ZIRP

Blog

Lightspring/Shutterstock

The Banquet Of Consequences Is Being Served

Prepared just for us by the central banking cartel
Wednesday, September 28, 2016, 9:58 AM

The Fed and its central banking brethren (most notably the European Central Bank, Bank of Japan, Bank of England and Bank of China), have decided to sacrifice investing for tomorrow (namely savings and productive enterprise) in favor of higher prices today for financial assets. By keeping interest rates historically low -- and increasingly negative -- around the world, they have pushed capital much farther out the risk curve than it deserves to be, added trillions of more debt into an already dangerously over-leveraged economy, and lavishly rewarded the rich elite at the expense of everyone else.

As Stevenson wrote, sooner or later, the banquet of consequences must be supped on. And for the Fed, the dinner bell is ringing. » Read more

Blog

whitedaisy/Shutterstock

The Year Of The Red Monkey: Volatility Reigns Supreme

To preserve capital, you need to outsmart the monkey
Friday, March 11, 2016, 3:16 PM

In the lunar calendar that started February 8, this is the Year of the Red Monkey. I found this description of the Red Monkey quite apt:

"According to Chinese Five Elements Horoscopes, Monkey contains Metal and Water. Metal is connected to gold. Water is connected to wisdom and danger. Therefore, we will deal with more financial events in the year of the Monkey. Monkey is a smart, naughty, wily and vigilant animal. If you want to have good return for your money investment, then you need to outsmart the Monkey. Metal is also connected to the Wind. That implies the status of events will be changing very quickly. Think twice before you leap when making changes for your finance, career, business relationship and people relationship."

(Source)

In other words, the financial world will be volatile. And few will have the agility and wile to outsmart the market-monkey. » Read more

Blog

dalebor/Shutterstock

Has The Market Trend Shifted From Bull To Bear?

Why the recent volatility may mark a secular shift
Friday, October 23, 2015, 4:12 PM

Emotions are running high for the investment community in the wake of recent market volatility. Up until August, we had been in the third longest period in market history without a 10% correction. Since then, stock indices sold off hard, only to bounce once again over the past two weeks of trading.

And certainly the truth is….No one knows. Especially in today’s world where global central banks can concoct further QE/monetary schemes at the drop of a hat.  Let’s face it, at this point the global central banks are all in. In fact, beyond all in. Without question, the US Fed knows that if equities fall, they lose the high end consumer. (Wal-Mart shoppers have already long been lost)  » Read more

Blog

Bloomberg

Has The Fed Already Lost?

Growth is dying & the Fed has few options left
Friday, April 17, 2015, 3:36 PM

Increasingly we live in a world of Now. Instantaneous access to digital real time data and news has simply become a given in our lives of the moment.

You may be surprised to know that the Federal Reserve has taken notice. » Read more

Insider

Dreamstime

The Future Of Interest Rates

The Fed faces an increasingly bad set of options
Friday, April 17, 2015, 3:36 PM

Executive Summary

  • Why the Fed may no be able to raise rates from here
  • Will the Fed go to negative interest rates instead?
  • Why the next recession will limit the Fed's options greatly
  • Why it may well be too late for the Fed at this point to act

If you have not yet read Part 1: Has The Fed Already Lost? available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

What If The Fed Isn't Actually Able To Raise Rates From Here?

Let’s start with a look at the history of the Federal Funds rate (the shortest maturity interest rate the Fed directly controls).  Alongside the historical rhythm of the Funds rate are official US recession periods in the shaded blue bars.   

Chart Source:  St. Louis Federal Reserve

Of course there is one striking and completely consistent historical commonality in the behavior of the Funds rate over time.  The Fed has lowered the Federal Funds rate in every recession since 1954 at least.  There are no exceptions.  You can see the punchline coming, can’t you?  Just how does one lower interest rates from zero to stimulate a potential slowdown in the economy?

Of course in the banking system... » Read more

Blog

Shutterstock

Oil And The Global Slowdown

It's time for central banks to admit their failures
Wednesday, December 3, 2014, 8:08 PM

The world economy is slowing down and the authorities are fretting. 

Japan, Italy, Greece and Austria are all in recession.  China is slowing down according to their official statistics, and even more according to the whispers. 

Germany, France and the Netherlands are all at stall speed. 

The US is, according to the BLS, doing just great at nearly 4% growth, but you wouldn't know that from either the quality of the few jobs being created (which is low) or consumer spending (also low).  » Read more

Podcast

John Hussman: The Stock Market Is Overvalued By 100%

Expect prices to drop by 50% (or more)
Saturday, November 8, 2014, 5:04 PM

John Hussman is highly respected for his prodigious use of data and adherence to what it tells him about the state of the financial markets. His regular weekly market commentary is widely regarded as one of the best-researched, best-articulated publications available to money managers.

John's public appearances are rare, so we're especially grateful he made time to speak with us yesterday about the precarious state in which he sees global markets. Based on historical norms and averages, he calculates that the ZIRP and QE policies of the Fed and other world central banks have led to an overvaluation in the stock market where prices are 2 times higher than they should be. » Read more

Blog

JRMurray76/Shutterstock

Reality-Optional Economics

Cockamamie Stories Infecting the Body Politic
Wednesday, July 9, 2014, 1:10 PM

The total tonnage of economic malarkey being shoveled over the American public these days would make the late Dr. Joseph Goebbels (Nazi Minister of “Public Enlightenment and Propaganda”) turn green in his grave with envy. It’s a staggering phenomenon because little about it is conspiratorial; rather, it’s the consensual expression of a public that wants desperately to believe things that are untrue, and an economic leadership equally credulous, unmanned, and avid to furnish the necessary narratives that might preserve their jobs and perqs. » Read more

Insider

How You Can Limit Your Exposure to the Fed's Financial Interference

There are ways to protect yourself
Thursday, August 1, 2013, 1:18 AM

Executive Summary

  • Understanding the Fed's ability to impact (or not) health & education, pensions, and inflation
  • What you can do to insulate yourself from the impacts of the Fed's financial interference
    • Mindset
    • Major expenses
    • Debt
    • Resilience
    • Income

If you have not yet read Part I: The Fed Matters Much Less Than You Think, available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

In Part I, we found that the supposedly omniscient Federal Reserve is irrelevant to the engine of real wealth creation (innovation) and actively inhibits the allocation of capital and labor to innovation by incentivizing speculation and malinvestment.

In Part II, we’ll look at what else matters that the Fed either negatively influences or does not control, as well as specific actions we can take as individuals to insulate ourselves from the collateral damage caused by misguided central bank policies.

Health and Education

We all know health and education are vital to individuals and the economy, and like everything else that matters, the Fed’s influence is limited to financial repression of interest rates that enables the Federal government to avoid the sort of healthy fiscal discipline that higher rates would demand. In other words, the Fed has widened the moat around government spending, protecting it from the hard choices that would accompany massive deficits and bond issuance in a free-market economy.

Public and Private Pensions

By at least one measure, the Fed’s repression of interest rates (designed to recapitalize the banks at no direct cost to the Fed or government) has cost savers $10.8 trillion in lost income. Since the majority of savings in the U.S. are in public and private pension plans, 401Ks, and IRAs (individual retirement accounts), the Fed’s repression of interest rates has pushed these income-security savings into risky speculative asset bubbles in stocks, bonds, and real estate, and critically undermined the financial health of pensions by radically reducing their low-risk, safe returns. » Read more

Insider

When Everybody Knows Something, Nobody Knows Anything

Re-examining the stability of the status quo
Tuesday, July 2, 2013, 7:43 PM

Once upon a time, everybody knew that the earth was flat.  Then they all knew that it was round, but at the center of the universe.  In 1929, everybody was sure that a new permanent prosperity had been discovered. The next decade proved how wrong that assumption was.

As is repeatedly borne out in life, when everybody knows something, nobody knows anything.  » Read more