If you listen to some market observers, the record low yields in the Treasury bond market are warning us that the American economy is on the verge of falling into the same deflationary abyss of the euro zone and Japan. Like the Chicken Little story, if bond yields are falling, the sky must be falling, too.
With the yield on the 30-year T-bond hitting its lowest level ever last week, even lower than during the global financial crisis, they’re worried that if the Federal Reserve raises interest rates soon, we’ll shortly be back to the bad old days of 2008 and, even worse, 1929.
No less a figure than Paul Krugman, the New York Times’ economics commentator, wrote that the Swiss Central Bank’s move last week to decouple the franc from the free-falling euro is a portent of what could happen to us if we let our deflationary guard down. Continue reading "Chicken Little and the Bond Market"→
Why the biggest monetary stimulus effort in the world did NOT stop deflation in its tracks
By Elliott Wave International
When Shinzo Abe became the Prime Minister of Japan in December 2012, he was regarded with the kind of reverence that politicians dream about. He was featured in a hit pop song ("Abeno Mix"), hailed as a "samurai warrior," and featured on the May 2013 The Economist cover as none other than Superman.
But in the two short years since, Abe as Superman has been struck down by the superpower-zapping force of economic kryptonite. On November 17, government reports confirmed that Japan's brief respite from a 20-year long entrenched deflation was over as the nation's 2nd & 3rd quarter GDP shrank 7.2% and 1.6% respectively.
No matter the debates over inflation vs. deflation, increasing employment vs. sound monetary policy or systemic health vs. fragility (and whatever else is flying around in Jackson Hole this week), the CPI marches onward and upward. That is the system and it is predicated on creating enough money out of thin air while inflation signals are (somehow) held at bay.
The Straw Man* in this argument lives in the idea that inflation is not always destructive, that inflation can be used for good and honed, massaged and targeted just right to achieve positive ends to defeat the curse of deflation that is surely just around the next corner. Currently, the Straw Man is supported by the reality of the moment, which includes long-term Treasury yields remaining in their long-term secular down trend.
People argue over inflation’s effects and the expectations thereof but the CPI, which is the ultimate measure of inflation’s lagging effects, has never stopped to take a breather. 2008′s liquidation of the system? Child’s play. Inflation, which is what the Fed has been hysterically promoting since 2007, will always manifest in rising prices somewhere. As luck would have it, this time it is manifesting in the stock market to a greater degree than the CPI. ‘All good!’ think our policy makers if the right prices are rising. Continue reading "Deflationary Straw Man"→
Despite the Fed's leverage and its attempt to inflate throughout the economy, the deflationary pressures in the U.S. are overwhelming. Watch this six-minute clip from Steve Hochberg's presentation at the Orlando Money Show. To learn more about the inflationary/deflationary process, go to www.deflation.com.
The last thing on the minds of most people is deflation. It's easy enough to determine that with a quick quiz -- and that quiz is found in the just-published Elliott Wave Theorist.
In this July-August Theorist, Robert Prechter uses Google searches to make a point about deflation:
"When I typed 'Inflation for 2013,' there were 47,700 results. On March 13th, when I put this slide together, I also typed in "Deflation for 2013." How many results do you think I got?"
Prechter reveals that the answer is 5. (You could have googled it yourself, but we don't want you to have to take the time.) He then goes on to search other phrases pertaining to deflation and inflation, which you can learn more about via a risk-free read of the Theorist. Just know that the number of Google searches for "Deflation for 2013" was nowhere near the number of searches for "Inflation for 2013." Continue reading "Deflation Will Take the Majority by Surprise"→