Real Interest Rates

Morgan Stanley Asks If This Is Just A "1937 Redux"

"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."

Head Of India Central Bank Unexpectedly Announces Intention To Leave

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."

QE: The Good, Bad And Ugly (Or, Why War Is Coming)

"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."

Fitch Cuts Japan's Credit Outlook To Negative

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.

Morgan Stanley Is Confused: "The Probability Of A Global Recession Still Dominates Our Discussions On The Economy"

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." 

Bill Clinton Confirms "Wants Economic Role" In Hillary's Administration

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.

Gold And Negative Interest Rates

In Japan, the European Union and Switzerland, where negative nominal interest rates have already been adopted, it was observed that demand for safes and cash increased. At the same time, we learn that negative rates have boosted demand for gold in Japan (sales of gold to Japanese consumers rose to 32.8 metric tonnes in 2015 from 17.9 tonnes a year earlier). According to Takahiro Ito, chief manager at Tanaka Kikinzoku Kogyo K.K.’s store in Tokyo’s Ginza shopping district, “Many customers are wagering that it’s better to turn their savings to gold as a safe asset rather than deposit money at banks that offer low interest rates." 

Fighting Recessions With Hot Air

Krugman is wrong. An economic boom, based on nothing but hot air (phony credit, with no real resources behind it), is fraudulent. It will never take us to real growth. Just the contrary. The best thing to do is to pop the bubble…and then pick up the pieces. Besides, it will pop whether we want it to or not. Heck, we believe in magic as much as the next guy. But the magic act is wearing a little thin. The smoke is dispersing. The rabbits have disappeared. All the glam and sparkle, the shock and awe, the claptrap and hokum they’re all giving way to economic reality. We are beginning to see more clearly: the Fed’s theory is nothing but hot air.

Fed "Policy Error" Sparks "Best Fundamentals In Years" For Gold

Should US monetary policy not be on the path to normalization, a fundamental change in the benefit of gold ownership is taking place, and this increased investment demand should lead to higher gold prices. Gold investment appears to be moving towards stronger fundamentals than we have seen over the past few years.

Ben Bernanke: "Helicopter Money May Be The Best Available Alternative"

"Money-financed fiscal programs (MFFPs), known colloquially as helicopter drops, are very unlikely to be needed in the United States in the foreseeable future. They also present a number of practical challenges of implementation, including integrating them into operational monetary frameworks and assuring appropriate governance and coordination between the legislature and the central bank. However, under certain extreme circumstances—sharply deficient aggregate demand, exhausted monetary policy, and unwillingness of the legislature to use debt-financed fiscal policies—such programs may be the best available alternative."