Listen to the IMF’s Christine Lagarde very carefully. While the US Federal Reserve has as a parochial “closed economy” view – and made a series of grave blunders over the last six years as a result – her job is to look at the entire world, and she does not like what she sees.
She warned over the weekend that Fed tapering could ricochet back into the US economy if handled carelessly.
“Very negative spillover effects on the emerging market economies could very much backfire on other economies. So to assume that the domestic economy is totally isolated, that a country is an island, would not be the right approach,” she told CNBC at the Ambrosetti Forum on Lake Como, which I have been attending.
“Without necessarily changing the mandate, without reviewing the terms of references, and maybe without even acknowledging it, I cannot believe that central bankers do not take into account what’s happening elsewhere in the world,” she said.
The one headline we have been waiting for for over four years has just hit:
BOK KIM SAYS WORLD MAY FACE RATE RISK IF U.S. EXITS FROM QE
Not when, if. And there you have it: if the Fed exits, the world (and most certainly Japan) gets it. Thus, for the sake of the children (who will have inhert about $100 trillion in debt but don’t worry: debt is an asset as some “analysts” will promise) Bernanke can never exit. QE…D
And since never is a litte longer than 2016/2017, at some point in the next few years Bernanke will be the proud owner of all marketable Treasury paper. All of it.
By definition, exports from country A have to equal imports from country B. Unless country A is China. Then, central planning magic happens, as can be seen in the chart below showing the misreporting of Chinese exports to HK compared to HK’s reported imports from China, which is just the latest nail in the coffin of Chinese economic data “integrity.”
The issue, however, is that since China manipulates its data “upward”, as does the rest of the civilized, “unmanipulating” world, none of the ‘very serious people‘ have any incentive in calling China out – because suddenly all the world’s growth data may fall under the microscope, as perhaps it should – after all it was less than two years ago that we observed that the entire world was exporting over $300 billion more than it was importing (numbers which should net to zero), leading us to wonder if it was aliens that were importing all the excess Louis Vuitton bags…
So for those actually interested, here is Sean Corrigan of Diapason breaking down the true numbers behind China’s economy, who using real export and import data ex-manipulation and fudging, that China’s reported 7.7% GDP would translate into a 5.5% Q1 GDP growth, the lowest rate of growth in 20 years!
From Diapason Securities:
Official number for China’s 2-way trade flow growth in QI was + 13.4% yoy and for the first 4 months up 14% yoy.
Over the years, Jim O’Neill, former Chairman of GSAM, rose to fame for pegging the BRIC acronym (no such luck for the guy who came up with the far more applicable and accurate PIIGS, orSTUPIDS, monikers, but that’s neither here nor there). O’Neill was correct in suggesting, about a decade ago, that the rise of the middle class in these countries and their purchasing power would prove to be a major driving force in the world economy.
O’Neill was wrong in his conclusion as to what the ultimate driver of said purchasing power would be: as it has become all too clear with the entire world drowning in debt (and recently China), it was simply debt, which moved from the funding developed world consumption to handing out credit cards to consumers in the developing world.
That the IMF is the most unwavering optimist despite fundamentals, facts and reality has been well-documented over the years. For those who still haven’t seen the agency’s perpetual upward bias in forecasting world growth, a quick scan of the charts below will cement the understanding that all the Washington-based serial bail-outer of insolvent countries is, is a dispenser of optimism and whose agenda is simply to preserve confidence that all is still well. The charts show how just over the past year’s six outlook revisions, the IMF has been forced to downgrade, with quarterly precision, its overly optimistic forecast for virtually every part of the world, from the US, to the Euroarea, to China, and of course, the entire world: the black line is the most recent revision set – it also happens to be the lowest one.
US: expect the US 2014 forecast growth to tumble in the next several revisions – it only took 12 months for the IMF’s 2013 US GDP growth forecast to drop from 2.4% to 1.9%. Obviously, the 2013 to 2014 hockeystick is laughable at best.
China: so much for the Great Chinese growth miracle:
Everyone has been desperately waiting for this. At 3:00 pm it will be publicly released. Hopefully, shortly thereafter we can proceed with the discussion of important things such as the complete economic collapse of not only America, but the entire world (which is apparently now hooked into voting for Obama as disclosed earlier). For those strapped for time here is the summary: Romneys 2011 tax rate 14.1%, Charity donations: 30%; Obamas tax rate: 20.5%, Charity donations: 22%. And going back, “Over the entire 20-year period, the average annual effective federal tax rate was 20.20%.”
This morning, Gov. and Mrs. Romney filed their 2011 tax return with the IRS. At 3:00pm today, the Romney for President campaign will be posting the 2011 return online.
The complete 2011 tax return, with full schedules, statements, and attachments, will be made available with all other previously-disclosed information at www.mittromney.com/disclosure.
Also posted will be a notarized letter from the Romneys’ tax preparer, PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP (PWC), giving a summary of tax rates from the Romneys’ tax returns for the 20-year period of 1990-2009.
In advance of the posting of these new documents, I wanted to provide some top-line details.
Economic Debunker Steve Keen is interviewed by outspoken Irish journalist Vincent Browne and no holds are barred as he describes the Maastricht Treaty as a suicide pact of critically poor central-planning design of a supposed market-economy, based on financial crises never occurring, locking European governments into an austere path when stimulus is required. “Ultimately the Euro has to fail and the longer we continue the farce of believing we can make it function the larger the ultimate crash will be” is how Keen portrays the situation and describes the foreign-exchange, fiscal policy, and monetary policy shackles that have created and exaggerated the situation. This leads into a longer discussion of the state of the World and its inability to ‘export into the ponzi’ like Japan could from 1990 to 2010 since the entire developed world is trying to do the same thing and “there is no ponzi scheme on Mars that we can export to” leaving the globe without Japan’s initial way out. The must-watch 10 minute interview goes on to discuss the endgame (a break in the political compact based on austerity pressures and military or political coups) as Keen sums up “it’s amazing to see us repeating the same mistakes that were made during the 1930s but we are doing just that.” ending with some potential solutions noting that there is no easy way out of this.
“You need to have accelerating debt forever to have rising asset prices forever and not even debt can accelerate forever”
7,600,000,000,000 Dollars of Debt Must Be Rolled Over In 2012…
When it comes to government debt, it is not just new debt that is the problem. Every single year, governments around the world must “roll over” gigantic mountains of debt that come due. That means that the actual borrowing that takes place each year is far greater than the yearly budget deficits that you see talked about on television. In 2012, a total of 7,600,000,000,000 dollars of debt must be rolled over by the G-7 nations, Brazil, Russia, India and China. When you add in interest payments, that number rises to over $8 trillion. And that does not even include any new borrowing that all of those nations will do in 2012. This is a debt bomb that could devastate the entire global economy at any time. Everything will be fine as long as global lenders are willing to lend these countries gigantic mountains of very cheap money. But if that changes, and there are already a multitude of signs that a massive global credit crunch has begun, it will mean a complete and total financial nightmare for the entire world.
The Founder of one of the world’s largest asset managers, the $30 billion hedge fund BlueCrest, Michael Platt, spoke to Bloomberg TV and cut right to the chase, saying most of the banks in Europe are insolvent and the situation in the region is “completely unstable.” On how he approaches market risk: “”I do not take any exposure to banks at all if I can avoid it. All the money at BlueCrest Capital Management is in Two-Year U.S. government debt, Two-Year German debt, we have segregated accounts with all of our counterparties. We are absolutely concerned about the credit quality of the counterparties.” On investing in illiquid assets, Platt said he “would not touch them with a barge pole” and that “the major opportunities will come post-blowout.” Something tells us Russia and China know this all too well, and realize that the best time to “invest” in Europe is after the single (or multiple) bankruptcy. Which incidentally, as Kyle Bass said yesterday, after the “blowout” is when the ECB will finally step in as well, at which point the entire world will go all in on that now infamous 2-7 offsuit. And his view on how that bluff will end: ‘In my opinion, what’s going on now is significantly worse than 2008.“