If there's one absolute truism we hear again and again, it's that central banks are desperately trying to create inflation. Perversely, their easy-money policies actually generation the exact opposite: deflation. Financial and risk bubbles don't pop in a vacuum--all the phantom collateral constructed with mal-invested free money for financiers will also implode.
A few weeks ago it was revealed that the mystery person behind the latest bout of monetary (if not so much fiscal) insanity in Japan is none other than Paul Krugman, a fact which has since assured the fate of Japan as a failed state: the demographically imploding country now has at best a few years (if not less) before it implodes into a hyperinflationary supernova. And for a very graphic, and tragic, preview of Japan's endgame - the direct result of following Keynesian and monetarist policies to a tee - we go to the AP, which looks at the village of Nagoro, located "deep in the rugged mountains of southern Japan once was home to hundreds of families" and finds that now, only 35 people remain, outnumbered three-to-one by scarecrows that Tsukimi Ayano crafted to help fill the days and replace neighbors who died or moved away. This and nothing more, is what all of Japan has to look forward to as it slowly (or very rapidly) fades away to nothing.
As investors we are all trapped within a horrifying bubble. We must play the hand we’ve been dealt, however bad it is. But there are now growing signs of end-of-bubble instability. The system does not appear remotely sound. You can be for gold, or you can be for paper, but you cannot possibly be for both. It may soon be time to take a stand. Beware appearances in an unhinged financial system, because they can be dangerously deceptive.
Germans can’t get their gold reserves. Do how did the Dutch get their 122 tonnes of gold?
Is Germany being prevented from holding gold to prevent independent foreign policy action?
A dispassionate look at the week ahead.
The investment game is becoming more suspect and dangerous as asset price levels continue to ignore economic weakness and the lack of necessary political reform. Instead, many investors (not just in the EU) have become conditioned like B.F. Skinner rats to bid up financial risk assets whenever a central banker makes a promise about accommodation or further stimulus; this even occurs when data disappoints, because investors expect ‘the promise’ to soon follow. Fear of missing the upside and underperforming peers and benchmarks is what makes this reflexivity work. This is actually a sad state of affairs and an ever-more dangerous and epic game of chicken. This conditional response pattern is unsustainable. Indebtedness and market speculation continue to soar. In the end, printing is a not a solution, but a source of long-term harm to markets and national economies.
Deny it. Engage in all kinds of mental gymnastics to dismiss it if you must, but the fact is the US dollar is rising, and not just because of negative developments abroad, but positive economic developments in the US.
In the great fiscal scheme of things, October 22, 1981 seems like only yesterday. That’s the day the US public debt crossed the $1 trillion mark for the first time. It had taken the nation 74,984 days to get there (205 years). What prompts this reflection is that just a few days ago the national debt breached the $18 trillion mark; and the last trillion was added in hardly 365 days.
As long as corporations continue borrowing money to buy back their own stocks and the yen keeps dropping, the SPX will continue lofting higher.
Having started 2014 - coincidentally - at 16,300 (both Dow Industrials and Nikkei 225), by mid-year the Dow was trading 2200 points above its Japanese counterpart. Since then things have changed as the JPY has careened headlong towards collapse, Japanese stocks have resurged and at 18,060, trades 150 points above the Dow at 17,910... However, in USD terms, Japanese stocks are -4.5%, while The Dow is +9.15% year-to-date.
Last week, Zero Hedge first showed a chart so simple, even a Krugman could get it: at this point (and really ever since USDJPY 110 and higher), any incremental Yen devaluation is destructive for the Japanese economy, leading to an unprecedented surge in defaults. And here is Japan Times confirming what we said, with a report that "Corporate bankruptcies linked to the yen’s slide hit a new record in November, highlighting the strains on small and midsize companies as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe campaigns for re-election on his deflation-busting economic strategy."
Confused why in the lack of any horrible economic news (unless of course someone leaked a worse than expected November payrolls print which would put QE4 right back on the table) futures are higher, especially in the aftermath of yesterday's disappointing ECB conference? Then look no further than the Yen which has now lost pretty much all control and is in freeplunge mode, rising some 25 pips moments ago on no news, but merely as wave after wave of momentum ignition algos now make a joke of the Japanese currency, whose redline of 123 (as defined by SocGen)is now just 240 pips away. At this pace, Japan's economy, which as reported yesterday has just seen a record number of corporate bankruptcies due to the plummeting yen, may well be dead some time next week. Which, with Paul Krugman as its new and improved economic advisor, is precisely as expected. RIP Japan.
WE'RE NUMBER ... two ???
In terms of the cycle of market emotions, gold is as close to ‘depression’ as we have seen (see chart). Yet, so far in 2014, gold is 14.3%, 12.3%, 5.8% and 0.4% higher in japanese yen, euros, sterling and dollars respectively (see chart).