Tonight’s BLOG headline is attributable to my friend KM after a long conversation about the IMF and G-20 meetings that took place in Washington during the past four days. It appears that Japanese monetary policy was not the subject of derision but rather applauded as a strong measure to lift Japan’s domestic economy out of two decades of malaise. Let me be as clear as possible: There is a full frontal assault being waged on the German model of GROWTH THROUGH AUSTERITY. The first shot fired was several months ago when IMF economist Olivier Blanchard delivered a paper stating that the previous belief that the negative impact on GDP from austerity was not a multiplier effect of 0.5% but rather a greater measure of 0.9-1.5% in its impact so a decease in fiscal spending would create a much greater slowdown than previously thought. The battle was waged in the efforts to limit the sequestration in the U.S. even as IMF Managing Director Lagarde cautioned that U.S. tightening is “too much, too fast and it’s in the wrong place. It’s not right for the U.S. economy and it’s not right for the world.”
Posts Tagged ‘G-20’
As expected, the G-20 communique was more insipid blathering about global growth, BIS capital regulation and the enactment of some new macroprudential regulations to ensure global financial tranquility. To reflect on the lack of consistency in this communique, let me quote from point 20: “We welcome the OECD report on addressing base erosion and profit shifting and acknowledge that an important part of fiscal sustainability is securing our revenue bases.” This is pure nonsense for it reflects the great divide that exists between the old line powers of the G-7 and the more broad-based and emerging economies found within the structure of the G-20.The old line (developed) economies want to preserve their tax bases so as to have enough revenue to maintain previous promises of retirement and pension programs for their aging populations.
This week brings the Moscow circus to the world stage. The world’s major economies meet in Moscow as the Russians are presently in the leadership position of the G-20′s rotating presidency. It used to be the G-7 nations that crafted an economic blueprint for the World Bank and IMF to somewhat adhere, but as much of the global economic growth is now in the BRICS and the other emerging economies, the world’s former colonial powers have had to make room for the rising economic nations. Most of the time the G-7 and G-20 meetings have been photo-ops for world leaders, but every once in a great while something constructive actually makes its way into global policy. The immediate global consensus after the Lehman debacle helped stem the global credit markets from total collapse. This G-20 meeting will not be one of the constructive outcomes as the G-20 members are nowhere near any type of consensus.
Yes, the U.S. Presidential election is finally here. After the POLITICAL-INFO COMPLEX has spent the $6 billion on various political campaigns, we are left wondering why anyone would contribute money to feed the monster and prolong our agony. I know the answer and the “road to political hell is not paved with good intentions.” There are so many polls predicting a very tight race that I care not for the popular predictions. As an investor/trader I am much more concerned about the outliers. First, the most significant result would be for the Democrats to retake the house. The 2010 Republicans claiming the majority in the House by such a wide margin was not predicted. If the Democrats were to undo 2010 it would mean a landslide victory for President Obama as well as the continued control of the Senate. The triple crown for the Democrats would be a negative for the markets as there would be no movement on the “fiscal cliff” as the Democratic leadership would be empowered with a mandate.
When the Greeks under Papandreou suggested a referendum on the GREEK AUSTERITY plan, the Greek PM was met with great consternation by the ruling elites in Brussels. A giant don’t-you-dare-call-a-referendum greeted PM Papandreou and basically forced his abdication. I warned then that the idea of a referendum on any issue of economic austerity was anathema to the EUROCRATS for the denizens of Brussels were/are fearful of testing the “PUBLIC WILL.” Every time a referendum was held it resulted in a decision opposite of the elite’s will: Another referendum was called until the “correct” result was realized. (It was usually preceded by warnings that all financial and budgetary agreements would be rendered null and void.)
Friday saw a continuation of the EURO RALLY as the most despised currency was the subject of massive short covering. For months many analysts have been opining that the EURO was heads to PAR with the DOLLAR. The trade looked promising as 2011 came to a close but in 2012 the EURO has rallied against the DOLLAR. Until last week, the EURO had weakened on many of the CROSSES but even those began to significantly correct as the EURO rally against the DOLLAR continued. The action on Friday saw the EURO rally against all currencies except the SWISS FRANC as that cross hovers near the SNB‘s line in the sand level of 120 EUR/CHF. Late in New York, the EUR/CHF closed at 120.48 so the Swiss National Bank has to be concerned that traders are going to challenge the veracity of the SNB’S SWISS FRANC POLICY.
Yes, all the news about Prime Minister Berlusconi is pure puff and nonsense. The Italian economic situation will not change one iota when Silvio steps aside and, in fact, I would argue that the situation will become more volatile. Italy has seen so many governments come and go since the end of WORLD WAR II that it must be the role model for Japan. Mr. Berlusconi may be a scoundrel but the markets and the Italians know what they have and it seems that Berlusconi the known is better than what may come next. If the present government falls there is a possibility that a more leftist coalition will be formed and it is doubtful if it would be prone to pass an AUSTERITY plan.
Notes From Underground: Was Obama at the G-20? Is Soros daft? Was the G-20 Communique was Drafted By the OWS Scribe?November 6, 2011
In President Obama’s G-20 press conference the mood was somewhat upbeat as he boasted that the economic powerhouses had made progress on the issues of economic growth. The President also was confident that Europe can meet it challenges as leaving Cannes, he felt that a “solid foundation has been built.” It seems that Obama failed to capture the real mood of the FAILED G-20 meeting as the Financial Times had two very morose articles about the G-20 and a solution on the European debt crisis.
Another day another crisis in EUROLAND, or the LA LA LAND of Wall Street, which we will know refer to as THE LAND OF MORAL HAZARD. The leaders of the Wall Street establishment have proven again that no risky investment is too big as long it is with OPM (other people’s money). Jon Corzine went all in on a bet on PIIG DEBT in an effort to increase the annual returns at MF GLOBAL. In a ZIRP environment, a clearing house has a difficult time making money because the earnings, which are the overnight float, are so extremely low. In order to generate greater earnings on the FLOAT, greater risks need to be taken so the need to purchase riskier sovereign debt becomes the outlet.