La Banca Centrale Europea, Ecb, sta apprestandosi ad invertire politica economica perseguita negli ultimi dieci anni.
Si apre un periodo ove le previsioni sono tutte aleatorie. Solo una considerazione sembrerebbe essere possibile quanto doverosa: la crisi politica che attanaglia l’Europa contribuirà potentemente a rendere ancor più complessa la situazione.
«European Central Bank officials are considering cutting their monthly bond buying by at least half starting in January and keeping their program active for at least nine months»
«Reducing quantitative easing to 30 billion euros ($36 billion) a month from the current pace of 60 billion euros is a feasible option, said the officials, who asked not to be identified because the deliberations are private. While the central bank’s governors are split on the need to identify an end date for purchases, a pledge to keep buying bonds until September — with the proviso that it could be extended if needed — may offer grounds for compromise»
«The tapering of QE by the Federal Reserve and the gradual increase in policy rates seems like a good example to follow. Markets reacted overall rather smoothly, and major turbulences have been avoided, at least so far.»
«the eurozone situation is a bit more complicated. One of the reasons for concern is that markets do not appear to have a clear understanding of the monetary framework that will prevail once QE is phased out, in particular how the bank would react to a resurgence of financial tensions, a new economic slowdown or recession»
«But the ECB has set clear limits to the amount of government bonds it can buy in the markets, defined in terms of proportion of overall public debt (33 per cent) and of each country’s specific debt issue (33 per cent), in relation to the bank’s capital key. These limits were set largely to avoid infringing Maastricht treaty provisions that prohibit the ECB from financing member states»
«the central bank should be more active in regaining room for manoeuvre, by ending QE sooner and raising rates earlier than foreseen by markets»
* * * * * * * *
L’emersione del drogato dal coma eroico è una delle peggiori esperienze possibili nella vita umana. Quelle poche ore di euforia avulsa dalla realtà è pagata ad usura nel presente e nel futuro.
La crisi dei subprime non è stata soltanto una crisi finanziaria: è entrato in crisi il sistema politico occidentale, trascinandosi con esso un violento riassestamento del comparto produttivo.
Nell’ottica delle allora imperanti teorie politiche ed economiche, la banche centrali hanno surrogato uno strabiliante vuoto politico e gestionale, ma lo hanno fatto al costo di generare moneta immessa a sostegno dei debiti pubblici che si espandevano a velocità consistente. I debiti sovrani sono l’incubo dell’Occidente, checché ne dicano gli economisti liberal e socialisti.
Ma nulla si genera dal nulla.
Le operazioni perseguite dalla Fed negli Stati Uniti e dall’Ecb nell’Eurozona in pratica compravano a ben caro prezzo tempo che gli stati avrebbero dovuto impiegare per riorganizzarsi strutturalmente, fare le necessarie sia pur dolorose riforme, cosa che non hanno fatto.
Se è vero che nel corso dell’ultimo anno le vecchie dirigenze sono state spazzate vie dalle elezioni, è altrettanto vero che le formazioni politiche di rimpiazzo sono variegate e frammentate, spesso con idee ben poco chiare.
Alla fine si dovrà ben affrontare i due problemi dell’Occidente: quello dei debiti sovrani e quello dei così detti ‘diritti precostituiti’, oramai indifendibili. Questa Stalingrado ideologica sta per arrendersi ed a ben poco valgono gli altisonanti proclami di una impossibile “vittoria finale“.
Negli ultimi tempi della guerra correva una battuta: “godetevi la guerra finché dura, che la pace sarà terribile“.
Bene, gli illusi si godano pure gli ultimi tempi degli interventi della Banca Centrale, che poi avranno un ben duro risveglio.
«the central bank should be more active in regaining room for manoeuvre, by ending QE sooner and raising rates earlier than foreseen by markets»
Interessi in crescita saranno la morte degli stati iperindebitati. Come dovevasi dimostrare.
– Some officials favor extending QE at EU30b for nine months
– ECB to announce future of bond-buying program on Oct.26
European Central Bank officials are considering cutting their monthly bond buying by at least half starting in January and keeping their program active for at least nine months, according to officials familiar with the debate.
Reducing quantitative easing to 30 billion euros ($36 billion) a month from the current pace of 60 billion euros is a feasible option, said the officials, who asked not to be identified because the deliberations are private. While the central bank’s governors are split on the need to identify an end date for purchases, a pledge to keep buying bonds until September — with the proviso that it could be extended if needed — may offer grounds for compromise, they said.
Policy makers led by President Mario Draghi are becoming increasingly confident that ECB policy makers will on Oct. 26 agree to the specifics of how much debt the euro-area’s central banks will buy in the coming year. After more than 2 1/2 years of trying to revive the region’s economy through bond purchases, some governors see the recent period of robust growth as a reason to rein in the support. Others are concerned that inflation remains too weak.
Any changes to the sum and time frame of quantitative easing would still fit into the ECB’s present guidance on monetary policy, which commits the ECB to promise “a sustained adjustment in the path of inflation consistent with its inflation aim.” It also pledges that if “the outlook becomes less favorable, or if financial conditions become inconsistent with further progress toward a sustained adjustment in the path of inflation, the Governing Council stands ready to increase the program in terms of size and/or duration.”
Council members have yet to officially discuss options.
An ECB spokesman declined to comment.
The euro strengthened as much as 0.2 percent against the dollar on the news. It was trading at 1.1839 at 8:56 a.m. in Frankfurt on Friday. Euro-area 10-year government bond yields were a basis point or two lower across the core and most periphery markets.
The institution’s chief economist Peter Praet has hinted on several occasions that he would prefer to allow QE to continue at a slower pace for longer if markets stay calm, arguing that a substantial amount of aid is still needed to spur inflation toward the ECB’s goal of running inflation just below 2 percent. He also said this week that officials should consider making public some of the details on how maturing debt bought under QE is reinvested.
“Crucially, the baseline scenario for future inflation remains contingent on easy financing conditions, which, to a large extent, depend on the support of monetary policy,” Praet said at an event in Washington on Thursday. The ECB Governing Council “will recalibrate its instruments accordingly, with a view to delivering the monetary policy impulse that remains necessary to secure a sustained adjustment in the path of inflation.”
In the meantime, Draghi said in Washington that the ECB’s promise that interest rates will remain low “well past” bond-buying is “very, very important.”
The IMF this week predicted the euro area will grow 2.1 percent this year before slowing to 1.9 percent in 2018. It estimated inflation of 1.5 percent this year and 1.4 percent next year.
Markets are worried by the restricted room for manoeuvre on monetary policy.
The decision by the European Central Bank to phase out, and eventually exit, the asset purchase programme — its version of quantitative easing — which should be taken in the coming weeks, is creating increasing concern in financial markets. Looking at the US experience, these worries seem unjustified. The tapering of QE by the Federal Reserve and the gradual increase in policy rates seems like a good example to follow. Markets reacted overall rather smoothly, and major turbulences have been avoided, at least so far. However, the eurozone situation is a bit more complicated. One of the reasons for concern is that markets do not appear to have a clear understanding of the monetary framework that will prevail once QE is phased out, in particular how the bank would react to a resurgence of financial tensions, a new economic slowdown or recession. For the other central banks that have embarked on QE, like the Fed, the Bank of Japan or the Bank of England, the answer is straightforward. There should be no reason why the respective monetary framework should change after QE is phased out. In the event of a new recession, the central bank could restart its expansionary policies, either by cutting rates or embarking on fresh QE. Increasing its balance sheet again would not represent a major challenge. But the ECB has set clear limits to the amount of government bonds it can buy in the markets, defined in terms of proportion of overall public debt (33 per cent) and of each country’s specific debt issue (33 per cent), in relation to the bank’s capital key. These limits were set largely to avoid infringing Maastricht treaty provisions that prohibit the ECB from financing member states.
The implementation of the asset purchase programme over the last two and a half years has brought the ECB very close to the limits set for the amount of government bonds it can buy from some member states. The remainder of the programme should be implemented over the coming months, depending on the speed of tapering, without major problems. But, given that the assets purchased will remain on the bank’s balance sheet even after the end of QE, and that the proceeds obtained at maturity will be reinvested, room for manoeuvre will be limited over the next few years. It would indeed be very difficult, if not impossible, for the ECB to restart QE if the bloc’s economy experienced a sudden slowdown in the coming years, or a resurgence of financial instability. Unlike the other central banks, the scope for further extending the ECB’s balance sheet may be near the end, unless the rules are changed — but that would risk triggering legal challenges. One way to relax monetary conditions would be to lower interest rates. There is in principle no limit for cutting rates further into negative territory, but the ECB itself recognised that at current levels the undesirable consequences of extra rate cuts for the financial system, and the possible impairment of the transmission mechanism of monetary policy, may cancel the possible benefits. The bank could resort to other instruments, such as lending unlimited funds to banks at fixed rates (against collateral). However, such instruments have proved to be ineffective in a slowdown, when demand for credit is weak and interest rates have already hit the zero lower bound. They may be weakened even more if banks’ holdings of government bonds are further restricted or discouraged through higher capital requirements, as suggested in recent Franco-German proposals for eurozone reform. The transmission channel of monetary policy would also be impaired. These limitations may provoke suggestions that the central bank should be more active in regaining room for manoeuvre, by ending QE sooner and raising rates earlier than foreseen by markets. This strategy, which would depart drastically from that of the other central banks, would inject huge instability in the financial system, with inevitable repercussions on the real economy. So, as the implementation of QE approaches the limits set, the constraints on monetary policy as a tool for the eurozone could remain for considerable time. This will add to uncertainty, and is likely to impair markets’ ability properly to price sovereign risk. Self-fulfilling expectations and destabilising market dynamics could develop, exposing the bloc to renewed financial crisis. Monetary policy has for too long been the only option. But without it, the eurozone would again be in serious trouble. Clarifying what impact the exit from QE will have on the future room for manoeuvre on monetary policy would help dispel the fear of such a scenario.
Gli articolisti di Bloomberg hanno le idee estremamente chiare.
Chiunque professi fede liberal oppure socialista è buono, bello, santo, colto, civile, intelligente, degno di governare su tutto e su tutti. Chiunque non condivida codeste idee è un ‘populista’, qualunquista, incivile, zotico, rude, degno solo di essere impiegato come schiavo. Se persistesse, allora sarebbe anche xenofobo, codino, razzista, fascista, nazista e persino, culmine del disonore, omofobo.
Il fatto che i liberal democratici siano stati sonoramente battuti da Mr Trump non li turba, così come sembrerebbero tetragoni al fatto che il partito socialista francese sia sceso dal 62% all’8% e che Frau Merkel abbia preso una facciata da distruggere un incrociatore da battaglia.
Continuano a vivere come se negli Stati Uniti ci fosse ancora Mr Obama, in Francia Mr Hollande, ed Germania la Frau Merkel della Große Koalition. Ma non ci sono più.
Una volta chiariti questi aspetti, è interessante leggere questo articolo.
«Some of the great moments of history sneak up on businesspeople»
«First, there were some deep underlying “irrational” causes that business ignored, such as the pent-up anger against immigration and globalization»
«Second, there was a string of short-term political decisions that proved to be miscalculations.»
«Does Angela Merkel now regret giving Cameron so few concessions before the Brexit vote?»
«Now, another rupture may be sneaking up on Europe, driven by a similar mixture of pent-up anger and short-term political maneuvering»
«This one is between the old West European democratic core of the EU, led by Merkel and increasingly by Emmanuel Macron, who are keen to integrate the euro zone, and the populist authoritarians of Eastern Europe, who dislike Brussels»
«Later this month it looks likely the Czechs will have a new Trumpian prime minister—Andrej Babis, a populist billionaire who wants to send Arab immigrants back home and promises to make the government work as well as his businesses do»
«Babis is plainly opposed to increased European integration of the sort that Macron wants and is also against Brussels meddling in Eastern Europe»
«he is likely to be bundled in with Viktor Orban of Hungary and Jaroslaw Kaczynski of Poland as part of Europe’s authoritarian fringe»
«Orban is expected to easily win Hungary’s elections next year»
«Macron complained about people turning a blind eye to Poland and Hungary—and said he would seek sanctions on Poland for infringing EU rules and values while benefiting economically from membership»
«Kaczynski. …. Like Orban and Babis, he’s fiercely opposed to any idea of increasing powers in Brussels or increasing the gap that separates the inner core of euro-currency countries. But he’s much worse at cutting deals with Europe»
* * * * * * * *
Sembrerebbero costituzionalmente incapaci di comprendere che l’essere umano non può essere ridotto al mero uomo economico, e che l’economia non è solo quella liberal.
Per questo motivo considerano “irrazionale” «the pent-up anger against immigration and globalization».
Poi, come se nulla fosse successo, si domandano se Frau Merkel non avesse fatto meglio ad essere stata più diplomatica durante la crisi anglo – europea che ha portato al Brexit.
Ma come ciliegina sulla torta, che Mr Donald Tusk sia un brav’uomo la dovrebbero andare a contare ad altri: è un uomo che ha tradito la sua patria.
«Rumblings in Catalonia may only be the beginning.
Tensions are growing in Eastern Europe»
Il fragore della Catalogna preannuncia tensioni in crescita nell’Europea orientale.
Ma il problema non è solo politico. I mutamenti politici che stanno avvenendo in Germania, in Spagna e nei paesi dell’est europeo preludono a mutamenti nella conduzione della Banca Centrale Europea, e tutto questo con una governance europea traballante, conflittuale, senza un preciso piano di azione.
Rumblings in Catalonia may only be the beginning. Tensions are growing in Eastern Europe.
Some of the great moments of history sneak up on businesspeople. Two years ago, Britain looked to be Europe’s most economically rational country; now its companies seem to be rolling from one economic earthquake to another, with Brexit looking increasingly likely to be followed by the election of a near-Marxist prime minister, Jeremy Corbyn.
Looking back, two things stand out. First, there were some deep underlying “irrational” causes that business ignored, such as the pent-up anger against immigration and globalization. Second, there was a string of short-term political decisions that proved to be miscalculations. For decades, for example, attacking the European Union was a “free hit” for British politicians. If David Cameron had it to do over again, would he really have made the referendum on whether to stay in it a simple majority vote (or indeed called a vote at all)? Does Angela Merkel now regret giving Cameron so few concessions before the Brexit vote? Would the moderate Labour members of Parliament who helped Corbyn get on their party’s leadership ballot in the name of political diversity really do that again?
Now, another rupture may be sneaking up on Europe, driven by a similar mixture of pent-up anger and short-term political maneuvering. This one is between the old West European democratic core of the EU, led by Merkel and increasingly by Emmanuel Macron, who are keen to integrate the euro zone, and the populist authoritarians of Eastern Europe, who dislike Brussels. This time the arguments are ones about political freedom and national sovereignty.
Later this month it looks likely the Czechs will have a new Trumpian prime minister—Andrej Babis, a populist billionaire who wants to send Arab immigrants back home and promises to make the government work as well as his businesses do. To be fair to Babis, he’s a rather more subtle figure than the American president (not to mention a more successful businessman). He is, for instance, careful to emphasize his respect for the judiciary and, on immigration, he welcomes newcomers from Ukraine, pointing out that he himself comes from Slovakia. His main appeal is efficiency (he fumes about his former coalition partners playing with their phones in cabinet meetings).
However, Babis is plainly opposed to increased European integration of the sort that Macron wants and is also against Brussels meddling in Eastern Europe. That means that, whatever the subtleties of Babis’s relatively centrist brand of populism, he is likely to be bundled in with Viktor Orban of Hungary and Jaroslaw Kaczynski of Poland as part of Europe’s authoritarian fringe.
Kaczynski is not the formal leader of Poland, but he runs the right-wing Law & Justice Party that holds both the presidency and the premiership (which he’s delegated to others). A fierce critic of Merkel, especially on immigration, he’s at almost permanent war with the EU, with his battles ranging from institutional—after Brexit, he called for powers to be returned from Brussels—to the personal—he tried (unsuccessfully) to stop his more conciliatory fellow Pole, Donald Tusk, from becoming president of the European Council. For the EU’s part, Frans Timmermans, a European Commission vice president, is formally investigating Law & Justice’s judicial “reforms,” which look like an attempt to clear out any unsympathetic judges, and its interference in the press. At its worst, this could mean triggering Article 7, which would suspend Poland’s voting rights on the European Council.
Kaczynski once boasted that he would make Warsaw into Budapest. That reflects how Hungary’s Orban has led the way. A far more diplomatic figure than Kaczynski, Orban, who once was an anti-Soviet firebrand, also stands accused of reining in the judiciary and besmirching his opponents (including the EU): His government is currently circulating a publicly funded “national consultation,” a piece of cartoon propaganda about what it calls the “Soros plan,” whereby the EU would implement a dastardly scheme of Hungarian-born financier George Soros to dismantle Hungary’s anti-migrant border fences and pay migrants to come to Europe. But Orban has generally been smarter than his Polish disciple about retreating before the EU takes any action. Despite opposition posters depicting him and his business friends as gangsters, Orban is expected to easily win Hungary’s elections next year.
This brings home the basic fact about all three populists: They’re popular. Businesspeople in the region tend to shrug off the chances of schism with the EU. Their economies are doing well, they point out. Yes, few Eastern Europeans are keen to have Syrian refugees as neighbors, but that is also true in France and Germany (revealingly, in September’s German election, it was the eastern regions that voted most fervently for the anti-EU party, the AfD). Businesspeople tend to stress that Orban and Babis are pragmatists, that they will stop before they go too far. Business is also confident that Germany in particular will not want to sever relations with an area that is now so completely integrated with its own economy.
Babis, the most businesslike of the three leaders, backs this view. He fears that if there were a referendum tomorrow, Czechs would vote to leave, but that is precisely why he would not consider holding one. It would be mad for a country of the Czech Republic’s size to even think of leaving the union.
The business view seems logical enough. But it’s also a little like the pre-Brexit presumption of British business: In the end, the common man (and woman) would listen to the voices of economic reason and choose to remain. The problem was that British voters didn’t think that way. After decades of being told how useless the EU was—especially on migration—millions of angry Britons voted to leave. Meanwhile, many of the EU’s leaders, having put up with British opposition for a long time, said good riddance.
In Eastern Europe, one reason the odds are still against a schism is that the Poles, Czechs, and Hungarians have the ever more disastrous case study of Brexit to look at. Meanwhile, Western Europe’s leaders are not in a rush to lose more members. But there is also the chance of short-term politicking getting in the way—of action creating reaction.
In this case, two personalities are likely to play outsize roles. One is the new French president. On the campaign trail, Macron complained about people turning a blind eye to Poland and Hungary—and said he would seek sanctions on Poland for infringing EU rules and values while benefiting economically from membership. There is principle behind this: The EU was supposed to usher countries toward democracy and, especially in the Trumpian world, sees itself as a defender of human rights. But politics also plays a role: Few French voters would shed tears if less money went to Hungary and it was harder for Polish plumbers to get jobs in Paris. And now Macron wants to push ahead with efforts to integrate the EU, centering on the euro zone, which will enrage the eastern countries that are outside the currency union.
The other personality is Kaczynski. Volatile, paranoid (he recently accused his “scumbag” political opponents of “murdering” his brother), and obsessed by his country’s tragic history, the Polish leader makes Boris Johnson seem rather predictable and easy to handle. Like Orban and Babis, he’s fiercely opposed to any idea of increasing powers in Brussels or increasing the gap that separates the inner core of euro-currency countries. But he’s much worse at cutting deals with Europe.
What would happen if the EU imposed more punishments? If a Macron-inspired plan for greater integration was torpedoed by the Poles? The chances are that Europe won’t undergo another great division. But that was also the probability when Cameron called his referendum. In Europe at the moment it is foolish for businesspeople to ignore the possibilities—and in this case, they’re frightening.
The low interest rates continue to cause problems for banks and savings banks in Germany. “The phase of stagnation caused by low interest rates is far from over,” said Andreas Dombret, the Bundesbank Executive Board member in charge of banking supervision, upon presenting the latest survey on the profitability and resilience of German credit institutions in Frankfurt am Main. According to the survey, the 1,555 surveyed small and medium-sized institutions expect to see a pre-tax decline in profits of 16% over the next five years, relative to their total assets. In the previous survey held in 2015, banks and savings banks had anticipated a 25% decrease.
Commenting on this result, Mr Dombret added: “The downturn has persisted, but at a somewhat slower pace than before.” Banks suffer under low interest rates because they narrow their margins in interest business. If high-interest investments mature, for example, banks and savings banks can only reinvest these at considerably lower interest rates, squeezing their earnings. As Raimund Röseler, Executive Director for Banking Supervision at BaFin, who presented the survey results jointly with the Executive Board member of the Bundesbank, pointed out: “This year’s survey revealed that Germany’s banks and savings banks are nonetheless well capitalised, thus helping most institutions to cushion the impact of losses arising from the low-interest-rate environment.” Measured in terms of their total assets, the participating banks and savings banks account for around 41% of the German banking market, constituting 88% of all German institutions. They are all subject to direct oversight by BaFin and the Bundesbank. The survey did not approach any of Germany’s large banks, which are directly supervised by the European Central Bank.
Credit institutions simulate multiple scenarios
Aside from having been asked to disclose their internal planning scenarios, the participating banks were asked to simulate five hypothetical interest rate scenarios covering the period 2017 to 2021. Looking at the findings, Mr Dombret explained that if the interest rate level stayed low or even shrank further, their results would slump. If interest rates remained low until 2021, net earnings would shrink by 41% under the scenario’s assumption of constant total assets. In scenarios entailing further interest rate decreases, the institutions anticipated losses as high as 60%. If the banks were to adjust their portfolios under this scenario on the basis of a dynamic balance sheet assumption, then the losses incurred would be somewhat less (ie 41%). “A rise in interest rates would be a different story,” Mr Dombret opined. In this instance, the model calculations indicate that while institutions would initially continue to post losses, they would see an upturn in profits in the medium to long term by as much as 7% above their level in 2016. “That said, neither the banks nor the savings banks anticipate such an improvement, as they regard this interest rate scenario as unrealistic,” he added.
The survey also included a stress test, used to measure the resilience of the institutions in a variety of stress scenarios covering interest rate risk, credit risk and market risk. According to the supervisors, the majority of the surveyed institutions are sufficiently resilient, boasting capital buffers that are large enough to absorb possible shocks of this kind. “Even after being subjected to stress, most of the institutions are well capitalised and more than satisfy the prudential capital requirements,” said Mr Röseler. “In each of the scenarios we see an erosion of the traditional earnings base but there is no evidence of a blanket problem afflicting the German banking sector.” Even so, 68 of the institutions would be unable to meet the requirements in a stress event despite the inclusion of silent reserves.
Institutions under pressure
Given the latest developments, Mr Dombret believes that institutions’ earnings are coming under pressure. While noting that there has not been any far-reaching loosening of credit standards, he pointed out that low interest rates mean there is a tendency among institutions to incur greater risks in light of the large demand for finance, as well as an observable trend of greater risk-taking in mortgage lending. “In the current low-interest-rate environment, there is an increase in mortgage loans in banks’ balance sheets – both the overall volume and the average loan size have risen distinctly,” said Mr Dombret. “On top of that, institutions also seem to be willing to grant loans against less collateral.” Even so, the Bundesbank does not see any signs of a housing bubble forming.
Mr Dombret also remarked that banks and savings banks are also increasingly turning to alternative sources of earnings on the back of shrinking margins in interest business, adding that commission business in particular will play a more important role in stabilising their future earnings. He does not believe these countermeasures go far enough, however, commenting: “Further, more decisive action will be needed to turn things around.” To this, Mr Röseler added: “Basically, we advise banks to charge prices that line up with the costs and the risks.” BaFin’s Executive Director also pointed out that the trend towards mergers is also growing.
«Give me control of a nation’s money and I care not who makes its laws»
«In recent years, the large central banks of the western world have exploited their power more radically than ever before in their long history»
«Instead of, as previously, limiting themselves to influencing short-term interest rates, they have deployed trillion-dollar bond purchases, negative interest rates and other instruments to push down interest rates on every asset class on the markets, and drive asset prices to dizzying heights»
«Now the West faces a sea change»
«Likewise, the American central bank, the Federal Reserve, or Fed, will this month begin to slowly shrink its balance sheet, by now inflated to $4.5 trillion»
«the market magic performed by ECB president Mario Draghi and other magicians in recent years cannot be easily undone. It would be an illusion to believe that withdrawing from radical monetary policy can be just as quick and painless as entering into it»
«For years, the ECB has been holding base rates at zero percent and bank deposit rates at minus 0.4 percent. They have bought more than €2 trillion, around $2.38 trillion, of government and corporate bonds. These three measures have driven investors out of low-risk bond markets and into riskier investments: property, equities, bonds from firms with poor credit ratings»
«As a result, the price of these assets has been driven up vertiginously, as has the price of the government and corporate bonds directly bought by the ECB»
«But what happens when monetary-policy stimulus is withdrawn?»
«A real change of direction will only take place when the ECB begins to stop rolling over maturing bonds which it currently holds»
* * * * * * * * *
Tutto ha un inizio e tutto ha una fine.
Nel cinquecento gli spagnoli iniziarono a ricevere dall’America quantità sempre maggiori di oro ed argento: ricchezze al tempo strabilianti affluivano nelle loro mani.
Gli effetti furono duplici: una severa inflazione domestica ed il prurito di finanziare con tutto quel ben di Dio guerre nel continente.
Il risultato finale fu un consistente impoverimento della Spagna ed un sostanziale arricchimento delle Fiandre di allora, il posto dove gli spagnoli spendevano il loro oro ed il loro argento per rifornire gli eserciti.
Le Fiandre costituirono su quelle basi solidissime basi produttive e gli spagnoli si suicidarono dapprima economicamente e, quindi, politicamente e socialmente.
È fatto caratteristico dell’animo umano: essere abbacinati dal presente, immemori del futuro che sonnecchia all’uscio di casa.
Si vorrebbe un altro esempio?
Con deprimente regolarità a fine estate ed inizio autunno le piogge causano inondazioni alle quali conseguono danni consistenti e, spesso, perdite umane.
Poi, passato il fatto da prima pagina, nessuno fa nulla. Nessuno fa ciò che buon senso suggerirebbe: mettere in sicurezza fiumi e torrenti, dragare i decorsi, costruire e rafforzare gli argini.
Così la manfrina si ripete implacabile ogni anno.
* * * * * * * * *
«But what happens when monetary-policy stimulus is withdrawn?»
Questa domanda è del tutto ragionevole, quindi ben pochi se la pongono, ed ancor meno si predispongono a superarne l’impatto con i minori danni possibili.
Handelsblatt non prospetta uno scenario radioso.
«There is an enormous risk of something going wrong and prompting extreme market reactions.»
«When interest rates begin to rise, or perhaps before, the risk increases of snuffing out economic growth, as has often happened in phases of monetary tightening.»
«Debt default could follow.»
La conclusione di Handelsblatt è lineare: si potrebbe andare incontro al default sul debito.
Le parole “default” e “debt” sono termini banditi dalla contemporanea società avanzata e da tutte le recenti teorie economiche. Al solo menzionarle come minimo si viene tacciati di essere iettatori, ma di norma arrivano botte di “ignoranti” oppure di “terroristi”.
Quando capita agli altri si sente dire che era cosa giusta e naturale.
«Il debito greco ammontava a 495,954 mln Usd nel 2011 e si è ridotto a 348,559 mln Usd nel 2016.»
I creditori hanno già cavato dalla Grecia una refusione di 147.395 miliardi di euro, e vogliono indietro anche il resto.
Lo stesso accadrà con l’Eurozona. I debiti si pagano.
The ECB’s shift in monetary policy will take longer and cause more pain than many assume, writes Handelsblatt’s chief finance correspondent.
“Give me control of a nation’s money and I care not who makes its laws.” More than two centuries ago, the founder of the Rothschild dynasty, Mayer Amschel Rothschild, already knew the enormous power of central banks. In recent years, the large central banks of the western world have exploited their power more radically than ever before in their long history. Instead of, as previously, limiting themselves to influencing short-term interest rates, they have deployed trillion-dollar bond purchases, negative interest rates and other instruments to push down interest rates on every asset class on the markets, and drive asset prices to dizzying heights.
Now the West faces a sea change. This Thursday, the governing council of the European Central Bank, or ECB, will meet in Frankfurt, to discuss how they can gradually reverse course after several years of expansionist monetary policy. Likewise, the American central bank, the Federal Reserve, or Fed, will this month begin to slowly shrink its balance sheet, by now inflated to $4.5 trillion.
It is an extraordinarily risky turnaround. In recent years, large quantities of cheap central bank money has flooded the finance markets to such a degree that investors feel cozy and warm, like in a well-heated bath. But what happens when the plug is pulled?
«The market magic performed by ECB president Mario Draghi and other magicians in recent years cannot be easily undone.»
No one can really know the answer to this. But one thing is clear: the market magic performed by ECB president Mario Draghi and other magicians in recent years cannot be easily undone. It would be an illusion to believe that withdrawing from radical monetary policy can be just as quick and painless as entering into it.
What are the facts? For years, the ECB has been holding base rates at zero percent and bank deposit rates at minus 0.4 percent. They have bought more than €2 trillion, around $2.38 trillion, of government and corporate bonds. These three measures have driven investors out of low-risk bond markets and into riskier investments: property, equities, bonds from firms with poor credit ratings. As a result, the price of these assets has been driven up vertiginously, as has the price of the government and corporate bonds directly bought by the ECB. Thanks to this cheap money, the limping economies of the euro zone have, to some degree, been jolted back into action. According to Mr. Draghi and the markets’ other masters of ceremonies, bond buying has been a great help to the financial world and to the economy as a whole. But what happens when monetary-policy stimulus is withdrawn? Is the effect meant to suddenly switch into neutral, rather than negative?
That goes against all logic, and it is the unspoken reason why the beginning of withdrawal will be far more cautious than many think. Bond buying will be rolled back slowly and will not end before the end of next year. But that means the ECB will continue to supply the markets with cheap money until the end of 2018, albeit in slightly smaller doses. Afterwards, the ECB balance sheet will not be one cent smaller. On the contrary, it will reach an all-time-record high, at around €4.5 trillion.
A real change of direction will only take place when the ECB begins to stop rolling over maturing bonds which it currently holds. This is a step the Fed will soon take – a full three years after the end of their own bond-buying program. And even after this, the ECB will take years to bring down their balance sheet to pre-crisis levels. This is because it will struggle to find buyers for all the state bonds it sucked up in recent years, not least because of their low yields. It will have to hold most of these bonds until maturity, and that could take some time: for example, the average maturity for Italian government bonds held by the ECB is no less than 8.6 years.
It will be the beginning of 2019 before higher interest rates are on the agenda. Even this ultra-slow withdrawal from ultra-low monetary policy will be something like a bomb disposal operation, say analysts. There is an enormous risk of something going wrong and prompting extreme market reactions. When interest rates begin to rise, or perhaps before, the risk increases of snuffing out economic growth, as has often happened in phases of monetary tightening. Debt default could follow.
The bitter truth is this: like investment bankers before the crisis, central bankers don’t know how to hold up their giant house of cards, even if they maintain a well-polished façade to the outside world.
La situazione socio – economica greca sta evidenziando segni di una modesta ripresa.
«La Bce ha abbassato il plafond del programma di liquidità d’emergenza (Emergency liquidity assistance) a favore delle banche greche di 5 miliardi di euro, portandolo a 33,9 miliardi»
«Le banche greche dipendono dalla liquidità di emergenza — erogata da Banca di Grecia previo via libera della Bce — da febbraio 2015, quando sono state estromesse dalle normali operazioni di rifinanziamento presso l’Eurosistema»
«A giugno dell’anno scorso la Bce ha ridato alle banche greche l’accesso alle normali operazioni di rifinanziamento, meno costose rispetto all’Ela, permettendo agli istituti di ridurre gradualmente la loro dipendenza nei confronti dello schema di emergenza»
Nel 2010 la Grecia aveva 11,123,392 abitanti, che si sono ridotti a 10,757,293 a fine 2016: parte per contrazione delle nascite e parte per emigrazione, specie dei giovani. Il tasso di fertilità è 1.33, il tasso percentuale delle nascite è 0.86%.
Il pil nominale nel 2008 valeva 356.140 milioni Usd, mentre a fine 2016 si era attestato a 194,248 mln Uds. Alle stese date il pil procapite valeva 31,198 Usd e 17,910 Usd, rispettivamente.
Il debito ammontava a 495,954 mln Usd nel 2011 e si è ridotto a 348,559 mln Usd nel 2016. A causa del decremento del pil nominale, il rapporto debito/pil è passato da 172.10% nel 2011 agli attuali 179%.
Non ci si illuda: i debiti devono essere rimborsati.
ATENE (Reuters) – La Bce ha abbassato il plafond del programma di liquidità d’emergenza (Emergency liquidity assistance) a favore delle banche greche di 5 miliardi di euro, portandolo a 33,9 miliardi.
Lo ha annunciato l’istituto centrale greco spiegando che la decisione riflette le condizioni di liquidità e tiene conto dei flussi dei depositi del settore privato. Il tetto è valido fino al 20 settembre.
Le banche greche dipendono dalla liquidità di emergenza — erogata da Banca di Grecia previo via libera della Bce — da febbraio 2015, quando sono state estromesse dalle normali operazioni di rifinanziamento presso l’Eurosistema.
A giugno dell’anno scorso la Bce ha ridato alle banche greche l’accesso alle normali operazioni di rifinanziamento, meno costose rispetto all’Ela, permettendo agli istituti di ridurre gradualmente la loro dipendenza nei confronti dello schema di emergenza.
A luglio i finanziamenti Ela alle banche greche sono scesi rispetto al mese precedente di 3,3 miliardi di euro, pari all’ 8,7%, portandosi a quota 34,6 miliardi.
«Il dollaro «sta diventando troppo forte e in parte è colpa mia perché la gente ha fiducia in me». Lo ha affermato il presidente degli Stati Uniti, Donald Trump, in un’intervista al Wall Street Journal. Il dollaro forte, ovviamente, potrebbe creare dei problemi all’economia americana. «È molto, molto difficile – ha osservato Trump – competere quando si ha un dollaro forte e altri paesi svalutano».»
«Inoltre Mnuchin ha ricordato che gli Stati Uniti non interverranno sulle valute»
Come si constata, gli Stati Uniti non sono intervenuti sulle valute.
Il Presidente Trump ha la caratteristica di parlare ad alta voce di cose futili ed irrilevanti, ma che stuzzicano accesi dibattiti sul nulla, come, per esempio, l’inquadramento dei transgender nell’esercito. Nel mentre, lavora in un silenzio impressionante ai suoi piani e la gente alla fine se ne accorge a cose fatte.
Un caso da manuale è l’attuale deprezzamento del dollaro sull’euro e su altre valute. Di fatto, Mr Trump ha imposto all’Eurozona ed a gran parte del mondo un dazio generalizzato di quasi il 16%.
«Paura per l’euro troppo forte. È il tema caldo discusso all’ultima riunione della Bce. …. sono state espresse preoccupazioni circa il rischio di un eccessivo rialzo dell’euro nel futuro»
«Le banche europee sono ora ben capitalizzate»
«Draghi si è limitato a citare l’euro forte come un fattore deflazionistico»
«L’effetto dell’euro forte si è sentito sulle proiezioni economiche. L’inflazione potrebbe ora raggiungere l’1,5% medio annuo nel 2017, e fermarsi all’1,2% nel 2018 – le stime di giugno indicavano un +1,3% – e all’1,5% nel 2019 – dall’1,6% delle previsioni precedenti. L’obiettivo del 2%, insomma, si è allontanato e questo ha implicazioni dirette sulle prossime mosse di politica monetaria.
Anche le esportazioni sono previste in rallentamento, piuttosto marcato: +4,7% quest’anno, dal 4,8%; +3,7% nel 2018, dal 4,3%; e +3,8% nel 2019, dal 4,1%. Non ci sarà però alcun impatto sulla crescita – migliorata al 2,2% per il 2017, e confermata all’1,8% e all’1,7% per i due prossimi anni – guidata soprattutto dalla domanda interna.»
«Il cambio diventa dunque importante, anzi «molto importante per inflazione e crescita» e dunque bisognerà tener conto del suo andamento «nell’insieme di informazioni» che sarà alla base delle prossime decisioni. Il consiglio ha discusso a lungo quanta parte dell’apprezzamento è legato alla ripresa e quanta a fattori esogeni e le opinioni sono apparse divergenti. Il consensus, ha spiegato Draghi, è stato appunto che il rialzo «è fonte di incertezze». Un rialzo troppo incisivo, o troppo prolungato, in una fase in cui i prezzi rispondono poco alla crescita, cambia completamente le prospettive per l’inflazione.» [Fonte]
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Cerchiamo di chiarirci qualche idea.
Da anni Mr Draghi predica come il nemico pubblico numero uno sia la deflazione.
Ma allora il conto non tornerebbe con «l’euro forte come un fattore deflazionistico».
Un dollaro che perda di valore nei confronti dell’euro giova a tutti tranne che a Mr Draghi ed all’Eurozona.
Sorge quindi spontanea una serie di comande.
– Perché Ecb non interviene? Si sono accordati con la Fed oppure semplicemente non ha più risorse?
– Non è che ci siano sotto motivi politici inesprimibili?
LONDRA (Reuters) – Euro extra forte, in vista di quota 1,21 sul dollaro, a nuovi massimi da due anni e mezzo in scia al meeting Bce di ieri, da cui non sono emerse prese di posizione definite da parte del presidente Draghi rispetto al recente apprezzamento della divisa unica.
** Al di là del messaggio accomodante di politica monetaria — con la conferma di una Bce pronta a estendere in caso di necessità durata o importo del Qe — in conferenza stampa Draghi si è limitato a citare l’euro forte come un fattore deflazionistico, alla base del taglio delle time di inflazione sul 2018 e il 2019.
** L’euro/dollaro tiene agevolmente in area 1,2050, dopo essere salito a inizio mattinata fino al picco di 1,2092, il livello più alto da gennaio 2015.
** Lo stesso Draghi ha comunque confermato che per il meeting di ottobre dovrebbero essere prese le decisioni principali sul percorso di riduzione del Qe.
“Adesso l’euro ha per davvero il vento in poppa e pensiamo che nei prossimi mesi andremo a vedere il rimbalzo dell’euro/dollaro parte seconda”, commenta lo strategist di Danske Bank Christin Tuxen.
** Segnali di cautela continuano invece ad arrivare dalla politica monetaria Usa. Il presidente della Fed di New York Dudley ha affermato che i tassi devono continuare a salire di pari passo con la ripresa dell’inflazione, ma le sue parole sono suonate meno fiduciose rispetto agli ultimi interventi: tre settimane fa lo stesso Dudley aveva esplicitamente dichiarato di aspettarsi un nuovo rialzo dei tassi prima di fine anno.
** Il dollaro/yen ha bucato al ribasso la soglia di 108, con un minimo di giornata a 107,59, riportandosi ai livelli dello scorso novembre.