It always helps to break down supposedly complex economic and financial concepts and policies to their most fundamental level. This morning, you’ve no likely already read or heard about how the European Central Bank has officially forced negative interest rates upon its citizenry. As the WSJ puts it this morning:
The central bank reduced interest rates, pushing the deposit rate into negative territory, and announced a series of other measures designed to boost bank lending and keep ultralow inflation from gaining traction. 39 min ago
The euro slid to a four-month low against the dollar after the ECB move, then reversed course, and stocks moved broadly higher. 37 min ago
WSJ’s own Simon Constable asks the professional investors on his WSJ Hub Show the hard questions and does a great job of getting professionals to break it down for people. This morning he’s got us all aflutter on Scutify, as he asks the professionals investors there about what the ECB’s latest actions mean to the consumer world, not just the banks and corporate worlds.
As he put it, “Not convinced this negative interest rate move by the ECB will have any detectable impact on lending or growth for that matter. However, I can’t help but feel that consumers at the banks will eventually be stiffed. Thoughts anyone?”
I answered thusly: @SimonConstable It helps to consider what QE and negative interest rates would mean if they were offered to an average Joe rather than the Too Big To Fail Banks. The ECB would literally be paying people to borrow money from them, and people would borrow as much money as they could and spend it and invest it on whatever shiny object catches their eyes. That’s exactly what the banks will do with their free money from ECB. Expect yet more asset and stock market bubbles.
Moreover, imagine all the people with savings in Europe who now have to find a risk-on place to put their money since they can’t even get 100 cents on the Euro by lending it to the system. Talk about an unsustainable and unfair financial system. Steal from the savers til their morale improves!
What do you think? Tell me in the comments below or come join Simon and me and others debating this on Scutify today.
PS. $CIEN says demand for optical wares are better than just about any analyst expected. I’m holding my Ciena steady for now, as that report and guidance was indeed very good and I think there’s still upside to come.