Thanks to the just released February diary of Fed chief Yellen, we now know exactly when she called Bank of England Governor (and former Goldman Sachs employee) Marc Carney and ECB President (and former Goldman Sachs employee) Mario Draghi.
The stock market has regained all of its loses year to date as economic indicators continue to flash red, corporate profits continue to plunge, consumers continue to spend less at retailers, real wages continue to fall, and housing sales continue to decline. The entire dead cat bounce has been generated through corporate stock buybacks, Wall Street lemmings trying to make up for their terrible year to date investing performance, and central bankers who will stop at nothing to verbally manipulate markets higher – since their monetary machinations over the last seven years have been a miserable failure in reviving the real economy.
As John Hussman points out, the market is poised to deliver nothing over the next decade, with a 40% to 55% “dip” in the foreseeable future. I wonder how many barely sentient, iGadget addicted, non-questioning, normalcy bias dependent zombies are prepared for a third Federal Reserve generated market collapse in the last 15 years? Continue reading »
The incredible story behind the cyber heist that resulted in an $81 million loss for the central bank of Bangladesh continues to get more intriguing. Bangladesh is looking to sue the NY Fed for lapses in protocol, while Philippine officials race to untangle a complex web of bad actors and shady go-betweens that looks like it may lead back to one Kim Wong, who 15 years ago was accused of connecting then-Senator Panfilo Lacson to drug lords. Meanwhile, a cyber security expert who spoke to the police and the media was kidnapped from a motorized rickshaw by men in plainclothes who blindfolded him, threw him in a vehicle, and drove away.
Not too dovish (upgrade uncertainty), not too hawkish (lowered rate hikes), a goldilocks statement, with just a little less inflation and just a little less GDP growth, and just two more quarter of near-ZIRP rates is what it takes for the world to get it all together.
The story of the theft of $100 million from the Bangladesh central bank – by way of the New York Federal Reserve – is getting more fascinating by the day.
As we reported previously, on February 5, Bill Dudley’s New York Fed was allegedly “penetrated” when “hackers” (of supposed Chinese origin) stole $100 million from accounts belonging to the Bangladesh central bank. The money was then channeled to the Philippines where it was sold on the black market and funneled to “local casinos” (to quote AFP). After the casino laundering, it was sent back to the same black market FX broker who promptly moved it to “overseas accounts within days.”
On February 5, Bill Dudley was “penetrated” when “hackers” (of supposed Chinese origin) stole $100 million from accounts belonging to the Bangladesh central bank.
As we reported on Tuesday, the money was apparently channeled to the Philippines where it was sold on the black market and funneled to “local casinos” (to quote AFP). After the casino laundering, it was sent back to the same black market FX broker who promptly moved it to “overseas accounts within days.”
Obviously, that’s hilarious, not to mention extremely embarrassing for the NY Fed. Here’s what the Fed had to say yesterday about the “mishap”: Continue reading »
Reports indicate that some of the stolen funds were traced to the Philippines, but given what we know about the “Cyber Axis of Evil,” we can only suspect it was Iranians, Chinese, or the criminal/military mastermind Kim Jong-Un who was behind the scam, but whatever the case, someone, somewhere, hacked into Bangladesh’s central bank on February 5.
According to Reuters, “some of the funds” have been recovered, but the bank didn’t initially say how much or how much was initially stolen. We suppose that theoretically it could have been a rather large sum, as the country has around $26 billion in FX reserves on hand:
But just moments ago we learned from the AFP that the amount lost was around $100 million. “Some of the money was then illegally transferred online to the Philippines and Sri Lanka, a central bank official told AFP on condition of anonymity.” Continue reading »
Earlier this month, as retail investors lost confidence in the global economy and broader stock markets, an air of panic began to set in. Reports indicate the lines were literally forming around the block at gold stores throughout London and elsewhere. It was, by all accounts, the very scenario one might expect in an environment where trust in government and central banks has been eroded.
But it’s only the beginning, explains Auryn Resourcesexecutive chairman Ivan Bebek in an interview with SGT Report, as nation states and large investors are trying to get their hands on gold as fast as they can:
Before any big move in gold we have always seen extreme volatility or volatility pick up. This was just a taste of what’s to come in the next few years… We’ll look back at this and be reflecting on how minimal this move was compared to what’s going to happen as we go forward…Continue reading »
Having successfully called the market’s retreat in the fall of 2015, Universa’s Mark Spitznagel is not taking a victory lap as he warns Bloomberg TV that “the crash has only just begun.”
Investors are facing the most binary “let’s make a deal” market in history in Spitznagel’s view: choose Door #1 to bet on Keynesianism, central planners, and monetary interventionism; or Door #2 to bet on free markets and natural price discovery.
“There is massive cognitive dissonance here,” Spitznagel explains as history teaches us that door #2 is the right choice… but it’s not possible to do that today as investors have been coerced to choose door #1, but when door #1 is slammed open “we will see that dreaded black swan monster.”
These are strange monetary times, with negative interest rates and central bankers deemed to be masters of the universe. So maybe we shouldn’t be surprised that politicians and central bankers are now waging a war on cash. That’s right, policy makers in Europe and the U.S. want to make it harder for the hoi polloi to hold actual currency.
Mario Draghi fired the latest salvo on Monday when he said the European Central Bank would like to ban €500 notes. A day later Harvard economist and Democratic Party favorite Larry Summers declared that it’s time to kill the $100 bill, which would mean goodbye to Ben Franklin. Alexander Hamilton may soon—and shamefully—be replaced on the $10 bill, but at least the 10-spots would exist for a while longer. Ol’ Ben would be banished from the currency the way dead white males like him are banned from the history books. Continue reading »
Just when traders thought that the biggest and most violent 3-day short squeeze in 7 years was about to end a squeeze that has resulted in 3 consecutve 1%+ sessions for the S&P for the first time since October 2011, overnight we got one of the Fed’s biggest faux-hakws, St. Louis Fed’s Jim Bullard, who said that it would be “unwise” to continue hiking rates at this moment, and hinted that “if needed”, the most natural option for the Fed going forward would be to do further Q.E.
“[Central Banks] think they are smarter than the market,” exclaims billionaire investor Jim Rogers, “they are not!”
Warning CNN in this brief but disturbing reality check that “we are all going to get hurt by a global recession,” Rogers takes aim at the incompetence of the “academic and bureaucrats who don’t know what they are doing,” raging that “this is going to be a disaster in the end.”
Coming as a replacement to perhaps the biggest dove in Fed history, few were expecting former Goldman and Pimco staffer Neel Kashkari to be as vocally outspoken on a topic that is so near and dear to regulators everywhere: their own cluelessness, and more importantly, the topic of “too big to fail” banks, which according to the Fed are a pillar of stability in an unstable world, and which according to Kashkari are anything but.
It is doubly surprising because it was none other than Kashkari himself who served as one of the key architects of the bank bailout plan in the aftermath of the financial crisis. Shortly thereafter he lived for an extended period in the wild. Continue reading »
“The U.S. banking industry earned net income of $163.63 billion in 2015, the highest net income of any year in the SNL bank regulatory database, which dates back to 1991…
The largest four banks, JPMorgan Chase Bank NA, Bank of America NA, Wells Fargo Bank NA and Citibank NA together earned 42.7% of the industry’s income in 2015.”
This bonanza stands in stark contrast to the plight of the middle class, whose wages have stagnated while health insurance costs reach crippling proportions. Wealth inequality in the U.S. has greatly expanded–a trend that defines countries with Quantitative Easing (QE) programs. Continue reading »
William R. White is the chairman of the Economic and Development Review Committee at the OECD in Paris. Prior to that, Dr. White held a number of senior positions with the Bank for International Settlements (“BIS”), including Head of the Monetary and Economic Department, where he had overall responsibility for the department’s output of research, data and information services, and was a member of the Executive Committee which manages the BIS. He retired from the BIS on 30 June 2008.
Dr. White began his professional career at the Bank of England, where he was an economist from 1969 to 1972. Subsequently he spent 22 years with the Bank of Canada. In addition to his many publications, he speaks regularly to a wide range of audiences on topics related to monetary and financial stability.
In the following interview he shares his views in a totally personal capacity on the current state of the global economy and related monetary and fiscal policies.Continue reading »
Update: DJIA FUTURES AT DAY’S LOW, FALL 361PTS; S&P -38, NASDAQ -91
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For nearly one year, Wisconsin Rep. Sean Duffy has been Janet Yellen’s nemesis over the ongoing probe into Fed leakage of material inside information via Medley Global and any other undisclosed channels, one which has seen subpoeans be lobbed at the Fed which has been doing everything in its power to stall said probe, and which cost Pedro da Costa his job when he dared to ask questions at a Fed presser that were not precleared by his WSJ “Fed mouthpiece” peers.
Today, during Yellen’s appearance before the House Financial Services committee, Duffy finally had enough, and in a heated exchange asked Yellen what on legal authority is the Fed exerting privilege to ignore a Congressional probe into what is clearly a criminal leak, one which has nothing to do with monetary policy and everything to do with the Fed providing material, market moving information to its favorite media and financial outlets.
JPM estimates that if the ECB just focused on reserves equivalent to 2% of gross domestic product it could slice the rate it charges on bank deposits to minus 4.5%. In Japan, JPM calculates that the BOJ could go as low as -3.45% while Sweden’s is likely -3.27%. Finally, if and when the Fed joins the monetary twilight race, it could cut to -1.3% and the Bank of England to -2.69%.
Before abdicating his post at the Minneapolis Fed to former Goldmanite/TARP architect Neel Kashkari, Kocherlakota was the voice of Keynesian “reason” for the FOMC.
Although his pronouncements never measured up to the power of the Bullard, Kocherlakota did call on a number of occasions for MOAR dovishness, noting that if the US economy were to decelerate (which it has), more asset purchases may be warranted. Continue reading »
The current melt-down of the world’s debt bubble is likely to continue in the course of the next months. The secular trend to expansion of credit has morphed into contraction and liquidation. It is my opinion that the new trend is now established and no action by any of the Central Banks (CB) that issue reserve currencies will do anything at all to reverse that trend.
Sandeep Jaitly thinks that the desperate reserve-issuing CBs – the US Fed, the ECB, the Bank of England and the Japanese CB – may resort to programs of QEP, by which he means “Quantitative Easing for the People”. This quantitative easing will mean putting money into the hands of the populations by rebates on taxes, invented make-work schemes or any other excuse to furnish the people with the famous “helicopter money”, to get them to spend. Continue reading »
Two weeks ago we, in collaboration with several readers, requested an official response from the Fed through a Freedom Of Information Act submission. Surely if the Fed would go so far as to call us liars, it would have no problem either responding or providing the required information. This is what we got back.
During the calendar year to December 2015, the Bundesbank claims to
have transported 210 tonnes of gold back to Frankfurt, moving circa 110
tonnes from Paris to Frankfurt, and just under 100 tonnes from New York
to Frankfurt. Continue reading »
CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin and Becky Quick, donning their finest goose down bubble coats to remind viewers they’re reporting live from scenic Davos, generously took some time out of their busy schedules to chat with Ray Dalio on Wednesday and unsurprisingly, the “zen master” again predicted the Fed will reverse course and embark on more QE.
Dalio begins by noting that the Fed’s move to inflate financial assets by pumping money into the system means there’s an “asymmetric risk on the downside.”
The rationale is simple: the trillions in fungible, excess cash the Fed unleashed in the wake of the crisis has driven asset prices into bubble territory and at this juncture, there’s essentially nowhere to go but down. Continue reading »
Over the weekend, we gave the Dallas Fed a chance to respond to a Zero Hedge story corroborated by at least two independent sources, in which we reported that Federal Reserve members had met with bank lenders with distressed loan exposure to the US oil and gas sector and, after parsing through the complete bank books, had advised banks to i) not urge creditor counterparties into default, ii) urge asset sales instead, and iii) ultimately suspend mark to market in various instances.
Moments ago the Dallas Fed, whose president since September 2015 is Robert Steven Kaplan, a former Goldman Sachs career banker who after 22 years at the bank rose to the rank of vice chairman of its investment bank group – an odd background for a regional Fed president – took the time away from its holiday schedule to respond to Zero Hedge.
We thank the Dallas Fad for their prompt attention to this important matter. After all, as one of our sources commented, “If revolvers are not being marked anymore, then it’s basically early days of subprime when mbs payback schedules started to fall behind.” Surely there is nothing that can grab the public’s attention more than a rerun of the mortgage crisis, especially if confirmed by the highest institution. Continue reading »
You don’t have to listen very hard to hear the bears growling on Wall Street, London, or Paris these days. Indeed, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down another 300 points on Wednesday to just under 16,200
With the U.S. stock market sagging, oil off to its worst start ever, and the China’s economy continuing to deteriorate, bearish analysts have a wealth of evidence to point to.
And they don’t come much more bearish than Albert Edwards, strategist at Société Générale. He’s not had much nice to say about the global economy in years, and recent events have only hardened his convictions that the world is headed for disaster, and will take the prices of equities down with it. How much? Edwards predicts the U.S. stock market could plunge as much as 75%. That would be worse than during the financial crisis, in which stocks from their peak to trough dropped a brutal 62%. Continue reading »