Just as Japan thought they could go back to pre-Plaza Accord growth rates by holding on to the old ways in the 1990s, the Chinese will expect the growth miracle to return in 2016 with the “right” policies. It will not. It is all a mirage though. Just as in Japan, the Chinese will not allow the market process to do its magic to get the economy back on a stable footing. Draconian measures to stop the recent stock market rout are a clear testimony of that. In other words, the Chinese economy will resemble that of Japan, and it will do so very soon, if it is not already there. China is heading straight into a zero growth environment, and will be mired there for years to come.
Now that the AIIB and the BRICS bank have officially launched and are expected to begin operations soon, it appears that not only will the yuan play a key role for both institutions, but in fact, the two development banks will collaborate on their lending activities.
Many analysts believe the officially reported 1,660 tonnes to be an understatement given the enormous volumes of gold that have been passing through Hong Kong - and through Shanghai in more recent years - and the large amounts that have been produced and bought domestically.
It is important to remember that as we have long pointed out two other entities, besides the PBOC, have also been buying gold - the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) and the China Investment Corporation (CIC).
This is the continuation of the trend of China positioning the yuan as global reserve currency ... The Chinese are pushing for full convertibility of the RMB and increasing their gold holdings will create confidence in the fledgling reserve currency and aid them in this regard.
However, after seeing that QE has not caused inflation or triggered a dollar collapse in the last five years, it is not clear why people would wake up one morning and decide to panic.
Hyperinflation in the U.S. is coming sometime in the next 20 years or so, and this isn't a cry from a Chicken Little, but a conclusion that the analysis strongly suggests. It is possible hyperinflation could happen during the next few years, but that seems unlikely since it would require a series of major crises and political blunders – events unprecedented in the history of the United States. If this led to a corruption of Constitutional rights in the midst of an exaltation of the Executive Branch that resulted in loss of the rule of law, hyperinflation might result. It is much more probable that hyperinflation will be preceded by a long slow decline that will include a protracted period of high inflation, and that the crash of the dollar and hyperinflation will be the final tumble off a looming, steep cliff.
The dollar has been a stalwart of international trade over the majority of the last century. Around the time of the formation of the Eurozone, it reached its recent peak at 71.0% of official foreign exchange reserves. Since then, its composition of global reserves has more recently dropped to a more modest 62.9% in 2014. However, the dollar is slowly losing its status as the world’s undisputed reserve currency.
The Greek crisis provides a look into what awaits us unless we stop overspending on warfare and welfare and restore a sound monetary system. While most commentators have focused on Greece’s welfare state, much of Greece’s deficit was caused by excessive military spending. Even as its economy collapses and the government makes (minor) cuts in welfare spending, Greece’s military budget remains among the largest in the European Union. Congress will only reverse course when a critical mass of people reject the entitlement mentality and understand that the government is incapable of running the world, running our lives, and running the economy.
Seven years of bailing out the big banks that control the Federal Reserve and US Treasury at the expense of the US economy has threatened the US dollar to the extent that the dollar must be protected at all cost, including US regulatory tolerance of illegal activity to suppress gold and silver prices.
The long-awaited BRICS bank has officially launched, marking yet another milestone on the road to global de-dollarization and lending further credence to the notion that the sun is finally setting on the US-dominated multilateral institutions that have defined the post-war world and served to underwrite six decades of dollar dominance.
"Greece would survive, have new powerful friends, have bargaining chips that neither Europe nor America could ignore; China would have projected the use of the Yuan right in to Europe, and Russia would have more than a toe-hold for military power right inside NATO. If I was Tsipras or Varoufakis I would be on the phone right now."
"... this [Greek] debt is so big that everyone understands that it won’t be repaid. Loans to Greece have just bought time so that those in power don’t have to take decisions. This is like a game: who can hold out longer by not showing that this money has been lost? This burden has become bigger and there obviously is no possibility to repay.... debt writedown of Greek debt will come after bankruptcy of state."
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.