Tokyo Injects Fiat Money while Beijing Talks about Bond Attack on Japan

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | SEPTEMBER 19, 2012

The territorial conflict for the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands on the East China Sea have revealed two things in the last few days. First, China’s thirst to defeat its rivals in the region, despite American interventionism. Two, China will not necessarily use military weapons. Instead, it will use its economic might.

While the Japanese Central Bank announced it will follow on the steps of the American Federal Reserve and European Central Bank in flooding the market with money to keep its economy afloat, in Beijing the Communist Party led government is now considering attacking Japan by imposing sanctions on its main funding source: the sale of government bonds.

China is Japan’s main creditor today with holdings of over $230 billion in Japanese government issued bonds. This is China’s strongest weapon at the moment, or at least the one that the Chinese may use to obligate Japan to withdraw from the territorial dispute that has now called for the intervention of United States Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.

The most recent asset purchase program in Japan was extended by about 10 billion yen (€ 97,200 Mn), to 80 trillion yen (778 000 € Mn). In turn, the types of interest are maintained between 0 and 0.1%, a level at which they are since October 2010. The same policies are now being used by the United States Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank, which continue to facilitate funds to large financial institutions while denying loans to small and mid-size entrepreneurs.

The Bank of Japan opted, just like the Fed, to inflate its currency, by printing fiat money into the banking system in an attempt to revive the economy. As seen for the past 4 years, the insane policy of creating fiat money out of nothing does not work. In fact, it only prolongs the crisis because governments are not doing anything to kick start their economies.

The decision has favored the Nikkei, Japan’s stock market. Transactions closed with a rise of 1.19%. Stock markets are another tool in the rigged game that governments use to paint a colorful picture about otherwise dying economies, because they do not represent the actual state of those economies, but that of specific sectors. Stock prices, as in the case of Facebook, can be manipulated to show whatever the manipulators want to show.

The fake snowballing effect of the fiat money printing mechanism reached Europe, where the local markets received the news about the Japanese Bank injecting the worthless money into the economy as a good sign, which helped lift the markets.

In the meantime, in China, Jin Baisong, a member of the Chinese Academy of International Trade wrote on the China Daily newspaper that his government should “impose sanctions on Japan in the most effective manner” to bring Japan to its knees. He said China should consider invoke the security exception to punish Japan.

Other Chinese media such as the Hong Kong Economic Journal published an article about China’s plans to to cut off Japan’s supplies of rare earth metals which Japan needs to produce high tech consumer goods for local and international electronic giants. The considerations to punish Japan through credit lending, imposing cuts of raw materials and calling on international trade organizations to sanction Japan are three of the first steps China is considering to tame down the country’s intent to claim the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands as its property.

In the last two days, multiple protests exploded all over China against the Japanese which prompted many Japanese companies to close their doors for fear of retaliation.

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Downgrade-a-palooza: Banksters ready to Flush the Global Economy

by Antonia van de Velde
CNBC
January 13, 2012

Standard & Poor’s will cut the credit ratings of Italy, Spain and Portugal by two notches and downgrade France and Austria by one notch, a French newspaper said Friday, without citing its sources.

The newspaper, Les Echos, said that S&P would spare Germany, the Netherlands, Finland and Luxembourg in its long-awaited adjustment of euro zone sovereign ratings.

It said the announcement would come at around 4:30 pm ET, after the US stock market has closed. “Remain alert tonight when U.S. markets close,” one euro zone source told Reuters.

US stocks slumped in reaction, though were well off their lows, while European shares closed lower.  In December, S&P placed the ratings of 15 euro zone countries on credit watch negative— including those of top-rated Germany and France, the region’s two biggest economies—and said “systemic stresses” were building up as credit conditions tighten in the 17-nation bloc.

Since then, the European Central Bank has flooded the banking system with cheap three-year money to avert a credit crunch. At the time, the U.S.-based ratings agency said it could also downgrade the euro zone’s current bailout fund, the EFSF.

“The consequence (if France is downgraded) is that the EFSF cannot keep its triple-A rating,” said Commerzbank chief economist Joerg Kraemer.

“That may irritate markets in the short term but wouldn’t be a big problem in a world where the U.S. and Japan also don’t have a triple-A rating anymore. Triple-A is a dying species,” he said.

A spokesperson for S&P in Paris declined to comment on the reports.

John Wraith, Fixed Income Strategist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch told CNBC the confirmation of a mass downgrade would be another serious step in the crisis and would lead to a serious worsening of sentiment.

“To a large degree it’s widely anticipated,” Wraith said. “However, we think the reality of it is going to have a knock-on, ongoing impact on these markets.”

“It clearly deteriorates still further the credit worthiness of a lot of the European banks and just keeps that negative feedback loop between struggling banks and the sovereigns that may have to support them if things go from bad to worse in full force,” Wraith added.

A downgrade could automatically require some investment funds to sell bonds of affected states, making those countries’ borrowing costs rise still further.

“It’s been priced in for several weeks, but the market had been lulled into complacency over the holidays, and the new year began with a bounce in risk appetite, thanks partly to a good Spanish auction,” said Samarjit Shankar, Director Of Global Fx Strategy at BNY Mellon in Boston.

“But the Italian auction brought us back to earth and now we face the spectre of further downgrades.”

Italy’s three-year debt costs fell below 5 percent on Friday but its first bond sale of the year failed to match the success of a Spanish auction the previous day, reflecting the heavy refinancing load Rome faces over the next three months.

—Reuters contributed to this report.

When the Crisis comes… Kick the Can Down the Road…

The Economic Collapse
October 28, 2011

Have you heard the good news?  Financial armageddon has been averted.  The economic collapse in Europe has been cancelled.  Everything is going to be okay.  Well, actually none of those statements is true, but news of the “debt deal” in Europe has set off a frenzy of irrational exuberance throughout the financial world anyway.  Newspapers all over the globe are declaring that the financial crisis in Europe is over.  Stock markets all over the world are soaring.

The Dow was up nearly 3 percent today, and this recent surge is helping the S&P 500 to have its best month since 1974.  Global financial markets are experiencing an explosion of optimism right now.  Yes, European leaders have been able to kick the can down the road for a few months and a total Greek default is not going to happen right now.  However, as you will see below, the core elements of this “debt deal” actually make a financial disaster in Europe even more likely in the future.

The two most important parts of the plan are a 50% “haircut” on Greek debt held by private investors and highly leveraging the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) to give it much more “firepower”.

Both of these elements are likely to cause significant problems down the road.  But most investors do not seem to have figured this out yet.  In fact, most investors seem to be buying into the hype that Europe’s problems have been solved.

There is a tremendous lack of critical thinking in the financial community today.  Just because politicians in Europe say that the crisis has been solved does not mean that the crisis has been solved.  But all over the world there are bold declarations that a great “breakthrough” has been achieved.  An article posted on USA Today is an example of this irrational exuberance….

 

Investors — at least for now — don’t have to worry about a financial collapse like the one in 2008, after Wall Street investment bank Lehman Bros. filed for bankruptcy, sparking a global financial crisis.

“Financial Armageddon seems to have been taken off the table,” says Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott.

Wow, doesn’t that sound great?

But now let’s look at the facts.

Read Full Article…

U.S. Fed Commits to Erasing the Dollar

Ben Bernanke and his cabal of governors approved the expenditure of at least $600 billion to buy U.S. debt.  This move makes the private Federal Reserve Bank the largest holder of U.S. even debt above China.

CNBC/Reuters

The Federal Reserve launched a controversial new policy on Wednesday, committing to buy $600 billion more in government bonds by the middle of next year in an attempt to breathe new life into a struggling U.S. economy.

The decision, which takes the Fed into largely uncharted waters, is aimed at further lowering borrowing costs for consumers and businesses still suffering in the aftermath of the worst recession since the Great Depression.

The U.S. central bank said it would buy about $75 billion in longer-term Treasury bonds per month. It said it would regularly review the pace and size of the program and adjust it as needed depending on the path of the recovery.

In its post-meeting statement, the Fed described the economy as “slow”, and said employers remained reluctant to add to payrolls. It said measures of inflation were “somewhat low.”

“Although the committee anticipates a gradual return to higher levels of research utilization in a context of price stability, progress toward its objectives has been disappointingly slow,” the Fed said. (Click here to read Fed statement.)

Stocks showed relatively little reaction to the news. The Dow Jones Industrial Average bounced around between positive and negative, a day after closing at its highest level since April 26. The S&P 500 Index and the Nasdaq also were mostly flat.

Longer-dated U.S. Treasurys shed gains, with 30-year bonds falling more than a point.

The US dollar fell against the euro and also pared gains against the yen.

The central bank repeated its vow to keep the federal funds rate on overnight loans ultra-low for an extended period. Some analysts had speculated the Fed might broaden this commitment.

Kansas City Fed President Thomas Hoenig continued his streak of dissents, saying the risk of additional securities purchases outweighed the benefits.

In a separate statement, the New York Fed said it would temporarily relax a rule limiting ownership of any particular security to 35 percent.

It said holdings would be allowed to rise above that threshold “only in modest increments.” Including the Fed’s ongoing plan to reinvest maturing assets, the New York Fed expects to conduct $850 billion to $900 billion in Treasury purchases through the end of the second quarter of 2011.

With the U.S. economy expanding at only a 2 percent annual pace in the third quarter of this year and the jobless rate seemingly stuck around 9.6 percent, the Fed had come under pressure to do more to stimulate business activity.

The central bank had already cut overnight interest rates to near zero in December 2008 and bought about $1.7 trillion in U.S. government debt and mortgage-linked bonds.

Those purchases, however, occurred when financial markets were stricken by crisis, and economists and Fed officials alike are divided over how effective the new program will be. Further bond purchases, however, are viewed with a skeptical eye by many economists and some Fed officials.

Indeed, some worry further bond buying could do more harm than good by providing tinder for inflation that will ignite when the recovery finally gains traction.

Markets had already seen sharp moves in anticipation of a resumption of bond purchases by the Fed. U.S. stocks and government bonds have rallied, while the dollar has taken a drubbing in advance of the decision.

Stocks have also been supported by expectations—now validated—that Republicans, viewed as more pro-business by investors, would seize control of the House and pick up Senate seats in elections on Tuesday that were seen as a referendum on the economy.

Since Republicans campaigned on a platform for smaller government, Congress may be less likely to offer fresh stimulus spending if the economy sputters, leaving the Fed as the primary source of support.

With the prospect of a long period of ultra-low returns in the United States, investors have flocked to emerging markets, pushing those currencies higher. Emerging economies, worried about a loss of export competitiveness, have cried foul.

“We are all under attack by the relaxed monetary policy of the United States,” Colombian Finance Minister Juan Carlos Echeverry told investors on Tuesday.

The Bank of Japan, which meets on Thursday and Friday, is also poised to launch a new round of bond buying. The European Central Bank and Bank of England also meet this week, but are not expected to shift policy.

The Fed move is likely to weaken the dollar further, which will helps big exporters like CNBC parent General Electric