We've written a lot about Japan lately as what happens today under the no longer rising sun is going to have such repercussions worldwide that it would be foolish not to pay attention. Moreover, there’s something about what Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said this morning that both perfectly and painfully illustrates to what depths, economically as well as morally, the country has sunk.
We’ve been keeping the long lost idea of our long lost society alive by squeezing our own children wherever we can, and telling them that if they only work hard enough, they can be whoever they want to be. But they can’t, that notion is also long lost. When you keep home prices artificially high, homeowners don’t suffer as much, even if they bought at insanely high prices, but the suffering is switched to potential buyers, who remain just that, potential, while they live in their mom’s basements for years. A surefire way to kill a society while everyone’s eagerly awaiting the growth that is just around the corner and will forever remain there. Take it from your kids. Take it from somewhere else in the world. And that’s where we’re now passing a barrier: there’s no-one to take it from anymore.
The problem with what we call the Exit Rule for Bubbles - "you only get out if you panic before everyone else does" – is that you also have to decide whether to look like an idiot before the crash or an idiot after it.
The trend is your friend... until it becomes a Venezuelan hyperinflation melt-up...
It never fails: any time there is a dump in precious metals through their paper representation (GLD, SLV, or futures) typically as a hedge to a rally in the dollar (because last week Japan materially increasing its fiat monetary base was also somehow negative for gold and silver) or to meet margin demands from cross-asset liquidation, demand for physical PMs soars confirming yet again that any connection between paper prices and physical demand no longer exists. As reported on Friday, sales of American Eagle silver coins by the U.S. Mint jumped 40 percent in October to the highest in 21 months, defying a slump in New York futures to the lowest in more than four years.
From a market perspective the move today was almost perfectly timed coming on the heels of a Federal Open Market Committee meeting which ended quantitative easing and expose the big difference on future monetary paths between the BoJ and the Fed. There is, however, a dark side to this big move.. telling a story of how central banks, even the desperate ones like BoJ, are and remain one-trick-pony institutions: "this is the final round – Japan was ALWAYS going to give it one more shot – now it happened."
Because nothing says economic strength like nominal equity market gains... as Kyle Bass warned in the past - beware the 'nominal' stock market cheerleaders.
Goldman On BOJ's Banzainomics: "We Highlight The Potential For Harsh Criticism Of Further Cost-Push Inflation"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 10/31/2014 08:12 -0400
It was about several months ago when Goldman, which initially was an enthusiastic supporter of BOJ's QE, turned sour on both Abenomics and the J-Curve (perhaps after relentless mocking on these pages), changed its tune, saying an unhappy ending for Abenomics is almost certainly in the cards. Not surprisingly then, in its post-mortem of the BOJ's overnight action, already being affectionately called Banzainomics, is hardly glowing, and is summarized as follows: "We maintain our view that unless the yen continues to depreciate significantly, as a result of the latest QQE action, the BOJ is unlikely to meet its scenario for inflation to stably reach 2% during FY2015. From a political perspective, with nationwide local elections looming in April 2015, we also highlight the potential for harsh criticism of further cost-push inflation driven by the weaker yen among nonmanufacturers, SMEs, and households. Irrespective of the latest easing moves, we believe the BOJ is treading a very narrow path."
Two days ago, when QE ended and knowing that the market is vastly overstimating the likelihood of a full-blown ECB public debt QE, we tweeted the following: "It's all up to the BOJ now." Little did we know how right we would be just 48 hours later. Because as previously reported, the reason why this morning futures are about to surpass record highs is because while the rest of the world was sleeping, the BOJ shocked the world with a decision to boost QE, announcing it would monetize JPY80 trillion in JGBs, up from the JPY60-70 trillion currently and expand the universe of eligible for monetization securities. A decision which will forever be known in FX folklore as the great Halloween Yen-long massacre.
UPDATE: Nikkei 225 +1100 points, USDJPY +3 handles to 111.00 post-FOMC,
In a surprise move given all the recent congratulatory bullshit from Abe and Kuroda on breaking the back of Japan's deflation and bring about recovery (forgetting to mention record high misery index, surging bankruptcies and a crushed consumer), the Bank of Japan (by a 5-4 vote) raised its bond-buying program from JPY 70 trillion to 80 trillion... and triple its ETF buying to JPY 3 trillion. This move, on the heels of more confirmation of broader foreign asset purchases in Japan's GPIF sent USDJPY instantly gapping 1 big figure higher to 110.30 and Nikkei futures instantly rose 400 points. S&P futures are also surging. Gold and silver are tanking and TSY bonds are selling off.
When the next crisis comes there will no doubt be economists and commentators who blame it on some proximal event, like the failure of a large important financial institution. Don’t be fooled. The seeds of the next crisis are already sown. Fed policy under Ben Bernanke and Janet Yellen has distorted the economy in a way that makes it precariously fragile, and susceptible to collapse.
And then there is BusinessWeek, which quite to the contrary, is urging its readers in its cover story, ignore common sense, and do more of the same that has led the world to dead economic end it finds itself in currently. In fact, it is, in the words of NYT's Binyamin Appelbaum, calling the world governments to become the slaves of a defunct economist. And spend, spend, spend, preferably on credit. Because, supposedly, this time the resulting crash from yet another debt-funded binge will be... different?
Shinzo Abe has lost his magical touch as Japan's economy is nose-diving again...
The week ahead, as if it mattered.
The U.S. economy continues to lose momentum despite the Federal Reserve’s use of conventional techniques and numerous experimental measures to spur growth. As Kindleberger clearly stated, the process of excess liquidity fueling higher prices in the face of faltering fundamentals can run for a long time, a phase Kindleberger called “overtrading”. But eventually, this gives way to “discredit”, when the discerning few see the discrepancy between prices and fundamentals. Eventually, discredit yields to “revulsion”, when the crowd understands the imbalance, and markets correct.