Are we there yet? September 11th 2016

Those of us with children will be used to this refrain as we turn out of the driveway on the way to destinations unknown. Equally we will smile when recalling that “les enfants terribles” were more than likely asleep when we did eventually get there. A perfect analogy for market participants in this most unloved bull market perhaps. In the last edition of the View we asked “When?” and suggested that all was fine as long as the central bank narrative held together. This past week has put that idea very much to the test.

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Postscript – April 12th 2016

Following up from our previous post, both the Fed meeting and the Presidential debrief were “Closed to Press” so we are all none the wiser except to say that central bank activity is “hotting” up and we can expect more of the unexpected, despite “guidance” to the contrary. In Germany, Schauble has blamed the ECB’s cheap money policy of fomenting the rise of the anti-EU AfD party, which now polls at 14%. In Germany’s proportional voting system, a party needs at least 5% to be allocated seats. “The ECB’s policy was already unpopular in Germany and the idea of helicopter money was the straw that broke the camel’s back,” said Joerg Kraemer, an economist with Commerzbank in Frankfurt. “People feel that ideas like this are dangerous.” While one can debate how much of Germany’s public stance is posturing, the tide is clearing turning against Draghi in Europe’s most prosperous and powerful nation. And as Reuters adds, this weekend’s scandal marked a new low in the often fraught relations between the euro zone’s biggest country and the central bank’s Italian chief, who has recently bemoaned what he described as the “nein zu allem” – “no to everything” approach – a deliberate swipe at Germany. The combatants will have a chance to settle their differences or continue to beg to differ at the IMF’s spring conference in…