“I’m Not Crazy, I’m Scared” – Why For One Trader, This Time It Is Different

Bloomberg’s Richard Breslow, author of “Trader’s Notes” is painfully accurate with his latest take on the “markets.”

I’m Not Crazy, I’m Scared

Over the last three days, we have reported that some of the most important investment voices in the world are more than a little scared about the ravenous appetite for risk playing out in the market, and the fact that they have been ignored is beyond unnerving. Central banks are driving all investment decisions, and what this implies is that they are in this trade so  deeply that there is no obvious or practical exit. Continue reading

Hedge fund manager: It’s a ‘truly scary time’

“I think it is a truly scary time,” Andy Redleaf, CEO of $4.2 billion hedge and mutual fund manager Whitebox Advisors, said in an internal memo Sunday night obtained by CNBC.com.

“We do not know exactly where all the credit creation of this cycle has gone. Certainly money sits idly as excess reserves, but just as certainly money that would not exist but for unconventional monetary policy has distorted prices and resource allocation,” Redleaf wrote.

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World on brink of an oil price war

Next month’s Opec meeting will take place against a background of dissension between two power blocs in an organisation that controls the lifeblood of the global economy, reports Andrew Critchelow.

A secretive group of the world’s most powerful oil ministers will soon gather in Vienna to take arguably one of the most important decisions that could affect the still fragile world economy: whether to cut production of crude to defend prices at US$100 per barrel, or keep open the spigots as winter looms among the biggest energy-consuming nations.

A sudden slump in the price of crude has exposed deep divisions within the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) ahead of its final scheduled meeting of the year next month to decide on how much oil to pump.

Some members, led by Iran, have called for immediate action to stem the drop in oil prices, while the Arab sheikhdoms of the Gulf have so far argued that it could be another three months before it becomes clear whether the group should cut production for the first time since December 2008. Whatever they decide, oil remains the lifeblood of the global economic system due to its direct impact on inflation and input prices. Continue reading

Central banks’ investment in yuan puts currency nearer reserve status

At least 40 central banks have invested in the yuan and several others are preparing to do so, putting the mainland currency on the path to reserve status even before full convertibility, Standard Chartered said.

Twenty-three countries have publicly declared their holdings in yuan, in either the onshore or offshore markets, yet the real number of participating central banks could be far more than that, said Jukka Pihlman, Standard Chartered’s Singapore-based global head of central banks and sovereign wealth funds.

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Is Shariah Compliant Finance a Secret Weapon?

Shariah Compliant Funds are among the fastest growing pools of wealth on the planet representing about $1 trillion, not including major Sovereign Wealth Funds that loosely conform to Shariah principles. Even Goldman Sachs has joined the party, offering a $2.2 billion Shariah Compliant bond issue announced last September. The problem is that Iran is the world’s leader in Shariah Compliant investing, representing more than one-third of all Shariah assets. This is a concern in light of the economic war underway between Iran and the West. The second concern is that Shariah funds require mandatory payments that can be problematic.

Full article: Is Shariah Compliant Finance a Secret Weapon? (Global Economic Warfare)