China's Collateral Rehypothecation Fraud Is Systemic

It's official - everyone's involved! According to the 21st Century Business Herald, at least 17 financial institutions involved in copper, aluminum and other nonferrous metals financing business face losses of almost 15 billion Yuan (not including the contagious rehypothecated collateral chains involved) due to the over-invoicing of the Qingdao port. Crucially, it appears that the evaporation of collateral (i.e. multiple loans secured by the same collateral) has been confirmed officially and banks such as Standard Chartered have already ceased any new business via this supposedly secured channel.

Putting Your Money Where Their Mouth Is: Who Are The Best Paid Economists

What is stunning, especially in light of recent revelations that the most clueless economist of them all, Ben Bernanke, now commands a fee of $250,000 per speech (and just happens to be "off the chart"), is just how much these constantly wrong weathermen are paid to spread their particular dose of voodoo. So, without further ado, prepare to be dumbfounded.

The Generational Short: Banks, Wall Street, Housing And Luxury Retail Are Doomed

Those who have lost trust in Wall Street or actively hate it and everything it stands for (neofeudalism, unbridled greed, the corruption and collusion of the revolving door between the state and Wall Street, etc.) will never change their minds and hand their money to Wall Street to play with. If the primary assets held by Boomers (houses and stocks) both decline for these fundamental reasons, there may be relatively little wealth left to pass on to Gen-Y... if Gen-Y avoids bank debt/mortgages, buying conspicuous consumption luxury goods on credit and investing in Wall Street's scams and skims, this generational lack of demand for housing, stocks and luxury goods will effectively crash the sky-high valuations of these assets. These factors suggest a generational bet against banks, Wall Street, housing and luxury retail stocks.

Portugal’s Financial Situation Summarized In One Graph

The graph shows that the true wealth generators of the economy continue to struggle, and now face the prospect of having to pay for the snowballing government debts in the not so distant future. With limited access to funds and rising taxes and costs (with the notable exception of labor, which has its own circular implications), how can they generate enough growth to restore the country’s finances? Bond yields better stay at historical lows indeed.

Ukraine Military Transport Plane Shot Down, 49 Killed

While the world's short attention span may have been diverted to Iraq where the ISIS insurgents are now knocking on Baghdad's door, and with it - Iraq's vast southern oil fields and infrastructure (which if taken offline would send oil up to $200 according to T. Boone Pickens). the "out of sight, out of mind" conflict in Ukraine, which the western media dropped covering like a hot potato some time in early May for reasons not entirely known, continues to escalate and where the latest outbreak of violence took place overnight when a Ukraine military transport Il-76 was allegedly shot down by separatists in the city of Lugansk as it was about to land.

In 33 U.S. Cities, Feeding The Homeless Has Been Criminalized

The “war on compassion” when it comes to the homeless in America continues. There are many reasons we find this topic to be of such tremendous importance. First and foremost, we think that if we want to see how the state and crony corporate status quo will treat everyone in the future, all you have to do is look at how the homeless are being “dealt with.” Secondly, random groups feeding the homeless in various venues is a great example of decentralized compassion. Political power hates decentralization and is quite intentionally trying to corral the homeless into the centralized bureaucratic channels over which it has total control. So this isn’t merely a humanitarian issue, it is also a front line battle in the key war of our time: Decentralization vs. Centralization.

50 Fascinating Facts About Bitcoin

We have previously illustrated how a Bitcoin transaction works, and the history of the virtual currency, However, we thought that this infographic neatly covered many interesting bitcoin facts in a digestable form. It not only shows the versatility of the bitcoin market, but it also captures the difference of opinion on cryptocurrencies: many embrace the technology, but some institutions show signs of hostility. Chinese banks have banned bitcoin trading and Thailand outlawed it straight up.

Good Riddance To Rep. Eric Cantor: Bagman For Wall Street And The War Party

It's possible to describe Rep.Eric Cantor as a serial sell-out. But that would be giving an unprincipled politician driven by an unalloyed ambition to climb the greasy pole of Washington power too much credit. In truth, Cantor never campaigned for any recognizable principle; he merely maneuvered his way to the top of the House GOP hierarchy by following in the tawdry footsteps of modern GOP bagmen like Tom DeLay and Roy Blunt. Eric Cantor made a career of milking the Warfare State and pandering to Wall Street. This brought him nearly to the top of the Washington heap. But in the end, it did not fool his constituents. And most certainly it set back the conservative cause immeasurably.

Currency War: 140 Years of Monetary History In Ten Minutes

From "why did Nixon sever the link between currencies and gold?" to "is war good for the economy?" Mike Maloney's tour de force through 140 years of gold, silver, and monetary farce is indispensable as major parts of the world enter a de-dollarization phase. As Jesse noted here, after listening to this presentation, one can surely understand why the central banks both fear and covet gold. It resists their wills, but has a natural tendency to be seen as money. Money is power, after all, and greed will too often refuse to relinquish any power or claim willingly, even to its own destruction. The American abuse of financial power for political purposes is causing a bifurcation in global finance, along the expected fault lines, and it will be interesting to see how that develops. Maloney's bottom-line, we are overdue for a new monetary system.

The Subprime Auto-Lending Credit Bubble Is Bursting

We have commented a few times on the slightly diffuse character of the echo bubble, which has infected a great many nooks and crannies of the economy. One of the areas which has experienced an enormous boom was the sub-prime auto loan sector. It seems however that the party in this sub-sector of the bubble economy is in the process of ending.

Lines In The Sand - The 5 Key Maps Of The Middle East Crisis

Reams of paper have already been spilled about the past, present, and potential future of Iraq and the rest of the Middle East but in order to attempt to simplify things a little, we offer 5 maps that answer: What ISIL already have..., What they want..., What they will gain control of if they win..., and where all the allies and enemies are..."This entire system is disintegrating like a house of cards that starts to collapse," Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz said.

CEOs Warn Q2 "Less Robust" Than Expected

"[W]e’re concerned about the retail demand environment, and a little less bullish than earlier in the year due to a slower housing market, some inconsistency at retail, and an economy that’s not quite as robust as expected," is how one CEO sums up Q2 so far and as Bloomberg's Rich Yamarone notes, the CEO Economic Sentiment Index remains mired at the lows of the year with no Q2 bounce whatsoever (despite hopes for all that pent-up demand). Retailers continue to complain of a highly promotional environment amid deteriorating traffic; and with the index at 49.1 (below the key 50 - expansion - level) it appears the hope of a Q2 bounce is a little premature.

US Claims "Video Evidence" Shows Russia Providing Tanks To Rebels In Ukraine

While the atrocious videos of ISIS killing civilians show the worst of human extremism in action, it seems the US wants to keep the message alive and well that Putin is still a very bad man (thanks to YouTube). Claiming "internet video" evidence, NY Times reports, the US State Department confirmed on Friday that Russia has sent tanks and other heavy weapons to separatists in Ukraine. "This is unacceptable," Marie Harf exclaimed, "Russia will claim these tanks were taken from Ukrainian forces...we are confident that these tanks came from Russia." There will be "additional costs," she added.

5 Things To Ponder: GDP, Dollar And Subprime

If you had fallen asleep at your desk recently due to the absolute lack of anything noteworthy happening, this past week should have woken you up. A massive upset in the Virginia primary dethroned House Majority Leader Eric Cantor which sent moderate Republicans scurrying to shore up their voting bases. Al-Queda backed forces, ISIS, have advanced through Iraq and are not closing in on Baghdad which has sent oil prices rocketing higher this past week. Lastly, the mainstream media was completely baffled by the "sea of red" on their monitors which caused one anchor to quip: "Wow...stocks really can go down."

Stocks Suffer Worst Week In 2 Months As Black & Yellow Gold Surge

Best week for WTI crude in 6 months (to 9 month highs). Worst week for the Dow Transports in 2 months (3rd worst in 10 months)... and while 5s30s flattened to its equal lowest since January 2009, 10Y Treasury yields ended the week just 1bp higher in yield. Late day VIX smashing was trumped by rumors of the death of Iraq's PM Maliki (which was later denied and sent VIX reeling lower again). The USD ended the week modestly higher (+0.2%) with GBP strength and EUR weakness the main theme. Silver and gold were bid (safety and CCFD unwinds) with the best week in 3 months. Copper and iron ore were down for the 3rd week in a row. "Most shorted" stocks rose for the 5th week in a row (notably decoupling from the broad markets's weakness in the last few days). So it seems that the market does not trade on bad news; it trades on fake rumors.

Why Q2 GDP Will Disappoint In 1 Chart

Q1 was "weather" - extreme cold and storms that wiped out (according to the PhD meteoroconomists) hundreds of billions of GDP (and appears to be getting worse). Recent macro data suggests the Q2 bounce (from all that pent-up demand) is slow in appearing (if at all)... We suspect the following chart will be used as blame (and to reassure that Q3 or Q4 or Q10... will see the hockey-stick pick back up)

The Baltic Dry Index Is Having Its Worst Year Ever

At 906, the Baltic Dry Index slumped to 12-month lows showing absolutely no signs whatsoever of the Q2 renaissance in global growth that has been heralded by all the highly-paid meteoroconomists. In fact, thanks to increasing fears over China's commodity financing ponzi scheme, this is the worst year for the Baltic Dry on record. Of course, we will hear the echo chamber of 'over-supply' of ships rather than any 'under-demand' of actual aggregate product argument but the circularity of this argument is entirely lost on status quo huggers who viewed rising dry bulk commodity prices as indicative of growth (and built more ships) as opposed to the ponzi-financing scheme it really was... mal-investment writ large once again in a manipulated (and mismanaged) world.

In A Sea Of Money Printing, What Happened To All The Liquidity?

Volatility is depressed, micro dominates and as Goldman notes several of the key emerging themes of the last few years have lost their discovery value. There are many questions that investors should be asking as the second half of 2014 approaches (and the much hoped for 'recovery' picks up steam); but perhaps the most important one given the taper is "In a sea of liquidity, what happened to all the liquidity?" The supply of stock and volumes are down. Did you know Verizon’s current market cap is larger than Russia’s float?

Your Questions About Iraq's Oil Infrastructure Answered

"The latest escalation in Iraqi tensions has introduced new event risk for global oil markets. However, current options market pricing suggests oil markets are still attaching a low probability to an oil price spike over the coming months. We believe this sanguine approach to oil price spike risk reflects the fact that the major oil infrastructure in Iraq has not (yet) fallen into the hands of the militant extremists." - Deutsche Bank

Hamas Declares New Intifada Against Israel (Because The World Doesn't Have Enough Wars)

Can't we all just get along and stop crossing red lines? Just when we had run out of fingers to count the number of conflicts around the world that are flaring, Haaretz reports that Hamas called on Palestinians Friday to declare an intifada throughout the West Bank and to confront Israeli "forces of Occupation," be it through a popular uprising or individual action. Earlier Friday, Khaled Al-Batsh, a senior member of Islamic Jihad, called on Palestinians to kidnap Israeli soldiers, adding that "this is a chance to widen the sphere of resistance and return the West Bank to its natural place as the focal point of the struggle and resistance." Your move President Obama; how do you sanction Hamas?