Even if keeping policy unchanged might once have been the correct decision, it’s not now. The failure to deliver, especially after Governor Kuroda’s comments about currency appreciation had driven hopes for further easing so high, is terrible news for the Japanese economy. Not to mention a further blow to the BOJ’s credibility. The immediate surge in the yen and the panicked sell-off in equities were the most obvious examples of trader disappointment. And the currency’s rally will put further downward pressure on both growth and inflation.
The endless bleating of well-paid pundits in the corporate media about "reform" is just more circus designed to distract us from the much colder truth: the status quo is beyond reform. The choice is either collapse or well, collapse: letting the status quo strip-mine the bottom 95% will eventually lead to collapse and so will structural reforms that deprive the few of their power to create near-infinite sums of money and credit for their cronies.
Less than one week after the BOJ floated a trial balloon using Bloomberg, that it would reduce the rate it charged some banks which set off the biggest USDJPY rally since October 2014, we are back where we started following last night's "completely unexpected" (for everyone else: we wrote "What If The BOJ Disappoints Tonight: How To Trade It" hours before said "shock") shocking announcement out of the BOJ which did absolutely... nothing. "It’s a total shock,” Nader Naeimi, Sydney- based head of dynamic markets at AMP Capital Investors told Bloomberg. "From currencies to equities to everything -- you can see the reaction in the markets. I can’t believe this. It’s very disappointing."
If there was a sign that nothing else matters but central bank largess, this was it. The moment The Bank of Japan statement hit and proclaims "unchanged" a vacuum hit USDJPY and Japanese stocks. Reflecting that Japan's economy has "continued a moderate recovery trend" which is utter crap given the quintuple-dip recession, Kuroda and his cronies said they will "add easing if necessary" and apparently that is not now. Not so much as a higher ETF purchase or moar NIRP.. and the aftermath is carnage - NKY -1000 points and USDJPY crashed to a 108 handle!!
The biggest argument for a BOJ disappointment is that with the G7 meeting in Japan in on month on 26–27 May 2016, it’s unlikely that Japanese policymakers will want to draw attention yet again to the idea that they are in the business of manipulating the JPY lower. After all the most recent G20 meeting once again confirmed that absent "disorderly moves" in the Yen, the US would frown on any attempt to dramatically manipulate its currency lower.
For those who thought that the world's biggest company losing over $40 billion in market cap in an instant on disappointing Apple earnings, would have been sufficient to put a dent in US equity futures, we have some disappointing news: with just over 7 hours until the FOMC reveals its April statement, futures are practically unchanged, even though the Nasdaq appears set for an early bruising in the aftermath of what is becoming a disturbing quarter for tech companies. Instead of tech leading, however, the upside has once again come from the energy complex where moments ago WTI rose above $45 a barrel for the first time since November after yesterday's unexpected 1.07 million barrel API inventory drawdown.
The gold market will soon be very different than from what we see today - largely due to the current developments in China. China’s influence will impact not just gold investors but everyone who has a vested interest in the global economy, stock markets, and the US dollar. After all, China will be a dominant force in all, as most analysts project. Here are the five trends in China that will change the gold market forever...
Japan has proven that decay can be stretched into decades, but it has yet to prove that gravity can be revoked by central bank monetary games.
"We note that the CNN Fear & Greed Index, having risen late last week once again to 75… the level the creators of the Index have referred to as “Extreme Greed”… has fallen back from those highs and closed last evening at 70. The Index has spent the past seveal weeks forging what appears to us to have become a material “top” of some very real consequence. It “peaked” last autumn near 75 before stocks, as measured by the S&P, fell from 2075 to 1800 in a matter of weeks, and it peaked early last year at or near 80 before the S&P fell from near 2100 to 1800 also. In this regard, perhaps caution…perhaps very real defensiveness… is a reaosnable [sic] path to be taken."
With the Fed decision just one day away, followed the very next day by the increasingly more irrational BOJ, stocks had no desire to make significant moves and overnight's boring session was the result, as European stocks and U.S. index futures rose modestly but mostly hugged the flatline while Asian declined 0.2% for a third day as raw-material shares declined and Tokyo equities slumped before central bank meetings in the U.S. and Japan this week. China’s stocks rose the most in almost two weeks, up 0.6% but failed to rise above 3000 on the Shanghai Composite, in thin trading.
An economic and financial system premised on perpetual growth was bound to run into trouble. What happens as population growth turns to population decline is honestly and literally a complete and total game changer. A flat to declining number of buyers and consumers opposite ramping elderly sellers plus their unfunded liabilities is a problem with no happy resolutions. Currencies (what will constitute "money"), "free-markets", and perhaps the basis of civilization hang in the balance of the transition from high population growth to potential outright depopulation.
Well that escalated quickly. While Nasdaq had already given up its gains, this morning's economic weakness, Yen strength, and unimpressed oil market has driven the S&P and Dow back into the red from pre-Doha levels...
The latest shocking example of just how intertwined central banks have become in all capital markets, comes courtesy of the Bank of Japan which days ahead of a move which may see it double its ETF purchases from the current run rate of JPY3.3 trillion to JPY7 trillion or more (if Goldman is correct), is revealed to be a top 10 holder in about 90% of all Japanese stocks. Crazier still, if as Goldman predicts the BOJ doubles its purchases of ETFs, the central bank could become the No. 1 shareholder in about 40 of the Nikkei 225’s companies by the end of 2017,