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Tag Archives: Bank of Japan

Some Real Hope Appears In Japan, Of All Places

There are things to feel optimistic about. I’ve been pegged as a doom and gloomer, and so long as things remain as they are, I don’t see what’s wrong about it. Long term, however, I’m as optimistic as anyone. There’s a gigantic wave of economic growth and prosperity just waiting to be unleashed – the moment the shackles of benign neglect are discarded in favor of competence and honesty. Those who have been calling for a BOND ROUT!!! the past few years, just you wait. To get to that point,...

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Effective Recession First In Japan?

For a lot of people, a recession is two consecutive quarters of negative GDP. This is called the technical definition in the mainstream and financial media. While this specific pattern can indicate a change in the business cycle, it’s really only one narrow case. Recessions are not just tied to GDP. In the US, the Economists who make the determination (the NBER) will tell you recessions aren’t always so straightforward. Everyone knew about the second half of the Great “Recession” because...

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What Tokyo Eurodollar Redistribution Really Means For ‘Green Shoots’

Last April, monetary officials in Japan were publicly contemplating ending asset purchases under QQE. This April, they are more quietly wondering what other financial assets they might have to buy just to keep it all going a little longer. I’d suggest something like the clouds passing over the islands or the ocean water surrounding them. Nobody would notice either way and it would be equally as effective. Before the big stuff came in April and May (29), there were the first real hints of big...

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Something Different About This One

In Japan, they call it “powerful monetary easing.” In practice, it is anything but. QQE with all its added letters is so authoritative that it is knocked sideways by the smallest of economic and financial breezes. If it truly worked the way it was supposed to, the Bank of Japan or any central bank would only need it for the shortest of timeframes. That would be powerful stuff. Instead, in June last year the narrative shifted (again). Surpassing half a decade of this “easing”, it became clear...

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ZIRP At 20; The ZLB Is A Trap, But Not The One Central Bankers Think It Is

Were they rushed, or were they late? Middle 2000’s consensus put academic opinion on the latter. The Bank of Japan had been Japan’s central bank since 1882, but it hadn’t been allowed to become a modern one until years into the 1990’s crisis. When speaking on the topic, Economists mostly mean independence and mandate rather than monetary competence. This speaks to the now global problems we all face. Reforming the BoJ was part of the government’s committed effort to clean up its banking...

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Lost In Translation

Since I don’t speak Japanese, I’m left to wonder if there is an intent to embellish the translation. Whoever is responsible for writing in English what is written by the Bank of Japan in Japanese, they are at times surely seeking out attention. However its monetary policy may be described in the original language, for us it has become so very clownish. At the end of last July, BoJ’s governing body made a split decision. By a vote of 7 to 2, the central bank adjusted its bond buying policy....

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Bond Curves Right All Along, But It Won’t Matter (Yet)

Men have long dreamed of optimal outcomes. There has to be a better way, a person will say every generation. Freedom is far too messy and unpredictable. Everybody hates the fat tails, unless and until they realize it is outlier outcomes that actually mark progress. The idea was born in the eighties that Economics had become sufficiently advanced that the business cycle was no longer a valid assumption. The mantra, “eliminate the troughs without shaving off the peaks” was repeated repeatedly...

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The Light And The Dark

A year ago, central bankers were over the moon. From those in the US to those in Europe, with Japanese officials in between, they really thought they had it. There wasn’t much basis for the belief, mind you, merely the fact that positive numbers were registering in all those places at the same time. Like some old Three Stooges movie, Moe (Powell), Larry (Draghi), and Curly (Kuroda) clunked their heads together and thought it had to mean something. As 2019 dawns, nope, it really was...

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Insight Japan

As I wrote yesterday, “In the West, consumer prices overall are pushed around by oil. In the East, by food.” In neither case is inflation buoyed by “money printing.” Central banks both West and East are doing things, of course, but none of them amount to increasing the effective supply of money. Failure of inflation, more so economy, the predictable cost. In yesterday’s article the topic in the East was China. Today, the US CPI confirmed the oily nature of US or European inflation. And in...

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