Mario Draghi – ECB President Q&A at press conference
Solid and broad economic growth in the Eurozone.
“growth is improving. Things are going better. And you remember in 2013 we were speaking of a recovery which was fragile and uneven, and now it’s solid and broad. Just let me give you a few numbers. Growth has averaged 0.4% quarter after quarter since 2013. But the important point is also that this recovery has broadened, which wasn’t the case before. … we have a dispersion index of value-added growth, showing value-added growth in different countries and now it’s at a historical minimum. It’s at the same level as in 1997. The PMI is the highest since 2011. So is the Economic Sentiment Index. The unemployment rate is at the lowest since May 2009…The risks of deflation have virtually disappeared.”
Political uncertainty affects medium term outlook
“We don’t do monetary policy on the likely outcomes of elections, but of course we ask ourselves how political uncertainty can affect our monetary policy decisions. Of course we ask ourselves this question. And the answer is, to the extent and only to the extent that – we don’t react to political uncertainty by itself, but we certainly internalise the information that comes from the fact that political uncertainty may affect our medium-term outlook for price stability. So to the extent that political uncertainty has this effect, we internalise this information – together with lots of other information – in taking our monetary policy decisions.”
Stephen Mnuchin – U.S. Treasury Secretary at the Milken Institute Global Conference
Optimistic Projections for growth
“In our projections it will probably take two years to get up to three percent growth and then we can have a sustained level. That’s what we’re projecting,” Mnuchin said. “Obviously the sooner we can pass taxes, the sooner we can get regulatory relief the better we’re going to be….I think we can create what’s incredible economic growth in this country.”
Conviction is more muted.
“This quarter it feels like conviction for tax and regulatory reform is more muted.”
Conviction is fading
“This was a quarter defined by lower client activity and the firm not maximizing the revenue opportunity….This was a quarter that was defined by low volatility, a lack of conviction with our clients. One of the things I would say is our business is definitely weighted, or levered, to times when our clients have a lot of conviction. One of the things that happened is that conviction sort of ebbed.