The oil price collapse of 2014-2015 began one year ago this month (Figure 1). The world crossed a boundary in which prices are not only lower now but will probably remain lower for some time. It represents a phase change like when water turns into ice: the composition is the same as before but the physical state and governing laws are different. The market must balance before things get better and prices improve. That can only happen if production falls and demand increases. That will take time. The most likely case is that oil prices will decrease in the second half of 2015 and that financial distress to all oil producers will increase. The hope and expectation that the worst is over will fade as the new reality of prolonged low oil prices is reluctantly accepted.
Risk-taking in financial markets has gone on for too long. And the illusion that markets will remain liquid under stress has been too pervasive. But the likelihood of turbulence will increase further if current extraordinary conditions are spun out. The more one stretches an elastic band, the more violently it snaps back. Restoring more normal conditions will also be essential for facing the next recession, which will no doubt materialise at some point. Of what use is a gun with no bullets left?
We have argued that as economic ties between China and Russia deepen Beijing could increasingly look to Moscow to meet China’s energy needs. This would of course only serve to further de-dollarize the global energy trade, dealing yet another blow to the petrodollar system. Sure enough, Russia has, for the first time in history, overtaken Saudi Arabia as China’s top oil supplier.
Thus far the Russian response has been incredibly restrained, but that may not last forever. Continued economic pressure from the West may very well necessitate a Sino-Russian monetary arrangement that will eventually dethrone the dollar. The end result of this needless bullying by the United States will hasten the one thing Washington fears the most: a world monetary system in which the US has no say and the dollar is relegated to playing second fiddle.
With The IMF (and Germany to a less extent) apparently peeing in the Greek Deal pool, perhaps it is worth considering what happens next if this "Greece is rescued" deal is not done. Who can save Greece? Who will pay The IMF? Why, that's simple, the good ol' American taxpayer thanks to The Fed's lifeline...
"Both the US and China have a vital interest in reaching an understanding because the alternative is so unpalatable," Soros wrote in an article for the New York Review of Books, with the danger imminent if Chinese economic reforms fail forcing President Xi Jinping to "foster some external conflicts to keep the country united and maintain himself in power." These "conflicts" would present themselves in the form of a Sino-Russo alliance which could draw the entire world into war.
“We have both accumulated buffers and gold currency reserves, and we have introduced a floating currency exchange rate in order to absorb various shocks,” Nabiullina said.
You know things are illiquid, turmoiling, insane, entirely non-human odd, when the world's reserve currency flash-crashes on a regular basis...
“But the truly game-changing aspect of this proposal … lies in the “system” part. This would be an advanced, state-owned and operated system of electronic payments and settlements, denominated in ounces of precious metals, barred from engaging in lending, leasing, speculative or derivative transactions, and always maintaining a 100% ratio
The serial bubbles of the 2000’s are nothing more than what was wrought of the 1920’s, in general. The monetary character of both is not coincidence, as the failures that bookend each of these ages induces the transformation: from monetary to fiscal and back to monetary again. That looks like progress and accountability, but in each it only leads to more extreme measures (relative to the last) to still achieve what Robert Owen and Karl Marx conceived more than a century and a half ago. That leads us to 2015 and what is certainly the ragged end of the eurodollar standard. The third socialist age was undone by August 2007, but that did not stop its proprietors of “eurodollar socialism” under the name “investor capitalism” from trying to rebuild and restore it to full capacity. The groundwork has already been laid, and it is exactly what you would expect given the history since 1907. There are no widespread details about a return to capitalism and sound money practices, only how to overcome the third installation of that timeless barrier thrown down in the collapse of each of the asset bubbles so far – value.
As Russia adjusts to Western sanctions stemming from the conflict in Ukraine, Gazprom is now settling all crude sales to China in renminbi. At the intersection of the petrodollar's death and yuan hegemony is: the PetroYuan...
Anyone remotely following the gold market, knows that the East is deeply connected with metals. They rightly believe that they are a safe store of value and have a deep affinity that has lasted throughout the ages.
There will be a tipping point where the advantage to be gained by badly impacting the dollar and positioning the yuan as new reserve currency will be greater than the disadvantage suffered by a collapse in the value of the dollar. The tipping point is closer than many believe.
Two weeks ago, Citigroup presented what it thinks is the biggest nightmare for the Fed: it said that the FOMC’s "biggest worry is not lift off and its market and economic implications, but what happens if the economic recovery dies of old age without the Fed having done anything to tighten." And, according to Citi's FX strategists, "if this were to occur, the USD would probably fall faster than it rose from July-March." A precursor to loss of faith in the Dollar's reserve currency status perhaps. Today, Citi's Steven Englander lays out what is the Fed's second biggest nightmare: a rebound which is so fast, the Fed's entire carefully planned renormalization schedule collapses.
During “normal times” – an economic growth phase accompanied or generated by rising systemic leverage – central banks have incentive to promote nominal growth and inflation, which make banking systems profitable and their free-spending political overseers happy. In such times, commercial banks have fiduciary responsibilities to shareholders to constantly increase their market values, which they do by expanding their balance sheets. Now that economies are highly leveraged, extinguishing debt would require banks to reduce the sizes of their loan books, which would shrink their market values. Thus, it seems economic policy makers never have incentive to promote debt extinguishment in the banking system, regardless of economic conditions or prospects.