• EconMatters
    05/21/2015 - 13:17
    The 2nd tallest building in the world, Shanghai Tower, will open to the public mid 2015 during a time when China's own economy is going through the darkest period in recent years.     

Japan

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A Portrait Of The Classical Gold Standard





"It was, at least in theory, simple enough in the old days," wrote a wistful W. Randolph Burgess, head of the New York Federal Reserve, in 1938. "In the present strange new world, where the old gold portents have lost their former meaning, where is the radio beam which the central banker may follow? What is the equivalent of gold?" The men of his era and of the late nineteenth century understood the meaning of such a question and, more importantly, why it is one that must be asked. But theirs was a different world, indeed — one without "QE," ZIRP," or "Unknown Knowns" as fiscal policy. And there were no helicopters, either.

 
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Chinese Saturation Reached: World's Largest Smartphone Market Suffers First Drop In 6 Years





Less than two years ago, the number of smartphone shipments in China soared by roughly 100% year over year, rising over 80 million for the first time. Fast forward to Q1 of 2015 when according to IDC, the Chinese smartphone market - the largest in the world since 2011 when it overtook the US - has not only reached maturity but is now also fully saturated and as a result smartphone shipments suffered their first Y/Y decline, dropping 4.3% on an annual basis. As IDC notes, "this is the first time in six years that the China smartphone market declined YoY as the market continues to mature." Worse, on a quarter over quarter basis, the market contracted 8% on the back of a large inventory buildup at the end of last year.

 
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Key Events In The Coming Week





Today’s Eurogroup meeting will be key in determining where Greece and its creditors negotiations currently stand. Over in the US today, it’s the usual post payrolls lull with just the labor market conditions data expected.

 
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Futures Jittery As Attention Returns To Greece; China Stocks Rebound On Latest Central Bank Intervention





With the big macro data out of the way, attention today and for the rest of the week will focus on the aftermath of the latest Chinese rate cut - its third in the past 6 months - which managed to boost the Shanghai Composite up by 3% overnight but not nearly enough to make up for losses in the past week; any resumption of the 6+ sigma volatility in the German Bund, which already has been jittery with the yield sliding to 0.52% only to spike to 0.62% shortly thereafter before retracing some of the losses; and finally Greece, which in a normal world would have concluded its negotiations during today's Eurogroup meeting and unlocked up to €7 billion in funds for the coming months. Instead, Greece may not only not make its €770 million IMF payment tomorrow but according to ever louder rumors, is contemplating a parallel currency on its way out of the Eurozone.

 
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When Hyperinflation Hits In Japan, Robot Suits Will Help You Move Your Yen





In the new paranormal, you don't use wheelbarrows to move your worthless fiat currency, you use exoskeletons...

 
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China To Build Military Base In Africa Next To Critical Oil Transit Choke Point





One year ago China was well on its way to marking its territory in southern Africa, with a core military presence near the all important for global trade Cape of Good Hope which is the transit point for about 10% of global seaborne-traded oil. Fast forward to today when AFP reports that after securing Southen Africa, China is now in process of securing the second critical geopolitical area in Africa: the horn, which just happens to be right next to the infamous Bab el-Mandeb Strait located by the recently infamous country of Yemen, which in recent months has been overrun by US-armed Houthi Rebels.  According to AFP, China is negotiating a military base in the strategic port of Djibouti, the president said, raising the prospect of US and Chinese bases side-by-side in the tiny Horn of Africa nation.

 
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Which Countries Are The Most Paranoid?





They say it's not paranoia if they are really out to get you...

 
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Isolated? China & Russia Celebrate Victory Day Together, Obama Absent





"When a Chinese honor guard joins a military parade in Russia’s capital this weekend, watched by China’s President Xi Jinping, it will mark more than just a symbolic recognition of the two countries' contributions to the Allied victory in 1945... They've basically come to a consensus that despite their differences over some national interests, they really face the same common enemy..."

 
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A Multinational Trojan Horse: The Trans-Pacific Partnership





Peel back the layers of the TPP and you’ll find what some believe to be a “corporate Trojan horse.” Disguised as “free trade,” the TPP’s provisions and tactics undermine Constitutional safeguards and national sovereignty. But there’s also a silver lining. The TPP exposes who, in the marbled halls of political power, is working for whom. It forces politicians to put their cards on the table, and by their hands you will know them. Packaged as a gift to the American people that will renew industry and make us more competitive, the Trans-Pacific Partnership is a Trojan horse. It’s a coup by multinational corporations who want global subservience to their agenda. Buyer beware. Citizens beware.

 
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Free Trade Benefits Vs. Fears Of Foreign Goods





Meant to extend and widen trade and related commercial relationships between the participating countries, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has also been presented as a way for the U.S. to maintain his economic and political power in East Asia in the face of the rising influence of China in that part of the world. What should be most clear is that the Trans-Pacific Partnership is not a free trade agreement. Parts of it may, no doubt, lower some trade barriers, thus making easier the production, sale and purchase of a wider variety of imports and exports. However, TPP, like all other trade agreements in the post-World War II era is a managed trade agreement.

 
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Britain: A Functioning Democracy It's Not





The system can certainly be given some sort of name, but a functioning democracy it’s not. If anything, a democracy is “A system of government in which power is vested in the people”. Makes us wonder how many clients of the 421 foodbanks and counting have voted Conservative and figured they were proudly doing their democratic duty.

 
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Abenomics Is 2 Years Old - Households Even Deeper In The Hole





The trends in both Japanese income and spending moved downward not at the inception of the tax increase but at the very start of QQE itself. Science is the study of observation whereas monetary economics has become the science of avoiding them. If economists want to see recovery in that they should be honest about so redefining the term. BoJ is two years into QQE and the hole that has been dug for the Japanese people is enormous, so it will be extremely difficult at this point just to get back to even without ever accounting for lost opportunity for compounding and time. Maybe that doesn’t count as the typical, natural recession but it is nothing short of a man-made disaster.

 
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The Hard Landing Continues: China Trade Date Disappoints Amid Weak Demand





"It is clear that the correction in external trade cannot be easily explained by the CNY distortion factor. The exports would be more struggling from the soft demands from the major trade partners and deteriorating international competitiveness in the low end manufacturing sector."

 
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Deflation Works!





Threatened with deflation, the authorities will want to turn the tide in the worst possible way. What’s the worst way to stop deflation? With hyperinflation. Yes, we may suffer a year or two more of sluggish growth... or even deflation. Stocks will crash and people will be desperate for paper dollars. But sooner or later, the feds will find their feet and lose their heads. Most likely, the credit-drenched world of 2015 will end... not in a whimper of deflation, but in a bang. Hyperinflation will bring the long depression to a dramatic close long before a quarter of a century has passed.

 
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