- Federal Reserve Blows More Bubbles (The Free Foundation, by Ron Paul):
Last week at its regular policy-setting meeting, the Federal Reserve announced it would double down on the policies that have failed to produce anything but a stagnant economy. It was a disappointing, but not surprising, move.
The Fed affirmed that it is prepared to increase its monthly purchases of Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities if things don’t start looking up. But actually the Fed has already been buying more than the announced $85 billion per month. Between February and March, the Fed’s securities holdings increased $95 billion. From March to April, they increased $100 billion. In all, the Fed has pumped more than a half trillion dollars into the economy since announcing its latest round of “quantitative easing” (QE3) in September 2012.
Tags: Barack Obama, Bonds, Bubble, Collapse, Debt, Economy, Fed, Federal Reserve, Global News, Government, Great Depression, Obama administration, Politics, Quantitative Easing, Ron Paul, U.S., Unemployment
From the article:
… house prices fell by -8% in the year to December 2012 to be down -18% since prices peaked in 2008, pulling many Dutch households into negative equity …
- Netherlands on Edge of Economic Crisis; Unemployment Surges as Home Prices Collapse (Global Economic Analysis, April 21, 2013):
Netherlands is underwater in more ways than one. Der Spiegel reports Underwater: The Netherlands Falls Prey to Economic Crisis
More than a decade ago, the Dutch central bank recognized the dangers of [the housing] euphoria, but its warnings went unheeded. Only last year did the new government, under conservative-liberal Prime Minister Mark Rutte, amend the generous tax loopholes, which gradually began to expire in January. But now it’s almost too late. No nation in the euro zone is as deeply in debt as the Netherlands, where banks have a total of about €650 billion in mortgage loans on their books.
Consumer debt amounts to about 250 percent of available income. By comparison, in 2011 even the Spaniards only reached a debt ratio of 125 percent.
The Netherlands is still one of the most competitive countries in the European Union, but now that the real estate bubble has burst, it threatens to take down the entire economy with it. Unemployment is on the rise, consumption is down and growth has come to a standstill.
Even €46 billion in austerity measures are apparently not enough to remain within the EU debt limit. Although [Dutch Finance Minister and Euro Group Chief] Jeroen Dijsselbloem has announced another €4.3 billion in cuts in public service and healthcare, they will only take effect in 2014.
“Sticking the knife in even more deeply” would be “very, very unreasonable,” Social Democrat Dijsselbloem told German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, in an attempt to justify the delay.
Click the play button below to listen to Chris’ interview with Bill Fleckenstein (28m:26s)
- Bill Fleckenstein: Hold Tight To Your Gold (PeakProsperity, April 21, 2013):
Why it’s going to go “one hell of a lot” higher
The bond market is an accident waiting to happen.
When the bond market finally does crack, it is going to be one epic nightmare that is going to make 2008 and 2009 seem like a picnic. It will be a different kind of a crisis; but it will be an enormous crisis. These people that are bullish about stocks and bonds and the bond market, they do not understand anything.
We will hit a moment in time where there will be a rapid acceleration of the perception that people are being cheated via inflation by these money-printing policies. Why Americans seem to think there is no inflation just because the CPI says so, when their checkbooks every day ought to tell them there is, I cannot explain that. But there will be a change in psychology, and there will be a massive stampede into gold here and everywhere else around the world, because it is the only way you can protect yourself against these policies.
Pity the wise money manager these days. Our juiced-up financial markets, force-fed liquidity by the Fed the other major world central banks, are pushing asset prices far beyond what the fundamentals merit.
If you see this reckless central planning behavior for what it is – a deluded attempt to avoid reality for as long as possible – your options are limited if you take your fiduciary duty to your clients seriously.
Tags: Bank of Japan, Ben Bernanke, Bill Fleckenstein, Bonds, Bubble, Central Bank, Debt, Economy, Fed, Federal Reserve, Fleckenstein Capital, Global News, Gold, Government, Japan, Politics, precious metals, Real Estate, Stock Market, U.S.
- The Big Banks Are Recklessly Gambling With Our Money, And It Will Cause The Global Financial System To Collapse (Economic Collapse, April 2, 2013):
Have you ever wondered how the big banks make such enormous mountains of money? Well, the truth is that much of it is made by gambling recklessly. If they win on their bets, they become fabulously wealthy. If they lose on their bets, they know that the government will come in and arrange for the banks to be bailed out because they are “too big to fail”. Either they will be bailed out by the government using our tax dollars, or as we just witnessed in Cyprus, they will be allowed to “recapitalize” themselves by stealing money directly from our bank accounts. So if they win, they win big. If they lose, someone else will come in and clean up the mess. This creates a tremendous incentive for the bankers to “go for it”, because there is simply not enough pain in this equation for those that are taking the risks. If the big Wall Street banks had been allowed to collapse back in 2008, that would have caused a massive change of behavior on Wall Street. But instead, the big banks are still recklessly gambling with our money as if the last financial crisis never even happened. In the end, the reckless behavior of these big banks is going to cause the entire global financial system to collapse.
Have you noticed how most news reports about Cyprus don’t even get into the reasons why the big banks in Cyprus collapsed?
Well, the truth is that they collapsed because they were making incredibly reckless bets with the money that had been entrusted to them. In a recent article, Ron Paul explained how the situation played out once the bets started to go bad… Continue reading »
- Holland: “An Economy On The Brink” (ZeroHedge, April 2, 2013):
Infamous for little boys plugging holes with their fingers and grown-ups plugging their mouth with their foot (D-Boom), it seems Holland, Berlin’s most important ally in the goal of greater fiscal discipline in Europe, has fallen into an economic crisis itself. As Spiegel reports, the once exemplary economy is suffering from huge debts and a burst real estate bubble, which has stalled growth and endangered jobs.
The statistics make for some worrisome reading: no nation in the euro zone is as deeply in debt as the Netherlands, where banks have a total of about €650 billion in mortgage loans on their books; consumer debt amounts to about 250% of available income – by comparison, in 2011 even the Spaniards only reached a debt ratio of 125%; unemployment is on the rise; consumption is down; and growth has come to a standstill.
The trouble for Holland is that despite their proclamations of the need for Fiscal conservatism, even EUR46 billion in austerity measures are apparently not enough to keep the nation’s deficit within the EU debt limit. The Dutch were long among Europe’s most diligent savers, and in the crisis many are holding onto their money even more tightly, which is also toxic to the economy, as “one of the main problems is declining consumption.”
The nationalization on SNS in February brought this reality home and as Spiegel reports, “there is no end to the crisis in sight.”
- Presenting The College Whose Graduates Have A 62% Student Loan Default Rate (ZeroHedge, Feb 19, 2013):
It is common knowledge by now that the US has a student loan problem. Specifically, a subprime-sized, student loan default problem, which as was reported last year, has now surpassed a 23% default rate at “for profit” institutions. Yet as all statistical measures, this one too deals in means and medians: very boring, impersonal metrics. Where the truly stunning data emerge is when one performs a granular college by college analysis of the US higher learning system, which is precisely what the WSJ has done, breaking down some 3500 colleges and universities by annual cost, graduation rate, median amount borrowed and most importantly, student-loan default rate. In this context we feel quite bad for the students who graduate from ICPR Junior College of Puerto Rico (or rather the 52% of them who graduate), with a modest $2,250 in student loans to cover the otherwise manageable tuition of $7,158, as a mindboggling 62% of them end up defaulting on their loans!
- Student Loan Bubble Forces Yale, Penn To Sue Their Own Students (ZeroHedge, Feb 5, 2013):
We have not been shy about exposing the massive (and unsustainable) bubble of credit being blown into the economy via Student Loans from the government. We have not been afraid to note the dramatic rise in delinquencies among these loans – and the implications for the government. However, as Bloomberg reports, it appears the impact of this exuberance has come back to bite the colleges themselves. In what can only be described as a vendor-financing model, the so-called Perkins loans (for students with extraordinary financial hardships) have seen defaults surging more than 20%. The vicious circle, though, has begun as the ponzi of using these revolving loan funds to ‘fund’ the next round of students is collapsing thanks to the rise in delinquencies. Schools such as Yale, Penn, and George Washington are becoming very aggressive at going after delinquent student borrowers. While financially hard-up graduates complain of no jobs, the schools are not impressed: “You could take a job at Subway or wherever to pay the bills … It seems like basic responsibility to me,” but perhaps that is the point – avoiding responsibility is seemingly rewarded in the new normal.
Yale Suing Former Students Shows Crisis in Loans to Poor
Needy U.S. borrowers are defaulting on almost $1 billion in federal student loans earmarked for the poor, leaving schools such as Yale University and the University of Pennsylvania with little choice except to sue their graduates.
The record defaults on federal Perkins loans may jeopardize the prospects of current students since they are part of a revolving fund that colleges give to students who show extraordinary financial hardship.