Google Analytics

Saturday, May 18

18th May - Weekender: Best of the week

The best articles from the ending week. Last week’s ‘best’ here.

Follow ‘MoreLiver’ on Twitter or Facebook

Time travel in EurolandFatasMihov
Jeroen Dijsselbloem in an interview with CNBC yesterday dismissed the role that fiscal policy and monetary policy can have to address the economic crisis

Europeans must face up to prospect of massive debt restructuringThe Telegraph
Europe’s bourses have not done as well as others from renewed investor appetite for equities, but even the depression-hit eurozone periphery has seen big gains in share prices since the sovereign debt crisis began to abate last summer.

The Resistible Fall of Europe: An Interview with George SorosProject Syndicate
On May 12, George Soros was awarded the Tiziano Terzani Prize for his 2012 book Financial Turmoil published in Italy by Hoepli. The following interview is adapted from a press conference held in Udine, Italy, on that occasion.

"The New Sick Man of Europe: The European Union" PEF (pdf)
Of stereotypes and the slow end of the European affairalphaville / FT
Some charts from Pew’s latest survey of 8,000 people across eight EU countries, most of whom are increasingly *insert euphamism* with Europe

Save Europe: Split the EuroView / Bloomberg
France should champion a new strategy under the banner not of nationalism but of European solidarity. A splitting of the euro system would be in the best interests of both France and Europe because it would speed the EU’s return to economic growth -- the only sure guarantee of European stability and unity.

What the euro has meantFree exchange / The Economist
Most of the euro area would have been better off being Britain or America over this time, even in per capita terms, and Britain and America have hardly had outstanding performances. The remarkable thing to me is that no euro-area economy is rushing for the exit, despite the fact that real output per person has fallen 15% in Greece and is lower in Italy and Portugal than it was 13 years ago. Perhaps the periphery imagines that they would have done worse without the euro.

The harmful impact of short-term troubles on long-term growth Bruegel
Europe has a well-known long-term growth problem, but there is a major risk that short-term troubles will damage further the long-term growth potential, for six main reasons.

There is no sovereign debt crisis in EuropeMacroScope / Reuters
It is merely a sequel to the U.S. financial meltdown that started, like its American counterpart, with dangerously-indebted risk-taking on the part of a super-sized banking sector.

Too many European banks and why the deleveraging has only just startedMacronomics

Stress you next yearalphaville / FT
This is one way to respond to the mess Euroland is in over who should make the calls for recapitalising banks…The European Banking Authority is delaying its next banking stress test to 2014, to wait for both new asset-quality reviews and the ECB’s Single Supervisory Mechanism

Banking union on the cheap will failFree exchange / The Economist
After the German elections, Europe has a short window of opportunity to rescue the euro project. It is the moment for Germany to accept what it signed for in joining the Euro or exit.

NPLs and lights in dark placesalphaville / FT
Chart from JP Morgan’s Flows & Liquidity team shows the evolution of non-performing loan ratios (as percentages of total loans) across three different Euro area blocks: Germany, core and periphery.

Where do EU member states stand on bank bail-in plans?Open Europe
The ECB, Spain, Portugal and France (amongst others) want a clear depositor preference regime – where uninsured depositors are the last to be written down. On the other hand, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK want more equality between senior bondholders and uninsured depositors… The few points they do agree on include: complete protection for insured depositors, a broad bail-in scheme and (somewhat ironically) the fact that this legislation is urgent.

A Copernican Turn for Banking UnionCEPS (pdf)
Thomas Mayer / Deutsche Bank: Despite apparent consensus that the creation of a ‘Banking Union’ is essential for the survival of the euro, progress is painfully slow…a radically new approach is needed if there is any prospect of moving beyond this impasse to reach full Banking Union. Instead of trying to move from common bank supervision over to resolution and then on to deposit insurance, he argues that policy-makers should go backwards and start with deposit insurance, move from there to resolution, and end with supervision.

Cyprus portrayed as Russia's favorite havenReuters
Documents seen by Reuters show that as Cyprus headed towards financial meltdown in March, most notable among companies transferring money from the country's two main banks were Russians and East Europeans.

S&P says Cypriot deposit grab may set euro zone precedentReuters
The grab on bank deposits that accompanied Cyprus's bailout could be repeated elsewhere in the euro zone, and the bloc's banking union may not be strong enough when it is introduced, Standard and Poor's said on Wednesday.

Fed Maps Exit From StimulusWSJ
Timing of Wind-Down Is Uncertain, but Focus Is on Managing Unpredictable Market Expectations

Bernanke, Blower of Bubbles?Krugman / NYT
All in all, the case for significant bubbles in stocks or, especially, bonds is weak. And that conclusion matters for policy as well as investment.

Don’t confuse liquidity with creditMark Dow
There is zero correlation between the Fed printing and the money supply

The Fed can keep buying for a while, if it wants toalphaville / FT
It will be a little while yet before the Fed approaches that threshold, even if it increases purchases to $65bn a month. And the Fed also has the option to shift its purchases along the curve if chooses to:

A gap-ing problemalphaville / FT
The US unemployment rate has continued to decline steadily, and at its current pace would hit the Fed’s 6.5 per cent threshold to begin raising rates by roughly the middle of next year. But the suggestion made by the research is that the decline in the unemployment rate perhaps projects an overly optimistic image of improvements in the labour market.

Plosser on the ExitTim Duy’s Fed Watch
While the Fed is  moving closer to tapering asset purchases, tIming remains an issue.  I think that most policymakers will not be swayed to an early end by the "Fed's inflation credibility is at risk" argument.  But a subset is likely swayed by the "financial stability is at risk" argument.  And another subset may be swayed by the "communications credibility is at risk argument" that is an element of Plosser's speech.  In short, the majority favoring continuing asset purchases at the current pace is obviously shrinking.

The end of QE?alphaville / FT
Marc Ostwald at Monument Securities has spotted that an important theme is developing: a rise in the number of warnings about QE suspension and QE exit.

Japan and the curious incident of the dog in the night-timealphaville / FT
UBS’s Donovan’s point is that Y100 and above might not have the effect everyone hopes it will on Japanese exports, and through them, the economy.

Nothing Fails like SuccessMarc to Market
Far from a revolution that many observers have hyped, the Abe's diagnosis and medicine is not new, even if the dosage is.  The problem, as we have argued before, is not too little investment in Japan but really the opposite; too much investment. 

The Real Experiment That Is Being Carried Out In JapanFistful of Euros

It takes a regime shiftChristina Romer / Berkeley (pdf)
Recent developments in Japanese monetary policy through the lense of the Great Depression.

JGBs: “Yes I would, Kentalphaville / FT
The rise in JGB yields does not mean that the Bank of Japan’s policy is doomed to fail…If we start to see a weaker Nikkei and a stronger yen while yields keep heading up, maybe we should get worried. But right now it seems yields are rising as policy goals are met and as what might be termed ‘normal’ financial conditions return.

New Normal ... MorphingPIMCO
Mohamed A. El-Erian:  The New Normal has morphed to include consequential elements of a “stable disequilibrium”. In the midst of notable multi-speed dynamics, the global economy as a whole is muddling along a road that will give way over the next three to five years to one of two stark alternatives: either sustainable global growth, institutional and political renewal in the West and safe deleveraging; or growth shortfalls that cause financial instability, fuel greater social tensions, accentuate political dysfunctions and complicate debt traps. Our Secular Forum analysis identified eight key themes for long-term investors, along with their portfolio implications.

How the Case for Austerity Has CrumbledThe New York Review of Books
Krugman: In normal times, an arithmetic mistake in an economics paper would be a complete nonevent as far as the wider world was concerned. But in April 2013,

New CDS trigger event proposed to tackle bail-inIFR Asia
ISDA is consulting on a proposal to add another credit event for financial credit default swaps in order to adapt to sweeping changes in regulation that will give supervisory authorities the power to bail-in the debt of floundering institutions.