Dear American Consumer,
This is The Wall Street Journal. We’re writing to ask if something is bothering you. The sun shined in April and you didn’t spend much money. You have been saving more too. You socked away 5.6% of your income in April after taxes, even more than in March. This saving is not like you. What’s up?... The Federal Reserve is counting on you too. Fed officials want to start raising the cost of your borrowing because they worry they’ve been giving you a free ride for too long with zero interest rates. We listen to Fed officials all of the time here at The Wall Street Journal, and they just can’t figure you out.
As the Senate scrambled to pass the USA Freedom Act this evening, reinstating the agency’s ability to spy on Americans, Ron Paul points out that US intelligence organizations have always – and will continue – to operate outside the law; with Daniel McAdams noting the CIA "is sort of the President’s own Praetorian Guard." As Sputnik News reports, before Americans applaud a minor step toward transparency, Paul warns that they should recognize the corrosive nature of the CIA, "They are a secret government," operating way above the law, and are "way out of control."
Over the past several months we’ve seen at least three examples of Chinese defaults including Baoding Tianwei Group, a subsidiary of state-owned parent China South Industries. This suggests Beijing will begin to take a more hands-off approach when it comes to propping up borrowers. The latest example is a profitable duck processing company, which FT says has defaulted on its debts after banks refused to roll over its loans.
During “normal times” – an economic growth phase accompanied or generated by rising systemic leverage – central banks have incentive to promote nominal growth and inflation, which make banking systems profitable and their free-spending political overseers happy. In such times, commercial banks have fiduciary responsibilities to shareholders to constantly increase their market values, which they do by expanding their balance sheets. Now that economies are highly leveraged, extinguishing debt would require banks to reduce the sizes of their loan books, which would shrink their market values. Thus, it seems economic policy makers never have incentive to promote debt extinguishment in the banking system, regardless of economic conditions or prospects.
The troika has rejected Alexis Tsipras' "realistic" draft agreement and have crafted what amounts to a take-it-or-leave-it deal which will be presented to the Greek PM on Wednesday, Reuters reports.
As it turns out it is not just a US "thing" to blame the weather. Enter the Bank of India, which overnight cut its benchmark rate from 7.5% to 7.25%, as had been largely expected, taking India's interest rate to the lowest since September 2013. The punchline, however, was when RBI's governor Raghuram Rajan gave his outlook for the possibility of future rate cuts, saying he would have to wait to assess monsoon rains before acting again.
Presented with little comment aside to note that every now again the truth bubbles out from behind the mask...
Following the Chinese stock market's worst drop in recent history, a record-smashing 4.4 million new 'investors' opened stock-trading accounts last week, confirming that - despite the words (but no actions) of the regulators - China's BTFD market mania (after all the PBOC will just bail them out, right?) is in absolute full swing.
It is hard to believe that in these allegedly enlightened times this question even needs to be asked. Are there really educated adults who believe that by dropping helicopter money conjured from thin air, the central bank can actually make society wealthier? Well, yes there are. They spread this lunacy from the most respectable MSM platforms.
According to Bloomberg, six Nigerian central bankers were charged with fraud in an 8 billion naira ($40.2 million with an m, not a b, not a tr) currency "scam." No chat rooms here, just a plain old "mega scam involving the theft and recirculation of defaced and mutilated currencies,” the Abuja-based Economic and Financial Crimes Commission said in a statement dated Sunday on its website. In addition to the central bankers, among those charged are also sixteen commercial bankers who conspired with Central Bank of Nigeria regional executives.
"...'Keynesian' economists, have sold to the public a 'quasi-doctrine' which teaches, in effect, that (in other words) 'bad money is better than good money'... a 'Keynesian' would favor the existence of a 'manipulative' state establishment of central bank and treasury which would continuously seek to achieve 'economic welfare' objectives with comparatively little regard for the long term reputation of the national currency."
May was a banner month for car sales and it's easy to see why. Nearly every conceivable metric for financing hit a record in Q1 according to Experian, including average loan term and average amount financed, suggesting the trillion-dollar US auto loan market has officially hit bubble territory. Meanwhile, the "cash out auto loan" is the new home equity loan.
— U.S. Embassy Syria (@USEmbassySyria) June 1, 2015