Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.Oil Wars 2016 - US vs Russia vs Saudi Arabia vs Iran - Nadeem_Walayat
2.Crude Oil Price Crash Triggering Global Instability, Trend Forecast 2016 - Nadeem_Walayat
3.Stock Market Crash - Last Week was The 2nd and Final Warning... - Clive_Maund
4.Stock Market Crash Apocalypse or Bull Market Severe Correction? - Nadeem_Walayat
5.TShipping Said to Have Ceased… Is the Worldwide Economy Grinding to a Halt? - Jeff_Berwick
6.Crude Oil Price Crash Catastrophe, Independant Scotland Literally Begging to Rejoin the UK - Nadeem_Walayat
7.Summers: Global Economy Can't Withstand Four 2016 Fed Hikes - Bloomberg
8.Gold And Silver: New World Order: Public Be Damned, Preferably Dead - Michael_Noonan
9.Rigged U.S. Ttreasury Bond Market Double Barreled Hidden Q.E. To Infinity - Jim_Willie_CB
10.Major Stocks Bear Market Awakening - Zeal_LLC
Last 5 days
Potential Stocks Bear Market Uptrend Underway - 13th Feb 16
HUI Gold Stocks …Meet Me at The Bottomz Inn ? - 13th Feb 16
Is This the Debt Bubbles Last Rattle? - 12th Feb 16
Gold Stocks Upside Targets - 12th Feb 16
Stock Market Observations - 12th Feb 16
Will Capital Controls Return? - 12th Feb 16
Gold, Gold Stocks, and the End Game - 12th Feb 16
Canadian Dollar Now Even Less of a Haven from US Dollar Collapse Than Before - 12th Feb 16
The Stock Market Dow Elevator; 18, 17, 16.... - 12th Feb 16
Will Harry Dent Eat Crow on His $700 Gold Price Prediction? - 12th Feb 16
Where to Hide Your Money From Reckless Governments - 12th Feb 16
The War on Cash is About to Go into Hyperdrive - 11th Feb 16
More Bankruptcy For Your Retirement Portfolio - 11th Feb 16
2016 - Gold & Silver Rising: A Gold And Silver Bottom May Be In - 11th Feb 16
Gain Trading Confidence by Improving Your Elliott Wave Analysis Skills - Video - 11th Feb 16
With A Gloomy Start To 2016, A Bust Seems Just Around The Corner - 11th Feb 16
UK Interest Rates, Economy Forecasts 2016 and 2017 - Video - 10th Feb 16
World Markets Are in Sync - 10th Feb 16
If You Miss Buying Gold – You Will Regret, it Later - 10th Feb 16
The Fed Doesn't have a Clue! - 10th Feb 16
How Far Can Gold Price Go? - 10th Feb 16
It's Stock Market Panic Time! - 9th Feb 16
Gold Stocks Picks for Patient Pickers - 9th Feb 16
Oil Price Collapse U.S. Recession Odds 2016 - 9th Feb 16
Preparing for Crisis - It's About Risk Mitigation and Capital Preservation - 9th Feb 16
Top Silver Mining CEO: Don't Laugh, We Could See Silver $100+ - 8th Feb 16
Gold, Investment Leadership Changes Permanent? - 8th Feb 16
Stock Market Panic Decline Begins... - 8th Feb 16
How to Save Money By Growing Your Own Homegrown Tomatoes Indoors From Seeds - 8th Feb 16
US Economy Slides One Step Further Towards A Recession - 8th Feb 16
Gold Bear Market Bottom : Mr. Bear has left the PM Sector for Greener Pastures - 8th Feb 16
Stock Market At Important Support - 8th Feb 16
David Cameron Humiliated in Poland Over Refusal to Stop Taking UK Benefits, BrExit or Super State? - 8th Feb 16
Why Crude Oil Prices Could Continue FALLING From Here - 7th Feb 16
Stock Market S&P, NAS Best, Most Reliable Answers Come From The Market And You - 7th Feb 16
Stocks Bear Market Continues - 7th Feb 16
Silver COT Paving Way for Sustained Upside Breakout Sharp Rally - 7th Feb 16
US Dollar Double Top, Gold Prospects Brightening Rapidly - 7th Feb 16
Gold And Silver - Is A Bottom In? Nothing Confirmed - 7th Feb 16
Gold Stocks Something has Changed - 6th Feb 16
UK Interest Rates, Economy GDP Forecasts 2016 and 2017 - 6th Feb 16

Free Instant Analysis

Free Instant Technical Analysis


Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Global Financial Crisis 2016

Mervyn's Pringle Problem

Interest-Rates / UK Debt Oct 07, 2011 - 04:28 PM GMT

By: Adrian_Ash

Interest-Rates

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleBank to Treasury: Forget credit easing. It's your debt that needs queasing...

UNLIKE PRINGLES tasty potato snacks, quantitative easing doesn't come with a resealable lid. So the famous sales line is only more true for central bankers:

"Once you pop, you can't stop!"


This, warns the historian, lurching out of the library stacks, is how Germany's infamous Weimar Republic moved from something like sanity to madness inside three years. A trickle when it started, "more and more paper [poured] from the Reichsbank presses" by January 1923, writes Adam Ferguson in his well-thumbed history, When Money Dies.

"During February the note circulation was being increased by a matter of 450 milliards every week. On a single day in early March, by way of Treasury bills discounted at the Reichsbank, the floating debt was increased by 800 milliards."

A milliard? It used to mean 1,000,000,000 – formerly known as 1,000 million but now called one billion even though it's a thousand times smaller. Still, that's inflation for you. One billion buys much less than it used to. Just ask Mervyn King.

"There is not enough money in the economy today," the Bank of England governor told ITN News on Thursday (and Sky, and the BBC, and everyone else) as he tried to explain why his team is adding £75 billion ($115bn) to the £200bn of quantitative easing they tried in 2009.

"That is why we have taken this measure to create money, in order to ensure that there is sufficient money to support the recovery, to support jobs, while ensuring that inflation remains close to our target."

Oh yeah? Mervyn King's target – of 2.0% annual inflation on the UK's official Consumer Price Index – hasn't been hit since autumn 2009. Inflation is now running at 4.5% per year and has exceeded Mervyn's official 3.0% limit in 20 of the 29 months since he first got his hands all covered with ink. So whatever this apparent "lack" of money might be doing to the UK today, it's hardly pulling down prices.

Nor will the new money help private-sector investment, not directly, even though – just this Monday – UK finance minister George Osborne declared he wanted "Credit Easing" to kick-start new borrowing by business to jump-start new growth. Poor George! He must have thought his birthday had come on Thursday morning, when Mervyn wrote to say the Bank wanted to print a fresh six per cent's worth of GDP in new cash.

"The structure and operation of the Asset Purchase Facility would be unchanged from that described [by] your predecessor," the governor winked in his letter.

"The APF continues to include facilites for eligible private sector assets," the chancellor winked back, "authorised up to a maximum of £50 billion."

But no! Within minutes of this cheery exchange being posted for the world to enjoy on the Bank's website, up went the Bank's plan for how it will spend this new money – every last penny on government bonds, and none of it on private-sector assets or loans!

And here's why...

Of its first £200bn in quantitative easing, the Bank of England spent all but £1.7 billion on UK government debt. Like the name says, the effect was to "ease with quantity" – pushing down longer-term interest rates, which the Bank can't ordinarily change through trading short-term debt bills, by bidding up longer-dated government bonds.

Government bonds pay a fixed income each year, so the higher the price, the lower the yield to new buyers. Hence the lower interest rates for other borrowers in the economy.

Trouble is, government bonds don't stand still. They shuffle towards maturity – that happy day when the current owner gets repayment of the money first borrowed from the bond market by the government. And as our chart shows, this slow shuffle has changed the way the Bank of England's gilt holdings stand, even though it's holding the very same UK gilts it bought between March 2009 and Jan. 2010.

QE1 is moving towards the short-end of maturities. Time for QE2. Because since the start of last year, that 70% of the Bank's £198bn spent on medium and long-dated gilts has turned into 60%. That means the 30% of its money spent on "Short dated" gilts has now become 40% held in "Short" and – yikes! – "Ultra-Short dated" gilts, set to mature in 3 years or less.

You won't need reminding how tight the UK's public finances are right now. Mervyn King certainly doesn't. But he does seem to think the chancellor needs telling – and pretty much in public, too. Fully 16% of that money printed last time around is starting to pile up at the short end...about to turn back into real cash. So to rebalance the queasing, trying to keep long-term rates down but with the government's total debt very much larger, the Bank has no choice but to target medium and longer-term gilts once again, buying (no kidding) 3-10 year gilts on Mondays, 25-year-and-over on Tuesdays, and 10-25 year debt on Wednesdays.

Now it's started, it can't stop.

By Adrian Ash
BullionVault.com

Gold price chart, no delay   |   Buy gold online at live prices

Formerly City correspondent for The Daily Reckoning in London and a regular contributor to MoneyWeek magazine, Adrian Ash is the editor of Gold News and head of research at www.BullionVault.com , giving you direct access to investment gold, vaulted in Zurich , on $3 spreads and 0.8% dealing fees.

(c) BullionVault 2011

Please Note: This article is to inform your thinking, not lead it. Only you can decide the best place for your money, and any decision you make will put your money at risk. Information or data included here may have already been overtaken by events – and must be verified elsewhere – should you choose to act on it.


© 2005-2016 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

Biggest Debt Bomb in History