Output Gap

What Happened When Japan Hiked By 25 bps In 2000

Historical comparisons, suggest to the FOMC to be extra careful, and don’t underestimate the trust the markets have for the FOMC to act rationally. We all expect the FOMC to act counter-cyclically; a rate rise now would be pro-cyclical, or making the problem worse. Anything FOMC members say after a ‘philosophical’ rate rise would greatly diminish its value. This comparison with Japan suggests that raising rates prematurely is detrimental and avoidable.

USDJPY Surges Ahead Of BoJ Statement, China Strengthens Yuan As Washington Folds On Cybersecurity Sanctions

It appears someone is betting on Kuroda and his cronies to do something later this evening (just like they did as The Fed stopped QE3 back in October) in some wierd monetray policy quid pro quo of - dump Yen all you like as long as the carry trade is alive and well. USDJPY is up from 119.85 to 120.50 (and NKY up over 400 points from US session lows), as perhaps the fact that The BoJ's ETF-buying kitty is running dry at a crucial time. Chinese equity markets are extending yesterday's losses as margin debt declines to a 9 month low (still +62% YoY), injects another CNY50bn and strengthens the Yuan fix for the 3rd day in a row; but in a somewhat embarrassing move, Washington has decided not to impose sanctions on China ahead of Xi's first state visit next week.

China Dramatically Intervenes To Boost Stocks Despite Reports It Won't; US Futtures Slump On J-Hole

Yesterday, the FT triumphantly proclaimed: "Beijing abandons large-scale share purchases", and that instead of manipulating stocks directly as China did last week on Thursday and Friday, China would instead focus on punishing sellers, shorters, and various other entities. We snickered, especially after the Shanghai Composite opened down 2% and dropped as low as 4% overnight. Just a few hours later we found out that our cynical skepticism was again spot on: the moment the afternoon trading session opened, the "National Team's" favorite plunge protection trade, the SSE 50 index of biggest companies, went super-bid and ramped from a low of 2071 to close 140 points higher, ending trading with a last minute government-facilitated surge, and pushing the Composite just 0.8% lower after trading down as much as -4.0%.

Jackson Hole Post-Mortem: "Door Still Fully Open To September Lift Off"

Curious why the S&P futures have opened down some 0.6%, wiping out the entire late-Friday ramp? The reason is that as SocGen summarizes it best, following the Jackson Hole weekend, we now know that despite Bill Dudley' platitudes "the door is still fully open to Fed liftoff in September."

The Central Bankers’ Malodorous War On Savers

The private economy and its millions of savers exist for the convenience of the apparatchiks who run the central bank. In their palpable fear and unrelieved arrogance, would they now throw millions of already ruined retirees and savers completely under the bus? Yes they would.

 

FOMC Minutes Leaked Early After Embargo Broken, Fed Warns Risk To GDP Forecast "Tilted To The Downside"

Seconds ago, someone accidentally (we hope) pulled a Janet Yellen as the following just came across the wires

FOMC MINUTES: MEMB 'GENERALLY AGREED' MORE INFO NEEDED TO HIKE
FOMC MINUTES: NO TIP TOWARDS SEPT LIFTOFF, DOESN'T RULE IT OUT

But the bottom line is that the Fed just admitted things are going from bad to worse: "The risks to the forecast for real GDP and inflation were seen as tilted to the downside." The question now is what comes first: QE4 or the first rate hike in nearly a decade.

Japan's Dire Message To Yellen: "Don't Raise Rates Soon"

There are so many parallels between the current period since 2007 in the U.S. (The Great Recession), the period since 1990 in Japan (Japan’s 2+ lost decades), and the period after 1929 in the US (The Great Depression) because they are all periods of a ‘balance-sheet recession’ (or similarly, ‘secular stagnation'; that it is next to impossible to dismiss the comparison. Using this, there is an important lesson for the Fed to consider now in weighing whether to raise rates.

Chinese Stocks Drop, End Worst Month Since August 2009; US Equity Futures Flat

In a repeat of Thursday's action, Chinese stocks which had opened about 1% lower, remained underwater for most of the session before attempting a feeble bounce which took the Shanghai Composite fractionally into the green, before the now traditional last hour action which this time failed to maintain the upward momentum and the last day of the month saw a surge in volume which dragged the market to its lows before closing roughly where it opened, -1.13% lower.  This caps the worst month for Chinese stocks since since August 2009, as the government struggles to rekindle investor interest amid a $3.5 trillion rout, one which has sent the Shanghai market lower by 15% - the biggest loss among 93 global benchmark gauges tracked by Bloomberg.

Chinese Stocks Tumble In Close Of Trading "Causing Panic", US GDP To Be Revised Higher On Seasonal Adjustments

We start off the overnight wrap up with the usual place, China, where in a mirror image of Wednesday's action, stocks once again started off uneventful, then gradually rose in the afternoon session and meandered near unchanged territory until the last half hour, when out of the blue they tumbled to close near the day's low, some 2.2% below yesterday's closing level.  What caused it?  One possible catalyst came from Reuters which reported that that Chinese banks were investigating their exposure to the stock market via wealth management products and loans backed by stock as collateral. 

USDCAD Surges To 6 Year Highs As Bank Of Canada Slashes GDP Forecasts, Unexpectedly Cuts Rates

In what seems to have surprised FX trader, Bank of Canada has taken an ax to growth forecasts and rates...

*BOC CUTS CANADA 2015 GDP FORECAST TO 1.1% FROM 1.9%
*BANK OF CANADA CUTS 2Q GDP ESTIMATE TO -0.5% FROM 1.8%
*BANK OF CANADA CUTS BENCHMARK INTEREST RATE TO 0.5%

Furthermore, it warns that "consumer debt vulnerabilities are edging higher" and export weakness is "puzzling."

Old Economic Thinking Is The Problem, BIS Warns

Notwithstanding everything that has been done since the Great Financial Crisis, it is not at all safe to go back in the water. Indeed danger of financial fragility is greater now than a year ago. The danger this time comes, interestingly, not so much from the banks as from the policymakers, who persist in using empirically discredited pre-crisis thinking as a guide to macroeconomic policy. The problem, in a nutshell, is that “a monetary policy focused on managing near-term inflation and output may do so at the cost of higher fluctuations in credit and asset prices than in the past.”

Why Ronald Reagan Is Rolling In His Grave: The Keynesian Putsch At The Fed

Ronald Reagan is surely rolling in his grave. He is credited for much that he didn’t actually accomplish on the economic front, but his most singular real victory - decisive repudiation of the Keynesian macro-economic policy model that had produced stagflationary havoc for more than a decade - overshadows all his fiscal failures and the urban legend that he actually tamed Big Government. Needless to say, however, that 35-years ago repudiation has now been itself completely repudiated by the keynesian apparatchiks who presently rule the Eccles Building. This week Janet Yellen was at it again, displaying outright contempt for the Gipper’s crowning achievement.