We’re repeating the same crazy thing that nearly brought down the system back in 2008 - paying people to borrow money. The primary difference is that, this time around, the bubble is much bigger. Back then, the subprime bubble was “only” $1.3 trillion. Today, conservative estimates show that there’s over $7 trillion in negative rate bonds. What could possibly go wrong?
What is worrisome is that since this trick can be applied basically anywhere in China, it will be and the elite in Shanghai and Beijing will catch on as will tier 2-4 cities, whose governments are even more desperate to rescue the housing market. With the elite and smart money milking the existing banking system in this way and moving money out, China's 3.2 Trillion (and declining for 4 consecutive months) official reserves doesn't look all that impressive.
After three consecutive declines in China's Foreign Reserves in the November-January period, which averaged nearly $100 billion per month (with particular attention paid to last month's number), consensus expectations were for a moderation in reserve outflows in February to approximately $40 billion in February; moments ago the PBOC reported, that as expected, reserve outflow "slowed down" to just $28.6 billion, bringing China's total foreign reserves to $3.2 trillion, the lowest level since late 2011.
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.
It's not all jokes, apologies, and maple syrup...
The top economist for Moody’s (one of the largest rating agencies in the world) said yesterday, as he unleahed the latest jobs guess, that there are absolutely zero signs of recession. These sameguys were so drunk on their own Kool-Aid that in October 2007, Moody’s announced that “the economy is not going to slide away into recession.” Everyone assumed that the good times would last forever. This is what virtually assures negative interest rates in America.
Capitalism requires World War because Capitalism requires profit and cannot afford the unemployed. The point is capitalism could afford social democracy after the rate of profit was restored thanks to the depression of the 1930’s and the physical destruction of capital during WW2. The underlying nature of Capitalism is cyclical.
Corporate earnings reports for the fourth quarter are pretty much in the books. The deception, falsification, accounting manipulation, and propaganda utilized by mega-corporations and their compliant corporate media mouthpieces has been outrageously blatant. It reeks of desperation as the Wall Street shysters attempt to extract the last dollar from their muppet clients before this house of cards collapses.
Today, Reuters finally peels away the first layer of just how bad China's mass layoff wave will be when it reports that China aims to lay off 5-6 million state workers over the next two to three years as part of efforts to curb industrial overcapacity and pollution. As Reuters adds, "China's leadership, obsessed with maintaining stability and making sure redundancies do not lead to unrest, will spend nearly 150 billion yuan ($23 billion) to cover layoffs in just the coal and steel sectors in the next 2-3 years."
This will not end well...
"The index readings for all key categories including output, new orders and employment signalled that conditions worsened, in line with signs that the economy’s road to stability remains bumpy...The government needs to press ahead with reforms, while adopting moderate stimulus policies and strengthening support of the economy in other ways to prevent it from falling off a cliff.”
Having admitted to entirely 'cooking the books' with its jobs data, it appears Australian authorities are going full kitchen-sink and 'allowing' all the dismally honest data out to the market (we assume in some desperate PR need to justify their next monetary policy experiment). Building Approvals fell 7.5% MoM in January, crashing 15.5% YoY (5 standard deviations below expectations) - the biggest drop since April 2012 (and the 3rd month in a row of declines).
After the G-20 ended in a wave of global disappointment, leading to the biggest Yuan devaluation in 8 weeks, and sending Chinese stocks into a tailspin on concerns the PBOC has forsaken its stock market as well as speculation the housing bubble is now sucking up excess liquidity which in turn pushed global market deep in the red to start the week, it was the PBOC's turn to scramble in a panicked reaction to sliding risk exactly one month after Japan unveiled its own desperation NIRP, and as reported before unexpectedly cut its Reserve Requirement Ratio by 0.5% to 17.0%, the first such cut in 2016 and the 5th since the start of 2015.
Suddenly the Chinese market realized what we said earlier in the weekend, namely that with the much anticipated G-20 meeting a complete dud, and with no major stimulus on the horizon, suddenly the trapdoor below Chinese stocks opened and the Shanghai Composite has started the new month tumbling over 4%.
Nowhere is the return of the Chinese housing bubble more ovious than in Beijing where scalpers are charging up to ?3000 for service numbers at the government office where property transfers are recorded, due to long wait times in the wake of the recent transaction tax cuts launched by the government to spur the housing market. The result is peole paying thousands of Yuan to get a better place in line as they scramble to "flip that house."