Pubblicato in: Banche Centrali, Unione Europea

Ecb dimezza gli acquisti titoli a partire da gennaio.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2017-10-26.

Debiti 000

«La Bce, …. dimezza gli acquisti di titoli a partire dal prossimo gennaio. Il Quantitative easing dunque passa da 60 a 30 miliardi di acquisti mensili, a partire dal gennaio e almeno fino a settembre, ma anche oltre se necessario. La Bce ha peraltro ribadito che «se le prospettive diverranno meno favorevoli o se le condizioni finanziarie risulteranno incoerenti con ulteriori progressi verso un aggiustamento durevole del profilo dell’inflazione, il consiglio direttivo è pronto a incrementare il programma in termini di entità e o durata».

Ora tutte le attese sono sulla conferenza stampa di Mario Draghi, che spiegherà nel dettaglio le decisioni assunte dal Consiglio.

«Non abbiamo discusso di scenari alternativi. Devo dire – ha commentato Draghi – che c’è stata un’atmosfera molto positiva in cui tutti i governatori hanno sottolineato la forza perdurante dell’economia e i riflessi sul mercato del lavoro dove sono stati creati 7 milioni di posti di lavoro in quattro anni». Tuttavia resta che «per fruire appieno dei benefici derivanti dalle nostre misure di politica monetaria, le altre politiche devono fornire un contributo decisivo al rafforzamento del potenziale di crescita a più lungo termine e alla riduzione delle vulnerabilità».

Draghi ha sottolineato che «l’attuazione delle riforme strutturali va considerevolmente accelerata per consolidare la capacità di tenuta, ridurre la disoccupazione strutturale e rafforzare il potenziale di crescita e la produttività nell’area dell’euro». Per quanto concerne le politiche di bilancio, ha aggiunto Draghi, «a tutti i paesi gioverebbe intensificare gli sforzi per conseguire una composizione delle finanze pubbliche piu’ favorevole alla crescita».» [Sole 24 Ore]

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In sintesi: da gennaio gli easing saranno dimezzati, con tutte le relative conseguenze.

Il Governatore Draghi ha poi ribadito un concetto su cui ritorna da anni, ed in modo sempre più accorato.

«per fruire appieno dei benefici derivanti dalle nostre misure di politica monetaria, le altre politiche devono fornire un contributo decisivo al rafforzamento del potenziale di crescita a più lungo termine e alla riduzione delle vulnerabilità»

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«l’attuazione delle riforme strutturali va considerevolmente accelerata per consolidare la capacità di tenuta, ridurre la disoccupazione strutturale e rafforzare il potenziale di crescita e la produttività nell’area dell’euro»

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Senza riforme strutturali, ossia deburocratizzazione, senza abrogazione di leggi, norme e regolamenti che vincolano il sistema economico, tutte le misure prese dalla Banca Centrale andranno perse.

Questa era la sfida che i precedenti governi europei non hanno né saputo né voluto sfruttare, e che i governi attuali avranno grande difficoltà a recepire.

L’era del socialismo ideologico è finita.

Annunci
Pubblicato in: Banche Centrali, Senza categoria, Unione Europea

Ecb. Mala tempora currunt, atque peiora premunt.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2017-10-15.

Banche 016. Marinus Van Reymerswaele, Prestatori di denaro, 1542.

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.

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«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»

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«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»

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«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.»

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«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.



Bloomberg. 2017-10-13. ECB to Consider Cutting QE Purchases in Half Next Year

– Some officials favor extending QE at EU30b for nine months

– ECB to announce future of bond-buying program on Oct.26

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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.


Financial Times. 2017-10-13. The ECB’s self-imposed limits complicate its QE exit

Markets are worried by the restricted room for manoeuvre on monetary policy.

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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.

Pubblicato in: Banche Centrali, Unione Europea

EurUsd. Le società dell’Eurozona perdono ad oggi il 5% – 8% degli utili.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2017-08-02.

2017-07-16__Eurocrati croppedimage530350-great

«L’euro ha guadagnato oltre il 12% da inizio anno e sta viaggiando ai massimi di due anni e mezzo contro dollaro»

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«Per gli strategist di Morgan Stanley una crescita del 10% dell’euro potrebbe far scendere gli utili della zona euro del 5-8% e limare la crescita del Pil dell’area dello 0,7% l’anno prossimo a causa del calo delle esportazioni»

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«Un contesto di questo tipo potrebbe creare dei problemi per le società europee in quanto sostengono una struttura dei costi che si basa a livello domestico per il 54% a fronte del 48% dei ricavi»

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«we Europeans must really take our fate into our own hands» [Bundeskanzlerin Frau Merkel – NYT]

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«really take our fate into our own hands.» [Bundeskanzlerin Frau Merkel – NYT]

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«Make our planet great again» [Emmanuel Macron – Cnn]

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«Bisogna smetterla di parlare degli Stati Uniti d’Europa,  la gente non li vuole» [JC Juncker]

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Il silenzio di Frau Merkel e di Mr Macron è davvero assordante.

EurUsd 1.1751. Mr Trump inizia a stritolare Frau Merkel ed i suoi ‘valori’.

Eur/Usd 1.1816. Mr Trump inizia a giocare ben duro.

No Comment.


Reuters. 2017-08-01. Euro forte, Morgan Stanley: pesa su utili società europee, finanziari ben posizionati

L’impatto del forte rialzo dell’euro sugli utili aziendali e sulle valutazioni di borsa delle società europee sta emergendo come uno dei temi cruciali nella stagione delle trimestrali in corso e Morgan Stanley si sta unendo al coro dei grandi broker che lanciano l’allarme sui conti degli esportatori.

Nonostante il rinnovato entusiamo degli investitori per l’azionario europeo da inizio anno, negli ultimi due mesi l’indice sulle borse continentali ha sofferto delle perdite sulla scia del deciso rally dell’euro che ha portato molti investitori ad alleggerire le proprie posizioni.

Per gli strategist di Morgan Stanley una crescita del 10% dell’euro potrebbe far scendere gli utili della zona euro del 5-8% e limare la crescita del Pil dell’area dello 0,7% l’anno prossimo a causa del calo delle esportazioni.

Secondo le stime attuali di Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S gli utili delle società europee del 2017 dovrebbero crescere del 12,4%.

L’euro ha guadagnato oltre il 12% da inizio anno e sta viaggiando ai massimi di due anni e mezzo contro dollaro. Un contesto di questo tipo potrebbe creare dei problemi per le società europee in quanto sostengono una struttura dei costi che si basa a livello domestico per il 54% a fronte del 48% dei ricavi, evidenzia Morgan Stanley.

Le società tecnologiche di hardware, alimentari, bevande e tabacco, e prodotti per la casa potrebbero essere le più colpite in quanto settori più esposti all’estero, mentre banche, real estate e utility potrebbero avere dei benefici poichè, al contrario, hanno la più bassa esposizione verso l’estero, dice Morgan Stanley.

Tra i titoli più vulnerabili, quelli che hanno beneficiato di un euro più debole negli ultimi anni come Infineon, Valeo, Faurecia, Nokian Pneumatici e Tod’s, specifica il broker.

Pubblicato in: Banche Centrali, Devoluzione socialismo, Geopolitica Mondiale, Unione Europea

EurUsd 1.1751. Mr Trump inizia a stritolare Frau Merkel ed i suoi ‘valori’.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2017-07-30.

Donald Trump photographed at Trump Tower in NYC
Donald Trump photographed at the Trump Tower on 5th Ave. in Manhattan, NYC on Monday, September 21, 2015. (Damon Winter/ The New York Times)

«A pensar male si fa peccato, ma spesso ci si azzecca».

Profonda frase del grande Andreotti.

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Frau Merkel non è la Germania.

La Germania non è l’Unione Europea.

L’Unione Europea non è la Banca Centrale Europea.

La Banca Centrale Europea sembrerebbe non mettercela mica tutta per tenere basse le quotazioni dell’euro.

2017-07-29__EurUsd__001

Si constata come il tre marzo il rapporto Eur/Usd valesse 1.05 mentre il 28 luglio valeva 1.1751. In cinque mesi questo rapporto ha subito sostanziali variazioni e questo trend sembrerebbe dover durare nel tempo. Sotto la condizione che non varino le situazioni al contorno, se questo andamento si riconfermasse, a fine anno il rapporto Eur/Usd potrebbe toccare il valore di 1.30.

Sarebbe ben difficile non vedere dietro a codesta manovra la sapiente mano della Yellen, che è riuscita a deprezzare il dollaro pur lasciando aumentare i tassi di interesse. Così come sarebbe ben difficile non vedere dietro questa manovra un preciso piano politico americano. Volente o nolente, il quadro dirigenziale europeo alla fine sarà obbligato a razionalizzare che con gli Stati Uniti deve collaborare, non fare la fronda.

L’Eurozona non è forte a sufficienza da poter svolgere una politica monetaria indipendente. Più in generale, le sue ambizioni di indipendenza ed opposizione agli Stati Uniti sono mere utopie.  Mr Juncker e Frau Merkel alla fine saranno obbligati dai fatti a comprendere come sia impossibile risolvere i problemi senza tener conto del contesto generale.

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«Germany, the eurozone’s largest economy, wants to see a tighter policy, which is a better fit for the robust economy. Clearly however, the ECB under Draghi’s stewardship has no intentions of altering current policy until inflation moves closer to the ECB’s target of 2 percent» [Fonte]

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«At the same time, the euro, which has significantly strengthened recently on expectations of the fast curtailment of the QE program in the Eurozone, has a negative impact on inflation expectations. This will make it more difficult for the ECB to make decisions regarding monetary policy. The ECB has repeatedly stressed that to begin the reduction of the program to stimulate the economy of the Eurozone, stable signals of inflation growth in the region are needed. The rate of price growth in the Eurozone last month slowed to 1.3% per annum, being significantly below the target level of the ECB, which is just under 2%. And, according to the leaders of the ECB, the economy of the Eurozone still needs “very significant” incentive measures because of low inflation» [Fonte]

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«According to the OECD’s calculations, fair value for EUR/USD as defined by Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) currently lies at 1.34.  Not all methods suggest that fair value is quite so high.  However, the Bloomberg calculated PPPs based on CPI inflation, PPI inflation and the Big Mac method all suggest that EUR/USD is currently between 0.02% and 18.5% undervalued» [Fonte]

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The German economy and the dollar-euro exchange rate

«To clarify why Germany has not recorded an upswing in GDP growth recently despite last year’s marked depreciation of the euro against most other world currencies, which – according to economic intuition – should have stimulated the export-oriented German economy.»

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Già.

«According to economic intuition», una valuta deprezzata dovrebbe favorire le esportazioni. Al contrario, una valuta forte dovrebbe deprimere le esportazioni.

A quanto potrebbe sembrare, la Bundeskanzlerin Frau Merkel non è poi così forte da poter imporre a tutti gli altri, a tutto il mondo, la condivisione della sua scala valoriale e dei suoi desiderata.


Bloomberg. 2017-07-28. Dollar Drops for Third Week as Data Underscore Fed Dilemma

– Greenback falls as GDP, ECI miss ests., health care shelved

– Swiss franc and yen extend declines on policy comparisons

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The dollar was headed for a third straight week of losses as data reinforcing the notion that U.S. inflation pressures are subdued kept the greenback close to a 14-month low.

U.S. economic growth and the employment cost index both missed estimates, while inflation expectations remained muted as the University of Michigan consumer sentiment reading improved in July. The dollar fell further after North Korea launched an intercontinental ballistic missile, extending losses seen after the GDP data and after Republican efforts to repeal Obamacare failed.

– The Bloomberg dollar index is lower by ~0.3% for the day amid month-end selling pressure and is on track for a weekly decline of a similar magnitude. The dollar is trading close to levels from early May 2016. Flows are muted after a hectic week that saw the euro gain about 0.7% vs the greenback and more than 3% vs the Swiss franc

– Investors continue to adjust positions amid shifting expectations for monetary-policy trajectories among the major central banks. Data Friday showed robust economic growth in some European economies and stronger inflation pressure in Germany. The reports underscored ECB President Draghi’s assertion that the regional economy is on a firm footing with reduced downside risk that should enable policy makers to begin discussions soon on tapering asset purchases

– In the U.S., the data amplified the Fed’s decision Wednesday to acknowledge the persistence of subdued inflation pressures, even as employment continues to climb. While the Fed has raised rates twice this year, markets assign less than 50% odds of a third hike for 2017. In contrast, both the SNB and the BOJ have signaled that their policies will remain on hold for the foreseeable future, the SNB also emphasizing that its currency remains overvalued. As a result, the Swiss franc tumbled vs its G-10 peers on the week; the yen dropped by a smaller amount vs most while gaining against the CHF and the USD

– In Friday trading, EUR/USD was trading ~1.1748 vs a high of 1.1764. It was still below the more-than-two-year peak at 1.1777 reached Thursday that offers nearby technical resistance

– USD/JPY was trading ~110.79 after dropping to a fresh low for the day at 110.67 following the North Korea missile launch. The pair tested technical support in the zone below 110.80 that cushioned during the week as the dollar fell with Treasury yields. The 233-DMA at 110.78 also cushioned the pair in recent sessions and may have added to support Friday, one trader said

– Adding to the greenback’s woes, USD/CAD saw its biggest drop in two weeks to a low of 1.2420, after oil gained and Canadian GDP beat all estimates. The data reinforced expectations that the Bank of Canada will hike again in October after raising rates 25bps on July 12

– The Swiss franc extended its weekly drop versus the euro and the dollar, with EUR/CHF rising above 1.1400 in late afternoon. Traders speculate that some M&A-related CHF selling may have exacerbated the drop in the Swiss currency in recent sessions

Pubblicato in: Banche Centrali, Finanza e Sistema Bancario, Unione Europea

Redde Rationem. Draghi chiederà lunedì cosa dover fare dei QE.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2017-02-06.

draghi-001

Questo lunedì Mario Draghi parlerà all’Europarlamento e risponderà alle relative domande.

Il tema centrale sarebbe quello di cercare ci capire cosa intendano decidere di fare gli eurodeputati.

Ma al momento attuale l’Europarlamento sembrerebbe non avere alcuna idea in proposito.

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«ECB president will testify at European Parliament on Monday»

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«Critics seek clarity on stimulus end after inflation jump»

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«Mario Draghi will face European lawmakers on Monday knowing he can’t please them all.»

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«The European Central Bank president can cite accelerating inflation, declining unemployment and 15 quarters of expansion as evidence that his stimulus policies are working»

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«U.S. President Donald Trump is threatening to tear up trade agreements, and European elections this year have seen the rise of extremist parties»

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«Draghi’s testimony at the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee starts at 3 p.m. local time with a statement, following which he’ll answer questions from legislators»

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«After recently flirting with deflation, the ECB now has a euro-area inflation rate of 1.8 percent that could rise still higher»

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«Even though the central bank’s goal is just under 2 percent, it intends to keep its bond-buying program running until at least the end of the year. It expects to keep interest rates at record-low levels for even longer.»

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«that inflation must be near its goal “in the medium term”»

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«the inflation pickup must be durable»

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«price growth must remain stable even if extraordinary stimulus is withdrawn»

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«There’s also a risk that the latest inflation surge is just a blip»

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Il vuoto politico in seno alla Commissione Europea ed all’Europarlamento è impressionante.

Nessuno che debba, nessuno che possa, nessuno che voglia assumersi una sia pur minima responsabilità operativa.

Tutti vorrebbero un miracolo, ma, non credendo in Dio, constatano che loro non sono in grado di farli.

Tutti vorrebbero che Mario Draghi risolvesse problemi strutturali ed economici con i soli mezzi monetari e finanziari, cosa semplicemente impossibile.

Così come è pia illusione, per non dire delirio schizofrenico, ritenere che la Banca centrale possa impunemente stampare carta moneta senza fine.

Tutti i politici della élite dirigenziale europea stanno con il fiato sospeso ad attendere i risultati delle elezioni olandesi e francesi.

Saranno grandi amarezze. Comunque esitino, nel migliore dei casi si assisterà ad un chaos sistematizzato, e nulla è peggio in politica del chaos.

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E sullo sfondo c’è il convitato di pietra: nessuno vuole parlarne, ma questo c’è lo stesso.

Nella attuale situazione mondiale potrebbe irrompere prepotentemente l’inflazione, ed allora saranno davvero lacrime e sangue. Ma almeno l’inflazione la pagherebbero tutti.


Bloomberg. 2017-02-06. Draghi Takes QE Case to Brussels as Politics Keeps Risk High

– ECB president will testify at European Parliament on Monday

– Critics seek clarity on stimulus end after inflation jump

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Mario Draghi will face European lawmakers on Monday knowing he can’t please them all.

The European Central Bank president can cite accelerating inflation, declining unemployment and 15 quarters of expansion as evidence that his stimulus policies are working. To face down calls to withdraw that support and let the euro-area economy stand on its own, he’ll probably also have to point to weak underlying price growth and a turbulent political environment.

Surging inflation is stoking frustration in some countries — notably Germany — while the slow exit from the financial crisis is fueling a backlash against deeper European integration. Although that’s a concern for Draghi, he also has to acknowledge that there are plenty of ways the recovery could falter. U.S. President Donald Trump is threatening to tear up trade agreements, and European elections this year have seen the rise of extremist parties.

Draghi’s testimony at the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee starts at 3 p.m. local time with a statement, following which he’ll answer questions from legislators. He may also be asked about the region’s bank woes and on the pledges from populist parties to leave the euro if they seize power.

To watch Draghi’s testimony at 3 p.m. in Brussels, click here

After recently flirting with deflation, the ECB now has a euro-area inflation rate of 1.8 percent that could rise still higher. Even though the central bank’s goal is just under 2 percent, it intends to keep its bond-buying program running until at least the end of the year. It expects to keep interest rates at record-low levels for even longer.

The outlook for the region’s economy isn’t gloomy. Business confidence in the first quarter rose to the highest level in one and a half years, a report by the Ifo institute showed on Monday. Most of the experts polled expect higher long-term interest rates over the next 6 months.

Still, Draghi said in a press conference on Jan. 19 that too much inflation would be a “high-class problem” and that tapering bond buying wasn’t even discussed by the Governing Council. He gave four criteria that must be met before winding down stimulus.

On the first — that inflation must be near its goal “in the medium term” — the latest ECB projections show progress.

The next requirement — that the inflation pickup must be durable — is more difficult to judge. Core inflation and other gauges that try to discern underlying dynamics from energy costs show that price pressures remain essentially weak.

That strong inflation is still a long way off was confirmed by data on German salaries on Monday. Real wages rose 1.8 percent in 2016, the slowest pace in three years, despite unemployment falling to the lowest level on record.

Draghi also said price growth must remain stable even if extraordinary stimulus is withdrawn. The ECB’s own calculations show that the effect of monetary support will be significant for a while to come.

Draghi noted that the ECB is focused on inflation for the euro area as a whole, not for individual countries. German complaints that its stronger economy needs tighter policy won’t sway policy makers if the rest of the currency bloc is too far behind. The ECB’s forecasts suggest that the divergences seen since the region’s debt crisis are narrowing, but there’s still a way to go.

That progress could fade away in the face of geopolitical risks, and one of the highest profile concerns right now is the direction of U.S. policy. There’s also a risk that the latest inflation surge is just a blip.

It’s all likely to keep Draghi — and investors — cautious. The euro was down 0.4 percent at $1.0737 at 11:18 a.m. Frankfurt time. The spread between French and German bond yields widened and gold rose.

“We do not react to short-term fluctuations, particularly those caused by energy and other commodity prices,” Executive Board member Benoit Coeure said in a speech in Paris on Thursday. “The core of our analysis will be ‘is this higher inflation sustainable?’ The conclusion today is: no.”


Reuters. 2017-02-06. Euro fades in face of French election risks

The euro fell around half a percent on Monday as concerns over French politics ahead of presidential elections set for April and May drew investors’ focus back to a year of political risks to Europe’s established order.

The dollar was broadly steadier after a poor set of wages data on Friday quashed speculation of a near-term rise in U.S. interest rates and sealed the currency’s fourth straight weekly fall, its worst start to a year in three decades.

In a relatively slow start to the week, the Aussie dollar was the other biggest mover among the G10 group of major currencies, down almost half a percent after a weaker batch of retail sales numbers.

The euro ground lower in the European morning to trade as weak as $1.0734 EUR=, compared with two month highs above $1.08 hit last week.

That came as bond market investors swapped French debt for the perceived safety of Germany and in spite of a strong batch of German industrial data which added to signs of an improving euro zone economy.

“I think there was just a load of position adjustment this morning,” said Jane Foley, a strategist with Rabobank in London.

“There has been a lot of talk about the strong data in Europe but the other backdrop is the politics. A few weeks ago, the market was convinced (conservative presidential candidate Francois) Fillon would win and that certainty has evaporated.”

A source close to Fillon said he would launch a fightback later on Monday against the fake-job scandal that has threatened to engulf his campaign.

Polls show the 62 year-old former prime minister has lost his status as favourite to win the presidency to centrist Emmanuel Macron, and that far-right leader Marine Le Pen – the chief risk for markets – has also gained ground.

PRESSURES ON DOLLAR

Equity markets, and the overall strength of U.S. economic data, continue to back the bullish dollar calls that dominated at the end of last year.

But a lack of detail on expected pro-dollar tax and spending initiatives, combined with concern over the Trump White House’s attitude to the dollar and global trade and security, has kept the currency retreating.

“I’d like to hope that we naturally go back to buying the dollar, that seems the logical argument underneath it all,” said Richard Benson, co-head of portfolio management with currency fund Millennium Global in London.

“At some point, equities in the U.S. should drag yields higher. The market is really just looking for another story.”

Signs of more inflation and better growth in Europe have helped to cool any further selling of the euro, although against that there are the worries of populist challenges in a series of elections this year.

On Sunday Le Pen began her bid to be elected president in May, promising she alone could protect the French against Islamist militants and globalisation.

German industrial orders saw the biggest monthly increase in around 2 1/2 years in December, data on Monday showed.

Speculators trimmed their bullish dollar bets for a fourth straight week through Jan. 31, with net long positions falling to their lowest since late October, according to data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission released on Friday and calculations by Reuters.

Pubblicato in: Banche Centrali

Ecb. Sistema, stabilità e prospettive. Una novità indigesta.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2017-02-02.

eurotower-002

Oggi si è verificata una concomitanza:

– Speech by Mario Draghi, President of the ECB, at the joint ECB and Banka Slovenije conference on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the euro, Ljubljana, 2 February 2017

– Pubblicazione del Bollettino economico dell’Ecb.

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Nota Introduttiva.

Sia ECB sia il suo Governatore usano un linguaggio sussurrato e smussato, senza mai alzare i toni od usare parole improprie od oltre le righe. Si leggano i testi avendo ben presente codesti principi.

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«Le decisioni di politica monetaria assunte nel dicembre 2016 hanno conseguito lo scopo di preservare condizioni finanziarie molto favorevoli necessarie ad assicurare una convergenza durevole dei tassi di inflazione verso livelli inferiori ma prossimi al 2 per cento nel medio termine»

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«Gli indicatori dell’economia mondiale disponibili segnalano il protrarsi di un moderato recupero della crescita dell’attività economica e del commercio a livello mondiale verso la fine del 2016»

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«I rischi per le prospettive dell’attività mondiale restano orientati verso il basso e sono connessi principalmente alle incertezze sul piano delle politiche e agli squilibri finanziari.»

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«Nell’area dell’euro l’espansione economica prosegue e si rafforza, trainata principalmente dalla domanda interna. In prospettiva, è atteso un suo ulteriore consolidamento»

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«Tuttavia, la crescita economica dell’area dell’euro sarebbe frenata dalla lenta attuazione delle riforme strutturali e dagli ulteriori aggiustamenti dei bilanci in diversi settori»

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«le misure di politica monetaria messe in atto da giugno 2014 forniscono al momento un significativo sostegno alle condizioni di prestito per imprese e famiglie e quindi ai flussi di credito nell’intera area dell’euro»

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«si stima che il costo nominale complessivo del finanziamento esterno delle società non finanziarie si sia lievemente ridotto a dicembre»

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«il Consiglio direttivo ha deciso di lasciare invariati i tassi di interesse di riferimento della BCE.»

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«il Consiglio direttivo intende proseguire gli acquisti netti di attività a un ritmo mensile di 60 miliardi di euro sino alla fine di dicembre 2017 o anche oltre se necessario»

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«Contestualmente agli acquisti netti sarà reinvestito il capitale rimborsato sui titoli giunti a scadenza acquistati nel quadro del programma di acquisto di attività.»

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Due frasi pesano severamente.

«Tuttavia, la crescita economica dell’area dell’euro sarebbe frenata dalla lenta attuazione delle riforme strutturali e dagli ulteriori aggiustamenti dei bilanci in diversi settori»

È elemento costante degli interventi dell’ECB e di Mario Draghi ricordare come le manovre monetarie e finanziarie a nulla servano senza concomitanti operazioni politiche di riforme strutturali. E per tali si deve intendere un progressivo smantellamento degli apparati burocratici con conseguente snellimento degli iter economici. Si noti anche la menzione della ‘crescita economica‘ senza menzione alcuna di quella finanziaria.

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«Contestualmente agli acquisti netti sarà reinvestito il capitale rimborsato sui titoli giunti a scadenza acquistati nel quadro del programma di acquisto di attività.»

Questo è un elemento relativamente nuovo che mal suona nelle orecchie dei politici. I titoli in scadenza dovranno essere rimborsati. Poi, il ricavato sarà nuovamente investito, certamente. Ma ciò non è sinonimo di rinnovo incondizionato ed immediato del titolo scaduto ovvero in titoli dello stesso stato emittente.

I Governi sono stati avvisati.


European Central Bank. 2017-02-02. Bollettino economico BCE, n. 1 – 2017

Le decisioni di politica monetaria assunte nel dicembre 2016 hanno conseguito lo scopo di preservare condizioni finanziarie molto favorevoli necessarie ad assicurare una convergenza durevole dei tassi di inflazione verso livelli inferiori ma prossimi al 2 per cento nel medio termine. Le condizioni di prestito per famiglie e imprese seguitano a beneficiare dell’impatto delle misure della BCE. Come atteso, di recente l’inflazione complessiva è aumentata, in larga misura sulla scorta di effetti base dei prezzi dell’energia, ma le pressioni sull’inflazione di fondo restano contenute. Il Consiglio direttivo continuerà a guardare oltre le variazioni dell’inflazione misurata sullo IAPC qualora siano valutate temporanee e senza implicazioni per le prospettive per la stabilità dei prezzi nel medio termine.

Gli indicatori dell’economia mondiale disponibili segnalano il protrarsi di un moderato recupero della crescita dell’attività economica e del commercio a livello mondiale verso la fine del 2016. Nel contempo le condizioni finanziarie sono divenute più tese su scala internazionale e le economie di mercato emergenti si sono confrontate con deflussi di capitale. L’inflazione complessiva a livello mondiale è aumentata con il venir meno dei contributi negativi dei corsi dell’energia. I rischi per le prospettive dell’attività mondiale restano orientati verso il basso e sono connessi principalmente alle incertezze sul piano delle politiche e agli squilibri finanziari.

Dopo la riunione del Consiglio direttivo dell’8 dicembre 2016, i rendimenti delle obbligazioni sovrane sono lievemente diminuiti nell’area dell’euro e la curva a termine dell’EONIA si è spostata verso il basso per le scadenze di medio periodo. I prezzi delle azioni delle società non finanziarie sono aumentati, mentre i differenziali di rendimento sul debito societario hanno registrato un calo. Il tasso di cambio dell’euro si è mantenuto sostanzialmente stabile su base ponderata per l’interscambio.

Nell’area dell’euro l’espansione economica prosegue e si rafforza, trainata principalmente dalla domanda interna. In prospettiva, è atteso un suo ulteriore consolidamento. La trasmissione delle misure di politica monetaria della BCE sostiene la domanda interna e facilita il processo di riduzione della leva finanziaria in atto. Le condizioni finanziarie molto favorevoli e il miglioramento della redditività delle imprese continuano a promuovere la ripresa degli investimenti. In aggiunta, i durevoli incrementi dell’occupazione, che beneficiano anche delle passate riforme strutturali, forniscono sostegno ai consumi privati attraverso l’aumento del reddito disponibile reale delle famiglie. Al tempo stesso, vi sono segnali di un certo rafforzamento della ripresa mondiale. Tuttavia, la crescita economica dell’area dell’euro sarebbe frenata dalla lenta attuazione delle riforme strutturali e dagli ulteriori aggiustamenti dei bilanci in diversi settori. I rischi per le prospettive di crescita nell’area restano orientati al ribasso e sono connessi principalmente a fattori mondiali.

Secondo l’Eurostat, nell’area dell’euro l’inflazione sui dodici mesi misurata sullo IAPC è salita all’1,1 per cento a dicembre 2016, rispetto allo 0,6 per cento di novembre. Questa evoluzione riflette soprattutto un forte incremento sui dodici mesi della componente relativa ai beni energetici, mentre non vi sono ancora segnali convincenti di una tendenza al rialzo dell’inflazione di fondo. In prospettiva, sulla base delle quotazioni correnti dei contratti future sul petrolio, è probabile che l’inflazione complessiva aumenti ulteriormente nel breve periodo, riflettendo in gran parte movimenti del tasso di variazione sui dodici mesi dei prezzi dell’energia. Tuttavia, le misure dell’inflazione di fondo dovrebbero mostrare un incremento più graduale nel medio termine, sostenute dalle misure di politica monetaria della BCE, dall’attesa ripresa economica e dalla corrispondente graduale riduzione della capacità produttiva inutilizzata.

Sebbene gli andamenti del credito bancario continuino a riflettere, con il consueto scarto temporale, la sua relazione con il ciclo economico, nonché il rischio di credito e gli aggiustamenti in atto nei bilanci dei settori finanziario e non finanziario, le misure di politica monetaria messe in atto da giugno 2014 forniscono al momento un significativo sostegno alle condizioni di prestito per imprese e famiglie e quindi ai flussi di credito nell’intera area dell’euro. I risultati dell’indagine sul credito bancario nell’area dell’euro per il quarto trimestre del 2016 indicano una sostanziale stabilizzazione dei criteri di erogazione dei prestiti alle imprese, mentre la domanda di prestiti ha continuato ad aumentare a un ritmo vigoroso per tutte le categorie. La crescita dei prestiti al settore privato ha quindi proseguito la sua graduale ripresa. Inoltre, si stima che il costo nominale complessivo del finanziamento esterno delle società non finanziarie si sia lievemente ridotto a dicembre.

Nella riunione del 19 gennaio 2017, sulla base della consueta analisi economica e monetaria, il Consiglio direttivo ha deciso di lasciare invariati i tassi di interesse di riferimento della BCE. Esso continua ad attendersi che tali tassi si mantengano su un livello pari o inferiore a quello attuale per un prolungato periodo di tempo e ben oltre l’orizzonte degli acquisti netti di attività. Quanto alle misure non convenzionali di politica monetaria, il Consiglio direttivo ha confermato che l’Eurosistema continuerà a condurre acquisti nell’ambito del programma di acquisto di attività all’attuale ritmo mensile di 80 miliardi di euro sino alla fine di marzo 2017; inoltre, da aprile 2017, il Consiglio direttivo intende proseguire gli acquisti netti di attività a un ritmo mensile di 60 miliardi di euro sino alla fine di dicembre 2017 o anche oltre se necessario, e in ogni caso finché non riscontrerà un aggiustamento durevole dell’evoluzione dei prezzi, coerente con il proprio obiettivo di inflazione. Contestualmente agli acquisti netti sarà reinvestito il capitale rimborsato sui titoli giunti a scadenza acquistati nel quadro del programma di acquisto di attività.

In prospettiva, il Consiglio direttivo ha confermato la necessità di un grado molto elevato di accomodamento monetario per consentire l’accumularsi di pressioni sui prezzi nell’area dell’euro e sostenere l’inflazione complessiva nel medio periodo. Se necessario per il conseguimento del suo obiettivo, esso agirà ricorrendo a tutti gli strumenti disponibili nell’ambito del suo mandato. In particolare, se le prospettive diverranno meno favorevoli o se le condizioni finanziarie risulteranno incoerenti con ulteriori progressi verso un aggiustamento durevole del profilo dell’inflazione, il Consiglio direttivo è pronto a incrementare il programma di acquisto di attività in termini di entità e/o durata.


European Central Bank. 2017-02-02. Security through unity: making integration work for Europe

It is my pleasure to be here with you today to celebrate this milestone in the history of your country and of our Union.

Though recent years have been difficult for Slovenia, as they have for the rest of Europe, you can look back with pride on what your nation has achieved. After only two years of EU membership you were able to join the euro – the first of the “new Member States” to do so. And since then Slovenia has become deeply integrated into our monetary union. Even today 85% of Slovenes are in favour of the euro, reflecting the strength of our common bond.[1]

But as we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the introduction of the euro in Slovenia, we can likewise celebrate other anniversaries in the recent history of Europe: 60 years since the Rome Treaty, which created the common market; more or less a quarter of a century since the Maastricht Treaty, which launched Economic and Monetary Union (EMU); 20 years since the Amsterdam Treaty, which enacted a common foreign and security policy.

There are those who would like to see such events as part of distinct histories, one of the economic integration of Europe, one of its monetary union, and one of its military and political alliance. But those histories are not distinct.

They have all been part of the same impetus, which is the desire of the people of Europe to ensure their security in the face of common threats: the threat of continental war evoked time and again in our history; and the global threats created by evolving technology, geopolitical risks, and upheavals in our natural environment.

The strength of this impetus has meant that, for most of the period since 1945, the course of European integration has been clear. Though the different strands of integration have advanced at different speeds, the direction has always been forwards. It was hardly disputed that, in the long run, coming together as a Union was the best response to the common challenges we faced. Deeper integration was a question of when, not if.

Yet, today, perceptions of insecurity are on the rise. And to some, it is no longer self-evident that closer union provides the answer. Integration is viewed in some quarters as a source of insecurity rather than a bulwark against it. One country has even decided that it is better to reverse that process than continue it.

This insecurity in part reflects common factors emerging across Western democracies, such as fears about immigration, globalisation and social change. But in Europe there are also unique forces at play. In particular, the severity of the euro crisis has weakened faith in the EU as a foundation of economic security.

So Europe, and even more so the euro area, faces a moment of decision. We need answers to the questions that citizens are asking. But those answers also need to be balanced: there are things that need to change in Europe, but there is much we can be proud of as well.

European integration has produced many achievements and we should not let our current difficulties diminish them. On the contrary, we need to be confident in the progress we have made – and clear that we would be worse off without it.

But where things evidently need to be better, we need to make them so. Most importantly, that means making the changes in our monetary union that all can see are necessary.

The significance of the single market

Since its formation in 1957, the European project has been built, above all, on a commitment to openness, epitomised by the establishment of a single market among its Member States. This commitment was idealistic, but it was also eminently pragmatic. The founders of the EU had witnessed the damage caused by the inwardness and protectionism of the interwar years. They understood that sustaining economic growth was vital to drain support for divisive nationalism, and the best way to achieve this was through open markets.

Though the last decade has been difficult, over the long sweep of post-war history their vision has been proved right. Since 1960 cumulative growth in GDP per capita has been one-third higher in the EU15 than in the United States. Private wealth, which had been twice wiped out by the wars of the twentieth century, has also doubled as a percentage of national income. This was of course partly driven by the natural catching-up process after the Second World War. But there is plenty of evidence that growth has been accelerated by integration.

According to one estimate, the EU’s GDP per capita would be as much as one-fifth lower today if no integration had taken place since the war. [2] Another estimate looking at the effects of integration since the 1980s – so after postwar catching-up had run its course –finds a gain in per capita GDP of around 12% relative to the non-membership scenario.[3]

And the countries that joined the EU in 2004 and 2007, such as Slovenia, have also shared in those gains. The increase in GDP produced by EU membership may turn out to be as high as 40% for the 12 new members,[4] which would not be surprising, since the EU is by far the main trading partner for countries in central and eastern Europe and the main source of FDI.

Today, some are questioning whether openness remains the best way to ensure our economic security. But we need to ask where we would be today if we had not had such a long phase of integration on our continent. And the likely answer is: much poorer.

What is more, the single market has not only provided a foundation for growth, but also for sustaining open markets. As we are seeing today at the global level, markets cannot stay open for long if not all participants are perceived to be playing by the same rules, or if the benefits are seen to be shared unfairly. The single market has survived, in large part, because Europe has built a unique model for managing those challenges.

Deepening the market in Europe has entailed building common institutions to protect citizens from unfair competition or discrimination from abroad – namely the common regulatory framework enforced by the European Court of Justice. Safeguards central to the European social model have been progressively embedded in European law, notably the Charter of Fundamental Rights, to provide protection for the most vulnerable.

And Europe has forged the first redistribution system across countries to help prevent persistent regional inequalities. As early as the mid-1970s, European funds were being used to support less developed regions or those threatened with industrial decline. From 2007-13, €350 billion was allocated in the EU budget to structural and investment funds. And let me add that Slovenia was a net recipient of those funds, with annual investment financing amounting to, on average, one-fifth of what the Slovenian government spent on public investment.

No one would claim this system of rules, safeguards and redistribution has been perfect. We know that some feel it improves their lives too little, and others that it intrudes into their lives too much. But what we have built in Europe is a model for sustainable openness – one that can reap its gains while mitigating its unwanted effects. So if we see problems, our challenge is to nurture and improve that model, not to turn it back.

Because that would not only mean less wealth for our continent. It would also mean less political security for our citizens. We should not forget that besides being an engine for growth, the single market has brought vital political benefits as well.

The first is that it has provided a motor for binding political integration among the states of Europe.

As I just described, a single market can only be sustained if there is a common system of laws overseen by a common judiciary – the ECJ. And if there is a judiciary, there must be a legislature to write the law, which in Europe is provided by the EU Council and the European Parliament. And there must be an executive to enforce the decisions of the legislature and judiciary, which in our case is the role of the European Commission. The single market, in other words, creates by its very nature a closer political union.

This is a dynamic we have also seen in the US as its own internal market has developed. As is well-known, the short “Commerce Clause” of the US constitution – which grants Congress the power to regulate commerce among the states – has led over time to a substantial expansion of the role of the federal government in economic affairs.

The second political benefit has been to enhance Europe’s influence in the world.

Trade policy decided in common gives Europe real sway in global negotiations, both in the deals it can extract bilaterally, and in the setting of multilateral rules in the WTO. A large market has leverage over large multinational firms, allowing Europe to protect what it deems important, such as privacy on the internet. It also permits Europe to use trade sanctions to counter hostility from unfriendly countries, and thereby enhances military security too. And if Europe wants now to integrate further in other areas – such as defence and foreign policy – it will need the economic foundation the single market provides.

Thus for all these reasons, we should be proud of what we have gained from integration. That does not mean we should be blind to its challenges, nor to the disappointing performance of recent years. We need to restart the single market as a growth agent and do better in compensating the losers it creates. But we should also be clear: we would be worse off today, both economically and politically, if we had not followed this path.

From the single market to the euro

But the single market also had a further effect: it led directly to the euro. Once Europe decided to embark towards a fully integrated market, a single currency was desirable, if not essential. Hence the euro was set in motion at the Hanover summit in 1988, immediately in the wake of the decision to achieve a true single market.

Today some people question this link between market and currency, and ask whether retaining national currencies might have been better for Europe. But one has to remember that the single currency did not appear out of thin air. It was rather a consequence of Europe’s long and unsatisfactory experience with different exchange rate regimes since the war. It was also, in other words, both an idealistic and a pragmatic decision.

Europeans had always been sceptical of fully floating exchange rates, seeing currency volatility as inimical to trade integration. That is why, as soon as the Bretton Woods system broke down, they sought to restore fixed exchange rates, first through “the snake in the tunnel”, and later through various iterations of the European Monetary System. The prevailing thinking was well-captured by Nobel laureate Robert Mundell, who developed his theory on optimum currency areas in the belief that, and I quote,

“I could not see why countries that were in the process of forming a common market should saddle themselves with a new barrier to trade in the form of uncertainty about exchange rates.”[5]

Hence, it was inevitable that the single market would be buttressed by some form of fixed exchange rate regime. The question was what form. And Europe had experienced the costs of fixed exchange rate regimes that fell short of a single currency.

Countries were vulnerable to speculative attacks and currency crises, most painfully demonstrated by the ERM crisis in 1992-3, and that was in a world where capital was less mobile than it is today. Most members had little monetary policy autonomy, since they were required to effectively import the monetary policy of the anchor currency. And when countries did devalue, it did not always prove an effective adjustment mechanism for nominal shocks, provoking instead higher inflation and the need for further devaluations.

Moreover, the fear was that, without a single currency, repeated cycles of devaluations would distort the conditions for fair competition and undermine the single market in the long run. An economy that increased productivity and competitiveness could be deprived of the benefits it should enjoy, in terms of increased market share, because of currency depreciation in competing countries. And if some countries were prepared to practice such “beggar thy neighbour” behaviour, why should others permanently open their borders to them?

The point was not that the single market could not tolerate small exchange rate adjustments among a few of its members. It was that major currency volatility, of the type we had seen in the 1980s, would severely test the willingness of all to keep their markets open. And we can only imagine how, without the euro, currency markets would have reacted to shocks we have seen since its launch – the dotcom crash, the Lehman bankruptcy, the sovereign debt crisis.

The conditions for success in EMU

However, the case for the euro was always based on a trade-off. By reinforcing the single market in this way, it would lock-in the gains of economic integration and thereby benefit the whole Union. But it would also deprive individual countries of adjustment tools for short-term shocks, notably their own exchange rate. Thus for the trade-off to be beneficial, it was essential that those short-term costs were reduced as much as possible.

This depended on certain conditions being fulfilled, which were established by Mundell and later authors as part of the theory of optimum currency areas. They included: trade integration, to reduce the incidence of asymmetric shocks; factor mobility and wage and price flexibility, to accelerate adjustment when shocks did hit; and a system of risk-sharing, to reduce the costs of that adjustment process for individual members. But, in the euro area, it was clear that the importance attached to each of those conditions would not be the same.

Large-scale labour mobility was always unlikely, given cultural and linguistic barriers. It was also improbable that fiscal risk-sharing would reach U.S. levels, not least owing to the relatively larger role for national budgets as fiscal stabilisers. Hence it was essential that euro area countries substituted for lower integration in these areas with stronger commitments in others. This meant four things in particular.

The first was avoiding policy mistakes, such as boom-bust cycles emanating from weak prudential supervision. The second was building resilience to shocks through structural reforms and the continued deepening of the single market. The third was sound fiscal policies to provide sufficient fiscal buffers over the cycle. And the fourth was a strong financial union, with diversified asset holdings and hence real private risk-sharing.

In this way, countries would be able to reduce the severity of local slumps, since asymmetric shocks would be tempered by trade linkages and sound financial policies. When shocks did occur, wages and prices would be able to adjust more quickly, and resources would reallocate faster in response, limiting the employment cost of adjustment. Fiscal policies would be available at the national level to stabilise the economy during the transition. And losses would be shared across the Union through integrated financial markets.

There was no secret about this. It was known to all in 1999 that these were the conditions for success. This was why we agreed the Stability and Growth Pact for fiscal policies. It is why there was an “E” in EMU: it was clear that structural convergence had to occur. And it is why there has always been a strong emphasis on the need for sustainable financial integration.

We know the history that followed: the slowing down of structural reforms, the watering-down of the Pact, the fragility of financial integration, and the underlying divergence between countries that ensued. But we need to be very clear that it was not the euro as a currency that was to blame for this. National authorities knew what they had to do. The currency could not protect them from their own policy decisions.

Indeed, it is worth emphasising that, when countries do pursue the right policies, the euro is no hindrance to success. Germany, for example, did not experience a boom-bust financial cycle, ran relatively sound fiscal policies, and passed a series of labour market reforms in the early 2000s. Its unemployment has fallen from close to 11% in 2005 to under 4% today, and that was during the worst recession since the 1930s.

And even in the presence of policy mistakes, countries that meet the necessary conditions in other areas are able to adjust adequately within the single currency. Consider Ireland, which suffered acutely from the financial crisis. Yet it has seen its unemployment fall from more than 15% in 2012 to 7% today, not least because of its flexible labour market and successful industrial strategy aimed at attracting FDI.

There are some today who believe that Europe would be better off if we did not have the single currency and could devalue our exchange rates instead. But as we have seen, countries that have implemented reforms do not depend on a flexible exchange rate to achieve sustainable growth. And for those that have not reformed, one has to ask how beneficial a flexible exchange rate would really be. After all, if a country has low productivity growth because of deep-rooted structural problems, the exchange rate cannot be the answer.

Still, it is important to ask, if some governments did not follow the right policies to succeed in EMU, why did they not? The euro area relied heavily on the notion that the integration process would itself create the incentives for sound policies. Faced with stronger competition through the single market and an inability to devalue, governments would be forced to address long-term structural problems and ensure fiscal sustainability.

That this did not happen was in part because the single market process stalled. But it was also because we lacked some key institutions at the euro area level. We did not have a common system of banking oversight to monitor financial flows, which in some countries allowed mounting competitiveness losses to be masked by unsustainable finance-driven growth. And we had only weak common decision-making for fiscal and economic policies.

Several important steps have now been taken to address these issues, most notably the establishment of Banking Union. But that project is still unfinished. And as has been laid out in the Five Presidents’ report, we still remain some way short of a complete monetary union – which is to say, one where countries take collective responsibility for the euro area within common institutions. 

Conclusion

So it is clear what the way ahead is for our union. Not to turn away from what has worked: our model of economic openness reinforced by our single currency. But to put right the mistakes that have prevented it from working as well as it should.

For national governments this means fulfilling the conditions that we have always known are necessary to prosper in our monetary union. And for the euro area as a whole, it means constructing an institutional architecture that sets the right incentives for those policies, and that make us more resilient in the face of common shocks.

But it is also clear that, to reach this point, the sequence has to be right. What is preventing us from moving ahead today is, in part, the legacy of those past failures, which creates a lack of trust among countries to enter into such a new stage of integration.

Trust that all countries will comply with the rules that they have set for themselves, so as to reduce their mutual vulnerability. And trust that all will enact the necessary reforms to ensure structural convergence, so that complying with those rules becomes easier, and sharing risks does not create permanent transfers between countries. Compliance and convergence, and through it growth, are the keys today to give to the integration process new impetus.

And that impetus we must find, because we cannot stay where we are. We have to make our Union more stable and prosperous to deliver the security our citizens crave. And by doing so we will put ourselves in a stronger position to confront the new challenges we face today: the rise of political extremism, insecurity on our borders and an ever more uncertain global order.

So we must rediscover the spirit that has carried our Union this far. The spirit that has led generations of Europeans to work together to secure themselves against common threats. That has yielded tangible improvements for our citizens, such as the freedom to work and trade across our continent and transact in a single currency. And the spirit that, if channelled once more into common action, can overcome the new threats we face today.

Unity is the key to security for our continent – today as it always has been.

 

Pubblicato in: Banche Centrali, Devoluzione socialismo, Unione Europea

ECB. Draghi potrebbe ridurre (interrompere) da subito gli stimoli.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2017-01-25.

eurotower-002

«The European Central Bank should soon be in a position to reduce its extraordinary monetary support to the eurozone economy»

*

«the situation seems to be improving in the euro area»

*

«The ECB introduced unprecedented ultra-loose monetary policy in the wake of the financial crisis, hoping to drive economic growth and encourage inflation towards its objective of just below 2.0 percent»

*

«Interest rates are at historic lows, while the bank buys tens of billions of euros of government and corporate bonds each month»

*

«It’s important to stop taking the medicine as soon as possible, but not too early either. Otherwise, we risk having a relapse»

* * * * * * *

Per grazie divina l’elezione del presidente Trump ha folgorato l’Ecb come Paolo sulla via di Damasco.

Improvvisamente Mr Mario Draghi vede la luce, e ne tira le conseguenze.

L’economia europea sta andando a gonfie vele, l’inflazione sta salendo in modo impressionante, ogni ulteriore azione dell’Ecb potrebbe financo essere dannosa.

«It’s important to stop taking the medicine as soon as possible»

Nessuno poi si stupisca se dopo che saranno noti i risultati delle elezioni olandesi e francesi l’Ecb chiuda per sempre i rubinetti. E magari rivoglia indietro i soldi che ha speso.

In quel momento arriverà il redde rationem per gli stati altamente indebitati. Il ‘si salvi chi può’!


France 24. 2017-1-25. ECB could ‘soon’ exit monetary stimulus: board member

FRANKFURT AM MAIN (AFP) – 

The European Central Bank should soon be in a position to reduce its extraordinary monetary support to the eurozone economy, board member Sabine Lautenschlaeger has said.

“I am optimistic that we can soon turn to the question of an exit,” the German economist said in a speech in Hamburg late Tuesday.

With rising consumer confidence and unemployment at a seven-year low, “the situation seems to be improving in the euro area,” she noted.

“A broad-based recovery is under way,” Lautenschlaeger went on. “At the same time, inflation in the euro area rose signficantly” in December.

The ECB introduced unprecedented ultra-loose monetary policy in the wake of the financial crisis, hoping to drive economic growth and encourage inflation towards its objective of just below 2.0 percent.

Interest rates are at historic lows, while the bank buys tens of billions of euros of government and corporate bonds each month and offers banks cheap loans in a bid to pump cash into the economy via the financial system.

Calls for an end to the ECB’s extraordinary measures have grown after monthly data showed that inflation nearly doubled to reach 1.1 percent across the eurozone in December — and 1.7 percent in its largest economy, Germany.

ECB president Mario Draghi countered at a press conference last week that the December rise in inflation was mostly driven by volatile energy prices, and that underlying inflation remains weak.

Draghi said the time would come when the bank would start scaling back its stimulus measures, “but we are not there”.

Nevertheless, Lautenschlaeger said, “all preconditions for a stable rise in inflation exist.”

“We need to be ready to act when the time comes,” she went on. “It’s important to stop taking the medicine as soon as possible, but not too early either. Otherwise, we risk having a relapse.”

Pubblicato in: Banche Centrali, Finanza e Sistema Bancario, Unione Europea

ECB. Draghi. Allarme arancio, che presto potrebbe diventare rosso.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2016-12-16.

 leonardo3-leonardo-da-vinci-anghiari-discover-the-real-secrets-indizio-in-scala-ridisegnato-mario-taddei

Battaglia di Anghiari, studio dei volti, Leonardo da Vinci


Quello che si sussurrava nei corridoi era vero. Ne possiamo adesso parlare perché reso pubblico da un articolo di Bloomberg. Articolo che peraltro è molto prudente e cauto: le cose sembrerebbero essersi svolte in modo molto, ma molto, più burrascoso.

Nella riunione di ieri con i capi di governo Draghi ha parlato con inusitata chiarezza.

Ha detto cose che grondano buon senso e che si gridano a gran voce da tempo.

Senza riforme politiche il sistema corre il pericolo di ritrovarsi in una crisi come quella del 2010.

*

«Mario Draghi warned European leaders that the combination of rising global interest rates and explosive politics could expose the euro area’s underlying weaknesses, even as he painted an upbeat picture of the region’s recovery.»

*

«The European Central Bank president highlighted the votes next year, a slowdown in reforms and some countries’ lack of compliance with budget rules as factors that could threaten the return of conditions reminiscent of the turbulent years from 2010»

*

«Draghi briefed EU leaders about the economy at a meeting of heads of state and government on Thursday in Brussels, and argued higher rates could leave countries that have failed to trim deficits with more to pay»

*

«Draghi said 2017 was fraught with risk as the full impact of Brexit and of Donald Trump’s election in the U.S. is yet to show.»

*

«A rise in interest rates could put renewed pressure on countries with high debt that have failed to consolidate their budgets»

* * * * * * *

I banchieri centrali usualmente parlano un linguaggio diplomatico sussurrato.

Questa volta a quanto sembra Draghi avrebbe urlato.

«the votes next year, a slowdown in reforms and some countries’ lack of compliance with budget rules as factors that could threaten the return of conditions reminiscent of the turbulent years from 2010»

*

«the combination of rising global interest rates and explosive politics could expose the euro area’s underlying weaknesses»

* * * * * * *

L’aumento dei tassi di interesse strozzerà tutti i paesi che non hanno saputo o voluto approfittare di questo lasso di tempo per ristrutturare i sistemi statali e ridurre deficit e debiti. I loro debiti sovrani, già oggi orrificanti macigni, diverranno in brevissimo tempo insopportabili prima, insostenibili dopo. Ed in fondo c’è una crisi che si preannuncia ben peggiore di quella del 2010, quando c’erano ancora risorse disponibili.

Lo hanno capito anche i basidiomiceti: non lo hanno capito i nostri governanti. ed i nostri economisti d’assalto, quelli patrocinantori delle rotative.

L’Unione Europea creperà sotto il peso dei debiti sovrani, e noi che lei.

 


Bloomberg. 2016-12-16. Draghi Said to Warn EU Rising Global Rates Pose Crisis Risk

– ECB President briefed European heads of state and government

– Lack of reform and fiscal discipline seen as risks in 2017

*

Mario Draghi warned European leaders that the combination of rising global interest rates and explosive politics could expose the euro area’s underlying weaknesses, even as he painted an upbeat picture of the region’s recovery.

The European Central Bank president highlighted the votes next year, a slowdown in reforms and some countries’ lack of compliance with budget rules as factors that could threaten the return of conditions reminiscent of the turbulent years from 2010, according to a European Union official familiar with the meeting who asked not to be named because the discussions aren’t public.

Draghi briefed EU leaders about the economy at a meeting of heads of state and government on Thursday in Brussels, and argued higher rates could leave countries that have failed to trim deficits with more to pay. On the broader outlook, he said conditions have improved everywhere in the region compared to the beginning of 2016, with a pick-up in investment and consumption supported by the ECB’s monetary policy.

An ECB spokesman declined to comment on the remarks.

“Draghi is the one, and has always been the one, keeping the wolf from the door,” said Richard Barwell, an economist at BNP Paribas Investment Partners in London. But “even Draghi can’t insulate governments forever. Global factors can drive bond yields higher.”

Draghi said 2017 was fraught with risk as the full impact of Brexit and of Donald Trump’s election in the U.S. is yet to show. A rise in interest rates could put renewed pressure on countries with high debt that have failed to consolidate their budgets, he said. This stress could spread to the whole region as economic differences across countries have increased and structural reforms have ground to a halt.

While noting that price growth will accelerate significantly in coming months on the back of higher oil prices, Draghi stressed that underlying inflation still isn’t accelerating, prompting the ECB to prolong its stimulus while reducing the pace of monthly asset purchases to 60 billion euros ($63 billion).

Pubblicato in: Banche Centrali, Devoluzione socialismo, Finanza e Sistema Bancario, Unione Europea

Ecb. Draghi. Audizione di fuoco alla Commissione parlamentare europea.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2016-09-27.

 corazzata-che-spara

Come tutti i Governatori di banche centrali di impatto mondiale, anche il Governatore Draghi parla con un linguaggio sottilmente diplomatico, per quanto chiaro ed intellegibile.

Nel corso dell’audizione di ieri alcuni passi suonano come bordate, e di grosso calibro.

«incoming information continues to point to the euro area economy being resilient to global and political uncertainty, notably following the UK referendum outcome»

*

«Le informazioni che ci arrivano continuano ad indicare che l’economia dell’area euro è ‘resiliente’ di fronte all’incertezza politica e globale, in particolare dopo il risultato del referendum britannico»

Il cuore del discorso è imperniato sull’uso di un termine molto tecnico: “resilient“, mutuato dalla scienza dei materiali.

«resiliènza s. f. [der. di resiliente]. – 1. Nella tecnologia dei materiali, la resistenza a rottura per sollecitazione dinamica, determinata con apposita prova d’urto: prova di r.; valore di r., il cui inverso è l’indice di fragilità. 2. Nella tecnologia dei filati e dei tessuti, l’attitudine di questi a riprendere, dopo una deformazione, l’aspetto originale.» [Treccani]

*

«resiliènte agg. [dal lat. resiliens -entis, part. pres. di resilire «rimbalzare»]. – 1. Dotato di resilienza, che presenta maggiore o minore resilienza: materiali r.; pavimenti, rivestimenti resilienti. 2. Per estens., riferito a persona, che oppone resistenza, che si difende con forza: Schiacciata sotto il peso del corpo mascolino, Line si torceva, avversario tenace e r., per eccitarlo e sfidarlo (P. Levi).» [Treccani]

*

Resilienza non significa la semplice resistenza, l’opposizione ad una forza: è il diametralmente opposto del termine “fragilità“, è l’attitudine “a riprendere, dopo una deformazione, l’aspetto originale“, è una difesa opposta con tutte le forze disponibili. Signori, dopo tutti i vostri sforzi, tutto tornerà come prima.

L’Eurozona non ne può di più delle incertezze globali e politiche.

È un j’accuse che suona severo, molto severo: i politici stanno portando l’Eurozona al melting point.

Ed il discorso prosegue ancor più rigido.

«the impact on financial and monetary conditions of past reductions in key ECB interest rates differed considerably within the euro area»

*

«But widespread feelings of insecurity, including economic insecurity, remain a major concern. We cannot simply wait for better times: we need to renew our efforts to ensure that Economic and Monetary Union offers protection and prosperity.»

*

«differed considerably within the euro area» implica il fatto che alcune zone economiche ne siano avvantaggiate ed altre zone economiche ne siano danneggiate. È semplice deduzione trarre la conclusione che un simile processo deve per forza di cose essere limitato nel tempo.

Già.

Il tempo: il grande fattore che l’attuale politica europea misconosce. Vive solo l’immanente.

«We cannot simply wait for better times»

È una durissima realtà ma anche la peggiore delle accuse che avrebbero potuto farsi alla attuale dirigenza dell’Unione Europea.

Aspettare immobili non è certo elemento atto ad favorire tempi migliori.

Etichettare la attuale dirigenza europea come “incapace di fare qualcosa” è accusa giusta quanto infamante. E l’attuale dirigenza è infame.

*

Ma la stoccata finale è un colpo di fioretto, che trafigge il cuore del problema.

«Economic and Monetary Union»

*

Il Governatore Draghi sta dando per scontata la morte dell’utopia di un’Europa politicamente unita sotto l’attuale dirigenza e con la Weltanschauung di questa particolare dirigenza.

Per Draghi oramai esiste solo la possibilità di un’Europa Unita dal punto di vista economico e monetario: nulla di più.

È il trionfo della Realpolitik.

È il trionfo della logica e del buon senso.

«Economic and Monetary Union»

 


Ecb. 2016-09-26. Hearing of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs of the European Parliament

Introductory statement by Mario Draghi, President of the ECB, Brussels, 26 September 2016.

*

Mr Chairman,

Honourable Members of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee,

Ladies and gentlemen,

I am grateful to be back speaking to your committee less than a week away from an important anniversary for the European Parliament: 40 years ago the act that made direct European elections possible was signed, and I am happy to be speaking to you – the direct representatives of the people of Europe.

Europeans are calling on our institutions to bring tangible benefits to their everyday lives. We need to respond to this appeal with action within our respective competences. This is why I am here today: not only to demonstrate once again the importance that the ECB places on being accountable to EU citizens, but also to discuss with you how the ECB is acting to fulfil the mandate that was democratically conferred upon us.

Therefore, in my remarks today I will first review the state of the euro area recovery and the impact of our monetary policy measures. Then, at the request of this committee, I will discuss financial market conditions in the euro area and, in particular, the evolution of financial market integration.

The economic outlook and the ECB’s monetary policy

The recovery in the euro area is expected to continue at a moderate and steady pace, but with slightly less momentum than envisaged in June.

On the positive side, incoming information continues to point to the euro area economy being resilient to global and political uncertainty, notably following the UK referendum outcome. The initial impact of the vote has been contained and the strong financial market reactions, such as equity price falls, have largely reversed.

At the same time, the substantial weakening of the foreign demand outlook since June is expected to dampen export growth. Along with other factors, it will continue to pose downside risks to the euro area’s growth prospects. According to the September ECB staff macroeconomic projections, annual real GDP growth is expected to increase by 1.7% this year, and by 1.6% in each of the next two years.

Inflation continues to remain at low levels, reflecting past declines in oil prices and weak wage growth. Annual inflation is expected to be 0.2% this year and to increase to 1.2% in 2017 as the impact of past oil price falls unwinds. The continued economic recovery and a decline in the level of slack are expected to gradually push inflation further up to 1.6% in 2018.

Against this background, our comprehensive policy measures continue to filter through to the real economy. Borrowing conditions for households and firms have eased considerably and credit creation has strengthened, thus supporting aggregate spending across the euro area.

Let me now focus on the description of the credit easing components of our policy measures. They act as critical transmission channels for the monetary stimulus by facilitating meaningful reductions in funding costs for the real economy.

In June of this year and last week we conducted the first two operations of our new series of targeted longer-term refinancing operations (TLTRO-II), which attracted significant demand. Two additional operations will take place in December and March. These operations allow banks to secure long-term funding at very attractive conditions that they can pass on to their customers.

Likewise, the credit easing components of our expanded asset purchase programme (APP), namely the asset-backed securities (ABSPP), covered bond (CBPP3) and corporate sector (CSPP) purchase programmes, further boost the pass-through of our monetary policy by directly lowering the financing costs for crucial actors in our economy. While the ABSPP and CBPP3 empower the monetary pass-through by containing banks’ funding costs, the CSPP directly lowers the cost and improves the availability of market-based funding for non-financial corporations.

Let me stress, in that respect, that the CSPP is benefiting not only the large companies, which can directly access the bond market, but also smaller companies. Buoyant bond market conditions for large companies incentivise them to obtain more funding from bond markets, thus leaving more space on banks’ balance sheets for providing loans to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Overall, our projections indicate that the accommodative monetary policy stance will continue to provide effective support to the cyclical recovery and the upward path in inflation.

But financing conditions must remain supportive for our baseline scenario to materialise. Therefore, the Governing Council will continue to monitor economic and financial market developments very closely. We will preserve the very substantial amount of monetary support that is embedded in our staff projections and that is necessary to secure a return of inflation to levels below, but close to, 2% over the medium term. If warranted, we will act by using all the instruments available within our mandate.

Financial market conditions in the euro area

I am grateful that today you decided to discuss the state of financial market fragmentation in the euro area. I remember that almost four years ago, in this same building, in my statement to you I commented that “the impact on financial and monetary conditions of past reductions in key ECB interest rates differed considerably within the euro area”.

Compared with the financial market situation in the autumn of 2012, the situation has largely improved. Financial market fragmentation has declined substantially and the financing conditions of firms and households have improved markedly across the euro area.

In particular, the reductions in the key ECB interest rates have been passed through in vulnerable euro area countries to a larger extent, and the fragmentation in funding costs and loan conditions across different countries has receded. To give an example, from October 2012 to July 2016 the composite cost-of-borrowing indicator for new loans to non-financial corporations declined by almost 287 basis points in Portugal and 200 basis points in Italy, compared with 117 basis points for the euro area as a whole.

A similar phenomenon has been observed for SMEs, which have benefited substantially from improved financing conditions and reduced fragmentation. As a result, the spread between lending rates for small loans and large loans was similar in July 2016 in vulnerable and non-vulnerable euro area countries (at 135 and about 120 basis points, respectively), a situation not seen since spring 2011.

Addressing new challenges

While the challenges of financial fragmentation have been largely overcome, there are new ones we have to face. The low interest rate environment you selected for today’s discussion is indeed one of them.

Low rates are a symptom of the underlying economic situation. They reflect weak long-term growth trends and the protracted macroeconomic slump that has resulted from the crisis.

The ECB’s monetary policy has provided significant accommodation to limit the negative effects of the global and euro area-specific shocks on the economy, thereby mitigating their disinflationary impact.

Nevertheless, monetary policy cannot determine the sustainable level of real interest rates in the long run, as they in turn depend on long-term growth prospects.

This means that other policy actors need to do their part, pursuing fiscal and structural policies which will contribute to a self-sustaining recovery and increase the economic growth potential of the euro area, as I discussed with you in June.

In the meantime, the low interest rate environment has a range of implications for economic actors that need to be carefully monitored. I am sure that this was part of your exchange today with the Chairs of the European Supervisory Authorities, and I am of course happy to continue this discussion in answering your questions.

Another, more recent, challenge is the outcome of the UK referendum on EU membership and its economic implications for the euro area. The extent to which the economic outlook will be affected depends on the timing, development and final outcome of the upcoming negotiations. So far, the euro area economy has been resilient, but due to this uncertainty our baseline scenario remains subject to downside risks.

Regardless of the type of relationship that emerges between the European Union and the United Kingdom, it is of utmost importance that the integrity of the single market is respected. Any outcome should ensure that all participants are subject to the same rules.

But more generally, it is important to ensure that the European Union meets the expectations of its people. This requires three lines of action.

First, new common European projects should focus on the immediate concerns and needs of its people. For those challenges that unequivocally go beyond national borders, effective solutions require joint European action. From that perspective, today’s priorities notably include the fields of migration, security and defence.

Second, for further European integration to be feasible and acceptable, trust among its nations and people is essential. To bolster such trust, it is important that agreed rules are respected. In our Economic and Monetary Union, in particular, the economic governance framework is essential to avoid imbalances that would eventually risk destabilising the euro area. And for the euro area to thrive, actions by national governments are needed to unleash growth, reduce unemployment and empower individuals, while offering essential protections for the most vulnerable.

Finally, our Economic and Monetary Union remains vulnerable as long as we do not complete the integration projects we have started. We need, in particular, to complete the banking union and develop an ambitious capital markets union (CMU) to ensure the resilience of financial integration in the euro area and support cross-border investment. The European Parliament played a key part in setting up the banking union and has an important role to play to ensure swift progress on the legislative dossiers which are now under discussion as part of the banking union and CMU agendas.

Making determined progress in these fields would significantly strengthen our Economic and Monetary Union, and thus constitute an important step forward in line with the roadmap proposed in the Five Presidents’ Report.

Conclusion

In concluding these remarks, I want to recall the words of my late friend and colleague Carlo Azeglio Ciampi when he addressed the European Parliament in 2005:

The euro is the greatest demonstration of the united will of the European people, and a driving force of political integration”.

And, indeed, the political commitment underpinning our single currency has been strongly reaffirmed during the crisis. Important efforts have been made.

But widespread feelings of insecurity, including economic insecurity, remain a major concern. We cannot simply wait for better times: we need to renew our efforts to ensure that Economic and Monetary Union offers protection and prosperity. The ECB will do its part.

Thank you for your attention. I am now at your disposal for questions.

Pubblicato in: Banche Centrali, Sistemi Economici

ECB. Quando i silenzi contano più delle parole.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2016-06-05.

 2016-06-04__borse 001

“Ahi serva Italia, di dolore ostello,

nave senza nocchiero in gran tempesta,

non donna di provincie ma bordello!”

Dante Alighieri

Gli interventi delle banche centrali ed il mantenimento degli interessi negativi droga il mercato deprivandolo del suo principale indicatore: il rendimento.

L’esito di questo modo d’agire?

Gli Usa creano solo 38mila posti, minimo da 6 anni: Borse in rosso.

Ci si raccontino pure tutte le più esaltanti teorie economiche di questo mondo.

La realtà è questa: non si generano nuovi posti di lavoro.

Peggio.

Si stanno distruggendo i generatori di lavoro.

*

2016-06-04__eurusd

«Siamo passati da una figura politica ad un’altra, senza ottenere altro che un dissesto sociale continuo. Eppure la retorica del cambiamento non finisce mai d’essere ripetuta. Eppure la retorica della ripresa economica, dopo l’ennesimo rimbalzo verso il nulla, non finisce mai d’essere»

*

«È come se ci trovassimo in un continuo presente, in cui tutte le realtà che ne fanno parte si sforzano di prolungare questo stato di quiete il più a lungo possibile. Non esiste un futuro. In sostanza è quello che sta affermando la BCE sin da quando ha inaugurato i tassi negativi sui depositi in custodia presso la sua struttura. Inoltre, è quello che si ritrovano ad affrontare coloro che popolano i mercati azionari e obbligazionari. Infatti i margini di rendimento sono così sottili che ormai non esistono più giudizi oggettivi per determinare quale titolo valga la pena acquistare e quale no. Le banche centrali mondiali, attraverso la loro gigantesca Offerta d’Acquisto sotto forma di accomodamento monetario, hanno inondato i mercati finanziari con un continuo flusso di fondi a buon mercato, i quali hanno inizialmente distrutto una qualsiasi parvenza di determinazione onesta dei prezzi e in seguito assottigliato al centesimo di punto percentuale i rendimenti dei vari titoli.»

*

«Non solo, ma la nota peggiore di questa storia è data dalla pericolosità che rappresenta per la ponderazione del rischio la sinergia di questi due elementi. Non sorprende quindi, se il mercato ad alto rendimento sia stato reso “innocuo” negli ultimi 7 anni da una baldoria del credito alimentata dalle banche centrali e trasmessa in questi mercati (principalmente) da investitori istituzionali. Insomma, finché è fluito e finché fluisce il denaro a basso costo, pare che si crei una sorta di nebbia avvolgente che mantiene le cose in stallo. In un presente continuo. Ma ci sono essenzialmente due variabili che perturbano questo presunto equilibrio: l’esplosività dell’ingegneria finanziaria e il deterioramento dei creatori di ricchezza reale.»

*

«Per quanto riguarda il primo elemento, abbiamo visto come esso sia cresciuto a dismisura sin da quando le banche centrali hanno messo mano al loro arsenale non convenzionale. Accedere al credito è diventato molto più facile per chi potesse garantire denaro contante in controparte, o un flusso di cassa cospicuo. Inutile dire che il ricorso ad asset intangibili come quest’ultimo è stata una pratica comune tra le grandi aziende. Di conseguenza hanno potuto aggiustare l’andamento dei loto titoli in borsa attraverso campagne di riacquisti d’azioni proprie. Ma per quanto possa far apparire appetibile all’esterno una determinata attività, siamo tutti consci delle conseguenze che comporta ammassare debiti su debiti in un periodo in cui gli utili vengono depressi da correnti deflazionistiche.»

*

«Non solo, ma questo va a deprimere le spese in conto capitale che non hanno ragione d’essere in un ambiente in cui la fiducia dei consumatori è calante e le scorte s’accumulano»

*

«Quindi l’unico modo che si ha per creare una sorta di presunta crescita economica è quella di far sembrare che il proprio titolo in borsa guadagni fiducia, nonostante la realtà dica il contrario, oppure rivolgersi ad un altro trucco finanziario: acquisizioni e fusioni. Ovvero, creare valore aggiunto fondendosi con altre attività commerciali che debbano, in qualche modo, creare una nuova realtà il cui potenziale di crescita è superiore alle due entità separate.»

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Quando un sistema economico subisce variazioni repentine e profonde sulla base di voci ovvero del silenzio dei potenti denota quanto sia mal condizionato: patologico.

Il quantitative easing ed il regime di tassi negativi proseguirà almeno fino all’espletamento delle elezioni presidenziali francesi.

«wait and see»?

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Trend Online. 2016-06-03. Draghi resta alla finestra. Ecco quando agirà di nuovo la BCE

Come da attese, l’appuntamento di ieri con la BCE si è rivelato in una sorta di non evento, nel senso che i mercati erano già preparati ad un nulla di fatto su tutti i fronti.

Nessuna sorpresa dalla BCE: tassi e QE invariati per ora

E l’Eurotower non ha sorpreso, visto che ha confermato i tassi di interesse sui minimi storici e al contempo non ha apportato alcuna modifica sul piano di quantitative easing che prevede l’acquisto di titoli di Stato per 80 miliardi di euro al mese.

La BCE ha rivisto al rialzo le stime sul PIL e sull’inflazione e nel corso della conferenza stampa il presidente Draghi ha affermato che la crescita è stabile, ma modesta. Inoltre ha aggiunto che il QE proseguirà fino a marzo 2017, spiegando che il piano è flessibile e può essere aggiustato, ma al momento prosegue senza problemi.

Draghi opta per un atteggiamento wait and see.

In linea con le previsioni il numero uno della BCE ha preferito non esporsi troppo, adottando un atteggiamento “wait and see” in attesa di conoscere il risultato relativo al referendum sulla Brexit e e di valutare in maniera completa l’impatto della politica monetaria in atto.

Secondo Anna Maria Grimaldi, economista di Intesa Sanpaolo, i toni usati da Draghi durante la consueta conferenza stampa sono stati meno accomodanti rispetto al precedente meeting. L’idea è che l’Eurotower si stia concentrando sull’implementazione delle misure già annunciate, attendendo in maniera cauta i nuovi dati macro.

La BCE agirà ancora: ecco come e quando

Quella di ieri è stata quindi una riunione interlocutoria, come evidenziato dagli analisti di ING, secondo cui la BCE in attesa della decisione della Fed sui tassi e del referendum sulla Brexit, ha preferito andare sul sicuro, lasciando tutte le opzioni aperte.

Secondo la casa olandese l’aspetto più interessante è dato dal fatto che le ultime previsioni sull’inflazione sono state condizionate sia dalle misure di politica monetaria esistenti, sia da quelle annunciate e non ancora implementante. A detta degli analisti questo significa che attualmente c’è un’elevata probabilità che la BCE alla fine dovrà agire ancora.

ING non è l’unica a credere nella possibilità di nuovi interventi da parte dell’Eurotower, visto che aspettative simili sono nutrite anche da altre banche d’affari.

E’ il caso di JP Morgan che da una parte riconosce che la ieri il Board guidato da Draghi non ha lanciato forti segnali per il futuro, ma dall’altra ritiene che le nuove previsioni diffuse ieri su PIL e inflazione rendono più convincente l’estensione del quantitative easing oltre marzo 2017.

La banca americana crede pertanto che entro settembre la pressione sulla BCE sarà tale da giustificare un’estensione del piano di acquisti di titoli di Stato.

Nuovi interventi sono attesi anche da Morgan Stanley (Xetra: 885836notizie) , secondo cui probabilmente l’Eurotower allenterà ulteriormente la sua politica monetaria nella seconda parte dell’anno, considerando il tono accomodante usato ieri e in ragione delle previsioni relative al 2017 e al 2018.

Infine, anche per gli analisti di Bankhaus Lampe il Board guidato da Draghi interverrà nuovamente nella seconda metà dell’anno per dare un sostegno al rialzo dell’inflazione.

Per gli esperti è probabile che a dicembre il tasso di rifianziamento principale sia tagliato di 5 punti base a -0,05%, mentre quello sui depositi nell’ordine di 10 basis points a -0,5%. La previsione è inoltre per un’ulteriore estensione del piano di quantitative easing da marzo prossimo fino alla fine del 2017. 

 

Sole 24 Ore. 2016-06-03. Gli Usa creano solo 38mila posti, minimo da 6 anni: Borse in rosso

Anche la Borsa americana reagisce in modo negativo alla diffusione dell’atteso dato sul mercato del lavoro negli Stati Uniti che a maggio ha mostrato un aumento inferiore alle attese. Gli indici azionari europei stanno allargando le perdite con le vendite che si concentrano su auto, banche e assicurativi. Euro/dollaro ai minimi da due settimane. Dietrofront anche per il petrolio, con il Brent tornato sotto i 50 dollari e il Wti sotto i 49.