Posts Tagged ‘money printing’

PALIN AND BECK RING THE QE BELL

PALIN AND BECK RING THE QE BELL

Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist 

Dinner bell

The nonsense regarding the world’s greatest monetary non-event just continues to spiral out of control.  Last week it was Glenn Beck pretending to know something about the monetary system and economics.  This week it is Sarah Palin. In a talk today Mrs. Palin went on a politically motivated rant about government intervention and “money printing”:

“I’m deeply concerned about the Federal Reserve’s plans to buy up anywhere from $600 billion to as much as $1 trillion of government securities. The technical term for it is “quantitative easing.” It means our government is pumping money into the banking system by buying up treasury bonds. And where, you may ask, are we getting the money to pay for all this? We’re printing it out of thin air.

The Fed hopes doing this may buy us a little temporary economic growth by supplying banks with extra cash which they could then lend out to businesses. But it’s far from certain this will even work. After all, the problem isn’t that banks don’t have enough cash on hand – it’s that they don’t want to lend it out, because they don’t trust the current economic climate.

And if it doesn’t work, what do we do then? Print even more money? What’s the end game here? Where will all this money printing on an unprecedented scale take us? Do we have any guarantees that QE2 won’t be followed by QE3, 4, and 5, until eventually – inevitably – no one will want to buy our debt anymore? What happens if the Fed becomes not just the buyer of last resort, but the buyer of only resort?”

Glenn Beck made equally irresponsible comments last week.  Why these people feel as though they are qualified to discuss monetary operations is beyond me.  It would be like me walking into the Kennedy Center and telling the National Symphony Orchestra that they are playing the music all wrong (and I have not one ounce of musical talent in my entire body).

I won’t repeat the entire argument I have consistently made in recent weeks because I fear readers might bludgeon me with my keyboard, but let’s reiterate a few things:

  • QE is NOT money printing.  They are adding reserves to the banking sector and removing government bonds.  Mr. Bernanke has explicitly stated this:


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DISINFLATION WITH A HIGHER RISK OF DEFLATION THAN INFLATION

DISINFLATION WITH A HIGHER RISK OF DEFLATION THAN INFLATION

Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist 

David Rosenberg had some succinct thoughts on the continuing inflation/deflation debate this morning.  He cuts right to the heart of the argument noting that, because end demand remains weak, we are still at a higher risk of deflation than inflation:

There is no more significant source of inflation than the U.S. labour market and we found out on Friday that total employment costs slowed to just +0.4% in Q3 and the YoY trend is extremely tame, at +1.9%.  Wages came in at +0.3% sequentially and just +1.5% on a YoY basis.

We can understand the temptation to believe in the inflation story because of what the CRB index has been doing, but our advice is to resist that temptation and remember what we were talking about, quite unexpectedly by the way, six months after oil hit $140/bbl back in 2008.  Deflation.

In many cases, pricing power is hard to achieve and so the bump in commodity costs serves as a margin squeeze as opposed to a sustained source of final stage inflation.  For real-life examples as opposed to the data, what did the NYT have to say about Colgate’s profit results?  This — “Colgate’s revenues in the United States, which produces 19% of its sales, grew 2%, while the company sold 3% more products.  Price cuts reduced earnings in the United States by 1.5%.”

This is important because a lot of investors prefer to just look at commodities as evidence of impending U.S. inflation.  This is partly misguided for several reasons.  First of all, there are many variables influencing commodity prices at any given time.  Currently, I would attribute the move in commodities to Asian strength (there is very real inflation in much of Asia ex-Japan), fears of U.S. “money printing” and the rise of the commodity investment class.  Except for the case of “money printing” (which I believe is largely the result of misunderstanding how our monetary system works) there remains little worry of these variables influencing U.S. consumer inflation.  As Mr. Rosenberg highlighted, there is only so much commodity price inflation that a weak U.S. consumer will allow (reference 2008).

The rise of the commodity investment class has largely created a hedging mechanism for investors and this component of the commodity price increase represents a “bet” that inflation is coming.  Gold…
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Misguided Love Affair with China; China’s Massive Monetary Expansion and Crackup Boom

Misguided Love Affair with China; China’s Massive Monetary Expansion and Crackup Boom

Courtesy of Mish 

Earth with Ying and Yang symbols

China is pointing the finger at the US, complaining about "Out of Control" US dollar Printing by the Fed.

Dollar issuance by the United States is "out of control", leading to an inflation assault on China, the Chinese commerce minister said in comments reported on Tuesday.

"Because the United States’ issuance of dollars is out of control and international commodity prices are continuing to rise, China is being attacked by imported inflation. The uncertainties of this are causing firms big problems," Chen was quoted as saying by the official Xinhua news agency.

Chinese officials have criticised U.S. monetary policy as being too loose before, but rarely in such explicit language.

Decoupling Theories Renewed 

I will get to loose monetary policy in just a bit, but first consider More than decoupled, China is in league of its own

Two years on from the global financial crisis, the contrast with the rich world is striking. In the United States and Europe, growth is sluggish, a slump into outright deflation is a real risk and central banks look set to loosen policy further.

So the evidence is in: China is decoupled, influenced by, but ultimately independent from other major economies.

"The crisis was a test and China passed the test. Decoupling has become a much more solid thesis now than three years ago when we only talked about it hypothetically," said Qing Wang, Morgan Stanley’s chief economist for greater China.

Chinese Money Supply Numbers from People’s Bank of China

Money and Quasi Money Jan 2009 – 496135.31
Money and Quasi Money Sep 2010 – 696384.86

"Out Of Control" Monetary Expansion Irony

I am certainly not about to defend the Fed’s misguided policies, but the complaint from Chinese commerce minister that US monetary printing is "out of control" is the ultimate in "pot calling the kettle black" irony.

Over the past few weeks I have exchanged quite a few Emails regarding China with my friend "BC" who writes …

Total Chinese money supply is up over 4 times since ’03, a 17%/yr. rate at a doubling time of just 4 years; up 66% since Jan. ’08, a 19%/yr. rate at a doubling time of 43 months; and


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Is hyperinflation really possible?

Is hyperinflation really possible?

Courtesy of Rohan at Data Diary

Pencil popping balloon

Time is compressing.  Our collective attention span is contracting.  Memory and imagination are being squeezed.  What are the chances then that governments can act in our long term interest when their constituencies are driven by the here-and-now?  This argument lies at the heart of those that foresee a hypernflationary outburst on the horizon.

Some clear thoughts:

1) The global economy is cooling – the economies of China, the US and Europe are all turning down.

2) Deflation has the upper hand

In this environment, it’s difficult to imagine inflation, let alone hyperinflation.  Most major economies are in fact battling with debt deflation.  Japan’s experience of the 90’s suggests that you might moderate the episode but that inflation is difficult to manufacture when you are caught in a liquidity trap.

But still, as Marc Faber has repeatedly repeated, the US has a money printer in the Fed.  Ben Bernanke couldn’t be any clearer that, as an expert in matters Depression, a central plank of his strategy is to keep printing.  Keep printing until you get inflation – this is written on the plaque above his door.  That the Japanese and the UK have embraced the strategy without the same clarity of expression is simply a debate in semantics.

So the argument goes that governments will attempt to print their way out of their debt burdens.  Create money to pay your debts, debase your currency, it’s not a default sure, just that your foreign creditors take a little currency haircut.  The money printer with the quickest press wins the devaluation game.  And the cost – ultimately – is inflation.

Okay that’s plausible, even if appearing remote in the current environment, but for hyperinflation we need something more.  We need a supply shock.  Money printing on its own won’t deliver this.  Conceptually there could be a squeeze on real assets as money printing undermines paper money.  But is that the same thing as a supply shock?

When hyperinflation emerged from the crucible in Germany, there was money printing and a currency crisis, but there was also the occupation of factories in the Rhur.  It’s been argued that it was the resultant shortage in raw materials versus a ballooning money supply that fueled hyperinflation.  This is what a supply shock looks like.  It’s like the 70’s oil price shock…
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Austerity or Money Printing?

Austerity or Money Printing?

Courtesy of Chris Martenson

New 1996 Currency Security Upgrade

I was asked to write a once-a-month Market Observation for Financial Sense.  Here’s the first one (posted today, Feb 10): 

From time to time, I think it’s a good idea to stop squinting at the short-term market wiggles and pull our heads back for a wide-angle view.  Now would be a good time, so that’s what we’re going to do. For the record, I also happen to believe that close-up market analysis loses some of its potency during times of immense official intervention.  As with any subsidy program, prices become distorted and often fail to tell the real story, which is absolutely true with respect to interest rates and, by extension, the risk premium for stocks.

Back to the story.  Where the current crisis has been described using millions of words in thousands of articles packed with arcane acronyms (such as TALF, CDO, and CMBS), perplexing regulatory lapses and with a degree of complexity that dwarfs the Apollo moon mission, I can explain why the whole thing happened using just three words.

Too.  Much.  Debt.

Total credit market debt in the US doubled between 2000 and 2008, while incomes stagnated and jobs were not created.

When your debts are skyrocketing, but your means of servicing those debts are not, you are on a path to a credit crisis.  And that’s exactly what we got.

That’s all there is to it, and we’d have a better shot of crafting an enduring recovery if we better understood the difference between causes and symptoms.  Too much debt was the cause; virtually everything else was either a symptom or a contributory factor.  The main contributory factor was Alan Greenspan’s monkeying around with interest rates between 2002 and 2004 to create ultra-cheap money to fight the effects of his prior monetary and regulatory mistakes.

Which entirely explains why I am so dismissive of world efforts to stoke an economic recovery by deploying even cheaper money and even more debt.  As earnest as these efforts are, they spring from the very same flawed thinking and practices that got us into the mess in the first place.  Plus, they’ve never worked before.

I’ve analyzed this situation nearly to death, and I arrive at this one very simple conclusion:  The US is insolvent (and so are many other governments around the world).

We all know the…
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Sovereign Debt Defaults

Here’s two posts (article plus update) by The Shocked Investor on Sovereign Debt Defaults.

Concerns Escalate On Sovereign Debt Defaults: Who Is Next?

A week ago we posted the list of countries [below] at risk of default or with very poor credit ratings. It turns out that concerns are seriously growing worldwide about sovereign debt.

The Financial Times reports today that following the disasters in Greece and Dubai indeed sovereign debt risk is emerging as a serious concern for senior bankers, risk consultants and auditors: "Bankers at some large institutions are discussing whether they need to make provisions for sovereign risks in the same way they now set aside reserves to cover losses from corporate or emerging market risks".

This all has to do not only with the seemingly isolated financial disasters (Greece, Dubai, although one can add Hungary, Ireland, Iceland, Japan, the U.K, and even the U.S, and several others – are these really isolated?), but with the loose monetary policy employed by some countries. Moody’s has warned that debt could be sold off in 2010 if central banks do not implement successful exit strategies from these loose monetary policies.

"Control Risks, a risk consultancy, has seen a big increase in mandates from insurance companies and other financial institutions seeking to understand the part politics plays in sovereign default risk".

A survey showed lower risks for eurozone countries given the likelihood of support by other member states, however, countries such as Kazakhstan, Ukraine, the Seychelles and Eritrea – are vulnerable to downgrades and default.

So we have money printing pushing markets up, and debts and disasters in the making. This is why I like straddes so much. Anything can happen.

Sovereign Debt Update: Europe At Great Risk

Here is a great follow-up on our article on sovereign debt risk. The Wall Street Journal has a map of the risks in Europe:

[Chart: Euro Zone Grapples With Debt Crisis, WSJ]

Says the WSJ article: "After two years of crashing banking systems and economic recession, the euro zone enters 2010 with a full-blown debt crisis. The European Commission warns that public finances in half of the 16 euro-zone nations are at high risk of becoming unsustainable".

"Half of the 16 euro-zone countries are deemed to be at


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SOME THOUGHTS ON THE CURRENT STATE OF AFFAIRS

SOME THOUGHTS ON THE CURRENT STATE OF AFFAIRS

Woodrow WilsonCourtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist

As I ponder the implications of the Fed’s printing press and the potentially disastrous bank run rally I question the actions taken by our Central Bank.  Reader Finn posted some excellent quotes the other day.  Fortunately for the reader these quotes/thoughts are from men far more intelligent than I.  To say that these comments have withstood the test of time is a great understatement:

“We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled governments in the civilized world – no longer a government of free opinion, no longer a government by a vole of the majority, but a government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men.

“Some of the biggest men in the United States, in the field of commerce and manufacture, are afraid of something. They know that there is a power so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they had better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it”
- Woodrow Wilson

“These international bankers and Rockefeller-Standard Oil interests control the majority of newspaper and the columns of these papers to club into submission or drive out of public office officials who refuse to do the bidding of the powerful corrupt cliques which compose the invisible government.”
Abraham Lincohn-Theodore Roosevelt

“I have two great enemies, the Southern Army front of me and the financial institution in the rear. Of the two, the one in my rear is my greatest foe.”
-Abraham Lincoln

“Gentlemen, I have had men watching you for a long time and I am convinced that you have used the funds of the bank to speculate in the breadstuffs of the country. When you won, you divided the profits amongst you, and when you lost, you charged it to the bank. You tell me that if I take the deposits from the bank and annul its charter, I shall ruin ten thousand families. That may be true, gentlemen, but that is your sin! Should I let you go on, you will ruin fifty thousand families, and that would be my sin! You are a den of vipers and thieves.”
– Andrew


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Phil's Favorites

Goldman Sachs Refuses to Say If It Was Placing Trades for Dallas Fed President Kaplan as Materially False Statement Released by Board on Kaplan's Relationship with Goldman Sachs

Courtesy of Pam Martens

Federal Reserve Building in Washington, D.C.

The biggest trading scandal in the Federal Reserve’s 108-year history took down two Federal Reserve Bank Presidents yesterday. Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren, who traded in and out of REITs last year in amounts of $1,000 to $50,000, will leave this Thursday; Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan, whose trading made Rosengren look like a Boy Scout, will step down from his post at the e...



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Zero Hedge

Blain: The Threat Board Is Looking Busy

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Authored by Bill Blain via MorningPorridge.com,

“Many people have speculated that if we knew exactly why the bowl of petunias had thought that we would know a lot more about the nature of the Universe than we do now.”

Markets are never as bad as you fear, but never as good as you hope. The Threat Board has seldom looked so complex: we can try to predict outcomes, but its notoriously difficult. The list of potential ignition points seems to be expanding ex...



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Biotech/COVID-19

New Johnson & Johnson data shows second shot boosts antibodies and protection against COVID-19 - but one dose is still strong against delta variant

 

New Johnson & Johnson data shows second shot boosts antibodies and protection against COVID-19 – but one dose is still strong against delta variant

Public health officials have been waiting for good data before making any decisions about booster shots for people who received Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine. AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

Courtesy of Maureen Ferran, Rochester Institute of Technology ...



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Chart School

Silver during periods of Industrial Inflation

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

When industrial inflation is hotter than consumer inflation silver does well.

Previous Post: Silver, after the FED said taper talk is a long way off

In the chart below we see the relationship between silver and the yield curve and the Producer Price Inflation. 

The yield curve is the US 30 yr interest rate less the Fed Funds interest rate (blue line). When the blue line is high a steep yield curve is present, and when it is low a flat yield curve is present. A steep yield curve is when longer term rates are higher than short term rates vica versa for a flat yi...

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Digital Currencies

China Declares All Virtual Currency Transactions "Illegal", Sending Crypto Prices Tumbling

Courtesy of ZeroHedge

China expanded its escalating crackdown on cryptocurrencies on Friday when its central bank declared that all activities related to digital coins are “illegal” and must be banned.

In a statement dated Sept. 15 but was only posted onto the central bank’s website at 5 p.m. local time on Friday, the People’s Bank of China said the latest notice was to further prevent the risks surrounding crypto trading and to maintain national security and social stability.

Naming bitcoin, ether and tether as examples, the centra...



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Politics

'What Betrayal Looks Like': UN Report Says World on Track for 2.7°C of Warming by 2100

 

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

'What Betrayal Looks Like': UN Report Says World on Track for 2.7°C of Warming by 2100

"Whatever our so-called 'leaders' are doing," said Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, "they are doing it wrong."

By Jake Johnson, Common Dreams

The United Nations warned Friday t...



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Promotions

Phil's Interview on Options Trading with TD Bank

TD Bank's host Bryan Rogers interviewed Phil on June 10 as part of TD's Options Education Month. If you missed the program, be sure to watch the video below. It should be required viewing for anyone trading or thinking about trading using options. 

Watch here:

TD's webinar with Phil (link) or right here at PSW

Screenshots of TD's slides illustrating Phil's examples:

 

 

&n...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Crude Oil Cleared For Blast Off On This Dual Breakout?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

Is Crude Oil about to blast off and hit much higher prices? It might be worth being aware of what could be taking place this month in this important commodity!

Crude Oil has created lower highs over the past 13-years, since peaking back in 2008, along line (1).

It created a “Double Top at (2), then it proceeded to decline more than 60% in four months.

The countertrend rally in Crude Oil has it attempting to break above its 13-year falling resistance as well as its double top at (3).

A successful breakout at (3) would suggest Crude Oil is about to mo...



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ValueWalk

Managing Investments As A Charity Or Nonprofit

By Anna Peel. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Maintaining financial viability is a constant challenge for charities and nonprofit organizations.

Q4 2020 hedge fund letters, conferences and more

The past year has underscored that challenge. The pandemic has not just affected investment returns – it’s also had serious implications for charitable activities and the ability to fundraise. For some organizations, it’s even raised doubts about whether they can continue to operate.

Finding ways to generate long-term, sustainable returns for ...



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Mapping The Market

Suez Canal: Critical Waterway Comes to a Halt

 

Suez Canal: Critical Waterway Comes to a Halt

Courtesy of Marcus Lu, Visual Capitalist

The Suez Canal: A Critical Waterway Comes to a Halt

On March 23, 2021, a massive ship named Ever Given became lodged in the Suez Canal, completely blocking traffic in both directions. According to the Suez Canal Authority, the 1,312 foot long (400 m) container ship ran aground during a sandstorm that caused low visibility, impacting the ship’s navigation. The vessel is owned by Taiwanese shipping firm, Evergreen Marine.

With over 2...



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The Technical Traders

Adaptive Fibonacci Price Modeling System Suggests Market Peak May Be Near

Courtesy of Technical Traders

Our Adaptive Fibonacci Price Modeling system is suggesting a moderate price peak may be already setting up in the NASDAQ while the Dow Jones, S&P500, and Transportation Index continue to rally beyond the projected Fibonacci Price Expansion Levels.  This indicates that capital may be shifting away from the already lofty Technology sector and into Basic Materials, Financials, Energy, Consumer Staples, Utilities, as well as other sectors.

This type of a structural market shift indicates a move away from speculation and towards Blue Chip returns. It suggests traders and investors are expecting the US consumer to come back strong (or at least hold up the market at...



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Lee's Free Thinking

Texas, Florida, Arizona, Georgia - The Branch COVIDIANS Are Still Burning Down the House

 

Texas, Florida, Arizona, Georgia – The Branch COVIDIANS Are Still Burning Down the House

Courtesy of Lee Adler, WallStreetExaminer 

The numbers of new cases in some of the hardest hit COVID19 states have started to plateau, or even decline, over the past few days. A few pundits have noted it and concluded that it was a hopeful sign. 

Is it real or is something else going on? Like a restriction in the numbers of tests, or simply the inability to test enough, or are some people simply giving up on getting tested? Because as we all know from our dear leader, the less testing, the less...



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Insider Scoop

Economic Data Scheduled For Friday

Courtesy of Benzinga

  • Data on nonfarm payrolls and unemployment rate for March will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET.
  • US Services Purchasing Managers' Index for March is scheduled for release at 9:45 a.m. ET.
  • The ISM's non-manufacturing index for March will be released at 10:00 a.m. ET.
  • The Baker Hughes North American rig count report for the latest week is scheduled for release at 1:00 p.m. ET.
...

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Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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