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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Zero Hedge

China Responds To Trump's "Barbaric" Tariffs: Vows To Fight "Until The End" And Have "The Last Laugh"

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

After Friday's blitz of reciprocal trade war escalations, which saw a furious Trump slam the two "enemies of the state", Fed Chair Powell and China president Xi, following China's widely expected tariff hike retaliation and Powell's uneventful Jackson Hole speech, and further raise tariffs on virtually all Chinese imports after stocks suffered another major selloff, we said that the next steps were clear.

And now China has to retaliate and so on

— zerohedge (@zerohedge) ...

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Phil's Favorites

S&P 500 Index Must Bounce Here Or Hold On Tight!

Courtesy of Technical Traders

The fragility of the markets can not be underestimated for investors at this time.  Our research has continued to pick apart these price swings in the US stock markets and our July predictions regarding a market top and an August 19...



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The Technical Traders

S&P 500 Index Must Bounce Here Or Hold On Tight!

Courtesy of Technical Traders

The fragility of the markets can not be underestimated for investors at this time.  Our research has continued to pick apart these price swings in the US stock markets and our July predictions regarding a market top and an August 19...



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Biotech

The Big Pharma Takeover of Medical Cannabis

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

 

The Big Pharma Takeover of Medical Cannabis

Courtesy of  , Visual Capitalist

The Big Pharma Takeover of Medical Cannabis

As evidence of cannabis’ many benefits mounts, so does the interest from the global pharmaceutical industry, known as Big Pharma. The entrance of such behemoths will radically transform the cannabis industry—once heavily stigmatized, it is now a potentially game-changing source of growth for countless co...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Bearish Divergences Similar To 2000 & 2007 In Play Again!

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

Does history at important junctures ever repeat itself exactly? Nope

Do look-alike patterns take place at important price points? Yup

This chart looks at the S&P 500 over the past 20-years.

In 2000 and 2007 bearish momentum divergences took place months ahead of the actual peak in stocks.

Currently, momentum has created a bearish divergence to the S&P 500 for the past 20-months, as the seems to have stopped on a dime at its 261% Fibonacci extension level of the 2007 highs/2009 lows.

Joe Friday Just The Fact Ma’am; A negative sign for the S&P 500 with the divergence in play, would take place if support b...



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Insider Scoop

Earnings Scheduled For August 22, 2019

Courtesy of Benzinga

Companies Reporting Before The Bell
  • Hormel Foods Corporation (NYSE: HRL) is estimated to report quarterly earnings at $0.36 per share on revenue of $2.29 billion.
  • BJ's Wholesale Club Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: BJ) is projected to report quarterly earnings at $0.37 per share on revenue of $3.38 billion.
  • DICK'S Sporting Good...


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Chart School

Gold Gann Angle Update

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Everything awesome? Gold over $1500. Central banks are printing money to generate fake demand. Germany issues first ever 30 year bond with negative interest rate. Crazy times!

Even Australia and New Zealand and considering negative interest rates and printing money, you know a bunch of lowly populated islands in the South Pacific with no aircraft carriers or nuclear weapons. They will need to do this to suppress their currency as they are export nations, as they need foreign currency to pay for foreign loans. But what is next, maybe Fiji will start printing their dollar. 

Now for a laugh, this Jason Pollock sold for more than $32M in 2012. 
 


 

Ok, now call ...



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Lee's Free Thinking

Watch Out Bears! Fed POMO Is Back!

Courtesy of Lee Adler

That’s right. The Fed is doing POMO again.  POMO means Permanent Open Market Operations. It’s a fancy way of saying that the Fed is buying Treasuries, pumping money into the financial markets.

Over the past 6 days, the Fed has bought $8.6 billion in T-bills and coupons. These are the first regular Fed POMO Treasury operations since the Fed ended outright QE in 2014.

Who is the Fed buying those Treasuries from?

The Primary Dealers. Who are the Primary Dealers?  I’ll let the New York Fed tell you:

Primary dealers are trading counterparties of the New York Fed in its implementation of monetary policy. They are also expected to make markets for the New York Fed on behalf of its official accountholders as needed, and to bid on a ...



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Digital Currencies

New Zealand Becomes 1st Country To Legalize Payment Of Salaries In Crypto

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have been on a persistent upswing this year, but they're still pretty volatile. But during a time when even some of the most developed economies in the word are watching their currencies bounce around like the Argentine peso (just take a look at a six-month chart for GBPUSD), New Zealand has decided to take the plunge and become the first country to legalize payment in bitcoin, the FT reports.

The ruling by New Zealand’s tax authority allows salaries and wages to b...



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Mapping The Market

How IPOs Are Priced

Via Jean Luc 

Funny but probably true:

...

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Members' Corner

Despacito - How to Make Money the Old-Fashioned Way - SLOWLY!

Are you ready to retire?  

For most people, the purpose of investing is to build up enough wealth to allow you to retire.  In general, that's usually enough money to reliably generate a year's worth of your average income, each year into your retirement so that that, plus you Social Security, should be enough to pay your bills without having to draw down on your principle.

Unfortunately, as the last decade has shown us, we can't count on bonds to pay us more than 3% and the average return from the stock market over the past 20 years has been erratic - to say the least - with 4 negative years (2000, 2001, 2002 and 2008) and 14 positives, though mostly in the 10% range on the positives.  A string of losses like we had from 2000-02 could easily wipe out a decades worth of gains.

Still, the stock market has been better over the last 10 (7%) an...



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Promotions

Free eBook - "My Top Strategies for 2017"

 

 

Here's a free ebook for you to check out! 

Phil has a chapter in a newly-released eBook that we think you’ll enjoy.

In My Top Strategies for 2017, Phil's chapter is Secret Santa’s Inflation Hedges for 2017.

This chapter isn’t about risk or leverage. Phil present a few smart, practical ideas you can use as a hedge against inflation as well as hedging strategies designed to assist you in staying ahead of the markets.

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