BERLIN/KIEV/BERN (Own report) – In the aftermath of the Western-oriented putsch in Kiev, German politicians are preparing German public opinion for the disastrous deterioration of the Ukraine economic situation. Even though it was most recently suggested that the country could only expect a thriving development by linking up to the EU, it is now – truthfully – being announced that Ukraine is practically bankrupt. The CDU European parliamentarian, Elmar Brok, predicts “difficult times” ahead: “It has never rained gold coins, except in fairy tales.” In fact back in the fall, experts had already indicated that, because of its out-dated industry, the Ukraine would have to expect dramatic economic slumps if it signs the EU Association Agreements – unemployment and poverty would dramatically rise. In a position paper, the Berlin-based German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) is now proposing the introduction of a special status in EU ties for the Ukraine as well as other countries, such as Turkey. This sort of EU “second ring” would also permit the economic integration of such countries as Switzerland, which politically resists joining the EU. The SWP contends that these plans could also be used for Catalonia, should it secede from Spain and Scotland, from Britain. Continue reading
The bank, 81 per cent owned by the taxpayer, has already axed 40,000 posts since it was bailed out by the government in 2008
Royal Bank of Scotland is gearing up for further job cuts as it prepares to focus on the high street and withdraw from riskier investment banking activities.
It now aims to cut up to 30,000 more posts by offloading parts of its international business and slashing its investment banking division. Continue reading
It is only a matter of time before the stock market plunges by 50% or more, according to several reputable experts.
“We have no right to be surprised by a severe and imminent stock market crash,” explains Mark Spitznagel, a hedge fund manager who is notorious for his hugely profitable billion-dollar bet on the 2008 crisis. “In fact, we must absolutely expect it.”
Unfortunately Spitznagel isn’t alone. Continue reading
The second most senior Goldman Sachs executive has warned the world risks sowing the seeds of the next financial crisis through regulation aimed at making banks safer.
Gary Cohn, the global chief operating officer of the Wall St bank, today highlighted the risks of rules forcing banks to hold larger capital buffers so they can absorb bigger losses.
Speaking in Sydney, Mr Cohn said that in forcing banks to hold more capital, regulators risked encouraging the unregulated “shadow” banking sector, so it became the next problem. Continue reading
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. (MarketWatch) — Imagine, you’re in the exciting new 21st century. Civilization still exists on Planet Earth. Wall Street’s still in business. But you’re still asking: Why can’t we hear the next crash? Are we deaf? No. The warnings are always long and loud. So why can’t we “hear” them? In fact, it’ll get worse. Here’s why…
Yes, crashes will keep coming: History lesson: The 1929 crash led to the Great Depression. On March 20, 2000 we warned: “Next crash? Sorry, you’ll never hear it coming.” Few listened. The 1990’s dot-com mania led to Wall Street losing $8 trillion in the 2000-2003 bear-market recession. Nothing changed. Another round of warnings roared from 2004 into 2008. Few listened. Another crash. Wall Street lost even more, $10 trillion. Continue reading
Combine this with Bank of America’s warning that “the US Dollar is in trouble” and you can see that the cliff America is heading towards without brakes isn’t too far away.
While we will have more to say about the disastrous December TIC data shortly, which was released early today, and which showed a dramatic plunge in foreign purchases of US securities in December – the month when the S&P soared to all time highs and when everyone was panicking about the 3% barrier in the 10 Year being breached and resulting in a selloff in Tsy paper – one thing stands out. The chart below shows holdings of Chinese Treasurys (pending revision of course, as the Treasury department is quite fond of ajdusting this data series with annual regularity): in a nutshell, Chinese Treasury holdings plunged by the most in two years, after China offloaded some $48 billion in paper, bringing its total to only $1268.9 billion, down from $1316.7 billion, and back to a level last seen in March 2013! Continue reading
It’s relatively easy to portray yourself as a savvy and sucessful investor as well as being a ‘philantrophist’ when you bankroll the Presidency, have inside connections to the largest businesses in the world and enough money to almost destroy entire currencies such as the British Pound.
Soros Fund Management has doubled up a bet that the S&P 500 is headed for a fall.
Within Friday’s 13F filings news was the revelation that the firm, founded by legendary investor George Soros, increased a put position on the S&P 500 ETF by a whopping 154% in the fourth quarter, compared with the third. (A put or short position basically gives the owner the right to sell a security at a set price for a limited time, and in making such a bet, an investor generally believes the security is going to decline.) Continue reading
The project to impose political union is bringing economic ruin, making the legitimacy of the EU project ever more vulnerable
On the face of it, they seem worlds apart. Switzerland’s referendum vote against the free movement of labour, the ruling by the German Constitutional Court on the European Central Bank’s (ECB) attempts to save the euro, and the warning to Scotland that it won’t be allowed to keep the pound if it votes for independence – these might seem unrelated, but in truth they are all part of an increasingly explosive stand-off between the forces of national sovereignty on the one hand, and political and economic integration on the other. Continue reading
The savings of the European Union’s 500 million citizens could be used to fund long-term investments to boost the economy and help plug the gap left by banks since the financial crisis, an EU document says.
The EU is looking for ways to wean the 28-country bloc from its heavy reliance on bank financing and find other means of funding small companies, infrastructure projects and other investment. Continue reading
China’s Xi Jinping has cast the die. After weighing up the unappetising choice before him for a year, he has picked the lesser of two poisons.
The balance of evidence is that most powerful Chinese leader since Mao Zedong aims to prick China’s $24 trillion credit bubble early in his 10-year term, rather than putting off the day of reckoning for yet another cycle.
This may be well-advised for China, but the rest of the world seems remarkably nonchalant over the implications. Brazil, Russia, South Africa, and the commodity bloc are already in the cross-hairs. Continue reading
That at least is the conclusion reached by a frightening chart that has been making the rounds on Wall Street. The chart superimposes the market’s recent performance on top of a plot of its gyrations in 1928 and 1929.
The picture isn’t pretty. And it’s not as easy as you might think to wriggle out from underneath the bearish significance of this chart. Continue reading
Last week’s ‘thunderbolt’ ruling on eurozone rescue policies by Germany’s top court marks a serious escalation of Europe’s governance crisis and may ultimately force Germany to withdraw from the euro, the country’s most influential magazine has warned.
A sweeping report by Der Spiegel said the court ruling amounts to a full-blown showdown between Germany and the European Central Bank over the methods to shore up southern Europe’s debt markets.
“It is nothing less than a final reckoning with the crisis-management strategy pursued by the ECB. The German justices insist that the German constitution sets limits on the ECB’s crisis strategy. In a worst-case scenario, the Court could forbid Berlin from contributing to efforts to save the euro or even force Germany to leave the currency zone entirely,” it said. Continue reading