Interestingly, the BoJ’s attempts to achieve its price inflation target continue to end in failure with unwavering regularity. While the central bank’s astonishing ineptness in this respect is a blessing for Japan’s citizens (at least for the moment, their cost of living doesn’t increase further), it harbors the danger that even crazier monetary experiments will eventually be tried.
"I have certain rules that I live by... My first rule - I don't believe anything the government tells me." - George Carlin
what until now was merely a terrible start to the year has turned absolutely brutal for Odey's European fund, which is now down nearly a third, or 31%, in the first four months of the year, wiping out almost half a decade of trading profits in his flagship hedge fund in less than four months. Is he ready to throw in the towel? Not even close: the billionaire who delights in fighting the Fed, is convinced he will have the last laugh: "The disconnect between travelling and arriving may be coming home to roost. It will make the retreat from Moscow appear painless."
In the first 14 weeks of the New Year, gold rose 16%. The first quarter qualified as its best beginning year performance in 30 years (CNBC, E. Rosenbaum, 4/14/16). The reversal was prompted by stumbling stock markets and a series of sharply dovish turns from central banks around the world. Perhaps the main reason people buy gold is as a hedge against inflation. But uncertainty and fear contributed undoubtedly to gold’s stellar first quarter rise. But will it continue?
Obamacare Exodus Accelerates: After Georgia And Arkansas, Biggest Health Insurer Exits Michigan And OklahomaSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 04/18/2016 15:36 -0400
Two weeks ago it was Georgia and Arkansas, then over the weekend Michigan, and moments ago UnitedHealth, the largest US halth insurer announced it would exit the Michigan And Oklahoma Obamacare markets. This is just the beginning
The elephant outside the room is named Discontinuity. That’s perhaps an intimidating word, but it is exactly what the USA is in for. It means that a lot of familiar things come to an end, stop, don’t work the way they are supposed to - beginning, manifestly, with the election process now underway in all its unprecedented bizarreness. One reason it’s difficult to comprehend discontinuity is because so many operations and institutions of daily life in America have insidiously become rackets, meaning that they are kept going only by dishonest means. If we didn’t lie to ourselves about them, they couldn’t continue.
Are interest rates low because of the action of central banks or because of unresolved debt deflation?
When it comes to Obamacare, the devil is in the details. As the years go by, Americans are quickly recognizing that not only is Obamacare not helping them out, it’s actually crushing their paychecks to such an degree they’re finding it necessary to pursue alternatives. This has resulted in a mad dash into non-ACA compliant short-term health insurance plans, or the kind of plans Obamacare was specifically designed to replace.
Japan is heading for a full-blown solvency crisis as the country runs out of local investors and may ultimately be forced to inflate away its debt in a desperate end-game, one of the world’s most influential economists has warned. "One day the BoJ may well get a call from the finance ministry saying please think about us – it is a life or death question - and keep rates at zero for a bit longer."
ECB Scrambles To Calm A Furious Germany: "Helicopter Money Was The Straw That Broke The Camel's Back"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 04/11/2016 11:27 -0400
Just hours after Spiegel penned its infamous "Germany is taking aim at the ECB" article, Schauble went on the record to deny that the Geran finmin would consider taking legal action if the European Central Bank resorts to "helicopter money" but the damage was already done. As Reuters follows up today, "almost a month after stoking a divisive debate about how far it should go in pumping money into the flagging euro zone economy, the European Central Bank is trying to soothe relations with Germany after unusually strong criticism from Berlin."
... consider mom and pop and other people who read Barron’s. They are saving for retirement and to put their kids through college. They might have depended on a historic 8%-like return from stocks and bonds. Well, sorry. When interest rates get to zero—and that isn’t the endpoint; they could go negative—savers are destroyed. And savers are the bedrock of capitalism. Savers allow investment, and investment produces growth.
"We continue to live in a low default world for now though. Even though defaults picked up in 2015, B/BB default rates were still comfortably below their long-term average which they have been for well over a decade now with 2009 being the only exception. Indeed last year’s default rate for global Bs (up from 0.9% to 2.7%) was still lower than all of the first two decades of the modern era of leveraged finance up to 2003. So in spite of all the challenges we face this era has been characterized by astonishingly low default rates. There are clear signs the cycle is turning though, especially in the US."
Did The Canary Of New York's Luxury Housing Market Just Die: Real Estate Developer Files For BankruptcySubmitted by Tyler Durden on 04/10/2016 16:18 -0400
The Bauhouse Group has filed bankruptcy for BH Sutton Mezz LLC, their entity that was to build out a 78 floor luxury condominium tower at Sutton Place, located on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. The bankruptcy comes on the heels of foreclosure efforts by Gamma Real Estate, who alleges that Bauhouse has defaulted on a loan of roughly $147 million.
The rules of the game are changing. Those stuck within the old paradigm of mainstream finance face huge threats to their retirement....and quite possibly even their current standard of living.
The alienation between Germany and the ECB has reached a new level. Back in deutsche mark times, Europeans often joked that the Germans "may not believe in God, but they believe in the Bundesbank," as Germany's central bank is called. Today, though, when it comes to relations between the ECB and the German population, people are more likely to speak of "parallel universes."... Should it come to helicopter money, Berlin would have to consider taking the ECB to court to clarify the limits of its mandate. In other words: the German government and Draghi's ECB would be adversaries in a public court case.