Venezuela is now so broke that it no longer has enough money to pay for its money.
It’s been about 15 years now since passenger airliners struck the World Trade Center towers on 9/11, and we are still suffering the consequences of that day, though perhaps not in the ways many Americans might believe. The 9/11 attacks were billed by the Bush Administration as a “wake-up call” for the U.S., and neocons called it the new Pearl Harbor. But instead of it being an awaking, the American public was led further into blind ignorance. Clearly, after 15 years of disastrous policy, it is time to admit that the U.S. response to 9/11 has damaged us far more than the actual attacks ever could.
Over the last few years we have made it abundantly clear that sooner or later it would be shown that the whole Silicon Valley meme of “It’s different this time” (i.e., in regards to unicorns, social everything, eye balls for ads etc., etc.) was nothing more than the equivalent of a teenager’s response of “because” when arguing why valuations of many of "The Valley’s" newest, or trans-formative platforms were clearly not only out-of-whack with reality, but bordered on insanity.
Federal Reserve officials are virtually certain to hold interest rates steady when their meeting ends today but they could try to send a message to markets and outside observers about what likely comes next. With no press conference scheduled after this week’s meeting and no new economic forecasts to be released, all the attention will be focused on their words and the market is more aware than ever that the Fed doesn’t act in a vacuum. As Bloomberg's Richard Breslow notes, The Fed is hopeful (that their always-wrong forecasts come true this time) but they're also scared to death on the consequences.
The recovery was always hollow or shallow, for a short time in 2014 it just came in a more appealing package; so appealing, the mainstream never looked beyond that cover. With 2015 a wreck and 2016 looking at best more of the same, they just keep right on reciting all the past cliches because to admit the actual circumstances is just too traumatic.
Despite surging commodity prices in China - which must be real and represent demand growth and price increases, right? - Aussie core inflation slowed to the weakest on record as headline prices unexpectedly fell last quarter (CPI -0.2%). RBA Rate-cut odds tripled instantly sending AUD down over 1.2% (its biggest drop in 2 months). Perhaps, just perhaps, that collossal credit injection in Q1 via China did not make it into the AsiaPac economy after all and merely fueled a speculative frenzy in commodities that merely "looks" like a recovery?
This afternoon Jeffrey Gundlach held one of his periodic interviews with Reuters' Jenna Ablan in which he said that the selloff in Treasurys is over and that investors looking to purchase Treasuries in the wake of the bond market's sell-off - if one can call a move in the 10Y to 1.91% a selloff - are making a prudent move. "I think it is a reasonable strategy to start legging into the Treasury market."
The history of economic central planning is not exactly glorious. In fact, as American economist Thomas Sowell once noted, "in general [central planning] has a record of failure so blatant that only an intellectual could ignore or evade it."
Jim Rickards commented to GoldCore today about the cyber theft: "The case for owning gold in an age of cyber-financial threats is compelling ... "
With the Fed decision just one day away, followed the very next day by the increasingly more irrational BOJ, stocks had no desire to make significant moves and overnight's boring session was the result, as European stocks and U.S. index futures rose modestly but mostly hugged the flatline while Asian declined 0.2% for a third day as raw-material shares declined and Tokyo equities slumped before central bank meetings in the U.S. and Japan this week. China’s stocks rose the most in almost two weeks, up 0.6% but failed to rise above 3000 on the Shanghai Composite, in thin trading.
An economic and financial system premised on perpetual growth was bound to run into trouble. What happens as population growth turns to population decline is honestly and literally a complete and total game changer. A flat to declining number of buyers and consumers opposite ramping elderly sellers plus their unfunded liabilities is a problem with no happy resolutions. Currencies (what will constitute "money"), "free-markets", and perhaps the basis of civilization hang in the balance of the transition from high population growth to potential outright depopulation.
If nobody is working in one out of every five U.S. families, then how in the world can the unemployment rate be close to 5 percent as the Obama administration keeps insisting? The truth, of course, is that the U.S. economy is in far worse condition than we are being told.
It is quite evident there is something amiss about the BLS’ employment reports. Is the disparity simply an anomaly in the seasonal adjustments caused by the depth of the financial crisis? Is there an exceptional and unaccounted for margin of error in the surveys? Or, is it something more intentional by government-related agencies to keep “confidence” elevated as Central Banks globally “paddle like crazy” to keep global economies afloat.
The dangerous divergence will then take a nasty turn. The bottom half of the 1% will now be as angry as the 99%. Any attempt by the establishment to further screw the nation by bailing themselves out will be met with violent disapproval. The country is a powder keg. The upcoming election is guaranteed to inflame opposing factions. A stock market crash in the next six months would sow the seeds of financial, political, and social upheaval not seen in this country since the 1960s. The established social order will be swept away in a swirl of chaos and retribution. The dangerous divergence will be resolved.
In spite of Ben Bernanke’s assurances to the contrary, it is clear that China still sees gold as money. Along with bolstering their gold holdings, China has reformed its banking system to be friendlier to gold trading.