Thursday, October 6, 2011


In reference to concrete moves on the Euro debt situation is what The Leader was talking about this morning in his press conference or camapign it what you will.  Another of my more frequent political comments:  who the Hell does The Leader think he is in speaking to the Europeans like that unless somebody elected him King of Europe which somehow I have missed?  The Suit is one thing but the President of the United States?  I suspose I should feel exonerated as I caught hell when I wrote that the administration was going to use Europe as a scapegoat for their economic failures but I do not.  Forgive me again but this is simply disgraceful and unworthy of this country and its leadership. "Nuff said.

Meanwhile, over in Euroland a few other fearless predictions of your intrepid blogger have become fact. The ECB today announced that it was prepared to make available whatever is needed to keep the financial system liquid including 13 month loans to individual banks and substantial amounts through the purchase of "covered bonds" from the banking system.  What are covered bonds?  Well, these are bonds that have as security specified assets on the books of the issuer which sounds just great except I suspect that those "assets" are going to be suspiciously resembling soverign bonds from places like...well...Greece which kinda defeats the purpose of the thing unless the bond purchases are non-recourse which I simply can't believe as that would mean the ECB would become the creditor.  And why 13 month deposits?  Well, you can look that one up yourself but as I remember any thing over a year is treated as term funding under the Basel Rules and that effects capital ratio calculations in ways that I simply don't remember.  The point is the ECB has pulled out all the stops and that's not a bad thing.

It was a funny thing, however, because it what will probably be his last meeting with reporters before retirement M. Trichet emphasized once again how proud he was of the actions of the ECB in keeping inflation in check for the past 10 years and that repeating that performance over the next 10 years would be the single most important role for the bank.  With gazillions of Euros pouring out of the place to keep the banks afloat that might become a tad difficult given that the latest inflation numbers are higher that expected and above the band that te ECB has set.  Does this mean that the hopes of a European rate cut are dashed?  Apparently no member of the press asked that question proving that the press is as inept over there as they are over here.

Not to be outdone, the Bank of England announced what appears to be the British version of Quantitative Easing with plans to purchase up to 75 billion pounds from banks over the course of the next few months.  We have not mentioned the British banks lately but rest assured they, too, are the proud owners of a pill of rubbish from the south of Europe although I suspect--and it has been suggested to me--that they have been far more aggressive in taking provisions than their Euro counterparts.  In response to all of this free money flying around the world, global stock markets recorded triple digit gains; now what would the markets do if there was something real and material that just happened to pop up?  The latest goings-on were easily predictable (by me) and I think they have lessened the risk of another liquidity crisis which, don't get me wrong, is not a bad thing at all.  With this now behind us (?) perhaps some attention can be paid to the simple, little task of curing the fiscal ills of three or four soverign nations.. Allons Enfants!

And in that regard, yesterday the Dutch gave their approval to an increase in the bail-out facility leaving Slovenia as the only major (sic) member of the zone not to have given the idea a thumbs up.  A few days ago I believe I said Austria instead of the Netherlands and for that error I apologize.  Proves I'm human and can get things wrong.  Came as a real shock, let me tell ya.

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