Forget Norway. Japan. Iceland. Switzerland. Or any of the other places around the world that are notorious for being painful on the wallet.
Venezuela is now the most expensive country in the world, hands down.
To give you an idea, the cost of a 15-minute taxi ride to the beach yesterday afternoon totaled an eye-popping $158.
(I paid less than that to rent a helicopter in Colombia last week.)
With all of its vast mineral resources, Venezuela should be the most prosperous country in Latin America by far. And it once was. Continue reading »
Are you ready for this… are you sitting down… you better be sitting down. Here it comes
- BERNANKE SAYS BIGGEST IMPACT OF QE WAS TO ‘CREATE JOBS’
From “hope” to “nope”…
“Peak Self-Delusion” or just another Big Lie?
Last month, when King Salman arrived in Washington to a fleet of Mercedes S-Classes, we asked if, considering the current circumstances, cutting back on spending might be in order. Indeed, in the wake of Saudi Arabia’s move to tap debt markets, rumors have been circulating for months that the kingdom has enlisted the help of “advisers” to help rein in the ballooning deficit. Now, Riyadh has effectively declared a spending moratorium in the face of self-inflicted crude carnage.
Sometimes less is more (less good data is moar good for stocks) and in the case of Marc Faber’s recent appearance on Bloomberg’s “What’d You Miss”, 66 seconds of honesty was all that the hosts could take.
The Gloom, Boom & Doom report editor notes “we have had a meaningful decline in many stocks already,” and warns it is far from over as market face two possibilities of “longer-term unattractiveness”: “a 1987-style collapse,” or a 1973-74-style slow “sliding slope of hope.”
And now the real shocker: there is over US$100bn in gross financial exposure to Glencore. From BofA: “We estimate the financial system’s exposure to Glencore at over US$100bn, and believe a significant majority is unsecured. The group’s strong reputation meant that the buildup of these exposures went largely without comment. However, the recent widening in GLEN debt spreads indicates the exposure is now coming into investor focus.”
Amid numerous rumors that Deutsche Bank is among the corporations exposed to the VW fiasco, and to be clear there is no news to confirm that, DB has just kitchen-sinked it in a pre-announcement:
- *DEUTSCHE BANK SEES 3Q NET LOSS EUR 6.2 BLN
- *DEUTSCHE BANK TO RECOMMEND DIVIDEND CUT OR POSSIBLE ELIMINATION
Deutsche Bank stock is trading down around 6% after-hours.
* * *
Full Press release – Deutsche Bank expects to incur charges that will materially impact third quarter 2015 results: Continue reading »
It had been quite a downcast start to the third quarter earnings season following very disappointing earnings from Illumina, Adobe and Yum Brand. Then Moments ago agri-giant Monsanto made it four out of four when it reported absolutely terrible results, cut guidance, but at least announced a new $3 billion stock buyback, one that will soak up all the company’s net cash flow. The cost of all of this: some 2,600 worker terminations.
If anarcho-capitalists should move to Somalia, then socialists – especially, “social democrats” — should move to Venezuela. The country is a complete disaster. But don’t take my word for it, read what a Caracas homemaker said after she tried to buy three cans of sardines and was ordered to put one back due to food rationing: “This is a disaster.”
Food shortages, rising prices, inflation, corrupted incentives, and rampant crime are all symptoms of a primordial problem: socialism. Just because the Socialist Party was democratically elected does not mean that the economic calculation problem has been solved. It’s as if the gods needed one more example to shove down the throats of Western leftists. Economic chaos, food rationing and a complete break down of the social order aren’t lessons of a misguided dictatorship of the proletariat, but a fundamental reality of socialism, whether democratic or not. Continue reading »
There is a corporate monster in the making. If allowed to emerge, it will gain near complete control of one of the most vital elements to human survival: our global food supply. This monster – a conglomeration of two corporate entities, Monsanto and Syngenta – must be stopped for the sake of the planet and future generations.
As the following chart shows, after langushing between $70 and $800 billion in the second half of the last decade, since Q2 2010 US auto loans have been on an absolute tear, and have increased by over 40% in the past five years alone, to just shy of $1 trillion as of June 30!
Brazil, which is caught in a vicious recessionary spiral which is only set to get much worse before it gets better, tried to obtain some much needed cash when earlier today it conducted an auction to sell exploration rights for of its oil and gas. It was, in short, a disaster. According to Reuters, by midday Brazil had only sold 17 of 119 blocks offered. A total of 36 companies from 17 countries – including Petrobras, ExxonMobil Corp, BP Plc and Royal Dutch Shell Plc – registered for the auction. None of the majors have bid so far. Only a handful of sold blocks were even contested.
Courtesy of Sharelynx’ Nick Laird who tracks precious metal premium by vendor, we continue our recent series showing the discrepancy between paper and physical metals, in this case silver. As Nick notes, APMEX price premiums are a lot higher than the Monex. And as can be seen in the charts below, premiums rose above 50% for 1-19 coins & above 40% for 500 plus coins.
While Reverse QE, or QT, or whatever one wants to call it has become traditionally associated with Emerging Markets and petroleum exporters, nobody had linked it with one of the most advanced Developed Markets in the world which also happens to be an oil exporter, the market with the largest sovereign wealth fun in the world: Norway. That is about to change because as Bloomberg report, “the future may already be here”, a future in which Norway’s gargantuan $830 billion sovereign wealth fund, the product of two decades of capital accumulation courtesy of Norway’s vast petroleum reserves and oil trade, is forced to begin liquidating its vast assets.
“As you know, the environment for global macro fundamentals-based trading continues to be challenging. That factor, combined with the lack of certainty over when a recovery will take hold, led us to conclude that the time was right to return capital to you.”
We have just witnessed one of the most significant steps toward a one world economic system that we have ever seen. Negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership have been completed, and if approved it will create the largest trading bloc on the planet. But this is not just a trade agreement. In this treaty, Barack Obama has thrown in all sorts of things that he never would have been able to get through Congress otherwise. And once this treaty is approved, it will be exceedingly difficult to ever make changes to it. So essentially what is happening is that the Obama agenda is being permanently locked in for 40 percent of the global economy. Continue reading »
With the world’s central planners (and their status quo hugging cronies) calling for cash bans (and rather ironically helicopter money at the same time), the soaring costs of getting one’s own money appears to be a quiet form of capital control creeping up on the distracted American public. As WSJ reports, the average cost for using an automated teller machine that isn’t tied to a customer’s bank rose to a record $4.52 per transaction (with average “out-of-network” cost tops $5 and can rise to as much as $8 in some places.)
“Investors” are so desperate to hold on to short-term paper that they paid $100 for a 3-month Treasury-bill at today’s auction. That is a 0% yield – for the first time ever – lower even than the auction right after Lehman’s bankruptcy in Nov 2008.
Oct 5, 2015
On the heels of China’s, Japan’s, Brazil’s, and Europe’s Services PMI weakness (and US Manufacturing PMI and ISM weakness), Markit’s US Services PMI printed 55.1 (missing exectations of 55.6) and dropping to its lowest since June. This catch-down to Manufacturing weakness suggests the mid-year bounce is well and truly dead as even Markit admits, “it remains unclear as to whether growth will weaken further as we move into Q4.” Additionally, after its exuberant spike to 10 year highs in July, ISM Services continued to drop back (to 56.9 missing expectations) with the biggest collapse in New Orders since Lehman.
Financial writer and analyst Bix Weir is not surprised by the Federal Reserve’s policies because it is all part of the long term plan. Weir explains, “The goal, since we went off the gold standard in 1971, has been to run the financial system as long and as hard as possible, sucking up all the benefits of fiat money, and there are very few attempts to slow this mess down. The idea is to put as much money as you can . . . until you have printed so much money the system implodes. This was a Nobel Prize winning paper in the 1960’s called “On the Road to the Golden Age.” It basically says if you have this freedom and flexibility with the monetary system, run it as hard as you can until people stop accepting the unbacked fiat money, then crash the system and go back to something safe and sound after it all blows up. . . . What they need is a big enough bubble so when it crashes, it take out all the derivatives, the malfeasance of the banks, the good guys and the bad guys and all the things going on behind the scenes. They need the bubble so big, and that’s what they are doing right now is blowing the bubble so big everybody feels the effect of a crash.”
When is the next crash coming? Weir says it will all unwind before “the end of this year.” Weir contends, “The decision will need to be made this year. The banks will, once again, come to Congress and say we need money for a bailout. That decision will be made by the U.S. people, not by Congress, not by the Fed and not by the banks. It’s going to come to the people, and I believe they will say no to bailouts.” Continue reading »
H/t reader squodgy:
It is important to not leave more than an operating amount of money in your bank. How close the banks are to a bank holiday is difficult to predict. However, I believe we are seeing the chest pains of a banking system, which will culminate in World War III.”
The federal government uses very carefully manipulated numbers to cover up the crushing economic depression that is going on in this nation. For the month of September, the federal government told us that 142,000 jobs were added to the economy. If that was actually true, that would barely be enough to keep up with population growth. Sadly, the truth is that the real numbers were actually far worse than that. The unadjusted numbers show that the U.S. economy actually lost 248,000 jobs in September and the government added more than a million Americans to the “not in the labor force” category. When I first saw that number I truly believed that it was inaccurate. But you can find the raw figures right here. According to the Obama administration, there are currently 7.9 million Americans that are “officially unemployed” and another 94.7 million working age Americans that are “not in the labor force”. That gives us a grand total of 102.6 million working age Americans that do not have a job right now.
That is not an economic recovery – that is an economic depression of an almost unbelievable magnitude. Continue reading »
After taking a its biggest step lower since 2011 in the past month, why has the selling in the S&P500 stalled? Because, well, hope may not be a strategy but now with the Fed’s credibility rapidly evaporating, it is all investors have, or as Gundlach puts it: “The reason the markets aren’t going lower is people are holding and hoping.” Incidentally, there is a reason why hope is not a strategy: in the end, it always fails.
Once again the reactions of desperate government policies looks like creating an even worse situation thanks to unintended (though entirely foreseeable) consequences. Amid the prospect of sharply higher shipping taxes in Greece – designed to increase revenues and ‘fix’ the debt-ridden nation, WSJ reports many of Greece’s world-leading shipowners are actively exploring options to leave their home country. With Greece controlling 20% of the world’s shipping fleet, the ‘quadriga’ of Greek creditors’ demands to raise taxes (because debt restructuring is out of the question) on such an ‘easy target’ as the world’s largest shipping industry appears likely to backfire as an entire industry’s revenues move out of reach of government taxers.