Tag Archive: central banks

The Intolerable Scourge of Fake Capitalism

All is now bustle and hubbub in the late months of the year. This goes for the stock market too. If you recall, on September 22nd the S&P 500 hit an all-time high of 2,940. This was nearly 100 points above the prior high of 2,847, which was notched on January 26th. For a brief moment, it appeared the stock market had resumed its near decade long upward trend.

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TARGET-2 Revisited

Capital Flight vs. The Effect of QE. Mish recently discussed the ever increasing imbalances of the euro zone’s TARGET-2 payment system again in response to a few articles which played down  their significance. He followed this up with a nice plug for us by posting a comment we made on the subject. Here is a chart of the most recent data on TARGET-2 available from the ECB; we included the four largest balances, namely those of  Germany, Italy, Spain...

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Credit Spreads: Polly is Twitching Again – in Europe

The famous dead parrot is coming back to life… in an unexpected place. With its QE operations, which included inter alia corporate bonds, the ECB has managed to suppress credit spreads in Europe to truly ludicrous levels.

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If Bitcoin Is A Bubble…

Our earlier articles on bitcoin discuss the crypto asset as a currency and a commodity. Both papers focused on the consequences of bitcoin’s defining feature: the asymptotic supply limit of 21 million coins. This gives it an unusual juxtaposition of demand uncertainty and supply certainty (as well as inelasticity). As a currency, it gives rise to a tension between its use as a store of value and as medium of exchange.

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Bubble Watch: Warning Signs That The Everything Bubble Will Burst in 2018

I believe 2018 will be the year inflation arrives. The reason, as I’ve noted throughout mid-2017, is that multiple Central Banks, particularly the European Central Bank (ECB), Bank of Japan (BoJ) and Swiss National Bank (SNB) have maintained emergency levels of QE and money printing, despite the fact that globally the economy is performing relatively well.

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A Gold Guy’s View Of Crypto, Bitcoin, And Blockchain

Bitcoin was on my radar far back as 2011, but for years, I didn’t think much of it. It was a curiosity. Nothing more. Sort of like the virtual money you use in World of Warcraft or something. In 2015, looking deeper, I slowly (not the sharpest tool in the shed) arrived at that “aha” inflection point that most advocates of honest money arrive at. I realized that a distributed public ledger has the power to change, well, everything.

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The Rug Yank Phase of Fed Policy

The political differences of today’s two leading parties are not over ultimate questions of principle. Rather, they are over opposing answers to the question of how a goal can be achieved with the least sacrifice. For lawmakers, the goal is to promise the populace something for nothing, while pretending to make good on it.

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The Stock Market and the FOMC

As the final FOMC announcement of the year approaches, we want to briefly return to the topic of how the meeting tends to affect the stock market from a statistical perspective. As long time readers may recall, the typical performance of the stock market in the trading days immediately ahead of FOMC announcements was quite remarkable in recent decades. We are referring to the Seaonax event study of the average (or seasonal) performance across a...

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Jim Grant: “Markets Trust Too Much In The Presence Of Central Banks”

James Grant, Wall Street expert and editor of the renowned investment newsletter «Grant’s Interest Rate Observer», warns of the unseen consequences of super low interest rate and questions the extraordinary actions of the Swiss National Bank. Nearly ten years after the financial crisis, extraordinary monetary policy has become the norm.

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Year-end Rate Hike Once Again Proves To Be Launchpad For Gold Price

Year-end rate hike once again proves to be launchpad for gold price. FOMC follows through on much anticipated rate-hike of 0.25%. Spot gold responds by heading for biggest gain in three weeks, rising by over 1%. Final meeting for Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen. Yellen does not expect Trump's tax-cut package to result in significant, strong growth for US economy. No concern for bitcoin which 'plays a very small role in the payment system'.

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New Gold-Backed Debit Card Launched In Partnership With MasterCard

In recent years, there has been a major debate about the respective merits of gold versus Bitcoin, even though many, not all, gold bulls are also supporters of the latter. Gold advocates generally view favourably Bitcoin’s inherent characteristics of decentralisation, finite supply and ability to operate (so far) outside of the usual interference by western central banks.

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SNB: It’s A Bonfire Of The Absurdities

This week’s letter will take a look at the growing number of ridiculous, inane, and otherwise nonsensical absurdities that fill the daily economic headlines. I have gone from the occasional smile to scratching my head now and then to “WTF” moments several times a week.

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Deepening Crisis In Hyper-inflationary Venezuela and Zimbabwe Show Why Physical Gold Is Ultimate Protection

Deepening Crisis In Hyper-inflationary Venezuela and Zimbabwe. Real inflation in Zimbabwe is 313 percent annually and 112 percent on a monthly basis. Venezuela's new 100,000-bolivar note is worth less oday thehan USD 2.50. Maduro announces plans to eliminate all physical cash. Gold rises in response to ongoing crises.

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The Swiss National Bank Now Owns A Record $88 Billion In US Stocks

In the third quarter of 2017, one in which the global economy was supposedly undergoing an unprecedented "coordinated growth spurt", and in which central banks were preparing to unveil their QE tapering intentions, in the case of the ECB, or raising rates outright, at the Fed, what was really taking place was another central bank buying spree meant to boost confidence that things are now back to normal, using "money" freshly printed out of thin...

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Is This The Best Way To Bet On The Fed Losing Control Of The Bond Market?

Authored by Kevin Muir via The Macro Tourist blog, Lately, one of my biggest duds of a call has been for the yield curve to steepen. Sure, I have all sorts of fancy reasons why it should steepen, but reality glares back at me in black and white on my P&L run. Sometimes fighting with the market is an exercise in futility.

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Dollar Surge Continues Ahead Of Jobs Report; Europe Dips As Catalan Fears Return

World stocks eased back from record highs and fell for the first time in eight days, as jitters about Catalonia’s independence push returned while bets on higher U.S. interest rates sent the dollar to its highest since mid August; S&P 500 futures were modestly in the red - as they have been every day this week before levitating to record highs - ahead of hurricane-distorted nonfarm payrolls data (full preview here). U.S. jobs report will also be...

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Here Are The Cities Of The World Where “The Rent Is Too Damn High”

In ancient times, like as far back as the 1990s, housing prices grew roughly inline with inflation rates because they were generally set by supply and demand forces determined by a market where buyers mostly just bought houses so they could live in them. Back in those ancient days, a more practical group of world citizens saw their homes as a place to raise a family rather that just another asset class that should be day traded to satisfy their...

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Is The Swiss National Bank A Fraud?

The price of shares in The Swiss National Bank is up 11 days in a row, soaring 150% in the last two months. That sounds like a 'tulip' bubble-like 'fraud'... The SNB is up over 120% in Q3 so far - more than double 'bubble' Bitcoin...

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Fed’s Asset Bubbles Now At The Mercy Of The Rest Of The World’s Central Bankers

"Like watching paint dry," is how The Fed describes the beginning of the end of its experiment with massively inflating its balance sheet to save the world. As former fund manager Richard Breslow notes, however, Yellen's decision today means the risk-suppression boot is on the other foot (or feet) of The SNB, The ECB, and The BoJ; as he writes, "have no fear, The SNB knows what it's doing."

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Forget Tulips & Bitcoin – Here’s The Real Bubble

While the broader market for Swiss stocks has risen modestly this year, one 'entity' has outperformed its peers by such a staggering margin, it has left bamboozled market experts struggling for an explanation. And that company is…the Swiss National Bank. The price of a share in Swiss National Bank in August rose above 3,000 francs ($3,143) for the first time, more than double the level of a year ago, and up 50% since mid-July, as the Financial...

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