"The greatest irony is that the President is railing against inequality as one of the most important problems of the day, despite the fact that his policies are squeezing the middle class and causing the Fed – with the President’s encouragement – to engage in the radical monetary policy, which is exacerbating inequality. This simple truth cannot be repeated often enough."
This is an impressive, comprehensive analysis of the February 2014 Ukraine coup from the perspective of a senior Russian academic. It details the interests and affiliations of the main Ukrainian domestic players - oligarchical clans many of whose leaders have dual nationality - with some shocking and little known detail. It exposes the glaring hypocrisies and double standards of the western sponsors of the coup and their Russian/Ukrainian '5th Column traitors'. It sees the coup and Russia's successful incorporation of Crimea as major game-changing events in the on-going, US-lead post-WWII machinations of the West to subdue Russia to its own agenda and outlines how Russia should now respond. All-in-all a must-read for westerners needing to understand what is really happening in both the Ukraine and the wider Anglo-US-NATO globalisation drive which it brings into sharp focus
There is nothing fancy about these three solutions. They shift the incentives away from speculation to earned income/productive work, they lower regressive taxes on the middle class and working poor and they do not restrain legitimate enterprise and wealth accumulation. They eliminate complex systems (the Federal Reserve and the tax code) and put money in the hands of tens of millions of households rather then the top .1%. Yes, they are utopian, but only because we keep electing the same bought-and-paid-for Demopublican lapdogs of the super-wealthy and vested interests.
The Fed's QE efforts were - if one is to believe the words spewed from their ever-lying mouths - designed to aid the man on the street, to lower interest rates, and enable another refinancing-led housing boom/bubble which would maintain the status quo and confirm the 'happily-ever-after' dream of every taxpaying (and non-taxpaying American). Today's data from the Mortgage Banker's Association confirms - QE's work is done and the refi boom is over. A 7% plunge on the week has pushed the refinancing activity index to its lowest levels since September 2008 - just before Lehman.
After a long and agonizing winter which was attributed to the so-called “Polar Vortex”, we thought it would be appropriate to highlight for precious metal investors the implications of what we call the “Chinese Gold Vortex”. Over the past year, we have been very vocal about what we consider an aberration: the complete disconnect between gold supply and demand fundamentals and the actual price of the metal.
Update: ye olde CTRL+ALT+DEL trick seems to have done it and the computer "glitch" has been fixed.
The FAA has declared a "ground halt" on all flights at the following airports: BOS, BWI, DCA, EWR, FLL, JFK, LAS, LAX, LGA, MCO, MIA, PHL, TEB
*COMPUTER PROVIDING AIR-TRAFFIC RADAR DISPLAY MALFUNCTIONING
LAX is citing "computer issues" as the reason (and a radar system crash across at least 3 Western states) which could mean delays up to 90 minutes.
"Record corporate cash"..."Record corporate cash"... "Record corporate cash"
That pretty much covers most of the conversation on prime time financial media and TV stations when discussing corporate balance sheets. There is, however, one big problem with that mantra...
After 'billing' Ukraine this morning, Gazprom must be jubilant this evening as news exudes from Washington that...
- *IMF APPROVES UKRAINE LOAN OF $17 BLN OVER TWO YEARS
- *UKRAINE EXPECTS FIRST TRANCHE OF IMF AID MAY 5-MAY 8: FIN MIN
- *IMF SAYS IMMEDIATE UKRAINE LOAN DISBURSEMENT TO BE $3.2 BLN
So that won't even cover the $3.49bn they already owe to Gazprom? (In fact, $2.2bn is approved for dissemination to Gazprom)
"The fallacy is that this reasoning completely ignores the countless ways in which the state’s own intrusions and engagements in the economic system in effect “break the legs” of private-sector actors by distorting prices (including interest rates), penalizing productive actions, and subsidizing destructive actions."
Over 300 years ago, the South Sea company was created (and successfully IPO'd) "for the purpose of rivaling the East India Company." It had no actual operations as of yet but the buying panic for shares was driven by greedy investors seeing the government's elite doing so well and wanting a part of the prospects of a company with no operations becoming a world leader (or just finding a greater fool). Today, the first IPO of shares on Dubai's main stock market for 5 years was 36 times over-subscribed for a company called Marka (which is a "cash shell" which does not have any current operations). Nope, no bubble here.
The Russell 2000 tumbled to its worst month since May 2012. 30 Year bond yield had the 2nd best month in a year (with the entire bond complex lower and curve flatter for 5th month in a row). Gold rallied for the month as high-yield credit spreads widened for the 2nd month in a row. US economic growth collapsed. But what really matters... what is key for the headline-makers, story-tellers, and asset-gatherers... is that the Dow Jones Industrial touched new record highs. On the day, early equity weakness gave way to exuberant buying as the Fed admitted its forecast for Q1 was shit but everything it says about the future is spot on - stocks urged, the Dow hit new all-time-highs (and green for the year) but once that level was hit, stocks began to fade but were rescued by the always-happy-to-help 330 Ramp which closed us at record highs and green year-to-date. By the close, the day saw Stocks Up, Bonds Up, Gold Unch, USD Down
We can finally close the book on the "mystery" (if there ever was one) behind the Fed's fixed-rate reverse repo operation.
One hour after announcing that the Fed would, as expected, cut its monthly Treasury purchases, aka stock market liquidity injections to $25 billion (and $20 billion in MBS), the NY Fed released its POMO schedule for the month of May. The key highlights:
- "The Desk plans to purchase approximately $24 billion in Treasury securities over the month of May. This amount is approximately $1 billion less than the stated pace of $25 billion per month, given that purchases conducted in April exceeded the target by approximately $1 billion."
- There will be "only" 16 POMO days, down from the usual 18.
- The largest POMO days will be Monday May 12, when the Fed will inject $2.25-$3.0 billion into the market and Thursday, May 29, when another $2.50-$3.25 billion will be allocated to stocks.
- There will be no POMO on Wednesday May 7, Thursday May 15, and Wednesday May 26. Needless to say, for those so inclined, these may be the better shorting entry points.
As the Buddha taught, “This is like this, because that is like that.” Extraordinary long-term market returns come from somewhere. They originate in conditions of undervaluation, as in 1950 and 1982. Dismal long-term returns also come from somewhere – they originate in conditions of severe overvaluation. Today, as in 2000, and as in 2007, we are at a point where “this” is like this. So “that” can be expected to be like that." As Seth Klarman from Baupost Capital recently stated: "Can we say when it will end? No. Can we say that it will end? Yes. And when it ends and the trend reverses, here is what we can say for sure. Few will be ready. Few will be prepared."
In what can only be explained as a massive oil pipeline derailment, because trains are obviously so much safer when transporting flammable commodities, moments ago another train derailed in Lynchburg, Virginia with numerous railcars falling in the river, and a massive fire erupting with flames that are "storeys high" according to ABC13. And moments ago it was also announced that the train belongs to CSX and the burning product is, expectedly, crude oil.