Monetary Policy

What Is Helicopter Money? Goldman Explains

Here is a useful primer for all those wondering just what is coming, courtesy of Goldman Sachs, which explains the nuances of monetary policy's endgame: Helicopter Money.

Weekend Reading: If I Was Janet Yellen

Unfortunately, for Janet, this is the 'trap'. The liquidity will dry up, the inventory restocking cycle will end, and the next “crisis” will be on the horizon with Ms. Yellen remaining stuck near the “zero bound.”  The past opportunities to “normalize” interest rate policy have come and gone. This opportunity will likely pass also and, as always, the Fed will realize far too late they are trapped. But by then, it won’t matter much to investors, or what’s left of them, anyway.

This Is What "Something Big" Looks Like In This Market

As the chart below shows, those who covered their USDJPY shorts lucked out; better yet anyone who went long the USDJPY, just experienced the move of a lifetime because the Yen just had its biggest weekly drop in the 21st century, going all the way back to 1999.

3 Things: Bonds, Bulls, & Central Banks

With global rates at zero to negative, money will continue to chase U.S. Treasuries for the higher yield. This will continue to push yields lower as the global economy continues to slow. What would cause this to reverse? It would require either an economic rebound as last seen in 50’s and 60’s or a complete loss of faith in the U.S. to pay its debts such as a collapse of the Government and the onset of the “zombie apocalypse.” We no longer have the drivers of manufacturing, demographics or credit expansion for the former, so I am ready for the latter.

Helicopter Money - The Biggest Fed Power Grab Yet

The Cleveland Fed’s Loretta Mester is a clueless apparatchik and Fed lifer, who joined the system in 1985 fresh out of Barnard and Princeton and has imbibed in its Keynesian groupthink and institutional arrogance ever since. So it’s not surprising that she was out flogging - albeit downunder in Australia - the next step in the Fed’s rolling coup d’ etat...“So it’s my view that [helicopter money] would be sort of the next step if we ever found ourselves in a situation where we wanted to be more accommodative." It’s the ultimate in 'something for nothing' economics.

Frontrunning: July 14

  • BoE surprises markets by keeping rates on hold, signals August move (Reuters)
  • Bank of England Signals August Stimulus as Rate Kept at 0.5% (BBG)
  • JPMorgan results boost futures, but BoE move trims gains (Reuters)
  • Bernanke Floated Japan Perpetual Debt Idea to Abe Aide Honda (BBG)
  • Oil bounces after big losses but glut persists (Reuters)

"Soon" And "Really, Really Crazy": Starting Up The Helicopters

The idea (now being pushed by a surprising number of people who ought to know better) that governments should take advantage of historically low interest rates to “invest” with borrowed money has an obvious fatal flaw. That is, accumulating even more negative or zero-rate debt will make it functionally impossible to raise rates to “normal” levels, which is to say levels where markets can once again function as mechanisms for moving savings into productive investments. It’s not a stretch to call this the end of capitalism and the beginning of a new Dark Age.

Fed's Mester Says Helicopter Money "The Next Step" In US Monetary Policy

"We're always assessing tools that we could use," Mester told the ABC's AM program. "In the US we've done quantitative easing and I think that's proven to be useful. "So it's my view that [helicopter money] would be sort of the next step if we ever found ourselves in a situation where we wanted to be more accommodative.