China’s Seven Years Disinflation

In early 2011, Chinese consumer prices were soaring. Despite an official government mandate for 3% CPI growth, the country’s main price measure started out the year close to 5% and by June was moving toward 7%. It seemed fitting for the time, no matter how uncomfortable it made PBOC officials. China was going to be…


Big Mama Leaves Huge Footprints Stepping All Over ‘Devaluation’

Not a good day to be a global central bank. Competitive devaluations all around? Kidding aside, it’s getting serious in China. CNY DOWN = BAD, so says Big Mama. “The kind of dollar selling from that bank was so aggressive that we knew instantly that it must be from the Big Mama,” said a Shanghai-based…

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Revisiting China and ‘Devaluation’ As China Revisits ‘Devaluation’

When the Chinese yuan suddenly plummeted in mid-August 2015, the world looked on in stunned confusion. It didn’t make sense. The global economy was about to take off, they thought, and it wouldn’t be doing that without China’s vast anticipated contributions. Such a large move in such a short time frame for a major currency…

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Further Early Confirmation on PBOC Intentions

The level of Chinese bank reserves fell again in May 2018. Year-over-year, what is technically classified as Deposits of Other Depository Corporations on the PBOC’s liability (money) side of its balance sheet contracted by 1%. This advances a very different trend for reserves, breaking what had been a more continuous and determined effort toward at…


China’s Monetary Shell Game (Confirmed for Step 2)

Chinese bank reserves contracted in April 2018 for the first time in almost two years. The decline was small, just 0.2%, but it is still represents a significant deviation from the limited growth since the turmoil in 2015 and early 2016. The decline in reserves further corroborates our theory of events. To briefly review, China…


Chart of the Week: PBOC Clumsily Stumbles Into Step 1

A few weeks ago, the PBOC stunned many mainstream observers by reducing the RRR. It cut against the preferred narrative that the central bank was “tightening” in anticipation of an economic and therefore inflationary breakout (labor shortages, don’t you know). It didn’t seem to make sense. From the perspective of globally synchronized growth, it wouldn’t….

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China’s Monetary Shell Game

Throughout much of last year, we were told repeatedly that the PBOC was tightening monetary policy. China’s central bank had raised its reverse repo rate twice early on, and then once more last December (and would do so again just last month). These moves coincided with Federal Reserve “rate hikes”, seemingly in line with the…


Aligning China To The Deficient ‘Dollar’

China is officially closed this week for its National Holiday Golden Week celebrations. These have been monetarily and financially eventful in the past because they represent challenges for RMB liquidity. This week appears to be no different, though this time it was the announcement of future policies that were no doubt written in the present…


The Great Monetary Mistake

It may seem strange that one of the primary forces behind the Bretton Woods arrangement was John Maynard Keynes. That is because what goes on in his name today is often nothing like what he proposed. This is not an endorsement of those ideas, only recognition and deep appreciation that during the worst consequences of…


Confirmation Through Petulance

Did CNY flash crash yesterday? That it is even being contemplated and argued is itself an indication of these times. According to pretty much all market data, CNY fell below 7.0 to the dollar just prior to the US open. It had been trading its usual (for the past week or so) artificial, non-volatile sideways…