Investing in precious metals 101

Tag Archives: Euro

  • Insider

    Off The Cuff: Into The Abyss

    The Fed's actions are quickly becoming the trigger that will blow up the system
    by Adam Taggart

    Thursday, June 13, 2019, 6:56 PM

    8

    In this week’s Off The Cuff podcast, Chris and John Rubino discuss:

    • The Fed’s Desperation
      • It’s just playing for time at this point
    • Why Lower Rates Will Blow Up The System
      • ZIRP/Negative rates create all sort of perversities
    • Italy Threatens To Revert To The Lira
      • Is the Eurozone about to break up?
    • Bad Corporate Debt Is The Ticking Time Bomb
      • There’s simply way too much of it now

    In this excellent analysis, John does an exceptional job clarifying the unique point in economic history in which we live. The Federal Reserve is truly out of ideas at this point; it is simply playing for time until the system breaks:

    The point in the cycle where we are now is a really unusual time to talk about lowering interest rates. Normally when the labor markets are this tight, and wage inflation is running around 3% which it is right now, the Fed is usually tightening. Wage inflation is a kind of inflation they understand. This is as opposed to stock prices going up, bond prices, or house prices going up. That is inflation, but they do not count it as inflation. When wages go up, they usually start raising interest rates. It is really telling that they are seeing things that lead them to maybe start easing again even with the economy, in theory at least, still growing ten years into the beginning of an expansion.

    I think they are recognizing the fact that the world – not just the US, but the whole global financial system – is so highly leveraged that any kind of downturn becomes systemically risky. In other words, a 20% drop in stock prices which is the definition of a bear market is something that happens all the time at least historically. This time around, it might knock down other dominos in a way that is uncontrollable. This is just because there is so much bad debt out there.

    When you take on huge amounts of debt, by definition a lot of it has to be bad debt. Usually the good credits have already done their borrowing. If you are going to expand that beyond that point, you are going to have to work your way down into the barrel to the bottom of the barrel. That is where we are now. A lot of people who have borrowed money cannot pay it back. They are only hanging on because the economy is growing and because their paychecks are there. If you take that away, then Boom!. The system starts to fall apart.

    These guys know that at the Fed. They are trying to delay the inevitable easing because they know that interest rates are already so low. The European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan never did get to raise interest rates. The Fed only got to raise interest rates a little bit, which means they have no ammo going into the next recession. Normally the Fed will cut interest rates by about 5 percentage points from peak to trough. This is as a way of reinvigorating the economy during a recession. If they were going to do that now, we would be at negative 2 or 3% on the Fed funds rate. It would be more deeply negative for Europe and Japan. That is uncharted territory.

    What the Fed is doing now is using words. They are trying to talk the market up. It works (for now). Whenever they announce the possibility of easing or the cessation of tightening, you get a nice pop in the stock market. They are hoping that they can elevate asset prices until the China trade deal gets signed and until the turmoil in the Middle East has settled. That will also give the markets a pop, and that will keep the economy growing for a while. It will allow them to raise interest rates another couple of percentage points at the short end of the spectrum to give them ammo for the next recession.

    They really do not want to start cutting right now. From here, they really do not have much room to cut. I think it is highly unlikely that they are going to get what they want. In other words, it is an economy that grows for the next three years and allows them to raise the Fed funds rate to 5 or 6%. That is really, really unlikely in the scheme of things. They are going to be forced in the recession that is probably imminent just because the expansion has been going on for way longer than a normal expansion. It is going to run out of steam pretty soon. They are going to be forced to cut interest rates to zero and beyond.

    That is why Powell was talking about that. Now he is talking about the effective lower bound of interest rates which is below 0%, we found out in this last cycle. We do not know how far below zero it is. That is what we are going to find out this time around. In other words, how negative can you make interest rates before it becomes the problem rather than the solution? From an economic theory standpoint, that is fascinating. That is the kind of experiment you never expect to see in the real world. We are going to do it this time.

    We are going to find out what the absolute lowest level interest rates can go to before it blows up the system. I do not use the words “blow up” lightly. That is what could really happen when interest rates get down to that point, and it turns out they do not work. Then it is game over.

    Click to listen to a sample of this Off the Cuff Podcast or Enroll today to access the full audio as well as all of PeakProsperity.com’s other premium content.

    Enroll Now
    Or Sign In with your enrolled account.

    Read More »

  • Daily Digest
    Image by reyner media, Flickr Creative Commons

    Daily Digest 9/2 – Scientists Warn UN of Capitalism’s Imminent Demise, Skim Reading Is The New Normal

    by DailyDigest

    Sunday, September 2, 2018, 3:53 PM

    4
    • Scientists Warn the UN of Capitalism's Imminent Demise
    • A deadly storm is coming in Syria 
    • Report: Trump Admin Denying Passports to Citizens Along Border
    • So Much for The Great California Bail Celebration
    • Elections board takes less than a minute to reject proposal to close 7 of 9 polling places in majority-black county 
    • Skim reading is the new normal. The effect on society is profound
    • Attention, Shoppers: Kroger Says It Is Phasing Out Plastic Bags
    • U.S. court orders Trump administration to enforce chemical safety rule

    Read More »

  • Podcast

    Axel Merk: Making Sense Of The Impact Of Brexit

    A special edition podcast
    by Adam Taggart

    Tuesday, June 28, 2016, 12:22 AM

    29

    A very sleep-deprived Axel Merk joins us for this special edition podcast. Axel and his team have pulled late nights over the past few days following the Brexit vote results in real-time and the ensuing aftermath.

    Axel, CEO and founder of the Merk Funds, is originally from Europe and one of the best experts we know on the currency markets, as well as monetary policy. In this podcast, he explains why he sees the Brexit as a sea-change in sentiment that will have far-reaching implications for Britain, Europe, and the rest of the world — though it may take years before they are fully recognized and expressed. He expects the post-Brexit future to more market volatility, more populism as political stability weakens, more (ineffectual) fiscal spending to goose economic growth, and likely more armed conflict around the world.

    Read More »

  • Insider
    GrAl/Shutterstock

    Brexit Shocker!

    Making sense of what just happened
    by Chris Martenson

    Friday, June 24, 2016, 2:30 PM

    68

    The political and financial landscapes have been altered by last night upset "Leave" vote in Britain and now we have to try and make sense of the new terrain.

    This is huge. Not that a Brexit 'Leave' vote has anything at all to with, say, Caterpillar’s earnings over the next few quarters. It has nothing at all to do with anything fundamental, but these “”markets”” have been anything but fundamental for years.

    They've become gigantic, globally interconnected, leveraged speculating casinos. Nothing but a massive set of bubbles in search of a pin.

    It looks like they may have just found one…

    Enroll Now
    Or Sign In with your enrolled account.

    Read More »

  • Blog
    Ivan Cholakov/Shutterstock

    Deflation Is Winning – Beware!

    Expect the ride to get even rougher
    by Chris Martenson

    Friday, July 24, 2015, 3:03 PM

    14

    Deflation is back on the front burner and it's going to destroy all of the careful central planning and related market manipulation of the past 6 years.

    Clear signs from the periphery indicate that a destructive deflationary pulse has been unleashed. Tanking commodity prices are confirming that idea. 

    Read More »

  • Insider
    flickr creative commons

    Greece Humiliated

    The Troika wants Greece to be a warning to the other PIIGS
    by Chris Martenson

    Monday, July 13, 2015, 11:50 PM

    61

    Well, that went badly. For the Greeks in general and for Tsipras specifically. After many years and rumors and brinksmanship, and a powerful "No" referendum from the people of Greece, Tsipras managed to ‘secure’ for Greece a deal worse than any other offered to date.

    Enroll Now
    Or Sign In with your enrolled account.

    Read More »

  • Blog
    danielo/Shutterstock

    Why Greece Is The Precursor To The Next Global Debt Crisis

    The Eurozone fantasy will be one of the early casualties
    by charleshughsmith

    Friday, July 10, 2015, 3:48 PM

    51

    There is no way for Greece to fix its debt problem if it keeps the euro as its currency.  Every purported solution that doesn’t address the core cause of the debt is mere theater.

    Read More »

  • Insider
    swissmacky/Shutterstock

    Why The Strengthening Dollar Is A Sign Of The Next Global Crisis

    It causes the weaker parts of the system to fail faster
    by charleshughsmith

    Wednesday, November 12, 2014, 3:21 PM

    2

    Executive Summary

    • Understanding the two different ways money flows into the US dollar
    • How currency crises elsewhere can send the dollar skyrocketing
    • Why yen, yuan and euro printing are not the same as dollar printing
    • How these accelerating money flows are creating the next global crisis

    If you have not yet read The Consequences of a Strengthening US Dollar available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

    In Part 1, we surveyed the key dynamic that is playing out across the globe: the problems revealed by the Global Financial Meltdown of 2008-2009 were not addressed; they were in effect shifted into the foreign exchange (FX) market. Now the risk bubble is in the FX market.

    The complexity of the feedbacks into the FX market is nothing short of mind-boggling, and rather than attempt a comprehensive survey, I’m highlighting the dynamics that hold the greatest risks of triggering instability, not just in finance but in geopolitics, trade and commodities.

    Two Kinds of Dollar Flows

    Let’s start by differentiating between the two kinds of money flows into the dollar:

    1. Money converted from periphery currencies into dollars to pay back loans denominated in dollars
       
    2. Money flowing out of periphery economies and into dollar-denominated assets such as stocks, bonds, real estate and dollar-denominated bank accounts.

    Broadly speaking, both of these capital flows are “risk-off,” but they have different effects.

    In the first case, money borrowed on the cheap in dollars and invested in high-yield periphery bonds earned a tidy profit as the dollar weakened. The trader picked up a double profit: the arbitrage on the interest rates (borrow at .25% and earn 4+%) and the FX profit from the rise of the periphery currency and the decline of the dollar.

    This currency-arbitrage profit reverses when the dollar starts rising, and it quickly wipes out the entire interest-rate profit as it leaps higher.

    The carry trade is “risk-on” because money is being borrowed to speculate in interest-rate arbitrage. Deleveraging this trade is “risk-off” because the only way to stem the potential losses as the dollar strengthens is to…

    Enroll Now
    Or Sign In with your enrolled account.

    Read More »