Helicopter money may be on the horizon, but if Deutsche Bank has its way, there is at least one intermediate step.
According to DB’s Dominic Konstam, now that the benefits QE “have run their course”, it is time for the next, and far more drastic step: “the ECB and BoJ should move more strongly toward penalizing savings via negative retail deposit rates or perhaps wealth taxes. With this stick would also come a carrot – for example, negative mortgage rates.” Continue reading »
If there was a sign that nothing else matters but central bank largess, this was it. The moment The Bank of Japan statement hit and proclaims “unchanged” a vacuum hit USDJPY and Japanese stocks. Reflecting that Japan’s economy has “continued a moderate recovery trend” which is utter crap given the quintuple-dip recession, Kuroda and his cronies said they will “add easing if necessary” and apparently that is not now. Not so much as a higher ETF purchase or moar NIRP.. and the aftermath is carnage – NKY -1000 points and USDJPY crashed to a 108 handle!!…
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The latest shocking example of just how intertwined central banks have become in all capital markets, comes courtesy of the Bank of Japan which days ahead of a move which may see it double its ETF purchases from the current run rate of JPY3.3 trillion to JPY7 trillion or more (if Goldman is correct), is revealed to be a top 10 holder in about 90% of all Japanese stocks. Crazier still, if as Goldman predicts the BOJ doubles its purchases of ETFs, the central bank could become the No. 1 shareholder in about 40 of the Nikkei 225’s companies by the end of 2017,
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Back in October 2014, just after the BOJ drastically expanded its QE operation, we warned that the biggest risk facing the BOJ (and the ECB, and the Fed, and all other central banks actively soaking up securities from the open market) was a lack of monetizable supply. We cited Takuji Okubo, chief economist at Japan Macro Advisors in Tokyo, who said that at the scale of its current debt monetization, the BOJ could end up owning half of the JGB market by as early as in 2018. He added that “The BOJ is basically declaring that Japan will need to fix its long-term problems by 2018, or risk becoming a failed nation.”
Which is why 17 months ago we predicted that, contrary to expectations of even more QE from Kuroda, we said “the BOJ will not boost QE, and if anything will have no choice but to start tapering it down – just like the Fed did when its interventions created the current illiquidity in the US govt market – especially since liquidity in the Japanese government market is now non-existent and getting worse by the day.” Continue reading »
The stock market has regained all of its loses year to date as economic indicators continue to flash red, corporate profits continue to plunge, consumers continue to spend less at retailers, real wages continue to fall, and housing sales continue to decline. The entire dead cat bounce has been generated through corporate stock buybacks, Wall Street lemmings trying to make up for their terrible year to date investing performance, and central bankers who will stop at nothing to verbally manipulate markets higher – since their monetary machinations over the last seven years have been a miserable failure in reviving the real economy.
As John Hussman points out, the market is poised to deliver nothing over the next decade, with a 40% to 55% “dip” in the foreseeable future. I wonder how many barely sentient, iGadget addicted, non-questioning, normalcy bias dependent zombies are prepared for a third Federal Reserve generated market collapse in the last 15 years? Continue reading »
A Nobel prize winning economist, former chief economist and senior vice president of the World Bank, and chairman of the President’s council of economic advisers (Joseph Stiglitz) says that the International Monetary Fund and World Bank loan money to third world countries as a way to force them to open up their markets and resources for looting by the West.
Do central banks do something similar?
Economics professor Richard Werner – who created the concept of quantitative easing – has documented that central banks intentionally impoverish their host countries to justify economic and legal changes which allow looting by foreign interests. Continue reading »
… as planned by TPTB.
William R. White is the chairman of the Economic and Development Review Committee at the OECD in Paris. Prior to that, Dr. White held a number of senior positions with the Bank for International Settlements (“BIS”), including Head of the Monetary and Economic Department, where he had overall responsibility for the department’s output of research, data and information services, and was a member of the Executive Committee which manages the BIS. He retired from the BIS on 30 June 2008.
Dr. White began his professional career at the Bank of England, where he was an economist from 1969 to 1972. Subsequently he spent 22 years with the Bank of Canada. In addition to his many publications, he speaks regularly to a wide range of audiences on topics related to monetary and financial stability.
In the following interview he shares his views in a totally personal capacity on the current state of the global economy and related monetary and fiscal policies. Continue reading »
JPM estimates that if the ECB just focused on reserves equivalent to 2% of gross domestic product it could slice the rate it charges on bank deposits to minus 4.5%. In Japan, JPM calculates that the BOJ could go as low as -3.45% while Sweden’s is likely -3.27%. Finally, if and when the Fed joins the monetary twilight race, it could cut to -1.3% and the Bank of England to -2.69%.
As extensively discussed yesterday in the aftermath of the BOJ’s stunning decision to cut rates to negative for the first time in history (a decision which it appears was taken due to Davos peer pressure, a desire to prop up stock markets and to punish Yen longs, and an inability to further boost QE), there will be consequences – some good, mostly bad.
As Goldman’s Naohiko Baba previously explained, NIRP in Japan will not actually boost the economy: “we do have concerns about the policy transmission channel. Policy Board Member Koji Ishida, who voted against the new measures, said that “a further decline in JGB yields would not have significantly positive effects on economy activity.” We concur with this sentiment, particularly for capex. The key determinants of capex in Japan are the expected growth rate and uncertainty about the future as seen by corporate management according to our analysis, while the impact of real long-term rates has weakened markedly in recent years.” Continue reading »
… here are some shocking statistics on how we got there, and which we all take for granted, courtesy of BofA:
- There have been 606 global rate cuts since LEH
- $12.4 trillion of central bank asset purchases (QE) since Bear Stearns
- The Fed is operating a zero rate policy for the longest period ever (even exceeding the WW2 Aug’37-Sep’42 zero rate period)
- European central banks operating negative rate policies (Swiss policy rate currently -0.75%; Sweden’s policy rate currently -0.35
- Just this month, the PBoC cut rates, the ECB confirmed QE2, Sweden announced additional QE, and the BoJ promised additional easing if necessary “without hesitation”
- $6.3 trillion global government bonds currently yielding <0%
- $20.0 trillion global government bonds currently yielding <1%
But wait, there’s more in describing what BofA says is the most immense and long-lasting monetary stimulus, i.e., bubble, in history:
This surely will end ‘well’!
Haruhiko Kuroda owns 52% of all Japanese ETFs. And now he wants more. Facing a lack of willing JGB sellers, the BoJ now faces the possibility that ramping up its easing efforts will entail expanding the bank’s already elephantine equity portfolio. “At a fundamental level, I don’t support the idea of central banks buying ETFs or equities. Unlike bonds, equities never redeem. That means they will have to be sold at some point, which creates market risk.”
– Bank Of Japan Buying Power Runs Dry: “If They Don’t Increase Now, It’s Going To Be A Shock!” (ZeroHedge, Sep 11, 2015):
Since 2010, The Bank of Japan has ‘openly’ – no conspiracy theory here – been a buyer of Japanese stock ETFs. Their bravado increased as the years passed and Abe pressured them from their independence to ‘show’ that his policies were working to the point that in September 2014, The BoJ bought a record amount of Japanese stock ETFs taking its holdings to over 1.5% of the entire market cap, surpassing Nippon Life as the largest individual holder of Japanese stocks.
Having stepped in a stunning 76% of days to ensure the market closed green, it appears, as Bloomberg reports, time (or money) is running out for Kuroda and the BoJ having spent 78 percent of its allotment as of Sept. 7. “They’ve only got a little bit left in their quota,” notes one trader, “The BOJ had a big role in supporting the market,” he implored, “if they don’t increase purchases now, it’s going to be a shock.” Continue reading »
– The IMF Just Confirmed The Nightmare Scenario For Central Banks Is Now In Play (ZeroHedge, Sep 4, 2015):
The most important piece of news announced today was also, as usually happens, the most underreported: it had nothing to do with US jobs, with the Fed’s hiking intentions, with China, or even the ongoing “1998-style” carnage in emerging markets. Instead, it was the admission by ECB governing council member Ewald Nowotny that what we said about the ECB hitting a supply brick wall, was right. Specifically, earlier today Bloomberg quoted the Austrian central banker that the ECB asset-backed securities purchasing program “hasn’t been as successful as we’d hoped.”
Why? “It’s simply because they are running out. There are simply too few of these structured products out there.” Continue reading »
Think happy thoughts …
… and smile …
– BOJ’s Kuroda “Believes He Should Fly”, Says Central Bankers Should Think Happy Thoughts (ZeroHedge, June 4, 2015):
In a world of central bankers gone Keynesian crazy, one man stands alone.
BoJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda is running what is perhaps the greatest (or worst, depending on how one is predisposed to view centrally planned economies) monetary experiment in history.
True, Kuroda is monetizing the entirety of JGB gross issuance, stripping the market of liquidity and setting the stage for heightened volatility, (more) VaR shocks, and all manner of other central bank-induced aberrations in the process. But that’s par for the central banker course in today’s market. Continue reading »
– It’s Official: The BoJ Has Broken The Japanese Stock Market (ZeroHedge, May 13, 2015):
Monetizing the entirety of gross government bond issuance and amassing an equity portfolio worth just shy of $100 billion on the way to cornering the entire ETF market may come across as insanely irresponsible even in a world that is now defined by insanely irresponsible central banks, but Haruhiko Kuroda does not care because when it comes to QE and the financing of governments via central bank-assisted ponzi schemes, no one does it like the BoJ.
– An Interview with Felix Zulauf – Financial Markets Are More Distorted than Ever (Acting Man, March 26, 2015):
Risks and Opportunities
Investors started off 2015 with a slow global economy, low oil prices, a strong Dollar, and a deflationary Europe with great uncertainties on the progress of the US economy and the recent launch of Europe’s quantitative easing. The question is, what opportunities lie ahead? This article highlights the main topics covered in an interview between Mr. Frank Suess, CEO and Chairman of BFI Capital Group, with the globally renowned Swiss fund manager, Mr. Felix Zulauf. Mr. Zulauf currently heads Zulauf Asset Management, a Switzerland-based hedge fund and has forty years of experience with global financial markets and asset management. He has been a member of the Barron’s Roundtable for over twenty years.
Felix Zulauf, Swiss fund manager and long-standing member of the Barron’s roundtable
Frank Suess: Felix, first I would like to thank you for taking the time to speak to us. You are a renowned investor and fund manager with a solid track record over the past 40 years. In those 40 years, you’ve encountered many highs and lows in financial markets and business cycles. What do you think about the current cycle we are in?
Felix Zulauf: The current cycle is very unusual, because never before have we seen authorities, central banks in particular, intervening on such a large scale and pumping so much money into global financial markets. Hence, global financial markets are more distorted than ever before and accordingly, the risks are very high. Investing becomes very difficult in such an unprecedented environment, as it can’t be compared to previous situations. Continue reading »
– Japanese Government Bonds Are Crashing – Biggest Surge in Yields In 2 Years (ZeroHedge, March 26, 2015):
Whether due to contagion from the surge in US Treasury yields or a double whammy of weak household spending and Retail Trade data indicating that Abenomics is an utter failure is unclear, but yields across the entire JGB complex are spiking by the most in over 2 years. 10Y yields are up almost 9bps (not much you say) except that is from 32bps to 41bps!! 2Y and 5Y JGB yields have roundtripped from last week’s Fed-driven plunge. Is the BoJ/GPIF losing control of the largest and now most illiquid bond market in the world?
– Bank Of Japan’s 10 Trillion Equity Portfolio “Not Large” Says Bank Of Japan (ZeroHedge, March 25, 2015):
As we’ve discussed twice this month, the world has now officially given up any pretensions that Japan’s elephantine QE program isn’t underwriting the rally in Japanese stocks. Not only is the Bank of Japan buying ETFs, they’re targeting their purchases to (literally) ensure that stocks can’t fall by stepping in when things look weak at the open. Unfortunately, Kuroda looks set to run up against the extremely inconvenient fact that while, in his lunacy, he can print a theoretically unlimited amount of money, the universe of purchasable ETFs is limited and so eventually, the BoJ will own the entire market. Here’s what we said last week:
As it turns out, the central bank may now run into the same inconvenience in its efforts to control the stock market that it encountered on the way to monopolizing the JGB market: there’s only so much out there to buy. Here’s more from Bloomberg:
BOJ held 3.85t yen ($32.0b) of ETFs at end-2014 and plans to boost these holdings by 3t yen per year; at this pace, the current market value of 11.5t yen in ETFs would be entirely bought by BOJ by end-2017, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
You read that correctly — the Bank of Japan will own the entire Japanese ETF market within about 30 months. So with all of the JGBs marked for purchase and with all of the ETFs exhausted, there’s only one place to go next: individual stocks. Continue reading »
– Japanese Pension Funds Dive Into Stocks To “Increase Risk-Taking” (ZeroHedge, March 19, 2015):
One thing we’ve discussed on a number of occasions lately is the fact that pension funds the world over are increasingly adopting the same behavior as other investors in a world characterized by artificially suppressed yields: they’re shifting to riskier assets. In the case of US public sector pension funds this is a necessity because assumptions about investment rates dictate the discount rate used to calculate the present value of liabilities and so as soon as you admit you can’t make 8% when risk-free assets are yielding less than 2% in the US and close to or less than 0% in other locales, you effectively become even more underfunded than you already were. The solution is to take more risks in order to justify return expectations and in the US the percentage of funds’ capital dedicated to equities has risen from under 30% in the mid-eighties to as high as 60% more recently while the fixed income allocation has steadily fallen.
As you might expect, Japanese public pension plans are also feeling the heat as the BOJ has driven yields on JGBs into the ground by planning to monetize the entirety of gross issuance. The result has been a truly epic shift out of domestic government bonds. As Bloomberg reports, Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund sold nearly $50 billion in JGBs in Q4, opting instead to chase after higher returns in the stock market: Continue reading »
– Bank Of Japan’s Plunge Protection Desperation: “May Buy Individual Stocks” (ZeroHedge, March 19, 2015):
Earlier this month, the BoJ surveyed 40 dealers and discovered something shocking: buying the entirety of JGB gross issuance has had a rather dramatic effect on liquidity. In fact, two thirds of the firms who participated reported having “some or a lot” of problems and described bid-asks as “not very tight.” Today, an internal report from the central bank indicates officials are slowly coming to accept the fact that their actions have consequences although as you can see from the following, the fact that the BoJ is literally buying all of the bonds is still low on the list of factors the central bank figures might be negatively affecting liquidity…
Via Bloomberg: Continue reading »
– Plunge Protection Exposed: Bank Of Japan Stepped In A Stunning 143 Times To Buy Stocks, Prevent Drop (ZeroHedge, March 11, 2015):
Since 2010, The Bank of Japan has ‘openly’ – no conspiracy theory here – been a buyer of Japanese stock ETFs. Their bravado increased as the years passed and Abe pressured them from their independence to ‘show’ that his policies were working to the point that in September 2014, The BoJ bought a record amount of Japanese stock ETFs taking its holdings to over 1.5% of the entire market cap, surpassing Nippon Life as the largest individual holder of Japanese stocks. However, as WSJ reports,The BoJ has now gone full intervention-tard – buying Japanese stocks on 76% of the days when the market opened lower.
The Bank of Japan’s aggressive purchasing of stock funds has helped Japanese shares climb to multiyear highs in recent months. But some within the central bank are growing uncomfortable about the fast-paced rally and the bank’s own role in fueling it. Continue reading »
– Presenting The Buyers Of More Than 100% Of New German And Japanese Bond Issuance (ZeroHedge, March 9, 2015):
We already know that the Bank of Japan will monetize 100% or just over of all Japanese gross sovereign bond issuance (source). As for Germany, on a run-rate basis, and assuming allocation based on the abovementioned capital key, it means that for the next 12 month period, assuming no major funding changes in Germany, the ECB will swallow more than a whopping 140% of gross German issuance! Or, said otherwise, the entities who will buy more than all gross German and Japanese issuance for the next 12 months, are the ECB and the Bank of Japan, respectively. Continue reading »
I would highly recommend you NOT to visit Japan (for at least the next 250,000 years).
Japan is doomed … on all levels.
– Japan projects to spend 43% of tax revenue just to pay interest on the debt (Sovereign Man, March 5, 2015):
It’s entirely possible that we may see interstellar space travel in our lifetime. And what a dream that would be.
But in the meantime, for anyone that’s losing patience with space technology, I would recommend you visit Japan. Because for anybody that has been here, this place is as close as it gets to being on another planet.
Japan is a land of irony and dichotomy. It is one of the most conservative cultures in the world, while simultaneously being one of the most perverted. Continue reading »
– Mutiny At The BoJ: Board Member Warns Of “Dire Consequences” (ZeroHedge, March 5, 2015):
The BoJ’s Takahide Kiuchi warns of “dire consequences” if the central bank continues to blatantly disregard the “side effects” of QE and also expresses skepticism about the ability of further asset purchases to boost inflation, going so far as to suggest that the BoJ’s prediction of 2% inflation by mid-2016 is nothing more than a fairytale.