The system is now more leveraged, more in debt, and more fragile than it was in 2008.
Somehow, without the American public’s awareness, the U.S. government is on the hook to two failed companies for $445.6 billion dollars. And that may be just the tip of the iceberg of this story.
"In the context of today’s paralyzed political-fiscal landscape how silly is it to suggest the Fed purchase a significantly large quantity of gold bullion at a substantially greater price than today’s free-market level, perhaps $5,000 an ounce? Admittedly, this suggestion is almost too outrageous to post under the PIMCO logo, but NIRP surely would have elicited a similar reaction a decade ago. But upon reflection, it could be an elegant solution since it flips the boxes on a foreign currency “prisoner’s dilemma”. Most critically, a massive gold purchase has the potential to significantly boost inflationary expectations, both domestic and foreign."
Days After Wells Fargo Admits Defrauding The Government, NY Fed Rewards It With Primary Dealer StatusSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 04/18/2016 21:00 -0400
Ten days ago, in the latest example of how criminal Wall Street behavior leads to zero prison time, Wells Fargo admitted that it deceived and defrauded the U.S. government. Its punishment: a $1.2 billion settlement, one which will ultimately be paid by the bank's shareholders as no executives go to prison. And now, less than two weeks later it's time for Wells to get its reward: the NY Fed just announced it would grant Wells Fargo the much coveted Primary Dealer status.
With everyone from ivory tower academics to sin-street hookers proclaiming the need for and benefits of a "war on cash" to save the world from criminals and tax-evaders (oh yeah and to stop NIRP-driven savers from hording cash and crushing central planners' dreams), it is perhaps shocking that Bundesbank board member Carl-Ludwig Thiele warned at an event this week that the attempt to abolish and criminalize cash is out of line with freedom. He said that citizens should continue to decide how and in what form they want to use their money.
"I think this is where the academics are kind of clashing with the practitioners. I think on paper negative rates make a lot of sense if you're running academic models, but in reality they make no sense... If they told you and I that they're going to tax your deposits by a hundred basis points, well it's better to put it in a safe or under your mattress. And that's why you see a resurgence in gold. The more they move to negative rates, the more gold is gonna take off because there's no carrying cost."
Those that were hoping for an “economic renaissance” in the United States got some more bad news this week. It turns out that the U.S. economy is in significantly worse shape than the experts were projecting. Retail sales unexpectedly declined in March, total business sales have fallen again, and the inventory to sales ratio has hit the highest level since the last financial crisis. When you add these three classic recession signals to the 19 troubling numbers about the U.S. economy that we wrote about last week, it paints a very disturbing picture.
"If the money market dries up, if there is an event like the Lehman crisis, there won’t be the infrastructure for banks to raise capital... Every day is like being Alice in Wonderland... interest-rates levels are having no effect on credit demand, the market function is declining. You can’t expect everything to go according to plan."
Bernanke has been a charlatan and intellectual lightweight all along but the gist is that the US economy is wanting for some non-existent ether called “aggregate demand”. And that this ether is something the Fed can easily create by handing an open-ended spending account to politicians, and one that would never have to be repaid or even serviced with interest! It puts you in mind of the medieval theologians who endlessly debated as to the number of angels which could fit on the head of a pin. The trouble is, there is not such thing as angels. Nor is there any such thing as economic growth or wealth that can be conjured by politicians spending Bernanke’s utterly counterfeit money.
We were not surprised to read this morning that federal regulators announced that five out of eight of the biggest U.S. banks do not have credible plans for winding down operations during a crisis without the help of public money. Which is precisely the point: now that the precedent has been set and banks know they can rely on the generosity of taxpayers (with the blessing of legislators) why should they even bother planning; they know very well that if just one bank fails, all would face collapse, and the only recourse would be trillions more in taxpayer aid.
What in the World is Going on with Banks this Week? Emergency meetings, banker summits, crashing European banks.......Submitted by Bruno de Landevoisin on 04/12/2016 17:29 -0400
Japan is heading for a full-blown solvency crisis as the country runs out of local investors and may ultimately be forced to inflate away its debt in a desperate end-game, one of the world’s most influential economists has warned. "One day the BoJ may well get a call from the finance ministry saying please think about us – it is a life or death question - and keep rates at zero for a bit longer."
ZIRP, NIRP, QE, Bank Collapse and Helicopters Coming Too Late - The Lehman Effect Hits Europe - Hard!Submitted by Reggie Middleton on 04/11/2016 12:20 -0400
More evidence than any hopium-induced high could ever hope to obscure. The man that called Bear Stearns, Lehman, Countrywide and WaMu collapses starts to call out names in Europe.
Austria Just Announced A 54% Haircut Of Senior Creditors In First "Bail In" Under New European RulesSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 04/10/2016 21:08 -0400
Following a decision by the Austrian Banking Regulator, the Finanzmarktaufsicht or Financial Market Authority, Austria officially became the first European country to use a new law under the framework imposed by Bank the European Recovery and Resolution Directive to share losses of a failed bank with senior creditors as it slashed the value of debt owed by Heta Asset Resolution AG.
Earlier today, Japan's government spokesman Suga came as close as possible to admitting that there was in fact a tacit "Shanghai Accord" agreement when he said that the Group of 20's agreement to avoid competitive currency devaluation "does not mean Japan cannot intervene in response to one-sided currency moves." It got better: in an interview with Reuters Suga added that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's comment to the Wall Street Journal last week that countries should avoid "arbitrary intervention," was misunderstood and does not rule out intervention for Japan, Suga said.