Japan

A Post Western World? A Disturbing Interview With Prof. Harry Redner - Part 2

The political and economic issues broadly discussed in the media usually revolve around political cycles, terrorism, foreign policy, rising debt levels, sluggish economic performance, academic underachievement, environmental problems, ageing demographics and so forth. In our view, this all ties into a major cycle of history that has been with us for some time, and which has been gaining traction since the 1990s: the end of "Western Civilization" and the transition towards a globalized society.

Japan Q2 GDP Misses, Unchanged From First Quarter, As Business Spending, Exports Slide

After a flurry of disappointing GDP reports from the US and Europe, not to mention last week's uniformly poor Chinese economic data, Japan was the latest country to report that nominal economic growth in the second quarter rose a disppointing 0.2% annualized, missing expectations of a 0.7% increase, and down from the revised 2.0%  GDP growth in Q1, while on a sequential basis GDP was flat with the first quarter.

The Bank of Japan Will Be The Top Shareholder Of 55 Companies By The End Of 2017

With the BOJ already a top-five owner of 81 companies in Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average, the BOJ is on course to become the No. 1 shareholder in 55 of those firms by the end of next year. Just as insane, the central bank owned about 60% of Japan’s domestic ETFs at the end of June. This is up from just over half as of a few months ago suggesting that the BOJ is gobbling up equities at an unprecedented pace.

Currency Wars Escalate As Fed Treasuries In Custody Tumble To 2012 Lows

The latest custody data from the Fed shows that reserve manager holdings of Treasuries has tumbled by $17 billion in the past week, to the lowest effective level since late 2012. The prevailing hypothesis is that smaller central banks and reserve managers sell US paper to defend their currencies, while OPEC countries such as Saudi Arabia are quietly raising cash in an environment of low oil prices and acute budgetary tightness.

Rethinking The Cold War... And The New One

The new Cold War is far more dangerous than the old, because the respective war doctrines of the nuclear powers have changed. The function of nuclear weapons is no longer retaliatory. Mutually Assured Destruction was a guarantee that the weapons would not be used. In the new war doctrine nuclear weapons have been elevated to first-use in a preemptive nuclear attack. Washington first took this step, forcing Russia and China to follow.

A German Bank Finally Caves: Will Charge Retail Investors A Negative 0.4% Deposit Rate

Raiffeisen Gmund am Tegernsee, a German cooperative savings bank in the Bavarian village of Gmund am Tegernsee, with a population 5,767, finally gave in to the ECB's monetary repression, and announced it’ll start charging retail customers to hold their cash. Starting September, for savings in excess of €100,000 euros, the community’s Raiffeisen bank will charge a 0.4% rate. That represents the first direct pass through of the current level of the ECB’s negative deposit rate on to retail depositors.

Frontrunning: August 12

  • Stocks Hit New Highs, and That Could Be Just the Start (WSJ)
  • China Slows as Stimulus Impact Wanes (WSJ)
  • How the China Shock, Deep and Swift, Spurred the Rise of Trump (WSJ)
  • Italian Economy Unexpectedly Stagnates in Threat to Renzi (BBG)
  • Clinton disparages Trump's economic plan, vows to help workers (Reuters)

Futures Rise, Global Stocks Flat After Ugly Chinese Economic Data

One day after all three US indexes hit record highs for the first time since December 31, 1999, US equity index futures, European stocks and Asian equities are little changed after the Nikkei jumped on the back of a Yen weakness, while China reported disappointing economic data and the PBOC suggested that the flood of new debt is slowing which pushed Chinese stocks higher by 1.6% on hopes of more stimulus.

Hillary Clinton's War Policy: "Turmoil, Chaos, & Catastrophe Lie Ahead"

Unfortunately, the future looks bleak for peace and stability around the world. "If Hillary Clinton becomes president of the United States, there will be an even greater emphasis on global airstrikes and confrontation in general. Turmoil, chaos and catastrophe lie ahead."