Tag Archive: Bank of Japan

Effective Recession First In Japan?

For a lot of people, a recession is two consecutive quarters of negative GDP. This is called the technical definition in the mainstream and financial media. While this specific pattern can indicate a change in the business cycle, it’s really only one narrow case. Recessions are not just tied to GDP. In the US, the Economists who make the determination (the NBER) will tell you recessions aren’t always so straightforward.

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What Tokyo Eurodollar Redistribution Really Means For ‘Green Shoots’

Last April, monetary officials in Japan were publicly contemplating ending asset purchases under QQE. This April, they are more quietly wondering what other financial assets they might have to buy just to keep it all going a little longer. I’d suggest something like the clouds passing over the islands or the ocean water surrounding them. Nobody would notice either way and it would be equally as effective.

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FX Daily, April 25: Equities Waiver, the Dollar Does Not

Overview:  After closing at record highs on Tuesday, the S&P 500 slipped yesterday, and the Dow Jones Stoxx 600 snapped an eight-session advance.  Asia followed suit, with the Shanghai Composite posting its biggest loss (~2.4%) in over a month.  It is off about 4.6% this week, which if sustained tomorrow, would be the largest loss in six months.

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FX Daily, April 23: Oil Extends Gains While Markets Await Fresh Incentives

Overview: Financial centers that have been closed for the extended holiday have re-opened, but the news stream is light and market participants are digesting developments and positioning for this week's central bank meetings and the first look at Q1 US GDP. The US decision to end exemptions to the embargo against Iran led to a surge in oil prices, which are extending gains to new six-highs today.

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Cool Video: Discussion of the Deflationary Risks in Japan and Brexit

I joined CNBC Asia’s Amanda Drury and Sri Jegarajah via Skype earlier today as the new week was beginning in Asia. In this three minute clip, we discuss the outlook for the BOJ and sterling. Most of the rise in Japan’s inflation is due to food and energy prices. Despite an aggressive balance-sheet expansion effort, the BOJ has missed its target by a long shot.

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FX Weekly Preview: Six Events to Watch

The divergence thesis that drives our constructive outlook for the dollar received more support last week than we expected. A few hours after investors learned that Japan's flash PMI remained below the 50 boom/bust level, Europe reported disappointing PMI data as well. And a few hours after that the US reported that retail sales surged in March by the most in a year and a half (1.6%).

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FX Weekly Preview: Dollar Super Cycle Revisited

In the big picture, we argue that the dollar’s appreciation is part of the third significant dollar rally since the end of Bretton Woods. The first was the Reagan-Volcker dollar rally, spurred by a policy mix of tight monetary and loose fiscal policies.

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FX Daily, March 12: Wave of Optimism Sweeps through the Capital Markets

Last minutes statements meant to clarify what many MPs find to be the most odious part of the Withdrawal Bill, the backstop for the Irish border is goosed global equity markets even though it does not seem as if the Withdrawal Bill has changed one iota. And after the big rally in US shares yesterday, there might have been follow-through buying in any case today. Asian markets did not disappoint.

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Something Different About This One

In Japan, they call it “powerful monetary easing.” In practice, it is anything but. QQE with all its added letters is so authoritative that it is knocked sideways by the smallest of economic and financial breezes. If it truly worked the way it was supposed to, the Bank of Japan or any central bank would only need it for the shortest of timeframes.

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Lost In Translation

Since I don’t speak Japanese, I’m left to wonder if there is an intent to embellish the translation. Whoever is responsible for writing in English what is written by the Bank of Japan in Japanese, they are at times surely seeking out attention. However its monetary policy may be described in the original language, for us it has become so very clownish.

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Bond Curves Right All Along, But It Won’t Matter (Yet)

Men have long dreamed of optimal outcomes. There has to be a better way, a person will say every generation. Freedom is far too messy and unpredictable. Everybody hates the fat tails, unless and until they realize it is outlier outcomes that actually mark progress. The idea was born in the eighties that Economics had become sufficiently advanced that the business cycle was no longer a valid assumption.

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Insight Japan

As I wrote yesterday, “In the West, consumer prices overall are pushed around by oil. In the East, by food.” In neither case is inflation buoyed by “money printing.” Central banks both West and East are doing things, of course, but none of them amount to increasing the effective supply of money. Failure of inflation, more so economy, the predictable cost.

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Economics Is Easy When You Don’t Have To Try

The real question is why no one says anything. They can continue to make these grossly untrue, often contradictory statements without fear of having to explain themselves. Don’t even think about repercussions. Even in front of politicians ostensibly being there on behalf of the public, pedigree still matters more than results.

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FX Daily, August 01: Trade and Japan Drive Markets Ahead of Stand Pat Fed

Investors recognize the risks to growth posed by the tariffs and counter-tariffs being imposed, but the way the US is going about it is also disconcerting. Within a few hours of signals that the US and China were looking to re-engage in high-level talks, which have not taken place for two months according to reports, the US signaled that the 10% tariff on $200 bln of Chinese goods could now face a 25% tariff instead.

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FX Daily, July 31: BOJ Prepares for QE Infinity

The Japanese yen has been sold following the adjustments to policy and outlook by the BOJ that will allow the unconventional policies continue for an "extended period of time." Cross rate pressure and month-end demand have lifted the euro and sterling through yesterday's highs.

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FX Weekly Preview: Three Central Bank Meetings and US Jobs data

The week ahead sees three major central bank meetings and the US employment report. It will likely be the most important work before a hiatus that runs through the end of August. Of course, and perhaps more than ever, market participants are well aware that the US President's communication and penchant for disruption is a bit of a wild card.

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Global Asset Allocation Update

Note: This will be a short update. We are shifting the timing of some of our reports. The monthly Global Asset Allocation update will now be published in the first week of the month, aiming for the first of each month. I’ll put out a full report next week. The Bi-Weekly Economic Review is shifting to a monthly update, published on the 15th of each month.

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FX Daily, July 26: Equities like EU-US Trade Truce more than the Euro

The markets generated a collective sigh when Juncker and Trump announced that there would be no new tariffs while new trade negotiations took place.  This was particularly important because Trump reportedly wanted to press ahead with a 25% tariff on car imports.  It was also announced that the EU would buy more soy and liquid natural gas from the US. 

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And Now For Something Completely Different

Back in February, Japan’s Cabinet Office reported that Real GDP in Japan had grown in Q4 2017 for the eighth consecutive quarter. It was the longest streak of non-negative GDP since the 1980’s. Predictably, this was hailed as some significant achievement, a true masterstroke of courage and perseverance. It was taken as a sign that Abenomics and QQE was finally working (never mind the four years).

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Transitory’s Japanese Cousin

Thomas Hoenig was President of the Federal Reserve’s Kansas City branch for two decades. He left that post in 2011 to become Vice Chairman of the FDIC. Before that, Mr. Hoenig as a voting member of the FOMC in 2010 cast the lone dissenting vote in each of the eight policy meetings that year (meaning he was against QE2, too). This makes him, apparently, the hawk of all hawks.

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