Japan

Marc To Market's picture

Is the UK Going Where Japan didn't Dare?





The UK government appears to be contemplating changing the BOE's mandate so it can be freer tolerate greater near-term price pressures. The Tory-led government is commented to fiscal consolidation--austerity--the same kind of policies many want to see the US adopt, and needs greater monetary stimulus to avoid a deeper contraction in the UK economy.

 
Tyler Durden's picture

Japan To Hike Utility Prices By 14-19% As Inflation Surges In All The Wrong Places





First it was gas prices, then it was food prices, and now it is the turn of basic utilities to see costs surge by double digits. Dow Jones reports that "Japanese utilities, forced to idle their nuclear power plants over the past two years and facing higher fuel costs due to a weak yen, are now looking to push through double-digit rate hikes for their commercial customers." This means less disposable income, less corporate profits, less monetary velocity, less growth and ultimately less "inflation" in other things such as the much desired stock market, which was supposed to be the wealth effect offset to all staples price increases. At least on paper. Of course we explained on various occasions, most recently here, why in Japan a US-style of wealth effect price substitution would never work. Surely nobody could possibly see this coming - "The action comes at a bad time for some Japanese companies that were hoping the fall in the yen and much-trumpeted efforts by the government to turn round the economy would help improve their prospects." Ah hope - the only strategy left.

 
Tyler Durden's picture

Who's Got All The Cash (For Now)?





While FX Reserves may not exactly be freely spendable ready cash, they are often used a proxy for a nation that is 'wealthy'. It seems, however, from the following chart that in fact the FX reserves of the world shows a different picture than Americans might like to consider. The highest level of reserves are split between currency manipulators and resource-rich nations. China and Japan top the table, according to Bloomberg, and Saudi Arabia and Russia are rising fast up the league tables of FX horders. Just as notable is that China's FX reserves have swelled to $3.31 trillion at the end of 2012 from $286.4 billion a decade ago, representing a pace of $829 million per day. The problem is that recently China has hardly had the same appetite for the USD it exhibited in prior years. With the world apparently devaluing against a more stoic inflation-anxious China, it would seem Japan's 'horde' will dwindle fast if they ever do anything but jawbone.

 
Tyler Durden's picture

China's "Hogwash" Getting Worse As Floating Dead Pigs Rise To 3300, Pig Virus Found





When we first reported on China's "hogwash" yesterday, the number of floating pigs in Shanghai's water supplying Huangpu River was a "modest" 1200. It has since tripled to 3300. From SCMP: "The agriculture and environmental protection departments in Shanghai's Songjiang district have pulled more than 3,300 dead pigs out of the Huangpu River, which flows through the municipality, in the past week." What is worse is that at least one pig-related virus has been found in a water sample: "Porcine circovirus, a common hog disease that is not known to be infectious to humans, was found in a sample taken from the water, Shanghai's animal disease control department was quoted as saying by eastday.com a major Shanghai news portal." The good news is that tests by the Shanghai Animal Disease Prevention and Control Centre on five sets of internal organs taken from the dead pigs has ruled out five other diseases including foot-and-mouth, hog cholera and blue-ear. Of course, this is China, whose disclosure record is second only to Japan, where as a reminder the government said the radiation level was under control days after the Fukushima explosion, even as the reality was far grimmer.

 
Tyler Durden's picture

VIXterminating, Voluelmess Ramp Left To The US Stock Market For Second Day In A Row





Just like yesterday, it will be up to the US session to provide the perfectly expected, VIXterminating, volumeless ramp as the rest of the world just did not have it in i to take the S&P to all time highs in overnight trading. To summarize: currency talkfare out of Asia, hope springs eternal out of Europe despite the usual spate of ugly numbers, PIIGS bond auctions backstopped by the ECB and always "that much better" than the expected, a UK economy that is just imploding to provide an alibi for more open-ended QE and a crushed pound, and with the US due to make everything better by sending the SP to its all time high (just 9 points away) on the one week anniversary of the record high DJIA, as the NY Fed clobbers the VIX to a 10 handle or lower on even more ugly, unadjusted economic data.

 
Tyler Durden's picture

Bank Of Japan May Buy Derivatives Next





Because having legal authority to buy corporate bonds, ETFs and REITs, in addition to everything else the Fed now buys, is apparently not enough to crush, mangle and suicide its currency, the BOJ is now considering adding yet another "asset" to its cocktail of eligible securities for purchase: those which Buffett once declared weapons of mass financial destruction - derivatives.

 
Tyler Durden's picture

Dylan Grice Explains How "Crackpot" Central Bankers Are Destroying Society





With their crackpot monetary ideas, central banks have been robbing Peter to pay Paul without knowing which one was which. And a problem here is this thing behavioral psychologists call self-attribution bias. It describes how when good things happen to people they think it’s because of something they did, but when bad things happen to them they think it’s because of something someone else did....  When we look around we can’t help feeling something similar is happening. The 99% blame the 1%; the 1% blame the 47%. In the aftermath of the Eurozone’s own credit bubbles, the Germans blame the Greeks. The Greeks round on the foreigners. The Catalans blame the Castilians. And as 25% of the Italian electorate vote for a professional comedian whose party slogan “vaff a” means roughly “f**k off ”, the Germans are repatriating their gold from New York and Paris. Meanwhile in China, that centrally planned mother of all credit inflations, popular anger is being directed at Japan, and this is before its own credit bubble chapter has fully played out. (The rising risk of war is something we are increasingly worried about…) Of course, everyone blames the bankers (“those to whom the system brings windfalls… become ‘profiteers’ who are the object of the hatred”).

 
Tyler Durden's picture

Key Macro Events And Issues In The Week Ahead





In the upcoming week the key focus on the data side will be the US February retail sales figures on Wednesday, which should provide clearer evidence on how the tax increases that took place on January 1 have affected the consumer. In Europe, industrial production and inflation data will be the releases to watch. On the policy side, the focus will be on the BoJ appointments in an otherwise relatively quiet week for G7 central banks. Italy’s newly elected lawmakers convene for the first time on Friday 15 March and the expectation remains that President Napolitano will formally invite Mr Bersani to try and form a new government. He may also opt for a technocrat government. Although clearly preferred by markets, winning political backing may prove challenging.

 
Marc To Market's picture

Observations on the Investment Climate





A few observations about growth and policy backdrop that is shaping the investment climate. It is a large overview that may be helpful to start the week.

 
Tyler Durden's picture

Japan Brings Food Inflation Down To 'Earth'





Whether it is a reflection of the inflated price of regular edibles thanks to Abe's Yen devaluation escapades, or simply more evidence of the greater fool theory playing out among a mesmerized world, the latest gourmet eating experience in Japan highlights the human ability to follow a herd in spite of all common sense. As CBS reports in this somewhat remarkably not The Onion clip, the highest delicacy among Japanese diners is now - dirt. Of course, no-one would be expected to eat, chew, gnaw on any old garden variety, umm, garden; this is potting soil that is boiled, grilled, steamed, and pureed and then dribbled on creme brulee, rolled over mashed potatoes, and drizzled over arugula. Is it any wonder that consumer confidence in Japan is soaring, despite their currency's dismal demise and soaring prices for energy; as even the ever-calm-and-polite host of this clip is 'surprised' at the taste (hint: not in a good way). Of course, there is nothing new in this world as geophagy (eating dirt) is a traditional cultural activity in Africa for pregnant and lactating women. So perhaps, this is Japan's subliminal message to their people to start procreating a little more - as that demographic cliff is getting very close.

 
Tyler Durden's picture

China To Japan: Hand Over The Senkakus Or Your Economy Gets It





Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said Saturday that "Japan needs to face up to reality, and take real steps to correct its mistakes... so as to prevent a further escalation," with regard the demand that Japan reverse its nationalization of the small islet chain of the Senkakus. In some of the strongest rhetoric yet, The Japan Times reports that the Chinese minister said Japan's 'single-handed' actions so far have "caused great damage to China-Japan relations and undermined stability in the region," and urged Tokyo to "make concrete efforts" to prevent fraught bilateral ties from spiraling out of control. As the reigns of control in China continue to be handed over (with Yang expected to become state Councillor for foreign affairs), we suspect the situation is far from resolved - especially with Shinzo Abe fighting a war on another front (that China is likely not pleased with either).

 
Tyler Durden's picture

Weekly Bull/Bear Recap: Mar. 4-8, 2013





This objective report concisely summarizes important macro events over the past week.  It is not geared to push an agenda.  Impartiality is necessary to avoid costly psychological traps, which all investors are prone to, such as confirmation, conservatism, and endowment biases. 

 
Marc To Market's picture

Currency Positioning and Technical Outlook: Dollar Frustrates QE Bears





 

The US dollar rose to new multi-month highs against several of the major currencies, including the euro, Swiss franc, British pound and the Japanese yen.  The BOJ, BOE and ECB meet last week and none changed policy.  The Swiss National Bank meets on March 14 and is also unlikely to change policy.  The Federal Reserve meets the following week and is widely expected to stay its course.  It is not monetary policy then providing the new trading incentives. 

 

Nor can the dollar's gains be attributed to political uncertainty in Europe stemming from the inconclusive Italian elections, as was the case previously.   The immediate shock has worn off and Italian stocks and bonds have recovered the lion's share of those initial losses. 

 

 
David Fry's picture

QE Continues To Prop Markets





 

 

New highs will become a daily headline feature it seems until we actually have a down day. 

Thursday, Jobless Claims fell (340K vs 347K previous), Productivity (-1.9% vs -2% previous) and Costs (4.6% vs 4.5% previous) were very poor reports, and the Trade Deficit grew (-$44.45B vs -$38B). Lastly, Consumer Credit expanded to $16.2 billion from $14.6 billion primarily on student loans (in a bubble) and auto loans (subprime auto loans booming).

 

 

 
Syndicate content
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!