Having traded above $46 on Friday, WTI Crude is back to a $43 handle as it appears Iran's price cut, as we detailed here, sparked demand from China and India driving up Iran exports to 1 million barrels per day.
"They [the Chinese] have been buying and the Indians have been buying in enormous quantities. It’s virtually impossible to get physical gold in London to ship to those countries. We get permanent requests from Russia, would we please sell our physical gold.... Because there is no physical, only endless promises. And I really worry..."
What's India got to do with it?
This level of global inter-connected financial risk is hazardous in Mexico, where it’s peppered by high bank concentration risk. No one wants another major financial crisis. Yet, that’s where we are headed absent major reconstructions of the banking framework and the central bank policies that exude extreme power over global economies and markets, in the US, Mexico, and throughout the world. Mexico’s problems could again ripple through Latin America where eroding confidence, volatility, and US dollar strength are already hurting economies and markets. The difference is that now, in contrast to the 1980s and 1990s debt crises, loan and bond amounts have not just been extended by private banks, but subsidized by the Fed and the ECB. The risk platform is elevated. The fall, for both Mexico and its trading partners like the US, likely much harder.
On April 5, 1933, FDR signed Executive order 6102 which made illegal "the Hoarding of gold coin, gold bullion, and gold certificates within the continental United States" in the process criminalizing the possession of monetary gold by any individual or corporation. Fast forward 82 years to a time when the barbarous relic continues to be seen as the safest store of value among India's vast population (roughly 20% of the world's total), not to mention the main source of financial headaches for local authorities, one of the biggest importers of gold due to its "traditional" values , that the Indian government may be preparing to pull a page right out of the FDR playbook.
This development is an important one for the gold market and is bullish for gold. It shows, once again, that gold is slowly but surely becoming a cash equivalent and as money again.
"We believe a global recession scenario has become the most likely global macroeconomic scenario for the next two years or so. Helicopter money drops would be the best instrument to tackle a downturn in all DMs. We expect to see QE #N, where N could become a large integer, as part of the monetary policy response in the US and the UK, and QEE2 in Japan."
The prosecution of a Swedish national accused of terrorist activities in Syria has collapsed at the Old Bailey after it became clear Britain’s security and intelligence agencies would have been deeply embarrassed had a trial gone ahead, the Guardian reported. "The prosecution abandoned the case, apparently to avoid embarrassing the intelligence services. The defence argued that going ahead with the trial would have been an “affront to justice” when there was plenty of evidence the British state was itself providing “extensive support” to the armed Syrian opposition. That didn’t only include the “non-lethal assistance” boasted of by the government (including body armour and military vehicles), but training, logistical support and the secret supply of “arms on a massive scale”."
News That Matters
The great problem with corporate capitalism is that publicly owned companies have short time horizons. As a consequence of the short-sightedness of reformers and Congress, the annual salaries of top executives were capped at $1 million. Amounts in excess are not deductible for the company as an expense. The exception is “performance-related” pay, which has no limit. The result is that the major part of executive pay comes in the form of performance bonuses. Performance means a rise in the price of the company’s shares. The gains in executive bonuses and shareholder capital gains were achieved by destroying the economic prospects of millions of Americans and by reducing the growth potential of the US economy. In the long-run this means the demise of the US as a world power...
"Following the RMB devaluation some weeks ago, markets have been erratic, fearful that the initial move was the beginning of a larger devaluation cycle that could disrupt global markets. Given how worried markets have been about China, a better-than-expected reserves number holds the potential for risk assets to rally as devaluation fears abate."
Because we know the mechanics of the currency war and the endless loop of competitive easing can be a bit confusing at times, we present the following simplified, circular flow chart from Morgan Stanley which should serve as a helpful guide to the never ending "beggar thy neighbor" loop.
News That Matters
Over the past several years, the two-day Jackson Hole symposium had garnered a particular prominence among economists and market watchers as this is where various key inflection points by the Fed were hinted, leaked or announced, including QE2, QE3 and the taper. This year, however, the gathering of central bankers in Teton County, will be less exciting due to the absense of the most important central banker in the world: Janet Yellen, which means the highlighter will be Vice-Chairman Stanley Fischer when he speaks tomorrow at 10:25pm which will be a key event given the recent market turmoil.
"Given the size of foreign holdings of Asian equity and debt, should foreigners reduce their portfolio holdings by 2-3% over the course of a month, it would broadly offset the region’s current account surpluses, leaving their external balances in a shakier position. During the 'taper tantrum' period, foreigners sold markedly more than 3% of their portfolio holdings through June and July 2013, highlighting the risk that portfolio outflows could cause further Asian currency weakness."