ECB August Meeting

Not to forget this is the just the beginning of ‘doing what it takes’ to sustain the euro, and make it ‘safe’ for investors.

That’s all inclusive, though not necessarily immediate.

And ‘anchoring’ the short end ‘automatically’ goes a very long way towards anchoring the long end with regard to risk premium.

Karim writes:

Draghi announced significant philosophical changes today. The key announcements were:

  • The ECB was ready to renounce seniority on its bond purchases.
  • The size of future purchases was open-ended: ‘size adequate to reach its objectives’.
  • Future purchases may not be sterilized, as they have been with the SMP so far.
  • Purchases would be front-end focused as that ‘falls squarely in line with monetary policy instruments’. A key instrument is obviously the LTROs. So would imagine purchases would be 3yrs and in on the curve.

The adherence of governments to their commitments and the fulfilment by the EFSF/ESM of their role are necessary conditions [for some action on the ECB side]. The Governing Council, within its mandate to maintain price stability over the medium term and in observance of its independence in determining monetary policy, may undertake outright open market operations of a size adequate to reach its objective. In this context, the concerns of private investors about seniority will be addressed.

Other news was that:

  • As in the excerpt above, purchases would be subject to strict conditionality via the EFSF (i.e., Spain has to accept a Memorandum of Understanding). Fiscal consolidation and structural reform were listed as the key conditions.
  • He threw cold water on the ESM getting a banking license, saying he was ‘surprised by the attention this has received’.
  • Logistics and objectives on bond purchases were TBD by a committee.
  • Further non-standard measures were forthcoming.
  • Rate cuts were discussed but unanimously voted down; as for a negative depo rate he said ‘we are in unchartered waters’, implying the hurdle may be high.

Relative to levels before Draghi’s London speech last week, Spanish 2y yields are 200bps lower, and 10yr yields are 50bps lower.