Posts Tagged ‘debt deflation’

DEBT AND DELEVERAGING: A FISHER, MINSKY, KOO APPROACH

DEBT AND DELEVERAGING: A FISHER, MINSKY, KOO APPROACH

Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist 

The following paper by Paul Krugman is an excellent analysis of the current situation in the United States.  Professor Krugman accepts Richard Koo’s “balance sheet recession” and draws similar conclusions to Koo – primarily that government must maintain large deficits in order to offset the lack of spending by the private sector.  The key component missing in both Krugman and Koo’s argument is the idea that a nation that is sovereign in its own currency cannot default on its “debt”.  Nonetheless, the conclusions we all come to are similar – a temporary deficit is not only necessary, but an economic benefit during a balance sheet recession:

“In this paper we have sought to formalize the notion of a deleveraging crisis, in which there is an abrupt downward revision of views about how much debt it is safe for individual agents to have, and in which this revision of views forces highly indebted agents to reduce their spending sharply. Such a sudden shift to deleveraging can, if it is large enough, create major problems of macroeconomic management. For if a slump is to be avoided, someone must spend more to compensate for the fact that debtors are spending less; yet even a zero nominal interest rate may not be low enough to induce the needed spending.

Formalizing this concept integrates several important strands in economic thought. Fisher’s famous idea of debt deflation emerges naturally, while the deleveraging shock can be seen as our version of the increasingly popular notion of a “Minsky moment.” And the process of recovery, which depends on debtors paying down their liabilities, corresponds quite closely to Koo’s notion of a protracted “balance sheet recession.”

One thing that is especially clear from the analysis is the likelihood that policy discussion in the aftermath of a deleveraging shock will be even more confused than usual, at least viewed through the lens of the model. Why? Because the shock pushes us into a world of topsy-turvy, in which saving is a vice, increased productivity can reduce output, and flexible wages increase unemployment. However, expansionary fiscal policy should be effective, in part because the macroeconomic effects of a deleveraging shock are inherently temporary, so the fiscal response need be only temporary as well. And the model suggests that a temporary rise in government spending not only won’t


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Telling Signs-of-the-Times: Layaways, Off-Brands, Goodwill Stores, Consignment Sales, Frugality, all Thrive in Middle-Class Suburbia

Telling Signs-of-the-Times: Layaways, Off-Brands, Goodwill Stores, Consignment Sales, Frugality, all Thrive in Middle-Class Suburbia

Courtesy of Mish

Boutique window display

Telling Signs-of-the-Times: In grocery stores, "No-Name" sales are up 2% and now represent 22% of total sales. Some full priced stores now offer consignment sections, an unheard of practice a couple years back.

Layaway sales are back in vogue at Toys-R-Us and jewelers alike. Layaways are a depression era phenomenon that all but died with the mass marketing of credit cards.

Old Stigmas Become New Badge of Honor

Frugality is the new "badge of honor" says the Yahoo!Finance report In a tough economy, old stigmas fall away

The Goodwill store in this middle-class New York suburb is buzzing on a recent weekend afternoon. A steady flow of shoppers comb through racks filled with second-hand clothes, shoes, blankets and dishes.

A few years ago, opening a Goodwill store here wouldn’t have made sense. Paramus is one of the biggest ZIP codes in the country for retail sales. Shoppers have their pick of hundreds of respected names like Macy’s and Lord &Taylor along this busy highway strip.

But in the wake of the Great Recession, the stigma attached to certain consumer behavior has fallen away. What some people once thought of as lowbrow, they now accept — even consider a frugal badge of honor.

At the supermarket, shoppers are buying more store-labeled products, like no-name detergents and cereal, and not returning to national brands.

And in a telling trend, Americans are turning to layaway more often when they buy expensive items such as engagement rings and iPads. The wealthy are also using layaway more often, a drastic change from the past.

"The old stigmas are the new realities," says Emanuel Weintraub, a New York-based retail consultant. "Now, people don’t have a problem saying, ‘I can’t afford it.’ It’s a sign of strength."

Two years ago, having second-hand clothes in the same store that sells regular-priced goods might have driven well-heeled shoppers away. Today, the concept works. The new consignment area, called My Secret Closet, has brought in new customers. Shoppers browse both the retail and consignment areas without hesitation.

"We are seeing a permanent change in how people shop, and we have to respond to that," says Tom Patrolia, who has owned the store for 24 years.

The growth in layaway also reflects Americans’ new willingness to set aside


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A DEFLATIONARY RED FLAG IN THE $U.S. DOLLAR

A DEFLATIONARY RED FLAG IN THE $U.S. DOLLAR

Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist 

Red Flag against Blue Sky

If the chart below doesn’t grab your attention then few things will. In my opinion, the performance of the dollar is the surest evidence of the kind of environment we’re currently in. The surging dollar is a clear sign that inflation is not the concern of global investors. This is almost a sure sign that deflation is once again gripping the global economy and should be setting off red flags for equity investors around the world.

The recent action in the dollar is eerily reminiscent of the peak worries in the credit crisis when deflation appeared to be taking a death grip on the global economy and demand for dollars was extremely high. The recent 16% rally in the dollar is a sign that investors are once again worried about the continuing problem of debt around the world and they’re reaching for the safety of the world’s reserve currency – the dollar. As asset prices decline and bond yields collapse this is a clear sign that inflation is not the near-term concern, but rather that the debt based deflationary trends continue to dominate global economic trends.

This is exactly the kind of market action we saw leading up to Lehman Brothers. In 2008 the dollar rallied as signs of deflation began to sprout up. This was an instant red flag for anyone who understood the deflationary forces at work (and a total surprise for the inflationistas). The dollar ultimately rallied 26% from peak to trough. Coincidentally, the dollar had rallied 16% from trough to peak just prior to the Lehman collapse when the dollar surge accelerated.

USD2 A DEFLATIONARY RED FLAG IN THE $U.S. DOLLAR

 

Of course, the inflationistas will argue that gold is rising in anticipation of inflation. In my opinion, this is incorrect. First of all, if inflation were a major global concern the Goldman Sachs Commodity Index wouldn’t be almost 65% off its all-time high and just 33% above its 2009 low. Second, and perhaps most importantly, bond yields around the globe wouldn’t be plummeting if there were rampant inflationary fears. For a much more detailed analysis on the reasons why inflation is not a near-term concern please see here.

Oriental dragon mask

As for the gold rally, I think it’s clear gold is rallying in anticipation of its potential to become a future reserve currency. The…
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Why The World Is Headed For A Balance Sheet Recession

"Balance sheet recession" explained.  It characterized the Great Depression and Japan’s Lost Decade, and includes weak consumer spending and private sector deleveraging.  During this process, the three Ds come into play: debt deflation, deleveraging, and ultimately depression. – Ilene 

Why The World Is Headed For A Balance Sheet Recession

Courtesy of Edward Harrison at Credit Writedowns 

In my post Koo, White, Soros and Akerloff videos from inaugural INET conference I highlighted four speeches from the recent George Soros-sponsored pow-wow. I have already written up a post based on the one by William White in "The origins of the next crisis."

This post serves to give you some colour on another of those speeches, the one by Richard Koo and his balance sheet recession.

 

Koo believes the US, Europe and China are headed for a period of incredibly weak consumer spending not unlike what Japan has been through. Let me say a few words about this balance sheet recession theme, private sector deleveraging, and the related sovereign debt crises. Then, at the bottom, I have embedded a recent paper of his which has a bunch of graphs that explain what Japan has been through as a cautionary tale for the global economy.

I have described Koo’s thesis this way:

Nomura’s Chief Economist Richard Koo wrote a book last year called “The Holy Grail of Macroeconomics” which introduced the concept of a balance sheet recession, which explains economic behaviour in the United States during the Great Depression and Japan during its Lost Decade.  He explains the factor connecting those two episodes was a consistent desire of economic agents (in this case, businesses) to reduce debt even in the face of massive monetary accommodation.

When debt levels are enormous, as they are right now in the United States, an economic downturn becomes existential for a great many forcing people to reduce debt. Recession


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Bank of England Throws Money at Economy

Bank of England Throws Money at Economy

Currency Projected on Stock Market Listings

Courtesy of Mish

It’s no wonder that gold is soaring with the US, UK, and China all printing money like mad. Throw enough money around and gold is bound to rise regardless of anything else that might happen (all of it bad).

Please consider the latest insanity in the UK: BOE May Expand Bond Plan as Officials ‘Throw Money’ at Economy.

The Bank of England may increase its bond-purchase plan by 50 billion pounds ($83 billion) today as central bankers and politicians scramble to shore up Britain’s banking system and drag the economy out of recession.

Governor Mervyn King’s nine-member Monetary Policy Committee will expand the asset-buying program to 225 billion pounds at 12 p.m. in London, the median of 48 forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey shows. That follows Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s pledge this week to spend almost 40 billion pounds in a second bailout of two the nation’s biggest banks.

Any increase in the Bank of England’s emergency program would be the third since King unveiled the plan in March. Brown’s first bank bailout, the government’s fiscal stimulus measures and an injection of 175 billion pounds in newly printed central bank money have so far failed to end Britain’s longest recession on record.

“They’ve got to throw money at it,” said Neil Mackinnon, an economist at VTB Capital Plc and a former U.K. Treasury official. “The fact of the matter is that the U.K. economy is lagging behind. As to whether quantitative easing is working, the jury is still out.”

Quantitative Easing History Lesson

Mackinnon does not know if the strategy is working yet still insists “They’ve got to throw money at it.”

Neil Mackinnon is in dire need of a history lesson. Quantitative Easing was a spectacular failure in Japan, it will prove to be a spectacular failure in the UK as well. For more on the lesson of Japan, please see Is Debt-Deflation Just Beginning?

However, this should not take a history lesson. Common sense alone says you cannot cure a debt problem by throwing still more money at problems hoping something will stick.

It is impossible to have a sustainable recovery based on loose money policies. The global housing bubble should be proof enough of that.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

 


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Is Debt-Deflation Just Beginning?

Is Debt-Deflation Just Beginning?

deflationCourtesy of Mish 

Last Thursday I received an email from David Meier, Associate Advisor at the MotleyFool concerning Debt-Deflation.

David asked if I had any comments on his article Debt-deflation: Just the beginning? Here is a partial listing:

The debate rages on.

Is inflation or deflation the bigger threat? There are lots of people — lots of smart people — on both sides of the debate and they present lots of good arguments. One thing that I have not seen — and maybe I just missed it — was an analysis using Irving Fisher’s debt-deflation framework. So I decided to put one together myself and to inject my understanding of what Bernanke is try to do to stop deflation from taking hold.

The question I keep coming back to, especially as I read more about the situation Japan faced (I’m reading everything I can by Richard Koo, including his book "The Holy Grail of Macroeconomics."

And just to make sure I am not being one-sided, I am countering my fears of deflation with "Monetary Regimes and Inflation" by Peter Bernholz, which should arrive next week.

Without further ado, below is my research on debt-deflation.

Dave

Dave’s research is a 70 Slideshow Page On Debt-Deflation that is easy enough to read or download from Scribd.

Here is my response ….

You should not be afraid of deflation.

You should be afraid of policies attempting to fight it.

Deflation (rather price deflation) is actually the natural state of affairs. As productivity increases, more goods and services are produced relative to the population and prices would therefore be expected to drop.

It is the Fed, along with misguided Keynesian and Monetarist economists who think falling prices are a bad thing. Who amongst us does like falling prices (except of course on things we own like houses, but even then who is not sick of higher property taxes that result)?

The reality is inflation benefits those with first access to money. Guess who that is? The answer is easy: banks, government, and the already wealthy. Inflation is actually a tax on the middle class and the poor who get access to money last. During the housing bubble, by the time the poor could get access to to money easily, it was far too late to buy.

Given that inflation


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Lynch, Bezos, Capital Allocation And Dividend Investing

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Chart School

Weekly Market Recap Feb 18, 2017

Courtesy of Blain.

BOO YAH! Now that’s more like it!  Your regularly scheduled non stop up market returned this past week with a “5 for 5” week (all 5 days up).  Three of those days were >1% so it was a return of the bulls.  That said to return to the “Trump market” we need to get back to almost no volatility and incremental up days of 0.3% or so 80% of the time.   We noted in last week’s recap the NYSE McClellan Oscillator was still VERY oversold so a “snapback rally” was still on the docket.  That was quite a snapback rally!  So the “easy part” of the bounce just happened – now we will see if we are going to return to a more volatile future or go right back to the sleepy market that tacks on a little 4 out of 5 ...



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Zero Hedge

Only 73% OF Americans Are "Likely To Adhere To The Law"

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Many factors influence how effectively a government is able to uphold the rule of law and some of them include access to courts, lack of corruption, effective policing and institutional competence.

While some governments are able to combine these efficiently, resulting in strong adherence to the law, Statista's Niall McCarthy notes that others tend to struggle...



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Digital Currencies

As Bitcoin Nears $11,000, Here's A History Of Its Biggest Ups And Downs

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

The cryptocurrency rebound off Feb 5th's bloodbath lows (below $6,000 for Bitcoin) has been impressive, as a 'mysterious' massive buyer 'bought the dip' and momentum took care of the rest.

With Bitcoin now nearing $11,000 (almost a double off the lows), ...



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Insider Scoop

Walmart, Target Are Susquehanna's Top Picks Ahead Of Retail Earnings Season

Courtesy of Benzinga.

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Biotech

What is 'right to try,' and could it help?

Reminder: Pharmboy is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

What is 'right to try,' and could it help?

In this March 18, 2011 photo, Cassidy Hempel waved at hospital staff as she was being treated for a rare disorder. Her mother Chris, left, fought to gain permission for an experimental drug. AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

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Mapping The Market

The tricks propagandists use to beat science

Via Jean-Luc

How propagandist beat science – they did it for the tobacco industry and now it's in favor of the energy companies:

The tricks propagandists use to beat science

The original tobacco strategy involved several lines of attack. One of these was to fund research that supported the industry and then publish only the results that fit the required narrative. “For instance, in 1954 the TIRC distributed a pamphlet entitled ‘A Scientific Perspective on the Cigarette Controversy’ to nearly 200,000 doctors, journalists, and policy-makers, in which they emphasized favorable research and questioned results supporting the contrary view,” say Weatherall and co, who call this approach biased production.

A second approach promoted independent research that happened to support ...



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Members' Corner

An Interview with David Brin

Our guest David Brin is an astrophysicist, technology consultant, and best-selling author who speaks, writes, and advises on a range of topics including national defense, creativity, and space exploration. He is also a well-known and influential futurist (one of four “World's Best Futurists,” according to The Urban Developer), and it is his ideas on the future, specifically the future of civilization, that I hope to learn about here.   

Ilene: David, you base many of your predictions of the future on a theory of historica...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of September 11th, 2017

Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Brazil; Waterfall in prices starting? Impact U.S.?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Below looks at the Brazil ETF (EWZ) over the last decade. The rally over the past year has it facing a critical level, from a Power of the Pattern perspective.

CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE

EWZ is facing dual resistance at (1), while in a 9-year down trend of lower highs and lower lows. The counter trend rally over the past 17-months has it testing key falling resistance. Did the counter trend reflation rally just end at dual resistance???

If EWZ b...



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All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

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Click here for the full report.




To learn more, sign up for David's free newsletter and receive the free report from All About Trends - "How To Outperform 90% Of Wall Street With Just $500 A Week." Tell David PSW sent you. - Ilene...

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