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Showing posts with label Monetary Policy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Monetary Policy. Show all posts

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Financial Independence and Intellectual Influence

 If you are interested in the history of ideas, at some point this question will occur to you: "How is it possible for someone to gain influence, yet at the same time retain his independence?" If you traffic in ideas, you have to be able to do both. 

A crackpot can go online today and argue for his favorite theory. He is completely independent. He is also completely ignored. His independence does him no good, because what he writes has no influence.
I suppose my two favorite recent examples of people who have maintained their independence, but whose ideas have had considerable influence, are Ludwig von Mises and Murray Rothbard. They are more influential today than they were at the time of their deaths. Mises died in 1973. Rothbard died in 1995.
Mises had the great advantage in the final phase of his intellectual career in the fact that Yale University Press published his books from 1944 to 1957. This gave him an audience.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Jim Rogers: “This Is Too Insane–And I’m Afraid We’re All Going To Suffer For The Rest Of This Decade”


I was able to reconnect with Jim Rogers this morning out of Spain, legendary co-founder of the Quantum Fund with George Soros, author of Hot Commodities, and chairman of the private Beeland Holdings.
It was an especially powerful interview, as Jim spoke towards the relentless downward pressure on gold, the upward explosion in interest rates, central bank money printing, and how to protect yourself ahead of the disastrous times he sees coming.
When asked if we’re seeing forced liquidation leading the smash down in gold this morning, Jim said, “We certainly are. There are a lot of leveraged players who are now being forced to sell. Usually when you have this kind of forced liquidation, you’re getting closer to a bottom, maybe not the final bottom, but certainly close to a bottom. I even bought a little bit [today].”

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Collateral Transformation: The Latest, Greatest Financial Weapon Of Mass Destruction


Back in 2002 Warren Buffet famously proclaimed that derivatives were ‘financial weapons of mass destruction’ (FWMDs). Time has proven this view to be correct. As The Amphora Report's John Butler notes, it is difficult to imagine that the US housing and general global credit bubble of 2004-07 could have formed without the widespread use of collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) and various other products of early 21st century financial engineering. But to paraphrase those who oppose gun control, "FWMDs don’t cause crises, people do." But then who, exactly, does? And why? And can so-called 'liquidity regulation' prevent the next crisis? To answer these questions, John takes a closer look at proposed liquidity regulation as a response to the growing use of 'collateral transformation' (a topic often discussed here): the latest, greatest FWMD in the arsenal.

Submitted by John Butler of The Amphora Report,

Back in 2006, as the debate was raging whether or not the US had a mortgage credit and housing bubble, I had an ongoing, related exchange with the Chief US Economist of a large US investment bank. It had to do with what is now commonly referred to as the ‘shadow banking system’.
While the debate was somewhat arcane in its specifics, it boiled down to whether the additional financial market liquidity created through the use of securities repo and other forms of collateralized lending were destabilizing the financial system.

Mises' Answer to Would-Be Conspirators: You Will Lose

by Gary North

Over half a century ago, Ludwig von Mises made a crucial observation.
The capitalistic social order, therefore, is an economic democracy in the strictest sense of the word. In the last analysis, all decisions are dependent on the will of the people as consumers. Thus, whenever there is a conflict between the consumers' views and those of the business managers, market pressures assure that the views of the consumers win out eventually.
I have long believed he was correct. Like Mises' disciple Murray Rothbard, I am a student of conspiracies. They all have this in common: the seek leverage through the state. They instinctively know that Mises was correct, that they are the servants of customers in a free market order. So, they seek to rig the markets by means of the state.
Once a person comes to grips with Mises' observation, conspiracies appear less formidable. The state is a weak reed when compared to the long-run effects of liberty. The free market prospers under liberty. It expands its control over production and distribution.
This leads me to the topic at hand.

Monday, June 24, 2013

End of QE? – I don’t buy it.


A new meme is spreading in financial markets: The Fed is about to turn off the monetary spigot. US Printmaster General Ben Bernanke announced that he might start reducing the monthly debt monetization program, called ‘quantitative easing’ (QE), as early as the autumn of 2013, and maybe stop it entirely by the middle of next year. He reassured markets that the Fed would keep the key policy rate (the Fed Funds rate) at near zero all the way into 2015. Still, the end of QE is seen as the beginning of the end of super-easy policy and potentially the first towards normalization, as if anybody still had any idea of what ‘normal’ was.Fearing that the flow of nourishing mother milk from the Fed could dry up, a resolutely unweaned Wall Street threw a hissy fit and the dummy out of the pram.

Controlling The Implosion Of The Biggest Bond Bubble In History


In theory, the Fed could continue to print money and buy Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities, or even pure junk, at the current rate of $85 billion a month until the bitter end. But the bitter end would be unpleasant even for those that the Fed represents – and now they’re speaking up publicly.

“Savers have paid a huge price in this recovery,” was how Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf phrased it on Thursday – a sudden flash of empathy, after nearly five years of Fed policies that pushed interest rates on savings accounts and CDs below inflation, a form of soft confiscation, of which he and his TBTF bank were prime beneficiaries. That interest rates were rising based on Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke’s insinuation of a taper was “a good thing,” he told CNBC. “We need to get back to normal.”

A week earlier, it was Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein: “Eventually interest rates have to normalize,” he said. “It’s not normal to have 2% rates.”

Friday, June 21, 2013

Why the Greenbackers Are Wrong

by Thomas E. Woods, Jr.

One of Ron Paul’s great accomplishments is that the Federal Reserve faces more opposition today than ever before. Readers of this site will be familiar with the arguments: the Fed enjoys special government privileges; its interference with market interest rates gives rise to the boom-bust business cycle; it has undermined the value of the dollar; it creates moral hazard, since market participants know the money producer can bail them out; and it is unnecessary and at odds with a free market economy.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

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.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Fed exit strategy: the mother of all head fakes

by Goldmoney

“Exit strategy” is the current buzz phrase among market watchers, with the dollar rallying in recent days and weeks on expectations that all is well with the US economy again, and that the Fed can now start thinking about ways of selling assets and “exiting” from its current commitment to perpetual quantitative easing.
Given this growing narrative and the fact that US stocks continue to race higher, gold and silver remain under pressure – with a “sell the rallies” mentality continuing to predominate trading in these metals. This could change though, depending on what Fed chairman Bernanke says in congressional testimony later today (if he sounds more dovish on monetary policy and pessimistic about the economy than expected, this should support the metals; in the opposite case, the metals could go lower).
From a longer-term perspective, it really doesn’t matter what Bernanke says. Talk from Fed officials about “exit strategies” is nothing more than a head fake: a way of convincing the markets that central banks are still in control, and that there’s nothing to worry about. The central planners have it all under control.

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, March 29, 2013

Want To Understand Money?


This was published on January 2, 2013, in Ron Paul’s Monetary Policy Anthology: Materials From the Chairmanship of the Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology, US House of Representatives, 112th Congress.
The scholarly contributions of Murray N. Rothbard span numerous disciplines, and may be found in dozens of books and thousands of articles. But even if we confine ourselves to the topic of money, the subject of this volume, we still find his contributions copious and significant.
As an American monetary historian Rothbard traced the party politics, the pressure groups, and the academic apologists behind the various national banking schemes throughout American history. As a popularizer of monetary theory and history he showed the public what government was really up to as it took greater and greater control over money. As a business cycle expert he wrote scholarly books on the Panic of 1819 and the Great Depression, finding the roots of both in artificial credit expansion. And while the locus classicus of monetary theory in the tradition of the Austrian School is Ludwig von Mises’ 1912 work The Theory of Money and Credit, the most thorough shorter overview of Austrian monetary theory is surely chapter 10 of Rothbard’s treatise Man, Economy and State.