With oil prices crashing, as various OPEC members (cough Saudi Arabia cough) turn the screws on each other, we thought (after showing the US domestic pain) the following chart from The Economist would provide more context for which nations are feeling the most (and least) pain...
This week has seen some market volatility (see VIX Chart) reminiscent of the functioning market from days of old. The markets are spooked, bad news is overtaking good news and bearish views are becoming vogue. We are seeing a titanic battle taking place between the various bull and bear camps and they are starting to unleash some serious firepower.
In terms of purchasing power, China now has the largest economy on the entire planet, but that is not the only area where China has surpassed the United States. China also accounts for more total global trade than the U.S. does, China consumes more energy than the U.S. does, and China now manufactures more goods than the U.S. does. In other words, the era of American economic dominance is rapidly ending.
Relative to stock market indices, broad commodity indices are now at their lowest levels since the late-1990s dot com boom. Key commodity price ratios, such as those between precious and industrial metals, are already at levels associated with financial crises such as that of 2008. In other words, there is already ‘blood on the commodity streets’, presenting investors and commodity traders with potentially attractive opportunities.
OccupyCentral Protesters End Government Building Blockade After Hong Kong Police Unleash Tear Gas, Pepper Spray "To Avoid Injuries"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 10/05/2014 09:29 -0500
UPDATE: According to the latest feed from OccupyCentral, protesters are refusing to leave the Lung Wo Road government building blockade...
After a night of 'some' discussions and a re-escalation of violence - which saw police use tear gas and pepper spray (in their words avoiding the use of batons and "reducing injuries"), OccupyCentral protesters have decided to leave the area outside the Hong Kong office of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying in Mong Kok. Protesters are reportedly moving back towards the Admiralty site where thousands remain ahead of tomorrow's deadline ultimatum from the HK leader. Officials are in full court press PR mode, explaining on every TV channel and media outlet just how significant the disruptions will be on Monday to the general public (notably the older generation as 95% of OccupyCentral protesters are between 15 and 25). Protest leaders have agreed to continue dialog with the government if protest sites are protected and while tomorrow's deadline may see more escalation (in the name of public order), as The Telegraph notes, given the age of the protesters, Hong Kong could face decades of protests.
Low interest rates are a direct cause of credit bubbles, and this is what is happening in Singapore
Here come the revisionists with new malarkey about the 2008 financial crisis. No less august a forum than the New York Times today carries a front page piece by journeyman financial reporter James Stewart suggesting that Lehman Brothers was solvent; could and should have been bailed out; and that the entire trauma of the financial crisis and Great Recession might have been avoided or substantially mitigated. That is not just meretricious nonsense; its a measure of how thoroughly corrupted public discourse about the fundamental financial and economic realities of the present era has become owing to the cult of central banking. The great error of September 2008 was not in failing to bailout Lehman. It was in providing a $100 billion liquidity hose to Morgan Stanley and an even larger one to Goldman. They too were insolvent. That was the essence of their business model. Fed policies inherently generate runs, and then it stands ready with limitless free money to rescue the gamblers. You can call that pragmatism, if you like. But don’t call it capitalism.
Nobel Peace Prize-winner Barack Obama became president on a platform of pacifism, and withdrawal from America's numerous conflicts. 6 years later, he is where Dubya was a decade ago, only on the other side, according to the latest Economist cover (and story).
Why are corporate insiders selling the farm when it comes to their own money… but spending corporate cash like drunken sailors?
For climate change activists and those hoping for an energy future dominated by renewables or even less-polluting natural gas, the death of coal cannot come quickly enough. But with coal still the dominant form of cheap electricity throughout the world, it is unlikely the bogeyman of climate change will disappear anytime soon.
The rise of Islamic State has upended geopolitics in the Middle East and, as The Economist notes, drawn America's military back to the region. Though ISIS is popular among militants, the group has no allies on the political stage, making it even more isolated than the official al-Qaeda affiliate, Jabhat al-Nusra. As The Economist's "relationship mosaic" above visualizes the rapports among countries, political groups and militant organizations in the Middle East.
A look at new arguments suggesting that globalization is fragmenting. Are they really new? Are they true?
"...what was once a privilege is now a burden, undermining job growth, pumping up budget and trade deficits and inflating financial bubbles. To get the American economy on track, the government needs to drop its commitment to maintaining the dollar’s reserve-currency status...The privilege of having the world’s reserve currency is one America can no longer afford."
- former Chief Economist and Economic Adviser to Vice President Joe Biden, executive director of the White House Task Force on the Middle Class, and a member of President Obama’s economic team.
Inflation, defined as an expansion of the supply of unbacked money, is an elementary evil, always and everywhere that it occurs. It is the ignored and core cause of numerous problems in the economy and in society...