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Tag Archives: Central Banks

Fiat Money Cannibalization in America

  An Odd Combination of Serenity and Panic The United States, with untroubled ease, continued its approach toward catastrophe this week.  The Federal Reserve cut the federal funds rate 25 basis points, thus furthering its program of mass money debasement.  Yet, on the surface, all still remained in the superlative. S&P 500 Index, weekly: serenely perched near all time highs, in permanently high plateau nirvana. [PT] Stocks smiled...

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The Weird Obsessions of Central Bankers, Part 3

  Inflation and “Price Stability” We still remember when sometime in the mid 1980s, the German Bundesbank proudly pointed to the fact that Germany’s y/y consumer price inflation rate had declined to zero. It was considered a “mission accomplished” moment. No-one mentioned that economic nirvana would remain out of sight unless price inflation was pushed to 2% per year. CPI, annual rate of change. During the “stagflation” period of the...

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The Weird Obsessions of Central Bankers, Part 2

  The Negative Interest Rates Abomination Our readers are probably aware that assorted central bankers and the economic advisors orbiting them occasionally mention the “natural interest rate” (a.k.a. “originary interest rate”) in speeches and papers. It is generally assumed that it has declined, which is to say, time preferences are assumed to have decreased. This is actually an understatement… Although interest is generally...

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The Weird Obsessions of Central Bankers, Part 1

    How to Hang on to Greenland Jim Bianco, head of the eponymous research firm, handily won the internet last Thursday with the following tweet: Jim Bianco has an excellent idea as to how Denmark might after all be able to hang on to Greenland, a territory coveted by His Eminence, POTUS GEESG Donald Trump (GEESG= God Emperor & Exceedingly Stable Genius). Evidently the mad Danes running the central bank of this Northern European...

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Suffering the Profanity of Plentiful Cheap Money

  A Case of Highway Robbery What if the savings in your bank account lost 55 percent of its value over the last 12 months?  Would you be somewhat peeved?  Would you transfer some of your savings to another currency? USD-ARS, weekly. For several years the Argentine Peso has followed a certain pattern: it declines mildly, but steadily, with little volatility for long time periods, and then spikes in crash waves whenever a crisis...

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The Great Debasement – Precious Metals Supply and Demand

  Fiat Money Woes Monday was Labor Day holiday in the US. The facts are that the euro lost another 1.4%, the pound another 1.1%, and the yuan another 0.9% last week. Assorted foreign fiat confetti against the US dollar – we have added the Argentine peso as well, as it demonstrates what can happen when things really get out of hand. [PT] So, naturally, what is getting play is a story that Bank of England governor Mark Carney said the...

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Dead Meat in Jackson Hole

  The Pointlessness of Negative Yields If there are any virtues of debt instruments with negative yields we have yet to realize them. Certainly, we understand that as bond yields fall, bond prices rise, and bond investors are rewarded with capital appreciation. But when capital is appreciating as a consequence of negative yields, we suspect there is something fundamentally wrong with the capital itself. Not only is the stock of...

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Tending Towards Maximum Perversity

    Tending Towards Maximum Perversity According to Finagle’s corollary to Murphy’s law, “Anything that can go wrong, will — at the worst possible moment.”  Taken a degree further, per O’Toole’s corollary of Finagle’s law, and the second law of thermodynamics, “The perversity of the Universe tends towards a maximum.” Murphy’s law in action… not even Murphy himself was safe from it. [PT] No doubt, the perverse effect of central...

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The Four Dimensions of the Fake Money Order

  A Good Story with Minor Imperfections “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there,” is a quote that’s oft misattributed to Lewis Carrol. The fact that there is ambiguity about who is behind this quote on ambiguity seems fitting. For our purposes today, the spirit of the quote is what we are after. We think it may help elucidate the strange and confusing world of fake money in which we all travel. Consumer...

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The Strange Behavior of the US Dollar in the Wake of Fed Rate Cuts

    A Change in Interest Rate Expectations In the last issue of Seasonal Insights I discussed the typical pattern of stock prices when the Federal Reserve cuts interest rates.  As one would expect, the stock market tends to stabilize after cuts in the federal funds rate. The issue is topical, as many investors and analysts expect rate cuts to be implemented soon given that signs of an economic slowdown are beginning to proliferate....

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