"They're Converging To Dire Levels!": SocGen's Edwards Delivers Critical Warning On Inflation ExpectationsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 10/07/2015 18:00 -0400
"The collapse in inflation expectations tells us that the market believes the central banks, despite their monetary profligacy, are failing to prevent the western economies from turning Japanese, and thus at risk of repeating their devastating slide into outright deflation in the 1990s."
"The discrepancy between economic growth and the two key indicators' growth in the first six months did not fit with previous patterns, but industrial restructuring is a new factor, and should be taken into account when analyzing the new situation."
The One Phrase That Actually Matters In Yellen's Speech: "Nominal Interest Rates Cannot Go Much Below Zero"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 09/24/2015 17:59 -0400
"...the federal funds rate and other nominal interest rates cannot go much below zero, since holding cash is always an alternative to investing in securities. ... the lowest the FOMC can feasibly push the real federal funds rate is essentially the negative value of the inflation rate. As a result, the Federal Reserve has less room to ease monetary policy when inflation is very low. This limitation is a potentially serious problem because severe downturns such as the Great Recession may require pushing real interest rates far below zero for an extended period to restore full employment at a satisfactory pace."
"... this time we would see deeply negative interest rates in the US (and Europe). Sweden has led the way, dipping their toe below the water line with their current -0.35% policy rates but there will be more, much more along these lines. For if -0.35% is possible, why not - 3.5% or less? It goes without saying that deeply negative interest rates would be accompanied by a massively expanded QE4 in the US. The last seven years of exploding central bank balance sheets will seem like Bundesbank monetary austerity compared to what is to come."
In short, activist Fed policy is both ineffective and reckless (and the historical data bears this out), and that the Federal Reserve has pushed the financial markets to a precipice from which no gentle retreat is ultimately likely. Similar precipices, such as 1929 and 2000, and even lesser precipices like 1906, 1937, 1973 and 2007 have always had unfortunate endings. A quarter-point hike will not cause anything. The causes are already baked in the cake. A rate hike may be a trigger with respect to timing, but that’s all. History suggests we should place our attention on valuations and market internals in any event.
Over the years, Socgen's Albert Edwards has repeatedly expressed his skepticism of both the economy and the market (the longest US equity "bull market" since 1945) both propped up by generous central banks injecting liquidity by the tens of trillions (at this point nobody really knows the number now that the 'black box' that is China has entered the global "plunge protection" game) and yet never did he have as "conclusive" a call as he does today. As the following note reveals, when looking at one particular indicator, Edwards is now convinced: 'we are now in a bear market."
“The way to wealth in a bull market is debt. The way to oblivion in a bear market is also debt, and nobody rings a bell.” – James Grant
The last three times Asian currencies collapsed against the US Dollar at this rate, the global financial system was shaken to the core. With China piling on this time, we wonder - what happens next, as a tsunami of deflation is exported towards the shores of the "we'll hike no matter what" Fed's American shores...
The Fed is rapidly coming to realize they are caught in a "liquidity trap." The problem is they have been betting on a "one trick pony" that by increasing the "wealth effect" it will ultimately lead to a return of consumer confidence and a fostering of economic growth? Currently, there is little real evidence of success.
In some ways the question is not whether the renminbi is competitive or uncompetitive. The problem is that the renminbi is unambiguously less competitive than it was. This comes at a time when the Chinese economy is struggling and the stock market bubble is bursting. To all but the most PollyAnna’ish of observers that means this is the start of a major renminbi devaluation forcing the US to import even more of the world’s unwanted deflation.... Prepare for sub-1% 10y Treasury yields and another financial crisis as policy impotence is soon revealed to all.
As we first warned in March, and as became abundantly clear over the weekend Beijing had no choice but to join the global currency wars, as the yuan's dollar peg will ultimately prove to be too painful going forward. And sure enough this evening the PBOC weakens the Yuan fix by the most on record.
We have argued that it is a perilous myth that central bankers these days control a general price level. They instead incentivize massive financial flows into securities markets and fashionable sectors. Over time, ramifications and consequences reach the profound. For one, excess liquidity promotes over/mal-investment. It’s only the scope and nature that remain in question. If major Bubble flows inundate new technology investment, the resulting surge in the supply of high-margin products engenders disinflationary pressures elsewhere. Policy responses to perceived heightened “deflation” risks then only work to exacerbate Bubbles, mounting imbalances and structural fragilities. This was a critical facet of “Roaring Twenties” analysis that was lost in time.
As Marc Faber said at SocGen's January conference, if he could short central banks directly he would do so, but gold is the next best thing; and despite it being sucked into the general commodity malaise, Albert Edwards says "Gold is a must-have holding in this world."
"The Virtuous Emerging Market Cycle Is Turning Vicious" Albert Edwards Remembers The 1997 Asian CrisisSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 07/30/2015 13:52 -0400
Given that some two-thirds of Wall Street traders have never experienced a Fed tightening cycle, SocGen's Albert Edwards is not surprised he gets blank looks when he tries to explain how recent events in commodity and EM markets are in many key (worying) ways similar to the 1997 Asian crisis.
Is China (or the US) the next Greece?