- Last Minute Fizzle Fails To Dent Best 3-Day Stock Surge In 3 Years (ZeroHedge, Dec 19, 2014)
- Epic Bot Fraud: Up To 50% Of All Publisher Traffic Is From Fake Clicks; Billions In Ad Revenue At Risk (ZeroHedge, Dec 19, 2014):
One of the more entertaining stories of the day has to do with the crackdown by Instagram to purge millions of fake users, in the process exposing “celebrities” who were such only thanks to the excessive purchasing of followers, but worse, once again revealing that on the margin, the biggest growth for social media services such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and so on, continues to be from fake accounts originating at shady clickfarm spin offs, whose only job is to collect modest fees in exchange for “following” or “liking” with non-existent accounts that will never engage with the user, or with advertisers.
- “It’s A Huge Crisis” – The UK Oil Industry Is “Close To Collapse” (ZeroHedge, Dec 18, 2014):
It seems like only yesterday when back on October 11, we first explained – and previewed – the collapse of oil courtesy of the secret deal between the US and Saudi Arabia. However, it seems like only this morning when we subsequently wrote that “If The Oil Plunge Continues, “Now May Be A Time To Panic” For US Shale Companies.” In retrospect, it was, and with the price of crude far below mid-October levels, the pain for both Russia and shale is now quite unbearable (even as Saudi Arabia explained earlier today that the reason for collapsing oil has nothing to do with supply and everything to do with plunging demand, and after seeing this chart we believe it).
Pepe Escobar is the roving correspondent for Asia Times/Hong Kong, an analyst for RT and TomDispatch, and a frequent contributor to websites and radio shows ranging from the US to East Asia.
- What Putin is not telling us (RT, Dec 18, 2014):
By Pepe Escobar
Even facing what under any circumstances is a perfect storm; President Putin delivered an extremely measured performance at his annual press conference and Q&A marathon.
The perfect storm evolves in two fronts; an overt economic war – as in siege by sanctions – and a concerted, covert, shadow attack to the heart of the Russian economy. Washington’s endgame is clear: impoverish and defang the adversary and force him to meekly bow to the ‘Empire of Chaos’s’ whims. And bragging about it all the way to “victory.”
The problem is Moscow happens to have impeccably deciphered the game – even before Putin, at the Valdai Club in October, pinned down the Obama doctrine as “our Western partners” working as practitioners of the “theory of controlled chaos.” Continue reading »
- Russia Busts “Gold-Selling” Rumors, Reports It Bought Another 600,000 Ounces Taking Gold Holdings To New Record High (ZeroHedge, Dec 19, 2014):
Yesterday, when we reported the latest rumor of Russian gold selling, this time out of SocGen, we said that “it should be noted that SocGen and its “sources” have a conflict: in an indirect way, none other than SocGen is suddenly very interested in Russia stabilizing its economy because as we wrote before, “Russia Contagion Spreads To European Banks : French SocGen, Austrian Raiffeisen Plummet” which also sent SocGen’s default risk higher in recent days. So if all it will take to stabilize the RUB sell off, reduce fears of Russian contagion, and halt the selloff of SocGen stocks is a “source” reporting what may or may not be the case, so be it.”
Moments ago, as if to deter further speculation that Russia is indeed converting hard money earned from real resources for fiat paper, the Russian monetary authority made it quite clear, that at least in November, Russia not only did not sell any gold, but in fact bought another 600K ounces in the month of November. Continue reading »
- 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 »
- Fed Cat Bounce: Stocks Soar Most In 3 Years As Crude Crash Continues (ZeroHedge, Dec 18, 2014)
I do not believe anything a Rothschild puppet bankster tells me, and that includes Societe Generale, especially if they are telling us vague, unsubstantiated BS like …
“It appears possible that the Central Bank of Russia has started to sell off some of its gold reserves in December, with some sources reporting that official gold reserves dropped by $4.3 billion in the first week of the month.”
“It appears possible …” Yeah, right!
Why not sell those soon to be worthless U.S. Trashury (sic) holdings instead …
- China, Russia Dump US Treasurys In October As Foreigners Sell Most US Stocks Since 2007 (ZeroHedge, Dec 15, 2014):
As for Russia, after selling $9.7 billion in October (a process which certainly continued in November) its latest total is just $108 billion, or just modestly higher than the $100 billion hit in March after the Ukraine conflict first broke out, and the second lowest total Russian Treasury holdings since 2008.
… and BUY gold and ask China to do the same.
Selling Russia’s gold? Putin might as well shoot himself in the foot (unless he too is an elite puppet).
Very few people understand what Putin is doing at the moment. And almost no one understands what he will do in the future.
No matter how strange it may seem, but right now, Putin is selling Russian oil and gas only for physical gold.
Putin is not shouting about it all over the world. And of course, he still accepts US dollars as an intermediate means of payment. But he immediately exchanges all these dollars obtained from the sale of oil and gas for physical gold!
– How long will the West be able to buy oil and gas from Russia in exchange for physical gold?
– And what will happen to the US petrodollar after the West runs out of physical gold to pay for Russian oil, gas and uranium, as well as to pay for Chinese goods?
No one in the west today can answer these seemingly simple questions.
And this is called “Checkmate”, ladies and gentlemen. The game is over.
The above article was translated buy Kristina Rus – which originally appeared in Russian at http://investcafe.ru/blogs/mbcy/posts/46245#
- Russia Has Begun Selling Its Gold, According To SocGen (ZeroHedge, Dec 18, 2014):
A few days ago, we first reported a rumor that was floating around Wall Street desks, and which, according to some, was the “reason” that gold was being kept lower even as sovereign risk was exploding around the globe. The rumor was that Russia was selling its gold holdings:
Rumor Russia selling gold
— zerohedge (@zerohedge) December 15, 2014
This led to Bloomberg speculating, and us rhetorically asking, if “Putin’s next step will be to sell gold”
“Russia is at a critical juncture and given the sanctions placed upon them and the rapid decline in oil prices, they may be forced to dip into their gold reserves, if it happens it will push gold lower.” That is what, according to some people Bloomberg has quoted, is in the cards.
While some suggest the accumulation was “tradition” it is still nonetheless an impressive aggregation of the barbarous relic:
So given the efforts to build this gold-backing for their nation’s currency, do we really expect Putin to now dump his physical: or perhaps more strategically suggest a true gold-backed currency and jawbone the currency that way?
So what is the truth? Well, we won’t for sure until the next official report by the Central Bank of Russia hits the IMF database, but in the menatime, SocGen just reported that the selling may have started: Continue reading »
From the article:
“It won’t be long before this chart is replicated in a whole lot of other places. But by then it will be too late to prepare. The gold will be gone …”
- This Is What Gold Does In a Currency Crisis (Dollar Collapse, Dec 16, 2014):
To say that gold is in a bear market is to misunderstand both gold and markets. Gold isn’t an investment that goes up and down. It is money in the most basic store-of-value sense. Most of the time it just sits there, and when its price changes in local currency terms that says more about the local currency than about gold.
But when currencies collapse, gold shines.
Consider the above from the point of view of a typical Russian. The ruble is tanking (no need to understand why — all fiat currencies go this way eventually and the proximate cause is almost irrelevant). Russians who trusted their government and kept their savings in, say, a bank account, are losing their shirts. But those who own boring, doesn’t-pay-interest, in-a-bear-market gold have seen their capital appreciate in local currency terms by about 60 percent in just the past month. They’re not “making money,” but they are preserving wealth. Continue reading »
- Swiss Central Bank Plunges Into NIRP, Sends Deposit Rates Negative, Scrambles Against Safe-Haven Capital Flight (ZeroHedge, Dec 18, 2014):
Everyone thought that any major monetary policy surprises and/or capital controls today would come from Putin during his annual press conference. Boy were they wrong: just after 2 am Eastern, none other than the Swiss National Bank joined the ranks of the ECB in scrambling to stem the wave of capital flight, not to mention the cost of money, when it announced it too would start charging customers for the privilege of holding cash in its banks, when it revealed a negative, -0.25% interest rate on sight deposits: a step which according to the SNB was critical in maintaining the 1.20 EURCHF floor.
The Swiss National Bank (SNB) is imposing an interest rate of –0.25% on sight deposit account balances at the SNB, with the aim of taking the three-month Libor into negative territory. It is thus expanding the target range for the three-month Libor to –0.75% to 0.25% and extending it to its usual width of 1 percentage point. Negative interest will be levied on balances exceeding a given exemption threshold. Continue reading »
- UK oil industry ‘close to collapse’ as price plunges below $60 per barrel (RT, Dec 18, 2014):
Britain’s oil industry is in a “crisis” and may be “close to collapse,” a senior oil industry expert has said, as the UK’s biggest oil and gas companies continue to cut staff and investment and the price of crude slumps.
Speaking to the BBC, Robin Allan, chairman of the independent explorers’ association Brindex, echoed warnings made by other figures in the oil industry in the past month, saying that no new projects in the North Sea would be profitable while oil is being traded at below $60 a barrel.
“It’s almost impossible to make money at these oil prices,” Allan said.
“It’s close to collapse,” he said. “In terms of new investments – there will be none, everyone is retreating, people are being laid off at most companies this week and in the coming weeks. Budgets for 2015 are being cut by everyone.” Continue reading »
- Russia not fit to be part of international financial system – Cameron (RT, Dec 18, 2014):
The combined effect produced by Western sanctions and low oil prices proves that there’s no place for Russia in the international financial system, believes British prime minister David Cameron, urging for more pressure on Moscow.
“We should stand up very firmly against the Russian aggression that’s taking place,” Cameron said before the Parliament on Wednesday.
The PM reminded that it’s the UK, which “led the way in Europe in making sure there were sanctions” imposed against Russia over its ‘annexation’ of Crimea in March and Moscow’s alleged involvement in the Ukrainian crisis.
“And what the combination of the lower oil price and the sanctions are showing that I think it isn’t possible for Russia to be part of the international financial system, but try and opt out of the rules-based international legal system,” Cameron said. Continue reading »
- Western nations want to chain ‘the Russian bear’ – Putin (RT, Dec 18, 2014):
Western nations want to chain “the Russian bear,” pull out its teeth and ultimately have it stuffed, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned. He said anti-Russian sanctions are the cost of being an independent nation.
WATCH PUTIN’S Q&A LIVE
Putin used the vivid metaphor of a “chained bear” during his annual Q&A session with the media in Moscow in response to a question about whether he believed that the troubles of the Russian economy were payback for the reunification with Crimea.
“It’s not payback for Crimea. It’s the cost of our natural desire to preserve Russia as a nation, a civilization and a state,”Putin said.
The president said that even if “the Russian bear” started “sitting tight… and eating berries and honey,” this would not stop pressure being applied against the country.
“They won’t leave us alone. They will always seek to chain us. And once we are chain, they’ll rip out our teeth and claws. Our nuclear deterrence, speaking in present-day terms,” Putin said. Continue reading »
- Putin: Russian economy will inevitably bounce back, 2 years in worst case scenario (RT, Dec 18, 2014):
The Russian economy is to start growing again in 2 years in the worst case scenario, President Vladimir Putin said at his annual press conference. Russia, which is facing recession, is ready to fight the impending crisis, as it did in 2008, he said.
WATCH PUTIN’S Q&A LIVE
“The economy will grow. And our economy will get out of the current situation,”Putin said, adding that he expected the economy to grow by 0.6 percent in 2014. He said the government will handle the crisis similarly to 2008.
In 2008, Russia along with the much of the rest of the world fell into recession, losing 7.8 percent of GDP in 2009. The Russian economy fared the crisis rather well, and the economy was back on track with 4.5 percent growth in 2010.
Russia’s 2014 budget will have a 1.9 percent surplus relative to GDP, despite the turbulent economic situation, the Russian president said. Continue reading »
- There Is Hope In Understanding That A Great Economic Collapse Is Coming (Economic Collapse, Dec 18, 2014):
If you were about to take a final exam, would you have more hope or more fear if you didn’t understand any of the questions and you had not prepared for the test at all? I think that virtually all of us have had dreams where we show up for an exam that we have not studied for. Those dreams can be pretty terrifying. And of course if you were ever in such a situation in real life, you probably did very, very poorly on that test. The reason I have brought up this hypothetical is to make a point. My point is that there is hope in understanding what is ahead of us, and there is hope in getting prepared. Since I started The Economic Collapse Blog back in 2009, there have always been a few people that have accused me of spreading fear. That frustrates me, because what I am actually doing is the exact opposite of that. When a hurricane is approaching, is it “spreading fear” to tell people to board up their windows? Of course not. In fact, you just might save someone’s life. Or if you were walking down the street one day and you saw someone that wasn’t looking and was about to step out into the road in front of a bus, what would the rational thing to do be? Anyone that has any sense of compassion would yell out and warn that other person to stay back. Yes, that other individual may be startled for a moment, but in the end you will be thanked warmly for saving that person from major injury or worse. Well, as a nation we are about to be slammed by the hardest times that any of us have ever experienced. If we care about those around us, we should be sounding the alarm.
Since 2009, I have published 1,211 articles on the coming economic collapse on my website. Some people assume that I must be filled with worry, bitterness and fear because I am constantly dealing with such deeply disturbing issues.
But that is not the case at all. Continue reading »
- China Prepares To Bailout Russia (ZeroHedge, Dec 17, 2014):
Earlier this evening China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange’s (SAFE) Wang Yungui noted “the impact of the Russian Ruble depreciation was unclear yet, and, as Bloomberg reported, “SAFE is closely watching Ruble’s depreciation and encouraging companies to hedge Ruble risks.” His comments also echoed the ongoing FX reform agenda aimed at increasing Yuan flexibility which The South China Morning Post then hinted in a story entitled “Russia may seek China help to deal with crisis,” which which noted that Russia could fall back on its 150 billion yuan ($24 billion) currency swap agreement with China if the ruble continues to plunge, that was signed in October. Furthermore, two bankers close to the PBOC reportedly said the swap-line was meant to reduce the role of the US dollar if China and Russia need to help each other overcome a liquidity squeeze.
As Bloomberg reported, earlier in the evening, China’s Wang Yungui noted
- *CHINA IS CLOSELY WATCHING RUBLE’S DEPRECIATION: SAFE’S WANG
- *CHINA ENCOURAGES COS. TO HEDGE RUBLE RISKS, SAFE’S WANG SAYS
- *REAL IMPACT OF RUBLE DEPRECIATION UNCLEAR YET, SAFE’S WANG SAYS
Adding that China plans sweeping reforms to promote FX flexibility.
- IMF Now Ready To Slam The Door On The U.S. And The Dollar (ALT-MARKET, Dec 17, 2014):
As I write this, the news is saturated with stories of a hostage situation possibly involving Islamic militants in Sydney, Australia. Like many, I am concerned about the shockwave such an event will create through our sociopolitical structures. However, while most of the world will be distracted by the outcome of this crisis (for good or bad) for at least the week, I find I must concern myself with a far more important and dangerous situation.
Up to 40 people may be held by a supposed extremist in Sydney,but the entire world is currently being held hostage economically by international banks. This is the crisis no one in the mainstream is talking about, so alternative analysts must.
As I predicted last month in “We Have Just Witnessed The Last Gasp Of The Global Economy,” severe volatility is now returning to global markets after the pre-game 10 percent drop in equities in October hinted at what was to come. Continue reading »
H/t reader squodgy:
“Anybody remember jewess Nuland bragging about investing $5Bn to de-stabilize the Ukraine to intimidate Russia?
Remember the big sponsorship cards all over the stage with CHEVRON plastered everywhere?
What now? The ordinary Ukrainians must really love the EU & USA now.”
- Chevron Shale Exit Shreds Ukraine’s Hope of Energy Independence (Bloomberg, Dec 17, 2014):
Shale gas was supposed to be Ukraine’s ticket to greater energy independence from Russia. Chevron Corp. (CVX)’s decision to pull the plug has smashed those hopes.
The second-largest U.S. energy producer will pull out of an agreement for exploring the Oleska field in western Ukraine, a government official said this week. It was the final blow to the country’s dream of becoming a big shale-gas producer after Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) retreated earlier this year from a similar deal in eastern provinces riven by a bloody war with pro-Russian separatists.
While Chevron can walk away unscathed, for Ukraine it’s another blow to the prospects of reviving a chaotic economy that remains dependent on Russia, a country it claims to be in armed conflict with. Already weighed down by the war that’s killed more than 4,600 people and teetering on the verge of default, Ukraine was counting on foreign capital to develop its domestic gas resources. Continue reading »
- Santa Yellen Arrives: Stock Buying-Panic Sparks Biggest Short Squeeze In Over 3 Years (ZeroHedge, Dec 17, 2014)
- Russian Food Suppliers Have Begun Halting Shipments (ZeroHedge, Dec 17, 2014):
Until now, when it comes to the fallout in the Russian economy from the crude price plunge leading to a collapse in the Russian currency, most of the interest has been on how the Russian financial system recovers and/or survives and just as importantly, what Putin’s response would be. Just yesterday, we wrote that as a result of capital controls fears, many western banks led by Goldman Sachs had halted liquidity to Russian clients and other local entities.
However while the adverse impact on the Russian banking system has been mostly confined to the upper class – since there is virtually no middle class in the country to speak of – the second cold war of words, which rapidly morphed into a very hot financial war, is about to hit the very ordinary Russian on the street, because as Russia’s Vedomosti reports, citing vegetable producer Belaya Dacha, juice maker Sady Pridoniya and others, Russian suppliers are suspending food shipments to stores because of unpredictable FX movements. And it is about to get worse: very soon Russians may have to live without imported alcohol because at least on supplier of offshore booze, Simple, halted shipments in “a two-day pause” to see what happens with the ruble, Vedomosti reports.