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  • richard evans

US Fed, Treasury, FDIC act to contain SVB contagion worries

Good morning

I mentioned SVB had ran into financial difficulties late last week but to be honest hadn’t really considered the wider implication of a bank going under. The fear of contagion and a run on other banks looked like it could have been a real problem, however overnight the US treasury, Fed and FDIC have announced steps to help contain those fears and protect deposits, which has pushed US equity futures into positive territory.

There has been some scaling back of US rate rise expectations for this month. Remember after Powell there were many looking for a 50bps rate rise from the Fed, some are now doubting whether we will have any rate rise at all, Goldmans being one of them. This has helped push GBPUSD up to 1.2140 and EURUSD to 1.0735 overnight, both currently 40 pips or so off those highs. GBPEUR just around 1.1300 as I type.

Meanwhile the UK government is looking at rescue plans to help firms hit by the SVB collapse but so far I haven’t seen any firm details. The support from US and UK governments is good for those with deposits and I’m not saying they shouldn’t do it, but I fear it does set a dangerous precedent, perhaps by instilling a ‘you can never lose’ mindset for both bankers and customers. However if the cost of not doing so was a possible collapse of many more banks, maybe it’s worth it.

Just a quick mention of Fridays US nonfarm payroll release which saw a headline of +311k, far greater than had been expected, but the strong headline was tempered by a higher unemployment rate and lower average earnings.

Spurs managed a win at the weekend by my viewing of the game on Match of the Day was somewhat altered after the Lineker fiasco. I have to admit to being in two minds on this. I am all for free speech so really I should be in full support of Lineker, and I must admit I read his tweet and it really didn’t seem shocking enough to have created all this furore. One of the problems of the media, including and social media, is how easy it is to whip up a frenzy over something that really is just someone’s passing comment.

So who do I blame for this? Lineker? The ‘media’? BBC? The government? Have to say that Linekers fellow presenters who refused to turn up to work must shoulder some of the blame as well. Surely though, it is down to the BBC to decide who to employ, and if their staff are acting in a way they do not approve, they can make the decision to not employ that person. I’m sure there are plenty of others who would relish the chance to present MotD and other sports and no doubt for a lot less money. Lineker may well be good now, but I saw his very first MotD and he was dreadful. Perhaps the time has come for someone else to take over and let Lineker and his gang continue their political or moral agenda unhindered by a regular £1.4m salary.

The problem I have with free speech is that there really isn’t such a thing. Free speech only works if you can voice an opinion, discuss that opinion and respect that others may not share your view regardless of how strongly you may feel. But it is clear that this version of free speech doesn’t exist, the fear of offending a minority or majority group means many keep quiet when they may really want their voiced heard.

A comment made by a sports commentator has taken more of my time this morning than a possible banking crisis. Perhaps I am therefore one of the guilty ‘media’ types that spends far too long wittering on about the unimportant things. I’m clearly part of the problem.

Best I leave it there. A very light calendar today but most interest likely to come when the US markets, and banks, open in a few hours.

- 23.30 AUS Westpac consumer confidence

- 07.00 UK unemployment

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