The first US embassy is dedicated in Jerusalem

US Ambassador David Friedman opened the ceremony with the American anthem and a video message of congratulations from President Donald Trump declaring that every nation has the right to choose its capital, including Israel, and pledging friendship. Continue reading

Former BIS Chief Economist Warns “More Dangers Now Than In 2007”

Bloomberg

 

Having warned in the past that “the system is dangerously unacnhored,” former chief economist of the Bank for International Settlements, William White, told Bloomberg TV overnight that the current situation “looks very similar to 2008,” adding that OECD sees “more dangers” today than in 2007. Continue reading

ARMSTRONG: Major Central Bank May Fail Next Year

Many analysts are fearful of an impending downturn as early as next year. In an exclusive interview with FS Insider, legendary forecaster Martin Armstrong of ArmstrongEconomics.com explained his outlook on the global economy and markets, including a bold call that, as early as next year, “we’re looking at a central bank that can go bankrupt” — a topic that will be the focus of a July conference in Frankfurt.

Armstrong is a unique, contrarian thinker and has made a number of accurate forecasts over the years, especially since we’ve been speaking with him on our podcast. A key theme of his analysis is that economic growth is likely to remain stagnant as nations around the globe struggle with large debt burdens. However, rather than calling for a collapse in the dollar and the US stock market, as many bears have long predicted, Martin has taken the opposite view, focusing instead on the needs of institutional investors to earn yield by increasingly allocating capital into stocks and highly-rated corporate bonds, which helps to fuel the stock market higher. Continue reading

Italy Just Bailed Out Another Failed Bank, May Use Pension Funds For Future Bank Rescues

Despite – or perhaps due to – Italy’s failed attempt to slide a state-funded €40 billion recapitalization attempt past Angela Merkel while blaming it on Brexit, and coupled with a bailout proposal to provide €150 billion in liquidity to insolvent banks, overnight we got yet another confirmation that the biggest risk factor for Europe is not Brexit but Italy, where yet another failed bank was bailed out. As the FT reports overnight, Atlante, Italy’s privately backed €5bn bank bailout fund which was created in April to stem the threat of contagion from struggling lenders and whose assets turned out to be woefully inadequate, took control of Veneto Banca after a €1bn capital increase demanded by EU bank regulators attracted zero interest.

This is good news for Veneto Banco and bad news for all other insolvent banks, because the fund, known as Atlas in English, was intended to hold up the sky for Italian banks. Instead it is now practically out of funds, having depleted more than half of its war chest after taking control of Popolare di Vicenza, another regional bank, last month.

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China pays $144bn to bolster stock market

When there’s no other investor to turn the market around other than the government, which nine times out of ten compounds the problem, you know it’s done.

 

China has spent $144 billion (€132bn) to bolster the country’s fragile stock market since June, Goldman Sachs has estimated, but still has more than that amount in reserve to deploy if stocks resume their sharp descent.

The coalition of state financial institutions – the “national team” – has a war chest of roughly $322 billion at its disposal to support the market, the bank believes.

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Renminbi could overtake US dollar in a decade: economist

The renminbi could overtake the leadership of the US dollar as an international trade currency with China’s creation of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and its energy alliance with Russia, writes the Beijing-based Reference News. Continue reading

West Pulls Out $3.5 Trillion From BRICS to Pressure the Group – Official

What you won’t hear from the state-controlled Sputnik News is that BRICS itself was brought about with the intention of bringing pressure on the West, namely the United States. They arrived on the scene first and America is only pushing back. However, Sputnik puts a great spin on it and portrays BRICS as the victim. Moreover, it might be too little too late for the U.S. to maneuver as it has been in suicidal decline for over a decade now.

 

The Russian Security Council Secretary said that Western countries withdrew its capital from the BRICS countries to exert pressure on the group.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Western countries have pulled out more than $3.5 trillion over the last 10 years and $1.5 trillion from BRICS countries over the last three years as a mechanism to pressure the group, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev said Tuesday. Continue reading

Japan’s US$100bn Asian Infrastructure Plan meant to counter AIIB

As reported by Japan’s news media, the Japanese government plans to earmark US$100 billion for investing in infrastructure projects in Asia in the next five years, with the investment scale rivaling the authorized initial capital of the China-initiated Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). But many observers doubt whether Japan is financially and technically capable of carrying out the plan, given its government’s heavy financial burden and its aging population, according to the Shanghai-based China Business News (CBN). Continue reading

Bank of England stress tests to include feared global crash

 

The Bank of England is to impose a series of tests on major UK banks to establish whether they are able to withstand a dramatic slowdown in China, a contraction in the eurozone, the worse deflation since the 1930s along with a fall in UK interest rates to zero.

The Co-operative bank – which failed last year’s tests – is no longer included in the annual assessments of the industry’s financial strength as it is too small, leaving six banks and the Nationwide building society to be tested. Continue reading

Market Perspectives The Monetary Illusion

When such a newsletter comes from an institution such as Guggenheim, the soon-to-come problems America faces couldn’t be more surreal.

 

As economic growth returns again to Europe and Japan, the prospect of a synchronous global expansion is taking hold. Or, then again, maybe not. In a recent research piece published by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, global economic growth, as measured in nominal U.S. dollars, is projected to decline in 2015 for the first time since 2009, the height of the financial crisis.

In fact, the prospect of improvement in economic growth is largely a monetary illusion. No one needs to explain how policymakers have made painfully little progress on the structural reforms necessary to increase global productive capacity and stimulate employment and demand. Lacking the political will necessary to address the issues, central bankers have been left to paper over the global malaise with reams of fiat currency.

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Is China Preparing for Currency War?

China has entered the global monetary-easing fray, along with more than a dozen other economies, after its central bank surprised investors by cutting reserve requirements 50 basis points to spur lending and combat deflation. But Beijing may be raring for an even bigger and more perilous fight — in the currency markets.

At the same time, something else is afoot in Beijing could have even greater global impact. The central bank is cooking up measures to widen the band in which its currency trades. People’s Bank of China officials say it’s about limiting volatility as capital zooms in and out of the economy. Let’s call it what it really is: the first step toward yuan depreciation and currency war. Continue reading

Banking crisis in Russia will be massive — Sberbank CEO

MOSCOW, January 14. /TASS/. The banking crisis in Russia in the current economic situation will be massive, CEO of Russia’s largest lender Sberbank German Gref said on Wednesday. Continue reading

“The ECB Has Lost Control” – Spiegel Asks If “Helicopter Money” Comes Next?

Just 2 short months ago we warned of the rising voice among the cognoscenti tilting their windmills towards the concept of “helicopter money,” as Deutsche bank noted, “perhaps there’s an increasing weariness that more QE globally whilst inevitable, is a blunt growth tool and that stopping it will be extremely difficult (let alone reversing it) without a positive growth shock.” Committing what Commerzbank calls “the ultimate sin” is now reaching the mainstream as Germany’s Der Spiegel notes it is becoming increasingly clear that Draghi and his fellow central bank leaders have exhausted all traditional means for combatting deflation; and many economists are demanding that the European Central Bank hand out money to consumers to stimulate the economy.

It seems perhaps tomorrow is… today… As Der Spiegel explains…

Fears that the euro zone is heading for deflation refuse to abate. Now, many economists are demanding that the European Central Bank hand out money to consumers to stimulate the economy. But would it work?

It sounds at first like a crazy thought experiment: One morning, every resident of the euro zone comes home to find a check in their mailbox worth over €500 euros ($597) and possibly as much as €3,000. A gift, just like that, sent by the European Central Bank (ECB) in Frankfurt. Continue reading

Authorities are about to crack down on banks again – but it’s you who will feel the pain

There is no such thing as a free lunch. Everything has a cost; all decisions have consequences. It is a shame that the hordes of braying banker-bashers don’t seem to grasp that basic truth. It goes without saying that the industry needed to change dramatically after the crisis of 2008. But that obviously doesn’t mean that all change is always right, or that the authorities have pushed through the right kinds of reforms. Continue reading

Exclusive: EU executive sees personal savings used to plug long-term financing gap

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