Venezuela's central bank has begun negotiations with the suddenly troubled Deutsche Bank to carry out gold swaps "to improve the liquidity of its foreign reserves as it faces heavy debt payments this year", payments which it won't be able to fund unless it manages to "liquify" its gold. "One of the sources said the central bank has taken an unspecified amount of gold out of the country so that it can be certified, which is required for gold that is used in such swaps."
Meltdown-Mode: European banking stocks are imploding, CDS spreads are exploding.
Remember the mass layoffs of 2008-2009? The US economy shed millions of jobs quickly and relentlessly, as companies died and the rest fought for survival. Then the Fed and the US government flooded the banks and the corporate sector with bailouts and handouts. The nightmare of 2008 soon became a golden era of 'recovery'. Well, 2016 is showing us that that era is over. And as stock prices cease to rise, and in fact fall within many industries, layoffs are beginning to make a return as companies jettison costs in attempt to reduce losses.
Please, take umbrage of my experiences before you decide it's time to press the button on your SHTF nuclear option plan and retreat into the bunker.
Remember when Bitcoin and its digital currency cohorts were slammed by authorities and written off by the elite as worthless? Well now, as the war on cash escalates, officials from The IMF to China are seeing the opportunity to control the world's money through virtual (cash-less) currencies. Just as we warned most recent here, state wealth control is the goal and, as Bloomberg reports, The PBOC is targeting an early rollout of China's own digital currency to "boost control of money" and none other than The IMF's Christine Lagarde added that "virtual currencies are extremely beneficial."
Let’s just say that if you are focused on domestic North American issues…you are missing the point.
Russia has just taken significant steps that will break the present Wall Street oil price monopoly, at least for a huge part of the world oil market. The move is part of a longer-term strategy of decoupling Russia’s economy and especially its very significant export of oil, from the US dollar, today the Achilles Heel of the Russian economy.
Paul Volcker and Alan Greenspan were the Elvis and Beatles of this movement – the first to see widespread fame for their efforts. Then came Ben Bernanke, perhaps the Jimi Hendrix or Led Zeppelin of his day, taking existing tools and pushing them in new, previously unconsidered, directions. Now, we have Janet Yellen and Mario Draghi, whose legacies are as yet undefined. They may end up like the next generation of rock stars from the 1970s – something like Bruce Springsteen, with a deep focus on common people in his music. Or, they could be the Bee Gees, who focused simply on commercial success. Only time will tell.
- European stocks up, oil slides as concerns ease over Russia-Turkey tension (Reuters)
- ECB discusses two-tiered bank charges, broader bond buys (Reuters)
- New agonies, alliances as Fed debates post-liftoff plan (Reuters)
- A New Military Power Rises in the Mideast, Courtesy of One Man (BBG)
- Russia's Gazprom says halts gas supplies to Ukraine over payment (Reuters)
- Other central banks set to act, but Swiss policy cupboard bare (Reuters)
In reading various recent regulatory reports, it is clear that almost none of the promises that were made to the public about what was going to happen under Dodd-Frank financial reform is actually happening. Welcome to another day at the casino where the model continues to be — heads they win, tails you lose.
The phrase “crossing the Rubicon” has stuck for more than 2,000 years, signifying a risky and dangerous point of no return. This week, the United States government crossed the Rubicon. In a fit of complete arrogance, a federal judge ruled that he has ‘jurisdiction’ over one of the biggest banks in mainland China, Bank of China (BOC), and demands that the bank turn over financial records to his court.
Unfortunately, we are used to politicians saying whatever they think they need to say to be elected president, and falling way short of their campaign promises on the job. Even scarier would be the notion of selling America to the craftiest bidder. The election may be more than a year away, but isn’t it time to dig beneath the carefully crafted persona that is Trump and unearth the person and the full spectrum of his business dealings? To see the real Donald Trump is to plunge into all the conflicts of interest he denies, the financial tricks he dispenses, the crucial details he obfuscates, and the flimflam he offers up day in, day out.
Each of the 3 stages needed to move to a sustainable price have to be given time to play out. The rig count story has been told with a brutally fast 60 percent drop. Meaningful production declines are on. Next will be inventory draw downs; in that order. As to the latter, we’re just beginning to see the effects of the rig count. Large drawdowns will be here sooner than predicted.
Did you know that the Federal Reserve pays an annual 6% dividend to its shareholders, i.e., the member banks of the cartel? Must be nice, considering savers who had nothing to do with cratering the world economy, and failed to receive a taxpayer funded bailout, can barely earn 0.5% on their money. It’s also quite bizarre. How many other “public institutions” have private shareholders to whom they pay 6% risk free dividends? None, which once again highlights the point that the Federal Reserve is NOT a public institution working on behalf of the citizenry, but is rather a banking cartel designed to enriched and protect its member banks (as we saw on clear display in 2008). It appears that some members of Congress are now targeting the estimated $17 billion per year paid out by the Fed to its member banks via the highway-funding bill.