The lessons I learned in Japan leave me comfortable with this outlook. Years of staring at low JGB yields certainly immunized me from the sticker shock associated with low Treasury yields... In Japan, with a negative yield on 10-year JGBs, investors are paying the government to borrow out to a 10-year term and spend. If the public sector ignores these types of messages on a global scale and private demand globally remains deficient, those same investors will accept still lower yields on government bonds outside of Japan – our base case for the rest of 2016.
This stuff gets better by the week...
As this unfolds, your biggest risk isn’t the crashing stock market or the crashing bond market. Your biggest problem, and also the one most people just don’t see, is political. Your government is by far the most serious threat to your money and wellbeing.
We cannot be sure what shape the next crisis will take, although it seems likely that it will be yet another “deflation scare”, mainly caused by falling asset prices. However, we do know what the last crisis of the current system will look like. It will entail a crumbling of the public’s faith in fiat money and the institutions that issue and administer it.
While Brazilians are angry and tired of their economic hardships, they are also incensed at the country’s history of corruption, which now includes a massive presidential scandal carried out by politicians and lobbyists during the current and previous administrations. This misconduct has given residents of all walks of life enough incentive to take their demands to the streets. Mainstream media has covered the major protests overtaking the streets of Brazil at the outset of an apparent political revolution, but few discuss the problems that have been brewing for decades in South America’s largest nation.
At the end of the day, it was all about the dollar and the reason for this morning's stock surge around the globe, as we noted last night, is absurdly delightful: Yellen signaled "weakening world growth" and "less confidence in the renormalization process." In other words, the "bad news is good news" mantra is back front and center.
For the first time since January 2009, 12-month Saudi interbank rates have breached 2.00% - double the 1% lows of August. This 'stress' is also evident in the record pace of collapse of Saudi money-supply and while Riyal forwards have rallied back from extreme bets on devaluation, they remain concerning for Saudi officials who to undertake some deep and fundamental changes to their economy, reforms that no amount of browbeating from organizations like the IMF could induce.
While Forex banks, traders, and other institutions are being blamed for market rigging, the Swiss National Bank can publish reports about its own market rigging, but instead of being a scandal, it's economic data. That's because the vast majority don't understand how the Forex markets work. It's not insulting - it's a fact. Currently there are hundreds of pending litigation cases against a plethora of Forex banks, traders, and other institutions - but none against a central bank.
Regardless of which source ultimately proves more important, the below suggests that market liquidity tends to become more scarce around the end of the quarter at present. We have already seen this effect play out twice in row and it could well be that there will be another replay this quarter.
Authored by Steve H. Hanke of The Johns Hopkins University. Follow him on Twitter @Steve_Hanke.
Since 1983, when Hong Kong adopted its currency board system, speculative bets against the Hong Kong dollar (HKD) have ended in the graveyard. Just ask Bill Ackerman. He bet the house in a 2011 attach on the HKD, and he lost big. Now, it’s reported that the likes of George Soros and Kyle Bass are rolling the dice against the HKD. They will lose, too.
There once was a time when economists would have been in an uproar upon witnessing the shenanigans of today’s central bankers. Nowadays they are not only acquiescing to them, they are actively demanding more and more intervention. Instead of being the voice of reason warning of the dangers such policies harbor, they have become cheerleaders for them. It is only a very small consolation that they will eventually be discredited. The cost will be extremely high.
"The demise of positive interest rates may be nothing more than the global economy reacting to a chronic oversupply of goods through the impact of globalization including the opening up of formerly closed economies as well as ongoing technological progress." - Deutsche Bank
We are experiencing 1970’s style stagflation, coming from the supply side, not demand. Prices are going up because Norges Bank continues to destroy the Norwegian Krone, turning it into the Nordic Peso. This is where they are “hiding” the damage to save rest of the economy. For example, housing prices will rise in NOK but fall in USD or gold (universal commodity) terms. It’s a shell game, leading to long term decline or even worse, an unexpected period of elevated inflation, requiring a rapid rise in interest rates.
The logic of lowering rates below zero is so boneheaded that only a PhD could believe it. It’s all relative, you see. It’s like standing on a train platform. The train next to you backs up…and you feel you’re moving ahead. Negative interest rates are like backing up. They give borrowers the illusion of forward motion... even if the economy is standing still.