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Why Mark Carney Thinks The Dollar Can No Longer Be The World’s Reserve Currency

Why Mark Carney Thinks The Dollar Can No Longer Be The World’s Reserve Currency

While Jerome Powell’s highly anticipated Jackson Hole speech was, in the words of Brean Capital’s Russ Certo “underwhelming and anti-climatic”, one couldn’t say the same for the shocking luncheon speech by Bank of England’s outgoing governor, Mark Carney, titled “The Growing Challenges for Monetary Policy in the current International Monetary and Financial System“, where he dedicated no less than 23 pages to a stunning – for a central banker – cause: to describe why the dollar’s  “destabilizing” reserve status role in the world economy has to end, and why central banks need to join together to create their own replacement reserve currency, one potentially tied to Facebook’s new “stablecoin” Libra, although in reality any “Synthetic Hegemonic Currency” as Carney defined it would do.

But first, a quick tangent: the reason we say Carney’s speech was shocking is not for what it proposes – after all, we have long argued that a world in which the dollar’s reserve currency status would be stripped away by the establishment and granted to some alternative – whether gold, or a basket of currencies like the IMF’s SDR, or a cryptocurrency like bitcoin – is coming in posts such as:

 The argument behind all these articles is simple and two-fold: i) in a fiat world, one can only devalue relative to some other currency, yet we have now reached a point where (as Pimco suggested two years ago when it said the Fed should buy gold to devalue the dollar against it) every currency needs to devalue relative to some hard index outside of the monetary system…

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

In Unprecedented, Shocking Proposal, BOE’s Mark Carney Urges Replacing Dollar With Libra-Like Reserve Currency

In Unprecedented, Shocking Proposal, BOE’s Mark Carney Urges Replacing Dollar With Libra-Like Reserve Currency

After Jerome Powell’s neutral-to-slightly-dovish-but-mostly-boring speech on Friday morning, investors could be forgiven for suspecting that this year’s Fed-sponsored gathering in Jackson Hole might be disappointingly dull (especially with all that’s going on in Trump’s twitter feed, the escalating trade war and escalating geopolitical unrest).

Then along came former Goldman banker and current (outgoing) BOE governor, Mark Carney, who in his lunchtime address laid out a shocking, radical proposal – perhaps the most stunning thing to ever be unveiled at Jackson Hole – urging to replace the US Dollar with a “Libra-like” reserve currency in a dramatic revamp of the global monetary, financial and economic order.

While it was unclear if Carney was focusing on Libra as the new reserve currency, or simply was hoping to find something against which the dollar could be devalued, the proposal was clearly shocking as it suggests that the central bank quiet acceptance of cryptocurrencies (especially in Japan) has been what many have speculated all along: a “currency” against which fiat money can be devalued in hopes of sparking fiat hyperinflation that inflates away record amounts of fiat debt.

Of course, such a new system would bring about the end of US hegemony, and effectively end the dollar-based global financial system, dramatically scaling back the US’s influence in the global economy, and making rising powers like China and Russia critical players an increasingly multipolar world…. especially if they propose a gold-backed dollar alternative to the world. That this would quickly emerge as the new reserve currency – together with whatever stablecoin/crypto central bankers deign to be the dollar’s replacement – goes without saying.

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

Mr. President, This Is How To Get The Fed To Launch Quantitative Easing

Mr. President, This Is How To Get The Fed To Launch Quantitative Easing

Yesterday, after countless demands that the Fed cut interest rates, Trump finally made his first, long anticipated formal demand that the Fed should pursue “some quantitative easing“:

 · Aug 19, 2019

Our Economy is very strong, despite the horrendous lack of vision by Jay Powell and the Fed, but the Democrats are trying to “will” the Economy to be bad for purposes of the 2020 Election. Very Selfish! Our dollar is so strong that it is sadly hurting other parts of the world…

…..The Fed Rate, over a fairly short period of time, should be reduced by at least 100 basis points, with perhaps some quantitative easing as well. If that happened, our Economy would be even better, and the World Economy would be greatly and quickly enhanced-good for everyone!

The good news for Trump is that he has now fully figured out that he has the Fed in the palm of his hand, as he demonstrated just hours after Powell’s July 31 rate cut when Trump broke the US-China trade ceasefire and re-escalated trade war, in the process sending rate cut odds soaring. The flowchart logic, as shown below, is quite simple: all Trump has to do is engage in action that threatens to destabilize the global economy and Powell – as he certified during the last FOMC meeting – has to respond by cutting further, until he eventually reaches a point where QE may be the only possible outcome (as we explained previously in “How The Fed Is Now Underwriting Trump’s Trade War, In One Chart“).

Obviously extending the logic of the above diagram to its logical conclusion also lays out the path that Trump must follow if he wishes to force the Fed to launch QE. And just in case it is unclear, it involves a “gray rhino”, an economic war, and negative rates.

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

Economic Storm Trump Will be Blamed For Because of Bad Advisers

Economic Storm Trump Will be Blamed For Because of Bad Advisers 

There is a very Dark Cloud hovering over the world economy and at the center of this cloud lies not just Europe, but Germany – the strongest economy holding up all of Europe. The German manufacturing sector is in freefall. Trump will be blamed calling this the result of his Trade War. It is probably too late to get him to even understand that his advisers are old-school and completely wrong with respect to trade. Their obsession with currency movements is what they taught back in school during the 1930s. My advice to China, let the yuan float and Trump will quickly see that China has been supporting its currency, not suppressing it.

Manufacturing indicators have deteriorated globally, yet in a very disproportionate manner. Trump will be blamed for this and his badgering the Fed to lower interest rates is also a fool’s game. Nobody looks at the elderly who were told to save for retirement and you will live off the interest. Their house values were undermined in the 2007-2009 New York Banker’s Mortgage-Backed scam that blew up the world economy from which we have been unable to fully recover. The younger generation cannot afford to buy a house as they are saddled with student loans thanks to the Clintons for degrees that are worthless as 65% cannot find jobs in what they have degrees for these days.

The insanity of those in power knows no boundary when it comes to stupidity around the world. All they have is interest rates and after more than 10 years of excessively low to negative interest rates failing to stimulate the economy in Europe, what do they do? They argue that all physical money must be eliminated because people are hoarding cash and thus defeat their lower interest rates policy.

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

This Is The Same Pattern The Fed Followed Before The Great Depression

This Is The Same Pattern The Fed Followed Before The Great Depression

There is immense confusion surrounding July’s Federal Reserve meeting and the rather insane aftermath that has been spurred on in the trade war. The Fed’s latest rate decision of a mere .25 bps cut was seen as “disappointing”, this was then followed by Jerome Powell’s public statements making it clear that this was only a mid-year “adjustment”, and that it was not the beginning of a rate cutting cycle and certainly not the beginning of renewed QE. This shocked the investment world, which was expecting far more accommodation from the Fed after 7 months of built up expectations that the central bank was about to unleash the stimulus punch bowl again.

The question that very few people are asking, though, is why didn’t they? What is stopping them? Everyone from daytraders to the president wants them to do it, yet they continue to keep liquidity conditions tight. In fact, they even dumped another $36 billion in assets from their balance sheet in July. Why?

Keep in mind that the latest Fed decision does two things: First, it is an indirect admission that the U.S. is entering recession territory. Second, it is also an admission that the Fed doesn’t plan to do anything about it, at least, not until it’s too late. In other words, all those people who thought the central bank was about to kick the can on the current crash in economic fundamentals were wrong. As I have been predicting for many months, the Fed has no intention of trying to delay the effects of negative conditions any longer. The crash is now a reality that the mainstream will have to accept.

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

Peter Schiff On Today’s Sell Off: The Fed Is “Lying”, Rates Are Going Back To 0%, Gold Is Going To $2,000

Peter Schiff On Today’s Sell Off: The Fed Is “Lying”, Rates Are Going Back To 0%, Gold Is Going To $2,000

On a day where it looks as though the Fed’s bullshit “magic potion” may finally be wearing off on the stock market, Peter Schiff joined Chris Irons on the Quoth the Raven Podcast to speak about today’s market move: what it means, whether it can continue and how he would position himself going forward.

Schiff began by talking about the trade war between China and the United States escalating. He talked about why he believes the US dollar was weakening on Monday and why he believes the dollar will continue to weaken for the foreseeable future. 

“We’ve been in a recession,” Schiff says.

“The election of Trump just delayed the inevitable for a little,” he continued. 

“My thinking is the market was going down regardless of the cut they got,” he said, talking about last week’s rate cut. 

“You can’t say the dollar is strong when it’s lost $30 against gold in one trading day. Gold tells you we have a weak dollar.

He continued, talking about Jerome Powell’s press conference last week:

“Powell contradicted himself several times, which is something that you do when you’re lying. The Fed is not telling the truth.” 

Schiff predicts that interest rates are going back to 0% and that the Fed will start QE yet again.

“Powell’s trying to pretend it’s because of concerns about the overseas economy. It is really the US economy that is driving the Fed. That’s why this is just the first step on the road back to zero. And you know, it was a mistake when the Fed went back to zero the last time; it’s going to be an even bigger mistake when they do it next time. And they’re also going to go back to quantitative easing. 

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

4 Reasons To Expect Even More US-China Trade (And Currency) War Escalation

4 Reasons To Expect Even More US-China Trade (And Currency) War Escalation

As we noted earlier when summarizing some of the more notable Wall Street reactions to China’s jarring trade war escalation, we highlighted the take of Morgan Stanley’s chief US public policy strategist, Michael Zezas, who said that he saw incentives for the U.S. to escalate quickly. Specifically, referring to the now viral chart of the circular dynamic of Trump-Powell interaction…

… Zezas said that if the administration understands the Fed’s trade policy reaction function – which it clearly does after it unleashed a new round of tariffs less than 24 hours after the Fed’s rate cut which has the market now pricing 33% odds of 2 rate cuts in September (see more here) – then it may also perceive that a more rapid escalation could deliver one or more of three beneficial points ahead of the 2020 election:

  1. A quicker, potentially more aggressive Fed stimulus response that could help the economy heading into the election;
  2. More time to re-frame the potential economic downside; and
  3. A major concession by China (not our base case, but it is, of course, a possibility).”

“The dynamics of U.S.-China negotiation and macro conditions mean the next round of tariffs will likely be enacted, and investors are likely to behave as if further escalation will follow in 2019 until markets price in impacts,” Zezas wrote. “This supports our core view of weaker growth and skews the Fed dovish.”

Zezas also highlighted several key global trade risks amid the rising geopolitical uncertainty, which he expects to keep rising:

  • WTO Courts at risk
  • US/EU confrontation set to intensify
    • Nov 15th auto deadline
    • OECD negotiations
  • US/China resume escalation

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

The Real Reason US Central Bankers Cannot Raise Interest Rates for the Rest of 2019

The Real Reason US Central Bankers Cannot Raise Interest Rates for the Rest of 2019

The real reason why the US Central Bank cannot raise interest rates can traced back to eight simple words – their response to the 2008 global financial crisis. US Central Bankers reached a crossroad of responsibility versus socialism for the über wealthy years before the 2008 financial crisis manifested, and they chose socialism for the über wealthy as could be expected, because Central Bankers have to somewhat appease the highest echelons of global wealth if they don’t want this class to turn their resources against them and argue for the dissolution of Central Banks. When Central Bankers, both in the US and in Europe, deliberately and very consciously chose the path of catering to the few thousands that constitute the class of the über wealthy over helping the remaining 6.8 billion people on planet Earth in 2008, they sealed the fate of what their decisions had to be some ten years later. 

During 2008, all of the largest European banks and US banks were completely bankrupt. To this day, I know that claim is disputed even though Finance Ministers that had privy to this data, like Greece’s Yanis Varoufakis, have made such claims. Furthermore, any reasonable person that looked more deeply into the financial health of all major US and European banks, the failure of which triggered the 2008 global financial crisis, would have understood that their unwillingness to operate as banks, but as massive hedge funds and to risk their clients’ deposits in hopes of making billions of profits every year, would have realized that regulatory agencies that suspended the necessity of banks marking their financial assets to market value  was enacted to allow banks to lie about their bankrupt status and project a robustness in financial health that simply did not exist.

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

Could The U.S Be Gearing Up To a Return to the Gold Standard?

Could The U.S Be Gearing Up To a Return to the Gold Standard?

There may be readers who weren’t even born when the U.S. still had a gold-backed dollar. Since the gold standard was abolished in 1971, the value of the dollar has decreased annually by 3.96 percent. You would need over $600 today to purchase the same goods you purchased for $100 in 1973. Still, a dollar is a dollar, right? No, it is not. It is just a piece of paper.

Is there a chance the U.S. could return to the gold standard and provide real value to the U.S. currency? Judy Shelton and Christopher Waller are President Trump’s pick for Federal Reserve governors. As it happens, Ms. Shelton is a believer in the gold standard and a critic of current Federal Reserve policies. She believes that the Fed has become unnecessarily involved in trade policies instead of adhering to its function of regulating the monetary system. Returning to the gold standard is not a popular idea these days when economists support the limitless printing for currency, high debt, and inflation. 

Ms. Shelton would have been considered mainstream 35 years ago. Today, she is thought of as unorthodox. In 2018, she wrote in an article published by the conservative thinktank, Cato Institute, “If the appeal of cryptocurrencies is their capacity to provide a common currency, and to maintain a uniform value for every issued unit, we need only consult historical experience to ascertain that these same qualities were achieved through the classical international gold standard.”  

She also authored a book, Fixing the Dollar Now. In it, she advocates for linking the dollar to a benchmark of value, preferably gold. More than four decades ago, the currency of all major countries, such a Britain, Japan, France, Russia, and others were linked to gold. In 1933, the dollar was linked to $35 worth of gold. In 2019, the value of the dollar is less than one-thirtieth of that. 

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

Why Morgan Stanley Thinks The S&P Is About To Crash

Why Morgan Stanley Thinks The S&P Is About To Crash

Echoing Guggenheim’s fears that US equities are in for a dramatic collapse, Morgan Stanley’s Mike Wilson warns that “…if equity markets fail one more time at our key resistance point, we believe the reversal is likely to be sharper and deeper than one might expect, even if the earnings recession is more benign than we expect.

Via Morgan Stanley,

Breaking out is hard to do. 

The S&P 500 remains the pied piper for global risk markets yet it continues to struggle with current levels for the third time in the past 18 months. While our 2400–3000 call from 18 months ago may look vulnerable, we think this latest surge will fail again, as we don’t expect a Fed cut to rekindle growth the way market participants may be hoping,and now pricing.

Market internals remain weak…

While the S&P 500 has made new highs, leadership remains decidedly defensive, with bond proxies and high-quality stocks disproportionately contributing to performance.

Underperformance of broader indices like the Russell 2000, Wilshire 5000,and equal-weighted S&P 500 suggest poor breadth, which is not a healthy development.

… Because fundamentals remain weak. 

We have been consistent in our view that growth would disappoint this year on both the earnings and economic fronts. Earnings forecasts have fallen significantly since the beginning of the year and economic surprises have skewed to the downside.

We have been consistent in our view that growth would disappoint this year on both the earnings and economic fronts. Earnings forecasts have fallen significantly since the beginning of the year and economic surprises have skewed to the downside.

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

Big disappointments in capital spending and business surveys suggest growth could slow further in 2H. Our economists are forecasting a material deceleration in 2H US GDP vs 1H.

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

If The Federal Reserve Cuts Interest Rates Now, It Will Be An Admission That A Recession Is Coming

If The Federal Reserve Cuts Interest Rates Now, It Will Be An Admission That A Recession Is Coming

So there is a lot of buzz that the Federal Reserve is about to cut interest rates – and it might actually happen.  We’ll see.  But if it does happen, it will directly contradict the carefully crafted narrative about the economy that the Federal Reserve has been perpetuating all this time.  Fed Chair Jerome Powell has repeatedly insisted that the U.S. economy is in great shape even when there has been a tremendous amount of evidence indicating otherwise.  And of course President Trump has been repeatedly telling us that this is “the greatest economy in the history of our country”, but now he is loudly calling for the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates as well.  Something doesn’t seem to add up here.  If the U.S. economy really was “booming”, there is no way that the Fed should cut interest rates.  Right now interest rates are already low by historical standards, and theoretically it is during the “boom” times that interest rates should be normalized.  But if the U.S. economy is actually slowing down and heading into a recession, then a rate cut would make perfect sense.  And if that is the reality of what we are facing, then the economic optimists have been proven dead wrong, and people like me that have been warning of an economic slowdown have been proven right.

If the talking heads on television are correct, we’ll probably see a rate cut.  In fact, apparently there are some people that are even pushing “for a 50 basis point cut”

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

The Fed Should Hike Interest Rates, Not Cut Them

The Fed Should Hike Interest Rates, Not Cut Them

Illustration by Robert A. Di Ieso|, Jr.; Source photograph by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

In the runup to the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee meetings on July 30 and July 31, policy makers are debating the value of what would normally be considered unorthodox policy actions. The consequences of the Fed’s actions in the next week—the U.S. central bank is expected to cut interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point—could be with us for much longer than we think, culminating in the next recession and increasing the risk to financial stability.

In the meantime, the Fed could be delivering yet another sugar high to the economy that doesn’t address underlying structural problems created by powerful demographic forces that are constraining output and depressing prices. 

By almost every measure, policy makers should be considering another rate hike, not a rate cut, in anticipation of potential economic overheating from looming limitations on output. Instead, debate has been focused on the need to take preemptive action to avoid a potential slowdown. 

An abrupt shift in thinking was set in motion last December when, after raising overnight rates by a quarter of a percentage point, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell signaled more hikes would come and that balance-sheet reduction was on “autopilot.” Alarmed by the market tantrum that ensued, Fed policy makers began a mop-up campaign that included the Fed’s now-famous “pivot” to patience.

While the Fed has more than succeeded in stabilizing markets, the ensuing liquidity-driven rally in various markets has boosted asset prices, including stocks, bonds, precious metals, energy, and even cryptocurrencies. 

As Europe faces prospects that negative rates might become a long-term fixture in the euro region, concerns are mounting in the U.S. that a global slide toward negative yields could infect the market for Treasury securities, should the U.S. slip into a recession. These concerns are well founded.

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

Blain’s Morning Porridge – July 29th 2019

 Blain’s Morning Porridge  – July 29th 2019

“I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.”  

The UK is a curious place.  Boris Johnson’s feel-good drive and the numerous plots being arrayed against him, received rather less attention over the weekend than the Minister for the 18th Century’s rather ponderous style guide.  Jacob Rees-Mogg, Esquire, has banned a host of words, outlawed clichés, demands double spaces after full-stops, insisted on imperial measures (Kilometers, Kilos and grams are banned), and has made the incorrect use of apostrophes a capital offence.  Readers will know my grasp of punctuation, spelling and grammar is nebulous at best – so if I disappear suddenly you can assume the Extreme Grammar-Nazi wing of the Conservative Party has got me!

Back in the real world, this week is largely about tomorrow.  Worry not about what’s going on in Hong Kong, the Gulf, or even how bad European economic data might be.  The only real question is what will the US Federal Reserve do?  It’s not a question of will they ease rates, but by how much- 20% change they may go for 50 bp!  

Perhaps the question should be – why ease rates at all? 

It may be the depths of a thin summer, but a 25 bp cut will be enough to please the market.  The economy won’t change because of a quarter point reduction in ridiculously low rates, but stocks will rally and the market will be properly ecstatic!  Donald Trump will tweet to his followers about what a great job he’s doing and how its confirmed by the strength of the stock market.  That is a sh*t reason for cutting rates.  It worries me the Fed is prepared to pander to Trump and the stock market. 

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

Weekly Commentary: Fanning the Flames

Weekly Commentary: Fanning the Flames

The Federal Reserve abandoned “data dependent” – at least for next week’s FOMC meeting. December futures imply a 1.78% Fed funds rate, up six bps for the week but still 62 bps below today’s 2.40% effective rate. Unless the Federal Reserve has completely caved to the markets, the Committee statement and Chairman Powell’s press conference should emphasize its commitment to “data dependent” and the possibility of a second-half recovery in growth momentum. By the reaction to Draghi’s marginally less than super-duper dovishness, markets will not be overjoyed if the Fed attempts walking back its “an ounce of prevention…” “insurance” rate cut cycle. 

For posterity, I’ll document the data backdrop heading into what is widely believed to be the beginning of a series of cuts. Second quarter GDP was reported at a stronger-than-expected 2.1% rate, down from Q1’s 3.1% but ahead of the 1.8% consensus forecast. Personal Consumption bounced back strongly, jumping to a 4.3% annual rate from Q1’s 0.9%. It’s worth noting there have been only four stronger quarters of Personal Consumption growth over the past 13 years. 

Personal Income increased 5.4% annualized, down from Q1’s 6.1% – but strong nonetheless. Employee Compensation expanded 4.7% annualized. Receipts on Assets (Interest Income and Dividend Income) increased 9.0% annualized, more than reversing Q1’s 6.1% annualized contraction. Overall Disposable Income increased an annualized 4.9%, up from Q1’s 4.8% and Q4 ‘18’s 4.2%.

Government Spending jumped to a 5.0% annualized growth rate (Q1 2.9%), led by a 7.9% annualized expansion in federal government expenditures (strongest reading since Q2 ’09). With federal deficit spending near 4.5% of GDP, fiscal stimulus has become a powerful force in the real economy.  

Dropping 5.2%, Exports were a drag on growth. Reversing Q1’s 6.2% growth rate, Gross Private Investment declined 5.5% annualized. Non-Residential Fixed Investment declined 0.6%, with Residential Investment down 1.5%.

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

End Game

End Game

Well, here we are. All roads have led to here. The combustion case outlined in April, the technical target zone outlined in January of 2018. Trade wars, 20% correction in between, Fed capitulation in response, slowing growth data, inverted yield curves, political volatility, deficit and debt expansion, buybacks. All the big themes that have dominated the landscape in recent memory, they all have led us to here: Record market highs and high complacency into a historic Fed meeting where once again a new easing cycle begins.

Like flies drawn to a light investors have ignored everything that may be construed as negative as the market’s primary price discovery mechanism, central banks, are once again embarking on a global easing cycle from the lowest bound tightening cycle ever. By far. Many central banks such as the BOJ and ECB have never normalized, the Fed barely raising rates before capitulating once again to macro and market reality:

What’s the end game here? I have to ask given the larger backdrop:

Central banks 2009-2018:
We will print $20 trillion & cut rates to nothing & that will reach our inflation goals.

Central banks 2019: Ok, none of that worked so let’s print more & cut rates again. Trust us we know what we’re doing.

What has all this produced? For one the slowest recovery on record, but also the longest expansion. But this expansion has come at a very steep price as artificial low rates have led to massive record debt expansion, $250 trillion in global debt:

The world is sitting on over $13 trillion in negative yielding debt, corporate debt ballooned to all time highs is keeping zombie companies afloat, the desperate search for yield is forcing pension funds into riskier assets, 100 year bonds, BBB rated credit is the largest component of debt markets, everything is distorted and the desperate search for yield has produced another market bubble.

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

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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