"I rather suspect the horrible truth will soon be out. The last 7 years of extreme monetary experimentation has created a mutant economy... where the only beneficiaries have been holders of financial assets. Investors have been loath to invest in real plant, infrastructure or jobs because the returns look so limited by artificially low rates."
The old Wall Street expression is “They don’t ring a bell at the top.” This snarky adage is usually employed by those saddened financial managers who ride a successful investment to a peak and then watch in horror as it reverses course to a level below their cost basis. A pity this notion is misguided, since the market frequently “rings the bell.” It is just that most market participants are not listening. Perhaps they should be listening now.
Has the financial world stopped making sense to you? Frustrated by markets that go up day after day? Does buying up negative-interest-rate bonds seem like an idiotic task? Well not when you have central banks involved, so stop your whining about “fairness” and “fundamentals” and get on board the liquidity train by enrolling in the Chartered Central Bank Watcher (CCBW) program.
Given central banks are all in and have no credible ideas (or credibility period), a NIRP driven speculative new housing bubble (for a population that is barely growing...hello China?) seems most likely. If you haven't already, get busy front running the next moral hazard moonshot and then stay tuned. Because as you read this, central bankers are already devising their next (even more destructive) "plan".
The new head of UniCredit, Italy’s biggest bank, has implored the EU to take a more lenient stance on rescuing the country’s troubled banking sector, as The FT reports Mustier urges Brussels should look to a controversial 2004 French government rescue of Alstom as a model. The 13% surge in Italian bank stocks this week - the most since 2011 - offers a further hint that, as Bloomberg's Mark Cudmore explains, there’s only one viable outcome to the fiasco with Italian banks, and it will ultimately be a positive catalyst for global risk assets even if negative for the euro.
Brexit — the second major landslide in the Year of the Epocalypse — has bankers all over the world scrambling to pick up and prop up their crumbled facades this week. This is one more jolt in the developing global economic collapse that I predicted for 2016.
China is increasingly becoming the petro-state lender of last resort. The primary reason for that is producer states are rapidly running out of time to prevent full scale political implosion on the back of chronic economic pressures. For all the hype around current ‘price recovery’, it means absolutely nothing for most producer states. It’s becoming painfully obvious that the prevailing geopolitical price of survival is structurally out of sync with geological costs of production.
What do you get when you combine skyrocketing tuition costs, a lack of growth in high-paying jobs, moral hazard, and America’s largest-ever generation of students? A mountain of $1.3 trillion in student loan debt – much of which is not being paid for - and an over-education bubble...
"In the 1920s the Reichsbank thought it could have 2,000 printing presses running day and night to finance government spending without creating inflation. Around the same time the Federal Reserve allowed more than a third of US deposits to be destroyed via bank failures, in the belief that banking crises where self-correcting. The Great Depression followed.... Today the behaviour of the European Central Bank suggests that it too has gone awry."
By embracing this kind of Super Glass-Steagall Trump would consolidate his base in the flyover zones and reel in some of the Bernie Sanders throng, too. The latter will never forgive Clinton for her Goldman Sachs speech whoring. And that’s to say nothing of her full-throated support for the 2008 bank bailouts and the Fed’s subsequent giant gifts of QE and ZIRP to the Wall Street gamblers.
Monetary policy may seem technical as clever people debate among themselves whether the optimal policy rule should be one part inflation and one part output gap or one part inflation and two part output gap with various degree of flexibility in its interpretation. In reality it is just a bunch of academics looking at an extremely simplified mathematical representation of the world under the pretense of knowing the consequences of their actions. They do not. It is all made up as they go along and the repercussion for their hubris will be borne by all of us. It is glaringly obvious to us that the extraordinary decisions made by our money masters over the last decade will end in an extraordinary correction of malinvested capital. Applying the scientific method of natural science on a social system is the gravest error of them all.