I gave a 45-minute presentation on Yield Purchasing Power at American Institute for Economic Research in Great Barrington, MA on October 14, 2016. I am grateful to the Institute for recording video of my presentation plus extended Q&A.
We live in an age when the level of deceit and propaganda is at an all-time high. Joseph Goebbels, Vladimir Lenin, and others did their best to force-feed propaganda to the masses, but they were rank amateurs compared to the spin doctors employed by the political leaders of today. They’re masters at convincing people of impossible things. Here are six impossible things that many seem to have little trouble accepting as reality.
Just when the images of Too-Big-To-Fail Bank CEOs facing faux-angry (but impotent under lobbying fees) politicians had moved to the back of the mind, Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf will visit Capitol Hill to explain to the Senate Banking why he is "deeply sorry" about the massive and systemic fraud his bank visited upon Americans, and why he "accepts full responsibility" but will not resign (because he really owes it to the company to stay around and fix this mess).
“I am deeply sorry that we failed to fulfill our responsibility to our customers, to our team members and to the American public. I accept full responsibility for all unethical sales practices in our retail banking business. I am fully committed to doing everything possible to fix this issue, strengthen our culture and take the necessary actions to restore our customers’ trust."
Portuguese banks, already undercapitalised and loaded with bad debt, are bracing for heavy losses from Lisbon’s so far unsuccessful attempts to sell Novo Banco, the lender salvaged from the collapse of Banco Espírito Santo.
Having panciked briefly on Friday night on news of a Turkish coup, which has since not only failed but been cast away as speculation rises that it was staged and designed to give Erdogan even more authoritarian power, markets have moved on and are now focusing on the main overnight event which was the surprising $32 billion bid by Japan's SoftBank for U.K.’s semiconductor giant ARM which has sent comparable semis higher in European trading and pushing the Stoxx Europe 600 Index up by 0.6%, after surging 3.2% last week. After sliding sharply on Friday, US equity futures are up 0.1% in early trading.
JPMorgan has been appointed by the Italian government to work on plans to set up a bank to buy troubled loans from the country’s lenders at approximately 20% of face value. The gross notional size of Italy's Bad Bank #2 would be €50 billion. As part of JPM's plan, the government would acquire some of the bad loans at a price of 20 cents in the euro.
Jeroen Dijsselbloem poured cold water on Italy's ongoing attempts to force a bank bailout when he said earlier today that not only was he not "particularly" worried about italian banks but that “there have always been and will always be bankers that say ’we need more public money to recapitalize our banks.... and I will resist that very strongly because it is, again and again, hitting on the taxpayer." He then added that "the problems with the banks need to be sorted out in the banks and by banks.”
After a historic two-day selloff, which as shown yesterday slammed European banks by the most on record the wildly oversold conditions, coupled with hopes for yet another global, coordinated central bank intervention, coupled with modest hope that David Cameron's trip to Brussels today may resolve some of the Article 50 gridlock, have been sufficient to prompt a modest buying scramble among European stocks in early trading, with the pound and commodities all gaining for the first time since the shock Brexit vote.
Barely has the market had time to digest last week's Brexit vote by the UK, a vote which may never actually be implemented if the "sturm und drang" campaign unleashed by the EU and the ECB on UK capital markets succeeds in changing the mind of enough "Leavers" to the point that the entire referendum is called off and Boris Johnson never triggers the Article 50 clause, and already Europe's most financially troubled nation, Italy, is using Brexit as a pretext to unleash a €40 billion ($44 billion) bailout of its insolvent banks.
The Spanish investment group Blackbird claims that Banco Popular bank is offering customers dirt-cheap loans or refinancing deals, at an interest rate of just 2.5%, as long as they use some of the funds to purchase the bank’s new shares.
Xi not only is the Commander-in-Chief in the fight against corruption; he’s now Commander-in-Chief of China’s joint battle command center as well. Yet even this awesome concentration of power does not mean that Xi is an unassailable deity. On the key drama – the state of the economy – it has emerged that in a recent interview by the People’s Daily with an anonymous “authoritative person”, printed on the front page and exposing deep economic divergence among the CCP leadership, the “authoritative person” in question was none other than Xi.He had to take to the key media read by anyone who’s anyone in China to press his point on how to fix China’s debt-ridden economy; low growth is OK, and the new normal; as for blind credit expansion/monetary easing, that’s not OK. Xi, once again, is adamant; it’s now or never to start a painful restructuring of the Chinese system.
Italy's bad bank bailouts fund, "Atlas", is about to become the proud new owner of around 90% of Italy's Popolare di Vicenza after investors only bought a fraction of the mid-tier bank's €1.5 billion cash call, Reuters reports. Popolare di Vicenza, which was due to announce the outcome of the public share offer later on Friday, said earlier in the day that it had raised €4.25 billion, at the lower end of a 4-6 billion euro range it had initially targeted, from 67 mostly domestic financial institutions.