Private homebuyers, for example, could easily find banks to finance
more than 100 percent of a property's price. "You could readily obtain a
loan for five times your annual salary," says Scheepens, "and all that
without a cent of equity." This was only possible because property
owners were able to fully deduct mortgage interest from their taxes.
Instead of paying off the loans, borrowers normally put some of the
money into an investment fund, month after month, hoping for a profit.
The money was to be used eventually to pay off the loan, at least in
part. But it quickly became customary to expect the value of a given
property to increase substantially. Many Dutch savers expected that the
resale of their homes would generate enough money to pay off the loans,
along with a healthy profit."
Times have changed, real estate prices are down, and the banks have €650B of mortgage loans on their books. Consumer debt, at 250% of disposable income is immense, about twice the amount Spain had in 2011. The last thing Holland needs, like most of Southern Europe is more austerity. This downward economic spiral will continue as long as these policies remain in place, and that spiral is moving North.
It will be a surprise if there is a reduction in the ECB rate tomorrow. With the German 10 year bond yielding 54 basis points under the US rate, this reflects the perception Frankfurt is the safest place in Europe to park your euros. If, however, the rate would be cut 25 basis points, how would the market react?
Perhaps traders would conclude the European economy is really worse than advertized. In which case parking money outside of the EU might become fashionable. Also, the EU bungling of the Cyprus bank crises might be another reason for money to flee Europe.
The EURUSD has enjoyed a small bounce after making a low of 1.2750, making it back close to the 200 day SMA around 1.2850. (FXE, UUP). We also note that there has been a sizable increase in the futures open interest over the past ten days. This probably means the large specs, possibly funds, are adding to their short positions. With tomorrow's report, followed by the Friday NFP, this pair must be closely monitored. Our preference is to prudently sell strength, with a target around 1.2650.
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