Monetary Policy

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Schauble Throws Up All Over Mario Draghi: "The ECB Is Causing Extraordinary Problems"





SCHAEUBLE SAYS ECB CAUSING 'EXTRAORDINARY PROBLEMS': REUTERS
SCHAEUBLE: ECB POLICY DOESN'T HELP TRUST IN EUROPE INTEGRATION
SCHAEUBLE: FISCAL, MONETARY POLICY LARGELY EXHAUSTED GLOBALLY

 
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IMF Again Cuts Global Growth Forecast As It Warns Of "Secular Stagnation"





Moments ago the IMF did what it does better than anyone (with the exception of the Fed): it once again admitted its forecast of world growth had been too optimistic, and as a result in its just released quarterly World Economic Outlook report, it cut its forecast for 2016 global GDP growth from 3.4% to 3.2%, and from 3.6% to 3.5% for 2017. Indicatively, back in July 2014 the IMF was forecasting 4.0% GDP growth in 2016. It is now 20% lower.

 
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Former IMF Chief Economist Admits Japan's "Endgame" Scenario Is Now In Play





Japan is heading for a full-blown solvency crisis as the country runs out of local investors and may ultimately be forced to inflate away its debt in a desperate end-game, one of the world’s most influential economists has warned.  "One day the BoJ may well get a call from the finance ministry saying please think about us – it is a life or death question - and keep rates at zero for a bit longer."

 
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For 6th Year Running, Economists' Growth Expectations Collapse





With The Atlanta Fed's slashing its Q1 GDP growth expectations to just 0.1%, consensus estimates for 2016 growth have collapsed. However, none of this should surprise anyone as this is the sixth year in a row that over-optimistic growth hopes devolve into hype for more stimulus and a hockey-stick just around the corner. While expectations have not improved since 2010, at least one these dreadful soothsayers is defending this year's drop in the same old manner - by promising that H2 will be better, for these 4 reasons...

 
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Fed "Policy Error" Sparks "Best Fundamentals In Years" For Gold





Should US monetary policy not be on the path to normalization, a fundamental change in the benefit of gold ownership is taking place, and this increased investment demand should lead to higher gold prices. Gold investment appears to be moving towards stronger fundamentals than we have seen over the past few years.

 
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Ben Bernanke: "Helicopter Money May Be The Best Available Alternative"





"Money-financed fiscal programs (MFFPs), known colloquially as helicopter drops, are very unlikely to be needed in the United States in the foreseeable future. They also present a number of practical challenges of implementation, including integrating them into operational monetary frameworks and assuring appropriate governance and coordination between the legislature and the central bank. However, under certain extreme circumstances—sharply deficient aggregate demand, exhausted monetary policy, and unwillingness of the legislature to use debt-financed fiscal policies—such programs may be the best available alternative."

 
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Earnings Implosion Looms Amid The Illusion Of "Permanent Liquidity"





The problem with forward earnings estimates is that they consistently overestimate reality by roughly 33% historically. The illusion of“permanent liquidity,” and the belief of sustained economic growth, despite slowing in China, Japan, and the Eurozone, has emboldened analysts to continue push estimates of corporate profit growth higher. Even now, as the earnings recession deepens, hopes of a sharp rebound in profitability remains ebullient despite the lack of any signs of economic re-acceleration.

 
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ECB Scrambles To Calm A Furious Germany: "Helicopter Money Was The Straw That Broke The Camel's Back"





Just hours after Spiegel penned its infamous "Germany is taking aim at the ECB" article, Schauble went on the record to deny that the Geran finmin would consider taking legal action if the European Central Bank resorts to "helicopter money" but the damage was already done. As Reuters follows up today, "almost a month after stoking a divisive debate about how far it should go in pumping money into the flagging euro zone economy, the European Central Bank is trying to soothe relations with Germany after unusually strong criticism from Berlin."

 
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Key Economic Events In The Coming Week





While the market is still enjoying the post-NFP weekly data lull, economic data starts to pick up again in the coming days, alongside the start of the reporting season. Below are this week's key events.

 
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Bill Gross : "Negative Rates Destroy Savers, The Bedrock Of Capitalism", Larry Fink Agrees





... consider mom and pop and other people who read Barron’s. They are saving for retirement and to put their kids through college. They might have depended on a historic 8%-like return from stocks and bonds. Well, sorry. When interest rates get to zero—and that isn’t the endpoint; they could go negative—savers are destroyed. And savers are the bedrock of capitalism. Savers allow investment, and investment produces growth.

 
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Deutsche Bank Says World "Past The Point Of No Return" In The Default Cycle





"We continue to live in a low default world for now though. Even though defaults picked up in 2015, B/BB default rates were still comfortably below their long-term average which they have been for well over a decade now with 2009 being the only exception. Indeed last year’s default rate for global Bs (up from 0.9% to 2.7%) was still lower than all of the first two decades of the modern era of leveraged finance up to 2003. So in spite of all the challenges we face this era has been characterized by astonishingly low default rates. There are clear signs the cycle is turning though, especially in the US."

 
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Guest Post: The U.S. Dollar - Return Of The King?





The US Dollar Index is sitting at 94.62, just above a critical support zone at 93-94. Meanwhile, the Trade-Weighted Dollar Index has pulled back ~3.4% from its high on Jan20’16. It is hard to tell that long USD is a consensus trade because investors have lost their conviction.

 
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"The Gold Price Has Been Captured By The Modern Banking System"





It is commonly assumed that the gold price and interest rates move in opposite directions. Like all assumptions about prices, sometimes it is true and sometimes not. The market today is all about synthetic gold, gold which is referred to but rarely delivered. The current relationship is therefore one of relative interest rates, because positions in synthetic gold are financed from wholesale money markets. This is why a rumour that interest rates might rise sooner than expected, if it is reflected in forward interbank rates, leads to a fall in the gold price. To the extent that this happens, the gold price has been captured by the modern banking system, but it was not always so.

 
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"The People Aren't Stupid" - Germany Takes Aim At The ECB, May Sue Draghi: Spiegel





The alienation between Germany and the ECB has reached a new level. Back in deutsche mark times, Europeans often joked that the Germans "may not believe in God, but they believe in the Bundesbank," as Germany's central bank is called. Today, though, when it comes to relations between the ECB and the German population, people are more likely to speak of "parallel universes."... Should it come to helicopter money, Berlin would have to consider taking the ECB to court to clarify the limits of its mandate. In other words: the German government and Draghi's ECB would be adversaries in a public court case.

 
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These 2 Charts Show The Next Recession Will Blow Out The US Budget





Only during the halcyon economic days of the 1960s have we seen a longer recovery; but that record, too, will be eclipsed sometime in 2019—if we don’t see a recession first. And note that we were growing at well over 3% in the 1960s, not the anemic 2% we have averaged during this recovery and certainly not the positively puny 1.5% we have endured lately. Global growth is slowing down. Given the limited number of arrows left in the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy quiver, the US is going to have a difficult time dealing with the fallout from a recession. Even worse, a number of factors are coming together that will require serious crisis management.

 
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