Posts Tagged ‘EU’

Notes From Underground: Looking for Headwinds In All the Wrong Places

August 18, 2016

It’s tough to enjoy the final days of summer when the FED can’t just relax their wind pipes. The continued contradictions emanating from those who sit in the same meetings is jeopardizing the Fed’s credibility … AGAIN. Last Monday, San Francisco Fed President John Williams published an economic letter in which he posed the concept of either raising the inflation targets, or the Fed ought to target a NOMINAL GDP level. This was perceived to be an extremely DOVISH view as it would keep the FED on HOLD far longer than the market currently predicts. The problem was that Williams had voiced a HAWKISH view just two weeks earlier. The quick about-face makes me wonder if the Fed’s logo should be the Roman god Janus.

(more…)

Notes From Underground: On Bondage to the Hallucinations of Global Policy Makers

July 25, 2016

Over the weekend there was a new and improved G-20 communique, which was supposed to offer reassurance that the primary economic decision makers have things under control. It is disconcerting that so much time was spent discussing the global uncertainty posed by BREXIT for the global equity markets have deemed the British vote to Leave the EU as non-event (at least for now) and maybe even a positive for the Davos elite to adjust previous policy decisions. It appears that some G-20 members look forward to dealing with the U.K. on trade issues outside an EU establishment that is reticent to foster trade agreements because of German and French elections scheduled for 2017.

(more…)

Notes From Underground: It’s So Simple … NOW YOU CAN’T LEAVE

July 5, 2016

I am posting today’s story on the Santelli Exchange I taped today. Rick and I were back on the most important topic facing the world: THE ECB’s ROLE IN CREATING A SITUATION THAT MAKES GERMANY LIABLE FOR THE DEBT OF THE ENTIRE EUROPEAN UNION. The world is still abuzz about the BREXIT referendum and its implications for the U.K.. There’s also chatter about what it might mean for other EU nations contemplating STAYING OR GOING in terms of subjecting their citizens to the capriciousness of Eurocratic regulation. The question for me (and will continue to be): WHO GUARANTEES THE ECB, AND, OF COURSE, THE COROLLARY QUESTION, SHOULD ALL SOVEREIGN DEBT BE A ZERO WEIGHTED RISK ASSET CLASS?

(more…)

Notes From Underground: Alfred E. Neuman or Arthur Fonzarelli? Pick Your Poison

June 9, 2016

Since I’m 62 years old, my references of social icons goes back to a more simple time. Alfred E. Neuman of Mad Magazine fame would ask, “What, Me Worry?” The other side of the equation would be Arthur Fonzarelli from the television show, “Happy Days.” who would stutter before ever admitting that he was WRONG. The world’s central banks are a reflection of these two icons. It seems that Yellen, Draghi and Kuroda all suffer from both views. They have nothing to worry about and they certainly cannot admit to being wrong. The central banks are under attack from investors and traders for pursuing quantitative easing and negative yields even though the efficacy of such programs is certainly in doubt.

(more…)

Notes From Underground: People Get Ready, There’s a Train (Chambers Brothers & Curtis Mayfield)

May 11, 2016

“There ain’t no room for the hopeless sinners,

who’s hurt all mankind just to save his own,

have  pity on those whose chances grow thinner

’cause there’s no hiding place from the kingdom’s throne.”

The sentiment is aptly described in this song but also in Niall Ferguson’s book, “War of the World.” In the book, Ferguson explains that European bond markets were initially unfazed at the start of World War I. They traded at a steady valuation, even as the troop trains were heading for the front.

(more…)

Notes From Underground: Martin Wolf/Mr. Fantasy Lays Out The Road For Germany To Exit The EU

May 10, 2016

In tomorrow’s Financial Times, one of the major sycophants of ECB and Brussels policy has raised his “voice” in castigating the Germans for being the source of all the EU’s current problems. Martin Wolf’s op-ed piece, “Germany is the Eurozone’s Biggest Problem,” is a criticism of the German export engine. And it seems to be another source for what appears to be a concerted effort to challenge Berlin’s intransigence over the need for budget austerity before fiscal stimulus. Wolf’s opening salvo against the Germans: “The financial crisis has given it a dominant voice in eurozone affairs. This is a matter of might, not right. Creditor’s interests are important. But they are partial, not general interests.”

My response to this is that Mr. Wolf sets up a straw man with this argument. The Germans MIGHT have evolved because without them GUARANTEEING the promises of President Draghi’s “whatever it takes” campaign to maintain the existence of the EURO, the entire EU project would have collapsed under the weight of its highly questionable ability to honor the debt of what at the time was referred to as the PIIGS: Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece, Spain.

(more…)

Notes From Underground: Authorities Reveal Their Intentions To Financially Repress the Germans

May 9, 2016

There were two articles today that exist in direct contradiction to each other in substance, but when taken together reveal how ECB President Draghi and IMF Director Lagarde HOPE to punish and repress the German saving class in an effort to salvage the EU via the alleviation of debt owed by the so-called peripheral nations. The first article of significance is an op-ed piece by the FT’s Wolfgang Munchau titled, “Draghi, Schauble and the high cost of Germany’s savings culture.” The article lays it on the line that the Germans bear a great deal of responsibility for the ECB’s negative interest rate policy because of Chancellor Merkel’s push for austerity budgets to correct the massive deficits of the heavily indebted “peripheral” nations of the EU. The Germans were pushing themselves into AUSTERITY simultaneously by pushing forward a law on its own BALANCED BUDGET RULE. The battle cry from Germany was growth through austerity. In July 2012, when the debt plagued EU was on the verge of financial collapse, the profligate peripherals were willing to accept any demands put forward by the Germans in an effort to gain access to the Berlin credit card. As Munchau notes: “If German fiscal policy had been neutral during that period, the ECB’s job would have been easier. It would have been able to achieve its inflation target and would not have had to cut rates by as much.”

(more…)

Notes From Underground: A Question of Imbalance

May 3, 2016

Yesterday, it was the issue of imbalances and the need for currency manipulation as seen through the eyes of a hegemon in decline. Today there was more criticism of German intransigence as Mario Draghi was pushing back against criticisms from Wolfgang Schaeuble that ECB policy was igniting the fire of the radical right. President Draghi said the ECB was correct in its policies, and current and trade surplus nations were at fault for the continued economic malaise for not embarking on large fiscal stimulus programs. Mario Draghi is lashing out against the German passion for fiscal austerity and labor restructuring, but the ECB President seems to forget the golden rule: He who has the gold makes the rules. I ASK MY READERS TO PONDER THE QUESTION (AGAIN): Who guarantees the balance sheet of the European Central Bank?

(more…)

Notes From Underground: Making Sense Of the Treasury’s Guide to Currency Manipulation

May 2, 2016

While attempting to enjoy Pittsburgh (and hopefully a Cubs game), the markets buzzing about the U.S. Treasury’s report about the “Trade facilitation and trade Enforcement Act of 2015.” In a Bloomberg News article published late Friday afternoon, “U.S. Places China, Japan, Germany on New FX Monitoring List,” it seems that the Treasury and Jack Lew are raising the threat of retaliation against nations that meet the Congressional crafted criterion of currency manipulation. These include: 1. Significant bilateral trade surplus with U.S.; 2. Material current-account surplus; and 3. Engaged in persistent one-sided FX intervention. The issue of “one-sided intervention” is defined as only weakening a currency by conducting repetitive net purchases of FX amounting to more than 2% of its GDP.”

(more…)

Notes From Underground: Draghi Believes Time Is On His Side (Methinks He Is Playing With Fire)

April 21, 2016

Listening to the Draghi press conference left me with little satisfaction and I failed to have any sympathy for the devil, although I don’t wish to paint it black. It seems that the goal of the ECB is to make Germany its beast of burden but the result will be realized as tears go by. President Draghi stressed that the recent ECB actions were directed at resuscitating a moribund economy saddled with banks wallowing in a morass of debt. If the ECB had not been aggressive, growth would’ve been 1.6% less, according to ECB researchers. Draghi was adamant that given enough time the ECB’s QE and TLTRO programs will have been proved to be very effective in generating economic growth and bringing inflation up to its mandated level.

(more…)