The relatively new Minneapolis Fed president Narayana Kocherlakota is not known for any insightful, original ideas. Before he took over the MinnFed, he was a research economist at the bank in the late 1990s, a consultant there from 1999 to 2009, taught at the University of Minnesota from 2005 to 2010 and was chairman of the U’s department of economics before being named president of the bank. What he is best known for is his epic flip-flopping: from one of the Fed's staunchest hawks early in his presidential career, to a dove so starved for the Fed's monetary liquidity, he often puts even Charles Evans to shame. He is among the first to suggest that the Fed should hold rates at zero until unemployment hits 5.5% (which it never will unless of course the plunge in the labor participation rate continues) something which both Goldman and Yellen have now adopted as gospel. Nobody knows what precipitated this shocking metamorphosis, although it is said Ben Bernanke can be quite persuasive during unrecorded phone calls. Which brings us to the topic of this post: what does a suspiciously reformed Fed dove do when faced with increasingly louder, conflicting voices that challenge the delusion that the only thing that will fix a failing QE is more QE? He fires them of course.
- When it fails, do more of it - Bank of Japan hints at extending ultra-loose monetary policy (FT)
- PBOC Says No Longer in China’s Interest to Increase Reserves (BBG)
- Fed casts about for endgame on easy-money policy (Hilsenrath)
- Big trucks still rule Detroit in energy-conscious era (Reuters)
- Debt Limit Rise May Not Be Needed Until June, CBO Says (BBG)
- Some Insurance Regulators Turn Down White House Invitation (WSJ)
- Say Goodbye to the Car Salesman (WSJ)
- U.S. drone kills senior militant in Pakistani seminary (Reuters)
- French business sector contracts sharply (FT)
- How Germany's taxman used stolen data to squeeze Switzerland (Reuters)
- Fed casts about for endgame on easy-money policy (WSJ)
- France, Italy call for full-time Eurogroup chief (Reuters)
Following President Obama's "win" a few years ago, the headline above may not be as entirely surprising as some would expect. However, we can't help but feel the Syrian President's comments represented his actual perspective and his 'just kidding'-moment was 13-year-old-girl-esque covering-up of the stunning comment given the 115,000 dead in his nation so far from the conflict. As The Tribune reports, the prize, which was given to the global chemical weapons watchdog on Friday, “should have been mine”, Assad said, according to Al-Akhbar newspaper. Hey, there's always next year Bashar...
Update: Reuters confirms that the new island was in fact not a hoax: "The earthquake was so powerful that it caused the seabed to rise and create a small, mountain-like island about 600 meters (yards) off Pakistan's Gwadar coastline in the Arabian Sea."
As reported earlier, Pakistan and India were both shaken by a strong 7.8 magnitude earthquake with numerous aftershocks. While the damage and the casualties from the quake are not fully known yet although according to Raza news agency the latest death toll is at 45, one quite stunning development has emerged, quite literally, out of the sea. As Pakistani's The News reports, an entire island emerged off the country's Gwadar coast in the aftermath of the quake. "According to DIG Gwadar Moazzam Jah, the island's altitude is 20 to 40 feet and width around 100 feet. Talking to Geo news, the DIG said that the island emerged at a distance of 350 feet in the sea from the Gwadar coast."
The latest buzz circulating around the gold market relates to news that Pakistan’s Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet (ECC) has decided to ban duty free gold imports for thirty days. Why you ask? Because those pesky Indians are using Pakistan as a conduit to get around the country’s recent 8% duty imposed on gold imports. All of this of course begs the question: With the price of gold “plunging” over the past several months, why did Pakistan and India both feel the need to take such draconian measures against a barbarous relic that everyone is supposedly panic selling? If there is so much gold to be had and no one wants it, what’s the problem? Strange indeed...
Banks are NOT looking to hang onto REO property. Read Basel III. 150% risk weight for distressed...
Despite the worst fears of many that this morning America might wake up to a redux of a flaming Compton and Watts, so far there have been no widespread riots or looting, even if vandalism has broken out sporadically among the countrywide angry protests.
- Bernanke Supports Continuing Stimulus Amid Debate Over QE (BBG)
- Portugal president wants 'salvation' deal, including opposition (Reuters)
- Egypt has less than two months imported wheat left - ex-minister (Reuters)
- A rise in long-term interest rates is creating challenges and opportunities for the largest U.S. banks. (WSJ)
- BoJ says Japanese economy is ‘recovering’ (FT)
- More Chinese cities likely to curb auto sales (Reuters)
- PC Shipments Fall for 5th Quarter (BBG)
- Property Crushes Hedge Funds in Alternative Markets (BBG)
- New aid gives Greece summer respite before showdown (Reuters)
- Rajoy Punishes Exporters Sustaining Spain’s Economy (BBG)
- Greece's Economic Future 'Uncertain,' Creditors Say (WSJ)
- Secret Court's Redefinition of 'Relevant' Empowered Vast NSA Data-Gathering (WSJ)
- Thomson Reuters Halts Early Peeks At Consumer Data (WSJ)
- Larry Summers Circles as Fed Opening Looms (WSJ)
- S&P to Argue Puffery Defense in First Courtroom Test (BBG)
- Geithner joins top table of public speakers with lucrative appearances (FT)
- Losing $317 Billion Makes U.S. Debt Safer for Mizuho to HSBC (BBG)
- Pilot Error Eyed in San Francisco Plane Crash (WSJ)
- Investment group sues U.S. over Fannie, Freddie bailout terms (Reuters)
- Egypt officials 'order closure of Islamist party HQ' (AFP)
- Heinz Kerry Transferred to Boston Hospital for Treatment (BBG) - a boating accident?
- Egypt on the edge after Mursi rebuffs army ultimatum (Reuters)
- Inside China's Bank-Rate Missteps (WSJ)
- Obama Urges Morsi to Respond to Protesters' Concerns (WSJ)
- How Fed’s 7% Jobless Avoids Deterring Bondholders Is Mystery (BBG)
- Obama Joins With Political Foe Bush at End of Africa Trip (BBG)
- China may introduce deposit insurance by year-end (China Daily)
- China’s Slowdown Could Slam Hong Kong (BBG)
- Government 'to ask Rothschild to advise on RBS split' (Telegraph)
- Martin Feldstein: The Fed Should Start to 'Taper' Now (WSJ)
- Pretty much as expected from George W. Bush: Edward Snowden ‘damaged’ security (Politico)
- Gotta love the Keynesian-Monetarist religion: True 'Bullievers' Are Still Sweet on Japan (WSJ)
- Canadian Takes Reins at Bank of England (WSJ)
- Egypt streets quiet, political standoff goes on (Reuters)
- Private Banks Leave Switzerland as End of Secrecy Hurts (BBG)
- How Next Debt-Ceiling Fight Could Play Out (WSJ)
- Easy Money Is Still Central (WSJ)
- Lew Says China Needs Market Policies and Stop Spying (BBG) - China replies with the same
- Ireland Preparing Plan to Tap Euro-Area Rescue Fund, Noonan Says (BBG)
- Poll shows strong shift to Australian PM Rudd, new ministry named (Reuters)
History never changes. Or, at least it changes very slowly indeed. So here we are, like those before us, warning of our own Great Depression, of our own World War, or of even larger cycles like the fall of the English, Spanish, or Roman empires. And so far as we can tell, few listen and nothing changes. Why? Because it isn’t time. Understanding long-term cycles, and how they shape our spectrum of responses in periods of crisis and transformation is key to comprehending what is to come (and how we will allow it to affect us). Do you really think your ancestors didn’t see the Depression coming in 1921 or in 1929? Of course they did. The Balloon Option-ARM mortgage had just been invented, creating a housing boom larger and even more groundless as our own, immortalized by the Marx Brothers in The Cocoanuts. They warned the world then just as we do now, and no one listened then, just as they don’t now. Why? It wasn’t time.
Hawks Desperate to Drum Up an Excuse for War
Texas Rep. Giovanni Capriglione has a bill in play that would move the state’s gold from New York (where its under the “safekeeping” of the ultra shady Federal Reserve) to a depository within the state of Texas itself. The reason this would be such a big deal if it happens, is because a lot of the gold bought and sold globally is not very likely not actually owned by those that “buy” it. From my perspective, pretty much the only countries that actually buy gold and bring it within their borders are China, Russia and Iran. Most other nations that claim they “bought” gold, most likely hold a certificate that states they have gold in London or New York. So in other words, they have no gold. It looks like Texas is wising up.
- Pope steps down, citing frailty (Reuters)
- Japan’s economic minister wants Nikkei to surge 17% to 13,000 by March (Japan Times)
- Venezuelan devaluation sparks panic (FT)
- Rajoy releases tax returns, but fails to clear up doubts over Aznar years (El Pais)
- Companies Fret Over Uncertain Outlook (WSJ)
- Home Depot Dumps BlackBerry for iPhone (ATD)
- Kuroda favors Abe's inflation target, mum about BOJ role (Kyodo)
- A Cliff Congress May Go Over (WSJ)
- U.S., Europe Seek to Cool Currency Jitters (WSJ)
- Radical rescue proposed for Cyprus (FT)
- Franc Is Still Overvalued, SNB’s Zurbruegg Tells Aargauer (BBG)
- Northeast Crawls Back to Life After Crippling Blizzard (WSJ)