The US Federal Reserve orchestrated an artificial boom from 2001 to 2007 through artificially low interest rates and has resumed doing so once again. Entrepreneurs operating under faulty market signals created by the Federal Reserve malinvested hundreds of billions of dollars into capital intensive projects primarily in the housing sector. We paid for our boom with millions of destroyed jobs, wasted labor, and wasted resources. The Chinese Central Bank learned nothing from the Fed’s catastrophic experiment. They will reap the same rewards.
The collapse is not over by any stretch...
Now that the yuan deval debacle has served to accelerate capital outflows, Beijing is set to double down on efforts to curb the degree to which capital controls are openly subverted and as WSJ reports, China is has now “put a new annual cap on overseas cash withdrawals using UnionPay.”
With Japan's economy already sliding into its 5th recession of the past decade, once pensioners open their retirement statements in a few weeks and find a 15% plunge in their purchasing power, Japan can skip recession and proceed straight to a consumer-driven recession. But wait, there's more: because if pensioners are angry now, wait until they learn that they have lost everything, after buying all those junk bonds that Carl Icahn is now actively selling with both hands and feet, because: JAPAN PENSION FUND TO INVEST IN JUNK BONDS, NIKKEI SAYS. And just like that, with or without Krugman's active economic advice, Japan's fate is sealed because much to Japan's dismay, "junk" bonds are called that for a reason.
In considering NIRP, Central bankers are failing to address an even greater potential problem, which could easily become cataclysmic. By forcing people into paying to maintain cash and bank deposits, central bankers are playing fast-and-loose with the public’s patient acceptance that state-issued money actually has any value at all. There is a tension between this cavalier macroeconomic attitude and what amounts to a prospective tax on personal liquidity. Furthermore, NIRP makes the hidden tax of monetary inflation, of which the public is generally unaware, suddenly very visible. We should be in no doubt that increasing public awareness of the true cost to ordinary people of monetary policies, by way of the debate that would be created by the introduction of NIRP, could have very dangerous consequences for the currency.
Holding gold is simply recognition that the Fed’s actions over the last 30 years have potentially severe consequences that pose threats to the value of most financial assets, the almighty dollar and ultimately your clients’ purchasing power. Owning gold is in effect not only a short on the dollar and on the credibility of the Federal Reserve, but most importantly a one of a kind asset that protects wealth.
When risk sold off last week in the wake of the Fed’s so-called “clean relent,” it signalled at best a policy mistake and at worst the loss of any and all credibility. Tonight, Yellen gets a do-over.
And just like that Weimar 2.0 is born.
Great companies like Hewlett-Packard are now being run not by adult professionals but day-trading punters. Carly Fiorina was one of the latter. She excelled at mastering her flash cards and pitching financial bubbles from the time of the misbegotten Lucent IPO, to her campaign for the Compaq acquisition, to her final days at Hewlett-Packard. What she didn’t excel at was learning a single thing that qualifies her to be President of the United States - not the least of which is humility. Fiorina needs to shut-up, sit down and flush her flash cards. The furtherance of liberty, prosperity and peace are not what Torquemada’s do.
While the Federal Reserve has chosen to keep the Federal Funds rate near zero, it is merely delaying the inescapable and inevitable result of its own monetary policy – another needed economic correction that its actions will have generated but which it will, no doubt, blame on the supposed “failures” of the market economy.
From a financial market psychology standpoint it is however very important that central bankers don’t appear clueless. A majority of market participants needs to be able to suspend disbelief to an sufficient extent, i.e., they must be able to share in the collective hallucination that central bankers actually do know what they are doing. When it is no longer possible to maintain this facade, many things are likely to be suddenly questioned – and among these is the question whether it makes sense to remain exposed to yet another gargantuan asset bubble.
What can we expect to happen in our homeland when finally even the generally uninformed population also understands that governments they have elected for decades, and its Fed facilitator or controller, jointly have waged a century-long war on its citizens? The people of America cannot make a counter offensive similar to those of sovereign nations; however people are uniting in resistance to robber baron policies, as evidenced by the popularity of nonpoliticians currently in candidacy for the office of president. These troops will mass also, it just remains to be seen what form their eventual counter offensive will be. The established order will be challenged.
The Federal Reserve system was created in December 1913 with the stroke of the pen by then President Woodrow Wilson. Since that time, consumer purchasing power has fallen from $1,000 in December 1913 to … $40 today.
For those of you who don’t want to take the time reading through the ponderous 7000-word transcript of yesterday’s FOMC press conference, we bring you the shorter Janet Yellen, translated from Fedspeak into plain English. Enjoy!
The illusion that the tide of "prosperity" is lifting all boats is dissipating into a mist that no longer offers cover to obscenely wealthy politicos disclaiming the ugly reality of rising wealth/income inequality. The question for the chattering classes is this: will the bread and circuses of sports, random shootings, Trump and the rest of the churn in the media arena be enough to distract those stuck in leaky rowboats from the political fund-raising parties on the grandiose yachts?