After a brief haitus from the ongoing currency wars, China fired another salvo at The Fed tonight by devaluing the Yuan fix to 6.5693 - its weakest against the USD since March 2011. After eight days higher in a row for The USD Index, it seems PBOC has turned its currency liberalization plan off, stabilizing the broad Renminbi basket (which has been steadly devalued) and turning its attention to devaluing against the USD. Having unleashed turmoil in August (pre-Sept FOMC) and January (post Dec rate-hike), it appears the rising rate-hike probabilities jawboned by The Fed are decidedly disagreeable to "authoritative persons" in China.
"As SOE restructuring progresses, it will also become more apparent that Chinese banks need to be rescued. We estimate that the total losses in the banking sector could reach CNY8 trillion, equivalent to more than 60% of commercial banks’ capital, 50% of fiscal revenues and 12% of GDP."
This globalization of price - for goods, services, credit and currencies - continually creates imbalances that fuel a perpetual instability that gradually impoverishes every sector other than global capital, which being mobile, can exploit the imbalances for its own profit. Who benefits over the longer term from the permanent instability and boom-and-bust cycles of this arrangement? Only those close to the credit spigots of central banks.
"The message that I am getting from the market, the “something” that has changed is that the US dollar is no longer a strong currency. Typically the US dollar falls when its economic cycle begins to roll over. Many of the indicators that I look at show the US is either in or heading for recession."
From our friends at Fasanara Capital we get their latest contrarian - and very bearish - Investment Outlook, which can be summarized as follows: "Reflation Phase To Be Temporary, More Downside Ahead", and which also contains four key conviction trade ideas over the next 12 months. "The narrative of reflation is today dominant and can continue to propel markets for a while longer. But as we know the narrative changes fast, and when it does we can expect a quick re-pricing. As we re-assess the validity of the underlying risks, we expect a shift in narrative in the few months ahead and a sizeable sell-off."
While in the US and the rest of the free world, anyone who holds a less than bullish view of things is simply marginalized as a conspiracy theorist, ridiculed by establishment economists and pundits, is the recipient of mainstream media hit pieces, or denigrated by the president as "peddling fiction", China has decided to take a more blunt approach: "securities regulators, media censors and other government officials have issued verbal warnings to commentators whose public remarks on the economy are out of step with the government’s upbeat statements."
In light of what has taken place right before, during, and since The Fed's "emergency meetings" and Obama's chit-chat with Yellen; along with what has recently been released for public consumption (and especially by other governments and officials) capped off with the sudden declaration via Treasury of "currency manipulation warnings" - Is it really that much of a stretch to think that just one wrong move whether intentional or not – can set everything we’ve come to know as “business” into complete and utter disarray? If not worse? As in much worse?
"The result of all of this was one of the most catastrophic periods of hedge fund performance that we can remember since the inception of this fund... There is no doubt that we are in the first innings of a washout in hedge funds and certain strategies."
The gold market will soon be very different than from what we see today - largely due to the current developments in China. China’s influence will impact not just gold investors but everyone who has a vested interest in the global economy, stock markets, and the US dollar. After all, China will be a dominant force in all, as most analysts project. Here are the five trends in China that will change the gold market forever...
According to the latest Institute of International Finance forecast, and in validation of Kyle Bass' strong conviction that China is about to suffer a major 15%+ devaluation, China's capital outflow headaches may be only just starting. According to the IIF's latest report released today, global investors are expected to pull $538 billion out of China's slowing economy in 2016, which means another $420 billion after the $118 billion that has already been withdrawn in Q1.
In spite of Ben Bernanke’s assurances to the contrary, it is clear that China still sees gold as money. Along with bolstering their gold holdings, China has reformed its banking system to be friendlier to gold trading.
It seems the end really is nigh for the U.S. dollar. And the mudfight for global dominance and currency war couldn’t be more ugly or dramatic.
China's shift to an official local-currency-based gold fixing is "the culmination of a two-year plan to move away from a US-centric monetary system," according to Bocom strategist Hao Hong. In an insightfully honest Bloomberg TV interview, Hong admits that "by trading physical gold in renminbi, China is slowly chipping away at the dominance of US dollars." Gold, silver, and petroleum "are the three USD-based commodites that China wants most control of" according to Hong but "gold in particular is one of the commodities that China is hoarding very hard."
China launched yuan denominated gold bullion trading today in a move that will further boost its power in the global gold and fx markets. Critics of the existing pricing mechanisms hope that it will lead to increased transparency and may end price manipulation.
Maybe one day justice will be served and these people will know what it means for their entire families wealth to be evaporated as they have done to so many around the world.