International Monetary Fund
The US is on its own and monetary expansion seems the only Holy Grail left...
America’s leading Sunni ally is proving how easily hubris, delusion, and old-fashioned ineptitude can trump even bottomless wealth.
Good Thing Debt Doesn't Matter! </sarc>
There is a driving desire among weaker-minded people to seek control over other people in the name of arbitrary standards of safety as well as arbitrary standards of “civil” conformity. While such people proclaim publicly that they do what they do for the “greater good,” in reality they seek only to satiate a private lust for power. Any fight for freedom from collectivists will require the removal of command and control. This is the only way that humanity can be given breathing room to rebuild without remaining under constant preplanned threat.
Venezuela is at a political crossroads, with an all-important parliamentary election set to take place in December. Meanwhile, the Venezuelan economy continues to deteriorate as the state seeks to stave off default and a brewing financial crisis. Late last month, Brazil withdrew its involvement in election monitoring after Venezuela rejected the officials Brazil put forward. Maduro is doing his best to keep international observers from scrutinizing the election. The election will take place just as the OPEC meeting will be wrapping up in Vienna, which is expected to yield few benefits for Venezuela. All signs point to OPEC continuing its market share strategy, keeping a lid on any substantial price rebound in the short-run. That does not bode well for Venezuela as it teeters on the brink of catastrophe.
Venezuela Default Countdown Begins: After Selling Billions In Gold, Caracas Raids $467 Million In IMF ReservesSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 11/09/2015 18:43 -0500
While ridiculous, Venezuela's decision to liquidate some of its gold is perhaps understandable under the circumstances: Venezulea relies on crude oil for 95% of its export revenue, and with prices refusing to rebound, the only question is when do all those CDS which price in a Venezuela default finally get paid. What is even more understandable is what Venezuela should have done in the first place before dumping a fifth of its gold, but got to do eventually, namely raiding all of the IMF capital held under its name in a special SDR reserve account.
China is playing the long game and they could be low balling their total gold holdings – official central bank reserves and non official, governmental holdings – in order to maintain confidence in their substantial US dollar holdings and to aid their bid to join the IMF.
According to the CEO of Maersk, the world's biggest container shipping company, "the world’s economy is growing at a slower pace than the International Monetary Fund and other large forecasters are predicting." Andersen adds that "we believe that global growth is slowing down. Trade is currently significantly weaker than it normally would be under the growth forecasts we see....we’re a little bit more pessimistic than most forecasters."
The cries for going totally crazy are growing louder... the lunatics are running the asylum. One shouldn’t underestimate what they are capable of. The only consolation is that the day will come when the monetary cranks will be discredited again (for the umpteenth time). Thereafter it will presumably take a few decades before these ideas will rear their head again (like an especially sturdy weed, the idea that inflationism can promote prosperity seems nigh ineradicable in the long term – it always rises from the ashes again). The bad news is that many of us will probably still be around when the bill for these idiocies will be presented.
Amid the ever-expanding easing program in Europe (longer? more-er? different-er?), one of the gravest concerns was (amid a growing scarcity of collateral), finding willing sellers (at any price) to meet the needs of central bank asset purchasers could be a problem. However, as The FT reports, it appears the Chinese stepped up to the plate to 'help' The ECB (rather The Bundesbank) out from its dilemma. Just as we saw with Chinese selling US Treasuries (whether to diversify away from the major reserve currencies, deal with outflows, or to manage a liquidity crisis at home), The PBoC's reserve management wing, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange, has been selling some of its German government bonds since the ECB began buying them in March, say two sources close to central banks in China and Europe. This news has prompted further weakness in Bunds today, despite expectations of Draghi unleashing more buying in December.
As Beijing fights to keep "Mr. Chen" and his "yellow loafers," tea, and Snickers bars from smuggling billions out of the country on behalf of Chinese citizens fearing an economic implosion and a double-digit deval, capital account convertibility may counterintuitively be one of the PBoC's most effective weapons as loosening capital controls will both calm the panicked masses and support the IMF SDR bit. Still, as Citi's David Lubin puts it, "China should expect to see gross capital outflows for the foreseeable future [and] it's not even clear that SDR inclusion will lead to a net capital inflow to China."
The United States provided approximately $35 billion in economic aid to over 140 countries in fiscal year 2014. The question is: Who received the largest slice of the pie from the U.S.?
It is possible that we might witness the formation of two blocks within OPEC during the next December 4 meet in Vienna. One, led by Venezuela, Ecuador, Libya and Algeria that would want to reduce production levels and the other led by Saudi Arabia, UAE and Kuwait that would stick to the current strategy of defending market shar. In the end, it will come down to survival of the fittest. Players who have higher breakeven costs will be the ones who will blink first and thereby reduce their production levels.
On the heels of the nuclear deal and Tehran's ground operation in Syria, Iran is stepping up efforts to prove that contrary to Western rhetoric, it is not in fact "isolated." According to the country's economy minister, Iran is now set to join the BRICS bank and step up its cooperation with Brazil. This is symptomatic of Washington's waning ability to exert American influence on global affairs both political and economic.
We have heard many explanations for the torrid market rally since last September, ranging from the rational - short squeeze - to the generic - "bad news is good news under central planning" to the deranged - "ignore the news, the U.S. economy is actually stronger and China is recovering." And now, courtesy of the U.S. Treasury's Office of Financial Research, here is the official explanation from the government itself.