201804.20
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Transitory’s Japanese Cousin

Thomas Hoenig was President of the Federal Reserve’s Kansas City branch for two decades. He left that post in 2011 to become Vice Chairman of the FDIC. Before that, Mr. Hoenig as a voting member of the FOMC in 2010 cast the lone dissenting vote in each of the eight policy meetings that year (meaning…

201804.02 6

The Best ‘Reflation’ Indicator May Be Japanese

Japanese industrial production dropped sharply in January 2018, Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry reported last month. Seasonally-adjusted, the IP index fell 6.8% month-over-month from December 2017. Since the country has very little mining sector to speak of, and Japan’s IP doesn’t include utility output, this was entirely manufacturing in nature (99.79% of the…

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…

201704.19
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Numbness Is How It Happens

The more I look back the more I am convinced that this version of “reflation” was born Japanese. It all seemed to turn around in early July 2016, the very week that whispers of the, for some, long-sought “big one.” It was all over the financial press all around the world. Having gone as far…

201704.10
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The Global Burden

Bundesrepublik Deutscheland Finanzagentur GmbH (German Finance Agency) was created on September 19, 2000, in order to manage the German government’s short run liquidity needs. GFA took over the task after three separate agencies (Federal Ministry of Finance, Federal Securities Administration, and Deutsche Bundesbank) had previously shared responsibility for it. On September 17, 2014, almost exactly…

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…