GE’s announcement that its getting out of the finance business should be a reminder of how crony capitalism is corrupting and debilitating the American economy. The ostensible reason the company is unceremoniously dumping its 25-year long build-up of the GE Capital mega-bank is that it doesn’t want to be regulated by Washington as a systematically important financial institution under Dodd-Frank. Oh, and that its core industrial businesses have better prospects. We will see soon enough about its oilfield equipment and wind turbine business, or indeed all of its capital goods oriented businesses in a radically deflationary world drowning in excess capacity. But at least you can say good riddance to GE Capital because it was based on a phony business model that was actually a menace to free market capitalism. Its deplorable raid on the public purse during the Lehman crisis had already demonstrated that in spades.
My advice to Ben Bernanke is simple. If you consider yourself a public servant, spend less time trying to concoct ways to defend your legacy, and spend more time on what you did that didn’t work, what can be learned from it, and what current policy makers can change and do better. Here is a theoretical title to a Bernanke blog post that I would like to read, but don’t think will ever get wrriten “Things I was wrong about, what I learned, and what the Fed should do differently going forward.”
With the Fed supposedly steeling itself at last to remove a little of its emergency ‘accommodation’, it has suddenly become fashionable to warn of the awful parallels with 1937 as an excuse The Fed must not act today. We strongly refute the analogy. Instead, the real Ghost of ’37 takes the form of mean-spirited and, counter-productive 'pitchfork populism' politics and the spectre should not be conjured up to excuse the central bank from further delaying its overdue embarkation on the long road back to normality and policy minimalism.
Following Thursday's H.4.1 update by the Fed, is that, inexplicably, in the week ended April 1, the amount of Treasurys held in custody by the Fed jumped by the most ever, or $63 billion in one week, to $2.963 trillion.
Blogger Ben’s work is already done. In his very first substantive post as a civilian he gave away all the secrets of the monetary temple. The Bernank actually refuted the case for modern central banking in one blog. The truth is the real world of capitalism is far, far too complex and dynamic to be measured and assessed with the exactitude implied by Bernanke’s gobbledygook. In fact, what his purported necessity for choosing a rate “somewhere” actually involves is the age old problem of socialist calculation.
And the answer is...
Creating even more money will not help the situation, only exacerbate it. Hyperinflation is a cancer that lurks in our monetary structure. Time to surgically remove it before it metastasizes.
Up until now, the world's descent into the NIRPy twilight of fiat currency was a function of failing monetary policy around the globe as central bank after desperate central bank implemented negative and even more negative (in the case of Denmark some four times rapid succession) rates, hoping to make saving so prohibitive consumers would have no choice but to spend the fruits of their labor, or better yet, take out massive loans which they would never be able to repay. However, nobody said it was only central banks who could be the executioners of the world's saver class: governments are perfectly capable too. Such as Australia's. According to Australia's ABC News, the "Federal Government looks set to introduce a tax on bank deposits in the May budget."
If normalisation is the result of economic recovery we will be familiar with the playbook. However, The Fed has to face the possibility that, for whatever reason, highly suppressed interest rates are not working, and an escape from the zero interest rate bound without economic recovery may have to be contemplated. If interest rates cannot rise, then the dollar itself is ultimately exposed to loss of confidence in the foreign exchanges. The dawning realisation that after recent strength, the dollar is vulnerable after all can be expected to be reflected in a positive sentiment towards gold, which once under way could drive the price up dramatically due to the lack of available bullion.
*FISCHER SAYS RATE LIFTOFF LIKELY WARRANTED BEFORE END-2015
With the world now convinmced that Janet Yellen is as dovish as she has ever been on rate hikes, today comes the first post-FOMC speech. None other than Vice-chair Stanley Fischer is due to address The Economic Club of New York on the topic of "Monetary-policy lessons and the way ahead." As Art Cashin warned this morning, Fischer "seems to feel that the Fed must raise rates this year. He is also the only Fed official to concede that any rate hike will be different than any seen before."
Hedge Fund Manager Fears "Sudden, Pervasive Loss Of Faith" In Markets; Says "It's A Truly Scary Time"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 03/17/2015 17:45 -0400
First it was Sam Zell, warning "it's very likely that something has to give here." Then George Soros upped his market hedge drastically, followed by Carl Icahn's "worry about excessive money printing," adding that he was "very nervous" about US equity markets. "Financial markets are euphoric," warned Stan Druckenmiller, warning that "market participants are pricing in hardly any risks," and Crispin Odey explained "there are consequences to CB actions," stating that "we have front-row seats to an imminent market shock." And now hedge fund manager Andy Redleaf (who predicted "there is going to be a panic in credit markets," in 2007) has come out with the most ominous of warnings yet among the billionaire crowd... "I think it is a truly scary time."
Italian Bad Debt Hits Record $197 Billion As Bank Lending Contracts For Unprecedented 33 Consecutive MonthsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 03/16/2015 13:53 -0400
For the third largest issuer of sovereign bonds in the world, Italy - the country all eyes will focus on once Greece and/or Spain exit the Eurozone - when it comes to NPLs things are going from bad to worse because as Reuters reported earlier, citing ABI, gross bad loans at Italian lenders continued to rise, totalling 185.5 billion euros ($196.5 billion) in January from 183.7 billion euros a month earlier.As the chart below shows, Italy now has over 10% of its GDP in the form of bad debt. And just as bad, even as NPLs rose, total debt issuance contracted once more, lending to families and businesses decreased 1.4 percent year-on-year in February, the 33rd consecutive monthly fall.
When even JPMorgan strongly implies that the ECB's QE is about to fail, one short week after it started, now may be a time to panic: "In all, we note the above analysis challenges the ability of the Eurosystem to meet its quantitative target without distorting market liquidity and price discovery."
There is a tremendous denial by analysts and economists currently of the deteriorating economic underpinnings.
Greenspan believes that in five years gold will be “measurably higher” than current levels because of the excess liquidity that will eventually be released into the open market. Such an event will undoubtedly lead to riots across America as the general public, woefully unprepared for rapidly rising prices when the pin finally pops the dollar bubble, loses access to affordable critical supplies like food, gas and other resources. The collapse of the dollar, an inevitability suggested by Alan Greenspan, will be a game changer that results in the quadrupling of the cost of living for the average American.