Real Interest Rates
Because a currency represents a relative relationship, Fed hikes could have helped pull other central banks away from the dangers and consequences of negative rates, while still helping their hidden desire for a weakened currency. Opposing central bank policy actions would cause too powerful of an impact on exchange rates. Unfortunately, it appears the path into negative territory is winning the directional battle. A classic prisoner’s dilemma has arisen for the Fed.
"Why after several decades of 0% rates has the Japanese economy failed to respond? Why has the U.S. only averaged 2% real growth since the end of the Great Recession? “How’s it workin’ for ya?” – would be a curt, logical summary of the impotency of low interest rates to generate acceptable economic growth worldwide. "
If equities sell off another 20% like 2008, gold would not follow them down in a "dollar short squeeze or flight to quality". There is now a very different real interest rate and energy price setup and gold doesn't have the same macro correlations as before.
If you had not noticed, 2016 has begun with gold and the USD rising simultaneously. This is different and important. This is very positive for gold and very bad for the world...
As we move into winter, darkness has fallen up on us. Oil, ca. 65% of the nation’s economy, will not see the required $70 barrel anytime soon. American innovation, once again, turns a scarce resource into an abundant commodity. Despite optimistic Norwegian media articles, the potential for $20 per barrel looms. Production overwhelms demand while inventories rise to record highs. Although, still considered the best place to live, the cracks, in the oil based economy, are forming.
"We are right back at it: trying to stimulate growth through easy money. It hasn’t worked, but it’s the only tool the Fed’s got. The biggest hope I had was that we would enter a new era of personal responsibility. Instead, we doubled down on blaming others, and this is long-term tragic..."
In the short term, increases in interest rates can be negative for gold. But, in the medium to long term rising interest rates are positive for gold as they were in the 1970s and the 2003 to 2006 period.
It is widely assumed that the gold price must decline when the Federal Reserve is hiking interest rates. It seems logical enough: gold has no yield, so if competing investment assets such as bonds or savings deposits do offer a yield, gold will presumably be exchanged for those. There is only a slight problem with this idea. The simple assumption “Fed rate hikes equal a falling gold price” is not supported by even a shred of empirical evidence.
We are nearing a crucial inflection point in the worldwide bubble finance cycle that has been underway for more than two decades. To wit, the world’s central banks have finally run out of dry powder. They will be unable to stop the credit implosion which must inexorably follow the false boom.
Gold is one of the few investments that every investor should have in their portfolio. We are now at the dangerous end-game period of a very bold but very reckless & disappointing experiment with the world's fiat (unbacked) currencies. If this experiment fails -- and we observe it's in the process of failing -- gold will provide one of the best forms of wealth insurance. But like all insurance products, it only works if you buy it before you need to rely on it.
The lack of fear in risky assets is another way of saying that risk premia have been low, or as we also like to put it, that complacency has been high. Not fully appreciative of this inherent risk, it seems many investors have refrained from rebalancing their portfolios, and bought the dips instead. We believe the Fed’s efforts to engineer an exit from its ultra-low monetary policy should get risk premia to rise once again, that if fear should come back to the market, volatility should rise, creating headwinds to ‘risky’ assets, including equities. That said, this isn’t an overnight process, as the ‘buy the dip’ mentality has taken years to be established. Conversely, it may take months, if not years, for investors to shift focus to capital preservation, i.e. to sell into rallies instead.
While gold prices continue to languish in the doldrums and are on course for their worst month since 2013, global demand and especially Chinese retail, investor and official demand continues to remain very robust. Indeed, China looks likely to see a new record demand for gold annually again in 2015.
“Brazil is confronting a toxic combination of a primary budget deficit, high public debt (relative to EM countries), very high real interest rates (the Selic stands at 14.25%), sluggish trend growth, a negative commodity price shock and potential contingent liabilities for the sovereign, which together spell trouble for public debt dynamics.”
The ECB has real policy choices they will have to choose between, and the implications are real. A further foray into negative deposit rates, extension and enlargement of QE, even a less likely change to the main financing rate. Each choice has externalities internally and is also likely to provoke a reaction from other affected countries. The Riksbank and SNB will be watching as closely as EGB traders. The ECB is in easing mode. The Fed plans to tighten. Relative value trades have further to play out