All great monetary fiascos are forged upon a foundation of misperceptions and flawed premises. There’s always an underlying disturbance in money and credit masked by supposed new understandings, technologies, capabilities and superior financial apparatus. The notion back in 2006 and 2007 that the world was at the brink of a major crisis was considered absolute wackoism. Incredibly – and well worth contemplating these days - virtually no one saw the deep structural impairment associated with the protracted Bubble in “Wall Street Finance.” An even more momentous monetary fiasco has been perpetrated since the 2008 crisis, constructed upon a foundation of even more outlandish misperceptions and flawed premises.
The sums in play are so staggering (an estimated $11 trillion in emerging market debts denominated in other currencies) that even the Fed won't be able to stop the meltdown.
Yesterday, there was pent up expectation that the ECB's latest minutes, by being structurally dovish and thus the opposite of the Fed's own minutes, would unleash another round of EUR weakness. This did not happen, and instead not only did the EUR jump during the day, but the USD saw an unexpected round of all day weakness. Many were surprised by this response. It turns out Mario Draghi was merely biding his time, and in a speech released moments ago, titled "Monetary Policy: Past, Present and Future" delivered at the European Banking Congress, Draghi pulled another "whatever it takes" card, and promptly sent the Euro currency reeling, if only for the time being.
Global policymakers have gone to incredible measures to stabilize market, financial and economic backdrops. Yet reflationary measures will continue to only further destabilize. When policy-induced “risk on” is overpowering global securities markets, fragilities remain well concealed. Fragilities, however, swiftly manifest with the reappearance of “risk off.” Rather quickly securities markets demonstrate their proclivity for illiquidity and so-called “flash crashes.” So after an unsettled week in global markets, the critical issue is whether “risk on” is giving way to “risk off” dynamics.
Inflation expectations are collapsing in the EU, Japan and the US. Is another deflationary spiral about to hit?
Good Thing Debt Doesn't Matter! </sarc>
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.
Why is the price of oil so low now? In fact, why are all commodity prices so low? We see the problem as being an affordability issue that has been hidden by a growing debt bubble. As this debt bubble has expanded, it has kept the sales prices of commodities up with the cost of extraction (Figure 1), even though wages have not been rising as fast as commodity prices since about the year 2000. That period is ending as the productivity of additional debt is falling.
China as the global Bubble’s focal point – the weak link yet, at the same time, the key marginal source of Bubble finance. China’s policy course appears to focus on two facets: to stabilize the yuan versus the dollar and to resuscitate Credit expansion. For better than two decades, similar policy courses were followed by myriad EM policymakers in hopes of sustaining financial and economic booms. Many cases ended in abject failure – often spectacularly. Why? Because when officials resort to such measures to sustain faltering Bubbles it generally works to only exacerbate systemic fragilities. For one, late-stage reflationary measures compound Credit system vulnerability while compounding structural impairment to the real economy. Secondly, central bank and banking system Credit-bolstering measures create liquidity that invariably feeds destabilizing “capital” and “hot money” outflows.
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."
Haruhiko Kuroda owns 52% of all Japanese ETFs. And now he wants more. Facing a lack of willing JGB sellers, the BoJ now faces the possibility that ramping up its easing efforts will entail expanding the bank's already elephantine equity portfolio. "At a fundamental level, I don’t support the idea of central banks buying ETFs or equities. Unlike bonds, equities never redeem. That means they will have to be sold at some point, which creates market risk."
Fearing the size of Mario Draghi's bazooka (so to speak), Sweden's Riksbank has just expanded QE by SEK65 billion, marking the fourth expansion in nine months and serving notice that the beggar-thy-neighbor, monetary madness gripping DM central banks isn't likely to dissipate anytime soon.
Sweden’s Financial Supervisory Authority wants banks to reconsider the notion that all sovereign debt is risk-free. That said, there's nothing to worry about if the sovereign debt in question is issued by Sweden. And that's a relief if you're the Swedish central bank, because you've been buying a whole lot of Swedish government bonds.
When corrupt politicians do as they are told by their keepers on Wall Street and in the boardrooms of S&P 500 mega-corps....