"The severely adverse scenario is characterized by a severe global recession, accompanied by a period of heightened corporate financial stress and negative yields for short-term U.S. Treasury securities.... As a result of the severe decline in real activity and subdued inflation, short-term Treasury rates fall to negative ½ percent by mid-2016 and remain at that level through the end of the scenario."
You know what negative rates are? They are the final stripping away of the illusion that central bankers somehow exist above and separately from domestic politics, that they are wise and able stewards of financial stability. Nope.
The Fed Vice-Chair has begun laying the groundwork for NIRP in the US.
Willem Middlekoop, author of The Big Reset – The War On Gold And The Financial Endgame, believes the current international monetary system has entered its last term and is up for a reset. Having predicted the collapse of the real estate market in 2006, (while Ben Bernanke didn't), Middlekoop asks (rhetorically) -can the global credit expansion 'experiment' from 2002 – 2008, which Bernanke completely underestimated, be compared to the global QE 'experiment' from 2008 – present? - the answer is worrisome. In the following must-see interview with Grant Williams, he shares his thoughts on the future of the global monetary system and why the revaluation of Gold is inevitable...
Ten years ago this week, Alan Greenspan left his post as head of the US Federal Reserve, facing disgrace among hard money advocates, which largely persists to this day. However gold investors can learn an important lesson from how little influence Greenspan, one of the gold standard’s most eloquent backers, had during his 18-year tenure.
Hong Kong home prices tumbled the most since July 2013, and after a 12 year upcycle, prices are now down a whopping 10% from the recent peak four short months ago. But not only has the Hong Kong housing bubble burst, it has done so in spectacular fashion: as quoted by the SCMP, the local Centaline Property Agency estimates that total Hong Kong property transactions in January were on track to register the worst month since 1991, when it started compiling monthly figures. In other words, the biggest drop in recorded history!
Ten years ago, all this would have been written off as the stuff of an insane mind or conspiracist. Now, it is just normal and economists would have you think it the only option. At what point do we accede back to logic and rational thought?
Did the BOJ’s out-of-the-blue reversal on its monetary stance which was refuted just weeks prior by Mr. Kuroda himself take place because after listening to the arguments, suggestions, as well as concerns, from the participants at Davos he concluded much like what the movie “Margin Call” depicted: It was all about to unravel? And if so: is this him deciding to be “first” and considered it his only choice?
The time for more insanity has come... It is the Keynesian mantra: the fact that the policies recommended by Keynesians and monetarists, i.e., deficit spending and money printing, routinely fail to bring about the desired results is not seen as proof that they simply don’t work. It is regarded as evidence that there hasn’t been enough spending and printing yet.
"You can’t deny the price action. Over the last few weeks, it is positively buoyant. If I were short, my butt cheeks would be tightening up. I’m starting to develop a theory, which is crazy, but then again... it might not be entirely crazy. You can help me decide. Maybe gold is starting to price in some of this political instability. Maybe it is starting to price in a Sanders or Trump presidency."
"We learned one thing yesterday: the U.S. Federal Reserve is in the same position as the rest of us when it comes to forecasting the future path of economic growth. Nobody really “Knows” anything right now. Now, there’s enough doubt for everyone: markets, central banks, consumers, governments. Everyone. The best thing we can say about that: if markets accept that the Fed is no better informed than they are, maybe investors will devote more time to stock fundamentals and intrinsic value analysis."
Fed officials and financial news reporters are collectively wondering why the economy seems to be slowing down, even though lower oil and gasoline prices ought to be a stimulative factor. If consumers are spending less of their money on gasoline, then they ought to have more to spend on other stuff, or so goes the reasoning. So why is it not working?
The financial engineering that has been made possible by zero percent interest rates is no longer available to paper over weak corporate results in the U.S. Our economy is addicted to QE and zero rates, and without those supports, we will spiral back into recession. This is the reality that the mainstream tried mightily to ignore the past several years. But the chickens are coming home to roost, and they have a great many eggs to lay. In the end, stimulus does not create actual growth, but merely the illusion of it.
Ben Bernanke is no longer the Fed's chairman, but this article is even more relevant today then it was when I wrote it