• Steve H. Hanke
    02/11/2016 - 16:08
    The burgeoning literature contains a great deal of hype, which validates the 95% Rule: 95% of what is written about economics and finance is either wrong or irrelevant.

Monetary Policy

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Putting It All Together: When Does The Junk Bond Sell Off End, And When Should One Buy





Bottom line, our conversations with investors suggest yields in the 20 – 25% context could be attractive enough to draw in marginal capital – although several investors noted that is reasonable for triple C risk excluding commodities. In short, we're not there yet.

 
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The Great Reset





Remember it was the BOJ that stepped in October of 2014 at 1970, and again in October of 2015 at 1970 again. The Japanese bought Yellen a year of time, and gave her a market of 2070 to hike rates. Now that the market has fallen back to the August low, it is the BOJ who has turned their monetary policy to negative rates. What does this tell the market? That after attempting to pump it twice above 1970, with the market at 1870 they have switched to negative rates. Sign of desperation? So far the market is not buying it.

 
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Sweden Slides Further Into NIRP, Cuts Rates To -0.50%





The currency wars continue unabated as does the developed world's experiment with negative rates as the Riksbank moves further into NIRP, cutting the repo rate by 15 bps to -0.50%. "Uncertainty regarding global developments is still high, with low inflation and several central banks pursuing more expansionary monetary policy [and] Swedish monetary policy must relate to this," the bank said.

 
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Here Is The Exchange That Left A Stunned Janet Yellen Looking Like A Deer In Headlights





"if you're not going to give me the documents, exert your privilege, tell me your legal authority, why you're not going to provide this to us."

 

 
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"Negative Rates Are Dangerous" OECD Chair Warns "Our Entire System Is Unstable"





"There is excessive debt everywhere and negative interest rates are dangerous... My number one fear? That’s the same as asking me where it will start. When you view the economy as a complex, adaptive system, like many other systems, one of the clear findings from the literature is that the trigger doesn’t matter; it’s the system that’s unstable. And I think our system is unstable... Central Bank models are just wrong"

 
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It Was Never About Oil





What we do know is that the eurodollar system is failing and we know how it is failing. From negative swap spreads to the shrunken, depressed money and credit curves, they all spell out the death of the current standard. The money supply, for lack of a more appropriate term in the “dollar’s” universe, is in the long run converging with the shriveled economic baseline. The immediate problem for our current circumstances is that we don’t yet have any idea what that foundation might look like even now- how far is down.

 
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Buyer's Remorse? Axel Merk Warns "The Fed Doesn't Have A Clue!"





"The Fed doesn't have a clue!" - We allege that not only because the Fed appears to admit as much, but also because our own analysis leads to no other conclusion. With Fed communication in what we believe is disarray, we expect the market to continue to cascade lower - think what happened in 2000. To understand what's unfolding we need to understand how the Fed is looking at the markets, and how the markets are looking at the Fed.

 
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JPM's Striking Forecast: ECB Could Cut Rates To -4.5%; BOJ To -3.45%; Fed To -1.3%





JPM estimates that if the ECB just focused on reserves equivalent to 2% of gross domestic product it could slice the rate it charges on bank deposits to minus 4.5%. In Japan, JPM calculates that the BOJ could go as low as -3.45% while Sweden’s is likely -3.27%. Finally, if and when the Fed joins the monetary twilight race, it could cut to -1.3% and the Bank of England to -2.69%.

 
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Goldman's Take: "Additional Hikes Remain FOMC Baseline"





"BOTTOM LINE: Chair Yellen’s prepared remarks to the House Financial Services Committee contained little new information on the monetary policy outlook, and were roughly in line with comments made by Vice Chair Fischer and New York Fed President Dudley over the past couple weeks. She continued to highlight the FOMC’s expectation for “gradual” increases in the federal funds rate."

 
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Janet Yellen's "Humphrey-Hawkins" Testimony: Economic Strains, Tightening Pains, & No Stock Gains - Live Feed





Fed Chair Yellen will be presenting her semi-annual monetary policy testimony - sometimes called the "Humphrey-Hawkins" testimony - today (House Financial Services Committee) and tomorrow (Senate Banking Committee). Her prepared remarks offered little new information over the January FOMC Statement but the Q&A will likely be the most market-moving as politicians likely demand she "get back to work" for the good of the nation's shareholders.

 
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Fed Reveals Which "Developments To Financial Stability" It Is Most Worried About





Broad equity indexes have declined significantly since July 2015, and forward price-to-earnings ratios have fallen to a level closer to their averages of the past three decades.
Leverage [among speculative-grade and unrated firms] firms has risen to historical highs, especially among those in the oil industry, a development that points to somewhat elevated risks of distress for some business borrowers.

 
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Hilsenrath: Yellen's Comments Have A "Downbeat Undertone"





The only question that matters today: is a "downbeat undertone", aka bad news, good news for stocks once again, and will the market relapse to its old "bad news is great news" regime, or will it take advantage of today's brief European bank euphoria to sell the rally as it has throughout all of 2016?

 
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