Swiss National Bank
We are heading for a crisis that will be exponentially worse than 2008. The global Central Banks have literally bet the financial system that their theories will work. They haven’t.
Over the past several years, the two-day Jackson Hole symposium had garnered a particular prominence among economists and market watchers as this is where various key inflection points by the Fed were hinted, leaked or announced, including QE2, QE3 and the taper. This year, however, the gathering of central bankers in Teton County, will be less exciting due to the absense of the most important central banker in the world: Janet Yellen, which means the highlighter will be Vice-Chairman Stanley Fischer when he speaks tomorrow at 10:25pm which will be a key event given the recent market turmoil.
The idea of a change towards a domestic consumption-driven economy is being revealed as a woeful disaster. You can’t magically turn into a consumer-based economy by blowing bubbles first in property and then in stocks, and hope people’s profits in both will make them spend. Because the whole endeavor was based from the get-go on huge increases in debt, the just as predictable outcome is, and will be even much more, that people count their losses and spend much less in the local economy. While those with remaining spending power purchase property in the US, Britain, Australia. And go live there too, where they feel safe(r). I fear for the Chinese citizen. Not so much for Xi and Li. They will get what they deserve.
The missing clue came from a report by SocGen's Wai Yao, who first summarized the total liquidity addition impact from today's rate hike as follows "the total amount of liquidity injected will be close to CNY700bn, or $106bn based on today's onshore exchange rate." And then she explained just why the PBOC was desperate to unlock this amount of liquidity: it had nothing to do with either the stock market, nor the economy, and everything to do with the PBOC's decision from two weeks ago to devalue the Yuan. To wit:" In perspective, the PBoC may have sold more official FX reserves than this amount since the currency regime change on 11 August."
To make people eat their seed corn, we need to add the essential element: a perverse incentive. There’s only one way to make everyone play a perverse game: force. Let’s look at monetary policy in this light.
As asset bubbles are in the way of the Fed’s policy, a decline in stock prices removes the equity market bubble and enables the Fed to print more money and start the process up again. On the other hand, the stock market decline could indicate that the players in the market have comprehended that the stock market is an artificially inflated bubble that has no real basis. Once the psychology is destroyed, flight sets in.
"I have learnt from history that it is very hard working out what the trigger is. In 2008, it was the collapse of Lehman Brothers that triggered a credit crunch. Now it could be a major event in Turkey or a default of the Brazilian oil company Petrobras or some event in Malaysia. But if I have to pick one I would say it is Turkey introducing capital controls. Such controls will mean that Turkey will not pay back principals amounting to 400 Bio. $ and the interests on it." - Russell Napier
For all those who need validation that they are part of a big hedge fund hotel club, which implicitly means there are few if any incremental fast money buyers left, and wish to know the top hedge fund holdings, here is a list of the 50 stocks which according to Goldman "matter the most" to hedge funds, the stocks which appear among the largest 10 holdings of hedge funds.
Imagine running a rink company at the end of the roller skating fad in the 1980's. You know it is not going to survive for long. How do you operate your business? You milk it. Well, that's now happening across the entire economy.
Carry traders just got their fingers burnt by central bankers, again. Just 7 months after The SNB crushed Swiss Franc free-riders, as Bloomberg reports, The PBOC 'surprised' an armada of easy-money-addicts drawn to the Yuan by its stability, potentially wiping out their highly leveraged returns or leading to forced lqiuidations. Twice in 8 months is enough to shake anyone's faith in central bank omnipotence, but as Ben Hunt noted, potentially more crucial to the 'faith-based' investing of today, the Common Knowledge about Chinese growth – what everyone thinks that everyone thinks about Chinese growth – is dramatically changed for the worse today, and it’s a change that will accelerate unless the Narrative shifts.
To help remind readers of what happens when the entire world engages in wholesale currency war, here is a complete list of all the recent FX interventions, courtesy of Stone McCarthy.
Almost exactly seven months ago, on January 15, the Swiss National Bank shocked the world when it admitted defeat in a long-standing war to keep the Swiss Franc artificially weak, and after a desperate 3 year-long gamble, which included loading up the SNB's balance sheet with enough EUR-denominated garbage to almost equal the Swiss GDP, it finally gave up and on one cold, shocking January morning the EURCHF imploded, crushing countless carry-trade surfers. Fast forward to the morning of August 11 when in a virtually identical stunner, the PBOC itself admitted defeat in the currency battle, only unlike the SNB, the Chinese central bank had struggled to keep the Yuan propped up, at the cost of nearly $1 billion in daily foreign reserve outflows, which as this website noted first months ago, also included the dumping of a record amount of US government treasurys.
"They'll Blame Physical Gold Holders For The Failure Of Monetary Policies" Marc Faber Explains EverythingSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 08/09/2015 19:00 -0400
"The future is unknown and we are not dealing with markets that are free markets anymore...now we have government interventions everywhere. [But] in the last say twelve months, I have observed an increasing number of academics who are questioning monetary policies. That's why I think they will take the gold away and go back to some gold standard by revaluing the gold say from now $1000/oz to say $10,000 dollars. An individual should definitely own some physical gold. The bigger question is where should he store it? because... the failure of monetary policies will not be admitted by the professors that are at central banks, they will then go and blame someone else for it and then an easy target would be to blame it on people that own physical gold because - they can argue - well these are the ones that do take money out of circulation and then the velocity of money goes down - we have to take it away from them... That has happened in 1933 in the US."
The demise of the dollar has been greatly exaggerated. Here is how I see the near-term outlook.