MUNICH(Own report) – The Munich Security Conference, which ended yesterday, was marked by appeals for “Europe” to be more willing to go to war and have a resolute EU “global projection of power.” In addition to a significant arms buildup, the EU needs a “common desire to actually use its military weight,” German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen admonished. German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel warned that Europe’s future “projection of power” cannot “do without” military force. Currently, this is not yet possible without the involvement of NATO or US armed forces; however, cooperation with Washington should be “on a par” and “not as deputies.” In the foreseeable future, the EU will be able to buildup its arms to such an extent that it will no longer need US support. Gabriel branded Russia and China – current “rivals” to the Western “system” – as “autocracies.”
Risks to global growth have increased since November and world leaders have little left in their fiscal and monetary arsenals to mitigate the threat, Moody’s has warned.
In its quarterly Global Macro Outlook 2016-17 report released Thursday, the ratings agency said that growth prospects were being hammered by China’s slowdown, a slump in commodity prices and tighter financing conditions in some emerging markets.
Following through on indications in March, the Federal Open Market Committee on Wednesday offered no changes to its zero interest rate policy.
Not only did it not hike rates, it also removed all hints for what may lie ahead. Calendar references were deleted completely from the post-meeting statement.
The FOMC indicated after its March meeting that a rate hike in April was unlikely. The U.S. central bank has kept its key funds rate anchored near zero since late 2008, amid the financial crisis.
You can read Part one here:
Consumer spending in the U.S. accounts for approximately 70 percent of gross domestic product, though it is important to note that the manner in which “official” GDP is calculated is highly inaccurate. For example, all government money used within the Medicare coverage system to pay for “consumer health demands,” as well as the now flailing Obamacare socialized welfare program, are counted toward GDP, despite the fact that such capital is created from thin air by the Federal Reserve and also generates debt for the average taxpayer. Government debt creation does not beget successful domestic production. If that was a reality, then all socialist and communist countries (same thing) would be wildly enriched today. This is simply not the case. Continue reading
In 1929, a businessman and economist by the name of Jerome Levy didn’t like what he saw in his analysis of corporate profits. He sold his stocks before the October crash.
Almost eight decades later, the consultancy company that bears his name declared “the next recession will be caused by the deflating housing bubble.” By February 2007, it predicted problems in the subprime-mortgage market would spread “to virtually all financial markets.” In October 2007, it saw imminent recession – the slump began two months later.
The Jerome Levy Forecasting Center, based in Mount Kisco, New York, and run by Jerome’s grandson David, is again more worried than its peers. Its half-dozen analysts attach a 65 percent probability of a worldwide recession forcing a contraction in the US by the end of next year. Continue reading
The American middle class, long the most affluent in the world, has lost that distinction.
While the wealthiest Americans are outpacing many of their global peers, a New York Times analysis shows that across the lower- and middle-income tiers, citizens of other advanced countries have received considerably larger raises over the last three decades.
After-tax middle-class incomes in Canada — substantially behind in 2000 — now appear to be higher than in the United States. The poor in much of Europe earn more than poor Americans. Continue reading
(CNSNews.com) – In the budget proposal he presented to Congress last month, President Barack Obama called for what would be the highest level of sustained taxation ever imposed on the American people, according to the analysis published last week by the Congressional Budget Office.
Under Obama’s proposal, taxes would rise from 17.6 percent of Gross Domestic Product in 2014 to 19.2 percent in 2024. During the ten years from 2015 to 2024, federal taxation would average 18.7 percent GDP.
America has never been subjected to a ten-year stretch of taxation at that level. Continue reading
The Swiss-based ‘bank of central banks’ says a hunt for yield is luring investors en masse into high-risk instruments, “a phenomenon reminiscent of exuberance prior to the global financial crisis”.
This is happening just as the US Federal Reserve prepares to wind down stimulus and starts to drain dollar liquidity from global markets, an inflexion point that is fraught with danger and could go badly wrong.
“This looks like to me like 2007 all over again, but even worse,” said William White, the Bank for International Settlement’s former chief economist, famous for flagging the wild behaviour in the debt markets before the global storm hit in 2008. Continue reading
Back to finance. Poland did exactly what I and a few others have been warning about for years with regards to private retirement accounts and pensions. Poland confiscated 50% of all private pension funds last week. PRIVATE pensions.
As Warren Pollock and I have been screaming, one of the largest chunks of collateral left in the system is private retirement money, both in the form of 401(k)s and IRAs and in private pension accounts. In the U.S., the latest data for 2012 shows that there are now $10.5 Trillion in private 401k and IRA holdings, with another $9 Trillion in pensions and annuities.
The regime has been fairly open about its plans to “nationalize”, read CONFISCATE, this collateral and implement a system of “mandatory retirement savings accounts”, which will be just another confiscatory redistribution into the hands of the oligarchs and their cronies. This what Poland just did. This is what MF Global was in its essence. This is what Cyprus was, except the Cypriot confiscation was done to demand deposit accounts instead of retirement accounts, which is now termed a “bail-in” – but it is all of the same stripe, namely the utter destruction of the notion of private property and the redistribution of all wealth into the hands of the oligarchs. In Poland, the private pension paradigm has now also been destroyed because no one will want to put money into a private pension after this knowing that it can and will be stolen by the government at any time with zero redress. Continue reading
NUKU’ALOFA—Japanese, U.S. and Australian defense authorities are increasingly wary over China’s moves to develop port facilities in island countries in the Pacific Ocean amid concern that those facilities could become Chinese Navy footholds in the future. Continue reading
Russia has overtaken Germany as the fifth largest economy in terms of purchasing power parity, according to the latest World Bank ranking that measures 214 economies based on their 2012 GDP performance.
Russia’s oil and export driven economy is ranked fifth amongst the top ten economies in the world with $3.4 trillion in GDP. In 2011, Germany surpassed Russia in GDP with $3.227 trillion compared to Russia’s $3.203 trillion. In 2005, Russia was in eighth place.
Rank Country Purchasing Power Parity 1 United States $15.6 trillion 2 China $12.4 trillion 3 India $4.8 trillion 4 Japan $4.5 trillion 5 Russia $3.4 trillion 6 Germany $3.3 trillion 7 Brazil $2.4 trillion 8 France $2.4 trillion 9 United Kingdom $2.3 trillion 10 Mexico $2.0 trillion
The report was published last week in an annual ranking of GDP. The World Bank also updated their ranking of countries in terms of gross national product (GNP) per capita, grouping Russia in the ‘high income’ nation block, with individual yearly income of $12,616 or more. Continue reading
Today one of the top economists in the world told King World News that despite bounces, stocks will continue to crater and he has positioned his clients short for a collapse in global markets. Michael Pento, founder of Pento Portfolio Strategies, also warned that central planners now have the world headed into a depression.
“You’ve seen the releases from China, and now the Fed is feigning an interest in letting markets work. I believe it’s because they have duped themselves into believing that all of the cocaine they have put the economy on, in order to put a floor under real estate and give a boost to equity markets, isn’t the reason why we have some semblance of growth in global GDP. Continue reading
The Great British historian, Lord Macaulay, predicted the future unraveling of the United States economy in a letter written in May 1857. Macaulay’s prediction was based on his analysis of American institutions. Discussing the life of Thomas Jefferson with an American author, Macaulay wrote, “You are surprised to learn that I have not a high opinion of Mr. Jefferson, and I am surprised at your surprise. I am certain that I never wrote a line, and … uttered a word indicating an opinion that the supreme authority in a state ought to be entrusted to the majority of citizens [counted] by the head; in other words, to the poorest and most ignorant part of society.”
According to Macaulay the United States was becoming increasingly democratic throughout the nineteenth century. And this tendency, he argued, was dangerous to liberty and to the country’s economic well-being. As Macaulay explained, “I have long been convinced that institutions purely democratic must, sooner or later, destroy liberty or civilization, or both.” Continue reading
Although the article has a point and the population is truly in decline, Germany should not be counted out. Germans have the know-how, a very modern infrastructure, are still the most industrious and forward thinking people with a vision that no other on the European continent has or can be compared to. It didn’t literally give its manufacturing base to the Chinese.
Germany has peaked. Its hegemony in Europe is a “power illusion”, a confluence of fleeting advantages soon to be overwhelmed by the delayed effect of error and the crush of historic forces.
If demography is destiny, it may be clear within five years that ageing Germany is going the way of Japan. Within 20 years it may equally be clear France and Britain are regaining their 19th century role as the two dominant powers of Europe, albeit a diminished prize. Continue reading
China’s shadow banking system is out of control and under mounting stress as borrowers struggle to roll over short-term debts, Fitch Ratings has warned.
The agency said the scale of credit was so extreme that the country would find it very hard to grow its way out of the excesses as in past episodes, implying tougher times ahead.
“The credit-driven growth model is clearly falling apart. This could feed into a massive over-capacity problem, and potentially into a Japanese-style deflation,” said Charlene Chu, the agency’s senior director in Beijing.
“There is no transparency in the shadow banking system, and systemic risk is rising. We have no idea who the borrowers are, who the lenders are, and what the quality of assets is, and this undermines signalling,” she told The Daily Telegraph. Continue reading