The lead in this morning’s paper WSJ provides all necessary guidance for global wealth holders: “The European Union agreed on an audacious €750 billion ($956 billion) bailout plan in an effort to stanch a burgeoning sovereign debt crisis that began in Greece but now threatens the stability of financial markets world-wide.” This weekend’s behavior demonstrates without equivocation the thesis we have been following: naturally occurring credit deflation will be met with an overabundance of monetary inflation that will hyper-inflate the global economy. (Please see the piece we distributed last week for a comprehensive analysis of our thesis and our expected outcome.)
Global policy makers continue to demonstrate that when push comes to shove they will forcefully apply policy that sustains the near term nominal values of financial assets. They continue to choose to use their unique powers to cover all bad bets with paper money and credit that only they can manufacture. In doing so, they claim victory when nominal financial asset prices predictably rise, as they must, and they hide the loss of real wealth denominated in their diluting paper currencies. The stock of real wealth is the same as it was a week ago and at every point between then and now, though there is a trillion more dollars (€750 billion) in the global system.
The EU is effectively proclaiming; “if you pour our brew down the drain we are just going to make more of it.” To defend the Euro, something has to be sold against it. The Fed (the tallest midget) has re-opened the USD swap line to the EU so that newly-digitized dollars can be sold for Euros in the market. Clearly, the bailout is USD bearish – not Euro bullish. If the EU was serious about saving the Euro, then the ECB would have to dump its gold and hike funding rates. They are going “all in” with a six of clubs. In the current backdrop it seems preferable for the Fed to inflate immediately, rather than the ECB, given the relative strength/weakness of the USD/EUR. This is the same playbook global central banks have been following for a while. The mere fact that all major currencies today need to be defended wreaks of fraud. If something is as it seems there is no need to defend it.
We think this moves up the time frame on our expected outcome.
Lee Quaintance and Paul Brodsky