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Deutsche Bank’s war of words with the ECB is not new: it was first unveiled in February when, as we wrote at the time “A Wounded Deutsche Bank Lashed Out At Central Bankers: Stop Easing, You Are Crushing Us.” Europe’s largest bank, with the massive derivatives book, then upped the ante several months later in June, when its chief economist Folkerts-Landau launched a shocking anti-ECB rant in which it warned of social unrest and another Great Depression.
Ironically, these infamous diatribes hurt more than helped: telegraphing to the market just how hurt DB was as a result of the ECB’s monetary policy, the market punished its stock, which has been recently trading within spitting distance of all time lows, in effect making Deutsche Bank’s life even harder as it now has to contend not only with its own internal profitability problems, but also has to maintain a market-facing facade that all is well. So far, it has not worked out very well, prompting numerous comparisons to another infamous bank.
So, in what may have been DB’s loudest cry for help against the ECB’s unwavering commitment to rock-bottom interest rates, the bank’s CEO, John Cryan, warned in a guest commentary ahead of the Handelsblatt Banking Summit titled, appropriately enough “Banks in Upheaval”, to be held in Frankfurt on August 31 and September 1, that “monetary policy is now running counter to the aims of strengthening the economy and making the European banking system safer.“
The ECB is still purchasing €80 BILLION of ‘bonds’ every month!
In June, the ECB began buying the bonds of some of the most powerful companies in Europe as well as the European subsidiaries of foreign multinationals. This pushed the average yield on euro investment-grade corporate debt to 0.65%. Large quantities of highly rated corporate debt with shorter maturities are trading at negative yields, where brainwashed investors engage in the absurdity of paying for the privilege of lending money to corporations. By August 12, the ECB had handed out over €16 billion in freshly printed money in exchange for corporate bonds.
Throughout, the public was given to understand that the ECB was buying already-issued bonds trading in secondary markets. But the public has been fooled.
Now it has been revealed by The Wall Street Journal that the ECB has also secretly been buying bonds directly from companies, thus handing them directly its freshly printed money.
Last weekend, when we reported that Germany’s Raiffeisenbank Gmund am Tegernsee – a community bank in southern Germany – said it would start charging retail clients a fee of 0.4% on deposits of more than €100,000 we said that “now that a German banks has finally breached the retail depositor NIRP barrier, expect many more banks to follow.”
Not even a week later, not one but two large banks have done just that.
Overnight, the Irish Times reported that Bank of Ireland is set to become the first domestic financial institution to pass on the ECB’s negative rates to customers for placing their money on deposit with the bank. The newspaper has learned that Bank of Ireland, which is 14% owned by the State, has informed its large corporate and institutional customers that it plans to charge them a negative rate of -0.1% for deposits of €10 million or more starting in October.
On June 5, 2014 when the ECB officially announced that the rate on its deposit facility would go negative, we posted “NIRP Has Arrived: Europe Officially Enters The “Monetary Twilight Zone.” However, while NIRP has already led to a dramatic upheaval across Europe’s economies as a result of a perfectly “unexpected” surge in the savings (as we warned would happen last October, and as the WSJ “discovered” last week) one key aspect of this “zone” was missing for the past two years: banks charging negative rates to ordinary, retail depositors.
However, after a two year wait, this final piece of the NIRP puzzle was revealed when earlier this week, Raiffeisen Gmund am Tegernsee, a German cooperative savings bank in the Bavarian village of Gmund am Tegernsee, with a population 5,767, finally gave in to the ECB’s monetary repression, and announced it’ll start charging retail customers to hold their cash.
Starting September, for savings in excess of €100,000 euros, the community’s Raiffeisen bank will charge a 0.4% rate. That represents the first direct pass through of the current level of the ECB’s negative deposit rate on to retail depositors.
H/t reader squodgy:
“The vultures gather….”
It was a perfect gift to a desperate market. All that was needed was a gentle hint that Italy’s troubled banks and their bondholders might not be hung out to dry. A “public backstop” for Italy’s weakest lenders would be a “very useful” measure in these “exceptional times,” ECB President Mario Draghi said.
Most Italian and European bank stocks surged.
The ECB is the second member of the institutional triad formerly known as the Troika to have called for a taxpayer funded bailout of Italy’s banking system. Earlier this month the IMF used its article IV consultation – an annual economic and financial health check – to warn of “global spillovers” from a full-blown Italian banking crisis, “given Italy’s systemic weight.”
Barely has the market had time to digest last week’s Brexit vote by the UK, a vote which may never actually be implemented if the “sturm und drang” campaign unleashed by the EU and the ECB on UK capital markets succeeds in changing the mind of enough “Leavers” to the point that the entire referendum is called off and Boris Johnson never triggers the Article 50 clause, and already Europe’s most financially troubled nation, Italy, is using Brexit as a pretext to unleash a €40 billion ($44 billion) bailout of its insolvent banks.
In what may be merely a peculiar case of serendipity, just last night we mentioned the name of the infamous president of Weimar Republic’s Reichsbank, Rudolf von Havenstein, in the context of the BOJ’s proud announcement that it now held more than a third of all Japanese government bonds at the end of March (so even more currently).
BOJ SAYS IT HELD 33.9% OF JGBS AT END-MARCH.
First one to 100% wins the Rudy von Havenstein economics prize
— zerohedge (@zerohedge) June 16, 2016
Well, either Citi’s Gregory Marks was following our amused observation, or in an act of odd confluence of thought invoked the spirit of Rudy von Havenstein completely independently, when overnight he unleashed a furious tirade at both negative rates and “utterly misguided” central bank policies in general and negative rates in particular in “Let’s Take Stock: The Efficacy and Merit of Negative Rates.”
The full note, which is on par with Deutsche Bank’s just as angry recent rant against the ECB, is presented in its entirety below.
Think back. Many readers have been trading for 10 or 20 years. A few have been trading for 30 or more years. What was it like the last time German 10-year bond yields went negative?
That is sort of a trick question. Most likely you were not alive, no matter how old you are.
As translated from Spanish, my friend Guru Huky posted the answer on his blog today: And the last time the German bond stood negative was …. surprise surprise.
German 10-Year Yield Since 1807
Over the years, first on fringe blogs who dared to point out long ago that the emperors are actually naked, and increasingly everywhere else there has been speculation that locked deep inside the ivory towers of central banks one could find either career academics or Goldman Sachs alumni who were convinced they were all powerful, all capable deities, who in addition to printing money out of thin air, are comfortable micromanaging not only the world’s capital markets but also economies. Just like gods, or “magicians”… but really just insane nutjobs.
Following the denial in February that this action is in any way about reducing cash, The ECB has made its decision on the EUR500 Bill:
- *ECB ENDS PRODUCTION AND ISSUANCE OF €500 BANKNOTE
- *ECB SAYS ISSUANCE OF EU500 NOTE TO STOP AROUND THE END OF 2018
- *ECB SAYS OTHER EURO BANKNOTES WILL STAY IN PLACE
- *ECB: EU500 CAN BE EXCHANGED AT CEN BANKS FOR UNLIMITED TIME
And just like that the second highest denominated European bank note in circulation (after the CHF1000 Bill) is dead…
Helicopter money may be on the horizon, but if Deutsche Bank has its way, there is at least one intermediate step.
According to DB’s Dominic Konstam, now that the benefits QE “have run their course”, it is time for the next, and far more drastic step: “the ECB and BoJ should move more strongly toward penalizing savings via negative retail deposit rates or perhaps wealth taxes. With this stick would also come a carrot – for example, negative mortgage rates.”
By Reggie Middleton
It’s official, I’m calling a banking crisis in Europe. Things didn’t go well the last time I did this. Of course, many will say, “But the rating agencies have learned their collective lessons. They would most assuredely warn us if the European banks are close to going bust, right?!!!”. Yeah, right! Reference our past research note on so-called trusted parties in private blockchains for banks. Those interested in purchasing the 22 page report on what is likely the first major bank to fall victim to the coming Pan-European Banking Crisis can do so here. All others, feel free to read on…
Here are some key points:
Full article here:
Thanks to the just released February diary of Fed chief Yellen, we now know exactly when she called Bank of England Governor (and former Goldman Sachs employee) Marc Carney and ECB President (and former Goldman Sachs employee) Mario Draghi.
Can you guess when?
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