What Will Mario Draghi and the European Central Bank Do This Time?

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The European Central Bank is meeting again this week. Speculation is in the air as was the case a little earlier this year.

The betting is the euro is going to become weaker because Mario Draghi, the president of the European Central Bank, wants to provide more monetary easing, perhaps dropping the value of the euro to go below $1.36.

Along with help from Janet Yellen, his counterpart on the Federal Reserve, the value of the euro actually broke the $1.34 barrier as it dropped to $1.3367 on July 30. The value rose a little after that as the euro closed at $1.3422 on Monday, August 4, but at 10:30 today, it was trading a little below the July 30 close at $1.3364.

Expectations are for the euro to fall further. The expectation was the euro could fall as low as $1.3200. Today there are thoughts it could go as low as $1.3000, down a full 10 cents from where it was trading around $1.40 in the first half of March this year.

The overwhelming concern being expressed in these expectations is the economy of the eurozone is falling from disinflation to deflation.

If this is true then the pressure is on the ECB to take an even more aggressive stance with respect to monetary policy in order to try and get the eurozone economies growing faster and stem the falling rate of price increases.

One should note that in the earlier meeting, the ECB moved a policy rate into negative territory...something very radical in itself.

But Draghi has continually resisted moving the ECB into a stance of quantitative easing. He seems to have doubts about whether or not quantitative easing can do much good -- a judgment he has apparently draw from the America experience -- and has tried to avoid moving in that direction.

However, it appearing as if he has less and less room to maneuver in terms of continuing to avoid moving toward quantitative easing. In fact, more of the market sentiment seems to be that he will eventually have to take that step and the question is only when will he make it.

The betting seems to be Draghi will now have to move sooner than later. He just cannot sit around and let the conditions get worse.

As I mentioned in my post of July 31, analysts are expecting the August rate of inflation to come in even lower than that achieved in July. That is, analysts are expecting the disinflation to continue.

The situation is made worse for Draghi because it appears the Federal Reserve might be willing to raise short-term interest rates earlier than previously thought. Many analysts as well as a couple of members of the Fed's open market committee seem to believe the U.S. economy is actually beginning to pick up steam and this will require the Federal Reserve to start to raise short-term interest rates faster than formerly expected.

If this is the case, then it just puts that much more pressure on the ECB.

Reports are out that traders have added to euro shorts last week, putting more downward pressure on the currency. The weekly traders report from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission  found bets that the euro will decline against the dollar rose to the highest level achieved since August 2012.

At one time Draghi said the ECB would do whatever it takes to keep the eurozone economy healthy and save the euro. This promise has buoyed the euro ever since Draghi took this stance. The market seems to believe Draghi and the ECB need to take a more aggressive stance. We shall see later this week what they actually do.

This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff.

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