Australia

Smart Meters: Enforcement Of Mandatory Water Restrictions Is Only Just The Beginning

Smart meters are now being used by authorities to crack down on “water wasters” in the state of California, but this is just the tip of the iceberg as far as what they can be used for.  Ultimately, smart meters are designed to be part of an entire “smart grid” that will enable government bureaucrats “to control everything from your dishwasher to thermostat“.   And in recent years, there has been a massive push to install smart meters in as many homes in the United States and Europe as possible.

IMF Says Bernanke Is Wrong On Secular Stagnation

In a new study, the IMF asks whether there's a global slump in real private investment (spoiler alert: yes there is and it's broad-based and endemic in advanced economies) and also suggests that productivity growth across the globe is likely to remain constrained for the foreseeable future.

How America Became An Oligarchy

"The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice. You don’t. . . . You have owners." - George Carlin, The American Dream

According to a new study from Princeton University, American democracy no longer exists. Using data from over 1,800 policy initiatives from 1981 to 2002, researchers Martin Gilens and Benjamin Page concluded that rich, well-connected individuals on the political scene now steer the direction of the country, regardless of – or even against – the will of the majority of voters. America’s political system has transformed from a democracy into an oligarchy, where power is wielded by wealthy elites.

Frontrunning: April 7

  • Israel, U.S. Lawmakers Press Case Against Iran Nuclear Deal  (WSJ)
  • Rand Paul tries to broaden libertarian appeal (Reuters)
  • Fewer Oil Trains Ply America’s Rails (WSJ)
  • Chicago voters go to polls in first ever mayoral runoff (Reuters)
  • FedEx to buy TNT to expand Europe deliveries (Reuters)
  • Mohamed El-Erian Has Most of His Money in Cash (BBG)
  • In Surprise Move, Australia Holds Rates (WSJ)
  • Oil falls as Iran, China discuss more supply (Reuters)

We've Never Seen This Before In The Gold Market

It might prove to be a one-off. But one group in the gold industry this week forged ahead with a unique strategy - which might just change the market. The group is India’s largest jewellery-maker, Rajesh Exports. Which said that it is taking an unusual step in securing gold supply for its operations. Buying gold mines.

Australia Wants To Tax Bank Deposits: Will The US Follow?

If the government of Australia is concerned that their well-capitalized banking system needs a safety net and wants to tax deposits for such purpose, how in the world can we possibly expect the US and Europe, with all of their banking system risk, won’t do the same?

Futures, Oil Slide As Surging Dollar Now Takes Window Dressing Stage

Did stocks window dressing come one day early in this volatile, bipolar, stop-hunting, HFT-infested market? Looking at futures this morning, which are down about 12 points already on yet another surge in the USD which has sent the EURUSD just above 1.07, the lowest since March 20 , and the USDJPY back under 120 now that the "strong dollar is bad for stocks after all" algo seems to be back from vacation, all those hedge funds who chased risk higher yesterday because their peers did the same, may find they are all selling on the way down. It will be oddly ironic if all of yesterday's widely touted gains evaporate comparably in the first 10 minutes of trading today, and lead to an end in the longest streak of quarterly increases in two decades.