The globalists are cooking up all sorts of mischief for us, including central bank digital currencies. From Steven Guinness at stevenguinness2.wordpress.com:
The behaviour of central bankers is rarely (if ever) given sustained coverage in the national press. Outside of prominent economic channels, developments from within institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the Bank for International Settlements are seldom remarked upon. Instead, attention is restricted to the latest round of political theatrics which serve to disguise the actions and intentions of globalist planners.
As the furore of Brexit gained in intensity last month, BIS General Manager Agustin Carstens gave a speech at the Central Bank of Ireland 2019 Whitaker Lecture. Under the heading, ‘The future of money and payments‘, Carstens mapped out what has been a long standing vision of globalists – namely, to acquire full spectrum control of the international financial system through the gradual abolition of what Bank of England governor Mark Carney has called ‘tangible assets‘ i.e. physical money.
The ‘future of money‘ narrative is one that both the BIS and the IMF have been actively promoting since the advent of Brexit and Donald Trump’s presidency. Here are some links to speeches made by both Christine Lagarde and Agustin Carstens:
Central Banking and Fintech—A Brave New World?
Winds of Change: The Case for New Digital Currency
Money and payment systems in the digital age
Money in the digital age: what role for central banks?
The short answer to the question in the title is no. Alasdair Macleod explains why. From Macleod at mises.org:
Despite the ECB’s subsidy of the Eurozone’s banking system, it remains in a sleepwalking state similar to the non-financial, non-crony-capitalist zombified economy. Gone are the heady days of investment banking. There is now a legacy of derivatives and regulators’ fines. Technology has made the over-extended branch network, typical of a European retail bank, a costly white elephant. The market for emptying bank buildings in the towns and villages throughout Europe must be dire, a source of under-provisioned losses. On top of this, the ECB’s interest rate policy has led to lending margins becoming paper-thin.
A negative deposit rate of 0.4% at the ECB has led to negative wholesale (Euribor) money market rates along the yield curve to at least 12 months. This has allowed French banks, for example, to fund Italian government bond positions, stripping out 33 basis points on a “riskless” one-year bond. It’s the peak of collapsed lending margins when even the hare-brained can see the risk is greater than the reward, whatever the regulator says. The entire yield curve is considerably lower than Italian risk implies it should be, given its existing debt obligations, with 10-year Italian government bonds yielding only 2.55%. That’s less than equivalent US Treasuries, the global risk-free standard.
Government bond yields have been and remain considerably reduced through the ECB’s interest rate suppression and its bond-buying programs. The expansion of Eurozone government debt since the Lehman crisis has been about 50% to €9.69 trillion. This expansion, representing €3.1 trillion, compares with the expansion of the Eurosystem’s own balance sheet of €2.8 trillion since 2009. In other words, the expansion of Eurozone government debt has been nearly matched by the ECB’s monetary creation.
Bond prices, such as that of Italian 10-year debt yielding 2.55%, are therefore meaningless in the market sense. This has not been much of an issue so long as asset prices are rising and the global economy is expanding, because monetary inflation will keep the fiat bubble expanding. It is when a credit crisis materializes that the trouble starts. The fiat bubble develops leaks and eventually implodes.
The world is so mired in debt that virtually anything can ignite a crisis. From Tom Luongo at tomluongo.me:
Last year Turkey’s lira crisis quickly morphed into a Euro-zone crisis as Italian bond yields blew higher and the euro quickly reversed off a major Q1 high near $1.25.
It nearly sparked a global emerging market meltdown and subsequent melt-up in the dollar.
This week President Erdogan of Turkey banned international short-selling of the Turkish lira in response to the Federal Reserve’s complete reversal of monetary policy from its last rate hike in December.
The markets responded to the Fed with a swift and deepening of the U.S. yield curve inversion. Dollar illiquidity is unfolding right in front of our eyes.
Turkish credit spreads, CDS rates and Turkey’s foreign exchange reserves all put under massive pressure. Unprecedented moves in were seen as the need for dollars has seized up the short end of the U.S. paper market.
Martin Armstrong talked about this yesterday:
The government [Turkey] simply trapped investors and refuses to allow transactions out of the Turkish lira. Turkey’s stand-off with investors has unnerved traders globally, pushing the world ever closer to a major FINANCIAL PANIC come this May 2019.
There is a major liquidity crisis brewing that could pop in May 2019.
Martin’s timing models all point to May as a major turning point. And the most obvious thing occurring in May is the European Parliamentary elections which should see Euroskeptics take between 30% and 35% of seats, depending on whether Britain stands for EU elections or not.
Alasdair Macleod documents the reasons behind the EU’s impending failure. From Macleod at goldmoney.com:
Introduction and summary
The monetary, financial and political weaknesses of the EU are about to be exposed by the forthcoming global credit crisis.
This article assumes the combination of end of credit cycle dynamics and the rise in trade protectionism in 1929 is a valid precedent for gauging the scale of a developing global credit crisis today, as described in my earlier article published here. Then, it was heavier tariffs coinciding with a less destabilising inflation cycle than we face today, a combination that saw stock markets collapse. Today, we have the additional factors of far greater monetary inflation, far higher levels of government debt, low savings coupled with record consumer borrowing, and unbacked fiat currencies likely to lose purchasing power instead of gold-backed currencies which increased their purchasing power.
Declining international trade has already become evident in only a few months, and prescient observers detect early signs of a rapidly developing global recession. In response, the ECB has announced it will target lending to non-financial businesses with its TLTRO-III programme from September onwards.
The larger problem is the crony capitalists in the EU have captured the EU institutions, including the ECB, and will demand ever-accelerating monetary inflation. I have chosen to examine the consequences for the Eurozone, which is one of the more vulnerable economic and political constructs likely to be exposed in the severe economic downturn the world faces today.
Most of the Federal Reserve’s powers did not come from its statutory authorization—the law. From Alexander W. Salter at aier.org:
“Money is power.” We’ve all heard this aphorism many times before. Too often it’s a lazy shorthand dismissal of the finding of mainstream economics, which show that the pursuit and possession of money often entails innocuous or even beneficial consequences for society. Dr. Johnson was right after all: “There are few ways in which a man can be more innocently employed than in getting money.”
But there are some contexts in which the saying is apt. An obvious case is the Federal Reserve. The Fed has a monopoly on the creation of base money, the fundamental asset underlying the banking and financial system. And over decades, with each instance of financial turbulence, the Fed has become less constrained in how, when, and why it creates base money. Since the Great Recession, the Fed has been able to bestow purchasing power, liquidity, and solvency on just about any financial organization it pleases. If that isn’t power, there’s no such thing.
The Federal Reserve System was created in 1913. It was intended to be a formalization of the interbank clearing system that then existed in the National Banking System. It was not intended to be a central bank. Even in the early 20th century, economists and politicians had some idea of what central banks did and how they behaved, and the existence of such an institution was widely regarded as inherently un-American, in the sense that it could not be reconciled with a self-governing society. That’s why so many proponents of the Federal Reserve System bent over backward to insist they were not advocating the creation of a central bank. And at the time, their repudiations were reasonable; there was no reason the Federal Reserve System had to acquire the powers it did.
The solution to the US government’s debt woes is to simply print money. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:
If US debt is at $22 trillion and interest rates can barely rise above 2.60%, why can’t the US have $222 trillion in debt? Or 2 quadrillion.
That, in a nutshell, is the generic MMT argument which is gradually being spoon-fed to the general public as the financial basis behind such policy proposals as the “Green New Deal”, and which claims that the US government should dispense with a central bank altogether and resort to helicopter money to reflate the economy, a strategy that is especially popular among socialist politicians as it affords them a carte blanche to spend virtually unlimited funds obtained from the sale of debt.
Of course, this only works until it doesn’t – and it usually stops once faith in the reserve currency starts buckling. But while that has yet to happen, as the TBAC pointed out two months ago, it has not prevented a cohort of financial icons and pundits from opining on the intellectual inconsistencies of MMT. And the latest to do so, just hours after we presented the scathing criticism of Convoy Investments’ Howard Wang, was none other than Jeff Gundlach, who during his Tuesday webcast “Highway to Hell“, slammed MMT as a “crackpot” theory, and slammed the “people who have PhDs in economics” and are “actually buying the complete nonsense of MMT which is used to justify a massive socialist program.”
As SLL has been saying for at least a decade, a central bank exchanging its fiat debt for a government’s fiat debt is not an economic strategy, it’s a fingers-crossed wish and prayer that ultimately does more harm than good. From Tom Luongo at tomluongo.com:
“Within our mandate, the ECB is ready to do whatever it takes to preserve the euro. And believe me, it will be enough.”
— MARIO DRAGHI JULY 26TH 2012
No quote better defines Mario Draghi’s seven-plus years as the President of the European Central Bank than that quote. Draghi has thrown literally everything at the deflationary spiral the Euro-zone is in to no avail.
What has been enough has been nothing more than a holding pattern.
And after more than six years of the market believing Draghi’s words, after all of the alphabet soup programs — ESM, LTRO, TLTRO, OMB, ZOMG, BBQSAUCE — Draghi finally made chumps out of traders yesterday.
Draghi reversed himself after December’s overly hawkish statement in grand fashion but none dare call it capitulation. For years he has patched together a flawed euro papering over cracks with enough liquidity spackle to hide the deepest cracks.
The Ponzi scheme needs to be maintained just a little while longer.