About That "Surging" Chinese Trade Data, There Is Just One Thing...

While Chinese New Year seasonals are undoubtedly one factor in last night's "surprisingly good" Chinese trade data, the following chart shows the level of "bullshit factor" was extreme by anyone's measure. Three years ago we first brought China's 'fake' trade data and abundant discrepancies to the public's attention and despite an apparent crackdown by regulators, the gaping difference between imports from Hong Kong and exports to Hong Kong is downright embarrassing for China's SAFE as it is clear that capital outflows are being disguised as exports with "over-invoicing" back in play.

Banksters Win Again - "Audit the Fed" Bill Fails In The Senate

Rand Paul’s signature “Audit the Fed” legislation failed to garner the 60 votes needed in the Senate to move the measure forward. Of course, this is merely the latest in a never-ending series of banker victories, and a truly devastating blow against liberty, free markets, transparency and any hope for government by the people and for the people. Ensuring that light is never shined on the Fed’s shady, corrupt and unaccountable bailout activities has always been a key goal of the American oligarchy, and they succeeded once again.

Gartman Now Says Crude Has Bottomed Hours After Warning Of "Egregiously Lower" Prices And "Panic Selling" To $15

"Crude oil prices, finally, have stabilised, and we shall go our far upon a limb here this morning suggesting very strongly that when nearby February WTI traded to $29.93 at its low yesterday amidst a great deal of very vocal consternation on the national business television channels that crude had “TRADED BELOW $30 PER BARRELL” that that was what we in the past had referred to as the “obscene number” and may well have been the low."

Frontrunning: January 13

  • China trade surprise brings relief (Reuters)
  • Obama knocks Trump, voices optimism (Reuters)
  • Republican Candidates Criticize Obama’s State of the Union Address (WSJ)
  • Republicans and Democrats Agree: We Hate Wall Street (WSJ)
  • Oil rises for first time in eight sessions on China, U.S. stocks draw (Reuters)
  • U.S. Exports First Freely Traded Oil in 40 Years (WSJ)
  • China Imports Record Crude as Price Crash Accelerates Buying (BBG)

GE To Cut 6,500 European Jobs

Earlier today GE announced plans to cut 6,500 jobs in Europe over the next two years, including 765 in France, a spokesman for the company in France said on Wednesday. The spokesman added that GE was sticking to its pledge to create 1,000 net jobs in France in the next three years as part of its recent acquisition of Alstom's energy business. So definitely firing 6,500, but tentatively promising to add 1,000.

Iran Releases Captured US Sailors After Questioning, Apology

“Following technical and operational investigations and in interaction with relevant political and national security bodies of the country and after it became clear that the US combat vessels’ illegal entry into the Islamic Republic of Iran’s waters was the result of an unpurpuseful [sic] action and a mistake and after they extended an apology, the decision was made to release them."

Global Stocks Rebound As Fears Of Chinese Hard-Landing Pushed Back On Strong Trade Data

After two months of sharp currency devaluation, the market was carefully watching last night's China trade data to see if the Yuan debasement had led to a positive trade outcome to the world's second largest economy, and as reported last night, it was not disappointed when China reported a December trade surplus of $60.09 billion from $54.1 billion in November, as a result of exports beating expectations and rising 2.3%, the first increase since June, while imports declined by just 4%, the smallest drop since 2014 despite China importing a record amount of oil, or 33.2 million tons, in December.

President Obama's Final State Of The Union Address - Live Feed

As President Obama prepares to unleash his final State Of The Union speech, The White House has conveniently focused attention on the following six "success stories": The Economy (record low number of men in workforce), The Climate (too hot for retail, too cold for construction), Foreign Policy (bwuahahaha), Health Care (record number of Americans cutting back to afford medical costs), and Social Progress (record high racial tensions, police state, surveillance state,  and record low trust in government). But apart from that, Americans have The Kardashians, iGadgets, record levels of syphillis, and, of course, a record surge in national debt during any President's "reign."

The Demise Of Dollar Hegemony: Russia Breaks Wall St's Oil-Price Monopoly

Russia has just taken significant steps that will break the present Wall Street oil price monopoly, at least for a huge part of the world oil market. The move is part of a longer-term strategy of decoupling Russia’s economy and especially its very significant export of oil, from the US dollar, today the Achilles Heel of the Russian economy.

Guest Post: 2016 - Year Of The 'Epocalypse'

As the towering forces that are prevailing against failing global economic architecture and the pit of debt beneath that structure, as laid out below, it is clear that the 'Epocalypse' - encompassing the roots "economic, epoch, collapse" and "apocalypse" - is here, and it is everywhere. The Great Collapse has already begun. What follows are the megatrends that will increasingly gang up in the first part of 2016 to stomp the deeply flawed global economy down into its own hole of debt.

China Trade Balance Surges As Exports Surprise To The Upside

Mission Accomplished? It's a modern monetary miracle - China's trade surplus surged to CNY382bn (from 434bn), dramaticlaly higher than the expected drop to 338bn thanks to better than expected data for imports and exports. Imports dropped 4.0% (less than the 7.9% drop expected) and the smallest decline since December 2014 but it was exports that "proved" China's policymakers are large and in charge. For the first time since February 2015, China exports rose year-over-year (by 2.3%) dramatically better than the 4.1% plunge expected. So - no need for more policy support... despite earlier comments from officials of export policy support?

China Is The New Japan After All: Here's How To Trade It

China = Japan: China, like Japan in the early-1990s, has entered a secular period of significantly slower economic growth, compounded greatly by debt deflation; like Japan in the 1990s, Chinese asset prices, currency, banks (Chart 5) and capital flows will periodically cause severe disruptions to global financial markets, even if China does not itself cause a global recession.

Some Chinese Banks Run Out Of Physical Dollars As PBOC Holds Yuan Fix Flat For 4th Day

Having apparently taken the day off from selling US Treasuries and buying Offshore Yuan (following yesterday's "murderous" short-squeeze"), completing a 40 handle round trip in the "stable" currency year-to-date, PBOC decided to hold Yuan flat for the 4th day but make a statement that they would "give policy support to exports" - in other words devalue more. The unintended consequence of their decision to withdraw liquidity and crush shorts in offshore Yuan is more problematic as it has reportedly left Chinese banks short of dollars at their ATMs (and are delaying withdrawals). Meanwhile, another of China's favorite outlets for capital outflows - Bitcoin - just got stomped.

How Corrupt Is The US: An Extraordinary Example

For imprisonments, the US really does have no close second: it’s the unquestionable global market-leader, for prisons and prisoners. And this gets us to the market-leader for prisons within America itself, and to the stunning corruption that stands behind it. So, here’s that extraordinary example, and the story behind its corruption, which will provide a close-up view of America’s general corruption, from the top (including the government itself) on down.

The International War On Cash

When we first wrote on the subject, there was considerable criticism as to the possibility that such a program would ever be attempted, let alone succeed. And, granted, it was so Orwellian that it was understandably seen as a crackpot idea. But since that time, the program has been developing extremely rapidly. In the last six months alone, it has become so visible that it has even garnered a name - "the War on Cash." Once complete, state wealth control will exist.

What Bernie And The Donald Portend

Three weeks out from the Iowa caucuses, and clarity emerges. Hillary Clinton, the likely Democratic nominee, is in trouble. But if a cloud is forming over the Clinton campaign, the sun continues to shine on The Donald. What does the surge for socialist Sanders and the Republican base’s backing of the outsiders Trump and Cruz and collective recoil from the Republican establishment candidates tell us? As Dylan sang, "The times they are a changing."