May 03

China Threatens Its Economists And Analysts To Only Write Bullish Reports, Or Else:

While in the US and the rest of the free world, anyone who holds a less than bullish view of things is simply marginalized as a conspiracy theorist, ridiculed by establishment economists and pundits, is the recipient of mainstream media hit pieces, or denigrated by the president as “peddling fiction”, China has decided to take a more blunt approach: “securities regulators, media censors and other government officials have issued verbal warnings to commentators whose public remarks on the economy are out of step with the government’s upbeat statements.”

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May 03

China Manufacturing PMI Disappoints – In Contraction For 14th Straight Month:

Despite a trillion dollars of credit spewed into the Chinese ‘economy’ speculative finance channels, Manufacturing remains in a slump as April’s China PMI tumbled to 49.4 after a brief bounce back up to 49.8 (from the 48.0 low in Feb). This is the 14th month in a row of contraction.

20160502_PMI

As Caixin reports, relatively weak market conditions and muted client demand contributed to a further solid decline in staff numbers, which seems to put a nail in the coffin of anyone who believes recent price action in industrial commodities is anything but speculative fervor. Continue reading »

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May 03

Visa Unveils Plan To Burden Millennials With Billions In Debt:

For anyone concerned that $800 billion in student loans over the last decade simply won’t be enough debt burden for millennials to carry, worry no more, a solution has been found.

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May 03

Three Years After Going Public, Fairway Files Chapter 11:

Back in April 2013, during the height of the IPO scramble, the NYT gushed about Fairway’s just concluded IPO: “Until recently, Fairway was not much more than a popular market on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, where residents went for goods like smoked salmon, medjool dates and cheeses. Today, it is a fast-growing 12-store grocery chain with ambitions of opening 300 outlets across the country.” Just over three years later, the once successful IPO is now a distant memory and soon enough, so will the company behind it because overnight Fairway Group Holdings filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection,

 …

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May 03

Aussie Dollar Crashes Through Key Support After “Surprise” Rate Cut:

As a major leg of many carry trades, the collapse of the Aussie Dollar in the last week has sent ripples through many risk-on positions. Following last week’s plunge in inflation to record lows, one would have assumed that expectations for a ‘stimulating’ rate-cut were baked in to some extent (as AUD plunged then), but this morning’s surprise RBA move has sparked another leg down in the commodity currency, breaking below a crucial uptrend off the January lows as the commodity currency decouples from exuberance in Chinese metals…

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May 03

Rand-Ayn

When A Nation Is Doomed – A Definition…:

Cynics, skeptics, and fiction-peddlers are frowned upon by the Obama administration (and the mainstream media) when it comes to our glorious leader’s economic miracle. So we thought a simple litmus test might be useful to judge just how ‘doomed’ the nation really is… Continue reading »

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May 02

TPP & TTIP Harmful, Economic Studies Find:

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org

Presently, three supposed ‘trade’ deals are being proposed by U.S. President Barack Obama, to be signed by major trading nations (except Russia, China, and the other BRICS nations): TPP with Asia, TTIP with Europe, and also (but only for financial and other services) TISA with Europe. The promised benefits in all three cases are said to be economic.

Three independent economic studies have been done, two of Obama’s TTIP treaty with Europe, and one of his TPP treaty with Asia, and all three independent economic analyses find that the publics in each participating country will suffer, and that the owners of international corporations (especially in the U.S.) will benefit, if the proposed ‘trade’ deal goes into effect. Continue reading »

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May 02

20160502_eod

Dis-May-Day – Bonds Down, Dollar Down, Oil Down, Gold Down, Economy Down… Stocks Up

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May 01

Deutsche Bank Unveils The Next Step: “QE Has Run Its Course, It’s Time To Tax Wealth”:

Helicopter money may be on the horizon, but if Deutsche Bank has its way, there is at least one intermediate step.

According to DB’s Dominic Konstam, now that the benefits QE “have run their course”, it is time for the next, and far more drastic step: “the ECB and BoJ should move more strongly toward penalizing savings via negative retail deposit rates or perhaps wealth taxes. With this stick would also come a carrot – for example, negative mortgage rates.” Continue reading »

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May 01

gold-bars1

“Gold Isn’t An Investment – Gold Is Money”:

Via CaseyResearch.com,

Gold isn’t an investment. Gold is money.

In this succinct interview with Casey Research Director Brian Hunt reveals some of the biggest misconceptions about gold… and why you should own it.

Casey Research: Brian, as you recall, we probably get more questions and reader feedback on gold than on any other subject here at Casey Research… And we’ve noticed there are quite a few myths and misconceptions about gold out there. Can you go over some of the big ones for us? Continue reading »

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May 01

This Is Where America’s Runaway Inflation Is Hiding

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Apr 30

lies, lies and OMG more lies

LIES, LIES AND OMG, MORE LIES:

It’s that time of year again. It’s open enrollment for health plans at my employer. They are biggest employer in Philly and have the most leverage possible with the insurance companies. They have such good leverage that my premiums are going up “only” 9.8% this year for a basic HMO plan. Based on what I hear from others, I should be thankful for just a 9.8% increase.

This isn’t a new development. Since I’ve been tracking all my expenditures using Quicken since 1991, I know exactly what my annual health insurance costs have been every year. Obamacare was passed in 2009 and began to be implemented in 2010. Obama declared that families could expect $2,500 of savings per year. I know for a fact my annual medical expenses were $2,000 higher in 2015 than they were in 2010. Continue reading »

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Apr 30

gold-bar
$40,000 in gold – the fact that gold doesn’t take up much space and that no government can actually order humanity to forget that it is the money of the free market, are among the many reasons that make it an ideal store of value.

Gold and Negative Interest Rates

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Apr 29

Italy’s Bank Bailout Fund Already One Third Empty After First Bank Rescue:

When one month ago, Italy was scrambling to unveil a “last resort” bad bank bailout fund (which eventually received the name Atlante, or Atlas, for the Titan god who was condemned to hold up the sky for eternity, only in this case he is holding up Italy’s €360 billion in bad loans), many wondered why the rush? While the explicit purpose of the fund was to allow Italy to bailout insolvent banks without the involvement of the state which is expressly prohibited by the Eurozone, the scramble appeared erratic almost frentic, and was one of the reasons why Italian bank stocks tumbled in early February.

The question: “Does someone know something?” Continue reading »

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Apr 29

Zero Hedge logo

Full article here:

The Full Story Behind Bloomberg’s Attempt To “Unmask” Zero Hedge:

Over the years, Zero Hedge has proven to be a magnet for media attention.

It started years ago with a NY Magazine article published in September 2009 which first “unmasked” the people behind Zero Hedge with the “The Dow Zero Insurgency: The nothing-can-be-believed chaos of the financial crisis created a golden opportunity for a blog run by a mysterious ex-hedge-funder with a dodgy past and conspiracy theories to burn” in which we were presented as a bunch of “conspiracy theory” tin foil hat paranoid loons.

We are ok with being typecast as “conspiracy theorists” as these “theories” tend to become “conspiracy fact” months to years later. Continue reading »

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Apr 29

mcd

Former McDonalds CEO Warns Minimum Wage “Will Wipe Out 1000s Of Jobs”:

While this should be no surprise to any rational non-establishment-teet-suckling economist, former McDonalds’ CEO Ed Rensi exclaims, in a recent Forbes Op-Ed, that “a $15 minimum wage won’t spell the end of [fast-food brands]. However it will mean wiping out thousands of entry-level opportunities for people without many other options.” The $15 minimum wage demand, which translates to $30,000 a year for a full-time employee, is built upon a fundamental misunderstanding of a restaurant business (and we add simple supply and demand fundamentals) – just “do the math” Rensi rants… Continue reading »

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Apr 29

China’s Most Innovative Capital Outflow Yet: Buying Legendary Italian Football Club AC Milan:

Today, we find the latest, and perhaps most innovative attempt to circumvent capital controls yet when a group of Chinese investors has offered to buy AC Milan football club, one of former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi’s most cherished assets. The offer values the club at around 700 million euros including debt, one of the sources said.

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Apr 29

black_swan

“A 2015-like Market Crash In Chinese Commodities Is Inevitable”:

Is Everyone Wrong On The “Causation” Of The Commodity Bubble? While it appeared ‘retail’ was responsible for the panic-buying chaotic volume surge in Chinese commodities, Axiom Capital Management’s Gordon L Johnson points out that in fact… China Bank Special Interest Vehicles’ “Bold” Commodity Speculation Is The Real Budding Black Swan

WMP Speculation Likely Cause for the ’16 Commodity Rally, Not Retail Investors (“Cab-Drivers”). Continue reading »

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Apr 29

H/t reader squodgy:

“Can you believe this shit?

Honestly, can anyone seriously take official Government Statistics as truthful and in-massaged any more?

It’s an insult to our intelligence.”


The Euro currency sign is seen in front of the European Central Bank (ECB) headquarters in Frankfurt

Eurozone economy speeds up, reaches size it was back in 2008:

LONDON (AP) — It’s been a long and tortuous journey, but the eurozone economy is finally back to the size it was before the global financial crisis. Official figures released Friday show that the eurozone, which as a bloc is the world’s second-largest economy, accelerated unexpectedly at the start of the year to bring it back to the level it was before the recessions of the past eight years.

Eurostat, the European Union’s statistics agency, said the 19-country currency bloc expanded by a quarterly rate of 0.6 percent in the first three months of the year. The increase was double the previous quarter’s rate and ahead of market expectations for a more modest 0.4 percent. Continue reading »

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Apr 29

The U.S. Economy Officially Joins The Global Economic Slowdown – 1st Quarter GDP Comes In At 0.5%:

Even the government is admitting that the U.S. economy is slowing down.  On Thursday, we learned that U.S. GDP grew at just a 0.5 percent annual rate during the first quarter of 2016.  This was lower than analysts were anticipating, and it marks the third time in a row that the GDP number has declined compared to the previous quarter.  In other words, GDP growth has been declining for close to a year now, and this lines up perfectly with what I have been saying about how the second half of last year was a turning point that plunged us into the early chapters of a brand new economic crisis.  And as you will see below, the official GDP number is highly manipulated, and the way that it is calculated has been changed numerous times over the years.  So the bad number that is being reported by the government is actually the best case scenario. Continue reading »

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Apr 29

H/t reader squodgy:

“Interesting adventure into why they won’t let it develop naturally.”


Why Real Reform Is Now Impossible:

By Charles Hugh Smith

It’s difficult for well-meaning pundits to abandon the fantasy that meaningful reform is possible. Indeed, a critical function of the punditry and corporate media is to foster the fantasy that the status quo could be reformed if only we all got together and blah blah blah.

As I explain in my new book Why Our Status Quo Failed and Is Beyond Reform, real structural reform would trigger the collapse of the status quo. (As a reminder, the status quo benefits the few at the expense of the many.)

But there’s another dynamic that makes reform impossible. I’ve prepared a chart to explain this dynamic: Continue reading »

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Apr 29

Video of the Day – Bill Gross Warns: “The System Could Suffer an Implosion”:

What’s so remarkable about the following clip from a Bloomberg interview with iconic bond fund manager Bill Gross isn’t so much that he warned about a looming systemic implosion, but how much he struggled to actually say it out loud despite clearly wanting to.

Pretty telling.

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Apr 29

Society-Social-Engineering

The Future Of America? – More Than Half Of All U.S. Adults Under Age 30 Now Reject Capitalism:

A shocking new survey has found that support for capitalism is dying in America.  In fact, more than half of all adults in the United States under the age of 30 say that they do not support capitalism at this point.  You might be tempted to dismiss them as “foolish young people”, but the truth is that they are the future of America.  As older generations die off, they will eventually become the leaders of this country.  And of course our nation has not resembled anything close to a capitalist society for quite some time now.  In a recent article, I listed 97 different taxes that Americans pay each year, and some Americans actually end up returning more than half of what they earn to the government by the time it is all said and done.  So at best it could be said that we are running some sort of hybrid system that isn’t as far down the road toward full-blown socialism as most European nations are.  But without a doubt we are moving in that direction, and our young people are going to be cheering every step of the way. Continue reading »

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Apr 29

Apple-iPhone-And-Apple-Computer

Economy In Decline: Apple Reports Massive Revenue Decline As iPhone Sales Plummet Dramatically:

Corporate revenues in the United States have been falling for quite some time, but now some of the biggest companies in the entire nation are reporting extremely disappointing results.  On Tuesday, Apple shocked the financial world by reporting that revenue for the first quarter had fallen 7.4 billion dollars compared to the same quarter last year.  That is an astounding plunge, and it represents the very first year-over-year quarterly sales decline that Apple has experienced since 2003.  Analysts were anticipating some sort of drop, but nothing like this.  And of course last week we learned that Google and Microsoft also missed revenue and earnings projections for the first quarter of 2016.  The economic crisis that began during the second half of 2015 is really starting to take hold, and even our largest tech companies are now feeling the pain. Continue reading »

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Apr 28

This Is The End: Venezuela Runs Out Of Money To Print New Money:

Back in February, when we commented on the unprecedented hyperinflation about the be unleashed in the Latin American country whose president just announced that he would expand the “weekend” for public workers to 5 days

venezuela inflation_0

… we joked that it is unclear just where the country will find all the paper banknotes it needs for all its new physical currency. After all, central-bank data shows Venezuela more than doubled the supply of 100-, 50- and 2-bolivar notes in 2015 as it doubled monetary liquidity including bank deposits. Supply has grown even as Venezuela has fewer U.S. dollars to support new bolivars, a result of falling oil prices.  Continue reading »

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Apr 28

obama-super

Obama Admits Couldn’t “Convince Americans Of Recovery”, Bashes ‘The Big Short’:

Despite his proclamation that he “saved the world from a Great Depression,” the fact is that Obama will be the first President ever to not see a single year of 3% GDP growth – but only cynical fiction-peddlers would mention facts at a time like this. In yet more legacy-defending narrative, Obama told The NYTimes today that his biggest failure was being unable to sell his success in putting the American economy back on track to the American people (no matter the actual realities) careful to blame Republicans for slowing growth “by a percentage point or two.” And then in a final affront to fact, Obama dismisses the conclusion of “The Big Short” proclaiming that he reined in Wall Street, overhauled the banking system, and made water from wine “the financial system substantially more stable.”

With regard his presidential legacy, Obama recently said he was proud of the healthcare reforms, and added that: Continue reading »

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Apr 28

“No Brainer” – Carl Icahn Dumps Entire Stake Of AAPL:

And just like that the “no brainer” party’s over. Remember when in January 2014 Carl Icahn laid out his extensive thesis on why being long AAPL is the best investment out there?  Or when a little over a year later, hoping for even more stock buybacks (even as he was decrying short term activism) he boosted his price target on AAPL to $240?  All that is now over and moments ago Carl Icahn admitted that the hedge fund hotel holding AAPL stocks, which consisted of 163 hedge funds as of December 31, has one less member, and he has sold his entire Apple position.

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Apr 28

Q1 spending

What Americans Spent The Most Money On In Q1:

As reported moments ago, Q1 GDP which came at just 0.5% growth, was a lousy number in which virtually every component besides personal spending (and government) subtracted from growth. In fact, in nominal terms, Q1 GDP grew only $22.2 billion annualized, of which personal consumption was more than double, or $52.5 billion.

But what did Americans spend money on in Q1? To our surprise, Healthcare, Obamacare was no longer what soaked up most Americans’ cash in the first quarter (nonetheless, it was a runner up with $10.8 billion in spending). Continue reading »

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Apr 28

China “Wealth Manager” Disappears With $154 Million:

As China’s credit fueled craziness rages on, individual “investors” have been tripping over themselves trying to get in on a piece of the action, opening up enough brokerage accounts for every man, woman, and child in LA and pouring hard earned money into “investment” opportunities such as P2P funds.

This has of course lead people to game the system, recall Ezubao’s $7.6 billion P2P ponzi scheme that led to the arrest of 21 people earlier this year, and more recently the shuttering of Zhongjin Capital Management, which also led to 21 arrests on charges of suspicion of illegal fundraising. Continue reading »

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Apr 28

Greek Default Looms In July After EU Rejects Greek Emergency Summit:

More Greece “Uncertainty”: Default Looms in July, EU Rejects Greek Emergency Summit

Those who thought the situation in Greece was solved after prime minister Alexis Tsipras suddenly caved in to creditors’ demands need think again.

Greek tax revenues are running well under expectations. A default looms in July unless the creditors give more money to Greece so that Greece can pay back the creditors. As convoluted as that sounds, that’s precisely the way this madness works. Continue reading »

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