Posts from Wednesday Mar 20 2013

The Closer

The S&P 500, still 7 points off the all-time high. It closed up 0.7 per cent at 1,558.71 (Bloomberg).

The Fed left its easing unchanged but cut growth forecasts for 2013. The central bank will carry on buying $85bn of assets per month until economic thresholds are met, the FOMC said. The FOMC’s statement was tweaked only slightly, to add that the Fed would “continue to take appropriate account of the likely efficacy and costs of such purchases as well as the extent of progress toward its economic objectives” — a nod to concerns of some members about further QE (Financial Times). Read more

US Markets Live, Bernanke presser — 20 March 2013

Live markets commentary from 

Fed holds — FOMC statement, 20 March 2013

We’ll have a full discussion and live presser coverage starting at 2:25pm EST (6:25pm London time) on US Markets Live.

The new economic projection for the unemployment rate are a bit more optimistic than the December projections, and the central tendencies for GDP growth and inflation are slightly lower:
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Insults to pesos

There’s loads of serious-minded UK Budget news & analysis on already, so…

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US Markets Live reminder, Fed presser edition

We’ll be starting at 2:25pm EST (6:25pm in London) for live coverage of the Bernanke presser. Same place as always.

Markets Live: Wednesday, 20th March, 2013

Live markets commentary from 

Stability and the Fed

During the presser following last June’s FOMC meeting, Ben Bernanke cautioned that another round of QE shouldn’t be undertaken lightly because it may have “various costs and risks associated with it with respect to market functioning, with respect to financial stability, with respect to the exit process”.

The next round was launched in September, of course — after (though certainly not just because of) Fed staff economists presented an analysis to the FOMC concluding that there was “substantial capacity for additional purchases without disrupting market functioning”. Read more

The (early) Lunch Wrap

Cyprus holds crisis talks in Moscow || Osborne orders £2.5bn in Budget cuts || Visa may have to buy Visa Europe || South Korea banks and broadcasters hit by possible cyberattack || Anadarko finds ‘potentially giant’ oilfield || MF Global has reached an agreement with JPMorgan || US probes Mircosoft and partners over bribery claims || JP Morgan downgraded in confidential regulator scorecard || Liberty media in $2.6bn cable bet || Sweeping ECB powers to regulate all EU banks agreed || FCC plans to offload €2bn of assets || Freddie Mac sues over Libor losses || Markets roundup || FTAV’s latest Read more

A Cypriot game of chicken

After that resounding no vote, what’s in the stars for Cyprus today?

Martina Stevis and Michalis Persianis write in the WSJ that there are short term ideas — basically, Cypriot and European officials are discussing capital controls for when banks are due to open next Tuesday.

Meanwhile the IMF is coming up with a plan to merge Cyprus’ two biggest banks into a ‘bad bank’, a source told the pair. The IMF wouldn’t be drawn on that.

Where does the ECB stand in all this? Read more

Further reading

Elsewhere on Tuesday,

– The first rule of capital controls is…

– Economic theory and the political environment.

– Cypriot Nobelist appalled by deposit tax. Read more

The 6am Cut London

Asian stocks mixed || Cyprus seeking Russian help after no vote || Osborne orders £2.5bn in Budget cuts || $500m to be returned to MF Global customers || Visa may have to buy Visa Europe || ECB bank regulation powers agreed || Spain’s FCC to offload €2bn of assets || Big Volkswagen recall in China || Martin Wolf on what Cyprus shows us Read more

The best laid plans of miners and men

It was supposed to be one of the best trades of 2013 – buy mining stocks to get leveraged upside to the global economic turnaround. But as we approach the end of the first quarter, only one half of that equation is working. The world economy is recovering strongly but the big miners are being well and truly left behind – Australian Financial Review.

Yep, the miners as a ‘leveraged play on global growth” is not going exactly to plan: Read more