Has the DNA of the global economy been gradually altered by endless injections of quantitative easing, morphing it into a freakish mutant? Are things that are not supposed to happen for centuries on end going to become common occurrences? The collapse of oil prices and jump in the Swiss franc have forced us to puzzle over these weighty questions. In isolation, these events and the direction of their moves did not worry us, but their magnitude, velocity and proximity to each other sent me on an intellectual quest.
UPDATE: TRY now +6.5 handles at 2.6275...
The Turkish Lira is down over 4 handles again this morning as the currency's collapse accelerates exponentially. Having devalued by 30% year-to-date amid Erdogan's rage against central bank independence, selling its gold, threats of jail for not cutting interest rates, and rising repression of increasing social unrest, the country's Economy Minister took to the TV today to expose the "hidden currency war" and blast 'speculators' (because only a speculator would pull his capital from such a 'stable' place) - "The manipulation of those who play with the dollar will explode in their hands and their hands will be burned."
Bill Clinton Dusted Off the Same Marketing Strategy Which Bad-Mustache Used On the Eve of Invading Poland ... And Obama's Been Using It Ever Since
Just hours after India's 'surprise' rate cut (which saw the SENSEX surge and then dump to close red), Poland has surprised the market with a bigger-than-expected rate cut. Despite two-thirds of econmomists expecting a mere 25bps cut, the Polish Central Bank slashed its benchmarket 7-day rate to just 1.5% - the lowest on record. Today's cut "makes up for inaction in previous months" after Poland held rate flat in January and February (but echoes Poland's Oct 'surprise' greater-than-expected ease of 50bps. Polish stocks dropped on the news (but recovered), banks are weaker, and the Zloty is selling off on this news (pushing back towards record lows)...
In a surprise move, the RBI just cut its main interest rates for the second time in two months, taking it from 6.75% to 6.50%, in what the central bank calls a “pre-emptive” policy move, but what is in reality merely a confirmation that so far in 2015 at least 20 central banks have lowered their interest rate.
And then there were 21. Hours ago on Saturday, the country whose currency is largely pegged to the dollar which itself is now anticipating a rate hike in the coming months, surprised the world by confirming its economic slowdown yet again following a recent rate cut just this past November when it lowered its benchmark rate by 40 bps, after it again cut benchmark lending and deposit rates by 25 bps starting on March 1. Specifically, the PBOC will lower the one-year lending rate to 5.35% from 5.6% and its one-year deposit rate to 2.5% from 2.75%. It also said it would raise the maximum interest rate on bank deposits to 130% of the benchmark rate from 120%.
Another day, another currency hits a record low against the US Dollar. The Turkish Lira has collapsed in recent weeks since Erdogan rampaged against the 'independence' of the Central Bank and extended losses today after the economy minister said the government should discuss changing central bank regulations. Nihat Zeybekci said the Central Bank of Turkey’s independence should be conditional on the body taking “national interest” into account. Turkey continues to dump gold at record rates (money laundering to Iran via Switzerland?) and social unrest is on the rise (despite new laws to clamp down on protests) as the US consulate faces bomb threats.
With the invasion of Syria, pardon, the "Islamic State" on behalf of US allies in the middle east imminent, it is time to send the fear meter to Max, and spook the US population with the reminder that far from being expert, Hollywood-quality video editors, ISIS is engaged in not only in selective, carefully sponsored and funded beheadings several thousand miles away, but is operating right under everyone nose.
Former Ukraine Deputy PM Says "Another Coup Can Not Be Ruled Out" Among Currency Implosion, Central Bank ChargesSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 02/24/2015 13:52 -0400
A year or so on from the last coup in Ukraine, Ukraine’s former Prime Minister Sergey Arbuzov told TASS, with growing popular discontent, "another state coup can’t be ruled out in Ukraine." As the cease-fire deal hangs torn and tattered in the Debaltseve winds, the nation is a mess: a new gas dispute looms as Gazprom demands upfront payments; capital controls have been tightened as the $17.5bn IMF loan may not be enough; and the central bank governor faces prosecution as the economy craters. All of these factors have driven massive outflows from Ukraine and the Hryvnia has crashed to over 33 to the USD - a record high (and 70% devaluation from the last coup).
Last week it was 19 central banks (including the ECB which accounts for 19 nations) which had cut rates in 2015, mostly in "surprise", unexpected easing decisions. Moments ago the number became 20 when the Israel central bank just cut its interest rate by 0.15% to 0.1%, the lowest on record, a move which once again caught the market by surprise as only 3 of 23 analysts had predicted it.
With Greece moving to the, ahem, periphery if only for a few days/hours, this week the US calendar returns to the forefront with Fed Chair Yellen’s semi-annual monetary policy testimony before the Senate Banking Committee tomorrow night and the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday, which the market will be paying very close attention to for the reconciliation of how the Fed plans to continue on its rate-hiking path despite rapidly deteriorating US macro data that has started 2015 at the worst pace (in terms of downside surprises) since Lehman.
With the world's oldest central bank - Sweden's Riksbank - taking the plunge into negative rates, there have been 19 'eases' by central banks this year, Morgan Stanley warns of "ghosts of the 1930s." With competitive 'easing' stoking fears of international currency wars, The Telegraph notes however that looser monetary policy is not the order of the day everywhere in the world, and herein lies potential danger for the world economy.
Chairs flew and lawmakers traded punches as AP reports a brawl in the Turkish Parliament over a new security bill (dubbed the 'kingmaker') has forced the spotlight on mounting suspicions that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's real goal is to hand himself more tools to crush dissent. Five lawmakers were injured early Wednesday in the fight that broke out as opposition leaders tried to delay a debate on the legislation.
Questions to assist in creating a working inventory of mind, body, and equipment for living in dangerous or uncertain timesSubmitted by hedgeless_horseman on 02/18/2015 15:33 -0400
Do I know how to beg...effectively?
Do I know how to barter...effectively?
How good of a liar am I...really?