DRAGHI SAYS ISSUE SHARE LIMIT FOR QE RAISED TO 33% FROM 25%
ECB CUTS EURO-AREA INFLATION FORECASTS FOR 2015-2017
Mario Draghi holds court (on his birthday, no less) in a closely watched post-meeting presser as markets hope collapsing inflation expectations, heightened volatility, EM chaos, and China turmoil will be enough to force the ECB's hand.
Even if it is short term oversold, this is actually a quite dangerous market – caveat emptor, as they say.
The WSJ has released yet another gold hit piece calling it a "pet rock' and gold bugs "subjects of a laboratory experiment on the psychology of cognitive dissonance" just one day after the PBOC reveals it has added the biggest amount of gold in history in order to "ensure security." But the biggest irony is that none other than Citigroup made a far bolder case that it is not the ownership of gold but of stocks that is the ultimate act of faith: "investors remain united in their faith in the central banks – if not for their ability to create growth, then at least in their ability to push up asset prices. And yet the limits of that faith are increasingly on display." So who is right?
We suggest ECB President Mario Draghi has his work cut out for him today. As the entirely political catalyst for Greece's crescendo-like bailout capitulation, he will - we hope - be questioned long and hard on his actions over the last 2 weeks (and going forward) with regard the increasingly 3rd world nation. As Bloomberg's Richard Breslow notes, Draghi needs to help calm a still tense situation. The only way he can do this is with as much tranquility as he can muster, make sure everyone knows he is still prepared to do whatever it takes. It appears the markets (FX and equities for sure) are anticipating uber-dovishness and as we noted in the preview, he will likely crow of the lack of contagion from Greece, how well his tools have worked, and how Q€ is working... we wonder if the Greek reporters will be blocked from the press conference?
No bubble can remain aloft without a heavy dose of monetary inflation. The fact that China’s authorities, including its central bank, have been unable to stem the decline stands as a stark warning to the many Western investors who seemingly believe that central banks are nigh omnipotent entities run by magicians. This is not the case. Once an asset bubble begins to burst, there there is nothing central bankers can do to stop it – and we have plenty of bubbles awaiting their turn in the barrel.
We decided to do a little research to find out the size of different investable asset classes globally, to try to get some color on the money flows in this extraordinary period. The data is from various dates from 2013 to 2014, but the differences don’t matter much.
There will be a tipping point where the advantage to be gained by badly impacting the dollar and positioning the yuan as new reserve currency will be greater than the disadvantage suffered by a collapse in the value of the dollar. The tipping point is closer than many believe.
In an important interview with Reuters in 2012, John Butler suggested that if one country - he cited Russia - were to back its currency with gold it could cause a 20% collapse in the dollar in just 24 hours. In order to stabilise the currency and in an attempt to preserve the reserve currency status of the dollar, the U.S. would be forced against its will to back its currency with gold.
Did you know that if you took every single penny away from everyone in the United States that it still would not be enough to pay off the national debt? Today, the debt of the federal government exceeds $145,000 per household, and it is getting worse with each passing year. Many believe that if we paid it off a little bit at a time that we could eventually pay it all off, but as you will see below that isn’t going to work either.
Ben Bernanke’s skin is as thin, apparently, as is his comprehension of honest economics. The emphasis is on the “honest” part because he is a fount of the kind of Keynesian drivel that passes for economics in the financially deformed world that the Bernank did so much to bring about.
Blogger Ben’s work is already done. In his very first substantive post as a civilian he gave away all the secrets of the monetary temple. The Bernank actually refuted the case for modern central banking in one blog. The truth is the real world of capitalism is far, far too complex and dynamic to be measured and assessed with the exactitude implied by Bernanke’s gobbledygook. In fact, what his purported necessity for choosing a rate “somewhere” actually involves is the age old problem of socialist calculation.
Creating even more money will not help the situation, only exacerbate it. Hyperinflation is a cancer that lurks in our monetary structure. Time to surgically remove it before it metastasizes.
Janet Yellen is very alarmed that some members of Congress want to conduct a comprehensive audit of the Federal Reserve for the first time since it was created. During testimony this week, she made “central bank independence” sound like it was the holy grail. Even though every other government function is debated politically in this country, Janet Yellen insists that what the Federal Reserve does is “too important” to be influenced by the American people. Does any other government agency ever dare to make that claim? If the Fed is doing everything correctly, why should Yellen be alarmed? What does she have to hide?
It’s the start of a new year. The question is whither the prices of gold and silver? This Brief presents our answer.