International Monetary Fund

Saudi Arabia Unleashes Capital Controls: Bans Bets Against Dollar Peg

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.

China's Housing Is Recovering, Just Ignore The 10 Billion Square Feet Of Vacant Housing

While prices in China's Tier 1 cities are soaring, let's put the country's vacant housing problem in context: China has some 13 million homes vacant - enough to house the families of several small countries . Actually, it's worse: Zhu Min, deputy managing director at the International Monetary Fund, recently admitted that China’s real estate bubble now manifests itself in 10. 7 billion square feet  (1 billion square meters) of unused housing! Min added that many housing stock go unused, and the market may see a significant price correction in the future, wiping out vast household wealth.

S&P Enters The Latest European Scandal: Downgrades Poland From A- To BBB+

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.

Guest Post: 2016 - Year Of The 'Epocalypse'

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.

Frontrunning: December 31

  • Oil ends 2015 in downbeat mood; hangover to be long, painful (Reuters)
  • Recession, retrenchment, revolution? Impact of low crude prices on oil powers (Guardian)
  • Midwest Flooding Might Make the Oil Glut Worse (BBG)
  • From Oil Glut to Shortage? Some Say It Could Happen (WSJ)
  • Ten Years After Blowup, Amaranth Investors Waiting to Get Money Back (WSJ)
  • China Fires a Warning Shot at Yuan Speculators With Bank Bans (BBG)

Dave Barry Answers - Was 2015 The Worst Year Ever? (Spoiler Alert: Yes)

We apologize, but 2015 had so many negatives that we’re having trouble seeing the positives. It’s like we’re on the Titanic, and it’s tilting at an 85-degree angle with its propellers way up in the air, and we’re dangling over the cold Atlantic trying to tell ourselves: “At least there’s no waiting for the shuffleboard courts!” Are we saying that 2015 was the worst year ever? Are we saying it was worse than, for example, 1347, the year when the Bubonic Plague killed a large part of humanity? Yes, we are saying that.

What Fresh Horror Awaits The Economy After Fed Rate Hike?

Rather, economic collapse is the greatest weapon at the disposal of globalists. National panic, riots, looting, starvation, magnified crime: All of these things result in mass die-offs and desperation. Desperation leads to calls for "strong leadership", and strong leadership usually results in totalitarianism. It might seem sensationalist to tie all of these possible outcomes to the Fed rate hike decision, but give it a little time. Those who make accusations of sensationalism and “fear mongering” today will be asserting tomorrow that such developments were “easily predictable.”

OPEC Members In Jeopardy, How Long Can They Hold Out?

The Saudi strategy has yet to bear itself out, but early indications suggest it is generating returns. Non-OPEC supply is expected to suffer its steepest decline in two decades in 2016, at a drop of nearly 0.5 mbpd. Moreover, U.S. shale producers are among the hardest hit. Oil production across the seven most prolific shale plays is expected to plummet a combined 116,000 bpd in January 2016. Still, the strategy is not without sacrifice, and several OPEC members are struggling to find – and, more importantly, endure – that magical balance between non-OPEC pain, market share retention/growth, and self-inflicted damage. Their tipping points are nearly impossible to predict, but there will be more losers than winners in this game of brinksmanship.

Frontrunning: December 18

  • Oil heads for third straight weekly loss as supply weighs (Reuters)
  • BOJ's $2.5 Billion ETF Boost Seen Having Little Impact on Stocks (BBG)
  • Japan core CPI seen flat in November, household spending down (Reuters)
  • Dollar gets altitude sickness as BOJ disappoints (Reuters)
  • Fed Hikes, but Some Rates Veer Lower (WSJ)
  • White House calls for 'common sense steps' to help Puerto Rico (Reuters)

Financial Warfare & The Big Reset: Koos Jansen Interviews Willem Middelkoop

Economic warfare aims to capture or otherwise control the supply of critical economic resources or destroying a country’s currency.  The US understands better than anybody else that a country can sometimes be hurt more by doing this than by bombing its infrastructure. The tool of exclusion from the dollar-denominated global financial system is described as a 'neutron bomb' constituting a more potent bomb than any military weapon. But recent developments signal the first stages of the US dollar’s decay.

Why One Congressman Voted "NO" On The Massive, Wasteful Omnibus Bill

"Once again I find myself shaking my head at the wasteful spending in DC and a flawed process that drops thousands of pages of text on us with 48 hours to “read” and understand... The fact that extremist environmental groups are pleased and that Obama hasn't threatened a veto tells you everything you need to know about this fundamentally-flawed bill."