Fear And Dread Of Deflation - The Keynesian Big Lie At Work

The fear of deflation has become the cornerstone of Keynesian economic thought. However, it is the height of hypocrisy that Keynesians use the specter of deflation to frighten us into believing we need to endlessly dilute the value of our currencies and take the rate on our savings to zero percent; but then, at the same time, take every data point that points to falling prices as another reason to be bullish on markets and the economy. Their mantras are: Lower commodity prices–a boost to the consumer, plunging interest rates–an increase in mortgage refinancing. How can Keynesians celebrate deflation, while at the same time use it to scare us into accepting ZIRP forever? The easy answer would be, they are, by definition, cheerleaders for the stock market...

How Much More GDP "Growth" Will Be Due To Obamacare?

Now that the soaring dollar and plunging crude are sure to punish the Q4 2014 and Q1 2015 GDP growth rate by more than half, with estimate now sliding to the mid to low-2% area, what "benefits" to the US economy can one expect from the tax that is Obamacare? As the following chart courtesy of Goldman shows, thanks to contributions from Medicaid and Medicare and, drumroll, Exchange subsidies, the "benefits" from Obamacare will be with us, well, maybe not "us", but certainly with the way GDP is calculate for a long, long time, as the recent health spending ramp is only just getting started.

Caption Contest: When Barry Met Sally

Having cut his visit short with his other best friend - India's Narendra Modi - President Barack Obama (escorted by his wife Michelle) hopped Air Force One over to Saudi Arabia to pay respects to the dead King and meet-and-greet the new King Salman. The meeting full of pomp and circumstance was, however, not without controversy - with videos circling social media showing Michelle Obama's image blurred out and claims that she was snubbed by King Salman - all apparently untrue.

New Gold Rush? 10 Ounces Of "Historic Nuggets" Stolen From San Francisco Museum

Three masked men smashed an SUV into the front-windows of The Wells Fargo Museum in San Francisco's financial district at around 230am Tuesday, making off with 10 ounces of "historic gold nuggets." As AP reports, robbers in Northern California have targeted precious metals in museum displays before and the tactics of the heist have marked other recent robberies in the area. The men escaped in a second vehicle, according to KGO, and the vehicle reportedly headed east across the Bay Bridge. Local coin dealers said the robbers may have difficulty selling the nuggets unless they melt them down. No dollar bills, Euros, or Japanese Yen notes were stolen during the robbery.

Singapore Enters The Currency Wars: Weakens SGD By Most In 3 Years

Today's rambunctiousness in US equity markets as every company (even AAPL admitted this quarter would be more problematic from an FX perspective) rotates from 'weather' excuses to 'currency' excuses is not going to get any better as tonight, yet another world nation entered the 'devalue-or-die' brigade. Singapore's MAS announced a surprise shift in the slope of their policy band - implicitly loosening policy and so the Singapore Dollar dumped over 160 pips against the USD, the biggest drop in almost 3 years, tumbling to its weakest since Mid 2010. Interestingly, against the Japanese Yen this move merely roundtrips SGD strength from yesterday as one wonders who the real enemy in the competitive devaluation game is...

The New Venezuelan Entrepreneur: Making A living Lining-Up For Toilet Paper

In socialist utopia, Venezuela, not everyone can afford to wait in line half the day just to get a few supplies. Friends and neighbors had started coming to Krisbell, asking her if she could help them get things from the grocery store (they all have to work just to be able to afford the food in the first place, and they can’t spare the time to stand in line). So Krisbell started taking on clients - and now she has enough that she’s earning her entire living from waiting in line. Imagine - an entire cottage industry (absurd as it may be) now exists in Venezuela because of destructive government polices.

Bonds & Bullion Best Since The Fed 'Spice' Stopped Flowing

Since the end of The Federal Reserve's money-printing machinations (otherwise known as QE3), something odd has happened to global asset markets. US equity markets have suddenly stopped going up, bonds have soared, and physical demand for precious metals is bleeding back into the paper-pricing markets. Furthermore, the ubiquitously suppressed volatility across every asset class has slowly but surely started to decompress.

Is The BLS Overstating Jobs?

Is the BLS overstating employment growth? I guess it depends on whose data set you choose to believe. However, there is little denying the fact that with over 60% of the population living paycheck-to-paycheck, stagnant wage growth and declining net worth over the last five years, there is something that simply does not add up. If employment growth were indeed growing as strongly as in the late 90's, it would seem logical to expect that many of the disparities in the economic landscape should be starting to equalize somewhat. Unfortunately, that has yet to be the case.

Medvedev Warns Of "Unlimited Reaction" If Russia Cut From SWIFT

While nations around the world continue to de-dollarize, Russia signed into law its anti-crisis plan today (though details will not be released until tomorrow). Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, however, was quite vociferous in some of his threats, warning The West that the "Russian response - economically and otherwise - will know no limits" if Russia is cut off from the SWIFT payments system. Additionally, as Royce, the chairman of the House foreign affairs committee, explains Iran nuclear talks "appear to be stalemated," just days after Iran completes its de-dollarization and news today, that Russia and Iran plan to create a mutual account for bilateral payments in national currencies.

It’s Not The Greeks Who Failed, It’s The EU

It’s important that we all, European or not, grasp how lacking in morality the entire system prevalent in the west, including the EU, has become. This shows in East Ukraine, where sheer propaganda has shaped opinions for at least a full year now. It’s not about what is real, it’s about what ‘leaders’ would like you to think and believe. And this same immorality has conquered Greece too; there may be no guns, but there are plenty victims. The EU is a disgrace, a predatory beast unleashed upon all corners of Europe that resist central control and, well, debt slavery really, if you live on the wrong side of the tracks. SYRIZA may be the last chance Europe has to right its wrongs, before fighting in the streets becomes an everyday reality.

Jim Cramer On The Only Conference Call Worth Listening To

"The only conference call you will ever need," according to Jim Cramer, is Caterpillar, it "is my gospel, my go-to call on which many of my decisions are based... I trust Caterpillar's long-term vision... it is a superb evaluator of what's happening in each of the countries it sells in and gives you the most thorough description of each economy." As Cramer concludes, "Caterpillar's the primer, the sopurce for your global outlook..."

Worry-Warts Agenda For The FOMC

"Can Fed policy ever be local again?" asks Bloomberg's Richard Breslow ahead of this week's meeting, as there are plenty of things to focus on if you want to be worried about the world...