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23rd February 2024 > > The ECB, oh dear me.


A rant about the ECB and its nonsense around cryptos, but I feel better now I have shared this with you.

Market Snap

Market Wrap

Some are wondering how it is possible that stock markets around the world are at all-time highs, but many economies (bar the US) are showing signs of being in recession.

The reason for stock market strength is simple. Smart investors know that QE – a policy designed to make the rich richer, and the poor poorer – is coming back big style. Grab hard assets where you can.

Curious Cryptos’ Commentary – The ECB & cryptos

It is fair to say that the ECB and the CCC have had many run-ins over the years regarding the former’s policy decisions. One can never forget when Jean-Claude Trichet forced an interest rate hike on the EU in July 2008 just as the Global Financial Crisis was getting started. This was the most ill-timed interest rate decision in the history of central banks’ ownership of short-term interest rates. Initially ignoring the world’s shock at his incompetence, it wasn’t long until the ECB started slashing rates.

Seasoned readers already know that central banks should not be able to manipulate interest rates at any point of the curve, but somehow this practice has become the norm. We must live with it, for now.

Turning to the present day, much of Europe is in recession. A recession that is a direct response to two more desperately ill-timed interest rate rises in April and July last year for the EU. If your monetary policy is simply to compete with the US (“my rise is bigger than yours”), then I politely suggest you go and do something more useful instead.

These latest hikes have been driven by the current head of the ECB, convicted criminal Christine Lagarde, the leading example of how the world is going wrong by putting technocrats in charge.

So, no, the ECB and CCC rarely agree with one another. But this latest report by the ECB about cryptos takes the argument to a whole new level:

The title “EFT approval for bitcoin – the naked emperor’s new clothes” must surely have been signed off by Lagarde herself, in a blatantly deliberate attempt to annoy me. Our dispute wasn’t personal before.

It is now.

Here are some choice quotes from this rag of a report:

“… and (we) reiterate that the fair value of Bitcoin is still zero”.

I will take all the BTC you have at the price of a dollar, which would clearly represent good value to you, Ms. ECB.

“We argued that Bitcoin has failed to fulfil its original promise to become a global decentralised digital currency.”

Global – BTC exists in all countries. Tick.

Decentralised – yep, it is. Even Gary Gensler says so. Tick.

Digital currency – ah yes, that is exactly what it is. Tick.

“… it is incredibly ironic that the crypto unit that had set out to overcome the demonised established financial system should need conventional intermediaries to spread to a broader group of investors.”

This completely misses the philosophical point that the decentralised world cannot exist without the centralised world, but that the centralised world becomes such a better place with its decentralised partner by its side, in constructive harmony.

“… a key utility offered by crypto is the financing of terrorism and crimes …”

The dollar was usurped as the currency of choice for moving large wads of illicit cash by drug dealers, and other criminals, when the ECB came up with the less than bright idea of a EUR 500 note (“mine is bigger than yours” syndrome once more).

“Bitcoin remains the top choice for money laundering in the digital world …”

Yes, perhaps in the digital world, though there are some doubts about that.

Regardless, I need hardly remind anyone that J.P. Morgan has been fined TWO HUNDRED AND SEVENTY-TWO times since 2000 for illegal activity, paying nearly $40 BILLION in fines for money laundering for drug traffickers, tax avoidance, and other assorted criminal activities. The digital world is way behind the fiat, centralised world in this respect. Perhaps we should get rid of fiat and banks?

On 30th November 2022 the ECB put a piece entitled “Bitcoin’s last stand”:

The price of BTC on that day? A mere $16k.

I could go on, but my blood pressure tablets are probably not strong enough for that.

Heavily centralised institutions that don’t have to earn their corn such as the ECB, IMF, World Bank, BIS, and the UN – failing organisations whose sole purpose now is merely to perpetuate their own existence – all feel very threatened by the crypto revolution.

As they should.

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