International Monetary Fund
While the rest of the world's bond yields are collapsing and prices soaring (as NIRP sweeps the globe), Ukraine's 'young' implicitly-US-taxpayer-backed bonds have plunged to record lows. The reason - aside from simply disturbing economics - is, as The FT reports, the dramatic resignation of the economy minister accusing a senior presidential ally of blocking his attempts to root out graft and stymieing his plans for reform. Abromavicius exclaimed, of the Washington-installed elite at Kiev's heart, "I realised there is an intention to unwind the process of making all of this transparent."
Something dire has happened to the intelligence and awareness of Western peoples who seem no longer capable of comprehending the machinations of “their” governments. Accountable government in the West is history. Nothing but failure and collapse awaits Western civilization.
When the FOMC is deliberately manipulating asset prices and credit spreads... collateral damage is inevitable.
Remember when Bitcoin and its digital currency cohorts were slammed by authorities and written off by the elite as worthless? Well now, as the war on cash escalates, officials from The IMF to China are seeing the opportunity to control the world's money through virtual (cash-less) currencies. Just as we warned most recent here, state wealth control is the goal and, as Bloomberg reports, The PBOC is targeting an early rollout of China's own digital currency to "boost control of money" and none other than The IMF's Christine Lagarde added that "virtual currencies are extremely beneficial."
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.
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.
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.
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.
An angry bear has been released after nearly seven years in hibernation, and the entire world is going to be absolutely shocked by what happens next.
Iceland refused to be blackmailed. Iceland refused to take on the extra debt (and debt slavery) that came with the blackmail. Iceland refused to touch its social programs. Iceland has the strongest economy in the Western world.
As 2016 begins, there are clear signs of serious debt/default squalls on the horizon. We can already see the first white-capped waves.
- 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)
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.
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.”
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.