Federal Reserve Bank of New York
- if rates go negative, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Bureau of Engraving and Printing will likely be called upon to print a lot more currency as individuals and small businesses substitute cash for at least some of their bank balances.
- 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
- if interest rates go negative, the incentives reverse: people receiving payments will prefer checks (which can be held back from collection) to electronic transfers
- we may see an epochal outburst of socially unproductive—even if individually beneficial—financial innovation
In a stunningly honest reflection on itself (and its peer group of professional prognosticating panderers), The Federal Reserve's San Francisco research group finds that - just as we have pointed out again and again - that since 2007, FOMC participants have been persistently too optimistic about future U.S. economic growth. Real GDP growth forecasts have typically started high, but then are revised down over time as the incoming data continue to disappoint. Possible explanations for this pattern include missed warning signals about the buildup of imbalances before the crisis, overestimation of the efficacy of monetary policy following a balance-sheet recession, and the natural tendency of forecasters to extrapolate from recent data. The persistent bias in the track records of professional forecasters apply not only to forecasts of growth, but also of inflation and unemployment.
Dudley’s overall message is that the US economy is doing great, but it’s not actually doing great, and therefore a rate hike would be too early. Or something. "The sharp drop in oil prices will help boost consumer spending?" We don’t understand that: Dudley is talking about money that would otherwise also have been spent, only on gas. There is no additional money, so where’s the boost? This is just complete and bizarre nonsense. And that comes from someone with a very high post in the American financial world. At least a bit scary.
Central bankers reached a new low overnight when Swiss National Bank President Thomas Jordan warned of "disastrous consequences" from a pulpit in a church on a historic hill in the town of Uster, Switzerland, which Bloomberg dubbed the 'sermon on the hill.' "Hungry people don't stay hungry for long, they get hope from fire and smoke as they reach for the dawn..."
Just days after the NY Fed ousted an employee for providing confidential information to a Goldman Sachs banker (who formerly worked at the NY Fed - and has since been fired by Goldman), Bill Dudley - the president of the NY Fed - will face a very skeptical Senate Banking Committee this morning investigating so-called "regulatory capture." Of course, their eyes were finally opened after Carmen Segarra, a former employee, leaked 47.5 hours of taped conversation (as we discussed in detail here), exposing the dismal reality of the relationship between the 'regulator' and the 'regulated' as New York regulators were deferential to Goldman bankers for a supposedly "shady" deal. Dudley's defense (not denial) so far: "We understand the risks of doing our job poorly and of becoming too close to the firms we supervise. Of course, we are not perfect. We sometimes make mistakes."
Because when the rape and pillaging of the US middle-class begins at the very top, it won't end until the sharp metal objects finally start falling.
With the Swiss gold stored at the Bank of Canada, now having been transferred out of the Bank of Canada’s Ottawa vault to an unknown location, the Swiss public would be wise to question the SNB on this move. The Swiss gold stored at the Bank of England in London seemingly being ‘actively managed’ one of the world’s largest centres for unallocated gold trading, the Swiss public would also be wise to enquire on this issue. And with significant historical quantities of Swiss gold that were stored with the US Federal Reserve Bank in New York no longer there after the SNB seemingly brought their US vaulted gold holdings to zero, the Swiss public need to question why these particular holdings were targeted for sales from 2000-2005 and not domestically held gold.
Central banks are printing rules almost as fast as they’re printing money. The consequences of these fast-multiplying directives — complicated, long-winded, and sometimes self-contradictory — is one topic at hand. Manipulated interest rates is a second. Distortion and mispricing of stocks, bonds, and currencies is a third. Skipping to the conclusion of this essay, Jim Grant is worried: "The more they tried, the less they succeeded. The less they succeeded, the more they tried. There is no 'exit.'"
Deutsche Bank executives are dropping like flies. Just days after receiving a clean bill of health from Europe's oh-so-stressful stress-tests, Deutsche Bank has decided that longtime finance chief Stefan Krause needs to be replaced. Perhaps most interesting is the bank that faces 'serious financial reporting problems' in the US and has a derivatives book literally the size of (actually 20 times bigger) than Germany, has decided the right man for the job is an ex-Goldman Sachs partner. Marcus Schenck, according to WSJ, will replace Krause, having worked at German utility E.ON until last year when he joined Goldman.
"as part of its continuous monitoring activities at JPMC, FRBNY effectively identified risks related to the CIO's trading activities, governance framework, risk appetite, and risk management practices in 2010. Additionally, a Federal Reserve System team conducting a horizontal examination at JPMC recommended a full-scope examination of the CIO in 2009. However, FRBNY did not discuss the risks that resulted in the planned or recommended activities... As a result, there was a missed opportunity for the consolidated supervisor and the primary supervisor to discuss risks related to the CIO."
- Total CEO de Margerie killed in Moscow as jet hits snow plough (Reuters)
- China GDP Growth Rate Is Slowest in Five Years (WSJ)
- Oil at $80 a Barrel Muffles Forecasts for U.S. Shale Boom (BBG)
- Carney Faces Scrutiny on Worst Payments Outage Since 2007 (BBG)
- Ebola crisis turns a corner as U.S. issues new treatment protocols (Reuters)
- Gold Buying Rebounds in India on Diwali Jewelry Sales (BBG)
- China-backed hackers may have infiltrated Apple's iCloud (Reuters)
- Greece Said to Seek Recycling of Bank Funds for Exit (BBG)
Ever since Abenomics was announced in late 2012, we have explained very clearly that the whole "shock and awe" approach to stimulating the economy by sending inflation into borderline "hyper" mode was doomed to failure. Very serious sellsiders, economists and pundits disagreed and commended Abe on his second attempt at fixing the country by doing more of what has not only failed to work for 30 years, but made the problem worse and worse. Well, nearly two years later, or roughly the usual delay before the rest of the world catches up to this website's "conspiratorial" ramblings, the leader of the very serious economist crew, none other than Goldman Sachs, formally admits that Abenomics was a failure. So what happened with Abenomics, and why did Goldman, initially a fervent supporter and huge fan - and beneficiary because those trillions in fungible BOJ liquidity injections made their way first and foremost into Goldman year end bonuses - change its tune so dramatically? Here is the answer from Goldman Sachs.
"I see deflation flirting with America." Retail sales equals consumer spending equals velocity of money. And unless the money supply is rising, hardly likely in the taper, less spending is deflation by definition. Forget about PMI and all that kind of data, it’s much simpler than that. Central banks can do all kinds of stuff, but they can’t make us spend our money on things we don’t want or need. Let alone make us borrow to do so. And if we don’t, deflation is an inevitable fact. That doesn’t mean prices for some items won’t go up, but that’s not what counts. It’s about how fast we either spend the money we have – if we have any left – or how much we borrow. And if time is money, then borrowed money is borrowed time. So we really shouldn’t.
Long-Time Zero Hedge Readers Have Known This Forever ... But Those Who Get Their News from the MSM Would Be Shocked, Shocked I Say ...
Federal Reserve officials have become more concerned about weak growth overseas and the impact of a strengthening U.S. dollar on the domestic economy, warns WSJ Fed-whisperer Jon Hilsenrath, adding that, the stronger currency, by reducing the cost of imported goods and services, could hold U.S. inflation below the Fed’s 2% objective. Fed staff also reduced its projection for medium-run growth in part because of these concerns. The minutes showed more clearly than before that concerns about global growth and the disinflationary impact of a strong currency are giving officials additional pause about moving quickly on rates.