Fed's Full Normalization Will Crush The Casino

The US Federal Reserve has been universally lauded for the apparent success of its extreme monetary policy of recent years. With key world stock markets near record highs, traders universally love the Fed’s zero-interest-rate and quantitative-easing campaigns. But this celebration is terribly premature. The full impact of these wildly-unprecedented policies won’t become apparent until they are fully normalized. The most-extreme monetary experiment by far in US history is just at half-time now, the fat lady hasn’t even taken the stage. The full normalization of ZIRP and QE is likely to be as negative for stock and bond prices as its ramping up proved positive for them.

Athenian Democracy vs. Neoliberal Gods

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras allows the Greek people to decide their own fate via a democratic referendum. That’s enough to send the troika – the European Central Bank (ECB), the European Commission (EC), and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) - into a paroxysm of rage. Here, in a nutshell, is everything one needs to know about the EU “dream”.

One Heretical, And Not-So-Simple, View On The Greek Referendum

... Greeks should be united in their fight for the rule of law and against the cleptocracy, and not divided over a referendum on an absurd question. That division, however, serves the cleptocrats well—they can go about their usual ways unnoticed. Whoever said “divide and rule” knew what they were talking about.

Old Economic Thinking Is The Problem, BIS Warns

Notwithstanding everything that has been done since the Great Financial Crisis, it is not at all safe to go back in the water. Indeed danger of financial fragility is greater now than a year ago. The danger this time comes, interestingly, not so much from the banks as from the policymakers, who persist in using empirically discredited pre-crisis thinking as a guide to macroeconomic policy. The problem, in a nutshell, is that “a monetary policy focused on managing near-term inflation and output may do so at the cost of higher fluctuations in credit and asset prices than in the past.”

Paul Craig Roberts: Sunday's Vote Will Determine Liberty Or Serfdom

The greatest and most successful propaganda scam in history is the one that convinces the world that they are nobody if they are not part of The West: the indispensable peoples, the exceptional peoples. If you are not part of The West you are nobody, nonexistent, a nothing. 2,500 years ago Greeks saved their independence from the Persian Empire. Sunday’s vote will tell us whether Greeks have again served liberty or whether they have succumbed to Washington’s Empire.

China Scrambles to Put Plunge Protection Team Together: Banks Pledge Support For Crashing Market

China has moved in the direction of direct intervention in its flagging equity markets, although it appears Beijing will try to orchestrate a “private” sector (whatever that means in China) solution first before going the nuclear route with the central bank’s balance sheet. As Bloomberg reports, the country’s largest brokerages are teaming up to invest nearly $20 billion in “blue chip” Chinese equities.

Greek Banks Considering 30% Haircut On Deposits Over €8,000: FT

"Greek banks are preparing contingency plans for a possible “bail-in” of depositors amid fears. The plans, which call for a “haircut” of at least 30 per cent on deposits above €8,000, sketch out an increasingly likely scenario for at least one bank, the sources said."

What It All Comes Down To On Sunday

"Do you think Europe should forgive your debt, check box 'Yes' or 'No'." "No" means a lot of pain now and recovery later. "Yes" means less pain now but no hope of recovery ever. Choose wisely...

The Superpower Conundrum - The Rise and Fall of Just About Everything

The rise and fall of great powers and their imperial domains has been a central fact of history for centuries.  It’s been a sensible, repeatedly validated framework for thinking about the fate of the planet.  So it’s hardly surprising, when faced with a country once regularly labeled the “sole superpower,” “the last superpower,” or even the global “hyperpower” and now, curiously, called nothing whatsoever, that the “decline” question should come up.  Is the U.S. or isn’t it?  Might it or might it not now be on the downhill side of imperial greatness?

Greeks Turn To Bitcoin To Dodge Capital Controls

There is at least one legal way to get your euros out of Greece these days, to guard against the prospect that they might be devalued into drachmas: convert them into bitcoin. As Reuters reports, although absolute figures are hard to come by, Greek interest has surged in the online "cryptocurrency", as new customers depositing at least 50 euros with BTCGreece, the only Greece-based bitcoin exchange, open only to Greeks, rose by 400% between May and June. With Bitcoin having surged from $238 to $268 in the last few days since Greek PM Tsipras announced Greferendum, it is clear it's not just the Greeks that are losing faith in faith-based fiat currencies.

FBI Admits 11 Attacks Against Internet, Power Grid Lines In California This Year

On Tuesday, someone broke into an underground vault in Sacramento, and cut several high-capacity internet cables. Nobody knows who this person is or why they did it, but since that time the FBI has revealed that it was not an isolated incident. They’ve been investigating 10 other recent attacks on the internet infrastructure of California, and they seem to be deeply troubled by the vulnerability of these cables.

BofA's Dire Prediction: Only Direct Government Buying Can Save China Stocks Now

Even after this somewhat catastrophic drop, BofAML warns the Chinese market looks expensive. Deleveraging is likely far from over, they add, concluding that the market is a "falling knife" and only direct buying by the government will mark the bottom. As Deutsche adds, "so large are the losses for the 20 million accounts opened from mid-April to mid-June that in aggregate no money has been made for 2 years."

Arctic Drilling Future Now Rests On One Well

Royal Dutch Shell is nearing a start to drilling in the Arctic, but has run into some hiccups. The U.S. government decided that Shell cannot actually drill both of its wells in the Chukchi Sea as planned. The Interior Department said that doing so would run afoul of its rules that protect marine life...