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Posts Tagged ‘G-20’

Rogoff: Beware of Wounded Lions

Rogoff: Beware of Wounded Lions

Courtesy of Mark Thoma, Economist’s View

Kenneth Rogoff says the rest of the world should not ignore the recent threats of protectionist measures coming from the US:

Beware of Wounded Lions, by Kenneth Rogoff, Commentary, Project Syndicate:  G-20 leaders who scoff at the United States’ proposal for numerical trade-balance limits should know that they are playing with fire. … 

According to a recent … report…, fully 25% of the rise in unemployment since 2007, totaling 30 million people worldwide, has occurred in the US. If this situation persists, as I have long warned it might, it will lay the foundations for huge global trade frictions. The voter anger expressed in the US mid-term elections could prove to be only the tip of the iceberg…, the ground for populist economics is becoming more fertile by the day. …

True, today’s trade imbalances are partly a manifestation of broader long-term economic trends, such as Germany’s aging population, China’s weak social safety net, and legitimate concerns in the Middle East over eventual loss of oil revenues. And, to be sure, it would very difficult for countries to cap their trade surpluses in practice: there are simply too many macroeconomic and measurement uncertainties.

Moreover, it is hard to see how anyone – even the IMF, as the US proposal envisions – could enforce caps on trade surpluses. The Fund has little leverage over the big countries that are at the heart of the problem.

Still,… world leaders … must recognize the pain that the US is suffering in the name of free trade. Somehow, they must find ways to help the US expand its exports. Fortunately, emerging markets have a great deal of scope for action.

India, Brazil, and China, for example, continue to exploit World Trade Organization rules that allow long phase-in periods for fully opening up their domestic markets to developed-country imports… A determined effort by emerging-market countries that have external surpluses to expand imports from the US (and Europe) would do far more to address the global trade imbalances … than changes to their exchange rates or fiscal policies. …

American hegemony over the global economy is perhaps in its final decades. China, India, Brazil, and other emerging markets are in ascendancy. Will the transition will go smoothly and lead to a global economy that is both fairer and more prosperous?

However much we


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The G20’s China Bet

The G20’s China Bet

People walk in front of a construction site at Beijing's Xidan shopping district June 18, 2010. China's economy will keep up its robust pace of growth despite the euro zone debt crisis and may exceed the United States to become the world's largest economy in 2020, an academic adviser to the central bank said in remarks published on Friday. REUTERS/Bobby Yip  (CHINA - Tags: BUSINESS CONSTRUCTION SOCIETY)

Courtesy of Simon Johnson at Baseline Scenario

The G20 communiqué, released after the Toronto summit on Sunday, made it quite clear that most industrialized countries now have budget deficit reduction fever (see this version, with line-by-line comments by me, Marc Chandler and Arvind Subramanian).  The US resisted the pressure to cut government spending and/or raise taxes in a precipitate manner, but the sense of the meeting was clear – cut now to some extent and cut more tomorrow.

This makes some sense if you think that the global economy is in robust health and likely to grow at a rapid clip – say close to 5 percent per annum – for the foreseeable future.  With high global growth, it will matter less that governments are cutting back and unemployment will come down regardless.  Taking this into account, the IMF is actually predicting (as cited prominently by the G20) that budget “consolidation” actually raise growth over a five-year horizon.

There is no question that some weaker European countries, such as Greece, Portugal, and Ireland, had budget deficits that were out of control.  Particularly if they are to pay back all their foreign borrowing – a controversial idea that remains the conventional wisdom – these countries need some austerity.  But what about those larger countries, which remain creditworthy, such as Germany, France, the UK, and the US?  If these economies all decide to reduce their budget deficits, what will drive global growth?The answer in Toronto was obvious: China.  China is only about 6 percent of the world economy, measured using prevailing exchange rates, but it has a disproportionate influence on other emerging markets due to its seemingly insatiable demand for commodities.  It also has a relatively healthy fiscal balance – and its fiscal stimulus, working mostly through infrastructure investment, did a great job in terms of buffering the real economy in the face of declining world trade in 2008-09.

Now, however, the Chinese government is trying to slow the economy down – there is fear of “overheating”, which could mean inflation or rising real wages (depending on who you talk to).  Chinese economic statistics are notoriously unreliable, so reading the tea leaves is harder than for some other economies, but most of the leading indicators suggest that some sort of slowdown is now underway. 

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Paul Krugman’s Magic Keynesian Mirror

Paul Krugman’s Magic Keynesian Mirror

Courtesy of Mish

Paul Krugman is quite upset with the deficit hawks at the G-20, so much so that he says Lost Decade, Here We Come

The deficit hawks have taken over the G20.

It’s basically incredible that this is happening with unemployment in the euro area still rising, and only slight labor market progress in the US.

The right thing, overwhelmingly, is to do things that will reduce spending and/or raise revenue after the economy has recovered — specifically, wait until after the economy is strong enough that monetary policy can offset the contractionary effects of fiscal austerity. But no: the deficit hawks want their cuts while unemployment rates are still at near-record highs and monetary policy is still hard up against the zero bound.

Utter folly posing as wisdom. Incredible.

G-20 an Amazing Success

Female devil holding whip, flames in background

In sharp contrast, I called the G-20 an Amazing Success

With all the heated debate and every country doing what they want, inquiring minds just may be asking "How the heck can you call this a success?"

That’s a good question so let’s highlight the positives.

Defining G-20 Success

  • Merkel and Trichet politely told Geithner to go to hell. Given that Geithner needs to be fired, this is a positive event.
  • Europe is more concerned about sovereign debt issues than stimulating growth. Only fools like Geither and the IMF would argue against that.
  • No one paid any attention to Geithner or the Keynesian clowns at the IMF, most notably, IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn.
  • There was no agreement on a universal bank levy. A universal tax is the wrong approach to risk management and it punishes banks with good lending practices.
  • Geithner made a complete fool out of himself.
  • A dozen cheers for German Chancellor Angela Merkel who said “We can only spend what we receive in income.” Finally someone gets it.

 What more could you possibly ask for?

Predictable Reaction 

Without mentioning Krugman specifically, I am not surprised by his reaction. Indeed, I predicted it on Saturday in G20 Heated Debates; Europe Politely Tells Geithner Where To Go.

Kiss the Illusion Goodbye

With global stimulus efforts playing second fiddle to default concerns, a double-dip recession is just around the corner. Please see Hungary Tries To Calm Markets; Europe Headed Back in Recession, US Will Not Decouple for further


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Prepare NOW: They “Get It”

Prepare NOW: They "Get It"

Courtesy of Karl Denninger at The Market Ticker 

Anyone who doesn’t believe that "they" (the powers that be) "get it" at this point needs to remove their head from their ass:

G-20 central bankers and finance ministers agreed in a joint statement today that “within their capacity, countries will expand domestic sources of growth.” At the same time, European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet told reporters that Europe’s best contribution to the global rebound is to achieve fiscal sustainability.

Those two are polar opposites.  You just heard Trichet admit that what everyone wants they cannot have.

Look folks, if you currently spend 11% of GDP by borrowing money and blowing into the economy to prop it up and you achieve "fiscal sustainability" (defined as not doing that any more) GDP will inevitably contract by the amount of stimulative borrowing you withdraw.

Geithner said at a press briefing today that “credible commitments to fiscal sustainability over the medium term” are needed to generate a durable recovery. Spain’s Finance Minister Elena Salgado said at a separate European press briefing that deficit reduction should come “no later than 2011.”

Game’s up folks – that’s six months out.

Let’s be straight with everyone here.  These are the current deficit additions for the first five months of 2010 (click for a larger copy):

That’s nearly $700 billion in five months.  Annualized it’s $1.68 trillion.  Last year’s total was $1.647 trillion.

Ignore the CBO and other government claims.  That which is borrowed is that which is owed, and the increase in that which is owed over a year’s time is the true deficit in the budget, irrespective of all claims otherwise.

This comes out to roughly 12% of GDP.  If we contract that deficit spending in 2011 to the European standard of no more than 3% of GDP then either GDP contracts by the difference (8-9%) or the government extracts that from you in the form of taxes.

Either way you don’t have it – it is either not produced and thus not paid or it is produced and stolen.  Irrespective of how it is achieved you are going to see roughly 10% of your
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G-20 an Amazing Success; Another Look at the Impossible

G-20 an Amazing Success; Another Look at the Impossible

Courtesy of Mish 

In relative terms, as economic summits go, the recent G-20 meeting was a spectacular success.

Unfortunately, one might not get that impression from the Bloomberg headline G-20 Coordination Fails as Governments Clash on Recovery Recipe.

Global policy makers are starting to clash over their individual prescriptions for recovery as Europe demands lower budget deficits while the U.S. warns against pushing exports instead of domestic demand.

At a meeting of Group of 20 finance chiefs in Busan, South Korea, June 4-5, Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said the world cannot again bank on the cash-strapped U.S. consumer to drive growth and urged other nations to stimulate their own demand.

Global policy makers are starting to clash over their individual prescriptions for recovery as Europe demands lower budget deficits while the U.S. warns against pushing exports instead of domestic demand.

At a meeting of Group of 20 finance chiefs in Busan, South Korea, June 4-5, Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said the world cannot again bank on the cash-strapped U.S. consumer to drive growth and urged other nations to stimulate their own demand.

The conundrum is that governments are all trying to harness a rebound in trade, which the Netherlands Bureau for Economic Analysis last week estimated grew 3.5 percent in March, more than double February’s pace.

Companies from French beverage maker Pernod Ricard SA to Japan’s Toshiba Corp. and Nissan Motor Co. are counting on foreign demand to stoke earnings.

In the U.S., President Barack Obama aims to double exports over five years, while China is refusing to bow to international pressure to allow an appreciation in the yuan, which it has held at 6.83 per dollar for almost two years to help its exporters.

Japan’s new prime minister, Naoto Kan, enters office with a reputation for favoring a weak yen after saying as finance minister that he wanted the currency to fall “a bit more.” French Prime Minister Francois Fillon said June 4 the euro’s drop below $1.20 is “good news” after a gain that was “penalizing our exports.” Britain’s Osborne said last week in Beijing he is “keen” to make the U.K. more trade-driven.

‘Who Will’ Buy?

“If everyone’s expecting to export their way out of trouble, who will be buying?” said Alvin Liew, a Singapore- based economist for Standard Chartered Plc. “Countries may


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Zero Hedge

10 Examples Of The Social Decay That Is Eating Away At America Like Cancer

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by Michael Synder of The Economic Collapse blog,

It isn’t just our economy that is crumbling.  Something is happening to America that no amount of money will be able to fix.  Everywhere around us we can see evidence of the social decay that is systematically eating away at the foundations of our society.  It can be found on the streets of our inner cities, in dark basements in extremely rural communities, in the most prestigious boardrooms on Wall Street, and definitely in the halls of power in Washington.   Bringin...



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Phil's Favorites

Nick Colas: Ten Signs You've Been on Wall Street Too Long

Uh oh, I was just driving in the car the other day explaining the three points about why one of the only worthwhile country songs, The Gambler, actually applies to everything in life from 1) the stock market (obviously) to 2) relationships to 3) career moves. My favorite observations are in bold. 

Nick Colas: Ten Signs You’ve Been on Wall Street Too Long

Courtesy of 

Nicholas Colas pens an opus this morning, out of nowhere. He’s clearly feeling introspective today…

***

After 30 years in and around Wall Street, I feel like damaged goods.  That&rs...



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Chart School

The Big Four Economic Indicators: Real Retail Sales

Courtesy of Doug Short.

Note from dshort: With yesterday's release of the Consumer Price Index for October, I've updated Real Retail Sales for October.

Official recession calls are the responsibility of the NBER Business Cycle Dating Committee, which is understandably vague about the specific indicators on which they base their decisions. This committee statement is about as close as they get to identifying their method.

There is, however, a general belief that there are four big indicators that the committee weighs heavily in their cycle identification process. They are:

  • Industrial Production
  • Real Personal Income (excluding Transfer Payments)
  • Nonfarm Employment
  • Real Retail Sales
  • ...

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    All About Trends

    Mid-Day Update

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

    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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    Market Shadows

    EZCH - Not So EZ Year

    EZCH - Not So EZ Year

    By Ilene 

    After a disappointing quarter and some probable tax-selling, EZchip might be a good turnaround for next year.

    So I'm thinking we'll sell a stock or two out of Paul's otherwise neglected Virtual Portfolio (check back) and add EZCH.

    ...

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    OpTrader

    Swing trading portfolio - week of November 17th, 2014

    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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    Sabrient

    Sector Detector: Investors make up new rules for their new market paradigm

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

    Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

    By Scott Martindale

    Investors in U.S. equities seem to have embraced a new market paradigm in which upside spikes come more swiftly than the downside selloffs. Remember when it used to be the other way around? When fear was stronger than greed? The market is consolidating its gains off the early-October V-bottom reversal, and no one seems to be in any hurry to unload shares this time around, with the holidays rapidly approaching and all. After all, there are bright blue skies directly overhead giving hope and respite from the early freeze blanketing the country.

    In this weekly update, I give my view of the current market environment, offer...



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    Stock World Weekly

    Stock World Weekly

    Newsletter writers are available to chat with Members regarding topics presented in SWW, comments are found below each post.

    The newest Stock World Weekly is ready. Click here for the this weekend's reading and sign in with your PSW user name and password. 

    Picture credit: AnnaER at Pixabay. 

    ...

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    Digital Currencies

    Ukraine Central Bank Bans Bitcoin "To Protect Citizens" From Financing Terrorism

    If you would have supposed that Ukraine had enough problems to make banning bitcoins a backburner issue, you'd have been wrong. The rationale, "to protect consumers' rights" makes little to no sense... The other one, "to keep money in the country" makes more sense. 

    Ukraine Central Bank Bans Bitcoin "To Protect Citizens" From Financing Terrorism

    Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

    The Hryvnia has collapsed to new record lows near 15/USD this morning. The Central Bank and bankers "agreed to keep UAH at 15-16/USD" but are &qu...



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    Option Review

    Yamana Gold call options sink

    Yamana Gold call options sink

    By Andrew Wilkinson at Interactive Brokers

    A four-year low for the spot price of gold has had a devastating impact on Yamana Gold (Ticker: AUY), with shares in the name down at the lowest price in six years. Some option traders were especially keen to sell premium and appear to see few signs of a lasting rebound within the next five months. The price of gold suffered again Wednesday as the dollar strengthened and stock prices advanced. The post price of gold fell to $1145 adding further pain to share prices of gold miners. Shares in Yamana Gold tumbled to $3.62 and the lowest price since 2008 as call option sellers used the April expiration contract to write premium at the $5.00 strike. That strike is now 38% above the price of the stock. Premium writers took in around 16-cents per contract o...



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    Pharmboy

    Biotechs & Bubbles

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

    Well PSW Subscribers....I am still here, barely.  From my last post a few months ago to now, nothing has changed much, but there are a few bargins out there that as investors, should be put on the watch list (again) and if so desired....buy a small amount.

    First, the media is on a tear against biotechs/pharma, ripping companies for their drug prices.  Gilead's HepC drug, Sovaldi, is priced at $84K for the 12-week treatment.  Pundits were screaming bloody murder that it was a total rip off, but when one investigates the other drugs out there, and the consequences of not taking Sovaldi vs. another drug combinations, then things become clearer.  For instance, Olysio (JNJ) is about $66,000 for a 12-week treatment, but is approved for fewer types of patients AND...



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    Help One Of Our Own PSW Members

    "Hello PSW Members –

    This is a non-trading topic, but I wanted to post it during trading hours so as many eyes can see it as possible.  Feel free to contact me directly at jennifersurovy@yahoo.com with any questions.

    Last fall there was some discussion on the PSW board regarding setting up a YouCaring donation page for a PSW member, Shadowfax. Since then, we have been looking into ways to help get him additional medical services and to pay down his medical debts.  After following those leads, we are ready to move ahead with the YouCaring site. (Link is posted below.)  Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated; not only to help aid in his medical bill debt, but to also show what a great community this group is.

    http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/help-get-shadowfax-out-from-the-darkness-of-medical-bills-/126743

    Thank you for you time!




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