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Bundesbank warns of Coming Pension Crisis

The Bundesbank has come out warning that there is a German pension crisis. They have proposed that states raise the pension tax and that they should gradually increase the retirement age because the life expectancy in the future has risen. Central Bank President, Jens Weidmann, has stated that he is generally in favor of raising the statutory retirement age beyond 67 years.

We must understand that the ECB policy of “stimulating” the economy with negative interest rates has bankrupted state pension plans. This theory that lowering interest rates to get people to borrow and thus manipulate demand higher has NEVER been proven to have ever worked. The consequence of what we now face is a major pension crisis that is undermining the future of Western economies.

“Cash Must Not Be Made the Scapegoat”

“Cash Must Not Be Made the Scapegoat”

In the War on Cash, a rare defense of physical money by an ECB Board Member.

The proposed EU-wide cash restrictions could come into effect as early as this year. But defenders of physical cash have an unexpected ally in their struggle: Yves Mersch, a member of the European Central Bank’s executive board. In a speech hosted by the Bundesbank last week, the Luxembourgian central banker exalted cash’s value as legal tender and heaped scorn on the oft-heard argument that its anonymity only helps criminals.

“Protection of privacy matters to all of us. Privacy protects people from the risk of a surveillance state and thought police,” he told his audience. “No particular link can be established statistically between cash and criminal activities. The focus must be on the fight against crime. Cash must not be made the scapegoat.”

One of the world’s biggest issuers of notes and coins, the Bundesbank was a fitting location for a speech on the virtues of physical money. In total, €592 billion of the €1.1 trillion of banknotes in circulation at the end of 2016 were issued by the Bundesbank.

Judging by recent statements, the Bundesbank wants to preserve this arrangement. Bundesbank president Jens Weidmann, who is hotly tipped to replace Mario Draghi as ECB president in 2019, has warned that it would be “disastrous” if people started to believe cash would be abolished — an oblique reference to the risk of negative interest rates and the escalating war on cash triggering a run on cash.

That didn’t stop five national governments — Cyprus, Bulgaria, Belgium, Portugal and Denmark — from approaching the ECB last year to consult on measures to limit the use of cash, according to Mersch. Meanwhile, Sweden is widely regarded as the most cashless society on the planet.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

As Petro-Yuan Looms, Bundesbank Adds Renminbi To Currency Reserves

Just days after China’s (denied) threat to slow/stop buying US Treasuries, and just days before the launch of China’s petro-yuan futures contract, Germany’s central bank confirmed it would include China’s Renminbi in its reserves.

The FT reports that Andreas Dombret, a member of Deutsche Bundesbank’s executive board, said at the Asian Financial Forum in Hong Kong on Monday that the central bank had “decided to include the RMB in our currency reserves”.

He said: “The RMB is used increasingly as part of central banks’ foreign exchange reserves; for example, the European Central Bank included the RMB [as a reserve currency].

The Bundesbank’s six-member board took the decision to invest in renminbi assets in mid-2017, but it was not publicly announced at the time. No investments have been made yet; preparations for purchases are still ongoing.

The inclusion in the German central bank’s reserves basket underscored China’s increasing prominence in the global financial landscape, and reflected policies aimed at making the currency more freely tradable internationally.

Mr Dombret said:

“The notable development from the European point of view over the past few years has been the growing international role of the RMB in global financial markets.

The offshore Yuan strengthened on the news overnight – pushing to its strongest in over 2 years…

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/inline-images/20180115_dollar1_0.png

And as Les Echoes reports, while the Bundesbank wants to integrate the yuan into its foreign exchange reserves, the Banque de France is already using it as a currency of diversification.

The Banque de France has raised a corner of the veil on its strategy of managing foreign exchange reserves.

“The foreign currency holdings remain overwhelmingly invested in US dollars, with diversification to a limited number of international currencies such as the Chinese renminbi.

Which currency would you rather hold as a stable reserve?

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/inline-images/20180115_dollar.png

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

“We Cannot Afford another Draghi”: Germany Attacks ECB

“We Cannot Afford another Draghi”: Germany Attacks ECB

Negative interest rates, helicopter money trigger Clash of Titans.

Relations between the government of Europe’s biggest economy, Germany, and Europe’s most powerful financial institution, the European Central Bank, have soured to the point of curdling.

The latest volley of barbed remarks came from Germany’s dour Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble, who has never been one to mince his words. Speaking at an awards ceremony outside Frankfurt on April 8, he told the audience that the stellar rise of right-wing populist Alternative für Deutschland party was due in large part to the ECB’s loose monetary policy.

“I told Mario Draghi … you can be very proud,” according to a report by a Dow Jones journalist who was present.

Schäuble’s off-the-cuff remarks set in motion a flurry of caustic statements from other conservative German politicians, with the lion’s share of the ire reserved for the ECB’s negative interest rate policy.

“Mario Draghi’s policies have led to a massive loss of credibility of the ECB,” said the deputy head of the CDU parliamentary group, Hans-Peter Friedrich, who also called for Draghi to be replaced by a German when the Italian completes his term, in 2019. “The next ECB Chief must be a German, who feels bound to the German Bundesbank’s tradition of monetary stability.”

Friedrich’s sentiments were echoed by the CSU foreign policy expert and member of the Bundestag Hans-Peter Uhl. “We cannot afford another Draghi,” he said. “We need to place a key German financial specialist at the head of the ECB.”

As the German daily Handelsblatt notes, the latest exchange marks a new low for Germany’s policymakers in their relations with the Frankfurt-based ECB. The main trigger for the latest storm of protest was Draghi’s praise last month for the idea of “helicopter money” – showering citizens with newly created money.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

“Freedom Always Dies Bit by Bit”: Bundesbank Takes Sides in War on Cash

“Freedom Always Dies Bit by Bit”: Bundesbank Takes Sides in War on Cash

There are two sides in the global war against cash. On one side are many of the world’s governments, central banks, fintech firms, banks, credit card companies, telecommunication behemoths, financial institutions, large retailers, etc. According to them, the days of physical currency are numbered, so why not pull the plug already, beginning with the largest denomination bills such as the $100-note and particularly the €500-note?

On the other side are people who like to use cash – most of whom, according to the dominant official narrative, are either criminals or terrorists. After all, they must have something to hide; otherwise, why would they use a private, untraceable (not to mention archaic, dirty, dangerous and unhygienic) form of payment like cash?

The powers that want to kill off cash already have vital technological and generational trends firmly on their side, along with widespread public ignorance, apathy, and disinterest. But in recent weeks the unlikeliest of defenders of physical money has emerged: the national central bank of Europe’s biggest economy, the German Bundesbank.

“I have my doubts that introducing a cash limit or getting rid of bigger denominations can really prevent terrorists or criminals from engaging in illegal activities,” Carl-Ludwig Thiele, Bundesbank board member in charge of cash issues, said in a speech last week. “We also should ask ourselves: what sort of an understanding of government forms the basis of these proposals? Citizens should not be put under general suspicion.”

Thiele is not the first Bundesbank official to publicly defend cash.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

“Freedom Always Dies Bit by Bit”: Bundesbank Takes Sides in War on Cash

“Freedom Always Dies Bit by Bit”: Bundesbank Takes Sides in War on Cash

There are two sides in the global war against cash. On one side are many of the world’s governments, central banks, fintech firms, banks, credit card companies, telecommunication behemoths, financial institutions, large retailers, etc. According to them, the days of physical currency are numbered, so why not pull the plug already, beginning with the largest denomination bills such as the $100-note and particularly the €500-note?

On the other side are people who like to use cash – most of whom, according to the dominant official narrative, are either criminals or terrorists. After all, they must have something to hide; otherwise, why would they use a private, untraceable (not to mention archaic, dirty, dangerous and unhygienic) form of payment like cash?

The powers that want to kill off cash already have vital technological and generational trends firmly on their side, along with widespread public ignorance, apathy, and disinterest. But in recent weeks the unlikeliest of defenders of physical money has emerged: the national central bank of Europe’s biggest economy, the German Bundesbank.

“I have my doubts that introducing a cash limit or getting rid of bigger denominations can really prevent terrorists or criminals from engaging in illegal activities,” Carl-Ludwig Thiele, Bundesbank board member in charge of cash issues, said in a speech last week. “We also should ask ourselves: what sort of an understanding of government forms the basis of these proposals? Citizens should not be put under general suspicion.”

Thiele is not the first Bundesbank official to publicly defend cash.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

We Know How This Ends, Part 2

We Know How This Ends, Part 2

In March 1969, while Buba was busy in the quicksand of its swaps and forward dollar interventions, Netherlands Bank (the Dutch central bank) had instructed commercial banks in Holland to pull back funds from the eurodollar market in order to bring up their liquidity positions which had dwindled dangerously during this increasing currency chaos.  At the start of April that year, the Swiss National Bank (Swiss central bank) was suddenly refusing its own banks dollar swaps in order that they would have to unwind foreign funds positions in the eurodollar market.  The Bank of Italy (the Italian central bank) had ordered some Italian banks to repatriate $800 million by the end of the second quarter of 1969.  It also raised the premium on forward lire at which it offered dollar swaps to 4% from 2%, discouraging Italian banks from engaging in covered eurodollar placements.

The “rising dollar” of 1969 had somehow become anathema to global banking liquidity even in local terms.

The FOMC, which had perhaps the best vantage point with which to view the unfolding events, documented the whole affair though stubbornly and maddeningly refusing to understand it all in greater context of radical paradigm banking and money alterations.  In other words, the FOMC meeting MOD’s for 1968 and 1969 give you an almost exact window into what was occurring as it occurred, but then, during the discussions that followed, degenerating into confusion and mystification as these economists struggled to only frame everything in their own traditional monetary understanding – a religious-like tendency that we can also appreciate very well at this moment.

At the April 1969 FOMC meeting, Charles A. Coombs, Special Manager of the System Open Market Account, reported that the bank liquidity issue then seemingly focused on Germany was indeed replicated in far more countries.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

We Know How This Ends, Part 1

We Know How This Ends, Part 1

The finance ministers and representatives of central banks from the world’s ten largest “capitalist” economies gathered in Bonn, West Germany on November 20, 1968. The global financial system was then enthralled by a third major currency crisis of the past year or so and there was great angst and disagreement as to what to do about it. While sterling had become something of a recurring devaluation tendency and francs perpetually, it seemed, in disarray, this time it was the Deutsche mark that was the great object of conjecture and anger. What happened at that meeting, a discussion that lasted thirty-two hours, depends upon which source material you choose to dissect it. From the point of view of the Germans, it was a convivial exchange of ideas from among partners; the Americans and British, a sometimes testy and perhaps heated debate about clearly divergent merits; the French were just outraged.

The communique issued at the end of the “conference” only said, “The ministers and governors had a comprehensive and thorough exchange of views on the basic problems of balance-of-payments disequilibria and on the recent speculative capital movements.” In reality, none of them truly cared about the former except as may be controlled by the latter. These “speculative capital movements” became the target of focused energy which would not restore balance and stability but ultimately see the end of the global monetary system.

Some background is needed before jumping into West Germany’s financial energy. The gold exchange standard under the Bretton Woods framework had appeared to have lasted as far as this monetary conference, but it had ended in practicality long before. In the late 1950’s, central banks, the Federal Reserve primary among them, had rendered gold especially and increasingly irrelevant in settling the world’s trade finance.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Get Used to Selloffs, Central Bankers Say as They Fret about the Terrifying Moment When Liquidity Evaporates

Get Used to Selloffs, Central Bankers Say as They Fret about the Terrifying Moment When Liquidity Evaporates

Axel Weber, president of the Bundesbank and member of the ECB’s Governing Council until he quit both in 2011 to protest the ECB’s bond purchases, quickly landed a new gig: chairman of UBS. WHIRR went the revolving door. From this perch, he warned in 2012 that the easy-money policies and the expansion of central-bank balance sheets would lead to “new turmoil in the financial markets.” Now that the turmoil has arrived, he’s at it again.

“Volatility and repricing” – a euphemism for losses – are “part of getting back to normal,” he told NBC. We should get used to it, he said, echoing what ECB President Mario Draghi had said a couple of days ago. So no big deal. However, he was fretting “about the liquidity in the market, in particular under stress situations.”

Despite unleashing a deafening round of QE on the European markets, the ECB has watched helplessly as government bonds have done the opposite of what they should have done: Prices have plunged, and yields have spiked. The German 10-year yield soared in seven weeks from 0.05% to over 1% on Thursday, before settling down a bit. And it wasn’t even a “stress situation.”

US Treasuries have sold off sharply as well since the beginning of February, with the 10-year yield jumping from 1.65% to 2.31%, the worst selloff since the taper tantrum in 2013.

Now one word is on the official panic list: “liquidity.” They’re thinking about the terrifying moment when it suddenly evaporates.

Weber blamed central banks for the liquidity issues in the global bond markets. They’ve been buying “vast amounts of assets and putting them on their balance sheets”; not just government bonds but also corporate bonds. Since central banks “buy and hold,” they “take some liquidity out of the market.”

 

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
In progress...

Olduvai II: Exodus
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