1. The Bank of England will announce its rate decision at 6 a.m. CDT and look for the status quo. Governor Carney has been pleased that the U.K. economy is gaining traction and the Brits’ QE program has been tapered for a quite awhile, meaning that the BOE‘s balance sheet has remained at 375 BILLION POUNDS in asset purchases. Inflation has been lowered while growth has increased. The rise in housing prices will be a concern but Carney seems to be comfortable decreasing the lending program to private borrowers while continuing to keep loans flowing to small and medium businesses. The BOE will keep rates at 0.5% and probably use a cautious outlook in reference to Europe so as not to excite STERLING BULLS.
Posts Tagged ‘LTRO’
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Senate: Just put forward the candidacy of Janet Yellen by acclimation because it is a done deal. It cannot be stopped and so any posturing for the voters back home and any potential donors is a waste of time and energy. Also, don’t provide the idiot talking heads with any “red meat” to keep their empty heads talking. This afternoon’s release of Yellen’s testimony proves that Vice Chairwoman Yellen is a very intuitive politician. HERE IS THE MOST ASTUTE POLITICAL PIECE OF THE STATEMENT (in my opinion):
ECB President Mario Draghi has been able to convince the world that the Euro’s problems have been contained and it is safe to re-enter the financial pool of credit assets throughout Europe. The July 2012 speech that proclaimed the ECB had no taboos and would “do whatever it takes” to preserve the euro has been a masterpiece of doing nothing while generating the desired outcome. The master plumber of all things credit (JA) alerted me to the ECB’s balance sheet (as seen on the Bloomberg terminal). After Mario Draghi pledged to offer the Outright Monetary Transactions (OMT) to any European country that contracted with the ESM or EFSF for help, the sovereign debt markets in Europe have quieted and yield spreads returned to a sense of normalcy. Many people believed that the euro currency would suffer from Draghi’s promise of massive liquidity to meet funding needs. The EURO shorts were wrong and the proof lies in the three charts I am providing.
As the U.S. Congress and executives continue the pursuit of political one-upmanship, it seems as if nothing else matters in the global finance. European banks, German politics, the Trans-Pacific Trade Agreement, IMF upgrading the British economic outlook … nope nothing going on except in the BOWELS of Washington. The U.S. has the media’s focus but today the Washington drama affected the bond markets in a very serious way. At 10:30 a.m. CST, Treasury auctioned 4-week TREASURY BILLS at 0.35%, the highest since October 2008, as markets are beginning to WORRY about some type of U.S. government default. There was a lack of bidders for the short-term BILLS as bond traders and market makers worry that default fears will make certain debt instruments unacceptable as collateral.
The media voices that have plagued the markets for the last few days will have to take their seats as the FOMC delivers its rate decision and then a half hour later Chairman Bernanke will read a prepared statement which the algos will have two seconds earlier and a Q&A will ensue. My first question is why will Hilsenrath and Harding be called on by Bernanke to ask their questions when they purportedly already know the full extent of FED policy. I look for Ben Bernanke to be very measured in his words for he has seen the damage a misplaced adjective or verb can have on the market. Will the FED “taper”? I don’t know but look for the chairman to entertain a few questions about removing part of the present QE project.
In a “flash,” the LONG DOLLAR positions of the taper crowd came a crashing down upon committed U.S. dollar bulls. The position unwinding started during President Mario Draghi’s press conference. I was a very attentive listener to the Q&A session and am very hard pressed to see anything positive about Europe in Draghi’s answers. In fact, the EURO began its rally just after said that the ECB was “… technically ready for negative rates.” It seems that the ECB council was again discussing the possibility of having EONIA go negative in an effort to unlock the bank deposits currently sitting at the ECB. The fact that the ECB has drawn up plans for “GOING NEGATIVE” is not a bullish EURO indicator. The most bullish and honest statement from President Draghi was he maintained that the ECB has been the most conservative of all the central banks.
The much-awaited piece from Jon Hilsenrath about FED “tapering” appeared in the weekend WSJ, and, as promised by the abundant tweets, it delivered very little in providing any new insights into Fed halting of security purchases. The headline, “Fed Maps Exit From Stimulus,” wasn’t a map of any kind and merely seemed to provide the philosopher’s answer to question of what to do when confronted with the fork in the road … TAKE IT. The FED is caught on the horns of a dilemma for it wants to provide some clarity as to how it will end the large-scale asset purchases (LSAP) without sending the market into a downside tailspin. The massive increase in the FED‘s balance sheet has provided the rocket fuel to boost the demand for all types of risky assets but how do they know the economy has enough strength to sustain the rally on its own. It seems that the most important voice now will be Fed Governor Jeremy Stein–more important than Jon Hilsenrath–for he seemed to unnerve Chairman Bernanke with his April 19 speech in which he warned about the distorting impact the Fed was having on risk assets. It seems the Chairman has awoken to the idea that the FED has blown an asset bubble, especially now that the Japanese have added to global liquidity.
There is not much news that needed to be dissected so I think it is time for a quick look at yield curves. For simplicities sake I will keep the analysis to the generic 2/10 curves in the countries that have sophisticated capital markets. Why are the curves important? In looking back at the crisis that forced the ECB‘s Mario Draghi to announce “there will be no TABOOS and we will do whatever it takes” to sustain the euro currency and the entire European project. It was the 2/10 curves in Europe that were providing so much of the problem. The talking heads in the media continue to point to the 10-year debt instruments in Europe as being the most significant element. The Italian auction did this. The Spanish auction did that. I urge us to be more attentive to the shorter end of the curve and especially the two-year note.
The world’s equity markets continue to float on the continued liquidity provided by the world’s central banks. Last week the European markets saw short-term rise on the announced payback of LTRO (Long Term Refinancing Operation), which was money lent by the ECB to European banks to prevent the wholesale selling of sovereign and commercial debt that had fallen in value. The European Central Bank took the devalued bonds and provided the banks with cash euros. This prevented a total collapse of the sovereign debt markets. Now banks that are flush with liquidity are taking back the debt and paying back the EUROS resulting in a short-term tightening in the EURIBOR RATES. Prior to the last ECB meeting, I advised that the ECB could cut rates for the market had already priced in a rate cut. Last week’s action, while a tightening, is actually a market reversing expectations, which is why the global equity markets had so little reaction.
The tweet heard ’round the world is as meaningless as most of the other rubbish that passes for political discourse in the Grand Republic. It seems that Jim Cramer had it right from the beginning for traders and investors. The only thing that matters is how the markets accept the jobs data and what will its impact be on asset prices going forward. The market is definitely in the mindset of weighing the data in a “more good is good and bad is bad” mode.