Notes From Underground has been concerned that 2017 would be the year of Europe as the ECB’s quantitative easing policy and NEGATIVE interest rates would be an issue for many of the elections taking place this year. The Dutch, French and Germans will hold parliamentary elections. Those following the mass media will be focusing on immigration while NFU will continually seek to underline the importance of the repressive financial policies of the ECB. It is this narrative we will use to take the pulse of potential upheavals to the status quo. There is no doubt that the opposition to President Draghi is growing. In a threat to the Empress of Europe, Angela Merkel, received news that her coalition partner, SPD, has overtaken her party in the polls.
Posts Tagged ‘negative rates’
Lies, lies, you’re tellin’ me that you’ll be true
That’s all I ever hear from you
I shed a million tears for you
And now you’re lovin’ someone new
Someday I am gonna be happy
But I don’t when just now
A-breakin’ my heart
You think you are such a smart girl
And I’ll believe what you say
But who do you think you are girl?
To lead me on this way, hey!
This song can be applied to so many policy makers: Draghi, Lagarde, Kuroda and, of course, Yellen. This week has brought interest rate policies from five central banks and the biggest impact was from the Fed as the market believes that the “dot plot” has thickened since the projections for “four is still in the park” has certainly left the rate increases stranded at SECOND. Today, three banks announced policy decisions. The Swiss National Bank left policy unchanged but noted it believed that the global economy was soft and as usual the Swiss franc was overvalued. The SNB reserves the privilege of intervening to weaken the FRANC whenever it deems it appropriate. The recent strength of the EURO and the stability of the EUR/CHF cross should keep the Swiss quiet but vigilant.
Here we go again. Bank of Japan Governor Kuroda “shocked and awed” the markets by taking BOJ deposit rates into negative territory in a HYBRID sort of way as it is a three-tiered methodology that does not apply to money already being held at the BOJ in reserve. Also, money that is deemed regulatory-type capital will receive ZERO interest and won’t be punished with a surcharge, but any new funds making it onto the reserve balance sheet of the BOJ will receive NEGATIVE INTEREST RATES. Kuroda-san delivered this shock after promising last week that the BOJ would not go negative on its deposit rate. Kuroda will learn hat if you keep intentionally pumping the markets with disinformation the markets will have their time when the BOJ needs it the most, like maybe selling off the massive JGB portfolio on its balance sheet. But through the power of negative compounding of interest earnings Kuroda has brought Stevie “Guitar” Miller’s words to life:
Today, the trial of former IMF Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn [DSK] began in Paris. The former IMF director is charged with “aggravated pimping in an organized group.” Well, if DSK is on trial for aggravated pimping, it seems that St.Louis Fed President James Bullard OUGHT to be indicted on a similar charge.
Today it was the Danish Central Bank that lowered its interest rates in order to prevent the markets from trying to break the Danish KRONER/EURO peg and lowered the overnight rate to NEGATIVE 0.20% from a NEGATIVE 0.005%. It was unusual that the Danish Bank lowered the rate on a Monday rather than the usual Thursday but some analysts of the Nordic banking system believe the Danes may act again this Thursday after the ECB reveals its QE program. NEGATIVE RATES ARE THE NEW NORMAL! Danish banking authorities maintain that the Danes are not under as much stress as the Swiss were because the reserves at the DCB are 13% below the peak of 2012, the height of the EU financial crisis.
After the newest moves by the wily fox Mario Draghi last Thursday, NOTES raised the issue of what the Swiss National Bank would do in response to the negative vibes emanating from the guardians of the EURO currency. The SNB has supported the EUR/CHF cross at a floor of 1.20 to “prevent” the Swiss economy from slipping into a deflationary spiral. The SNB has accumulated a massive foreign exchange portfolio as it has bought hundreds of billions of euros to ensure the floor holds on the. The massive buying of euros has been somewhat successful as 1.20 holds but the market still puts pressure on the Swiss as the cross is trading between 1.2050 and 1.2100. All that buying and the CROSS is a mere 0.8% off the floor.
If my radar is right, the coming European Central Bank QE program will be a concoction of asset-backed securities in an effort to remove non-performing loans from bank balance sheets. There have been a multitude of “conjectures” about how the ECB is going to pump liquidity into a very low growth economy. Previously it seemed that some at the ECB wished to install negative yields on bank reserves. This would be an experiment fraught with danger as it could cause great problems for the money funds that have recently returned to Europe. The problem for money market funds was epitomized in a statement from Bank of New York Mellon’s CFO Todd Gibbons after today’s earnings release and reported in tomorrow’s Financial Times:”If the eurozone were to go to negative rates that would actually present the opportunity for us to charge for deposits and we are giving that very serious consideration.” The idea of “negative interest rates on reserves” has been bandied about as some members of the ECB board have tried to stem the euro currency’s recent strength. It has been surmised that charging banks for parking excess reserves at the ECB would force European banks to reverse course and put the funds out to lending rather than having to pay a fee for the safety of the ECB.