201803.06
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Questions Not of Success, But of the Effectiveness of Illusion

Last week, Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda unleashed a mini-controversy with remarks he now claims were taken somewhat out of context. On March 2, speaking before Japan’s parliament, the central banker sure sounded quite confident: Right now, the members of the policy board and I think that prices will move to reach 2 percent…

201710.24 4

Japan Is Booming, Except It’s Not

Japan is hot, really hot. Stocks are up to level not seen since 1996 (Nikkei 225). Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called snap elections in Parliament to secure a supermajority and it worked. Things seem to be sparkling all over the place, with the arrow pointing up: “Hopes for a global economic recovery and US shares’…

201703.31
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Systemic Depression Is A Clear Choice

Looking back on late 2015, it is perfectly clear that policymakers had no idea what was going on. It’s always easy, of course, to reflect on such things with the benefit of hindsight, but even contemporarily it was somewhat shocking how complacent they had become as a global group. In the US, the Federal Reserve…

201703.29
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The Ultimate Q

I for go one can’t wait for a quadrillion. Nothing could so far both implicate Economists as well as demonstrate the folly of following them like the potential for the Bank of Japan’s balance sheet to hit that mark. In the coming months, BoJ will be at the halfway point, though I doubt there will…

201703.03
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True Cognitive Dissonance

There is gold in Asia, at least gold of the intellectual variety for anyone who wishes to see it. The Chinese offer us perhaps the purest view of monetary conditions globally, where RMB money markets are by design tied directly to “dollar” behavior. It is, in my view, enormously helpful to obsess over China’s monetary…

201701.31
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It’s Just Not ‘Reflation’ Without The Official, Groundless Upgrades

The Bank of Japan raised its growth outlook, keeping monetary policy unchanged at its latest meeting. In the latest to be swept up in “reflation”, Japan’s central bank even trumpeted (pardon the pun) the expected Trump “stimulus” as a reason to be more optimistic. Why wouldn’t they? After all, there is no place on Earth…

201610.31
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It Was Never Numbers

Just over a week ago, the world (at least in chemistry) celebrated Mole Day. Rather than acknowledge the small underground mammal that immediately springs to mind, Mole Day is in honor of Amadeo Avogadro, the Count of Quaregna and Cerreto, who lived in the late 18th and early 19th centuries and contributed one of the…

201608.15
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Japan GDP Demonstrates QE’s Flaws Where It Actually Does Have An Effect

In June 2015, Japan’s Cabinet Office, the section of the government charged with tabulating and publishing gross domestic product estimates, revised Q1 2015 GDP significantly higher to 3.9% from its preliminary 2.7% figure. Not only was that the second straight quarter of positive growth, the acceleration indicated seemed to confirm that the Japanese economy had…

201607.06
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End All The Myths; They’re Almost Done Anyway

Nominal disposable income in Japan fell 4.4% year-over-year in May 2016. In what can only be a sign of the times being far too familiar in Japanese, real disposable income was thus slightly better at “only” -3.9%. For all the hundreds of trillions in new Japanese bank reserves provided by so many QE’s I have…

201605.31
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It’s Not Stupidity, It Is Apathy (For Now)

Ten days ago, it was reported that the Bank of Japan for the first time set aside reserves against expected losses should its massive portfolio of JGB’s finally move toward QQE success. The main part of all this “stimulus” has been the accumulation of primarily government bonds at massive premiums. If it were ever to…