Bank of England

"Deliberately Overblown" Brexit Fears Backfire

As the June 23rd BREXIT (the UK-wide referendum to leave the EU) vote draws near, the polls indicate a close result. Those urging a vote for the UK to remain inside the EU are suggesting increasingly dire economic consequences that would follow a yes vote by the British people to leave. Voices from London, Brussels, and Washington have all put immense pressure on British voters to bend to the will of the elites. To listen to their commentary one would think that apocalypse was just around the corner. But is there any substance to their warnings?

With Daily Record Lows, Here Is A Chart OF German Bund Yields Since 1977

Two stunning statistics: according to Commerzbank almost two-thirds of all German sovereign debt outstanding now yields below minus-0.4%, which makes it ineligible for central-bank purchases. Additionally, as DB adds, Bund yield across the whole curve has gone negative for the first time.

Frontrunning: June 6

  • Yellen faces fine balance on Fed rate hike after job growth tumbles (Reuters)
  • Oil Advances as Abu Dhabi Sees $60 Crude on Shrinking Surplus (BBG)
  • China to submit 'negative list' for U.S. investment treaty talks next week (Reuters)
  • Buoyed by attacks on Trump, Clinton heads into pivotal week (Reuters)
  • Clinton's IT aide keeps email server shrouded in mystery (The Hill)

What A 'Carve-Up' - Economists Fake-Panic Over Brexit

Carve-up, n. “An act or instance of dishonestly prearranging the result of a competition.” Just two hours before it was barred from issuing any more fatuous propaganda about Brexit, the UK Treasury last week managed to surpass themselves...

Jim Grant: Gold Isn't A Hedge Against Monetary Disorder, It's "An Investment In It"

"The degree of which I am bullish gold, I would characterize as 'very'. I would characterize gold not so much as a hedge against monetary disorder, but as an investment in it. People will say well that's a hedge against armageddon, no, armageddon doesnt' happen mostly, but what we are in the midst of is monetary shenanigans, and I see no real chance of being fewer of them, and a great chance there will be more of them."

Frontrunning: May 31

  • Major Bourses on Course to End Month Sharply Higher (WSJ)
  • Brent crude lower on strong Middle East oil output (Reuters)
  • Treasuries Lose Their Lead Over Shares as Fed Moves Toward Shift (BBG)
  • Lost Decade for Value Stocks Tests Faithful Who Say End is Nigh (BBG)
  • Iraqi army pause at southern edge of Falluja as IS fights back (Reuters)
  • Risky Reprise of Debt Binge Stars U.S. Companies Not Consumers (BBG)

An Inside Look at the World's Biggest Paper Gold Market

Almost all gold (95%) traded in London is unallocated and without legal title. This makes it easier to trade, but it also raises concerns about a market that is opaque to begin with. There are 5,500 tonnes of paper gold exchanging hands on paper each day, but there are only 300 tonnes of gold vaulted in London outside of the reserves for ETFs or the Bank of England. What would happen if there was ever even a small rush to get the physical asset behind the paper? Is there a system in place for such an event, and how does it work?

Frontrunning: May 25

  • Oil nudges $50 a barrel as investors bet on shrinking overhang (Reuters)
  • From hinterland to wonderland: China's 'teapot' refinery boomtowns (Reuters)
  • Peter Thiel Has Been Secretly Funding Hulk Hogan's Lawsuits Against Gawker (Forbes)
  • China Wants to Set Prices for the World's Commodities (BBG)
  • Big Banks Ladle On the Risk (WSJ)
  • China Said to Plan Asking U.S. on Timing of Fed Rate Hike (BBG)

Brexit Scaremongering Taken To New Level With Threat Of "Year Long Recession"

The last few weeks have seen 'Project Fear' taken to all new levels by the UK establishment as doom-mongering over a possible Brexit conjure images of post-apocalyptic movies. UK PM Cameron and Chanceller Osborne's latest op-ed tirade warns of 800,000 jobs lost and an "immediate year-long recession" if the Brits exercise their democratic right to vote for sovereignty over tyranny. Judging from the polls, which show Brexit odds tumbling, the fear-mongery is working, however, the markets disagree as forward volatility measures near 2016 highs.

The Eurozone Is The Greatest Danger

Financial and economic prospects for the Eurozone have many similarities to the 1972-75 period in the UK, which this writer remembers vividly.  This time, the prospects facing the Eurozone potentially could be worse. The obvious difference is the far higher levels of debt, which will never allow the ECB to run interest rates up sufficiently to kill price inflation. More likely, positive rates of only one or two per cent would be enough to destabilise the Eurozone’s financial system. Let us hope that these dangers are exaggerated, and the final outcome will not be systemically destabilising, not just for Europe, but globally as well. A wise man, faced with the unknown, believes nothing, expects the worst, and takes precautions.

Frontrunning: May 20

  • Lacking new ideas, G7 to agree on 'go-your-own-way' approach (Reuters)
  • Japan's Aso tells G7 FX stability vital, no competitive devaluations (Reuters)
  • Snubbed by West, Russia rolls out red carpet for Asian leaders (Reuters)
  • The Fed Has Something to Prove to Wall Street (BBG)
  • Trump's Supreme Court list: all conservative, some provocative (Reuters)
  • Nasdaq Raises Lawsuit Threat Over SEC’s IEX Speed-Bump Plan (WSJ)

SaxoBank CIO Warns "Central Banks Can Do Nothing"

Saxo Bank chief economist Steen Jakobsen said that zero rates, zero growth, zero productivity, and zero reforms have left a great many countries adrift in a “new nothingness”. The products of this nothingness, said Jakobsen, include apathy, stagnation and “an economic outlook based more in peoples’ heads than in reality”.