China is looking to succeed where the United States has failed. Beijing — which, as a reminder, claims it will not use its regional infrastructure development initiatives as a tool of foreign policy — is now set to facilitate the construction of nearly $50 billion in power plants, roads, and railways in neighboring Pakistan. The proposal, which will give China access to the Indian Ocean via the Gwadar port on the Arabian Sea, is part of President Xi Jinping’s ambitious “Silk Road” Economic Belt, and importantly, will likely include financing for the completion of the "Peace Pipeline," which will carry natural gas from Iranian gas fields across Pakistan.
If and when Greece finally defaults it will be able to place the blame squarely at the feet of the European elites. If an agreement has not been reached by Friday when the Eurogroup of Finance Ministers meet in Riga it is quite likely that Greece will default.
In a fiat currency system, perception is, by definition, everything. Paper money has no intrinsic value. So the people saving it and accepting it in exchange aren’t expressing faith in the money itself but in the competence and honesty — and power — of the institutions managing it. Let that faith erode and those slips of colored paper and ephemeral computer bits revert to their intrinsic value. And on the credibility front, the trends aren’t encouraging.
We've long argued that the implications of the shift away from a global economic order that has prevailed since the end of WWII are far reaching and may include the demise of what has largely been a unilateral political and economic system characterized by the dominance of US foreign policy and Western notions of politics and capitalism. Now, it appears as though de-dollarization and the end of US hegemony may have gone viral because, as The NY Times reports, a US “retreat” from the world order it has largely shaped was the unspoken topic de jour at this year’s spring meeting of the IMF and World Bank in Washington.
A Full Analysis and Step-by-Step Guide for EU Area Residents To Aid In Escaping the Upcoming Bank Bail-ins & Capital ControlsSubmitted by Reggie Middleton on 04/18/2015 12:21 -0400
This may take you the entire weekend to digest, but if you are an unsecured creditor/lender (have a checking, savings or demand deposit account) to a euro zone bank, I would consider it your fiduciary responsibility to yourself to sit down and parse this piece with care and aplomb!
The severe limitation of human robot jobs is that they rarely offer much opportunity to learn a wide variety of skills--precisely what enables us to create more value with our labor.
- Fed Shies Away From June Rate Hike (Hilsenrath)
- Europe Stocks Fall Most in Three Weeks Amid Greece as Banks Drop (BBG)
- China Futures Tumble on Trust Curbs, Expansion of Short Selling (BBG)
- Oil slips below $64 as ample supplies weigh (Reuters)
- Fed officials lean all ways on rate hikes, data in focus (Reuters)
- Eurozone deflation eases in March (FT)
- Euro zone bond yields sink to historic lows (Reuters)
- Clinton Foundation to Keep Foreign Donors (WSJ)
- Russia says U.S. forced it to act on Ukraine (Reuters)
- Bankers to China's Rescue (BBG)
- Saudi Arabia Adds Half a Bakken to Global Oil Market in a Month (BBG)
- Valuations of Hong Kong's stock market operator go interstellar (Reuters)
- Switzerland Attracts Fewer Firms as Politics Hurt Business Image (BBG)
- China growth slowest in six years, more stimulus expected soon (Reuters)
- EU charges Google over shopping searches, to probe Android (Reuters)
- A Chinese Paradox: Slow Growth Is Good, Stock Bubbles Welcome (BBG)
- Draghi Seen Dispelling Duration Doubts About QE Program (BBG)
- IEA Sees OPEC Supply Jumping Most in Four Years on Saudi Surge (BBG)
- SEC Reaches Settlement with Former Freddie Mac (WSJ)
- Kerry says confident Obama can get final deal on Iran (Reuters)
- Regulators Call for Short-Term Loan Changes to Handle ‘Too-Big-to-Fail’ (WSJ)
- Florida Doctor Linked to Sen. Robert Menendez Indicted for Medicare Fraud (WSJ)
If yesterday stocks surged on the worst 4-month stretch of missing retail sales since Lehman, one which BofA with all seriousness spun by saying "it seems not unreasonable to suspect that the March 2015 reading on retail sales gets revised up next month", then the reason why futures are now solidly in the green across the board even as German Bunds have just 14 bps to go until they hit negative yields and before the ECB is fresh out of luck on future debt monetization, is that overnight China reported its worst GDP since 2009 together with economic data misses across the board confirming China's economy continues its hard landing approach despite a stock market that has doubled in the past year.
It is quite obvious that Russia cannot substitute the West and in particular European countries with someone else. It is impossible for historical and cultural reasons, the abundance of industrial relations, geographical proximity and so on. Moscow can however substantially weaken such dependency through the strengthening of political, military, financial and economic relations with other countries which are friendlier and less susceptible to pressure from Washington. Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) holds a special place amongst countries friendly to the Russian government, and strategic dialogue is being actively developed with it.
To maintain its hegemony, the U.S. must by all means prevent the emergence of rival powers and impede possible current as well as future threats that could emanate from oil states. The ideal condition for enforcing its own goals at a low cost would be the fragmentation of antagonistic power centers through ethnic and religious strife, civil wars, chaos and deep-seated mistrust in the Middle East – always following the well-known premise of ‘divide and rule.’ In fact, we are currently experiencing tremendous changes towards such a chaotic state of affairs.
Neither Russia nor China is an imminent threat to the US, but a cataclysmic event is looming in the economic front, one which will forever change the perception of America by the rest of the world; or how we, Americans, perceive ourselves. It’s back to what that great cartoonist (and sociopolitical commentator), Walt Kelly, told us a half century ago as America struggled during the Vietnam War:
“We have met the enemy and he is us.”
One of America’s biggest banks is going to be protested by an unlikely group today: its employees. As The Guardian reports, Wells Fargo bankers are protesting the bank’s alleged predatory practices – mainly the sales quotas imposed on some of its workers (which have led to at least 30 employees opening duplicate accounts, sometimes without customers’ knowledge, in order to inflate their sales numbers). One worker warns, “it is not in Wells Fargo’s best interest for customers to purchase products and services they don’t use or need.” Now where have we seen this kind of activity before? Wells Fargo bank workers are not the only ones struggling to make ends meet without breaking ethical standards as bank tellers have collected as much as $105m in food stamps.
While today's macro calendar is empty with no central bank speakers or economic news (just the monthly budget (deficit) statement this afternoon), it’s a fairly busy calendar for us to look forward to this week as earnings season kicks up a gear in the US as mentioned while Greece headlines and the G20 finance ministers meeting on Thursday mark the non-data related highlights.