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March 20, 2014

Today's Commentaries on Economic & Resource News by Ian R. Campbell FCPA FCA FCBV

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Important Highlights from Today's Commentaries

 

Commentaries

The 9 person Federal Reserve Open Market Committee issued, as you no doubt know, its bi-monthly Press Release yesterday afternoon. Tapering, which in two previous $10 billion bi-monthly tranches had been reduced from $85 billion per month to $65 billion per month, has been reduced beginning in April by a further $10 billion to $55 billion per month.

Other than that, from my perspective the Press Release was pretty much same old/same old. The federal funds rate remains unchanged. In my view the Federal Reserve continues to some degree to - albeit I think quite legitimately - what the Federal Reserve calls the U.S. Federal Government fiscal policy. The Federal Reserve Committee, I think importantly, states its expectation the with "appropriate policy accommodation" - which I take to be same thing as fiscal policy - "economic activity will expand at a moderate pace and labor market conditions will continue to improve gradually".

Yesterday after the 2:00 p.m. ET Press Release both the DJIA and gold price both dropped. Most reports on the gold price suggest its drop relates to the "settling down" of concerns over the Crimea situation. The financial markets drop largely seems to be attributed to Fed Chair Janet Yellen's remarks in her news conference yesterday that tapering may possibly end in "around" six months or "that type of thing" and pointed to a more aggressive path to interest rate hikes than many have been anticipating.  For me, that is simply further evidence of how volatile the financial markets are in the face of new news or rumour - and how fragile they may be. You might want to read Fed may raise rates as soon as next spring, Yellen suggests.

You also might want to read The Fed Keeps On Manufacturing Excuses where Peter Schiff expresses the view that the Ms. Yellen yesterday evidenced a beginning of an attempt to "move goalposts" on the unemployment rate and as time passes other economic indicators such that the Federal Reserve will not be pushed to move interest rates higher based on its prior stated criteria. As I see things, in combination with the reasons given for yesterday's financial markets drop Mr. Schiff's views demonstrate the varied opinions and uncertainties that currently exist among those who follow Federal Reserve policies and their links to those markets.

As usual, you can read the Press Release at Federal Reserve Press Release: March 19. You can also read a tracked-changed version of that Press Release compared with January's Press Release at Parsing the Fed: How the Statement Changed.

Federal Reserve Press Release: March 19 - reading time 5 minutes (Federal Reserve). Parsing the Fed: How the Statement Changed - reading time 5 minutes (Wall Street Journal). Fed may raise rates as soon as next spring, Yellen suggests - reading time 3 minutes (Reuters). The Fed Keeps On Manufacturing Excuses - reading time 1 minute (Real Clear Markets).

Germany: EU bailout fund

On Tuesday Germany's Constitutional Court - Germany's highest court - ruled that the European Stability Mechanism in its current form does not undermine the German parliament's autonomy on federal budgetary matters. Stated differently, the court ruled that the European Union's permanent bailout fund does not run afoul of Germany's Basic Law where German parliament has sufficient powers to control Germany's national liabilities.

This decision does not end the complaint related to European bailout fund September 2012 statements made Mario Draghi, President of the European Central Bank, with respect to it being open-ended. The German Constitutional Court referred that issue to the European Court of Justice in early February - see February 12, 2014 commentary German court deferral.

Germany's top court upholds legality of ESM rescue fund - reading time 2 minutes (Deutsche Welle).


Russian sanctions

You might find an article worth reading that was published yesterday. The article expresses views on the Crimean referendum and potential financial markets consequences - particularly in Austria and Germany whose internationalized economies are said to be viewed as bridges between the European Union and Eastern Europe - read Business worries as Russian sanctions mount.

I have not commented on the on-goings in the Ukraine over past weeks simply because I don't believe I have a sufficiently informed view to comment sensibly.

We live in complex, and as I am sure the Chinese are saying most days, interesting times.

Business worries as Russian sanctions mount - reading time 4 minutes (Deutsche Welle).

Articles Posted Today to Stock Research Portal

Today, supplementary to the articles discussed in this newsletter, filtered articles were posted to the Home Page of Stock Research Portal in the following categories.

News Category No. of Articles
Posted Today
Economic News 332
Financial Market News 41
Precious Metals News 23
Base Metals News 4
Other Minerals News 6
Oil & Gas News 17


For a quick review of filtered world news by category visit www.stockresearchportal.com

Newsletter Methodology and Objective

Each morning we personally filter (on average) over 750 economic and resource articles published in the previous 24 hours. We select those we think to be particularly important, comment on their subject matter, and give you balanced views that save you time.

Our objective is to help you keep up to date, gain new ideas, better trade and invest, better communicate with your investment advisor if you have one, and importantly make your own ‘penny drop’.

About the Author

Ian R. Campbell

Through the Economic Straight Talk Newsletter Ian R. Campbell shares his perspective on the world economy, the financial markets, and natural resources. A recognized business valuation authority, he founded Toronto based Campbell Valuation Partners (1976), Stock Research Portal (2007) a source of resource companies market data and analytic tools, and Economic Straight Talk (2012). The CICBV* annually funds business valuation research in his name**. Contact him at icampbell@srddi.com.
* Canadian Institute of Chartered Business Valuators
** through The Ian R. Campbell Research Initiative

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