China has a classic central-planners’ economy, and planners hate to lose control. As a logical consequence, the central authorities have only very slowly loosened their grip either on money coming in from outside or on money going out from inside. Still ....
The Japanese economy deserves some credit for having pulled itself out of a recent recession, and it is "beginning to show signs of benefiting from a weaker yen" as a BlackRock strategist tells us. But (there is always a "but").
Gold seems, to a larger extent than silver, and even more so to an extent larger than is true for palladium or platinum, to work as a true financial asset: decoupled from price developments in the commodity markets. It succeeds as a hedge against currency and stock-market trouble.
In the three month period that ends with July, Eurekahedge’s Greater China Index (which has 85 constituents) is down 9.39%. That has come about for precisely the reasons that a reader of the pertinent headlines would guess.
China's moves in recent days seem likely to set off a new Southeast Asia currency crisis, which will look a lot like the old Southeast Asia currency crisis. This was clear even on August 11th, when traders in the rest of the world were apparently working on the premise that China's move that day was a one-off.
What a difference a summer makes! In May of this year it was still taken for granted that the "normalization" of Federal Reserve policy and so of U.S. interest rates approached. Now, that cannot even remotely be taken for granted.
When it all hit the fan, U.S. investigators in particular (the Brits somewhat less so) came to see Hayes as a mastermind behind its digestive generation. But Arvedlund seeks in her new book on the Libor Rigging scandal to place the role Hayes played in context.
Faille returns to the matter of a recorded conversation in which a former Greek finance minister talked about German ideas that ought to have the French government worried. Specifically, it is allegedly Werner Schäuble’s intention to scare the French into abandoning sovereignty. Greece is just a pawn.
In a newly released recording (of a conversation apparently intended to remain secret somewhat longer), the former finance minister discussed the cloak-and-dagger task force that had drawn up plans for a Grexit. And, looking forward, he talked about German ideas that ought to have the French government worried.
Guest columnist Ginger Szala looks at pro rata and what happens if...
"Not moving is more risky than moving," said one CEO asked about mergers and acquisitions. "We will make more acquisitions, but they’ll probably be larger in nature, more transformative. "
Larry Fink is "deeply worried" that the combination of share repo with high-yield debt is "one of the reasons why we have a below trend-line economy. We're not investing in the future as much as we should." Carl Icahn, predictably, has a very different view of what ails us.
The prime minister has pushed aside the Greek Finance Minister, Varoufakis, and has replaced him with Tsakalatos. Is this change a matter of conciliation? or further defiance?
Bitcoin's price charts nowadays seem to have settled into an equilibrium between $240 and $220 per. But ESMA, and the authorities in Sweden, are both paying attention.
Banks are in the liquidity transformation business, and that is a critical role. But the ossification of the institutions that perform that role, by tradition, assumption, and concomitant regulation, is a threat to its success.
Factor models will evolve as researchers untangle what value is to be attributed to what factor. Model selection, then, has to remain flexible to keep pace with such research, and must of course remain useful for the investment decision makers.
At this moment, when news from China has turned sober and the monetary/fiscal authorities there seem torn by inconsistent goals, a tweet flutter has reminded us of a boring data-analysis text that was nixed by a publishing house in China for reasons of political sensitivity.
According to Eurekahedge the hedge fund industry globally returned $54.1 billion in performance gains in the first quarter 2015. This is the greatest first-quarter gain since before the global financial crisis.
Why has Ken Griffin, the founder of Citadel, hired former Fed Chair Ben Bernanke as a Senior Advisor? This decision represents a surprise given Griffin's views on "quantitative easing," views he forcefully expressed a couple of years ago.
Guest columnist Diane Harrison looks at the world of alternatives to alternatives, including stamps, cars, farmland and more...
It is always dangerous to say (of any deep and liquid market) that the market is simply wrong in its valuations. Likewise, if you're sitting at a poker table and you don't know who the sucker is ....
The impression one gets from some of the recent work of Dr. Makin is of a man who decided, late in life, that currency is a state invention, and that the states deputize their central banks to make sure the rest of us use it properly.
Felix Zulauf is the principal of Zulauf Asset Management, and a former global strategist for the UBS Group. He said that central banks have intervened on such a large scale of late that they have left "global financial markets ... more distorted than ever before and accordingly the risks are very high."
Intralinks is confident that the ongoing growth in M&A activity will continue through the 2d quarter, fueled by strong performances in EMEA and North America. In North America in particular the drivers include low interest rates and pressure on corporate honchos to generate growth in that low-rate environment.
In some fairly routine middle-critter corporate roles, there may no longer be much need for human managerial involvement. Enter the self-running business entity: another big step toward the obsolescence of human beings some of whom, nonetheless, will get wealthy in the process.
The trade cycle is not a central concern of the reigning general-equilibrium models in macroeconomics. To the extent such models do consider booms and busts, they largely reject money or credit based explanations.
The Greek prime minister's surrender to Germany and the troika has alienated much of his own base in Syriza. You can bet on it. Indeed, finding creative ways to bet on it looks like a sound alpha strategy now.
Is it possible for a country (let us not name names) currently employing the euro to introduce or re-introduce a fiat national currency with a variable exchange rate vis-à-vis the euro and without either a forced conversion of savings or catastrophe? Faille speculates on an approach.
Varoufakis believes in the single Eurozone currency. It is unlikely that the government that just appointed him Finance Minister plans to pull out of that zone and bring back the drachma.
Eurekahedge tells us that hedge funds were in the black 4.57% in 2014. That's hardly cause for celebration, since the MSCI World Index returned 6.79% over the same year. But all eyes now turn to the still-sliding price of oil.
An SNB announcement caused wild market moves Jan. 15th, not only in Forex but in commodity and equity prices as well. In the wake of the commotion, one key question has to be: why the announcement? Why this sudden change in the policy of Switzerland's central bankers?
The publisher of Laissez-Faire Books has made some news in the alternative-currency world, declaring that there is a “silver lining” to the various scams associated with such currencies, because cons tend to develop around industries with a bright future. That sounds like a bit of a stretch.
The newly called snap elections in Greece will serve as a contest between pro-austerity and anti-austerity forces. Anti-austerity means abandoning the bail-out deal, and that position now seems the likely victor.
The price of gold took a swan dive as November ended, just as Swiss voters formally nixed an initiative that would have required the central bank to buy a lot of the stuff. Faille argues that this is not a matter of cause and effect. It is, on the other hand, a fascinating case study in the discounting machinery that is a market.
The release of Lord Grabiner's report provides evidence going well beyond the conclusions that Grabiner himself is willing to draw, and shows a central bank acting as a wink-and-nod clearing house.
A bitcoin-mining fire, a survey of small and medium businesses and their levels of preparedness for bitcoin customers, and a new criminal accusation against an alleged ponzi scheme: all conribute to the sense that bitcoin is a microcosm of the whole financial world, good and bad.
Draghi and Yellen seem to be headed in opposite directions. One is revving up the money-creation engine, the other is 'tapering.' So why is Yellen so publicly supportive of Draghi? And what happened to the rebellion within the ECB?
The Swiss National Bank and the government oppose a pending referendum that would drastically change the country's policy on gold. But of course the anti-establishment nature of the petition is the whole point.
In the matter of a merchant selling computers that are supposed to mine bitcoin, the FTC alleges that the merchant is a sham, simply using the language of the bitcoin world to find suckers. But the agency might have gotten a bit ahead of itself here.
The significance of the size of bank reserves and deposits as channels for the influence of QE upon macro-economic factors varies bank by bank. Monetary levers don't work on the really big rocks. A word on implications for the equity positions in those banks.
There are several channels for spill-over effects, whereby the actions of the Federal Reserve and the ECB can have grave consequences around the world. Psychological consequence, in particular herding, is among them.
The Federal Reserve practice of the direct purchase of bonds from the U.S. treasury has a fascinating history. Though there have been no direct purchases since 1981, the idea surely is not forgotten. Is indirect purchasing simply a better way for the sovereign and central bankers to assist their cronies?
Markets work. We are warranted in believing this because it has proven itself in human history and we have studied history. Centralized social planning fails. Now, having said all that, let's talk about the Fed.
Paul Volcker is obviously entitled to express his concerns when he senses that the well-educated young people of today are taking economics courses full of the wrong lessons: specifically, that they are unaware of just how nasty a dragon inflation was in the U.S. in the 1970s.
The Chair of the Federal Reserve cannot with any plausibility look upon market bubbles as something exogenous, something that just happens to the earth, like a meteor shower, something from which she and others in her august circles can seek to protect us.
Why it is possible that the recent uptick in animal spirits in Japan comes largely from a sense that Abenomics as originally conceived has run its course, and that Abe and the rest of the gang there will have to move on shortly.
If the old line from Cabaret--"money makes the world go around"--is true, what happens when crypto-currencies go around the world? Vikas Shah explores the world of e-monies.
Vikas Shah looks at the future of money--paper vs. electronic.
Recently we discussed Dr. Stiglitz' view of the Eurozone, a view offered to an Italian audience, with Italy (and Greece) foremost in mind. Today we complement that with Deputy Governor Hakkarainen's view of the Eurozone. He looks down at the same map from the north, with Finland and Sweden foregrounded.
Stiglitz seems to think the euro can be saved, but that the “structure” of Europe as a political entity has to change. His ideas for a reformed structure sound a lot like a consolidation of Europe into a single nation state.