We are living in a world in which a handful of high-tech companies, sometimes working hand-in-hand with governments, are not only monitoring much of our activity, but are also invisibly controlling more and more of what we think, feel, do and say. The technology that now surrounds us is not just a harmless toy; it has also made possible undetectable and untraceable manipulations of entire populations – manipulations that have no precedent in human history and that are currently well beyond the scope of existing regulations and laws.
The mispricing of assets across world markets has reached epidemic proportions.
The size and scope of the political, economic and financial problems that now challenge the relative stability and tranquility of developed societies are unprecedented. Negative interest rates combined with the eradication of cash appear as a desperate attempt to control global private wealth. Should the war on cash prove unsuccessful in its early stages, banks could be closed for long periods.
With the last crash being the almost-terminal Crash of ’08, readers have been warned on many occasions that the Next Crash is scheduled for this year.
EM-focused Standard Chartered posted its first annual net loss in more than 25 years on Tuesday as impairments and NPLs skyrocketed in the face of a worsening outlook for the emerging world. Although the bank's top brass tried to strike an upbeat tone in the report, no one is particularly optimistic about the future.
Some folks have been spying again... but we are sure President Obama "was not aware" of any of it...
The Jats are angry. Violent protests by the rural caste have left 10 dead and 150 injured in Haryana, India where the government has sent 4,000 troops and 5,000 paramilitaries with shoot-on-sight orders.
If the Benjamin is killed, it will “deter illicit activities” they say, apparently taking us all for complete idiots. Very organized criminals all over the world could be heard rolling on the floor laughing their heads off at this pronouncement.
Inbound cargoes take longer voyages, which allows more time to find a buyer, or onshore storage space. Many cargoes from the Middle East and India have diverted around the Cape of Agulhas, at the southernmost point of Africa, on their way to Europe rather than passing through the Suez Canal in Egypt. The longer trip takes 30-40 days instead of the 15-20 day journey through the Suez Canal.
Gold is many things to many people. A perennial battleground subject, gold remains arguably one of the most debated asset classes across global financial markets, but as Goldman's precious metals equity analyst notes, from a fundamental perspective, the risk/reward looks more balanced than that of its bulk and base metal peers, especially in terms of the supply/demand dynamics.
The Fed doesn’t see it coming and would be petrified by the prospect of a Wall Street hissy fit were it actually to express doubts about the sustainability of this so-called recovery. At the same time, Wall Street fails to recognize the obvious truth that the Fed is out of dry powder. If it attempts QE4, it will be a confession of total failure and lack of efficacy. If it actually seeks to launch negative interest rates, it will ignite a political firestorm of untold intensity. So both parties are unprepared for what is coming down the pike, and that makes this time truly different. There will be no massive liquidity injection and quick reflation of risk assets because even the Fed can’t push on a string when it is out of dry powder.
"Unlike most other commodities, thermal coal is unlikely to experience another period of tightness ever again because investment in new coal-fired generation is becoming less common and the implied decline in long-term demand appears to be irreversible,"
Larry Summers is a pretentious Keynesian fool, but we refer to him as the Great Thinker’s Vicar on Earth for a reason. To wit, every time the latest experiment in Keynesian intervention fails - as 84 months of ZIRP and massive QE clearly have - he can be counted on to trot out a new angle on why still another interventionist experiment or state sponsored financial fraud is just the ticket. Right now he is leading the charge for the greatest stroke of foolishness yet conceived.
After a series of stunning declines through the month of January and the first half of February, global financial markets seem to have found a patch of relative stability at least for the moment. But that does not mean that the crisis is over. On the contrary, all of the hard economic numbers that are coming in from around the world tell us that the global economy is coming apart at the seams.