The markets really liked this piece of news today. Expanding a war chest to combat the problems in the European economy is a good thing. The part that explains the most about how this move by the IMF (International Monetary Fund) is viewed is in the statements by Mark Carney. He highlights that the economies of the world outside of the Eurozone need protection and help with the fallout as much as the Eurozone countries themselves. A European recession will affect many world economies and the IMF does not have a mandate to only assist Europe.
This pipeline story is showing more signs of picking up steam and moving away from any form of agreement, than it is showing it is getting closer to an actual plan with regulatory approval or formal disapproval. The key takeaway is proof, yet again, of governments showing lack of clarity to companies about what projects will be approved and which ones will not. Governments need to set clear guidelines about what the environmental laws are and how they will be regulated. It's like placing a substitute teacher into an unruly class. It often just erupts into chaos, gum ends up in someone's hair, and homework never gets sent home.
The US passed a controversial bill governing how the US will regulate how banks are allowed to trade internal funds. It will cause (and has already caused) a lot of changes to how US banks are allowed to function within the capital markets. Many market participants neither feel that all these changes are positive, nor that they will achieve the desired goals. Foreign banks are also lobbying congress to explain how these laws will actually reach across borders. The new Volcker Rule, and how it is regulated, will dramatically change how many aspects of the capital markets function and could pose a serious threat to the strength and dominance of the US securities framework. Although some people might find the details confusing, the part to focus on is that this rule will make it hard for capital markets firms to function in an efficient manner. Correspondingly, this rule will have effects that will make waves outside of the grasp of regulators who are trying to control it.