As long as major stock indices around the world keep soaring (forget for a moment the carnage in smaller stocks), and as long as bonds trade at near all-time highs, and as long as the yield of dubious government debt is close to zero or below zero so that borrowing has become a profit center for governments and a loss center for investors, as long as we live in this wondrous world, who cares about the global economy?
This is a resounding theme. Super-ugly data about Japan’s economy piles up, and people say, “Yeah but look, the Nikkei surges.” And this discussion is over.
It doesn’t matter that the Nikkei surges as the Bank of Japan is buying every JGB that isn’t nailed down. It’s buying them from banks, pension funds, and individual investors to pile them up on its balance sheet where they can be selectively defaulted on without sparking social chaos. Everyone seems to have accepted the alternative to social chaos, namely a gradual loss of “wealth.”
Interesting read...especially this paragraph
OK, I get it. Things are coming unglued despite – not because of – worldwide money-printing binges, enormous government deficits, and years of ZIRP. The cost of capital has disappeared as a factor in decision making. A tsunami of liquidity has purposefully inflated asset prices around the world to breath-taking levels. Risks no longer matter. Yet, it’s still not enough to generate “sustainable,” as he called it, economic growth. And much more of the same is needed.