Posts Tagged ‘quantitative easing’

Notes From Underground: Before I Break

August 15, 2021

On Sunday, we acknowledge the 50-year anniversary of Richard Nixon’s decision to close the GOLD EXCHANGE WINDOW and put an end to the post-World War monetary system known as Bretton Woods. I can say exactly where I was: A bus station in Afula, Israel buying ice cream in dollars and the price rose as it was the day after the announcement. The proprietor told us prices increased because the dollar bought less. I truly had no idea but just remember that it happened in real time and proved not to be a transitory event. Much is being written about the anniversary and the implications for the global economy.T he Nixon strategy was summed up in his supposed statement of “We ARE ALL KEYNESIAN’S NOW.”


Notes From Underground: The G20 Is as Shaky as a “Fiddler On A Roof”

April 20, 2015

Indulge me, my readers. When I saw the movie Fiddler On the Roof 43 years ago with my now-wife, there was a line that made me laugh for it mirrored conversations that we shared about my nose always being buried in a book about history, economics and probably politics. In the movie, the young radical Perchik wishes to ask Tevye’s daughter, Hodel, to marry him. The question takes place in this dialogue:

Perchik: Hodel there’s a question, a question I … I wish to discuss with you
Hodel: Yes?
P: It’s a political question
H: What is it?
P: The question of marriage
H: Is this a political question?
P: Well, yes. Yes, everything’s political. Like everything else, the relationship between a man and a woman has a socio-economic base. Marriage must be founded on mutual beliefs. A common attitude and philosophy toward society.
H: And affection?
P: Well, yes, of course. That is also necessary.


Notes From Underground: Draghi Channels The Rolling Stones–Time Is On My Side

March 5, 2013

It seems that Mario Draghi has taken the stance that he can hold off doing any further QUANTITATIVE EASING (QE) as he waits for the policies of the British, Japanese and the U.S. to generate enough growth to allow Europe to muddle through its problems for the next few years. President Draghi seems to believe that if the global economy can achieve a growth rate of 4% or more it will buy time for Europe to begin to correct some of its problems and at least put a halt to its economic downturn. The ECB has accepted the slide in the YEN in the hope that stimulating Japanese growth will alleviate some of the stress of the global economy. The Japanese economy has been a laggard for the last two decades, give or take a year here or there, and it was able to muddle though based on the growth of the rest of the world.


Notes From Underground: A “Portuguese Man of War” Enters Draghi’s Harbor and Fires a Shot

February 14, 2013

Two events roiled the currency market this morning. First, the GDP numbers out of many European economies were weaker than expected. The softness of European economic activity has stirred the complacency of recent buyers of EUROs and caused some unwinding of the EUR/YEN and EUR/GBP cross rates. The second event that unnerved recent buyers of EUROs was a comment by the ECB Governor from Portugal, Vitor Constancio. It was reported that Mr. Constancio said in response to recent Euro strength that “… negative rates always possible.”


Notes From Underground: The French Want to be Germany for Just One Silly Year (Le Grande Illusion)

February 5, 2013

Today, French President Francois Hollande called for a managed currency rate for the EURO. It seems that the French are now concerned that the euro is too strong for its fragile economy. The problem is that as long as ECB President Mario Draghi is happy with a stronger euro the French are in a difficult situation. I have argued that a “strong” euro placates the German hard money crowd. All of the ECB‘s monetary policies have stabilized the break-up risk of the EU while not subverting the currency’s value. Mario Draghi can tell the Germans that his policies are being supported by the market and thus keep Bundesbank President Weidmann at bay. While the BOJ, BOE and the FED have had to actively enact QUANTITATIVE EASING, the ECB has actually seen its intervention contract as money has been paid back and collateral returned. (See last week’s repayment of the LTRO funds.) While the YEN, POUND and DOLLAR have been sold by the market, the EURO has attained star status.


Notes From Underground: Three Negatives Can’t Make A Positive

July 9, 2012
Today in Europe the short-term BILL RATES in Germany, Netherlands and France all had NEGATIVE YIELDS. Think about the meaning of this: The hunger for quality sovereign paper has even driven the FRENCH SHORT RATES negative. (ABSURD as Jean-Claude Trichet might opine.) Again, QUANTITATIVE EASING and the FEAR of non-quality collateral has rendered the BOND MARKETS of the DEVELOPED ECONOMIES MEANINGLESS.


October 5, 2011

The European problems are made from the continued deception of the policy makers that meander from crisis to crisis. Eurocrats denied that there was a sovereign credit crisis even as the BOND MARKET was aggressively selling the debt of the PIIGS. A problem in Greece when rates went above 10% on 2-year Greek Bonds? No, just some speculators moving the markets in an attempt to make a quick EURO. There are no problems in the EU. Now that the lies have given birth to a major crisis and possible global DEPRESSION, the EUROCRATS are beginning to acknowledge that something is rotten in Brussels.



July 24, 2011

Last week, the Eurocrats tried to persuade the markets that it has gathered the strength to deal with the DEBT CRISIS IN earnest. But even with three days to analyze and digest the statements it is still not clear as to how the actual bailout will work. The ultimate question: Who will guarantee all the good credit being established that will allow the EFSF to do its job to insure the markets against sovereign default??



June 22, 2011

I feel like I’m the odd analyst out in that Bernanke failed to impress upon me that he is a DOVE in HAWKS’ feathers. Reading the FOMC statement over and over leaves me wondering just what made the statement so strong an anti-inflation stance. The FOMC release reiterated that the FED is relying on closing the output gaps, “including low rates of resource utilization and a subdued outlook for inflation over the medium run–are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels for the federal funds rate for an extended period.” This is not the musings of an inflation HAWK.


Notes From Underground: The Inflation Fears are Muted as a Renewed Threat of Deflation Appears on the Horizon

June 12, 2011

Global equity markets have been under pressure as the economic data from all regions of the world has been weaker than expected. British industrial production numbers were horrid and other areas in Europe have also experienced worse than anticipated activity. Low-money rates have been successful in pumping up many asset classes, especially since Jackson Hole Speech of August 27, 2010. The developed world’s CENTRAL BANKS have been creative in finding ways to keep REAL INTEREST low if not outright negative, making investors holding of cash a losing endeavor.