"I had a few meetings yesterday and one of the biggest surprises I had was that for the first time in a long time people were talking about helicopter money and debt cancellation being the end game. This was a major theme of our 2013 long-term study but one that we've struggled to get much traction with over the last year. Perhaps there's an increasing weariness that more QE globally whilst inevitable, is a blunt growth tool and that stopping it will be extremely difficult (let alone reversing it) without a positive growth shock.... Anyway, this is not something for today or tomorrow but the fact that different clients brought it up independently of each other makes me think that's its starting to get into people's thoughts." - Deutsche Bank
Since Ben Bernanke reminded the world of the existence of government printing-presses, echoed Milton Friedman's "helicopter drop" solution to fighting deflation, and decried Japan for not being as insane as it could be... it has only been a matter of time before some global central bank decided that the dropping of cash onto the populace was the key to economic recovery. Having blown their wad on QQE (and been left with a triple-dip recession), it appears Japan has reached that limit. As Japan's News47 reports, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has instructed his cabinet to develop economic measures such as handing out 'gift certificates' to the poor to "support personal consumption directly."
The Fed remains fixated on financial-market feedback – and thus ensnared in a potentially deadly trap. Fearful of market disruptions, the Fed has embraced a slow-motion exit from QE. By splitting hairs over the meaning of the words “considerable time” in describing the expected timeline for policy normalization, Fed Chair Janet Yellen is falling into the same trap. Such a fruitless debate borrows a page from the Bernanke-Greenspan incremental normalization script of 2004-2006. Sadly, we know all too well how that story ended.
When it comes to the fair value of assets, especially cash-flow generating real estate, few are as qualified to opine as the man dubbed “World’s Richest Restaurateur”, Tilman Fertitta, chairman of Landry's Restaurants which counts among its properties such brand names as Morton’s, Rainforest Cafe, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., McCormick & Schmick’s, Saltgrass Steak House, Claim Jumper, Chart House, The Oceanaire, Mastro’s Restaurants, Vic & Anthony’s Steakhouse and many more. Which is why his dire warning about the state of the "crazy" US real estate market, which he believes due for an imminent crash, are likely worth keeping in mind as all the panglossian permabulls see nothing but a 4th dead cat rebound ahead. That, and his take on inflation: "There is huge inflation going on right now." Somehow we doubt he will appear on CNBC any time soon...
"Given such evidence, to believe that the Fed is targeting anything but another bubble in stock prices at this point would be an enormous leap of faith. How could one rationally conclude otherwise? Six years of easy money has unquestionably inflated asset prices but failed to have a proportionate effect on the real economy. If maintaining 0% interest rates was really about wage and economic growth, wouldn’t we have seen it by now after six years?"
On one hand, global growth is slowing down. And on the other, the cost of living is rising. That’s a bad combination, but we’ll make it. While you’re waiting for QE4 to see how it all goes down, remember to hold on to your assets… if you have any.
We often hear that if there is not enough oil at a given price, the situation will lead to substitution or to demand destruction. Because of the networked nature of the economy, this demand destruction comes about in a different way than most economists expect–it comes from fewer people having jobs with good wages. With lower wages, it also comes from less debt being available. We end up with a disparity between what consumers can afford to pay for oil, and the amount that it costs to extract the oil. This is the problem we are facing today, and it is a very difficult issue.
Greenspan's Stunning Admission: "Gold Is Currency; No Fiat Currency, Including the Dollar, Can Match It"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 11/08/2014 00:28 -0400
For some reason, the Council of Foreign Relations, where ex-Fed-Chief Alan Greenspan spoke last week, decided the following discussion should be left out of the official transcript. We can perhaps understand why... as Gillian Tett concludes, "comments like that will be turning you into a rock star amongst the gold bug community."
The ECB will not be able to implement a QE program. Even Ben Bernanke admitted it.
Speaking at Schwab's IMPACT conference in Denver this evening, Ben Bernanke may not have earned his $250,000 but did unleash some uncomfortable truthiness - not unlike his predecessor's comments last week. As CNBC reports, the ex-central bank chief warned all those front-runners out there - just as we have explained numerous times - The ECB faces significant political barriers to enacting a sovereign bond purchasing program (let alone a corporate bond buying binge).
"As a father, I want to raise responsible adults, which is why my wife and I will not be heading to the polls this election. Previously, I would have seen this stance as many people do: as an irresponsible act. Both Democrats and Republicans support militarism, taxation, spying on us, inflation, redistribution of wealth, Keynesian economics and corporatism once they get in office. My children need not to identify with this group of sociopaths, so to vote would be a bad example for them." Simply put, The lesser of two evils is still evil.
Two headlines came across my screen today, which taken together pretty much sum up the effects of policy decisions made by Central Bankers and politicians since the financial crisis. The financial oligarchs got bailed out, and the rich got richer due to decisions made by “leaders” around the globe. As such, the entire planet has now been transformed into a neo-feudal tinderbox.
When the next crisis comes there will no doubt be economists and commentators who blame it on some proximal event, like the failure of a large important financial institution. Don’t be fooled. The seeds of the next crisis are already sown. Fed policy under Ben Bernanke and Janet Yellen has distorted the economy in a way that makes it precariously fragile, and susceptible to collapse.
Shortly before leaving the Fed this year, Ben Bernanke rather pompously declared that Quantitative Easing "works in practice, but it doesn’t work in theory." There is, of course, no counter-factual. But to suggest credibly that QE has worked, we first have to agree on a definition of what "work" means, and on what problem QE was meant to solve. We think the QE debate should be reframed: has QE done anything to reform an economic and monetary system urgently in need of restructuring? We think the answer, self-evidently, is “No”.