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Poland’s central bank predicts double-digit inflation until 2024

Image: Poland’s central bank predicts double-digit inflation until 2024

(Natural News) The National Bank of Poland (NBP) has predicted that the Central European nation will be saddled with high inflation for the next two years.

According to the NBP, yearly inflation will hit 14.5 percent in 2022 and drop to 13.1 percent in 2023. Single-digit rates will only begin by 2024, when the country’s inflation is projected to decrease to 5.9 percent. The central bank’s inflation target of 2.5 percent is only expected to be accomplished in 2025.

Figures from Statistics Poland (GUS) showed that inflation in the country hit 17.2 percent in September, and increased to 17.9 percent in October.

The NBP also forecast a 0.7 percent growth in Poland’s gross domestic product (GDP) for 2022. Meanwhile, the GUS predicts a 1.4 percent GDP growth in 2023 and a flat two percent GDP growth in 2024.

Amid all these projections, economic activity in Poland is about to weaken because of the heightened uncertainty, a tightening of financing settings and the economy’s adjustment to higher commodity costs, according to the European Commission’s latest economic forecast.

“The Polish economy continued its upward trajectory in the first half of 2022, although a marked drop in inventories and investment led to a contraction in real GDP in the second quarter. Data on the real economy suggest that growth was at full steam in the third quarter, with industrial output and retail sales expanding at a solid pace. As a result, despite a deterioration in confidence indicators, the second half of the year is expected to see a relatively good performance, leaving annual real GDP growth in 2022 at a projected 4.0 percent,” the European Commission (EC) report said.

Increase in inflation due to rise in food and energy prices

As stated by the NBP’s November report on inflation, the present increase can be largely attributed to the rise in food and energy prices brought by the war in Ukraine and the enormous increase in money printing by global central banks during the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic…

…click on the above link to read the rest…

If You Believe

IF YOU BELIEVE

If you believed they put a man on the moon
Man on the moon
If you believe there’s nothing up his sleeve
Then nothing is cool
REM – Man on the Moon

The REM song Man on the Moon, released in 1992, is a haunting melancholy tune, with Andy Kaufmann and his life and death as the focal point. For me, the lyrics always bring me back to the simpler time of my youth, when our antenna TV could get about eight channels, we had one rotary phone, one old used station wagon, lived in a row home, and a family of five could be raised on a truck driver’s income, with a stay-at-home mom.

It’s the references to the Game of Life, Risk, Monopoly, Twister, checkers, and chess, which invoke what we did for fun when we weren’t out riding bikes, playing stick-ball, roller hockey, or touch football in the streets. Were bad things going on in the world? Sure. The Vietnam War, Watergate, gasoline shortages and rationing, stagflation, and a myriad of other damaging challenges confronted the country, just as they always have throughout history.

One of the supposed historic moments in human history was the moon landing in July 1969, when I was six years old. I remember sitting on the floor in front of the TV and thinking how cool it was and how cool that I was allowed up at 11:00 pm to watch it. Another 600 million people were also watching. At the time, no one questioned what they were watching live on their TVs. It was the penultimate human achievement, with the goal set by JFK during Camelot before he was murdered by his own government, proving our technological superiority to the evil Soviets. To fail in this mission would have been too embarrassing to the leaders of our empire, only two decades into its infancy….

…click on the above link to read the rest…

U.S. Midwest may have summer power shortages for years

U.S. Midwest may have summer power shortages for years

June 10 (Reuters) – The power grid operator in the Central United States warned on Friday that problems it may experience keeping the lights on this summer could also occur during the summers of 2023, 2024 and beyond.

The region’s grid operator, Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO), has already warned of potential capacity shortfalls and other reliability concerns in parts of its territory this summer.

The northern and central regions are at “increased risk of temporary, controlled outages to preserve the integrity of the bulk electric system,” MISO has said.

MISO operates the grid for some 42 million people in 15 U.S. central states from Minnesota to Louisiana and the Canadian province of Manitoba.

On Friday, MISO released a survey showing it could have a potential capacity deficit of 2.6 gigawatts (GW) during the summer of 2023 depending on market responses over the next year.

One gigawatt can power about a million U.S. homes on average, but as little as 200,000 on a hot summer day.

MISO’s biggest problem is that demand was rising at the same time generation resources have declined due mostly to the retirement of coal and nuclear plants for economic or environmental reasons.

MISO said it may only have 119 GW of power resources available this summer to meet a projected peak demand of 124 GW.

For 2024 and beyond, MISO said “the capacity deficits are projected to widen … due to declining committed capacity and modestly growing demand.”

MISO officials were not immediately available to say what the grid would do to fix this problem.

Sarah Freeman, president of the Organization of MISO States and commissioner with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, said in a statement: “States stand ready to work with MISO … to maintain reliability and resilience throughout this significant resource transformation.”

#231. Short and sharp

#231. Short and sharp

Might we very soon face a major financial crisis, at a scale exceeding that of 2008-09?

Are we heading for a global economic slump, or can current problems be explained away in terms of ‘non-recurring events’, such as the war in Ukraine?

Do the authorities have the tools and the understanding required to navigate the current economic storm? And what is the outlook for inflation?

These are valid questions, and I’m well aware that, whilst many visitors to this site are interested in economic principles, theory and detail, others prefer succinct statements of situations and prospects.

That’s understandable – these are deeply worrying times.

The aim with what follows is to (a) set out a brief summary of the economic and financial outlook, as seen through the prism of the SEEDS economic model, followed by (b) a succinct commentary on how these conclusions are reached.

Accordingly, what we might infer from these conditions is left for another day. Like me, you will have your own views on the political and other implications of what’s going on and what is to be expected, but the plan with this discussion is to stick to a strictly objective analysis of economic and financial conditions and prospects.

Data used here by way of illustration is a ‘top-line’ summary at the global level. We might, at a later date, look at some of this material in greater detail, and examine the circumstances of some of the 29 national economies modelled by SEEDS.

Where both the theoretical and the ‘succinctly-practical’ are concerned, urgency is being increased by what we can only call the ‘uncertainties and fears’ generated by current conditions.

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

Turning The Wealth Pyramid Upside Down

Turning The Wealth Pyramid Upside Down

When we look at upside down wealth pyramid at the left, I have a big problem with the picture it promotes. It is clearly based on someone’s opinion of what investments are safe. The one thing it does well is to scream that some investments have a high degree of risk and it is best not to put all our eggs in the same basket.

Another issue is how a 401 or pension will fare during hard times or if we do see a huge number of defaults. Consider this an indication that placing your wealth into paper promises means it has the potential to vanish or be converted into something to would never agree to. Again, the devil is in the small print or the fact “they” can change the rules at any time.

While a great deal of speculation has been showered upon us concerning inflation turning to deflation, we will not know the true direction of things until they occur. One thing to keep in mind is that government employs a tremendous number of people that will never accept a cut in pay. This will put a solid net under falling prices. Combined with the refusal of many workers to consider working for anything near minimum wage helps push away the notion of deflation. In fact today, my local paper announced the City Council in Fort Wayne, Indiana just approved retroactive COVID-19 hazard bonuses for all city workers.

It is important to move towards forecasting based on probability rather than predictions. Keep in mind a great deal of how we deal with the options before us is centered on how we position ourselves…

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

FRA-OIS Explodes: Here Is The Only Chart Powell Is Closely Watching, And Why It Is Soaring

FRA-OIS Explodes: Here Is The Only Chart Powell Is Closely Watching, And Why It Is Soaring

Some were quick to mock repo guru and former NY Fed staffer Zoltan Pozsar when he warned that the unexpected western blockade of Russia had the feel of a Lehman weekend, because virtually nobody had any idea what the forced exclusion of  a G-20 economy from the global financial system would lead to. In fact, just yesterday Jerome Powell admitted that he had not been consulted, suggesting that arguably the most momentous financial decision in modern history has made without consulting the single most important financial person in the world.

However, it appears that while Pozsar may have been ahead of the curve, as usual, he was not wrong, and today the all important FRA-OIS indicator of interbank funding stress (and money-market risk) is surging, and at last check was above 37bps, up a whopping 12 pts…

… amid relentless selling in March 2022 eurodollar futures with the contract off session lows but remains cheaper by around 10bp on the day, with some speculating that at least some funding markets are starting to grind to a halt.

One can argue that while Powell and the Fed may be oblivious to the ongoing collapse in stocks, which they view as overvalued and as having enough buffer to drop especiallyhe is closely watching every uptick in this most critical stress indicator.

A very quick primer on this all important spread:

  • What is FRA? A forward rate agreement is a deal to swap future fixed interest payments for variable ones, or vice versa. The key rate for U.S. markets is the three-month London interbank offered rate, or Libor, in U.S. dollars…

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

Climate scientists: Ban solar geoengineering

Climate scientists: Ban solar geoengineering

‘The risks are poorly understood and can never be fully known’

The following open letter was issued by an international coalition of prominent scientists and governance scholars on January 17, 2022. It calls for an international treaty to outlaw attempts to reduce global heating by blocking sunlight from reaching earth.

Sixteen of the signatories are co-authors of Solar geoengineering: The case for an international non-use agreement, published simultaneously in the journal WIREs Climate Change. That paper concludes:

“Solar geoengineering is not necessary. Neither is it desirable, ethical, or politically governable in the current context. With the normalization of solar geoengineering research moving on with rapid speed, a strong political message to block these technologies is needed. And this message must come soon.”


OPEN LETTER

Solar geoengineering – a set of hypothetical technologies to reduce incoming sunlight on Earth – is gaining prominence in debates on climate policy. Several scientists have launched research projects on solar geoengineering, and some see it as a potential future policy option.

To us, these proliferating calls for solar geoengineering research and development are cause for alarm. We share three fundamental concerns:

First, the risks of solar geoengineering are poorly understood and can never be fully known. Impacts will vary across regions, and there are uncertainties about the effects on weather patterns, agriculture, and the provision of basic needs of food and water.

Second, speculative hopes about the future availability of solar geoengineering technologies threaten commitments to mitigation and can disincentives governments, businesses, and societies to do their utmost to achieve decarbonization or carbon neutrality as soon as possible. The speculative possibility of future solar geoengineering risks becoming a powerful argument for industry lobbyists, climate denialists, and some governments to delay decarbonization policies.

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

Coming Market Madness Could Take 70 Years to Recover

COMING MARKET MADNESS COULD TAKE 70 YEARS TO RECOVER

Cervantes famous classic novel Don Quixote can in simple terms be described as a fight for liberty and freedom against oppression and against the state. This book is from 1605 and considered to be one of the best books ever written.

In the midst of market madness, risk doesn’t exist because lunatics neither see, nor worry about risk. And still, 2022 will be more about risk and survival than anything else. So I will obviously talk more about The Triumph of Survival” which I discussed in a recent piece.

“When life itself seems lunatic, who knows where madness lies.” – Don Quixote

The year 2022 will most likely be the culmination of risk. An epic risk moment in history  that very few investors will see until it is too late as they expect to be saved yet another time by the Fed and other central banks.

And why should anyone believe that 2022 will be different from any year since 2009 when this bull market started? Few investors are superstitious and therefore won’t see that 13 spectacular years in stocks and other asset markets might signify an end to the epic super bubble.

The Great Financial Crisis (GFC) in 2006-9 was never repaired. Central bankers and governments patched Humpty up with glue and tape in the form of printed trillions of dollars, euro, yen etc. But poor Humpty Dumpty was fatally injured and the intensive care he received would only give him a temporary reprieve.

When the GFC started in 2006, global debt was $120 trillion. Today we are at $300t, rising to potentially $3 quadrillion when the debt and derivative bubble finally first explodes and then implodes as I explained in my previous article.

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

War Drums Are Beating

War Drums Are Beating

A RISK NOT DISCUSSED

It was around 2017 when I began seeing the ridiculous climate hysteria being pushed not just by dreadlocked physics deniers chaining themselves to trees but at an institutional level.

This, I thought to myself, was something very, very dangerous and which — if taken to any greater level — would ultimately bring about war.

The past two decades have seen Russia sanctioned and repeatedly threatened by Western powers. One of the many threats and arguably the most fierce has been eliminating Russia from the international payments system SWIFT.

Prepare a swift response to Russia invading Ukraine, Latvia tells west

From the article:

A swift reprisal package against Russia – including US troops and Patriot missiles stationed in the Baltics, the cutting off of Russia from the Swift banking payments system and reinstated sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline – must be prepared now in case it invades Ukraine, the Latvian foreign minister has said.

And this:

“If Nato fails to protect its member states or its territories,” he warned, “then it will not just be a military and political failure but a complete mental collapse of the system of values that have been built since the end of world war two. It will mean the whole transatlantic community will be in complete disarray and the glue that keeps us together has failed”.

This horse has already bolted. The “glue” holding this ball of wax together is more like slime and “isht” is falling through the cracks in every direction, while the bureaucrats desperately try to hold it all together. It won’t work.

Now, this isn’t solely an EU-Russia issue. This is a West vs East issue.

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

The Clouds Have Cleared in 2021, and What We Are Seeing Is a Dystopian 2022

The Clouds Have Cleared in 2021, and What We Are Seeing Is a Dystopian 2022

Photo by Javier Quiroga

This year was a doozy. Right out of the gate, millionaires were sounding the alarm that the markets were looking overvalued while reducing their risk exposure.

In February we got a taste of what could be the “end game” for the U.S. dollar as we saw it lose more of its grip as global reserve currency. Of course, it won’t collapse overnight because market psychology is still propping it up (for now).

But three big major economic influences have made 2021 one to remember. This chaotic “trifecta of market turbulence” kept the media busy and retirement savers on the edge of their seats.

So without further ado, let’s dive into the first one…

The confused Fed

Back in 2019 when the repo markets started going crazy, we reported how the Fed’s “confused” response only added fuel to a fire that continued to burn into this year.

And this year, one word you might have heard coming from Powell’s mouth with nauseating frequency to describe rising inflation was “transitory.” Over and over again, Powell’s confused Fed kept downplaying inflation…

Until it was obvious to everybody that inflation wasn’t transitory any longer. When Senator Pat Toomey challenged Powell during an appearance before Congress, the Fed chairman was forced to change his tune:

Powell explained that while the word has “different meanings to different people,” the Federal Reserve “tend to use it to mean that it won’t leave a permanent mark in the form of higher inflation.

“I think it’s — it’s probably a good time to retire that word and try to explain more clearly what we mean,” Powell added.

(We’ll discuss this in greater detail in a moment.)

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

Doing 90 MPH on Deadman’s Curve: A Few Thoughts on Risk

Doing 90 MPH on Deadman’s Curve: A Few Thoughts on Risk

When the wreck is recovered, witnesses will wonder why they took such heedless, foolish risks.

You’re in the back seat wedged between tipsy revelers, the driver is drunk and heading into Deadman’s Curve at 90 miles per hour. Nobody’s worried because the driver has never crashed. Before they slid into euphoric incoherence, the other passengers answered your doubts with statistics and pretty charts showing that the driver had never had an accident, so there was nothing to worry about.

They also said that the driver’s Uncle Fed had rigged the vehicle with an anti-accident device, so a crash was impossible. One passenger blurted out that a fellow named Goldy Sacks said the driver could easily “melt up” and take Deadman’s Curve at 120 miles per hour without any trouble.

You see the problem here: the risk of crashing and expiring is soaring but the giddy occupants are completely confident there’s no risk, and this confidence is the source of the danger. If you’re sure Uncle Fed’s device can protect the vehicle from any crash, then why not take Deadman’s Curve at 90 miles per hour?

And if Goldy Sacks says you could actually take it at 120 miles per hour, then taking it at 90 MPH is actually quite prudent and cautious.

This confidence inspires tremendous risk-taking that eventually ends very badly for all the revelers. The irony is rich: the greater the confidence, the greater the risk, the greater the risk, the greater the odds of a crash. The greater the risks being taken, the greater the odds that the crash will be fatal to all occupants.

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

Risk Was Never Low, It Was Only Hidden

Risk Was Never Low, It Was Only Hidden

The vast majority of market participants are about as ready for a semi-random “volatility event” as the dinosaurs were for the meteor strike that doomed them to oblivion.

Judging by euphoric gambler–oops I mean “investor”–sentiment and measures of volatility, risk of a market drop has been near-zero for the past 18 months. But risk was never actually low, it was only hidden. When it emerges, it’s a surprise only to those who mistakenly thought risk had vanished.

As Benoit Mandelbrot explained in his book The (Mis)behavior of Marketscrashes are an intrinsic feature of systems like stock markets. These risks are not generated by specific human actions or sentiment but by the system itself.

Just as humans make subconscious decisions and then conjure up quasi-rational justifications for their choice after the fact, market participants always conjure up some event or decision as the cause of the crash. Favorites include central bank policy error, black swan events (“bolts from the blue”), earnings surprises, technical levels were breached, and so on.

Mandelbrot’s insights reveal why markets crash without any policy error or other fabricated- after-the-fact justification: as those who witnessed the collapse of Japan’s massive credit-asset bubble in 1989-1990 observed, markets just stopped going up and started falling.

Risk is a reflection of many dynamics, but the key dynamic few participants seem to understand is the inherent instability of complex systems: surface tranquility is not an accurate reflection of the actual state of stability or risk, no mater how long the period of tranquility stretches.

The human mind rebels at the dominance of quasi-random crashes, as our hubris and need to be in charge generates an illusion of control:…

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

Former Lehman Trader On “China’s Lehman Moment”

Former Lehman Trader On “China’s Lehman Moment”

My name is Larry McDonald, that is the UK cover above. In the years before the failure of Lehman Brothers, I ran a successful distressed credit business at what was the 4th largest investment bank in the U.S. – becoming one of the most consistently profitable traders in the fixed income division. In late 2008, early 2009 – with Patrick Robinson, we penned “A Colossal Failure of Common Sense” – the Lehman Brothers inside story. At least once a month, I tell my wife while wearing a hopeful smile —“if we sell a million books — we´ll break even on our Lehman stock.” On September 15, 2008 – it all came crashing down in the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history. Known as, “the week that changed the world,” a very painful experience indeed. I was down on the mat looking up at the referee as he delivered the count. It was one of those fateful moments most of us face. Staring into the abyss, drenched in blood-curdling uncertainty, there are times in life when we must get up. Even when it looks like all is lost in a valley of no hope.  Ultimately, the lucky ones learn there are valuable lessons in re-invention. The last 13 years have been a breath of fresh air.

Life’s Lessons

One of the important lessons in our book comes down to how to use leading credit risk indicators? In the 2007-2010 period, the global credit risk epicenter was obviously inside the US. In the 2011-2013 period, Europe´s banks were the focus during the Grexit panic. In recent years, Asia has become far more interesting, a new epicenter has been formed.

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

These Dangers Loom Over the Fragile U.S. Economy in the Next 12 Months

The U.S. and most of the world is at the threshold of what I would call a nexus point in history. There are establishment forces at play that seek to impose a permanent authoritarian presence within our nation in the name of Covid “safety.” This includes lockdown mandates and restrictions on economic participation for the unvaccinated (including being unable to keep a job).

At the same time, only 53% of the public has been fully vaccinated against Covid. A significant number of the unvaccinated seem likely to dig in their heels and refuse to comply with the advice of medical professionals and the government.

We are at an impasse. With a global pandemic flaring up again in the background, the pro- and anti-vaccine groups square off. Those who see their Covid vaccination as a badge of personal responsibility and civic-mindedness versus those who believe the opposite. Unless one side chooses to stand down and walk away from the fight, our economic future will grow increasingly unstable.

This is the foreboding backdrop of our economic tale, and it is important to keep in mind that the technocratic exploitation of the covid non-crisis as a push for supremacy is going to color everything that happens in our financial system from now on. You cannot talk about our economic condition without including the effects of the pandemic theater.

I believe that the next year in particular is going to be adrenalized and chaotic beyond what we have already seen in 2020-2021. Like I said, there are two sides of America that are now at an impasse. Something is going to snap, and I suspect this will happen in 12 months or less.

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

Weekly Commentary: Under Fire

Weekly Commentary: Under Fire

The week had an ominous feel. Ten-year Treasury yields dropped another seven bps to 1.29% – completely disregarding much stronger-than-expected reports on consumer and producer prices. German bund yields fell another six bps to a three-month low negative 0.35%. Equities were down for the week in Europe, but the notable equities weakness was posted by the broader U.S. market. The Midcaps dropped 3.3%, and the small cap Russell 2000 sank 5.1%. Risk aversion typically leaves its initial mark at the “Periphery.”
Treasury market notwithstanding, inflation has become a problem in more ways than one. Consumer Prices (CPI) jumped 0.9% in June, versus expectations of a 0.5% increase. Year-over-year CPI was up 5.4% (expectations 4.9%), the strongest jump since 2008. And for analysts with issues with year-over-year “base-effects”, consumer inflation was up 3.3% in only five months. Core CPI also gained 0.9% for the month, with a 4.5% y-o-y increase. Producer Prices rose a data series record 7.3% y-o-y. Import Prices jumped 1% for the month and 11.2% y-o-y. University of Michigan one-year Inflation Expectations rose to 4.8%, the high since the summer of 2008. Also, at 4.8%, the New York Fed’s survey of one-year inflation expectations jumped to the highest level in data back to 2013.

To this point, inflation has not been an issue for the markets. It has become a problem for millions of Americans. For the institution of the Federal Reserve, it’s a metastasizing malignancy.

I understand why each Fed official sticks tightly with the party line “inflation will be transitory.” They don’t want to rattle the markets with thoughts of a traditional tightening cycle. And I think I understand why they adopted their framework aiming for a period of above target inflation – and why they swore off responding to incipient inflationary pressures. Again, they sought to retain flexibility to remain highly accommodative monetary policy, ensuring financial conditions would remain exceptionally loose (and markets high).
…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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