It was a perfect gift to a desperate market. All that was needed was a gentle hint that Italy’s troubled banks and their bondholders might not be hung out to dry. A “public backstop” for Italy’s weakest lenders would be a “very useful” measure in these “exceptional times,” ECB President Mario Draghi said.
Most Italian and European bank stocks surged.
The ECB is the second member of the institutional triad formerly known as the Troika to have called for a taxpayer funded bailout of Italy’s banking system. Earlier this month the IMF used its article IV consultation – an annual economic and financial health check – to warn of “global spillovers” from a full-blown Italian banking crisis, “given Italy’s systemic weight.” Continue reading »
On the economy crashing this year, investment banker and former Assistant Secretary of Housing, Catherine Austin Fitts says, “Could we turn into a bear market? I think given the commitment to equity markets and given the willingness to debase the currency, I think the chances of that are relatively small this year. Next year, depending on what happens in the election, the gloves are going to come off globally about what’s been going on in the U.S. Anything could happen. That’s the danger if you are an investment advisor or an investor. The swings here is we could be up 30%, or we could be down 50%. A black swan could happen, so if you are an investor, you need to be prepared for very, very wide swings both up and down in prices in the equity markets. Here’s the important thing to remember. . . . We now have $12 trillion sitting in negative interest rates. Where’s all that money going to go? It can’t sit there getting nothing. It will have to go into real estate. It’s going to have to go into equity. It’s going to have to go to precious metals because it can’t sit there getting no or negative yields forever. . . . The debt game is over.”
On gold and silver, Fitts says, “Interest rates coming down makes gold and silver more attractive. I think the number one thing driving precious metals is you’ve still got growth going on in Asia, and they are buyers. People are afraid, and they are looking at what is going on with the leadership, and they are getting scared. They want to hedge their bets, and gold and silver is where you go when you don’t trust the system.”
Today we got the first official confirmation of just how vast the 1MDB money-laundering scheme was and that it stretched to the very top. What is now also confirmed, is that at the heart of the fundraising operation was none other than Goldman Sachs.
Germany’s largest lender is set to shut over a quarter of its branches across the country as the company goes through a major restructuring process.
The closures are set to take place over the next few months , with 188 of Deutsche Bank’s 723 branches nationwide due to close their doors.
On Sunday, Deutsche Bank published a list of the affected branches.
North Rhine-Westphalia is to be hit hardest, with 51 branches in Germany’s most populous state listed for the chopping board. In Bavaria eleven will close, eight of which are in Munich. Continue reading »
The pending Brexit has, not surprisingly, caused a shake-up in the investment world, particularly in the UK. Of particular note is that, recently, asset management firms in Britain began refusing their clients the right to cash out of their mutual funds. Of the £35 billion invested in such funds, just under £20 billion has been affected. Continue reading »
Helicopter policies are not advocated in ‘a normal world’. They are however almost inevitable in the next recession. “Japan will be the flag bearer of fiscal stimulus.” Which will be sufficient to breath some inflationary spirit into the system. “But this is all febrile and can get over-turned by the slightest change in wind direction,” he said, tentative. “This will be the little inflation before the big helicopter-driven inflation.” But that will first require a crisis.
Bix Weir is back to re-examine ‘The World in 2016’ according to the Rothschild’s Economist magazine. What did the esoteric, occult symbology riddled cover predict, what has come to pass thus far, and what is still to come? We take a deep dive into this and more. Thanks for joining us.
On the surface, things seem pretty quiet in mid-July 2016. The biggest news stories are about the speculation surrounding Donald Trump’s choice of running mate, the stock market in the U.S. keeps setting new all-time record highs, and the media seems completely obsessed with Taylor Swift’s love life. But underneath the surface, it is a very different story. As you will see below, the conditions for a “perfect storm” are coming together very rapidly, and the rest of 2016 promises to be much more chaotic than what we have seen so far.
Let’s start with China. On Tuesday, an international tribunal in the Hague ruled against China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea. The Chinese government announced ahead of time that they do not recognize the jurisdiction of the tribunal, and they have absolutely no intention of abiding by the ruling. In fact, China is becoming even more defiant in the aftermath of this ruling. We aren’t hearing much about it in the U.S. media, but according to international news reports Chinese president Xi Jinping has ordered the People’s Liberation Army “to prepare for combat” with the United States if the Obama administration presses China to abandon the islands that they are currently occupying in the South China Sea… Continue reading »
According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), as of March 31, 2016, there were 6,122 FDIC insured financial institutions in the United States. Of those 6,122 commercial banks and savings associations, 4,701 did not hold any derivatives. To put that another way, 77 percent of all U.S. banks found zero reason to engage in high-risk derivative trading.
Citigroup, however, the bank that spectacularly blew itself up with toxic derivatives and subprime debt in 2008, became a 99-cent stock during the crisis, and received the largest taxpayer bailout in U.S. financial history despite being insolvent at the time, today holds more derivatives than 4,701 other banks combined which are backstopped by the taxpayer. Continue reading »
In the aftermath of Brexit, much of the investing public’s attention has turned to Italian banks which are in desperate need of a bailout as a result of €360 billion in bad loans growing worse by the day (and not a bail-in, as European regulations mandate, as that would lead to an immediate bank run) to avoid a freeze and/or collapse of Italy’s banking sector. This has pushed stock prices – and default risk – on Italian banks to record levels. So far Italy’s bailout requests have mostly fallen on deaf ears, as Germany’s political leaders have resisted Renzi’s recurring pleas for a taxpayer funded rescue. However, as we have alleged, and as the Italian Prime Minister admitted last week, the core risk for Europe is not just the Italian banking sector but the biggest bank of all in Europe: Deutsche Bank. Continue reading »
When most recently reporting on the latest European banking crisis, yesterday we observed a surprising development involving Deutsche Bank, namely the bank’s decision to quietly liquidate some of its shipping loans. As Reuters reported, “Deutsche Bank is looking to sell at least $1 billion of shipping loans to lighten its exposure to the sector whose lenders face closer scrutiny from the European Central Bank.
“They are looking to lighten their portfolio and this includes toxic debt. It makes commercial sense to try and sell off some of their book,” one finance source said. Deutsche Bank, which has around $5 billion to $6 billion worth of total exposure to the shipping sector, declined to comment.” Continue reading »
The headline-maker in Italy is Monte Paschi which has seen CDS soar post the regulatory ban on short-selling stock. At over 1700bps, this implies a 67% chance of default… crushing the hopes and dreams of 100s of thousands of mommas and poppas and Renzi’s dream of reelection…
As Bloomberg adds, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena’s subordinated bonds fell to a five-month low amid reports that Italy and the European Commission are in deadlock over how to boost the country’s broken banking system. Continue reading »
Real Vision TV’s Grant Williams offers a true look into what is known as an absurd debt level and unimaginable central bank manipulation. Less than a week ago we highlighted Grant’s comments on commodities. Although the information contained in the video below is nothing new to Zero Hedge, we do enjoy the way the information is presented. Set aside some time to listen as Grant tells a story about debt and the current investment landscape.
Grant sees people “with more power than you can possibly imagine” as the ones responsible for experimental economics that led the world down a path of self destruction.
“I don’t think there is any argument about whether or not the central bankers of the world should have done something in 2008. The question is ‘should they still be doing it 8 years later‘?”
“When a country embarks on deficit financing (Obamanomics) and inflationism (Quantitative easing) you wipe out the middle class and wealth is transferred from the middle class and the poor to the rich.” – Ron Paul
“Deficits mean future tax increases, pure and simple. Deficit spending should be viewed as a tax on future generations, and politicians who create deficits should be exposed as tax hikers.” – Ron Paul
“By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens. There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose.” – John Maynard Keynes
“In the absence of the gold standard, there is no way to protect savings from confiscation through inflation. … This is the shabby secret of the welfare statists’ tirades against gold. Deficit spending is simply a scheme for the confiscation of wealth. Gold stands in the way of this insidious process. It stands as a protector of property rights. If one grasps this, one has no difficulty in understanding the statists’ antagonism toward the gold standard.”
– Alan Greenspan
“Capital must protect itself in every way… Debts must be collected and loans and mortgages foreclosed as soon as possible. When through a process of law the common people have lost their homes, they will be more tractable and more easily governed by the strong arm of the law applied by the central power of leading financiers. People without homes will not quarrel with their leaders. This is well known among our principle men now engaged in forming an imperialism of capitalism to govern the world. By dividing the people we can get them to expend their energies in fighting over questions of no importance to us except as teachers of the common herd.” – J. P. Morgan
“We have in this country one of the most corrupt institutions the world has ever known. I refer to the Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Reserve Banks, hereinafter called the FED. They are not government institutions. They are private monopolies which prey upon the people of these United States for the benefit of themselves and their foreign customers.” – Louis McFadden
“It was not accidental [the 1929 stock-market “crash”]. It was a carefully contrived occurrence. … The international bankers sought to bring about a condition of despair here so that they might emerge as rulers of us all.” – Louis McFadden
“What good fortune for governments that the people do not think.” – Adolf Hitler
Just days after Hillary Clinton is found to have negligently broken laws but faced no charges, four former Barclays bankers appear to have been scapegoated over their libor-rigging. 45-year-old Jay Merchant was the hardest hit – sentenced to 6 1/2 Years in prison.
As Bloomberg reports,
Four former Barclays Plc traders were sentenced to as many as 6 1/2 years in prison for manipulating the Libor interest-rate benchmark as U.K. judges continued meting out tough punishments for white-collar crime.
Jay Merchant, 45, was sentenced to 6 1/2 years in prison.
Peter Johnson, 61, and Jonathan Mathew, 35, received four years in prison.
Alex Pabon, 38, will serve two years and nine months in jail.
The convictions are a “major victory” for the UK’s Serious Fraud Office, which conducted the investigation.
Following today’s Fed minutes release, Jeff Gundlach had a far less “uncertain” message: “Things are shaky and feeling dangerous,” Gundlach told Reuters in a telephone interview.
It’s not just stocks that Gundlach was not too excited about, he also had some choice words about buying Treasuries here. “You’re seeing people who hated the ‘2 percent’ 10-year suddenly loving it at a 1.38-1.39 percent revisit of the all-time low closing yield,” Gundlach said. “If you buy 10-year Treasuries now, I would say, it is a terrible trade location. In fact, it is the worst trade location in the history of the 10-year Treasury.” Continue reading »