Current Futures: Dow +80.00, S&P +9.00, NASDAQ +9.25
European Trade: European markets opened higher, bouncing from a six-year low. U.S. futures also advanced in the overnight session, shedding some of the huge declines seen yesterday.
Most shares listed on the Dax and Ftse rose tonight. The financials were leading the gains in the German Dax, but traded mixed in the U.K. Ftse. The majority of the declines seen in the U.K. were in the food-processing industry.
The U.K. Treasury will start an $18 billion fund meant to do what banks are not doing to this point: lend money. The fund is set to sponsor public spending, such as building new schools, highways and bridges.
The U.K. Government might bring back to life the “public-private partnerships” by this measure. Usually, such partnerships are used to fund public projects with money gathered from private sources. Even though in theory, these partnerships should not be very profitable because public investments have a small (sometimes even negative) rate of return, history has proved otherwise.
The Treasury’s role in these projects will be to provide the initial funds, and then find the private entities willing to put their name on the check, in an attempt to re-start the credit market. Initially, these projects appeared in the United Kingdom in the 1980’s and had the name of “Private Finance Initiative”. Additionally, it was in the 1930’s when Keynes first stated that public spending must increase during downturns, to help the economy recover faster.
The current approach used by the U.K. government provides a huge irony: in 2009, the government tries to revive the economy by using a Keynesian approach first appeared in the 1930’s, and a finance plan developed in the 1980’s. What did the world do in the mean time? Create bubble after bubble…
Tonight, the Nikkei shed 75.26 points (1.03%) to 7,204.89. The Australian S&P declined 48.80 points (1.50%) to 3,201.30. The U.K. Fste gained 29.15 points (0.80%) to 3,654.98, while the German Dax rose 10.16 points (0.27) to 3,720.23
Crude oil extended the decline from the previous day of trading in the Asian session. Crude oil for April delivery fell $0.20 to $40.00
Gold declined for the sixth straight session tonight. Bullion for immediate delivery fell $13.90 to $926.10.