Americans still say they believe in free markets, democracy and financial rectitude. But only as platitudes and hypocrisies... the free market was one of the first casualties of the post-1971 fiat money period. In a free market, people earn money by working (income) or by saving and investing it (capital growth). But credit-based money needed neither work nor saving; you just had to know the right people.
The Sunlight is Fading … and America Is Falling Into Darkness
When the phantom wealth evaporates and risk assets go bidless, cash will once again be king, for the simple reason there will be so little of it.
At first glance, the title to this commentary seems facile, especially to those readers in higher income brackets. The reality, however, is that “investing in food” is a risk-free means of generating an annual return on one’s investment that would likely exceed the return one could earn on almost any other investment – despite the fact that nearly all other asset classes carry significant risks.
BNP is out with a note calling China’s equity bubble “a microcosm for the overall economy: unsustainable growth in leverage masking ever-deteriorating fundamentals and increasing future downside risks. Margin purchases are now accounting for almost 20% of equities daily turnover which itself has soared to wholly unprecedented levels in another sign of self-feeding speculative frenzy. What happens next is clearly an ‘unknown-unknown’."
The collapse of phantom-wealth bubbles could occur in the next year or two, or be delayed for another 5 to 6 years. But the implosion of phantom-wealth bubbles is assured by the internal dynamics of bubbles.
"...markets can turn from tranquil to turbulent in short order. It is worth noting that in 2006 volatility was low, and companies were generating record pro?t margins, until the business cycle came to an abrupt halt due to events that many people had not anticipated. Although investor appetite for equities may remain robust in the near term, because of positive equity fundamentals and low yields in other asset classes, history shows high valuations carry inherent risk... potential ?nancial stability risks arising from leverage, compressed pricing of risk, interconnectedness, and complexity deserve further attention and analysis."
The $665 Million Evolution in a Space Nobody Respected a Year Ago - Already Outpacing the Internet Circa 1994
That @ssh&le Who Spews Garbage and Doesn't Listen to Your Reasonable Comments ... May Be a Bot
"The web has enabled virtually anyone with Internet access to create a nearly-free global distribution network. Critics of this democratization feel that this has unleashed an avalanche of mediocrity that is judged on "likes" and pages views. The other side of the debate sees the demise of the gatekeepers, who could enforce their own view of what was valuable culturally and economically, as freeing all those who could never get past the gatekeepers.
Put together our 1% elections, the privatization of our government, the de-legitimization of Congress and the presidency, as well as the empowerment of the national security state and the U.S. military, and add in the demobilization of the American public (in the name of protecting us from terrorism), and you have something like a new ballgame.
It matters not who is in charge of the Fed or what rules Congress may insist that it adopts. Once money printing, via fiat or fractional reserve credit creation, is seen to be both feasible, justified, and legal nothing and no one can stop it. The political pressure to fund government programs will be irresistible. Everyone knows that the Fed seemingly has the ability to solve their problem by monetizing the federal debt. Should it refuse to do so, we would see riots in the streets similar to what is happening in Europe as protesters target the European Central Bank. The only solution is to destroy the monster that makes it all possible, the Fed.
In the aftermath of the ECB's QE announcement one topic has received far less attention than it should: the unexpected collapse of risk-sharing across the Eurosystem as a precursor to QE. This is what prompted "gold-expert" Willem Buiter of Citigroup to pen an analysis titled "The Euro Area: Monetary Union or System of Currency Boards", in which he answers two simple yet suddenly very critical for the Eurozone questions: which "currency boards", aka national central banks, are suddenly most at risk of going insolvent, and should the worst case scenario take place, and one or more NCBs go insolvent what happens then?
Varoufakis Explains How The Video Of His Middle Finger Is "Turning Proud Nations Against Each Other"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 03/20/2015 09:39 -0400
Varoufakis' middle finger was useful in one specific way: to rip away the facade of solidarity and freidnship in Europe, and reveal just how ugly the undelrying truth is, and to hint just how much uglier it will become once the money runs out not only for Greece, but for everyone else, or as Varoufakis himself who in a blog post today summarized his "middle finger" best when he said that it "has sparked off a kerfuffle reflecting the manner in which the 2008 banking crisis began to undermine Europe’s badly designed monetary union, turning proud nations against each other."