Jan 30

Obamacare

Thanks Obamacare: This Is What Americans Spent The Most Money On In Q4 (ZeroHedge, Jan 30, 2015):

If readers need clarification on what was the primary source of spending-based “growth” for the US economy in the fourth quarter, the same source that bumped up final Q3 GDP from 3.9% to 5.0%, please ping us: we will gladly explain the chart below.  And just in case it is still unclear what Americans are spending their “gas sasvings” on, here it is one more time.

Q4 spending GDP

And just in case the fading impact of Obamacare is not already priced in, here is what Q4 inventories did: rising by $113.1 billion in Q4, this was the second highest quarterly increase in the 21st century, second only to September 2010. It’s all GDP-crushing liquidations from here. Continue reading »

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Jan 30

Brazil’s Economy Is On The Verge Of Total Collapse (ZeroHedge, Jan 30, 2015):

Back when the BRICs were the source of marginal global growth, the punditry couldn’t stop praising them. However, in the past year, now that China’s housing bubble has burst and its shadow banking system has imploded, those who remember what BRIC actually stood for are about as rare as those who recall what it means for the Fed to hike rates. Which is precisely why nobody in the mainstream financial media has commented on the absolutely abysmal economic update reported earlier today out Brazil.

We are happy to do so because today’s data follows up quite well to our article from a month ago “Brazil’s Economy Just Imploded” and as the earlier article on the crashing Brazilian Real hinted, things for the Brazilian economy how gone from imploding to, well, worse because not only did the twin fiscal and current account deficits rise even more, hitting a whopping 11% of GDP – the worst since August 1999, but its government debt soared to 63.4% in 2014, up from 56.7% a year ago, and the highest since at least 2006. In short – the entire economy is now on the verge of total collapse. Continue reading »

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Jan 29

- WTF Chart Of The Day: Baltic Dry Index Crashes To Lowest In 29 Years (ZeroHedge, Jan 29, 2015):

Quietly behind the scenes – and not at all reflective of a collapsing global economy (because that would break the narrative of over-supply and pent-up demand) – The Baltic Dry Index plunged over 5% today to 632… That is the lowest absolute level for the global shipping rates indicator since August 1986

Baltic Dry Index_BDIY

“Transitory”

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Jan 29

- Crude Contagion: California’s Kern County Declares Fiscal Emergency Due To Plunging Oil Price (Zerohedge, Jan 28, 2015):

At this point only an act of god, or a sudden Saudi change of heart to cut crude production by 50% (unclear which is more probable) can prevent a recession in Texas. However, one state that few thought would be impaired as a result of the crude plunge, is California. Yet as the LA Times reports, it is precisely California, and specifically Kern County located in the middle of the state and containing the farmer town of Bakersfield and countless oil rigs, that yesterday declared a state of fiscal emergency during the weekly supervisors’ meeting on Tuesday. The reason: predictions of a massive shortfall in property tax revenues because of tanking oil prices.

Oil companies account for about 30% of the county’s property tax revenues, a percentage that has been declining in recent decades but still represents a critical cushion for county departments and school districts. Continue reading »

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Jan 28

- Baltic Dry Index: 666 (ZeroHedge, Jan 28, 2015):

Forget The Hindenburg Omen and The Hilsenrath Omen, today we have the real deal as The Baltic Dry Index hits the ominous 666 level – the lowest print for this time of year on record. Of course, just like with oil – this is brushed off as over-supply (not under-demand) and we are sure someone will opine how positive this drastic deflation of shipping rates is for global business… but still – this is the lowest print since September 2012 (and practically the lowest since the recession).

At 666, The Baltic Dry is practically at post-recession lows…

Baltic Dry Index_666_BDIY

and is the lowest ever on record for this time of year… Continue reading »

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Jan 28


24.08.2014

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Jan 27

casino-royale

- How Capitalism Dies (Acing Man, Jan 27, 2015):

In the early 1970s, there were about 200,000 new US businesses created each year (net of closures). Now, the number is negative. Why are Americans getting poorer? Look no further. No new businesses (net). No new jobs (again net). No new wealth. Under Obama and Draghi, crony capitalism flourishes. Real capitalism dies.

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Jan 27

- China Leading Index Plunges To 6 Year Lows (ZeroHedge, Jan 27, 2015):

Just released this morning, following last night’s plunge in industrial profits, China’s Leading Index continued its freefall to its lowest level since Jan 2009…

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Jan 27

statue-of-liberty-crying

- The Broken Template (Kunstler, Jan 26, 2015):

The more detached from reality American culture becomes the more strictly ceremonial leadership gets, as illustrated by the raft of bromides Barack Obama floated past the assembled vassalage of government last week in another grand effort to avoid the necessities of the moment.

Those necessities include freeing a hostage public from the tyrannical clutches of corporate despotism — the evil empire of big boxes, big burgers, big pharma, Big Brother — and the atrocious rackets fostered by them that masquerade as an economy. The template of the life we have known is broken and the pieces within are flying apart, and no amount of wishing or promising can keep them going. If this society is even going to survive, the people have to smash their way out of this template prison, probably against the efforts of the people and organizations now running it merely for their own benefit.

The future is telling us very clearly: get smaller, get finer, get more local, get less complex, get less grandiose, do it now. Continue reading »

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Jan 27

As a side note:

Obama is NOT ‘blurting out’ any ‘meaningless phrases’ in his speeches. They all serve a purpose:

- President Obama’s Commencement Speech Exposed For What It Is: Latest State Of The Art MASS HYPNOSIS, Using The Techniques Of Dr. Milton Erickson, M.D.

PDF: Obama’s_Use_of_Hidden_Hypnosis_techniques_in_His_Speeches

Not meaningless, just evil.

Related info:

- Manchurian Candidate: Elite Puppet Mind-Control ‘Presidential Model’ Barack Obama


- As the Middle Class Evaporates, Global Oligarchs Plan Their Escape from the Impoverished Pleb Masses (Liberty Blitzkrieg, Jan 26, 2015):

The middle class has shrunk consistently over the past half-century. Until 2000, the reason was primarily because more Americans moved up the income ladder. But since then, the reason has shifted: There is a greater share of households on the lower rungs of the economic ladder.

– From yesterday’s New York Times article: Middle Class Shrinks Further as More Fall Out Instead of Climbing Up

At a packed session in Davos, former hedge fund director Robert Johnson revealed that worried hedge fund managers were already planning their escapes. “I know hedge fund managers all over the world who are buying airstrips and farms in places like New Zealand because they think they need a getaway,” he said.

– From the Guardian’s article: As Inequality Soars, the Nervous Super Rich are Already Planning Their Escapes

So the other day, President Barack Obama once again demonstrated his contempt for the American public by using his State of the Union address to pejoratively blurt out meaningless phrases such as “but tonight, we turn the page” and: “The verdict is clear. Middle-class economics works. Expanding opportunity works. And these policies will continue to work, as long as politics don’t get in the way.”

Sorry, but why are “we turning the page” tonight? Weren’t you elected over six years ago? Why didn’t you turn the page in 2009? Continue reading »

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Jan 26

Argentina 2001

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Jan 26

poverty-rates-in-germany
Poverty index from 2007

- Millions of German workers in poverty (Deutsche Welle (DW), Jan 24, 2015):

More than three million Germans can barely make ends meet despite being in work, according to a German newspaper. Growing numbers of struggling workers are cutting back on heating and food.

About 3.1 million wage and salary earners in Germany had an income below the poverty threshold, according to Saturday’s edition of the Saarbrücker Zeitung newspaper.

The paper cited an overview from Germany’s Federal Statistical Office showing the most recent available data, which covered the year 2013. It also showed the numbers of workers struggling to make ends meet jumped from about 2.5 million in 2008 – an increase of 25 percent in five years. Continue reading »

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Jan 24

- Mario Draghi: Charlatan Of The Apparatchiks (David Stockman’s Contra Corner, Jan 22, 2015):

Well, he finally launched “whatever it takes” and that marks an inflection point. Mario Draghi has just proved that the servile apparatchiks who run the world’s major central banks will stop at nothing to appease the truculent gamblers they have unleashed in the casino. And that means there will eventually be a monumental crash landing because the bubble beneficiaries are now commanding the bubble makers.

There is not one rational reason why the ECB should be purchasing $1.24 trillion of existing sovereign bonds and other debt securities during the next 18 months. Forget all the ritual incantation emanating from the central bankers about fighting deflation and stimulating growth. The ECB has launched into a massive bond buying campaign for the sole purpose of redeeming Mario Draghi’s utterly foolish promise to make speculators stupendously rich by the simple act of buying now (and on huge repo leverage, too) what he guaranteed the ECB would be buying latter.

So today’s program amounts to a giant bailout in the form of a big fat central bank “bid” designed to prop up prices in the immense parking lot of French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese etc. debt that has been accumulated by hedge funds, prop traders and other rank speculators since mid-2012. Never before have so few—-perhaps several thousand banks and funds—-been pleasured with so many hundreds of billions of ill-gotten gain. Robin Hood is spinning madly in his grave.

Continue reading »

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Jan 24

hindenburg-burning

- When This Ends, Everybody Gets Hurt (Peak Prosperity, Jan 21, 2015):

It’s Already ‘Later’

My argument is that it’s already ‘later’. We’re living through the period of time when that dawning recognition of limits will finally burst over the horizon, shining a very bright spotlight on a frightening number of our global society’s unsustainable practices.

The most urgent of them all, as far as everyone reading this is concerned, is the very uncomfortable fact that it is our system of money that is most likely to break first and hardest because its very design demands endless growth, without which collapse ensues. Continue reading »

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Jan 21

deflationary vortex

The “Deflationary Vortex”: Global Dollar Economy Suffers Biggest Plunge Since Lehman, Down $4 Trillion (ZeroHedge, Jan 20, 2015):

One of the macroeconomic observations that has gotten absolutely no mention in recent months is the curious fact that while global economic growth has not imploded in recent quarters, it is because GDP has been represented, as is customary, in local currency terms. Of course, this comes as a time when local currencies (at least those which are not the USD) have been plunging against the greenback on the back of the expectations that the Fed will hike rates some time in the summer or later in 2015. Which also means that in “dollar economy” terms, i.e., converted in USD, things are not nearly as good.

In fact, as the chart above shows, the global dollar economy is not only shrinking fast, but it is doing so at the fastest pace since the Lehman collapse, having shrunk by $4 trillion, or a whopping 5%, in just the last 6 months! Continue reading »

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Jan 20

Flashback:

- Welcome to the Recovery (New York Times, by Timothy Geithner, August 2, 2010)

‘Recovery’ is the ‘Greatest Depression’ …

… and …

‘War is peace’.


bkaer hughes

- First Schlumberger Fires 9,000; Now Baker Hughes Unleashes 7,000 More Layoffs (ZeroHedge, Jan 20, 2015):

Another day, another unambiguously bad announcement from America’s bettered energy sector which are bolting down ahead of the crude storm, and firing thousands. Last week it was Schlumberger which announced it would fire 9000, today it is Baker Hughes which just warned it too will hand out about 7000 pink slips in the first quarter. And as a reminder, when it comes to comp: each Baker Hughes job is equivalent to about 10 waiter and bartender jobs, which have been the basis of this “recovery.”

  • BAKER HUGHES SEES WORKFORCE REDUCTION OF 7,000 WORKERS
  • BAKER HUGHES EXPECTS TO CUT 7,000 JOBS IN FIRST QUARTER 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

traders brokers hands on face stock market collapse

- Market Wrap: Chinese Stocks Crash As Financials Suffer Record Drop; Commodities Resume Decline; US Closed (ZeroHedge, Jan 19, 2015):

For all those who alleged the Chinese stock move in recent months, was nothing but another investing mania, i.e., bubble, benefiting a select few, because as we showed in July, unlike the US where 70% of household wealth is in financial assets, in China it is the other way around, with three quarters of “net worth” parked in real estate which is merely the latest bubble to pop…

China vs US Real Estate

… congratulations, you were right. 

This was once again confirmed last night when the Chinese stock market waterfalled into the biggest market crash in over 6 years, with the SHCOMP closing down nearly 8% and in the process triggering various circuit breakers, most notably the CSI 300 index which fell by the 10% daily limit and the Chinese financial index (-9.9%) posting its biggest 1-day drop on record after China cracked down on continuing margin-finance and securities lending violations. In other words, the entire run up was thanks to speculation-enabling margin trading, and massive investor leverage; leverage which may or may not disappear. If the SHCOMP crash accelerates in coming days, wtch as Citic, Haitong et al once again flout regulations with the secret blessing of the PBOC, because an uncontrollable market crash is no longer acceptable to anyone.

Details on the Chinese crash from Bloomberg:

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Jan 19

Full article and must-see photos here:

- Quote Of The Day: “Venezuela Must Deepen Socialism To Improve Economy” – Maduro (ZeroHedge, Jan 18, 2015):

Practically presented with no comment, we could not quite believe the words coming out of Venezuela’s President Maduro last night as he addressed the nation’s concerns over mile-long lines for toothpaste, toilet-paper, bread, and soap:

*VENEZUELA MUST DEEPEN SOCIALISM TO IMPROVE ECONOMY: MADURO

Having apparently failed on his mission to Asia to garner enough support to drag oil prices up to the $100 level he “believes is fair,” Maduro went on to explain how he will “change the food supply system, not the economic model,” to solve the nation’s crisis, since “most of the private sector are parasitic bums.”

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Jan 18

Related info:

- 14 Facts That Prove That The Number Of Children Living In Poverty This Christmas Is At A Record High


Oligarchy

- Welcome to the Oligarch Recovery – Majority of Public School Students are in Poverty for First Time in 50 Years (Liberty Blitzkrieg, Jan 17, 2015):

“When they first come in my door in the morning, the first thing I do is an inventory of immediate needs: Did you eat? Are you clean? A big part of my job is making them feel safe,” said Sonya Romero-Smith, a veteran teacher at Lew Wallace Elementary School in Albuquerque. Fourteen of her 18 kindergartners are eligible for free lunches.

She helps them clean up with bathroom wipes and toothbrushes, and she stocks a drawer with clean socks, underwear, pants and shoes.

From the Washington Post article: Majority of U.S. Public School Students are in Poverty

It’s a recovery so lopsided only Timothy Geithner or an oligarch could love it. Since 2008, U.S. economic policy has concentrated on funneling as much money as possible to billionaires, keeping the poor alive and submissive through government programs, and squeezing the middle class to death while at the same time holding out the carrot of hope that things will return to how they were before (they won’t).

The latest evidence of this monumental cultural theft was highlighted yesterday in the Washington Post. Here are a few excerpts: Continue reading »

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