ECB chair Mario Draghi delivered big-time this morning by announcing lower interest rates and a new round of debt monetization. Historically, this kind of thing has sent the financial markets into Pavlovian ecstasy, with stocks soaring and the local currency falling.
Sound money people have for years been warning that such New Age monetary policies are poison and that the markets would eventually wise up and react accordingly. Today, finally, that’s what they did. European stocks popped on the news — then dropped.
The euro did the opposite, dropping then popping:
And the US dollar, which in a rational Keynesian world should soar as its main competitor is inflated away, fell hard:
US stocks, as this is written at 1 pm EST on Thursday, are down and gold is up big, which implies that markets now view negative interest rates and central banks buying corporate bonds and equities as signs of profound failure rather than innovative genius.
It is now clear that the only reason a government would resort to such things is that its previous policies haven’t worked. In which case there’s no reason to think the next batch will do any better. Which in turn implies that financial assets are a dangerous place to be while chastened monetary authorities sort out their misconceptions and rework their models.