Monday, April 6, 2009

Swiss slide into deflation signals the next chapter of this global crisis

Here are some of our past links to Ambrose Evans-Pritchard:
Feb. 16: "Creditanstalt Redux?: Failure to save East Europe will lead to worldwide meltdown"
I've been feeling far too chipper so I decided to check in with Ambrose Evans-Pritchard. Yikes.
Jan. 30: "Ambrose Evans-Pritchard is SERIOUSLY ALARMED"
Dec. 30: "Metal prices fall further than during Great Depression"
A visit from our terminally depressed pal*, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard.
From The Telegraph:

Watch Switzerland closely. It is tipping into deflation, the first Western country to succumb to Japan's disease.

Swiss consumer prices fell 0.4pc in March (year-on-year). Swiss CPI will be minus 1pc at least by July, nearing the level where spending psychology changes. By the time you have a self-feeding spiral, it is too late.

"This is something that we must prevent at all costs. The current situation is extraordinarily serious," said Philipp Hildebrand, a governor of the Swiss National Bank.

The SNB is not easily spooked. It is the world's benchmark bank, the keeper of the monetary flame. Yet even the SNB's hard men have thrown away the rule book, taking emergency action to force down the exchange rate of the Swiss franc.

Here lies the danger. If other countries try to export deflation by this means, we will face a second phase of the global crisis. Taiwan is already devaluing. Korea, Singapore, and Sweden all seem tempted to follow. Japan is chomping at the bit.

"We don't fully realise in the West what a catastrophic collapse Japan has suffered," says Albert Edwards, global strategist at Société Générale. "The West has dumped a large part of its economic downturn onto Japan by devaluing against the yen.">>>MUCH MORE

See also: "You can't trust the Swiss, that's the bottom line,"