Is there no end to liquidity?

Central banks have flooded financial markets with liquidity since 2008.

But not all central banks and banks implemented QE policies immediately. UK and US led QE activities because their economies were heavily dependent on financial system.

The initiate intention is to stabilize financial markets and provide liquidity so banks will not fail. But I thought the priority was to support aggregate demand.

This causes some divergence between monetary policy and fiscal policy. In the United States, they deployed aggressive monetary policy action to support sustainable growth and to minimize financial market instability. The divergence arises from various government’s claim to reform tax for corporates, infrastructure spending and investment plans. This causes a disjoint between monetary and fiscal policy.

This leads to credit market explosion. In US, Fed’s balance sheet is now close to 25% of GDP. The case of Japan is even more unimaginable. Credit markets have doubled over the past 10 years. This is a rational response to liquidity and low rates.

The chart above shows that the structure of bond markets has changed. Bonds are now increasingly held by mutual funds and other types of funds. This means less market making. This also means most funds have now acclimatized to high liquidity situations.

The key concern is the impact on these investors when rates eventually increase?

Will they systematically face more volatility? Will there be sufficient liquidity to unwind? Aggressive monetary policies can create asset bubbles. This is especially so in equity and credit markets.

Based on basic Keynesian models, the governments of the world should support policies that increase aggregate demand. An example is investing in infrastructure projects that will increase spending. I am worried if the only plan is to continue increasing liquidity.

Today, I closed down my online tailoring site at

About 6 years ago, I had the idea that we could simplify the process of tailoring from measurements to designing. I found the best tailor in Malaysia and put together a website for this purpose. Users could see the design their shirt and see a prototype on screen. They could measure themselves. I provided a guide.

Growth was always weak. The site was built on PHP and JQuery. Making changes on the site was difficult. I understand code, but I am not a professional developer. After paying for development and all expenses, it became tougher to break even.

It was tough to trade off margins for growth. These were some practical challenges and I intend for this post to record some of these.

First, it was difficult to keep track of the fabric that was still in stock. The tailor would run out of fabric from time to time and I had to switch fabric pictures. It created a lot of pain for customers each time I email them to inform them ofstock outs.

Second, after considering logistics costs, the margins were too thin. We often underestimate cross border (Singapore-Malaysia) logistics costs. Customers don’t always see this.

Third, I was bad at marketing our services. I paid Facebook dollars, ran twitter and all major social media accounts. I spoke to friends. The highest conversation was word of mouth.

I had emotional moments when I was frustrated with coding issues and software problems. I reminded myself that I was a minimalist. I turned this pipe of problems off today. It was always painful to kill a project. Dealing with sunk cost mentality was painful. 

Today, I channel the time and effort saved on this project to getting better rest and to other ideas.