China may be doing everything in its power to divert attention from the simple fact that its housing bubble, the largest in the world in terms of both assets comprising it as well as divergence from fair value, has burst. But while there is no clear threshold of what constitutes a bursting bubble when it comes to housing, the latest data out of Soufun, China’s largest real-estate website, which said that land sales have dropped a massive 22% to 1.7 trillion Yuan in 2014 so far, is likely as clear an indication as any that Beijing is about to panic.
And if that was not enough Bloomberg adds that land sales in 300 cites followed by Soufun fell almost 50% Y/Y to 415.9 billion yuan in 3Q, while residential land sales declined more than 50% to 265.3b yuan in 3Q. Continue reading »
For those curious why the Hong Kong protests over the weekend have sent shivers across the world’s capital markets, pushed the Hang Seng 2% lower, and impacted both European and US futures, not to mention leading to worries that China may get involved any second and result in another Tiananmen square event, the following clip from HK’s Apple Daily, taken by a drone, shows just how massive the demonstrations, which according to some estimates involved just why of 100,000 people, taking place in Hong Kong are.
As Mashable adds, “far from a small protest by a limited number of outspoken citizens, the video shows just how large the movement to preserve Hong Kong’s democratic elections has become. Currently, the protests have grown so large that parts of Hong Kong’s business district have been brought to a standstill, prompting the temporary closure of 17 local banks. In addition to the drone footage, Apple Daily has also posted a live video stream of the protests, allowing the world to watch as events develop in real time.”
The Hong Kong protests, which we covered over the weekend, and which took a dramatic turn for the worse overnight when thousands of students camped out and demand universal suffrage on the city streets and were in turn tear-gassed and arrested en masse by the local riot police demanding students disperse or else, and where the leader of the student protest, Joshua Wong – who had been previously arrested and was released on Sunday night – has openly called for the resignation of Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying in an interview with Hong Kong Cable TV, have done the unthinkable: they have impacted financial markets and the “wealth effect” transmission mechanism of the local billionaires.
Here as a summary of the latest market activity via Bloomberg:
Hang Seng Index declines 2.25% after falling as much as 2.5%, most since Feb. 4; erases YTD gains
MSCI Hong Kong Index drops as much as 3.2%, most since Nov. 2011
HSI Volatility Index surges as much as 27%, most since Aug. 2011
HKD weakens as much as 0.09% against USD to HK$7.7648, most since Dec. 2011 Continue reading »
Yesterday we reported that the biggest riot over the weekend was not in Ferguson (although things there are hardly stable after a local police officer was shot in the violent town overnight) but in Hong Kong, where students and other mostly young people are protesting the recent loss of their democratic vote powers and thus “the loss of their freedom.” Since then things have gotten from bad to worse when late last night Hong Kong declared the start of the Occupy Central disobedience campaign, leading to violent skirmishes with the police, which over the past hour have included the use of tear gas by the police as well as the first outright warning by the cops demanding that the student protesters disperse or risk being fired upon.
No, this is not Ferguson: it is, according to many, the world’s most capitalist city, Hong Kong, where over the past few hours, around 50,000 students are said to have massed on late Saturday, demanding more democracy, as tensions grew over Beijing’s decision to rule out free elections in the former British colony.
As we have reported since May 2013, when we explained the role of Commodity Funding Deals in Chinese “trade” and especially in the laundering of hot money flows, and most recently when we followed up on the first revelations that unknown amounts of physical commodities had been corizined in China’s port of Qingdao, one of the key uses of monetary commodities in China is for purposes of “trade” in the form of FX loans, and especially to artificially boost exports by way of fake trade invoicing. Well, like a recovering junkie addicted to fabricated data, China finally admitted it has a problem when overnight it “uncovered almost $10 billion in fraudulent trade nationwide as part of an investigation begun in April last year, including many irregularities in the port of Qingdao, the country’s currency regulator said today.” “Some companies used the trade channel to bring in hot money,” said Zhou Hao, a Shanghai-based economist at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. SAFE’s investigation “will likely further cool down hot money inflows and commodity imports could slow as banks will likely conduct more careful checks on documentation.”
China will never support or join recently imposed sanctions against Russia, Valentina Matviyenko, the speaker of the Russian parliament’s upper chamber, said on Tuesday following her talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The speaker of the Federation Council quoted the Chinese president as saying, that China will never support sanctions against Russia, no matter how much pressure is exerted on them. Continue reading »
China is slowly moving to dominate the global gold market and it is important to join the dots regarding a few key recent developments in China relating to gold.
When the International Board of the Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE) was launched last Thursday September 18 during an evening trading session, it was notable that the first transactions were put through by a diverse group comprising HSBC, MKS (Switzerland), and the Chinese banks, ICBC, Bank of China and Bank of Communications.
MKS is the Geneva headquartered precious metals trading group that also owns the large PAMP refinery company in Switzerland. Continue reading »
Whether as a result of recent icy to quite icy diplomatic relations between the two nations, or just because it has other motives, Israel had clearly abstained from joining the US effort to contain the CIA-created ISIS terrorist juggernaut. However, overnight, with the US finally doing what Israel has hoped it would do for so long, namely being engaged in a bombing campaign of Syria (recall that it was Israel which was one of the biggest supporters of a US-led military intervention in Syria in the summer of 2013), it decided “hell, why not” and joined the fray, when shortly before 3 am Eastern time, this hit:
ISRAELI SAYS IT DOWNED SYRIAN AIRCRAFT IN ISRAELI AIRSPACE
ISRAELI ARMY SAYS DOWNED SYRIAN AIRCRAFT WAS FIGHTER JET
Quite notable because it was the first time in three decades that Israel had downed a Syrian warplane, so Israel needed a strong pretext for such aggression. An aggression, incidentally, not against ISIS, but Assad’s regime itself, which clearly is what Obama’s latest operation is all about – to take down a sovereign while doing the bidding of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, just like in 2013.
And then Israel, oddly, revised the story:
ISRAEL SHOOTS DOWN SYRIAN WARPLANE NEAR BORDER: ISRAEL ARMY
So… it may not have been in Israel airspace. But then, why? Oh, here’s why:
More than 70 per cent of the country’s coal miners were losing money and had cut salaries. Translated: widespread wage deflation, in a country where M2 is expected to grow at a double digit pace. And the really bad news: “About 30 per cent of the industry’s miners had not been able to pay their employees on time and a further 20 per cent had cut salaries by more than 10 per cent, the Economic Information Daily, a Xinhua-affiliated newspaper, reported on Monday.”
Cargill is a vast USA-based agribusiness with a multinational empire that dominates the food industry in exporting grains, producing food additives and providing processed food products to McDonalds.
Cargill is in the food-trading business purely for control and profit, and they are pro-GMO, of course. Nutritional quality is of no concern. But they don’t like it when their export sales are spoiled by a GMO company’s effort to insert their corn product into a large shipment exported by Cargill to China, a nation that hasn’t approved it.
The corn was from Syngenta’s Agrisure Viptera (MIR162) seed, which was approved for cultivation in the United States in 2010. But the Chinese government had not approved this genetic strain. Earlier, China had declared GMOs safe and acceptable and became the target of GMO producers and grain traders, especially Cargill. Continue reading »
Since China fired its first ‘official’ shot across the Petrodollar bow a year ago, there has been an increasing groundswell of de-dollarization across the world’s energy trade (despite Washington’s exclamations of ‘isolated’ non-dollar transactors). The rise of the PetroYuan has not been far from our headlines in the last year, with China increasingly leveraging its rise as an economic power and as the most important incremental market for hydrocarbon exporters, in the Persian Gulf and the former Soviet Union, to circumscribe dollar dominance in global energy – with potentially profound ramifications for America’s strategic position. And now, as AP reports, for the first time in history, China has docked a Navy Destroyer in the Southern Iranian port of Bandar-Abbas – right across the Straits of Hormuz from ‘US stronghold-for-now’ Bahrain and UAE.
The rise of the PetroYuan has not been far from our headlines in the last year: Continue reading »
The suppression of gold prices is essential at all costs to the Anglo-American banking interests. The saber rattling and attempts to lure Russia and China into military conflict are about who controls the financial world.
Russia and China keep accumulating the eternal currency – gold.
The American Empire and their EU disciples continue to accumulate debt and print fiat currencies. Has fiat paper ever won out over gold in the long-run? Change is coming. Revolution is in the air.
You can sense the desperation of the ruling oligarchs. Their fiat world is beginning to crumble. But they will not go without a bloody fight.
We are in global depression which started in 2007 and is going to continue indefinitely, Jim Rickards, economist and author of “Currency Wars: The Making of the Next Global Crisis,” told RT.
China’s central bank is injecting a combined 500 billion Yuan into the country’s top banks – a move signaling the deep concerns of an economic slowdown in China. A downturn in China`s economy, as investment is scaled back in Chinese real estate, has prompted economists to forecast further financial defaults and slowing economic growth in the second half of the year. Will this monetary easing fix China’s short-term problem and put it back on the path to prosperity in the long-term? Erin from “Boom Bust” asked economist, Jim Rickards, in her show. Continue reading »
With a Fed hinting at exit strategies, gold has tumbled to 2014 lows (and almost in the red year-to-date) as traders apparently forget Japan, China, and European central banks continue to (or are set to) print more money into the global reflation trade. It appears that as the West continues to sell ‘paper’ gold, the East remains enamnored as the PBOC announced this morning:
*CHINA TO FORM SHANGHAI GOLD BENCHMARK, PBOC GOVERNOR SAYS
*PBOC CHIEF ZHOU: GOLD MARKET IMPORTANT PART OF FINANCIAL MARKET
*SHANGHAI GOLD MARKET HAS TO AVOID SYSTEMIC RISK: PBOC’S ZHOU
Furthermore, traders have noted physical buying interest continues in the Asian region as premiums rise in China and India.
“Domestic media (Sina) reported that the PBOC conducted RMB 500bn of Standing Lending Facility operations with the big 5 commercial banks (ICBC, BOC, BoCOM, CCB, ABC). The reports note that the duration is 3 months and the RMB 500 bn is evenly split among the banks. This amount is roughly the same as a 50 bps cut to RRR for the whole banking system on a static basis. There is no official confirmation from the PBOC yet. Still, such an easing would be consistent with our expectation that (1) monetary policy will loosened amid the drastic slowdown in activity growth and falling inflation, and (2) full scale RRR and interest rate cuts are unlikely because they would be viewed as aggressive stimulus.”
In a worrying sense of deja-vu all over again, today’s rip higher reflects perfectly the US equity market’s knee-jerk reaction to the last ‘Stealth QE’ from China on July 28th. That did not end well as hot money flowed out to the instantaneously “easiest” central bank in the world…
From copper to high-yield credit and from stocks to bonds and gold, markets are reacting violently to the headlines from China that they are unleashing another 500bn Yuan “stealth QE”… everything is rallying.. except the USD (biggest drop since May).
It has been a while since the PBOC engaged in some “targeted” QE. So clearly following the biggest drop in the Shanghai Composite in 6 months after some abysmal Chinese economic and flow data in the past several days, it’s time for some more. From Bloomberg:
Yuanification continues around the world. As The USA attempts to corral its allies in a ‘broad coalition’, an increasing number of people – including domestic economic policy advisors – are shifting away from the USD as primary reserve currency. However, the move by British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, announced Friday, is likely the most notable yet in the world’s de-dollarization. As Xinhua reports, the British government intend to be the first nation (ex-China) to issue Renminbi denominated bond and to use the proceeds to finance the government’s reserves of foreign currency. Osborne described this dialogue outcome as “a historic moment” and a statement of British confidence in the potential of the RMB to become “the main global reserves currency”.
The recent NATO summit in Wales, held against the background of the armed conflict in Ukraine, has brought back the Cold War atmosphere to Europe. NATO’s partnership with Russia remains formally suspended. In fact, NATO is treating Russia more as an adversary than a partner. Continue reading »
Even the escalating cold war (as in European winter cold) between Russia and the west will pale by comparison to what may happen in the far east, if the pent up for generations tensions between China and Japan, which have historically hardly been in a state of “amicable relations”, finally spill over into an all out war. Which, incidentally, is precisely what a majority, or 53% of Chinese respondents, and some 29% of their Japanese peers, expect will happen in the coming years.
If, when in February Victoria Nuland infamously launched a (not so) covert campaign to replace the ruling Ukraine president oblivious to the human casualties, resulting in a civil war in east Ukraine, NATO encroachment along the borders of Russia, and a near-terminal escalation in hostilities between Ukraine, Russian, and various regional NATO members, the US intention was to provoke the Kremlin so hard that the nation with the world’s largest reserves of mineral and energy resources would jettison the US Dollar and in the process begin the unraveling of the USD reserve currency status (as much as Jared Bernstein desires just such an outcome) it succeeded and then some. Because in the end it may have pushed not just Russia into the anti-petrodollar camp… it appears to have forced China in it as well.
According to Itar-Tass, Russia and China are discussing setting up a system of interbank transactions which will become an analogue to International banking transaction system SWIFT, First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov told PRIME on Wednesday after negotiations in Beijing.
While the West continues to press the “Russia is increasingly isolated” meme, it appears – as we noted ironically previously, that Vladimir Putin is finding plenty of friends… most notably China. While threats of ‘asymmetric’ retaliation over European sanctions may have been enough to worry Europe’s leaders, the slew of news overnight regarding increased cooperation between China and Russia is likely more damaging to Western strategy (and egos).
Not so isolated…
As overnight news shows… China and Russia are ramping up their cooperation…
First, as Reuters reports, Russia and China pledged on Tuesday to settle more bilateral trade in rouble and yuan and to enhance cooperation between banks, Russia’s First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov said, as Moscow seeks to cushion the effects of Western economic sanctions… Continue reading »
Europe’s leaders, we assume under pressure from Washington, appear to be making a big weather-related bet with their taxpayers’ lives this winter. As they unleash funding sanctions on Russia’s big energy producers, Europe has pumped a record volume of natural gas into underground inventories in an effort to ‘outlast’ Russia and mitigate any Napoleonic “Winter War” scenario. The plan appears to be to starve Russian energy firms of cashflow – as flows to Europe are already plunging – and remove their funding ability, potentially forcing severe hardship on Russia’s key economic drivers. There appears to be 3 potential problems with this plan…
As Bloomberg reports,
Europe’s reliance on Russian natural gas shipments via Ukraine is declining after the region pumped a record volume of the fuel into underground inventories, minimizing the risk of shortages during the coming winter.
Discussions of the possible collapse of the U.S. dollar often center around how such an event will affect the domestic economy. But the dollar doesn’t just operate inside of a bubble. It is the world’s reserve currency for a reason. Some sixty-six countries world-wide either utilize it as their primary currency or peg their own currencies to its exchange rate. What this means, as noted by Future Money Trends in the micro documentary below, is that if and when the dollar does come under attack the fallout will be everywhere. The collapse will happen simultaneously and affect billions of people worldwide.
This is 33% of the nations of the world all submitting their currency sovereignty to the US Federal Reserve.
If and when the U.S. loses its currency status this will be a literal collapse of the entire global monetary system… A system that is built on lies, fraud and theft.
As you might have guessed, when the game is finally up it will wreak havoc across global economies, financial markets and monetary systems. Should that ever happen, those who have failed to exchange their fiat currencies for physical goods of some sort are going to have a rude awakening. Continue reading »
Just a little tale from the streets of America Sparkled promises paved with pathos and hysteria Trenchant, weary native sons Step back, step back And see the damage done Meander to the horizon The streets of America
Interestingly, today I came across an article in the Wall Street Journal that noted Chinese homebuilders are beginning to make a more aggressive push into the U.S. market. One of the main reasons for this phenomenon appears to be: Continue reading »
“Where do multinationals pay taxes and how much?” Gaining insight from international tax experts, Backlight director Marije Meerman (‘Quants’ & ‘Money & Speed’), takes a look at tax havens, the people who live there and the routes along which tax is avoided globally.
Those routes go by resounding names like ‘Cayman Special’, ‘Double Irish’, and ‘Dutch Sandwich’. A financial world operates in the shadows surrounded by a high level of secrecy. A place where sizeable capital streams travel the world at the speed of light and avoid paying tax. The Tax Free Tour is an economic thriller mapping the systemic risk for governments and citizens alike. Is this the price we have to pay for globalised capitalism?
At the same time, the free online game “Taxodus” by Femke Herregraven is launched. In the game, the player can select the profile of a multinational and look for the global route to pay as little tax as possible.
research: William de Bruijn
camera: Jean Counet
montage: Bart van den Broek
geluid: Tim van Peppen, Benny Jansen, Joris van Ballegoijen
productie: Marie Schutgens
animaties: Bitcaves & Motoko
If after months of Eurasian axis formation, one still hasn’t realized why in the grand game over Ukraine supremacy – not to mention superpower geopolitics – Europe, and the West, has zero leverage, while Russia has all the trump cards, then today’s latest development in Chinese-Russian cooperation should make it abundantly clear.
Overnight, following a grand ceremony in the Siberian city of Yakutsk, Russia and China officially began the construction of a new gas pipeline linking the countries. The bottom line to Russia – nearly half a trillion after China’s CNPC agreed to buy $400bn in gas from Russia’s Gazprom back in May. In return, Russia will ship 38 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas annually over a period of 30 years. The 3,968 km pipeline linking gas fields in eastern Siberia to China will be the world’s largest fuel network in the world. Continue reading »
UK Prime Minister David Cameron came out swinging this morning; not only at ISIS but in calling for European leaders to block Russia from the SWIFT banking transaction system. European leaders have already (via unnamed sources) denied any actual new sanctions will take place (though they will be discussing them at the NATO Summit) but – as we have noted previously – this is yet another unintended consequence-driven nail in the coffin of USD hegemony…
The U.K. will press European Union leaders to consider blocking Russian access to the SWIFT banking transaction system under an expansion of sanctions over the conflict in Ukraine, a British government official said. Continue reading »
Several months ago, when Russia announced the much anticipated “Holy Grail” energy deal with China, some were disappointed that despite this symbolic agreement meant to break the petrodollar’s stranglehold on the rest of the world, neither Russia nor China announced payment terms to be in anything but dollars. In doing so they admitted that while both nations are eager to move away from a US Dollar reserve currency, neither is yet able to provide an alternative.
This changed in late June when first Gazprom’s CFO announced the gas giant was ready to settle China contracts in Yuan or Rubles, and at the same time the People’s Bank of China announced that its Assistant Governor Jin Qi and Russian central bank Deputy Chairman Dmitry Skobelkin held a meeting in which they discussed cooperating on project and trade financing using local currencies. The meeting discussed cooperation in bank card, insurance and financial supervision sectors.
And yet, while both sides declared their operational readiness and eagerness to bypass the dollar entirely, such plans remained purely in the arena of monetary foreplay and the long awaited first shot across the Petrodollar bow was absent.
According to Russia’s RIA Novosti, citing business daily Kommersant, Gazprom Neft has agreed to export 80,000 tons of oil from Novoportovskoye field in the Arctic; it will accept payment in rubles, and will also deliver oil via the Eastern Siberia-Pacific Ocean pipeline (ESPO), accepting payment in Chinese yuan for the transfers. Meaning Russia will export energy to either Europe or China, and receive payment in either Rubles or Yuan, in effect making the two currencies equivalent as far as the Eurasian axis is conerned, but most importantly, transact completely away from the US dollar thus, finally putin’(sic) in action the move for a Petrodollar-free world. Continue reading »