- Forbes Pulls Down China Hoax Story; Even As Dennis Gartman Is Completely Fooled (ZeroHedge, Jan 27, 2013):
Earlier, we debunked an alarmist Forbes story about halted cash transfer by PBOC decree, which was erroneous along various lines all explained previously, not in the least that the actual announcement had first appeared some three weeks ago. And despite the kneejerk reaction of some of our more fatalist readers and not to mention the general public, the reality is that China has more than enough real problems (Trust Equals Gold being at the forefront) and certainly does not need to add imaginary, made up ones, conceived only with the intention of generating conflated ad revenues through click-baiting headlines. Which is why we commend Forbes for, better late than never, pulling the story even without providing an explanation of how this story appeared in the first place. Because where the article once was, there is only a 4-0-Forbes now:
Perhaps it is not too late for Forbes to salvage some credibility. Continue reading »
- The $23 Trillion Credit Bubble In China Is Starting To Collapse – Global Financial Crisis Next? (Economic Collapse, Jan 20, 2014):
Did you know that financial institutions all over the world are warning that we could see a “mega default” on a very prominent high-yield investment product in China on January 31st? We are being told that this could lead to a cascading collapse of the shadow banking system in China which could potentially result in “sky-high interest rates” and “a precipitous plunge in credit“. In other words, it could be a “Lehman Brothers moment” for Asia. And since the global financial system is more interconnected today than ever before, that would be very bad news for the United States as well. Since Lehman Brothers collapsed in 2008, the level of private domestic credit in China has risen from $9 trillion to an astounding $23 trillion. That is an increase of $14 trillion in just a little bit more than 5 years. Much of that “hot money” has flowed into stocks, bonds and real estate in the United States. So what do you think is going to happen when that bubble collapses?
- Chart Of The Day: How China’s Stunning $15 Trillion In New Liquidity Blew Bernanke’s QE Out Of The Water (ZeroHedge, Nov 25, 2013):
Much has been said about the Fed’s attempt to stimulate inflation (instead of just the stock market) by injecting a record $2.5 trillion in reserves into the US banking system since the collapse of Lehman (the same goes for the ECB, BOE, BOJ, etc). Even more has been said about why this money has not been able to make its way into the broader economy, and instead of forcing inflation – at least as calculated by the BLS’ CPI calculation – to rise above 2% has, by monetizing a record amount of US debt issuance, merely succeeded in pushing capital markets to unseen risk levels as every single dollar of reserves has instead ended up as assets (and excess deposits as a matched liability) on bank balance sheets.
Much less has been said that of the roughly $2 trillion increase in US bank assets, $2.5 trillion of this has come from the Fed’s reserve injections as absent the Fed, US banks have delevered by just under half a trillion dollars in the past 5 years. Because after all, all QE really is, is an attempt to inject money into a deleveraging system and to offset the resulting deflationary effects. Naturally, the Fed would be delighted if instead of banks being addicted to its zero-cost liquidity, they would instead obtain the capital in the old-fashioned way: through private loans. However, since there is essentially no risk when chasing yield and return and allocating reserves to various markets (see JPM CIO and our prior explanation on this topic), whereas there is substantial risk of loss in issuing loans to consumers in an economy that is in a depressionary state when one peels away the propaganda and the curtain of the stock market, banks will always pick the former option when deciding how to allocated the Fed’s reserves, even if merely as initial margin on marginable securities.
However, what virtually nothing has been said about, is how China stacks up to the US banking system when one looks at the growth of total Chinese bank assets (on Bloomberg: CNAABTV Index) since the collapse of Lehman.
The answer, shown on the chart below, is nothing short of stunning.
Here is just the change in the past five years: Continue reading »
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– China’s Gold Reserves: Watch What They Do, Not What They Say (ZeroHedge, March 18, 2013):
Yi Gang, Vice Governor of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), recently made the headlines with his comments on Chinese gold reserves. On Wednesday, Mr. Yi stated that China’s gold reserves remain static at 1,054 tonnes, and suggested that a sizeable increase in those reserves would be unlikely in the future. “We need to take into account both the stability of the market and gold prices,” Mr. Yi stated, adding that as the world’s largest gold producer and importer, China produces about 400 tonnes of gold annually, and imports an additional 500 to 600 tonnes of gold every year. “Compared with China’s 3.3-trillion-U.S.-dollar foreign exchange reserves, the size of the gold market is too small,” Yi said, rejecting speculation that China would further diversify its foreign reserve investments into the precious metal. “If the Chinese government were to buy too much gold, gold prices would surge, a scenario that will hurt Chinese consumers … We can only invest about 1-2 percent of the foreign exchange reserves into gold because the market is too small,” Yi stated.
If Yi’s comments are to be believed, he is implying that the Chinese government has not added a single gold bar to its reserves since 2009 – which was the year the Chinese government officially announced its gold reserve increase to 1,054 tonnes. Given the production and import numbers stated above, we find that extremely hard to believe.
Mr. Yi’s comments stand in stark contrast to earlier comments made by Chinese government officials regarding the need to increase China’s gold reserves to ensure economic and financial safety, promote yuan globalization and act as a hedge against foreign-reserve depreciation. In 2009, a State Council advisor known as “Ji” said that a team of experts from Shanghai and Beijing had set up a task force to consider expanding China’s gold reserves. Ji was quoted as saying “we suggested that China’s gold reserves should reach 6,000 tons in the next 3-5 years and perhaps 10,000 tons in 8-10 years”.
- China Central Bank Says It Is “Fully Prepared For Looming Currency War” (ZeroHedge, March 2, 2013):
Just in case Lagarde (and everyone else except for the Germans, who have a very unpleasant habit of telling the truth), was lying about that whole “no currency war” thing, China is already one step ahead and is fully prepared to roll out its own FX army. According to China Times, “China is fully prepared for a looming currency war should it, though “avoidable,” really happen, said China’s central bank deputy governor Yi Gang late Friday.” We look forward to the female head of the IMF explaining how China is obviously confused and that it is not currency war when one crushes their currency to promote “economic goals.” Of course, that same organization may want to read “Zero Sum for Absolute Idiots” because in this globalized economy any attempt to promote demand (by an end consumer who has no incremental income and stagnant cash flow) through currency debasement has no impact when everyone does it. But then again, this is the IMF – the same organization that declared Europe fixed in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and so on.
More on China’s FX troop deployments: Continue reading »
- Is the Gold Price Dependent on China? (Azizonomics, Jan 19, 2013):
China now buys more gold than the Western world:
Does that mean, as some commentators are suggesting, that future price growth for the gold price depends on China? That if the Chinese economy weakens and has a hard landing or a recession that gold will fall steeply?
There’s no doubt that the run-up that gold has experienced in recent years is associated with the rise in demand for gold from emerging markets and their central banks. And indeed, the BRIC central banks have been quite transparent about their gold acquisition and the reasons for it.
Zhang Jianhua of the People’s Bank of China said:
No asset is safe now. The only choice to hedge risks is to hold hard currency — gold.
Indeed, this trend recently led the Telegraph’s Ambrose Evans-Pritchard to declare that the world was on the road to “a new gold standard” — a tripartite reserve currency system of gold, dollars and euros:
- Deep Fried Black Swan Lands As China Admits It Has A Food Inflation Problem, Releases Corn, Rice From Reserves (ZeroHedge, Aug 13, 2012):
Last week we wrote an article that to many was anathema: namely an explanation why everyone is deluding themselves in their expectation that the PBOC would ease, soft, hard, or just right landing notwithstanding. The reason? The threat that food inflation is about to read its ugly head which is “Why The Fate Of The Global Equity Rally May Rest In The Hands Of Soybeans.” This was merely a continuation of our observations from a month ago that as a result of the Black Swan being “deep fried” in 2012, that the threat of food inflation will keep key BRIC central banks in check for a long time. As of today the threat has become fact, because as China Daily reports “China will release corn and rice from state reserves to help tame inflation and reduce imports as the worst US drought in half a century pushes corn prices to global records, creating fears of a world food crisis…The release may prompt Chinese importers to cancel shipments in the near term and take some pressure off international corn prices, which set a new all-time high on Friday as the US government slashed its estimate of the size of the crop in the world’s top grain exporter.” Sure, as every other short-termist measure the world over, it may help with prices in the short-term, but will merely expose China, and thus everyone, to the threat of a much greater price spike in the future. Because just as the strategic petroleum reserve release did nothing to help gas prices, nor the short selling ban in the US and Europe did anything to help the underlying broken financial system, so this will merely force the local population to scramble and ration whatever food they can get asap, now that the government has admitted there is, indeed, a food inflationary problem.
Bottom line – rationing is in full force, and given the continually declining state of the US corn crop, more will be needed,” said Christopher Narayanan, head of agricultural commodities research at Societe Generale. Continue reading »
- China’s Catastrophic Deleveraging Has Begun (Business Insider, July 15, 2012):
1. The frustrated and aggressive central bank
If one wants to know how bad the health of China’s economy has gone, look no further than the PBOC’s composure, which seems rather frustrated and aggressive as of late. On 5th July, the central bank cut benchmark interest rates for the 2nd time in less than a month. This happened right after the fact that in December 2011, PBOC cut the reserve requirement ratio(RRR) by a 50 bp to 21%, it followed up with another 50 bp in February and another 50 bp in May to 20% currently.
- Forget China’s Goal-Seeked GDP Tonight; This Is The Chart That Keeps The PBOC Up At Night (ZeroHedge, July 12, 2012):
As we wait anxiously for the not-too-hot and not-too-cold but just right GDP data from China this evening, we thought it instructive to get some sense of the reality in China. From both the property bubble perspective (as Stratfor’s analysis of the record high prices paid just this week for Beijing property – by an SOE no less – and its massive ‘microcosm’ insight into the bubbliciousness of the PBOC’s attempts to stave off the inevitable ‘landing’); to the rather shocking insight that Diapason Commodities’ Sean Corrigan offers that ‘Hot Money Flows’ have left China at a rates exceeding that during the worst of the Lehman crisis; take a range of key indicators – from electricity usage, to Shanghai container throughput, to nationwide rail freight ton-miles, to steel output – and you will notice that none of these shows a rate of growth during the second quarter of more than 4% from 2011, and some are as low as 1%. Whatever fictive GDP number we are presented with this week, the message is clear: “Brace! Brace! Brace!”
Via Sean Corrigan of Diapason Commodities,
Indeed, there are clear signs that some of these dangers are beginning to be realised. Taking the difference between the reported size of China’s forex reserves and the sum of trade and FDI inflows (and making some best-guess reckoning of the effects of reval changes and interest gains), one gets an estimate of hot money movements being diffused across the porous barrier of capital controls – most famously via the metals L/C rehypothecation scam. Between March’09 and February of this year, such ‘unexplained’ flows amounted to no less than $560 billion – roughly two-fifths of China’s total reserve accumulation and a third of its coincident increase in M1.
The last four months of increasing angst about the state of the ‘landing’ have seen a dramatic reversal of these flows, to the point that the discrepancy in the books suggests that China may have lost no less than $128 billion – a flight which exceeds that suffered during the worst of the Lehman crisis.
- Exclusive: U.S. lets China bypass Wall Street for Treasury orders (Reuters, May 21, 2012):
China can now bypass Wall Street when buying U.S. government debt and go straight to the U.S. Treasury, in what is the Treasury’s first-ever direct relationship with a foreign government, according to documents viewed by Reuters.
The relationship means the People’s Bank of China buys U.S. debt using a different method than any other central bank in the world.
The other central banks, including the Bank of Japan, which has a large appetite for Treasuries, place orders for U.S. debt with major Wall Street banks designated by the government as primary dealers. Those dealers then bid on their behalf at Treasury auctions.
They refuse to allow the yuan to strengthen because they know that once they do that it will mark the real end of the dollar era. So instead they are spending like crazy on infrastructure ahead of them allowing the dollar to plunge. Then the strong yuan will be employed to purchase all the commodities they need to utilize their infrastructure and the OECD gets priced out. To those that talk about yuan devaluation, you need to be specific. Devaluation versus what? Versus commodities generally along with other currencies? I can buy that argument very easily. Versus the dollar, highly doubtful. Why? The latest data says China owns $877.5 billion in U.S. treasuries. All they have to do is start dumping and the dollar is finished as the Fed will be forced to print so many dollars it will make Mugabe blush. People need to wake up.
(Mike Krieger, formerly a macro analyst at Bernstein, and currently running his own fund, KAM LP, summarizies the pretend reality we are all caught in now, knowing full well America is set on a crash course with reality at some point, yet sticking our collective heads in the sand, as the collapse will be some time in the “indefinite” future. In the meantime, banks will continue to boost US GDP by peddling “financial innovation” and restructuring advice to countries like Greece… and nothing else.)
Ready for the greatest financial collapse in world history?
This is the ‘Greatest Depression.
- China moves on currency after growing US pressure (Telegraph, April 14, 2012):
China took a major step closer to turning its yuan into a fully tradable global currency today, by doubling the range by which it is allowed to rise or fall against the dollar.
The People’s Bank of China said that from Monday it will double the trading band, so that the yuan can fluctuate by 1pc every day from a mid-point, compared with its previous limit of 0.5pc.
The move demonstrates Beijing’s belief that the yuan is now stable enough to handle major structural reforms, despite slowing growth of the Chinese economy.
Analysts said the slowdown may have actually spurred Beijing to make the change, because the Chinese government knew it could introduce the larger band without causing a spike in the yuan’s value.
- The Race To Debase In All Its Glory (ZeroHedge, Feb. 19, 2012):
Lest anyone forget what the real story is, here is a reminder. Thank you neo-Keynesian economics for making a mockery of non-scientific notation.
- Chinese Central Banker Declares That ‘Gold Is The Only Safe Haven Left’ (Business Insider, Dec. 27, 2011):
China is making an even bigger move toward gold in reaction to money printing around the world (via @JamesGRickards).People’s Bank of China official Zhang Jianhua declared yesterday: “No asset is safe now. The only choice to hedge risks is to hold hard currency – gold.“
Zhang, the bank’s research director, recommended buying the dips: “The Chinese government should not only be cautious of the imported risk caused by rising global inflation, but also further optimize its foreign-exchange portfolio and purchase gold assets when the gold price shows a favorable fluctuation.”
China’s $3.2 trillion in foreign reserves are currently invested one-third in U.S. treasuries 20 percent in euro-denominated assets and only 1.8 percent in gold, according to China Daily. China has one of the world’s biggest gold reserves at 1,054 tons.
- China central bank finds officials stole billions (MarketWatch, June 17, 2011):
HONG KONG (MarketWatch) — Corrupt Chinese officials and employees of state-owned companies have absconded with about 800 billion yuan ($123.7 billion) of public money over 15 years through 2008, much of it making its way to the U.S., Canada, Australia and the Netherlands, according to Chinese news reports citing a central bank study.
The 67-page report, completed in 2008, was posted on the People’s Bank of China’s website this week, purportedly by mistake, and has since been taken down, although PDFs of the document are circulating in cyberspace.
In the report, which appears never to have been intended for public release, the PBOC estimated about 16,000 to 18,000 individuals have fled the country with ill-gotten funds over a 15-year period leading up to the report’s release, according to news-media accounts.
* World’s top bankers fly in
* To meet at secret location
* Trouble on the horizon
THE world’s top central bankers began arriving in Australia yesterday as renewed fears about the strength of the global economic recovery gripped world share markets.
Representatives from 24 central banks and monetary authorities including the US Federal Reserve and European Central Bank landed in Sydney to meet tomorrow at a secret location, the Herald Sun reports.
Organised by the Bank for International Settlements last year, the two-day talks are shrouded in secrecy with high-level security believed to have been invoked by law enforcement agencies.
Speculation that the chairman of the US Federal Reserve, Dr Ben Bernanke, would make an appearance could not be confirmed last night.
The event will be dominated by Asian delegations and is expected to include governors of the Peoples Bank of China, the Bank of Japan and the Reserve Bank of India.
The arrival of the high-powered gathering coincided with a fresh meltdown on world sharemarkets, sparked by renewed concerns about global growth and sovereign debt.
Fears countries including Greece, Portugal, Spain and Dubai could default on debt repayments combined with disappointing US jobs data to spook investors. Continue reading »
Here is what Zhu Min said exactly on the US dollar:
- Chinese Central Banker Zhu Says Dollar Set to Weaken (Bloomberg):
“When the U.S. has to fund its deficit through the combination of issuing more Treasuries and printing more dollars, it is inevitable that the dollar will continue to weaken,” Deputy Governor Zhu said at a forum in Beijing today.
China central banker says harder to buy U.S. Treasuries
BEIJING (Reuters) – It is getting harder for governments to buy U.S. Treasuries because the United States’ shrinking current-account gap is reducing supply of dollars overseas, a Chinese central bank official said on Thursday.
The comments by Zhu Min, deputy governor of the People’s Bank of China, referred to the overall situation globally, not specifically to China, the biggest foreign holder of U.S. government bonds.
Chinese officials generally are very careful about commenting on the dollar and Treasuries, given that so much of its $2.3 trillion reserves are tied to their value, and markets always watch any such comments closely for signs of any shift in how it manages its assets.
China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) reaffirmed this month that the dollar stands secure as the anchor of the currency reserves it manages, even as Beijing seeks to diversify its investments.
In a discussion on the global role of the dollar, Zhu told an academic audience that it was inevitable that the dollar would continue to fall in value because Washington continued to issue more Treasuries to finance its deficit spending.
He then addressed where demand for that debt would come from.
“The United States cannot force foreign governments to increase their holdings of Treasuries,” Zhu said, according to an audio recording of his remarks. “Double the holdings? It is definitely impossible.”
“The U.S. current account deficit is falling as residents’ savings increase, so its trade turnover is falling, which means the U.S. is supplying fewer dollars to the rest of the world,” he added.
“The world does not have so much money to buy more U.S. Treasuries.”
Related article: Treasuries Rise After Federal Reserve Buys Government Debt:
The U.S. needs to borrow $3.25 trillion this fiscal year, according to primary dealer Goldman Sachs Group Inc. President Barack Obama is asking Congress to approve a $3.55 trillion budget for 2010.
The Fed is creating pure inflation.
The USS Titanic is sinking.
HONG KONG – Reversing its role as the world’s fastest-growing buyer of United States Treasuries and other foreign bonds, the Chinese government actually sold bonds heavily in January and February before resuming purchases in March, according to data released during the weekend by China’s central bank.
China’s foreign reserves grew in the first quarter of this year at the slowest pace in nearly eight years, edging up $7.7 billion, compared with a record increase of $153.9 billion in the same quarter last year.
China has lent vast sums to the United States – roughly two-thirds of the central bank’s $1.95 trillion in foreign reserves are believed to be in American securities. But the Chinese government now finances a dwindling percentage of new American mortgages and government borrowing.
In the last two months, Premier Wen Jiabao and other Chinese officials have expressed growing nervousness about their country’s huge exposure to America’s financial well-being.
In case the Bank of China wants to raise funds, will it start selling US Treasuries?
Pedestrians walk past a branch of Royal Bank of Scotland in London on Oct. 13, 2008. Photographer: Jason Alden/Bloomberg News
Jan. 8 (Bloomberg) — Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc said it’s considering joining UBS AG and Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka- shing in selling Bank of China Ltd. shares as the end of a three-year lockup gives the U.K. lender a chance to raise funds.
RBS, the biggest bank to be controlled by the U.K. government after a 20 billion-pound ($30 billion) bailout, said it is “examining” its $2.8 billion Bank of China stake as part of a companywide review initiated last quarter. Bank of China, the country’s third-largest lender, fell 7.9 percent in Hong Kong after Li sold 2 billion shares in the Beijing-based company.