“Capitalism is not primarily an incentive system but an information system.” Prices are the information. And the price of time itself is the single most valuable piece of information. Time, as we intuitively know, is money; they are two sides of the same coin. Mess with time and money, and you mess with everything else. Yet as with central planning in general, the central planning of either money, or time, cannot possibly work. Hayek warned the economics profession of precisely this in the 1970s. They didn’t listen, ensconced as they still remain within their interventionist Keynesian paradigm. Well that paradigm is about to be blown apart, time and money are about to return to the market, where they belong, and real, sustainable economic progress is about to restart once again.
There is little that is of greater importance to systemic confidence than faith in the abilities of central banks. Thus, when even the mainstream financial press begins to publish articles about a potential “loss of credibility” faced by these august institutions, one must begin to pay close attention.
The Fed understands that economic cycles do not last forever, and we are closer to the next recession than not. While raising rates would likely accelerate a potential recession and a significant market correction, from the Fed's perspective it might be the 'lesser of two evils. Being caught at the "zero bound" at the onset of a recession leaves few options for the Federal Reserve to stabilize an economic decline... For Janet Yellen, the "window" to lift interest rates appears to have closed.
The sequence of events leading up the French Revolution are likely unfamiliar to most. Yet money printing and a debauched French currency played no small part in those events. As a sequel to “Shorting the Federal Reserve”, 720 Global aims to provide an historical example of excessive money printing which lead to financial crisis, and ultimately the revolution of a major sovereign nation. More than a history lesson, this article effectively illustrates the road on which the U.S. and many other nations currently travel. The story relayed in this article is not a forecast for what may happen but a simple reminder of what has repeatedly happened in the past.
Superficially one gets the impression that they aren’t really trying to “explain” anything to the hoi-polloi, since it all sounds remarkably uncoordinated. To the extent that the messages are contradictory, they merely reveal the literal impossibility of central planning – neither Dudley nor Evans can possibly know at what level short term interest rates should be set.
High stakes poker, winner takes all. Traders better have their trade plans ready: The next 3 weeks will likely determine whether we enter a lengthy bear market or whether bulls can use coming positive seasonality to avert a major market break one more time. As the following charts show, by the end of October we shall have confirmation one way or the other...
"...there’s an enormous and growing disconnect between the cash and physical markets for gold. This is exactly what we would expect to precede a major market-shaking event based on a physical gold shortage."
Holding gold is simply recognition that the Fed’s actions over the last 30 years have potentially severe consequences that pose threats to the value of most financial assets, the almighty dollar and ultimately your clients’ purchasing power. Owning gold is in effect not only a short on the dollar and on the credibility of the Federal Reserve, but most importantly a one of a kind asset that protects wealth.
The market, which clearly ignored the glaring contradictions in Yellen's speech which said that overseas events should not affect the Fed's policy path just a week after the Fed statement admitted it is "monitoring developments abroad", and also ignored Yellen explicit hint that NIRP is coming (only the size is unclear), and focused on the one thing it wanted to hear: a call to buy the all-critical USDJPY carry pair - because more dollar strength apparently is what the revenue and earnings recessioning S&P500 needs - which after trading around 120 in the past few days, had a 100 pip breakout overnight, hitting 121 just around 5am, in the process pushing US equity futures some 25 points higher at last check.
As powerful as the Fed is, it isn’t stronger than the markets. And the longer the Fed tries to sustain abnormalities like QE and 0% interest rates, the more likely it is that the whole business will end with the markets crushing the Fed. At the next sign of a market swoon or of a weakening economy, or with the next episode of deflationary jitters, the Fed will do whatever it takes, no matter what the eventual damage to the dollar’s value. Whatever the details, one thing should be clear. This politburo of unaccountable central planners is the greatest risk to your financial wellbeing today.
After 35 years of falling and now zero rates, the direction is only up for the cost of money, as is the cost to service debt, along with the burden to those who are most indebted (i.e. the U.S.). What should no longer be unthinkable is that the clock is ticking on America’s status as the holder of the reserve currency. If you still doubt this proposition, consider that China is in the process of setting up a third benchmark for oil, along with Brent and West Texas Intermediate, for trading oil futures contracts. And unlike the existing contracts, these will be traded in Renminbi. Who needs the dollar?
Quantitative easing, as this policy is known, has bailed out bonus-happy banks and made the rich richer. Banks have been the biggest beneficiaries, with their 20- or 30-times leveraged balance sheets. Asset managers and hedge funds have benefited, too. Owners of property have made out like bandits. In fact, anyone with assets has grown much richer. All of us who work in financial markets owe a debt to QE.
Most economists and financial analysts think that 'currency war' merely refers to the competitive devaluations that nations sometimes engage in to help boost their domestic economies, as they had done in the 1930's for example. This time the currency war is a much more profound confrontation of differing agendas revolving around the historically unusual role of the US dollar, based on nothing more than the will of the Federal Reserve and the 'full faith and credit' of the US, as the reserve currency for global central banks and international trade.
What can we expect to happen in our homeland when finally even the generally uninformed population also understands that governments they have elected for decades, and its Fed facilitator or controller, jointly have waged a century-long war on its citizens? The people of America cannot make a counter offensive similar to those of sovereign nations; however people are uniting in resistance to robber baron policies, as evidenced by the popularity of nonpoliticians currently in candidacy for the office of president. These troops will mass also, it just remains to be seen what form their eventual counter offensive will be. The established order will be challenged.
In the week following the Fed's admission it is not only market-driven but now has a 4th mandate, which is to respond to China's hard landing on a day-to-day basis, US macro events mecrifully slow down to give everyone a chance to digest what the Fed just did. Here are the highlights.