I had this to say on August 20th regarding a big central bank swap deal:
I maintain the next move by the Fed is to massively open up the dollar swap lines with European central banks. I don’t think Bernanke wants to announce this significant step at Jackson Hole. It is an EU issue and the Fed can’t take the lead on this. Opening the swap lines will prove to be very unpopular in the US. Politicians will jump on it as a bailout of Europe while America is struggling.
Bernanke is going to take some heat, when this happens (I think this is now a certainty, just not sure of the timing).
The folks at Zero Hedge and FTAlphaville (and others) were of a similar mind.
I would love to convince you that we were just smart. Actually the evidence was everywhere you looked that something like what was announced this A.M. was in the works.
My point. People who actually move money around (versus writing about it) were also aware that this was pending.
Even more to the point:
This could not have happened without substantial discussion amongst all of the CB’s involved. Dozen of folks knew that this was coming a week ago. That means that dozens more got the tip.
The market action (buy Euro sell gold) the past few days smelled of something. I think this was it.
Sell on the news. I don’t think the positive reaction will be long lived. There is a flip side to the swap announcement.
This is an acknowledgment of profound weakness in the funding markets in Europe.
The swaps may mask the problem for a few months. But it’s going to come back with a vengeance. How could it not?