When Even Varoufakis Mocks The QE “Wizard”, The Game Is Almost Up

Last Wednesday, Mario Draghi and ECB chief economist Peter Praet had a clear message for critics of PSPP: we’ll keep printing money forever if we have to, but in the end, this is going to work. As skepticism grows regarding not only the soundness of the philosophy that underpins QE, but about whether the structure of the ECB’s asset purchase program is even viable, the central bank remains defiant to the end and indeed Praet doubled down on the rhetoric last week, noting that the ECB would “use all tools available” to ensure that “monetary dominance prevails.”  That kind of language may be good for morale in some circles, but a growing number of critics are suggesting that perhaps the world would be better off in terms of financial stability if the powers behind “monetary dominance” would let the market prevail for once so that some semblance of price […] Read More

The Truth About The Monetary Stimulus Illusion

Authored by Tadashi Nakamae of Nakamae International Economic Research, Perhaps economic policymakers, including Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and the Bank for International Settlements, should take a closer look at Japan, China, and yes, the United States, when debating the limits of monetary stimulus and the dangerous nature of financial bubbles. The discussion is happening too late to be anything more than an intellectual exercise. Since its inception in 2008, easy monetary policy has created very few positive effects for the real economy—and has created considerable (and in some cases unforeseen) negative effects as well. The BIS warns of financial bubbles. Quantitative easing has already created asset price bubbles in the United States and elsewhere, and an investment bubble (this includes capital expenditure and real estate) in China and other emerging markets. Meanwhile, this policy has failed to have a positive impact on the real economy partly because central […] Read More

If Quantitative Easing Works, Why Has It Failed to Kick-Start Inflation?

Illustration by William Banzai QE Has Failed to Spark Inflation Quantitative easing (QE) was supposed to stimulate the economy and pull us out of deflation. But the third round of quantitative easing (“QE3″) in the U.S. failed to raise inflation expectations. And QE hasn’t worked in Japan, either. The Wall Street Journal noted in 2010: Nearly a decade after Japan’s central bank first experimented with the policy, the country remains mired in deflation, a general decline in wages and prices that has crippled its economy. The BOJ began doing quantitative easing in 2001. It had become clear that pushing interest rates down near zero for an extended period had failed to get the economy moving. After five years of gradually expanding its bond purchases, the bank dropped the effort in 2006. At first, it appeared the program had succeeded in stabilizing the economy and halting the slide in prices. […] Read More

“The Fed Is Heading For Another Catastrophe… Central Banking Has Lost Its Way” Stephen Roach Warns

Authored by Stephen Roach, originally posted At MarketWatch via Project Syndicate, America’s Federal Reserve is headed down a familiar — and highly dangerous — path. Steeped in denial of its past mistakes, the Fed is pursuing the same incremental approach that helped set the stage for the financial crisis of 2008-2009. The consequences could be similarly catastrophic. Consider the December meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee, where discussions of raising the benchmark federal funds rate were couched in adjectives, rather than explicit actions. In line with prior forward guidance that the policy rate would be kept near zero for a “considerable” amount of time after the Fed stopped purchasing long-term assets in October, the FOMC declared that it can now afford to be “patient” in waiting for the right conditions to raise the rate. Add to that Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s declaration that at least a couple more […] Read More

Keynesian Shangri-La From Myth To Reality

Authored by Mark St.Cyr, In less than the time it takes for a chrysalis to release one of life’s remarkable transformations, many once called “capitalists” woke to find the world they once new changed into something only dreamed or told in folklore. Where business models resembling unicorns abounded along with rainbows in their resembling equivalent of over-arching ETF’s. All available in a multitude of hues and proportions so plentiful: It was hard for one not to well up when contemplating. For in this new fairytale land there must certainly be a pot of gold at the end of every “rainbow.” However, one would be mistaken. For one must remember this is a “Keynesian Shangri-la” and gold here is useless. (insert choir music here) Today, at the end of these self propagated rainbows lies a Central Bank ready and willing to print as much money as one needs to see […] Read More

The Experiment that Will Blow Up the World

Submitted by Pater Tenebrarum via Acting-Man blog, The BoJ Goes Even Crazier It has been clear for a while now that the lunatics are running the asylum in Japan, so perhaps one shouldn’t be too surprised by what happened overnight. Bloomberg informs us that “Kuroda Jolts Markets With Assault on Deflation Mindset”. The policy hasn’t worked so far, in fact, it demonstrably hasn’t worked in Japan in a quarter of a century. Therefore, according to the Keynesian mindset, we need more of it. Mr. Kuroda therefore delivered a surprise spiking of the punchbowl that immediately impoverished Japan’s consumers further by causing a sharp decline in the yen: “Today’s decision to expand Japan’s monetary stimulus may be regarded as shock treatment in the central bank’s effort to affect confidence levels. Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda’s remedy to reflate the world’s third-largest economy through influencing expectations saw the yen sliding and […] Read More

The Fed Has A Big Surprise Waiting For You

Submitted by Raul Ilargi Meijer via The Automatic Earth blog, Risdon Tillery Greenwich House day care, New York May 1944 The topic of potential interest rate hikes by central banks is no longer ever far from any serious mind interested in finance. Still, the consensus remains that it will take a while longer, it will take place in a very gradual fashion, and it will all be telegraphed through forward guidance to anyone who feels they have a need or a right to know. Sounds like complacency, doesn’t it? Now, it seems obvious that the Bank of Japan and the ECB are not about to hike rates tomorrow morning. In Europe, dozens of national politicians wouldn’t accept it, and in Japan, it would mean an early end to many things including Shinzo Abe. But the Bank of England and the Fed are another story. Though if the Yes side […] Read More

Kyle Bass On China’s “Contraction” And “The Fed’s Worst Nightmare”

Via Robert Huebscher, originally posted at Advisor Perspectives, For the last several years, nobody has been more outspokenly bearish on Japan than Kyle Bass. In a recent talk, Bass reiterated his doubts about Japan’s chances of averting a debt crisis. What’s more, he also said China’s economy will fall below expectations. Bass changed one aspect of his outlook on Japan. Instead of predicting a collapse of the Japanese bond market, he focused on a severe weakening of the yen – without predicting when that might happen. His predictions for China were equally distressing. He said that its banks will be saddled with non-performing loans and that its economy is actually contracting. “I don’t think the markets are discounting what’s really happening in China,” he said. Bass is the founder of Hayman Capital, a Dallas-based hedge fund. He was featured prominently in Michael Lewis’ recent book, The Big Short, for […] Read More