Historically speaking, Argentina is really only unquestionably the best at one thing: creating and then surviving economic crises.
Central banks rule! We’ve seen it in 2013. They’ve accomplished the impossible: separating stock markets from the economies they’re based on. But in 2014, the US and China are trying to unwind these crazy policies – without taking down the entire global economy.
Inflation without compensation and a consumption tax hike make a very toxic mix.
Just before Christmas when no one was supposed to pay attention, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his ministers agreed on a budget for fiscal 2014. It’s a doozy. Instead of slowing down the fiscal fiasco, Abenomics is speeding it up. With an elegant solution.
When Jens Weidmann, President of the emasculated Bundesbank, speaks, central bankers and money printers worldwide stuff wax into their ears. “Caution,” he started out, “the euro crisis is far from over.” Then he committed central-bank heresy.
The destruction of the dollar – so clearly visible against the Swiss Franc – took on a sudden virulent form in 1970. It has been going on just about all my life. And it’s still going on. When even the Swiss couldn’t handle it anymore, they too jumped into the currency war.
Even as the world was still desperately trying to figure out what exactly Bitcoin is, it was inducted into the Wall Street hype factory today by an analyst who touted it as the best thing since sliced bread – just when all heck was re-breaking out.
The dogfight over Japan’s biggest problem, its gargantuan government deficit, entered its annual ritual of leaks and pressure tactics that usually lead to a pre-Christmas draft budget with an even bigger deficit. But this time, it’s different. Very different.
“The JGB market is dead,” announced with finality Tetsuya Miura, chief bond strategist at Mizuho Securities, one of Japan’s 23 primary dealers that have to bid on government securities. It had been “sacrificed” by the Bank of Japan, said another industry heavyweight.
Most powerful person in the world? Putin! Sez Forbes. At least, it wasn’t Merkel, who has been throwing her weight around when she found out that her Handy had been bugged by the NSA, just like our cellphones. We have to take it; she gets to make a big stink and gripe to Obama on the (bugged) phone.