Monetary Base

The Screaming Fundamentals For Owning Gold

Gold is one of the few investments that every investor should have in their portfolio. We are now at the dangerous end-game period of a very bold but very reckless & disappointing experiment with the world's fiat (unbacked) currencies. If this experiment fails -- and we observe it's in the process of failing -- gold will provide one of the best forms of wealth insurance. But like all insurance products, it only works if you buy it before you need to rely on it.

It Begins: Desperate Finland Set To Unleash Helicopter Money Drop To All Citizens

Over the last few months, in a prime example of currency failure and euro-defenders' narratives, Finland has been sliding deeper into depression. Almost 7 years into the the current global expansion, Finland's GDP is 6pc below its previous peak. As The Telegraph reports, this is a deeper and more protracted slump than the post-Soviet crash of the early 1990s, or the Great Depression of the 1930s. And so, having tried it all, Finnish authorities are preparing to unleash "helicopter money" to save their nation by giving every citizen a tax-free payout of around $900 each month!

"There Are No More Dollars In The Central Bank": Argentina's New President Confronts Liquidity Crisis

On Monday, Mauricio Macri, the son of Italian-born construction tycoon Francesco Macri, beat out Cristina Kirchner’s handpicked successor Daniel Scioli for Argentina’s presidency in what amounted to a referendum on 12 years of Peronist rule. Now, Macri faces a trio of daunting tasks: i) restore central bank liquidity, ii) implement a new FX regime, and iii) tackle the ballooning budget deficit. The most most pressing concern: the central bank is literally out of dollars. 

How The Easy-Money Boom Ends...

The funds have flowed in a torrent into stocks, bonds, and real estate, just as 1940's NY Fed President Allan Sproul predicted. That flood of easy-money created the delta of plenty in which we live today. Unfortunately, it’s not likely to continue, because funny things happen when you do funny things to money.

Futures Fade Overnight Ramp After BOJ Disappoints, Attention Returns To Hawkish Fed

Back in September we explained why, contrary to both conventional wisdom and the BOJ's endless protests to the contrary, neither the BOJ nor the ECB have any interest in boosting QE at this - or any other point - simply because with every incremental bond they buy, the time when the two central banks run out of monetizable debt comes closer. Since then the ECB has jawboned that it may boost QE (but it has not done so), and overnight as reported previously, the BOJ likewise did not expand QE despite many, including Goldman Sachs, expecting it would do just that.

AsiaPac Calm Before BoJ Storm, Japanese Household Spending 'Unexpectedly' Drops As China Releveraging Continues

As all eyes, ears, and noses anxiously await the scantest of dovishness from Kuroda and The BoJ tonight (despite numerous hints that they will not unleash moar for now), the data that was just delivered may have helped the bad-news-is-good-news case. Most notably Japanese household spending dropped 0.4% YoY (with tax hike issues out of the way) missing expectations by a mile as the 'deflationary' mindset remains mired in Japanese heads. AsiaPac stocks are hovering at the week's lows unable to mount any bid as China fixed the Yuan notably stronger and instigated a new central pricing plan for pork prices (which suggests concerns about inflation domestically). Once again Chinese margin debt reaches a new 8-week high as 'stability' has prompted releveraging among the farmers and grandmas.

The BoJ Owns 52% Of The Entire Japanese ETF Market , And Now It Wants More

Haruhiko Kuroda owns 52% of all Japanese ETFs. And now he wants more. Facing a lack of willing JGB sellers, the BoJ now faces the possibility that ramping up its easing efforts will entail expanding the bank's already elephantine equity portfolio. "At a fundamental level, I don’t support the idea of central banks buying ETFs or equities. Unlike bonds, equities never redeem. That means they will have to be sold at some point, which creates market risk."

Truth Is Being Suppressed By The Tools Of Money

Global Capitalism is trapped in its own Prisoner’s Dilemma; fourty four years after the end of the Bretton Woods System global central banks have manipulated the cost of risk in a competition of devaluation leading to a dangerous build up in debt and leverage, lower risk premiums, income disparity, and greater probability of tail events on both sides of the return distribution. Truth is being suppressed by the tools of money. Market behavior has now fully adapted to the expectation of pre-emptive central bank action to crisis creating a dangerous self-reflexivity and moral hazard. Volatility markets are warped in this new reality routinely exhibiting schizophrenic behavior. The tremendous growth of the short volatility complex across all assets, combined with self-reflexive investment strategies, are creating a dangerous ‘shadow convexity’ that will fuel the next hyper-crash.

Futures Jump Despite BOJ Disappointment, Weak Earnings Offset By Commodities Levitation

The big overnight story was certainly the BOJ's announcement at 11pm Eastern whether or not the Japanese central bank would boost QE. This is how we previewed it: "now all eyes to the BOJ when tonight around 11pm Eastern, Japan's central bank is expected do and say precisely... nothing." Sure enough, nothing is precisely what the BOJ delivered, leading to a big, if brief tumble in the USDJPY suggesting many were expecting at least a little tip from the BOJ.

The Window Has Closed On The Fed

The Fed understands that economic cycles do not last forever, and we are closer to the next recession than not. While raising rates would likely accelerate a potential recession and a significant market correction, from the Fed's perspective it might be the 'lesser of two evils. Being caught at the "zero bound" at the onset of a recession leaves few options for the Federal Reserve to stabilize an economic decline... For Janet Yellen, the "window" to lift interest rates appears to have closed.