Monday, August 15, 2011

Daily "Everything Is Screwy" Reminder

. Monday, August 15, 2011

The Swiss government wants people to stop using the Swiss franc:

Yes, you read that right: if you want to lend Swiss francs or make a deposit in the next year, you must pay for that privilege, or so the Libor market implies. The normal assumptions of finance have been turned upside down; call it Alice in Wonderland economics. ...

What makes the Swiss situation so remarkable, however, is that it affects not just ultra-short rates. On Friday, futures markets predicted negative rates until 2013 (and minus 8 basis points next summer). This is unprecedented.

There is a huge surplus of demand for safe assets over supply. The Swiss government is not able or not willing to supply any more francs without getting something for it, because currency appreciation is killing their exporters and driving imbalances that could be painful to unwind. So maybe, just maybe, a much larger country with a much greater ability and capacity for the production of safe, liquid assets should do more to stabilize the international financial system.

In other words, the US should be much more in debt than it is.

ht: TC


Daily "Everything Is Screwy" Reminder




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