There are large signs of stress now present in the credit markets. You might not know it from today’s multi-generationally low interest rates, but other key measures such as liquidity and volatility are flashing worrying signs.
Look, we all know that this centrally planned experiment forcing financial assets ever higher is simply fostering multiple bubbles, each in search of a pin. As all bubbles do, they are going to end with bang.
I keep my eyes on the credit markets because that’s where the real trouble is brewing. Continue reading
The stories are all over the Internet. Governments are forcing us into a cashless society. Supposedly the pretext is terrorism, and the real reason is to take more control. No doubt more power appeals to politicians, and banning cash seems like the next step after mandatory reporting of cash transactions. However, I think there is a more serious driver than simple power lust.
A more compelling case is that cash banning is the logical follow up to bail-ins. Most people think a bail-in is when banks steal your deposit. So it seems to make sense that governments want to force people to keep their cash in the bank. Then they are easy meat for the next bail-in. Continue reading
(NaturalNews) The only proof you need that many Californians are still living in a water fairy tale is the fact that California real estate prices haven’t yet collapsed. Even as the California Governor has declared a state of emergency — and emergency water rationing is under way — there are still people purchasing commercial and residential real estate in precisely the areas that will be hardest hit by that rationing.
What is the value of a home or business that has no functioning connection to a water system? Essentially ZERO.
How many California homes and businesses are headed for a zero-water future? Many millions. Continue reading
Stock markets in the U.S. are trading approximately 2% from their all-time highs, the German DAX has slightly retraced from its all-time highs, the Nikkei index in Japan has almost surpassed its 2000 highs in recent days, the Shanghai stock index used to be a laggard but is making up at an incredible pace (currently trading at 7-year highs). Indeed, it feels like nothing can go wrong.
We are not yet in bubble territory, and the market is not setting up for an implosion as it did in December 1999 or July 2008. However, we are in the midst of a monetary bubble, driven by an explosion of the monetary base and an implosion of interest rates. Paper assets, as opposed to hard assets, have been pumped up by the liquidity that is being funneled into the economic system and the markets. Continue reading
Could negative interest rates create an existential crisis for money itself?
JPMorgan Chase recently sent a letter to some of its large depositors telling them it didn’t want their stinking money anymore. Well, not in those words. The bank coined a euphemism: Beginning on May 1, it said, it will charge certain customers a “balance sheet utilization fee” of 1 percent a year on deposits in excess of the money they need for their operations. That amounts to a negative interest rate on deposits. The targeted customers—mostly other financial institutions—are already snatching their money out of the bank. Which is exactly what Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon wants. The goal is to shed $100 billion in deposits, and he’s about 20 percent of the way there so far. Continue reading
Just over a month ago, on March 1, the Austrian financial world was shaken by news that the first bank bail-in following Cyprus would not take place in Greece as many had expected, but in Vienna: judged by the rating agencies to be one of the safest places in the world, where the bad bank that was created to help with the wind-down of the defunct Austrian lender Hypo Alpe Aldria, would itself be unwound, with creditors suffering the bulk of the pain in the form of the first official “core Eurozone” bail in.
Truly a “black swan” event.
This, together with the revelation of the sordid state of Heta’s books which was only revealed after the bail-in fact, was certainly a shock to bondholders, who had been treating Heta bonds as money good as recently as last summer, only to face losses as large as 50%.
The head of Germany’s central bank has said that quantitative easing will not solve the economic problems of the Eurozone.
MOSCOW, January 25 (Sputnik) – The president of the German central bank, Jens Weidmann, has expressed his disagreement with the ECB’s decision to implement quantitative easing in an interview with German newspaper Welt am Sonntag.
“Bond-buying by the government is not a normal instrument of monetary policy,” Weidmann told the paper on Sunday. Such a policy, when carried out in a monetary union like the Eurozone, “is connected with particular drawbacks and risks,” Weidmann continued, adding that “there should be a high threshold for their use.” Continue reading
Some Investors See Single Currency Falling to Parity With U.S. Dollar
A day after the European Central Bank unveiled its bond-buying program, the single currency still was in free fall, blowing past analysts’ expectations for how low the euro can go.
Some investors now say the euro could fall to the point where it is on equal footing with the U.S. dollar for the first time since it climbed above the buck in late 2002.
“If you would have asked me a few months ago, I would’ve said that parity could be in the cards in the years ahead. Now, we can’t rule it out anymore even by the end of this year,” said Thomas Kressin, head of European foreign exchange at Pacific Investment Management Co., or Pimco, which has $1.68 trillion under management. Continue reading
The first time the phrase Emergency Liquidity Assistance, or ELA, was used in the context of Greece was in August 2011, when Greece was imploding, when its banking sector was on (and past) the verge of collapse, and just before the ECB had to unleash a global coordinated bailout with other central banks including global central bank liquidity swap and unleash the LTRO to preserve the Eurozone.
As a reminder, this is what happened back then: “In a move described as the “last stand for Greek banks”, the embattled country’s central bank activated Emergency Liquidity Assistance (ELA) for the first time on Wednesday night.”
“Although it was done discreetly, news that Athens had opened the fund filtered out and was one of the factors that rattled markets across Europe. At one point Germany’s Dax was down 4pc before it recovered. The ELA was designed under European rules to allow national central banks to provide liquidity for their own lenders when they run out of collateral of a quality that can be used to trade with the ECB. It is an obscure tool that is supposed to be temporary and one of the last resorts for indebted banks.” Continue reading
Concerns have been rumbling for some time that bonds – whether issued by companies or governments – are due for a sharp crash.
At the start of 2014 many wrote off bonds and said that private investors should sell their bond funds and move into shares or other assets.
But those who ignored this advice and kept their bonds investments have done well over the past year.
In fact, as a whole, bonds have beaten equities so far in 2014.
So what does 2015 hold? Again, opinion is divided.
Bond giant Pimco has been hit by a second consecutive month of record outflows in its flagship fund following the departure of star fund manager Bill Gross. Continue reading
The United States is no stranger to waging financial warfare, observes David Katz. What’s different now, however, is its unique position within global financial markets. It’s enabling Washington to project power in cutting edge ways.
Imagine warfare waged in financial cyberspace: electronic, remote, fought in hypervelocity with millions of engagements per second, and with nations forced to construct redundant systems, sacrificing billions in economic efficiency for survival capacity. Financial warfare strikes can blockade vital industries; delink countries from the global marketplace; bankrupt sovereign economies in the space of a few days, and cause mass exoduses, starvation, riots, and regime change. Continue reading
John Embry said last month that the rally at the beginning of the year was encouraging, but to remember that sentiment for gold was still extremely negative. He says that the stock market’s new highs are a result of the Fed ‘jamming cash into the economy.’ With nowhere else to go, cash is creating bubbles in stocks, real-estate and bonds, he warns.
What is your view of gold in the next few years? What if we continue to have low inflation, or even deflation? How will gold fare?
Well, I don’t think that the situation that we have here is sustainable. We are going to have to create a sufficient amount of money to keep the debt load afloat. We are going to have to keep interest rates low because if those basic requirements are not met – that is lots of liquidity and maintenance of low interest rates – the system is going to collapse. Continue reading
Liu Mingkang, the chairperson of the China Banking Regulatory Commission, has accidentally revealed that China may hold US$700 billion more in US bonds than it has previously stated, reports Japanese newspaper Nikkei, which said the disparity shows the country’s mistrust of the US.
The Chinese official said during a speech delivered in Washington DC on April 16 that over half of China’s foreign reserves have been invested in US bonds and that as of the end of March this year, around US$2 trillion of the country’s US$4 trillion in foreign reserves are in US dollars. Continue reading
“The global financial crisis that began in the United States in the summer of 2007 was triggered by a bank run, just like those of 1837, 1857, 1873, 1893, 1907 and 1933.” That’s the theme of Yale economist Gary Gorton’s Misunderstanding Financial Crises, Why We Don’t See Them Coming, published last year by Oxford University Press. Students of financial crises will tell you that Gorton’s theme is highly relevant to the next meltdown we could face someday soon. Continue reading