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Every year, David Collum writes a detailed "Year in Review" synopsis full of keen perspective and plenty of wit. This year's is no exception. "I have not seen a year in which so many risks - some truly existential - piled up so quickly. Each risk has its own, often unknown, probability of morphing into a destructive force. It feels like we’re in the final throes of a geopolitical Game of Tetris as financial and political authorities race to place the pieces correctly. But the acceleration is palpable. The proximate trigger for pain and ultimately a collapse can be small, as anyone who’s ever stepped barefoot on a Lego knows..."
Evil Booze Deflation Got Your Keynesian Spirits Down? Then Rejoice In The Biggest Surge In Beef Prices Since 2003Submitted by Tyler Durden on 12/12/2014 10:02 -0400
Remember: deflation is bad, evil, horrible... except when it involves tumbling crude oil prices: then it is "unambiguously good" for the consumer and a "tax cut." Which is why we are moritifed to report that for the second month in a row, alcohol prices have dropped, and are down 0.1% from a year ago. Surely, time for more QE to reset US consumer inflation expectations? Or maybe not, because if said Keynesian US consumer is drowning his sorrows from declining alcohol prices in, well, alcohol, all shall be well if on the side said consumer orders some steak: with a price increase of 28.6% from a year ago, this is the biggest annual jump in beef prices since 2003.
"My Helicopters Are Ready. You Will All Be Trillionaires." Must see chart of gold in German marks from 1918 to 1923. The Fed - "Silently robbing your purchasing power since 1913 ... "
Did you know that there exists a federal Immigrant Investor Program that grants “EB-5? immigration visas to foreigners who provide at least $500,000 to U.S. projects that create 10 or more American jobs? Apparently the good folks at the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission are well aware of it, and are using it to raise $200 million. Here’s what we’d like to know. Who are these investors and who vets them? It is a known fact that corrupt Chinese officials and businessmen are scrambling to get themselves and their money out of their homeland as the government cracks down on corruption. How many of them are going to use this program to get into the U.S., and what will be the long-term impact to our society?
Nobel Prize Winning Economists, Federal Reserve Chair and Other Top Experts: War Is BAD for the Economy
Dudley’s overall message is that the US economy is doing great, but it’s not actually doing great, and therefore a rate hike would be too early. Or something. "The sharp drop in oil prices will help boost consumer spending?" We don’t understand that: Dudley is talking about money that would otherwise also have been spent, only on gas. There is no additional money, so where’s the boost? This is just complete and bizarre nonsense. And that comes from someone with a very high post in the American financial world. At least a bit scary.
Central bankers reached a new low overnight when Swiss National Bank President Thomas Jordan warned of "disastrous consequences" from a pulpit in a church on a historic hill in the town of Uster, Switzerland, which Bloomberg dubbed the 'sermon on the hill.' "Hungry people don't stay hungry for long, they get hope from fire and smoke as they reach for the dawn..."
"This last 1900 point Dow Jones push upwards - and the Ebola events leading into it - it was so orchestrated and heightened at critical points but the ascent and push straight up in price, and sideways nonreaction after was completely unlike anything I've seen before. After going up for a record-breaking amount of time the last five or so years, in a nonlinear exponential mania type of ascent, there should normally be tremendous volatility that follows... After this year and especially this last 1900 point Dow run up in October, and post non-reaction, that I am 100 percent confident that that one buyer is our own Federal Reserve or other central banks with a goal to "stimulate" our economy by directly buying stock index futures."
Just days after the NY Fed ousted an employee for providing confidential information to a Goldman Sachs banker (who formerly worked at the NY Fed - and has since been fired by Goldman), Bill Dudley - the president of the NY Fed - will face a very skeptical Senate Banking Committee this morning investigating so-called "regulatory capture." Of course, their eyes were finally opened after Carmen Segarra, a former employee, leaked 47.5 hours of taped conversation (as we discussed in detail here), exposing the dismal reality of the relationship between the 'regulator' and the 'regulated' as New York regulators were deferential to Goldman bankers for a supposedly "shady" deal. Dudley's defense (not denial) so far: "We understand the risks of doing our job poorly and of becoming too close to the firms we supervise. Of course, we are not perfect. We sometimes make mistakes."
Gold Repatriation Stunner: Dutch Central Bank Secretly Withdrew 122 Tons Of Gold From The New York FedSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 11/21/2014 09:25 -0400
A week ago, we penned "The Real Reason Why Germany Halted Its Gold Repatriation From The NY Fed", in which we got, for the first time ever, an admission by an official source, namely the bank that knows everything that takes place in Germany - Deutsche Bank - what the real reason was for Germany's gold repatriation halt after procuring a meager 5 tons from the NY Fed. Some took offense with this pointing out, correctly, that the gold held at the NY Fed in deposit form for foreign institutions had continued to decline into 2014 even despite the alleged German halt. Well, today we finally know the answer: it wasn't Germany who was secretly withdrawing gold from the NYFed, contrary to what it had publicly disclosed. It was the Netherlands. Why did the DNB decided it was time to cut its gold held at the NY Fed by 122 tons? "It is no longer wise to keep half of our gold in one part of the world," a DNB spokesman said.
One really just can't make this up. Perhaps the Fed inspector general, when he is done "fixing" the corruption at the NY Fed will be so kind to take a look at the Goldman takeover of the US judicial system next.
Because when the rape and pillaging of the US middle-class begins at the very top, it won't end until the sharp metal objects finally start falling.
Despite the promise of increased transparency, if you felt that deciphering Fed policy (other than uber-dovish, lower-for-longer, willing-to-wait, BTFD) became more and more confusing as the last few years progressed, you would not be alone. In fact, the complexity of the Fed's statements (not just the wordcount which we have noted numerous times) has surged from "Secondary School" reading level throughout Greenspan's era to "Post-Grad" comprehension at the peak of Bernanke's reign. Yellen, so far, has reverted modestly. As The Economist notes, this increased baffle-em-with-bullshit "Fedspeak" complexity is very reminiscent of the George Orwell's 1984-esque "oldspeak" or "doublespeak" used to keep a quiescent public bemused.