In a January 2013 report “Report of the Working Group to Study the Issues Related to Gold Imports and Gold Loans by NBFCs”, the Reserve Bank of India estimated that the ratio of paper gold trading to physical gold trading is 92:1. That is a lot of unbacked paper gold instruments. This has almost entirely separated the “gold price”, such as it is (the clearing price for vast volumes of paper gold “representations” with a fractional backing) from the fundamental supply and demand dynamics for actual physical gold bullion.
As Mr L. famously quipped. "Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?"
The problem with these policy extremes is that they are so painfully visibly acts of central-planning desperation. If things are as positive as we're told, then why are central planners forced to impose such absurdly extreme policies to keep the status quo from imploding? If these policies worked, why are interest rates still pegged to zero after six years of "growth" and the inflation of monumental asset bubbles? If these policies don't work (and they obviously don't, otherwise the authorities could have normalized interest rates and ceased quantitative easing, stock purchases, plunge protection schemes, etc. many years ago) and central planners keep doing more of what has failed, then the only possible conclusions are...
While Greek PM Alexis Tsipras is busy figuring out how best to go about pushing the "deal" he reached on Monday morning in Brussels through parliament, EU finance ministers are scrambling to put together billions in bridge financing that will hold Athens over until the activation of the ESM program which is likely at least four months away. Although it's as yet unclear which "least bad" option is preferable for Greece's external debt, Wolfgang Schaeuble has an idea for how the country might pay public sector employees.
Similar to the US banks who funded home owners that shouldn’t have received mortgages and made a fortune doing so – at least initially, the Germans funded the periphery nations in an effort to drive output growth domestically. However, financing a large portion of ones’ customer purchases is a high risk endeavour. And the Germans are in the midst of this hard lesson.
"I think that if Greece were to leave the Euro things would get very complicated for them... and this would create the same very unhealthy situation as we have in Argentina. Why? If people start storing value in a foreign currency, in this case Greeks using Euros, this will create a huge lack of transparency and affect normal trade flows and transactions. And we know that the parallel economy in Greece is already quite large the way it is. So imagine an exponential version of that. It would be a very difficult period for Greece."
On Thursday this past week there were a few attempts at crisis management that should go into textbooks (as well as history books) everywhere in years to come as: Crisis Management 101.a – Lessons in Ineptitude. The responses as to settle the angst in an ever-more-skeptical, as well as frightened investing class was not only inane as demonstrated by the responses (or better yet; lack there of) given at the NYSE by way of “answering” as to why it halted its operation for nearly 4 hours. Was only outdone by what many view as the near insane when one views the steps taken in China to “calm” their markets. Is that how one instills confidence?It instills something – however the term isn’t anything resembling “confidence.”
Perhaps the most concerning is the fact that should a “systemically important” financial entity go bust, any deposits above $250,000 located therein could be converted to equity… at which point if the company’s shares, your wealth evaporates.
Every nation has a right to defend itself against attack – financial attack just as overt military attack. That is an essential element in the principle of self-determination. Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy and other debtor countries have been under the same mode of attack that was waged by the IMF and its austerity doctrine that bankrupted Latin America from the 1970s onward. International law needs to be updated to recognize that finance has become the modern-day mode of warfare. Its objectives are the same: acquisition of land, raw materials and monopolies. A byproduct of this warfare has been to make today’s financial network so dysfunctional that nations need a financial Clean Slate.
The Chinese economy is in an obvious deepening swoon and the median company on the Shanghai exchange had a PE ratio of 60X before the recent break. But no matter. Not only does everything financial race the skyscrapers to the sky in the land of red capitalism, but valuation upside is apparently whatever the comrades in Beijing want it to be. Says Goldman’s chief stock tout for China,“It’s not in a bubble yet.”. Why? Because “China’s governmenthas a lot of tools to support the market.”