Are falling crude oil prices a good or bad thing? The Saudi oil price war is raising those questions as they cut the selling price to Asia and say they think oil will stabilize at $60 a barrel which may become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
The characterisation of Europe as “elderly and haggard” by Pope Francis is an accurate one, but on Dec. 4 the European Central Bank could lay the groundwork to try and revitalise the region's sagging economy. And though quantitative easing might be justified on inflation levels (prices are likely to weaken further on falling commodity prices)--Draghi clearly faces tough opposition within the ECB, hence QE hasn't happened yet.
The ECB has restricted purchases of assets to covered bonds, though sovereign bonds and asset-backed securities are now on its shopping list. ECB officials accelerated covered-bond buying last week, with the total settled rising by more than 3 billion euros ($3.74 billion)
U.S. stocks fell, after benchmark indexes closed at records yesterday, as investors scrutinized comments by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi before tomorrow’s monthly report on the American labor market.
Surprising no one, the ECB chose to leave its main interest rate unchanged in its November policy meeting, but the fireworks really started when ECB President Draghi took the stage for his press conference.
Germany and France are poised to take the first step toward a European investment program, as the euro area’s two biggest economies seek to resolve differences and spur growth without resorting to stimulus spending, government officials said.
Purchases of government bonds are clearly more complicated to implement in Europe than the US. Choosing which bonds to buy in Europe, since each country issues them separately with different risks, is not easy.
Is it a) by cutting the central bank’s two main borrowing costs, b) by announcing the onset of asset backed bond purchases that might help that market reinvent itself, or is it c) by slamming the euro currency?