The ink was not yet dry on the seemingly endless Monsanto-Syngenta on again/off again takeover drama, when moments ago in a shocking development the newswires were lit up with news that a new, and very much unexpected, bidder has emerged for the Swiss pesticides giant Syngenta: China National Chemical Corp, or ChemChina as it is known, which according to WSJ and BBG is set to pay $43.7 billion to acquire a piece of Swiss corporate history.
H&M and Next, two of Europe’s biggest garment retailers, have found Syrian refugee children working in their supplier factories in Turkey, according to a report by a company ethics watchdog.
Of the 28 major brands questioned by the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre (BHRCC) about conditions at their supplier factories in Turkey and the potential exploitation of undocumented Syrian children and adults, only H&M and Next confessed to finding children working in the factories. Continue reading »
When it comes to all things China, the old adage “go big or go home” certainly applies.
The country’s monumental expansion in the wake of the financial crisis was financed by borrowing on a massive scale, as the country’s debt burden rose from “just” $7 trillion in 2007 to more than $28 trillion today. That’s big.
Last year, at the peak of the country’s equity bubble, margin financing outstanding amounted to 18% of the SHCOMP’s free float market cap. Also big. Continue reading »
Willem Middlekoop, author of The Big Reset – The War On Gold And The Financial Endgame, believes the current international monetary system has entered its last term and is up for a reset. Having predicted the collapse of the real estate market in 2006, (while Ben Bernanke didn’t), Middlekoop asks (rhetorically) -can the global credit expansion ‘experiment’ from 2002 – 2008, which Bernanke completely underestimated, be compared to the global QE ‘experiment’ from 2008 – present? – the answer is worrisome. In the following must-see interview with Grant Williams, he shares his thoughts on the future of the global monetary system and why the revaluation of Gold is inevitable…
Middlekoop predicts the real estate crash in 2006… (ensure English Subtitles – Closed Captions – are enabled)
Bernanke did not… (stunning!!) Continue reading »
China’s mid-tier banks are piling up exposure to the riskiest subset of borrowers at a time when economic fundamentals are deteriorating on a near daily basis. Meanwhile, this exposure is being carried on a line item that allows the banks to avoid provisioning for the losses that will almost certainly materialize in the not-so-distant future. At one bank, this one line item is larger than the entire Philippine banking system.
Last summer we outlined how Chinese banks obscure trillions in credit risk.
The powers that be in Beijing aren’t particularly keen on allowing the banking sector to report “real” data on souring loans – especially given the fragile state of the country’s economy. In some cases, the Politburo will pressure banks to simply roll over bad debt, effectively kicking the can.
In addition, banks carry around 40% of their credit risk outside of “official loans.” Here’s what Fitch had to say last year: Continue reading »
In a moment of curious serendipity, a little over 90 minutes after we showed what a dystopian, centrally-planned, cashless society unleashed in a negative interest rate world would look like (“by forcing people and companies to convert their paper money into bank deposits, the hope is that they can be persuaded (coerced?) to spend that money rather than save it because those deposits will carry considerable costs”), and briefly after we laid out the countless recent warnings from “very serious people” that cash is evil and should be banned:
- Norway’s Biggest Bank Demands Cash Ban
- Bank Of England Economist Calls For Cash Ban, Urges Negative Rates
- Citigroup’s Gold “Expert” Demands A Cash Ban
- Leading German Keynesian Economist Calls For Cash Ban
… while warning to await a full-on coopted media assault about the dangers of cash “which is an anacrhonysm from a bygone era, and that the world will be so much better if only everyone dutifully exchanges the physical currency in their pocket for digital, traceable, and deletable 1s and 0s”, none other than Bloomberg issued an editorial Op-Ed in which it had one simple message: “Bring On the Cashless Future.” Continue reading »
One month ago, we first revealed that for one prominent winner from the subprime crisis, Hayman Capital’s Kyle Bass, “the greatest investment opportunity right now” is to short the Chinese Yuan: as he explained “given our views on credit contraction in Asia, and in China in particular, let’s say they are going to go through a banking loss cycle like we went through during the Great Financial Crisis, there’s one thing that is going to happen: China is going to have to dramatically devalue its currency.” He even went so far as to give a timeframe: “we think it’s going to be in the next 12-18 months.”
Then, during the Davos boondoggle, none other than the man who broke the Bank of England, George Soros, noted that he too is shorting the Yuan, which in turn prompted China’s communist party mouthpiece, the People’s Daily to officially warn Soros to back off adding in a petulant, schoolyard bully-ish voice “You Cannot Possibly Succeed, Ha, Ha.” Yes, China really said that. Continue reading »
Having urged “don’t panic” just 4 short months ago, it appears Nigeria just did just that as the global dollar short squeeze forces the eight-month-old government of President Muhammadu Buhari to beg The World Bank and African Development Bank for $3.5bn in emergency loans to help fund a $15bn deficit in a budget heavy on public spending amid collapsing oil revenues. Just as we warned in December, the dollar shortage has arrived, perhaps now is time to panic after all.
In September, Nigerian central bank Governor Godwin Emefiele ruled out a naira devaluation on Thursday and told people not to panic about a government order which risks draining billions of dollars from the financial system. Continue reading »
As extensively discussed yesterday in the aftermath of the BOJ’s stunning decision to cut rates to negative for the first time in history (a decision which it appears was taken due to Davos peer pressure, a desire to prop up stock markets and to punish Yen longs, and an inability to further boost QE), there will be consequences – some good, mostly bad.
As Goldman’s Naohiko Baba previously explained, NIRP in Japan will not actually boost the economy: “we do have concerns about the policy transmission channel. Policy Board Member Koji Ishida, who voted against the new measures, said that “a further decline in JGB yields would not have significantly positive effects on economy activity.” We concur with this sentiment, particularly for capex. The key determinants of capex in Japan are the expected growth rate and uncertainty about the future as seen by corporate management according to our analysis, while the impact of real long-term rates has weakened markedly in recent years.” Continue reading »
Skyrocketing costs and shrinking opportunity are meeting head on with full on economic disaster. The Dude, Where’s My Stuff? generation doesn’t have much motivation to go on for growing up and getting their life together these days.
Record numbers are out of the work force; record numbers are living with their parents in the basement; record numbers are losing the battle of return on investment with higher education – purchased with burdensome loans – in order to attain better employment and stability. Rising costs are hitting home owners and renters alike, with a real squeeze coming down on those just starting out.
And all of that is driving the economy to the brink. Continue reading »
By now, not even CNBC’s cheerleading permabulls can deny that the US is in a manufacturing recession: in fact, it is so bad that even the staunchest defenders of Keynesian dogma admit what we said in late 2014, namely that crashing oil is bad for the economy.
And yet, the “services” part of the US economy continues to hum right along, leading to such surprising outcomes as a stronger than expected print in Personal Consumption Expenditures. How can this be?
Simple: one look at the chart below should explain not only how the “services” half of the US economy continues to grow, but just which tax, because that is how the Supreme Court defined Obamacare, is responsible for healthcare “spending” amounting to a quarter of the growth in US personal consumption expenditures, almost 100% higher than the second highest spending category which was… Recreational goods and vehicles?
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how you convert a tax into a source of economic progress.
Sometimes good comments are worth an entire article. This author is a big believer in the fostering of good, intelligent dialogues with commenters on these various alternative media sites. We all have the ability (with comments) to function in the manner of unofficial reporters. The nation is huge; however, the distance is nominal and the situations that arise in the nation as a whole can be chronicled and reported by we, the average citizens. The comments and interactions are a means to that end.
In this light, I wish to ask you, the Readership to report on this important topic in order to present others with the situations taking place in their locales. The topic referred to being declining inventories and a lack of purchases to meet with customer (I despise the word “consumers”) needs in terms of foodstuffs and nondurable goods. Continue reading »
Oil prices around USD 30/bbl mean that an increasingly significant volume of future oil projects no longer make sense. Although Deutsche Bank does not expect US crude inventories to reach capacity, rising US inventories and high US crude imports may heighten downside pressures to push prices closer to marginal cash costs of USD 7-17/bbl for US tight oil, with few plausible scenarios for a strong price recovery in the short term,
The main reason for oil’s torried surge over the past 2 days is that following yesterday’s Russia-Opec “oil production cut” headline fiasco, crude traders – who as we previously reported already had a record net short position – scrambled to cover their exposure on the assumption that where there is oily smoke, there will be fire. We can now put to rest any speculation that OPEC will proceed with any supply cuts, whether Russia requests it or not, because as the WSJ reported moments ago, not only will OPEC not support a supply cut but it will also not support an emergency OPEC meeting.
“Considering the global luxury real estate market is one of the most inflated asset bubbles on earth, current weakness could pretty quickly turn into a crash.”
It appears the music may have finally stopped for one of the world’s largest luxury real estate bubbles: London.
It’s well known that foreign oligarchs love London real estate as a means to launder funds, typically “earned” by soaking their host countries dry via corruption and fraud. This has caused absurd and irrational spikes in high-end residential real estate in the English capital, as well as a flood of new construction.
With emerging markets now completely collapsing, the seemingly endless flood of foreign money is drying up, and with it, London real estate.
So has the London real estate bubble popped? Probably.
– From the September 9, 2015 article: Luxury London Home Sales Plunge 26% – Has this Mega Real Estate Bubble Finally Burst?
The first real signs that the global luxury home price bubble had popped emerged last fall in the world’s capital of oligarch money laundering: London.
Since then, we have seen weakness in high end Manhattan real estate, but the trend has now spread and is starting to make itself apparent all over the place. Continue reading »
It should surprise nobody that when it comes to perpetuating the global central bank “put”, China – which is at daily danger of having its house of trillions in non-performing loan card collapse at any moment – has perfected moral hazard better than any western central banker. However, even the staunchest cynics will be stunned by the latest development out of the Shanghai government where starting next month, venture capital firms which invested in high-tech startups since the beginning of 2015 can apply for government compensation if their investment loses money. Continue reading »
How had the little firm operating out of a non-descript office building in Nevada achieved this claim to fame? By managing the cash hoard (now well over $200 billion) of the world’s biggest and most valuable company: Apple.
But what was perhaps more notable is where Braeburn was physically located: Reno, Nevada.
We explained the company’s choice for location with one simple word: “taxes”, or rather the full, and very much legal, avoidance thereof. Continue reading »
Due to a “perfect storm” of inflationary factors – not the least of which being the continuing drop in oil prices – Canadians are seeing the effects of a weakening currency reflected in food prices at the supermarket.
$3 cucumbers, $8 for a head of cauliflower, grapes at $10 per bag – the spiraling cost of foods, particularly those imported from Canada’s neighbor to the south, has consumers there reeling from sticker shock. Continue reading »
Moments ago Caterpillar reported its latest monthly retail sales statistics and the numbers have never been worse.
Not only is the fourth, feeble and final dead CAT bounce in US sales officially over, with December US retail sales tumbling -10% Y/Y, after “only” a -5% decline in November and hugging the flatline for the past few months, but sales elsewhere around the globe were a complete debacle: Asia/Pacific (mostly China) was down -21%, EAME dropping -12%, and Latin America (i.e. Brazil) continuing its free fall dropping by -36%, but global retail sales just posted a massive -16% drop in the past month, tied for the worst annual decline since the financial crisis. Continue reading »
“Washington’s individual efforts to meddle in Mid-East affairs have now seemingly all melded into one giant, bloody melee and incredibly, America’s solution is to go right back in and meddle some more. What could possibly go wrong?“
On January 19, representatives from Libya’s rival factions negotiating in Tunis announced they had formed a unity government comprised of a new 32-member cabinet.
Six days later, lawmakers for the country’s internationally-recognized Parliament in Tobruk rejected the proposal.
Damn. Continue reading »
On Tuesday we got the latest revision from Statcan on Canada’s labor market and for Alberta, 2015 was the worst year for job losses since 1982. Net job losses for the province were 19,600 for the year, far more than Alberta lost during the Great Recession.
We have not seen global economic activity fall off this rapidly since the great recession of 2008. Manufacturing activity is imploding all over the planet, global trade is slowing down at a pace that is extremely alarming, and the Baltic Dry Index just hit another brand new all-time record low. If the “real economy” consists of people making, selling and shipping stuff, then it is in incredibly bad shape. Here in the United States, the dismal economic numbers continue to stun all of the experts. For example, on Monday we learned that the Texas general business activity index just hit a six year low… Continue reading »
A top British financial official warned on Tuesday that the data on country’s fourth quarter productivity are likely to be “abysmal”.
The announcement was made by the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee member Kristin Forbes. Nevertheless, she emphasized that the underlying trends were more important than a single data point.
“It looks like fourth-quarter productivity growth is going to be abysmal. That’s part of the trade-off of strong employment growth with moderate overall GDP growth,” Reuters has quoted Forbes as saying at a meeting of the Henry Jackson Society think tank at Britain’s parliament. Continue reading »
There had been an eerie silence at the Comex in recent weeks, where after registered gold tumbled to a record 120K ounces in early December nothing much had changed, an in fact the total amount of physical deliverable aka “registered” gold, had stayed practically unchanged at 275K ounces all throughout January.
Until today, when in the latest update from the Comex vault, we learn that a whopping 201,345 ounces of Registered gold had been de-warranted at the owner’s request, and shifted into the Eligible category, reducing the total mount of Comex Registered gold by 73%, from 275K to just 74K overnight. Continue reading »
One glance at The Baltic Dry Index’s collapse is all that most need to see the painful state of the global shipping industry. However, as gCaptain reports, reality is even worse as the boom in so-called “zombie ships” suggests there is no recovery in sight for the beleaguered containership charter market, which is facing its biggest crisis since the 2008 financial crash.
It looks bad…
And it’s not just over-supply… (trade is slowing rapidly)…World trade volume rose by only 0.5% YoY in October and was up 2.4% YoY in the first 10 months of 2015, while world trade value in USdollar terms declined by 12.2% YoY in October and was down 11.8% YoY in the first 10 months of 2015.
But, as gCaptain details, reality is even worse for the world’s shipping industry…
Analysts agree there is no recovery in sight for the beleaguered containership charter market, which is facing its biggest crisis since the 2008 financial crash.
However, unlike that bleak period for shipping, which ultimately resulted in a strong recovery for charter rates, this time the fundamentals are quite different. Continue reading »