Excess Reserves

The Mindless Stupidity Of Negative Interest Rates

"...pushing rates into negative territory works in many ways just like a regular decline in interest rates that we’re all used to." That’s false - Negative interest rate proponents ignore the basic tenets of double entry accounting. We know that it is categorically false the negative rates are working in Europe. So what has happened to European bank deposits since the ECB instituted negative rates? They have shrunken. Has one single mainstream economist or proponent of negative rates mentioned that, ever? I suspect not. But facts have a way of eluding mainstream economists and central bankers.

Low Interest Rates Cannot Save A House Of Cards

While the Federal Reserve has chosen to keep the Federal Funds rate near zero, it is merely delaying the inescapable and inevitable result of its own monetary policy – another needed economic correction that its actions will have generated but which it will, no doubt, blame on the supposed “failures” of the market economy.

Janet Yellen's "Fedspeak" Translated

For those of you who don’t want to take the time reading through the ponderous 7000-word transcript of yesterday’s FOMC press conference, we bring you the shorter Janet Yellen, translated from Fedspeak into plain English. Enjoy!

Austrian Economics, Monetary Freedom, & America's Economic Roller-Coaster

It is time for a radical denationalization of money, a privatization of the monetary and banking system through a separation of government from money and all forms of financial intermediation. That is the pathway to ending the cycles of booms and busts, and creating the market-based institutional framework for sustainable economic growth and betterment. It is time for monetary freedom to replace the out-of-date belief in government monetary central planning.

Fed Opens Negative Interest Rate Pandora's Box: What Happens Next

"As interest rates go more negative, market participants will have increasing incentives to make payments quickly and to receive payments in forms that can be collected slowly. This is exactly the opposite of what happened when short-term interest rates skyrocketed in the late 1970s: people then wanted to delay making payments as long as possible and to collect payments as quickly as possible.... if interest rates go negative, we may see an epochal outburst of socially unproductive—even if individually beneficial—financial innovation."

The Truly Stupid Case For More ZIRP

"Every day brings another reason why the Federal Reserve should hold off before raising interest rates... First and foremost there was the recent plunge in stock prices."

"Ineffective & Reckless" Fed Is An "Engine of Disaster"

In short, activist Fed policy is both ineffective and reckless (and the historical data bears this out), and that the Federal Reserve has pushed the financial markets to a precipice from which no gentle retreat is ultimately likely. Similar precipices, such as 1929 and 2000, and even lesser precipices like 1906, 1937, 1973 and 2007 have always had unfortunate endings. A quarter-point hike will not cause anything. The causes are already baked in the cake. A rate hike may be a trigger with respect to timing, but that’s all. History suggests we should place our attention on valuations and market internals in any event.

Oblivious To Risk – Investors In La-La-Land

The market has delivered a warning shot in August, but it seems investors aren’t taking it seriously yet. This could turn out to be a costly mistake. If (or rather when) faith in the omnipotence of central banks crumbles, we could see an unusually severe market dislocation.

The Global Credit Supercycle: Full Frontal

The chart below warrants the question: if an even modest slowdown in Europe's pace of credit creation resulted in unprecedented economic and social upheavals for the "southern" part of the continent, what happens when deleveraging finally hits one of the other places around the globe, be it the BRICs in particular, the EMs in general, or - heaven forbid - the US itself.

When "Virtuous Debt" Turns Ferociously Vicious: The Mother Of All Corporate Margin Calls On Deck

More debt begets higher market value of equites which in turn improves the debt/equity ratio which gives the incentive to issue more debt ad infinitum. Or in a slightly simpler version, debt begets more debt.  We have seen the story before. In the shaded grey areas we highlight episodes when the virtuous relationship turns ferociously vicious. Remember, markets take the escalator up, but the elevator down. And the longer the escalator the further down the elevator goes.

Why China Liquidations May Not Spike US Treasury Yields

There is no doubt that the Chinese economy is in a material economic slowdown. Policy officials’ aggressive actions and scare tactics against equity short sellers could continue to cause capital flight. However, this does not mean that China is going to sell large quantities of Treasuries. There is too much co-dependency between the US consumer and Chinese exporter. Destabilizing the US Treasury market with large sales would be tantamount to shooting themselves in the foot.