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?
French President Francois Hollande said that the 19 countries using the euro need their own government complete with a budget and parliament to cooperate better and overcome the Greek crisis. “Circumstances are leading us to accelerate,” Hollande said in an opinion piece published by the Journal du Dimanche on Sunday. “What threatens us is not too much Europe, but a lack of it.”... Countries in favor of more integration should move ahead, forming an “avant-garde,” Hollande said.
Now that even the IMF has admitted Greece has an unsustainable debt problem with a debt-to-GDP ratio which will soon cross 200% after its third bailout (even if it leaves open the question what the IMF thinks about Japan's debt "sustainability") we wonder what the IMF thinks when looking at Greece's net government liabilities, which as SocGen's Albert Edwards reminds us are rapidly approaching 1000%. Which incidentally means that Greece is only marginally better than the USA, whose comparable net liability is a little over 500%, while its other nearest comparable is none other than France, whose next president may will be "Madame Frexit" and whose biggest headache will be how to resolve government promises to creditors and retirees that are five times greater than the country's GDP.
An "esoteric point" about China's GDP data has suddenly become a very big deal as the world looks to China for economic leadership amid a global deflationary supply glut, lackluster demand, and depressed trade.
Albert Edwards: Yen Collapse Will Lead To "New Round Of Currency Turmoil", Deflation In US And EurozoneSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 06/02/2015 10:55 -0400
One look at FX trading this morning and all one can see is surging volatility and, for lack of a better word, turmoil. Which is precisely what Albert Edwards said would happen in his latest note overnight (released just as the USDJPY briefly breached 125) in which he observes that the Yen has now fully broken its 30-year support and predicts that "a new round of currency turmoil" is beginning.
"With US GDP growth ‘officially’ back where it belongs, in the Arctic zone close to freezing on the surface but much worse in real life, for reasons both Albert Edwards and Ambrose Evans-Pritchard (not exactly a pair of Siamese twins) remarked this week; that is, excluding the 'biggest inventory build in history, the economy contracted sharply', it’s time for everyone to at long last change the angle from which they view the world, if not the color of their glasses."
"The Q1 US GDP data was a major disappointment to the market as business investment declined due to the intensifying US profits recession. Only the biggest inventory build in history stopped the economy subsiding into a recessionary quagmire. The US economy is struggling and the Fed will ultimately re-engage the QE spigot. Talk is growing that China will soon be doing the same as local authorities struggle to issue debt. But this week we want to focus on Japan, having just made my fist visit to that fine nation for over a decade! Japan, the third largest economy in the world, is also in trouble (see chart below) and will soon be increasing its off-the-scale QE programme to an out-of-this-world QE programme." - Albert Edwards
"The downside risk would be to have broad-based outflows if the macro story deteriorates further or the stock exchange collapses, which would create a confidence crisis,” one analyst tells Bloomberg, as capital continues to flow out of China. The country faces accelerating capital outflows, a looming economic downturn, and an epic stock market bubble, and ironically, efforts to combat the latter two problems are very likely to exacerbate the former.
UK debt has continued to rise throughout the recovery and has soared to an eye-watering £1.48 trillion. In recent days, a slew of foreign exchange analysts have warned that the pound is vulnerable to falling in value. The incumbent government have not reined in public and trade deficits and have been accused of juicing the property market and the economy to postpone a crisis until after the election.
A five sigma event signifies extreme conditions, or an extremely rare occurrence. To bring this discussion from sports and weather to the financial world, we can relate a 5 sigma event to the stock market. Since 1975 the largest annual S&P 500 gain and loss were 34% and -38% respectively. A 5 sigma move would equate to an annual gain or loss of 91%. With a grasp of the rarity of a 5 sigma occurrence, let us now consider the yield spread, or difference, in bond yields between Germany and The United States. As shown in graph #1 below German ten year bunds yield 0.19% (19 one-hundredths of one percent) and the U.S. ten year note yields 1.92%, resulting in a 1.73% yield spread. This is the widest that spread has been in 30 years.
"Some highly respected market commentators, most recently Ray Dalio from Bridgewater, have raised the possibility that Fed rate hikes risk a 1937-like slump. It is indeed a dilemma but likely already too late to avert another crisis.... In that respect it is probably too late already. We believe that the die is now cast, the cake is baked and coming out of the oven, and the financially fattened goose is well and truly cooked!"
Gold's up 11% against the euro this year, in addition to 12% last year. It has risen versus many major currencies and suffered only modest declines in a few currencies this year. Most central banks are involved in competitive currency devaluations.