- When They Say The Global Economy Is Growing They Really Mean This… (ZeroHedge, Nov 29, 2013):
Forget “A Tale Of Two Cities,” the entire world is “A Fiction Of Two ‘Economies’”…
- When They Say The Global Economy Is Growing They Really Mean This… (ZeroHedge, Nov 29, 2013):
Forget “A Tale Of Two Cities,” the entire world is “A Fiction Of Two ‘Economies’”…
- China Is On A Debt Binge And A Buying Spree Unlike Anything The World Has Ever Seen Before (Economic Collapse, Nov 26, 2013):
When it comes to reckless money creation, it turns out that China is the king. Over the past five years, Chinese bank assets have grown from about 9 trillion dollars to more than 24 trillion dollars. This has been fueled by the greatest private debt binge that the world has ever seen. According to a recent World Bank report, the level of private domestic debt in China has grown from about 9 trillion dollars in 2008 to more than 23 trillion dollars today. In other words, in just five years the amount of money that has been loaned out by banks in China is roughly equivalent to the amount of debt that the U.S. government has accumulated since the end of the Reagan administration. And Chinese bank assets now absolutely dwarf the assets of the U.S. Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank, the Bank of Japan and the Bank of England combined. You can see an amazing chart which shows this right here. A lot of this “hot money” has been flowing out of China and into U.S. companies, U.S. stocks and U.S. real estate. Unfortunately for China (and for the rest of us), there are lots of signs that the gigantic debt bubble in China is about to burst, and when that does happen the entire world is going to feel the pain.
- The World’s 2170 Billionaires Control $33 Trillion In Net Worth, Double The US GDP (ZeroHedge, Nov 23, 2013):
Before it became a conspiracy fact, the traditional response to all suggestions of a massive Libor/FX/commodity/mortgage rigging cartel was a simple if stupid one: too many people are involved and so it can never be contained. As it turns out not only can it be contained, but when the interests of the “conspiracy” participants are alligned, it can continue for decades. Naturally, the same applies for the pinnacle of the global wealth pyramid: the world’s billionaires and their plan of wealth preservation and accumulation.
Not only have the world’s richest been the biggest beneficiaries of the monetary and fiscal policies since 2009, with the current 2170 global billionaires representing a 60% increase since 2009 according to UBS, but their consolidated net worth has more than doubled from $3.1 trillion in 2009 to $6.5 trillion now. At the same time, the net worth of the “bottom 90%” of the world’s not so lucky population, has declined. Yet, somehow, the Fed is still revered.
- Obama’s Secret Treaty Which Will Merge America More Deeply Into The Emerging One World Economic System (Economic Collapse, Nov 13, 2013):
Did you know that the Obama administration is negotiating a super secret “trade agreement” that is so sensitive that he isn’t even allowing members of Congress to see it? The Trans-Pacific Partnership is being called the “NAFTA of the Pacific” and “NAFTA on steroids”, but the truth is that it is so much more than just a trade agreement. This treaty has 29 chapters, but only 5 of them have to do with trade. Most Americans don’t realize this, but this treaty will fundamentally change our laws regarding Internet freedom, health care, the trading of derivatives, copyright issues, food safety, environmental standards, civil liberties and so much more. It will also merge the United States far more deeply into the emerging one world economic system. Initially, twelve nations will be a party to this treaty including the United States, Mexico, Canada, Japan, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. Together, those nations represent approximately 40 percent of global GDP. It is hoped that additional nations such as the Philippines, Thailand and Colombia will join the treaty later on.
There are some very good reasons why Obama does not want the American people to know anything about what is in this treaty. This agreement will impose very strict Internet copyright rules on the American people, it will ban all “Buy American” laws, it will give Wall Street banks much more freedom to trade risky derivatives and it will force even more domestic manufacturing offshore. Continue reading »
- TPP Uncovered: WikiLeaks releases draft of highly-secretive multi-national trade deal (RT, Nov 13, 2013):
Details of a highly secretive, multi-national trade agreement long in works has been published by WikiLeaks, and critics say there will be major repercussions for much of the modern world if its approved in this incarnation.
The anti-secrecy group published on Wednesday a 95-page excerpt taken from a recent draft of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, a NAFTA-like agreement that is expected to encompass nations representing more than 40 percent of the world’s gross domestic product when it is finally approved: the United States, Japan, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Malaysia, Chile, Singapore, Peru, Vietnam, New Zealand and Brunei.
- Secret Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) (Wikileaks, Nov 13, 2013):
Today, 13 November 2013, WikiLeaks released the secret negotiated draft text for the entire TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) Intellectual Property Rights Chapter. The TPP is the largest-ever economic treaty, encompassing nations representing more than 40 per cent of the world’s GDP. The WikiLeaks release of the text comes ahead of the decisive TPP Chief Negotiators summit in Salt Lake City, Utah, on 19-24 November 2013. The chapter published by WikiLeaks is perhaps the most controversial chapter of the TPP due to its wide-ranging effects on medicines, publishers, internet services, civil liberties and biological patents. Significantly, the released text includes the negotiation positions and disagreements between all 12 prospective member states.
The TPP is the forerunner to the equally secret US-EU pact TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership), for which President Obama initiated US-EU negotiations in January 2013. Together, the TPP and TTIP will cover more than 60 per cent of global GDP. Read full press release here.
- All-Time High Unemployment: The Economic Depression In Europe Just Keeps Getting Deeper (Economic Collapse, Oct 31, 2013):
The unemployment rate in the eurozone is higher than it has ever been before. This week we learned that eurozone unemployment came in at an all-time high of 12.2 percent for September. Back in January 2012, it was sitting at just 10.4 percent. So anyone that believes that “things are getting better” in Europe is just being delusional. In fact, the economic depression in Europe just keeps getting deeper. The funny thing is that the mainstream media will barely call what is going on in Europe a “recession” even though the unemployment rates in both Spain and Greece are now much higher than anything that the United States ever experienced during the “Great Depression” of the 1930s. There haven’t been as many headlines about the financial crisis in Europe lately because the ECB has been papering over the debt problems of the periphery (at least for the moment), but the economic conditions on the ground for average Europeans just continue to get even worse. Later on in this article, you will read about a 25-year-old Spanish man with three college degrees that moved to London in a desperate search for a job who is now cleaning up poop for a living. The economic collapse of Europe continues to march on, and there is no end in sight.
All you have to do is look at the latest unemployment numbers to realize that things are getting worse in Europe. Continue reading »
- Chart Of The Day: “Japan Has No Alternative But To Print And Print And Print” (ZeroHedge, Oct 22, 2013)
Today’s Chart of the Day comes by way of SocGen’s Albert Edwards who in one image shows why, with gross debt issuance needs between budget funding and rolling maturities at 60% of GDP, Japan has no choice but “to print and print and print“
The U.S. Capitol looms in the background of a sign on the National Mall reminding visitors of the closures to all national parks due to the federal government shutdown in Washington October 3, 2013. (Reuters/Kevin Lamarque)
Michel Chossudovsky is an award-winning author, professor of economics, founder and director of the Centre for Research on Globalization, Montreal and editor of the globalresearch.ca website.
- Shutdown of US govt & ‘debt default’: Dress rehearsal for privatization of federal state system? (RT, Oct 15, 2013):
By Michel Chossudovsky
The ‘shutdown’ of the US government and the financial climax associated with a deadline date, leading to a possible ‘debt default’ by the federal government, is a money-making undertaking for Wall Street.
Several overlapping political and economic agendas are unfolding. Is the shutdown – implying the furloughing of tens of thousands of public employees – a dress rehearsal for the eventual privatization of important components of the federal state system?
A staged default, bankruptcy and privatization is occurring in Detroit (with the active support of the Obama administration), whereby large corporations become the owners of municipal assets and infrastructure.
The important question: could a process of ‘state bankruptcy’, which is currently afflicting local level governments across the land, realistically occur in the case of the central government of the United States of America?
This is not a hypothetical question. A large number of developing countries under the brunt of IMF ‘economic medicine’ were ordered by their external creditors to dismantle the state apparatus, fire millions of public sector workers as well as privatize state assets. The IMF’s Structural Adjustment Program (SAP) has also been applied in several European countries.
Tags: Bailout, Banking, Barack Obama, Ben Bernanke, Bonds, Bush administration, Debt, DHS, Dictatorship, Economy, EU, Europe, Fascism, Fed, Federal Reserve, Financial Crisis, Food stamps, GDP, George Bush, Global News, Government, Homeland Security, IMF, Keynesianism, Michel Chossudovsky, Military, military-industrial complex, New World Order, Obama administration, Pentagon, Politics, Quantitative Easing, TARP, U.S., Wall Street
- When countries go broke (Sovereign Man, Oct 14, 2013):
It’s become almost cliche these days to point out how many governments are broke beyond belief.
In Japan, where the country’s debt level already exceeds 200% of GDP, the government has to finance 46% of its budget by issuing more debt.
- How Brazil’s Middle Class Dream Became A Debt-Fuelled Nightmare (ZeroHedge, Oct 9, 2013):
Quick: which BRIC nation has the highest consumer loan default rate?
If you said China, India or Russia, you are wrong. Actually, if you said China you are probably right, but since absolutely all economic “data” in China is worthless, manipulated propaganda, only a retrospective post-mortem after the Chinese credit, housing, commodity, consumption bubbles have all burst will we know the answer. So excluding China, which country’s consumers after a multi-year shopping spree funded entirely on credit, are suddenly suffering the epic hangover of soaring non-performing loans as they suddenly find themselves unable to even pay the interest on the debt? Just ask former billionaire Eike Batista whose OGX oil corporation is days away from filing bankruptcy. The answer, with 5.6% of all loans in default, above Russia, South Africa, Mexico, Turkey and India, is Brazil.
It is this same Brazil, where years of credit-driven expansion have resulted in rampant, 6% inflation, which moments ago forced the central bank to once again hike its key policy rate by another 50 bps to 9.50% in an attempt to halt surging prices and contain the flood of liquidity, both foreign and domestic. Continue reading »
- Greece Considering Confiscation Of Private Assets (ZeroHedge, Oct 6, 2013):
The last time we opined on the possibility of a Cyprus-style “bail-in” in Greece, which is essentially a legally-mandated confiscation of private sector assets held hostage by the local financial system, until such time as the balance sheet of said financial system is viable, we were joking. Well, not really joking.
But not even we thought that a banking sector “bail in”, in which unsecured bank liabilities, which include bonds and of course deposits, are used as a matched source of extinguishment of non-performing bad debt “assets” could spread to the broader economy, and specifically to unencumbered private sector assets. Alas, this is precisely what Greece, which is desperately to delay the inevitable and announce it needs not only a third but fourth bailout, appears keen on doing.
As Kathimerini reports, the Greek Labor and Social Insurance Ministry is “seriously considering drastic measures in order to obtain the social security contributions owed by enterprises and to avoid having to slash pensions and benefits.” What drastic measures? “The ministry is planning to force companies to pay up or face having their assets seized, so that the 14 billion euros of contributions due can be recouped.”
After all, it’s only “fair.”
Kathimerini is kind enough to layout the clear-cut problems with this plan which will further crush any potential rebound in the Greek economy: Continue reading »
- Five Years After Lehman, BIS Ex-Chief Economist Warns “It’s Worse This Time” (ZeroHedge, Sep 15, 2013):
The froth is back. As we noted yesterday, corporate leverage has never been higher – higher now than when the Fed warned of froth, and as the BIS (following their “party’s over” rant 3 months ago) former chief economist now warns, “this looks like to me like 2007 all over again, but even worse.” The share of “leveraged loans” or extreme forms of credit risk, used by the poorest corporate borrowers, has soared to an all-time high of 45% – 10 percentage points higher than at the peak of the crisis in 2007.
As The Telegraph reports, ex-BIS Chief Economist William White exclaims, “All the previous imbalances are still there. Total public and private debt levels are 30pc higher as a share of GDP in the advanced economies than they were then, and we have added a whole new problem with bubbles in emerging markets that are ending in a boom-bust cycle.”
Crucially, the BIS warns, nobody knows how far global borrowing costs will rise as the Fed tightens or “how disorderly the process might be… the challenge is to be prepared.” This means, in their view, “avoiding the tempatation to believe the market will remain liquid under stress – the illusion of liquidity.”
Continue reading »
- Five Years Later: 18 Dollars Of Debt For Every Dollar Of GDP; Total G7 Debt/GDP: 440% (ZeroHedge, Sep 12, 2013):
With everyone focused on the 5th anniversary of the Lehman failure, we are taking a quick look at how the world’s developed (G7) nations have fared since 2008, and just what the cost to restore “stability” has been. In a nutshell: the G7 have added around $18tn of consolidated debt to a record $140 trillion, relative to only $1tn of nominal GDP activity and nearly $5tn of G7 central bank balance sheet expansion (Fed+BoJ+BoE+ECB). In other words, over the past five years in the developed world, it took $18 dollars of debt (of which 28% was provided by central banks) to generate $1 of growth. For all talk of “deleveraging” G7 consolidated debt has been at a record high 440% for the past four years. So in the G7, which is a good proxy for the developed world, debt continues to increase whilst nominal growth remains extremely low thus ensuring that the deleveraging process has yet to start. As Deutsche Bank states, “at best we’re stabilising the ratio at or around record highs.”
As for the implications for interest rates, they are quite clear: Continue reading »
- China gets $1 trillion boost from dodgy data: Report (CBC News, Aug 16, 2013):
China may be exaggerating the size of its economy to the tune of $1 trillion by releasing “willfully fraudulent” inflation and GDP [gross domestic product] data, according to a study out this week.
Numbers from the world’s second largest economy are treated with skepticism by some economists, but this latest report has attempted to quantify the scale of discrepancy.
“There is strong evidence indicating that the rate of real Chinese GDP growth, and ultimately total real GDP, may be significantly over stated,” said Christopher Balding, associate professor at Peking University’s HSBC Business School, and the report’s author.
- Japan Enters The Keynesian Twilight Zone As Total Debt Crosses ¥1,000,000,000,000,000.00. (ZeroHedge, Aug 9, 2013):
Back in May 2011, together with forecasting Japan’s most epic case of quantitative easing ever unleashed, we presented the absurd, if inevitable, thought experiment of a country that would soon cross into the twilight zone of total sovereign debt numbers that no longer even fit on a simple pocket calculator. The country of course is Japan, and the debt number is one quadrillion. As of last night, the absurd has become real as Japan has officially announced its total government debt rose by 1.7% to ¥1,008,600,000,000,000.00.
This represents about $10.5 trillion, is an amount larger than the economies of Germany, France and the U.K. combined, and is about 230% of Japan’s GDP although at this point who cares: Japan will never repay its debt and the best it can hope for is to inflate it away, which ties in with the first forecast of ever greater “easing” by the BOJ until fiat after fiat loses all meaning in a world that is so hopelessly in debt that destroying the very concept of modern money will ultimately be the only recourse.
Some more from AFP on this theater of the Keynesian absurd:
Japan’s eye-watering national debt has topped one quadrillion yen, official data showed Friday, a record figure that underlines Tokyo’s struggle to curb its huge borrowing.
The figure supplied by the finance ministry of 1.008 quadrillion yen by the end of June amounts to about $10.42 trillion at current exchange rates.
A quadrillion is one thousand trillion.
I wish I could say the same about donations here at Infinite Unknown.
The last donation has been in March 2013. And there have only been 3 donations this year so far.
But one thing’s for sure, Dr. Paul Craig Roberts deserves every dollar of these donations and a lot more for his work.
Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during President Reagan’s first term. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. He has held numerous academic appointments, including the William E. Simon Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, and Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University.
- The “New Economy” Is The No Jobs Economy (Paul Craig Roberts, Aug 5, 2013):
I am flattered by the traffic on this site, and by the generosity of donors from across the United States–large cities and small villages–and the world. We have donations from Indonesia, Russia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Mexico, most countries in Europe and from Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. It is exciting to me that people from around the world realize the stakes and seek better information than the media, public officials, and corporations provide.
It is encouraging that people around the world ask my permission to translate my columns into their languages and post them on their websites. My columns even appear in Azerbaijan.
- The Rise Of The Bear: 18 Signs That Russia Is Rapidly Catching Up To The United States (Economic Collapse, Aug 7, 2013):
The Russian Bear is stronger and more powerful than it has ever been before. Sadly, most Americans don’t understand this. They still think of Russia as an “ex-superpower” that was rendered almost irrelevant when the Cold War ended. And yes, when the Cold War ended Russia was in rough shape. I got the chance to go over there in the early nineties, and at the time Russia was an economic disaster zone. Russian currency was so worthless that I joked that I could go exchange a 20 dollar bill and buy the Kremlin. But since that time Russia has roared back to life. Once Vladimir Putin became president, the Russian economy started to grow very rapidly. Today, Russia is an economic powerhouse that is blessed with an abundance of natural resources. Their debt to GDP ratio is extremely small, they actually run a trade surplus every year, and they have the second most powerful military on the entire planet. Anyone that underestimates Russia at this point is making a huge mistake. The Russian Bear is back, and today it is a more formidable adversary than it ever was at any point during the Cold War.
Just check out the following statistics. The following are 18 signs that Russia is rapidly catching up to the United States… Continue reading »
- Why Another Great Real Estate Crash Is Coming (Economic Collapse, Aug 1, 2013):
There are very few segments of the U.S. economy that are more heavily affected by interest rates than the real estate market is. When mortgage rates reached all-time low levels late last year, it fueled a little “mini-bubble” in housing which was greatly celebrated by the mainstream media. Unfortunately, the tide is now turning. Interest rates are starting to move up steadily, even though the Federal Reserve has been trying very hard to keep that from happening. A few weeks ago, when Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke suggested that the Fed may start to “taper” the rate of quantitative easing eventually, the bond market had a conniption and the yield on 10 year U.S. Treasuries shot up dramatically. In an attempt to calm the market, the Fed stopped all talk of a “taper” and that helped settle things down for a brief period of time. But now the yield on 10 year U.S. Treasuries is starting to rise aggressively again. Today it closed at 2.71 percent, and many analysts believe that it will go much higher. This is important for the housing market, because mortgage rates tend to follow the yield on 10 year U.S. Treasuries. And if mortgage rates keep rising like this, another great real estate crash is inevitable.
- The Government “Revises” 84 Years Of Economic History This Week (ZeroHedge, July 29, 2013):
Don’t like how high debt-to-GDP figures are? Revise ‘em. Unhappy at the post-’recovery’ growth rates? Revise ‘em. Disappointed at the pace of economic improvement in the last decade or two compared to the rest of the world? Revise ‘em. This week “we are essentially rewriting economic history” as the BEA is set to revise GDP data from as far back as 1929. The ‘adjustments’ to account for intangibles (that best known of micro- accounting fudge factors) and as we noted previously in great detail, will increase GDP by around $500 billion. Of course, these changes are defended aggressively (just as the hedonic adjustments to inflation calculations ‘make perfect sense’) as GDP will now reflect spending on research, development, and copyrights as investment – and reflect pension deficits for the first time (think of all that potential future GDP from massive pension deficits now). With Q2 GDP growth estimates set for a dismal 1.1%, expectations are for the short-term economic data to be revised upwards (and with any luck the great recession never happened at all).
US economic history will be rewritten this week, as the most far-reaching methodological changes in years will add the equivalent of a country the size of Belgium to output in the world’s largest economy.
- Debt Levels Are Skyrocketing To Extremely Dangerous Levels – How Long Can This Possibly Keep Going? (Economic Collapse, July 24, 2013):
Never before has the world faced such a serious debt crisis. Yes, in the past there have certainly been nations that have gotten into trouble with debt, but we have never had a situation where virtually all of the major powers around the globe were all drowning in debt at the same time. And what makes this crisis even more unprecedented is that everyone on the planet is using fiat currency that is backed up by nothing. It is all just a bunch of paper and data points that people have faith in. Right now, confidence in this system is being shaken as debt levels skyrocket to extremely dangerous levels. Many are openly wondering how much longer this can possibly go on.
Tags: Barack Obama, Ben Bernanke, Bonds, China, Debt, Economy, EU, Europe, Fed, Federal Reserve, GDP, Global News, Government, Japan, Obama administration, Politics, Quantitative Easing, Society, U.S.
- Insolvent Spain Forced To “Borrow” From Social Security Fund To Pay Pensions (ZeroHedge, July 22, 2013):
Spain’s slow-motion implosion into an insolvent singularity has been one of the most amusing sideshows for over a year. The chief reason for this is the sheer schizophrenic and absurdist polarity between the sad reality, visible to everyone, and the unprecedented propaganda by the government desperate to paint a rosy picture. While on one hand the economic data shows very clearly the painfully obvious sad ending for this chapter of European integration, it continues to be punctuated almost daily by such amusing confidence games as Spain’s Economy Minister de Guindos telling anyone who cares to listen that the labor market is improving “beyond the seasonal pick up” and that Q2 GDP would be close to zero (because 0% GDP is the new killing it). That’s the good news. The bad news is that as Reuters reports, and contrary to fairy tales of unicorns and soaring 0% GDP, Spain’s government is so insolvent, it was just forced to “borrow” from its social security reserve to fund pension payments.
Spain tapped its social security reserve fund for the second time in a month on Monday, the Labour Ministry said, to help with extra summer pension payments as unemployment and retirement costs deplete government funds.
The government turned to the fund for 3.5 billion euros ($4.6 billion) on July 1 then for a further 1 billion euros on Monday. Spanish pensioners receive two cheques in summer and two over the Christmas holidays.
- Euro Area Government Debt Rises To New Record High (ZeroHedge, July 22, 2013):
While the European economy may be moving in a straight line from upper left to lower right, the same can not be said for the level of debt in Europe, which has taken on the inverse trajectory. As per the just released quarterly update of Euro area government debt, in Q1 2013, total government debt in Europe as a % of GDP just hit a new all time high of 92.2%. This compares to 90.6% in the previous quarter, and up from 88.2% in Q1 2012.
The proud Q1 debt-to-GDP outliers, where the local economies are expected to continue plunging and thus send the stock markets (if mostly that in the US) surging, are the following: Continue reading »
- 40 Stats That Prove The U.S. Economy Has Already Been Collapsing Over The Past Decade (Economic Collapse, July 17, 2013):
The “coming economic collapse” has already been happening. You see, the truth is that the economic collapse is not a single event. It has already started, it is happening right now, and it will accelerate during the years ahead. The statistics in this article show very clearly that the U.S. economy has fallen dramatically over the past ten years or so. Unfortunately, there are lots of mockers out there that love to mock the idea of an economic collapse even though one is happening right in front of our eyes. They love to say stuff like this (and I am paraphrasing): “An economic collapse is never going to happen. We can consume far more wealth than we produce forever. We can pile up gigantic mountains of debt forever. There is no way that the party is over. In fact, the party is just getting started. Woo-hoo!” That sounds absolutely ridiculous, but “economists” and “journalists” actually write things that reflect these kinds of sentiments every single day. They do not seem alarmed about the fact that our national debt is nearly 17 times larger than it was 30 years ago. They do not seem alarmed about the fact that the total amount of debt in our country is more than 28 times larger than it was 40 years ago. They do not seem alarmed about the fact that our economic infrastructure is being absolutely gutted and we are steadily becoming poorer as a nation. They just think that the magic formula of print, borrow, spend and consume can go on indefinitely. Unfortunately, the truth is that a massive economic disaster has already started to unfold. We inherited the greatest economic machine in the history of the world, but we totally wrecked it. We have been able to live far, far beyond our means for the last couple of decades thanks to the greatest debt bubble in the history of the planet, but now that debt bubble is getting ready to burst. Anyone with half a brain should be able to see what is coming. Just open your eyes and look at the facts.
The following are 40 stats that prove the U.S. economy has already been collapsing over the past decade…
- JPMorgan Slashes Q2 GDP By Half To 1% (ZeroHedge, July 12, 2013):
Following closely on the heels of Barclays significant downgrade, JPMorgan has cut its forecast for second-quarter GDP by 50% to a mere 1% growth (from their previous 2% expectation). Citing downside surprises to inventories, they note that “Fed officials won’t be thrilled about easing back on stimulus in September in the face of back-to-back one-handles on GDP growth.” Have no fear tyhough, as the rest of the year prmises to hockey-stick right back up to 2.5% (and 2.7% in 2014).
We are revising down our estimate for Q2 real annualized GDP growth from 2.0% to 1.0%, and revising up our projection for Q3 growth from 2.0% to 2.5%. We came into this week tracking a little light on our second quarter estimate, and the large downside surprise to May wholesale inventories moved that estimate much lower. Inventory accumulation was running light in Q1, and we had expected a significant contribution to Q2 growth from a rebuilding of stockpiles.
- The wheels are coming off the whole of southern Europe (Telegraph, July 10, 2013):
None of Euroland’s key actors seems willing to admit that the current strategy is untenable. They hope to paper over the cracks until the German elections in September, as if that is going to make any difference.
A leaked report from the European Commission confirms that Greece will miss its austerity targets yet again by a wide margin. It alleges that Greece lacks the “willingness and capacity” to collect taxes. In fact, Athens is missing targets because the economy is still in freefall and that is because of austerity overkill. The Greek think-tank IOBE expects GDP to fall 5pc this year. It has told journalists privately that the final figure may be -7pc. The Greek stabilisation is a mirage.
Italy’s slow crisis is again flaring up. Its debt trajectory has punched through the danger line over the past two years. The country’s €2.1 trillion (£1.8 trillion) debt – 129pc of GDP – may already be beyond the point of no return for a country without its own currency.
Standard & Poor’s did not say this outright when it downgraded the country to near-junk BBB on Tuesday. But if you read between the lines, it is close to saying the game is up for Italy.
- The Bank Of International Settlements Warns The Monetary Kool-Aid Party Is Over (ZeroHedge, June 23, 2013):
When a month ago the Central Banks’ Central Bank, aka the Bank of International Settlements (or BIS) in Basel where the MIT central-planning braintrust meets every few months to decide the fate of the world, warned that the Fed-induced collateral shortage is distorting the markets, few paid attention. That the implication behind said warning was that QE can not continue at the current pace, was just as lost. A few short weeks later following the biggest plunge in markets since 2011 in the aftermath of Bernanke’s taper tantrum, some are finally willing to listen.However, they will certainly not like what the BIS just released as a follow up, both in the form of the BIS’ 83rd Annual Report, and the speech by Jaime Caruana to commemorate said annual meeting. For the simple reason that it reads like a Zero Hedge sermon, which says, almost verbatim, that the days of kicking the can via flawed monetary policy are now over, and that the time for central banks to head for the exit has finally come.
The BIS message, as summarized by the FT, is that “central banks must head for the exit and stop trying to spur a global economic recovery… cheap and plentiful central bank money had merely bought time, warning that more bond buying would retard the global economy’s return to health by delaying adjustments to governments’ and households’ balance sheets.” Continue reading »
- 222 Years Of Gold, Wars, Inflation, Economies, And Presidents (ZeroHedge, June 15, 2013):
Whether as the basis for the monetary unit of a country, or in its role in comparison to the currency of other assets, the price of gold has long been a subject of great interest to both the scholar and the general public. MeasuringWorth has created a multi-century time series of the barbarous relic’s USD price. From the penny, the crown, the rose ryal, the guinea and the sovereign coin, the question of “what was the price then” is answered combining a number of sources and Visualizing Economics compares the ‘real’ price of gold since 1791 to GDP, wars, US presidents, and inflation…
(click image for larger version)