BIS

Bank of International Settlements

SocGen: Beware The Ghost Of 1993

"The comparison with 1993 is worthwhile too - it ended badly for asset markets, after all. Whether the Fed should worry about over-frequent excursions to the zero lower bound, or focus on financial sector stability, the risk is plain – super-easy monetary policy is creating artificially low volatility and driving money into trades and investments that are mispriced as a result."

Central Banks Give "All Clear" To BTFD If French Election Upsets Market

"The central bank is ready for any shocks that should materialize [after the French election]... Intervening very quickly is really very easy now given the instruments we have... But as we have seen in similar cases, no need has really been observed. And the reason is that all market participants know that these instruments are there to be used."

Financial Market Insurance Is Not Like Hurricane Insurance

"..the hurricane is not more or less likely to hit because more hurricane insurance has been written. In the financial markets this is not true. The more people write financial insurance, the more likely it is that a disaster will happen, because the people who know you have sold the insurance can make it happen. So you have to monitor what other people are doing.”

Frontrunning: April 10

  • Euro hovers above one-month low as French election nerves grow (Reuters)
  • French Election Risk Reawakens as Bonds Drop, Volatility Jumps (BBG)
  • Hopes fade for U.S. bank earnings despite rally in financial shares (Reuters)
  • Skepticism Grows About Higher Fed Rates Helping Banks’ Margins (BBG)
  • Record Bond Issuance Signals Doubts About Economy (WSJ)

Productivity Myths Shattered: Is Productivity Rising Or Falling? Why?

Those who are baffled by productivity never bothered to put their theories to rudimentary tests. Greenspan is correct that social benefits crowd out genuine investment; thus, those proposing some sort of guaranteed minimum living wage are totally off base. Entitlements are already a massive problem, let’s not make them worse.  Massive handouts have never solved any economic problems, and never will.

Paul Brodsky: "Stagflation On The Horizon"

Logic and current trends suggest that declining output growth accompanied by higher prices will begin hitting economies and facing policy makers in the coming years. Markets should begin sniffing out this stagflationary macroeconomic setup this year.

Canada Flagged For Recession By BIS

As if Canadians needed more proof that the country’s real estate is in a bubble, and that this misallocation has spread to other sectors of the economy, the BIS latest quarterly report confirms what any critical observer can see: binging on debt is rarely a good idea.