Over the weekend, former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke took a trip to Japan to speak with Prime Minister Shnizo Abe and central bank head Haruhiko Kuroda about the next phase of monetary policy which appears to entail the printing and giving of money directly to the Japanese people.
Known in economics as 'helicopter money' after Ben Bernanke's speech where he promised to do anything possible to keep the economy going, the Bank of Japan has reached the point where they have little to lose than to expand their money supply to infinite levels and give people direct cash to try to stimulate a 30 year recession.
When we first heard this past Thursday that private blogger and Citadel employee Ben Bernanke was going to "secretly" meet with both the BOJ's Haruhiko Kuroda and Japan PM Abe, we warned readers that "something big was coming." As noted late last week, "Bernanke will be in Japan next week. It has been arranged for him to meet officials including Abe and Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda, according to a government official speaking on condition of anonymity. Bernanke is expected to discuss Brexit and the BOJ's negative interest rate policy with Abe and Kuroda, the official said." Reuters also added that "some market players speculate Kuroda might decide, in a surprise, to provide "helicopter money." We concluded as follows: So is it time? Is Bernanke about to unleash the next, and final, monetary policy evolutionary step, one which launches "helicopter money" in Japan, and if successful, brings it across the Pacific to the US? We don't know, but if anyone is still holding on to USDJPY shorts, now may be a good time to quietly close them out because if Reuters is right, and a "helicopter money" is about to be served for the first time in modern history, things are about to get very volatile, very fast. - Zerohedge
In response to this new insane monetary policy and the fact that saving in Japan is impossible under negative interest rates, the Japanese people are buying gold in droves, and realizing that the precious metal is the only way they will protect their wealth and save what little they have left before it becomes devalued into oblivion.
While in past decades, the natural instinct of Japanese savers when faced with financial uncertainty has been to rush into the "safety" of cash (after all why allocate funds to government bonds that yield almost, or less, than nothing) as we recently showed in Safes Sell Out In Japan and Demand For Big Bills Soars As Japan Stuffs Safes With 10,000-Yen Notes, now something has changed. That something is increasing loss of faith in Japan's currency. Take the case of Tetsushi Kudo, a 50-year-old office worker, who as Bloomberg writes, bought a one-ounce gold coin this month for the first time. With stocks slumping and zero percent interest on savings, he says it won’t be the last. "I want to buy gold every year as a birthday present for my daughter,” Kudo said at a store in Tokyo’s posh Ginza district where he made the 162,000 yen ($1,600) purchase. “She will thank me for the gift when she grows up because gold will have value wherever she goes.” Individual investors like Kudo drove a 60% jump in sales of the precious metal in June from May at Tanaka Holdings Co., the operator of Japan’s largest bullion retailer, as the yen’s rebound against the dollar made it more affordable. Why the surge into gold? Because far behind the glitzy facade of Abenomics, which is really just the BOJ intervening daily in the USDJPY via trust banks, and manipulating the Nikkei to give the impression that all is well, the people have checked out.