Central banks have been around for a long time, but they have clearly evolved as economies and governments have changed. Most countries today operate under a fiat money regime, in which a nation’s currency has value because the government says it does.
For me, one of the most ironic aspects of the Edward Snowden spy scandal is watching the reaction of foreign governments to it.
Investors are focused on the possible tapering of U.S. stimulus and starting to take some money off the table after a strong equities rally year-to-date. Less attention is being paid to the biggest source of risk at present: deflation in the developed world.
A look at the energy markets shows that the prices of the US benchmark oil (WTI) and the international or European benchmark oil (Brent) have been falling since the middle of August 2013.
Gold was trading near four month lows today after its biggest drop in seven weeks yesterday. Another bout of peculiar concentrated selling led to Comex halting trading in December gold futures twice yesterday, the fourth time in less than 3 months.
The most famous law of economics that everyone learns in Econ 101 is the law of supply and demand. Essentially, if there are more buyers than sellers then prices will go up until equilibrium is reached. Conversely, if there are more sellers than buyers prices will decline. The stock market is no different.
This year, longtime bear and well-known economic forecaster, Gary Shilling, recently made a splash in the financial community by turning positive on the U.S. economy and dollar. Given the lingering amount of pessimism by many investors after two major stock market crashes and the fear of another repeat event, there’s at least one thing that Shilling makes clear that investors SHOULDN’T be worried about happening anytime soon: a collapse of the U.S. dollar.