The Dark Side of Politics--identity politics--is powerful indeed, and an irresistible draw for politicos and interest groups bent on preserving or extending their own private power and wealth.
HSBC’s main gold vault in London regularly comes under the media spotlight for a number of reasons. These reasons include: a) the HSBC London vault stores a very large amount of gold on behalf of the well-known SPDR Gold Trust (GLD); b) along with the Bank of England vaults and JP Morgan vault, the HSBC vault is one of the 3 largest gold vaults in London; c) the location of the HSBC vault in London is not publicised and so the secrecy creates intrigue; d) HSBC every so often throws out some visual or audio-visual media bait about the vault, most famously in the case of CNBC’s Bob Pisani; Despite all of the above, no one seems to have ever tried to figure out where this gold vault is actually located. Until now.
We’ve argued for many years that a breakdown and bifurcation in the gold market between physical and paper gold substitutes would be necessary for accurate price discovery of physical gold bullion. The lead article in the January 2016 edition of the LBMA’s quarterly magazine was titled “Wholesale Physical Markets are Broken”, which might be confirmation that this process is reaching an advanced stage.
Over the course of the last week it seemed no matter where we turned in the business media one meme was being pushed above all others: It’s still a great time to be a private tech unicorn. Implying, that funding rounds were still “robust.” What wasn’t said, so we will, is this: It’s a great time to be a private “unicorn” rather, than take the chance and become the poster-child for the IPO apocalypse. For it’s better to be assumed a $BILLION dollar success story rather, than IPO and officially open the books to the market and remove all doubt – that you’re not.
"There has been an awakening..."
Authored by Steve H. Hanke of The Johns Hopkins University. Follow him on Twitter @Steve_Hanke.
Establishment Republicans have a plan to help workers because they hear you after all the clamor that has formed around Donald Trump. That is how they bill it anyway — a plan to help laborers. They have heard through their marble walls that some of you are not happy with wages that have been stagnant for decades. So, they have hatched a brave new plan that has only your best interest at heart.
Rising wages and employment costs (benefits, healthcare, etc.) are a direct input into the profitability equation. Therefore, as the economy slows and other cost-cutting measures, accounting gimmicks and share buybacks lose their ability to increase bottom line profitability, it is only a function of time before the focus returns to the cost of labor. With corporate profitability currently under pressure, overall economic activity weak and global conditions deteriorating, just how long can companies sustain employment and wage growth? The answer is not long.
There’s something about being insanely rich that people will believe every word that comes out of your mouth no matter how bizarre. As one of the richest men in the world, Warren Buffett’s opinions carry almost Biblical impact, even when they might be completely ridiculous.
Is there anyone on the planet who's actually stupid enough to believe these New Normal charts are healthy and sustainable? We doubt it. Rather, the apologists, toadies, apparatchiks and flacks are being well-paid to cheerlead, and the "leadership" (using the term lightly) of the discredited institutions are terrified of what will happen when people finally catch on. The New Normal is not sustainable.
The central bank war on savers is rooted in a monumental case of the Big Lie. Here is what a retired worker who managed to save $5,000 per year over a 40 year’s lifetime of toil and sweat in a steel factory now earns in daily interest on a bank CD. To wit, a single cup of cappuccino. Yet the central bankers claim they have absolutely nothing to do with this flaming economic injustice.
"I oppose today’s so-called capitalism. I don’t even like the world “capitalism,” I like “free markets.” But if you say “free markets” and “capitalism” together, we don’t have that. We have interventionism. We have a planned economy, we have a welfare state, we have inflationism, we have central economic planning by a central bank, we have a belief in deficit financing. It is so far removed from free-market capitalism that it’s foolish for people to label it free market and capitalize on this and say: “We know it’s so bad. What we need is socialism.” That is a problem."
"The marginal economic benefits of the agreement are outweighed by the political consequences of its adoption".
Crude oil time-spreads have completely dislocated from inventories. Historically, such dislocations have proved to be short lived. We expect that either spot prices will sell-off again or the back end of the curve will move sharply higher.We estimate that in order for time-spreads to move back in line with inventories, either front end prices have to sell off by USD10-15/bbl or the back end has to appreciate USD15-20/bbl. Given the parameters of our gold pricing model, the latter would imply roughly a USD100-150/oz rise in the gold price.
Interestingly, the BoJ’s attempts to achieve its price inflation target continue to end in failure with unwavering regularity. While the central bank’s astonishing ineptness in this respect is a blessing for Japan’s citizens (at least for the moment, their cost of living doesn’t increase further), it harbors the danger that even crazier monetary experiments will eventually be tried.