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Showing posts with label Japan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Japan. Show all posts

Thursday, July 11, 2013

You Can't Buy Prosperity

by Bill Bonner

Gold rose $24 per ounce Thursday. The Dow fell 12 points.
The smart money is using this dip to buy gold.
Because the world's major stock markets... currencies... and economies all depend on reckless measures by central banks. In the short run, the central banks can make things appear safe and stable.
By making lending money at ultra-low rates the norm. It's hard for major players to go broke; they can just refinance.
But in the long run, those same policies can lead to instability, bubbles... and disaster.
Too bad, but you can't buy prosperity. You can't print prosperity. You can't borrow prosperity. You can't ZIRP, QE or OMF ("overt monetary financing," a phrase that is bound to become current soon) prosperity, either. Prosperity comes from hard work, saving and discipline.
That is, it comes from responsible policies, not reckless ones.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Keiser Report: Dumb Luck, Wash Trading & Gold Suppression

In this episode of the Keiser Report, Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert discuss the failure to understand English as saviour of the Japanese banking system. While price signals, the language of the market, are so manipulated as to be indecipherable by even those who speak the language. In the second half, Max talks to legendary investor, Jim Rogers, about gold, bonds and China.

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Phony Recovery

by Bill Bonner

Not much action following the new Dow high. Not much follow-through. But no big breakdown, either.

As near as we can tell, the Fed's EZ money has driven up stock prices. Investors expect more EZ money. So they think stocks will go up more.

We are attending an investment conference in New York. What has struck us so far is how optimistic the young investors are. They think stocks always go up.

"I'm 36 years old," one explained. "That means I was too young to get in on the boom of 1982-2000. All I've seen are stocks going up and down. They're just a little bit higher today than they were in 2000 – when I was just 23 years old.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Bill Gross To Ben Bernanke: "It's Your Policies That Are Now Part Of The Problem Rather Than The Solution"


On practically every day of the past four years, we have said that it was the Fed's own policies that are causing the ever-deeper systemic weakness in the US (and now global with all central banks going "all in") economy, which in turn forces the Fed to intervene even more aggressively in an attempt to counteract, in turn generating ever more economic weakness, leading to even more intervention, which is why every incremental episode of QE is larger and longer, and why the economic baseline is ever lower in the most perverse feedback loop of the New Normal. Now, it is once again Bill Gross to catch up to Zero Hedge and conclude just this in his latest monthly letter: "It’s been five years Mr. Chairman and the real economy has not once over a 12-month period of time grown faster than 2.5%. Perhaps, in addition to a fiscally confused Washington, it’s your policies that may be now part of the problem rather than the solution. Perhaps the beating heart is pumping anemic, even destructively leukemic blood through the system. Perhaps zero-bound interest rates and quantitative easing programs are becoming as much of the problem as the solution." Which is why there simply is no way out as long as Bernanke stays in.

From Bill Gross of PIMCO

Wounded Heart

Saturday, May 25, 2013

America’s Bubble Economy Is Going To Become An Economic Black Hole

By Michael

What is going to happen when the greatest economic bubble in the history of the world pops?  The mainstream media never talks about that.  They are much too busy covering the latest dogfights in Washington and what Justin Bieber has been up to.  And most Americans seem to think that if the Dow keeps setting new all-time highs that everything must be okay.  Sadly, that is not the case at all.  Right now, the U.S. economy is exhibiting all of the classic symptoms of a bubble economy.  You can see this when you step back and take a longer-term view of things.  Over the past decade, we have added more than 10 trillion dollars to the national debt.  But most Americans have shown very little concern as the balance on our national credit card has soared from 6 trillion dollars to nearly 17 trillion dollars.

The Gods Of The Marketplace

by Mark J. Grant, author of Out of the Box,
"It's the lure of easy money. It has a very strong appeal."

                 -Glenn Frey, Smuggler's Blues


Investors borrowed $384.4 billion in April, a 1.3% gain from the previous month and a 29% rise from the same month last year. This is an all-time record for margin debt and it exceeds the previous high mark set in June 2007. Some may see this as an increased sign of investor confidence but I am not one of them. To me this is a giant red warning flag blowing in the financial breeze indicating the leveraging of dumb money making very risky bets.

"Every swindle is driven by a desire for easy money; it's the one thing the swindler and the swindled have in common."

                     -Mitchell Zuckoff

Substances based upon some sort of white powder are quite dangerous. They can overcome your good sense and then they it can be quite difficult to extricate yourself from them. The Great Depression was caused, in large part, by massive leverage utilized in the equity markets. This was the white powder of 1929. It took a decade and a World War before America was able to loosen the grip of the stuff.

Abenomics 101 - The 15 Most Frequently Asked Questions

 by Tyler Durden

With the first arrow of Abenomics perhaps hitting its limit, it will be the second and third arrows that need to occur quickly and aggressively to carry this momentum forward (and for the economy to grow into stock valuations). Barclays lays out 15 of its most frequently asked questions below but concerns remain as the BoJ’s planned absorption of nearly 80% of new JGB issuance from the markets this fiscal year has triggered a dramatic change not only in JGB supply/demand and ownership structure but in the JGB market risk profile itself, which has moved from “low carry, low volatility and high liquidity (superior to other assets from perspective of risk-adjusted returns or Sharpe ratio)” to “low carry, high volatility and low liquidity (inferior from same perspective)”. Barclays added that with a wave of major political and policy events ahead, starting with a crucial Upper House election, there was no big change in the basic belief among foreign investors that Japan is likely to be the main source of surprise for the global economy and of volatility in financial markets.

Monday, May 20, 2013

US Dollar Collapse and Japan’s Sham Currency War: The Hidden Agenda Behind Japan’s Kamikaze Quantitative Easing

By John Kozy

US$ dollars have been flooding the financial markets ever since Bernanke launched quantitative easing allegedly to turnaround the US economy. These huge amounts of US$ toilet paper are mainly in financial markets (and in central banks) outside of the United States. A huge chunk is represented as reserves in central banks led by China and Japan.

If truth be told, the real value of the US$ would not be more than a dime and I am being really generous here, as even toilet paper has a value.

That the US dollar is still accepted in the financial markets (specifically by central banks) has nothing to do with it being a reserve currency, but rather that the US$ is backed/supported by the armed might and nuclear blackmail of the US Military-Industrial Complex. The nuclear blackmail of Iran is the best example following Iran’s decision to trade her crude in other currencies and gold instead of the US$ toilet paper.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Thanks, World Reserve Currency, But No Thanks: Australia And China To Enable Direct Currency Convertibility

by Tyler Durden 

A month ago we pointed out that as a result of Australia's unprecedented reliance on China as a target export market, accounting for nearly 30% of all Australian exports (with the flipside being just as true, as Australia now is the fifth-biggest source of Chinese imports), the two countries may as well be joined at the hip.

Over the weekend, Australia appears to have come to the same conclusion, with the Australian reporting that the land down under is set to say goodbye to the world's "reserve currency" in its trade dealings with the world's biggest marginal economic power, China, and will enable the direct convertibility of the Australian dollar into Chinese yuan, without US Dollar intermediation, in the process "slashing costs for thousands of business" and also confirming speculation that China is fully intent on, little by little, chipping away at the dollar's reserve currency status until one day it no longer is.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

A. Gary Shilling - Six Realities In An Age Of Deleveraging

by Lance Roberts of Street Talk Live blog

In Part III of Lance's series of reports from the 10th annual Strategic Investment Conference, presented Altegris Investments and John Mauldin, the question of how to invest during a deleveraging cycle is addressed by A. Gary Shilling, Ph.D.  Dr. Shilling is the President of A. Gary Shilling & Co., an investment manager, Forbes and Bloomberg columnist and author - Mr. Shilling's list of credentials is long and impressive.  His most recent book "The Age Of Deleveraging: Investment Strategies In A Slow Growth Economy" is a must read.  Here are his views on what to watch out for and how to invest in our current economic cycle.

Six Fundamental Realities
  • Private Sector Deleveraging And Government Policy Responses
  • Rising Protectionism
  • Grand Disconnect Between Markets And Economy
  • Zeal For Yield
  • End Of Export Driven Economies
  • Equities Are Vulnerable
Private Sector Deleveraging And Government Policy Responses
Household deleveraging is far from over. There is most likely at least 5 more years to go. However, it could be longer given the magnitude of the debt bubble. The offset of the household deleveraging has been the leveraging up of the Federal government.
The flip side of household leverage is the personal saving rates. The decline in the savings rate from the 1980’s to 2000 was a major boost to economic growth. That has now changed as savings rate are now slowly increasing and acting as a drag on growth.
However, American’s are not saving voluntarily. American’s have been trained to spend as long as credit is readily available. However, credit is no longer available. Furthermore, there is an implicit mistrust of stocks which is a huge change from the 90’s when stocks were believed to be a source of wealth creation limiting the need to save.    

Friday, April 26, 2013

Forget Cyprus, Japan Is The Real Crisis

Forget Cyprus. A much bigger story in the coming weeks and months will be in Japan, where one of the greatest economic experiments in the modern era is about to begin. A country where government debt even dwarfs those of Europe’s crisis-ridden nations, Japan will attempt to inflate its way out of a 23-year deflationary spiral.
The overwhelming consensus among the world’s economists is that quantitative easing (QE) has saved the day in the U.S. and that Japan needs to follow suit, on a larger scale. I beg to differ and suggest this policy will almost certainly lead to a hyperinflationary disaster in Japan. If that’s right, it will have serious ramifications for other countries, dragged down by an acceleration of the so-called currency wars. More broadly though, it is likely to destroy the myth pushed by today’s economists that QE is a cure-all for downtrodden economies. It isn’t and Japan will become the template to prove it.
Monster stimulus on the way
The new Bank of Japan (BoJ) Governor, Haruhiko Kuroda, started work on Thursday and his first day on the job disappointed investors.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

A Retort to SocGen’s Latest Gold Report

Société Générale (“SocGen”) recently published a special report entitled “The end of the gold era” that garnered far more attention than we think it deserved. The majority of the report focused on SocGen’s “crash scenario” for gold wherein they suggest that gold could fall well below their 2013 target of US$1,375/oz. It also included a classic criticism that we’ve heard so many times before: that the gold price is in “bubble territory”. We have problems with both suggestions.

To begin, the report’s authors appear to view gold as a commodity, rather than as a currency. This is a common misconception that continues to plague most gold market analysis. Gold doesn’t really work as a commodity because it doesn’t get consumed like one. The vast majority of gold mined throughout history remains in existence today, and the total global gold stockpile grows in small increments every year through additional mine supply. 

Jim Rogers: The Yen will be the First to Collapse in the Currency Wars


Jim Rogers is an author, financial commentator and successful international investor. He has been frequently featured in Time, The New York Times, Barron’s, Forbes, Fortune, The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times and is a regular guest on Bloomberg and CNBC.
Wall St for Main St interviewed legendary investor and the author of Street Smarts, Jim Rogers. In this podcast, we discussed the global currency wars and why the Yen will be the first to collapse. Jim will discuss why the situation in Cyprus is a big deal and why Americans should be concerned about it! Also, we discussed gold,silver,copper and the agriculture market. Plus much more!
Jim Rogers started trading the stock market with $600 in 1968.In 1973 he formed the Quantum Fund with the legendary investor George Soros before retiring, a multi millionaire at the age of 37. Rogers and Soros helped steer the fund to a miraculous 4,200% return over the 10 year span of the fund while the S&P 500 returned just 47%.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Bubble trouble: Is there an end to endless quantitative easing?

By Detlev Schlichter

The publication, earlier this week, of the Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee minutes of January 29-30 seemed to have a similar effect on equity markets as a call from room service to a Las Vegas hotel suite, informing the partying high-rollers that the hotel might be running out of Cristal Champagne.  Around the world, stocks sold off, and so did gold.
Here is the sentence that caused such consternation:
“However, many participants also expressed some concerns about potential costs and risks arising from further asset purchases (the Fed’s open-ended, $85 billion-a-month debt monetization program called ‘quantitative easing’, DS). Several participants discussed the possible complications that additional purchases could cause for the eventual withdrawal of policy accommodation, a few mentioned the prospect of inflationary risks, and some noted that further asset purchases could foster market behaviour that could undermine financial stability.”

Friday, February 22, 2013

Outlook for 2013

By Alasdair Macleod

I have not faced the prospect of a new year with so much trepidation as when I contemplate what is in store for 2013. Systemic risks abound, which of themselves are not the main story, only milestones on the road to final currency destruction, unless governments somehow regain their senses.
To help understand the perils of 2013 I shall give them their background context first before listing them individually. No such list can be exhaustive or temporally sequenced, but all on it have the same root: the long-term accumulation of a burden of unsupportable debt.
This is a story that started with the end of the First World War, and involves a world which replaced laissez-faire with political motivation in economic and monetary affairs, moving away from wealth-creation into wealth-destruction in the cause of the common good.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Lessons From The 1930s Currency Wars

With Abe picking his new dovish playmate, and Draghi doing his best to jawbone the EUR down without actually saying anything, it is becoming very clear that no matter what level of bullshit histrionics is used by the politicians and bankers in public, the currency wars have begun to gather pace. Japan's more open aggressive policy intervention is the game-changer (and increasingly fascinating how they will talk around it at the upcoming G-20), as if a weaker JPY is an important pillar of the strategy to make this export-oriented economy more competitive again, it brings into the picture something that was missing from earlier interactions among central banks of the advanced economies – competitive depreciation. The last time the world saw a fully fledged currency war was in the early 1930s. Morgan Stanley's Joachim Fels looks at what it was like and what lessons can be drawn for the sequence of events - there are definite winners and losers and a clear first-mover advantage.

Via Morgan Stanley, Back to the 1930s? What Would a Currency War Look Like?
What did the currency war of the 1930s look like?
The backdrop for the currency war of the 1930s was the Gold Standard and the Great Depression (many economists blame the former for the latter). By fixing the value of the currency to the price of gold, the Gold Standard prevented a country from printing too much money. If it did, people would simply exchange it for gold (or for other currencies pegged to gold).

Thursday, January 10, 2013

It’s a mad mad mad mad world

By Detlev Schlichter 

Shinzo Abe, Japan’s new prime minister, has some exciting new ideas about how to make Japan’s economy grow. How about the government borrows a lot of money and spends it on building bridges and roads all over the country?
If that doesn’t sound so new, it is because it isn’t. It is what Japan has been doing for 20 years, and it is the main reason why Japan is now the most heavily indebted nation on the planet – and still not growing a lot. Its debt-to-GDP ratio stands at an eye-watering, world-record 230 percent, which already guarantees that the country’s pensioners-to-be (and Japan has a lot of those) will never be repaid with anything of true value for the government bonds they kept patiently accumulating in their pension funds, and that they optimistically keep calling ‘assets’.
But never mind. The Keynesians agree that this policy was a roaring success, and that this is why the country needs more of it, as, strangely, Japan has still not regained self-sufficient growth after 2 decades of such a policy. Hmmm. Well, in any case, surely the next set of roads and bridges are going to make all the difference. I suggest that this should be called the ‘Krugman-doctrine’, after the outstanding Keynesian thinker, Paul Krugman: even if a few trillion of new government debt and a few trillion of newly-printed paper-money have not revitalized your economy, the next trillion in government deficit-spending and the next trillion in new central-bank money will finally get the economy going. “Just keep the foot on the gas pedal until the economy grows, damn it!”

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Trends to Watch in 2013

Rather than attempt to predict the unpredictable – that is, specific events and price levels – let’s look instead for key dynamics that will play out over the next two to three years. Though the specific timelines of crises are inherently unpredictable, it is still useful to understand the eventual consequences of influential trends.
In other words: policies that appear to have been successful for the past four years may continue to appear successful for a year or two longer. But that very success comes at a steep, and as yet unpaid, price in suppressed systemic risk, cost, and consequence.

Trend #1: Central Planning intervention in stock and bond markets will continue, despite diminishing returns on Central State/Bank intervention

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Japan in 2013

The Japanese government for the last twenty three years has employed the Keynesian tools of deficit spending and more recently the monetarist policies of expanding money supply in an attempt to stop the economy from sliding into recession and to develop some growth. On paper, it has only achieved the former objective; in reality it has emasculated the productive capability of her domestic economy.

Before the speculative bubble of the late-1980s the Japanese economy was driven by savings. Her strong savings flow gave Japanese industry access to a stable low-cost source of real capital with which it was able to produce high-quality goods for export at competitive prices. While there was, in the free market sense, much wrong with Japan this characteristic more than compensated for her economic sins. However, the bubble came along, fuelled by the institutional greed of the Zaibatsu which through their banks sanctioned a spectacular expansion of credit, and as bubbles go this one went pop spectacularly. Since then the government has done everything it can to stop banks folding and industrial malinvestments from being liquidated.