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Akankah USDJPY Melonjak Lebih Tinggi Lagi?

February 19th, 2013 3 comments

 

“A crisis in Japan would most likely manifest as a collapse of confidence in the yen: At some point, Japanese citizens will decide that saving in any yen-denominated asset is not worth the risk.  Then interest rates will rise; the capital position of banks, insurance companies, and pension funds will worsen (because they all hold long-maturing bonds, which fall in value when rates rise); and fears of insolvency will surface.  Japan has some buffers against calamity – particularly, its assets held outside the country (including more than $1 trillion in foreign-exchange reserves) and its unmatched ability to export.  Nevertheless, the real value of the roughly $14 trillion in government bonds will fall significantly once people fully realize that the tax base is aging and shrinking.  Presumably, the yen will also depreciate, perhaps sharply.”

-Peter Boone and Simon Johnson

Rasio hutang pemerintah Jepang terhadap PDBnya kini sudah mencapai 230%, dan setiap setahun mengalami peningkatan pertumbuhan hutang sebesar 10%.  Bahkan, pemerintahnya masih juga akan meminjam hampir 45% dari total anggarannya tahun ini.  Jadi apakah itu semua merupakan tanda-tanda yang kian jelas akan datangnya bencana?

Oleh karena itu maka Jepang siap untuk bergabung dalam “perang mata uang” dunia karena pihaknya juga sedang mengatasi tiga krisis yakni ekspor, resesi dan penguatan yen yang menekan ekonominya. Penguatan yen datang dari arus dana ke aset-aset safe-haven selama terjadi kemerosotan dan tekanan ekonomi global, yang berasal peran Jepang yang beragam sebagai kreditur terkemuka dunia dengan nilai aktiva bersih sebesar $3 triliun.

Namun demikian, pergerakan yen belakangan ini nampaknya mulai semakin cepat karena membuka kesadaran bahwa penguatan mata uang Jepang akan memperburuk perekonomiannya yang banyak memperoleh kontribusi dari ekspornya.

John Mauldin, editor populer pada e-letter: Thoughts from the Frontline, yang dalam sepekan bisa meraih 1,5 juta pembaca, belum lama ini menyimpulkan soal ekonomi Jepang dalam laporannya yang berjudul in Forecast 2013: Unsustainability and Transitiondan memberikan proyeksi tegas mengenai seberapa jauh yen akan melemah kembali atas dolar AS:

The Year of the Windshield

Back in late November and December I commented in several radio and TV interviews that the title for my annual forecast issue would be “The Year of the Windshield.”  I changed the actual title only recently as I thought more about the upcoming year in its totality, but perhaps the most dramatic shift this year will be that Japan at last begins its descent into that dark night, from the twilight that has been its economy for 20 years. The subtitle comes from my book Endgame, where I whimsically titled a chapter “Japan Is a Bug in Search of a Windshield.”

The problems, which we will look at briefly in a few paragraphs, are well known. Yet Japan has soldiered on, borrowing yet more massive amounts of money, never bringing its budget into line, spending huge amounts on stimulus and infrastructure, and muddling through with an economy that is no bigger today than it was 20 years ago. Japan’s stock market is still down some 75% (give or take) over the last 23 years, though some were celebrating a 23% move last year. Given the frustration that investors have endured from the Nikkei over that time, I suppose you take solace when and where you can. The chart below is current as of this week. You can get more details on the index performance over the last two decades at http://www.forecast-chart.com/historical-nikkei-225.html.

Japan now has a breathtaking 230% ratio of government debt to GDP (the last estimate I have seen), and it is growing at 10%-plus a year. The government will borrow almost 45% of its budget this year. Has there ever been a more clear disaster in the making? Yet shorting the Japanese bond has been called “the widow-maker.” I think it was Soros who once quipped that you can’t call yourself a global macro trader until you have lost money shorting JGBs (Japanese government bonds).

The new Japanese government, led by Prime Minister Abe and former Prime Minister and now Minister of Finance Aso, has very explicitly demanded that the Bank of Japan target 2% inflation. They have made clear their intention to replace the governors of the current BoJ board with members who agree with this policy. They have the political clout to do so. Whether at the upcoming meeting or after April, when a new head of the BoJ is appointed, that is going to happen. These moves mean there will be a massive printing of yen. In response, the yen has already weakened by over 10%.

You can control the quantity of money or the price of money but not both. (Yes, I know that one influences the other, but I am referring here to large-scale printing of money.) One has to assume that the law of gravity will not be repealed and that investors will want something more than 2% on the ten-year bond if inflation is at 2%. If the ten-year bond were to rise by 2%, Japan would soon be spending over 50% of its tax revenues on the interest carry alone. I submit that this is not a workable business model.

Why now and not sometime during the past ten years? I see a number of factors coming together this year:

  1. The Japanese had a 15%+ savings rate in 1990. That is now down below 1%. (Exact numbers are difficult, because Japanese data on this topic has severe lags, and thus my number is an extrapolation but a reasonable one, I think.) Due to the nature of their retirement system, they have channeled the vast bulk of these savings into JGBs. When the savings rate goes negative or is no longer sufficient to buy all the issued debt, the choice will be to monetize the debt or cut spending. The latter choice does not appear to be part of their national conversation. Cutting spending by the amount required will mean a serious recession and further deflation, an option the new government explicitly rejects.
  2. Both the trade deficit and the current account have recently turned negative. The vaunted Japanese export machine seems to have hit a wall, and this will limit options in controlling the price of the yen, even if the government wants to. Understand,  inflation targeting is also currency-valuation targeting. They clearly want the yen to devalue. I have been writing for years that the yen would eventually be 125, then 150, then 200 to the dollar. It has been 300 in my lifetime, and unless the Japanese change direction, there is no reason it can’t get there again. This means that Mrs. Watanabe will see her energy bills double. This will call into question the Japanese decision to close their nuclear energy plants – something that Abe is already reconsidering.

Think the Koreans will be happy when you can buy a Lexus cheaper than you can buy a Kia? (Disclosure: I love my Japanese Infiniti, the first “foreign” car I have bought, except for a two-month dalliance with a disaster of a Volkswagen 30 years ago.) Think Samsung and LG will be happy when Panasonic and Sony can eat their lunch pricewise? Welcome to the era of real currency wars.

Today this note is worth about $11. In the future? Not so much.

Godzilla Redux: Disaster A or Disaster B

Japan is now committed to either Disaster A or Disaster B. Remember those really bad Japanese “horror” movies of the ’50s and ’60s? Godzilla first released in 1954, and there were dozens of remakes and follow-on movies. It seemed endless. And while the current government policy will not trash downtown Tokyo, it will seriously damage the savings and buying power of two generations. Disaster A is monetization, which is clearly not good when the Japanese want to buy anything not made in Japan (like energy, steel, commodities, a lot of food, etc.) Disaster B is the deflationary depression that budget balancing will yield. Which leads us to the next factor:

3.  Once the government is committed to the new strategy, any retreat will cause a market upheaval. This is not a short-term commitment. It seems to me that the Japanese truly believe that their lack of economic growth can be solved through inflation. Their politicians seem to be channeling their inner Paul Krugman, or at the least taking Bernanke’s advice from 2000, when he published a paper called “Japan’s Slump: A Case of Self-Induced Paralysis?”

When your debt and deficit are as massive as Japan’s, the only way to resolve the issue is to inflate away the debt or willingly enter into a depression. They obviously think they can control both the debt and inflation.

This means you should NOT run out and short Japanese government bonds. Repeat, NOT. The only way for the Japanese to make their plan work without having to battle the Godzilla of a destitute bond market is for the BoJ to move out the yield curve and monetize the debt. They will eventually hit all bids on JGBs. For all intents and purposes, the BoJ will become the yen bond market. You will get all the yen they promised when you bought those bonds … but the contract never stipulates what those yen will actually buy.

The plan is evidently that, with a little inflation, they will jump-start the economy; and with growth they can eventually balance the budget and return to a normal bond market. Rots of ruck, guys.

What Do the Charts Say?

Adam O’Dell, yang bekerja sebagai seorang Prop Trader pada sebuah perusahaan Forex spot dan saat ini menjabat sebagai seorang Investment Editor pada Survive & Prosper, belakangan ini menulis dalam laporan yang berjudul Stay off the Yen Bandwagon, yang berisi ringkasan mengenai pelemahan yen yang cukup tajam terhadap dollar AS – dari ¥76 ke ¥94 – dan jawaban pertanyaan mengenai apakah saat ini merupakan waktu yang pas untuk menjual yen:

“…I have to warn you… today is NOT the day to jump on the bandwagon. Let me explain…

This chart of the USD/JPY shows we’ve hit our “first target.” Don’t be surprised to see this uptrend continue, but right now there’s a good chance we’ll see a pullback first.

I know this for two reasons…

First, ¥94 is a 38.2% Fibonacci retracement… and that’s the first place to expect a pullback in the current trend.

Second, when the USD/JPY chart bottomed it showed a widely-recognized inverse head-and-shoulders pattern. Once the “neckline” of the pattern was broken, the USD/JPY moved strongly higher.

This pattern is very useful because it allows you to set a price target. After doing the calculations I realized the price target dictated by the inverse head-and-shoulders pattern is the same as the price target shown by the 38.2% Fibonacci retracement (about ¥94).

That means we have double “confirmation” of a potential price resistance level, suggesting the current advance in the USD/JPY may stall out.

Don’t get me wrong… the yen will continue to weaken over the long haul. And you’ll have plenty of opportunity to jump on the bandwagon as it continues on down the hill. But if you’re just getting tuned in to this trade… you’re better off waiting to join us.

Wait until USD/JPY is firmly above ¥95, confirming its strength. Or be patient for a pullback to ¥90 so you can get in at a better price.”

Penjelasan terbaik yang saya baca sejauh ini mengenai USDJPY adalah Tyler Durden dari www.zerohedge.com, yang dengan mantap menegaskan bahwa USDJPY TIDAK akan naik begitu saja sekaligus:

Presenting Abe’s ‘Super-Secret’ Devaluation Plan – Double-Down

Much has been made of newly appointed uber-easer Abe’s plans to weaken the JPY by any means possible. Since the global financial crisis began in early 2008, USDJPY has tracked remarkably closely with the ratio of Federal Reserve assets to Bank of Japan assets – as the currency wars escalated. Assuming the Fed proceeds with its planned QE3/4 $1tn expansion, then BoJ assets would need to expand by around JPY100tn to meet this target. The current BoJ holdings of JGBs just crossed JPY100tn – so this new printing is double the current holdings and considerably more than double the planned JPY44tn purchases for the year. Good luck with that given the expected JGB issuance this year is only around JPY44tn and good luck persuading anyone that the BoJ is not directly funding the government in the ultimate reach around. As the Fed monetizes 1 year of Treasury issuance so the BoJ has to monetize over 2 years of JGB issuance – sustainable?

The current collapse in USDJPY to 86 has actually recoupled with the ratio at around 0.0184x (Fed 2.92tn / BoJ 157.833tn). This implies the market is priced for around JPY56tn of JPY printing already (25% more than planned); but, given the USDJPY target of 90 that has been implicitly discussed, this would mean the ratio of Fed/BoJ would need to drop to 0.0165x.

The recent drop in USDJPY has recoupled with the current Fed/BoJ ratio once again…

but given the Fed’s grand QE3/4 plan, the BoJ will have to be very aggressive to weaken the JPY – obviously – though monetizing double the planned JGB issuance this year seems like a stretch for even Abe (if he hopes to maintain any semblance of market confidence).

Chart: Bloomberg

Kesimpulan: Secara teknikal USDJPY sudah overbought saat ini dan kemungkinan sedang dalam proses menyelesaikan wave ke-3.  Jika Anda ada yang mengalami ketertinggalan memanfaatkan rebound tajam USDJPY sejak akhir tahun lalu, jangan bersedih dan carilah kesempatan lagi untuk mengejarnya.

Demikian halnya dengan Global Market Perspective dari Elliott Wave International edisi tanggal 08 Februari 2013, yang meyakini bahwa akan ada konsolidasi sehat dalam jangka pendek: “The surge is a likely third wave, and now that the trend is obvious, a surprising disappointment – the classic description of a fourth wave – is due.  Wave four should end above 84.185 before USDJPY continues higher toward intermediate targets in the 124.16 to 147.62 area.”

Jadi bersabarlah dan biarkan pasar menghampiri Anda …

Seperti biasa agar selalu berakhir ceria, berikut adalah 3 gambar lucu dari William Banzai terkait dengan krisis di Jepang:

Abe is a man on a mission
Japan’s in an awkward position
They can’t seem to grow
So Abe will print dough
As suicide is their tradition

The Limerick King

Abe is loaded with ink
His country is starting to shrink
He needs some inflation
To prop-up his nation
This war will see all nations sink

The Limerick King

Dan Menteri Keuangan Taro Aso menjelaskan Abenomics sebagai berikut…

Dibuat Tanggal 18 Februari 2013

Categories: Pasar Internasional Tags:

Siapa Akan Jadi Pemenang Dari Perang Mata Uang?

February 18th, 2013 No comments

“There are decades when nothing happens and there are weeks when decades happen.”

-Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

Banyak yang telah mengatakan maupun menulis dalam beberapa pekan ini mengenai perang mata uang yang mulai memanas secara global. Bahkan negara-negara anggota G20 pun telah menempatkan topik ini dalam agenda penting pertemuannya akhir pekan ini.

Lalu mengapa demikian penting perang “race to the bottom” ini, yang di dalamnya sejumlah negara industri dunia secara gradual mendepresiasikan mata uang masing-masing untuk mempertahankan competitive parity?

Saya hanya dapat menyarankan Anda untuk memperhatikan dengan seksama perang mata uang tersebut karena berpotensi menghancurkan para investor yang telah yakin pada dogma ekonomi saat ini, yakni dana talangan dan pencetakan uang terus-menerus.

Axel Merk, seorang President dan Chief Investment Officer pada Merk Investments, secara lugas menyebut perang mata uang sebagai kejahatan langsung karena menurutnya “real people may die when countries engage in currency wars”.  Merk juga menambahkan bahwa “countries debasing their currencies risk, amongst others, loss of competitiveness, social unrest and war”.

Saya telah membaca banyak artikel akhir-akhir ini mengenai apa yang disebut-sebut sebagai medan perang keuangan global yang berbahaya ini, namun yang menurut saya terbaik adalah dari media investasi mingguan James Gruber, yaitu Asia Confidential (http://asiaconf.com).  Artikelnya tersebut sungguh HARUS DIBACA bagi mereka yang ingin selamat dan memperoleh keuntungan dari kondisi perang mata uang tersebut.

“As debate about potential currency wars heats up, commentators including myself have called out the likely losers, the Japanese yen and South Korean won being high on most lists. Much less discussed has been which countries will win from the currency wars. After all, the currency market is a zero-sum game – as one currency declines, another must go up. In this issue, I’m going to suggest that Singapore and to a lesser extent, Thailand and Malaysia, will be relative winners. And I’m also going to explain why some supposed currency safe havens – including Australia, China, Canada, Switzerland and Norway – are unlikely to perform as well.

Now I know that some will point to gold being money and the ultimate winner of the race to the currency bottom. I too am a gold bull and suggest the metal should be a core component of any investment portfolio. Having written about gold on previous occasions though, today the focus will be on currencies.

The wars are just beginning

In early January I wrote the following in a newsletter called Sayonara To The Yen:

“The yen could collapse. Anyone for 200, perhaps 300, yen to the dollar? … The impact from any Japanese financial crisis will go well beyond Japan though. After all, Japan is the world’s third largest economy, accounting for 8.3% of global GDP. Its banks finance a lot of business both in Asia and elsewhere. Japan is also a major exporter competing with South Korea and Taiwan on high-end electronics, auto and industrial goods.

Think about the potential impact on South Korea for a moment. Exports account for 52% of GDP there … South Korea and other countries won’t allow their exporters to become totally uncompetitive against their Japanese counterparts though. They’ll join the fight to trash their currencies in order to help their exporters.”

Since then, the yen has tanked. I had thought there’d be some short-term respite in February but that hasn’t been the case. The reason is that the Bank of Japan Governor, Masaaki Shirakawa, has announced that he will resign on March 19, three weeks before this term was due to end. This means Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will be able to appoint a new Governor that is more in line with his inflationist policies. Simply put, money printing is on the way sooner than markets thought and the yen has got pummelled further.

Just as important has been the reaction to yen weakening. Many countries have voiced their concerns. Those concerns are intensifying, particularly in Europe given continued euro strength. European Central Bank President Mario Draghi has signalled policymakers are worried the euro’s advance could dampen inflation and hamper an economic recovery. France has been a particularly vocal critic of the rising euro.

The broader issue is simple: the developed world has too much debt and to reduce this debt, they want to create inflation and depreciate the value of their currencies (thereby reducing the value of the debt). It’s not going to be able to grow its way out of the debt or cut spending enough to make the debt more manageable.

Which currencies won’t win

The losers from currency wars are relatively easy to identify, with the Japanese yen, South Korean won and British sterling being high up on the list. Less easy to identify are those currencies that will prove safe havens. There are a number of currently perceived safe havens that could prove anything but. (emphasis mine)

Let’s start with the commodity currencies. Depreciating currencies mean tangible assets such as commodities should perform reasonably well. Those currencies largely dependent on commodities should also outperform. On a long-term basis (five years) though, the current commodities bull market is likely to end. The safe haven status of the Australian dollar, Canadian loonie and Norwegian krone will be under threat.

Let’s turn to the Australian dollar or Aussie as it’s commonly known. On a long-term basis, the Aussie is extremely risky. Australia has benefited from a three decade property boom and 12-year commodities boom. The problem is that the property boom is unwinding as highly indebted consumers pay down their debt and worry about job security as unemployment rises. When the commodity boom ends too, there will be nothing to fill the gap.

Australia has been poorly governed over the past decade, leaving few globally competitive industries other than mining. That might be ok if the country’s balance sheet was in good shape. Unfortunately though, even during boom times, Australia has consistently run budget and trade deficits. In sum, long-term investors should stay away from the Aussie. As an Australian resident, I hope I’m wrong though!

The Canadian loonie suffers similar afflictions. I regularly visit Canada as my wife is Canadian. On my last visit in July 2012, I was surprised to read of an east-west divide developing in the country. The mining-intensive west was enjoying good times while the more manufacturing-exposed east was not doing as well. The reason that I was surprised was that it was exactly the same issue being faced in Australia.

Like Australia, Canada too has a property bubble propelled by too-easy bank lending standards that’s left people with way too much debt. The one big difference with Australia though is the significant reliance on trade with the U.S. If you’re bullish on American prospects, the loonie may hold up even with deflating mining and property bubbles. I’m not optimistic on a U.S. recovery and so the loonie could be in as much trouble as the Aussie.

Many sophisticated investors have a preference for the Norwegian krone. This is understandable given Norway’s rock-solid balance sheet. But I am less optimistic given the country’s reliance on oil and trade with Europe. Also, it appears to this author that the currency is currently both over-owned and over-valued.

Finally to a currency not commodity-exposed, the Swiss franc. Historically, the franc has proved the ultimate safe haven currency. Switzerland has had impeccable economic credentials, with high savings rates, low taxes, minimal debt and flourishing exports.

But over the past four years, the country has gone mad. It’s printed so much money that foreign exchange reserves having gone up 7x, now equivalent to 70% of the country’s GDP. All of this to keep its exporters competitive of course. But it’s likely to set the country back for decades. And the franc too.

The problem with the yuan

Many argue that the Chinese yuan is undervalued and will inevitably appreciate in future. Particularly as other countries seek to become more competitive by devaluing their own currencies. But I couldn’t disagree more with this assessment.

To understand why, let’s take a step back. One of the most overlooked recent global developments has been slowing foreign exchange (forex) reserves in China. Forex reserves are simply foreign currency and bonds held by monetary authorities. Historically, China has had strong growth as there’s been overwhelming demand for the yuan.

To prevent rapid yuan appreciation and help its exporters, China has printed loads of money and invested that money abroad, primarily in U.S. Treasuries. Buying these Treasuries has kept U.S. rates low and American consumers have been happy to buy cheap Chinese goods.

But forex reserves in China are now stalling as more people are getting their money out of the country. Many brokers claim this development is cyclical, that China has been going through a rough patch and people are being cautious by getting their money out.

But what if it’s structural? Perhaps the Chinese themselves see their currency and assets as overvalued, with better value found elsewhere? It’s hard not to see at least an element of that.

Also, without forex reserve growth, China doesn’t need to print money to buy overseas assets. In fact, it may end up having to do the opposite, buying yuan to maintain the exchange rate peg to the U.S. dollar. This would be deflationary for both China and the rest of the world.

The upshot is that if China’s economy deteriorates and authorities are forced to choose between maintaining the exchange rate peg and foregoing it to depreciate their currency, which are they going to choose? My bet’s on the latter.

As for the argument that internationalizing the yuan would result in yuan appreciation, it’s hard to see the logic of this either. If more Chinese have the choice to get their money out of the country (which is illegal now), won’t they go ahead and do it?

So put me in the camp that thinks the yuan is overvalued rather than the other way around.

Singapore is (already) the new Switzerland

As a former Portfolio Manager and sell-side analyst, I covered the gaming sector across Asia and subsequently visited the Singapore casinos on a regular basis. What amazed me then was the meticulous planning that went into developing the casinos and tourism in Singapore more broadly. With the casino and tourism numbers, targets were exceeded on almost every count.

The meticulous planning of Singapore is part of the reason why it’s been a phenomenal success story over the past 55 years. You just have to look at the country that it split from, Malaysia, to realize how successful Singapore has been.

Singapore is now the world’s third-richest in terms of GDP (power purchasing parity) per capita. It also boasts one of the best balance sheets with a large current account surplus (exports minus imports and transfer payments), balanced fiscal budget, high savings rates and zero foreign debt. Not bad for a country with no natural resources and a small population.

One question mark has always been over the country’s high public debt, at an estimated 110% of GDP in 2012. But almost all of this debt is in the form of Singapore government bonds and the main holder is the Central Provident Fund (CPF) Board. The CPF is a pension fund that’s primarily used to fund public housing. It dates back to Singapore’s beginnings when the country needed money, not knowing whether it would survive. In other words, it’s all government money – the government owes itself and no-one else.

The unique thing about Singapore is that it manages it currency against a basket of currencies. This gives it flexibility. And most importantly, Singapore has refused to engage in the stupidity of quantitative easing (QE) with which the rest of the world is currently enthralled.

All right, you’re probably saying – Singapore’s in a strong position but is that going to continue and will the currency rise? The short answer to both is yes.

Recently, the government released a population white paper, detailing its long-term thinking on population policies (meticulous planning again). It’s a critical issue given the country has one of the world’s lowest birth rates.

The government is projecting the population to reach 5.8-6 million by 2020 and 6.5-6.9 million by 2030, from 5.3 million. To achieve that target, it would mean slowing growth in foreign workers (close to 40% of the population), to around 2.6% per annum from close to 7% currently. With labour force growth moderating to 1-2% per year to 2020, the government is estimating an average 3-5% GDP growth through the rest of the decade.

There’s little doubt that the government is treading a fine line on the population issue. The local population is agitated at the growing wealth of foreigners, increasing inequality, crowded populace etc. This has been reflected at recent election polls. But the government and its people also realize they need foreign workers to maintain economic growth. Remember that GDP growth equals population growth plus by productivity growth.

All of this means that you can expect a tighter labour market and higher wages going forward. And this will put upward pressure on inflation and the currency.

What then are the risks? Well, Singapore is reliant on exports and if there is another global economic downturn, its economy would be impacted. Also, there’s been talk that the government may seek to slow the growth in currency appreciation. That may happen though note that it doesn’t mean it will pursue a policy of currency devaluation.

Other candidates

For wont of space, I’ll very briefly mention two other currencies poised to outperform: namely the Thai baht and Malaysian ringgit. Both are reasonably solid currencies, though not to the same extent as the Singapore dollar.

I quite like the baht as a long-term bet as:

  • Thailand is potentially emerging from a long period of stagnation.
  • It would be a primary beneficiary of a comeback of neighbouring Myanmar.
  • It’s building a low-cost industrial base to match and perhaps beat China.
  • The country’s showing clear signs of political maturity given the peaceful transition to the latest government.

Malaysia is higher risk given its commodities exposure, budget deficit and political uncertainty with elections approaching. Hopefully the next government can implement badly-needed reforms and kick-start the economy. Perhaps the recent impressive growth of Asean neighbours including the Philippines, Indonesia and Thailand, will spur it into action.”

For further reading, I also strongly recommend the book from James Rickards, which is aptly titled “CURRENCY WARS, The Making Of The Next Global Crisis” (see below).

What Do the Charts Say?

Greg Guenthner, seorang editor Rude Awakening di The Daily Reckoning, mengingatkan pada 31 Januari lalu bahwa kita harus mempersiapkan diri untuk jatuhnya dolar. Berikut adalah yang dikatakannya dan disertai dengan grafik indeks dolar AS:

“The greenback is starting to walk the plank this morning.

Now it’s only a matter of time before it breaks down and moves sharply lower. When it does, it will complete the final part of a downside move that’s been forming for the better part of the past six months…

The U.S. dollar index didn’t even come close to its July highs during its fall rally. Instead, it’s feeling out its next move lower. The breakdown zone is right near 79 — a mark that’s getting closer every day. When we do see a meaningful move below 79, the reaction is set to be a swift drop that will eventually drag the dollar down toward 2011 lows.

Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the Fed’s aggressive easing policies continue to escort the dollar lower. Just yesterday, the Fed announced it will continue its $85 billion bond-buying stimulus plan in an effort to achieve lower unemployment. Meanwhile, the dollar drops to a 13-month low against the euro, according to Bloomberg.

There are numerous technical and fundamental factors stacking up against the dollar right now. It’s time to watch these levels closely and prepare for a dollar dump…”

Sementara dalam edisi terbarunya, Global Market Perspective dari Elliott Wave International, juga membuat prediksi yang kurang-lebih sama serta menyimpulkan bahwa mata uang utama dunia akan unggul dari dolar AS hingga akhir kuartal pertama 2013:

“The Dollar Index has benefitted for the last few months by the buck’s relative strength against the Japanese yen and sterling, resulting in its sideways consolidation.  That situation is now ending, and all the majors should outperform the dollar, probably through March.  Expect a minimum thrust below 78.60 toward the low for 2012 at 78.09 with likely targets for wave (2) as low as 75.95, where wave C of (2) will equal wave A, a common relationship within zigzag corrections.”

Catatan pribadi: jangan lupa setelah wave (2) selesai, dolar AS diproyeksikan akan terapresiasi signifikan terhadap mata uang utama dunia.

Terakhir agar kita tetap ceria, berikut adalah sejumlah gambar jenaka dari William Banzai mengenai topik hangat saat ini, yakni CuRReNCY WaR 2013:

Dibuat Tanggal 15 Februari 2013

Categories: Pasar Internasional Tags:

Eropa Dalam Situasi Berbahaya (Bagian II)

February 13th, 2013 No comments

“You’ve got a completely undemocratic structure, accumulating more and more power, and I don’t see how that could ever be made to function.  You could make the whole leap forward to complete political union, you could replicate the United States with a genuine European parliament and an elected European president and so forth, but I think it is unworkable because there is no unified European people.  There is no single language, there is no single way of looking at things, there is no shared political culture, it is a completely absurd project, and highly destructive for democracy.”

-Ambrose Evans-Pritchard

“Germany has two very bad choices.  It can finance the multiple trillions of euros of debt of Spain and Italy (and France), converting it into eurozone debt, while giving up its own fiscal sovereignty and allowing a eurozone-wide fiscal union and taxing authority; or the Germans can spend trillions of euros allowing the eurozone to break up, either by exiting themselves or allowing the southern countries to exit.”

-John Mauldin

Satu kesalahan besar saat memperhatikan perkembangan di Eropa adalah menyerap apa yang mereka sampaikan sebagai fakta. Media-media meneruskan apa yang mereka peroleh dari berbagai sumber informasi di Eropa, namun sungguh perlu pandangan yang skeptis dalam menyikapinya.

Cobalah pikirkan: apa yang mungkin salah? Tidak ada hal yang meyakinkan di Eropa, setelah skenario terburuk – yakni resesi – muncul. Satu-satunya yang meyakinkan adalah: Masalah Eropa akan berlanjut di tahun 2013!  Kemungkinan akan ada sejumlah yang kembali bergejolak di sejumlah wilayah Eropa mengingat regionalnya mengalami resesi yang semakin dalam.

Anda mungkin akan terkejut (atau mungkin tidak), namun satu dari sejumlah persoalan utama di Eropa adalah mengenai euro itu sendiri. Jika Anda bertanya mengapa, maka bacalah laporan Charles Gave dari GKResearch di bawah ini, yang berjudul “Europe: The Last Great Potemkin Village Where “The Rich Get Richer, And Poor Get Poorer”:

On the surface, it would seem that the euro crisis has calmed. Markets have rallied since the summer and, to borrow a phrase from Herbert Hoover, “prosperity is just around the corner.” But outward appearances in Europe are like a Potemkin village. Behind the well-scrubbed facades, Southern Europe is in a death spiral. Anyone convinced that the European monetary union has come through the crisis stronger is a victim of the slickest PR campaign in history.

Let’s be very clear here: this is what the euro has wrought. This destruction of the non-German industrial bases has taken place with the active complicity of the European technocrats. They did not even realize that France, the EMU’s second largest economy, for example was becoming hopelessly uncompetitive.

Let’s go one step further. According to the official GDP statistics the French economy since the beginning of the euro experiment has done as well as the German economy:

But note that if we use the ratio of the two industrial production indices, then we see that the French economy has “underperformed” the German economy by 20%.

The loss of industrial capacity in France, Italy and Spain has taken place in the private sector part of the economy. The implication is thus that the share of the private sector in the economy must have been going down in Italy and France, and up in Germany. To compensate for demise of the private sector, the “solution” in good Keynesian logic is of course to grow the public sector.

The red line in the chart below depicts reality; the blue line the Keynesian fairy tale. French debt went through the roof, to pay for a massive increase in government spending as a percentage of GDP.

Needless to say, the same thing has happened in Greece, Spain, Italy, Portugal, etc., where the collapse of the private sector has been offset by a rise in government spending financed by an even bigger rise in new debt. Where does that leave us? Well, we have a bunch of countries deindustrializing fast, issuing tons of “riskless assets” to mask the fact that they are in a very serious depression.

This is very visible in the next chart (see below). The euroland industrial production index is FLAT since 1998, with Germany’s index up 30%, the French one down -10% and the Italian and Spanish ones down- 20% each.

This is a zero sum game if there ever was one, with Germany being the main winner and the other three economies massive losers. Instead of leading to convergence in euroland economies, the euro project has led to massive divergences, with the strong getting stronger, and the weak getting weaker.

For these trends to change, we would need radical change. We are not talking about retirement age being nudged up a year in one country, or rules for firing people liberalized an iota in another. We would need to see bloated states firing 20% to 40% of civil servants, and the government spending share of GDP to plunge; the cost of labor to fall by at least –20% relative to the cost in Germany; the return on invested capital in Europe’s South to move above the ROIC not just in Germany but also in Eastern Europe. There is zero chance of these types of reforms taking place.

Which means the logical end of the euro experiment is thus to have all the European factories in Germany or its office bases in the East and none in the South of Europe where the costs are too high and will remain too high under almost any scenario. We have already part of this journey, which I fully expected when I wrote in 2000 that the euro was going to lead to “too many houses in Spain, too many civil servants in France and too many factories in Germany.”

The dire truth is that one cannot maintain a fixed exchange rate among countries which have different underlying productivity growth rates, different social systems and different political arrangements. Nothing will ever change this reality.

* * *

Conclusion

The ECB has thrown enough money at the market to, for now, reduce borrowing costs and allow equity prices to rise (unfortunately so is the euro, threatening exports). This buys time—but these actions are not enough to solve the structural problems created by the euro. The private sector has shriveled in Southern Europe, as government spending  and debt has soared. If we have France, Italy and Spain together enter a debt deflation/debt trap, the crisis will be far too big for Germany to handle: and if this happens before German federal elections are held (no later than October) we could see the European political crisis revive in full force. Do not trust the Potemkin façade of the euro. I would not own fixed  income in any country in euro land, especially with the euro being so strong. Only equities in the freest parts of the economy should be considered.”

Bagi orang-orang di Asia atau Amerika Serikat, kadang sulit untuk membayangkan seberapa buruk kondisi Eropa saat ini.  Namun setelah membaca laporan singkat Mike Krieger dari Liberty Blitzkrieg, saya kira akan memperjelasnya dengan mudah kepada setiap orang bahwa Eropa saat ini sedang menghadapi suatu depresi ekonomi menyeluruh.

Greeks Raid Forests In Search Of Wood To Heat Homes

Greece just seems to be getting worse and worse. Being the leading edge of Southern Europe’s descent into 3rd world status, Greece’s lessons are all of our lessons, as I outlined in my piece last year The Global Spring. From the Wall Street Journal:

EGALEO, Greece—While patrolling on a recent cold night, environmentalist Grigoris Gourdomichalis caught a young man illegally chopping down a tree on public land in the mountains above Athens.

When confronted, the man broke down in tears, saying he was unemployed and needed the wood to warm the home he shares with his wife and four small children, because he could no longer afford heating oil.

Tens of thousands of trees have disappeared from parks and woodlands this winter across Greece, authorities said, in a worsening problem that has had tragic consequences as the crisis-hit country’s impoverished residents, too broke to pay for electricity or fuel, turn to fireplaces and wood stoves for heat.

Such woodcutting was last common in Greece during Germany’s brutal occupation in the 1940s, underscoring how five years of recession and waves of austerity measures have spawned drastic measures.

“The average Greek will throw anything into the fireplace that can be burned, ranging from old furniture with lacquer, to old books with ink, in order to get warm,” said Stefanos Sapatakis, an environmental-health officer at the Hellenic Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Glad Europe is fixed.

What Do the Charts Say?

Pertanyaan yang ada di benak kebanyakan orang saat ini adalah: Berapa lama kita bisa bertahan … dan berpura-pura bahwa semuanya baik-baik saja? Jika kita hanya bisa mencetak cukup uang sampai ekonomi mulai bangkit kembali dengan sehat, maka semuanya akan baik-baik saja, bukan?

Namun tidaklah semudah demikian. Ambil contoh Yunani misalnya. Meskipun negara tersebut sudah dibantu (bail out) beberapa kali, indicator ekonominya masih terus memburuk.

Dengan melihat sejumlah grafik Tyler Durden dari www.zerohedge.com berikut, Anda dapat segera bahwa masalah struktural tidak mudah untuk diatasi:

Charts Of The Day: Greek Unemployment Hits Escape Velocity

It took one month for the 2013-2014 Greek medium-term unemployment target rate to be hit. The target rate? A grotesque, all time high 26%. Because as Elstat reports, this is what Greek unemployment already was in the month of September. Which means that at the time Greece was preparing its latest “Third Greek Bailout” projections in November, the rate was already well above the long-term target.

Elstat also tells us that in September, the total number of actively employed Greek workers (including government) was a tiny 3,695,053. The number of persons unemployed: 1,295,203, while the inactive ranks swelled to 3,373,692. As a reminder, last month’s 25.4% unemployment rate has been promptly surpassed in a few weeks. Finally, that powder keg of conflict, youth unemployment, was a jaw dropping 56.4%.

So without further ado, here are the charts that summarize this.

Total workers employed:

Total workers unemployed:

And the unemployment rate:

And yes, by returning to the Drachma, Greece would at least have some chance of curing the unfixable internal and external imbalances, which unless resolved, will send this rate into the stratosphere, and a far bigger chart will soon be needed.

Source: ElStat

Terakhir yang tak kalah penting, saya akan mengetengahkan kepada Anda 2 gambar jenaka mengenai krisis hutang Eropa.  Apapun yang terjadi dengan ekonomi global, penting untuk tetap tersenyum:

Selamat menjalani hari dan semoga beruntung!

Dibuat Tanggal 12 Februari 2013

Categories: Pasar Internasional Tags:

Eropa Dalam Situasi Berbahaya (Bagian I)

February 13th, 2013 No comments

“The governments in Europe sit in the rain and inform everyone that it is sunny. They make up numbers and provide debt to GDP ratios that can only be found in a Hans Christen Andersen fairy tale.  The tires are punctured, the transmission is shot, the motor was stolen by the Greeks and yet they assure us that the car will be running momentarily.  Politically they are the largest bunch of pimps on Earth and make no apologies for it.  Then there is the negative side.”

-Princess, The Sage

The ECB is going to buy bonds of bankrupt banks just so the banks can buy more bonds from bankrupt governments.  Meanwhile, just to prop this up the ESM will borrow money from bankrupt governments to buy the very bonds of those bankrupt governments.”

-Kyle Bass, CEO of Hayman Capital

Jika Anda percaya pada para pembuat kebijakan, bahwa segala sesuatunya sudah ‘diperbaiki’ di Eropa. Maka secara pribadi, saya masih berpendapat bahwa belum ada masalah (yang menyebabkan krisis keuangan) terpecahkan di Eropa. Satu-satunya yang dilakukan para politisi dan para petinggi bank sentral adalah menunda persoalan tersebut terjadi, dan tidak langsung menghadapi persoalan-persoalan yang memang mendesak untuk segera diatasi.

Bahkan Bloomberg baru-baru ini memuat artikel yang menyatakan kekhawatiran bahwa pasar Eropa sudah overvalue (demikian tinggi kenaikannya). Memang faktanya dari persoalan-persoalan tersebut adalah bahwa seluruh sistem perbankan Eropa bangkrut (tidak mampu membayar hutang-hutangnya, atau istilah asingnya adalah insolvency). Tidak hanya ada cara lain untuk menggambarkan suatu sistem perbankan yang memiliki leverage 26 banding 1 dengan aktiva bersih hampir 300% dari PDB (PDB Eropa sebesar $16 triliun sementara sistem perbankannya $46 triliun).

Namun, media-media mainstream memang tidak merinci hal-hal (fakta) seperti itu karena kalau itu dilakukan maka akan menimbulkan panik. Oleh karenanya kita akan melihat bagaimana kekhawatiran yang menyatakan bahwa Eropa sudah ‘overvalue serta ekonomi Eropa harus bangkit karena apa yang dilakukan ECB pada dasarnya sudah melewati batas.

Kita akan melihat media-media yang mengakui bahwa Eropa bangkrut dan sulit untuk mencapai solusi. Faktanya adalah bahwa hal-hal mengenai Eropa yang sudah digambarkan oleh media-media non-mainstream tersebut akan menjadi peringatan bahwa babak baru krisis Eropa bakal terjadi.  Baik Spanyol dan Yunani baru-baru ini mengakui bahwa perbankan mereka masing-masing memiliki nilai (value) yang NEGATIF. Diperkirakan data-data dari Eropa di pekan-pekan ke depan akan memburuk. Apa yang terjadi jika pelaku pasar menyatakan apa yang dikatakan Draghi tidak akan terbukti (bluffing).  Kita mungkin akan melihatnya tahun ini …

Graham Summers, seorang Chief Market Strategist pada Phoenix Capital Research, baru-baru ini menyatakan bahwa sistem perbankan Eropa akan runtuh lagi. Dengan kata lain, krisis Eropa belum selesai.

Meskipun ECB berusaha untuk mengatasinya dengan menjanjikan pembelian obligasi tak terbatas, rally belakangan ini bisa saja berakhir seketika dalam waktu dekat. Untuk lebih jelasnya, bacalah seksama laporannya di bawah ini, yang berjudul The Great Systemic Rig of 2012 is Ending, dan ambillah tindakan pencegahan yang diperlukan:

“Europe’s banking system has been on the ropes for years.

It’s a little known fact that the largest recipients of US bailouts were in fact foreign banks based in Europe. Also bear in mind that the biggest beneficiaries of QE 2 were European banks. Things got so bad in mid-2012 that the whole system lurched towards collapse. The only thing that pulled the EU back from the brink was Mario Draghi’s promise of unlimited bond buying (a promise and nothing more as the EU has yet to do any of this).

However, these efforts, like all cover-ups, will not last. Indeed, by the look of things, Europe’s banking system is breaking down again….

Greece’s four largest banks need to boost their capital by 27.5 billion Euros ($36.3 billion) after taking losses from the country’s debt swap earlier this year, the largest sovereign restructuring in history.

National Bank of Greece SA, the country’s biggest lender, needs to raise 9.8 billion Euros, according to an e-­mailed report by the Athens-­based Bank of Greece (TELL) today. Eurobank Ergasias SA (EUROB) needs 5.8 billion Euros, Alpha Bank (ALPHA) needs 4.6 billion Euros and Piraeus Bank SA (TPEIR) needs 7.3 billion Euros, according to the report. Total recapitalization needs for the country’s banking sector amount to 40.5 billion Euros, the report said.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-­?12-­?27/greek-­?bank-­?capital-…? at-­?eu27-­?5-­?billion-­?bank-­?of-­?greece-­?says.html

The above articles tell us point blank that Europe’s banking crisis is neither fixed nor even close to over. However, the numbers need some perspective: sure, €27.5 billion sounds like a lot of money, but just how big is it relative to Greece’s banks.

The entire capital base of the Greek banking system is only €22 billion.

By saying that Greek banks need €27.5 billion Greece is essentially admitting that is needs to recapitalize its entire banking system. Also, you should know that Greek banks are still sitting on €46.8 billion in bad loans.

There is a word for a banking system with a capital base of €22 billion and bad loans of €46.8. It’s INSOLVENT.

We get other signs that Europe is ready to fall back into the abyss from recent revelations concerning Spain’s sovereign bonds.

In July 2012, Spain’s ten year bond yield hit 8% even though Spain had already been granted a €100 billion bailout by the EU and the ECB had also promised to provide unlimited bond buying.

As a point of reference, remember that any yield over 7% is GAME OVER as far as funding your debt.

Then, starting in August 2012, Spain’s ten-­?year bond yields magically began to fall. Since that time, they’ve plunged to just 5%.

The reason for this drop in yields?

It’s not that Spain’s finances improved (its Debt to GDP ratio hit 85% this year and is on track to reach 90% by the end of 2013). Nor is it that Spain’s economy is recovering (unemployment reached a new record in 3Q12).

It’s not also that investors are less worried about Spain and have decided to buy Spanish debt (Spain just staged a terrible bond rally in early December).

So why were Spanish yields falling?

Spain has been using up its Social Security fund to buy its own debt.

Spain has been quietly tapping the country’s richest piggy bank, the Social Security Reserve Fund, as a buyer of last resort for Spanish government bonds, raising questions about the fund’s role as guarantor of future pension payouts.

Now the scarcely noticed borrowing spree, carried out amid a prolonged economic crisis, is about to end, because there is little left to take. At least 90% of the €65 billion ($85.7 billion) fund has been invested in increasingly risky Spanish debt, according to official figures, and the government has begun withdrawing cash for emergency payments.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB100014241278873233745045782173840 62120520.html

This is precisely what we mean when we say the system was rigged in the second half of 2012. Spain, a country that is totally bankrupt and likely heading for its own version of the Arab Spring (things are so bad that Spaniards have begun self-­? immolating just as they did in Tunisia right before that country suffered a societal breakdown) managed to fool the world into believing that things had improved by raiding its social security fund to buy its own debt.

As we said at the beginning of this issue, the rigging that occurred in the second half of 2012 was simply staggering. But it will end. Our view is that we have perhaps another month or so left at the most before things begin to get ugly again.”

Eropa dapat menjadi benua yang runtuh oleh hutangnya sendiri, dan ini adalah hanya permulaan.  Akan lebih banyak persoalan yang akan datang. Para pejabat Eropa berupaya untuk mempertahankan keutuhan sistem finansial Eropa, namun kehancuran bisa saja terjadi kapan saja.

Ekonomi Eropa meledak tepat di depan mata kami dan Eropa yang kemungkinan besar akan berakhir menyeret ke seluruh dunia turun dengan itu. Hanya untuk menunjukkan bahwa Eropa sedang menuju ke dalam depresi besar-besaran ekonomi, berikut adalah 20 fakta tentang runtuhnya Eropa bahwa setiap orang harus tahu, dari laporan yang ditulis oleh Michael Snyder dan awalnya diumumkan di www.theeconomiccollapseblog.com:

Kita dapat menyaksikan ekonomi Eropa runtuh di hadapan kita dan nantinya akan menyeret turun ekonomi dunia.  Hanya untuk memperlihatkan kepada Anda bahwa Eropa sedang menuju ke dalam depresi ekonomi besar-besaran, berikut adalah 20 fakta mengenai runtuhnya Eropa yang harus diketahui setiap orang, dari tulisan Michael Snyder yang awalnya hadir di website www.theeconomiccollapseblog.com:

The economic implosion of Europe is accelerating. Even while the mainstream media continues to proclaim that the financial crisis in Europe has been “averted”, the economic statistics that are coming out of Europe just continue to get worse.

Manufacturing activity in Europe has been contracting month after month, the unemployment rate in the euro zone has hit yet another brand new record high, and the official unemployment rates in both Greece and Spain are now much higher than the peak unemployment rate in the United States during the Great Depression of the 1930s. The economic situation in Europe is far worse than it was a year ago, and it is going to continue to get worse as austerity continues to take a huge toll on the economies of the euro zone.

It would be hard to understate how bad things have gotten – particularly in southern Europe. The truth is that most of southern Europe is experiencing a full-blown economic depression right now. Sadly, most Americans are paying very little attention to what is going on across the Atlantic. But they should be watching, because this is what happens when nations accumulate too much debt. The United States has the biggest debt burden of all, and eventually what is happening over in Spain, France, Italy, Portugal and Greece is going to happen over here as well.

The following are 20 facts about the collapse of Europe that everyone should know…

#1 10 Months: Manufacturing activity in both France and Germany has contracted for 10 months in a row.

#2 11.8 Percent: The unemployment rate in the euro zone has now risen to 11.8 percent – a brand new all-time high.

#3 17 Months: In November, Italy experienced the sharpest decline in retail sales that it had experienced in 17 months.

#4 20 Months: Manufacturing activity in Spain has contracted for 20 months in a row.

#5 20 Percent: It is estimated that bad loans now make up approximately 20 percent of all domestic loans in the Greek banking system at this point.

#6 22 Percent: A whopping 22 percent of the entire population of Ireland lives in jobless households.

#7 26 Percent: The unemployment rate in Greece is now 26 percent. A year ago it was only 18.9 percent.

#8 26.6 Percent: The unemployment rate in Spain has risen to an astounding 26.6 percent.

#9 27.0 Percent: The unemployment rate for workers under the age of 25 in Cyprus. Back in 2008, this number was well below 10 percent.

#10 28 Percent: Sales of French-made vehicles in November were down 28 percent compared to a year earlier.

#11 36 Percent: Today, the poverty rate in Greece is 36 percent. Back in 2009 it was only about 20 percent.

#12 37.1 Percent: The unemployment rate for workers under the age of 25 in Italy – a brand new all-time high.

#13 44 Percent: An astounding 44 percent of the entire population of Bulgaria is facing “severe material deprivation”.

#14 56.5 Percent: The unemployment rate for workers under the age of 25 in Spain – a brand new all-time high.

#15 57.6 Percent: The unemployment rate for workers under the age of 25 in Greece – a brand new all-time high.

#16 60 Percent: Citigroup is projecting that there is a 60 percent probability that Greece will leave the euro zone within the next 12 to 18 months.

#17 70 Percent: It has been reported that some homes in Spain are being sold at a 70% discount from where they were at during the peak of the housing bubble back in 2006. At this point there are approximately 2 million unsold homes in Spain.

#18 200 Percent: The debt to GDP ratio in Greece is rapidly approaching 200 percent.

#19 1997: According to the Committee of French Automobile Producers, 2012 was the worst year for the French automobile industry since 1997.

#20 2 Million: Back in 2005, the French auto industry produced about 3.5 million vehicles. In 2012, that number dropped to about 2 million vehicles.

One thing that these shocking numbers cannot convey is the tremendous amount of pain that many average Europeans are living through on a daily basis at this point. To get a peek into what life is like in Greece these days, check out this short excerpt from a recent Bloomberg article…

Anastasia Karagaitanaki, 57, is a former model and cafe owner in Thessaloniki, Greece. After losing her business to the financial crisis, she now sleeps on a daybed next to the refrigerator in her mother’s kitchen and depends on charity for food and insulin for her diabetes.

“I feel like my life has slipped through my hands,” said Karagaitanaki, whose brother also shares the one-bedroom apartment. “I feel like I’m dead.”

For thousands of Greeks like Karagaitanaki, the fabric of middle-class life is unraveling. Teachers, salaries slashed by a third, are stealing electricity. Families in once-stable neighborhoods are afraid to leave their homes because of rising street crime.

All over Europe, people that have lost all hope are actually setting themselves on fire in a desperate attempt to draw attention. Millions of formerly middle class Europeans have lost everything and are becoming increasingly desperate. Suicide and crime are skyrocketing all over southern Europe and massive street riots are erupting on a regular basis.

Unfortunately, this is just the beginning. Things are going to get even worse for Europe.

Meanwhile, those of us living in the United States smugly look down our noses at Europe because we are still living in a false bubble of debt-fueled prosperity.

But eventually we will feel the sting of austerity as well. The recent fiscal cliff deal was an indication of that. Taxes are going up and government spending is at least going to slow down. It won’t be too long before the effects of that are felt in the economy.

And of course the reality of the situation is that the U.S. economy really did not perform very well at all during 2012 when you take a look at the numbers. The cold, hard truth is that the U.S. economy has been declining for a very long time, and there are a whole bunch of reasons to expect that our decline will accelerate even further in 2013.

So if you are an American, don’t laugh at what is happening over in Europe at the moment. We are headed down the exact same path that they have gone, and we are going to experience the same kind of suffering that they are going through right now.

Use these last few “bubble months” to prepare for what is ahead. At some point this “hope bubble” will disappear and then the time for preparation will be over.”

What Do the Charts Say?

Melalui gambar lebih mudah menjelaskan semuanya, untuk itu akan ditampilkan sejumlah grafik menarik Tyler Durden dari www.zerohedge.com, yang memberikan penjelasan mengenai kondisi genting Eropa:

1) Europe’s Scariest Heat map (January 9th)

Readers already know that when it comes to Europe, the scariest chart, from a political, economic, financial and social perspective, is that showing youth unemployment – youth, which engaged in idle, non-productive activity is a powder keg for both future economic instability and social upheaval. The monthly update is presented below. This time, we are happy to also present the “scariest heat map” that goes with it, showing the geographic breakdown of unemployment in the critical 15-24 age groups. Those looking for geopolitical hotspots in the coming months and years, look no further than the dark shaded areas.

Europe’s youth unemployment rate pushed higher once again to a record-breaking 24.4% – where Greece was in Dec 2008. What is crushingly awful is the 57.6% youth unemployment in Greece and 56.5% in Spain that leaves a social fire burning in the belly of the nations. Italy also saw a major move to record highs above 37% youth unemployment and France is now above 27% also… recovery?

2) TARGET-2 Imbalances – “The Debt Crisis Is Eating Its Way Ever Further Into Europe’s Core” (January 10th)

Via Pater Tenebrarum of Acting-Man blog,

As Der Spiegel reports, capital flight from Southern Europe has stopped and even slightly reversed in recent months. This is a belated reaction – so it is surmised – to the ‘OMT’ announcement effect.

However, the move is still quite small at this stage, although we suspect that several officially unconcerned central bankers in the ‘core’ are letting out a sigh of relief that their TARGET claims haven’t just risen even further.

“As recently as the summer of 2012, investors and those with savings accounts in crisis-stricken countries were moving their money out as quickly as they could. Billions of Euros were withdrawn from accounts in Greece and Spain and banks in stable countries such as Germany put a cap on the amount of money they were willing to lend business partners in countries hit hardest by the euro crisis.

But since last autumn, this trend has come to a stop. Indeed, the most recent numbers indicate that a slight reversal is underway, with ECB statistics showing that deposits in Spanish and Greek banks have recently ticked upwards. Furthermore, Germany’s central bank, the Bundesbank, reported this week that imbalances in Europe’s so-called Target2 settlement system, in which euro-zone central banks and the ECB transfer money across the common currency union, have declined. As the euro crisis progressed, the system had become massively imbalanced, which could result in massive losses for countries such as Germany should Greece, for example, be forced to exit the euro zone.

Just prior to the ECB’s massive intervention on the bond markets in August, 2012, the Bundesbank had Target2 claims worth €751 billion ($981 billion). But by the end of December, they had sunk to €656 billion. The imbalance is still dramatic, but the trend reversal provides cause for hope, particularly because it is mirrored by falling debts at the other end of the transfer system. Taken together, the combined Target2 debts owed by Italy, Spain, Greece, Portugal and Ireland shrank from €989 billion at the end of August, 2012 to €902 billion at the end of October. More current data is unavailable.”

Here is the chart that illustrates the situation:

The Bundesbank’s TARGET-2 claims versus the TARGET-2 liabilities of the PIIGS as of end October

However, as Hans-Werner Sinn reminds us (Sinn was the first mainstream economist to ring the alarm bell over the growing imbalances in the central bank payments system), the calming of the situation is entirely due to the risks having been shifted, not to the risks having gone away. The ESM with its new power to finance e.g. banks directly, simply shifts more of  the risk to taxpayers residing in the ‘core’ countries. Quote Sinn:

“The markets have been calmed because new ways have been found to make taxpayers in those European countries that are still healthy liable,” Sinn says. He is not just referring to the bond purchases that could be undertaken by the ECB — purchases that taxpayers are ultimately liable for. Rather, he is also referring to new rules allowing the crisis backstop fund, the European Stability Mechanism, to provide aid directly to banks.

“The debt crisis is eating its way ever further into the budgets of Europe’s core countries,” he says. “But policymakers are celebrating the obfuscation of this fact as a success.”

He certainly has a point.

3) Forget Europe’s Periphery, The Core Is Collapsing (February 7th)

A glance at headlines over the past few months and there is little mention of anything but Europe’s periphery struggling but market performance implying that a turnaround is about to occur. Most of this is based on a belief that the core is doing ‘well’ and that the periphery is gradually becoming more competitive. However, as if elections were not enough to worry Frau Merkel, it turns out, as Diapason’s Sean Corrigan notes, Germany’s Industrial Production, stymied by a surging EUR, has just suffered its third biggest quarterly decline on record – plunging back to 2007 levels. Furthermore, France’s Industrial Production is back at levels first seen in 1997 – also plunging (perhaps explaining Hollande’s recent exclamations at EUR strength); as the core is starting to soften significantly.

 

Charts: Bloomberg

Agar tetap ceria, di akhir tulisan ini saya persembahkan ‘Murphy’s other 15 laws’, yang saya dapat dari www.caseyresearch.com:

  1. The thingsthat come to those who wait may be the things left by those who got there first.
  2. He who laughs last, thinks slowest.
  3. The 50-50-90 rule: Any time you have a 50-50 chance of getting something right, there’s a 90% probability you’ll get it wrong.
  4. God gave you toes as a device for finding furniture in the dark.
  5. Light travels faster than sound.  This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
  6. Those who live by the sword get shot by those who don’t.
  7. When you go into court, you are putting yourself in the hands of twelve people who weren’t smart enough to get out of jury duty.
  8. Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.
  9. It is said that if you line up all the cars in the world end to end, someone from California would be stupid enough to try to pass them.
  10. Flashlight: A case for holding dead batteries.
  11. A fine is a tax for doing wrong.  A tax is a fine for doing well.
  12. Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day.  Teach a man to fish and he will sit in a boat all day drinking beer.
  13. Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.
  14. If the shoe fits, get another one just like it.
  15. A day without sunshine is like, well, night.

Dibuat Tanggal 11 Februari 2013

Categories: Pasar Internasional Tags:

Investor Emas JANGAN Putus Asa (Bagian II)

February 8th, 2013 1 comment

“Given the fact that there’s so much paper gold out there relative to the limited amount of physical, eventually you’re going to see the final stage of a monetary collapse or financial collapse, which always happens throughout history.  People eventually move out of financial assets and they move into gold because what they want to do is they want to avoid counterparty risk.  When you have a financial asset, you’re always depending upon someone’s promise.  But when you own physical metal – be it gold or be it silver – you’re not dependent on someone’s promise, because you have a tangible asset.  There isn’t a counterparty risk.”

-James Turk

“Truth, like gold, is to be obtained not by its growth, but by washing away from it all that is not gold.”

-Leo Tolstoy

Salah satu alasan utama mengapa para investor emas jangan berputus asa adalah fakta bahwa Cina seolah tidak perduli hari esok dan masih terus membeli logam mulia tersebut.  Jika Anda perlu bukti-bukti, maka silahkan baca laporan berikut yang dibuat oleh Tyler Durden dari www.zerohedge.com yang berjudul China Imports Record Amount Of Gold In December On Price Drop:

“Back in December, as always happens every year for the past 3, a margin call driven liquidation wave pushed the price of the gold to multi-month lows, providing merely yet another lowball buying opportunity (for which let’s all thank John Paulson, again). One buyer who certainly would love to thank whichever marginal seller was liquidating their gold, is none other than China, which as was reported a few hours ago, imported an all time record 114.4 tons of gold in the month of December, or more than all the gold held by the Greek central bank (assuming it hasn’t been confiscated by ze Germans or the ECB, or deposited in G-Pap or Venizelos’ private HSBC safe in Geneva yet: a very aggressive assumption).

This means that for all of 2012, total China imports of gold have hit a staggering 834.5 tons, double the 431 tons in 2011, and that the PBOC’s determination, whose official holdings are still a laughable 1054 tons, when in reality they are likely 3-4 times greater, to convert to a commodity-backed currency the day it decides to become the world’s reserves currency, as we predicted back in 2011, is as steadfast as ever. Recall from the December 2009 edition of China Youth Daily, which we reported previously that State Council advisor Ji was saying “that a team of experts from Beijing and Shanghai have set up a “task force” last year to consider growing China’s gold reserves. “We suggested that China’s gold reserves should reach 6,000 tons in the next 3-5 years and perhaps 10,000 tons in 8-10 years,” the paper quoted him.”

This was in 2009. It is safe to say that the official (not reported) Chinese gold holdings are now around 4-5,000 tons, or 4x-5x more than the IMF number.

In the meantime, China’s 2012 gross gold imports alone (ignoring its massive internal production, which happens to be the world’s largest gold producer), have surpassed all of Japan’s official gold holdings, and were just shy of Russia’s and Switzerland’s total official gold.

More from Bloomberg:

The imports in December compared with 90,764 kilograms in November, and were more than double the 38,650 kilograms a year earlier, according to the data. Net imports, after deducting flows from China to Hong Kong, were 84,687 kilograms in December from 61,787 kilograms a month earlier. China doesn’t publish such data.

China was expected to displace India as the world’s biggest gold consumer last year, according forecast in November from the producer-funded World Gold Council. Rising consumption in the country may help to offset concern that the metal’s bull run may be coming to an end as the global economy recovers. Spot gold is little changed so far this year, while the Standard & Poor’s GSCI Index of raw materials has risen 4.4 percent.

The increase in gold imports last year “was largely a result of income growth,” Jiang Shu, a senior analyst at Industrial Bank Co. Ltd., said from Shanghai before the data was released. “The Chinese are becoming wealthier.”

Economic growth in China, the world’s largest gold producer, has boosted the country’s consumption of everything from copper to energy and farm commodities. The nation, which snapped a seven-quarter slowdown in the final quarter of last year, is the world’s largest base-metals user, the biggest importer of soybeans and the top crude-oil consumer after the U.S.

“We see demand continuing to be robust into 2013,” said Wang Xiaoli, chief investment strategist at CITICS Futures Co., a unit of China’s biggest listed brokerage. “The economy will recover, albeit slowly, while real interest rates will remain low and central banks will continue to accumulate. These are all bullish for gold.”

And all this with inflation in China still supposedly tame. Just wait until the trillions in new money created in 2013 finally find their way to the Chinese market and send inflation through the roof as happened in early/mid 2011, and when gold exploded. Once the increasingly more affluent Chinese middle class decides to once again lock up its wealth in the form of gold, then and only then, will gold finally cross the so far insurmountable $2000 resistance level.”

Berikutnya Egon von Greyerz, seorang pendiri dan managing partner Matterhorn Asset Management, yang beberapa waktu lalu menampilkan salah satu grafik yang paling penting yang mungkin pernah Anda lihat.  Kini, dirinya menunjukkan bahaya luar biasa yang dihadapi oleh sistem finansial global, serta menunjukkan alas an mengapa harga emas akan melonjak.

Berikut adalah laporannya, disertai grafik yang menarik dan kejutan harga emas berdasarkan grafik yang berupa kubus tersebut:

“I’ve spoken in the past about bankrupt governments, and the bankrupt banking system.  If you value debt in the banking system at market value, then no major bank would be standing today.  But in addition to that, if you then look at the derivative positions of the banks, this is a disaster waiting to happen (see chart).

The real over-the-counter derivatives outstanding, worldwide, is at least $1.1 quadrillion, and a major part of that is worthless.  People have no idea what kind of turmoil and destruction this can cause to the global financial system.  Investors need to understand that as the global economy edges closer and closer to collapse, the earthquakes in the financial system will become so enormous that it will eventually overwhelm politicians and central planners.

This is why it is so important that investors protect themselves by holding physical gold and silver outside of the banking system because the coming derivatives disaster will create an explosion in the price of gold.  And when the chaos is finally over and a new financial system emerges, gold and silver will be one of the few assets left standing.

Every time there is a problem in a bank it seems to be derivatives related, such as what happened with JP Morgan which recently lost $5.6 billion, and UBS which lost $2.3 billion.

They have young people, many times in their 20s, coming in and having derivatives positions of tens of billions or even one hundred+ billion dollars, and these young people have no idea what they are doing.  The individual from UBS, who is now defending himself, said, ‘I just came in to run these positions.  I had no idea about this market.’  He is only 27 years old.

So you have inexperienced people taking massive risks, and running positions which amount to an unthinkable total of $1.1 quadrillion….

Every time we look at these positions closely and value them, which is when there is a problem, the banks realize the positions are not worth anywhere close to what they believed they were.  The real, underlying problem is that even management at the banks doesn’t understand these derivatives.  They don’t know how to value them, so they have no understanding of the true value of the positions.

Many times they are virtually impossible to understand, therefore the traders can value them at whatever they want.  Of course they are unregulated and they are not traded on any exchange, and most all of this is held off-balance-sheet.  Meaning they are not included on the banks balance sheet.

What the banks do is net down the positions to a very small total because they assume that counterparties will pay.  Well, we know when something happens in the banking world, take Lehman as an example, and we will have many more Lehmans in the future, the counterparty doesn’t pay or isn’t able to pay.

What that means is the gross remains the gross, and again, we have an outstanding exposure, worldwide, of an unfathomable $1.1 quadrillion.  You also have to realize that there are virtually no reserves against these enormous positions.

This is why investors that hold major assets in banks are taking risks they shouldn’t take.  The reality is the banking system is incredibly fragile because of the ongoing risk of the derivatives bubble blowing up at some point.  I would add that the risk of this happening is very high in my view.

This is the reason, as I’ve said, that investors have to hold assets outside of the banking system.  Let’s take a look once again at the cube chart, just to look at the proportion of outstanding derivatives to gold:

You have $1.1 quadrillion of derivatives, and all of the gold ever produced, which is in one corner of the chart, is $9 trillion.  If you take the gold said to be held by central banks, which assumes the central banks physically possess the 30,000 tons and I don’t believe they have anywhere near that, but hypothetically speaking, if they did, it is only $1.6 trillion worth of gold.

You can see in the above chart that the central bank gold only fits into a tiny corner of the cube.  So what I am saying with this chart is if there is a derivatives blow up, you can only imagine the amount of money that would need to be printed.  And, again, I think there is a very high probability of a derivatives blow up taking place.

If you then related the enormous derivative position to the percentage of gold allegedly held by central banks, if gold were to reflect that, you are not talking about gold at $10,000 or $20,000, you are talking about gold well above $100,000 an ounce.  This is what investors must focus on in terms of the bigger picture for gold.”

What Do the Charts Say?

Above all, he remains unequivocally bullish on gold and is of the view that the present price action that we have been seeing is very reminiscent of what we saw going into 2007:

“We have long believed that the present pattern on Gold is a consolidation prior to the next impulsive move higher.  The charts below suggest the start of that move, which we believe will yield a move towards $2,055-2,060 and then $2,400, may now be “close at hand”In addition, the set ups on Palladium, Platinum and Silver are all looking constructive.

A repeat of the momentum move seen between August 2007 and March 2008 could see Gold approach $2,400 as early as July this year (see two circled areas on chart below).

We have seen a low to high bounce of nearly $30 in Gold (recently) completing a bullish outside day (chart below).

This follows a hold of horizontal support and the 61.8% pullback area around $1,625-1,629.  Good resistance is now being tested around $1,695 (Double bottom neckline and 55 day moving average.)  A break above here suggests at least $1,755 again.

Weekly momentum is turning up from low levels after 3 weeks of indecision (see chart below).  Similar indecision was seen in July 2012 before the next leg higher.  Above the $1,755 level there is good resistance at $1,763 and most importantly $1,791-1,796.  Above this latter range would suggest an acceleration in the move higher to $2,055-2,060 initially and possibly $2,400 this calendar year.”

Terakhir adalah analis senior Ron Rosen yang mengirimkan King World News (www.kingworldnews.com) sebuah grafik dan komentar luar biasa pada 21 November 2012 lalu. Berikut ringkasan penting dari prospeknya yang luar biasa terhadap komoditas emas:

“Since the bull market in gold began in the year 2001, a new high took place at every LTD (Long-Term Delta) #4 high.  All LTD #4’s were highs.  Gold is now moving up to LTD #4 high due February 2014.  If gold arrives on the due date and touches the upper trend line the price will be over $3,000 (the arrow in the chart below is pointing to a $3,000+ target for gold by February 2014).”

Selamat menikmati akhir pekan Anda!

Dibuat Tanggal 08 Februari 2013

Categories: Emas Tags: