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Helicopter Money Predictions Are Still Flying High in Japan

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Yen surges to 18 months high against the dollar

Speculation of helicopter money refuses to die in Japan, despite repeated denials by Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda.

From Japan-based economists to global investors including Templeton Emerging Markets Group Executive Chairman Mark Mobius, there’s a reluctance to rule out the controversial policy coming as soon as next month amid the monetary authority’s struggles to stoke growth and inflation. Kuroda has said at least four times since April that helicopter money is not under consideration, and is prohibited by current law. He repeated over the weekend that there remains “ample space for additional easing” under the existing policy framework.

“It’s unthinkable that nothing would happen in September,” said Daiju Aoki, an economist at UBS Group AG in Tokyo. “The most likely measure would be pseudo-helicopter money where the BOJ will commit to holding Japanese government bonds for a long time.”

UBS is in good company. Mobius also said last week that direct financing of government spending could be imminent, while Aberdeen Asset Management said Japan is the most likely location for such an initiative. Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s head of global rates and currencies research David Woo said on Bloomberg Television this month that helicopter money is probably the only option left on the table.

The introduction of a negative deposit rate this year sent benchmark government bond yields tumbling to a record low of minus 0.3 percent last month. They have since retraced more than two thirds of that — and the policy failed to weaken the yen for more than a day. The 10-year sovereign yield was at minus 0.075 percent on Wednesday in Tokyo.

Talk of the BOJ needing to change tack has grown since Kuroda announced a comprehensive review of current measures for the Sept. 20-21 policy meeting, with a gauge of inflation expectations less than a sixth of the way to the 2 percent target. While Kuroda’s most recent comments underline his stance that the review won’t mean any reduction in stimulus, doubts have grown about the policy’s sustainability.

Helicopter money, a kind of last resort in unconventional monetary policy, comes in several forms. The most simple is printing money and giving it to the public in the hope they’ll spend it: equivalent to dumping cash from choppers in the air. Others include putting money directly into the hands of companies or financing state spending by having the BOJ buy bonds straight from the government.

Speculation about the policy peaked in July after a visit to Tokyo by former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke during which he met separately with Kuroda and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. He floated the idea of selling perpetual bonds directly to the central bank during discussions in Washington with one of Abe’s key advisers in April.

While Kuroda reiterated last month at a Group-of-20 meeting in Chengdu, China that helicopter money is not an option, he has changed course without warning before. He announced a negative interest rate policy in January after ruling it out the previous month.

“Given Abe’s popularity, he’s in a pretty good position to change the law if he wanted to,” Michael Moen, a Sydney-based investment manager at Aberdeen Asset Management, said in a phone interview last week. “If you were going to pick a central bank around the world and a government that was going to use helicopter money, I think Japan is clearly at the top of that list.”

While Moen doesn’t expect to hear the whirl of chopper blades anytime soon, Templeton’s Mobius suggests it could come next month.

BOJ Ammunition

“They’re really beginning to think what ammunition they have,” he said during a visit to Tokyo last week. “The first reaction is to say, OK, let’s go for helicopter money, let’s get money directly into the hands of consumers.”

Quantitative easing is also showing signs of approaching its limit as banks run out of securities to sell.

“It’s an extremely dangerous game the market is playing, but speculation of helicopter money will never go away completely,” said Masamichi Adachi, a senior economist at JPMorgan Chase & Co. in Tokyo. “Japan needs to think now about how it would use the policy, before the time comes when it might have to deploy it.”

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Naira

CBN Will Redesign Naira Notes Every Five to Eight Years; Say Emefiele

The central bank will henceforth redesign the nation’s legal tender every five to eight years

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New Naira Notes

Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele has said the bank will henceforth redesign the nation’s legal tender every five to eight years.

The apex bank governor revealed at the unveiling of the new naira notes on Tuesday. 

Godwin Emefiele explained that the naira redesign is in line with global best practice noting that the naira needed to be redesigned and re-issued every five to eight years.

According to the CBN governor, previous administrations lacked the political will to approve the redesign of the naira notes. Stating that it is regrettable that the naira has not been redesigned for the past 19 years. 

“In the past, I have to confess that attempts by the CBN to redesign and re-issue the naira notes have been resisted. It is only President Muhammadu Buhari that has exhibited the courage to do so,” the CBN governor stated. 

Emefiele added that going forward, naira notes will be redesigned at intervals to address some peculiar issues. 

 “After today, the CBN will begin to redesign and reissue the naira every five to eight years,” he said. 

Investors King had earlier reported that President Muhammadu Buhari unveiled the redesigned naira notes at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting today. 

Among those who joined the president with the unveiling include the CBN governor and the EFCC chairman.

Recall, in October, the CBN announced it will redesign the N200, N500 and N1,000 notes in line with its mandate.

Meanwhile, the CBN governor has disclosed that the new naira notes can not be counterfeited because of the features embedded in them. 

Similarly, he added that security agencies would be monitoring people making withdrawals at the counter to sniff out money laundering and unravel illegal usage. 

“The CBN has moved to a cashless economy. We will restrain the volume of cash someone will withdraw over the counter. We will follow up with the person’s data to know the reason for such withdrawal,” he concluded.

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Naira

President Buhari Unveils New Redesigned Naira Notes, See Pictures

Buhari launched the new naira notes as the CBN forges ahead with redesign plans.

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New Naira Notes

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday unveiled the new redesigned Naira notes at the State House in Abuja following a series of sensitisation to ensure that Nigerians are aware of the deadline for the old notes.

New Naira Notes

Godwin Emefiele, the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, who was also present at the launching explained that the redesigned notes would help curb counterfeit, reduce hoarding and support the apex bank’s cashless policy.

Earlier in October, the central bank announced it was redesigning the N200, N500 and N1,000 notes in line with its mandate. The apex bank further stated that the newly redesigned notes would be available on December 15, 2022.

However, Emefiele later announced the central bank won’t wait until December 15th before unveiling the new notes on November 2023.

He said, “100 days is enough for any person from any part of Nigeria to deposit his money in the bank and get his money when the new notes are released.

“For information, indeed, we are no longer waiting till December 15th to unveil and begin to release the new notes.

“By the special grace of God, tomorrow, which is the 23rd of November 2022, the President has graciously accepted to unveil the new currencies and the new currencies will be unveiled tomorrow at the Federal Executive Chamber by 10am.”

New Naira notes

Meanwhile, the central bank-led monetary policy committee raised interest rates by another 100 basis points from 15.5% to 16.5%. Bringing the total increase in 2022 to 500 basis points despite the challenges Nigerians are facing amid weak job creation and poor earnings.

The committee claimed the decision was based on the rising inflation rate that rose to 21.09% in October. However, given Nigeria’s economic structure and current situation, the persistent increase was mainly to lure foreign investors to invest in the economy against the developed economies that are equally raising rates to curb escalating inflation.

 

New Naira notes

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Naira

President Buhari to Launch New Naira Notes Today

CBN says Buhari is expected to introduce redesigned naira notes to the public today at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting in Abuja.

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President Buhari - Investors King

Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari is expected to launch the redesigned naira notes today at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting in Abuja.

The launch will precede the circulation of the affected currency which is billed for December 15, 2022. The FEC meeting is a weekly (Wednesday) meeting of the executive arm of government often presided over by the President or the Vice President.

The Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele disclosed on the sidelines of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting held in Abuja on Tuesday, that the new naira notes will be displayed for public view on Wednesday. 

Therefore, the governor added that the CBN will not shift its deadline for all old notes to be returned to commercial banks in exchange for newly designed ones.

Investors King recalls that in October 2022, the central bank announced it will issue redesigned N200, N500, and N1,000 notes, effective December 15, 2022, while the new and existing currencies will remain legal tender and circulate together until January 31, 2023.

However, in a sudden change of schedule, the CBN governor noted that the unveiling will be done by the president today stating that the bank will no longer wait till December 15th to unveil and begin to release the new notes.

” By the special grace of God, tomorrow, (today) which is the 23rd of November 2022, the President has graciously accepted to unveil the new currencies and the new currencies will be unveiled tomorrow at the Federal Executive Chamber by 10am.” Emefiele started.

Meanwhile, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) which is the highest decision-making body for any issues related to Nigerian monetary policy has hiked the interest rates from 15.5 percent to 16.5 percent. 

According to CBN, the hike in interest rate is to curtain inflation and maintain economic stability. 

Speaking at the end of a two-day Monetary Policy Committee meeting yesterday, the CBN governor noted that the MPC voted to retain the cash reserve ratio at 32.5 percent and the liquidity ratio at 30 percent.

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