Tag Archives: Central banks

Negative Interest Rates are the Price We Pay for De-Civilization, by Jeff Deist

In the absence of central banks there would be no negative interest rates. From Jeff Deist at mises.org:

Do central bankers really think negative interest rates are rational?

“Calculation Error,” which Bloomberg terminals sometimes display1, is an apt metaphor for the current state of central bank policy. Both Europe and Asia are now awash in $13 trillion worth of negative-yielding sovereign and corporate bonds, and Alan Greenspan suggests negative interest rates soon will arrive in the US. Despite claims by both Mr. Trump and Fed Chair Jerome Powell concerning the health of the American economy, the Fed’s Open Market Committee moved closer to negative territory today — with another quarter-point cut in the Fed Funds rate, below even a measly 2%.

Negative interest rates are just the latest front in the post-2008 era of “extraordinary” monetary policy. They represent a Hail Mary pass from central bankers to stimulate more borrowing and more debt, though there is far more global debt today than in 2007. Stimulus is the assumed goal of all economic policy, both fiscal and monetary. Demand-side stimulus is the mania bequeathed to us by Keynes, or more accurately by his followers. It is the absurd idea, that an economy prospers by consuming and borrowing instead of producing and saving. Negative interest rates turn everything we know about economics upside down.

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The Fantasy of Central Bank “Growth” Is Finally Imploding, by Charles Hugh Smith

How about that, central bank debt monetizing government debt at ultra-low interest rates isn’t the route to healthy growth and permanent prosperity. From Charles Hugh Smith at oftwominds.com:

Having destroyed discipline, central banks have no way out of the corner they’ve painted us into.

It was such a wonderful fantasy: just give a handful of bankers, financiers and corporations trillions of dollars at near-zero rates of interest, and this flood of credit and cash into the apex of the wealth-power pyramid would magically generate a new round of investments in productivity-improving infrastructure and equipment, which would trickle down to the masses in the form of higher wages, enabling the masses to borrow and spend more on consumption, powering the Nirvana of modern economics: a self-sustaining, self-reinforcing expansion of growth.

But alas, there is no self-sustaining, self-reinforcing expansion of growth; there are only massive, increasingly fragile asset bubbles, stagnant wages and a New Gilded Age as the handful of bankers, financiers and corporations that were handed unlimited nearly free money enriched themselves at the expense of everyone else.

Central banks’ near-zero interest rates and trillions in new credit destroyed discipline and price discovery, the bedrock of any economy, capitalist or socialist.

When credit is nearly free to borrow in unlimited quantities, there’s no need for discipline, and so a year of university costs $50,000 instead of $10,000, houses that should cost $200,000 now cost $1 million and a bridge that should have cost $100 million costs $500 million. Nobody can afford anything any more because the answer in the era of central bank “growth” is: just borrow more, it won’t cost you much because interest rates are so low.

And with capital (i.e. saved earnings) getting essentially zero yield thanks to central bank ZIRP and NIRP (zero or negative interest rate policies), then all the credit has poured into speculative assets, inflating unprecedented asset bubbles that will destroy much of the financial system when they finally pop, as all asset bubbles eventually do.

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How the Fed Wrecks the Economy Over and Over Again, by Michael Maharrey

Unfortunately, you cannot understand economics without understanding what central banks and fiat money do to an economy. From Michael Maharrey at schiffgold.com:

When people talk about the economy, they generally focus on government policies such as taxation and regulation. For instance, Republicans credit President Trump’s tax cuts for the seemingly booming economy and surging stock markets. Meanwhile, Democrats blame “deregulation” for the 2008 financial crisis. While government policies do have an impact on the direction of the economy, this analysis completely ignores the biggest player on the stage – the Federal Reserve.

You simply cannot grasp the economic big-picture without understanding how Federal Reserve monetary policy drives the boom-bust cycle. The effects of all other government policies work within the Fed’s monetary framework. Money-printing and interest rate manipulations fuel booms and the inevitable attempt to return to “normalcy” precipitates busts.

In simplest terms, easy money blows up bubbles. Bubbles pop and set off a crisis. Rinse. Wash. Repeat.

In practice, when the economy slows or enters into a recession, central banks like the Federal Reserve drive interest rates down and launch quantitative easing (QE) programs to “stimulate” the economy.

Low interest rates encourage borrowing and spending. The flood of cheap money suddenly available allows consumers to consume more – thus the stimulus. It also incentivizes corporations and government entities to borrow and spend. Coupled with quantitative easing, the central bank can pump billions of dollars of new money into the economy through this loose monetary policy.

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Square Minus Zero, by Raúl Ilargi Meijer

Central banking is killing the global economy. From Raúl Ilargi Meijer at theautomaticearth.com:

I intentionally start writing this mere minutes away from Fed chair Jay Powell’s latest comments. Intentionally, because the importance ascribed to those comments only means we have gotten so far removed from what capitalism and free markets are supposed to be about, that it’s pathetic. The comments mean something for rich socialists, but nothing for the man in the street. Or, rather, they mean that the man in the street will get screwed worse for longer.

And it’s not just the Fed, all central banks have it and do it. They play around with rates and definitions and semantics until the cows can never come home again. And they have such levels of control over their respective societies and economies that the mere use of the word “markets” should result in loud and unending ridicule. There are no markets, because there is no price discovery, the Fed and ECB and BOJ got it all covered. Any downside risks, that is.

But it doesn’t, because the people who pretend they’re in those markets hang on central banks’ every word for their meal tickets. These are the same people we once knew as traders and investors, but who today function only as rich socialists sucking the Fed’s teats for ever more mother’s milk.

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The ‘Deficits Don’t Matter’ Folly, by David Stockman

Entities that keep taking on more debt eventually can’t repay it and go broke, regardless of whether or not that entity is a government. From David Stockman at lewrockwell.com:

Well, that was timely. The US Treasury just posted a record $207 billion deficit for May and record monthly spending of $440 billion. That brought the rolling 12 month deficit to just shy of the trillion dollar mark at $986 billion.

The timely part is two-old. First, it just so happens that May marked month #119 of the current expansion, making it tied for the duration record with the 1990s cycle. But even JM Keynes himself would be rolling in his grave in light of the chart below.

To wit, even by the lights of hardcore Keynesians of yore, fiscal deficits were supposed to be falling sharply at the end of a business cycle or even moving into surplus as they did in 1999-2000, not erupting toward 5% of GDP as has now happened.

The second timely note, of sorts, is that the Wall Street Journal was Johnny on the Spot this AM with a front page story entitled, “How Washington Learned to Love Debt and Deficits”.

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BIS General Manager Outlines Vision for Central Bank Digital Currencies, by Steven Guinness

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?

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The Global Economic Reset Begins With An Engineered Crash, by Brandon Smith

Who, if anyone, is pulling the strings is subject to debate, but it’s becoming increasingly clear that the world economy is faltering. If it is, can equity market crashes be far behind? From Brandon Smith at alt-market.com:

For a few years now, since at least 2014, the phrase “global economic reset” has been circulating in the financial world. This phrase is used primarily by globalist institutions like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to describe an event in which the current system as we know it will either die out or evolve into a new system where “multilateralism” will become the norm. The reset is often described in an ambiguous way. IMF banking elites will usually mention the end results of the shift, but they say little about the process to get there.

What we do know is that the intent of the globalists is to use this reset to create a more centralized monetary system and micro-managed global economy. At the core of this new structure would be the IMF along with perhaps the BIS and World Bank.  It is a plan that has been supported openly by both western and eastern governments, including Russia and China.

As noted, the details are few and far between, but the IMF describes the use of open borders and human migrations during the reset as a means to transfer capital from various parts of the world. It is a novel if not utterly insane way to transfer wealth that only makes sense if you understand that the globalist goal is to deliberately conjure a geopolitical catastrophe.

The IMF also asserts that blockchain technology will make capital transfer easier and more efficient in this future environment, which explains the enthusiastic globalist support for developments in blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies despite the notion in cryptocurrency circles that blockchain would somehow make the bankers “obsolete”.

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