Despite a 7% rise in actual tourist arrivals to Macau from China during this Lunar New Year's holiday, 'The Year of The Goat' is off to an extremely inauspicious start. As Bloomberg reports, even with expectations of a 40% drop, Macau casino revenues is now projected to crash a stunning 53.5% from last year. While a decline in VIP gambling was expected (due to, among other things, Xi's extreme crackdown on corruption - and the Macau money laundering schemes), JPMorgan notes, this was still "shockingly bad," as "even premium mass demand remained very muted," and marks the ninth straight month of decline, the longest losing streak since monthly records started in 2005.
DEBT DEFLATION is a nightmare for the Fed because it would almost immediately bankrupt both the US and the Too Big To Fail Wall Street Banks.
Somehow, monetary policy is still believed neutral in the long run and that bubbles are market events. Central banks have shown why they cannot command economic performance, but that doesn’t mean they can’t give one hell of a comedic performance. We have taken a monetary ride now into the theater of the absurd.
"My hope is that as policy makers of the world continue to prescribe their remedies for the ailing economic patient, that they do not render it worse off... As with their predecessors, I suspect there is no doubt in the minds of our central bankers that they are the smartest they’ve ever been. Yet, I fear they are not the smartest they will ever be."
Who controls NATO, or the IMF? I’m sure you understand it’s not you. Still, when an organization exhibits aggressive behavior in your name, or lends out your money in your name, you should at all times feel that you are in control, through those you elect to represent you. Well, do you? Or are you merely thinking: that’s too far away from me? Organizations, like so many things in life, don’t scale up well, if at all. Beyond a certain critical mass, they become counterproductive, as Illich states. They become predators on their own creators. That goes as much for NATO, IMF and EU as it does for schools and hospitals.
"In retrospect, Obama’s intervention in Libya was an abject failure, judged even by its own standards. Libya has not only failed to evolve into a democracy; it has devolved into a failed state... As bad as Libya’s human rights situation was under Qaddafi, it has gotten worse since NATO ousted him."
Based on Bloomberg data, Doral Bank is the 3rd largest (by assets) bank in Puerto Rico...or rather was. After a 58% collapse in the share price today, news broke after the close:
*PUERTO RICO'S DORAL BANK PLACED UNDER FDIC RECEIVERSHIP, BANCO POPULAR AGREES TO BUY DORAL BANK OPERATIONS
It appears Non-Performing Loans were over 40%. Popular will take the deposits (and 8 of Doral's 26 branches) and the FDIC eats the bad debt (estimates to cost the Deposit Insurance Fund (DIF) will be $748.9 million).
Janet Yellen is very alarmed that some members of Congress want to conduct a comprehensive audit of the Federal Reserve for the first time since it was created. During testimony this week, she made “central bank independence” sound like it was the holy grail. Even though every other government function is debated politically in this country, Janet Yellen insists that what the Federal Reserve does is “too important” to be influenced by the American people. Does any other government agency ever dare to make that claim? If the Fed is doing everything correctly, why should Yellen be alarmed? What does she have to hide?
Back in March 2014 we forecast that it in the aftermath of the US State Department-sponsored military coup in Kiev, it was only a matter of time before Ukraine (all of its sovereign gold having since "vaporized") succumbed to full blown hyperinflation and economic implosion. Less than a year later, precisely this outcome has finally played out, and as a result, the entire nation has finally entered its economic endgame, one which has two conclusion: either it joins Greece in becoming a ward of Europe (of which it is not an official member) and the IMF (thank you Joe Q Public taxpayer), or it quietly fades away into insolvent "failed state" status.
“Based upon a review of your account, there has been no such qualifying activity and it is therefore subject to being classified as abandoned if you do not act quickly... If we fail to hear from you the account will be escheated to the state and closed.”
Sovereign Risk is the biggest risk out there. You cannot ever underestimate the desperate tactics and procedures of bankrupt governments.
We don't get it, and we definitely don’t get why nobody is asking any questions. The IMF and EU make a lot of noise – through the Eurogroup – about all the conditions Greece has to address to get even a mild extension of support, while the same IMF and EU keep on handing out cash to Ukraine without as much as a whisper – at least publicly...
Edward Snowden's Libertarian Moment: We "Will Remove From Governments The Ability To Interfere With [Our] Rights"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 02/24/2015 22:45 -0500
"If people lose their willingness to recognize that there are times in our history when legality becomes distinct from morality, we aren't just ceding control of our rights to government, but our agency in determing our futures... I suspect that governments today are more concerned with the loss of their ability to control and regulate the behavior of their citizens than they are with their citizens' discontent."
Remember when shortly after the avalanche victory of the GOP in both the House and the Senate the pundits said that with the lame duck president in his final stretch, now is the time when long-overdue legislation would finally get passed? They were wrong.
- OBAMA NOTIFIES U.S. SENATE OF VETO OF KEYSTONE PIPELINE APPROVAL BILL
- OBAMA VETOES REPUBLICAN ATTEMPT TO FORCE KEYSTONE APPROVAL
As Bloomberg adds, Obama’s action sets up new round of votes in Congress that will likely fail as supporters don’t have enough backing to override veto. As a reminder, the Senate vote was 62-36, while House vote was 270-152; with a two-thirds majority required to override veto.
The reason why not only the Troika received an agreed to version of the Greek reform proposals "before midnight on Monday", but rushed these through with a favorable agreement today, is that, drumroll, the European Commission prepared and drafted the whole letter!
Photographs indicate that massive construction projects are underway on the newly build islands at Fiery Cross and Johnson South Reefs, while less extensive but still serious construction is ondoing at Hughes, Gaven, and Cuarteron Reefs. Given the extent to which future control over the shipping lanes of the South China Sea will impact the global balance of power, China’s island construction is worthy of our attention.