• Steve H. Hanke
    05/04/2016 - 08:00
    Authored by Steve H. Hanke of The Johns Hopkins University. Follow him on Twitter @Steve_Hanke. A few weeks ago, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) sprang a surprise. It announced that a...

Bank of Japan

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The Next Level of John Law Type Central Planning Madness





The cries for going totally crazy are growing louder... the lunatics are running the asylum. One shouldn’t underestimate what they are capable of. The only consolation is that the day will come when the monetary cranks will be discredited again (for the umpteenth time). Thereafter it will presumably take a few decades before these ideas will rear their head again (like an especially sturdy weed, the idea that inflationism can promote prosperity seems nigh ineradicable in the long term – it always rises from the ashes again). The bad news is that many of us will probably still be around when the bill for these idiocies will be presented.

 
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A Stunning Admission From A BOE Central Banker: This Is What The Coming "Helicopter Money" Will Look Like





“Consider for example a tax cut for households and businesses that is explicitly coupled with incremental Bank of Japan purchases of government debt – so that the tax cut is in effect financed by money creation”

- Ben Bernanke, Some Thoughts on Monetary Policy in Japan, 2003

 
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Another Abenomics Fail: New Survey Shows Inequality Growing In Japan





“Inequality seems to be widening. A sales-tax hike and price increases last year hit households hard. Abe hasn’t succeeded to bring benefits to most ordinary people.”

 
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Monetary Bazookas Or Not, "Global Crisis Is Inevitable"





Until recently, the consensus assumed a strengthening of the global economy in 2016. It won’t happen. If the global economic growth manages to reach 3.1% next year, as forecast by the IMF, it will be a miracle. We are close to the end of the current economic cycle. The outbreak of a new global crisis in the coming years is inevitable.  The Fed and other central banks are in a dead-end having fallen in the same trap as the Bank of Japan. If they increase rates too much, they will precipitate another financial crisis. It is impossible to stop the accommodative monetary policy.

 
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Desperate-To-Hike Fed Admits "Inflation Is Not As Low As You Think"





Following this morning's basic admission by Janet Yellen that "no matter what" The Fed is raising rates in December (which was then solemnly supported by an obedient Bill Dudley who "100% agrees with Yellen"), Fed Vice-Chair Stan Fischer, speaking tonight, reaffirmed this belief by, as we detailed previously, telling investors to ignore weak inflation. After San Fran Fed's Williams admission that "there's something going on here we don't understand," Fischer tonight admitted "US inflation is not as low as you think," at once contradicting Yellen's earlier comments and the various market-based measures, while confirming our previous detailed solving of the mystery of the hidden inflation.

 
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Have You Heard Of This Digital Currency That's A Total Scam?





You don’t actually have any savings. When you make a deposit, you’re trading your money for a banker’s promise to repay you. And there are countless regulations giving them the authority to break that promise. (If you want to test this premise, try withdrawing $25,000 just to see how your bank reacts.) That’s the system that controls your wealth today. It’s almost entirely digital. And it’s run by unelected bureaucrats whose interests are not aligned with your own. This is not a free system. And any rational person should consider parking at least a rainy day fund outside of this system.

 
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Peter Schiff On QE's Creeping Communism: Washington Joins Tokyo On The Road To Leningrad





So this is the endgame of QE: Exploding debt, financial distortion, prolonged stagnation, recurring recession, and the eventual government takeover of industry and the economy. This appears to be the preferred alternative of politicians and bankers who simply refuse to let the free markets function the way they are supposed to. If interest rates were never manipulated by central banks and QE had never been invented, the markets could have purged themselves years ago of the speculative bubbles and mal-investments. Sure we could have had a deeper recession, but it also could have been much shorter, and it could have been followed by a far more robust and sustainable recovery. Instead Washington has joined Tokyo on the road to Leningrad.
 
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6 Reasons To Be Bullish (Or Not) On Stocks





While there are certainly reasons to be "hopeful" that stocks will continue to rise into the future, "hope" has rarely been a fruitful investment strategy longer term. Therefore, let's analyze each of the optimist's arguments from both perspectives to eliminate "confirmation bias." 

 
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Gold Selling “Malevolent Force”? – Dennis Gartman





Dennis Gartman, author of the institutionally well followed ‘The Gartman Letter,’ has asked questions about gold’s peculiar price action last week and raised the question as to whether there was official central bank manipulation of gold prices.

 
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Did The PBOC Just Exacerbate China's Credit & Currency Peg Time Bomb?





China as the global Bubble’s focal point – the weak link yet, at the same time, the key marginal source of Bubble finance. China’s policy course appears to focus on two facets: to stabilize the yuan versus the dollar and to resuscitate Credit expansion. For better than two decades, similar policy courses were followed by myriad EM policymakers in hopes of sustaining financial and economic booms. Many cases ended in abject failure – often spectacularly. Why? Because when officials resort to such measures to sustain faltering Bubbles it generally works to only exacerbate systemic fragilities. For one, late-stage reflationary measures compound Credit system vulnerability while compounding structural impairment to the real economy. Secondly, central bank and banking system Credit-bolstering measures create liquidity that invariably feeds destabilizing “capital” and “hot money” outflows.

 
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Mother Yellen's Little Helper - The Rate-Hike Placebo Effect





Americans are increasingly likely to respond positively to a placebo in a drug trial – more so than other nationalities. That’s the upshot of a recently published academic paper that looked at 84 clinical trials for pain medication done between 1990 and 2013. These findings, while bad for drug researchers, does shed some light on our favorite topic: behavioral finance. Trust and confidence makes placebos work, and those attributes also play a role in the societal effectiveness of central banks. That’s what makes the Fed’s eventual move to higher rates so difficult; even if zero interest rates are more placebo than actual medicine, markets believe they work to support asset prices.

 
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Futures Fade Overnight Ramp After BOJ Disappoints, Attention Returns To Hawkish Fed





Back in September we explained why, contrary to both conventional wisdom and the BOJ's endless protests to the contrary, neither the BOJ nor the ECB have any interest in boosting QE at this - or any other point - simply because with every incremental bond they buy, the time when the two central banks run out of monetizable debt comes closer. Since then the ECB has jawboned that it may boost QE (but it has not done so), and overnight as reported previously, the BOJ likewise did not expand QE despite many, including Goldman Sachs, expecting it would do just that.

 
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'Mysterious' JPY-Selling, Stock-Buying Panic Ensues After Bank Of Japan Leaves Monetary Policy Unchanged





Having disappointed an expectant market by voting overwhelmingly (8-1) to leave monetary policy unchanged, the initial plunge in USDJPY and Japanese stocks has found a mysterious (and massive) JPY seller and Nikkei 225 buyer. USDJPY is now 100 pips and Nikkei 225 500 points above post-BOJ dip lows... because hawkish is the new bullish...

 
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The BoJ Owns 52% Of The Entire Japanese ETF Market , And Now It Wants More





Haruhiko Kuroda owns 52% of all Japanese ETFs. And now he wants more. Facing a lack of willing JGB sellers, the BoJ now faces the possibility that ramping up its easing efforts will entail expanding the bank's already elephantine equity portfolio. "At a fundamental level, I don’t support the idea of central banks buying ETFs or equities. Unlike bonds, equities never redeem. That means they will have to be sold at some point, which creates market risk."

 
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Futures Flat After Yen Carry Tremors As Fed Starts 2-Day Policy Meeting





Two biggest move overnight came from everyone's favorite carry pair, the USDJPY, which may have finally read what we said yesterday, namely that with the Fed and ECB both doing its job, there is little need for the Bank of Japan to repeat its Halloween massacre for the second year in a row, and as a result will keep its QQE program unchanged. It promptly tumbled from its 121 tractor level, to just above 120.25, where BOJ bids were said to be found. With the FOMC October meeting starting today, the other overnight catalyst was not surprisingly the latest Hilsenrath scribe in which he removed any uncertainty about a Wednesday hike, "leaving mid-December as the central bank’s last chance to raise rates this year."

 
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