Global Economy

Tales From The Bizarro World

Some events make us question in which of the two we might actually be living in: what if it was some version of Bizarro?

40 Million People Will Be Out Of Work Next Year, OECD Warns

Perhaps the most disturbing, and factual (unlike the IMF's forecast of Greek 2022 debt/GDP), finding is that unemployment in the OECD region has fallen only 1 per cent since its 2010 peak. In other words, by 2016, the group warned, 40 million people will be out of work, 7.5 million more than immediately before the crisis. 40 million angry people, with little hope of professional realization and lots of free time. Is it surprising why in recent months not a day passes without some mass violence event breaking out somewhere in the world.

US Police And Prosecutors Fight To Retain Barbaric Right of “Civil Asset Forfeiture”

The fact that civil asset forfeiture continues to exist across the American landscape despite outrage and considerable media attention, is as good an example as any as to how far fallen and uncivilized our so-called “society” has become. It also proves the point demonstrated in a Princeton University study that the U.S. is not a democracy, and the desires of the people have no impact on how the country is governed.

"If It Looks Like A Duck" - The Man In The Moon: Part 2

During “normal times” – an economic growth phase accompanied or generated by rising systemic leverage – central banks have incentive to promote nominal growth and inflation, which make banking systems profitable and their free-spending political overseers happy. In such times, commercial banks have fiduciary responsibilities to shareholders to constantly increase their market values, which they do by expanding their balance sheets.  Now that economies are highly leveraged, extinguishing debt would require banks to reduce the sizes of their loan books, which would shrink their market values. Thus, it seems economic policy makers never have incentive to promote debt extinguishment in the banking system, regardless of economic conditions or prospects.

Futures Slide Then Rebound On Endless "Unnamed Source" Greek Chatter, Dollar Slides; China Surges

Once again it's all about Greece, with the latest iteration of a "Greek deal is imminent" rumor making the rounds and, just like yesterday, sending futures in the green, just a little over an hour after the increasingly more illiquid E-mini future has slid 0.7%. The EUR, where the bulk of Virtu headline kneejerk reacting algos are to be found, has surged over 100 pips overnight on more hope and optimism.

Techno-Narcissism & The Real Limits To Growth

The banking problems we see all over the world are a direct expression of the limits to growth, specifically the limits to debt creation. We can’t continue to borrow from the future to pay for our comforts and conveniences today because we have no real conviction that these debts can ever be repaid. We certainly wish we could, and the central bankers running the money system would like to pretend that we could by making negligible the cost of borrowing money and engaging in pervasive accounting fraud. But that has only served to cripple the operation of markets and pervert the meaning of interest rates — and, really, as a final result, to destroy any sense of consequence among the people running things everywhere.

And Now The Bull's Turn: Jeremy Siegel Explains "No Way There Is A Bubble, No Signs Of Recession"

Having detailed the less status-quo-sustaining side of things, thanks to some frankness from Nobel Prize winner Robert Shiller, who warned "unlike 1929, this time everything - Stocks, Bonds and Housing - is overvalued," we thought it only fair-and-balanced to illustrate the alternative perspective and who better than Jeremy Siegel to deliver it. In his anti-thesis of Shiller's facts, Siegel unleashes textbook dogma to pronounce, "in no way do current levels quality as a bubble", that stock returns should remain supported by fundamentals, there is no sign of a recession in the next 18 months, The Dow's fair-value currently is 20,000, and "not much" could dissuade him from holding stocks.

Europe Has A Solution For The Unemployment Problem: Fake Jobs

Candelia is one of a number of so-called “Potemkin” companies operating in France. Everything about these entities is imaginary from the customers, to the supply chain, to the banks, to the “wages” employees receive and while the idea used to be that the creation of a “parallel economic universe” would help to train the jobless and prepare them for real employment sometime in the future, these “occupations” are now serving simply as way for the out-of-work to suspend reality for eight hours a day.

De-Dollarization Du Jour: Russia Backs BRICS Alternative To SWIFT

Russia is moving to undercut a critical financial communications link by creating an alternative system backed by the world's rising EM powerhouses who are set to officially launch their own development bank when they convene in July. At the same time, Moscow will consider cementing its economic ties with regional allies via the establishment of a currency bloc.

GDP Report Confirms Global Trade Is Crashing, And Why That Is Good News For Some

We did not actually need confirmation that global trade is slowing to a crawl (and has in fact reversed): after all, we have been showing just that for the past year, most recently earlier this week but it is important to note that in today's negative GDP print, it was net trade (exports less imports) that subtracted -1.9% from the final GDP print, driven by a -1.03% annualized drop in exports. This was the biggest hit to US trade since thegreat financial crisis.

Putting The 'Great' In Great Depression, Stephen Roach Warns On TPP's Currency Rules

History has not been kind to major trade blunders. Just as the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930 sparked a global trade war that may well have put the “great” in the Great Depression, Congressional enactment of enforceable currency rules today could spark retaliatory actions that might devastate the free flow of trade that a sluggish global economy desperately needs.