Mandarin

Frontrunning: December 8

  • Draghi Expected to Lay Out Plans for More ECB Stimulus (WSJ)
  • Bonds Fall as Investors Turn Wary on ECB Stimulus; Euro Gains (BBG)
  • European Stock Traders Look to Draghi to Break Santa Curse  (BBG)
  • Trump to nominate Pruitt to lead U.S. environmental agency (Reuters)
  • Trump's choice of China envoy a positive sign for ties, Xinhua says (Reuters)
  • Syrian Rebels Pin Hopes on Trump (WSJ)

Is The US Next: Facebook "Quietly" Develops Censorship Tool In Chinese Market Push

Facebook has quietly developed software to suppress posts from appearing in people’s news feeds in specific geographic areas. The feature was created to help Facebook get into China, a market where the social network has been blocked, although it is not limited to any location. Mark Zuckerberg has supported and defended the effort.

A Post Western World? A Disturbing Interview With Prof. Harry Redner - Part 1

The political and economic issues broadly discussed in the media usually revolve around political cycles, terrorism, foreign policy, rising debt levels, sluggish economic performance, academic underachievement, environmental problems, ageing demographics and so forth.  In our view, this all ties into a major cycle of history that has been with us for some time, and which has been gaining traction since the 1990s: the end of "Western Civilization" and the transition towards a globalized society.

Paul Singer Joins Icahn, Soros; Warns "It's A Very Dangerous Time To Be In The Market", Buys Gold

"The cure for the crisis — for the debt crisis, the financial crisis — has been deemed by the developed world governments to be more debt. There has not been a deleveraging. And after seven and a half years and counting of this mix of policies, at the moment we’re either in a stage of stagnation or rollover, possibly in the early stages of a global recession. So I think it’s a very dangerous time in the financial markets."

OECD Warns Of "Disorderly Housing Market Correction" In Canada

The OECD is ringing fresh alarm bells over the frothy nature of the Toronto and Vancouver housing markets and high levels of consumer debt. “In relation to household incomes, both house prices and household debt are high." But the loudest warning was the OECD's assessment of a “disorderly housing market correction,” notably in Toronto and Vancouver, as the biggest threat to Canada’s economy.“

"My Daddy’s Rich And My Lamborghini’s Good-Looking": Meet The Rich Chinese Kids Of Vancouver

Meet Andy Guo, an 18-year-old Chinese immigrant, who loves driving his red Lamborghini Huracán. He does not love having to share the car with his twin brother, Anky. "There’s a lot of conflict," Mr. Guo said, as a crowd of admirers gazed at the vehicle and its vanity license plate, “CTGRY 5,” short for the most catastrophic type of hurricane.  Or Diana Wang, 23,  who thinks a supercar is a poor investment, because its value decreases over time. "Better to spend half a million dollars on two expensive watches or some diamonds."

Central Bankers' Embarrassment Of Stitches

Had central bankers simply taken to heart that well known idiom that cautions "a stitch in time saves nine" early on, they would not now be so frantically stitching such a gaping gash in the world economy. One thing is for certain. All of this quantitative pleasing has done little to lift the spirits of the world’s worker bees.

Hong Kong Publishers Reportedly Being Kidnapped By Chinese Authorities, Taken To Mainland

For several years now, we’ve periodically observed that China’s increasingly aggressive crackdown on dissent serves as a harbinger of far more difficult times ahead. The thinking goes that if anyone is privy to the severe fragility the country’s economic situation, it would be Chinese leadership. As such, desperate moves by Chinese leadership should foretell drastically worse economic and social conditions to come.

China's Secret Gold Hoarding Strategy

It makes logical sense that China would understate its gold aspirations. If you had the means to acquire hundreds, or even thousands, of tons of gold, you’d want to do so as stealthily as possible in order to avoid tipping off the market. If your strategic objective was to dramatically boost gold reserves over a period of several years, you wouldn’t want to see the price rise – at least not while you’re still accumulating. And if you had no ethical qualms about interfering in the market, you’d want to rig prices lower so you could obtain more ounces. Chinese officials are more than willing to manipulate markets, whether through subterfuge, deceit, or outright force.

When Will We Ever Learn?

The lessons of ignoring history are likely to be learned once again... the hard way.

Attention Greek Bankers: Bridge In Brooklyn For Sale On The Cheap

If you were a shareholder of a Greek bank, you wouldn’t lose sleep over your relationship with your regulator. In that context, the statement of the 12 July Euro Summit may have come as a shock—particularly the bit about the new program for Greece having to include "the establishment of a buffer of EUR 10 to 25bn for the banking sector in order to address potential bank recapitalisation needs and resolution costs." You could be forgiven for thinking—where did that come from?

A Much Bigger Threat Than Our National Debt

"...the 'Ice Age' of low rates and low growth for a long time – as predicted by many analysts and economists – won’t happen. Instead, a crisis will cause a crash on Wall Street. The banks will go broke. The credit system will seize up. People will line up at ATMs to get cash and the cash will quickly run out. This will provoke the authorities to go full central bank retard. They will flood the system with “money” of all sorts. The ice will melt into a tidal wave of hyperinflation."