(Bloomberg) -- The age of free money may be at hand. As major central banks slash interest rates with unexpected speed, benchmark borrowing costs are now below core inflation for the first time since the early 1980s, and policy makers are signaling they will go deeper. Yesterday's cuts by the Bank of England and European Central Bank, which came with the Federal Reserve and Bank of Japan on the cusp of zero rates, are a bid to shock life back into their recessionary economies and strained money markets. It may be an uphill battle as consumers and businesses show greater interest in saving than spending, and banks hoard capital rather than lend it.This is what I feared: the Japanese system sucking down all other systems. The existence of a zero percent top central banking mode is a great black hole that now is driving everyone into the same pit. This system cannot exist for very long as is. The articles all talk about people 'saving' money.
They are not. Money is vanishing. Not being saved at all.The central bankers struggle with this downwards force. I keep saying, the Derivatives Beast will consume all banking wealth that is denominated in digits. Numbers are magical entities and the Derivatives Beast has all the inner characteristics of all demonic creatures from the Outer Darkness. It is advertised as being safe even though it is now painfully obvious, this thing is exceedingly dangerous. Attempts at explaining away the devouring nature of this hungry, hungry beast has not soothed investors. This is simple: investors clearly see their money vanishing. It is not being transfered to other places. It is simply vanishing. Since all fiat money is made out of thin air and waving of magic wands in dark crypts, it can vanish the instant all the exterior forces cause the flow of money from working people to falter or even cease. This is also why I keep saying, the fundamental basis of all monetary systems is human labor. BOJ Helpless as Yen Rises on Carry, UBS, Barclays Say
(Bloomberg) -- The Bank of Japan may be powerless to prevent the yen from rising to a 13-year high, according to the world's biggest foreign-exchange traders.Deutsche Bank AG, UBS AG and Barclays Plc predict the yen will recover from its steepest weekly decline since 1999 as investors reduce carry trades that fund purchases of higher- yielding assets by borrowing in Japan. The currency will appreciate to 90 per dollar from 97.74 today in Tokyo even if the Bank of Japan intervenes to stem the biggest annual gain since 1998, they said.This is a total catastrophe for Japan. I have explained this in the past and since time is pressing today, here is earlier remarks I made exactly one year ago: More Wizards Of Finance Fall Off Cliff
Starting in 2000 with the super-duper cheap Fed Reserve loans via Greenspan, the big financial houses like Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch and Citigroup all rushed into the Alt-A, etc mortgage/CDO markets. This chart clearly shows they put all their eggs into these mortgage baskets and they enjoyed record profits during this time span. This isn't a situation where a leader made a 'mistake'. This is a classic case of someone at the Central Bank opening the vault and letting looters inside. Now the vault is empty and all the former geniuses who were toasted as great financial wizards are stuck there with money stuffed in their pockets but no exit. [caption id="attachment_56" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Miz Japan tries to kill the yen yet again."][/caption] So the ritual slaughter of these bulls commences. We will see all the heads of all the great financial houses roll. But the next step must be to arrest them for fraud and other crimes and put them in prison. But if we step even further back to look a the global financial picture, we see clearly who should be arrested: the heads of the governments doing all this, the heads of the international banks, the very people at the very apex of this massive pyramid scheme that was set up to loot the world by imposing an amazing amount of unpayable debts on top of the economic system. *snip* Year*USA CD Rate*Bank of Japan's Rates US Japan 1970.....7-8%......5-6% (Note that they are high but close) 1971.....5-3%......5.25% 1972.....3-6%......4.25% 1973.....5-9%......5-7% 1974.....9-12%....7-9% 1975.....7-6%......8-6% 1976.....5-4%......6-4% 1977.....4-6%......6-4% 1978.....4-9%......3% 1979.....9-13 %...4% 1980.....13-19%..7-9% 1981.....17-13%..6-5% 1982.....13-8%....5% 1983.....8-9%......5% 1984.....9-11%....5% 1985.....8-7%......5% 1986.....7-5%......4-3% 1987.....3-7%......2% 1988.....6-9%......2% 1989.....9-8%......3-4% 1990.....8-7%......5-6% 1991.....7-4%......5-6% 1992.....3%.........5-4% 1993.....3%.........3% 1994.....3-6%......2% 1995.....5-6%......1% 1996.....5%.........0% 1997.....5%.........0% (Note: The Asian Banking Crisis began) 1998.....5%.........0% 1999.....4-6%......0% (Asian Banking Crisis Ends) 2000.....5-6%......0% 2001.....5-1%......0% (Note: 9/11) 2002.....1%.........0% 2003.....1%.........0% 2004.....1-2%......0% 2005.....2-4%......0% 2006.....4-5%......0% 2007.....5%.........0%We just went through one of the worst global inflationary waves I have ever seen. It was an absolute tsunami caused directly by speculators of all those hell hound hedge funds seeking desperately to make profits in the teeth of the Derivatives Beast rearing his ugly, massive head. The US government allowed the US people to be looted for one year. This is very much like a typical medieval king allowing troops three days of looting when taking a city. Then order is restored but the people have been utterly devastated. The people who pay our politicians huge sums to do their bidding were allowed this wonderful boon.
This failed completely. The Derivatives Beast ate every penny gained by this massive commodities bubble.The privateering funds failed. After destroying the savings of nearly everyone on earth, they are now defeated by the very nature of the creatures that inhabit the Cave of Wealth and Death. The goddess of Inflation was released to do her worst. She slew everyone in her path. Now, as I expected, the goddess of Depression is rising from her throne and picking up her own sword, is destroying jobs. She reads Marx's 'Das Kapital' in German during her idle hours. She knows very well that jobs in the manufacturing value-added industrial base is the basis of the growth of wealth. So now, she stalks the planet, killing off manufacturing jobs. Here is another story at Culture of LIfe News from half a year ago:The Japanese Markets Drop Like Rock The yen continues to defy all efforts of not only the Bank of Japan but also all the Japanese carry traders, rising again and again against the dollar and even the euro. Dollar Declines Against Yen for Third Day on Drop in U.S. Jobs
(Bloomberg) The dollar dropped 0.5 percent to 97.28 yen at 8:51 a.m. in New York, from 97.75 yesterday. The U.S. currency depreciated 0.8 percent to $1.2813 per euro from $1.2715. The 15-nation euro increased 0.3 percent to 124.60 yen from 124.29. U.S. employers eliminated 240,000 jobs last month after shedding a revised 284,000 positions in September, the Labor Department reported today. The median forecast of 78 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News was for a decline of 200,000 in October. The unemployment rate increased to 6.5 percent. The number of Americans receiving unemployment benefits surged to the highest level since 1983, the Labor Department reported yesterday. A total of 3.843 million workers got unemployment-insurance checks in the week ended Oct. 25, up 122,000 from the prior week.The goddess of Depression hates workman's compensation and unemployment insurance. I must warn everyone of this: any politician who claims we don't need this or Social Security is someone in love with this dire goddess! And trust me, there are many such people stalking the land. They don't care if everyone falls off the cliff. For some people do very well in depressions. Labor is cheap and money becomes increasingly valuable. And debts, harder to pay off. We see this with the negative equity business in housing. If inflation leads to hysteria, deflation leads to suicide and despair. Inflation leads to war and depression leads to revolutions, I might suggest. Here is some statistics from the Bank of Japan for October: Sources of Changes in Current Account Balances at the Bank of Japan and Market Operations (preliminary figures for October 2008
|Treasury funds and others 2||-39,045||-26,294|
|Surplus/shortage of funds 3||-50,230||-25,888|
|BOJ loans and market operations||14,860||-5,055|
|Net change in current account balances||-35,370||-30,943|
|Net change in reserve balances||-32,380||7,675|
Banknotes, end of month (Average) BOJ loans, end of month4
|766,115 (756,035) 9,610||755,892 (749,865) 0|
Economic activity in Japan has become increasingly sluggish due to the effects of earlier increases in energy and materials prices and the leveling-off of exports. Compared with the interim assessment conducted in July, both exports and domestic private demand in the first half of fiscal 2008 seem to have been weaker, against the backdrop of a slowdown in overseas economies and a decline in real purchasing power reflecting deterioration in the terms of trade.The Bank's projection from the second half of fiscal 2008 through fiscal 2010 is that increased sluggishness in economic activity will likely remain until around the middle official 2009. During this period, domestic private demand is likely to be relatively weak due mainly to the earlier deterioration in the terms of trade. Exports are also expected to weaken somewhat against the backdrop of the slowdown in overseas economies and the appreciation of the yen. Thereafter, the growth rate is expected to pick up gradually, as the effects of earlier increases in energy and materials prices abate and overseas economies move out of their deceleration phase, although the timing is likely to be sometime after the middle of fiscal 2009. The rates of real GDP growth for fiscal 2008 and fiscal 2009 are likely to be around 0 percent and around 0.5 percent, respectively, and the growth rate for fiscal 2010 is expected to be around the potential growth rate.Forecasts of the Majority of Policy Board Members:
- ----------------Real GDP ----Domestic CGPI ---- CPI (excluding fresh food)
- Fiscal 2008:......... +0.1 to +0.2.... +4.3 to +4.8.......... +1.5 to +1.6
- Fiscal 2009:...........+0.3 to +0.7 ...-1.4 to -0.4........... -0.2 to +0.2
- Fiscal 2010:...........+1.5 to +1.9....-0.3 to +0.5..........+0.1 to +0.5
The Japanese see little growth in their economy in the future. They are one of the top 4 economies of the world. Their bizarre economic system is now undermining the entire planetary system. It is not all their own fault, either. It is the fault of the US playing this role of passive consumer of global trade goods. We want to be consumers, not producers. We imagine we can run huge trade deficits to the trillions with no downside. The dynamics of all this is now running into a wall. This wall is the inability of the US consumers to take on more debts. We hit this wall full tilt last year. As the speculators drove up all commodities, this wiped out the finances of the mass of consumers. Many Americans used up all their available future credit, paying for things we need to run our society. Food, fuel and other necessities ate up all discretionary incomes and drove many people straight into bankruptcy. Bankruptcies, when they get severe enough, are trademark indications that the goddess of Depression is at work. Toyota's profits are devastated by the strong yen:
NAGOYA (Nikkei)--The yen's sharp gains against the dollar and the euro are expected to erode Toyota Motor Corp.'s (7203) operating profit by 690 billion yen for the year ending March 31, dealing a heavy blow to an automaker already squeezed by lackluster demand and sky-high materials prices. Toyota Continues Bold R&D Push Despite Earnings Slide NAGOYA (Nikkei)--The leading carmaker is determined to keep investing heavily in R&D, tapping its ample cash on hand, even though it expects group operating profit for the current year to plummet 74%.Japan had a fake depression last year. Now, it has become quite real. The collapse of interest rates in the world is not a good thing. Nor will it restart lending. Why lend money when people simply use it to go bankrupt? It is impossible! So lending collapses in depressions. US Treasury wants to borrow record 550 bln dlrsStock crash hits luxury spending Want Rolex, cheap? Lots of Tokyoites trying to unload their bling and thingsThe effect is noticeable in the Roppongi district of Tokyo - a bastion of nightlife for the high-rollers who toil in finance and information technology as well as for entrepreneurs and other members of Tokyo's nouveau riche. Foot traffic is falling off.
Il Mulino New York, an Italian restaurant in Roppongi Hills, a landmark commercial complex where the Japanese unit of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. was headquartered, has experienced a sharp drop in the number of diners who apparently work in the financial sector. WDI Corp., which operates Il Mulino as well as other restaurants, suffered a 4.7% year-on-year fall in same-store sales in September.
A former Lehman Brothers Japan Inc. employee in his 30s offered an anecdote that helps to explain the falloff. "I don't eat out in the evening as often as I did while I was at Lehman and had to wait around for midnight video conferences with officials in New York," he said.
The fourth-quarter borrowing estimate was substantially higher than the 408 billion dollars announced in July, and is a record high for quarterly estimates, a Treasury official said. "The increase in borrowing is primarily due to higher outlays related to economic assistance programs, lower receipts, and lower net issuances of state and local government series securities," the Treasury said in a statement. The Treasury said the federal government had borrowed 530 billion dollars from the markets in the third quarter. Of that amount, 300 billion dollars was borrowed for the Federal Reserve's Supplementary Financing Program, launched in mid-September in a bid to support the ailing economy.I got an email today about the collapse in the growth of global reserve funds. During the last commodities inflation surge, we saw these things grow like mad in all the OPEC countries as well as countries selling all sorts of raw materials. Now that manufacturing is collapsing, this is ending. China built up its gigantic reserves because they knew that they had to have this as a cushion for the inevitable manufacturing contractions that seem to come every 8 years or so. They are prepared, unlike the US which held less and less in reserves over the last 35 years. Since China and Japan are no longer plowing vast trade profits into buying US debts, the US government is lending to itself. Peter is lending to Paul who is the banker for Peter and who has decided that debt is money and Peter has no intention of paying any of this future debt which is why it is piling up. Still! The excuse here is simple: during bad times, governments should spend to restart things. But the reality is equally simple: the US refused to pay its own bills when the economy was booming. Taxes were continuing to be cut while spending shot upwards. So during the last bubbles under Bush, our national debt doubled. This was deliberate. The architects of all this wonderful mess said openly, they hoped to use up all our joint credit so they could 'drown government social programs in the bathtub.' And so it is! They are drowning us deliberately and with full malice. U.S. Carmakers Said to Seek $50 Billion in U.S. Loans
(Bloomberg) -- General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler LLC, strapped for cash as sales plunge, are seeking $50 billion in federal loans to help them weather the worst auto market in 25 years, a person familiar with the matter said.The package would be $25 billion for health-care spending and $25 billion for general liquidity that could be delivered in different ways, including short-term borrowing from the Federal Reserve, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the plan isn't public. In return, the companies would be willing to take steps such as granting stock warrants, the person said.Toyota's profits are falling like a rock. But they are still solvent. Our own industries are not solvent at all. Note how they are asking Congress to bankroll the health care benefits of auto workers! Insane. Time for national health care. Ford Has $2.98 Billion Operating Loss as Sales Plunge
(Bloomberg) -- Ford Motor Co., with U.S. sales shredded by the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, posted a third-quarter operating loss of $2.98 billion and said it used up $7.7 billion in cash. The per-share operating loss of $1.31 was wider than the 93-cent average of 10 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Ford said it would trim more salaried jobs by January, deepen its fourth-quarter production cuts and shrink capital spending by as much as 17 percent.No system can run in the red forever. No government can run in the red forever. No trade deficit can run forever. No system can run on 0% interest. The new government in DC has to wrestle with this while trying to deal with the Derivatives Beast. Cox, the head of the SEC, is going to be removed from office as soon as possible. And Paulson will also be kicked to the curb. We can only hope that more people are removed. But fixing this mess will be painful, not happy. We are now in the embrace of the very deadly goddess of Depression. Inflation is easy to control: raise interest rates. Depression is slippery and nearly impossible to kill. Not if she is allied with the Derivatives Beast.