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

Why a selloff in European banks is ominous

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Dark clouds are gathering around Europe’s banking sector.

 

Europe’s bank index has posted its longest weekly string of losses since 2008

European banks have been caught in a perfect storm of market turmoil, lately.

“The current environment for European banks is very, very bad. Over a full business cycle, I think it’s very questionable whether banks on average are able to cover their cost of equity. And as a result that makes it an unattractive investment for long-term investors,” warned Peter Garnry, head of equity strategy at Saxo Bank. Continue reading

The Fed is Now Cornered

As you know, I’ve been calling for a bond market crisis for months now. That crisis has officially begun in Greece, a situation that we addressed at length other articles.This crisis will be spreading in the coming months. Currently it’s focused in countries that cannot print their own currencies (the PIIGS in Europe, particularly Greece).

However, China and Japan are also showing signs of trouble and ultimately the bond crisis will be coming to the US’s shores. Continue reading

Credit Default Swaps Remain a Secret Weapon of Economic Warfare

Kevin Freeman points out exactly what is flying over most people’s heads, and what has most likely happened to JP Morgan Chase:

The strategy involved credit default swaps , a kind of derivative that was at the center of the 2008 financial crisis. The swaps were originally used to hedge the bank’s exposure to other investments it owns and included contracts tied to North American investment grade and junk corporate bonds, as well as bonds in Europe and Asia. JPMorgan helped invent the market for such swaps, known as “synthetic” positions because they trade risk without trading the actual bonds. But two things made these particular positions untenable and costly for JPMorgan, according to traders in the market and derivatives experts.

First, as bond markets shifted and forced JPMorgan to realign its hedges, the bank layered swap on top of swap, complicating the structure and increasing the risk that its hedges would fail to offset losses from one swap with gains from another. Second, the sheer size of JP Morgan’s swap position became more than the thinly traded market could easily manage. The lack of liquidity meant the exit door was too small for JPMorgan to fit through quickly once the trades started to deteriorate. Making matters worse, because JPMorgan was so dominant in this market it became clear to hedge funds and other trading entities that it was isolated and at risk—providing opportunities for those who could successfully trade against the bank’s position. The complexity of the trades made it difficult for the bank to stay on top of the risks as its position worsened.

Stop and contemplate this for a moment. No one knows Credit Default Swaps better than JP Morgan Chase. They invented the instruments after all. And, they have long been considered “best in breed” on Wall Street in this regard. Nobody does it better. Yet, this quote is so very significant: “it became clear to hedge funds and other trading entities that it was isolated and at risk—providing opportunities for those who could successfully trade against the bank’s position.” The article went on to say: “But hedge funds and other institutions in the market smelled weakness and dozens took advantage of the bank, according to traders. Reports by the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg in early April about the bank’s giant positions only made awareness of JP Morgan’s problem and its isolation greater.”

Now, we know that there are players in the world who desired to see JP Morgan Chase brought down. That is motive. Remember a year ago? We wrote a post titled The Invisible Gorilla that had quotes from Stephen Lerner of SEIU and George Soros regarding the need to tear down and remake the financial system. Quotes attributed to Lerner:

“S. Lerner: It seems to me that we’re in a moment where we need to figure out in a much more, through direct action, much more concrete way how we really are trying to disrupt and create uncertainty for capital, for how corporations operate. . . .

And I think the only way we can do that is to think much more creatively, and the key thing I …is we have to say what does the other side fear most? They fear disruption, they fear uncertainty. Every article about Europe says a riot in Greece, the markets went down. The folks that control this country care about one thing: how the stock market does; how the bond market does; and what their bonus is. So I think we weed out a very simple strategy: how do we bring down the stock market, how do we bring down their bonuses, how do we interfere with their ability to, to be rich. And if we don’t do, and that means you have to politically isolate them, economically isolate them and disrupt them. So, it’s not all theory, I’ll do a pitch.

 So, a bunch of us around the country are thinking about who would be a really good company to hate? We decided that would be JP Morgan Chase. …. And so we’re going to roll out over the next couple of months what will hopefully be an exciting campaign about JP Morgan Chase that is really about challenge the power of Wall Street. And so what we’re looking at is in the first week of May, we get enough people together – we’re starting now – to really have a week of action in New York with the goal of … I don’t want to go into any details because I don’t know which police agents are in the room, but the goal would be that we would roll out in New York the first week in May…”

Regarding George Soros:

Two years ago, George Soros said he wanted to reorganize the entire global economic system. In two short weeks, he is going to start – and no one seems to have noticed. On April 8, a group he’s funded with $50 million is holding a major economic conference and Soros’s goal for such an event is to “establish new international rules” and “reform the currency system.” It’s all according to a plan laid out in a Nov. 4, 2009, Soros op-ed calling for “a grand bargain that rearranges the entire financial order.

Soros wrote an Op-Ed in March 2009 that explained how Credit Default Swaps were used as Bear Raid instruments to bring down the big banks in 2008.

Full article: Credit Default Swaps Remain a Secret Weapon of Economic Warfare (Global Economic Warfare)