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One Monetary Policy Fits All – Part II

One Monetary Policy Fits All – Part II

In Part one of this series, Our Currency The World’s Problem, we discuss the vital role the U.S. dollar plays in the global economy. With an understanding of the dollar’s role as the world’s reserve currency, it’s time to discuss how the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy machinations influence the dollar and, therefore, the global economy and financial markets.

Given the Fed’s recent extreme monetary policy actions, which haven’t been seen in over 40 years, it is more important now than ever to appreciate the potential global consequences of the Fed’s stern fight against inflation.

Triffin’s Paradox

In Part 1, we highlight the following two lines, which help describe Triffin’s paradox.

“To supply the world with dollars, the United States must consistently run a trade deficit. Running persistent deficits, the United States would become a debtor nation.”

“Simply the growing divergence between debt and the ability to pay for it, GDP, is unsustainable.”

Increasingly borrowing without the means to pay it off is unsustainable. The terms zombie company or Ponzi Scheme come to mind when considering such a system. That said, because the printer of the currency and taxer of its citizens is in charge, we can only ask how long the status quo can continue.

The answer is partially up to the Fed. The Fed can use QE and low-interest rates to delay the inevitable. As we now see, the problem is that those tools are detrimental when there is high inflation. Fighting inflation requires higher interest rates and QT, both of which are problematic for high debt levels.

Financial Tremors

The Bank of England is bailing out U.K. pension funds. The Bank of Japan uses excessive monetary policy to protect its currency and cap interest rates…

…click on the above link to read the rest…

World Dollar Hegemony Is Ending (and That May Be a Good Thing)

World Dollar Hegemony Is Ending (and That May Be a Good Thing)

petrodollar

The end of world dollar hegemony is coming and hardly anyone in government is taking notice or even understands what this means. Since the Bretton Woods Conference in 1944, the dollar has been the only currency accepted throughout the world for settlement of international trade accounts among nations.

Prior to 1944, physical gold was used for international settlement. When an exporter in country A sold goods to an importer in country B, country B would pay with its own currency. But country A would have no interest in allowing country B’s currency to build up in its vaults beyond an amount required to settle its own importers’ needs. Thus, country A would demand that country B redeem its own currency in gold. Sometimes country B would ship physical gold to country A. Or perhaps gold held in safekeeping in a third country would be designated as now belonging to country A, a book entry transaction that is more convenient than physical movement.

The Bretton Woods Agreement and Its Demise

The Bretton Woods Agreement added the dollar as tantamount to physical gold at $35 per ounce. The reason was simple: at the end of World War II the United States had accumulated a preponderance of gold, due primarily to its role as the “arsenal of democracy.” Thus, central banks could exchange dollars for settlement rather than moving or redesignating the ownership of physical gold. The weakness of this system was that the world had to trust the USA not to create more dollars than it could redeem for gold at $35 per ounce. But central banks always had the option to demand physical gold from the USA and hence ensure that their trust in the measure of $35 per ounce was fully supported.

…click on the above link to read the rest…

Fed Defending Dollar No Matter What Crashes – Catherine Austin Fitts

Fed Defending Dollar No Matter What Crashes – Catherine Austin Fitts

Catherine Austin Fitts (CAF), Publisher of The Solari Report and former Assistant Secretary of Housing (Bush 41 Admin.), says what is coming for the economy is pain–and lots of it.  CAF explains, “We are either in a major correction or we are going to go into a bear (market), and a lot of it depends on many different politics.  If you look at the money being pumped out . . . on climate change, on green energy, environment and all these different new sort of scams, it depends on how they inject money.  It’s either a major correction or it could turn into a bear (market).  There is no way to tell because it is purely political.”

Various Fed presidents are repeatedly saying the central bank is going to continue raising interest rates.  Why?  CAF says, “I think they are going to keep raising interest rates.  If you are Federal Reserve, you are playing a global game, and what you have to do is protect the reserve currency status.  It looks like to me they have decided that all the BIS (Bank of International Settlements) members need to be in the dollar channel.  They are doing everything they can to collapse the market share of the euro and then move that into the dollar syndicate.  I think they have to keep driving the dollar up.  The U.S dollar index is up to 113, and at one point, it was at 114.  One analyst said it was going to 120.  They have the entire frontier market and the emerging markets in a bear trap, and that is very significant power.  If you are going to go into the woods and shoot the bear, you can’t wound the bear, you have to kill the bear…

…click on the above link to read the rest…

Futures Crash, Stocks At 2022 Lows; Yields, Dollar Explode As UK Stimulus Plan Sparks Global Market Panic

Futures Crash, Stocks At 2022 Lows; Yields, Dollar Explode As UK Stimulus Plan Sparks Global Market Panic

One week after stocks suffered their biggest drop since June, futures are in freefall on Friday with the dollar soaring to the now default daily record high…

… 10Y yields exploding higher, surging more than 10bps so far today…

… in what appears to be the latest bond market flash smash which has pushed 10Y yields to the highest level since 2010…

… and S&P futures plunging over 1.4%, and the S&P set to open at a fresh 2022 low…

… with futures set to drop nearly 5% (or more) for a 2nd consecutive week, and down 5 of the past 6 weeks!

Besides the soaring dollar, two other drivers contributed to today’s widespread market panic:

  • first, the shocking UK mini budget saw the country’s new administration slash tax rates by the most since 1970s at a time when the country is about to enter recession and is battling with runaway inflation which crashed UK bonds and sent the pound tumbling to a 37 year low as markets priced in a more aggressive pace of tightening to offset the government’s growth plan,
  • second, traders also freaked out over a Goldman research report which slashed the bank’s S&P price-target to just 3,600 from 4,300, making the bank one of the biggest bears on Wall Street.

In premarket trading, Costco shares declined 3.3% as analysts flagged that volatility may remain high for the company’s shares. Analysts mostly welcomed its report of modest improvements in inflation and supply chains. here are the other notable premarket movers:

  • AMD shares dropped 1.5% in premarket trading as Morgan Stanley trimmed price target to $95 from $102, citing a worsening PC end market and headwinds on the client business, including a collapse in gaming GPUs.

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

“Don’t Be Fooled By Recent Strength… A Post-Dollar World Is Coming”

“Don’t Be Fooled By Recent Strength… A Post-Dollar World Is Coming”

The currency may look strong but its weaknesses are mounting…

This month, as the dollar surged to levels last seen nearly 20 years ago, analysts invoked the old Tina (there is no alternative) argument to predict more gains ahead for the mighty greenback.

What happened two decades ago suggests the dollar is closer to peaking than rallying further. Even as US stocks fell in the dotcom bust, the dollar continued rising, before entering a decline that started in 2002 and lasted six years. A similar turning point may be near. And this time, the US currency’s decline could last even longer.

Adjusted for inflation or not, the value of the dollar against other major currencies is now 20 per cent above its long-term trend, and above the peak reached in 2001. Since the 1970s, the typical upswing in a dollar cycle has lasted about seven years; the current upswing is in its 11th year. Moreover, fundamental imbalances bode ill for the dollar.

When a current account deficit runs persistently above 5 per cent of gross domestic product, it is a reliable signal of financial trouble to come. That is most true in developed countries, where these episodes are rare, and concentrated in crisis-prone nations such as Spain, Portugal and Ireland. The US current account deficit is now close to that 5 per cent threshold, which it has broken only once since 1960. That was during the dollar’s downswing after 2001.

Nations see their currencies weaken when the rest of the world no longer trusts that they can pay their bills. The US currently owes the world a net $18tn, or 73 per cent of US GDP, far beyond the 50 per cent threshold that has often foretold past currency crises.

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

Going to Samarkan

The meeting of the SCO Ministerial Council in Tashkent this past Friday involved some very serious business. That was the key preparatory reunion previous to the SCO summit in mid-September in fabled Samarkand, where the SCO will release a much-awaited “Declaration of Samarkand”.

What happened in Tashkent was predictably unreported across the collective West and still not digested across great swathes of the East.

So once again it’s up to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to cut to the chase. The world’s foremost diplomat – amidst the tragic drama of the American-concocted Era of Non-Diplomacy, Threats and Sanctions – has singled out the two overlapping main themes propelling the SCO as one of the key organizations on the path towards Eurasia integration.

  1. Interconnectivity and “the creation of efficient transport corridors”. The War of Economic Corridors is one of the key features of the 21st
  2. Drawing “the roadmap for the gradual increase in the share of national currencies in mutual settlements.”

Yet it was in the Q@A session that Lavrov for all practical purposes detailed all the major trends in the current, incandescent state of international relations. These are the key takeaways.

How comfortable are you with the US dollar?

Africa: “We agreed that we will submit to the leaders for consideration proposals on specific actions to switch to settlements in national currencies. I think that everyone will now think about it. Africa already has a similar experience: common currencies in some sub-regional structures, which, nevertheless, by and large, are pegged to Western ones. From 2023, a continental free trade zone will start functioning on the African continent. A logical step would be to reinforce it with currency agreements.”

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

Russia And China Officially Announce A “New Global Reserve Currency”

Russia And China Officially Announce A “New Global Reserve Currency”

And once again, as happens often with consequential news in the United States and the West, no one has noticed and no one seems to care.

If you’ve blinked over the last month, you may have missed it…

China and Russia are taking their shot at the U.S. dollar. And as often happens with consequential news in the United States and the West, no one seems to notice or even care.

Since the beginning of the year, I have been writing about the possibility of Russia and China challenging the US dollar’s global reserve status. Now, it’s happening.

It shouldn’t be any surprise to those paying attention that Russia and China are strengthening their economic ties amidst continued Western sanctions on Russia as a result of the country’s war in Ukraine.

What may surprise some people, however, is that Russia and the BRICS countries, including Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, are officially working on their own “new global reserve currency,” RT reported in late June. Nobody even seemed to notice.


“The issue of creating an international reserve currency based on a basket of currencies of our countries is being worked out,” Vladimir Putin said at the BRICS business forum last month.

And of course, as Russia has been cut off from the SWIFT system, it is also pairing with China and the BRIC nations to develop “reliable alternative mechanisms for international payments” in order to “cut reliance on the Western financial system.”

In the meantime, Russia is also taking other steps to strengthen the alliance between BRIC nations, including re-routing trade to China and India, according to CNN:

President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that Russia is rerouting trade to “reliable international partners” such as Brazil, India, China and South Africa as the West attempts to sever economic ties.

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

Running on Empty, Part V

Running on Empty, Part V

When the Dollar is Broken, What Does One Do to Not Go Broke? (Guest Post)

Gary Brode of Deep Knowledge Investing was kind enough to share my series Running on Empty with his readers. This afternoon I’ve invited him to offer his thoughts for my readers, focusing on the implications that Running on Empty has for investments in the years ahead. After you’ve finished here, be sure to check out Gary’s own Deep Knowledge Investing for more insight.

Overview

Contemplations on the Tree of Woe wrote Running on Empty, a three-part analysis of the petrodollar system that was so full of woe that it ran a full four parts.  That’s 33% more woe than had been promised.  Because we thought the series represented the kind of deep-dive analysis that we admire, we asked the Tree if we could print Part I as a guest post.  You can find that piece along with links to parts II, III, and IV here.

Part I of the series explained the origins of the petrodollar system, and noted that it’s the first reserve currency not backed by gold or other precious metals.  We’ve made similar comments about the disaster started when US banks in conjunction with the government created the Federal Reserve, and then took the US off the gold standard in 1971.

Part II of the series explained how the system enabled the Federal Reserve to print increasing amounts of currency and enabled Congress to run increasing deficits.  Because the US could print dollars for free, we did so and sent them overseas in exchange for foreign goods.  This hollowed out the manufacturing base of the US and led to a decline in living standards for many Americans at the same time that the people decrying inequality were pursuing policies that led to more of it.

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

This Implosion Will Be Fast–Hold Onto Your Seats

THIS IMPLOSION WILL BE FAST – HOLD ONTO YOUR SEATS

The massive money creation in the 2000s has led to a debt and asset bubble, which is about to burst. Investors will be shocked by the speed of the decline and won’t react before it is too late.

The massive money creation by central and commercial banks in this century has resulted in a growth of global assets from $450 trillion in 2000 to $1,540 trillion in 2020.

DEBT TO GDP GROWTH

As the chart below shows US debt to GDP held well below 25% from 1790 to the 1930s, a period of almost 150 years. The depression with the New Deal followed by WWII pushed debt to GDP up to 125%. Then after the war, the debt  came down to around 30% in the early 1970s.

The closing of the gold window in 1971 ended all fiscal and monetary discipline. Since then, the US and much of the Western world has seen debt to GDP surge to well over 100%. In the US, Public Debt to GDP is now 125%. Back in 2000 it was only 54% but since then we have seen a vote buying system with a money printing bonanza and an exponential increase in debt to 125%.

A major part of the debt increase has gone to finance the rapid growth in property values.

The table below shows that property has grown on average by 250% between 2000 and 2020. So individuals are creating wealth by swapping properties with each other. Hardly a sustainable form of wealth creation.

The exponential growth in property prices has been global although countries like China, Canada, Australia and Sweden stand out with over 200% gains since 2000. Most of the properties bought in the last 20+ years involve massive leverage. When the property bubble soon bursts, many property owners will have negative equity and could easily lose their homes.

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

Media: Why the Fed Raised 75 bps and How to Break the Davos Crowd

Media: Why the Fed Raised 75 bps and How to Break the Davos Crowd

I sat down for a long chat with my good friend Crypto Rich over the weekend and have just found the 20 minutes to post them here. We did a series of videos, Duran-style, on a number of topics. They are all below.

With the Fed raising by 75 bps yesterday I have to believe we’ve reached a major turning point in the War Against Davos. The deflation of asset prices and, most especially the Eurodollar markets is putting many other, over-leveraged central banks on a path towards bankruptcy.

There are a ton of moving parts, a lot of factions now warring against each other. When cartels break, the former members of the cartel always turn on each other. It was always going to be this way. Davos turned on its allies in the US commercial banking sector and they fought back.

Hard.

Everything I wrote about in my last post — SOFR/LIBOR spreads, US/German 10 year Spreads, Lagarde’s incompetence — were proven correct in the response yesterday by the markets to Powell’s hawkishness.

Davos has spent so long and so much money trying to convince us to ‘abandon all hope’ but it is they who now can do nothing but ‘enter here’ into our dragon’s den of asset deflation. The adjustment will be biblical. It will be painful.

And it didn’t have to be this way, but the solipsism and arrogance of evil people who have always known power and feel entitled to wield it in perpetuity is boundless.

Enjoy the rants and the wailing and gnashing of teeth by the very worst people in the world today.

The links below are to the videos on Odysee

Part 1 of the main talk

Part 2 of the main talk

How to Break the Great Reset

Will the Global South break free from dollarized debt?

Will the Global South break free from dollarized debt?

In his latest book, economist Michael Hudson pits socialism against finance capitalism and tears apart the ‘dream civilization’ imposed by the 1 percent.
https://media.thecradle.co/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/IMG-20220609-WA0000.jpg

Michael Hudson’s new book on the world’s urgent global economic re-set is sure to ruffle some Atlanticist feathers.

Photo Credit: The Cradle

With The Destiny of Civilization: Finance Capitalism, Industrial Capitalism or Socialism, Michael Hudson, one of the world’s leading independent economists, has given us arguably the ultimate handbook on where we’re at, who’s in charge, and whether we can bypass them.

Let’s jump straight into the fray. Hudson begins with an analysis of the “take the money and run” ethos, complete with de-industrialization, as 90 percent of US corporate revenue is “used to share buybacks and dividend payouts to support company stock prices.”

That represents the apex of “Finance Capitalism’s” political strategy: to “capture the public sector and shift monetary and banking power” to Wall Street, the City of London and other western financial centers.

The whole Global South will easily recognize the imperial modus operandi: “The strategy of US military and financial imperialism is to install client oligarchies and dictatorships, and arm-twist allies to join the fight against designated adversaries by subsidizing not only the empire’s costs of war-making (“defense”) but even the imperial nation’s domestic spending programs.” This is the antithesis of the multipolar world advocated by Russia and China.

In short, our current Cold War 2.0 “is basically being waged by US-centered finance capitalism backing rentier oligarchies against nations seeking to build up more widespread self-reliance and domestic prosperity.”

Hudson presciently reminds us of Aristotle, who would say that it is in the interest of financiers to wield their power against society at large: “The financial class historically has been the major beneficiary of empires by acting as collection agents.”

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

Running on Empty, Part II

Running on Empty, Part II

How the Petrodollar Poisoned Foreign Policy with Financial Profiteering

Welcome to Part II of Running on Empty, my three-part analysis of the Petrodollar system. Part I of this series explained what the petrodollar system is, how it came to be, and what its financial effects have been on the United States. In Part II, I’ll explain the petrodollar’s implications for foreign policy. In Part III, I’ll show how those implications paved the way for the Russo-Ukraine War, and why that’s causing the system to break down.

America’s Chief Export is the US Dollar

As explained in the previous installment, the petrodollar system is based on an agreement between the US and Saudi Arabia. Under the terms of the deal, the US guarantees the security of Saudi Arabia and in exchange, Saudi Arabia guarantees that all petroleum is sold by OPEC for US dollars, with the US dollars re-invested into America via petrodollar recycling. The result: Since everyone needs petroleum, everyone needs US dollars. Oil replaces gold as the hard backing for the dollar. 1

Since the petrodollar system was put in place, the US has enjoyed a comparative advantage in manufacturing currency that no other nation enjoys. Under conditions of free trade, a country produces and exports more of a good for which it a comparative advantage, and produces less and imports more of the goods for which it doesn’t. And that’s what has happened: Since the petrodollar system was put in place in 1973, America has produced more and more dollars and produced less and less of everything else. The dollar is today our nation’s #1 export.

How large is the circulation of US dollars? As of April 2022, the American money supply, which economists call M2, stands at $21,728 Billion Dollars. M2 includes three types of money:

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

Collapse Is Happening Before Our Eyes

Collapse Is Happening Before Our Eyes

Analysts and authors, myself included, have been warning about the collapse of the dollar as the global reserve currency for years. I described this prospect in my first book, Currency Wars (2011), and in several other books in the years since.

This process can take many years. For example, the decline of sterling as the leading global reserve currency played out over 30 years from 1914 (the beginning of World War I) to 1944 (the Bretton Woods conference).

Still, events today are playing out so quickly that the collapse is happening in front of our eyes.

It’s no longer a matter of a major event on the horizon; it’s occurring in real-time. Russia has just linked the ruble to gold at a rate of 5,000 rubles to one gram of gold. China is discussing with Saudi Arabia the prospect of paying for oil in yuan.

Israel is likewise considering taking yuan in exchange for its high-tech exports. China and Russia are creating new payments systems to avoid U.S. sanctions. You get the point.

Foreign Central Banks Aren’t Dumb

Central banks have been net buyers of physical gold since 2010. Countries all over the world are considering dumping dollars for fear that they will be next on the list to have their dollar assets frozen or seized the way the U.S. seized the dollar-denominated assets of the Central Bank of Russia.

That makes sense. What’s the point of holding dollars in your reserve positions if the U.S. can freeze those accounts on a whim? Americans tend to take dollar strength for granted, but that’s a mistake. It’s helpful at times like this to get a foreign perspective.

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

China and Russia are working on homegrown alternatives to the SWIFT payment system. Here’s what they would mean for the US dollar.

China and Russia are working on homegrown alternatives to the SWIFT payment system. Here’s what they would mean for the US dollar.

Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping. 
Getty Images
  • Some Russian banks have been banned from SWIFT, a cross-border messaging service for banks.
  • India was reportedly considering a Russian proposal to use the SPFS for payments in rubles.
  • Moscow is also working with Beijing to connect to the Chinese messaging system.

In the aftermath of Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, some Russian banks were banned from SWIFT, the Belgium-based messaging service that lets banks around the world communicate about cross-border transactions. The ban has hampered cross-border transactions for Russia’s trade and financial systems, isolating the country economically.

Now, both Russia and China are looking to establish alternatives to the US dollar hegemony.

Russia is touting an alternative ruble-based payment system called the System for Transfer of Financial Messages (SPFS). The system was set up in 2014. In late April, the country’s central bank said it would start keeping the names of participants secret.

China’s Cross-Border Interbank Payment System (CIPS) — which processes payments in Chinese yuan — also has potential to replace SWIFT. The system has an expansive network of 1,280 financial institutions, said Peter Keenan, the cofounder and CEO of Apexx, a payments provider that used to work with Russia’s domestic Mir payment card. That’s compared to SPFS’ much smaller network of 400 users.

There are few alternatives to SWIFT, Keenan told Insider: “This is one of the reasons why Russia is looking to CIPS and an alternative for Asian payments specifically.”

Here’s how China and Russia’s SWIFT alternatives could cause disruptions in the global payments system and the dollar’s dominance.

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

The Dollar Dethroned: We Have Reached The End Of Monetary Policy As We All Once Knew It

The Dollar Dethroned: We Have Reached The End Of Monetary Policy As We All Once Knew It

And the world hasn’t even noticed yet.

People who speak out openly with concern about the potential death of the U.S. dollar have been written off as conspiracy theorists for the better part of the last few decades.

But looking back, unfortunately, I’m sure history is going to be kind to these people and their prognostications. They will have been the ones who sounded the alarm in a relatively short amount of time before ultimately being proven right.

I don’t say this to brag or boast in advance in any way, I say it because I truly believe we are at the “beginning of the end” of the Keynesian economic experiment.


Less than two weeks ago, I wrote an article proclaiming that Russia would back the ruble with gold as a way to fight back against Western economic sanctions. I also made similar predictions about the new digital Chinese currency last summer when I first started Fringe Finance.

To me, since I began piecing together my understanding of macroeconomics and the global economy about a decade ago, it had become painfully obvious that the fiat system the U.S. plays by, which hinges on the dollar being the global reserve currency, had its days numbered.

The catalyst that is helping hurl us toward our monetary rude awakening faster than ever has been the war in Ukraine. Actually, it hasn’t been the war so much as it has been the West’s reaction to the war. As only blindly arrogant believers in the Keynesian dog-and-pony show could do, we rushed to cut Russia off the SWIFT system, limited investing in Russia companies and sanctioned the country’s oligarchs.

To which Russia basically replied, “OK. We still have the oil.”

…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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