Who's Next? China Finally Starts Snapping Up Gold Miners

One (perhaps the only) bright spot in the past few year’s gold market has been Chinese and Indian demand for the metal. But physical bullion is only part of the story, and may not be the biggest one going forward. Speculation has been circulating for years that China’s miners, flush with cash from selling their low-cost output to the government, would soon start buying up the world’s in-ground gold reserves... and now, finally, the China-buying-all-the-gold-mines scenario has begun to solidify.

Greece Unable To Make €300 Million IMF Payment, Requests "Bundling"

And just like that, after effectively defaulting to the IMF a month ago, Greece has just re-effectively re-defaulted to the same IMF on its payment due tomorrow, which now will not be made, just as we said it won't. 

Update: GREEK FINANCE MINISTRY REJECTS CREDITORS' BAILOUT PROPOSAL

In These Cities, Jobs Are Plentiful And Housing Is Cheap

If there are two things that are scarce in the US it’s good jobs and affordable housing. But all is not lost, because apparently, there are some places in America where the Goldilocks combination of good jobs and affordable housing actually exists.

Looking For The Next Big One: Part 1, Orderly Or Not?

"...recent indications have darkened the probability spectrum to the point that it may actually be worth examining a worst case scenario. My gut sense is that there is indeed a recession forming, and one that looks worse by the month, so there are numerous relevant factors that demand attention the greater the potential for it. That starts with leverage and any transmission from finance to the economy."

"Where's My Raise?": American Workers Suddenly Realize "Recovery" Isn't Real

For all who are still confused why there are no wage hikes despite the Fed's relentless efforts to micromanage the economy and stimulate wage growth via trickle-down record high stock market prices, the answer is that there is wage growth. Just not for 83% of the working population. Now, with pundits parroting the “robust” jobs market refrain on the nightly news, “everyday Americans” are beginning to ask “where’s my raise?”

F.T.W.S.I.J.D.G.I.G.T.

FTW (For Those Who Say I Just Don't Get It... Get This!) There seems a shift showing itself in dramatic fashion unseen since the 2008 financial meltdown. Not only are some key players, or institutions beginning to notice some troubling signs; but rather; those very signs that everyone was told 'won’t or shouldn’t happen', not only are, they’re starting to rear their ugly heads in much greater frequency.

3 Things: Autos, Old People, Buybacks

"The elderly dependency ratio is in the early stages of a relentless rise that doesn't hit an interim peak until around 2036, over two decades from now." The "structural shift" in the dynamics that drove the economy and financial markets in the 80's and 90's will not likely exist again for quite some time. Of course, if this was not the case, would we still be needing massive Central Bank interventions to support global economies and markets? Meh? What could possibly go wrong? [sarcasm alert]

This Is What Capital Controls Will Look Like In Greece

"Under severe capital controls, redenomination and nationalisation risk rises. The Greek banks would be most at risk, while the two largest non-financial issuers could potentially continue to service their external debt even after a redenomination of domestic liquidity and revenues. Such a scenario also poses major risks to GGBs and other EGB markets"...

Ukraine 'Mobilizes' Right Sector Neo-Nazis Amid Renewed Fighting; NATO Points Finger, Russia Responds

Following yesterday's "large-scale" rebel offensive, as Ukraine's military reported it, and hot on the heels of Poroshenko's threat of imminent martial law (including the right to detain or force relocate foreign nationals at will) and Soros' exposure as the 'lethal-weapon-demanding' puppet-master, Tass reports Ukraine’s nationalists affiliated with the extremist organization calling itself the Right Sector (outlawed in Russia) have been urged to cut short their vacations and all commanders, ordered to begin full mobilization. NATO has asked both sides to back down, focused on Russia's responsibility as Poroshenko says there are now more than 9,000 Russian troops on Ukraine soil (though YouTube proof remains absent). It appears, perhaps strengthening Soros' case for lethal aid, that The Minsk Accord is hanging by a thread.

Overnight, In Chinese Stocks...

As the afternoon session opened overnight in China, stocks were crashing 6-7% (after dropping over 10% and soaring over 15% in the 5 days prior). With record and exponentially growing margin trading one can only imagine the vast majority of new account-holding housewives were stopped out of various positions. Which makes us wonder, just who the mysterious buyer of last resort was that lifted Chinese stocks ever-so-linearly all the way back to unchanged (and in fact green for Shanghai). We suspect you know the answer, and sure enough, just as Bloomberg notes, who cares about China's economy when stocks are rising this much? Simply put, this is bread-and-circuses distraction for the masses of Chinese facing the harsh economic reality of a post debt-fueled bubble bursting.

California Set For A 10-Cent Gas Tax Hike

Legislation has been in introduced in the California state Senate that would increase the state’s approximately 47 cents-per-gallon gas tax by 10 cents.  The new California fuel levy, which would be the state's first increase since 1994, will be collected on top of an 18.4-cents-per-gallon federal gas tax that is charged to all drivers in the nation to fill the federal government’s transportation funding coffers. 

 

Forget "Game Theory" - Yanis Varoufakis Introduces "Hope Theory"

While hope has long been dismissed as a strategy among the investing public, for game-theory expert (and Greek FinMin) Yanis Varoufakis, "hope" appears to be all he has left. Reflecting on James Byrnes 1946 speech, Varoufakis explains a “Speech of Hope” for Greece would make all the difference now – not only for us, but also for our creditors, as our renaissance would terminate the default risk.