Western countries are increasingly displaying symptoms of instability as described by Nassim Taleb, the author of the The Black Swan, ever since the publication of an essay written with Gregory Treverton entitled “The Calm Before the Storm.” The wider public and the press seem unjustifiably complacent at this time. It seems likely that the seemingly unending “recovery” is simply the calm before the storm.
Last month the fund managers responding to BofA' fund manager survey said that a "Eurozone breakdown" was was the third biggest "tail risk" to global markets. What is much more notable is that just one month earelier, in May, not a single respondent even mentioned this as a risk. Fast forward to July when "Eurozone breakdown" is suddenly perceived as the biggest tail risk by all those surveyed.
"The Bank has started work to ensure there are no technical obstacles to our ability to accept equities as collateral should the need arise."
Does the next major conflict start with a computer glitch?
The time of deflationary confiscation is coming closer for the remaining Greek bank depositors. Those who kept their cash in safe deposit boxes at banks are out of luck too: the government has decreed they may not take it out. This is something one needs to keep in mind – if one wants to keep cash outside the banking system, one cannot leave it in a bank safe deposit box either. The government will confiscate it when push comes to shove and the banks need to be rescued.
Late Friday night a solid blow was struck for sound money, free markets and limited government by a most unlikely force. Namely, the hard core statist and crypto-Marxist prime minister of Greece, Alexis Tsipras. He has now set in motion a cascade of disruption that will shake the corrupt status quo to its very foundations.
After the carnage of the 2008 crash, former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker proposed a rule that would prevent banks from making short-term proprietary trades with financial instruments. In other words, no gambling allowed. This rule would become known as The Volcker Rule, and it went into partial effect on April 1, 2014. Full compliance is required by July 21, 2015. Of course, the bank lobbyists were hard at work, and numerous exceptions and loopholes were created.
While investor behavior hasn't sunk to the depths seen just before the crisis, Oaktree Capital's Howard marks warns, in many ways it has entered the zone of imprudence. "Today I feel it's important to pay more attention to loss prevention than to the pursuit of gain... Although I have no idea what could make the day of reckoning come sooner rather than later, I don’t think it’s too early to take today’s carefree market conditions into consideration. What I do know is that those conditions are creating a degree of risk for which there is no commensurate risk premium."
"...the 'Ice Age' of low rates and low growth for a long time – as predicted by many analysts and economists – won’t happen. Instead, a crisis will cause a crash on Wall Street. The banks will go broke. The credit system will seize up. People will line up at ATMs to get cash and the cash will quickly run out. This will provoke the authorities to go full central bank retard. They will flood the system with “money” of all sorts. The ice will melt into a tidal wave of hyperinflation."
Last year, Elliott Management's Paul Singer highlighted "one risk that stands way above the rest in terms of the scope of potential damage adjusted for the likelihood of occurrence" - an electromagnetic pulse (EMP). As Michael Snyder previously details, our entire way of life can be ended in a single day. And it wouldn’t even take a nuclear war to do it. All it would take for a rogue nation or terror organization to bring us to our knees is the explosion of a couple well-placed nuclear devices high up in our atmosphere. The resulting electromagnetic pulses would fry electronics from coast to coast, and, as PeakProsperity.com's Chris Martenson explains, the country is extremely vulnerable to an EMP...
Promptly upon release of today’s GDP update, Steve Liesman and his Wall Street economist pals spent 10 minutes bloviating about why the negative print should be completely ignored. The MSM cheerleaders like Liesman and his pals cannot see the handwriting on the wall because central bank bubble finance has essentially abolished the old rules of macro-economics. Someone should tell them that an economic deja vu is about to happen... all over again!
“Things always become obvious after the fact” – Nassim Nicholas Taleb
“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.” – Aldous Huxley
We heard from several central banks in the last few days, and what they had to say was just one more reminder that we are in a Hill Street Blues financial world. So, hey, let’s be careful out there - and then some!
So if you were sitting then in the turmoil of the economic upheaval and had to get on the phone to the one person that was likely to get you through the mortgage rates hikes and the jobless rates or the spiraling debt and inflationary pressure, then who would you immediately think of?
It feels like not a single soul is worried about the increasing amount of negative interest rates around the world. Ignorance or indifference?