- EU in last-ditch bid to Greece, urges "yes" vote to bailout (Reuters)
- In? Out? In between? A Greek legal riddle for EU (Reuters)
- Tsipras Says EU Won’t Eject Greece as Cost ‘Immense’ (BBG)
- Empty Greek ATMs Force Tourists to Stiff Santorini Cabbies (BBG)
- Anti-austerity protests in Greece as bank shutdown bites (Reuters)
- Puerto Rico governor calls for bankruptcy; adviser says island 'insolvent' (Reuters)
- Puerto Rico Urges Concessions From Creditors (WSJ)
- Hilsenrath - For Fed to Delay Rate Hikes, Global Tumult Would Need to Infect U.S. (WSJ)
The Fed's QE policies of recent years have, for all intents and purposes told the world that “the dollar is our currency and your problem.” And, in recent years, the dollar has been a genuine problem for a number of emerging countries. Following this traumatic event, and the change in the perception of US stability, China went around the world and invited the likes of Brazil, Indonesia, South Africa, Turkey and Korea to shift some of their China trade away from the dollar and into renminbi. China started doing this in 2011 and, as we see it, the renminbi’s attempt to become a trading currency is potentially one of the most important financial developments. Yet no-one seems to care.
Trillions upon trillions in “stimulus” and the FOMC is left, pathetically, fighting for the distinction of “it’s not as bad as it looks.” That would seem to make this the most costly economic age ever conceived, with global implications that are just now starting to be felt as whatever faith was leftover from 2008, wrong or right, wears off all over the world. That is a highly combustible deficiency, since the longer the global economy remains disorientated the more likely it is to experience not just recession but, since this is all still so leveraged (even more poorly this time), something potentially worse.
We have argued that as economic ties between China and Russia deepen Beijing could increasingly look to Moscow to meet China’s energy needs. This would of course only serve to further de-dollarize the global energy trade, dealing yet another blow to the petrodollar system. Sure enough, Russia has, for the first time in history, overtaken Saudi Arabia as China’s top oil supplier.
Ten days ago it seemed as if America's corporatism would finally be slowed in its tracks after the House unexpectedly killed the fast-tracking of Obamatrade, aka the fast-tracking of the Trade Promotion Authority. Alas, it was not to last, and moments ago, in a "nailbiting" 60-37 vote, the Senate advanced Obama's fast-track tarde bill.
The West is impotent to prevent Armageddon. It is up to Russia and China, and as Washington has framed the dilemma, Armageddon can only be prevented by Russia and China accepting vassal status. This is not going to happen. Why would any self-respecting people submit to the corrupt West? The hope is that Washington will cause its European vassals to rebel by pushing them too hard into conflict with Russia. If European politicians were to break from Washington’s hegemony and instead represent European interests, Washington would be deprived of cover for its war crimes. The breakdown of the neoconservative unipower model would then be apparent even to Washington, and the world would become a safer and better place.
Among countries with relatively high Human Development Index scores, the number of African Americans killed per 100,000 people in the US each year is around 12 times the average for all people in developed countries and is comparable to the homicide rate in Rwanda and Mexico.
Just a few months ago, we warned Brazil's economy was on the verge of collapse as the fiscal situation was deteriorating rapidly. It appears, judging by the most recent data from the oil-rich nation, that we were right. Broad retail sales have now declined for five consecutive months with the seasonally adjusted broad retail sales index now at the same level as early 2012. Core retail sales declined 3.5% YoY during April (weakest print since Aug 2003) and broad retail sales declined by an even larger 8.5% YoY (lowest on record), and as Goldman warns, the outlook for private consumption and retail sales in the near term remains very weak.
"We have a problem with this, and that is central bank hubris. They now think that they are omnipotent, because, essentially the government has said we are going to pass over all control of the economy to the central banks, they say to everybody else including financial market participants that “you don’t know, you don’t understand, we have our models and they are right”. And that kind of hubristic approach is when you sow the seeds of your own destruction."
On the heels of what appeared to be an ultimatum from EU creditors, Greece remains defiant on pension cuts and a VAT hike, testing the troika's resolve as the countdown to the next maybe-deadline continues. Meanwhile, Germany warns that Grexit could embolden EU "separatist" movements and Dijsselbloem reminds Tsipras that noncompliance isn't an option.
While Pope Francis has called for an end of "the cult of money and the dictatorship of an economy," The Vatican City has been forced into sharing information with the US. Despite the oft-quoted Book of Proverbs prose that "[T]he borrower becomes the lender's slave," in the case of the world's largest borrower - the US government - it still acts like everyone’s master, including dictating the most ridiculous terms on financial agreements like this.
"Today, Europe is not independent… The US is drawing us [the EU] into a crusade against Russia, which contradicts the interests of Europe,” said the former French Prime Minister Fillon while the chief economist at Bremer Landesbank adds that as a result of US policies "unmeasurable damage lies in an elevated geopolitical risk situation for the people in the EU.”
The bounce in risk we are witnessing today will not last. The underlying moves in the largest markets in the world are equal to those we saw during the 2008 Crash. Stocks are ALWAYS the last to "get it."
- Pressing for Greek concessions, Merkel and Hollande keep Tsipras waiting (Reuters)
- Treasuries Extend Slump as Pimco Dumps Two-Thirds of Holdings (BBG)
- U.S. prepares plans for more troops, new base in Iraq: officials (Reuters)
- Texas policeman resigns after video shows him toppling teen (Reuters)
- Kuroda Says Hard to See Yen Dropping More, Spurring Surge (BBG)
- Tech Startups Woo Investors With Unconventional Financial Terms — but Do Numbers Add Up? (WSJ)
- Putin is a 'bully', U.S. needs to respond resolutely: Jeb Bush (Reuters)