Ah, the good old days, when a simple, completely empty promise to do whatever it takes could move the world. It was fun being a central banker back in the good old days--back then playing Master of the Universe was wondrously good fun. Now--not so fun.
"In the 1920s the Reichsbank thought it could have 2,000 printing presses running day and night to finance government spending without creating inflation. Around the same time the Federal Reserve allowed more than a third of US deposits to be destroyed via bank failures, in the belief that banking crises where self-correcting. The Great Depression followed.... Today the behaviour of the European Central Bank suggests that it too has gone awry."
Japan's biggest bank, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, is preparing to quit its role as a primary dealer of Japanese government bonds as negative interest rates turn the instruments into larger risks, a fallout from massive monetary easing measures by the Bank of Japan.
The Deep State, in addition to being malignant and entertaining, is incompetent. It fights wars just to lose them. It solves problems and makes them worse. Led by the Yellen Fed, it “improves” the economy and leaves 9 out of 10 people poorer than they were before.
This weekend the Swiss population was called upon to make a historic decision, when Switzerland became the first country worldwide to put the idea of free money for everyone, technically known as Unconditional Basic Income, to a vote. As reported previously, the outcome of this referendum would set a strong precedent and establish a landmark in the evolution of the debate of handing out free money in a centrally-planned world. And as predicted, based on early vote projections it has been a landslide decision against the "free lunch."
The Federal Reserve continues discussing the timing for a cycle of rate hikes and a return to "normal"... but there is more than ample evidence which points to exactly the opposite. Seems the adage "watch what they do...not what they say" is appropriate as ever. So where's the evidence?
Only when central bankers accept the complete and utter failure of their policies and accept the reality that their policies have increased wealth inequality and crippled the global economy with debt, speculation and manipulation, can we finally move forward. Until then, we're stuck with the world central bankers have created: a world of rising wealth and income inequality, of permanent manipulation of markets as a means of managing perceptions and of speculative debt/leverage bubbles that will burst with a ferocity few expect or understand.
It's looking increasingly likely that third time's the charm: this set of bubbles is the last one central banks can blow. And when markets free-fall and don't reflate into new bubbles, pension funds will expire, as they were fated to do the day central banks chose zero interest rates forever as their cure for a broken economic model.
Interestingly, privilege serves the same purpose--benefiting the few at the expense of the many--regardless of the system's ideological labels. Socialist, Communist and free-market elites loot their populaces and national wealth with equal gusto. Those who came to do good and stayed to do well first accumulate privileges, which they then leverage into wealth and power.
Negative interest rates are all the rage at central banks, a symptom of the deflation that is slowing spreading worldwide. Explicit or not, negative rates have odd and counterintuitive consequences. Imagine the entire banking system trying to stand on its head, and that's kind of how a deflationary, NIRP-driven world will look. Here are three early signs.