yes, I know it feels soooo good. Hint: China is the dealer
The Fed’s public relations firm of Hilsenrath & Blackstone was out this morning with the official line on the market’s tremors of recent days. It seems that $10 trillion in freshly minted digital money at the world’s major central banks over the last eight years—-that is, a tripling of their balance sheets to $16 trillion—- is not enough. Not only is 2% inflation still MIA, but it now threatening to enter the dark side: Behind the spate of market turmoil lurks a worry that top policy makers thought they had beaten back a few years ago: the specter of deflation. Never mind that there is nothing close to a sustained run of negative consumer price indices anywhere in the world.
The old adage that if something is repeated often enough it is soon assumed to be true couldn’t be more apt with respect to the Fed’s 2% inflation target. That Keynesian central bankers peddle this nostrum with a straight face is amazing in itself, but it is at least understandable because it gives them a reason to keep the printing presses humming. That journalists repeat it with no questions asked is even more remarkable. It proves that the impending replacement of financial journalists with robo-writers may not be so bad after all. It won’t make any real difference.
The last note briefly addressed the benefits associated with the reverse repurchase facility (RRF). Indeed liabilities have increasingly moved from bank balance sheets to the Fed, freeing lending capacity. One must recall reserves are not fungible outside of the banking system (but can act as collateral for margin). With flow decreasing, the opportunity for small relative volume bids spread over a large quantity of transactions (most instances per unit time) decreased with market prices in many asset markets. Is more downside coming?
Whether this trend will hold or reverse is unknown, but it does suggest that there are advantages to being the cleanest shirt in the dirty laundry.
In terms of purchasing power, China now has the largest economy on the entire planet, but that is not the only area where China has surpassed the United States. China also accounts for more total global trade than the U.S. does, China consumes more energy than the U.S. does, and China now manufactures more goods than the U.S. does. In other words, the era of American economic dominance is rapidly ending.
Copious amounts of monetary whiskey have been downed in the global economy and yet the recovery remains weak at best. The mother of all monetary hangovers awaits us all and will likely manifest in stagflation and sharply higher inflation.
Relative to stock market indices, broad commodity indices are now at their lowest levels since the late-1990s dot com boom. Key commodity price ratios, such as those between precious and industrial metals, are already at levels associated with financial crises such as that of 2008. In other words, there is already ‘blood on the commodity streets’, presenting investors and commodity traders with potentially attractive opportunities.
As the great Keynesian priests of Japan distract the world by pointing out repeatedly the modest and now declining rise in nominal wages, as testament of the "success"of Abenomics, what they want everyone to ignore is what is going on with real wages. So, without further ado, here is the difference between Nominal and Real wages, as demonstrates best by that sinking Keynesian titanic, which has already returned to recession as confirmed by the upcoming negative GDP print, Japan.
With the revelations of systemic, widespread corporate criminality of banking institutions in recent years, it is clear that global Bank CEOs are becoming the new Drug Lords.
U.S. companies are taking a margin hit as they continue to cut prices amid intense competition, according to Bloomberg Briefs' Richard Yamarone. In this disinflationary environment, Yamarone notes that consumer-related businesses are raising red flags on the struggling household sector, especially those at the lower end of the income spectrum. Here are 8 CEOs comments to clarify the 'real' situation (as consumer confidence somehow hits 7 year highs)...
The U.S. economy has had six full years to bounce back since the financial collapse of 2008, and it simply has not happened. Median household income has declined substantially since then, total household wealth for middle class families is way down, the percentage of the population that is employed is still about where it was at the end of the last recession, and the number of Americans that are dependent on the government has absolutely exploded. Even those that claim that the economy is "recovering" admit that we are not even close to where we used to be economically. Many hope that someday we will eventually get back to that level, but the truth is that this is about as good as things are ever going to get for the middle class.
The Fed consistently managed the Fed Funds rates to keep oil prices steady, even when it required mid-teens interest rates and back-to-back recessions in 1980-1982. Since US Fed Funds rates were managed to preserve US creditors’ and oil exporters’ purchasing power in oil terms, the system proved acceptable to most nations. While the Petrodollar arrangement worked well for nearly thirty years, the arrangement began to wobble beginning around 2002-04...