News & Analysis
Shock: BIS Sees Global Asset Bubble
BIS warns banks to be vigilant on high asset prices ... A top international finance official is warning banks to be cautious about the prices of investments that have gone up sharply because of current low interest rates. Jaime Caruana, the general manager of the Bank for International Settlements, says the low interest rates in effect now may have made it difficult to assess the true value of those investments. – Malaya Business
Dominant Social Theme: We central bankers have to stay on top of these pesky bubbles.
Free-Market Analysis: Actually, it is NOT surprising that BIS officials have begun to warn about a bubble; it is perhaps a bit surprising that they would choose to speak about it now. Maybe they are trying to get "ahead of the curve."
As we've pointed out often in the past (as part of what we'd like to think is an educative function), central banking is all about bubbles. And in the current environment, with Western bankers furiously printing money, it is impossible for financial bubbles NOT to form.
Central banking is, in fact, the process of printing money ... these days, paper money. And the printing of such money is inflationary. The definition of money printing is "inflation." You're inflating an asset. Those who work for the BIS surely realize this. Here's more from the article:
In an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Caruana told The Associated Press that banks and their regulators "should be vigilant on the prices of some of these assets."
That's so that bank finances are solid in case those assets fall in price when central banks in developed countries start raising interest rates as the economy recovers.
Investments such as U.S. junk bonds — bonds issued by corporations with less than perfect credit ratings — have gone up as investors abandon lower-yielding, safer investments in search of higher interest yields. That rise, however, could go into reverse when rates rise. And that could mean losses for investors and banks if they are not careful ahead of time.
"We should be monitoring the levels of the asset prices that have moved rapidly, particularly in risky assets," Caruana said. "Financial institutions need to understand that the level of rates is very low."
At some point, there will be "a return to normality. and I think they should be at some point in time resilient to this type of movements," said Caruana.
When we unscramble what Caruana is saying we come up with several interesting insights.
First, Caruana is settling – as is done almost every day – the controversy between Keynesian and classical definitions of inflation. He is admitting, as all bank officials must, that the primary problem of central banking is the over-printing of money. Again, another description for that is "inflation." When prices go up, that's price inflation.
Caruana also avers that central bankers should be monitoring the levels of asset prices – and the implied conclusion is that bankers ought to figure out when asset values are too high and quit their easing.
But notice that Caruana does not explain how bankers will know this. In fact, central bankers have NO WAY to know when too much money has been printed. They only know after the fact, when price inflation begins to spike.
Caruana also points out that there will eventually be "a return to normality." But as we have tried to explain so often, a central banking economy is ALWAYS abnormal. China, for instance, experienced thousands of years of a certain kind of culture. Then in 30 years, thanks to monetary stimulation, it became a completely different "consumer" culture.
The hallmarks of a central banking society are incredible monetary instability and harsh distinctions between haves and have-nots. Grinding poverty. Impossible wealth. The constant contraction of society toward a smaller and smaller elite and an ever-larger pool of the impoverished. This is its bequest and the future it builds.
Such a society may feature improbable technological accomplishments, but fewer and fewer will create them. Those of great promise – or rare blood – are winnowed out in childhood and provided with the facilities of production. Everyone else is considered a kind of "excess."
These societies go through stages, as China has. In the beginning there is great euphoria as monetary stimulation is misunderstood. People attribute their great good fortune to the same elite that is oppressing them.
Later on, there will be an established middle class and a series of expensive truisms. People will grow up believing that government should own and operate most of society's valuable facilities – roads, schools, military units, various resources, parks, hospitals, infrastructure generally.
All of this is unsustainable but it is not seen as so right away, as it is funded by money printing. People get used to the society as it is, however, and do not expect it to change.
Honest-money societies such as ones that existed in the US before the Civil War or in Switzerland until recently are fairly unchanging societies. Infrastructure changes and advancements are made but there is nothing like the frenzy of change associated with a consumerist central banking society.
The final stage of a central banking society may be its dissolution. People have been thoroughly tricked into giving up power and wealth to centralized authorities operating central banking functionalities. In the end, there is no society left and those who have perpetrated the trick have gathered most if not all of the society's important resources.
This is the inevitable result of the kind of disciplined monetary debasement practiced by central bankers. Given that it is, how can we want "a return to normality"?
Central bankers have no idea what a return to normality looks like. They have never seen a normal society. And secondly, even if there was a return to normality, it would be a distinctly abnormal one as central banking economies are abnormal to begin with.
It is unfortunately a gigantic bait-and-switch. People are baited with their own money but the society that they are building is one that is being created block by block to destroy them and their progeny.
Adding to this long-term destruction of society are the short-term shocks provided by unlimited currency debasement. Caruana is warning that another one may take shape if central bankers in places like the US, EU and Britain don't quit their printing.
But Caruana is likely being hypocritical as all top bankers are when they issue these warnings. The system is set up to destroy the societies that it is supposedly "stabilizing." And the asset bubbles about which he is warning are inevitable and are caused by the process he is supposedly supervising.
It is an entirely malevolent system and the sooner it is done away with – not moderated or reconfigured – the better. Let there be monetary competition and the circulation of gold and silver as money – as in the past. Let there be localized trade and modest enterprises.
Conclusion: People simply should not have control of trillions and trillions. It is a distortion of natural law and creates the Ruin of All.
Posted by daddy warbucks on 01/31/13 12:20 PM
All the same players, playing us while building their "supranational sovereignty"
BIS, IMF, WTO, etc all a big shell game to put in place their NWO
B.I.S. - ex-Nazi bank now the world central bank - The Bank for ...
Click to view link
"The BIS is the most obscure arm of the Bretton-Woods International Financial architecture but its role is central. John Maynard Keynes wanted it closed down as it was used to launder money for the Nazis in World War II.
Run by an inner elite representing the world's major central banks it controls most of the transferable money in the world. It uses that money to draw national governments into debt for the IMF."
"The Power of financial capitalism had [a] far reaching plan, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole.
This system was to be controlled in a feudalistic fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences.
The apex of the system was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks, which were themselves private corporations.
Each central bank sought to dominate its government by its ability to control treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence co-operative politicians by subsequent rewards in the business world."
Carrol Quigley, Tragedy and Hope, 1966 - [Bill Clinton's mentor and Georgetown University professor]
These bankers are the world's real enemy, shut them down, and like magic war will end.
Reply from The Daily Bell
Posted by daddy warbucks on 01/31/13 11:50 AM
They are estimated owning more than half of the 'world's' wealth, over 500
trillion dollars (but they want it all)
See the last 3-1/2 minutes:
youtube:The Rothschilds Exposed 3/3
Posted by taxesbyanyothername on 01/30/13 09:39 PM
@WorkingClass and DB
Since nearly every society is now a central banking society it is even more hidden, in ever plainer sight.
If it does go global, will we be entirely blind? Irretrievably lost?
Posted by WorkingClass on 01/30/13 12:58 PM
"The hallmarks of a central banking society are incredible monetary instability and harsh distinctions between haves and have-nots. Grinding poverty. Impossible wealth. The constant contraction of society toward a smaller and smaller elite and an ever-larger pool of the impoverished. This is its bequest and the future it builds."
Thanks DB. This is the single most important political/economic truth in the world today regardless of ideology. This is the truth that has been hidden in plain sight.
Reply from The Daily Bell
Thanks. It is hidden in plain sight because often no one mentions it.
Posted by clark on 01/30/13 11:28 AM
I saw a statement like this on another website, only then it was the military, not simply "People who know":
"There are still people who know what is going on, what should be going on and they are beginning to assert themselves.
You Austrian economists should be siding with them."
Hmm, I think it's just the opposite.
I think perhaps in due time most People will figure it out, either the easy way or the hard way.
That seems to be the choice.
Posted by taxesbyanyothername on 01/30/13 10:32 AM
Thanks. Writing for the remnant seems the best I, and many others, can muster for the nonce.
Posted by seer on 01/30/13 09:55 AM
Amazing, since the head banker claims he did not see the housing bubble coming even though many others saw and forewarned investors. The only reason the markets are so inflated is that the Banks and Corporations are sitting on the trillions of dollars created by the FED. The only people gaining access are the small proportion of those who own stocks (USA). They have to put their money somewhere as oil driven inflation prevents stashing money away in a bank, so they invest and this drives stock prices up. This is not rocket science.
Posted by TerryWriterFromPortCredit on 01/30/13 01:45 AM
The strategy of front running through the creation of something out of nothing.
e.g. fiat currency (especially the digital kind) printed by Central Banks) - the tool.
One example from history - the front running by a son of the House of the Red Shield when hitting England's shores with a premeditated lie about Napoleon's conquest (or lack thereof, I believe).
Authority created out of thin air - The Federal Reserve.
BIS - created after World World II - by whose authority? Surprise, surprise - theirs.
If ignored, they will go away.
Ask this: By whose authority?
The Canadian Curator.
Posted by Danny B on 01/29/13 08:52 PM
Dear Bell, you speak of natural law. Natural law has a lot of focus on competition and survival. Here is a quote from The Daily Reckoning;
"We'll get to that in a second, but first, a word about our unfortunate creature: Boobus-politicus.
In a battle of the sharpest wit, the politician arrives brandishing a spoon. And a teaspoon at that. It's not necessarily his fault, mind you. He's simply a dolt, a sub-evolved, evolutionary misfire. He has no marketable skills. Nothing of value issues forth from his brain... nothing worth a shekel from his hands. Unable, therefore, to survive in a peaceful, voluntary eco-system, boobus-politicus must rely on coercion and brute force to get his way.
At his most benign, our intellectually supine dullard is content to whittle away his days in a kind of taxpayer-sponsored stupor, lost in the annals of gray, bureaucratic nothingness. As long as he doesn't attempt to 'do something,' most people are happy enough to pay a little money just to keep him off the streets. That's the deal. But it is a rarefied member of the political class indeed who does not thirst for power... unaware, perhaps, of its attendant downside."
The last thing that under-evolved people want is natural law. Mother Nature has a quick remedy for those who are not equipped to compete.
Socialism focuses on "redistribution" and therefore attracts non-producers.
They focus on coercion because competition is a non-starter.
BTW, Cameron refuses to debate Nigel Farage.
Posted by picomanning on 01/29/13 08:21 PM
My younger son who just graduated in June with a degree in economics told me that his courses focused on Keynesian theory. Austrian theory was discussed briefly but not taken seriously.
Posted by bionic mosquito on 01/29/13 07:15 PM
From John Milton:
Click to view link
I did but prompt the age to quit their clogs
By the known rules of ancient liberty,
When straight a barbarous noise environs me
Of owls and cuckoos, asses, apes and dogs:
As when those hinds that were transform'd to frogs
Rail'd at Latona's twin-born progeny
Which after held the sun and moon in fee.
But this is got by casting pearl to hogs,
That bawl for freedom in their senseless mood,
And still revolt when truth would set them free.
Licence they mean when they cry liberty;
For who loves that, must first be wise and good.
But from that mark how far they rove we see,
For all this waste of wealth and loss of blood.
Posted by alaska3636 on 01/29/13 07:10 PM
nithsdale: Business and trade depend upon a certain inflation of value to profit...
Alaska: Business is trade; and trade depends on the subjective valuations of its participants. If a business plans on making a profit, then its goal is to anticipate what enough people will consider valuable over the cost of the capital they have invested in production.
"A certain inflation of value" is non-sense. Inflation of the price of an asset does not necessarily make it more valuable. And if all businesses depended on inflated asset bubbles to earn profits then 99% of all businesses would disappear.
Or maybe you meant that a sudden shortage of some commodity has positioned the holders of that commodity to reap the gains of an increased demand, thus "inflating" the value of that commodity. Again, that would reduce the market for transactions by 99%.
Most trade occurs as people exchange what they perceive to be less valuable for something that they consider more valuable. If an entrepreneur's perceptions are in line with enough other people's valuations, then they end up with greater net capital with which to trade for further value.
nithsdale: There are still people who know what is going on, what should be going on and they are beginning to assert themselves.
Alaska: The Problem of Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth by Mises pretty much tackles this one. The gist of it says that no person contains perfect information about a future set of affairs or the desires of all people at any given time. Thus it is pointless to try and direct the allocation of resources by the perceptions of one or two people(or a committee.) Regardless, those people aren't just beginning to assert themselves, it's been happening for generations.
On another note, I've read enough of your comments to know that your thinking (and expression of it) is couched in uncertain terms. I find the generally negative tone to be the most comprehensible thing that you express; and while I appreciate your effort in trying to convey your concepts, I find them to be mostly unintelligible, making it very difficult to know how to respond to your statements. It makes me wonder why you peruse this website if only to offer confusing vitriol.
Posted by taxesbyanyothername on 01/29/13 04:20 PM
Very few want to see. It upsets their entire world view. The brain-washing is life long and comprehensive.
Posted by IndyLyn on 01/29/13 04:16 PM
Why on earth is this so clear to me and so muddled to so many others? It is quite frustrating!!!
Posted by nithsdale on 01/29/13 03:49 PM
Caruana is responding to the fact that the Fed is repaying US Treasuries, now coming due, with Fanny and Sally Mae "mortgages". "Land for dollars loaned" and Uncle Sam has more appeal than paying with dollars. Caruana is aware of the inflation in those land values in all the paper Fanny and Sally Mae took from the legislation induced real estate markets the Congress resorted to to cover its fiscal insanity of the past 70 years! This new "asset" to replace dollars has been bought in ever increasing billions each month since the Fed started this new procedure with a 50 billions transfer of one bad paper for another.
The fact that the Bank for International Settlements is complaining publicly means that international trade and business is not buying this sleight of hand. Thank God!
You "Austrians" are so divorced from the reality of business that you are losing your utility in the crisis that is almost upon us. Banks are a necessary annex to all trade and business. Not all are controled although all must answer to regulations installed by governments like ours, with the consent of the idiots who do not follow facts but love wine and circuses!
Business and trade depend upon a certain inflation of value to profit but when they see all the profits being grabbed by governments, they begin to wrest themselves from that reptile's coils. They begin by growing their coalition, by hints in the business press. You should realize this, especially when it comes from Malaya!
Things look dark now so business is pumping up its reserves to weather what is coming. They add to their ranks daily and there are a few banks with them. That will grow too since the Fed has grossly destroyed any credibility it had and the givernment it supports daily makes itself more culpable.
There are still people who know what is going on, what should be going on and they are beginning to assert themselves.
You Austrian economists should be siding with them.
Posted by 1776 on 01/29/13 03:07 PM
US debt headed toward 200 percent of GDP even after 'fiscal cliff' deal By Vicki Needham - 01/29/13
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