spanish and Italian yield curves have steepened and the 2-YEAR NOTES have seen its yields dramatically drop–the Spanish went from 7% to 3.73%.

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Notes From Underground: Europe Steals A Page From Alan Greenspan

October 27, 2011

It was once reported that Alan Greenspan, the Maestro of solipsistic reasoning, once said, “if you understood what I said, I must have misspoke.” The markets think they understood the basics of the GRAND EUROPEAN PLAN, but after reading through the many releases, I am not sure how the bail concoction actually will be deployed. (more…)

Notes From Underground: The European Union KICKS GEITHNER’S CAN DOWN THE ROAD

September 18, 2011

Friday and Saturday were the days that U.S. Treasury Secretary Geithner was in Poland sitting in on an ECOFIN meeting to try to persuade the financial policy makers of the EU to come to some type of resolution on a bailout of the PIIGS, an increase in the European Financial Stability Facility, and, hopefully, some program of support for the recapitalization of the European banking sector. Geithner pressed the ECB and European Governments to increase the 440 billion EURO EFSF rescue fund by utilizing leverage in its buying of sovereign debt. The tone of Geithner’s message was that the U.S. has woken up to the huge threat the EU debt crisis poses for the American economy, and, of course, President Obama’s election chances. Mr. Geithner warned that the EU crisis was a “CATASTROPHIC RISK TO FINANCIAL MARKETS.” He advised that the conflict between European governments and its central bank must end.

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Notes From Underground: A STARK Reminder of Merkel’s bad decision

September 11, 2011

Many times NOTES FROM UNDERGROUND warned that Chancellor Merkel had made a grave error by failing to push for Axel Weber to assume the Presidency of the ECB after Jean-Claude Trichet. I argued that the German populace would be a more willing participant in an enhanced bailout facility if a strong anti-inflationist from Germany was at the helm of the mechanism of financial bailouts for the PIIGS. It seemed that President Sarkozy had “bested” Merkel and the German Chancellor was forced to abandon Weber and agree to a compromise, ECB President Mario Draghi. Friday’s announcement by Juergen Stark that he was resigning his position on the ECB Executive Board and Governing Council gave the markets a scare and led to a large selloff in the EURO and global equity markets.

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Notes From Underground: Did I miss anything while I was away???

September 7, 2011

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.

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Notes From Underground: The Jackson Hole Economic Summit

August 25, 2011

Jobless claims, GDP, consumer sentiment … all meaningless as the Bernanke speech at 9 a.m. CST takes precedence. The financial world awaits to hear if the FED CHAIRMAN will deliver another gift like last August’s Portfolio Balance Channel speech. While QE2 did not commence until November, the groundwork was laid in August and the plan delivered at the September FOMC meeting. The markets well understood that the intent of Jackson Hole precipitated the equity market rally that began in September.

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