The fundamental and largely invisible shift in Western economies from the markets to central management.
Entries in Financial Repression (43)
It was a very basic question: Have there been times when you did not have enough money to buy the food you or your family needed? In wealthy countries, the percentages should be small, and given all the money-printing, it should be zero, you’d think.
It fits the pattern of gratuitous bank enrichment perfectly. This time, the big beneficiaries of the Fed are foreign banks. An unintended consequence, with big impact on the “recovery.”
By now, this wondrous bull market constantly gets benchmarked against the dotcom bubble. It’s different this time, we’re told, even on NPR. But the wholesale destruction of financial assets has already started, one pocket at a time.
The Fed’s Terrible Error: Penalties for Labor and Thrift, Windfalls for Speculation in Land and Financial Assets
By Lee Adler: Fed policies promote outsized returns to speculative capital and encourage mindless risk-taking. Labor is decimated and thrift punished. But as asset prices inflate into the stratosphere, gains to capital will become sparse. Then what?
Bernanke doesn’t regret any of the Fed’s actions, he said, except not explaining them to the people. They “really don’t understand why we did what we did,” he said. But there are a few people who do understand.
By David Stockman: The Fed prints $4 trillion and the national debt jumps $9 trillion in six years. We’re now in month 57 of the expansion, beyond the average 53 months – already on borrowed time. Now comes Professor Krugman proposing to “do something.”
Small investors are having fun in the stock market again, after years of sitting out the most phenomenal rally. They’re leveraging up their portfolios. Margin debt is spiking beautifully. Alas, spiking margin debt has a nasty habit of ending in a crash. In one painful chart.
By John Mauldin, Mauldin Economics: Fed chair Janet Yellen has her admirers and her detractors. One unabashed admirer is my good friend David Zervos, Jefferies' chief market strategist. He has taken to hollering, "Dammit Janet, I love you!" Now he's at it again.
Discount retailer Loehmann’s did what other retailers – and a large number of other junk-rated companies – will do once the Fed allows a sense of reality into the markets: it filed for bankruptcy. Investors had refused to fund further losses.
“It’s like you’re at a party and the keg is beginning to float. When do you leave the party? Where do you go?”
By Dennis Miller: We all share a common goal: to grow our nest eggs and make sure they last over the long haul. Our generation was taught to live off the interest and never touch the principal, but interest rates for CDs and Treasuries no longer allow for that. They don’t even keep up with inflation, so we have to invest our money elsewhere if we want it to last.
By Shannara Johnson, Chief Editor, Casey Research: "After listening to the speakers, I made sure to program the number of the suicide hotline into my cell phone," real estate expert Andy Miller joked at the beginning of his speech. Rick Rule, resource investor and chairman of Sprott Holdings, quipped, "Amazing – I actually get to be the positive guy here."
In its report on shadow banking, the New York Fed buried some nuggets: Hedge funds and banks are bailing out of the highest-risk “opaque” but now relatively low-yielding loans – low yielding thanks to the Fed’s repressive monetary policies – by selling them to small investors via harmless-sounding and conservative-appearing mutual funds and ETFs.
By Lee Adler, The Wall Street Examiner: One of the purposes of the Fed's Zero Interest Rate Policy (ZIRP) was ostensibly to allow banks to rebuild their capital through suppressed funding costs and increased profits. Theoretically that would add to their capital. But in this chart, we see that the growth rate of bank capital has fallen to zero.
In this installment from Chapter 25, “DEALS GONE WILD: Rise of the Debt Zombies,” of his bestseller, David Stockman vivisects the LBO craze before the financial crisis, including the insane and largest ever buyout, Texas mega-utility TXU Corporation – now in bankruptcy. And then there is Goldman....
By Dennis Miller, Miller’s Money: When I was a young buck out in the workplace, financial magazines published worksheets for calculating when you had enough money to retire. The process became easier when we got our first PC. For years, financial planners considered four basic numbers to be conservative estimates. But that all blew up in the fall of 2008.
By Dennis Miller, of Miller's Money: Retirees are often more concerned with the return of their money than the return on their money. It's understandable; after our peak earning years have passed, financial safety becomes our primary concern since the opportunity to earn back investment losses is essentially over.
You don't seem to "think Abenomics is working,” a reader wrote, followed by tough questions and a comparison to Kyle Bass, who has been betting on a “full-blown Japan crisis.” It got me thinking. I’m attached to Japan. What started in 1996 has turned into a complex relationship. But now that Abenomics is the religion of salvation, I’m even more worried.
Contributed by John Mauldin, Mauldin Economics: In bond markets around the world, governments are winning, and investors are losing. The Fed is helping the Treasury to borrow cheaply while the government expands its deficit spending and debt accumulation. Using inflation and low bond yields to reduce government debt is called financial repression.