Markets ignored clear warnings in Europe and America that the money supply is catching fire, signalling a surge of inflation later this year
The global deflation trade is unwinding with a vengeance. Yields on 10-year Bunds blew through 1pc today, spearheading a violent repricing of credit across the world.
The scale is starting to match the ‘taper tantrum’ of mid-2013 when the US Federal Reserve issued its first gentle warning that quantitative easing would not last forever, and that the long-feared inflexion point was nearing in the international monetary cycle.
Paper losses over the last three months have reached $1.2 trillion. Yields have jumped by 175 basis points in Indonesia, 160 in South Africa, 150 in Turkey, 130 in Mexico, and 80 in Australia.
The world authorities have run out of ammunition as rates remain stuck at zero. They have no margin for error as economy falters
The world economy is disturbingly close to stall speed. The United Nations has cut its global growth forecast for this year to 2.8pc, the latest of the multinational bodies to retreat.
We are not yet in the danger zone but this pace is only slightly above the 2.5pc rate that used to be regarded as a recession for the international system as a whole.
It leaves a thin safety buffer against any economic shock – most potently if China abandons its crawling dollar peg and resorts to ‘beggar-thy-neighbour’ policies, transmitting a further deflationary shock across the global economy.
You can’t find a bigger warning of lately than what just came from BoA.
In a note sent out this morning, Bank of America Merrill Lynch has a warning for investors:
Investors remain trapped in “The Twilight Zone”, the transition period between the end of QE and the first rate hike by the Fed, the start of policy normalization…until (a) the US economy is unambiguously robust enough to allow the Fed to hike and (b) the Fed’s exit from zero rates is seen not to cause either a market or macro shock (as it infamously did in 1936-7), the investment backdrop will likely continue to be cursed by mediocre returns, volatile trading rotation, correlation breakdowns and flash crashes. For this reason we continue to advocate higher than normal levels of cash, adding gold and owning volatility in mid 2015. Given extremities of liquidity, profits, technological disruption, regulation, income inequality…potential for a cleansing drop in asset prices cannot be dismissed. Most likely catalysts: Consumer, Rates, A-shares, Speculation, High Yield.
Six years after the Global Financial Crisis, the U.S. stock market continues to soar to new heights with nary a pullback or correction. In this piece, I will explain why the stock market is experiencing a new bubble that is actually another wave of the bubble that has existed since the mid-1990s.
A two-decade old bubble? Yes, you’ve read that correctly. Most people will consider this assertion preposterous, but the facts don’t lie. Though the U.S. stock market has been experiencing a bubble for two decades, it will not last forever. I believe that the ultimate popping of this bubble will have terrifying consequences for both investors and the global economy that is tied so closely to the stock market.
The SP500 stock index has more than tripled since its low in 2009, but that doesn’t mean that we are out of the woods. On the contrary, this is the calm before the storm. Continue reading
When such a newsletter comes from an institution such as Guggenheim, the soon-to-come problems America faces couldn’t be more surreal.
As economic growth returns again to Europe and Japan, the prospect of a synchronous global expansion is taking hold. Or, then again, maybe not. In a recent research piece published by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, global economic growth, as measured in nominal U.S. dollars, is projected to decline in 2015 for the first time since 2009, the height of the financial crisis.
In fact, the prospect of improvement in economic growth is largely a monetary illusion. No one needs to explain how policymakers have made painfully little progress on the structural reforms necessary to increase global productive capacity and stimulate employment and demand. Lacking the political will necessary to address the issues, central bankers have been left to paper over the global malaise with reams of fiat currency.
As the dash-for-trash continues in US equities, Neuberger Berman sums up the state of investing currently, “there has certainly been little reward for owning high-return, superior business models that are conservatively financed,” as Bloomberg notes, Fed policy has had the “unintended consequence” of boosting the stocks of companies with heavy debt and little or no earnings. Typically after a recession, such companies lose out to firms that generate more cash and have better balance sheets; this time, no “Darwinian” shakeout happened and low-quality stocks ruled. Managers say they haven’t changed, the market has. The Fed’s QE/ZIRP world has artificially inflated prices of lower-quality U.S. stocks, punishing those who focus on businesses with the best fundamentals, “if the next five years are the same, there won’t be any active managers left.” Continue reading
The master narrative of the global economy shifted six years ago from “China will push global growth for decades to come” to “the central banks can push global growth for decades to come.”
Time after time we’ve witnessed enfeebled global markets jolted out of terminal declines by central bank pronouncements and new money-printing policies. Never mind that the European Central Bank’s (ECB) Mario Draghi had no concrete proposals in hand when he announced the ECB would “do whatever it takes” to save the European Union from the financial consequences of its reckless abandonment of risk management; the mere announcement was enough to trigger a massive reversal in global markets. 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
A global war of currency depreciation has begun. Although the weapons are not killing anyone, the slow damage will be no less devastating than nuclear, chemical or biological warfare. In a worst-case scenario, there will be a substantial redistribution of the income and wealth of all nations and an even wider gap between the rich and poor.
The war has now spread to Denmark, Singapore, the EU, Switzerland, Japan and even South Korea and Taiwan. The weapons used include banknotes, central bank control of foreign exchange and interest rates, and vultures (hedge funds) in the financial markets defending and speculating on the currencies. Continue reading
The head of Germany’s central bank has said that quantitative easing will not solve the economic problems of the Eurozone.
MOSCOW, January 25 (Sputnik) – The president of the German central bank, Jens Weidmann, has expressed his disagreement with the ECB’s decision to implement quantitative easing in an interview with German newspaper Welt am Sonntag.
“Bond-buying by the government is not a normal instrument of monetary policy,” Weidmann told the paper on Sunday. Such a policy, when carried out in a monetary union like the Eurozone, “is connected with particular drawbacks and risks,” Weidmann continued, adding that “there should be a high threshold for their use.” Continue reading
Some Investors See Single Currency Falling to Parity With U.S. Dollar
A day after the European Central Bank unveiled its bond-buying program, the single currency still was in free fall, blowing past analysts’ expectations for how low the euro can go.
Some investors now say the euro could fall to the point where it is on equal footing with the U.S. dollar for the first time since it climbed above the buck in late 2002.
“If you would have asked me a few months ago, I would’ve said that parity could be in the cards in the years ahead. Now, we can’t rule it out anymore even by the end of this year,” said Thomas Kressin, head of European foreign exchange at Pacific Investment Management Co., or Pimco, which has $1.68 trillion under management. Continue reading
European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi has announced the launch of an expanded monthly 60 billion euro ($70 billion) private and public bond-buying program that will last until at least September 2016.
The long-anticipated asset-purchasing program—touted as the euro zone’s answer to the U.S. Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing (QE) programs—will start this March, Draghi told reporters at his regular media conference on Thursday. Continue reading
In short, it’s past the the point of no return and will result in a global market crash — possibly in 2015. We’ve all heard this story before and it surely sounds like a repeat from the last ten years of warnings, however, you can now see the wheels falling off as the central banks throughout the world are running out of options. Moreover, the only option they have is what’s exponentially compounding the problem. You might wonder how they could be so dumb, but on the other side you know these are experts with years of experience handling the situation. This leads to the next question: Is destroying the economy intentional? You can’t make 300 mistakes in a row and be called an idiot.
Former BIS chief economist warns that QE in Europe is doomed to failure and may draw the region into deeper difficulties
The economic prophet who foresaw the Lehman crisis with uncanny accuracy is even more worried about the world’s financial system going into 2015.
Beggar-thy-neighbour devaluations are spreading to every region. All the major central banks are stoking asset bubbles deliberately to put off the day of reckoning. This time emerging markets have been drawn into the quagmire as well, corrupted by the leakage from quantitative easing (QE) in the West.
“We are in a world that is dangerously unanchored,” said William White, the Swiss-based chairman of the OECD’s Review Committee. “We’re seeing true currency wars and everybody is doing it, and I have no idea where this is going to end.” Continue reading
First, a broad strokes preview of what the world’s most confused Central bank will do this week:
[The ECB] is trapped down a dark alley and they will bite. For all the pros and cons of public QE as well as the hows and whens, at the end of the day the market has pushed the ECB into that corner. Within the context of the practical limitations of QE, we have no doubt that Draghi once again will leave a warm fuzzy feeling that they are prepared to do all that it takes. Of course, like OMT, it probably doesn’t mean they are buying BTPs come February 1st, but that doesn’t matter for BTPs. It also doesn’t matter for the Euro zone outlook given the dubitancy of QE efficacy.
Swiss decision probably means Mario Draghi and the ECB have at last convinced Germany that QE is needed to save the eurozone
Another day, another bout of extreme market turbulence. The last cue for mayhem has been the decision by the Swiss National Bank to abandon its attempts to prevent the franc from appreciating against the euro. Given that just a month ago, the SNB said it would hold the line with the “utmost determination”, the announcement took traders by surprise. The franc soared, the euro collapsed, shares lost their gains. It was uproar. Continue reading