Posts Tagged ‘Jean-Claude Trichet’

European Banks Still on the Brink

European Banks Still on the Brink

european banksCourtesy of MIKE WHITNEY writing at CourterPunch 

The EU banking system is in big trouble. That’s why European Central Bank (ECB) head Jean-Claude Trichet continues to purchase government bonds and provide "unlimited funds" for underwater banks. It’s an effort to prevent a financial system meltdown that could wipe out bondholders and plunge the economy back into recession.

"We have the best track record on price stability over 11 1/2 years in Europe and among the legacy currencies,” Trichet recently boasted. “What we have done and what we do with the same purpose is to help restore an appropriate functioning of the monetary-policy transmission mechanism.”

Nonsense. EU banks and other financial institutions are presently holding more than 2 trillion euros of public and private debt from Greece, Spain and Portugal. All three countries are in deep distress and face sharp downgrades on their sovereign debt. The potential losses put large parts of the EU banking system at risk. Trichet knows this, which is why he continues to support the teetering system with "unlimited funds". It has nothing to do with restoring the "functioning of the monetary-policy transmission mechanism". That’s deliberately misleading. It is a straightforward bailout of the banks.

Imagine that you are deeply in debt, but the bank offers to lend you as much money as you need to keep you from bankruptcy. To help maintain appearances, the bank agrees to accept the worthless junk you’ve collected in your attic in exchange for multi-million dollar loans. Does the bank’s participation in this charade mean that you are not really broke after all? Does it increase the value of the garbage collateral you’ve exchanged for cash?

The ECB is providing billions of euros per week to maintain the illusion that the market is wrong about the true value of the bonds. But the market is not wrong, the ECB is wrong. The value of Greek bonds (for example) has dropped precipitously. They are worth less, which means the banks need to take a haircut and write down the losses. More liquidity merely hides the problem.

This is from Reuters:

"Despite the open-arms approach, outstanding ECB lending has fallen more than a third since the start of July to 592 billion euros…. Liquidity remains abundant though. Over 120 billion euros was deposited back at the ECB overnight, the latest figures show."

So, overnight…
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Another Bank Bailout

Another Bank Bailout

Courtesy of MIKE WHITNEY writing at CounterPunch

Jean-Claude Trichet, President of the European Central Bank (ECB) addresses the media during his monthly news conference at the ECB headquarters in Frankfurt June 10, 2010. The ECB kept interest rates at 1.0 percent as expected on Thursday and predicted an uneven, moderate economic recovery.   REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski (GERMANY - Tags: BUSINESS HEADSHOT)

On Thursday, European Central Bank head Jean-Claude Trichet announced that he would continue the ECB’s low interest rates (1 per cent) and easy lending policies for the foreseeable future. Wall Street rallied on the news, sending shares rocketing up 273 points on the day. Trichet also said that he would continue his controversial bond-purchasing program which has drawn fire from wary German leaders who fear the onset of inflation. The bank chief dodged questions on the program suggesting that he will operate secretively like the Fed, buying up downgraded assets and concealing their original owner. By appointing himself the de facto Fiscal Czar of the European Union, Trichet has stopped the fall of the euro, scattered the short-sellers, and zapped the markets upward.  Not bad for a day’s work.

Up until yesterday, credit conditions in the EU had been steadily deteriorating. Hoarding by banks had intensified while the rates that banks charge each other for short-term loans was on the rise. Lenders were afraid that the $2.4 trillion in loans to countries in the south (Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal) and East Europe would not be repaid and that that would push more banks into default.  Euribor (the rate at which euro interbank term deposits within the euro zone are offered by one prime bank to another ) had been creeping upwards while overnight deposits at the ECB were setting new records every day.  Jittery banks have parked over $390 billion at the ECB’s  deposit facility since the crisis began. Banks would rather get low interest on their deposits then lend in the money markets where they might not be repaid at all. 

From Bloomberg News:

“Jean-Claude Trichet said the European Central Bank will extend its offerings of unlimited cash and keep buying government bonds for now as it tries to ease tensions in money markets and fight the European debt crisis.

“ ‘It’s appropriate to continue to do what we’ve decided’ on sovereign bonds, ECB President Trichet said at a press conference  in Frankfurt today. ‘We have a money market which is not functioning perfectly.’

Trichet’s ECB is buying debt and pumping unlimited funds into the banking system as part of a European Union strategy to stop the euro region from breaking apart. While Trichet refused to bow to some investors’ demands for more details


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The ECB Takes a Page From the Fed Playbook, Monetizes Anything That Isn’t Nailed Down

The ECB Takes a Page From the Fed Playbook, Monetizes Anything That Isn’t Nailed Down

Courtesy of Jr. Deputy Accountant 

Hell, they may get desperate and monetize whatever IS nailed down if things don’t look up and quick. Wonder if Trichet has Bernanke on speed dial for this one. At least the ECB is being completely clear about its intentions.

Bloomberg

Jean-Claude Trichet said the European Central Bank will extend its offerings of unlimited cash and keep buying government bonds as it tries to ease tensions in money markets and fight the European debt crisis.

“It’s appropriate to continue to do what we’ve decided” on purchases of sovereign and corporate bonds, Trichet, who heads the ECB, said at a press conference in Frankfurt today. Earlier, the central bank kept its benchmark interest rate at 1 percent. “We have a money market which is not functioning perfectly.”

The ECB is buying state debt and pumping unlimited funds into the banking system as part of a strategy by European policy makers to stop the euro region from breaking apart. While Trichet refused to bow to some investors’ demands for more details on the bond purchases, he said the ECB plans to offer further help to banks struggling to raise cash in money markets.

“The ECB is really in fire-fighting mode and is no longer thinking about exit,” said Nick Kounis, chief European economist at Fortis Bank Nederland NV in Amsterdam. “Interest rates will be lower for longer because of this euro-region sovereign debt crisis.”

Whatever it takes! 

 


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The Center Cannot Hold

The Center Cannot Hold

brown falcon Courtesy of John Mauldin, Thoughts from the Frontline 

The Risks from Fiscal Imbalances 
The Challenge for Central Banks 
Bang, Indeed! 
The Center Cannot Hold 
A Decent Employment Report 
Montreal and New York and Italy

Turning and turning in the widening gyre 
The falcon cannot hear the falconer; 
Things fall apart; the center cannot hold; 
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, 
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere 
The ceremony of innocence is drowned; 
The best lack all conviction, while the worst 
Are full of passionate intensity.

- William Butler Yeats

Last week we focused on the first half of a paper by the Bank of International Settlements, discussing what they characterized as the need for "Drastic measures … to check the rapid growth of current and future liabilities of governments and reduce their adverse consequences for long-term growth and monetary stability." As I noted, you don’t often see the term drastic measures in a staid economic paper from the BIS. This week we will look at the conclusion of that paper, and then turn our discussion to the fallout from the problems they discuss, initially in Europe but coming soon to a country near you.

But first, what a week in the markets! I’m sure more than a few investors felt like they had a severe case of whiplash. We will discuss the volatility a little more below.

First, a very quick three-paragraph commercial. In the current market environment, there are managers who have not done well and then there are money managers who have done very well. My partners around the world would be happy to show you some of the managers they have on their platforms that we think are appropriate for the current environment. If you are an accredited investor (basically a net worth over $1.5 million) and would like to look at hedge-fund and other alternative-fund managers (such as commodity traders) I suggest you go to www.accreditedinvestor.ws and sign up; and someone from Altegris Investments in La Jolla will call you if you are a US citizen. Or you’ll get a call from Absolute Return Partners in London if you are in Europe (they also work with non-accredited investors). If you are in South Africa, then someone from Plexus Asset Management will ring.…
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How Much is Needed to Bail Out Greece? $159 Billion? $794 Billion? Estimates Vary Wildly as Greece Turns Viral; S&P Downgrades Spain

How Much is Needed to Bail Out Greece? $159 Billion? $794 Billion? Estimates Vary Wildly as Greece Turns Viral; S&P Downgrades Spain

Courtesy of Mish 

Pressure is on German Chancellor Angela Merkel to do something. European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet is in Berlin along with the IMF to arm-twist Merkel. Meanwhile, German citizens want no part of a Greece bailout.

Trichet in Berlin

Trichet in Berlin as Germans Balk at Greek Rescue

European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet is on a diplomatic mission to Berlin as Germany’s reluctance to bail out Greece helps fan a fiscal crisis now burning around the euro region’s periphery.

Trichet and International Monetary Fund Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn will brief German parliamentary leaders in Berlin around noon today about the $60 billion aid package for Greece, which has met with opposition in Europe’s biggest economy. The joint European Union-IMF package would require Germany to stump up the biggest individual loan to Greece.

“It’s a sales pitch in front of an audience that needs it,” said Jacques Cailloux, chief European economist at Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc in London. “The lawmakers probably need it spelled out that this is not about financing luxury pensions in Greece. Not helping Greece will unfortunately have a direct impact on the euro-area economy and German jobs.”

“Why do we have to pay for Greece’s luxury pensions?” Germany’s biggest-selling tabloid newspaper, Bild Zeitung, asked on its front page yesterday. Almost 60 percent of Germans don’t want to help Greece, Die Welt newspaper reported, citing a survey of 1,009 people.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble asked Trichet and Strauss-Kahn to speak with lawmakers to “facilitate direct insight into the actions as they stand.”

Merkel Puts Demands On Greece

Merkel’s Cabinet Meets on Greece as Pressure for Action Grows

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Cabinet met to debate help for Greece as Europe’s growing debt crisis tests her refusal to rush German approval of aid.

Merkel is insisting Greece commit to several years of deficit reduction as a cut in the nation’s debt rating to junk yesterday drove up borrowing costs from Italy to Portugal and Ireland and boosted indicators of corporate credit risk around the world.

Action “has to be done now, has to be done very fast,” Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Secretary General Angel Gurria said in an interview today with Bloomberg television in Berlin before


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Zero Hedge

Coronavirus Kills Man In Shanghai As China Confirms Nearly 2,000 Cases

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Summary
  • First nCoV death reported in Shanghai
  • South Korea confirms third case
  • Toronto health officials to announce first 'presumptive case' of coronavirus in Canada
  • 1975 Cases Worldwide; 56 deaths (still about a 3% mortality rate)
  • 18 Chinese cities - 56 million people - quarantined
  • President Xi said China faces a 'grave situation' as the spread is 'accelerating'
  • US and Russia plan...


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Phil's Favorites

Preparing For Lower Returns

 

Preparing For Lower Returns

Courtesy of 

We’ve been hearing about the prospect of lower future returns for U.S. based investors for years now*. The thesis behind this is fairly straightforward; high recent returns coupled with high valuations in the stock market, and low interest rates in the bond market is not conducive to further above average returns.

Consider the following:

  • A U.S. only 60/40 portfolio has compounded at 10.5% over the last 10 years.
  • The CAPE ratio is at 30.9
  • The ten-year treasury is currently yielding 1.8%

...



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Chart School

Top Patterns for Retail Investors

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Retail investors are last in line for market leading research, no matter, the retail investor can profit from these secret sauce patterns..

Well not so secret now, the main point is you do not have to climb Mount Everest to be called a mountain climber, there are many other hills to climb to make your mark. Just like stocks.

You do not have to battle with the high frequency traders to win in the markets, there are long and slow methods to do just as well.  

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The Technical Traders

The Wuhan Wipeout - Could It Happen?

Courtesy of Technical Traders

News is traveling fast about the Corona Virus that originated in Wuhan, China. Two new confirmed cases in the US, one in Europe and hundreds in China. As we learn more about thispotential pandemic outbreak, we are learning that China did very little to contain this problem from the start. Now, quarantining two cities and trying to control the potential
outbreak, may become a futile effort.

In most of Asia, the Chinese New Year is already in full swing.  Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Malaysia, India and a host of other countries are already starting to celebrate the 7 to 10 day long New Year.  Millions of people have already traveled hundreds of thousands of miles to visit family...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Bad News For Crude Oil Should Come From This Pattern, Says Joe Friday

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

It’s a good idea for investors to be aware of key indicators and inter-market relationships.

Perhaps it’s watching the US Dollar as an indicator for precious metals or emerging markets. Or watching interest rates for the economy. Experience, history, and relationships matter. And it’s good to simply add these to our tool-kit.

Today, we look at another relationship that has signaled numerous stock market tops and bottoms over the years, and especially the past several months, Crude Oil.

When crude oil tops or bottoms, it seems that ...



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Insider Scoop

5 Software-Application Stocks Moving In Thursday's After-Market Session

Courtesy of Benzinga

Gainers

Atlassian Corporation, Inc. (NASDAQ:TEAM) stock surged 9.7% to $145.50 during Thursday's after-market session. According to the most recent rating by Morgan Stanley, on January 13, the current rating is at Overweight.

Diebold Nixdorf, Inc. (NYSE:DBD) shares increased by 8.1% to $11.48. The most recent rating by DA Davidson, on December 13, is at Buy, with a price target of $17.00.

Telaria, Inc. (NYSE:TLRA) stock rose 4...



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Biotech

Snakes could be the original source of the new coronavirus outbreak in China

Reminder: We are available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

Snakes could be the original source of the new coronavirus outbreak in China

Chinese cobra (Naja atra) with hood spread. Briston/Wikimedia, CC BY-SA

Haitao Guo, University of Pittsburgh; Guangxiang “George” Luo, Univers...



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Members' Corner

The War on All Fact People

 

David Brin shares an excerpt from his new book on the relentless war against democracy and how we can fight back. You can also read the first, second and final chapters of Polemical Judo at David's blog Contrary Brin.

The War on All Fact People 

Excerpted from David Brin's new book, the beginning of chapter 5, Polemical Judo: Memes...



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Lee's Free Thinking

Why Blaming the Repo Market is Like Blaming the Australian Bush Fires

 

Why Blaming the Repo Market is Like Blaming the Australian Bush Fires

Courtesy of  

The repo market problem isn’t the problem. It’s a sideshow, a diversion, and a joke. It’s a symptom of the problem.

Today, I got a note from Liquidity Trader subscriber David, a professional investor, and it got me to thinking. Here’s what David wrote:

Lee,

The ‘experts’ I hear from keep saying that once 300B more in reserves have ...



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Digital Currencies

Cryptos Have Surged Since Soleimani Death, Bitcoin Tops $8,000

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Bitcoin is up over 15% since the assassination of Iran General Soleimani...

Source: Bloomberg

...topping $8,000 for the first time since before Thanksgiving...

Source: Bloomberg

Testing its key 100-day moving-average for the first time since October...

...



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Mapping The Market

How IPOs Are Priced

Via Jean Luc 

Funny but probably true:

...

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Promotions

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Phil has a chapter in a newly-released eBook that we think you’ll enjoy.

In My Top Strategies for 2017, Phil's chapter is Secret Santa’s Inflation Hedges for 2017.

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About Phil:

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