Venezuela has two immediate bond payments due this and next week amounting to $3.5 billion. Where did the near-insolvent country obtain the funds needed to make these debt payments? The answer: it has been dumping its gold, which its former ruler Chavez worked hard in 2011 to repatriate from London, and which its current president Maduro, just four short years later, is busy sending back to its creditors.
Gold’s biggest enemy is a brilliant Nobel Prize winning economist, university professor and columnist for the New York Times. Sadly, he is also a con man.
"... if you look at what is supporting equity prices - how much of that support is coming from real economic activity versus from using stock buybacks, using cash on balance sheet for stock buybacks, or mergers and acquisitions, to reduced competition in the marketplace. These are the sort of stories that if there were a small increase in interest rates, you would temper some of that frothiness. Eliminating the incentive to engage in that kind of activity seems to me to be a good idea... There would be a proportion of the population that would have less capital gains - but they’ve been enjoying very big capital gains, and it is a narrow segment of the population."
Accounting fraud remains at the heart of the fix instituted by Ben Bernanke and the ploy has been copied by authorities throughout the global financial system, including the central banks of China, Japan, and the European Community. That it seemed to work for the past seven years in propping up global finance has given too many people the dangerous conviction that reality is optional in economic relations. The recovery of equity markets from the disturbances of August has apparently convinced the market players that stocks are invincible. Complacency reigns at epic levels. Few are ready for what is coming.
The previous Bubble was of the Fed’s making, and our central bank lost control. It became a Hobson’s Choice issue in the eyes of the Fed, and they fully accommodated the Bubble. These days, the Fed and global central bankers face a similar but much more precarious Bubble Dynamic: The Fed specifically targeted higher securities market prices as its prevailing post-mortgage finance Bubble (“helicopter money”) reflationary mechanism. This ensured that the Fed would again be unwilling to impose any monetary restraint before it would then become too risky to remove accommodation (Einstein’s definition of insanity?). In concert, global central bankers now aggressively accommodate financial Bubbles.
"My mentor, Dale Jorgenson [of Harvard], used to say — and Larry Summers used to say this, too — that, ‘If you never miss a plane, you’re spending too much time in airports.’ If you absolutely rule out any possibility of any kind of financial crisis, then probably you’re reducing risk too much, in terms of the growth and innovation in the economy.”
"The basic assertion is the following: the U.S. economy is not showing signs of entering into recession, thus stocks are not at risk of falling into a sustained bear market. Unfortunately, this conclusion is not necessarily true. For history has shown on numerous occasions that you do not need to have an economic recession looming on the horizon to see U.S. stocks fall into a bear market."
"Since Washington doesn't understand what went wrong in 2007 and 2008, so the Fed, the White House and Congress are recreating the very same conditions for another financial bubble. If it pops, we could replay the same devastating effects as occurred during the first bubble in 1999 and 2000.”
Over 5 Million Non-Existent Jobs: How $1.3 Trillion In Student Debt Broke The "Birth/Death Adjustment" ModelSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 10/15/2015 16:53 -0500
One of the main reasons why the BLS has been massively overstimating job creation ever since great financial crisis, is due to the well-known birth-death adjustment, aka the CES Net Birth/Death Model, which quantitatively is shown on the chart below, has resulted in the "addition" of some 5.3 million jobs, that don't actually exist, but are merely modelled by the BLS which continues to assume the same new business creation/destruction dynamics that existed before the crisis. The is a big problem with this fundamental assumption: it is dead wrong. Here's why...
Bernanke and now Yellen have created an environment just like the Roaring Twenties. What came next wasn't pretty
"Global trade is also declining at an alarming pace. According to the latest data available in June the year on year change is -8.4%. To find periods of equivalent declines we only really find recessionary periods. This is an interesting point. On one metric we are already in a recession."
Credit Suisse is out with the latest edition of its Global Wealth report and although the results are not entirely surprising, they are worth highlighting. Three standouts: i) the rise in the value of financial assets is most certainly contributing to an increase in global inequality, ii) dollar strength led to the first decline in total global wealth (which fell by $12.4 trillion to $250.1 trillion) since 2007-2008, iii) 0.7% of the world's population own nearly half of the world's wealth while the bottom 71% of the population own just 3%.
The US Federal Reserve is obsessed with market reactions to its policies. Because of this, anytime the Fed plans to announce a major change in policy, it preps the markets via numerous leaks and hints… oftentimes for months in advance.
Long gone is the illusion of: an elected body by the citizenry. Today, it’s become demonstrably self-evident the economy is run by an elected body – by the elected. And the consequences of this change is only now beginning to openly reverberate both in amplitude and frequency with every passing day.
The Fed needs to extricate itself from manipulating the financial markets. It needs to end backstopping market liquidity. It must never again print Trillions of new “money” out of thin air. Because so long as the marketplace perceives that the markets are "too big to fail", there will be speculative excess, major securities markets mispricings and Bubble fragilities. No one – average investor or sophisticated financial operator – has a clue as to the degree Fed policies have distorted asset prices.