• GoldCore
    01/24/2015 - 05:15
    So who pays? Someone has to, you can not just create money out of thin air. The answer is “we do, you and I”, in the form of a devalued: currency, diminished savings and devaluing pensions. You are...
  • Marc To Market
    01/24/2015 - 10:27
    I have told you the US dollar was going up for months.  Some mocked me.  Others insulted me.  So what?  I tell you the dollar's bull market remains intact.  

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The Saudi Succession: Its Impact On Oil, Markets And Politics

As reported earlier, several hours ago Saudi Arabia announced that its 91-year-old King Abdullah had passed away, in the process setting off what may be a fascinating, and problematic, Saudi succession fight which impacts everything from oil, to markets to geopolitics, especially in the aftermath of the dramatic political coup in neighboring Yemen. As a reminder, it is Saudi Arabia whose insistence on not cutting oil production with the intent of hobbling the US shale industry has led to the splinter of OPEC, and to a Brent price south of $50. Which is why today's event and its implications will be analyzed under a microscope by everyone: from politicians to energy traders. Here, courtesy of Ecstrat's Emad Mostaque, is an initial take at succession, the likely impact on oil, then the Saudi market & currency and finally regional politics.



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A Billionaire Lectures Serfs In Davos: "America's Lifestyle Expectations Are Far Too High"

Billionaire Jeff Greene - who flew his wife, children and two nannies on a private jet plane to Davos for the week - has some words of wisdom for the average American: "America’s lifestyle expectations are far too high and need to be adjusted so we have less things and a smaller, better existence. We need to reinvent our whole system of life."



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More Isolation? Russia, China To Build $240 Billion High-Speed Rail Link

The ongoing 'isolation' of Russia took another turn for the un-isolated-er today when, as Bloomberg reports, China will build a 7,000-kilometer (4,350-mile) high-speed rail link from Beijing to Moscow, at a cost of 1.5 trillion yuan ($242 billion), Beijing’s city government said. The rail-link - which will bring travel time between Beijing and Moscow down from 5 days to 30 hours - signals a 10-year partnership between the two nations and follows the dropping of the French company, Alstom, from the project.



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The US Cannot Afford To Be The World's Police

History proves a government can’t be fiscally responsible and the policeman of the world. All great empires were befallen by the inability of resources to keep up with ambition. From Alexander the Great to Rome to the great British Empire, hegemony doesn’t last forever. The U.S. government guarantees security to over 35 countries and has troops stationed in over 146 countries. Does such an astounding presence – completely unmatched by previous empires – really sound all that sensible?



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Chinese Stocks Recover From Biggest Plunge In Years As 'Still-Contracting' Manufacturing Industry Improves

Following the biggest crash in Chinese stocks in 8 years on Monday (following regulator's crackdown on margin trading), The Shanghai Composite has now retraced all those losses as China's Manufacturing PMI rises and beats modestly (though remains technically in contraction at 49.8 for the 2nd month). HSBC notes marginal domestic demand improvements but employment and prices continued to deteriorate hinting at a continued manufacturing slowdown (which stocks love - bad news is good news). The problem for the reflexive equity market gamblers is that the higher stocks go, the less likely a broad-based RRR cut is to happen. Along those lines, the CNY Fix was weakened by the most in 10 months today and yesterday the first reverse repo liquidity injection in a year as Chinese year-end liquidity concerns once again move front-and-center...



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Now Begins The Greatest Heist Since Bernanke Bailed Out Wall Street In September 2008

There is virtually nothing which is on the level in today’s financial markets. According to the Fed’s PR firm, Hilsenramp & Blackstone, one quarter of the $7 trillion in bonds issued by euro zone government are trading at negative yields. And this drastic financial repression prevails across the yield curve, not just on the short end. Yes, the juxtaposition is entirely reasonable that a state drifting toward insolvency and/or ruinous taxation should be able to borrow 10-year money at 0.70%. That is, when the fix is in, the central bank printing press is open to buy, the apparatchiks are terrified and one of history’s greatest monetary charlatans is in charge - the speculators have nothing to do but harvest their haul. So now begins the greatest heist since Bernanke bailed out Wall Street in September 2008.



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How China Deals With Deflation: A 60% Pay Raise For 39 Million Public Workers

While the rest of the developed world, flooded with re-exported deflation as a result of now ubiquitous money printing, scrambles to print even more money in hopes of stimulating the economy when all it is doing is accelerating a closed deflationary loop (at least until the infamous monetary helicopter drop), China - which still has the most centrally-planned economy in the world even if the US is rapidly catching up - has a more novel way of dealing with the threat of deflation: a massive wage hike across the board for all public workers. Two days ago, at a press conference, the Chinese vice minister of human resources and social security Hu Xiaoyi said that China’s 39 million civil servants and public workers will get a pay raise of at least 60% of their base salaries as part of pension plan overhaul.



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When This Ends, Everybody Gets Hurt (And The End Is Uncomfortably Close)

It’s already ‘later’. We're living through the period of time when that dawning recognition of limits will finally burst over the horizon, shining a very bright spotlight on a frightening number of our global society's unsustainable practices. The most urgent of them all, as far as everyone reading this is concerned, is the very uncomfortable fact that it is our system of money that is most likely to break first and hardest because its very design demands endless growth, without which collapse ensues. Central bank credibility (as fictitious as that may be) is essential to maintaining the current narrative, BUT central banks are rapidly losing their credibility (which should have happened simply via deductive reasoning a long time ago) and the strains are showing. When credibility in central bank omnipotence snaps, buckle up. Risk will get re-priced, markets will fall apart, losses will mount, and politicians will seek someone (anyone, dear God, but them) to blame.



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Obama Issues Statement On The Death Of Saudi King Abdullah, Praises "Vision", US-Saudi Relationship

"King Abdullah’s life spanned from before the birth of modern Saudi Arabia through its emergence as a critical force within the global economy and a leader among Arab and Islamic nations.  He took bold steps in advancing the Arab Peace Initiative, an endeavor that will outlive him as an enduring contribution to the search for peace in the region.  At home, King Abdullah's vision was dedicated to the education of his people and to greater engagement with the world."



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Meanwhile, Somewhere In America

Presenting: The "Crisis has Passed" Recovery...



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Artist's Impression Of How American Policymakers Think

...and rinse and repeat...



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The Truth About The Monetary Stimulus Illusion

Since its inception in 2008, easy monetary policy has created very few positive effects for the real economy — and has created considerable (and in some cases unforeseen) negative effects as well. The BIS warns of financial bubbles. While economic policymakers should take a closer look at Japan, China, and yes, the United States, when debating the limits of monetary stimulus and the dangerous nature of financial bubbles; sadly, the discussion is happening too late to be anything more than an intellectual exercise.



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Saudi King Abdullah Has Died; Crude Prices Jump

After first falling ill  and being hospitalized in December, Saudi Arabia officials have announced:

*SAUDI ARABIAN KING ABDULLAH DIES, CROWN PRINCE SALMAN SUCCEEDS: STATE TV

As we noted previously when considering this possibility, "a new King can do (almost) anything he wants, including changing oil policy." 79-year-old Crown Prince Salman has been named succesor (and has his own health issues - reportedly suffering from Dementia). Oil prices popped around 80c on the news.



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"If You Question Authority, You Are Mentally Ill", Report Finds

The psychopathologizing of anti-authoritarian behavior is yet another step on what looks like an increasingly slippery slope and it strikes us as especially harmful. The American Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM for short) defined a new mental illness, the so-called “oppositional defiant disorder” or ODD. As TheMindUnleashed.org informs us, the definition of this new mental illness essentially amounts to declaring any non-conformity and questioning of authority as a form of insanity. In short, as Natural News put it: According to US psychiatrists, only the sheeple are sane.



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What Mario Draghi Said When Asked If His QE Will Unleash Hyperinflation

Question: what would you say to those who are concerned that when the ECB buying up bonds, electronically printing money, whatever one calls it, is the first chapter in a story that leads inevitably towards hyperinflation. What is your response to that?

Answer: I think the best way to answer to this is have we seen lots of inflation since the QE program started? Have we seen that? And now it's quite a few years that we started. You know, our experience since we have these press conferences goes back to a little more than three years. In these 3 years we've lowered interest rates, I don't know how many times, 4 or 5 times, 6 times maybe. And each times someone was saying, this is going to be terrible expansionary, there will be inflation. We did OMP. We did the LTROs. We did TLTROs. And somehow this runaway inflation hasn't come yet.



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