International Monetary Fund

US Treasury Gives Explicit Warning To China, Germany And Japan Not To Devalue Their Currencies

"Treasury is creating a new “Monitoring List” that includes these economies: China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and Germany. China, Japan, Germany, and Korea are identified as a result of a material current account surplus combined with a significant bilateral trade surplus with the United States. Taiwan is identified as a result of its material current account surplus and its persistent, one-sided intervention in foreign exchange markets. Treasury will closely monitor and assess the economic trends and foreign exchange policies of these economies."

Greek Default Looms In July After EU Rejects Greek Emergency Summit

Those who thought the situation in Greece was solved after prime minister Alexis Tsipras suddenly caved in to creditors’ demands need think again. Greek tax revenues are running well under expectations. A default looms in July unless the creditors give more money to Greece so that Greece can pay back the creditors. As convoluted as that sounds, that’s precisely the way this madness works. The creditors demand still more austerity but Tsipras said “no”. Instead, Tsipras seeks an emergency meeting, but European Commission president Donald Tusk said “no” to that proposal.

One More Casualty Of The 9/11 Farce - The Petrodollar

It’s been about 15 years now since passenger airliners struck the World Trade Center towers on 9/11, and we are still suffering the consequences of that day, though perhaps not in the ways many Americans might believe. The 9/11 attacks were billed by the Bush Administration as a “wake-up call” for the U.S., and neocons called it the new Pearl Harbor. But instead of it being an awaking, the American public was led further into blind ignorance. Clearly, after 15 years of disastrous policy, it is time to admit that the U.S. response to 9/11 has damaged us far more than the actual attacks ever could.

Venezuela Starts Power Rationing, Oil Production Likely To Fall

Venezuela - home to the largest oil reserves in the world - will for the next 40 days experience a four-hour blackout every single day, and there are fears that the rationing could lead to unrest and trigger a decline in oil output at a time when the country is barely hanging on.

The Real Reason Saudi Arabia Killed Doha

Saudi Arabia single-handedly scuttled the Doha meeting, knowing all along that Iran would not participate, with a valid reason. The Russians and others agreed to proceed without Iran, planning to include them at a later date. So if everything was known beforehand, why did the Saudi’s pour cold water on the aspirations of the remaining members, risking its alienation from Russia and the OPEC community? Was it simply Saudi enmity toward Iran? Not exactly. Upon closer scrutiny, we can find the Saudi masterstroke behind Doha.

"The Damage Could Be Massive" - How Central Banks Trapped The World In Bonds

Yields on $7.8 trillion of government bonds have been driven below zero by worries over global growth, forcing investors looking for income to flood into debt with maturities of as long as 100 years. Worse still, as Bloomberg reports, central banks’ policy is exacerbating matters, as the unprecedented debt purchases to spur their economies have soaked up supply and left would-be buyers with few options. This has driven the 'duration' - or risk sensitivity - of the bond market to a record high, meaning, as one CIO exclaimed, even with a small increase in rates "the positions are so huge that the damage can be massive... People are complacent."

Oil Market Hype And Crisis Signal Greater Troubles Ahead

A market entirely supported by rumors and hearsay can rally quickly, but also lose all gains at the drop of a hat. What the Doha debacle represents is a signal that the establishment is incrementally abandoning support for market systems.  This is translating to a loss of faith in central banks and major financial institutions. On top of this, look at the incredible amount of misinformation and misdirection that went into Doha, now completely exposed. The truth is crystal; the MSM lied and obfuscated helping the establishment to drive up oil prices and stocks, all for a mere six to eight weeks of market security.  As soon as these lies were revealed, volatility began to return. If the oil market bubble can implode (as it already has) in such a way due to the striking of fundamentals, then stocks can also be destabilized as well.

China Embraces Gold In Advance Of Post-Dollar Era

To challenge the US dollar hegemony and increase its power in the global realm of finance, China has a potent gold strategy. Whilst the State Council is preparing itself for the inevitable decay of the current international monetary system, it has firmly embraced gold in its economy. With a staggering pace the government has developed the Chinese domestic gold market, stimulated private gold accumulation and increased its official gold reserves in order to ensure financial stability and support the internationalisation of the renminbi.

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At the latest G20 meeting, China’s central bank vowed to promote the use of SDRs in the Chinese economy, just four months after the IMF decided to include the RMB as part of the currency basket un-derlying SDRs. Adding the RMB marks only the 5th time the Fund changed the composition of the basket since formally moving away from a gold based system in 1974. However, as history shows, the SDR has been unable to maintain value as gold has. Adding the RMB to the basket will hardly change that.

The Weirdest Possible Outcomes For The Strangest Election In U.S. History

Elections have entered the world of the weird because America itself is on the edge of something that will shake its very core. What that event will be is hard to say because there are so many possibilities, but tensions of this caliber usually escalate to crisis before they deescalate, and tensions today are surely escalating. The elections only serve as a gauge for how close to the bottom of the abyss we actually are.

Frontrunning: April 14

  • Global shares reach four-month high, forex hit by Singapore sting (Reuters)
  • Dollar Rally Hits Commodities as Europe Halts Global Stock Gains (BBG)
  • Currencies Across Asia Fall Sharply Against U.S. Dollar (WSJ)
  • IEA expects limited impact from oil output freeze at Doha (Reuters)
  • IEA Sees Oil Oversupply Almost Gone in Second Half on Shale Drop (BBG)
  • BofA Profit Declines 13% on Trading Slump, Energy Reserves (BBG)

U.S. Futures Flat After Oil Erases Overnight Losses; Dollar In The Driver's Seat

In another quiet overnight session, the biggest - and unexpected - macro news was the surprise monetary easing by Singapore which as previously reported moved to a 2008 crisis policy response when it adopted a "zero currency appreciation" stance as a result of its trade-based economy grinding to a halt. As Richard Breslow accurately put it, "If you need yet another stark example of the fantasy storytelling we amuse ourselves with, juxtapose today’s Monetary Authority of Singapore policy statement with the storyline that the Asian stock market rally intensified on renewed optimism over the global economy. Singapore is a proxy for trade and economic growth ground to a halt last quarter." The Singapore announcement led to a sharp round of regional currency weakness just as the dollar appears to have bottomed and is rapidly rising.