Thursday, June 5, 2014


Frankie is so hacked off that he's going to bring the BNP-Paribas mess up tonight over dinner for God's sakes with Barry and that's because of the size of the fine that Eric Holder, the Head of the Department of Extortion is banding about.  Frankie hasn't even heard about New York State's play but the $10 billion about to be charged against BNP-Paribas Visa card might well, it is rumored, put the bank into deep do-do from a capital standpoint.  I mean it's the theater of the absurd.  The Leader, desperate to get some help from somebody Over There having abandoned all pretense of having a foreign policy gets himself in the middle of a fight over whether a French bank broke U.S. rules regarding dealing with OUR enemy (the French have a different view about these things) half a dozen years ago and how much his idiot acolytes are planning on fining them for the crime…like money is the issue.  In the end, the money comes from the Tresoire; the issue is how does a President of the Republic who has a lower approval rating than The Leader explain to his taxpayers that their cash is going to Les Americains?  Like there's nothing more important than this, dude?  And then he gets up on his hind legs to tell the world it is simply out of the question that he would ever interfere with the prosecution of a case!  The guy continually believes that he finds a new kind of stupid in every spot in the world he visits.  I give up.  It's hopeless.

So, over to our friend Mario Draghi, who today did exactly what everyone thought he would do which was pretty much nothing.  Super Mario pulled a Swissy and laid a negative deposit rate on all the banks in Europe in order to get them to keep their money out of the ECB and put it to work out in the economy.  Problem is, there are no deposits in the ECB, the banks having pulled those out weeks ago in anticipation of such a move.  Where's the money?  I haven't a clue but it is not back in the economy.  Gee, do you think the collapse in yields on southern European debt might be a result of some of that deposit money flowing into bonds...AND do you think that the zero capital weighting because of the sovereign risk might have something to do with it...AND do you think if someone was to take a look at cross-border flows between home offices and subsidiaries in Spain and Italy someone might find a lot of activity...AND if someone was told that investments by local branches in sovereign debt was tax free, do you think you might find the answer to the missing Euros?  You do?  Clever child.  Oh, Mario just cut the Lombard rate to 0.10 from 0.25.  There's stimulus for you.

To be fair he held back his "bazooka" which is of course Quantitative Easing…which by the by is still unsettled as to whether he can do that or not, but there was talk of asset purchases to the tune of 400 million Euros which is not small change to a punter out at Longchamp, but a drop in the bucket in a 20 trillion dollar market.  Of course, markets loved it and up went the DOW by 100 points.  My God, it doesn't get better than this…except, perhaps, to be the back-up translator at Frankie and Barry's little Soiree tonight.  Lord, the tickets I could sell!

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