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Abstract

MONEY MOST HATED IMAGE1 Most of the world's major central banks are resting on their oars (not the Bank of Bernanke; see the table to the right). Indeed, one of these institutions is rowing backwards. Over the past three months, the assets of the European Central Bank have shrunk at an annual rate of 27.6%. On Tuesday, the People's Bank of China pulled 30 billion renminbi ($4.8 billion) out of the Chinese money markets via repurchase operations, reversing seven consecutive months of injections. Also on Tuesday, perhaps not coincidentally, Chinese property stocks suffered their steepest plunge in six months on worries of a regulatory crackdown. It will take some cracking, we conclude after reading a South China Morning Post dispatch about trust-company financing on the mainland. "Many companies are queuing up to get financing from us," the story quotes a trust-company officer in Beijing as saying. "We have no time to look into the projects for which they are raising funds. As long as they have land or property as collateral, we give them the money." Probably, the banker meant "lend." Just now investors seem willing to bet that the lull in money printing is temporary. The incoming governors at the BoJ (yet unknown) and the BoE (Mark Carney) will be even more dovish than those outgoing, the reasoning apparently goes. The yen is now the most shorted currency in the world, according to Tuesday's Financial Times, followed by sterling. Gold must figure in the most-hated list, too. On Friday, ...

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