"As SOE restructuring progresses, it will also become more apparent that Chinese banks need to be rescued. We estimate that the total losses in the banking sector could reach CNY8 trillion, equivalent to more than 60% of commercial banks’ capital, 50% of fiscal revenues and 12% of GDP."
While it most likely is just the usual Friday (past) midnight trial balloon by the Nikkei, a media outlet that has promptly become the BOJ's mouthpiece (recall a week ago the new owner of the FT reported that Abe would delay his 2017 sales tax increase, only to see the premier backpedal when the reaction in the USDJPY was not quite as desired), moments ago the Japanese publication reported that the Bank of Japan will "likely set aside funds for the first time to prepare for losses on its huge holdings of Japanese government bonds should the central bank end its monetary easing policy in the future."
We've chronicled extensively the capital flight taking place out of China and into anything that is perceived to hold value as fears that the yuan will devalue persist (here, here, and here). Now we're able to learn just how much individual wealth has been poured into the United States real estate market over the past few years. According to the study (which excludes most purchases by companies and trusts), Chinese buyers have invested a massive $110 billion into the US real estate market between 2010-2015... and it's expected to double by 2020.
In the latest indication of contracting global growth, overnight Hong Kong reported that its Q1 GDP fell off a cliff 0.4% qoq, widly missing estimates of 0.1% growth as retail sales plummeted and the property market continued its collapse. On a y/y basis, the economy grew only 0.8% when compared to the same period last year, less than half the 1.9% y/y growth reflected in Q4.
Following last week's Sohn Conference, where the overarching theme was one of prevailing bearishness topped by Stanley Druckenmiller's near-apocalyptic forecast that only gold will be left standing after all confidence evaporates in the "magic people" known as central bankers, yesterday some 1,800 hedge fund industry executives gathered in Las Vegas at the SkyBridge Alternatives Conference or SALT, where the prevalent concern about the future of the world continued, driven primarily by worries about China.
With everyone from ivory tower academics to sin-street hookers proclaiming the need for and benefits of a "war on cash" to save the world from criminals and tax-evaders (oh yeah and to stop NIRP-driven savers from hording cash and crushing central planners' dreams), it is perhaps shocking that Bundesbank board member Carl-Ludwig Thiele warned at an event this week that the attempt to abolish and criminalize cash is out of line with freedom. He said that citizens should continue to decide how and in what form they want to use their money.
"I think this is where the academics are kind of clashing with the practitioners. I think on paper negative rates make a lot of sense if you're running academic models, but in reality they make no sense... If they told you and I that they're going to tax your deposits by a hundred basis points, well it's better to put it in a safe or under your mattress. And that's why you see a resurgence in gold. The more they move to negative rates, the more gold is gonna take off because there's no carrying cost."
"A funny thing happened at the end of 2013 I wrote a letter to my new clients and I began with the preface "what if I was to tell you that I'd become bullish on equities; is that something you'd be interested in." The resounding message no. A billion dollars walked out the door.... "What, really, you're bullish?" - Hugh Hendry
"when I look at the current picture of expected tax revenues combined with benefits promised to future generations, this is the most unsustainable situation I have seen ever in my career." The disaster that Druckenmiller sees coming for the United States is all about changing demographics and entitlement spending. They don’t add up to a sustainable situation. Fixing this is going to require some real sacrifice by the American people and that doesn’t sound like a very appealing platform upon which to get re-elected.
Gold's 16.1% surge in Q1 2016 ias the best start to a year since 1974. Overall, this is the best quarter since Q3 1986 and is the best performing major commodity of the year. Gold rallied this year as it cemented its status as a store of value amid financial market turbulence and concern about the global economy, which led to speculation that the Federal Reserve would pause on tightening monetary policy in the U.S. Having seen BlackRock's gold ETF halted due to inability to meet physical demand, it appears pet rocks and barbarous relics are 'worth' something after all.