Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.US Paving the Way for Massive First Strike on North Korea Nuclear and Missile Infrastructure - Nadeem_Walayat
2.Trump Reset: US War With China, North Korea Nuclear Flashpoint - Video - Nadeem_Walayat
3.Silver Junior Mining Stocks 2017 Q2 Fundamentals - Zeal_LLC
4.Soaring Inflation Plunges UK Economy Into Stagflation, Triggers Government Pay Cap Panic! - Nadeem_Walayat
5.The Bitcoin Blueprint To Your Financial Freedom - Sean Keyes
6.North Korea 'Begging for War', 'Enough is Enough', is a US Nuclear Strike Imminent? - Nadeem_Walayat
7.Bitcoin Hits All-Time High and Smashes Through $5,000 As Gold Shows Continued Strength - Jeff_Berwick
8.2017 is NOT "Just Another Year" for the Stock Market: Here's Why - EWI
9.Gold : The Anatomy of the Bottoming Process - Rambus_Chartology
10.Bitcoin Falls 20% as Mobius and Chinese Regulators Warn - GoldCore
Last 7 days
Catalonia, Kurdistan, Patriotism, Flags and Referendums - 24th Sep 17
Two Key Indicators Show the S&P 500 Becoming the New ‘Cash’ - 24th Sep 17
The Felling of Sheffield's Big Street Trees 2017 - Dobcroft Road - 24th Sep 17
Advantages of Forex Trading - 24th Sep 17
Stocks, Gold, Dollar, Bitcoin Markets Analysis - 23rd Sep 17
How Will We Be Affected by a Series of Rate Hikes? - 23rd Sep 17
Fed Quantitative Tightening Impact on Stocks and Gold - 22nd Sep 17
Bitcoin & Blockchain: All Hype or Part of a Financial Revolution? - 22nd Sep 17
Pensions and Debt Time Bomb In UK: £1 Trillion Crisis Looms - 22nd Sep 17
Will North Korea Boost Gold Prices? Part I - 22nd Sep 17
USDJPY Leads the way for a Resurgent Greenback - 22nd Sep 17
Day Trading Guide for Dummies - 22nd Sep 17
Short-Term Uncertainty, As Stocks Fluctuate Along Record Highs - 21st Sep 17
4 Reasons Gold is Starting to Look Attractive as Cryptocurrencies Falter - 21st Sep 17
Should Liners Invest in Shipping Software Solutions and Benefits of Using Packaged Shipping Software - 21st Sep 17
The 5 Biggest Bubbles In Markets Today - 20th Sep 17
Infographic: The Everything Bubble Is Ready to Pop - 20th Sep 17
Americans Don’t Grasp The Magnitude Of The Looming Pension Tsunami That May Hit Us Within 10 Years - 20th Sep 17
Stock Market Waiting Game... - 20th Sep 17
Precious Metals Sector is on Major Buy Signal - 20th Sep 17
US Equities Destined For Negative Returns In The Next 7 Years - 3 Assets To Invest In Instead - 20th Sep 17
Looking For the Next Big Stock? Look at Design - 20th Sep 17
Self Employed? Understanding Business Insurance - 19th Sep 17
Stock Market Bubble Fortunes - 19th Sep 17
USD/CHF – Verification of Breakout or Further Declines? - 19th Sep 17
Blockchain Tech: Don't Say You Didn't Know - 19th Sep 17
The Fed’s 2% Inflation Target Is Pointless - 19th Sep 17
How To Resolve the Korean Conundrum  - 19th Sep 17
A World Doomed to a Never Ending War - 19th Sep 17
What is Backtesting? And Why You Need Backtesting System? - 19th Sep 17
These Two Articles Debunk The Biggest Financial Nonsense I See In The Media - 18th Sep 17
Bitcoin Price Crash 40% In 3 Days Underlining Gold’s Safe Haven Credentials - 18th Sep 17
The Sum of Risks – Global, Strategic, Political, and Financial - 18th Sep 17
The Netflix Of Canada’s Cannabis Boom - 18th Sep 17
Stock Market Sentiment Speaks: Either You Learn From The Events Of The Past Week, Or You Are Hopeless - 18th Sep 17
SPX 2500 … At Last! - 18th Sep 17
Inflation Lies, Lies and OMG More Lies - 18th Sep 17
How to Choose right Forex Trader? - 18th Sep 17
Who Has Shaped the World the Most? The Dozen Greatest Achievers - 17th Sep 17
Riding the ‘Slide’: Is This What the Next Stocks Bear Market Looks Like? - 17th Sep 17
Gold Up, Markets Fatigued As War Talk Boils Over - 17th Sep 17

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

3 Videos + 8 Charts = Opportunities You Need to See - Free

A Financial Crisis Of Historic Proportions Is Once Again Bearing Down On Us

Stock-Markets / Financial Crisis 2017 Jul 13, 2017 - 03:34 PM GMT

By: John_Mauldin

Stock-Markets

Financial politicians (aka central bankers) have a long history of saying the wrong things at the wrong time.

Far worse, they simply fail to tell the truth. They lie because they’re afraid of the impact the truth will have. This is a problem, because markets can’t function on false information, at least not forever.

They also face enormous pressure to “do something,” even when the right thing is to do nothing and just let the market clear.


Janet Yellen’s recent reassurance regarding the likelihood of another financial crisis was likely one of those lies. Here is the full quote.

Would I say there will never, ever be another financial crisis? You know probably that would be going too far, but I do think we’re much safer, and I hope that it will not be in our lifetimes and I don’t believe it will be. [emphasis added]

I disagree with almost every word in those two sentences, but my belief is less important than Chair Yellen’s. If she really believes this, then she is oblivious to major instabilities that still riddle the financial system.

That’s very worrisome.

Central Bankers Have Hit a Brick Walk That They Have Built Themselves

The present challenge arose because our central bank monetary heroes allowed QE, ZIRP, and in some places NIRP to go on far longer than was wise

These measures may have been necessary in 2008 and for a short period afterward. But these policies should not have stayed in place, much less been expanded, for 7–9 more years.

Yet they were.

At least, our central bankers are talking about the problem. Their new buzzword is policy normalization. Everyone (except the Bank of Japan) agrees that abnormality has outlived its usefulness.

However, solutions are difficult when that first timid step runs you smack into a brick wall that you yourself built because you waited too long to act.

The Fed, the ECB, and the Bank of England have waited four years too long. Now they are finally tightening in a strange combination of caution and boldness. Each passing month makes them less cautious and more aggressive.

Like kittens, they venture out from their mother gingerly at first but soon are romping underfoot and destroying furniture.

That may be an amusing analogy, but reality is not amusing at all. The four largest central banks together have about $13 trillion on their balance sheets (see the chart below), a large portion of which they believe needs to roll off.

Removing it without breaking something important will not be easy.

Implications Are Dire and Global

The parlous state of the economy is not just an American problem, or a European or UK or Japanese or Chinese one. It is global.

I wonder whether Janet Yellen truly appreciates the degree to which Federal Reserve policy affects the entire world. Like it or not, the US dollar is the entire planet’s ultimate medium of exchange.

One way or another, almost every financial transaction eventually settles in dollars. China and others would like to change that. Maybe they’ll succeed someday, but it won’t be this year or next.

That being the case, the way Fed policy impacts the dollar could make the inevitable crisis much worse. Looking only at the US, there’s a strong case for raising—oops, I mean “normalizing”—rates.

Going to even 2% or 3% won’t kill our economy. But hiking rates will likely create other victims whose problems will soon become our problems, too.

Think of all the dollar-denominated debt owed by various emerging-market governments and businesses. Higher US rates will strengthen the dollar and make that debt costlier to service, almost certainly causing some defaults.

In today’s highly leveraged markets, the pain caused by those defaults will quickly spread to lenders in Europe, Japan, and the US.

You might respond that more stringent capital requirements mean today’s banks are better able to withstand such scenarios. That’s partly true. Yes, they pass the Fed’s stress tests, but the Fed can’t test every possible adverse scenario. Generals always fight the last war. The next crisis probably won’t originate in residential mortgage loans. It will come from somewhere else, and we have no idea whether the banks are actually ready for it.

You and I can’t control whether banks are ready, but we can control whether we are ready. I’m convinced myself beyond any doubt that a crisis of historic proportions is once again bearing down on us. We may have little time to prepare.

We definitely have no time to waste.

Join hundreds of thousands of other readers of Thoughts from the Frontline

Sharp macroeconomic analysis, big market calls, and shrewd predictions are all in a week’s work for visionary thinker and acclaimed financial expert John Mauldin. Since 2001, investors have turned to his Thoughts from the Frontline to be informed about what’s really going on in the economy. Join hundreds of thousands of readers, and get it free in your inbox every week.

John Mauldin Archive

© 2005-2017 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

Catching a Falling Financial Knife