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23 августа, 20:31

El-Erian Warns Vexed Central Bankers "The Lowflation Demon Is Real"

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Authored by Mohamed El-Erian via Bloomberg.com, Persistently low inflation, or "lowflation," is vexing lots of people. According to the recent minutes of policy meetings of the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank, central banks on both sides of the Atlantic have been trying to identify the causes -- but with limited success so far. This complicates monetary policy decisions and undermines the range of institutional solutions that have been proposed by academics. Until this changes, central banks may need to think more holistically about the objectives of monetary policy, including the unintended consequences for future financial stability and growth of being too loose for too long. Four facts stand out in reviewing recent inflation data: Inflation rates have been unusually and persistently low. This is primarily an advanced-country phenomenon. Inflation has not responded to the prolonged pursuit of ultra-low interest rates and huge injections of liquidity by central banks through quantitative easing.  This has coincided with a period of notable job creation, especially in the U.S., thereby flattening the "Phillips curve" that plots unemployment and inflation rates. Many economists worry that such lowflation frustrates the relative price adjustments that are critical to a well-functioning market economy. And if the inflation rate, and related inflationary expectations, flirt with the zero line for too long (as had occurred in Europe), there is an increased risk of actual price declines that encourages consumers to postpone their purchases, weakens economic growth, and undermines policy effectiveness (as had been the case in Japan). The many reasons that have been put forward for the lowflation phenomenon range from benign measurement errors to worrisome structural drivers, with a host of "idiosyncratic factors" in the middle. Indeed, the Fed minutes released last week contain a list of possible drivers. These also note that a few central bankers are questioning the usefulness of traditional models and approaches in explaining and predicting inflation behavior. The recent ECB minutes also refer to "a number of explanatory factors" for lowflation and the importance of monitoring "the extent to which such factors could be transient or more permanent." (And that is not the only issue vexing central bankers and economists more generally -- productivity and wage formation have also been puzzles to an unusual extent.) Turning to solutions, some economists have suggested that central banks increase their inflation targets, typically set at 2 percent currently. Others have proposed that the monetary authorities should pursue a price level target so that shortfalls in meeting the desired inflation rate in one year would require aiming for a higher rate in the subsequent year. As attractive as they may sound to some, these solutions are operationally challenged, particularly if structural factors are depressing inflation.  Having failed to meet the 2 percent target despite aggressive monetary policy, it is far from obvious that central banks would be able to meet a higher objective. And no one is quite sure how the political system would respond to a central bank that pursues much higher inflation as it tries to offset the shortfalls of prior years. Indeed, until we have a better understanding of how the transmission mechanism has evolved, there is no guarantee that a change in policy approach would do anything more than threaten even greater collateral damage and unintended consequences. Already, economies on both side of the Atlantic must contend with the risk that a loose monetary policy approach may have overly repressed financial volatility, excessively boosted a range of asset prices beyond what is warranted by economic fundamentals, and encouraged too much risk-taking by non-banks. Indeed, in the Fed minutes, the central bank staff noted that "since the April assessment, vulnerabilities associated with asset valuation pressures had edged up from notable to elevated." Robust job creation, financial conditions, and the overall health of the economy should guide monetary policy formation rather than the excessive pursuit of a still-misunderstood lowflation. The lowflation demon is real and, in the case of the U.S., the market now believes that it will likely dissuade the Fed from delivering on the next signaled step in the gradual normalization of monetary policy, including an interest rate hike in the remainder of 2017. Yet a lot more work is needed to understand the causes and consequences of persistently low inflation. Until that happens, central bankers may be well advised to stick with the demon they know rather than end up with one of future financial instability that undermines prospects for growth and prosperity.

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23 августа, 16:54

US Services Economy Soars To Highest Since April 2015 As Manufacturing Slumps

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The US Manufacturing economy continues to languish near one-year lows (in line with the collapse in 'hard data' in recent months) but US Services are soaring to their highest level since April 2015. Manufacturing was ugly across the board... Weaker increases in both output and new orders were key factors weighing on the headline manufacturing PMI in the latest survey period. Production volumes expanded at the slowest rate for 14 months in August, while new business growth weakened from July’s four-month high. Consequently, purchasing activity rose at a softer pace while firms also registered slower increases in inventory levels. Latest data signalled a further pick up in the rate of input price inflation at US goods producers. But everything is anecdotally awesome in Services-land... According to anecdotal evidence, strong economic conditions and an improvement in client demand had driven the latest upturn in activity. The latter was highlighted by a sharp and accelerated rise in new business received by services companies, with the rate of new order growth reaching a 25-month high in August. Greater intakes of new work and rising activity levels led firms to hire more staff in August. Judging by the collapse in 'real' economic data, we suspect manufacturing survey respondents are on to something...   Commenting on the flash PMI data, Rob Dobson, Director at IHS Markit said: “The US economic growth story remained a tale of two sectors in August. The overall rate of expansion accelerated to a 27-month record, driven higher by strong and improved growth of business activity in the vast services economy. In contrast, the performance of manufacturing remained sluggish in comparison, with production volumes rising to the weakest extent in over a year.   “Nonetheless, the acceleration signaled for the economy as a whole suggests that GDP growth is still gaining momentum during the third quarter. With new order inflows also strengthening and job creation equalling its best pace in the year-to-date, economic growth should remain on course to outperform relative to the second quarter.   “The principal weak spot in the economy placing downside risk on that outcome remains exports. Foreign goods orders fell – albeit only marginally – for the second month in a row, often blamed on the strength of the dollar. The domestic demand picture should hopefully remain relatively bright to offset such risks, however.” Is GDP hope driving surveys?

23 августа, 16:34

Draghi: Trillions In QE Have Made Economies "More Resilient"

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When last night we previewed this week's annual Jackson Hole symposium at which Mario Draghi is scheduled to speak just before the market close on Friday, we said that the ECB head is warming up for the trip by speaking at the Lindau economics symposium in Germany this morning "and as such he could front run himself." Unfortunately for many who were expecting some advance highlights, Draghi disappointed those who hoped he would preview his Jackson Hole appearance. So what did Draghi talk about? Instead of previewing the ECB's inevitable taper (especially as the central bank will soon run out of Bunds to buy at the current pace of monetization), the central banker defended growing criticism of his unorthodox monetary policy, and said the ECB's policies such as QE and NIRP, saying they have been a success on both sides of the Atlantic, and that the purchase of some $15 trillion in assets has somehow made economies "more resilient." Speaking to the Lindau audience of 17 Nobel laureates and 350 young German economists, a nation which has been one of the stiffest critics of ECB policies such as quantitative easing, Draghi's speech avoided any specific hints on current ECB deliberations, and instead said officials must be “unencumbered by the defense of previously held paradigms that have lost any explanatory power.” He then launched into a vocal defense of QE, saying that “when the world changes as it did ten years ago, policies, especially monetary policy, need to be adjusted. Such an adjustment, never easy, requires unprejudiced, honest assessment of the new realities with clear eyes, unencumbered by the defense of previously held paradigms that have lost any explanatory power” Aptly on Monday, Nick Macpherson, a former UK Treasury official said what we have been saying since 2009 when he compared QE to "heroin" because it has been so difficult to wean the UK, US and eurozone economies off it. Lord Macpherson, who was permanent secretary to the Treasury when the Bank of England started QE in 2009, tweeted on Monday: "QE like heroin: need ever increasing fixes to create a high. Meanwhile, negative side effects increase. Time to move on." An elegant exit strategy from a policy which is yielding diminishing returns. — Nick Macpherson (@nickmacpherson2) August 21, 2017 Draghi disagreed:"a large body of empirical research has substantiated the success of these policies in supporting the economy and inflation, both in the euro area and in the United States," he said referring to a body of evidence written mostly by central bankers and other career economists who still can't figure out the reasons for the mass popular anger that culminated in Brexit and Trump. The ECB buying relatively safe assets such as government bonds means that banks can lend more and invest in riskier assets, which in turn improves access to credit for riskier borrowers, Mr Draghi said. He added: "Policy actions undertaken in the last 10 years in monetary policy and in regulation and supervision have made the world more resilient. But we should continue preparing for new challenges." Draghi also said "studies" (again, central bank studies mostly) show "innovations" such as forward guidance and trillions in bond purchases under QE have been successful in supporting the economy and inflation. As Bloomberg notes, that view wasn’t wholly endorsed by Nobel Laureate Christopher Sims: “My view is that the unconventional actions that the Federal Reserve took in the early stages of the crisis were extremely effective as a major lender of last resort,” he said in a Bloomberg TV interview with Francine Lacqua. “The subsequent quantitative easing I don’t think was harmful, I think it may have been somewhat helpful, but I don’t think it’s been a major powerful instrument of monetary policy.” Meanwhile, other critics of QE - such as this website - simply show insane charts such as the one below according to which over the past 9 years central banks have acquired 40% of world GDP in terms of assorted assets, and have argued for years that this has inflated asset bubbles and stoked inequality by rewarding the asset-rich while punishing savers, a view that has become increasingly mainstream. In any case, Draghi had to have the last word: after leaving the podium, Draghi took one last swing at his critics. "you need serious conceptual analysis and base policy on that, not on prejudice, or -- even worse -- on moral grounds,” he told reporters after his speech. “Some people say ‘Oh, QE is immoral, because it creates money out of nothing." Actually, what it ultimately creates is war - one which will be conveiently scapegoated on the "nationalist fascist" du jour. Luckily we still haven't quite gotten to that point just yet.

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17 августа, 22:30

What The Heck's Going On With Vintage Automobiles?

Authored by Wolf Richter via WolfStreet.com, The fate of asset bubbles under the new regime. Everyone is hoping that next Friday and Saturday, at Sotheby’s auction in Monterey, California, the global asset class of collector cars will finally pull out of their ugly funk that nearly matches that during the Financial Crisis. “Hope” is the right word. Because reality has already curdled. Sotheby’s brims with hope and flair: Every August, the collector car world gathers to the Monterey Peninsula to see the magnificent roster of best-of-category and stunning rare automobiles that RM Sotheby’s has to offer. For over 30 years, it has been the pinnacle of collector car auctions and is known for setting new auction benchmarks with outstanding sales results. This asset class of beautiful machines – ranging in price from a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO Berlinetta that sold for $38.1 million in 2014 to classic American muscle cars that can be bought for a few thousand dollars – is in trouble. The index for collector car prices in the August report by Hagerty, which specializes in insuring vintage automobiles, fell 1.0 point to 157.42. The index is now down 8% year-over-year, and down 15%, or 28.4 points, from its all-time high in August 2015 (186). Unlike stock market indices, the Hagerty Market Index is adjusted for inflation via the Consumer Price Index. So these are “real” changes in price levels. The index has now fallen nearly 7 points below the level of August 2014. That was three years ago! In fact, the index is now at the lowest level since March 2014. The chart below from Hagerty’s August report shows how the index surged 83% on an inflation-adjusted basis from August 2009 to its peak in September 2015, and how it has since given up one-third of those gains. This is what the inflation and deflation of an asset bubble looks like (I added the dates): During the Financial-Crisis, the index peaked in April 2008 at 121.0, then plunged 16% (20 points) to bottom out in August 2009 at 101.39. By then, the liquidity from the Fed’s zero-interest-rate policy and QE was washing across the world, and all asset prices began to soar. The current drop of 15% from the peak in “real” terms is just below the 16% drop during the Financial Crisis. But the current 28.4-point-drop from the peak exceeds the 20-point drop during the Financial Crisis. Concerning the current market, the Hagerty report added: While the auction activity section of the rating had been kept strong by increases in the number of cars sold at auction so far this year, the trend hasn’t continued and auction activity decreased for the second consecutive month thanks to a 2% drop in the number of cars sold compared to last month.   Private sales activity also experienced its second consecutive decrease, again thanks to a small drop in the average sale price as well as a small drop in the number of vehicles selling for above their insured values.   The number of owners expressing the belief that the values of their vehicles are increasing continues to gradually decline, and this is true for the owners of both mainstream and high-end vehicles. The drop is particularly pronounced, however, for owners of previously hot models like the Ferrari 308 and Ford GT.   For the second month in a row, expert sentiment dropped more than any other section. The asset class of vintage automobiles was among the first bubbles to pop. This didn’t happen in one fell swoop. It’s a gradual process that started in the fall of 2015, and observers brushed it off because it was just a minor down tick as so many before. But since then, it has become relentless and persistent, with plenty of ups and downs. Every expression of hope that it would end soon has been frustrated along the way. And every day, there’s still hope. For example, back in May, the Hagerty report commented that “prices have started to normalize.” Since then, the index has continued its methodical decline. This may be what asset class deflation looks like under the new regime. There will be talk of “plateauing,” as is currently the case in commercial real estate. Then there will be talk of prices “normalizing,” as is the case in collector cars. Then there will be talk of “buying opportunities,” and so on. And there are ups and downs, and this may drag on for years. But month after month, buyers of vintage cars become a little less enthusiastic and sellers a little more eager. Yet, unlike during the Financial Crisis, there are no signs of panic. The tsunami of liquidity is as powerful as before. Financial conditions are easier than they were a year ago. There’s no forced selling. Just an orderly one-step-at-a-time asset bubble deflation. Now the Fed is tightening. QE ended about the time the classic car bubble peaked. The Fed has raised its target for the federal funds rate four times so far in this cycle. It will likely announce the QE unwind in September and “another rate hike later this year,” New York Fed president William Dudley told the AP. And the below-target inflation is not a problem. Read… Fed’s Dudley Drops Bombshell: Low Inflation “Actually Might Be a Good Thing”

17 августа, 21:53

Did you see this unbelievable front page news?

Via The Daily Bell Sovereign Valley Farm, Chile A few weeks ago the Board of Trustees of Social Security sent a formal letter to the United States Senate and House of Representatives to issue a dire warning: Social Security is running out of money. Given that tens of millions of Americans depend on this public pension program as their sole source of retirement income, you’d think this would have been front page news… … and that every newspaper in the country would have reprinted this ominous projection out of a basic journalistic duty to keep the public informed about an issue that will affect nearly everyone. But that didn’t happen. The story was hardly picked up. It’s astonishing how little attention this issue receives considering it will end up being one of the biggest financial crises in US history. That’s not hyperbole either– the numbers are very clear. The US government itself calculates that the long-term Social Security shortfall exceeds $46 TRILLION. In other words, in order to be able to pay the benefits they’ve promised, Social Security needs a $46 trillion bailout. Fat chance. That amount is over TWICE the national debt, and nearly THREE times the size of the entire US economy. Moreover, it’s nearly SIXTY times the size of the bailout that the banking system received back in 2008. So this is a pretty big deal. More importantly, even though the Social Security Trustees acknowledge that the fund is running out of money, their projections are still wildly optimistic. In order to build their long-term financial models, Social Security’s administrators have to make certain assumptions about the future. What will interest rates be in the future? What will the population growth rate be? How high (or low) will inflation be? These variables can dramatically impact the outcome for Social Security. For example, Social Security assumes that productivity growth in the US economy will average between 1.7% and 2% per year. This is an important assumption: the faster US productivity grows, the faster the economy will grow. And this ultimately means more tax revenue (and more income) for the program. But -actual- US productivity growth is WAY below their assumption. Over the past ten years productivity growth has been about 25% below their expectations. And in 2016 US productivity growth was actually NEGATIVE. Here’s another one: Social Security is hoping for a fertility rate in the US of 2.2 children per woman. This is important, because a higher population growth means more people entering the work force and paying in to the Social Security system. But the actual fertility rate is nearly 20% lower than what they project. And if course, the most important assumption for Social Security is interest rates. 100% of Social Security’s investment income is from their ownership of US government bonds. So if interest rates are high, the program makes more money. If interest rates are low, the program doesn’t make money. Where are interest rates now? Very low. In fact, interest rates are still near the lowest levels they’ve been in US history. Social Security hopes that ‘real’ interest rates, i.e. inflation-adjusted interest rates, will be at least 3.2%. This means that they need interest rates to be 3.2% ABOVE the rate of inflation. This is where their projections are WAY OFF… because real interest rates in the US are actually negative. The 12-month US government bond currently yields 1.2%. Yet the official inflation rate in the Land of the Free is 1.7%. In other words, the interest rate is LOWER than inflation, i.e. the ‘real’ interest rate is MINUS 0.5%. Social Security is depending on +3.2%. So their assumptions are totally wrong. And it’s not just Social Security either. According to the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, US public pension funds at the state and local level are also underfunded by an average of 67.9%. Additionally, most pension funds target an investment return of between 7.5% to 8% in order to stay solvent. Yet in 2015 the average pension fund’s investment return was just 3.2%. And last year a pitiful 0.6%. This is a nationwide problem. Social Security is running out of money. State and local pension funds are running out of money. And even still their assumptions are wildly optimistic. So the problem is much worse than their already dismal forecasts. Understandably everyone is preoccupied right now with whether or not World War III breaks out in Guam. (I would respectfully admit that this is one of those times I am grateful to be living on a farm in the southern hemisphere.) But long-term, these pension shortfalls are truly going to create an epic financial and social crisis. It’s a ticking time bomb, and one with so much certainty that we can practically circle a date on a calendar for when it will hit. There are solutions. Waiting on politicians to fix the problem is not one of them. The government does not have a spare $45 trillion lying around to re-fund Social Security. So anyone who expects to retire with comfort and dignity is going to have to take matters into their own hands and start saving now. Consider options like  SEP IRAs and 401(k) plans that have MUCH higher contribution limits, as well as self-directed structures which give you greater influence over how your retirement savings are invested. These flexible structures also allow investments in alternative asset classes like private equity, cashflowing royalties, secured lending, cryptocurrency, etc. Education is also critical. Learning how to be a better investor can increase your investment returns and (most importantly) reduce losses. And increasing the long-term average investment return of your IRA or 401(k) by just 1% per year can have a PROFOUND (six figure) impact on your retirement. These solutions make sense: there is ZERO downside in saving more money for retirement. But it’s critical to start now. A little bit of effort and planning right now will pay enormous dividends in the future. Until tomorrow, Simon Black Founder,  SovereignMan.com

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17 августа, 15:24

The Great Disconnect: Markets Vs. Economy

Authored by Lance Roberts via RealInvestmentAdvice.com, The general consensus is the rise in capital markets, despite global weakness, geopolitical risks and sluggish employment and wage growth, is clearly a sign of economic strength as witnessed by rising corporate profitability. Therefore, stocks are the only investment worth having. My arguments are much more pragmatic. First, it is worth noting that while the markets have risen to “all-time highs,” there was a massive amount of “time” lost in growing capital to meet retirement goals. This is crucially important to understand as was something I addressed in “Stocks – The Great Wealth Equalizer:” “By the time that most individuals achieve a point in life where incomes and savings rates are great enough to invest excess cash flows, they generally do not have 30 years left to reach their goal. This is why losing 5-7 years of time getting back to “even” is not a viable investment strategy.   The chart below is the inflation-return of $1000 invested in 1995 with $100 added monthly. The blue line represents the impact of the investment using simple dollar-cost averaging. The red line represents a “lump sum” approach. The lump-sum approach utilizes a simple weekly moving average crossover as a signal to either dollar cost average into a portfolio OR moves to cash. The impact of NOT DESTROYING investment capital by buying into a declining market is significant.” “Importantly, I am not advocating “market timing” by any means. What I am suggesting is that if you are going to invest into the financial markets, arguably the single most complicated game on the planet, then you need to have some measure to protect your investment capital from significant losses.   While the detrimental effect of a bear market can be eventually be recovered, the time lost during that process can not. This is a point that is consistently missed by the ever bullish media parade chastising individuals for not having their money invested in the financial markets.” However, setting aside that point for the moment, how valid is the argument the rise of asset prices is related to economic strength. Since companies ultimately derive their revenue from consumers buying their goods, products, and services, it is logical that throughout history stock price appreciation, over the long-term, has roughly equated to economic growth. However, unlike economic growth, asset prices are psychologically driven which leads to “boom and busts” over time. Looking at the current economic backdrop as compared to asset prices we find a very large disconnect. Since Jan 1st of 2009, through the end of June, the stock market has risen by an astounding 130.51%. However, if we measure from the March 9, 2009 lows, the percentage gain explodes to more than 200%. With such a large gain in the financial markets we should see a commensurate indication of economic growth – right? The reality is that after 3-massive Federal Reserve driven “Quantitative Easing” programs, a maturity extension program, bailouts of TARP, TGLP, TGLF, etc., HAMP, HARP, direct bailouts of Bear Stearns, AIG, GM, bank supports, etc., all of which total more than $33 Trillion, the economy grew by just $2.64 Trillion, or a whopping 16.7% since the beginning of 2009. The ROI equates to $12.50 of interventions for every $1 of economic growth. Not a very good bargain. Furthermore, the Fed’s monetary programs have inflated the excess reserves of the major banks by roughly 332% during the same period of time.  The increases in excess reserves, which the banks can borrow for effectively zero, have been funneled directly into risky assets in order to create returns. With the Fed threatening to withdraw the reinvestment from their massive balance sheet, one has to ask just how much risk to asset prices there currently is? Unfortunately, while Wall Street has benefited greatly from the Fed’s interventions, Main Street has not. Over the past few years, as asset prices surged higher, there has been very little translation into actual economic prosperity for a large majority of Americans. This is reflective of weak wage, economic and inflationary growth which has led to a surge in consumer debt to record levels. Of course, weak economic growth has led to employment growth that is primarily a function of population growth. As I addressed just recently: “The first is that the number of ‘real’ employees, while growing, is in lower income producing and temporary jobs, and the rate of job growth is substantially lower than the growth of the population.” While reported unemployment is hitting historically low levels, there is a swelling mass of uncounted individuals that have either given up looking for work or are working multiple part time jobs. This can be clearly seen in the chart below which is the working age population of those between the ages of 16 and 54 as a percentage of that same age group. (This analysis strips out the argument of retiring baby boomers, who ironically, aren’t retiring, not because they don’t want to, but because they can’t afford to.) These higher levels of under and unemployment have kept pressures on wages even as work hours have lengthened. The declines in real income are evident as the burgeoning “real” labor pool, and demand for higher wage work, is actually suppressing wages as companies opt for increasing productivity, continued outsourcing, and streamlining employment to protect corporate profit margins. However, as the cost of living is affected by the rising food, energy and health care prices without a compensatory increase in incomes – more families are forced to turn to assistance in order to survive. Without government largesse, many individuals would literally be living on the street. The chart above shows all the government “welfare” programs and current levels to date. The black line represents the sum of the underlying sub-components.  While unemployment insurance has tapered off after its sharp rise post the financial crisis, social security, Medicaid, Veterans’ benefits and other social benefits have continued to rise. Importantly, for the average person, these social benefits are critical to their survival as they make up more than 22% of real disposable personal incomes. With 1/5 of incomes dependent on government transfers, it is not surprising that the economy continues to struggle as recycled tax dollars used for consumption purposes have virtually no impact on the overall economy. It is extremely hard to create stronger, organic, economic growth when the dependency on recycled tax-dollars to meet living requirements remains so high. But, Earnings Have Beaten Estimates? Corporate profits have surged since the end of the last recession which has been touted as a definitive reason for higher stock prices. While I cannot argue the logic behind this case, as earnings per share are an important driver of markets over time, it is important to understand that the increase in profitability has not come strong increases in revenue at the top of the income statement. The chart below shows the deviation between the widely touted OPERATING EARNINGS (earnings before all the “bad” stuff) versus REPORTED EARNINGS which is what all historical valuations are based on. I have also included revenue growth as well. This is a not a new anomaly, but has been a consistent “meme” since the end of the financial crisis. As the chart below shows while earnings per share have risen by over 260% since the beginning of 2009 – revenue growth has barely eclipsed 30%. As expected, since the economy is 70% driven by personal consumption, GDP growth and revenues have grown at roughly equivalent rates. While suppressed wage growth, layoffs, cost-cutting, productivity increases, accounting gimmickry and stock buybacks have been the primary factors in surging profitability, these actions have little effect on revenue growth. The bigger problem for investors is all of the gimmicks to win the “beat the estimate game” are finite in nature. Eventually, real rates of revenue growth will matter. However, since consumer incomes have been cannibalized by suppressed wages and interest rates – there is nowhere left to generate further sales gains from in excess of population growth. So, while the markets have surged to “all-time highs,” for the majority of Americans who have little, or no, vested interest in the financial markets their view is markedly different. While the Fed keeps promising with each passing year the economy will come roaring back to life, the reality has been that all the stimulus and financial support can’t put the broken financial transmission system back together again. Eventually, the current disconnect between the economy and the markets will merge. My bet is that such a convergence is not likely to be a pleasant one.

17 августа, 15:18

How Bank Regulations Hinder the U.S. Recovery

Authored by Steve H. Hanke of the Johns Hopkins University. Follow him on Twitter @Steve_Hanke. Money matters — it’s one of Milton Friedman’s maxims. Since the Northern Rock bank run of 2007 — the “opening shot” of the financial crisis — the money supply, broadly measured, in the United States, Great Britain, and the Eurozone has taken a beating. In the United States, money supply growth has rebounded somewhat. This is a positive sign, because the quantity of money and nominal gross domestic product (GDP), as well as related measures of aggregate demand, are all closely related. Indeed, if broad money growth is robust, the nominal GDP, which is composed of real and inflation components, will be robust and vice versa. When it comes to measuring the money supply, we must heed the words of Sir John Hicks, a Nobelist and high priest of economic theory: There is nothing more important than a balance sheet. Components of the money supply appear on a bank’s balance sheet as liabilities. The money supply is simply the sum all of the deposits and various other short-term liabilities of the financial sector. On every balance sheet, the sum total of assets must equal total liabilities. In consequence, the money supply (short-term liabilities) must have either an asset or longer-term liability counterpart on the balance sheet (see the chart below).   One of these counterparts is known as credit, and it includes various financial instruments, such as private loans, mortgages, etc. Money and credit are often confused as synonyms, but they are not the same thing — credit is a counterpart to money. Any economist worth his salt should have the money supply on his dashboard. But, it is also important to look at what the financial sector is doing with these deposits — are they lending this money back out to the economy, and if so, to whom? There is one very important counterpart of the money supply that is particularly worth looking at — loans to private individuals and businesses, known as “private credit.” In the U.S., movements in the money supply (Divisia M4) and private credit tend to move in the same direction. Since 2013, the year-over-year growth rate of the money supply, broadly measured, has started to increase (see the chart below).   Indeed, the Divisia M4 annual growth rate reached its trend rate of growth (4.41%) recently. But, it has subsequently slipped back and is currently a bit below the trend rate.  During this period of modest acceleration in Divisia M4 growth, the growth rate in private credit has strongly accelerated and has been comfortably above its trend rate of growth (5.84%) for most of the 2014-2017 period. So, money and credit growth look rather promising. After all, they are precursors of nominal aggregate demand growth. This linkage between the growth rate in broad money (Divisia M4) and nominal aggregate demand (measured by the proxy final sales to domestic purchasers) can be observed in the accompanying chart. The interesting aspect of the chart is that it confirms that the U.S. is still in a growth recession — the U.S. is growing, but growing at below its trend rate when measured by final sales to domestic purchasers (4.43% versus 4.70%). This has resulted, in part, because broad money growth has been anemic, even though it has picked up the pace recently.   For many, the idea of anemic money growth sounds strange. After all, the Fed turned on the money pumps in the wake of the 2008 crisis (read: engaged in quantitative easing). But, the Fed only directly controls what is known as state money, also known as the monetary base, which includes currency in circulation and bank reserves with the Fed. The vast majority of the money supply, when properly measured using a broad metric, is what is known as bank money. This is money produced by the private banking sector via deposit creation, and it includes liquid, money-like assets such as demand and savings deposits. The Fed has indeed been quite loose when it comes to state money, with the state money portion of the total money supply, measured by M4, increasing from 5% of the total before the crisis, to 18% today. But where does the lion’s share of broad money (the other 82% of the money supply) come from, if not from the central bank? It comes from commercial banks. And that is where financial regulation comes into the picture. For some time, I have warned that higher bank capital requirements, when imposed in the middle of an economic slump, are wrong-headed (read: pro-cyclical) because they put a squeeze on the money supply and stifle economic growth. Thus far, the result of efforts to impose these capital requirements has been financial repression — a credit crunch. This has proven to be a deadly cocktail to ingest in the middle of a slump. In the aftermath of the financial crisis, politicians, regulators, and central bankers around the world have pointed their accusatory fingers at commercial bankers. They assert that the keys to preventing future crises are tougher regulations and more aggressive supervision, centered around higher capital requirements for banks. This would be fine if higher capital requirements were being imposed during an economic boom, because capital hikes cause money supply growth to slow, which tends to cool down the economy. But, when capital hikes are imposed during a slump or a growth recession, they become pro-cyclical and actually make things worse. Indeed, the imposition of higher capital requirements in the wake of the financial crisis has caused banks to shrink their loan books and dramatically increase their cash and government securities positions. For a bank, its assets (cash, loans and securities) must equal its liabilities (capital, bonds and liabilities that the bank owes to its shareholders and customers). In most countries, the bulk of a bank’s liabilities (roughly 90%) are deposits. Since deposits can be used to make payments, they are “money.” Accordingly, most bank liabilities are money. To increase their capital-asset ratios, banks can either boost capital or shrink risk assets. If banks shrink their risk assets, their deposit liabilities will decline. In consequence, money balances will be destroyed. The other way to increase a bank’s capital-asset ratio is by raising new capital. This, too, destroys money. When an investor purchases newly-issued bank equity, the investor exchanges funds from a bank account for new shares. This reduces deposit liabilities in the banking system and wipes out money. So, paradoxically, the drive to deleverage banks and to shrink their balance sheets, in the name of making banks safer, destroys money balances. This, in turn, dents company liquidity and asset prices. It also reduces spending relative to where it would have been without higher capital-asset ratios. The United States has employed a loose state money/tight bank money monetary policy mix. Yes, for all the talk of quantitative easing and the Fed’s loose monetary policy, the inconvenient truth is that the overall money supply in the U.S., broadly measured, is still, on balance, somewhat tight to neutral — thanks in large part to ill-timed bank capital hikes.     This piece was originally published on Forbes. 

17 августа, 15:11

Must See Charts – Gold Hedges USD Devaluation, Rise in Oil, Food and Cost of Living Since "Tricky Dicky"

Must See Charts – Gold Hedges USD Devaluation, Rise in Oil, Food and Cost of Living Since "Tricky Dicky"  - Gold hedges massive ongoing devaluation of U.S. Dollar- 46th anniversary of 'Tricky Dicky' ending Gold Standard (see video)- Savings destroyed by currency creation and now negative interest rates- Long-term inflation figures show gold a hedge against rising cost of fuel, food and cost of living- $20 food and beverages basket of 1971 cost $120.17 in 2017- Household items increased by average of 2000% and oil by 5,373% since 1913- Gold gained 5,669% since 1913; by nearly 3,000% since 1971- Dollar has been reserve currency of world in the period and most other currencies have seen greater devaluation- Evidence of gold’s role as inflation and currency devaluation hedge  Editor: Mark O'Byrne ‘US dollar Purchasing Power As measured By Gold’Source: Goldchartsrus You don’t need 'Tricky Trump' to devalue the dollar, it’s been doing that since 1913 and 'Tricky Dicky' in 1971 In 2015 President Donald Trump made headlines when he told a town hall event in Atkinson, New Hampshire about how his father had once given him a ‘small loan of a million dollars.’ Outcry swept around the media who asked how much the future President was really in touch with the common voter. Whilst Trump’s reference to ‘small’ was in relation to the (apparent) size of the empire he subsequently built he may as well have been referring to the value of a million dollars now and how small it is compared to in 1975 when he was lent the money. $1 million dollars was a lot of currency in 1975. Today it will barely buy you a nice house in a nice city. Using today’s CPI data Trump Sr’s $1 million loan would today be equivalent to $4.4 million. The purchasing power of a 1975 US dollar has fallen by over 400%. It has fallen a lot more since 1971. In this week 46 years ago on August 15 1971, President Nixon announced the U.S. Dollar would completely cut ties with sound money gold (see video below). Without gold backing and gold as a monetary anchor, we can now see just how much the purchasing power of the consumer dollar has declined since 1971. You can see an even better example of the dollar’s collapse in purchasing power when measured in gold ounces (see charts above). Prices climb by over 2000% since 1913 and creation of the Fed ‘[Since 1913] the general public and policymakers have focused almost constantly on inflation; they have feared it, bemoaned it, sought it, and even tried to whip it.’ Bureau of Labour Statistics.   In 1970, after many decades of dollar devaluation, Herbert W. Armstrong quoted the Labor Department’s figures for how much $5 would have purchased in 1913: "15 pounds of potatoes, 10 pounds of flour, 5 pounds of sugar, 5 pounds of chuck roast, 3 pounds of round steak, 3 pounds of rice, 2 pounds each of cheese and bacon, and a pound each of butter and coffee; that money would also get you two loaves of bread, 4 quarts of milk and a dozen eggs. This would leave you with 2 cents for candy.” Percent (%) change in US prices (1913 - 2017) What changed in 1913? The US adopted the Federal Reserve Banking System and the journey towards dismantling the gold standard and currency debasement began. In the same year the United States government started tracking prices. This was thanks to President William Howard Taft who signed a bill promoting the Department of Labor to a Cabinet-level Department. Following this move the Consumer Price Index (CPI) was created in 1921 and backdated to 1913. Many things have changed since 1913, the most obvious is that the US Dollar is no longer backed by gold and that inflation has been slowly destroying wealth. Despite government efforts to track prices, little has been done about the impact of inflation and our loss of purchasing power. This is best illustrated not just with gold but through day-to-day items that we can all relate to. Below it is clear to see that since before the beginning of the World War I prices of everyday items have climbed by over 2,000%, on average. We can also appreciate how much the U.S. Dollar has depreciated in value when we consider that a $100 bill at the end of the First World War has the equivalent purchasing power of $1,196, today. This is in significant contrast to the price and purchasing power of store of value gold. We often talk about the role of gold during times of war and upheaval. This seems particularly relevant today as Trump and North Korea engage in saber-rattling. The table above shows just how important gold was during war time for the millions of people who were uprooted in the run up to and in 1914 and found themselves refugees, without a country to call home and in need of a borderless currency which would serve them wherever they found themselves. The children or grandchildren of those who escaped with gold would own as asset which has protected and grown their wealth and is today worth over 5,000% more than it was in 1913. CPI measure, questionable but available When we complain that food and other household items are becoming more expensive what we are usually experiencing is the devaluation in the US dollar and impact on inflation. To give you an idea of how much the dollar has fallen in value since the removal of the gold standard in 1971, the purchasing power of $100 then would be equivalent to $616.65 today. By comparison, $100 worth of gold in 1971 is now worth nearly $3,700. Today the CPI is the fiat-centric world’s way of tracking consumer prices and, therefore, inflation. We rarely hear about the depreciation of our currencies, instead we are bamboozled with odd figures which rarely translate into our every day life. Despite this, we are still able to use CPI as real evidence of the rising cost of living over time. This is particularly interesting when you look at the change in food prices using 1971 as a base year. We use 1971 as since then the US currency has not been tied to or associated with gold. In the period since then we have seen a slow but damaging impact on the value of people’s wealth and the purchasing power of their earnings. As with our piece on British food prices, British inflation and rising cost of living, we would have preferred to have used actual price information in order to look at the depreciation of the U.S. Dollar. Unfortunately individual price information isn’t readily available for the periods of most interest. Below you can see how much the CPI numbers have increased for items which are considered key in an household’s food basket. When you consider 1971 = 100 as the base year and price, you can see the dramatic changes in prices. The CPI can be misleading and confusing. When looking at the CPI data for the last 46 years it was interesting to note that halfway through the years the BLS decided to change the base year, thus making it appear as though inflation had not increased at quite the rate it had been. The numbers above have been adjusted to the best of our ability. One thing we also noticed when gathering the data was the climb in price of unprocessed foods, look at potatoes, carrots and apples as an example of freshly grown produce. As we looked deeper into data between 1971 and 2017 the list of foods included in the CPI basket grew, thanks to the advent of processed and unhealthy food all of which appear to be more affordable and suffering less from price climbs. As our currency has been debased so has our food. For those who are interested in actual prices, rather than the CPI data, we were only able to gather certain figures from the earliest point of 1980. Here you can see that on average the price of food has risen sharply. % change in (US) prices 1980 - 2017 This is quite a powerful indication of how gold has acted as a hedge against inflation. Even for those who bought gold, nine years into the bull market and near the top in 1980, gold protected their purchasing power. Not just about food As we mentioned when we looked at the depreciation of the British pound, the price of food is not the only thing to hurt the average consumer. Fuel is the backbone of any economy, it affects the price of living both directly and indirectly. It affects the price of your food through to the cost of the journey from the farm to the fork. The price of oil, fuel and energy related items have increased massively since 1971. The graph above, courtesy of the St Louis FRED database, shows just how much the price of fuel items have increased since 1971. The depreciation of the dollar, just a myth? A couple of years ago Business Insider 'Stalwart' Joe Weisenthal, now Bloomberg presenter and host wrote about how the depreciation of the US Dollar was a ‘myth’. He based this on the logic that hardly anyone keeps their cash in a box or 'under the mattress' anymore, but (he conceded): ‘Yes, if someone had a bunch of cash in 1959 and literally put it in a shoebox, they'd have lost a lot of money over the last several decades" But what happens when you don’t keep your money to yourself? You have to put it in a bank account or invest it in stocks, bonds, IRAs etc. All of those things come with counterparty risk. For some of us, it makes sense to hold a percentage of our wealth outside of the banking and financial system. However we cannot do this with paper bank notes as, as Mr Weisenthal reminds us, it just loses its value over time. This is why we recommend clients hold some of their savings in gold and silver.  You are not keeping it in the banking system, you do not need to ‘fear’ the impact of inflation and you certainly do not need to worry about counterparties either devaluing it or trying to confiscate it - if owned in safer jurisdictions such as Singapore and Switzerland. Gold has acted as hedge against inflation and a financial insurance against the tyranny of central bank policies, throughout history but no more so than in the last century. No matter banking system, measure of inflation or government your country has, one ounce of gold remains one ounce of gold. It is the same and is recognised everywhere which confers vitally important liquidity. It is clear to see from the charts above that the fiat currency system works against the long-term desire to protect and grow our wealth. This is thanks to both the fractional reserve banking system but also thanks to the confiscatory practices of governments and powerful the financial industry and the currency debasement of central banks. As former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said himself “In the absence of the gold standard, there is no way to protect savings from confiscation through inflation. There is no safe store of value.”      We are no longer on a gold standard, nor are we likely to be on one for the foreseeable future. But this does not mean savers cannot implement their own version in their portfolios. We all need to eat and we all need to use fuel, but we must learn to protect ourselves from the ongoing devaluation of the dollar and all fiat currencies in order to ensure we can keep doing what we need to do before our savings are destroyed by the fiat monetary system. News and Commentary Gold, silver soar after US Fed minutes; palladium hits over 16-year high (IndiaTimes.com) Gold ends higher as Trump disbands 2 White House advisory groups (MarketWatch.com) Gold edges up after gaining on softer dollar (Reuters.com) Unlike Bitcoin - "Gold has demonstrated ability to preserve value under all circumstances " - Morgan Stanley (Bloomberg.com) Bitcoin Is Literally Soaring Into Space After Rocket-Like Surge (Bloomberg.com) Source: David Stockman via Daily Reckoning 5 Charts Prove Market A Bubble (DailyReckoning.com) Bitcoin is a bubble – but bubbles change the world (MoneyWeek.com) Corporate Employers Flee Pensions With Gap Topping $375 Billion (Bloomberg.com) This is what every ETF investor needs to know today (StansBerryChurcHouse.com) What's so special about gold? - Lundin (PeakProsperity.com) Gold Prices (LBMA AM) 17 Aug: USD 1,285.90, GBP 998.12 & EUR 1,096.74 per ounce16 Aug: USD 1,270.15, GBP 985.13 & EUR 1,082.29 per ounce15 Aug: USD 1,274.60, GBP 986.92 & EUR 1,084.05 per ounce14 Aug: USD 1,281.10, GBP 987.34 & EUR 1,085.48 per ounce11 Aug: USD 1,288.30, GBP 993.67 & EUR 1,096.47 per ounce10 Aug: USD 1,278.90, GBP 985.39 & EUR 1,091.67 per ounce09 Aug: USD 1,267.95, GBP 974.80 & EUR 1,079.79 per ounce Silver Prices (LBMA) 17 Aug: USD 17.02, GBP 13.23 & EUR 14.55 per ounce16 Aug: USD 16.68, GBP 12.96 & EUR 14.25 per ounce15 Aug: USD 16.89, GBP 13.12 & EUR 14.38 per ounce14 Aug: USD 16.97, GBP 13.09 & EUR 14.39 per ounce11 Aug: USD 17.09, GBP 13.18 & EUR 14.53 per ounce10 Aug: USD 17.08, GBP 13.14 & EUR 14.57 per ounce09 Aug: USD 16.59, GBP 12.76 & EUR 14.14 per ounce Recent Market Updates - World’s Largest Hedge Fund Bridgewater Buys $68 Million of Gold ETF In Q2- Diversify Into Gold Urges Dalio on Linkedin – “Militaristic Leaders Playing Chicken Risks Hellacious War”- Gold Has Yet Another Purpose – Help Fight Cancer- Gold Up 2%, Silver 5% In Week – Gundlach, Gartman and Dalio Positive On Gold- Great Disaster Looms as Technology Disrupts White Collar Workers- Gold Sees Safe Haven Gains On Trump “Fire and Fury” Threat- Silver Mining Production Plummets 27% At Top Four Silver Miners- Gold Consolidates On 2.5% Gain In July After Dollar Has 5th Monthly Decline- Gold Coins and Bars See Demand Rise of 11% in H2, 2017- Greenspan Warns Stagflation Like 1970s “Not Good For Asset Prices”- What Investors Can Learn From the Japanese Art of Kintsukuroi- Bitcoin, ICO Risk Versus Immutable Gold and Silver- This Is Why Shrinkflation Is Making You Poor Important Guides For your perusal, below are our most popular guides in 2017: Essential Guide To Storing Gold In Switzerland Essential Guide To Storing Gold In Singapore Essential Guide to Tax Free Gold Sovereigns (UK) Please share our research with family, friends and colleagues who you think would benefit from being informed by it.

17 августа, 13:53

S&P Futures, Euro, Stocks Fall After Fed's Low Inflation Warning

S&P futures, European stocks and bond yields all fell in early trade alongside oil and the euro after the latest Fed minutes expressed concern over weak U.S. inflation, while Asian equities rose overnight ahead of WalMart earnings and the latest ECB minutes. Gold rose as high as $1,290 before fading most gains as the USDJPY rebounded. Fund futures are now pricing in about a 40% chance the Fed will raise rates by December, compared to 50% before the Fed's minutes. Last week's market turmoil and resultant near record jump in volatility in the wake of heightened tensions between the U.S. and North Korea has continued to ease, bringing down gauges of equity and bond volatility and repairing most of the damage done to stock markets, in fact as Bank of America showed, the retracement in the VIX on Monday was among the fastest on record. But political angst isn’t over; investors continue to watch the political trainwreck in Washington where President Trump disbanded two high-profile business advisory councils amid the fallout from his response to the weekend violence in Virginia. "Trump dissolving his major business groups makes the investment community even more pessimistic because this sets the stage for even more failure for him," Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at Think Markets in London, wrote in a note. Lost in the political noise was the July FOMC minutes, where the most notable takeaway was the reference to “most participants expected inflation to pick up over the next couple of years….and to stabilize around the 2% objective over the medium term”. However, many participants “saw some likelihood that inflation might remain below 2% for longer than they currently expected, and several indicated that the risks to the inflation outlook could be tilted to the downside.” The debate on inflation echoed recent comments made public by various Fed presidents, while some members noted the “committee could afford to be patient….in deciding when to increase the rates further and argued against additional adjustments until incoming information confirmed that the recent low inflation were not likely to persist”. However, those comments were balanced by the observation that “…some other participants were more worried about risks arising from a labour market that had already reached full employment and was projected to tighten further from the easing in financial conditions”. Elsewhere, on the balance sheet unwind topic, “several” members favoured an announcement in the July meeting, but most preferred to defer that decision to the next meeting in September. With concerns about weak inflation in the air, the Stoxx 600 Index was down 0.1%, with declines in banking shares offsetting advances in healthcare stocks. Germany's DAX, France's CAC 40 and the UK's FTSE 100 all fell 0.1%. Yesterday's Reuters' trial balloon, according to which Mario Draghi would not say anything of note next week during the Jackson Hole conference, weakened the euro, which traded as low at 1.1700 this morning and gave support to fixed income assets with European government bond yields dropping, and the 10Y Bund yield down nearly 2 bps to 0.42%, down from Wednesday's high of 0.47%. Most other euro zone yields fell 1-2 basis points. In currencies, in addition to the euro sliding before the ECB minutes release, most Asian currencies rose overnight, with the Korean won up 0.3% after tensions over North Korea continued to ease. Overnight, the yen gained for a second day as the dollar decline on declining US rate hike expectations. The Australian dollar rose a second day against the U.S. dollar to reach the highest in nearly 2 weeks after July employment data beat estimates while prior month data was revised higher and iron ore prices erase week-to-date losses. In Europe, the pound rose against the euro after strong U.K. retail sales data. In commodities, London copper, aluminum and zinc hit multi-year highs on expectation China's reform of its metals industry will curb supply against a backdrop of robust demand. Gold and tin were among the best performing metals, and zinc traded near a 10-year high.  Oil prices edged higher after new data showed U.S. crude stocks have fallen by 13 percent from a peak in March. Brent crude futures were at $50.36 per barrel, up 0.2 percent from their last close. Today's data include jobless claims, Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook and industrial production. Wal-Mart, Gap, Ross Stores and Madison Square Garden are among companies reporting earnings. Bulletin Headline Summary from RanSquawk Choppy GBP reaction to UK retail sales Financial leading the declines in Europe post last night's FOMC minutes Looking ahead, highlights include ECB minutes, US Philly Fed and jobless claims Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures down 0.1% to 2,465 STOXX Europe 600 down 0.1% to 378.62 MSCI Asia up 0.5% to 159.86 MSCI Asia ex Japan up 0.5% to 526.58 Nikkei down 0.1% to 19,702.63 Topix down 0.07% to 1,614.82 Hang Seng Index down 0.2% to 27,344.22 Shanghai Composite up 0.7% to 3,268.43 Sensex up 0.4% to 31,888.42 Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 0.1% to 5,779.21 Kospi up 0.6% to 2,361.67 German 10Y yield fell 1.0 bps to 0.435% Euro down 0.3% to $1.1738 Italian 10Y yield unchanged at 1.755% Spanish 10Y yield fell 1.0 bps to 1.454% Brent futures down 0.2% to $50.17/bbl Gold spot up 0.3% to $1,287.08 U.S. Dollar Index up 0.2% to 93.70 Top Overnight News Alibaba, Wal-Mart Report Earnings; ECB Minutes Watched for Taper Clues The U.S.’s top general declined to comment on South Korean leader Moon Jae-in’s assertion that he needed to sign off on a war against North Korea, saying President Donald Trump had the final say on a unilateral military strike Trump’s pro-business image tarnished as CEOs abandon president China believes the Korean Peninsula issue can only be solved via dialogue and negotiations, Fan Changlong, Vice Chairman of Central Military Commission said Saudi Arabia shipped the least oil in almost three years in June, just as domestic stockpiles are dwindling. U.K. retail sales rose 0.3% m/m in July, exceeding the median estimate of +0.2%, driven by the biggest jump in purchases of food in almost two years President Donald Trump waded into a longstanding scrap between online retailers and their brick- and-mortar rivals with a Twitter posting Wednesday about Amazon.com Inc. and taxes Fed officials are looking under the hood of their most basic inflation models and starting to ask if something is wrong Investors are about to get their first look at Bill Ackman’s plans for improving the performance of Automatic Data Processing Inc., which the activist investor contends is losing ground to smaller rivals Credit Suisse, JPMorgan and Citigroup have struck the first deals on a new structured debt platform amid a boom in repackaged note transactions Most industrial metals eased back after a rally that took zinc to the highest level in almost 10 years on signs of supply curbs and faster economic growth around the world U.K. consumers are flagging, stripping the economy of its most consistent and important support over the past two years. Air Berlin Plc’s insolvency could open the way for Deutsche Lufthansa AG to add new hubs for inter-continental flights while allowing short-haul discount specialist EasyJet Plc to boost its presence in the German capital South Korea’s Moon says will be no war again on the peninsula Japan July trade 418.8b yen vs 327.1b est; exports 13.4% vs 13.2% est Australia July jobs 27.9k vs 20.0k est; unempl rate 5.6% vs 5.6% est New Zealand Aug ANZ consumer confidence 126.2 vs 125.4; +0.6% m/m Elliott Is Said to Buy Debt in Move to Block Berkshire Oncor Bid For Bull Market in U.S. Stocks, You’re Only as Young as You Feel Credit Suisse’s London Sublease to WeWork Said to Be Blocked Trump’s Pro-Business Image Tarnished as CEOs Abandon President Republican Leaders Duck for Cover After Trump’s Race Remarks Asia equity markets traded indecisive following a relatively tepid close in the US where basic materials outperformed as zinc rose above USD 3000/ton to a decade high, while energy and financials declined on oil weakness and after US yields were pressured post¬FOMC minutes. ASX 200 (-0.10%) was choppy with miners underpinned by strength across the metals complex and as a slew of earnings releases also drove individual stocks, while Nikkei 225 (-0.14%)was subdued by a firmer currency. Shanghai Comp (+0.68%) and Hang Seng (-0.24%) were both initially higher, although the latter then pared gains on profit taking and amid an increase in money market rates. 10yr JGBs traded flat amid an indecisive risk tone in Japan, while the 5yr auction also failed to spur price action as the results were mixed. PBoC injected CNY 60bln in 7-day reverse repos and CNY 40bln in 14-day reverse repos. (Newswires) PBoC set CNY mid-point at 6.6709 (Prey. 6.6779). Japanese Trade Balance (Jul) JPY 418.8bln vs. Exp. JPY 327.1b1n (Prey. JPY 439.9b1n); Exports (Jul) Y/Y 13.4% vs. Exp. 13.2% (Prey. 9.7%);Imports (Jul) Y/Y 16.3% vs. Exp. 17.0% (Prey. 15.5%) Top Asian News Economic Growth in the Philippines Exceeds 6% for Eighth Quarter Casino Giants Look for Clarity as Japan Begins Public Debate Series of Gaffes Taint Unicom’s $11.7 Billion Sale Announcement Gemadept Seeks $125M From Stake Sales in 2 Units: CEO Minh Tokyo Stocks Slip as Yen Strengthens After Dovish Fed Minutes Taiwan Blackout Seen Pressuring Tsai to Reconsider Energy Policy BOJ Seen Trimming Bond Purchases Further If Yields Extend Slide China Kickstarts Privatization Push With Unicom Share Sale Tencent’s Appetite for AI Sends Sector Stocks Surging in China European equities trade modestly lower (Eurostoxx 50 -0.2%) with financials underperforming in the wake of yesterday's FOMC minutes which received a somewhat dovish response given concerns at the Fed regarding inflation. To the upside, material names outperform in response to the gains seen overnight in the metals complex with Dalian iron ore prices up over 6% during Asia-Pac trade. In fixed income markets, prices were originally supported by the softness seen in European equities and the fallout of yesterday's FOMC minutes with the 10yr Bund approaching 164.00 to the upside. Looking ahead, investors will likely turn towards today's ECB minutes release for any views on concerns surrounding scarcity of core paper and any potential biases the central bank could have in purchasing paper from across the continent. Top European News U.K. Said to Plan Visa-Free Travel for Europeans After Brexit U.K. July Retail Sales Rise, Led by Surge in Demand for Food Nets CEO Opens Door to European Expansion Amid Deals Speculation Axa, NN Are Said to Near Deal for Billionaire March’s Encampus Seadrill Shields Seadrill Partners From Impact of Chapter 11 Novo’s Diabetes Drug Bests Lilly’s in Aiding on Weight Loss Vestas Maintains Outlook, Begins $706 Million Share Buy Back Lufthansa Swoop for Air Berlin Would Add Lower-Cost U.S. Routes In currencies, sterling was once again a key focus for FX markets amid further tier 1 data from the region, this time with retail sales on the data slate. Upon the release, GBP/USD saw a spike higher after 3/4 headline metrics exceeded expectations before prices were dragged lower to pre-announced levels with all 4 components revised lower. USD has regained some ground against its major counterparts following the losses seen last night in the wake of the FOMC minutes. USD has particularly out-muscled EUR with participants looking for further insight via the ECB minutes into the current train of thought at the central bank given yesterday's source reports. AUD has regained some ground amid firmer metals prices, subsequently shrugging off the domestic jobs data overnight. In commodities, the metals complex traded higher overnight with gold prices extending on gains seen following the FOMC minutes. Elsewhere, Copper traded higher alongside broad strength across basic materials with Dalian iron ore prices up nearly 6%, while WTI traded quiet overnight and failed to make any significant recovery from yesterday's post-DoE declines. Saudi Arabia June output rose 190K bpd M/M to10.07mln bpd, while Saudi Arabia June crude exports fell 40K bpd M/M to 6.889mn bpd, according to JODI data. Libya's NOC said that the Sharara oil field is "working normally and the situation is currently stable" following recent security breaches. Looking at the day ahead, we’ve got a fair bit of data due today including July IP (0.3% mom expected), capacity utilisation, conference board US leading index (0.3% expected), the Philadelphia Fed business outlook survey (19 expected), initial jobless claims and continuing claims stats. Away from the data, the ECB will publish the account of its July policy meeting and the Fed’ Kaplan will also speak. Further, Wal-Mart will report its results today. US Event Calendar 8:30am: Initial Jobless Claims, est. 240,000, prior 244,000; Continuing Claims, est. 1.96m, prior 1.95m 8:30am: Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook, est. 18, prior 19.5 9:15am: Industrial Production MoM, est. 0.3%, prior 0.4%; Capacity Utilization, est. 76.7%, prior 76.6% 9:45am: Bloomberg Consumer Comfort, prior 51.4, Bloomberg Economic Expectations, prior 47 10am: Leading Index, est. 0.3%, prior 0.6% 1pm: Fed’s Kaplan Speaks in Lubbock, Texas DB's Jim Reid - or in this case not - concludes the overnight wrap Don't panic. Jim's absence today isn't because his twins have arrived early. Although we're not totally sure which of the following shocks he's getting over this morning. The fact that it's 25 years today since his A-Level results, his 4th wedding anniversary today or being told last night by the consultant that the twins will be coming a little earlier than planned and to expect to be called in anytime in the next 10 days. Luckily we haven’t had to alert him to any super important market related news this morning although things did get a bit more interesting towards the end of the US session last night. Initially the news that one of President Trump’s business advisory groups was disbanding in reaction to events in Virginia over the weekend saw risk assets initially pare some gains. Then after that we got the release of the FOMC minutes which showed a relatively healthy debate amongst policy makers about inflation and which the market appeared to take slightly dovishly given the decent rally for Treasuries into the close. We’ll jump into both of events those shortly. Prior to that the lack of any more updates or news on the North Korea/US front seemed to be helping keep things fairly calm overall and in fact after all the excitement of last week the S&P 500 and Stoxx 600 have clawed back nearly three-quarters of last week’s moves lower after ticking up another +0.14% and +0.69% yesterday. The VIX is also back down to 11.74 after nudging down another -2.5% yesterday and having peaked at just over 16 last week. We’ve been saying for a while that we are likely in for a quiet spell although after Amazon’s $16bn bond deal attracted orders equivalent to the GDP of Belarus ($47bn) it seems that markets are still some way from a taking a full holiday just yet. Back to the FOMC minutes, the most notable takeaway was the reference to “most participants expected inflation to pick up over the next couple of years….and to stabilize around the 2% objective over the medium term”. However, many participants “saw some likelihood that inflation might remain below 2% for longer than they currently expected, and several indicated that the risks to the inflation outlook could be tilted to the downside.” The debate on inflation echoed recent comments made public by various Fed presidents, while some members noted the “committee could afford to be patient….in deciding when to increase the rates further and argued against additional adjustments until incoming information confirmed that the recent low inflation were not likely to persist”. However, those comments were balanced by the observation that “…some other participants were more worried about risks arising from a labour market that had already reached full employment and was projected to tighten further from the easing in financial conditions”. Elsewhere, on the balance sheet unwind topic, “several” members favoured an announcement in the July meeting, but most preferred to defer that decision to the next meeting in September. So while the tone of the minutes was actually fairly balanced much of the focus was on the inflation references and particularly the dovish elements. Treasuries were a bit stronger heading into the minutes although yields nosedived a bit further after the text was digested and we saw 10y yields end 5bps lower at 2.223%. 2y yields were also a couple of basis points lower, while the USD (-0.33%) ended weaker for the first time this week. Gold also rallied +0.90% along with the wider precious metals space while EM currencies also benefited from the weaker Greenback (South African Rand +1.08%, Mexican Peso +0.85%, Ruble  +0.58%). That was interestingly also in the context of a weaker day for Oil with WTI falling -1.62% following the latest US crude production data. Staying with the US, President Trump’s political agenda appeared to take another blow yesterday, as he was effectively forced to disband two of his business advisory councils pre-emptively, given reports (per Bloomberg) that one of the groups, led by the Blackstone CEO is planning to quit. The story is taking up plenty of column space in the papers this morning and while the impact on markets wasn’t huge the S&P 500 did end up paring a gain of closer to +0.50% just before the headlines broke with some suggestion that this might make fiscal progress more difficult. It feels like one to keep an eye on. Closer to home yesterday, European govies had a very very brief moment of excitement too at the open when a Reuters report hit the wires suggesting that President Draghi won’t deliver any new messages at the Jackson Hole conference next week on 25th. Instead the article quoted an ECB spokesman as saying that the focus will be on the “theme of the symposium, fostering a dynamic global economy”. That sounds about as vague as you can get which probably fits the bill that he’s looking for. There had been a fairly decent buzz building around the event although in fairness the ECB did suggest that the debate over tapering was more likely to take place at the September council meeting so it probably would have been a big surprise to hear anything prior to this of any substance. In terms of the moves for rates, as we noted it was very brief with Bunds at best 2bps stronger in a short period of time, only then to completely reverse and edge a little higher in the mid-morning which is roughly where they held into the close to finish up 1.2bps at 0.439%. The Euro also mostly recovered a temporary dip lower to end just +0.3% on the day. Jumping over to the latest in Asia this morning, markets are broadly speaking flat to slightly firmer. The Nikkei is back to unchanged following a weak start, while the ASX and Hang Seng are also little changed. China bourses are up around +0.35% and the Kospi is +0.6%. US equity futures are slightly in the red however. Away from markets, Sky news reported late last night that the next phrase of Brexit talks are likely to be delayed until December (from October), in part driven by the challenge and timing of getting a more formal engagement from a new German government as federal elections will occur in September. However, it does mean leaving less than a year for talks on the future trading relationship between the UK and the EU, and another two months of the two-year Article 50 timetable being used up. The reaction for Sterling has been fairly subdued however and if anything it’s a little stronger this morning. Moving on. In terms of data yesterday most of the focus was on GDP numbers in Europe. The eurozone print of +0.6% qoq was in line while the annual rate pushed up one-tenth to +2.2% yoy, which is the highest since March 2011. The Netherlands (+3.3% yoy vs. +2.3% expected) and Italy (+1.5% yoy vs. +1.4% expected) in particular stood in some of the details after coming in stronger than expected. This follows decent GDP data in Germany on Tuesday too. In the US yesterday the July housing data were a tad lower than expected, with housing starts falling 4.8% mom to 1.16m (vs. 1.22m expected), largely due to a 15.3% mom decline in the multi-unit sector. Building permits fell 4.1% in July to 1.22m (vs. 1.25m expected), but this follows an upward revision to the prior month, leaving a still solid annual growth of 4.1%. Elsewhere, MBA mortgage applications dipped 0.1%. Looking at the day ahead, the Eurozone’s July CPI came in as expected (-0.5% mom) while UK July retail sales ex fuel printed at 0.5%, above the 0.2% expected. In the US we’ve got a fair bit of data due today including July IP (0.3% mom expected), capacity utilisation, conference board US leading index (0.3% expected), the Philadelphia Fed business outlook survey (19 expected), initial jobless claims and continuing claims stats. Away from the data, the ECB will publish the account of its July policy meeting and the Fed’ Kaplan will also speak. Further, Wal-Mart will report its results today.

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17 августа, 11:15

Despite 'Growth Promise', Global Negative-Yielding Debt Surges To Highest Since October

The market value of bonds yielding less than zero percent has jumped by a quarter over the past month to $8.68 trillion, the highest since October... which is odd given the mainstream narrative that everything is awesome and global growth is heading for escape velocity? "probably nothing"   As Bloomberg notes, slower-than-forecast inflation data and haven demand on geopolitical risk have revived bond bulls around the world. With global borrowing costs already so low, central banks should be prepared to cut interest rates deep into negative territory in the next economic downturn, warn economists including Harvard professor Kenneth Rogoff.

17 августа, 09:45

Spanish Bond Yields Plunge To Record Lows As 'Economy Improves' (Just Don't Tell The Nation's Youth)

Spain’s two-year bond yields have collapsed to a record low -35bps this week and Portugal's followed suit, plunging near record low levels as Draghi's "whatever it takes" has benefitted all those front-running bondholders but left youth unemployment hovering still near record-high levels. As a strong euro weighs on the region’s inflation outlook, it makes it harder for the European Central Bank to end quantitative easing and negative interest rates, said Peter Chatwell, head of European rates strategy at Mizuho International Plc in London, and sure enough today's reports that Draghi's Jackson Hole appearance will be a nothing burger has sparked more anticipation that QE isn't ending anytime soon, despite better-late-than-never complaints from the Germans. "Whatever it takes" to keep asset prices high!

16 августа, 21:27

Stocks, Dollar & Yields Sink After Fed Warns Of "Elevated Vulnerabilities" From High Asset Prices

The initial reactions wre modest but directionally 'correct' given the dovish bias to the Fed Minutes - stocks are up, bonds are up (lower in yield), and the dollar is down. But then traders read the warnings that due to excessively easy financial conditions, "a tighter monetary policy than otherwise was warranted", something Goldman has been warning about for months, and stocks sank. To be sure, there were 3 very dovish quotes: 1. "Many participants, however, saw some likelihood that inflation might remain below 2 percent for longer than they currently expected, and several indicated that the risks to the inflation outlook could be tilted to the downside."   2. "Participants agreed that a fall in longer-term inflation expectations would be undesirable, but they differed in their assessments of whether inflation expectations were well anchored."   3. "Most Fed officials saw wage-price framework still valid" Bonds and the dollar were following that bias... But stock reversed their initial gains... As many missed the following comment on why The Fed is tightening... According to another view, recent rises in equity prices might be part of a broad-based adjustment of asset prices to changes in longer-term financial conditions, importantly including a lower neutral real interest rate, and, therefore, the recent equity price increases might not provide much additional impetus to aggregate spending on goods and services.   According to one view, the easing of financial conditions meant that the economic effects of the Committee's actions in gradually removing policy accommodation had been largely offset by other factors influencing financial markets, and that a tighter monetary policy than otherwise was warranted. Translated: they are tightening because financial conditions are too easy and in an effort to push markets lower... which they're not worried about as the wealth effect has gone. Certainly, the 'tightening' is not working: Finally, and most ominously for bulls, there was the  very explicit warning that an asset bubble is getting bigger: The staff provided its latest report on potential risks to financial stability, indicating that it continued to judge the vulnerabilities of the U.S financial system as moderate on balance. This overall assessment incorporated the staff's judgment that, since the April assessment, vulnerabilities associated with asset valuation pressures had edged up from notable to elevated, as asset prices remained high or climbed further, risk spreads narrowed, and expected and actual volatility remained muted in a range of financial markets.

16 августа, 21:03

FOMC Minutes Signal Balance Sheet Normalization Begins In September, Most Saw Inflation Pick Up

Since the July 26th 'nothingburger' FOMC statement, Nasdaq is down but bonds and bullion are higher as domestic politics and global war have trumped monetary machinations. All eyes in today's Minutes will be on any mention of inflation and the balance sheet. The Fed sees inflation "picking up over the next couple years" but this came before last week's dismal CPI/PPI data (and they noted "downside risks"), and confirmed that they will make a balance sheet move "at upcoming meeting." Additional headlines: *MOST FED OFFICIALS SAW INFLATION PICK-UP OVER NEXT COUPLE YEARS *MOST FED OFFICIALS BACKED B/SHEET MOVE AT `AN UPCOMING MEETING' However, The Fed is worried about inflation: MANY FED OFFICIALS SAW WEAK INFLATION DUE IDIOSYNCRATIC FACTORS SOME OFFICIALS CONCERNED BY WEAK INFLATION, ARGUE FOR PATIENCE The key segments, courtesy of Bloomberg: On the start of balance sheet unwind: "Although several participants were prepared to announce a starting date for the program at the current meeting, most preferred to defer that decision until an upcoming meeting while accumulating additional information on the economic outlook and developments potentially affecting financial markets." More on timing: "Participants generally agreed that, in light of their current assessment of economic conditions and the outlook, it was appropriate to signal that implementation of the program likely would begin relatively soon, absent significant adverse developments in the economy or in financial markets. Many noted that the program was expected to contribute only modestly to the reduction in policy accommodation." On inflation: "Most participants indicated that they expected inflation to pick up over the next couple of years from its current low level and to stabilize around the Committee’s 2 percent objective over the medium term." "Many participants, however, saw some likelihood that inflation might remain below 2 percent for longer than they currently expected, and several indicated that the risks to the inflation outlook could be tilted to the downside." "Many participants noted that much of the recent decline in inflation had probably reflected idiosyncratic factors." "Participants agreed that a fall in longer-term inflation expectations would be undesirable, but they differed in their assessments of whether inflation expectations were well anchored." "A few participants cited evidence suggesting that this framework was not particularly useful in forecasting inflation. However, most participants thought that the framework remained valid, notwithstanding the recent absence of a pickup in inflation in the face of a tightening labor market and real GDP growth in excess of their estimates of its potential rate." "Some participants expressed concern about the recent decline in inflation, which had occurred even as resource utilization had tightened, and noted their increased uncertainty about the outlook for inflation." On a possible overshoot in the labor market: "A few participants expressed concerns about the possibility of substantially overshooting full employment, with one citing past difficulties in achieving a soft landing." On rising lending risks: "A couple of participants expressed concern that smaller banks could be assuming significant risks in efforts to expand their CRE lending." On policy uncertainty: "Several participants noted that uncertainty about the course of federal government policy, including in the areas of fiscal policy, trade, and health care, was tending to weigh down firms’ spending and hiring plans." "It was also observed that the budgets of some state and local governments were under strain, limiting growth in their expenditures. In contrast, the prospects for U.S. exports had been boosted by a brighter international economic outlook." The now traditional commentary on equity markets and financial conditions. Several participants noted that the further increases in equity prices, together with continued low longer-term interest rates, had led to an easing of financial conditions. However, different assessments were expressed about the implications of this development for the outlook for aggregate demand and, consequently, appropriate monetary policy. According to another view, recent rises in equity prices might be part of a broad-based adjustment of asset prices to changes in longer-term financial conditions, importantly including a lower neutral real interest rate, and, therefore, the recent equity price increases might not provide much additional impetus to aggregate spending on goods and services. On equity valuations: "Participants also considered equity valuations in their discussion of financial stability. A couple of participants noted that favorable macroeconomic factors provided backing for current equity valuations; in addition, as recent equity price increases did not seem to stem importantly from greater use of leverage by investors, these increases might not pose appreciable risks to financial stability." And the punchline as regards to stocks, confirming that the Fed may have to hike just to burst the stock bubble: According to one view, the easing of financial conditions meant that the economic effects of the Committee's actions in gradually removing policy accommodation had been largely offset by other factors influencing financial markets, and that a tighter monetary policy than otherwise was warranted. Of course, any confusion in these minutes can always be cleaned up next week at Jackson Hole. * * * Key conclusions: As expected, September remains in play for balance-sheet announcement, though no specific timetable mentioned Most FOMC participants preferred to announce the start of the balance-sheet runoff at "an upcoming meeting," while "several" were ready to go in July Inflation debate deepens. Most officials expected inflation to pick up next couple years and stabilize around 2%; many saw chances inflation may stay below that level for longer than expected Some Fed officials see scope for rate-hike patience, others caution a delay could lead to inflation overshoot FOMC united against a loosening of financial regulations that would allow for risky practices; The Fed is concerned about policy uncertainty hurting investment FOMC discussed equities, agreed to monitor bank behavior; some concern expressed about small-banks' risk in commercial real-estate lending *  *  * Rate hike odds for December are around 42% - unchanged from the FOMC Statement in July...   Not what The Fed was hoping for...   The dollar is unchanged but bonds are bid...   Why is the FOMC considering raising rates again this year? Bloomberg notes one reason is concern about asset prices and the potential from the unwinding of a bubble. This could well have been debated, with, for example, Eric Rosengren of Boston particularly worried about commercial real estate, while Yellen has cited stock prices as being elevated.   Of course, that's not how the market sees it...   Full FOMC Minutes below:  

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16 августа, 20:49

Dudley Says Raise Rates, Greenspan Says It's A Bond Bubble: Something's Broken

It should be crystal clear to everyone that after 10 years of the most accommodative monetary policy in the worlds history the bond market is significantly overpriced. The bond market still has little to no yield (negative yields in some countries) to offset the abundance of risks – liquidity, duration and spread risks to name a couple. After 10 years, there are managers and firms whose success is in large part to risks taken in one trade – to be long fixed income and front run central bank policies.  But someone forgot to tell them this trade is over.  Large balance sheets continue to trade the bond market in a monopolistic, high volume basis hoping for some large issues to drive yields lower and generate pricing gains to offset such limited yields.  If investors are hoping for an economic slowdown, lower levels of inflation, geopolitical risk or even a government shutdown to help drive yields, maybe they shouldn’t be in the trade to begin with. These are the bigger fool theory motivators to lower yields.  Yields are now lower than prior cycles of recession, depression, war or pretty much any other risk this country has ever experienced.  You can experience any and all of these risks and still have a probability yields shoot higher, not lower. But some say inflation is slowing down and that must be good for bonds.  Normally bonds trade 200 to 300 basis points – or 2 to 3% above the level of inflation.  Since inflation is currently around 2%, inflation has to go to -1% to bring bonds somewhat close to fair value.   With health care and housing costs jumping and expected to continue to show above average price increases, the chances of deflation – even with all the lower biased adjustments our inflation statistics go through – is minimal. Comically, others say the debt ceiling debate is a source of volatility so own bonds for the flight to quality trade.  So we reach our debt ceiling and have difficulties paying our bills – and that’s good for bonds??? It’s apparent that the Fed and other notable officials see the potential of a bond bubble deflating rapidly and the potential impact on the real economy.  They have been trying to deflate it slowly by adjusting the Fed Funds rate off of zero and announcing a reduction in accumulated balance sheet.  This week, the NY Federal Reserve President William Dudley said that he expects another Federal Funds rate increase this year.  And Alan Greenspan, the former Federal Reserve chairman, has continued to express the risks to the markets from the bond bubble that has not corrected.  Sadly, bonds have yet to respond.  Should the Fed be doing more to prepare the markets?   They talked and manipulated yields lower with unprecedented Fed policy.  Should they have been doing the opposite years ago when the systemic risks were corrected?  The Fed wants to be the life of the party, but not the chaperone.  Since they have refused to take the punchbowl away from the party in a reasonable amount of time, the hangover is going to be a bad one this time.   by Michael Carino, Greenwich Endeavors, 8/16/17 Michael Carino is the CEO of Greenwich Endeavors, a financial service firm, and has been a fund manager and owner for more than 20 years.  He has positions that benefit from a normalized bond market and higher yield    

16 августа, 19:23

The Two Things To Look For In Today's FOMC Minutes

There are two, also known as non-GAAP four, things to look forward to in today's FOMC Minutes: inflation, and balance sheet, balance sheet, balance sheet. At 2pm, the FOMC will release the minutes of the July 25-26 meeting when, as expected, the Fed left its rate unchanged and gave few surprises in its characterization of the outlook. It did surprise many, however, by noting that it expects to begin implementing balance sheet normalization "relatively soon", language which most had not expected to be introduced until September; this, as UBS notes, is the condition the FOMC set for unwinding its balance sheet, so we now see the Fed announcing its balance sheet normalization policy in September. While there will be no earthshattering revelations, look to the Minutes to shed additional light on the Committee's debate on this timing and views on the outlook for inflation, which will determine future rate hikes. Going back to the July 26 statement, the FOMC's characterization of inflation was uninformative, merely reflecting the softness in the last several prints. In the minutes, some hope to find if the language reflects strongly held views that the softness is transitory, or if there were participants that wanted to raise more alarm about the inflationary outlook, but were outnumbered. Chair Yellen has been explicit that the outlook for inflation will determine the timing of future rate hikes. Leading up to the meeting, Fed officials were explicit that they believe that inflation weakness is transitory but that they need to see evidence that inflation is rising before hiking again. Further complicating matters, the July CPI print - the fifth miss in a row - did not provide sufficient evidence. As a result, the breadth of inflation views within the Committee should inform the sellside's calls on the next hike. As for the Fed's balance sheet "normalization", the Fed has made a distinction between announcing and implementing the balance sheet runoff. The new "relatively soon" language represents a marker that the announcement is forthcoming, according to UBS. As a result, the FOMC will likely make that announcement at the September meeting, with runoff commencing in October. The Minutes need to clarify the Committee's communication plans and the gap between announcement and implementation. There is more ambiguity regarding whether the Fed will again raise rates: while many still hold out hope for a third hike in December, inflation has to accelerate. Still, the Committee likely desires some time between the announcement of balance sheet runoff and its next hike. Three months should be sufficient for the Committee to assess the market reaction, but the Minutes may indicate otherwise so this too will be closely parsed for any indication of a longer pause. Finally, two areas demand more information. First, how will the Fed time the unwind? The MBS market has a different cycle than the Treasury market. The Fed needs to clarify operational details around their monthly caps. Second, there is little information from the Fed on its long-term framework for the balance sheet, which will determine the terminal size of the balance sheet. We expect the minutes to address the operational details, but not the terminal size of the balance sheet. We expect a terminal balance sheet of $3.3 trillion reached in 2¾ years. Not enough? Here is RanSquawk's detailed preview of what to expect in today's Minutes: FOMC’s July 2017 Meeting Minutes Preview, Due For Release At 19:00 London, 14:00 New York On Wednesday 16th August 2017   The July meeting saw the Federal Reserve leave it Federal Funds target range unchanged at 1.00-1.25%, with a 9-0 vote. Heading into the decision focus was on the rhetoric surrounding the normalisation of the FOMC’s balance sheet, and the policy statement (full version available here) noted that the Committee expects to begin shrinking its balance sheet "relatively soon." The statement also saw the Fed highlight that it expected inflation on a “12-month basis” to remain below 2% in the near-term (which was deemed dovish), although the statement did go on to highlight that the FOMC expects inflation to stabilise around 2% over the medium term.   The language surrounding these two areas will once again garner the most attention in the upcoming release. Barclays expect the minutes of the July FOMC meeting to “provide further information regarding the timing of balance sheet normalisation and the degree of consensus within the committee.”   While HSBC believe that “the July minutes are likely to show extensive discussion about the slowdown in inflation over the past several months. Some of the policymakers likely held to the view that diminishing labour market slack should eventually put upward pressure on inflation. Others may have argued the FOMC should be cautious with respect to additional policy rate hikes unless the inflation data start to pick up.”   Since the statement various FOMC voters, namely Dudley, Kashkari, Evans and Kaplan, have indicated that they would be comfortable with an announcement regarding balance sheet normalisation being made at the September meeting, while non-voters (including Bullard) have also backed such a move.   In terms of broader policy issues, the most recent US CPI release (for July) was soft and saw CME Fed Fund futures pricing in a sub 35% chance of one further 25bps hike in 2017, with Kashkari (a noted dove)  arguing that the release gave the FOMC more scope to “wait and see” before hiking rates again. This was before permanent Fed voter, Bill Dudley, suggested that “if the economy evolves in line with expectations, I would expect to be in favour of doing another rate hike later this year.” This was followed by a strong retail sales dataset (with upwards revisions), which has led to CME Fed Fund futures pricing a circa 50% chance of a 25bps hike by year end (at the time of writing).   Barclays believe that “balance sheet normalization will likely start in September and the hurdle is quite high for the FOMC to deviate from what it has been signalling so far. We will also look for more detail on how concerned the FOMC is with the incoming data on inflation. Although we think concern has risen, we do not believe there is sufficient worry yet to derail a likely December rate hike. Source: UBS, RanSquawk

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16 августа, 18:57

How Central Banking Increased Inequality

Authored by Louis Rouanet via The Mises Institute, Although today high levels of inequality in the United States remain a pressing concern for a large swath of the population, monetary policy and credit expansion are rarely mentioned as a likely source of rising wealth and income inequality. Focusing almost exclusively on consumer price inflation, many economists have overlooked the redistributive effects of money creation through other channels. One of these channels is asset price inflation and the growth of the financial sector. The rise in income inequality over the past 30 years has to a significant extent been the product of monetary policies fueling a series of asset price bubbles. Whenever the market booms, the share of income going to those at the very top increases. When the boom goes bust, that share drops somewhat, but then it comes roaring back even higher with the next asset bubble. The Cantillon Effect The redistributive effects of money creation were called Cantillon effects by Mark Blaug after the Franco-Irish economist Richard Cantillon who experienced the effect of inflation under the paper money system of John Law at the beginning of the 18th century. Cantillon explained that the first ones to receive the newly created money see their incomes rise whereas the last ones to receive the newly created money see their purchasing power decline as consumer price inflation comes about. Following Cantillon and contrary to Fisher and other monetary theorists of his time, Ludwig von Mises was the first to emphasized these Cantillon effects in terms of marginal utility analysis. With an increase in the stock of money, the cash balances of the early receivers of the newly created money increase. Correspondingly, the marginal utility they give to money decreases and the individuals in question buy either investment or consumption goods, thus bidding up the prices of those goods and increasing the cash balances of their sellers. With this step by step process, the price of goods will increase only progressively and affect both the distribution of income and wealth as well as the different price ratios. Financialization, Asset Price Inflation and Inequality In accordance with the Cantillon effect, inflation can increase inequality depending on the channel it takes, but increasing inequality is not a necessary consequence of inflation. If it happened that the poorest in society were the first receivers of the newly created money, then inflation could very well be the cause of decreasing inequality. Under modern central banking however, money is created and injected into the economy through the credit channel and first affects financial markets. Under this system, commercial banks and other financial institutions are not only the first receivers of the newly created money but are also the main producers of credit money. This is so because banks can grant loans unbacked by base money. In a free-banking system, this credit creation power of banks is strictly limited by competition and the clearing process. Under central banking however, the need for reserves is relaxed as banks can either sell financial assets to the central bank in open market operations, or the central bank can grant loans to banks at relatively low interest rates. In both cases, central banks remove the limits of credit expansion by determining the total reserves in the banking system. In other words, commercial banks and other financial institutions are credited with so-called base money that has not existed before. Thus, the economics of Cantillon effects tells us that financial institutions benefit disproportionately from money creation, since they can purchase more goods, services, and assets for still relatively low prices. This conclusion is backed by numerous empirical illustrations. For instance, the financial sector contributed massively to the growth of billionaire’s wealth (see table below). We can list four main reasons why the growth of financial markets is triggered by an expansion of the money supply: (1) because financial titles are often used as collateral in debt contracts; (2) because the anticipation of price-inflation, which is a common trait among all fiat money regimes, discourages the hoarding of money thus encouraging both the demand for and the supply of financial titles; (3) because the production of money through central banks is a matter of sheer human will and is therefore prone to developing moral-hazard in the financial world. This leads to an artificially high demand for financial titles and increases the supply of such titles by the same token. And (4) because the manipulation of credit by central banks and banks, by lowering the interest rate in the short run, particularly affects the demand for capital and the capital structure during the course of the business cycle. One of the most visible consequence of this growth of financial markets triggered by monetary expansion is asset price inflation. In a completely sound money system where credit only depends on the amount of saving rather than on fiduciary credit, there is very little room for generalized and persistent asset-price inflation as the amount of funds which can be used to purchase assets is strictly limited. In other words, the phenomenon of asset-price inflation is a child of credit inflation. Asset price inflation in turn benefit mostly the richest in society for several reasons. First, the wealthy tend to own more financial assets than the poor in proportion to his income. Second, it is easier for the richest individuals to contract debt in order to buy shares that can be sold later at a profit. Since credit easing lowers the interest rate and therefore funding costs, the profits made by selling inflated assets bought at credit will be even greater. Finally, asset price inflation coming with the growth of financial markets will benefit the workers, managers, traders, etc. working in the financial sector. It will also benefit the CEO's of the publicly traded companies who will be paid more as the capitalization value of their company increases. Hence, the correlation between asset prices and income inequality has been, as expected, very strong. However, most monetary economists ignored — and continue to ignore — asset-price inflation and do not see it as a consequence of an inflated money supply. A reader of A Monetary History of the US (1963) by Friedman and Schwartz or of Allan Meltzer's A History of the Federal Reserve (2004) will not find one mention of asset price inflation. This oversight leads to the effects of inflation on inequality to be underestimated or ignored. Periods of growing inequality and monetary inflation such as the 1920's or the 2000's were associated with a high rate of asset-price inflation but relatively stable consumer prices. Therefore, to focus on consumer price inflation as the only variable accounting for monetary policy leaves out most of the effects of money creation on inequality. Since the 2008 financial crisis, the so-called unconventional monetary policies have often been justified on the ground that something must be done in the short run since, as would have said J.M. Keynes, "In the long run, we are all dead." But as our monetary system tends to increase inequality, and if the goal is to improve the standards of living of the least well-off in society, then central banking and artificial monetary creation may be more costly than usually assumed by policy-makers.

16 августа, 13:51

Global Stocks Rise Amid Unexpected ECB "Trial Balloon"; Dollar Flat Ahead Of Fed Minutes

European markets continued their risk-on mood in early trading for the third day, rising to the highest in over a week and rallying from the open led by mining stocks as industrial metals spike higher after zinc forwards hit highest level since 2007, lifting copper and nickel. The EUR sold off sharply, boosting local bond and risk prices after the previously discussed Reuters "trial balloon" report that Draghi's speech at Jackson Hole would not announce the start of the ECB's taper. The EURUSD has found support at yesterdays session low. Bunds have rallied in tandem before gilts drag core fixed income markets lower after U.K. wages data surprises to the upside. Early EUR/JPY push higher through 130.00 supports USD/JPY to come within range of 111.00. In Asia, Japan’s JGB curve was mildly steeper after the BOJ continued to reduce its purchases of 5-to-10-yr JGBs; the move was consistent with the BOJ's desire to cut back whenever markets stabilize, according to Takenobu Nakashima, strategist at Nomura Securities Co. in Tokyo. The yen is little changed after rising just shy of 111 overnight. The S.Korean Kospi is back from holiday with gains; The PBOC weakened daily yuan fixing; injects a net 180 billion yuan with reverse repos; the Hang Seng index rose 0.9%, while the Shanghai Composite closed -0.2% lower. Dalian iron ore declines one percent. Japan’s Topix index closed little changed. South Korea’s Kospi index rose 0.6 percent, reopening after a holiday. The Hang Seng Index added 0.8 percent in Hong Kong, while the Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.2 percent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index advanced 0.5 percent. Singapore’s Straits Times Index was Asia’s worst performer on Wednesday, falling as much as 1.1 percent, as banks and interest-rate sensitive stocks dropped. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 0.7%, the highest in a week.  The MSCI All-Country World Index increased 0.3%. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index gained 0.6%. Germany’s DAX Index jumped 0.8% to the highest in more than a week. Futures on the S&P 500 Index climbed 0.2% to the highest in a week. Global markets are finally settling down after a tumultuous few days spurred by heightened tensions between the U.S. and North Korea. Miners and construction companies led the way as every sector of the Stoxx Europe 600 advanced as core bonds across the region declined. Crude gained for the first time in three days after industry data was said to show U.S. inventories tumbled 9.2 million barrels last week. U.S. stock-index futures rise slightly with European and Asian equities and oil. Data include MBA mortgage applications and housing starts. Cisco, Target, L Brands and NetApp are among companies reporting earnings. Italian banks also outperform after HSBC make positive comments on Intesa Sanpaolo and Unicredit. In overnight macro, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was unchanged after two days of gains and Treasury yields edged higher as European stocks rose and investors awaited minutes of the Fed’s July 25-26 meeting. As shown in the chart below, after "Long USD" was seen as the "most crowded traded" for months until the start of Q2, the BofA Fund Manager Survey respondents now "Short USD" as the second most crowded trade. In Asia The yen slid a third day against the dollar as market participants positioned themselves ahead of the FOMC minutes and as geopolitical tensions on North Korea abated; Australia’s dollar gained for the first time in three days as traders covered short positions after second-quarter wage data matched estimates, boosting prospects of an upbeat July employment print this week. The pound rose against the dollar as a U.K. labor-market report showed wage growth exceeded the median estimate of economists and unemployment unexpectedly dropped to the lowest since 1975. The latest European data released overnight showed more nations joined the recovery as the euro-area economy gathers pace. Italy’s economy expanded for a 10th straight quarter, matching estimates of a 0.4% increase while growth in the Netherlands beat economists’ estimates. Eastern European economies including Romania, the Czech Republic and Poland also exceeded expectations, confirming that a broad-based recovery is taking hold. In rates, the yield on 10-year Treasuries climbed one basis point to 2.28 percent, the highest in more than two weeks.  Germany’s 10-year yield increased three basis points to 0.46 percent, the highest in more than a week. Britain’s 10-year yield gained four basis points to 1.121 percent, the highest in more than a week. In today's key event, minutes from the Fed meeting will be parsed closely; policy makers have indicated they may announce plans to reduce the central bank’s balance sheet in September and then potentially raise interest rates again this year. Global Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures up 0.2% to 2,468.90 STOXX Europe 600 up 0.8% to 379.51 MSCI Asia up 0.2% to 158.83 MSCI Asia ex Japan up 0.5% to 523.28 Nikkei down 0.1% to 19,729.28 Topix down 0.01% to 1,616.00 Hang Seng Index up 0.9% to 27,409.07 Shanghai Composite down 0.2% to 3,246.45 Sensex up 0.7% to 31,664.31 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.5% to 5,785.10 Kospi up 0.6% to 2,348.26 German 10Y yield rose 1.5 bps to 0.448% Euro down 0.2% to $1.1717 Italian 10Y yield rose 2.5 bps to 1.756% Spanish 10Y yield fell 0.4 bps to 1.469% Brent futures up 0.7% to $51.16/bbl Gold spot down 0.06% to $1,270.71 U.S. Dollar Index up 0.09% to 93.94 Overnight Top News The FOMC minutes may provide a better feel for how many policy makers remain resolved to raise interest rates again this year, and how many are wavering amid a five-month stretch of soft inflation reports Akzo Nobel NV and activist investor Elliott Management agreed to end their legal skirmishes that had dragged the two parties into acrimonious confrontations, giving new Chief Executive Officer Thierry Vanlancker some breathing space to proceed with a planned split of the Dutch paint-and-chemicals maker Uber Technologies Inc. is in exclusive talks to line up funding from four investors, but a deal, which could reach as much as $12 billion, hangs on the outcome of a courtroom brawl between two board members Apollo sweetened terms on nearly $1.8 billion of financing for its buyout of a golf country-club operator after investors pushed back on some of its plans The main derivatives trade group is considering industrywide fixes for the disarray that the demise of Libor could bring to more than $350 trillion of markets China reclaimed its position as the top foreign owner of U.S. Treasuries after increasing its holdings for the fifth straight month UBS Group AG is proposing to charge clients about $40,000 a year to access basic equity research once new regulations known as MiFID II come into effect in January Fed’s Fischer: Will probably be a break between announcement of unwinding of QE and the start of the process; Fed could always press pause if unanticipated circumstances arise: FT ECB President Mario Draghi will not deliver a new policy message at the Fed’s Jackson Hole conference, Reuters reports, citing two unidentified people familiar with the situation Efforts to loosen constraints on banks 10 years after financial crisis are "dangerous and extremely short-sighted," Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer says in FT interview Kaplan repeats Fed should be patient on timing of next hike; should start balance sheet unwind very soon ECB’s Hansson: Wage pressures are beginning to emerge despite low inflation in the euro area but are “very uneven” across the bloc Trump Again Drags GOP Onto Dangerous Ground, This Time Over Race Euro-area GDP rose 0.6% q/q in 2Q, in line with the median estimate of economists, and was supported by continued growth in Germany, the region’s largest economy, and the strongest Spanish performance in almost two years Holders of credit-default swaps in Banco Popular Espanol SA still haven’t been compensated after the bank’s junior notes were wiped out in Europe’s first forced sale of a failing lender under its new resolution regime German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble doesn’t share opinion of German Federal Constitutional Court about ECB policy, Handelsblatt reports Bank of Japan cut purchases of bonds maturing in five to 10 years by 30 billion yen ($270 million) to 440 billion yen at its regular debt-buying operations on Wednesday The 220 billion-krone ($28 billion) Government Pension Fund Norway, the domestic counterpart of the country’s sovereign wealth fund, is cutting risk as big active bets have lost their luster API inventories according to people familiar w/data: Crude -9.2m; Cushing +1.7m; Gasoline +0.3m; Distillates -2.1m BOJ cuts purchases of 5-to-10 year bonds by 30 billion yen Urban Outfitters Gains After Smaller Chains Prop Up Results Netflix Co-Founder to Sell Ads to Pay for $10 Movie Pass Italian Economy Expands, Boosting Optimism on Recovery Asia equity markets followed from the indecisive tone seen on Wall Street where quiet newsflow kept stocks rangebound. This resulted to a mixed picture in Asia with the ASX 200 (+0.48%) subdued by several earnings releases, while Nikkei 225 (-0.12%) traded choppy amid a lack of drivers. KOSPI (+0.60%) welcomed the reduced geopolitical tensions on return from holiday, while Shanghai Comp (-0.15%) and Hang Seng (+0.86%) were mixed after lending declined from the prior month and although still surpassed estimates, it was another notch to add to the recent slew of softer Chinese data releases. 10yr JGBs were marginally higher amid an indecisive risk tone in the region, although gains were capped amid a reserved Rinban announcement in which the BoJ continued to reduce its purchases of 5yr-10yr maturities.PBoC injected CNY 150bln in 7-day reverse repos and CNY 130bln in 14-day reverse repos. PBoC set CNY mid-point at 6.6779 (Prey. 6.6689). Top Asian News Thailand Keeps Key Rate Unchanged as It Warns of Baht Risk Taiwan President Apologizes for Blackout Affecting Millions Ex-Nomura Man Exiled in Chicago Goes Hostile at Tiny Japan Firms As Good as It Gets: Iron Ore Risks a Reversal as China Cools China Honqqiao Seals Citic Stake and Confirms Capacity Cuts Institutional Investors Oppose Hong Kong’s Dual-Class Share Plan Vietnam Rubber Group Expects to Hold IPO in Dec. European equities have traded higher across the board (Eurostoxx 50 +0.8%) since the get-go despite a quiet start to the session with sentiment later bolstered by the latest ECB source reports. Gains on a sector specific stand-point have been relatively broad-based with materials recovering from recent losses. The most notable individual mover has been AP Moller Maersk (+2%) who initially opened lower amid disappointing earnings before reversing course after the CEO managed to provide an upbeat commentary on the Co. Source reports indicate that ECB Draghi will not deliver fresh policy message at Jackson Hole and wants to hold off on debate until Autumn. Paper was initially hampered by the modest upside in European equities before European bonds were supported by the aforementioned ECB source reports. Peripheral bonds used the source reports as an opportunity to tighten to their core counterparts given the potential for more accommodative monetary policy. However, prices overall then began to reverse once again as UK Gilts dragged paper lower in the wake of the promising UK jobs report. Top European News Euro Whipsaws on Report Draghi May Hold Off at Jackson Hole Aviva, China Resources Are Said to Mull U.K. Wind Farm Bids Derivatives Group Looks at Industrywide Cure for Libor’s Demise U.K. Wage Growth Beats Forecasts But Still Lags Inflation Zinc Smashes Through $3,000 Barrier as Metals Rally Gathers Pace Danone ‘Extreme’ Cost Actions May Hamper Volume Recovery: Citi In overnight currency markets, the GBP has once again been a key source of focus for markets amid the latest UK jobs report. GBP was bolstered and approached 1.2900 to the upside amid the firmer than expected earnings numbers, unexpected fall in unemployment rate and fall in the claimant count rates; albeit wages still lag inflation by quite a distance. Elsewhere, EUR has faced some selling-pressure (EUR/USD back below 1.1750) in the wake of the latest ECB source comments with sources suggesting that Draghi will not use next week's Jackson Hole Symposium to communicate a change in stance with markets and will instead hold-off until the Autumn. Elsewhere, the USD remains relatively steady with markets awaiting the latest FOMC minutes release. Yesterday saw the greenback outperform after strong retail sales data, which took the spot rate above 94.00 briefly. This morning, the USD-index is relatively flat, which may well be the case for much of the day ahead of the FOMC minutes later this evening. AUD firmer amid cross related buying AUD/NZD which broke back above 1.08, subsequently taking the spot above 0.7850. Wage price index remaining firm, which also comes ahead of tonight's employment figures, of note, large options are keeping AUD anchored with 1.86b1n at 0.7830 and 910mln at 0.7875. Attention will be placed on both CAD and MXN as NAFTA renegotiations get underway, as it stands the Trump administration aim to shrink the rising trade deficit with Mexico and tighten the rules of origin for cars and parts. Elsewhere, CAD is slightly firmer as oil prices stabilise following last night's sizeable drawdown in the API report. Commodity markets have seen WTI and Brent crude futures hold onto gains seen in the wake of last night's API report which revealed a notable 9.155m1n draw (and came in the context of last week's 7.839m1n draw). Elsewhere, Gold has been modestly hampered by the broad risk-sentiment with markets also keeping half an eye out for tonight's FOMC minutes release. Overnight, mild short-covering helped copper pare some of yesterday's losses. Looking at the day ahead, preliminary 2Q GDP stats for the Eurozone (0.6% qoq, 2.1% yoy expected) and Italy (0.4% qoq and 1.5% yoy expected) are due this morning. Then for UK, we have the July jobless claims and claimant count rate and the June ILO unemployment data (4.5% expected). Across the pond, we get the FOMC meeting minutes along with the July housing starts (1,225k expected) and MBA mortgage applications stats. Onto other events, the NAFTA talks between US, Canada and Mexico kicks off in Washington today. Furthermore, Target and Cisco will report their results today. Looking at the day ahead, we get the FOMC meeting minutes along with the July housing starts (1,225k expected) and MBA mortgage applications stats. Onto other events, the NAFTA talks between US, Canada and Mexico kicks off in Washington today. Furthermore, Target and Cisco will report their results today. US Event Calendar 7am: MBA Mortgage Applications, prior 3.0% 8:30am: Housing Starts, est. 1.22m, prior 1.22m; Housing Starts MoM, est. 0.41%, prior 8.3% 8:30am: Building Permits, est. 1.25m, prior 1.25m; Building Permits MoM, est. -1.96%, prior 7.4% 2pm: FOMC Meeting Minutes DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap Although I'm generally a bit more relaxed about the UK's future post Brexit than most of my colleagues in research, I was amused at a comment on twitter yesterday in light of the UK's decision to silence London's iconic Big Ben for 4 years as of next Monday as repairs are made. The comment suggested that how could the UK Parliament expect repairs of a clock to take 4 years while expecting whole Brexit negotiations to be done in 18 months? A fair point. So if you're a regular visitor to London don't expect to hear any bongs for the next few years. Apparently it's all about health and safety for the ears of the repairers. Thankfully after last night, hopefully Liverpool will still be in Europe for a few more weeks and months whatever happens with our negotiations. Talking of Brexit and DB research, yesterday Oliver Harvey updated his thoughts after the UK government released a position paper on customs arrangements after Brexit. The paper clarifies that UK intends to remain part of the EU customs union in all but name after March 2019 for a time-limited transitional period. Further, it sets out two potential options for the UK’s future customs relationship with the EU27, one involving a hard border and the other proposing a new and untested  customs partnership arrangement. Harvey notes the paper fails to address future trade in services, or the apparent contradiction between desire for unchanged customs arrangements during a transitional deal and PM May’s stated red line on ECJ jurisdiction after March 2019. Moreover, he argues that the absence of any mention of legal enforceability and product standards is particularly puzzling as non-tariff barriers are typically a larger obstacle to trade than tariffs and the need to ensure harmonized regulatory standards during a transitional deal and afterwards will be one of the key challenges for policymaking. More details here The fact that we haven't yet mentioned North Korea suggests that it was another day of no news which is obviously good for markets. The unpredictability of the main players in this stand-off mean that markets will likely want a fair few days of more calm before they return markets back to their pre "fire and fury" tweet levels. Having said that we saw equities generally edge higher yesterday with larger increases in bond yields. The UST 10y was up 5bps overnight, following the higher than expected retail sales data (discussed later). Core European government bond yields also increased c3bps at the longer end of the curve, with Bunds (2Y: +1bp; 10Y: +3bps) and OATs (2Y: +2bps; 10Y: +3bps) reversing some of the recent safe haven move. Gilts outperformed a little (2Y: +1bp; 10Y: +1bps), following the lower than expected July inflation data (discussed later). Elsewhere, peripheral bond yields also increased with Italian BTPs (2Y: +2bps; 10Y: +4bps) and Portugal (2Y: +1bps; 10Y: +4bps) slightly under performing. This morning in Asia, markets are generally slightly higher with China underperforming. The Nikkei (+0.02%), Kospi (+0.5%), Hang Seng (+0.4%) are higher with Chinese bourses ranging from -0.3% to +0.2% as we type. Back to the markets yesterday, US equities were broadly unchanged, with the S&P (-0.1%), the Dow (+0.02%) and the Nasdaq (-0.1%) taking a breather after yesterday's rally. Within the S&P, modest gains in the utilities and consumer staples sector were broadly offset by losses in Telco (-1%) and consumer discretionary (-0.9%) names. European markets were slightly higher, with the Stoxx 600 up 0.1%, the DAX (+0.1%) and both the FTSE and CAC up 0.4%. Within the Stoxx, modest gains in utilities (+0.5%) and health care were largely offset by losses in energy and materials. Turning to currency, the USD dollar index gained 0.5%, following the stronger than expected retail sales data. Conversely, the Euro/USD fell 0.4%, but Sterling/ USD fell a bit more (-0.7%), impacted by the UK’s inflation data. Elsewhere, Euro/Sterling continues to gain (+0.4%), up for the fourth consecutive day and edging higher again this morning, effectively marking the highest point since November 09. In commodities, WTI oil was broadly flat yesterday but is up 0.4% this morning following API reporting lower US crude inventories. Elsewhere, gold fell 0.8% and silver was down 2.6%, while the industrial metals were little changed (Copper -0.1%; Aluminium -1.3%). Agricultural commodities were broadly softer this morning, with corn (-0.1%), wheat and soybeans (-0.2%), cotton (-0.9%), sugar (-2.7%) and coffee (-3.5%). Away from markets, the IMF has revised up China’s growth outlook compared to last year’s report, now expecting the growth between 2017 and 2021 to average 6.4% (vs. 6% previous), partly given that China continues to transition to a more sustainable growth path and reforms have advanced across a wide domain. The paper also noted that given the solid growth momentum, now is the time to intensify deleveraging efforts and boost domestic consumption. The report expects non-financial sector debt (includes household, corporate and government) to continue to rise strongly, up from 242% of GDP in 2016 to ~300% by 2022, which raises concerns for a possible sharp decline in growth in the medium term. The minutes for the July FOMC meeting will be out later today, our US economists expect the Committee to remain on course to announce the commencement of its balance sheet unwind at the September 20 meeting. However, there is likely to be a healthy debate regarding the inflation outlook as several policymakers have indicated that improvement in near-term inflation trends will be crucial to the prospects of another interest rate hike by year end. Elsewhere, the Trump administration has made no decision yet to stop or continue making payments to insurers (cost sharing reduction) to help lowincome people to afford their Obamacare plans. That said, the Congressional budget office did indicate that ending such payments could raise billions of dollars over the next decade for the government. Before we take a look at today’s calendar, we wrap up with other data releases from yesterday. In the US, macro data were broadly stronger than expected. The July retail sales were materially higher than expected, both at the headline and core level. Headline was 0.6% mom (vs. 0.3% consensus, but in line with DB’s forecast) and ex-auto was 0.5% mom (vs. 0.3% expected). Notably, these readings also follow positive revisions to the prior month. The July result together with revisions means that through-year growth improved across all aggregates, with ex-auto spending up 3.8% yoy. Elsewhere, the empire manufacturing survey came in at 25.2 (vs. 10.0 expected), the best reading since September 2014, the NAHB housing market index was 68 (vs. 64 expected). The June business inventories was slightly higher than expected at 0.5% mom (vs. 0.4%) and July import price index was in line at 0.1% mom. Over in Germany, the preliminary 2Q GDP was lower than expected at 0.6% qoq (vs. 0.7% expected). However, this follows a positive +0.1% revision to the 1Q reading, leaving a solid annual growth reading of 2.1% yoy (vs. 1.9% expected). According to DB’s Schneider, both the 1Q and 2Q 2017 readings and the data revisions confirm our story that overheating risks in Germany are on the rise in 2018 and that recent confidence data does not suggest that the German economy will decelerate much in 3Q. In the UK, July inflation data was slightly lower than expected, dampening concerns that high inflation readings might cause the BoE to soon tighten monetary policy settings. CPI was -0.1% mom (vs. 0% expected) and 2.4% yoy for core inflation (vs. 2.5%). However, the July retail price index was slightly ahead at 0.2% mom (vs. 0.1% expected) and 3.6% yoy (vs. 3.5%). Meanwhile pipeline inflation appears to have peaked, with the core PPI outputs index rising 2.4% yoy in July (vs. 2.5% expected), the least since February. Looking at the day ahead, preliminary 2Q GDP stats for the Eurozone (0.6% qoq, 2.1% yoy expected) and Italy (0.4% qoq and 1.5% yoy expected) are due this morning. Then for UK, we have the July jobless claims and claimant count rate and the June ILO unemployment data (4.5% expected). Across the pond, we get the FOMC meeting minutes along with the July housing starts (1,225k expected) and MBA mortgage applications stats. Onto other events, the NAFTA talks between US, Canada and Mexico kicks off in Washington today. Furthermore, Target and Cisco will report their results today.

16 августа, 13:02

Euro Turmoils After ECB Walks Back Draghi Jackson Hole Appearance

Just yesterday morning, we said that with the Euro rising as much as it has in recent months (or is that the dollar tumbling), the ECB's next move could - or should - be to talk down the common currency, instead of carrying the hawkish "bias" Draghi has pushed for the past half year, culminating with the Sintra mini tantrum in which the poor central banker was "misunderstood" by markets. Well, just 24 hours later that's precisely what happened when this morning the EUR turmoiled, first tumbling then regaining all losses after Reuters "trial ballooned" that the much anticipated Draghi presentation at the Fed's Jackson Hole conference in just over a week, where he was widely expected to unveil the ECB's taper, would be a "nothingburger" to use the parlance of our times, and "will not deliver a new policy message" according to two Reuters sources familiar with the situation said, tempering expectations for the bank to start charting the course out of stimulus. Perhaps having finally seen how high the EURUSD has risen, an ECB spokesman told Reuters that Draghi "will focus on the theme of the symposium, fostering a dynamic global economy, in his Aug. 25 remarks, while the sources added that he was keen to hold off on the policy discussion until the autumn, as agreed at the last rate-setting meeting in July. " Well, so much for the narrative set by the WSJ one month ago, which set expectations that Draghi's Jackson Hole address would frontrun the central bank's tapering blueprint. Expectations for the speech had been building in recent weeks with investors pointing to next Friday's event as the likely kick off in the ECB's debate how to recalibrate monetary policy given solid growth, rapidly falling unemployment but persistently weak underlying inflation.    In 2014, the last time Draghi spoke at Jackson Hole, considered the world's top central banking get-together, he laid the foundations for the ECB's quantitative easing scheme, also fuelling expectations for a major speech this year.   "Expectations that this will be a big monetary policy speech are wrong," one of the sources said. As Reuters further adds, another source said while the speech was initially seen as an ideal slot for a major address, "Draghi told rate setters at the last policy meeting that he would honour the Governing Council's decision to hold off on the discussion until the autumn." And in the most amusing twist, Reuters "reports" that Draghi "may have decided to skip the Jackson Hole opportunity as markets interpreted his speech at a similar conference in Sintra, Portugal very differently than the ECB hoped, sending markets on a rollercoaster and instilling an added sense of caution at the bank." Draghi then hoped to strike a balanced tone but noted that better growth would provide increased support to the economy, letting the ECB claw back its own stimulus to keep the overall level of accommodation broadly unchanged.  That was seen as a hawkish message, paving the way to reducing and then ending asset purchases. Uhm, what markets? The one where the ECB now owns 14% of Europe's corporate bond market and 40% of Eurozone GDP in the form of public debt? That's the market that Draghi is complaining about? Or is that the market where the ECB buy billions in Apple stock every quarter. So if not Jackson Hole then when? Policymakers speaking to Reuters on condition of anonymity earlier said that October is the likely date for the most substantial decision given the incoming data schedule, particularly on wages. The ECB's big dilemma is that while the euro zone economy has grown for 17th straight quarters and employment is rising faster than expected, wage growth remains anaemic, keeping a lid on consumer prices.   Economists are now trying to figure out whether wages are showing an unexpectedly delayed response or whether wage setting dynamics may have fundamentally changed in the post-crisis, globalised economy. Following the report, the Euro whipsawed with the EUR/USD rising as much as 0.2% to 1.1758 as BBDXY erased its gains, only to reverse course and slide as low as 1.1692 as cable also dropped, although as Bloomberg then adds, a mix of leveraged and interbank names were seen on the bid in EUR/USD, most likely the ECB once again intervening indirectly in the market it so loudly complains about.

16 августа, 01:05

"Sleepwalking Into An Even Worse Version Of The 1930's Depression"

Authored by Gail Tverberg via Our Finite World blog, World GDP in current US dollars is in some sense the simplest world GDP calculation that a person might make. It is calculated by taking the GDP for each year for each country in the local currency (for example, yen) and converting these GDP amounts to US dollars using the then-current relativity between the local currency and the US dollar. To get a world total, all a person needs to do is add together the GDP amounts for all of the individual countries. There is no inflation adjustment, so comparing GDP growth amounts calculated on this basis gives an indication regarding how the world economy is growing, inclusive of inflation. Calculation of GDP on this basis is also inclusive of changes in relativities to the US dollar. What has been concerning for the last couple of years is that World GDP on this basis is no longer growing robustly. In fact, it may even have started shrinking, with 2014 being the peak year. Figure 1 shows world GDP on a current US dollar basis, in a chart produced by the World Bank. Figure 1. World GDP in “Current US Dollars,” in chart from World Bank website. Since the concept of GDP in current US dollars is not a topic that most of us are very familiar with, this post, in part, is an exploration of how GDP and inflation calculations on this basis fit in with other concepts we are more familiar with. As I look at the data, it becomes clear that the reason for the downturn in Current US$ GDP is very much related to topics that I have been writing about. In particular, it is related to the fall in oil prices since mid-2014 and to the problems that oil producers have been having since that time, earning too little profit on the oil they sell. A similar problem is affecting natural gas and coal, as well as some other commodities. These low prices, and the deflation that they are causing, seem to be flowing through to cause low world GDP in current US dollars. Figure 2. Average per capita wages computed by dividing total “Wages and Salaries” as reported by US BEA by total US population, and adjusting to 2016 price level using CPI-Urban. Average inflation adjusted oil price is based primarily on Brent oil historical oil price as reported by BP, also adjusted by CPI-urban to 2016 price level. While energy products seem to be relatively small compared to world GDP, in fact, they play an outsized role. This is the case partly because the use of energy products makes GDP growth possible (energy provides heat and movement needed for industrial processes), and partly because an increase in the price of energy products indirectly causes an increase in the price of other goods and services. This growth in prices makes it possible to use debt to finance goods and services of all types. A decrease in the price of energy products has both positive and negative impacts. The major favorable effect is that the lower prices allow the GDPs of oil importers, such as the United States, European Union, Japan, and China, to grow more rapidly. This is the effect that has predominated so far. The negative impacts appear more slowly, so we have seen less of them so far. One such negative impact is the fact that these lower prices tend to produce deflation rather than inflation, making debt harder to repay. Another negative impact is that lower prices (slowly) push companies producing energy products toward bankruptcy, disrupting debt in a different way. A third negative impact is layoffs in affected industries. A fourth negative impact is lower tax revenue, particularly for oil exporting countries. This lower revenue tends to lead to cutbacks in governmental programs and to disruptions similar to those seen in Venezuela. In this post, I try to connect what I am seeing in the new data (GDP in current US$) with issues I have been writing about in previous posts. It seems to me that there is no way that oil and other energy prices can be brought to an adequate price level because we are reaching an affordability limit with respect to energy products. Thus, world GDP in current dollars can be expected to stay low, and eventually decline to a lower level. Thus, we seem to be encountering peak GDP in current dollars. Furthermore, in the years ahead the negative impacts of lower oil and other energy prices can be expected to start predominating over the positive impacts. This change can be expected to lead to debt-related financial problems, instability of governments of oil exporters, and falling energy consumption of all kinds.   Peak Per Capita Energy Consumption Is Part of the Problem, Too One problem that makes our current situation much worse than it might otherwise be is the fact that world per capita energy consumption seems to have hit a maximum in 2013 (Figure 3). Figure 3. World Daily Per Capita Energy Consumption, based on primary energy consumption from BP Statistical Review of World Energy and 2017 United Nations population estimates. Surprisingly, this peak in consumption occurred before oil and other energy prices collapsed, starting in mid-2014. At these lower prices, a person would think that consumers could afford to buy more energy goods per person, not fewer. Per capita energy consumption should be rising with lower prices, unless the reason for the fall in prices is an affordability problem. If the drop in prices reflects an affordability problem (wages of most workers are not high enough to buy the goods and services made with energy products, such as homes and cars), then we would expect the pattern we are seeing today–low oil and other energy prices, together with falling per capita consumption. If the reason for falling per capita energy consumption is an affordability problem, then there is little hope that prices will rise sufficiently to fix our current problem. One consideration supporting the hypothesis that we are really facing an affordability problem is the fact that in recent years, energy prices have been too low for companies producing oil and other energy products. Since 2015, hundreds of oil, natural gas, and coal companies have gone bankrupt. Saudi Arabia has had to borrow large amounts of money to fund its budget, because at current prices, tax revenues are too low to fund it. In the United States, investors are cutting back on their support for oil investment, because of the continued financial losses of the companies and evidence that approaches for mitigating these losses are not really working. Which Countries Are Suffering Falling GDP in Current US Dollars? With lower oil prices, Saudi Arabia is one of the countries with falling GDP in Current US$. Figure 4. Increase in GDP since 1990 for Saudi Arabia in current US dollars, based on World Bank Data. Saudi Arabia pegs its currency to the dollar, so its lower GDP is not because its currency has fallen relative to the US dollar; instead, it reflects a situation in which fewer goods and services of all kinds are being produced, as measured in US dollars. GDP calculations do not consider debt, so Figure 4 indicates that even with all of Saudi Arabia’s borrowing to offset falling oil revenue, the quantity of goods and services it was able to produce fell in both 2015 and 2016. Other oil-producing countries are clearly having problems as well, but data is often missing from the World Bank database for these countries. For example, Venezuela is clearly having problems with low oil prices, but GDP amounts for the country are missing for 2014, 2015, and 2016. (Somehow, world totals seem to include estimates of the total omitted amounts, however.) Figure 5 shows similar ratios to Figure 4 for a number of other commodity producing countries. Figure 5. GDP patterns, in US current dollars, for selected resource exporting countries, based on World Bank data. A comparison of Figures 4 and 5 shows that the GDP patterns for these countries are similar to that of Saudi Arabia. Because resources (including oil) do not account for as large a share of GDP for these countries as for Saudi Arabia, the peak as a percentage of 1990 GDP isn’t quite as high as for Saudi Arabia. But the trend is still downward, with 2014 typically the peak year. We can also look at similar information for the historically big consumers of oil, coal and natural gas, namely the United States, the European Union, and Japan. Figure 6. Increase in GDP since 1990 for the United States, the European Union, and Japan, in current US dollars, based on World Bank data. Here, we find the growth trend is much more subdued than for the countries shown in the previous two charts. I have purposely put the upper limit of the scale of this chart at 6 times the 1990 GDP level. This limit is similar to the upper limit on earlier charts, to emphasize how much more slowly these countries have been growing, compared to the countries shown in Figures 4 and 5. In fact, for the European Union and Japan, GDP in current US$ is now lower than it has been in recent years. Figure 6 is telling us that the goods and services produced in these countries are now lower in US dollar value than they were a few years ago. Since part of the cost of goods and services is used to pay wages, this lower relativity indirectly implies that the wages of workers in the EU and Japan are falling, relative to the cost of buying goods and services priced in US dollars. Thus, even apart from taxes added by these countries, consumers in the EU and Japan have been falling behind in their ability to buy energy products priced in US dollars. Figure 6 indicates that the United States has been doing relatively better than the European Union and Japan, in terms of the value of goods and services produced each year continuing to grow. If we look back at Figure 2, however, we see that even in the US, wage growth has lagged far behind oil price increases. Thus, the US was also likely headed toward an affordability problem relating to goods and services made with oil. The Asian exporting nations have been doing relatively better in keeping their economies growing, despite the downward pressure on energy prices. Figure 7. Increase in GDP since 1990 for selected rapidly growing Asian exporting countries in current US dollars, based on World Bank data. The two most rapidly growing countries are China and Vietnam. There seems to be a recent slowing of their growth rates, but no actual downturn. India, Pakistan, and the Philippines are growing less rapidly. They do not seem to be experiencing any downturn at all. Considering the indications of Figure 4 through 7, it appears that only a relatively small share of countries have experienced rising GDP in current US dollars. Although we have not looked at all possible groupings, the countries that seem to be doing best in terms of rising current US$ GDP are countries that are exporters of manufactured goods, including the Asian countries shown. Countries that derive significant GDP from producing energy products and other commodities seem to be experiencing falling GDP in current US dollars. To fix the problems shown here, we would need to get prices of oil and other energy products back up again. This would indirectly raise prices of many other products as well, including food, new vehicles, and new homes. With lagging wages in many countries, this would seem to be virtually impossible to accomplish. The Wide Range of GDP Indications We See  In this post, I am talking about GDP of various countries, converted to a US$ basis. This is not quite the same as the GDP that we normally read about. It is not until a person starts working with world data that a person appreciates how different the various GDP and inflation calculations are. GDP in US dollars is very important because energy products, including oil, are generally priced in US$. This seems to be true, whether or not the currency used in the actual transaction is US$. See Appendix A for charts showing the close connection between these two items. The type of GDP is generally reported is inflation-adjusted (also called “real”) GDP. The assumption is made that no one will care (very much) about inflation rates. In general, inflation-adjusted GDP figures are much more stable than those in Current US$. This can be seen by comparing world GDP in Figure 8 with that shown in Figure 1. Figure 8. GDP in 2010 US dollars, for the world and for the United States, based on World Bank data. Using inflation-adjusted world GDP data, there doesn’t seem to be any kind of crisis ahead. The last major problem was in the 2008-2009 period. Even the impact of this crisis appears to be fairly small. The 2008-2009 crisis shows up more distinctly in the Current US$ amounts plotted in Figure 1. World GDP growth figures that are published by the World Bank and others combine country by country data using some type of weighting approach. Economists tend to use an approach called Purchasing Power Parity (PPP). This approach gives a great deal more weight to developing nations than the US dollar weighted approach used elsewhere in this post. For example, under the PPP approach, China seems to get a weighting of about 1.9 times its GDP in US$; India seems to get a weighting of about 3.8 times its GDP in US$. The United States gets a weight of 1.0 times its GDP in US$, and the weights for developed nations tend to be fairly close to 1.0 times their GDP in US$. The world GDP we see published regularly should be called “inflation-adjusted world GDP, calculated with PPP weights.” The relationship among the three types of GDP can be seen in Figure 9. It is clear that GDP growth in Current US$ is far more variable than the inflation-adjusted growth rate (in 2010 US$). PPP inflation-adjusted GDP growth is consistently higher than GDP growth with US dollar weighting. Figure 9. World GDP Growth in three alternative measures: Current dollars, Inflation-adjusted GDP is in 2010 US$ and adjusted to purchasing power parity (PPP). It is also clear from Figure 9 that there is also a big “Whoops” in the most recent years. Economic growth is at a record low level, as calculated in Current US$. World “Inflation” Indications The typical way of calculating inflation is by looking at prices of a basket of goods in a particular currency, such as the yen, and seeing how the prices change over a period of time. To get an inflation rate for a group of countries (such as the G-20), inflation rates of various countries are weighted together using some set of weights. My guess is that these weights might be the PPP weights used in calculating world GDP. In Figure 10, I calculate implied world inflation using a different approach. Since the World Bank publishes World GDP both in 2010 US$ and in Current US$, I calculate the implied world inflation rate by comparing these two sets of values. (Some people might call what I am calculating the implicit price deflator for GDP, rather than an inflation rate.) I use three-year averages to smooth out year-to-year variability in these amounts. Figure 10. World inflation rate calculated by comparing reported World GDP in Current US$ to reported World GDP in 2010 US$. Both of these amounts are available at the World Bank website. The implied world inflation rates using this approach are fairly different from published inflation rates. In part, this is because the calculations take into account changing relativities of currencies. There may be other factors as well, such as the inclusion of countries that would not normally be included in aggregations. Inflation rates tend to be high when demand for energy products is high, and low when demand for energy products is low. Figure 10 shows that, on a world basis, there have been negative inflation rates three times since 1963–in approximately 1983-1984; in the late 1990s to early 2000s; and since about 2014. If we compare these dates to the oil price and energy consumption data on Figures 2 and 3, we see that these time periods are ones that are marked by falling per capita energy consumption and by low oil prices. In some sense, these are the time periods when the economy is/was trying to stall, for lack of adequate demand for oil. The workaround used to “fix” the lack of demand in the late 1990s to early 2000s seems to have been an increased focus on globalization. China’s growth in particular was very important, because it added both a rapidly growing supply of cheap energy from coal and a great deal of demand for energy products. The addition of coal effectively lowered the average price of energy products so that they were again affordable by a large share of the world population. The availability of debt to pull the Chinese and other Asian economies forward was no doubt of importance as well. The United States has been fairly protected from much of what has happened because its currency, the US Dollar, is the world’s reserve currency. If we look at the inflation rate of the United States using data of the US Bureau of Economic Analysis, the last time the United States had a substantial period of contracting prices was in the US Depression of the 1930s. It is quite possible that such a situation existed worldwide, but I do not have world data for that period. Figure 11. US inflation rate (really “GDP Deflator”) obtained by comparing US GDP in 2009 US$ to GDP in Current US $, based on US Bureau of Economic Analysis data. It was during the Depression of the 1930s that debt defaults became widespread. It was only through deficit spending, including the significant debt-based funding for World War II, that the problem of inadequate demand for goods and services was completely eliminated. How Do We Solve Our World Deflation Crisis This Time  There seem to be three ways of creating demand for goods and services. [1] A growing supply of cheap-to-produce energy products is really the basic way of increasing demand through economic growth. If there are cheap-to-produce energy products available, a growing supply of these energy products can be used to increasingly leverage human labor, through the use of more and better “tools” for the workers. When workers become increasingly more productive, their wages naturally rise. It is this growing productivity of human labor that generally produces the rising demand needed to maintain the economic growth cycle. As growth in energy consumption slows and then declines (Figure 3), this productivity growth tends to disappear. This seems to be part of today’s problem. [2] Increasing the amount of debt outstanding can work to make the energy extraction system work more effectively, by raising the price that consumers can afford to pay for high-priced goods. This increasing ability to pay for high-priced goods seems to come in two ways: (a) The debt itself can be used to pay for goods, making these goods more affordable on a month-to-month or year-to-year basis. (b) Increased debt can lead to increased wages for wage earners, because some of the increased debt ultimately goes to create new jobs and to pay workers. Figure 12 shows the positive association that increasing debt seems to have with inflation-adjusted wages in the United States. Figure 12. Growth in US Wages vs. Growth in Non-Financial Debt. Wages from US Bureau of Economics “Wages and Salaries.” Non-Financial Debt is discontinued series from St. Louis Federal Reserve. (Note chart does not show a value for 2016.) Both sets of numbers have been adjusted for growth in US population and for growth in CPI Urban. Debt is, in effect, the promise of future goods and services made with energy products. These promises are often helpful in allowing an economy to expand. For example, businesses can issue bonds to provide funds to expand their operations. Selling shares of stock acts in a manner similar to adding debt, with repayment coming from future operations. In both cases, the payback can occur, if energy consumption is in fact growing, allowing the output of the business to expand as planned. Once world leaders decide that debt levels are too high, or need to be controlled better, we are likely headed for trouble, because debt can be very helpful in “pulling the economy forward.” This is especially the case if productivity growth is low because per capita energy consumption is falling. [3] Rebalancing of currency relativities to the US dollar. Rebalancing currencies to different levels relative to the dollar seems to play a major role in determining the “inflation rate” calculated in Figure 10. Currency rebalancing also plays a major role in determining the shape of the GDP graph in current US$, as shown in Figure 1. In general, the higher the average relativity of other currencies to the US$, the higher the demand for goods and services of all kinds, and thus the higher the demand for energy products. One problem in recent years is that, in some sense, the average relativity of other currencies to the US dollar has fallen too low. The fall in relativities took place when the US discontinued its use of Quantitative Easing in late 2014. Figure 13. Monthly Brent oil prices with dates of US beginning and ending QE. The price of oil and of other energy products dropped steeply at that time. In fact, in inflation-adjusted terms, oil prices had been falling even prior to the end of QE. (See Figure 2, above.) The shift in the currency relativities made oil and other energy products more expensive for citizens of the European Union, Japan, and most of the commodity producing countries shown in Figures 4 and 5. The ultimate problem underlying this fall in average relativities to the US dollar is that there is now a disparity between the prices that consumers around the world can afford to pay for energy products, and the prices that businesses producing energy products really need. I have written about this problem in the past, for example in Why Energy-Economy Models Produce Overly Optimistic Indications. At this point, none of the three approaches for solving the world’s deflation problem seem to be working: [1] Increasing the supply of oil and other energy products is not working well, because diminishing returns has led to a situation where if prices are high enough for producers, they are too high for consumers to afford the finished goods made with the energy products.   [2] World leaders have decided that we have too much debt and, indeed, debt levels are very high. In fact, if energy prices continue to be low, a significant amount of debt currently outstanding will probably be defaulted on.   [3] Countries generally don’t want to raise the exchange rates of their currencies to the dollar, because lower exchange rates tend to encourage exports. If the United States raises its interest rates, either directly or by selling its QE bonds, the level of the US dollar can be expected to rise relative to other currencies. Thus, other currencies are likely to fall even lower than they are today, relative to the US dollar. This will tend to make the problem with low oil prices (and other energy prices) even worse than today. Thus, there seems to be no way out of our current predicament. Conclusion The world economy is in a very precarious situation. Many of the world’s economies have found that, measured in current US$, the goods and services they are producing are less valuable than they were in 2013 and 2014. In particular, all of the oil exporting nations have this problem. Many other countries that are producing commodities have the same problem. Governments around the world do not seem to understand the situation we are facing. In large part, this is happening because economists have built models based on their view of how the world works. Their models tend to leave out the important role energy plays. GDP growth and inflation estimates based on PPP calculations give a misleading view of how the economy is actually operating. We seem to be sleepwalking into an even worse version of the Depression of the 1930s. Even if economists were able to figure out what is happening, it is not clear that there would be a good way out. Higher energy prices would aid energy producers, but would push energy importing nations into recession. We seem to be facing a predicament with no solution.

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16 августа, 00:01

Зачем ЦБ изъял с рынка более 1 трлн рублей?

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По итогам вторника Банк России изъял из банковской системы более 1 трлн рублей. Из которых 150 млрд было абсорбировано на три месяца, а 879 млрд на одну неделю. Зачем ЦБ сделал это?

17 мая, 20:15

Росстат опубликовал данные о росте ВВП в I квартале

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Сегодня Росстат опубликовал данные о росте ВВП в 1 квартале. Экономика выросла на 0,5%. В 4-м квартале 2016 года рост был 0,3%. Т.е. мы имеем рост 2 квартала подряд. А перед этим был спад 7 кварталов подряд            С чего вдруг спад сменился ростом? ЦБ денег подбросил в экономику чуть-чуть и она начала расти чуть-чуть (см. диаграмму).            Если годовые темпы роста М2 повысить с 10% до 20% то через 5-6 месяцев темпы роста экономики составят 5%, как это было в 2011 году. А если годовые темпы роста М2 повысить до 50%, то экономика начнет расти по 7% в год (как это было в 2006-2008 годах).      Всё очень не сложно.

28 апреля, 13:30

Банк России принял решение снизить ключевую ставку до 9,25% годовых (28.04.2017)

Совет директоров Банка России 28 апреля 2017 года принял решение снизить ключевую ставку до 9,25% годовых. Совет директоров отмечает приближение инфляции к целевому уровню и продолжающееся снижение инфляционных ожиданий, а также восстановление экономической активности. Вместе с тем инфляционные риски сохраняются. В условиях умеренно жесткой денежно-кредитной политики целевой уровень инфляции 4% будет достигнут до конца 2017 года и будет поддерживаться вблизи указанного уровня в 2018-2019 годах. Принимая решение о ключевой ставке в дальнейшем, Банк России будет оценивать соотношение вероятностей реализации базового сценария (снижение цен на нефть до $40 за баррель) и сценария с ростом цен на нефть, а также дальнейшую динамику инфляции и развитие экономики относительно прогноза. При этом оценка Банком России возможного общего масштаба снижения ключевой ставки до конца 2017 года не изменилась. Принимая решение по ключевой ставке, Совет директоров Банка России исходил из следующего. Динамика инфляции. Годовая инфляция приблизилась к целевому уровню. Темпы роста потребительских цен снизились до 4,3% с 4,6% в феврале. По оценке на 24 апреля, годовая инфляция составила 4,2-4,3%. В марте продолжилось замедление роста цен по всем основным группам товаров и услуг. Существенный вклад в замедление инфляции внесло укрепление рубля на фоне относительно высоких цен на нефть, сохранения интересов внешних инвесторов к вложениям в российские активы, а также снижения страновой премии за риск. Показатели месячной инфляции с исключением сезонности в феврале и марте сохранялись на низком уровне. В эти месяцы сложилась нехарактерно низкая для данного времени года продовольственная инфляция, чему способствовал высокий объем предложения, в том числе сформировавшийся в результате хорошего урожая 2015-2016 годов. Вероятно, этот эффект будет исчерпан во II квартале, что подтверждают недельные оценки роста цен в апреле, отражающие его ускорение на плодоовощную продукцию. При этом, по оценке, инфляция остается на траектории снижения к целевому уровню 4% до конца 2017 года. В условиях заметного замедления инфляции в I квартале 2017 года инфляционные ожидания населения и бизнеса существенно снизились. Однако эта тенденция может временно приостановиться на фоне сезонного повышения продовольственной инфляции, к динамике которой чувствительны инфляционные ожидания. Дезинфляционное влияние внутреннего спроса сохраняется. Домашние хозяйства в основном продолжают придерживаться сберегательной модели поведения. При этом наметились признаки оживления потребительской активности. Потребительские расходы будут восстанавливаться постепенно в условиях слабой динамики реальных располагаемых доходов населения. Динамика потребительского кредитования не несет инфляционных рисков. Денежно-кредитные условия. Для поддержания склонности к сбережениям и тенденции к устойчивому замедлению инфляции под влиянием ограничений со стороны спроса необходимо сохранение умеренно жестких денежно-кредитных условий. Положительные реальные процентные ставки поддерживаются на уровне, который обеспечивает спрос на кредит, не приводящий к повышению инфляционного давления, а также сохраняет стимулы к сбережениям. Постепенное снижение номинальных процентных ставок и смягчение неценовых условий банковского кредитования продолжится. В первую очередь это коснется надежных заемщиков, учитывая сохранение консервативной политики банков. Экономическая активность. По оценкам Банка России, восстановление экономики в I квартале продолжилось, ожидается увеличение инвестиций в основной капитал. Сохраняется положительная динамика промышленного производства, наблюдается снижение безработицы. Рынок труда подстраивается к новым экономическим условиям при появлении признаков дефицита кадров в отдельных сегментах. Восстановительные процессы становятся более однородными по регионам. Данные опросов отражают улучшение настроений бизнеса и домашних хозяйств, что поддержит положительную экономическую динамику. По оценкам Банка России, наблюдающийся годовой рост реальной заработной платы будет способствовать постепенному повышению потребительской активности. Это не создаст дополнительного проинфляционного давления в условиях увеличения предложения товаров и услуг. С учетом текущей динамики восстановительных процессов и повышения устойчивости экономики к колебаниям внешнеэкономической конъюнктуры Банк России ожидает роста ВВП в 2017-2019 годах даже в условиях консервативного сценария динамики цен на нефть. Инфляционные риски. В ближайшее время основным источником инфляционных рисков может стать возможная волатильность мировых товарных и финансовых рынков в том числе на фоне переговоров об ограничении добычи нефти странами-экспортерами. Это может привести к временному повышению волатильности потоков капитала и валютного курса, оказывая негативное влияние на курсовые и инфляционные ожидания. При этом в сценарии с ростом цен на нефть инфляционные риски будут ниже. Снижению среднесрочных инфляционных рисков также будет способствовать законодательное закрепление бюджетного правила. Кроме того, среднесрочные инфляционные риски связаны с тем, что для закрепления инфляции и инфляционных ожиданий вблизи целевого уровня может потребоваться длительное время. Это обусловлено инерцией инфляционных ожиданий, а также возможным изменением модели поведения домашних хозяйств, связанным с уменьшением склонности к сбережению. Принимая решение о ключевой ставке, в дальнейшем Банк России будет оценивать соотношение вероятностей реализации базового сценария (снижение цен на нефть до $40 за баррель) и сценария с ростом цен на нефть, а также дальнейшую динамику инфляции и развитие экономики относительно прогноза. При этом оценка Банком России возможного масштаба снижения ключевой ставки до конца 2017 года не изменилась. По прогнозу Банка России, с учетом принятого решения и сохранения умеренно жесткой денежно-кредитной политики годовой темп прироста потребительских цен снизится до 4% до конца 2017 года и будет поддерживаться вблизи указанного целевого уровня в 2018-2019 годах. Следующее заседание Совета директоров Банка России, на котором будет рассматриваться вопрос об уровне ключевой ставки, запланировано на 16 июня 2017 года. Время публикации пресс-релиза о решении Совета директоров Банка России — 13:30 по московскому времени. Процентные ставки по операциям Банка России (% годовых) Назначение Вид инструмента Инструмент Срок c 27.03.2017 c 02.05.2017 Предоставление ликвидности Операции постоянного действия Кредиты «овернайт»; сделки «валютный своп»1; ломбардные кредиты; РЕПО 1 день 10,75 10,25 Кредиты, обеспеченные золотом2 1 день 10,75 10,25 от 2 до 549 дней3 11,25 10,75 Кредиты, обеспеченные нерыночными активами или поручительствами 1 день 10,75 10,25 от 2 до 549 дней3 11,50 11,00 Операции на открытом рынке (минимальные процентные ставки) Аукционы по предоставлению кредитов, обеспеченных нерыночными активами3 3 месяца 10,00 9,50 Аукционы «валютный своп»1 от 1 до 2 дней4 9,75 (ключевая ставка) 9,25 (ключевая ставка) Аукционы РЕПО от 1 до 6 дней4, 1 неделя Абсорбирование ликвидности Операции на открытом рынке (максимальные процентные ставки) Депозитные аукционы от 1 до 6 дней4, 1 неделя Операции постоянного действия Депозитные операции 1 день, до востребования 8,75 8,25 Справочно: Ставка рефинансирования5   1 Указана процентная ставка по рублевой части; процентная ставка по валютной части приравнена к процентным ставкам LIBOR по кредитам на срок 1 день в соответствующих иностранных валютах. 2 Проведение операций приостановлено с 1.04.2017. 3 Кредиты, предоставляемые по плавающей процентной ставке, привязанной к уровню ключевой ставки Банка России. 4 Операции «тонкой настройки». 5 Значение ставки рефинансирования Банка России с 01.01.2016 года приравнено к значению ключевой ставки Банка России на соответствующую дату. С 01.01.2016 самостоятельное значение ставки рефинансирования не устанавливается. Значения ставки рефинансирования до 01.01.2016

24 марта, 13:35

Банк России снизил ставку с 10% до 9,75% годовых

Совет директоров Банка России 24 марта принял решение снизить ключевую ставку с 10% до 9,75% годовых.

27 декабря 2016, 10:55

9 таблиц о мировой экономике в 2016 году

2016 г. был богатым на события как в политике, так и в экономике. Ниже представлены таблицы, которые отражают основные тенденции в экономике в 2016 г.

23 ноября 2016, 01:35

Сергей ГЛАЗЬЕВ. У нас недомонетизированная экономика. (22.11.2016)

Сергей #ГЛАЗЬЕВ "У нас недомонетизированная экономика". Материал взят с сайта телеканала "Царьград". За что редакции сайта и всему коллективу телеканала "Царьград" - большое Спасибо! Ссылка на сайт "Царьград": http://tsargrad.tv

21 октября 2016, 15:00

Отмена Библии

Рубрика: Мировые рынки, Добрый день. На прошлой неделе у Новой Гвинеи и в Тибете произошли мощные (магнитуда 6.2-6.9) землетрясения – эпицентры были глубоки и далеки от населённых пунктов, поэтому жертв нет и цунами (в первом случае) тоже. В Индии на церемонии в честь индуистского пророка множество паломников бросилось в воды Ганга, отчего возникла давка – десятки погибших. В т

22 сентября 2016, 03:11

Zerohedge.com: Акции выстрелили вверх после того, как Федрезерв срезал прогноз роста экономики США до рекордно низких значений

Напомним: ухудшающиеся макропоказатели, сниженные ожидания долгосрочных темпов роста экономики, 3 диссидента в Федрезерве, а ответ таков: Покупай все! Облигации, акции, нефть и золото выросли… Все главные индексы взорвались вверх… VIX обрушился к 12 фигуре… Мы не хотим испортить чей-либо праздник,… читать далее → Запись Zerohedge.com: Акции выстрелили вверх после того, как Федрезерв срезал прогноз роста экономики США до рекордно низких значений впервые появилась .

16 сентября 2016, 13:29

Банк России принял решение снизить ключевую ставку до 10,00% годовых (16.09.2016)

Совет директоров Банка России 16 сентября 2016 года принял решение снизить ключевую ставку до 10,00% годовых, учитывая замедление инфляции в соответствии с прогнозом и снижение инфляционных ожиданий при сохранении неустойчивой экономической активности. Вместе с тем для закрепления тенденции к устойчивому снижению инфляции, по оценкам Банка России, необходимо поддержание достигнутого уровня ключевой ставки до конца 2016 года с возможностью ее снижения в I-II квартале 2017 года. С учетом принятого решения и сохранения умеренно жесткой денежно-кредитной политики годовой темп прироста потребительских цен составит около 4,5% в сентябре 2017 года и в дальнейшем снизится до целевого уровня 4% в конце 2017 года. При принятии решения о ключевой ставке в ближайшие месяцы Банк России будет оценивать инфляционные риски и соответствие динамики экономики и инфляции базовому прогнозу. Принимая решение по ключевой ставке, Совет директоров Банка России исходил из следующего. Первое. Инфляция заметно снизилась, что соответствует базовому прогнозу Банка России. По оценке, годовой темп прироста потребительских цен сократился до 6,6% по состоянию на 12 сентября 2016 года после 7,2% в июле. Однако снижение инфляции, в частности, было обусловлено динамикой курса рубля в условиях более благоприятной, чем ожидалось ранее, внешнеэкономической конъюнктуры. Наблюдающееся в этих условиях медленное снижение темпов роста цен на непродовольственные товары является признаком ослабления дезинфляционного влияния внутреннего спроса. В последние месяцы сезонно сглаженные показатели месячных темпов прироста потребительских цен остаются повышенными. Сохранение ключевой ставки на уровне 10,00% в течение достаточно продолжительного времени сформирует денежно-кредитные условия, необходимые для закрепления тенденции к дальнейшему устойчивому замедлению инфляции под влиянием ограничений со стороны спроса. Снижению темпов роста потребительских цен будет также способствовать стабилизация рубля и ожидаемый хороший урожай. Это создаст условия для дальнейшего снижения инфляционных ожиданий. С учетом принятого решения и сохранения умеренно жесткой денежно-кредитной политики, по прогнозу Банка России, годовая инфляция составит около 4,5% в сентябре 2017 года и в дальнейшем снизится до целевого уровня 4% в конце 2017 года. Второе. Банк России рассчитывает, что принятое решение по ключевой ставке и ее поддержание на достигнутом уровне снизит инфляционные ожидания. В настоящее время структура рыночных процентных ставок по срокам до погашения и результаты опросов показывают, что участники рынка прогнозируют более быстрое снижение процентных ставок, чем Банк России. При этом их прогнозы по инфляции на конец 2017 года превышают целевой показатель Банка России в 4%. В действительности потенциал снижения номинальных ставок ограничен, и умеренно жесткие денежно-кредитные условия будут сохраняться в экономике достаточно длительное время. Это обусловлено необходимостью поддержания положительных реальных процентных ставок на уровне, который обеспечит спрос на кредит, не приводящий к повышению инфляционного давления, а также сохранит стимулы к сбережениям. Третье. Продолжающееся оживление производственной активности остается неустойчивым. Сохраняется её неоднородность по отраслям и регионам. По оценке Банка России, умеренно жесткие денежно-кредитные условия не препятствуют восстановлению экономической активности, и основные препятствия лежат в структурной области. Рынок труда подстраивается к новым экономическим условиям, безработица сохраняется на стабильном невысоком уровне. Продолжается развитие процессов импортозамещения, а также расширения несырьевого экспорта по некоторым позициям, наметились дополнительные точки роста в промышленности, в том числе в высокотехнологичных производствах. В то же время они пока не могут обеспечить уверенную положительную динамику производства в целом. Одновременно наблюдается стагнация или замедление темпов роста выпуска в отдельных отраслях, продолжают сокращаться инвестиции. Для развития и закрепления позитивных тенденций необходимо время. Положительный квартальный прирост ВВП ожидается уже во втором полугодии текущего года, однако в 2017 году темпы прироста ВВП будут невысокими — менее 1%. Данный прогноз исходит из консервативных предпосылок о низких темпах роста мировой экономики, среднегодовой цены на нефть около 40 долларов США за баррель и сохранении структурных ограничений развития российской экономики. Четвертое. Сохраняются риски того, что инфляция не достигнет целевого уровня 4% в 2017 году. Это связано главным образом с инерцией инфляционных ожиданий и возможным ослаблением стимулов домашних хозяйств к сбережениям. Пока не достигнута определённость в отношении конкретных мер бюджетной консолидации, в том числе индексации зарплат и социальных выплат, на среднесрочном горизонте. Негативное влияние на курсовые и инфляционные ожидания может оказывать и волатильность мировых товарных и финансовых рынков. Для закрепления тенденции к устойчивому снижению инфляции, по оценкам Банка России, необходимо поддержание достигнутого уровня ключевой ставки до конца 2016 года с возможностью ее снижения в I-II квартале 2017 года. При принятии решения о ключевой ставке в ближайшие месяцы Банк России будет оценивать инфляционные риски и соответствие динамики экономики и инфляции базовому прогнозу. Следующее заседание Совета директоров Банка России, на котором будет рассматриваться вопрос об уровне ключевой ставки, запланировано на 28 октября 2016 года. Время публикации пресс-релиза о решении Совета директоров Банка России — 13:30 по московскому времени. Процентные ставки по операциям Банка России (% годовых) Назначение Вид инструмента Инструмент Срок c 14.06.2016 c 19.09.2016 Предоставление ликвидности Операции постоянного действия Кредиты «овернайт»; сделки «валютный своп» (рублевая часть); ломбардные кредиты; РЕПО 1 день 11.50 11.00 Кредиты, обеспеченные золотом 1 день 11.50 11.00 от 2 до 549 дней1 12.00 11.50 Кредиты, обеспеченные нерыночными активами или поручительствами 1 день 11.50 11.00 от 2 до 549 дней1 12.25 11.75 Операции на открытом рынке (минимальные процентные ставки) Аукционы по предоставлению кредитов, обеспеченных нерыночными активами1 от 1 до 3 недель2, 3 месяца, 18 месяцев2 10.75 10.25 Ломбардные кредитные аукционы1, 2 36 месяцев 10.75 10.25 Аукционы РЕПО и валютный своп от 1 до 6 дней3, 1 неделя 10.50 (ключевая ставка) 10.00 (ключевая ставка) Абсорбирование ликвидности Операции на открытом рынке (максимальные процентные ставки) Депозитные аукционы от 1 до 6 дней3, 1 неделя Операции постоянного действия Депозитные операции 1 день, до востребования 9.50 9.00 Справочно: Ставка рефинансирования4 1 Кредиты, предоставляемые по плавающей процентной ставке, привязанной к уровню ключевой ставки Банка России. 2 Проведение аукционов приостановлено с 1.07.2016. 3 Операции «тонкой настройки». 4 Значение ставки рефинансирования Банка России с 01.01.2016 года приравнено к значению ключевой ставки Банка России на соответствующую дату. С 01.01.2016 самостоятельное значение ставки рефинансирования не устанавливается. Значения ставки рефинансирования до 01.01.2016 Процентные ставки по операциям Банка России, проведение которых приостановлено

06 сентября 2016, 06:52

Zerohedge.com: Один триллион евро потрачен, и вот чем может похвастаться Драги

Прошло уже 16 месяцев с тех пор, как в марте 2015 года Европейский Центральный банк начал свое путешествие в неведомое. Как пишет Financial Times, эта неделя стала вехой в истории монетарной политики, поскольку с момента начала QE покупки со стороны… читать далее → Запись Zerohedge.com: Один триллион евро потрачен, и вот чем может похвастаться Драги впервые появилась .

05 сентября 2016, 02:00

Обещания "Единой России" в 2011 году. Что выполнено?

Что партия власти обещала народу в перед выборами в 2001 году на съезде партии "Единой России" и что выполнила. Разобор каждого пункта на предмет того, что удалось сделать, а что нет.И так, начнем с 1-го пункта:Обещание №1:За следующие 5 лет войти в пятерку крупнейших экономик мира. Это должен быть не сырьевой рост, а качественно иной рост.Что имеем на сегодняшний день? В 2011 году РФ была на 6-м месте рейтингу ВВП (ППС). В 2016 году находимся на 6-м месте, причем продолжаем падать второй год подряд.Обещание №1 не выполнено.--------------------------------------------------------------------------Обещание №2:Самостоятельная, разумная внешняя политика.Результат "разумной" политики на карте:Геополитическое положение ухудшилось как никогда за историю страны, если не считать войн: потеря Украины, война в Сирии и тлеющий конфликт на Донбассе.Вывод: обещание №2 не выполнено.--------------------------------------------------------------------------Обещание №3:Повышение благосостояния наших людей и гарантии их безопасности.Ответ даст график числа бедных в России:Росстат. Число бедных (точнее нищих) только выросли на 1,2 млн. человек. Доля тоже. Но это Росстат, который оперирует искуственно заниженым порогом бедности. А вот что думают сами люди о своем благосостоянии:Уровень бедности и нищеты вырос с тех пор до 43%.Итак: обещание №3 не выполнено.--------------------------------------------------------------------------Обещание №4:За 5 лет мы должны построить в России не менее 1000 школ.Обратимся за ответом к Росстату:С 2011 года в России стало на 5 тыс. школ меньше. Возможно, они построили 1000 школ, но закрыли при этом 6 тысяч, лишив тысячи населенных пунктов школ в шаговой доступности.Обещание №4 не выполнено.--------------------------------------------------------------------------Обещание №5:Повышения зарплат, пенсий, пособий. Борьба с бедностью.Результат:Реальные зарплаты и доходы второй год падают. Число бедных только растет.Обещание №5 не выполнено.--------------------------------------------------------------------------Обещание №6:Искоренение коррупции. Открытость сведений о доходах чиновников.Не выполнено.--------------------------------------------------------------------------Обещание №7:Регионы должны снять проблему нехватки мест в детских садах.Опять Росстат:Сняли проблему или нет, но видно: что построили порядка 7 тыс. детсадов.Так и запишем, что обещание №7 выполнено.--------------------------------------------------------------------------Обещание №8:Страна не должна быть в изоляции.Список стран объявивших санкции России с 2014 года.Обещание №8 не выполнено.--------------------------------------------------------------------------Обещание №9:После снижения инфляции, нужно снизить ставки по ипотеке к 6,5-7%.Как "снижалась" инфляция с 2010 года:А вот уровень ставок по ипотеке:Он в 2 раза выше обещанного уровня.Обещание №9 не выполнено.--------------------------------------------------------------------------Обещание №10:Обеспечить наших людей качественными лекарствами по доступным ценам.Смотрим Росстат по трем лекарствам (остальных цен нет):Цены на самые доступные лекарства отечественного производства выросли 1,7-2 раза. Что случилось с дорогими импортными лекарствами - страшно подумать.Обещание №10 не выполнено.--------------------------------------------------------------------------Обещание №11:Не отдадим Россию тем, кто обманывает людей, раздавая пустые и невыполнимые обещания.Тут верю им целиком и полностью: не отдадут. Сами будут обманывать и раздавать невыполнимые обещания.Отдадут только тогда, когда камня на камне не останется после их правления.Общий итог: из 10 конкретных обещаний выполнено только одно. Вы все еще собиратесь голосовать за партию "Единую Россию", партию, дающие невыполнимые обещания?Прошу активного перепоста и распространения. Пора дать им по шаловливым ручкам, чтобы эти зажравшиеся чинуши не расслаблялись.

28 июля 2016, 09:26

Итоги заседания ФРС: побеждает золото

Заседание Федеральной резервной системы США стало для рынков ключевым событием последнего времени. Как оно повлияло на рынки, и где, возможно, была допущена ошибка, и почему лучшую динамику показало золото.

23 июля 2016, 19:21

Про глобальный госдолг и конец истории

Общий объем госдолга всех стран в мире составляет 60 трлн. доларов. Общий объем госдолга 20 крупнейших развитых стран составляет 44 трлн долларов. С середины 2014 года мы видим тренд, когда все большая часть госдолга уходит в отрицательную доходность (см. диаграмму).                    На прошлой неделе совокупный размер госдолга с отрицательной доходностью превысил 13 трлн. долларов. Это где-то треть от всего госдолга.          Анекдот состоит в том, что в середине 2014 года госдолга с отрицательной доходностью не было вовсе. В феврале 2015 года размер госдолга с отриц. доходностью составил 3,6 трлн. долларов, в феврале 2016 - 7 трлн. долларов, спустя 5 месяцев - 13 трлн. долларов. За последние 2 недели 1,3 трлн. долларов гос. долга ушли в отрицательную доходность. Это free fall.          Долги каких стран уходят в отриц доходность? Европейских и Японии (см. диаграмму).                    На диаграмме показаны облигации с разными сроками погашения. Первая колонка это однолетние облигации, вторая - двухлетние и т.д. Красные сегменты это облигации с отриц. доходностью. Как правило, более длинные облигации имеют большую доходность, потому что предполагается что инфляция сейчас на минимальных значениях и в перспективе она будет расти.          Больше всего облигаций с отриц доходностью у Швейцарии, Германии и Японии, потому что там самая низкая инфляция. У США и Великобритании такие тоже есть, но с короткими сроками погашения - 1-3 месяца.          Почему это происходит? Центробанки наращивают денежную массу, денег все больше, их нужно во что-то вкладывать. Люди готовы вкладывать деньги в активы с отрицательной доходностью, но с гарантией того что их деньги не пропадут. Госдолг это наиболее надежный (наименее рисковый) актив, соответственно, он в первую очередь уходит в отриц. доходность.          Зачем центробанки наращивают денежную массу? Ну они таким образом пытаются разогнать инфляцию. Даже не разогнать, а всего лишь не дать ей упасть ниже нуля.                    Как видите, в Японии, Италии, Швейцарии инфляция ниже нуля, в остальных странах около нуля. Считается, что при отрицательной инфляции наступает Армагеддон, потому что люди перестают покупать товары, ждут снижения цен и, соответственно, наступает депрессия.          Почему падает инфляция? Потому что Китай девальвирует юань. Он это делает с начала 2014 года (см. диаграмму).                    Китай девальвирует юань не потому что он плохо относится к США, ЕС и Японии, а потому что он решает свои собственные проблемы. Ему нужно кровь из носу иметь 7% роста ВВП. ЕС, США, Япония не могут в ответ девальвировать свои валюты, потому что у них такие большие фин рынки, что эффективно влиять на них ЦБ не могут. Китай легко манипулирует курсом, а ЕС, Япония, США не могут манипулировать курсом.          Чем это закончится? Вообще-то никто не знает чем это закончится. Все последствия сложно предсказать. Но одно последствие можно предсказать однозначно. Закончится это банкротством пенсионных систем Европы, США и Японии. Дело в том что пенсионным фондам чтобы выполнить обязательства перед своими клиентами нужно иметь доходность на свои активы - 8% годовых. Причём это должна быть безрисковая доходность. 25 лет назад доходность гос долговых бумаг развитых стран составляла как раз 8%. и всё было нормально. Сейчас пенсионным фондам не во что вкладывать деньги. В результате у них возникла дырка между обязательствами и стоимостью их активов. Эта дырка составляет 78 трлн. долларов у 20 наиболее развитых стран (источник). Выхода 2:          - повысить пенсионный возраст и резко понизить пенсионные выплаты;          - закрыть дефицит за счет прямой эмиссии.          Проблема в том что напечатать 78 трлн. долларов без последствий уже не получится. Напомню, что 3 этапа количественного смягчения привели к росту ден массы доллара всего на 5 трлн долларов.          Если начать закрывать дефицит пенсионной системы за счет прямой эмиссии это в конечном  итоге приведет к гиперинфляции.               Если резко поднять ставки, то лучше тоже не станет. Некоторые думают, что если нормализовать ставки то случится короткий обвал, экономика сократится процентов на 10, но зато потом быстро поскачет вперед. Это не правда. Никуда она уже не поскачет. Чтобы рецессия закончилась взрывным ростом нужно иметь молодое, здоровое и талантливое население, готовое вкалывать, созидать, создавать новые бизнесы, изобретать, добиваться. А от населения США, Европы, Японии сегодня можно ожидать чего угодно только не желания вкалывать. В 20-30-х годах - да, можно было обвалить экономику, очистить ее от неэффективных отраслей и получить в результате двузначные темпы роста. Сейчас этот фокус не выйдет. Обвалить можно, только на месте обвала ничего нового не вырастет. К тому же можно только догадываться как 46 млн. люмпенов в США отнесутся к резкому сокращению уровня доходов. Думаю, они разнесут США вдребезги-пополам, как говорил Жванецкий.        Проблемы США, Европы лежат вообще не в плоскости экономики. Их проблема в том, что всё однажды заканчивается. Запад рулил миром 700 лет, потому что европейская цивилизация 700 лет рождала огромное количество талантливых, энергичных и умных людей. А теперь население США и Европы постарело и обрюзгло и уже не может менять мир. Это обычная старость. Поэтому, кстати, элита США и завозит миллионы иммигрантов из Мексики, Кубы, Доминиканы, Филиппин. Они необразованы и неталантливы, зато готовы вкалывать.       Такие дела.

09 июля 2016, 05:41

Zerohedge.com: Как выглядит количественный провал

Говоря простым языком, это не работает, дурень! Особенно в Японии… Но Майкл Харнетт из Bank of America Merrill Lynch изложил в деталях все то, что было сделано и каковы были последствия этих действий. И его вывод ставит регуляторов в очень…читать далее →

28 июня 2016, 16:03

А не перейти ли нам к золотому стандарту?

«Это самый худший период на моей памяти. Даже кризис 1987 года, когда промышленный индекс Dow Jones за день обвалился на 23%, не похож на сегодняшнюю ситуацию. Тогда вся проблема заключалась только в обвале котировок. Текущий кризис имеет «разъедающий» эффект. Я бы с удовольствием сказал, что-нибудь позитивное, но не могу», заявил экс глава Федеральной резервной системы[...]

19 марта 2016, 21:10

Злейший враг спекулянтов: самые громкие цитаты Сергея Глазьева

Советник президента России, академик РАН, видный экономист Сергей Глазьев известен своей жесткой позицией к биржевой торговле и фондовому рынку. Особое раздражение у него вызывает динамика валютной секции Московской биржи, которая, на его взгляд, является рассадником спекулянтов всех мастей, постоянно дестабилизирующих курс рубля. Чтобы усмирить их пыл, он недавно призвал обложить биржевые операции с валютой «налогом Тобина», который бы принес государственной казне дополнительный триллион рублей за квартал. Другие не менее громкие заявления и предложения Глазьева – в нашей подборке его самых ярких цитат.

16 марта 2016, 22:50

ФРС США снизила прогнозы по экономике и ставкам

Глава ФРС США Джанет Йеллен объявила о сохранении базовой процентной ставки в диапазоне 0,25–0,5%. При этом были снижены прогнозы по ВВП и инфляции в американской экономике, а также прогнозы дальнейшего повышения процентных ставок.

20 февраля 2016, 21:19

ЦБ РФ выделил 600 млрд рублей крупнейшим банкам

Центральный банк Российской Федерации одобрил выделение кредитных линий в размере 600 млрд руб. для ряда системно значимых российских банков.

18 февраля 2016, 20:07

Дед Мороз спешит на помощь: Новый год помог китайской экономике

В четверг была опубликована завершающая часть статистики из Поднебесной. Инвесторы увидели в том числе данные по инфляции. Дефляционная угроза для китайской экономики остается исключительно актуальной. И да, вроде бы Индекс потребительских цен несколько подрос, но цены производителей 47-ой месяц подряд падают. Причем, падение превышает пять процентов.

11 февраля 2016, 13:20

ЦБ Швеции снизил ключевую ставку до минус 0,5%

Центральный банк Швеции ("Риксбанк") снизил ключевую процентную ставку и сообщил о вероятности ее дальнейшего снижения.

30 января 2016, 19:19

Изменение покупательской способности (уровня жизни) доходов россиян с 1995 по 2015

Росстат выпустил данные по инфляции за декабрь 2015 и по зарплате населения, соответственно можно оценить уровень покупательской способности доходов в России. С 1995 номинальная зарплата выросла в 58 раз, с 2000 в 14 раз, с 2005 в 4 раза. Но какая покупательская способность?На основе данных Росстата я рассчитал покупательскую способность зарплаты для товаров, цены на которые непрерывно публикуются с 1995 года по 2015 включительно. В таблице данные по состоянию на декабрь каждого года в количестве единиц товаров или услуг к фактическому доходу за указанный период . Например, в декабрь 2015 на номинальный доход (до уплаты налогов) можно было купить 93.6 кг бескостной говядины, а в 1995 около 59 кг. Т.е. покупательская способность (уровень жизни) по говядине выросла всего лишь в 1.6 раза, хотя номинальный доход (зарплата) в 58 раз. Таблица ниже огромная, поэтому открывается в отдельном окне и разделена на 5 частей.Ухудшение жизни за последние 2 года катастрофическое. Кризис 2008-2009 даже рядом не стоял и это по официальным данным Росстата, где в последнее время имеет место занижение инфляции. Речь идет в первую очередь о товарах среднесрочного пользования, как одежда и обувь и долгосрочного пользования, как бытовая и цифровая техника, компьютеры. Суть в том, что, по всей видимости (данные это подтверждают), Росстат проводил ребалансировку потребительских качеств анализируемых товаров.Элементарный пример. По Росстату ноутбуки в цене выросли на 17% (с 23.3 тыс до 27.5 тыс) за 2 года (с декабря 2013 по декабрь 2015), что расходится с реальностью раза в 2 минимум, а смартфоны всего лишь на 10% выросли в цене, что также является полным бредом для товаров сопоставимой категории. Как получилось?Предположим, два года назад топовый компьютер с наилучшей доступной на рынке начинкой в виде высокопроизводительной видеокарты (nvidia GTX 780), процессора Core i7 4770k можно было взять за X рублей, теперь топовый компьютер с другой конфигурацией, но также лучшей на рынке начинкой (GTX 980/ Core i7 6700k), стоит 2.5X в виду роста курса доллара в 2.5 раза, но в долларах аналогично. Как сделать так, чтобы инфляция была не 150%, а 17%? Правильно, взять не топовый компьютер, а из среднего ценового диапазона (GTX 950, Core i5 6400). Опа, вот и готово! Теперь компьютер из среднего сегмента стоит так, как пару лет назад топовый. Компьютер есть? Есть! Работает? Да. А что еще надо? А то, что из другого сегмента производительности? Ишь вы что захотели - хавайте, что дают. При этом не так и важно, что компьютер в среднем ценовом сегменте тоже вырос в 2.5 раза по стоимости. Главное, чтобы был товар, а качество подождет. Эта логика применима к любому другому товару. Одежда не брендовая, а от азиатских нонеймов, колбаса более низкого качества и так далее.У Росстата оценка стоимости на коммунальные, транспортные и телекоммуникационные услуги и товары из сегмента продуктов питания и бытовой химии еще как-то соотносятся с действительностью, а вот на товары длительного пользования и услуги спорно. В одежде и обуви десятки тысяч единиц номенклатуры даже в выбранной товарной группе. Выросла цена в два раза, возьмем то, что хуже по качеству и цена останется на месте, хотя то, что хуже по качеству тоже выросло в два раза, но сравнялось с тем, что год-два назад было в верхнем сегменте по потребительским свойствам. Вот такая проблема.Но так что там с данными? Таблица ниже.Что мы видим? Фантастическое снижение уровня жизни. Обратите внимание, что на население кризис 2009 не отразился практически никак. В таблице показано, что сейчас даже по отношению к 2010 году имеет место падение уровня жизни (два последних столбца со сравнением к 2010 и 2013 годам). Фактическое снижение уровня жизни, в реальном выражении, так сказать, в натуре.Если сравнить продукты питания и напитки с 2013, то россияне стали богаче только в картофельном и свекольном измерении. Во всех остальных потеряли. Тамв таблице  свыше 220 видов товаров и услуг, естественно, не имеет смысла комментировать все, но некоторое не помешает. Покажу товары с преимущественно рублевым ценообразованием (не импорт), за редкими исключениями по фруктам и овощам.Покупательская способность по чесноку опустилась к 2004 году, апельсины к 2006-2007 году, яблоки к 2010-2011, капуста – 2007, морковь и картофель остаются на высоком уровне.По крупам не лучше. Практически по всем видам покупательская способность снизилась к 2006-2007 годам.По хлебу и хлебобулочным изделиям чуть лучше – уровень 2010 года, но ухудшение все равно происходит.По чаю, кофе и сладостям снижение покупательской способности произошло резко и стремительно – до 2005 года почти по всем категориям.С мясными продуктами «мягче» - всего лишь 2007 год, за исключением куриных окорочок, где по покупательской способности примерно, как в 2011.По большинству молочных продуктов покупательская способность упала к 2005-2007С лекарствами значительно хуже. В 2015 валидол можно было купить столько же, сколько в 90-х годах и почти в 6 раз ниже, чем в 2011. По группе отечественных лекарств в среднем до уровня 2005-2006 грохнулись.С развлечением и местами культурного сопряжения за последние 20 лет доступность почти не выросла. Т.е. цены на музеи, выставки, театры и кинотеатры росли в темпах роста номинальной зарплаты. С санаториями и домами отдыха – 2007 год.С услугами медицины и стоматологией все более драматично. Например, изготовление съемного протеза и изготовление коронки на худших уровнях покупательской способности с конца 90-х.Доступность транспорта с конца 90-х увеличилась в среднем в два раза, но стагнирует с 2006. По авиаперевозкам там статистический глюк, когда в 2011 Росстат стал учитывать только эконом класс.С услугами ЖКХ все понятно. Цены растут в среднем на величину инфляции и около нормы чистого приращения номинальных доходов, поэтому доступность услуг ЖКХ не меняется 10 лет, а по газу и услугам капремонта даже хуже, чем в 90-х.Из этого главный вывод. На группы товаров и услуг с рублевым ценообразованием доступность находится на уровнях десятилетней давности для населения России. По большинству услуг, в том числе ЖКУ, культура, развлечение, медицина, образование за последние 20 лет особых изменений не произошло. Т.е. сейчас за полученный доход народ России может купить примерно столько же базовых услуг, как в конце 90-х, в начале 2000 (за исключением транспорта и связи, где покупательская способность выросла в среднем в два раза). В этом плане богаче не стали. С товарами значительно лучше. Доступность выросла в разы с 90-х годов (подробности в таблице). Но с 2005-2007 практически не изменилась, опять же, за редкими исключениями.За 2 года номинальный доход вырос менее, чем на 10%. Учитывая последние тенденции в бюджетной сфере с необходимостью секвестра бюджета нет объективных причин ожидать прироста номинальных доходов в 2016 году выше, чем на 5% при инфляции выше 10%. 2016 год станет хуже 2015 в плане доступности базовых товаров и услуг, тем самым покупательская способность может опуститься с уровней 2005-2007 до 2004-2005, т.е. 12 лет на нуле. Это еще никаких санкций не вводили против России и негативные тенденции после инвестиционного паралича реализовались не в полной мере.