Mar 01

SKY NETsky-net

- Self-Aware? World’s Largest Hedge Fund Shifts Strategy To Artificial Intelligence (ZeroHedge, Feb 28, 2015):

Despite warnings from the likes of Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking (and of course, Sarah Connor), Ray Dalio’s $165 billion AUM hedge fund Bridgewater will start a new, artificial-intelligence unit next month. Despite the “new normal”‘s total reversal of any and every historical rational trading pattern, the unit will attempt to create trading algorithms that make predictions based on historical data and statistical probabilities, as “machine learning is the new wave of investing for the next 20 years and the smart players are focusing on it.” Does this mean the talking heads of CNBC, with their ‘memes’, ‘myths’, and ‘mumbling’ rationales for it always being a good time to buy are now obsolete? Or did the market just become self-aware?

As Bloomberg reports, The world’s largest hedge fund manager is banking on machines… Continue reading »

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Mar 01

What could possibly go wrong?


- Here Is The Reason Why Stocks Just Had Their Best Month Since October 2011 (ZeroHedge, Feb 28, 2015):

Despite ending the month with a whimper, after Fed vice-chairman’s hawkish words spooked the market on Friday afternoon, February was the best month for equities in over three years - since October of 2011 – driven by a 7% Nasdaq surge on the back of a gigantic move higher in Apple. And yet, as we have shown time and again, none of this reflects the “decoupling” US underlying economy, which if anything has rapidly recoupled with the rest of the world following 38 data “misses” and only 6 “beats”- the worst “surprise” index in 12 months… Continue reading »

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Mar 01

- China Cuts Interest Rates, Takes Number Of Central Banks Easing In 2015 To 21 (ZeroHedge, Feb 28, 2015):

And then there were 21. Hours ago on Saturday, the country whose currency is largely pegged to the dollar which itself is now anticipating a rate hike in the coming months, surprised the world by confirming its economic slowdown yet again following a recent rate cut just this past November when it lowered its benchmark rate by 40 bps, after it again cut benchmark lending and deposit rates by 25 bps starting on March 1. Specifically, the PBOC will lower the one-year lending rate to 5.35% from 5.6% and its one-year deposit rate to 2.5% from 2.75%. It also said it would raise the maximum interest rate on bank deposits to 130% of the benchmark rate from 120%.

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Mar 01

- Spot The Birth Of High-Frequency Trading (ZeroHedge, Feb 28, 2015):

One of these things is not like the other… one of these things just doesn’t belong…

HFT

h/t @NanexLLC

Since the ‘enabling’ of high-freqnecy trading on US equity exchanges, instead of ‘stability’ or ‘liquidity’, the only word this chart screams at us is… ‘noise’.

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Mar 01

Raining-Money

- Why Does Maryland Have The Most Millionaires Per Capita? The Answer Might Make You Angry (Economic Collapse, Feb 24, 2015):

The fat cats in Washington D.C. are living the high life, and they are doing it at your expense.  Over the past decade, there has been one area of the country which has experienced a massive economic boom.  Thanks to wildly out of control government spending, the Washington D.C. region is absolutely swimming in cash.  In fact, at this point the state of Maryland has the most millionaires per capita in the entire nation and it isn’t even close.  If you have never lived there, it is hard to describe what the D.C. area is like.  Every weekday morning, hordes of lawyers, lobbyists and government bureaucrats descend upon D.C. from the surrounding suburbs.  And at the end of the day, the process goes in reverse.  Everyone is just trying to get their piece of the pie, and it is a pie that just keeps on growing as government salaries, government contracts and government giveaways just get larger and larger.  Of course our founders never intended for this to happen.  They wanted a very small and simple federal government.  Sadly, today we have the most bloated central government in the history of the planet and it gets worse with each passing year. Continue reading »

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Feb 28

bank-failure1

- Puerto Rico’s 3rd Largest Bank Fails (ZeroHedge, Feb 27, 2015):

Based on Bloomberg data, Doral Bank is the 3rd largest (by assets) bank in Puerto Rico…or rather was. After a 58% collapse in the share price today, news broke after the close:

*PUERTO RICO’S DORAL BANK PLACED UNDER FDIC RECEIVERSHIP, BANCO POPULAR AGREES TO BUY DORAL BANK OPERATIONS

It appears Non-Performing Loans were over 40%. Popular will take the deposits (and 8 of Doral’s 26 branches) and the FDIC eats the bad debt (estimates to cost the Deposit Insurance Fund (DIF) will be $748.9 million).

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Feb 28

H/t reader squodgy:

“This essay perfectly sums up the state of Western economies. It’s like those of us who are awake are all standing like deer in the truck headlights……

But the rest are sat quietly with their heads in the ground, they sense something’s wrong, but can’t handle it…”

… or …

…those who are awake saw the tsunami coming way before impact and have left the beach facing an uphill battle through the jungle of disinformation, but are moving into the right direction (which is more often than not an alone journey), up that mountain of knowledge and preparedness, while the rest is still enjoying their piña kool-aid-a until impact.

Totally unsustainable:

- Is This The Most Important Chart For The Future Of The World’s Reserve Currency?

- This Is The Biggest Problem Facing The World Today: 9 Countries Have Debt-To-GDP Over 300%

‘All in’ … for preparedness:

Food, water, survival gear, a remote farm, … aaand physical gold and silver to protect your financial assets.


PM

- All In…For Precious Metals! (Gold-Eagle, Feb 26, 2015):

Before getting to the topic of “all in for precious metals!”, I have a story for you which may be of interest. All the way back in 2002, I travelled out to Colorado Springs for the shareholder meeting of a very small and obscure royalty company named Golden Cycle Gold. While there, we did a tour of the Cripple Creek mine and its operations. The nearby town, Victor, looked nearly like a ghost town 30 miles off the beaten path. The only industry was the mining operation and a little bit of tourism. During my trip, I met a long time Director of the Golden Cycle Gold Company, “Frank,” he had a different view of economics than almost anyone I knew. He believed the U.S. was bankrupting the country with armaments manufacturing, just as did the old Soviet Union. Consequently, the U.S. would eventually meet the same economic fate during a currency collapse of the dollar, as had happened to the ruble… Continue reading »

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Feb 27

Luckily for investors the stock market has nothing to do with the economy, i.e. reality, anymore, …

… until it does (= when Rothschild will press the sell button).


greenspan-cfr

- Greenspan: “The Stock Market Is Great”, But The Economy Feels Like In “The Late Stages Of The Great Depression” (ZeroHedge, Feb 26, 2015):

While conflicting economic data leaves hope for both buills and bears, Alan Greenspan warns that, unlike Yellen, “US economic growth is not strong.” He then slays another pillar – suggesting the exuberant job growth is anything but (as he focuses on weak productivity as he pinpoints entitlements as “crowding out capital investment” in America. The maestro then breaks the golden rule of central bankers and explains how The Fed was, in fact, the main driver of the P/E multiple expansion in stocks; and when asked if this ends as badly as last time? He concludes “It depends…When real interest rates start to move up, that’s when the crisis could hit.” The interview is somewhat stunning in its honesty (for a central banker) as he warns global “effective demand is extraordinarily weak – tantamount to the late stages of the great depression.”

Some other excerpts… Continue reading »

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Feb 27

No need to show this Warren Buffett …

warren-buffett-arnold-schwarzenegger-jacob-rothschild
Buffett, Schwarzenegger, Rothschild


- Infographic: Someone please show this to Warren Buffett (Gold vs. the Financial System) (Sovereign Man, Feb 26, 2015):

Warren Buffett once famously chided that all the gold in the world would form a cube of 67 feet (20 meters) on each side.

In doing so, he was attempting to argue that there was no point in owning gold since all the gold in the world would be an unproductive, useless hunk of metal.

What’s ironic (and completely lost on the venerable Mr. Buffett) is that you could make the same argument about the paper-based financial system.

It’s estimated that the derivatives market now exceeds $1 QUADRILLION (15 zeros) in notional value. If you were to somehow accumulate and stack up $1 quadrillion, the pile would be thousands of feet high and hundreds of yards long… much bigger than the cube of gold. Continue reading »

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Feb 27

Is This The Most Important Chart For The Future Of The World’s Reserve Currency? (ZeroHedge, Feb 25, 2015):

When it comes to the future of the dollar status as the world’s reserve currency, the most important chart may be the fact that the US is now so woefully buried in debt that another global military conflict appears inevitable…

US debt

… or that it now takes virtually unlimited monetization of the debt shown above to preserve the illusion that the US is not bankrupt, pushing the S&P to record highs in the process…

fed monetary base

… or that the marginal impact of every additional dollar in new debt generates increasingly less economic growth? Continue reading »

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Feb 27

Great-Seal

- Janet Yellen Is Freaking Out About ‘Audit The Fed’ – Here Are 100 Reasons Why She Should Be (End Of The American Dream, Feb 24, 2015):

Janet Yellen is very alarmed that some members of Congress want to conduct a comprehensive audit of the Federal Reserve for the first time since it was created.  If the Fed is doing everything correctly, why should Yellen be alarmed?  What does she have to hide?

During testimony before Congress on Tuesday, she made “central bank independence” sound like it was the holy grail.  Even though every other government function is debated politically in this country, Yellen insists that what the Federal Reserve does is “too important” to be influenced by the American people.  Does any other government agency ever dare to make that claim?

But of course the Federal Reserve is not a government agency.  It is a private banking cartel that has far more power over our money and our economy than anyone else does.  And later on in this article I am going to share with you dozens of reasons why Congress should shut it down. Continue reading »

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Feb 27

Somebody tell them that all those billions were just spent to bail out the banksters …

- ‘Greece Won’t See A Cent Of The GREAT BAILOUT’ (Telegraph) … It’s All For The Banksters!

… but then I am sure they knew it already.


- “NEIN” – Germany’s Bild Has A Message For Greece: “No More Billions For Greedy Greeks” (ZeroHedge, Feb 25, 2015):

One day ahead of a key vote in the German Bundestag whether to ratify the 4-month Greek bailout extension, the biggest-selling, mass-market newspaper (or tabloid as some call it) with a circulation of 2.5 million, Bild, has made it very clear just how it feels about the latest Greek can kicking event.

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Feb 26

- Greece Suffers Biggest Bank Run In History: January Deposits Plunge To 2005 Levels (ZeroHedge, Feb 26, 2015):

Moments ago the Bank of Greece presented its latest, January, deposit data. And it’s a doozy: following a record €12.2 billion monthly outflow, greater in absolute and relative terms than anything experienced during any of the previous Greek crises and bailouts, the total amount of Greek corporate and household deposits has now tumbled to just €148 billion. This number is in line with some of the more pessimistic expectations, and brings the total cash holdings at Greek banks to the lowest level since August 2005.

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Feb 26

- Ukraine Enters Hyperinflation: Currency Trading Halted, “Soon We Will Walk Around With Suitcases For Cash” (ZeroHedge, Feb 25, 2015):

Yesterday we summarized the most recent economic, political and social situation in Ukraine as follows:

“A year or so on from the last coup in Ukraine, Ukraine’s former Prime Minister Sergey Arbuzov told TASS, with growing popular discontent, “another state coup can’t be ruled out in Ukraine.” As the cease-fire deal hangs torn and tattered in the Debaltseve winds, the nation is a mess: a new gas dispute looms as Gazprom demands upfront payments; capital controls have been tightened as the $17.5bn IMF loan may not be enough; and the central bank governor faces prosecution as the economy craters. All of these factors have driven massive outflows from Ukraine and the Hryvnia has crashed to over 33 to the USD – a record high (and 70% devaluation from the last coup).”

So as the Ukraine government watches its country go down in flames, with the blessings of the US State Department of course, it decided to take action. According to Reuters, with the hryvnia in free fall (see above) the central bank tried to call a halt on Wednesday by banning banks from buying foreign currency on behalf of their clients for the rest of this week. Continue reading »

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Feb 26

Coming to a country near you soon …

- This Is The Biggest Problem Facing The World Today: 9 Countries Have Debt-To-GDP Over 300%


- This Is What Happens To Gold In A Hyperinflationary Currency Crisis: Ukraine Edition (ZeroHedge, Feb 25, 2015):

As Ukraine’s socio-economic situation goes from wost to worst-er, today’s announcement by President Poroshenko that the government will take actions to stabilize the currency (which as we previously noted, appears to be heading for hyperinflation) has Ukrainians rushing for the exits into precious metals… with only one goal in mind – wealth preservation.

20150225_GoldUAH

This is what gold does in a fiat-currency crisis. Now if only Ukraine actually still had some gold

Furthermore, according to RIA, on Tuesday, Ukrainian television channel Ukraina announced that with the new exchange rate, the minimum wage in Ukraine stands at around $42.90 per month, which according to the channel, is lower than in Ghana or Zambia. Continue reading »

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Feb 26

- Ukraine Enters The Endgame (ZeroHedge, Feb 25, 2015):

Back in March 2014 we forecast that it in the aftermath of the US State Department-sponsored military coup in Kiev, it was only a matter of time before Ukraine (all of its sovereign gold having since “vaporized“) succumbed to full blown hyperinflation and economic implosion. Less than a year later, precisely this outcome has finally played out, and as a result, the entire nation has finally entered its economic endgame, one which has two conclusion: either it joins Greece in becoming a ward of Europe (of which it is not an official member) and the IMF (thank you Joe Q Public taxpayer), or it quietly fades away into insolvent “failed state” status.

This is in a nutshell the assessment by Goldman Sachs, presented below, which really doesn’t say much we didn’t cover earlier in “Ukraine Enters Hyperinflation: Currency Trading Halted, “Soon We Will Walk Around With Suitcases For Cash“, but which does lays out the (very unpleasant) alternatives for yet another nation brought to ruin through American neo-colonial expansion, in what may well be a record short period of time. Of these, the primary ones focus on yet another IMF bailout which the agency may find some resistance to as a result of the near-total collapse of Greece at the same time. And not only that but Goldman’s “base case of IMF fund disbursement in mid-March may not come quickly enough to stabilize the Hryvnia.” Oops. Continue reading »

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Feb 26

- US Espionage Blowback: China Drops Apple, Cisco From State Purchase Lists (ZeroHedge, Feb 25, 2015):

Another quarter of leaks of ubiquitous US espionage in every corner of the world, and sure enough we get another quarter of China just saying no to spending any more money on companies which are, as far as Beijing is concerned, a natural extension of the NSA. According to Reuters, China has just dropped some of America’s leading technology brands from its approved state purchase lists, chief among them Cisco (which already was hammered a year ago due to the Snowden revelations), and everyone’s favorite $1 trillion market cap or bust cell phone maker, Apple. Continue reading »

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Feb 26

- Welcome To The Recession? (ZeroHedge, Feb 25, 2015):

It’s different this time…

Recession

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Feb 25

- This Is Why Hewlett-Packard Is Firing 58,000 (ZeroHedge, Feb 24, 2015):

The biggest scandal in today’s release of Hewlett Packard Q1 earnings was not that, just as the Nasdaq is knocking on 5000’s door, it reported revenues of $26.8 billion missing consensus expectations of $27.3 billion, while beating non-GAAP EPS by 1 cent to $0.92 (up from $0.90 a year ago) entirely due to a massive reduction in outstanding stock and some truly gargantuan non-GAAP addbacks (GAAP EPS declined from $0.74 a year ago to $0.73) pushing the stock down 7% after hours.

The biggest scandal was the company announced that having cut 44,000 workers so far, it will cut 58,000 jobs by the end of 2015.

From Bloomberg:

  • HP SAYS HAS CUT 44,000 JOBS TO DATE
  • HP SAYS EXPECTS TO CUT 58,000 JOBS BY END OF FISCAL 2015

Incidentally, just 10 years ago Hewlett Packard employed a total of 58,000 people in the entire US.

So why is the company axing 58 thousand workers? Simple: so it can cut enough costs on top and continue to fund its now exponential surge in stock buybacks, which in the just concluded quarter was a record $1.6 billion, an increase of 178% from a year ago, and 66% more than the company spent on CapEx, in the process making its shareholders even richer while its management team get massive equity-linked bonuses.

Rinse. Repeat.

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Feb 25

14-Signs-Americans-Are-Flat-Broke

- 14 Signs That Most Americans Are Flat Broke And Totally Unprepared For The Coming Economic Crisis (Economic Collapse, Feb 23, 2015):

When the coming economic crisis strikes, more than half the country is going to be financially wiped out within weeks.  At this point, more than 60 percent of all Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, and a whopping 24 percent of the country has more credit card debt than emergency savings.  One of the primary principles that any of these “financial experts” that you see on television will teach you is to have a cushion to fall back on.  At the very least, you never know when unexpected expenses like major car repairs or medical bills will come along.

And in the event of a major economic collapse, if you do not have any financial cushion at all you will be a sitting duck.  Yes, I know that there are millions upon millions of families out there that are just trying to scrape by from month to month at this point.  I hear from people that are deeply struggling in this economy all the time.  So I don’t blame them for not being able to save lots of money.  But if you are in a position to build up an emergency fund, you need to do so.  We have been experiencing an extended period of relative economic stability, but it will not last.  In fact, the time for getting prepared for the next great economic downturn is rapidly running out, and most Americans are not ready for it at all.

The following are 14 signs that most Americans are flat broke and totally unprepared for the coming economic crisis: Continue reading »

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