Oct 20

euro-collapse

- Europe’s Fatal Flaw Laid Bare For All To See. Again. (The Automatic Earth, Oct , Oct 17, 2014):

markets, at the end of last week, sort of refound their – shaky – feet, oil up a dollar, EU exchanges up 3% or so, Greece even up over 7%, while interestingly gold didn’t move much at all during the wild week (no safe haven), and most movement was perhaps, through all the see-saw, in bonds. To sum up the week: panic followed by plunge protection teams. And now the ‘leaders’ hope plunge protection will save another day too.

And they may. Germany sinks a bit, but Germany is strong. US housing is at least not falling further, but US consumer spending stalls and drops. The deep dark weakness has not yet hit the big economies. But the nerves are back. Volatility is back with a vengeance. As it should. And that will paint the picture going forward, plunge protection or not. Da markets will come again and again and dare central banks to plunge protect. Continue reading »

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Oct 19

- Because This Time Is Never Different, In 100 Year Old Cartoons (ZeroHedge, Oct 18, 2014):

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Oct 19

- Mel Watt, Federal Housing Finance Agency Head, is Pushing Banks to Make Extremely Risky Home Loans (Liberty Blitzkrieg, Oct 16, 2014):

Mel Watt is one of the most dangerous financial oligarch puppets operating in America today. The first time he came across my radar screen was back in 2009, when he “gutted” Ron Paul’s End the Fed bill while it was in subcommittee, something I outlined in the post: Leverage in PE Deals Soars Despite Fed Warnings; Amidst Insatiable Demand for Risky Fannie Mae Debt. Continue reading »

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Oct 19

- Forget about Ebola – here’s why US banks (and your savings) are now EXTREMELY vulnerable (Sovereign Man, Oct 16, 2014):

For a casual observer of the US economy (most “experts”), you could say that things look pretty good. Unemployment is at its lowest rate in six years. Earnings of S&P 500 companies are higher than ever, while their debt is lower than it’s been in the last 24 years.

Nonetheless, rather than getting excited for good economic times, the big commercial banks are all battening down the hatches. They’re preparing for bad times ahead. Continue reading »

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Oct 19

- Kudos To Herr Weidmann For Uttering Three Truths In One Speech (David Stockman’s Contra Corner, Oct 17, 2014):

Once in a blue moon officials commit truth in public, but the intrepid leader of Germany’s central bank has delivered a speech which let’s loose of three of them in a single go. Speaking at a conference in Riga, Latvia, Jens Weidmann put the kibosh on QE, low-flation and central bank interference in pricing of risky assets.

These days the Keynesian chorus in favor of policy activism is so boisterous that a succinct statement to the contrary rarely gets through – especially at Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street yarn factory. But here’s what penetrated even Brian Blackstone’s filters:

“The biggest bottleneck for growth in the euro area is not monetary policy, nor is it the lack of fiscal stimulus: it is the structural barriers that impede competition, innovation and productivity,” he said.

Continue reading »

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Oct 18

- Japanese Stocks Tumble After BoJ Bond-Buying Operation Fails For First Time Since Abenomics (ZeroHedge, Oct 17, 2014):

Having rotated their attention to the T-bill market in Japan (after demand for the Bank of Japan’s cheap loans disappointed policymakers) in an effort to ensure enough freshly printed money was flushed into Japanese markets, the BoJ now has a major problem. For the first time since QQE began, Bloomberg reports the BoJ failed to buy all the bonds they desired. Whether this is investors unwilling to sell (preferring the safe haven than stocks or eu bonds) or that BoJ has soaked up too much of the market (that dealers now call “dead”) is unclear. Japanese stocks – led by banks – are sliding as bond-demand sends 5Y yields (13bps) to 18-month lows.

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Oct 16

- 12 Charts That Show The Permanent Damage That Has Been Done To The U.S. Economy (Economic Collapse, Oct 13, 2014):

Most people that discuss the “economic collapse” focus on what is coming in the future.  And without a doubt, we are on the verge of some incredibly hard times.  But what often gets neglected is the immense permanent damage that has been done to the U.S. economy by the long-term economic collapse that we are already experiencing.  In this article I am going to share with you 12 economic charts that show that we are in much, much worse shape than we were five or ten years ago.  The long-term problems that are eating away at the foundations of our economy like cancer have not been fixed.  In fact, many of them continue to get even worse year after year.  But because unprecedented levels of government debt and reckless money printing by the Federal Reserve have bought us a very short window of relative stability, most Americans don’t seem too concerned about our long-term problems.  They seem to have faith that our “leaders” will be able to find a way to muddle through whatever challenges are ahead.  Hopefully this article will be a wake up call.  The last major wave of the economic collapse did a colossal amount of damage to our economic foundations, and now the next major wave of the economic collapse is rapidly approaching. Continue reading »

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Oct 13

- Why Tomorrow It Could Get Even Worse (ZeroHedge, Oct 13, 2014):

While today’s market dump was certainly dramatic, it was a function of the scant liquidity in the market (as we warned would be the case first thing) and outsized moves following last week’s mauling, not the result of any fundamental (or not so fundamental) news.

That could change tomorrow, and change for the worse, because as Barclays reminds us, tomorrow is when the European Court of Justice (ECJ) is scheduled to hear testimony on the ECB’s non-existent Outright Monetary Transactions program (OMT). Recall that the OMT is the imaginary (again: non-existent) byproduct of Draghi’s “whatever it takes” speech: a byproduct that was supposed to exist purely in the imaginary realm (as it was merely a verbal bluff, one which was never meant to be actually activated), and never actually take practical shape (hence, why the OMT’s legal term sheet still does not exist, over two years later).

Sadly for Draghi, and the entire Deus Ex theater that managed to send European peripheral bonds from record wides yields to record low, tomorrow it will attain some much dreaded shape.

And while a ruling on the legal questions forwarded by Germany’s Constitutional Court is not expected this year, the hearing and questions posed by EU judges may give some early insights into their views and to what extent they might share the view of the German court that, unless several restrictions are imposed, the OMT should be considered illegal under European law. Continue reading »

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Oct 13

Why Everyone Should Be Watching PIMCO (In 2 Worrying Charts) (ZeroHedge, Oct 12, 2014):

By now it is clear to everyone that the force-feeding of free-money into financial markets by The Fed et al. has led to a scale of financial repression never before witnessed as bond yields for even the riskiest of risky names collapse to record lows and cheap-financed share buybacks raise leverage to record highs and support an ever more fragile equity wealth creation machine. As Blackrock (and many others) have recently proclaimed, the corporate bond market is “broken” and the risk posed by investors trying to dump bonds is”percolating right under” the noses of regulators; so it is with grave concern we suggest the following two charts – showing the massive out-sized holdings of PIMCO’s funds in the high-yield and emerging market debt markets leave a bond marketplace in fear that forced sales via redemptions are the straw that breaks the ‘central bank omnipotence’ narrative’s back…

PIMCO – simply put – dominates the market for high-yield and emerging market debt… Continue reading »

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Oct 11

- “De-Dollarizing” Russia Pays Down Near-Record $53 Billion In Debt In Third Quarter (ZeroHedge, Oct 10, 2014):

Despite the reassuring narrative from The West that Russia faces “costs” and is increasingly “isolated” due to sanctions for its actions in Ukraine, the most recent data suggests reality is quite different. First, capital outflows slowed dramatically in Q3 (from $23.7 billion in Q2 to $13 billion in Q3) with September seeing capital inflows for the first time since Sept 2013. Second, Russia’s current account surplus was significantly stronger than expected ($11.4 billion vs $8.8 billion expected) driven by increased trade. Third, and perhaps most crucially, Russia paid down a massive $52.8 billion in foreign debt as Putin “de-dollarizes” at near record pace, reducing external debt to the lowest since 2012.

As Goldman explains, Trade and income improved notably… Continue reading »

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Oct 11

- The “Growth Problem” Explained For Idiots And Federal Reserve Dummies (ZeroHedge, Oct 10, 2014):

Over the past six years we have tried, in a countless number of ways, to explain to the “wise” economists, IMFers, World Bankers, Federal Reservers, talking heads and everyone else who would rather not listen, that which is glaringly obvious: the US (and global) economic growth will never recover and rebound and in fact will decline with every passing year for one simple reason – the US (and global) debt bubble is bigger than ever.

In fact, at 300% total debt/GDP it is bigger than the 275% hit during the Great Depression (we doubt we need to remind readers what global event ended that particular time in US history).

So, in hopes there is still some intelligent life left among the decision makers, and in hopes of liquidating the record debt overhang before it is too late and the US has to engage in another deadly, global war, here it is again: Continue reading »

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Oct 10

- 18 Sobering Facts About The Unprecedented Student Loan Debt Crisis In The United States (The American Dream, Oct 7, 2014):

The student loan debt bubble in America is spiraling out of control, and it is financially crippling an entire generation of young Americans.  At this point, the grand total of student loan debt in the United States has reached a staggering 1.2 trillion dollars, and an all-time record high 40 million Americans are currently paying off student loan debts.  Just when our young people should be planning on buying homes and starting families, they find themselves financially paralyzed by oppressive levels of debt.  What makes all of this even worse is that only some of our college graduates are able to get the “good jobs” that we promised them.  So with limited job prospects and suffocating levels of debt, this generation of young Americans is increasingly putting off major life commitments such as buying a home and getting married.  As a society, we really need to rethink how we are “educating” our young people, because what we are doing now is clearly not working.  The following are 18 sobering facts about the unprecedented student loan debt crisis in the United States… Continue reading »

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Oct 04

greece-athens
Athens, Greece, Nov. 2012

- Here We Go Again: Greece Will Be In Default Within 15 Months, S&P Warns (ZeroHedge, Oct 4, 2014):

Remember Greece: the country that in 2010 launched Europe’s sovereign solvency crisis and the ECB’s own helpless attempts at intervention, which later was “saved”, only to default shortly thereafter (but without triggering CDS as that would end the Eurozone’s amusing monetary experiment and collapse the Deutsche Bank $100 trillion house of derivative cards), which later was again “saved” when every single global central bank made sure Greek bonds became the only yield-generating securities in the world? Well, the country which at last count was doing ok, is about to not be ok. Because according to none other than S&P, at some point over the next 15 months, Greek debt is about to be in default when the country is no longer able to cover its financing needs. In other words, back to square one. Continue reading »

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Oct 04

Living in constant fear has consequences:

- Dr. Bruce Lipton: The New Biology – Where Mind and Matter Meet (Video)


- What Are We So Afraid Of? (Of Two Minds, Oct 2, 2014):

We’ve put all our hopes, dreams and chips on Plan A, as if security flows from institutional promises rather than from being adaptable, resilient and able to create value in a variety of circumstances.

Setting aside monsters under the bed, the Ebola virus and fanatical terrorists bent on our destruction–what are we so afraid of? It must be something, because fear is the ever-present backdrop in America.
If you don’t get a college degree, it’s widely assumed that you’re doomed to a life of involuntary poverty of part-time toil in a coffee bar or big-box retailer–if you’re lucky enough to find a job at all. Continue reading »

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Sep 29

- Revealed – the Troika threats to bankrupt Ireland (The Irish Independent, Sep 28, 2014):

Honohan: ECB officials agreed to threaten Ireland with bankruptcy if the government tried to burn bondholders

The threat was made at a high-level teleconference meeting, details of which have been revealed for the first time by the Central Bank governor, Dr Patrick Honohan.

Mr Honohan, who famously told the nation Ireland would be entering the Troika bailout programme live on radio as government ministers were publicly denying it, also revealed he was kept out of loop about the meeting. Continue reading »

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Sep 28

- Standard & Poor’s Warns on Germany Triggering the Next Debt Crisis, Investors Would Lose their Shirts (Wolf Street, Sep 24, 2014):

A true debacle happened. Just when we thought the euro was safe, that ECB President Mario Draghi had single-handedly duct-taped the Eurozone back together in the summer of 2012 with his magic words, “whatever it takes.” Markets assumed that they were backed by the ECB’s printing press, and they loved their assumption. Spanish, Italian, even highly dubious Greek debt, some of it with a fresh haircut, soared. And hedge funds and banks gorged on it and loved it. The debt crisis was over! Stocks soared even more. Money was being made.

So bank bailouts continued, and the Eurozone recession proved to be a nasty long-term affair, but no problem, everything seemed to be guaranteed by the ECB. Debt-sinner countries, as Germans like to call them, could suddenly borrow for nearly free, and neither deficits nor debts mattered to financial markets.

But now comes ratings agency Standard & Poor’s and douses our illusions, because that’s all they were, with a bucket of ice water. The soaring popularity and electoral successes of Germany’s anti-euro party, Alternative for Germany (AfD), could push Chancellor Angela Merkel and her party, the conservative CDU, to take a harder line against bailouts, hopes of QE, and all manner of other ECB miracles that financial markets had been counting on. And it could spook them. And the nearly free money could suddenly dry up. So S&P warned: Continue reading »

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Sep 23


Jun 10, 2014

See also:


Sep 24, 2013

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Sep 23


Oct 15, 2013

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Sep 22

American-Flag-Tattered

- 50 Facts That Show How Far America Has Fallen In This Generation (The American Dream, Sep 18, 2014):

What has happened to America?  Please show these numbers to anyone that does not believe that the United States is in decline.  It is time for all of us to humble ourselves and face the reality of what has happened to our once great nation.  For those of us that love America, it is heartbreaking to watch the foundations of our society rot and decay in thousands of different ways.

The following are 50 facts that show how far America has fallen in this generation, but the truth is that this list could have been far, far longer…

#1 According to a survey that was just conducted, only 36 percent of all Americans can name the three branches of government.

#2 Only 25 percent of all Americans know how long U.S. Senators are elected for (6 years), and only 20 percent of all Americans know how many U.S. senators there are. Continue reading »

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Sep 17

- Germany Issues 2Y Note At Record Low Yield Of -7bps (ZeroHedge, Sep 17, 2014):

Germany sold EUR 3.34 billion 2-year notes to a desparate-for-collateral, safe-haven-seeking, ECB QE-front-running, deflation-pricing market (with exceptional demand – an elevated 2.26x bid-to-cover) for a stunning -0.07% yield… an all-time record low yield issuance for Germany. We have nothing to add…

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Sep 17

Obama_debt_star

The U.S. National Debt Has Grown By More Than A Trillion Dollars In The Last 12 Months (Economic Collapse, Sep 14, 2014):

The idea that the Obama administration has the budget deficit under control is a complete and total lie.  According to the U.S. Treasury, the federal government has officially run a deficit of 589 billion dollars for the first 11 months of fiscal year 2014.  But this number is just for public consumption and it relies on accounting tricks which massively understate how much debt is actually being accumulated.  If you want to know what the real budget deficit is, all you have to do is go to a U.S. Treasury website which calculates the U.S. national debt to the penny.  On September 30th, 2013 the U.S. national debt was sitting at $16,738,183,526,697.32.  As I write this, the U.S. national debt is sitting at $17,742,108,970,073.37.  That means that the U.S. national debt has actually grown by more than a trillion dollars in less than 12 months.  We continue to wildly run up debt as if there is no tomorrow, and by doing so we are destroying the future of this nation. Continue reading »

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Sep 16

- UK Hints At Next Reserve Currency, To Issue Chinese Yuan-Denominated Bond (ZeroHedge, Sep 15, 2014):

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”.

As Xinhua reports, Continue reading »

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Sep 16

What could possibly go wrong?
mad_max_2_1981



For the best viewing experience, watch the above video in hi-definition (HD) and in expanded screen mode

Debt

“… today the average family of four in America is associated with roughly $735,000 of debt.”

- Debt – Crash Course Chapter 13 (Peak Prosperity, Sep 12, 2014):

There’s just too damn much of it

The fundamental failing of today’s global economy can be summarized simply: Too Much Debt

We have taken too much of it on, too fast, in too many markets around the world, to have any hope of making good on it. Not only does the math not work out, but also on a moral level, we are placing a tremendous obligation on future generations that will unfairly limit the prosperity they can enjoy tomorrow in order to finance our consumption today.

In the US alone, total credit market debt stands at over $57 trillion and is doing its damnedest to continue expanding exponentially. Since simple math shows us that this debt level cannot be supported, the key questions to ask at this stage are:

Will the unsupportable debt disappear via default, or inflation?

And very important: Continue reading »

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Sep 15

Related info:

- The Fed Has A Big Surprise Waiting For You (ZeroHedge, Sep 13, 2014):

The US economy is dead. The Fed has known this for a long time, but pumped it up to where it is now to draw in all the greater fools, the so-called big investors who have made money like honey from QE and ZIRP. They are the greater fools. The American real economy ceased being a consideration long ago. We’re in for big surprises, and they won’t be pretty, they’ll be pretty nasty. There are far too many people who think of themselves as smart who don’t see the difference between a theater play and a reality show. The Fed will raise rates because that will make the biggest banks the most money. There’s nothing else that matters. The Fed can’t revive the US economy, that’s just a foolish notion. But it can suck a lot of wealth out of it.


Federal-Reserve-Bernanke1

- Speculation swirls over Fed language on rate hike (Guardian/AP, Sep 15, 2014):

When the Federal Reserve issues a policy statement after it meets this week, the financial world will be on high alert for two words:

“Considerable time.”

The presence or absence of that phrase will trigger a rush to assess the likely timing of the Fed’s first increase in interest rates since it cut them to record lows in 2008.

The Fed’s recent statements have said it expects to keep its key short-term rate near zero for a “considerable time” after it stops buying Treasurys and mortgage bonds. Those bond purchases have been intended to keep long-term rates down to support the economy. Continue reading »

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Sep 14

obama puppet

- America’s Poor Have Never Been Deeper In Debt (ZeroHedge, Sep 13, 2014):

When it comes to the poorest quartile of US society, some 14 million people, any suggestion that US society is deleveraging and setting the stage for pent up releveraging and thus, economic growth, is dead wrong. In fact, as the Fed’s triennial Survey of Consumer Finances, released last week showed, America’s poorest have never been more in debt! Continue reading »

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Sep 10

- Preparing To Asset-strip Local Government? The Fed’s Bizarre New Rules (Washington’s Blog, Sep 9, 2014):

By Ellen Brown

In an inscrutable move that has alarmed state treasurers, the Federal Reserve, along with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, just changed the liquidity requirements for the nation’s largest banks. Municipal bonds, long considered safe liquid investments, have been eliminated from the list of high-quality liquid collateral. assets (HQLA). That means banks that are the largest holders of munis are liable to start dumping them in favor of the Treasuries and corporate bonds that do satisfy the requirement.

Muni bonds fund the nation’s critical infrastructure, and they are subject to the whims of the market: as demand goes down, interest rates must be raised to attract buyers. State and local governments could find themselves in the position of cash-strapped Eurozone states, subject to crippling interest rates. The starkest example is Greece, where rates went as high as 30% when investors feared the government’s insolvency. Sky-high interest rates, in turn, are the fast track to insolvency. Greece wound up stripped of its assets, which were privatized at fire sale prices in a futile attempt to keep up with the bills. Continue reading »

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Sep 09

- JPMorgan Stunner: “The Current Episode Of Excess Liquidity Is The Most Extreme Ever” (ZeroHedge, Sep 8, 2014):

“The ECB’s quantitative expansion is hitting the financial system at a time when broad liquidity is also very high. The rise in excess liquidity, i.e. the residual in the model of Figure 3, is supportive of all assets outside cash, i.e. bonds, equities and real estate. The current episode of excess liquidity, which began in May 2012, appears to have been the most extreme ever in terms of its magnitude and the ECB actions have the potential to make it even more extreme, in our view…. These liquidity boosts are not without risks. We note that they risk creating asset bubbles which when they burst can destroy wealth leading to adverse economic outcomes. Asset yields are mean reverting over long periods of time and thus historically low levels of yields in bonds, equities and real estate are unlikely to be sustained forever.”
– JPMorgan

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Sep 09

Chris Christie

- New Jersey’s Debt is Downgraded by Fitch as Chris Christie Funnels Pension Money to Private Equity and Hedge Funds (Liberty Blitzkrieg, Sep 8, 2014):

David Sirota must be commended for his incredible work this year exposing the insidious relationship between public pension funds and “alternative asset managers,” namely private equity firms and hedge funds. It is the private equity component that has captured my attention the most due to the industry’s notoriously opaque and seemingly illegal fees.

One example I highlighted earlier this year was: Leaked Documents Show How Blackstone Fleeces Taxpayers via Public Pension Funds. The reason this relationship between public pension money and private equity is so incredibly important is because so many in the private equity world are so incredibly shady. Let’s not forget what SEC official Drew Bowden said back in May: Continue reading »

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Sep 05

Related info:

- Making $400,000 PER HOUR, The Best Paid Hedge Fund Manager In 2013 Was …


David-Tepper

- David Tepper Is Back, Sees “Beginning Of The End” Of Bond Bubble (ZeroHedge, Sep 4, 2014):

It has been a while since Tepper warned of “nervous time” and told his hedge fund pals “don’t be too freakin’ long.”

Since then the manipulated equity market bubble has gone straight up with every single dip bought massively by the algos, in the process surely eliminating any nervous thoughts Tepper may have had. So in a world starved for pundit philosophy, Bloomberg just reported that the bond market bubble is about to pop, at least according to the folicularly challenged billionaire. The reason, paradoxically enough, the ECB’s decision to monetize private assets and cut rates.

Continue reading »

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Sep 02

- Spain Sells First-Ever 50 Year Bonds At 4% Coupon (ZeroHedge, Sep 1, 2014):

Perhaps in order to celebrate its manufacturing PMI dropping from 53.9 to a below expectations 52.8, refuting the “growth story” promoted by its definitionally re-revised GDP (where the long overdue boost from hookers and blow is finally leading the country to new and improved Keynesian growth curves), moments ago Spain joined the likes of Canada, Caterpillar and Goldman and just issued, for the first time in its history, 50 Year bonds in a private placement. From Bloomberg:

  • SPAIN SELLS EU1B 50-YR BONDS
  • SPAIN TREASURY SELLS FIRST-EVER 50-YR BONDS, COUPON 4%

And since there is no hope that Spain will ever repay this bond, whose rate is dictated by anything – mostly the ECB’s monetary policy – but the fundamentals it is functionally equivalent to Spain raising new equity without a maturity date and a 4% dividend. Continue reading »

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