• Sprott Money
    03/01/2015 - 23:51
    Clearly if Western governments were ‘merely’ drowning in debt-to-GDP ratios of roughly 100%, then theycould still argue that attempting to manage these debt-loads was legitimate rather than...

Australia

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Frontrunning: February 10





  • Greek defense minister says Greece has Plan B if EU rigid on deal (Reuters)
  • Germany rejects Greek claim for World War Two reparations (Reuters)
  • Greece to Seek $11.3 Billion in Financing to Avoid Funding Crunch (BBG)
  • Lazard Sees $113 Billion Greek Debt Cut as ‘Reasonable’ (BBG)
  • U.S. Navy Considers Setting Up Ship Base in Australia (BBG)
  • Dalio’s Bridgewater Fund Said to Rise 8.3% in January (BBG)
  • As U.S. Exits, China Takes On Afghanistan Role (WSJ)
  • EU money funds cut exposure to bank debt (FT)
  • China Inflation Drops to Five-Year Low in January (WSJ)
  • Oil-Price Rebound Predicted (WSJ)
 
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Market Wrap: Stocks Drift, Dollar Stronger, Oil Snaps Rally, Treasurys Slide On Microsoft Deal





So far it has been largely a repeat of the previous overnight session, where absent significant macro drivers, the attention again remains focused both on China, which reported some truly ugly inflation (with 0.8% Y/Y CPI the lowest since Lehman, just call it deflation net of the "goalseeking") data (which as usually is "good for stocks" pushing the SHCOMP 1.5% higher as it means even more easing), and on Greece, which has not made any major headlines in the past 24 hours as patience on both sides is growing thin ahead of the final "bluff" showdown between Greece and the Eurozone is imminent. The question as usual is who will have just a fraction more leverage in the final assessment - Greece has made its ask known, and it comes in the form of 10 billion euros in short-term "bridge" financing consisting of €8 billion increase in Bills issuance and €1.9 billion in ECB profits, as it tries to stave off a funding crunch, a proposal which will be presented on the Wednesday meeting of euro area finance ministers in Brussels. The question remains what Europe's countrbid, if any, will be. For the answer: stay tuned in 24 hours.

 
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China's Solution To "Tyrannical" Billionaires Who Harm The Economy: Execution





In some countries, the 'solution' the state chooses for its ignominous billionaire class of inequality-garnering, economy-wrecking individuals is to either a) turn one's back for a brief enough moment as to allow the tyrant to leave the country in search of a golden beach upon which to lament how great a trade being long European bonds would have been' or b) enhance their wealth further on a quid pro quo basis. In China, the 'treatment' for corrupt billionaires who love casinos, cigars, and luxury cars is much simpler... execution.

 
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The Global Financial System Stands On The Brink Of Second Credit Crisis





The world economy stands on the brink of a second credit crisis as the vital transmission systems for lending between banks begin to seize up and the debt markets fall over. The latest round of quantitative easing from the European Central Bank will buy some time but it looks like too little too late.

 
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Europe, US Risk Off After Greece Rejects European Ultimatum, Ukraine Peace Talks Falter





In the absence of any notable developments overnight, the market remains focused on the rapidly moving situation in Greece, which as detailed over the weekend, responded to Europe's Friday ultimatum very vocally and belligerently, crushing any speculation that Syriza would back down or compromise, and with just days left until the emergency Eurogroup meeting in three days, whispers that a Grexit is imminent grow louder. The only outstanding item is what happens to the EUR and to risk assets: do they rise when the Eurozone kicks out its weakest member, or will they tumble as UBS suggested this morning when it said that "the escalation of tensions between the Greek government and its creditors is so far being shrugged off by investors, an attitude which is overly simplistic and ignores the risk of market dislocations" while Morgan Stanley adds that a Grexit would likely lead to the EURUSD sliding near its all time lows of about 0.90.

 
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Global Economy Will Shrink By $2.3 Trillion In 2015





The world is going to be about $2.37 trillion smaller in 2015 than most expected at the start of the year as a consequence of the USD strengthening. This is not insignificant, as it represents 3.2% of last year’s estimated global GDP. For perspective, that would be as if an economy of the size between Brazil’s and the UK’s would have just disappeared.

 
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A Very Pernicious Partnership: Keynesian Money Printers And Wall Street Gamblers





The phony 5.7% domestic unemployment rate reported yesterday has nothing to do with full employment. The relevant number in the report is that there are still 101 million working age Americans who do not have jobs, and only 45 million of them are on OASI retirement benefits. And that says nothing about the tens of millions of job holders who are employed far less than a full 40 hour work week. In short, there is a surfeit of available labor at home and abroad, meaning 3-4% wage gains are not coming down the pike any time soon or ever. So if that’s what the Fed is waiting for - then the so-called “lift-off” may not be coming even this year. And in any event, the trivial 25 bps increases in the funds rate that may eventually come have nothing to do with interest rate “normalization” or the return of honest price discovery in the casino. And that suits the needs of the Wall Street gamblers just fine.

 
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Debt In The Time Of Wall Street





Greece’s problem can only be truly solved if large scale debt restructuring is accepted and executed. But that would initiate a chain of events that would bring down the bloated zombie that is Wall Street. And it just so happens that this zombie rules the planet. We are all addicted to the zombie. It allows us to fool ourselves into thinking we are doing well – well, sort of -, but the longer term implications of that behavior will be devastating. We’re all going to be Greece, that’s inevitable. It’s not some maybe thing. The only thing that keeps us from realizing that is that the big media outlets have become part of the same industry that Wall Street, and the governments it controls, have full control over. And that in turn says something about the importance of what Yanis Varoufakis and Syriza are trying to accomplish. They’re taking the battle to the finance empire. And it should not be a lonely fight. Because if the international Wall Street banks succeed in Greece, some theater eerily uncomfortably near you will be next. That is cast in stone.

 
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Guest Post: How Vaccine Hysteria Could Spark A Totalitarian Nightmare





At the end of the day, the issue here is one of freedom, and freedom is the freedom to choose – even if we make a bad choice. The argument that I must vaccinate my children for the good of the community is not only scientifically questionable, it is an unethical precept. It is the argument all dictators and totalitarians have used. “Comrade, you must work tirelessly for the good of the collective. You must give up your money and property for the good of the collective, and now … you must allow us to inject your children with what we deem is good for the collective.” If American’s don’t stand up against this, then we are lost. Because we have lost ownership of ourselves. Our bodies are no longer solely ours – we and our children are able to be commandeered for the “greater good.”

 
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Russell Napier: "The Most Dangerous Thing In Finance Is The Thing That Never Ever Moves - Until It Moves"





Taking interest rates so negative that they threaten a run on bank deposits should not be seen as success --- it is failure. Creating bank reserves at that pace should not be seen as success --- it is failure. The next failure may well be some government-inspired restriction on capital inflows. Well, you could call such restrictions, and risking the liquidity of banks, monetary success if you like, but then you probably also think it’s a success to throw the ball one yard from the touchline.

 
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A Stealth Bull Market Developing in Gold





There is a bull market developing in gold and few are aware of it...

 
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What Central Bank Defeat Would Look Like, In Charts





Deflation remains the enemy thanks to debt, deleveraging, demographics, tech disruption & default risks. US aggregate debt is today a staggering $58.0 trillion (327% of GDP); the number of people unemployed in the European Union is 23.6 million; Greece has spent 90 of the past 192 years in default or debt restructuring. 7 years on from the GFC... The massive policy response continues. Central bank victory means that lower rates, currencies, oil successfully boosts global GDP & PMI’s in Q2/Q3, allowing Fed hikes in Q4. Bond yields would soar in H1 on this outcome. Defeat, no recovery, and currency wars, debt default and deficit financing become macro realities.

 
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Rate cuts since Lehman: 542 and counting





Six years on from the financial crisis and central banks are still hacking away at interest rates. Australia and Romania's did this week and while Poland and India held off, both are expected to prune rates later in 2015.

 
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Does Anyone Remember 2007? The Global Debt Bubble In 3 Ominous Charts





Seven years after the bursting of a global credit bubble resulted in the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, debt continues to grow. In fact, as McKinsey explains in their latest report, rather than reducing indebtedness, or deleveraging, all major economies today have higher levels of borrowing relative to GDP than they did in 2007. They pinpoint three areas of emerging risk: the rise of government debt, which in some countries has reached such high levels that new ways will be needed to reduce it; the continued rise in household debt; and the quadrupling of China’s debt, fueled by real estate and shadow banking, in just seven years... that pose new risks to financial stability and may undermine global economic growth.

 
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