The British Exodus could easily create an undertow that sucks up and flushes other nations away from the EU like falling into an active lava tube. The biggest single rip in the European fabric that could happen has happened, forcing all of Europe to face its flaws.
That didn't take long. Only hours after the final results came in for a British exit from the EU, political leaders in Scotland are talking about renewing their drive to secede from the United Kingdom. While secession of American states is often dismissed as absurd, there are few reasons to believe that a state like Texas - to name just one example - could not immediately transition from state to nation-state.With a large economy, port cities, oil, and easy access to European, Latin American, and even Asian economies by sea, economics arguments against such a separation fall flat.
NATO prepares a veritable military buildup in Eastern Europe: German soldiers are operating in Lithuania, the British take over Estonia, and US soldiers move in to protect Latvia. The Canadians will be in Poland. Also in the Mediterranean, combat units are being increased. Russia perceives the activity as a threat, but hasn’t yet announced any countermeasures.
In what was likely an attempt to win over skeptics about its bond purchase program, which as of last week includes not only sovereign and covered-bonds, but also corporates (both Investment Grade as well as apparently junk bonds), the ECB released a video last week titled "Inside the Asset Purchase Program" or APP. The ECB described the the APP as "one of the non-standard monetary policy measures the ECB has taken to address risky periods of low inflation."
There is another cycle here that is much more influential on the current market dynamic and should be much easier to spot.When the Fed talks up the economy and promises rate increases, the dollar usually rallies. When the dollar rallies, U.S. multi-national corporate profits take a hit, and the market falls. When the market falls, economic confidence falls and puts pressure on the Fed to maintain easy policy.This is a loop that the Fed does not have the stomach to break.
Every ugly jobs report has a silver lining, and sure enough following Friday's disastrous jobs report, global mining and energy companies rallied alongside commodities after the jobs data crushed speculation the Fed would raise interest rates this month. “The disappointing U.S. jobs report on Friday means that a summer Fed rate hike is off the table,” said Jens Pedersen, a commodities analyst at Danske Bank. “That has reversed the upwards trend in the dollar, supporting commodities on a broader basis. The market will look for confirmation in Yellen’s speech later today.”
This weekend the Swiss population was called upon to make a historic decision, when Switzerland became the first country worldwide to put the idea of free money for everyone, technically known as Unconditional Basic Income, to a vote. As reported previously, the outcome of this referendum would set a strong precedent and establish a landmark in the evolution of the debate of handing out free money in a centrally-planned world. And as predicted, based on early vote projections it has been a landslide decision against the "free lunch."
How do you know the Fed is justified in hiking again, the economy is recovering, and the market are zooming higher? One hint is the just announced thousands in layoffs in both the energy and tech sector, among which are Shell, which announced it would layoff 2,200 jobs; Microsoft reporting it would cut 1,850; and Intel terminating up to 350 jobs in Germany.
In early June the Swiss will be called upon to make a historic decision. Switzerland is the first country worldwide to put the idea of an Unconditional Basic Income (of $2,500 per month for every man, woman, and child for doing absolutely nothing) to a vote and the outcome of this referendum will set a strong precedent and establish a landmark in the evolution of this debate. The main argument of the supporters of this initiative is that it would support the people that will, or already do, lose their jobs to automation and technological progress; a defensive move against “the rise of the robots” as they put it. The promise of a free lunch is by no means a new thing in politics. Getting “something for nothing” is an age-old shiny trinket that has been dangled before the eyes of the public since time immemorial...but at the end of day, someone will have to pay for it.
It’s showdown time. The IMF has threatened it will pull out of the Greek bailout program unless Greece gets debt relief. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Austria, Finland, and the other Eurozone creditors will not like today’s development one bit.
Nuclear power is not commercially viable but has become a state-sponsored technology. There is nothing wrong with state supported technology. But we could save a lot of time and money by not pretending that it is something else.
Akin to ancient Rome, the United States has over-extended herself. She has created a climate that could easily be transformed into a war on a slight pretext. Wars, as it is well known are also a means a nation can extricate itself from debt and financial responsibility. The dying Petrodollar system has been on life support for some time, and it appears other nations such as the BRIC’s are taking the initiative to return to a true monetary standard. This is the same gold and silver standard that the U.S. should never have left in the first place.
"The ECB stands ready to buy bonds from Euro Area issuers even when their parent companies are outside of the bloc. Already we can find a number of US, UK and Swiss headquartered names that issue out of SPVs incorporated in the Euro Area. If this trend to SPV issuance catches on, then the ECB’s policies will likely be very reflationary for all credit markets across the globe, and because of a likely refinancing wave – equity markets too."