ICYMI: Four Recent Interesting Posts

1.  Speculators positioning in the futures market:  The Secretary General of OPEC recent blamed speculators for the decline in oil prices.  A look at the Commitment of Traders shows speculators in the light crude futures contract have a substantial net long position.

2.  Swiss gold referendum:   The referendum Swiss voters face at the end of the month would ban the central bank from selling any more gold, would require that 20% of its reserves are held in gold, and that the gold is stored in Switzerland itself.  The approval of a majority is necessary and a majority of the cantons.    It is unlikely to pass the first requirement, and even if it does, it is even less likely to pass the second hurdle.  

3.  Understanding ECB:  Written prior to the November 6 ECB meeting, and although anticipated that the leaked stories were spun from one of the antagonists, the value is in the analysis of the bigger picture.  The ECB is not designed to have a strong leader, like the Federal Reserve and Bank of Japan.  In addition, it cannot but harm the relatively new central bank to have not just any member, but the first among equals, the Bundesbank testify in court hearings against majority-made decisions at the ECB.

4.   The French Enigma:    German Chancellor Merkel is widely recognized as a savvy politician.  Yet she has played with a strong hand.  France, on the other hand, has a weak hand, but has tended to win more often than not.  It has failed to meet EC budget targets, and it is granted more time.  It wanted the ECB to ease policy.  It is.   France complained of the euro's strength.  The ECB is talking it down.  Meanwhile, the French political elite appear to be committing collective suicide.  The National Front is positioned to benefit the most.    

ICYMI: Four Recent Interesting Posts ICYMI:   Four Recent Interesting Posts Reviewed by Marc Chandler on November 24, 2014 Rating: 5
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