We have seen several explanations for the financial crisis and its lingering effects depressing our global economy in its aftermath. Some are plain stupid, such as greed for some reason suddenly overwhelmed people working within finance, as if people in finance were not greedy before 2007. Others try to explain it through “liberalisation” which is almost just as nonsensical as government regulators never liberalised anything, but rather allowed fraud, in polite company called fractional reserve banking, to grow unrestrained. Some point to excess savings in exporting countries as the culprit behind our misery. Excess saving forces less frugal countries reluctantly to run deficits, or so the argument goes.
While some theories are pure folly, others are partial right, but none seem to grasp the fundamental factor that pulled and keep pulling the world into such unsustainable constellations witnessed in global finance, trade and capital allocation. Continue reading »
In what may be merely a peculiar case of serendipity, just last night we mentioned the name of the infamous president of Weimar Republic’s Reichsbank, Rudolf von Havenstein, in the context of the BOJ’s proud announcement that it now held more than a third of all Japanese government bonds at the end of March (so even more currently).
BOJ SAYS IT HELD 33.9% OF JGBS AT END-MARCH.
First one to 100% wins the Rudy von Havenstein economics prize
— zerohedge (@zerohedge) June 16, 2016
Well, either Citi’s Gregory Marks was following our amused observation, or in an act of odd confluence of thought invoked the spirit of Rudy von Havenstein completely independently, when overnight he unleashed a furious tirade at both negative rates and “utterly misguided” central bank policies in general and negative rates in particular in “Let’s Take Stock: The Efficacy and Merit of Negative Rates.”
The full note, which is on par with Deutsche Bank’s just as angry recent rant against the ECB, is presented in its entirety below. Continue reading »
With bonds and bullion remainig bid post payrolls, post May Minutes, post April FOMC, and post December’s Fed rate-hike, it is clear that the market is losing faith in The Fed… and we suspect The Fed is losing faith in itself as it takes the ax (once again) to its growth and rate forecasts (the dot-plot).
- *FED SAYS IT EXPECTS LABOR MARKET INDICATORS `WILL STRENGTHEN’
- *FED: MEDIAN FED FUNDS EST. 1.6% END-2017 VS 1.9% IN MARCH
- *FED SAYS PACE OF LABOR MARKET IMPROVEMENT HAS SLOWED
July rate-hike odds are at 18% (and Sept at 19%). Pre-Fed: S&P Futs 2082, 10Y 1.61%, EUR 1.1240, Gold $1285
“Hope” is now an official policy of The Fed it seems as they say – unequivocally – that the labor market “will strengthen.” July rate hike odds have collapsed to just 11% and September just 16%… Grab your popcorn and watch as we see if the press corps can do their job?
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Newsmax Finance Insider Larry Kudlow is fed up with the way global central banks have been trying to revive the economy.
Nothing they have done has worked. So there’s really only one option left, he told CNBC.
“Overthrow the establishment. Now’s the time,” said the CNBC senior contributor who also hosts a syndicated radio-talk show. “Overthrow the establishment,” urged Kudlow, who was a former economic adviser to President Ronald Reagan.
“We need a different model. In other words, zero interest rates, or negative interest rates, and tons and tons of government spending for all these G-7 countries have not worked,” he said.
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Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: A Fed official walks into a bar and says the economy is improving and rate hikes are appropriate. The patrons order another round to celebrate. Then disappointing data comes out, the high fives stop, and the Fed official ducks out the back…only to come back the next day saying the same thing. Anyone who pays even the smallest attention to the financial media has experienced versions of this joke dozens of times. Yet every time the gag gets underway, we raise our glasses and expect the punch line to be different. But it never is. Last week was just the latest re-telling. Continue reading »
Remember the mass layoffs of 2008-2009? The US economy shed millions of jobs quickly and relentlessly, as companies died and the rest fought for survival.
Then the Fed and the US government flooded the banks and the corporate sector with bailouts and handouts. With those giga-tons of liquidity sloshing around, as well as taking on massive amounts of new cheap debt, companies were able to finance their working capital needs, hire workers back, and even buy-back their shares en mass to make themselves look deceptively profitable. The nightmare of 2008 soon became a golden era of ‘recovery’.
Well, 2016 is showing us that that era is over. And as stock prices cease to rise, and in fact fall within many industries, layoffs are beginning to make a return as companies jettison costs in attempt to reduce losses.
Since January 1st, here is but a subset of the headlines we’ve seen: Continue reading »
I have made this comment many times in the past, but I think it needs to be stated again here: If you think the Federal Reserve’s goal is to maintain or repair the U.S. economy, then you will never understand why they do the things they do or why the economy evolves the way that it does. The Fed’s job is not to protect the U.S. economy. The Fed’s job is to DESTROY the U.S. economy to make way for a truly global system.
There seems to be a collective delusion within certain parts of the liberty movement that the “globalists” (the banking and political elites that promote total global centralization of finance and power) are a purely American or Western problem, and that they have some kind of loyalty to the success, or perceived success, of the U.S. “empire.” This is nonsensical when you look at the progression of the American fiscal system after the Fed was established over a century ago. Continue reading »
On July 1, 2005, the Chairman of then President George W. Bush’s Council of Economic Advisors told a reporter from CNBC that,
“We’ve never had a decline in house prices on a nationwide basis. So, what I think is more likely is that house prices will slow, maybe stabilize, might slow consumption spending a bit. I don’t think it’s gonna drive the economy too far from its full employment path, though.”
His name was Ben Bernanke. And within a year he would become Chairman of the Federal Reserve.
Of course, we now know that he was dead wrong. Continue reading »
When it comes to the Fed, Congress is mired in hypocrisy. The anti-regulation, de-regulation crowd on Capitol Hill shuts its mouth when it comes to the most powerful regulators of all – you and the Federal Reserve. Meanwhile, Congress goes along with the out-of-control, private government of the Fed—unaccountable to the national legislature. Moreover, your massive monetary injections scarcely led to any jobs on the ground, other than stock and bond processors.
If I had to choose one single institution and one single individual most responsible for the weak, putrid and unbelievably corrupt oligarch-controlled U.S. economy, I would choose the Federal Reserve and Ben Bernanke. Continue reading »
Back in March, the former Fed chairman said that we’re in trouble because “productivity is dead in the water, and real capital investment is way below average because business people are very uncertain about the future.” Greenspan went on to add that entitlement programs are crowding out capital investment, and thus crowding out productivity.”
Alan Greenspan is back delivering more warnings about the state of the global economy, hammering home the same key points made back in March. Continue reading »
There are limits on what the Fed can do when this bubble bursts, as it inevitably will, as surely as night follows day.
It’s no secret that virtually every pension fund is dead man walking, doomed by central banks’ imposition of low yields on safe investments, i.e. Zero Interest Rate Policy (ZIRP).
Given that both The Economist and The Wall Street Journal have covered the impossibility of pension funds achieving their expected returns, this reality cannot be a surprise to anyone in a leadership role.
Public Pension Funds Roll Back Return Targets:Few managers count on returns of 8%-plus a year anymore; governments scramble to make up funding
Here’s problem #1 in a nutshell: the average public pension fund still expects to earn an average annual return of 7.69%, year after year, decade after decade. Continue reading »
The recent resolution of the parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE fully equalizes the role of the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany at the outbreak of the Second World War, except that it had the purely pragmatic purpose of extorting money from Russia on the contents of some of the bankrupt economies, intended to demonize Russia as the successor state to the USSR, and to prepare the legal ground for the deprivation of her right to speak out against revision of results of war.
But if we approach the problem of responsibility for the war, then you first need to answer the key question: who helped the Nazis come to power? Continue reading »
After making over $1 billion in one day last August, and warning that “the markets are overvalued to the tune of 50%,” Mark Spitznagel knows a thing or two about managing tail risk.
The outspoken practitioner of Austrian economic philosophy tells The FT, “Markets don’t have a purpose any more – they just reflect whatever central planners want them to,” confirming his fund-management partner, Nassim Taleb’s perspective that “being protected from fragility in the financial system is a necessity rather than an option.”
“This is the greatest monetary experiment in history. Why wouldn’t it lead to the biggest collapse? My strategy doesn’t require that I’m right about the likelihood of that scenario. Logic dictates to me that it’s inevitable.” Continue reading »
Every year it’s the same: some legacy mainstream media mouthpiece muses on how great Obama’s recovery would be… if only it wasn’t for stingy US consumers refusing to spend like the drunken sailors of days gone by. Last June, it was the WSJ’s Jon Hilsenrath who actually wrote a letter to American consumers, confused by their unwillingness to spend and explicitly accused them of being “stingy” even as the “Federal Reserve was counting” on them to spend, spend, spend. For those who have forgotten this absolute pearl, here it is again: Continue reading »
“KASHKARI: WE’RE HERE TO SERVE MAIN STREET (ON A PLATTER TO THE ELITES)”
Former Goldmanite, and current Minneapolis Fed president and paradoxical “crusader” against TBTF banks and bank bailouts (such as the one he was instrumental in drafting during the financial crisis) Neil Kashkari, spoke moments ago at the Economic Club of Minnesota, where he delivered a speech titled “The Role and Limitations of Monetary Policy.” Among the otherwise irrelevant things he said the following:
- KASHKARI: WE’RE HERE TO SERVE MAIN STREET
Which is ironic for numerous reasons, among them being what SF Fed president John Wiliams said last week during the Milken Conference when asked what the biggest systemic financial risk is. To be sure, if it was all about “main street”, the Fed’s biggest worry would be deteriorating wages, a collapse in employment, the elimination of pensions, or the collapse of interest on savings. No; instead Williams said the biggest systemic financial risk currently is the possibility that “broad sets of assets are going to see big movements downward” as interest rates rise. “That’s an area that I think is a potential risk.” Continue reading »
The dollar’s recent rapid slide has been accompanied by a constant backdrop of dovish cooing from the Fed. Until this week, SocGen’s Albert Edwards notes that both equity and commodity markets had embraced the weak dollar as the elixir to solve all their ills. That relief, however, has now proved fleeting as fear of weak economic activity has reasserted its influence on investors. The weak dollar, Edwards warns, should be seen as merely a shuffling of deckchairs on the Titanic before the global economy sinks below the icy waves. Continue reading »
Take away Saudi Arabia’s oil and all that’s left are a couple of Islamic shrines and a lot of sand and hot air.
Guest Post by Robert Gore at Straight Line Logic
After three decades of internecine war, Abdul-Aziz bin Saud, allied with the fundamentalist Wahhabist Islamic sect, consolidated the House of Saud’s dominance over Arabia in 1932 with the tacit support of regional imperial power Great Britain. The bedrock of the Saudi Arabian economy, the massive pool of oil in the Al-Hasa region along the Persian Gulf coast, was discovered in 1938 and development began in 1941. Towards the end of World War II, President Roosevelt and Abdul-Aziz reached a handshake deal that has governed relations between the two nations ever since: Saudi Arabia would guarantee the flow of oil to the US at a reasonable price; the US would protect the Saud regime. Continue reading »
In Samuel Eliot Morison’s “The Oxford History of the American People,” there is a single sentence about Harriet Tubman.
“An illiterate field hand, (Tubman) not only escaped herself but returned repeatedly and guided more than 300 slaves to freedom.”
Morison, however, devotes most of five chapters to the greatest soldier-statesman in American history, save Washington, that pivotal figure between the Founding Fathers and the Civil War — Andrew Jackson. Continue reading »
The blog, goldseek.com, recently published a report on a Freedom of Information Act request they recently filed with the US government. They were seeking seven reports from federal audits of the gold at Fort Knox. The government’s response? They can’t find those reports – even though they reference those reports as evidence of the gold stored at Fort Knox in a number of ways.
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I wonder why?
Oh, wait a minute….
“Gentlemen, I have had men watching you for a long time and I am convinced that you have used the funds of the bank to speculate in the breadstuffs of the country. When you won, you divided the profits amongst you, and when you lost, you charged it to the bank. You tell me that if I take the deposits from the bank and annul its charter, I shall ruin ten thousand families. That may be true, gentlemen, but that is your sin! Should I let you go on, you will ruin fifty thousand families, and that would be my sin! You are a den of vipers and thieves.”
– Andrew Jackson
“The bold effort the present (central) bank had made to control the government … are but premonitions of the fate that await the American people should they be deluded into a perpetuation of this institution or the establishment of another like it.”
– Andrew Jackson
“The real truth of the matter is, as you and I know, that a financial element in the large centers has owned the government of the U.S. since the days of Andrew Jackson. “
– A letter written by Franklin D. Roosevelt to Colonel House, November 21st, l933
Anti-slavery crusader Harriet Tubman will become the first African-American to be featured on the face of U.S. paper currency when she replaces President Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill, the U.S. Treasury Department announced on Wednesday.
She will also be the first woman on U.S. paper currency in more than a century.
The redesigned $20 bill will move Jackson to the back of the bill alongside an image of the White House, Treasury officials said. Continue reading »
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Tags: Austria, Bail-ins, Banking, Barack Obama, Bonds, Brazil, Collapse, Debt, Economy, EU, Europe, Fed, Federal Reserve, Global News, Government, Italy, Janet Yellen, Obama administration, Politics, Society, U.S., Venezuela
Yesterday the Federal Reserve released a 19-page letter that it and the FDIC had issued to Jamie Dimon, the Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase, on April 12 as a result of its failure to present a credible plan for winding itself down if the bank failed. The letter carried frightening passages and large blocks of redacted material in critical areas, instilling in any careful reader a sense of panic about the U.S. financial system. Continue reading »
Earlier today, former central bank staffer and Dartmouth College economics professor Andrew Levin, special adviser to then Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke between 2010 to 2012, said something shocking. “A lot of people would be stunned to know” the extent to which the Federal Reserve is privately owned, Mr. Levin said. The Fed “should be a fully public institution just like every other central bank” in the developed world, he said in a conference call announcing the plan. He described his proposals as “sensible, pragmatic and nonpartisan.”
With every passing day, the Fed is slowly but surely losing the game.
Only it is not just former (and in some cases current) Fed presidents admitting central banks are increasingly powerless to boost the global economy, even if they still have sway over capital markets. What is far more insidious to the Fed’s waning credibility is when former economists affiliated with the Fed start repeating mantras that until recently were only a prominent feature in the so-called fringe media. Continue reading »
The closed-door meeting between Obama, Biden and Yellen has concluded, and moments ago the White House released the following statement:
“The President and Chair Yellen met this afternoon in the Oval Office as part of an ongoing dialogue on the state of the economy. They discussed both the near and long-term growth outlook, the state of the labor market, inequality, and potential risks to the economy, both in the United States and globally. They also discussed the significant progress that has been made through the continued implementation of Wall Street Reform to strengthen our financial system and protect consumers.”
Of course, for the actual transcript of what was said, we will have to rely on some conscientious White House leaker putting it on BitTorrent, but here is our modest attempt at translating what was and what was not said: no market crashes allowed until November.
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Three weeks ago, when the Fed and Janet Yellen shocked markets with their extremely dovish statement in which they admitted the US Federal Reserve no longer is US data dependent, and instead is far more focused on global developments and especially China’s dollar-pegged currency (which makes it impossible for the Fed to be hawkish without causing further FX instability and leading to more Chinese capital flight), CNBC’s Steve Liesman asked Yellen point blank a question which would seem otherwise completely taboo: does the Fed have a credibility problem.
We live in strange economic times, stranger perhaps than at any other point in history. Since 2007-2008, the globally intertwined and dependent fiscal system has suffered considerable declines in every conceivable area. Manufacturing around the world is in a slump, from Japan to China to Europe, with the minimal manufacturing accomplished in the U.S. also fading. Consumption is falling, most notably in petroleum and raw materials. Employment is truly dismal, with the U.S. posting over 94 million people as “non-participants” in the national work force. Continue reading »