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Showing posts with label Bloomberg. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bloomberg. Show all posts

Yuan Crashes After Trump Weighs Blocking Retirement Fund Access To Chinese Stocks As War Of Words Escalates


Having tumbled yesterday on the first set of headlines reporting on the Trump administration's plans to seek 'COVID reparations' amid accusations of Chinese 'meddling' in the US election (obviously not in favor of Trump), the Chinese yuan legged dramatically lower in this evening's illiquid session which sees most of Asia closed for May Day, after Bloomberg reports that Trump is exploring blocking a government retirement fund from investing in Chinese equities considered a national security risk.

Trump made his initial threats from the Rose Garden at the White House Monday after he was pressed by a reporter over a German newspaper report suggesting that China should be issued a $160 billion invoice for the impact on Europe's economy.

The president responded he had a "much easier" idea:
"We have ways of doing things a lot easier than that," Trump told the coronavirus press briefing. "Germany’s looking at things, and we’re looking at things, and we’re talking about a lot more money than Germany’s talking about."
"We haven’t determined the final amount yet. It’s very substantial," Trump added, suggesting it would be significantly more than the $160 billion floated in German media.
Asked whether he was considering the use of tariffs or even a debt write-offs for China (something which Larry Kudlow vehemently rejected earlier on Thursday), Trump would not offer specifics.
“There are many things I can do,” he said. “We’re looking for what happened.”
Since then various plans have been proposed, but Trump escalated the war of words further, during an Oval Office interview with Reuters  published Wednesday night,  saying that he thinks that China is determined to see him lose the November election based on Beijing’s response to the coronavirus, and that he is considering various ways to punish the Chinese government which he he again blamed for allowing the virus to spread across the world.
"China will do anything they can to have me lose this race," Trump said in the interview and said he was looking at different options in terms of consequences for Beijing over the virus. “I can do a lot,” he said.
Which was quickly followed by denials from Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang, saying that China has no interest in interfering in internal U.S. affairs (unless of course that 'affair' involves investigating the origin of COVID-19). China hopes some people in U.S. won’t drag country into its internal processes, Geng said.

And tonight, Bloomberg reports that, after months of pressure from concerned lawmakers, according to a person familiar with the internal deliberations, the Trump admin is planning an executive order to block a 2017 decision that The Thrift Savings Plan, the federal government’s retirement savings fund, would transfer a massive $50 billion to an international fund which would mirror the MSCI All-Country World Index.

The issue being China's addition to the index, and thus the fund being forced to allocate significant capital to the Chinese stock markets, at a time when the gloves between the two nations are clearly off.

Needless to say, the optics of the US halting capital from entering China would be staggering and could result in a reversion of China-bound capital flows across all Western countries until the current war of words between Trump and Xi rages. The only problem is that, as we noted yesterday, this particular war of words could last a long time, since there is no longer any impetus to kiss and make up, and if anything, Trump will only escalate the anti-China sentiment into the election (and after), to keep pounding that the collapse resulting from the coronavirus pandemic is not his fault, but rather's Beijing, even as China pursues a mirror image approach, blaming the US for launching the pandemic.
The most obvious market reaction for now is in Offshore Yuan which has collapsed in the last two days, extending losses tonight...


Source: Bloomberg

Bloomberg reports that Senator Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican, applauded reports of the move in a statement Thursday.
“It’s outrageous that five unelected bureaucrats appointed by the previous administration have ignored bipartisan calls from Congress to reverse this short-sighted decision, and I applaud President Trump for directing his administration to take swift action preventing this from going forward,” he said.
We would expect China to be furious at this discussion and wonder what they will do to stall this move - one suggestion, given the weakness in US equity futures overnight, is to push volatility back into US markets - to shake the faith in the dramatic market rebound (that The Fed enabled).

Source: https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/yuan-crashes-after-trump-weighs-blocking-retirement-fund-access-chinese-stocks-war-words
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Kazakhstan ends bank bailouts, writes off people's debts instead

Jon Hellevig: "Instead of bailing out banks and oligarchs, Kazakhstan will write off loans of the poor. This has been announced by new Kazakh president Kassym-Jomart Tokayev. There’s an unexpected corner of the world from where sound and fair financial policies emanate!

Doing this President Tokayev is actually reviving an ancient traditions of cancelling debts when a new ruler took over going back to Hammurabi, the Sumerians and other Near Eastern rulers. Michael Hudson has written a book called “And Forgive their Debts” depicting this story from Babylonia and to other Bronze Age Near Eastern realms.

Hudson tells that this concept of starting from a clean slate was also at the center of the Old and New Testaments, in the form of the Jubilee Year. Jesus actually said: “Forgive them their debts,” but it was converted by the Church to mean something vague in the form of: “Forgive them their sins.” Actually meaning, just pay up, and we’ll deal with the debts at the final judgement once you kick the bucket.

Forgiving of debts was also in ancient Greece and Rome an important policy goal in the fight against the oligarchs. Should become again."







Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said the debt relief would cost less than $1bn [Pavel Golovkin/Pool/Reuters]
Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said the debt relief would cost less than $1bn [Pavel Golovkin/Pool/Reuters]

Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said he'll write off bad loans held by a sixth of the central Asian country's population, while signaling a sharp change in policy to end costly state bailouts of private banks.

The loan-forgiveness program is Tokayev's first major policy announcement since he was elected president on June 9 in a choreographed transfer of power that began when longtime leader Nursultan Nazarbayev stepped down as head of state in March. His victory was met with rare and widespread protests.

Bank bailouts are also a sensitive issue in Kazakhstan, which has been mired in a decade-long crisis in which the government has pumped at least $18 billion into lenders to keep the sector from collapsing under the weight of bad debts. The central bank is conducting a review of asset quality, prompting speculation that a new round of bailouts may be in the works.

"My attitude is that there should be no governmental bailouts" for lenders, Tokayev, 66, said in an interview Tuesday in the capital, Nur-Sultan. "My assessment of this issue as a president is that the government should not get involved any more, any longer, with its loans as far as private banks are concerned."

Debt relief

While the debt-relief initiative may help lenders, the total cost is likely to come in at "a bit less than $1 billion," according to Tokayev. More than 3 million Kazakhs in the energy-rich country of 18 million will get help to escape debts averaging 300,000 tenge ($790), he said. It is aimed at "people who find themselves in very difficult living circumstances," he said.

About 4,000 people were detained by police during a rare outburst of protests against what activists said was a lack of real choice in the recent vote, which Tokayev won easily with 71% support. Leader-for-life Nazarbayev, 78, handed the presidency to Tokayev in March, who called the early election "to remove any uncertainty." International observers criticized the conduct of the vote.
The new president's debt forgiveness program is similar to a controversial policy unveiled by Georgia's ruling party, which announced the write-off of loans for 600,000 people days before a hotly-contested presidential election won by its candidate in November. "We are not following the example of Georgia, this is a different case" focused on the poorest citizens, Tokayev said.

Nazarbayev berated ministers as "cowards" in January for failing to clean up the banking system, shortly before he dismissed the government and replaced the central bank governor. Yet the biggest bank rescues have involved people close to the former president's inner circle.

While Tokayev denied that political connections played a role in past bailouts, "the lesson has been accepted by us," he said. "We will take lessons from the past, from what has happened in the banking system, and I think that in a couple of years you'll have absolutely new questions."
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