Reserve Currency

The Central Bank Power Shift From West To East, Game Of Thrones Style

The Fed clings to status quo. Other central banks are vying to knock it down, or at least loosen its grip on them. But the Fed behaves as if it has no idea there are other powerful central banks that want to grab and harness its power. It carries on refusing to acknowledge that there may come a time, sooner rather than later, where its power is attacked. The ramifications of such an attack will impact the standing of the U.S. in the world.  The Fed can carry on being oblivious, but Game of Thrones illustrates the struggles playing out right now.

Trump, Trade, & Taxes

The best way to restart investment (and thus employment opportunities) is to make the U.S. a magnet for productive capital rather than a graveyard of tax-avoidance strategies.

Traveling Circus

After Wednesday’s policy statements by the Fed and Bank of Japan, a harsh light is being shined on the incredible nature of their communications. It would be wise in the current environment to structure investment portfolios with a pro-volatility bias.

US Futures, Bonds Rise, Dollar Dips As Fed, BOJ Meetings Begin

If yesterday one could "explain" the overnight stock levitation due to the move higher in crude oil, today there is no such catalyst with WTI down modestly, and yet the broader push higher across European stocks and US equities has reappeared following yesterday's muted close on Wall Street ahead of key central bank data on deck.

Ken Rogoff’s Government Debt Default Plan

Ken Rogoff is by all accounts a brilliant man. The Harvard professor and former IMF chief economist is a chess grandmaster. His thesis committee included current Fed vice-chair Stanley Fischer. But like many survivors of Ivy League hoop jumping, the poor fellow appears to have emerged punch drunk. That’s the only conclusion to be drawn from Rogoff’s new book, The Curse of Cash , which, in effect, proposes a ban on paper currency.

Negative Rates & The War On Cash, Part 4: "Financial Totalitarianism"

Governments and central banks would very much like to frighten people away from cash, but that only underlines its value under the current circumstances. Cash is king in a deflation. The powers-that-be know that, and would like the available cash to end up concentrated in their own hands rather than spread out to act as seed capital for a bottom-up recovery. Holding on to cash under one’s own control is still going to be a very important option for maintaining freedom of action in an uncertain future.

In Historic Event, China Sells First World Bank SDR-Denominated Bonds In Decades

In one of the most closely followed bond issues in recent history, overnight the IBRD, one of the five member-institutions of the World Bank Group, sold 500 million SDR-denominated three-year bonds carrying a coupon of 0.49% at an auction in China's interbank market on Wednesday. This was the first SDR denominated offering in three decades, with the issuance symbolically taking place in Shanghai one month before the official inclusion of China's currency in the SDR basket. 

Why The Fed Will Never Reduce Its $4.5 Trillion Balance Sheet Again

While policymakers have maintained the Fed should eventually reduce its bond holdings, Lockhart said some officials were closer to accepting that they needed to learn to live with them. "I suspect there are colleagues who are contemplating at least maybe a statically large balance sheet is just going to be a fact of life and be central to the toolkit," he said. Most now agree with him.