Fed’s wealth effect kicks in: “Mind-blowing” how the luxury market has been “completely on fire.” The rest, well….
Long ago, Keynes himself pointed out, perhaps inadvertently, the profound difference between GDP and wealth. If we merely want a higher GDP print - which measures spending, not wealth - governments should handout spoons so that millions of citizens can dig holes and millions more refill them. It would appear that the statesmen of Brussels are fixing to try the modern day equivalent of just that.
Anyone who looks at central bankers speak can sense the fear behind their absurd bravado, and the dishonesty of their public confidence.
In a nation in which 1 out of every 3 homes is unaffordable, you’d think the primary goal of public policy wouldn’t be to ensure real estate becomes even more out of reach for the average citizen. It’s bad enough that American financial oligarchs have leveraged free money polices of the Federal Reserve to purchase tens of billions of dollars in real estate only to rent it back to people who were kicked out of their homes during the 2008 crisis, but the government is now going out of its way to allow Chinese (and other foreign criminals) to launder money via U.S. property.
What is it with us? Don’t we want to understand? Japan announced on Monday that its economy is in hopeless trouble and back in recession (as if it was ever out). And what do we see? ‘Experts’ and reporters clamoring for more stimulus. But if Japan has shown us anything over the past years, and you’re free to pick any number between 2 and 20 years, it’s that the QE-based kind of stimulus doesn’t work. Not for the real economy, that is.
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."
While the central banks of the world have yet to directly unleash the helicopter drop of free money to the end-consumer, preferring instead to seek financial asset inflation (and all its unintended consequences), it appears there is another way to get 'free money' direct to the average Joe... "ATM Jackpotting." According to Wired, using a special button sequence and some insider knowledge, it is possible to reconfigure ATMs to believe they are dispensing one dollar bills, instead of the twenties actually loaded into the cash trays. Though industry sources claim this to be rare, they note that "independent operators and financial institutions are very tight lipped about this sort of thing."
Needless to say, this relentless expansion of the bubble eventually kills off the bears, the skeptics, the prudent and even the militantly incredulous. Undoubtedly, that is where we are now because the global economic news has been uniformly negative since the October dip, yet the market has resumed its relentless melt-up. Under such circumstances, therefore, it is well to remember that we are in the middle of the greatest central bank fueled inflation in recorded history, and that this insidious inflation has been channeled into financial assets owing to the arrival of peak debt everywhere around the world. But that is the Achilles heel of the game. As the bubble takes on ever greater girth, it becomes increasingly susceptible to a negative shock to confidence.
Simply put, the dollar's rise could destabilize the entire global financial system. To understand why this is so, we have to start with the source of the risk: the world's central banks.
The vice will close on some cities and states sooner than others, but it will eventually squeeze every city and state with declining revenues and rising fixed costs into default.
When the wrecking ball hits, the IMF stands at the ready with the SDR composite to pick up the structural pieces.........
Job cut announcements in tech doubled from a year ago. Worst year since 2009.
The Keynesian notions of “potential GDP” and “aggregate demand” have no basis in the real world. They are revealed doctrine. They are the religion of the state’s economic policy apparatus. Its bad enough that this destructive economic religion leads to the farcical forecasting games evident in the EC’s chronic updates and slow-walks of the GDP numbers down. The evil, however, is that the Keynesian apparatchiks will not desist in their destructive money printing and borrowing until they have suffocated free market capitalism entirely, and have monetized so much public debt that the financial system simply implodes.
"Central bank policies are no longer about the general state of an economy, or about jobs numbers, they’re about the threat of specific price levels. Now, I think that unlike the western press, Yellen and Draghi and other central bankers are acutely aware of what Kuroda stated yesterday. But perhaps I give them too much credit."
We've written a lot about Japan lately as what happens today under the no longer rising sun is going to have such repercussions worldwide that it would be foolish not to pay attention. Moreover, there’s something about what Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said this morning that both perfectly and painfully illustrates to what depths, economically as well as morally, the country has sunk.