Most Popular
1. It’s a New Macro, the Gold Market Knows It, But Dead Men Walking Do Not (yet)- Gary_Tanashian
2.Stock Market Presidential Election Cycle Seasonal Trend Analysis - Nadeem_Walayat
3. Bitcoin S&P Pattern - Nadeem_Walayat
4.Nvidia Blow Off Top - Flying High like the Phoenix too Close to the Sun - Nadeem_Walayat
4.U.S. financial market’s “Weimar phase” impact to your fiat and digital assets - Raymond_Matison
5. How to Profit from the Global Warming ClImate Change Mega Death Trend - Part1 - Nadeem_Walayat
7.Bitcoin Gravy Train Trend Forecast 2024 - - Nadeem_Walayat
8.The Bond Trade and Interest Rates - Nadeem_Walayat
9.It’s Easy to Scream Stocks Bubble! - Stephen_McBride
10.Fed’s Next Intertest Rate Move might not align with popular consensus - Richard_Mills
Last 7 days
How to Capitalise on the Robots - 20th June 24
Bitcoin, Gold, and Copper Paint a Coherent Picture - 20th June 24
Why a Dow Stock Market Peak Will Boost Silver - 20th June 24
QI Group: Leading With Integrity and Impactful Initiatives - 20th June 24
Tesla Robo Taxis are Coming THIS YEAR! - 16th June 24
Will NVDA Crash the Market? - 16th June 24
Inflation Is Dead! Or Is It? - 16th June 24
Investors Are Forever Blowing Bubbles - 16th June 24
Stock Market Investor Sentiment - 8th June 24
S&P 494 Stocks Then & Now - 8th June 24
As Stocks Bears Begin To Hibernate, It's Now Time To Worry About A Bear Market - 8th June 24
Gold, Silver and Crypto | How Charts Look Before US Dollar Meltdown - 8th June 24
Gold & Silver Get Slammed on Positive Economic Reports - 8th June 24
Gold Summer Doldrums - 8th June 24
S&P USD Correction - 7th June 24
Israel's Smoke and Mirrors Fake War on Gaza - 7th June 24
US Banking Crisis 2024 That No One Is Paying Attention To - 7th June 24
The Fed Leads and the Market Follows? It's a Big Fat MYTH - 7th June 24
How Much Gold Is There In the World? - 7th June 24
Is There a Financial Crisis Bubbling Under the Surface? - 7th June 24
Bitcoin Trend Forecast, Crypto's Exit Strategy - 31st May 24
Zimbabwe Officials Already Looking to Inflate New Gold-Backed Currency - 31st May 24
India Silver Imports Have Already Topped 2023 Total - 31st May 24
Gold Has Done Its Job – Isn’t That Enough? - 31st May 24
Gold Stocks Catching Up - 31st May 24
Time to take the RED Pill - 28th May 24
US Economy Slowing Slipping into Recession, But Not There Yet - 28th May 24
Gold vs. Silver – Very Important Medium-term Signal - 28th May 24
Is Gold Price Heading to $2,275 - 2,280? - 28th May 24
Stocks Bull Market Smoking Gun - 25th May 24
Congress Moves against Totalitarian Central Bank Digital Currency Schemes - 25th May 24
Government Tinkering With Prices Is Like Hiding All of the Street Signs - 25th May 24
Gold Mid Tier Mining Stocks Fundamentals - 25th May 24
Why US Interest Rates are a Nothing Burger - 24th May 24
Big Banks Are Pressuring The Fed To Losen Protection For Depositors - 24th May 24
Another Bank Failure: How to Tell if Your Bank is At Risk - 24th May 24
AI Stocks Portfolio and Tesla - 23rd May 24
All That Glitters Isn't Gold: Silver Has Outperformed Gold During This Gold Bull Run - 23rd May 24
Gold and Silver Expose Stock Market’s Phony Gains - 23rd May 24
S&P 500 Cyclical Relative Performance: Stocks Nearing Fully Valued - 23rd May 24
Nvidia NVDA Stock Earnings Rumble After Hours - 22nd May 24
Stock Market Trend Forecasts for 2024 and 2025 - 21st May 24
Silver Price Forecast: Trumpeting the Jubilee | Sovereign Debt Defaults - 21st May 24
Bitcoin Bull Market Bubble MANIA Rug Pulls 2024! - 19th May 24
Important Economic And Geopolitical Questions And Their Answers! - 19th May 24
Pakistan UN Ambassador Grows Some Balls Accuses Israel of Being Like Nazi Germany - 19th May 24
Could We See $27,000 Gold? - 19th May 24
Gold Mining Stocks Fundamentals - 19th May 24
The Gold and Silver Ship Will Set Sail! - 19th May 24

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

How to Protect your Wealth by Investing in AI Tech Stocks

Enjoy the Stock Market Rally While it Lasts, Super Mario Draghi’s Bazooka is a Dud

Stock-Markets / Eurozone Debt Crisis Sep 07, 2012 - 06:37 AM GMT

By: Money_Morning

Stock-Markets

Diamond Rated - Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleKeith Fitz-Gerald writes: Not too long ago I mentioned that whatever European Central Bank President "Super Mario" Draghi delivers, it had better be big.

Because the only way he could hope to shore up the beleaguered e uro, wrest control of interest rates from the modern day financial pirates that dominate credit default swaps and break the impasse between skittish investors was with a monetary "bazooka."


We certainly got one yesterday when he announced an unlimited bond purchase program designed to do exactly this.

The S&P 500 shot up 26.13 points while the Dow and Nasdaq both tacked on 216.01 and 62.80 points respectively. European markets also moved sharply higher on the news as well while Spanish and Italian yields tumbled at maturities of every length suggesting traders relaxed their risk aversion stance considerably.

Under Draghi's plan, the ECB will be buying unlimited amounts of short-term sovereign debt while also sterilizing that debt-- ostensibly to stave off concerns about hyperinflation and further money printing.

Up to now, the ECB has only purchased troubled EU bank bonds as a buyer of last resort. So this is a big change now that Draghi is talking about stepping up as a sovereign debt buyer, albeit also of last resort.

Draghi noted interestingly that the ECB will retain exclusive decision making on when to engage in purchases, the amounts purchased and when to stop. This effectively puts the politicians on notice that further bickering will not be tolerated.

Further, Draghi did not rule out purchases of Greek, Portuguese and Irish bonds when those countries regain practical access to the bond markets.

There are a couple of things that stand out here...

A Cause for Fear-Not Celebration

First, things are so bad that insiders are using euphemisms to describe Draghi's plan which is officially referred to as a "blueprint" and called "Monetary Outright Transactions."

I don't know about you but if it smells like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like one, too...odds are pretty good it's a duck.

It doesn't matter whether you are talking quantitative easing or bond purchasing. The fact that things are so bad that central banks - first the BOJ, then the Fed, now the ECB - have to wade in as lenders of last resort should be a cause for fear rather than celebration.

If not now, than a few years from now, when it all comes back to roost.

Here's why.

Under Draghi's blueprint, the ECB is going to be buying bonds from troubled sovereigns. The banks, meanwhile, "sterilize" their debt by investing with the ECB.

The only trouble is that the banks have been borrowing money from the sovereigns all along so the money they are "investing" to sterilize the ECB's purchases really came from the ECB in the first place.

The money is simply going around in circles - whether that's like a tornado or a toilet bowl depends on your perspective.

Figure 1: Fitz-Gerald Research AnalyticsThen there's the cash itself.

As I understand it, Draghi's plan presumes that European banks are going to invest it in the ECB as part of the sterilization process. Last time I checked, many European banks are functionally insolvent because they don't have enough cash to operate let alone invest the excess, especially when it comes to Spanish and Italian banks.

At the same time, banks are deleveraging in order to meet revised capital requirements. They are selling assets and scaling back lending. When you scale back lending you have less credit. And less credit means less growth.

The ECB itself forecasts the economy will expand by 0.5% in 2013 and a deeper economic contraction in 2012 that shows Eurozone GDP dropping 0.4% instead of 0.1%.

In other words, the numbers are already going in the wrong direction - and that's before any sort of austerity whatsoever. Imagine what happens when somebody actually starts getting serious about spending less.

Second, the plan targets sovereign government bonds with 1-3 year maturities while also including longer dated instruments that have residual maturities within the 1-3 year time frame.

That means there are huge swathes of the credit market that will not be stabilized nor sterilized. It also fails to address corporate and private debt both of which have also reached problematic levels in the EU just like they have here in the United States and Japan.

According to Eurostat long term sovereign debt accounts for between 74.6% and 98.9% of total debt in 23 EU member states. Shorter term levels of less than 5% were recorded in Estonia, Slovenia, Austria, Slovakia and Poland. Only Sweden and Romania presented a significant short term debt ratio which Eurostat defined as greater than 23% according to the latest data.

Figure 3: Eurostat

In other words, by addressing the short term debt (in purple), the ECB is potentially leaving the bulk of the long term market (in yellow) out of the picture.

(Admittedly, details are hard to come by on this point only hours after Draghi's announcement so I'll plan on an update for Money Morning readers in the weeks ahead as we learn more about the exact debt composition details.)

Third, Draghi's concept of "unlimited" really bothers me. It's been a common theme so far because policy wonks want to "send a signal" to the markets that they are serious about fixing this problem.

I don't know about you, but I am tired of signals.

What I would like to see is governments learning to live within their means and the derivatives traders who have fractured the credit markets, making Draghi's actions necessary, held accountable for having driven the rest of the world to the brink of financial oblivion.

Granted, Draghi did say that nations requesting purchases will have to apply to the ECB and maintain specific behavior to qualify on a periodic basis, but so what.

EU membership supposedly required strict adherence to the Maastricht criteria which formed the basis of the initial economic and monetary union and that's been effectively ignored or violated six ways to Sunday since it was signed in 1991.

So Now What?...
Draghi's plan is little more than a fresh shot of intoxicants for stimulus addicted markets. I have no doubt that it will create a "rush" that people enjoy.

How big and how long this "rush" lasts really doesn't matter - two weeks or two years - I don't know.

What's far more important is that investors think through what will happen next and take steps to help to protect their money once the high wears off.

I'm not trying to ruin your day but I think it's much more important in this instance to be a futurist than a nowist.

1.Buy what the ECB is going to be buying...that's short term EU debt. Just like you don't want to fight the Fed in the United States, Draghi showed Thursday you don't want to fight the ECB either.
2.Buy gold. Like that's a surprise. Gold is a hedge against further crisis. Whereas once it was reserved for the periphery, it's now a foundation investment. Further, because of its generally low historic correlation to other asset classes, adding gold - even now - can help dampen overall portfolio volatility.
3.Buy TIPS or variable rate bond instruments that have either an inflation escalator built in or the ability to adjust interest rates as they begin to move higher. No matter how Draghi or any other banker positions this, bond buying and sterilization merely delays the inevitable seeds of inflation that are being sown in the meantime.
4.Short the e uro. I've made no bones about it since this crisis began that the e uro's very existence is at stake here. That means shorting the e uro is the way to go if you agree. After a Draghi bounce I still expect it to hit parity with the US dollar before the dust settles.

At the end of the day, I'll take a rally. Right now the world's investors could use one psychologically and financially. But, get ready for reality.

Once traders and central bankers figure out what unlimited actually means and how expensive Draghi's bond bazooka will become I have no doubt we're going to experience the entire doom, gloom and boom cycle all over again.

Source :http://moneymorning.com/2012/09/07/enjoy-the-rally-while-it-lasts-super-mario-draghis-bazooka-is-a-dud/

Money Morning/The Money Map Report

©2012 Monument Street Publishing. All Rights Reserved. Protected by copyright laws of the United States and international treaties. Any reproduction, copying, or redistribution (electronic or otherwise, including on the world wide web), of content from this website, in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited without the express written permission of Monument Street Publishing. 105 West Monument Street, Baltimore MD 21201, Email: customerservice@moneymorning.com

Disclaimer: Nothing published by Money Morning should be considered personalized investment advice. Although our employees may answer your general customer service questions, they are not licensed under securities laws to address your particular investment situation. No communication by our employees to you should be deemed as personalized investent advice. We expressly forbid our writers from having a financial interest in any security recommended to our readers. All of our employees and agents must wait 24 hours after on-line publication, or after the mailing of printed-only publication prior to following an initial recommendation. Any investments recommended by Money Morning should be made only after consulting with your investment advisor and only after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.

Money Morning Archive

© 2005-2022 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in