Jan 25

Bazooka man Draghi, taking aim at the euro

- Bouncing Rubble (Alhambra Investment Partners, Jan 23, 2015):

The Keynesian revival that is currently underway in the backrooms and hallways of assorted world governments is being somewhat replicated in Europe this week. It is all predicated on the position that all previous forms of “stimulus” from the fiscal side were not the right size, composition or color for that matter and thus the lack of recovery can be attributed to the impurity of the Keynesian solutions. That is further augmented in especially the Krugman view of “austerity” which has supposedly undercut all the good deeds done by central banks.

Thursday’s press conference with Mario Draghi announcing the QE program ran dangerously into interfering with that Krugman view, while also keeping within the spirit of the “purity” argument. Toward the end of the question and answer session, the ECB’s chief was asked about hyperinflation, as if this latest balance sheet expansion might nudge Europe closer to Weimar. Continue reading »

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Jan 20

bubble burst_0

- The Beginning of the End of the $100 TRILLION Bond Bubble (ZeroHedge, Jan 19, 2015):

The big story in the world is the bond bubble.

For over 30 years, sovereign nations, particularly in the West have been buying votes by offering social payments in the form of welfare, Medicare, social security, and the like.

The ridiculousness of this should not be lost on anyone. Politicians, in order to be elected, promise to allocate taxpayer funds on social programs that will benefit said taxpayers down the road (we’re simply talking about social spending, not infrastructure or other costs.

The concept that taxpayers might simply just keep the money to begin with never enters the equation. And because everyone believes that they are somehow spending someone else’s money, they play along.

When you believe that you are spending someone else’s money, it’s very easy to write a blank check, which is precisely what Western nations have been doing for years, promising everyone a safe and secure retirement without ever bothering to see where the money would come from. Continue reading »

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Jan 19

Putin-Gold

“De-Dollarization” Deepens: Russia Buys Most Gold In Six Months, Continues Selling US Treasuries (ZeroHedge, Jan 18, 2015):

The rumors of Russia selling its gold reserves, it is now clear, were greatly exaggerated as not only did Putin not sell, Russian gold reserves rose by their largest amount in six months in December to just over $46 billion (near the highest since April 2013). It appears all the “Russia is selling” chatter did was lower prices enabling them to gather non-fiat physical assets at a lower cost. On the other hand, there is another trend that continues for the Russians – that of reducing their exposure to US Treasury debt. For the 20th month in a row, Russia’s holdings of US Treasury debt fell year-over-year – selling into the strength.  

Buying low…

Russia gold reserves jump the most in six months in December, near the highest since April 2013…

Russia-Gold-Reserves

and selling high…

Russian holdings of US Treasuries are now at the 2nd lowest since 2008… Continue reading »

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Jan 18

From the article:

“And we are also finally glad that with every passing day more and more banks, pundits and “straight to CNBC” experts wearing business suits realize what we said 6 years ago, namely that QE will never work as one can’t fix a failed financial system due to record debt problem with more debt and even more props to support an even more failed financial system. And that QE has, is, and will continue failing… for everyone but the 1% of course, who with every passing day continue to tempt not only fate but the guillotines as well. Reference? See the French Revolution, because it is never different this time.”


Mario-Draghi-Just-Evil

- The ECB Will Fail Given The “History Lessons Of US And Japan”, Warns Deutsche Bank (ZeroHedge, Jan 18, 2015):

Recall that the stated purpose behind the reason why Mario Draghi’s ECB is about to launch a European government debt monetization program ranging between EUR500 and 1000 billion is to halt deflation, spark credit creation and rekindle inflation. Alas, if that is indeed the case, then as Deutsche Bank said has already determined apriori, it will be a failure. Here’s why from the biggest German bank.

First, a broad strokes preview of what the world’s most confused Central bank will do this week: Continue reading »

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Jan 18

- The SNB’s Wake-Up Call: Keynesian Central Banking Is Destroying Money And Markets (David Stockman’s Contra Corner, Jan 17, 2015):

It seems everyone was short the franc (CHF) as a matter of taking monetarism at face value. In other words, it amounted to believing the central party line about the economy and normalcy despite the fact that markets have been increasingly pessimistic about it all and actively and aggressively betting against it. Goldman Sachs is just one of many: Continue reading »

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Jan 10

Vladimir-Putin-smile-sunglasses

- Thank You Western Taxpayer: Russia To Accelerate $3bn Of Ukraine Debt (ZeroHedge, Jan 10, 2015):

Just 13 short months ago – two months before then President Yanukovich was ousted – Russia lent Ukraine $3 billion (by buying their Eurobonds). As Reuters reports, the terms of that loan included a condition that Ukraine’s total state debt should not exceed 60% of its GDP. As of last month, based on Moody’s estimates, Ukraine has violated that condition with a debt-to-GDP of 72% (and will likely rise to 85% of GDP in 2015).. and so, according to Russian finance minister Anton Siluanov, “Russia has the right to demand early return of this loan.” With European aid ‘contingent on major reforms’ and possibly taking up to 1 year, this leaves the good old IMF (i.e. the US and European taxpayer) to bridge Ukraine’s ‘gap’ and ironically bailout Russia.

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Jan 10

Fitch

- Fitch has downgrades Russia’s rating from BBB to BBB-, negative outlook (Itar Tass, Jan 10, 2015):

LONDON, January 10. /TASS/. The international rating agency Fitch said on Friday it had downgraded Russia’s long-term rating from BBB to BBB-, negative outlook.

“Fitch Ratings has downgraded Russia’s Long-term foreign and local currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDR) to ‘BBB-‘ from ‘BBB’. The issue ratings on Russia’s senior unsecured foreign and local currency bonds have also been downgraded to ‘BBB-‘ from ‘BBB’. The Outlooks on the Long-term IDRs are Negative. The Country Ceiling has been lowered to ‘BBB-‘from ‘BBB’. The Short-term foreign currency IDR has been affirmed at ‘F3′,” Fitch said in a statement.

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Jan 09

- Russian Debt Safer Than U.S.? So Says China Rating House Dagong (Bloomberg, Jan 8, 2015):

A currency crisis, recession and plunge in the price of its key export don’t mean Russia is any less creditworthy than the U.S., according to one of China’s biggest debt-rating companies.

Just the opposite — it’s a better credit risk, says Dagong Global Credit Rating Co. The firm, which downgraded U.S. government debt in October 2013 to A-, today said it has decided to maintain Russia’s rating at A with a stable outlook. Continue reading »

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Jan 03

- 5Y German Bond Yield Goes Negative For First Time Ever (ZeroHedge, Jan 2, 2015):

How do you say Japanization in German? 5Y German bonds just traded at -0.1bp yield (below Japan’s 3bp 5Y yield)…

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Jan 02

Related info:

Total US Debt Rises Over $18 Trillion; Up 70% Under Barack Obama (ZeroHedge):


total debt teaser

- US Debt Soars By $100 Billion On Last Day Of 2014, Hits Record $18.14 Trillion (ZeroHedge, Jan 2,  2014):

It seems like it was only yesterday when we reported that, in yet another sleight of hand for the US Treasury and Social Security Administration, US debt rose by $32 billion on the last day of November sending total US debt above $18 trillion for the first time ever.  As we further noted, it also meant “that total US debt has increased by 70% under Obama, from $10.625 trillion on January 21, 2009 to $18.005 trillion most recently.”

Fast forward to today when we are happy to report that according to the US Treasury, America’s debt-funded spending spree, while supposedly slowing down if looking at the declining monthly budget deficit report, never actually has.

As of the last day of 2014, total US debt soared by $98 billion in one day (driven again by Social Security debt surging on the last day of the month to a record $5.117 trillion), and closing off 2014 with a new all time high total of $18.141 trillion in Federal debt – an increase of $136 billion in the month of December and $790 billion for all of 2014.

US debt dec 31 2014

Source: US Treasury Continue reading »

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Jan 01

crash-dollar

- Jim Willie: DOLLAR DEATH: Global Trade Using Dollars Down 50%! (Grams Gold, Dec 26, 2014):

This transcript of the interview with Jim Willie in early December 2014 highlights the importance of gold on the world stage, as well as other important events that are taking place.In the video interview titled, “No Prisoners in the Global Money War,” Willie says, “I think we have acceleration on the systemic breakdown globally. There is no asset foundation to the US banking system anymore. It’s just a bunch of ‘spinning derivatives on computer trades’. Continue reading »

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Dec 31

EOD

- S&P 500 Closes 2014 Weak, Up 6th Year In A Row; Treasuries Triple Dow’s Gains (ZeroHedge, Dec 31, 2014):

 

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Dec 30

Stocks Give Up Santa Rally Gains

- Bonds & Bullion “Safety Bid” As Stocks Give Up Santa Rally Gains (ZeroHedge, Dec 30, 2014)

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Dec 23

Stocks Surge To Record-est Highs, Bond Bloodbath Ensues

Dow Over 18,000: Stocks Surge To Record-est Highs, Bond Bloodbath Ensues (ZeroHedge, Dec 23, 2014)

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Dec 23

The Legacy - Cartoon

- Grow Your Way Out of Debt? Don’t Make Us Laugh … (Acting Man, Dec 22, 2014):

Too Much Debt

But today, we continue with our look at the macro situation at the end of 2014… One way of measuring GDP is to add together consumption, investment, government spending and net exports.

The idea is to measure total spending. And in this way, also measure production. Most things produced are sold. Add up how much spending there is and you get an idea of how much production there’s been.

US GDP is reported to be $18 trillion a year – with $3.5 trillion coming from US federal government spending. Add state and local government spending, and the total rises to more than $6 trillion.

This means that the private sector – the part that pays the bills – is only $12 trillion. Total debt – government, corporate and personal – in the US is now $58 trillion (misreported yesterday as $59 trillion… but what’s a trillion dollars between friends?). That’s nearly five times the real economy that supports it.

And it helps explain why it is so hard to “grow your way out” of debt. Assuming an annual interest rate of 2%, even if you could contain debt increases to 3% of GDP a year, the productive part of the economy would have to grow at 5% just to stay even. No developed economy in the world is growing that fast.

At an interest rate of 3%, the annual interest on $58 trillion is $1.7 trillion. That’s slightly less than 10% of GDP. But it’s 14% – or one of every seven dollars – of the private sector economy. Continue reading »

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Dec 22

- Don’t Tell Germany Draghi Is About To Monetize 90% Of Bund Issuance (ZeroHedge, Dec 22, 2014):

The Bank of Japan’s expansion of record stimulus today may see it buy every new bond the government issues.

The BOJ said it plans to buy 8 trillion to 12 trillion yen ($108 billion) of Japanese government bonds per month under stepped-up stimulus it announced today. That gives Governor Haruhiko Kuroda leeway to soak up the 10 trillion yen in new bonds that the Ministry of Finance sells in the market each month.

Translated: the BOJ will monetize 100% of all Japanese debt issuance (source).

… And this:

in Q1, we expect the ECB to announce a EUR500bn sovereign QE program and buy EMU government bonds according to each EMU country’s ECB capital key contribution. This implies that the ECB would purchase EUR130bn of German bonds, i.e., 90% of the 2015 gross issuance of German Bunds.

Translated: the ECB will monetize 90% of all German debt issuance (source).

Or just show them this chart. Continue reading »

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Dec 19

Dominoes

- Junk Bonds Are Going To Tell Us Where The Stock Market Is Heading In 2015 (Economic Collapse, Dec 18, 2014):

Do you want to know if the stock market is going to crash next year?  Just keep an eye on junk bonds.  Prior to the horrific collapse of stocks in 2008, high yield debt collapsed first.  And as you will see below, high yield debt is starting to crash again.  The primary reason for this is the price of oil.  The energy sector accounts for approximately 15 to 20 percent of the entire junk bond market, and those energy bonds are taking a tremendous beating right now.  This panic in energy bonds is infecting the broader high yield debt market, and investors have been pulling money out at a frightening pace.  And as I have written about previously, almost every single time junk bonds decline substantially, stocks end up following suit.  So don’t be fooled by the fact that some comforting words from Janet Yellen caused stock prices to jump over the past couple of days.  If you really want to know where the stock market is heading in 2015, keep a close eye on the market for high yield debt. Continue reading »

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Dec 16

- Western Banks Cut Off Liquidity To Russian Entities (ZeroHedge, Dec 16, 2014):

As Zero Hedge first reported today, shortly before noon one (and subsequently more) FX brokers advised clients that any existing Ruble positions would be forcibly closed out because “western banks have stopped pricing USDRUB“, over concerns of Russian capital controls. Ironically, it was this forced liquidation of mostly short RUB positions that pushed the RUB higher, which in turn had a briefly favorably impact on energy commodities and risk assets, as the market had by then perceived the Ruble selloff as excessive. Of course, since nothing had actually changed aside from a temporary market technical, the selloff promptly resumed into the close of trading once the market finally understood what we had explained hours previously.

And unfortunately for the bulls, various falling knife-catchers, and those who hope the Russian situation will stabilize imminently with or without capital controls, it appears things in Russia are about to get a whole lot worse because as the WSJ reports, the next driver of the Russian crisis is likely to come from within the banking system itself because global banks are curtailing the flow of cash to Russian entities, a response to the ruble’s sharpest selloff since the 1998 financial crisis.”

Presenting Russia’s banks: now cut off from the outside world as the second cold war goes nuclear, at least when it comes to the financial system:
Continue reading »

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Dec 16

- Ruble plummets losing more than 20% in a day, hitting new dollar and euro lows (RT, Dec 16, 2014):

No end seems to be in sight for the plight of the Russian ruble, which slumped to new record lows against hard currencies Tuesday. The EUR traded at 93.5 against the ruble, and the USD at 75.

The Russian stock market also went haywire, dropping more than 15 percent as of 2:30pm Moscow time, after it dropped 11 percent the day before. Sberbank, the country’s largest lender, lost 17.77 percent, and VTB, the second biggest bank, fell by 14.29 percent. State-owned oil and gas companies Gazprom, Rosneft, and Surgut also saw shares plummet.

The emergency interest rate hike to 17 percent has failed to halt the ruble’s landslide tumble against hard currencies. The rate increase only calmed the ruble temporarily. Continue reading »

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Dec 15

- China, Russia Dump US Treasurys In October As Foreigners Sell Most US Stocks Since 2007 (ZeroHedge, Dec 15, 2014):

Perhaps the most notable feature of the October Treasury International Capital report is that in October foreigners sold a whopping $27.2 billion in US equities, surpassing the dump just after the first Taper Tantrum, when they sold $27.1 billion in June of 2013 when they also sold $40.8 billion in Treasurys. This was the largest selling of US corporate stocks by foreign entities since the August 2007 quant flash crash, when some $40.6 billion in US stocks were sold by offshore accounts.

TIC Dec Stocks

However, what this month’s TIC data will surely be best remember for, is that both China and Russia dumped US Treasurys in October, some $14 billion and $10 billion, respecitvely, in the process sending China’s total Treasury holdings to just $1,253 billion, the lowest since February 2013 and just $30 billion more than the TSYs held by America’s second largest (offshore) creditor, Japan. This happens even as Belgium which many have said is a proxy for Chinese bond purchases, also saw its total holdings decline by $5 billion to $348 billion. Continue reading »

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