In the end, the oil attrition wars may lead us not into a future of North American triumphalism, nor even to a more modest Saudi version of the same, but into a strange new world in which an unlimited capacity to produce oil meets an increasingly crippled capitalist system without the capacity to absorb it. Think of it this way: in the conflagration of the take-no-prisoners war the Saudis let loose, a centuries-old world based on oil may be ending in both a glut and a hollowing out on an increasingly overheated planet. A war of attrition indeed.
The logic of lowering rates below zero is so boneheaded that only a PhD could believe it. It’s all relative, you see. It’s like standing on a train platform. The train next to you backs up…and you feel you’re moving ahead. Negative interest rates are like backing up. They give borrowers the illusion of forward motion... even if the economy is standing still.
The European Central Bank promised in January to "review and reconsider" its monetary stance this week. The question, as BloombergBriefs notes, is not if policy makers will ease but how. Haruhiko Kuroda's humbling in FX markets shows what Mario Draghi is up against tomorrow: namely, that even the most forceful policy decisions can be overwhelmed by events, positioning, or sentiment. Draghi has a number of options (some more and some less priced in) but most crucially there two large gaps to be filled in European Stock indices - the question is which is filled first?
What this picture shows is that government, economists, and presstitutes are allied against citizens achieving any financial independence from personal saving. Policymakers have a crackpot economic policy and those with control over your life value their scheme more than they value your welfare. This is the fate of people in the so-called democracies. But the greed, fraud, and self-serving behavior of Western financial systems, aided and abeted by governments, could be leading to such a breakdown of economic life that the idea of a private financial system will become as abhorent in the future as Nazism is today.
By late January, Tim Leissner was irritated. So was Goldman. And so was the FBI.
"The most eye-catching of [fiscal stimulus] views is a call to deploy ‘helicopter money’, which we define as monetary financing of fiscal deficit. However, this argument is misleading. Surely this has already been implemented in many developed countries through QE. Why bring it up now despite it has been already deployed?"
"The loss of traditional human connections, the dehumanization of man in mass society, and the corruption of the political and economic marketplaces, Röpke argued, had created the sociological and psychological conditions for the emergence of and receptivity to the collectivist idea and its promise of a new community of a better society designed according to a central plan." In the dark days immediately following the rise to power of Adolf Hitler and his Nazi movement in Germany in January 1933, Willhelm Röpke refused to remain silent. He proceeded to deliver a public address in which warned his audience that Germany was in the grip of a "revolt against reason, freedom and humanity."
In the Middle Ages, no matter what ailed you, the doctor had one cure: attaching leeches to your body. Today, modern medicine has discredited leeches as a cure-all. We look back on it and laugh. “How could we have been so stupid?" Some things haven’t changed much. The average person is still willing to blindly accept conventional thinking—maybe even more so than he was in the past. Today, he hears the financial equivalent of “more leeches!” and agrees. Conventional wisdom and economic “experts” continually prescribe treatments that we will no doubt look back on and say, “How could we have been so stupid?”
Around 40% or people who would respond to negative rates said that they would hoard cash. The risk is that this negative sentiment will infect the real economy, serving to depress spending. If so, the danger is that NIRP will have an impact on economic growth that is not merely non-linear, but perversely negative.
"Let’s be realistic. Those supporting Trump distrust government politicians. They really do not care about his message. I at least would prefer Trump not for any policy, but because any career politician will bring the same line of thinking to the table."
As long as taxation exists, there will be tax havens. The wealth will flow to those that are most likely to honour their commitments over the long term.
If, and when, a run on physical cash begins, there will be roughly $1 dollar in physical to satisfy $10 dollars in savers' claims, a ratio which drops to 20 cents of "deliverable" cash if the $100 bill is taken out of circulation.
In a world which has long since crossed the monetary twilight zone of negative rates, and which is spiraling ever deeper into NIRP, below we present some quite fascinating observations on debt, NIRP and how the latter leads to the deleveraging of the former, and thus encourages global deflation - something which in retrospect will be (and in many cases already has been) seen as a central bank fatal flaw, and confirmation said central bankers have zero understanding of the process they have unleashed.
“Overall, the trend of more cash at home reflects concern about the outlook for economy among households. This isn’t a good thing.”
The real pity is that the busts and crackups could all have been avoided if central bankers recognized that falling prices eventually create the conditions for a normal economic revival. Deflation is not a death spiral as the Keynesians believe. Nevertheless, expect more central banks to follow the early leaders — Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, and even the European Central Bank itself — into negative interest rate territory. The crying shame is that it will not work and will cause great harm to hundreds of millions of people.