Led by a broad-based collapse in financial stocks, European markets extended and accelerated their plunge today. Thanks to the increased systemic linkages enforced by The ECB, peripheral sovereign risk is spiking as their national banking systems crash. Every European nation is now in at least correction since the end of QE3.
One thing policy makers should have learned after watching Greece unravel last summer is that capital controls almost always backfire. Once the market (not to mention the populace) senses panic, it's all downhill from there and make no mistake, there's blood in the water here.
News broke last Saturday evening that the US is to conduct a "major investigation" into how the Kremlin is "infiltrating political parties in Europe" amid "mounting concerns" of a new Cold War. The exclusive, which was published by the UK’s Telegraph newspaper, revealed that James Clapper, the US Director of National Intelligence has been instructed by Congress to begin the major review into Russia’s "clandestine" funding of EU parties over the last decade. Hypocritical? Oh, let us count the ways...
There may be shallow lulls in the asset markets, nothing ever only falls down in a straight line in the real world, but the debt will and must come down and be deleveraged. The process will in all likelihood lead to warfare, and to refugee movements the likes of which the world has never seen just because of the sheer humbers of people added in the past 50 years. When your children reach your age, they will not live in a world that you ever thought was possible. But they will still have to live in it, and deal with it. They will no longer have the facade you’ve been staring at for so long now, to lull them into a complacent sleep. And the Kardashians will no longer be looking so attractive either.
It is the “Core of the Core” that now concerns us the most. That is where Federal Reserve (and global central bank) policies have left their greatest mark. It is at the “Core of the Core” where momentous misperceptions and market mispricing have become deeply entrenched. It’s the “Core of the Core” that has attracted enormous amounts of “money” over recent years. It’s also here where I believe leverage has quietly been used most aggressively. Over recent years it became one massive Crowded Trade. Now the sophisticated players must contemplate beating the unsuspecting public to the exits.
As so often happens, whenever there is a political spat in Europe, the rating agencies are quickly involved (thing S&P and Moody's downgrades and upgrades of Greece depending on how well the vassal nation is "behaving"), and moments ago S&P downgraded Poland from A- to BBB+ outlook negative, precisely due to Poland's new media law which has been the topic of so much consternation over the past week. In other words, S&P is now nothing more than a lackey for Brussels, threatening to send Polish yields higher if Poland does not fall in line.
- Islamic State launches militant assault on Indonesia's capital (Reuters)
- Three winners emerge in $1.6 billion Powerball jackpot (Reuters)
- European Stocks Tumble, Credit Markets Weaken on Growth Concern (BBG)
- Stocks and commodity currencies floored by new oil plunge (Reuters)
- China Bear Market Looms as PBOC Fails to Stop Flight to Safety (BBG)
- Anxious phone calls, tense moments before Iran's Supreme Leader okayed U.S. sailors' release (Reuters)
As the towering forces that are prevailing against failing global economic architecture and the pit of debt beneath that structure, as laid out below, it is clear that the 'Epocalypse' - encompassing the roots "economic, epoch, collapse" and "apocalypse" - is here, and it is everywhere. The Great Collapse has already begun. What follows are the megatrends that will increasingly gang up in the first part of 2016 to stomp the deeply flawed global economy down into its own hole of debt.
When we first wrote on the subject, there was considerable criticism as to the possibility that such a program would ever be attempted, let alone succeed. And, granted, it was so Orwellian that it was understandably seen as a crackpot idea. But since that time, the program has been developing extremely rapidly. In the last six months alone, it has become so visible that it has even garnered a name - "the War on Cash." Once complete, state wealth control will exist.
... if analysts, like those at Autonomous are to be believed, China’s banks could require up to $7.7tn of new capital and funding over the next three years. State bailouts could send the government debt to GDP ratio spiralling from 22 per cent to 122 per cent. That kind of shock would be a challenge for any country, even one of China’s vast might.
Eurozone’s assumptions are way too positive...
An unseen bubble at the heart of the financial system is deflating with unknown consequences. When bubbles deflate, and here we are talking about one in the hundreds of trillions, bad debts are usually exposed. Even though much of the reduction in outstanding OTC derivatives is due to consolidation of positions following the Frank Dodd Act, much of it is not. When free markets reassert themselves, and they always do, the disruption promises to be substantial. We appear to be in the early stages of this event. If so, demand for physical gold can be expected to escalate rapidly as a financial crisis unfolds.
“The commonwealth has committed itself to a ‘scorched earth’ strategy of blaming its fiscal and structural problems on lenders, Congress and others, in an effort to deflect responsibility and obtain retroactive application of bankruptcy laws.”
All we can do is point out the risks, so that people can at least prepare on an individual level. A major lesson everybody should take to heart from the Cyprus experience is this: when the next crisis strikes, do not believe any of the promises uttered by government or central bank officials. You will be lied to in the critical moments, and you could stand to lose a lot if you believe the lies.