- Albert Edwards: “This is the Start of Something Big, Something Ugly! Prepare For Sub-1% Treasury Yields And Another Financial Crisis!”
by Tyler Durden, www.zerohedge.com
Make no mistake, warns SocGen’s Albert Edwards, this is the start of something big, something ugly. For while the west has been heaving a sigh of relief over the past few months that deflation pressures have abated somewhat – especially at the core level – we have been emphasising that deflation has only been intensifying in Asia and that like any puss-filled boil, this deflationary pressure would soon need to be lanced…
We have long believed that we are only one misstep from outright deflation in the west with core inflation in both the US and eurozone at just 1%. We expect the acceleration of EM devaluations to send waves of deflation to the west to overwhelm already struggling corporate profitability and take us back into outright recession. As investors realise yet another recession beckons, without any normalisation of either interest rates or fiscal imbalances in this cycle, expect a financial market rout every bit as large as 2008.
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Aside from the relentlessly weak economic and inflation data out of China in recent months (notwithstanding the surge in pork prices),the one thing that has changed dramatically over the last 18 months is China’s huge swing into a Balance of Payments deficit. This has exerted chronic downward pressure on the renminbi, forcing the Peoples Bank of China (PBoC) to start selling its vast foreign exchange reserves to prop up the beleaguered currency (FX reserves have slid $300bn over the last four quarters). Now, though it was only a little over two months ago the IMF declared the renminbi to be no longer undervalued, many of us felt the situation had gone far beyond that stage and that indeed, the currency was substantially overvalued, especially with the rest of Asia devaluing alongside the Japanese yen. The most shocking illustration of China’s loss of competitiveness in recent years is the 50% surge in its Real Effective Exchange Rate (REER) against the US (see chart below).