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Dollar Liquidity Turmoil Returns With First Oversubscribed Term Repo In A Month, $99.9 Billion Liquidity Injection

Dollar Liquidity Turmoil Returns With First Oversubscribed Term Repo In A Month, $99.9 Billion Liquidity Injection

This was not supposed to happen.

After the Fed rolled out the big artillery in response to the sharp, sudden mid-September funding squeeze (which we now know had virtually nothing to do with last month’s tax payments or other one-time events such as the Treasury’s cash rebuild), including the return of both overnight and term repo operations, and culminated with the Fed’s relaunching of QE which would be used to permanently increase the balance sheet with $60BN in T-Bills every month in order to replenish reserves (because we live in a bizarro world where $1.4 trillion in bank cash is not enough for the smooth functioning of bank plumbing), moments ago we got the latest indication that the dollar funding shortage is again getting worse – despite the market having priced in the Fed’s rollout of the “kitchen sink” to ease funding conditions – when the Fed announced that it had its first oversubscribed Term Repo operation since the funding crisis erupted in September.

Specifically, while the Fed’s 2-week term repo operation was capped at $35 billion as has been the case for the past week, dealers submitted $52.2BN worth of securities ($39.9BN in TSYs, $12.3BN in MBS)…

… making today’s term operation 1.5x oversubscribed, which was the first overallotted operation since the second term repo at the start of the funding crisis on Sept 26.

Needless to say, if the funding shortage was getting better, this operation would not be oversubscribed. The only possible explanation, is someone really needed to lock in cash for Halloween (the maturity of the op is on Nov 5) which is when a “No Deal” Brexit may go live, and as a result one or more banks are bracing for the worst.

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

China De-Dollarization Pushes Into Hyperdrive, Adds 100 Tons Of Gold Amid Trade War Chaos

China De-Dollarization Pushes Into Hyperdrive, Adds 100 Tons Of Gold Amid Trade War Chaos

As the trade war continues to escalate, China’s rapid move towards de-dollarization continues. China added more than 100 tons of gold to its reserves since December 2018 and has also been divesting US Treasuries. 

Bloomberg reported the People’s Bank of China acquired 188,800 ounces, or about 5.9 tons of gold in Sept., raising total holdings to 62.64 million ounces in September from 62.45 million in August. Over the last nine months, China added a whopping 100 tons of gold to its reserves as a hedge to a deepening trade war. 

Gold jumped to a six-year high in September as economic turmoil across the world is pointing to a global trade recession in 2020. Central banks have been leading buyers of the precious metal, especially ones based in emerging markets. Gold purchases by China and central banks will continue through 2020, Bloomberg notes, as protectionist policies spurred by the Trump administration have blown up global supply chains and will continue to produce volatility in global equity markets for the foreseeable future. 

“Given strained relations with the US, China needs a hedge against its large holdings of the dollar, and gold serves that function,” said Howie Lee, an economist at Singapore-based Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. 

“As China becomes a superpower in its own right, I expect more gold-buying.”

Last month’s purchases boosted the People’s Bank of China’s gold reserves to 62.64 million ounces. As shown below, Comex Gold futures tend to rise when China is adding. 

The Chinese continue to add gold to their reserves to reduce their exposure to the dollar. As one analyst told Bloomberg in August, “It is important for the country to diversify away from the US dollar. Over the long run, even relatively small-scale gold purchases add up and help to meet this objective.”

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

The Disaster of Negative Interest Rates

The Disaster of Negative Interest Rates

The dollar strengthened against the euro in August, merely in anticipation of the European Central Bank slashing its key interest rate further into negative territory. Investors were fleeing into the dollar, prompting President Trump to tweet on Aug. 30:

The Euro is dropping against the Dollar “like crazy,” giving them a big export and manufacturing advantage… And the Fed does NOTHING!

When the ECB cut its key rate as anticipated, from a negative 0.4% to a negative 0.5%, the president tweeted on Sept. 11:

The Federal Reserve should get our interest rates down to ZERO, or less, and we should then start to refinance our debt. INTEREST COST COULD BE BROUGHT WAY DOWN, while at the same time substantially lengthening the term.

And on Sept. 12 he tweeted:

European Central Bank, acting quickly, Cuts Rates 10 Basis Points. They are trying, and succeeding, in depreciating the Euro against the VERY strong Dollar, hurting U.S. exports…. And the Fed sits, and sits, and sits. They get paid to borrow money, while we are paying interest!

However, negative interest rates have not been shown to stimulate the economies that have tried them, and they would wreak havoc on the U.S. economy, for reasons unique to the U.S. dollar. The ECB has not gone to negative interest rates to gain an export advantage. It is to keep the European Union from falling apart, something that could happen if the United Kingdom does indeed pull out and Italy follows suit, as it has threatened to do. If what Trump wants is cheap borrowing rates for the U.S. federal government, there is a safer and easier way to get them.

The Real Reason the ECB Has Gone to Negative Interest Rates

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

De-Dollarization: Europe Joins the Party

De-Dollarization: Europe Joins the Party

The ongoing “World War of Currencies”, as the German journalist Daniel D. Eckert called it, the battle for the future of the world monetary system is not a shallow action film but more like Game of Thrones – a complex series with hundreds of actors and locations, stretching over decades and demanding full concentration from the viewer.

The bottom line is that what has been true for decades still applies. The US dollar continues to enjoy the confidence of markets, governments, and central banks. But faith in the US dollar weakens a little every year. Europe, China, Russia and many small countries set new initiatives every year to make themselves independent. And gold, too, plays a major role in this slow departure from the US dollar. But for the world financial system, none of their currencies offer a viable, fully-fledged alternative to the US dollar yet, which is why any news of the death of the US dollar is definitely exaggerated.

Europe’s Small Uprising

Since the Greek crisis of 2012, the American media have often given the impression that the EU and the euro have already broken up or are about to break up. This is not the case. Twenty years after its creation in 1999, the euro area is larger than ever. Of course, nothing is perfect in the EU. The debt problems of the southern states have hardly improved. The structure of the euro zone itself is also often criticized and described as being in need of renovation.

Against this backdrop, the celebrations to mark the 20th anniversary of the euro were not particularly large and pompous. But there was a lot of talking going on.

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

Trump Praises ECB For “Depreciating The Euro”, Slams The Fed For Doing Nothing

Trump Praises ECB For “Depreciating The Euro”, Slams The Fed For Doing Nothing

When discussing the barrage of easing unleashed by the ECB moments ago, we said that as “we prepare for the ECB press conference in 30 minutes, that will be nothing compared to the angry twitter tirade we expect by president Trump who will demand that Powell immediately match everything that Powell has done.

And sure enough, just about half an hour after the ECB announcement, Trump praised the European Central Bank, for “acting quickly, Cuts Rates 10 Basis Points. They are trying, and succeeding, in depreciating the Euro against the VERY strong Dollar, hurting U.S. exports….” And, as expected, the president lashed out at the Fed again, saying that “the Fed sits, and sits, and sits. They get paid to borrow money, while we are paying interest!”


European Central Bank, acting quickly, Cuts Rates 10 Basis Points. They are trying, and succeeding, in depreciating the Euro against the VERY strong Dollar, hurting U.S. exports…. And the Fed sits, and sits, and sits. They get paid to borrow money, while we are paying interest!


Chinese Currency Manipulation–Trump’s Petard

CHINESE CURRENCY MANIPULATION – TRUMP’S PETARD

  • The risk that the Sino-US trade war morphs into an international currency war has risen
  • The US$ Index is up since 2010 but its only back to the middle of it range since 2000
  • The Chinese Yuan will weaken if the Trump administration pushes for higher tariffs
  • Escalation of domestic unrest in Hong Kong will see a flight to safety in the greenback

According to the US President, the Chinese are an official currency manipulator. Given that they have never relaxed their exchange controls, one must regard Trump’s statement as rhetoric or ignorance. One hopes it is the former.

Sino-US relations have now moved into a new phase, however, on August 5th, after another round of abortive trade discussions, the US Treasury officially designated China a currency manipulator too. This was the first such outburst from the US Treasury in 25 years. One has to question their motivation, as recently as last year the PBoC was intervening to stem the fall in their currency against the US$, hardly an uncharitable act towards the American people. As the Economist – The Trump administration labels China a currency manipulator – described the situation earlier this month (the emphasis is mine): –

After the Trump administration’s announcement of tariffs on August 1st added extra pressure towards devaluation, it seems that the PBOC chose to let market forces work. The policymaker most obviously intervening to push the yuan down against the dollar is Mr Trump himself.

China does not meet the IMF definition of a ‘currency manipulator’ but the US Treasury position is more nuanced. CFR – Is China Manipulating Its Currency? Explains, although they do not see much advantage to the US: –

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

Peter Schiff: Gold Is Not Going to Stop This Time

Peter Schiff: Gold Is Not Going to Stop This Time

Gold has continued to push upward. The latest catalyst was another escalation of the trade war. Gold briefly moved above $1,550 in dollar terms. But it has done even better in relation to other currencies. In fact, the yellow metal is at record highs in nearly every currency except the dollar.

Peter Schiff appeared on RT America on Aug. 26 to talk about it. He said he thinks gold is eventually going to make news highs in the dollar as well, and this time, it’s not going to stop going up.

Peter said he doesn’t necessarily think that recession fears, in and of themselves, are pushing gold higher.

They’re worried about what the central banks, and in particular the Federal Reserve, is going to do about the next recession. That’s why the price of gold is going up — because the Fed is going to be going back to zero; they’re going to be going back to quantitative easing and all of this is good for gold.”

Peter noted that gold has been making record highs in almost every currency except the dollar.

And I think ultimately, we’re going to make a high in the dollar, probably before too long. And you know, when the Fed did quantitative easing the first time, the reason that the gold rally stopped at $1,900 was because everybody believed that the Fed had an exit strategy and that they could reverse the process, normalize interest rates, unwind their balance sheet. When they realize that they were mistaken to believe that, that there is no exit strategy, that it’s basically QE forever, that the balance sheet is going to grow into perpetuity  — gold’s not going to stop next time. It’s going to keep on going.”

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

Rabobank: “The US Will Simply Not Allow A New Reserve Currency Without A Fight”

Rabobank: “The US Will Simply Not Allow A New Reserve Currency Without A Fight”

“Peace for our time”

Despite the fact that the German IFO survey was ‘I-ful’, with the official word being that the outlook is “increasingly dire”, and that US core durable goods were -0.4% vs. flat expected, both of which confirm that the real economy is perhaps in real trouble, markets seemed to sigh with relief yesterday. The reason? We have the promise of “peace for our time”. After all, according to the press, US President Trump held out an olive branch to China on trade; and to Iran; and was there perhaps the suggestion of another brunch being offered from Boris Johnson to the EU?

Let’s focus on the US issue first. Nothing we saw or heard yesterday–nothing at all–changes any of the dynamic that we have seen for a long time now. Trump praised Chairman Xi to the skies, and repeated that China wants to make a deal very badly, so much so that they had already called to kick-start talks. Meanwhile, China stated it knew nothing about any such call, and the editor of the Global Times tweeted “Based on what I know, Chinese and US top negotiators didn’t hold phone talks in recent days. The two sides have been keeping contact at technical level, it doesn’t have significance that President Trump suggested. China didn’t change its position. China won’t cave to US pressure.” So very little chance of trade peace for our time. Nonetheless, as usual, the equity market fell for this while the smarter bond market largely didn’t – and neither did CNH.

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

Why the Dollar Rules the World — And Why Its Reign Could End

Why the Dollar Rules the World — And Why Its Reign Could End

President Donald Trump wants a lower US dollar. He complains about the over-valuation of the American currency. Yet, is he right to accuse other countries of a “currency manipulation”? Is the position of the US dollar in the international monetary arena not a manipulation in its own right? How much has the United States benefitted from the global role of the dollar, and is this “exorbitant privilege” coming to end? In order to find an answer to these questions, we must take a look at the monetary side of the rise of the American Empire.

Trump is right. The American dollar is overvalued. According to the latest version of the Economist’s “ Big Mac Index,” for example, only three currencies rank higher than the US dollar. Yet the main reason for this is not currency manipulation but the fact that the US dollar serves as the main international reserve currency.

This is both a boon and a curse. It is a boon because the country that emits the leading international reserve currency can have trade deficits without worrying about a growing foreign debt. Because the American foreign debt is in the country’s own currency, the government can always honor its foreign obligations as it can produce any amount of money that it wants in its own currency.

Yet the international reserve status comes also with the curse that the persistent trade deficits weaken the country’s industrial base. Instead of paying for the import of foreign goods with the export of domestic production, the United States can simply export money.

American Supremacy

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

Russia Urges “Independence” From “Imposed World Order” Of US Financial System

Russia Urges “Independence” From “Imposed World Order” Of US Financial System

Following Russia signalling last week, its willingness to join the controversial payments channel Instex – designed to circumvent both SWIFT as well as US sanctions banning trade with Iran – new statements from Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov called on the international community to free itself from a purely US-controlled international financial system and US dollar dominance. 

“We must protect ourselves from political abuses made with the help of the US dollar and the American banking system,” he said while addressing a ministerial meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement held in Venezuela, according to TASS. “We must turn our dependence in this sphere into independence,” he added.

“Let us be multipolar in the spheres of finance and currency,” he said.

Image via Newsmax

The senior diplomat was specifically addressing US-led sanctions and the tightening economic noose, including a near total oil export blockade, on the Maduro government in Caracas. 

The comments also come after early this year the Maduro regime was stymied in its bid to pull $1.2 billion worth of gold out of the Bank of England, according to a January Bloomberg report. The Bank of England’s (BoE) decision to deny Maduro officials’ withdrawal request was a the height of US coup efforts targeting Maduro.

Specifically top US officials, including Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton, had lobbied their UK counterparts to help cut off the regime from its overseas assets, as we reported at the time. Washington has further lobbied other international institutions, and especially its Latin American allies, to seize Venezuelan assets and essentially hold them for control of Juan Guaido’s opposition government in exile. 

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

In Major Threat To Dollar’s Reserve Status, Russia Offers To Join European SWIFT-Bypass

In Major Threat To Dollar’s Reserve Status, Russia Offers To Join European SWIFT-Bypass

Three weeks after a meeting between the countries who singed the Iran nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which was ditched by US, French, British and German officials said the trade mechanism which was proposed last summer – designed to circumvent both SWIFT as well as US sanctions banning trade with Iran – called Instex, is now operational.

And while we await for the White House to threaten Europe with even greater tariffs unless it ends this special purpose vehicle – it already did once back in May when it warned that anyone associated with the SPV could be barred from the U.S. financial system if it goes into effect – a response from the US is now assured, because in the biggest attack on the dollar as a reserve currency to date, on Thursday, Russia signaled its willingness to join the controversial payments channel, and has called on Brussels to expand the new mechanism to cover oil exports, the FT reported.

Moscow’s involvement in the Instex channel would mark a significant step forward in attempts by the EU and Russia to rescue a 2015 Iran nuclear deal that has been unravelling since the Trump administration abandoned it last year.

“Russia is interested in close co-ordination with the European Union on Instex,” the Russian foreign ministry told the Financial Times. “The more countries and continents involved, the more effective will the mechanism be as a whole.”

… and the more isolated the US will be as a currency union meant to evade SWIFT and bypass the dollar’s reserve currency status will soon include virtually all relevant and important countries. Only China would be left outstanding; after the rest of the world’s would promptly join.

On Thursday, the Kremlin confirmed the foreign ministry’s take:

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

The Dollar, Not Crypto, Is a National Security Issue

The Dollar, Not Crypto, Is a National Security Issue

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin piled on to comments made recently by President Donald Trump by calling cryptocurrencies a “national security issue.” Bitcoin and crypto proponents more broadly have long wondered if (and how) the government of the United States would recognize the slow but steady encroachment of decentralized assets, and it appears to have begun. Facebook’s announcement of the Libra project on June 18, 2019, will likely prove the point on countless future historical timelines at which the U.S. government began a slow, ultimately ineffectiveassault upon the cryptocurrency realm.

Everything that Mnuchin attributed to Bitcoin — for one thing, that it has been used in concert with such “illicit activity [as] cyber crime, tax evasion, extortion … illicit drugs, and human trafficking” — can be said, and to degrees an order of magnitude or more larger, about the U.S. dollar. It’s an argument suitable for children.

All of this is extremely bullish for Bitcoin and the entire cryptocurrency complex. A bipartisan political salvo against crypto assets will undoubtedly accelerate the pace of innovation as well as increasing the value proposition, and ultimately the market price, of assets that ensure privacy. Higher prices will draw more crypto developers into the market and direct more resources at capturing market share, which means — as in any market — that consumers are the ultimate beneficiaries.

Mnuchin isn’t wrong, though. There is a tremendous risk to American national security where currencies are considered: the dollar. Those who habitually cite its reserve-currency status as a reason not to worry are making an argument that stands on increasingly precarious foundations: since 2010, the U.N. and other groups have cited the dollar’s downward slide in value, urging the adoption of an alternate system of reserves.

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

New Multi-year Gold Rally Has Emerged

New Multi-year Gold Rally Has Emerged

New Multi-year Gold Rally Has Emerged

The dollar price of gold has been on a roller-coaster ride for the past six years. But the past six weeks have been a turbocharged version of that. Investors should expect more of the same for reasons explained below.

The six-year story is the more important for investors and also the more frustrating. Gold staged an historic bull market rally from 1999 to 2011, going from about $250 per ounce to $1,900 per ounce, a 650% gain.

Then, gold nose-dived into a bear market from 2011 to 2015, falling to $1,050 per ounce in December 2015, a 45% crash from the peak and a 51% retracement of the 1999-2011 bull market. (Renowned investor Jim Rogers once told me that no commodity goes from a base price to the stratosphere without a 50% retracement along the way. Mission accomplished!)

During that precipitous decline after 2011, gold hit a level of $1,417 per ounce in August 2013. It was the last time gold would see a $1,400 per ounce handle until last month when gold briefly hit $1,440 per ounce on an intra-day basis. At last, the six-year trading range was broken. Better yet, gold hit $1,400 on the way up, not on the way down.

The range-bound trading from 2013 to 2019 was long and tiring for long-term gold investors. Gold had rallied to $1,380 per ounce in May 2014, $1,300 per ounce in January 2015, and $1,363 per ounce in July 2016 (a post-Brexit bounce).

But, for every rally there was a trough. Gold fell to $1,087 per ounce in August 2015 and $1,050 per ounce in December 2015. The bigger picture was that gold was trading in a range. The range was approximately $1,365 per ounce at the top and $1,050 per ounce at the bottom, with lots of ups and downs in between. Yet, nothing seemed capable of breaking gold out of that range.

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

How Iran Will Determine If The US Dollar Remains The World’s Reserve Currency

How Iran Will Determine If The US Dollar Remains The World’s Reserve Currency

For almost two centuries, Sterling reigned supreme as the world’s reserve currency, propping up the vast British Empire which was the world’s superpower during the 19th century and the early 20th. Then, in the span of just a few months, everything changed and the US Dollar took over after a series of dramatic events.

For those unfamiliar with this historic transformation, Clarmond’s Mustafa Zaidi and Chris Andrew describe the series of events in which Iran and its oil reserves proved to be the final nail in the coffin of sterling and the British Empire. However, what is far more interesting, is their suggestion that the current tensions between Washington and Tehran, and what happens to Iranian gas, could also be the event that results in the end of the dollar’s own reserve status.

Why? Read on in Clarmond’s observation on “Self Deception and Pride.”

Wilting in the muggy summer of 1945 in Washington DC, an ailing Lord Keynes messaged London – his mission to procure a $5b grant to avoid a ‘financial Dunkirk’ had failed.

Instead the Americans had offered a $3.5b loan loaded high with conditions. “We are in Shylock’s hands” muttered Ernie Bevin, the Labour Foreign Minister. The American demands were put forward by a former cotton king (Will Clayton) a future Chief Justice (Fred Vinson) and crafted by the President of Chase Bank (Winthrop Aldrich). There were three immovable requirements for the loan. First an end to Imperial Preference in trade, secondly the floatation of Sterling within a year, and thirdly Britain signing up to the Bretton Woods system.

The American objective was to put American industry and finance at the centre of the world. This meant dismantling the sterling free-trade market and destroying sterling’s status as a settlement and reserve currency.

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

From Dollar Hegemony to Global Warming: Globalization, Glyphosate and Doctrines of Consent

From Dollar Hegemony to Global Warming: Globalization, Glyphosate and Doctrines of Consent

There has been an on-going tectonic shift in the West since the abandonment of the Bretton Woods agreement in 1971. This accelerated when the USSR ended and has resulted in the ‘neoliberal globalization’ we see today.

At the same time, there has been an unprecedented campaign to re-engineer social consensus in the West. Part of this strategy, involves getting populations in Western countries to fixate on ‘global warming’, ‘gender equity’ and ‘anti-racism’: by focusing on identity politics and climate change, the devastating effects and injustices brought about by globalized capitalism and associated militarism largely remain unchallenged by the masses and stay firmly in the background.

This is the argument presented by Denis Rancourt, researcher at Ontario Civil Liberties Association, in a new report. Rancourt is a former full professor of physics at the University of Ottawa in Canada and author of ‘Geo-economics andgeo-politics drive successive eras of predatory globalization and socialengineering: Historical emergence of climate change, gender equity, andanti-racism as state doctrines’ (April 2019).

In the report, Rancourt references Michael Hudson’s 1972 book ‘Super Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire’ to help explain the key role of maintaining dollar hegemony and the importance of the petrodollar to US global dominance. Aside from the significance of oil, Rancourt argues that the US has an existential interest to ensure that opioid drugs are traded in US dollars, another major global commodity. This explains the US occupation of Afghanistan. He also pinpoints the importance of US agribusiness and the arms industry in helping to secure US geostrategic goals.

 …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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