Yesterday the European Central Bank acknowledged that the currency it manages is being sucked into a deflationary vortex. It responded in the usual way with, in effect, a massive devaluation. Eurozone citizens have also responded predictably, by converting their unbacked, make-believe, soon-to-be-worth-a-lot-less paper money into something tangible. They’re bidding gold up dramatically.
So after falling hard in 2013 and treading water for most of 2014, the euro price of gold has gone parabolic in the space of a couple of months. This sudden rather than gradual awakening is the standard pattern for a currency crisis, mainly because it takes a long time for most people to figure out their government is clueless and/or lying. But once they do figure it out, they act quickly.
Europe’s gold chart isn’t as dramatic as Russia’s (see it here) because Europe doesn’t depend on oil exports and the euro, while dropping versus the dollar, isn’t yet in free-fall. But with another trillion euros due to hit the market in the coming year, and a series of currency union-threatening political crises in the pipeline, the flight to safety could easily become a stampede.
Europe and Russia, meanwhile aren’t the only countries with incipient currency crises. Here’s gold in Canadian dollars: Continue reading »
… because there would be nothing more ironic if the man who “broke the Bank of England” ended up being FXCMed himself by another central bank, over two decades later and just as he was set to finally retire, at the age of 84, formally, something he supposedly announced in Davos yesterday. Continue reading »
Axel Weber says it is “hard to say” whether Europe would be in better shape today if the euro had never been launched, a tactful evasion understood as nostalgia for the stability of the D-Mark
The former head of the German Bundesbank has warned that the European Central Bank (ECB) will not succeed in raising inflation for years to come and is almost powerless to revive the fortunes of the eurozone on its own.
Axel Weber, now chairman of UBS and widely-regarded as Europe’s most influential private banker, said Europe’s leaders had squandered the chance to rebuild the eurozone’s foundations when the going was good and markets were calm.Continue reading »
It seems everyone was short the franc (CHF) as a matter of taking monetarism at face value. In other words, it amounted to believing the central party line about the economy and normalcy despite the fact that markets have been increasingly pessimistic about it all and actively and aggressively betting against it. Goldman Sachs is just one of many: Continue reading »
Here are a few theories on what really happened at the Swiss National Bank on January 15, 2015. That fateful day, the SNB suddenly decided to end suppressing the value of the Swiss Franc versus the Euro.
UPDATE: Knight Trading 2.0? Jefferies executive are reportedly on-site at FXCM discussing a $200 million bailout
As we first reported last night, FXCM was among the first of many retail FX brokers (and the largest) to see its clients suffer massive losses from yesterday’s Swiss Franc surge following the SNB decision to unleash market forces. There are now at least 4 retail FX brokers (FXCM, Excel Markets, OANDA, and Alpari) who have announced “issues” but FXCM, being among the largest and publicly traded is the most transparent example of wjust what can go wrong when average joes are allowed 100:1 leverage. FXCM is now stuck chasing clients for money they do not (and will never) have.. and its stock is down 90%, trading a $2 this morning (down from $17 on Wednesday). As Credit Suisse notes, time is running out as regulators “tend to be impatient once capital requirements are breached.”
By ending its three year currency peg to the weakening euro Switzerland has become the first major economy to surrender in the international currency war, and in so doing has given a long-delayed victory to the Swiss people. Contrary to the indignant reaction by the media and financial establishment, the decision is not a disaster for Switzerland. A continuance of an open-ended peg to the euro could have ultimately ruined the country. Its surprise move, perhaps prompted by the European Central Bank’s recently announced intentions to unleash its own quantitative easing program, may be looked at in the future as the first significant counter-attack against our current global system of monetary insanity. Continue reading »
Central banks lie. That is what they do. Not too long ago, the Swiss National Bank promised that it would defend the euro/Swiss franc currency peg with the “utmost determination”. But on Thursday, the central bank shocked the financial world by abruptly abandoning it. More than three years ago, the Swiss National Bank announced that it would not allow the Swiss franc to fall below 1.20 to the euro, and it has spent a mountain of money defending that peg. But now that it looks like the EU is going to launch a very robust quantitative easing program, the Swiss National Bank has thrown in the towel. It was simply going to cost way too much to continue to defend the currency floor. So now there is panic all over Europe. On Thursday, the Swiss franc rose a staggering 30 percent against the euro, and the Swiss stock market plunged by 10 percent. And all over the world, investors, hedge funds and central banks either lost or made gigantic piles of money as currency rates shifted at an unprecedented rate. It is going to take months to really measure the damage that has been done. Meanwhile, the euro is in greater danger than ever. The euro has been declining for months, and now the number one buyer of euros (the Swiss National Bank) has been removed from the equation. As things in Europe continue to get even worse, expect the euro to go to all-time record lows. In addition, it is important to remember that the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s began when Thailand abandoned its currency peg. With this move by Switzerland set off a European financial crisis? Continue reading »
Having closed the Friday session less than 1 pip above the hugely important 1.2000 level below which there lay many stops, following this weekend’s news onslaught which seemed like a deja vu of the newsflow from the fall of 2011, where the main catalyst was the Reuters report that Germany is preparing to let Greece go once and for all (with the subsequent attempts at retraction barely noticed), or maybe just because someone wanted to price in a little more of the more than fully priced in by now ECB QE – which very well may not happen – the moment the EURUSD opened for trading it took out not only the critical 1.2000 stops, but within milliseconds the Euro found itself bidless and crashed to a low of 1.1864, promptly taking out the lows set in May 2010 when the first Greek bailout took place, and tumbled to a level not seen since March of 2006!
How do you fix a superpower with exploding levels of debt, that has a rapidly aging population, that consumes far more wealth than it produces, and that has scores of zombie banks that could collapse at any moment. You might think that I am talking about the United States, but I am actually talking about Europe. You see, the truth is that the European Union has a larger population than the United States does, it has a larger economy than the United States does, and it has a much larger banking system than the United States does. Most of the time I write about the horrible economic problems that the U.S. is facing, but without a doubt economic conditions in Europe are even worse at the moment. In fact, there are many (including the Washington Post) that are calling what is happening in Europe a full-blown “depression”. Sadly, this is probably only just the beginning. In the months to come things in Europe are likely to get much worse. Continue reading »
It’s one thing for a tinfoil fringe blog to repeat, month after month, that nothing in Europe has been fixed, that Draghi’s disastrous policies are merely concentraing and stockpiling even more unresolved problems – for now ignored courtesy of the gentle sprinkle of ZIRP, or rather NIRP “fairy dust” – and that just like Portugal showed panic can grip the entire continent literally overnight because everyone knows this. It is something entirely different for the CEO of Europe’s largest insurer to make the same statement.
When asking Allianz SE’s chief investment officer about the euro area’s sovereign debt woes, be prepared for an emphatic response.
“The fundamental problems are not solved and everybody knows it,” Maximilian Zimmerer said at Bloomberg LP’s London office. The “euro crisis is not over,” he said.
While extraordinary stimulus from the European Central Bank has encouraged investors to pile into the region’s government bonds this year, that’s not a sufficient remedy for Zimmerer, who oversees 556 billion euros ($757 billion) at Europe’s largest insurer. Countries are still building up their debt piles, and that’s storing up trouble for the future, he said.
Following its monthly monetary-policy meeting Thursday, the European Central Bank cut interest rates on its main refinancing operation at by 10 basis points, bringing it down to 0.15%. As expected the central bank introduced a negative deposit facility rate with a 10 basis point cut, bringing it to minus 0.10%
The ECB also dropped its marginal lending facility rate by 35 basis points to 0.45%. Continue reading »
Trends Guru and forecaster extraordinaire Gerald Celente joins Sheila Zilinsky the Weekend Vigilante on his plan for a one-two punch to the globalist agenda and we take back the greatest country in the world
In recent years a good part of the monetary debate has become a simple war of words, with much of the conflict focused on the definition for the word “inflation.”
Whereas economists up until the 1960’s or 1970’s mostly defined inflation as an expansion of the money supply, the vast majority now see it as simply rising prices. Since then the “experts” have gone further and devised variations on the word “inflation” (such as “deflation,” “disinflation,” and “stagflation”). And while past central banking policy usually focused on “inflation fighting,” now bankers talk about “inflation ceilings” and more recently “inflation targets”. The latest front in this campaign came this week when Bloomberg News unveiled a brand new word: “lowflation” which it defines as a situation where prices are rising, but not fast enough to offer the economic benefits that are apparently delivered by higher inflation. Although the article was printed on April Fool’s Day, sadly I do not believe it was meant as a joke.
As Europeans prepare to go to the polls in the EU elections in May, the study, conducted by Ixè institute for the Italian broadcaster Rai3, found that 43 percent of Italians would like to return to the Italian lira, the news agency Ansa reported.
The survey, which polled 1,000 people, found that the majority of those in favour (70 percent) were voters of Beppe Grillo’s Five Star Movement and 56 percent supported Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia.
Meanwhile, just 28 percent of voters of the centre-left Democratic Party wanted out of the euro.
With Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras settling into his role as EU President, UKIP’s Nigel Farage stunned the “Goldman Sachs puppet” with a 150-second tirade of truthiness he has likely never experienced. Farage sacrastically remarks how Greeks “will be dancing in the streets” at Samaras’ ‘successful’ negotiation on MiFiD reminding him that “60% of youth are unemployed and the neo-nazi party are on the march.” Europe is now run by “big business, big banks, and big bureaucrats,” Farage goes on, suggesting the smarmy-looking Samaras should “rename his party from New Democracy to No Democracy.” People do not want a United State of Europe, the outspoken UKIP leader explains, they want a “Europe of sovereign states,” and concludes ominously, “the European elections will be a watershed.”
…And you come here Mr Samaras and you tell us that you represent the sovereign will of the Greek people? Well, I’m sorry, but you’re not in charge of Greece, and I suggest you rename and rebrand your party – it’s called ‘New Democracy’, I suggest you call it ‘No Democracy’.
Because Greece is now under foreign control. You can’t make any decisions, you’ve been bailed out, and you’ve surrendered democracy, the thing your country invented in the first place.
And you can’t admit that joining the euro was a mistake – of course Mr Papandreou did that didn’t he, he even said there should be a referendum in Greece and within 48 hours, the unholy trinity (troika) that now run this European Union had him removed and replaced by a ex-Goldman Sachs employee puppet.
We are run now by big business, big banks and in the shape of Mr Barroso, big bureaucrats…
Two years ago, the CME announced USD/CNH futures trading enabling speculation (and hedging or risk transfer) of offshore Chinese Renminbi. On the other side of the world this week, a couple of gentlemen that few people have ever heard of signed an agreement that has massive consequences for the global financial system. It was a Memorandum of Understanding signed by representatives of the Singapore Exchange and Hong Kong Exchange. Their aim – to combine their forces in rolling out more financial products denominated in Chinese renminbi. This is huge…
Hong Kong and Singapore are THE two dominant financial centers in Asia. For years they’ve been locked in competition with one another, much like New York and London. So their public partnership is a very big deal… indicative of the clear objective they have in front of them.
Bottom line – finance executives in Asia see the writing on the wall. They can see that the dollar is in a period of terminal decline, and it’s clear that the Chinese renminbi is going to take tremendous market share away from the dollar. They want a big piece of the action.
The renminbi has already surpassed the euro to become the #2 most-used currency in the world when it comes to trade settlement, according to a report released yesterday by the Society of Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT). Continue reading »