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Tag Archives: japanification

The Public Knows, But Doesn’t Quite Realize, Another Crash Is Not The Worst Case

Back at the end of April, the FOMC and its dozens of staff members gathered around to talk policy as those people always do every six weeks or so. The agenda was quite full, with Jay Powell having had to switch from rate hikes to a Fed “pause” the few months before and none of them really sure why. Economic weakness had appeared “unexpectedly” (they never pay attention to the dollar) and along with it inflation rates began to stumble, too. Many participants viewed the recent dip in PCE...

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Not Bond Bull, The Bull of Bonds

In January 2018, Bill Gross was at it again. Famous for being the longtime public face of PIMCO, he’d acquired as much notoriety for being the boy who cried bear. By the way he talked and by what he predicted, you’d have to think the US Treasury had visited some horrible circumstance on a young Bill early in his life. It’s like he was possessed with unnatural hatred bonds for some reason. Gross: Bond bear market confirmed today. 25 year long-term trendlines broken in 5yr and 10yr maturity...

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10/7/19: Financialising Stagnant Growth: From Japanified Economy to Christine Lagarde

Monetary policy since the GFC of 2008 has been characterised by the near-zero (and even negative) policy rates, negative bank rates, negative Government debt yields and rampant asset price inflation. The result has been zombification of the advanced economies.Here is the latest advanced estimate of the Eurozone real GDP growth based on the CEPR/Banca d'Italia Eurocoin indicator: Current forecast for 2Q 2019 growth in the Eurozone, based on Eurocoin indicator is for 0.17% q/q expansion....

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Suddenly Stuck on Sideways: Banks, Not Babies Nor Bubbles

What is Japanification? There are all sorts of ways to explain what the term can mean. The simplest is a single word, which for me is “sideways.” We live in a non-linear world meaning one where compounding is the biggest factor. Albert Einstein probably never said compound interest is the most powerful force in the universe, but the reason the saying has stuck and has been almost universally attributed to him is the magnitude of the truth behind it. Rate of change is everything. If things are...

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The Unemployment Rate Is Useless, But That Doesn’t Mean It Isn’t Useful

At a campaign rally in New Mexico in May 2016, Presidential Candidate Donald Trump returned to one of his favorite themes. It was a package deal. He first talked about NAFTA and what he considered the negative effects the trade agreement had had on American workers. That easily segued into what had by then become a campaign staple, the unemployment rate. You hear a 5 percent unemployment rate. It’s such a phony number. That number was put in for presidents and for politicians so that...

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Three Point Nine, Still No Boundary For Sanity

For all its tortured economic history since 1989, Japan has never really had an unemployment problem. Going by its unemployment rate alone, conditions don’t ever appear to be all that out of line. At its worst, in both the dot-com recession as well as Japan’s experience during the Great “Recession”, the highest it ever got was 5.5%. That’s more than it ever was during the country’s immediate postwar history, but nothing that betrays permanent depression. But a comprehensive review of its...

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The Science of Japanification

The term itself gives it away. They called it quantitative easing for a specific reason. Both words mean to convey substantial concepts. The first part, quantitative, was used because it sounds deliberate, even scientific. It implies a program where great care and study was employed to come up with the exact right amount. It’s downright formulaic, where you intend that by doing X you can predictably create Y. The second part, easing, is equally unambiguous. In any economic context, easing...

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Curse of the Zombie Junk

If the road to Hell is paved with good intentions, in economic terms the paving is done by zombies. We’ve all heard of the convention regarding Japanification. In desperation trying to avoid a worse fate, many of Japan’s tortured financial institutions were left open and operating so as to not force losses too much at a time. Rather than allow for recovery, these zombie banks locked Japan’s economy into its so-called deflationary mindset from which it has yet to escape almost three decades...

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No, No, This 2% Is Different From All Those Others

The TIPS market corollary to interest rate case impatience is overhyping any round number that might in isolation appear to confirm the bias. To reiterate the mistaken assumption: if you believe that economic growth just happens, then given how much time has passed since that was true or apparent you have to believe each long end selloff is the one that you’ve been waiting for. The result is an almost comical overreaction to regular market action; nothing ever goes in a straight line but...

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