The crisis in Venezuela is the most modern illustration of the horrific consequences of socialism and the devastating reality of hyperinflation. What makes this disaster all the more infuriating is that it could have been avoided with a basic understanding of history. We’ve seen the disaster of socialism and interventionism in various forms play out across the world time and time again with similar results, and yet new generations of central planners — backed by ideologically aligned intellectuals — are consistently able to fool people into believing that “this time will be different.”
In 2006, Pope Benedict XVI said what no Pope had ever dared to say -- that there is a link between violence and Islam. Ten years later, Pope Francis never calls those responsible for anti-Christian violence by name and never mentions the word "Islam." To scroll the list of Pope Francis's apostolic trips -- Brazil, South Korea, Albania, Turkey, Sri Lanka, Ecuador, Cuba, United States, Mexico, Kenya, Uganda, Philippines -- one could say that Europe is not exactly at the top of his agenda. The two previous pontiffs both fought for the cradle of Christendom. Pope Francis, on the contrary, simply ignores Europe, as if he already considers it lost.
The Fed’s paint-by-the-numbers Keynesian incrementalism leaves it blind to the underlying rot in the US economy and to drastically over-estimate its capacity to maintain a stable growth equilibrium. In fact, corporate America is being strip-mined by Fed-fueled financial engineering and flyover America is sinking irretrievably into debt, dependency and shrinking living standards.
As we warned previously, the devaluation, or breaking of the Saudi Riyal peg to the dollar, could be the black swan event for crude oil and the recent weakness in SAR forwards - while not as violent as Nigeria's Naira - certainly signals a renewed market fear that breaking the peg is imminent. It appears Saudi officials are none too pleased with the free markets speculating on this devaluation and as Bloomberg reports, banks in Saudi Arabia are coming under fresh pressure over products that allow speculators to bet against the kingdom’s currency peg, according to people with knowledge of the matter, which were supposedly banned in January.
Continuing deceleration of population growth offset by rate cuts incentivizing ever greater debt loads (with continually underperforming GDP) was the central banks only play. And now as population growth and decelerating demand really begin to wane...the playbook is basically exhausted save for one play...simply print money with which to buy and "permanently retire" those assets. Think Treasury's, think MBS, think equity's...think anything that can be digitally created and digitally destroyed all to perpetually shrink the outstanding float (think perpetual short squeeze). How long this can maintain asset values northward march in the face of the populations southward divergence is anybody's guess.
The posse of fools in the Eccles Building is so petrified of a stock market hissy fit that it has more or less created a Wall Street doomsday machine.
The optimism that we see is that the public’s support of outsiders is an indication that the insouciant public is waking up. But Americans will have to do more than wake up, as they cannot rescue themselves via the voting booth. In our opinion, the American people will remain serfs until they wake up to Revolution. Today Americans exist as a conquered people.
Despite warnings that "your life is at risk," the threat of Zika, a collapsing government, and rising social unrest, many will still visit Brazil this summer for the Rio Olympics. As a public service announcement, we believe that making the trip should be worthwhile for those strong-willed travelers treking to South America; and, courtesy of Deutsche Bank, we have found a 'foolproof' way to turn a 56% return... should you wish to.
"For the average "middle class" person in Venezuela -- educated and still holding on to a good job -- he needs two years of wages to buy a single plane ticket in his own currency. He's stuck there. The problem is that he waited too long to leave... You can't even find some land and grow your own food. You cannot do that when you have the government stealing it from you. It’s a no win situation."
Today we got confirmation how much of an uphill climb the Temer administration will have when Brazil's Folha de S. Paulo newspaper reported that it has had access to recordings of conversations that took place in March between then-senator Romero Juca and current minister, and a former executive linked to state-run oil company Petrobras. In the conversations, the minister allegedly says a change in federal government leadership would lead to an agreement to prevent the wide corruption probe dubbed Carwash from proceeding.
Buy gold as it is an “extremely low-risk asset” is the advice of Professor Kenneth Rogoff to emerging market, creditor nation central banks including the People’s Bank of China (PBOC). “There is no limit to its price ...” he said ...
Neither Russia nor China seek conflict. It is a gratuitous and reckless act for Washington to send the message to Russia and China that they must choose vassalage or war.
China was, in essence, the right shoulder to the greatest head and shoulder pattern in the history of mankind. Central banks and federal governments will do everything in their power to maintain the present system. They will attempt anything and likely everything to maintain what ultimately cannot be maintained. Unfortunately, no one knows how much is too much and the economic, financial, and societal ramifications. Invest accordingly?!?
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.