Millennials Are Using Financing To Pay For $450 Blenders

 

Low wages, mounting student debt and rising rents in the trendy urban centers where millennials prefer to live leave young people with little to spend on luxuries like an iPhone, or tickets to Fyre Festival pt. II. So, since millennials can’t seem to buy anything outright, payment companies are partnering with businesses to offer financing options for goods that, in the past, would’ve gone straight on the credit card, according to MarketWatch.

With interest rates ranging from 0% to 30%, compared with the average rate of 17% on credit cards, millennials are increasingly financing purchases from airplane tickets to luxury bedsheets with loans from payment companies like PayPal and Affirm. Indeed, millennials’ seeming inability to pay for anything outright has caused revolving debt in the US to balloon past $1 trillion. Continue reading

Signs Of Distress

 

The need to change is becoming more obvious than ever

The world is edging closer to the final moments after which everything will be forever changed. Grand delusions, perpetuated over decades, will finally hit the limits of reality and collapse in on themselves.

We’re over-budget and have eaten deeply into the principal balances of all of our main trust accounts. We are ecologically overdrawn, financially insolvent, monetarily out past the Twilight Zone, consuming fossil fuels (as in literally eating them), and adding 80,000,000 net souls to the planet’s surface — each year! — without regard to the consequences.

Someday there will be hell to pay financially, economically, and ecologically as there simply isn’t any way to maintain these overdrafts forever. Reality does not renegotiate. Its deal terms aren’t compromisable.

For those who have the neural plasticity to actually see what’s happening around us, the changes are already here, blatant and frightening. Younger folks, with their fresher eyes and fewer ties to the past, can see them a lot easier than their elders.

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The Monetary Crisis Cycle Comes in Two Flavours

 

QUESTION: Mr. Armstrong; I attended the Paris conference of the BIS when you were the keynote speaker. You delivered a forecast that was probably too far ahead for its time. You said the euro would go through and it would first drop but then peak with deflation in 2008 after the markets crash from 2007. You elaborated saying currency rises during a crash when people run to cash. You also said the euro would then decline for 13 years into 2021 before a new system will emerge.

That stuck in my mind and I watched it fall then rally into 2008 and the crash of 2007 you forecast some 10 years in advance. My question is simply this. You said, if I remember correctly, that the dollar would soar thereafter and we would see another monetary crisis as we did in 1985. Is this your Monetary Crisis Cycle you will reveal in Orlando?

I, and a few others from that conference, have bought tickets. I hope to shake your hand this time for a job well done for they would not have tried to stop you forecasting if you were like everyone else who are usually wrong. Continue reading

Former CBO Director: The Fall Will Be “Very Scary”, Expect A Market Crash

Rudy Penner, the former director of the Congressional Budget Office and the person described by MarketNews international as “one of Washington’s most respected fiscal policy experts”, told MNI Wednesday in an exclusive interview that he expects a “very scary” fall 2017 due to fiscal issues, with market-disrupting battles ahead on both the debt ceiling and fiscal year 2018 spending. Penner directed the CBO under president Reagan, worked at high level posts in the White House budget office, and the Council of Economic Advisers. He is currently a fellow at the Urban Institute and sits on the board of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. Continue reading

Venezuela quells attack on military base, two killed

VALENCIA/CARACAS, Venezuela, Aug 6 (Reuters) – Venezuelan authorities quelled an attack on a military base near the city of Valencia by soldiers and armed civilians on Sunday, killing two of them in a dramatic escalation of unrest in the protest-convulsed South American nation.

The pre-dawn raid coincided with a video circulated on social media showing more than a dozen men in military uniform announcing an uprising to restore constitutional order following the creation of a pro-government legislative superbody on Friday, condemned internationally as a power grab by President Nicolas Maduro. Continue reading

IMF Sees U.S. Fading as Global Growth Engine

Please see the source for the video.

 

  • Fund lowers forecast for U.K. growth after soft first quarter
  • Growth seen picking up in China, Japan, euro zone, Canada

The world is leaning less on its biggest economy to sustain the global recovery, according to the International Monetary Fund.

The fund left its forecast for global growth unchanged in the latest quarterly update to its World Economic Outlook, released Monday in Kuala Lumpur. The world economy will expand 3.5 percent this year, up from 3.2 percent in 2016, and by 3.6 percent next year, the IMF said. The forecasts for this year and next are unchanged from the fund’s projections in April. Continue reading

Colombia: Venezuela Crumbles Into Uncertainty

While Venezuela is drifting towards mass starvation, government collapse and civil war Colombia has managed to avoid all that and then some. What Colombia did was not easy. It required nearly two decades of effort to reach the point where a peace deal was agreed to and succeeded in disbanding the major leftist rebel group FARC. With that accomplished (as of the end of June) the second largest leftist rebel group (ELN, a third the size of FARC) now wants to talk peace as well. All these leftist rebels got going in the 1960s but by the 1990s were rapidly losing popular support. It got worse after 2000 because by then the drug gangs and leftist rebels had merged in many parts of the country, and the war was increasingly about money, not ideology. A new reform government took advantage of this and organized an offensive that sharply reduced crime and gave the economy a chance to become the most successful in South America. Continue reading

Don’t Be Fooled – The Federal Reserve Will Continue Rate Hikes Despite Crisis

 

Though stock markets in general are meaningless and indicate nothing in terms of the health of the economy they still function as a form of hypnosis, or a kind of Pavlovian mechanism; a tool that central bankers can use to keep a population servile and salivating at the ring of a bell. As I have mentioned in the past, the only two elements of the economy that the average person pays attention to in the slightest are the unemployment rate and the Dow. As long as the first is down and the second is up, they aren’t going to take a second look at the health of our financial system. Continue reading

There Has Been Just One Buyer Of Stocks Since The Financial Crisis

 

When discussing Blackrock’s latest quarterly earnings (in which the company missed on both the top and bottom line, reporting Adj. EPS of $5.24, below the $5.40 exp), CEO Larry Fink made an interesting observation: “While significant cash remains on the sidelinesinvestors have begun to put more of their assets to work. The strength and breadth of BlackRock’s platform generated a record $94 billion of long-term net inflows in the quarter, positive across all client and product types, and investment styles. The organic growth that BlackRock is experiencing is a direct result of the investments we’ve made over time to build our platform.” Continue reading

Deutsche: The Fed Has Created “Universal Basic Income For The Rich” And Now It Can’t Get Out

 

Two weeks after Aleksandar Kocic highlighted the moment in 2012 when the market stopped caring about newsflow and reality, and, in a word “broke” with pervasive complacency setting in regardless of macro uncertainty…

… Deutsche Bank’s post modernist master of stream-of-consciousness narrative is back with a new essay dissecting his favorite topic, the interplay between the Fed and markets, the so-called “umbilical limbo” that connects the two in the form of ultraeasy monetary policy and QE in general, and more importantly, the narrative that the Fed has spun over the past ten years, which while supportive of risk assets, has concurrently resulted in what Kocic calls a “permanent state of exception” from normalcy as a result of the Fed decision to defer the financial crisis indefinitely. Continue reading

“Financial Crisis” Coming By End Of 2018 – Prepare Urgently

Source: Financial Times

 

“Financial Crisis Of Historic Proportions” Is “Bearing Down On Us”

John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics latest research note, Prepare for Turbulence, is excellent and a must read warning about the coming financial crisis. Mind refreshed from what sounds like a wonderful honeymoon and having had the time to read some books outside his “comfort zone” he has come to the conclusion that we are on the verge of  a “major financial crisis, if not later this year, then by the end of 2018 at the latest.” Continue reading

Those Who Have, Shall Get

ATHENS/BERLIN (Own report) – Through loans and government bonds, Germany is reaping a billion euros in profits from Greece’s debt crisis. The German government has confirmed that profits from financial transactions with Greece have already reached €1.34 billion. German firms have also profited from the fact that, due to the crisis, Greece has been forced to sell government property. In a joint venture, just recently, a German investor bought the majority of shares of Greece’s Thessaloniki Port Authority – in cooperation with a fabulously rich Greek oligarch. At the same time, the German discounter Lidl was able to increase its market shares in competition with its Greek supermarket rivals because growing poverty is forcing people to buy low-priced groceries. Mass emigration, particularly that of highly qualified Greeks, is generating little noticed profits. Many Greeks, whose expensive education was paid by Athens, now work in Germany – placing their skills, for which Germany has not paid a cent, at Germany’s disposal.

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Bank of America: “The Most Dangerous Moment For Markets Will Come In 3 Or 4 Months”

 

Two weeks after BofA’s Michael Hartnett previewed (and timed) not only the “Great Fall” of stocks, but also explained that the Fed and global central banks are now in the business of making the “rich poorer“, he is out with a new note which looks at the Fed’s latest U-turn, which has unleashed the latest market buying spree, warning that “further upside in risk assets will create problems later in the year” (for three reasons he lists out), and concludes that “ultimately, we believe the extremely strong performance by equities and bonds in H1 is very unlikely to be repeated in H2.” Hartnett then goes back to his original thesis that the Fed will no longer pursue its primary mandate of pushing stocks (i.e. wealth effect and confidence) higher because it is “now politically unacceptable for the Fed and any other central bank to stoke a bubble on Wall St.”

As a result, “monetary policy will have to tighten to raise volatility, reduce Wall St inflation, and reduce inequality. There are two ways to cure inequality: you can make the poor richer, or you can make the rich poorer. The Fed will reduce its balance sheet in the hope of making Wall St poorer.

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Derivatives Trading Legend: “As Little As A 4% Decline In One Day Could Start A Critical Crash”

After building out Merrill’s mortgage trading floor basically from scratch, then moving to the buyside at Pimco, several weeks ago Harley Bassman, more familiar to many traders as the “Convexity Maven” – a legend in the realm of derivatives (he helped design the MOVE Index, better known as the VIX for government bonds) – decided to retire (roughly one year after his shocking suggestion that the Fed should devalue the dollar by buying gold).

But that did not mean he would stop writing, and just a few days after exiting the front door at 650 Newport Center Drive in Newport Beach for the last time, Bassman wrote his first full article as a “free man”, in which the topic was, not surprisingly, derivatives and specifically the recent collapse in vol – and convexity – what prompted it, but most importantly and what everyone wants to know: what threshold would be sufficient to finally launch the next “critical mass” market move (i.e. crash) and, just as importantly, what could catalyze it. Continue reading

Germany Pensions System Crisis

The pension system in Germany has serious shortcomings. (Photo: dpa)

 

The German publication DWN has come out and warned that the German Pensions system is collapsing. They wrote: Continue reading