Bank of Japan
Wall Street turns junk-rated US corporate loans into highly rated yen-denominated bonds. Desperate Japanese pension funds gobble them up. Blame the Bank of Japan.
As we have noted previously, The Bank of Japan (BoJ) is one of a handful of central banks that trade on global stock markets. The finance ministry holds a 55% stake of the Jasdaq-traded security, which as one analyst noted "seems like an odd investment." However, it appears BoJ shares serve a different purpose - to signal an imminent easing to the market. As Bloomberg reports, BoJ stock has surged almost 30% in the last few days on very heavy volume... the previous 4 times we saw spikes in price and volume, Japanese authorities eased significantly in the following days.
True, the world faces issues today… so it’s not odd for bond yields to be lower… but are those issues on par with a disease that wiped out 25%+ of Europe’s population… or the single largest military conflict in history?
There are in fact problems that are too big for Central Banks to manage.
The US stock market is trading at 1929-bubblesque valuations, with a CAPE of 27.34 (the 1929 CAPE was only slightly higher at 30. And when that bubble burst, stocks lost over 90% of their value in the span of 24 months.
A look ahead into next week's macro forces.
There is much more going on than just a problem in the Japanese bond market...
There is a $100 trillion bond market out there that has been priced by a handful of central bankers, not a planet teeming with exhuberant savers. The mad descent of the former into the whacky world of QE and ZIRP has caused a double whammy distortion in the bond markets of the world. So, no, there isn’t a savings glut in the world; there is an outbreak of destructive central bank bond buying and money market price pegging that is virtually destroying the world’s bond market. What we have is a fraud wrapped in a bogus theory. Only none dare call it that. At least, not on bubblevision.
Now we can see the real tragedy of negative interest rates: they not only have the perverse effect of reversing the flow of time, but they demonstrate that borrowers are not acting with the good faith incentives normally associated with someone who needs money. Rather than paying forward, borrowers are paying backwards because they are effectively trying to return something they don’t want. Such an arrangement renders it impossible for an economy to grow. By destroying the temporal and moral structure of money, negative interest rates destroy the economy. When tomorrow cannot be paid, the current regime must fail. The only question to be determined is the form that failure will assume. This may sound like philosophy but it is cold, hard reality.
"The time may have come to seek a solution to the drop in liquidity that is a side effect of the BOJ's large-scale JGB purchases," BofAML says.
While we doubt that the ECB will, of its own volition, elect to scale back PSPP out of a highly uncharacteristic respect for sanity and prudence, there are a variety of factors which could lead to a forced taper. Some market participants are already betting that the ECB scales back purchases by the end of the calendar year.
In a few minutes, Janet Yellen will address a lunch session in her native SF Fed (the same place that last week finally figured out what debt is) during a conference whose topic is The New Normal for Monetary Policy (the typo from "Paranormal" is easy to make). The informal agenda will be Yellen's explanation of how she plans on achieving the yield curve which we predicted back in 2010 is just a matter of time.
"The central bank's portfolio has a book value of around 5.7 trillion yen. But soaring share prices have lifted its market value past the 10 trillion yen mark -- nearly 2% of the tally for all Tokyo Stock Exchange shares," Nikkei notes. While this may seem like a lot, Haruhiko Kuroda begs to differ.
BIS Slams The Fed: The Solution To Bubbles Is Not More Bubbles, It Is Avoiding Bubbles In The First PlaceSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 03/22/2015 16:38 -0400
"... there is a case that policy should first and foremost constrain the build-up of financial booms – especially in the form of strong joint credit and property price increases – as these are the main cause of the subsequent bust. And once the financial bust occurs, after the financial system is stabilised, the priority should be to address the nexus of debt and poor asset quality head-on, rather than relying on overly aggressive and prolonged macroeconomic accommodation through traditional policies. This would pave the way for a sustainable recovery."
- Bank of Interenational Settlements
"Because the Bank of Japan gobbles up dramatic amounts of debt, the cost of financing government spending stays low. It’s been said that a country that issues debt in its own currency cannot go broke. Theoretically that may be correct: the central bank can always monetize the debt, i.e. buy up any new debt being issued. But in practice, there has to be a valve."