Last night, President Obama took a victory lap for his economic achievements while in office. With the 2016 Presidential Election fast approaching, this was one of the final chances the President will have to try and divert attention away from Hillary’s “trustworthiness” problem following continued revelations surrounding Benghazi, email scandals and the Clinton Foundation which is now under investigation by the IRS.The question is whether the majority of the voting public will agree with the President’s message? Let’s take a look at some charts...
Norges Bank continues to hold rates at .5%, signaling an upward bias but willing to cut if needed, depending on unforeseen external shocks like BREXIT. In my opinion, they really don’t know what to do while the country heads for stagflation (simultaneous rising unemployment and inflation). They are in a “damned if they do and damned if they don’t situation.”
Helicopter policies are not advocated in ‘a normal world’. They are however almost inevitable in the next recession. "Japan will be the flag bearer of fiscal stimulus.” Which will be sufficient to breath some inflationary spirit into the system. “But this is all febrile and can get over-turned by the slightest change in wind direction,” he said, tentative. “This will be the little inflation before the big helicopter-driven inflation.” But that will first require a crisis.
According to Summers, with this low growth and low interest context, government debt levels no longer matter. In other words, federal governments have free reign to massively increase deficit spending and run-up federal debts, because, on balance, the fiscal stimulus will pay for itself. But who are we to question Summers’ unique qualifications - for example, unlike Summers, we’ve never lost $1.8 billion of other people’s money.
"The global economy cannot afford to rely any longer on the debt-fuelled growth model that has brought it to the current juncture... The world has been haunted by an inability to restrain financial booms that, once gone wrong, cause long-lasting damage... We need policies that we will not once again regret when the future becomes today."
The reaction of the financial markets to the leave vote means that central banks are running out room to maneuverr. This impacts the outlook for each driver of the gold price and means that the price outlook becomes increasingly skewed to the upside.
"Premature tightening of macro policies means risks of a relapse. In 1936, the Fed doubled the reserve requirements for banks and the Treasury began to sterilise gold inflows, slowing the growth of high-powered money. Fiscal policy was tightened, with the fiscal deficit narrowing significantly from 5.1% of GDP in 1936 to 0.1% in 1938. The premature and sharp pace of tightening of policies led to a double-dip in the economy, resulting in a relapse into recession and deflation in 1938."
The worst case outcome for many Indian investors came true this morning when head of the RBI said he would return to academia when his term ends on Sept. 4. Rajan was generous in his parting words, saying government reforms, together with steps by regulators will lead to greater job growth, prosperity for our people. Rajan said that “I will, of course, always be available to serve my country when needed" and added that “I am confident my successor will take us to new heights with your help."
"The ugly part comes in when thinking about how to exit QE, if at all. Unfortunately I can't help but think of how the Great Depression ended: it was a boost of fiscal spending, all right: the financing of a war... note that increasing military expenditures in the name of national defense may be more easily passed through the legislature in countries without strong majorities than infrastructure spending. Add to that a rise in populist politicians throughout the world, and we have a mix that suggests to me history may well repeat to those unwilling to learn from it."
Following Abe's decision to delay the April 2017 increase in the consumption tax, warnings about Japan's rating (recall that Japan's consolidated debt/GDP ratio is the highest in the world at 400%) were inevitable, and moments ago Fitch was the first to come out and while "affirming" Japan's AA rating, it was the first major agency to cut its outlook from Stable to Negative. Expect the other two big agencies to do the same, followed inevitably by downgrades.
In Morgan Stanley's Sunday Start note explaining "what's next in global macro", the firm's go-head of economics, Chetan Ahya notes that he remains confused by a "unique cycle" in which "our current conversations would have been centred on whether the global economy is overheating. Instead, the probability of a global recession and possibility of further stimulus still dominate our discussions on the global economy."
Blackrock Inc., has written a note about gold in which it suggests that this is the “perfect time and place” for gold due to “low and even negative yields, slow growth and potential signs of rising inflation ... ”
Since the beginning of the year, the greenback has shown it's not almighty after all; and gold - the barbarous relic as some have called it - may be en vogue again? Where are we going from here and what are the implications for investors?
Is this why stocks are slipping? Following Hillary's hint last night that she would like to put her husband in "charge of revitalising the economy, because you know he knows how to do it," Bill confirmed the farce this morning, admitting he has asked for an "economic role" in his wife's adminstration. As Yves Smith so eloquently noted, after having institutionalized the neoliberal economic policies that have enriched the 1% and particularly the 0.1% at the expense of everyone else, Hillary Clinton wants to give the long-suffereing citizenry an even bigger dose. Good luck America.