Saturday, November 17, 2012

Kyle Bass: "We believe that war is an inevitable consequence of the current global economic situation."

As I know only too well, having some competence in finance or economics does not necessarily make you an expert in anything else. However, Mr. Bass is worth reading, even if you end up disagreeing with one point or the other.
From ZeroHedge:
Below are some of the key highlights from Kyle Bass' latest, and as usual, must read letter:

On central banks and the final round of global monetary debasement:

Central bankers are feverishly attempting to create their own new world: a utopia in which debts are never restructured, and there are no consequences for fiscal profligacy, i.e. no atonement for prior sins. They have created Potemkin villages on a Jurassic scale. The sum total of the volatility they are attempting to suppress will be less than the eventual volatility encountered when their schemes stop working. Most refer to comments like this as heresy against the orthodoxy of economic thought. We have a hard time understanding how the current situation ends any way other than a massive loss of wealth and purchasing power through default, inflation or both.

In the Keynesian bible (The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money), there is a very interesting tidbit of Keynes’ conscience in the last chapter titled “Concluding Notes” from page 376:
[I]t would mean the euthanasia of the rentier, and, consequently, the euthanasia of the cumulative oppressive power of the capitalist to exploit the scarcity value of capital. Interest today rewards no genuine sacrifice, any more than does the rent of land. The owner of capital can obtain interest because capital is scarce, just as the owner of land can obtain rent because land is scarce. But whilst there may be intrinsic reasons for the scarcity of land, there are no intrinsic reasons for the scarcity of capital.
. . .
Thus we might aim in practice (there being nothing in this which is unattainable) at an increase in capital until it ceases to be scarce, so that the functionless investor will no longer receive a bonus[.] (emphasis added)
This is nothing more than a chilling prescription for the destruction of wealth through the dilution of capital by monetary authorities.

Central banks have become the great enablers of fiscal profligacy. They have removed the proverbial policemen from the bond market highway. If central banks purchase the entirety of incremental bond issuance used to finance fiscal deficits, the checks and balances of “normal” market interest rates are obscured or even eliminated altogether. This market phenomenon does nothing to encourage the body politic to take their foot off the spending accelerator. It is both our primary fear and unfortunately our prediction that this quixotic path of spending and printing will continue ad?infinitum until real cost?push inflation manifests itself. We won’t get into the MV=PQ argument here as the reality of the situation is the fact that the V is the “solve?for” variable, which is at best a concurrent or lagging indicator. Given the enormity of the existing government debt stock, it will not be possible to control the very inflation that the market is currently hoping for. As each 100 basis points in cost of capital costs the US federal government over $150 billion, the US simply cannot afford for another Paul Volcker to raise rates and contain inflation once it begin....MUCH MORE