News

Has “Global Liquidity” Peaked?

Here's a headline and excerpt from a May 20 Reuters article:

Analysis: Global liquidity is shrinking and that's no bad thing

After a year of record-breaking cash injections, the world's big central banks are starting to ease off the stimulus pedal, forcing economies and financial markets to practise walking on their own again.

Not everyone is dismayed at the prospect. Since March 2020, central banks and governments have flooded markets with some $27 trillion - a third of global gross domestic product, consultancy CrossBorder Capital estimates.

Since then, world stocks have surged 85%, economic growth is rebounding from last year's pandemic-inflicted devastation, and inflation expectations are rising. Continuing to pump out cash at last year's pace would do more harm than good, some economists argue.

Still, cheap cash remains plentiful. At the end of March, 82% of central banks were running loose monetary policies, CrossBorder estimates, though that is down from 88% in January.

Relatedly, Elliott Wave International's May Global Market Perspective showed this chart and said:

PeakLiquidity

The ECB's money pump is flooding the economy with liquidity. Just last month, the central bank added 12 new securities to its Corporate Sector Purchase Program (CSPP) and its Pandemic Emergency Purchase Program (PEPP). And as of January 2021, the PEPP held €22.3 billion of corporate bonds and €16.6 billion of commercial paper. The chart above provides a good view of the money gusher. After rising in five waves since 2011, excess liquidity at the ECB pushed to more than $3.6 trillion last month, a new all-time high and nearly double its pre-pandemic level. Excess liquidity essentially shows the money that is available in the eurozone banking system that exceeds the actual requirements of euro area banks. Before the 2008 financial crisis, the ECB satisfied liquidity needs euro for euro, which created competition for interbank funds. In October 2008, however, central bankers established a system of "full allotment," which permits banks to borrow as much money as their collateral will allow. The ECB ended competition for funds, because they believed it would drive interest rates higher and impede the economic recovery. But central banks do not actually control interest rates or economic trends; social mood does. It's why eurozone economies continue to limp along despite the liquidity.