Central Banks

"The Worldwide Credit Boom Is Over, Now Comes The Tidal Wave Of Global Deflation"

When we insist that markets are broken and the equities have been consigned to the gambling casinos, look no farther than today’s filing by Alpha Natural Resources. Markets, which were this wrong on a prominent name like ANRZ at the center of the global credit boom, did not make a one-time mistake; they are the mistake. As it now happens, the global credit boom is over; DM consumers are stranded at peak debt; and the China/EM investment frenzy is winding down rapidly. Now comes the tidal wave of global deflation...

"This Is The Largest Financial Departure From Reality In Human History"

We have lived through a credit hyper-expansion for the record books, with an unprecedented generation of excess claims to underlying real wealth. In doing so we have created the largest financial departure from reality in human history. Bubbles are not new – humanity has experienced them periodically going all the way back to antiquity – but the novel aspect of this one, apart from its scale, is its occurrence at a point when we have reached or are reaching so many limits on a global scale. The retrenchment we are about to experience as this bubble bursts is also set to be unprecedented, given that the scale of a bust is predictably proportionate to the scale of the excesses during the boom that precedes it. Deflation and depression are mutually reinforcing, meaning the downward spiral will continue for many years. China is the biggest domino about to fall, and from a great height as well, threatening to flatten everything in its path on the way down. This is the beginning of a New World Disorder…

If Price Insensitive Buyers Become Sellers, Will The Entire Market Collapse?

"If circumstances cause these price-insensitive buyers to turn around and become price-insensitive sellers, there are not a lot of candidates to take the other side. Be prepared for the possibility that some of the same assets that have again and again risen to prices that many investors said were impossible show more downside volatility than investors have bargained for."

Bubble Finance And A Tale Of Two Spheres

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.

Gold And The Grave Dancers

Back in the 1960s, Alan Greenspan wrote a well-known essay that to this day is an essential read for anyone who wants to understand the present-day monetary and economic system (which is a kind of “fascism lite” type of statism, masquerading as capitalism) and especially the almost visceral hate etatistes harbor toward gold. Greenspan’s essay is entitled “Gold and Economic Freedom”, and as the title already suggests, the two are intimately connected.

"Asia Crisis, Tech Bubble Burst, Lehman"... And Today

Note that the classic sign of crisis and capital flight, higher interest rates, falling currency, and falling bank stocks are now visible in Brazil (and elsewhere). Indeed, the correlation between Brazilian bond yields and Brazilian financials/BRL turned sharply negative during each of the past 3 systemic crises (Asia ‘98, Tech ‘02 & Lehman ’08) and is doing so again today.

5 Things To Ponder: Mentally Conflicted

The disconnect between economic underpinnings, market internals and "bullish" investor optimism leaves many investors/advisors "mentally conflicted." If they "sell" too soon, they might miss a further advance in the market. But if they wait too long, well, they have lived through that scenario previously. This week's reading list is a smattering of conflicting views about the markets and the economy.

Amoeba, Fish, Lizard, Ape, Human, Investor... Meet Evolutionary Economics

We’re always interested in alternative economic frameworks that can help address the sizable gaps left open by classical approaches. Behavioral economics can fill part of that void, of course, as it describes some basic shortfalls in the assumption that we’re all superhuman welfare maximizing individuals. One step beyond that is evolutionary economics, which borrows from biology rather than psychology to form models about economic behavior.

The Fed's Bathtub Economics Brigade Blathers On, Part 1

Our monetary politburo is driving the US economy in the wrong direction. That is, toward dis-employment of its true, wealth-creating economic resources - human labor, entrepreneurial talent and market driven gains in economic factor efficiency. Contrary to this week’s self-congratulatory statement, all is not well and its not getting weller.