• Steve H. Hanke
    02/11/2016 - 16:08
    The burgeoning literature contains a great deal of hype, which validates the 95% Rule: 95% of what is written about economics and finance is either wrong or irrelevant.

Hungary

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The End Is Nigh For Europe As Officials Mull 2 Year Schengen "Suspension"





Like a stock halted limit down on the Shenzhen, there's a very good chance that once suspended, Schengen will never again be open for "trading".

 
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UN Rules WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange Being Detained Unlawfully





The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has ruled that Wikileaks’ Julian Assange has been arbitrarily detained by the “democratic” governments of Sweden and the UK and is entitled to his freedom and compensation for detention by the two “democratic” governments. We will see if the ruling has any effect on the behavior of “the two great champions of liberty.”

 
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The World’s Most Famous Case Of Hyperinflation (Part 2)





The Great War ended on the 11th hour of November 11th, 1918, when the signed armistice came into effect. Though this peace would signal the end of the war, it would also help lead to a series of further destruction: this time the destruction of wealth and savings. The world’s most famous hyperinflation event, which took place in Germany from 1921 and 1924, was a financial calamity that led millions of people to have their savings erased.

 
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The Fragile Forty & How The World Lost $17 Trillion In 6 Months





It's official. More than 50% of the "wealth" effect created from the 2011 lows to the 2015 highs has been destroyed (despite the world's central banks going into money-printing overdrive over that period). Almost $17 trillion of equity market capitalization has evaporated in just over 6 months with over 40 global stock indices in bear markets...

 
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George Soros: "Europe Is On The Verge Of Collapse"





"China will exert a negative influence on the rest of the world by reinforcing the deflationary tendencies that are already prevalent. China is responsible for a larger share of the world economy than ever before and the problems it faces have never been more intractable...the EU is on the verge of collapse. The Greek crisis taught the European authorities the art of kicking the can down the road, although it would be more accurate to describe it as kicking a ball uphill so that it keeps rolling back down. The EU now is confronted with not one but five or six crises at the same time."

 
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S&P's Downgrade (By A German Analyst) Is A "Politically-Motivated" Decision Aimed At Polish Authorities





The Standard and Poor’s rating agency, notorious for its controversial assessments, has this time bashed Poland in the wake of the anti-Polish frenzy whipped up by the European media. To be more precise, Poland was assailed by a German S&P analyst who lowered Poland’s rating from A- to BBB+, despite the economic data that by no means warrant such an evaluation.

 
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Banco De Portugal Indicates The ECB Stress Test Was A Complete 'Sham'





The Central Bank of Portugal conveniently released their results between Christmas and New Year, when the trading desks in Europe are virtually empty...

 
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Ukraine's Looming "19 Fukushimas" Scenario





With all the action in Syria, the Ukraine is no longer a subject for discussion in the West. In Russia, where the Ukraine is still a major problem looming on the horizon, and where some 1.5 million Ukrainian refugees are settling in, with no intentions of going back to what's left of the Ukraine, it is still actively discussed. But for the US, and for the EU, it is now yet another major foreign policy embarrassment, and the less said about it the better. In the meantime, the Ukraine is in full-blown collapse - all five glorious stages of it - setting the stage for a Ukrainian Nightmare Before Christmas, or shortly after.

 
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Argentinians Are Now Poorer Than Citizens Of Equatorial Guinea After Massive Devaluation





As FT reports, “Argentines woke up on Thursday richer than Poles, Chileans and Hungarians [but] by bedtime they were not only poorer than all three, but also more pecunious than Mexicans, Costa Ricans and the good people of Equatorial Guinea.”

 
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Futures Slide As Quad-Witching Has A Violently Volatile Start After Massive BOJ FX Headfake; Oil Tumbles





Following the latest BOJ statement, the market found itself wrongfooted assuming the BOJ was actually launching another episode of easing, sending the USDJPY soaring, until suddenly the realization swept the market that not only was the incremental action not really material, but even Kuroda spoke shortly after the announcement, confirming that "today's decision wasn't additional easing." The result was one of the biggest FX headfakes in recent days, perhaps on par with that from December 4 when EUR shorts were crushed, as the biggest carry pair first soared then tumbled and since the Yen correlation drives so many risk assets, also pulled down not only Japanese stocks but US equity futures.

 
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Emerging Market Vulnerability - The Most Likely For Disruption From Fed Liftoff





The build-up in credit or leverage in many Emerging Market economies has been an important focus for EM investors given historical episodes of credit crunches and subsequent growth slowdowns. While broadly speaking, EM stocks began to drastically underperform DM stocks at the start of QE3, Goldman summarizes in a heat map, the EM nations with greatest potential for the upcoming Fed liftoff to cause a major disruption.

 
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Trump's Cunning Plan Revealed





Calling for a moratorium on Muslim immigration “until our country’s representatives can figure out what the hell is going on,” Donald Trump this week ignited a firestorm of historic proportions. As all the old hate words - xenophobe, racist, bigot - have lost their electric charge from overuse, and Trump was being called a fascist demagogue and compared to Hitler and Mussolini. Why the hysteria? Comes the reply: Trump’s call for a temporary ban on Muslim immigration tramples all over “American values” and everything we stand for, including the Constitution. But is this really true? In fact, is this move a well thought out cunning plan?

 
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This Is The Scariest Chart For Angela Merkel





Having won Time's "Person of the Year" award, German chancellor Angela Merkel may have little time, or cause, for celebration. The reason for that is shown in the chart below.

 
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Amid FX Reserve Liquidation, These Are The Countries JP Morgan Says Are Most Vulnerable





While EM sovereigns as a group may be in better shape now in terms of “original sin” (i.e borrowing heavily in foreign currencies) than they were during say, the Asian Currency Crisis, the confluence of factors outlined above means no one is truly “safe” in the current environment as moving from liquidation back to accumulation will entail a sharp reversal in commodity prices and a pickup in the pace of global growth and trade.

 
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