The Fed Funds rate is functionally pointless now that Interest on Excess Reserves are higher and deposit rates are zero. The bottom line is that the Fed must keep asset prices up because assets are collateral for potentially deflationary systemic debt.
We cannot be sure what shape the next crisis will take, although it seems likely that it will be yet another “deflation scare”, mainly caused by falling asset prices. However, we do know what the last crisis of the current system will look like. It will entail a crumbling of the public’s faith in fiat money and the institutions that issue and administer it.
Regardless of which source ultimately proves more important, the below suggests that market liquidity tends to become more scarce around the end of the quarter at present. We have already seen this effect play out twice in row and it could well be that there will be another replay this quarter.
"The demise of positive interest rates may be nothing more than the global economy reacting to a chronic oversupply of goods through the impact of globalization including the opening up of formerly closed economies as well as ongoing technological progress." - Deutsche Bank
Recently, for example, the markets took a tumble when the Fed moved to normalize monetary policy. The US central bank responded by delaying the normalization process, which stabilized the markets, but eventually fears of falling behind the curve on inflation will force it to resume the process. That will lead to renewed market turmoil in a cycle that has the potential to repeat itself endlessly.
This is officially an all-out revolution of the financial system where banks are now actively rebelling against the central bank. In a stunningly real rebuttal of Europe's negative interest rate policy, German newspaper Der Spiegel reported yesterday that the Bavarian Banking Association has recommended that its member banks start stockpiling PHYSICAL CASH.
Mario Draghi better put up or shut up at the next ECB meeting as the market is more-than-pricing-in a very significant deposit rate cut (deeper into NIRP). In fact, at -56bps, 2Y German bond yields are the most "priced in" since 2011(and bear in mind he disappointed in December).
Today's deflationary report, the worst since the start of Europe's QE, virtually assures another substantial round of policy easing from the European Central Bank on March 10. The question is what the ECB will reveal. Here are the options.
If, and when, a run on physical cash begins, there will be roughly $1 dollar in physical to satisfy $10 dollars in savers' claims, a ratio which drops to 20 cents of "deliverable" cash if the $100 bill is taken out of circulation.
"If central banks do not achieve their medium-term inflation targets through NIRP, they may have to adopt other policy measures: looser fiscal policy and even helicopter money are possible in scenarios beyond QE and negative rates.
The real pity is that the busts and crackups could all have been avoided if central bankers recognized that falling prices eventually create the conditions for a normal economic revival. Deflation is not a death spiral as the Keynesians believe. Nevertheless, expect more central banks to follow the early leaders — Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, and even the European Central Bank itself — into negative interest rate territory. The crying shame is that it will not work and will cause great harm to hundreds of millions of people.
When a leading nominee for President gets something exactly right, we should applaud them for it. In this case, Donald Trump’s call to audit the Federal Reserve is dead on correct. Most Americans don’t realize this, but the Federal Reserve has far more power over the economy than anyone else does – including Barack Obama. The funny thing is that the Federal Reserve is not even part of the federal government. It is an independent private central bank that was designed by very powerful Wall Street interests a little over 100 years ago. It is at the heart of the debt-based financial system which is eating away at America like cancer, and it has no direct accountability to the American people whatsoever.
Italy is big enough to matter (it is the eight largest economy on the planet), but so uneventful that most does not pay any attention to what is going on there. We contend that Italy will, during the next year or two, be on everyone’s radar screen as it has the potential to derail the European project for real.
The bear will soon be arriving in earnest, marauding through the canyons of Wall Street while red in tooth and claw. Our monetary central planners, of course, will once again - for the third time this century - be utterly shocked and unprepared. That’s because they have spent the better part of two decades deforming, distorting, denuding and destroying what were once serviceably free financial markets. Yet they remain as clueless as ever about the financial time bombs this inexorably fosters.