QE has finally come to an end, but public comprehension of the immense fraud it embodied has not even started. In round terms, this official counterfeiting spree amounted to $3.5 trillion— reflecting the difference between the Fed’s approximate $900 billion balance sheet when its “extraordinary policies” incepted at the time of the Lehman crisis and its $4.4 trillion of footings today. That’s a lot of something for nothing. It’s a grotesque amount of fraud.
The scam embedded in this monumental balance sheet expansion involved nothing so arcane as the circuitous manner by which new central bank reserves supplied to the banking system impact the private credit creation process. As is now evident, new credits issued by the Fed can result in the expansion of private credit to the extent that the money multiplier is operating or simply generate excess reserves which cycle back to the New York Fed if, as in the present instance, it is not. Continue reading »
Ahead of tomorrow’s decision by the FOMC, Peter Schiff ventured on to CNBC to discuss the economy, the fed, and gold… among other things. Schiff rightly fears that while the Fed may well stop QE3 tomorrow, QE4 will not be too long behind it as he notes, rather eloquently, that “an economy that lives by QE, will die by QE” as the Fed’s total lack of willingness to allow stocks to fall (see Bullard 2 weeks ago) or a ‘cleansing’ recession leaves the nation’s economy in far worse shape than it was before the Fed’s intervention. Schiff calmly replies to the anchor’s questions (as she proclaims “I am not on the side of the Fed but…”), gently explains his view on gold when challenged about his ‘wrongness’, but when a guest starts hounding him for being dangerous to CNBC viewers wealth… Schiff (rightly) loses it – must watch!
A well reasoned discussion of the Fed’s manipulation of markets and mal-investment hangovers is well worth the price of admission… but at around 6:35 when Scott Nations unleashes his tirade on Schiff, the fireworks start to fly… and Schiff (while being shouted over) reminds guests, anchors, and viewers alike “Go to YouTube, I am wrong a lot less often than most people on this program… and all you do is hassle me” that he was among the very few appearing on CNBC before the crash who foresaw it and the cataclysmic shift that has occurred (no matter what the perception of short-term memory traders)…“Think of all the bulls you paraded out here when Nasdaq was 5,000″
Absolute must watch…
We can’t help but feel the timing of this tirade against Schiff is spookily prophetic and will be in its own YouTube class in a few years…
It is widely expected that the Federal Reserve is going to announce the end of quantitative easing this week. Will this represent a major turning point for the stock market? As you will see below, since 2008 stocks have risen dramatically throughout every stage of quantitative easing. But when the various phases of quantitative easing have ended, stocks have always responded by declining substantially. The only thing that caused stocks to eventually start rising again was a new round of quantitative easing. So what will happen this time? That is a very good question. What we do know is that the the performance of the stock market has become completely divorced from economic reality, and in recent weeks there have been signs of market turmoil that we have not seen in years. Could the end of quantitative easing be the thing that finally pushes the financial markets over the edge?
After all this time, many Americans still don’t understand what quantitative easing actually is. Since the end of 2008, the Federal Reserve has injected approximately 3.5 trillion dollars into the financial system. Of course the Federal Reserve didn’t actually have 3.5 trillion dollars. The Fed created all of this money out of thin air and used it to buy government bonds and mortgage-backed securities. Continue reading »
Despite the ban on short-sales – which has never worked in the past to do anything but instil fear in traders’ holding long positions – Italian banks are in free-fall following the utter failure of Draghi’s stress tests to encourage confidence in the European banking system.
INTESA, UBI, UNICREDIT, MONTE PASCHI SUSPENDED IN MILAN, LIMIT DOWN
Given the post-“whatever-it-takes” world of domestic sovereign bond-buying, it is no surprise that Italian govvie risk is jumping higher and the FTSEMIB is plunging.
“A relief rally would not be justified,” said Michael Woischneck, a portfolio manager at Lampe Asset Management in Dusseldorf, Germany. “There are still a lot of problems to fix, and Italian banks still have a lot of work to do. Even for the banks that passed, what is there to be relieved about? They still have to find a business model and figure out how to get unanswered questions that a stress test just cannot answer.”
WASHINGTON — In the decades after World War II, the C.I.A. and other United States agencies employed at least a thousand Nazis as Cold War spies and informants and, as recently as the 1990s, concealed the government’s ties to some still living in America, newly disclosed records and interviews show.
At the height of the Cold War in the 1950s, law enforcement and intelligence leaders like J. Edgar Hoover at the F.B.I. andAllen Dulles at the C.I.A. aggressively recruited onetime Nazis of all ranks as secret, anti-Soviet “assets,” declassified records show.They believed the ex-Nazis’ intelligence value against the Russians outweighed what one official called “moral lapses” in their service to the Third Reich.Continue reading »
While we would be the last to comment on the ECB’s laughable forecasting capabilities, we do have to note that there is a bit of a disconnect between the ECB’s projections of Eurozone inflation for 2014, 2015 and 2016 as presented in its March, June and September meetings…
The reason we bring this up, is because just after the latest “most serious, most confidence inspiring” stress test was revealed, that perpetual troublemaker, the head of Germany’s IFO Institute, Hans-Werner Sinn, who relentlessly refuses to drink the European Kool Aid, pointed out something rather stunning. According to Bloomberg, in an emailed statement, Sinn said that “ECB avoided modelling a deflation scenario for southern Europe which explains why the capital shortfall was so small for many banks.” Continue reading »
In this episode of the Keiser Report, Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert discuss the increasingly bankrupt British government as a sinking ship on George Osborne’s river of denial. They discuss the remedy for the ‘too many poor people’ for democracy problem being global trade deals like TTIP and TPP whereby elected leaders can claim ‘their hands are tied’ by contractual obligations. In the second half, Max interviews Helena Norberg-Hodge of LocalFutures.org about the Economics of Happiness in a time of rising inequality.
Back on January 26, a 58-year-old former senior executive at German investment bank behemoth Deutsche Bank, William Broeksmit, was found dead after hanging himself at his London home, and with that, set off an unprecedented series of banker suicides throughout the year which included former Fed officials and numerous JPMorgan traders.
Following a brief late summer spell in which there was little if any news of bankers taking their lives, as reported previously, the banker suicides returned with a bang when none other than the hedge fund partner of infamous former IMF head Dominique Strauss-Khan, Thierry Leyne, a French-Israeli entrepreneur, was found dead after jumping off the 23rd floor of one of the Yoo towers, a prestigious residential complex in Tel Aviv. Continue reading »
The summer, thankfully, has been largely bereft of the dismal trend of bankers committing suicide, but as Bloomberg reports, Thierry Leyne, a French-Israeli banker and partner of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the disgraced former chief of the IMF, was found dead Thursday after apparently taking his own life by jumping off the 23rd floor of one of the Yoo towers, a prestigious residential complex in Tel Aviv. This is the 16th financial services executive death this year.
Bloomberg reports that Thierry Leyne, the French-Israeli entrepreneur who last year started an investment firm with former International Monetary Fund Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn, has died. He was 48.
Leyne died yesterday in Tel Aviv, according to his assistant at the firm, who asked not to be identified. Le Figaro newspaper reported that he committed suicide.Continue reading »
Last year Madrid’s city and regional governments sold almost 5,000 rent-controlled flats to private equity investors including Goldman Sachs and Blackstone. At the time, the tenants were told their rental conditions would remain the same.
But as old contracts expire, dozens of people have received demands for higher rent, been told their rents will increase dramatically, been threatened with eviction or moved out to escape the insecurity. Thousands of Spain’s poor now depend for their homes on the generosity of private equity.
Now that the financial oligarchs have had their way with the U.S. property market, to the point that average citizens can’t even afford to own a home (Zillow recently showed that 1 in 3 homes are unaffordable), it appears they have turned their sights overseas. What better market for bailed-out bankers to feast on than Spain, with its 50%+ youth unemployment rate and a continued depressed real estate market.
It didn’t take long for the results to be felt. Reuters published an article on the topic today. Here are some excerpts: Continue reading »
With the results of Europe’s annual AQR, aka Stress Test, due out on Sunday, most had been expecting that despite some rhetoric that various brand name banks may fail, that it would be largely more of the usual: puff. That, however, may not be the case, and as Bloomberg just reported, a whopping 25 banks are set to fail the stress test, compared to 105 which are set to pass. As Bloomberg notes:
105 banks passed the test, draft document shows
Number of banks that would have shortfall even after capital-raising to Sept. 30, 2014, is the subject of ongoing talks, a person with knowledge of the matter says
Negotations continue with about 10 banks shown to have net shortfall after 2014 capital measures, the person says
An ECB spokesman says the central bank can’t comment on speculation about the outcome of the comprehensive assessment. Any inferences drawn as to the final outcome of the exercise would be highly speculative until the results are final on Oct. 26, spokesman says Continue reading »
There’s something we ‘regular’ citizens wrestle with that the elites never seem to: a sense of moral duty.
For example, following the collapse of the housing bubble, many people struggled with mortgages they could no longer afford to pay, fearing the shame of default. Many believed defaulting was wrong somehow; that it was their moral obligation to pay their mortgages, no matter how dire their personal situation. And of course, the mortgages lenders did their utmost to reinforce this perception. Continue reading »
In North Carolina, managing the retirement savings of teachers, police officers, firefighters and other public employees is big business. As the sole fiduciary of the state’s $90 billion pension fund, Treasurer Cowell, a Democrat, was recently named the world’s 18th most important institutional investor by the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute. The State Employees Association of North Carolina (Seanc) estimates that North Carolina is on track to spend a billion dollars a year of retirees’ pension money on fees to private financial firms. Roughly half of all North Carolina pension deals involve placement agents, and Seanc estimates that has generated roughly $180 million in placement agent fees — costs that are effectively paid by the pension fund, according to critics.
Credit Suisse’s own internal regulations say the company aims to “establish a management organization that avoids the creation or appearance of conflicts of interests.” But the North Carolina agreement (the provisions of which were secret until Seanc’s open records request earlier this year) explicitly allows Credit Suisse to engage in “actual and potential conflicts of interest.” The agreement noted Credit Suisse could receive “placement fees” from the firms in which it invests North Carolina pension money.
– From David Sirota’s excellent piece in Investors Business Daily: Pension Deal Spotlights ‘Placement Agent’ Business, Raises Conflict-Of-Interest Questions
When it comes to how the U.S. economy of fraud functions in 2014, the following article has it all. A government official, a global investment bank and a businessman/politician, all working together to enrich themselves at the public’s expense. It demonstrates how big bucks are really earned by insiders in the new American Dream, characterized by extreme cronyism and corruption. Continue reading »
One can debate whether, by virtue of fractional reserve banking, every bank in the world is just a ponzi scheme, and where the stability of the system depends entirely on the level of counterparty faith and general confidence in the system, in other words, a grand con game in which the central bank is tasked with making sure the con works as planned when confidnce gets “a little low.”
Saxo Bank’s Chief Economist Steen Jakobsen is predicting another ‘shock drop’ in the markets within a few weeks. With debt and low inflation continuing to create a nervous atmosphere behind most markets, Steen argues that we will hit fresh lows in mid-November. Steen takes the view that central bank policy is creating a ‘fantasy land’ for investors and he points out that the recent ‘day dive’ in markets was a closer reflection of reality. Steen outlines his suggestions for trading ahead of another dip in mid November with targets for the S&P 500 around 1810 and the Dax at 8000 – 7800. Be long fixed income as it is “a free put on the equity market.. and the economic cycle is not yet ready to adapt to a rising interest rate.”
A day after a Reuters headline blast proclaimed that, in a stunning turn of events, the ECB which has barely started buying covered bond (of countries like Germany today for example, because the record low yielding Bunds clearly need help from the ECB) will also buy corporate bonds, sending the stock market soaring the most in 2014, it has now backtracked for the second time, and following a report from the FT yesterday which denied the report, the second denial came straight from Reuters itself which hours ago said that the ECB “has no concrete plans to buy corporate bonds, but this could be a way to prevent the bank from paying too much for just covered bonds and asset backed securities, ECB governing council member Luc Coene told Belgian media.” Continue reading »
“So – in conclusion – The Fed admits it knew about the risks of JPMorgan’s London Whale in 2010 (2 years before the blow-up) and did nothing about it, and now, two years later, The Fed tells banks it will get serious…”
“For over a year now, central banks have quietly being reducing their support. As Figure 7 shows, much of this is down to the Fed, but the contraction in the ECB’s balance sheet has also been significant. Seen from this perspective, a negative reaction in markets was long overdue: very roughly, the charts suggest that zero stimulus would be consistent with 50bp widening in investment grade, or a little over a ten percent quarterly drop in equities. Put differently, it takes around $200bn per quarter just to keep markets from selling off.”
Having confirmed that RBS, UBS, JPMorgan,,and Credit Suisse operated a cartell to manipulate bid-ask spreads of Swiss Franc libor, the European Commission has unleashed unmerciless vengeance on these law-breaking institutions:
Just in case you need another reason to dislike the thieving Federal Reserve. From Reuters:
(Reuters) – The top 113 earners among staff at the Federal Reserve’s Washington headquarters make an average of $246,506 per year, excluding bonuses and other benefits – more than Fed Chair Janet Yellen and nearly double the normal top government rate.
In this week’s podcast, Chris discusses the mechanics of the process, as well as its probability, with Dan:
To understand financial repression, we have to understand that we’ve been there before. Many nations have gone through periods in the past where they’ve had very high levels of government debt. And there are four traditional ways of dealing with that. Continue reading »
For a casual observer of the US economy (most “experts”), you could say that things look pretty good. Unemployment is at its lowest rate in six years. Earnings of S&P 500 companies are higher than ever, while their debt is lower than it’s been in the last 24 years.
Nonetheless, rather than getting excited for good economic times, the big commercial banks are all battening down the hatches. They’re preparing for bad times ahead.Continue reading »
Once in a blue moon officials commit truth in public, but the intrepid leader of Germany’s central bank has delivered a speech which let’s loose of three of them in a single go. Speaking at a conference in Riga, Latvia, Jens Weidmann put the kibosh on QE, low-flation and central bank interference in pricing of risky assets.
These days the Keynesian chorus in favor of policy activism is so boisterous that a succinct statement to the contrary rarely gets through – especially at Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street yarn factory. But here’s what penetrated even Brian Blackstone’s filters:
“The biggest bottleneck for growth in the euro area is not monetary policy, nor is it the lack of fiscal stimulus: it is the structural barriers that impede competition, innovation and productivity,” he said.
Several days ago we were confused why, out of the blue, a €1 billion loan BWIC appeared that was dumping German non-performing loans. After all, the whole point of the European “recovery” fable to date has been to deflect all the attention from the “pristine” German banks, up to an including world-record derivatives juggernaut Deutsche Bank, and to focus on Greece and other insolvent peripheral European nation. Earlier today, German Handelsblatt provided an answer, when it reported that “four German banks are on the brink”, i.e., four banks of which three are known, HSH Nordbank, IKB and MunchenerHyp, will likely fail the ECB’s stress test whose results are due to be announced next Friday.
Keep in mind that this is a significant fraction of the 24 German banks that are undergoing the ECB’s Stress farce test. So one wonders: if one in six German banks is so unsafe even the ECB (which kept Cypriot banks going well past their insolvency) will give them a black stamp (because in Europe failing a bank stress test is first of all impossible since both Bankia and Dexia passed theirs with flying cololrs, but more importantly a death sentence), what does that leave for the rest of Europe’s banks, all of which are in far more dire shape than sleepy Germany?
Between Q4 2011 and Q3 2014 Bank of America produced “Net Income” of $15.9 billion. However, the amount of added back “one-time, non-recurring” legal expenses is a stunning $28.9 billion: two of every three dollars, non-GAAP as they may be, comes from Bank of America engaging in criminal activity… and getting caught for it! So perhaps an even more relevant question than how long will the EPS “addback” bullshit continue, is how long will the regulators and enforcers allow Bank of America to exist as an organization for which two-thirds of its “ordinary course business” is, for lack of a better word, crime?