Here we go again. Bank of Japan Governor Kuroda “shocked and awed” the markets by taking BOJ deposit rates into negative territory in a HYBRID sort of way as it is a three-tiered methodology that does not apply to money already being held at the BOJ in reserve. Also, money that is deemed regulatory-type capital will receive ZERO interest and won’t be punished with a surcharge, but any new funds making it onto the reserve balance sheet of the BOJ will receive NEGATIVE INTEREST RATES. Kuroda-san delivered this shock after promising last week that the BOJ would not go negative on its deposit rate. Kuroda will learn hat if you keep intentionally pumping the markets with disinformation the markets will have their time when the BOJ needs it the most, like maybe selling off the massive JGB portfolio on its balance sheet. But through the power of negative compounding of interest earnings Kuroda has brought Stevie “Guitar” Miller’s words to life:
Archive for the ‘PBoC’ Category
Last night’s blog contained some of the key sparks to watch this year, but I left some for today so as not to overwhelm. While we slept, the Chinese borrowed a page from the French National Bank. In an effort to curb the arbitrage of trading the YUAN in Hong Kong versus the mainland levels under the direct auspices of the PBOC, the Chinese Government raised overnight borrowing rates for those short the yuan in Hong Kong. The rate is only on overnight borrowings so it is intended to make being short against the PBOC cost prohibitive.
At 8:00 a.m. EST, CNBC‘s announcer says, “From The Most Powerful City In the World, This Is Squawk Box.” What bothers me is the squawking about your importance. What irritates me even more is that Beijing has been the most powerful city when it comes to moving markets. Every other idea spewed this week has been about the impact of the Chinese authorities and the policy impact from the Politburo that “destroyed” trillions of equity market value. It even appears that the Chinese are dominating the discussion in Jackson Hole, Wyoming where the Kansas City Fed is hosting their annual symposium. Even New York Fed President Bill Dudley, aka Less Compelling, cites the Chinese as the reason to be less compelled to raise rates at the September meeting.
Almost 18 months ago I wrote a blog in response to an Ambrose Evans-Pritchard piece in the London Telegraph. I think readers of NOTES will find it more than a passing interest. More importantly, Mr. Evans-Pritchard wrote a new piece in yesterday’s London Telegraph, “China Cannot Risk the Global Chaos of Currency Devaluation.” Evans-Pritchard stresses the deflationary shock from a significant Chinese yuan devaluation in response to the Chinese plague of overcapacity from an excess of capital investment for a Chinese effort to increase exports to ease the burden of excess production would weight heavily on an over indebted world struggling with falling prices.
This is the greatest fear for the world ‘s central bankers and why I always referred to Bernanke and Yellen as the ultimate 1937ers for Bernanke promised Milton Friedman that the FED would not repeat the errors of 1937 and allow deflation to become the major dynamic in the world economy and certainly not the U.S. Evans-Pritchard is hopeful that the recent weakness of the YUAN is not really a new policy:
“The slowdown in China is not yet serious enough to justify such a risk. True, the trade-weighted exchange rate has soared 22% since-mid-2012,the result of being strapped to a rocketing dollar at the wrong moment.The YUAN is up 60% against the Japanese Yen.”
Read the article and be aware that the Chinese are not targeting the dollar but are very concerned about the YUAN strength versus the rest of the world.
Today, CNBC‘s Steve Liesman interviewed San Fran Fed President John Williams. In a swipe at Fed gallows humor, President Williams presented Liesman with a T-Shirt that said the Fed was DATA DEPENDENT. The humor part was Williams’s effort to cut-off Steve Liesman’s well choreographed question which amounts to: “Come on, John, share your inside view about the possibility of a RATE RISE at the next FOMC meeting (just between us, John).” So as to make sure that Liesman understands the consistent answer: It is data dependent. If the FED wants to create some jobs it can send everyone with a bank account a free “Data Dependent” shirt, compliments of their regional Federal Reserve. All sarcasm aside, President Williams’s view puts added importance now to the inflation data on Friday and of course the retail sales input on Wednesday. The consensus on the CORE RETAIL SALES is 0.3% increase so a strong number would be above 0.6%. If the theory of data dependence holds then it should be the SHORT END of the curve that gets sold and here is my reasoning: The 2/10 and 5/30 parts of the yield curve have steepened dramatically during the last two months as the market accepts the fact that the recent bout of weak economic data has pushed the FED further away from raising rates.
Many want to believe the FED is the responsible party for causing the massive unwinding in all variety of markets. The deleveraging of all assets classes in a zero interest rate environment can and will cause massive pain for those who utilized ultra cheap money to attain assets that looked so good riding the momentum wave, but the undertow from deleveraging can drowned many swimmers. But is the source of deleveraging Chairman Bernanke? Maybe. But the more important impact may be from the Chinese. The SHIBOR, or overnight lending rate similar to LIBOR in the western capitalist countries, has skyrocketed during the past week, rising to double-digit levels–almost 25% at some point. The impact on the Chinese markets has been devastating but more importantly it has caused fears of a major crisis in the Chinese financial system and a negative impact on the entire fragile global financial system.