If you close your left eye, the US dollar is strong. The labor market has recovered to its pre-crisis levels. The US is affluent and free. But if you close your right eye, the dollar is astonishingly overvalued based on nearly every objective metric that exists, police forces have turned into federally-funded paramilitary units, and a grand surveillance state now dominates over the citizens, and many of the basic freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution have become watered-down aphorisms rather than inalienable rights. That’s our world. It is simultaneously full of risk AND reward. The important thing is to look with BOTH eyes.
While the world was following the tragic events unfolding on Friday night in France where hundreds of innocent civilians were killed or injured, an important economic development took place at the IMF, whose staff and head Christine Lagarde, officially greenlighted the acceptance of China's currency - the Renminbi, or Yuan - into the IMF's foreign exchange basket, also known as the Special Drawing Rights. Here are the initial early responses by various Wall Street analysts.
There is “a barbarous relic” in our global monetary system. It is the U.S. dollar: the worthless, monetary relic of an empire in decline.
An "independent" commission of the World Anti-Doping Agency has found that Russia engaged in state-sponsored doping and more importantly, recommended that Russia’s track and field athletes be suspended from Olympic competition in 2016. The "Independent" commission was led by Canadian Dick Pound. Joining him on the commission was Richard McLaren, another Canadian lawyer and a long-standing member of the Court of Arbitration for Sport, as well as Günter Younger, head of department of cybercrime with Bavarian Landeskriminalamt. So two Canadians and a German made up an "independent" commission that now wants to bar Russia from the marquee event of the upcoming olympics.
China's exports fell for the fourth consecutive month in October as evidence of collapsing global demand and trade continues to pile up. “A lot of Westerners think this helped us out a lot. But the 2% depreciation actually hurt us. It was in every newspaper and customers called us within hours pushing for 6% discount, so we had to give them 4%."
China can’t allow its industrial economy to sink without a fight. It will have to devalue the renminbi to try to get more market share for its exports. It still has 80% of its workers earning less than $10 a day. A lower renminbi will reduce real wages further and make China’s exports cheaper than ever. And then, what about the rest of the world? As the renminbi goes down, the dollar, yen, and euro will have to go up. Commodities – priced in dollars – will stay down. U.S. corporate profits will fall. The stock market “tape” will go down. Consumer prices, too, will remain low... or go negative. Deflation. Deflation. Deflation.
The Chinese are known for being strategic thinkers. This goes back thousands of years to the days of Sun Tzu. Leaders don’t act haphazardly, they make long-term plans and execute in a disciplined manner. But it’s becoming pretty obvious now that the Chinese government is in reaction mode. Their system is based on a bunch of unelected policymakers sitting in a room and making decisions to control one of the largest economies in the world. But now it’s all extremely reactive. The grand plans and strategy have gone out the window, and instead they’re taking it day-by-day, making it up as they go along. To us, this is a sign of how bad things really are.
Back in September we explained why, contrary to both conventional wisdom and the BOJ's endless protests to the contrary, neither the BOJ nor the ECB have any interest in boosting QE at this - or any other point - simply because with every incremental bond they buy, the time when the two central banks run out of monetizable debt comes closer. Since then the ECB has jawboned that it may boost QE (but it has not done so), and overnight as reported previously, the BOJ likewise did not expand QE despite many, including Goldman Sachs, expecting it would do just that.
According to the Guardian, the US trade representative, Michael Froman, in the first public comments from a senior US official on the matter, said that "the United States is not keen on pursuing a separate free trade deal with Britain if it leaves the European Union."
On the heels of the nuclear deal and Tehran's ground operation in Syria, Iran is stepping up efforts to prove that contrary to Western rhetoric, it is not in fact "isolated." According to the country's economy minister, Iran is now set to join the BRICS bank and step up its cooperation with Brazil. This is symptomatic of Washington's waning ability to exert American influence on global affairs both political and economic.
- China export trade: -8.8% year to date
- China import trade: -17.6% year to date
- Industrial output crude steel: -3% year to date
- Cement output: -3.2% year over year
- Industrial output electricity: -3.1% year over year
and so on...
The previous Bubble was of the Fed’s making, and our central bank lost control. It became a Hobson’s Choice issue in the eyes of the Fed, and they fully accommodated the Bubble. These days, the Fed and global central bankers face a similar but much more precarious Bubble Dynamic: The Fed specifically targeted higher securities market prices as its prevailing post-mortgage finance Bubble (“helicopter money”) reflationary mechanism. This ensured that the Fed would again be unwilling to impose any monetary restraint before it would then become too risky to remove accommodation (Einstein’s definition of insanity?). In concert, global central bankers now aggressively accommodate financial Bubbles.
The bottom line is that the "internationalization" and an increasing free float of the Yuan is bearish. And since the currency urgently needs even more devaluation as today's PBOC rate cut confirmed, this may just be the IMF's way of greenlighting even more devaluation for China's currency. And since any devaluation would lead to a surge in capital outflows, what the IMF is doing is merely blessing the Yuan's weakness while pretending it is in a position of strength, in an attempt to slow down the capital outflow as much as possible.
As a desperate Saudi Arabia taps the bond market to mitigate the SAMA drawdown while simultaneously attempting to muscle in on Moscow's Eastern European market share, Russian crude sales to China soared 42% in September. The result: for the second time this year, Russia has overtaken Saudi Arabia as the number one crude supplier to Beijing.
There is a war, a currency war, and the war is, ultimately, on Americans. Rather than living under a sound currency, modern Americans live under an economic despotism. There are monopoly men who tightly control the money, and are all the more insidious in their subtlety, and quietness in the shadows. In many respects, Americans have fallen far, and hard, from the liberty they once had.