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RANsquawk - Week Ahead - 30th March 2015



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Australia To Start Taxing Bank Deposits

Up until now, the world's descent into the NIRPy twilight of fiat currency was a function of failing monetary policy around the globe as central bank after desperate central bank implemented negative and even more negative (in the case of Denmark some four times rapid succession) rates, hoping to make saving so prohibitive consumers would have no choice but to spend the fruits of their labor, or better yet, take out massive loans which they would never be able to repay. However, nobody said it was only central banks who could be the executioners of the world's saver class: governments are perfectly capable too.  Such as Australia's.  According to Australia's ABC News, the "Federal Government looks set to introduce a tax on bank deposits in the May budget."



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Big Brother Is Here: Facebook Reveals Its Master Plan - Control All News Flow

In recent months, Facebook has been quietly holding talks with at least half a dozen media companies about hosting their content inside Facebook rather than making users tap a link to go to an external site. Given the enormity of what Facebook is trying to achieve - and since all of the leverage seems to reside with Facebook it is likely to succeed - this single company’s ability to control access to news and what is trending and deemed important by a huge section of humanity will be extraordinary.



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The Unintended Consequences Of 'Mandatory Voting'

The question is... would it be any worse?



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"The Risks Are Very High" Swiss Billionaire Warns "Global Financial Markets Have Never Been This Distorted Before"

"Global financial markets are more distorted than ever before and accordingly, the risks are very high... All equity and currency markets are pretty extended, at present; and many of the bond markets are as well... We know that the longer a distortion prevails, the more investors get used to it and it becomes the “new normal” to them. That’s where the problem lies! I see three potential threats..." - Felix Zulauf



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Wages Around The World



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Here's Which Emerging Markets Are Most Vulnerable To "External Shock"

With a no longer “patient” Fed set for “liftoff” sometime this year, some observers are bracing for emerging market turbulence. A new paper from the Center for Global Development attempts to discern which EMs are most vulnerable to an “external shock."



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Mainstream Economists' Random Excuse Roulette

Because it could never be just plain-old Keynesian-doctrine-destroying, debt-saturated, economic weakness...



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When Will China Disclose Its True Official Gold Reserves And How Much Is It?

"If the RMB wants to achieve international status, it must have popular acceptance and a stable value. To this end, other than having assurance from the issuing nation, it is very important to have enough gold as the foundation, raising the ‘gold content’ of the RMB. Therefore, to China, the meaning and mission of gold is to support the RMB to become an internationally accepted currency and make China an economic powerhouse. That is why, in order for gold to fulfill its destined mission, we must raise our gold holdings a great deal, and do so with a solid plan. Step one should take us to the 4,000 tonnes mark, more than Germany and become number two in the world, next, we should increase step by step towards 8,500 tonnes, more than the US."

- Song Xin, Party Secretary and President of the China Gold Association



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The 'Obama' Warning System



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Eurasian Pivot? Moscow Expects "Progress" From Tsipras Visit

Despite what is unquestionably a rather dire outlook, Athens does have one card it has yet to play because as we noted last week, “once the first week of April comes and goes and Greece officially runs out of money, it will go to anyone who can provide it with the funds needed to avoid civil war, even if that means switching its allegiance from Europe to the Eurasian Economic Union, something Russia is eagerly looking forward to.



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Did The Fed Just Whisper "Fire" In A Crowded Market?

The Fed has finally come to terms with the realization that control is no longer an option. It's been a mirage that's held up far longer than originally anticipated. The monster has now grown far too big and dangerous while possibly exposing, to their dismay, the only way they might have a shot of regaining some stability for future control is to let it fall apart: as they stand by and watch hoping to 'thread the needle' for further intervention just in time. Along with trying to have some C.Y.A. assurance to the 'In Crowd' that "Hey – we tried to warn you!" if it indeed does exactly that.
Which is scarier? A Fed that may be signalling they’ve lost control? Or, a Fed that still believes "Don't worry – we've got this!"



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Chances For Diplomatic Solution To Ukraine Conflict "Slim", Soc Gen Says

"Chances for a diplomatic solution to current geopolitical tensions appear slim. The irreconcilable characterizations inside and outside of Russia of current geopolitical stress lead us to believe that it is unlikely that understanding / compromise between political parties involved can be achieved via diplomacy," Soc Gen says, in a new note that outlines the current state of affairs in Russia.



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Steve Keen Exclaims "The Fed Has Not Learnt Anything From The Crisis"

The Financial Crisis of 2007 was the nearest thing to a “Near Death Experience” that the Federal Reserve could have had. One ordinarily expects someone who has such an experience- exuberance behind the wheel that causes an almost fatal crash, a binge drinking escapade that ends up in the intensive care ward - to learn from it, and change their behavior in some profound way that makes a repeat event impossible. Not so the Federal Reserve.



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