Investors are pricing in a crisis.
With concerns about a hard landing in China playing the starring role in the risk-off environment that’s dominated so far in 2016, it’s no surprise that equities in the world’s second-largest economy have fared particularly poorly.
In local-currency terms, the Shanghai Composite is down almost 17 percent this year, far underperforming the MSCI World Index’s 7.5 percent retreat.
Echoes of 1934 are thundering with increasing intensity.
In 1934, United States President Franklin Delano Roosevelt outlawed the private ownership of gold. After confiscating billions in bullion, Roosevelt shocked the world by revaluing it. The cost for an ounce of gold, previously set at $20.67, was suddenly $35. Overnight, Roosevelt devalued the dollar by 69 percent.
The president told the country that it was a radical effort to stimulate America’s economy. A cheaper dollar would make America’s exports less expensive and help American companies sell more products to the rest of the world, he said. More money would flow into America, and more jobs would be created.
It did those things. And it also marched the world another giant step closer to war. Continue reading
With the Federal Reserve printing trillions upon trillions of dollars to keep the economic system afloat, many investors and financial pundits have surmised that the fundamental economic problems facing the United States during the crash of 2008 have been resolved. Stocks are, after all, at historic highs. Continue reading
China has entered the global monetary-easing fray, along with more than a dozen other economies, after its central bank surprised investors by cutting reserve requirements 50 basis points to spur lending and combat deflation. But Beijing may be raring for an even bigger and more perilous fight — in the currency markets.
At the same time, something else is afoot in Beijing could have even greater global impact. The central bank is cooking up measures to widen the band in which its currency trades. People’s Bank of China officials say it’s about limiting volatility as capital zooms in and out of the economy. Let’s call it what it really is: the first step toward yuan depreciation and currency war. Continue reading
“There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as a result of a voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion, or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved.” – Ludwig von Mises
The surreal nature of this world as we enter 2015 feels like being trapped in a Fellini movie. The .1% party like it’s 1999, central bankers not only don’t take away the punch bowl – they spike it with 200% grain alcohol, the purveyors of propaganda in the mainstream media encourage the party to reach Caligula orgy levels, the captured political class and their government apparatchiks propagate manipulated and massaged economic data to convince the masses their standard of living isn’t really deteriorating, and the entire façade is supposedly validated by all-time highs in the stock market. It’s nothing but mass delusion perpetuated by the issuance of prodigious amounts of debt by central bankers around the globe. And nowhere has the obliteration of a currency through money printing been more flagrant than in the land of the setting sun – Japan. The leaders of this former economic juggernaut have chosen to commit hari-kari on behalf of the Japanese people, while enriching the elite, insiders, bankers, and their global banking co-conspirators. Continue reading
Earlier this evening China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange’s (SAFE) Wang Yungui noted “the impact of the Russian Ruble depreciation was unclear yet, and, as Bloomberg reported, “SAFE is closely watching Ruble’s depreciation and encouraging companies to hedge Ruble risks.” His comments also echoed the ongoing FXFX reform agenda aimed at increasing Yuan flexibility which The South China Morning Post then hinted in a story entitled “Russia may seek China help to deal with crisis,” which which noted that Russia could fall back on its 150 billion yuan ($24 billion) currency swap agreement with China if the ruble continues to plunge, that was signed in October. Furthermore, two bankers close to the PBOC reportedly said the swap-line was meant to reduce the role of the US dollar if China and Russia need to help each other overcome a liquidity squeeze. Continue reading
Southern Europe’s cash-strapped governments are courting wealthy Chinese homebuyers, seeking to bolster their battered real estate markets by offering visas to those who purchase prime properties.
Cyprus, Greece and Portugal are providing resident permits to foreign buyers, while Spain is about to adopt a similar measure. The chance to purchase a home at depressed prices in southern Europe and gain what’s known as a golden visa is mostly being sold to Chinese investors, according to brokers. Continue reading
(Reuters) – Major emerging-market economies are paying close attention to “new and complex” developments in global financial markets and want closer coordination of their macroeconomic policies, a diplomatic source briefed on the matter told Reuters on Monday.
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and her Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, discussed ways to strengthen policy coordination on Monday in a telephone conversation, said the official, who asked not to be identified. Continue reading