Economic Debunker Steve Keen is interviewed by outspoken Irish journalist Vincent Browne and no holds are barred as he describes the Maastricht Treaty as a suicide pact of critically poor central-planning design of a supposed market-economy, based on financial crises never occurring, locking European governments into an austere path when stimulus is required. "Ultimately the Euro has to fail and the longer we continue the farce of believing we can make it function the larger the ultimate crash will be" is how Keen portrays the situation and describes the foreign-exchange, fiscal policy, and monetary policy shackles that have created and exaggerated the situation. This leads into a longer discussion of the state of the World and its inability to 'export into the ponzi' like Japan could from 1990 to 2010 since the entire developed world is trying to do the same thing and "there is no ponzi scheme on Mars that we can export to" leaving the globe without Japan's initial way out. The must-watch 10 minute interview goes on to discuss the endgame (a break in the political compact based on austerity pressures and military or political coups) as Keen sums up "it's amazing to see us repeating the same mistakes that were made during the 1930s but we are doing just that." ending with some potential solutions noting that there is no easy way out of this.
Leading neoconservative (read “closet Trotskyite“) commentator Charles Krauthammer’s latest Washington Post editorial pays homage to the glory days of NASA and the retirement of the space shuttle Discovery. Titled “Farewell, the New Frontier,” the piece evokes mental images of Uncle Sam losing his international prestige as President Obama scales down NASA’s space exploration endeavors. Contrary to Krauthammer, NASA has never represented America’s collective vision of frontier exploration. It has been just another bureaucratic black hole for Washington to throw dollars at in hopes of buying reelection. Because one of the main tenets of economics is considering the unseen, then it can be assumed that space exploration would very well be advanced far beyond what we see today if it was left completely out of the hands of the state. If Krauthammer truly wished the human race capable of traveling into the new frontier of the stars, he would welcome NASA cuts rather than lament. How ironic then is today's news of Planetary Resources as investor and avowed anarchist Doug Casey thoughtfully observes on the inefficiency of NASA: "We should have colonies on the moon by now, and more: We should be mining the asteroids and developing real estate on Mars."
Goldman Sachs Executive Director Corroborates Reggie Middleton's Stance: Business Model Designed To Walk Over ClientsSubmitted by Reggie Middleton on 03/14/2012 09:15 -0500
Directly from the resigning mouth of the rapist to the raped... I even put some number to it for the analytical crowd..
Stop us when this confession from Greg Smith, a now former executive director and head of the Goldman's United States equity derivatives business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, sounds exactly like everything we have said about the firm over the past 3+ years (and why we just can't wait for the next trading "recommendation" from Tom Stolper). "Today is my last day at Goldman Sachs. After almost 12 years at the firm — first as a summer intern while at Stanford, then in New York for 10 years, and now in London — I believe I have worked here long enough to understand the trajectory of its culture, its people and its identity. And I can honestly say that the environment now is as toxic and destructive as I have ever seen it."
Dear friends at Zero Hedge, consider this your day of total and absolute Goldman vindication...
Mario Draghi has just begun his press conference in a more upbeat tone than recent months. EURUSD is limping back from its last try at 1.33 but only modestly as he sees inflation risks 'broadly balanced' and reminds us all of the 'transitory' nature of his temporary non-standard measures, as Bloomberg notes. The main thing is that the ECB is once again easing collateral demands and will now accept credit claims. This simply proves that Europe is running out of any money good assets to pledge to the ECB as "collateral." Before the European (and thus global) ponzi is over, the central banks will accept Mars bars wrappers as collateral at 100 cents on the freshly printed dollar/euro.
On The Failure Of Inflation Targeting, The Hubris Of Central Planning, The "Lost Pilot" Effect, And Economist IdiocySubmitted by Tyler Durden on 02/05/2012 10:49 -0500
As an ever greater portion of the world succumbs to authoritarian control (whether it is of military disposition, or as we first showed, a small room of economists defining the monetary fate of the future as central banks now hold nearly a third of world GDP within their balance sheets) we can't help but be amazed as the population simply sits idly by on the sidelines as the modern financial system repeats every single mistake of the past century, only this time with stakes so high not even Mars could bail out the world. Unfortunately, with the world having operated under patently false economic models spread by hacks whose only credibility is being endorsed by the same system that created these models over the past century, the only temporary solution to all financial problem is to "try harder." Sadly, the final outcome is well known - a global systematic reset, in which the foundation of all modern democracies - the myth of the welfare state (which at last check, was about $200 trillion underfunded on an NPV basis globally and is thus the most insolvent of all going concern entities in existence) is vaporized (there's that word again) leading to global conflict, misery and war. Sadly that is the price we will end up paying for over a century of flawed economic models, of "borrowing from the future", of ever more encroaching central planning, and of an economic paradigm so flawed that as Bill Buckler puts it, "Keynes’ response to those who questioned the “longer-term” consequences of his advocacy of credit-creation as a basis for money was - “In the long run, we are all dead”. It is difficult to overemphasise the venal arrogance of this remark or the destructiveness of its legacy." Alas, the last thing the central planning "fools" (more on that shortly) will admit is their erroneous hubris, which in the years to come will claims millions of lives. In the meantime, we can merely comfort ourselves with ever more insightful analyses into the heart of the broken system under which we all labor, such as this one by SocGen's Dylan Grice, whose latest letter on Popular Delusions is a call for "honest fools" - "Frequently, when we make mistakes we try to correct them not by changing the flawed thinking which led to the mistake in the first place, but by reapplying the same flawed thinking with even more determination. Behavioural psychologists call it the “lost pilot” effect, after the lost pilot who tried to reassure his passenger: “I have no idea where we’re going, but we’re making good time!” Policy makers on both sides of the Atlantic are treating today’s malaise with the same flaky thinking which created it in the first place. How can that work?" Simple answer: it can't.
Presenting The Interactive "Wiggle-Room Index" Or Which Countries Will Be Forced To Bail Out The Developed WorldSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 01/26/2012 16:13 -0500
Update: literally seconds after this article was posted, we receive news that the IMF will seek Saudi contribution to the European bailout fund. There you have it - you enjoy that implicit US protection Saudi emirs? It is about to cost you.
While it is best to pray that NASA will find some very rich and not so intelligent life on Mars so it can bail out the world as it sinks deeper and deeper into a untenable debt hole (which somehow can be "filled" only by issuing more debt at least according to tenured economists at ivy league institutions), a strategy of planning for a realistic outcome may not be a bad idea. The question then is who in the world has some/any spare leverage capacity to incur even more debt and use the proceeds to fund a Eurozone-American-Chinese collapse. Enter the Economist's "wiggle-room index." The publication, best known for recently introducing the "shoe thrower index" (remember the Arab Spring and how Fed induced runaway inflation generated a "democratic" revolution across MENA?) has compiled a list of those developing world countries which still have capacity to provide credible global bailout capital (in fiat form of course - after all that is the only thing that the Ponzi understands) or as the Economist says, the "emerging economies that have the most monetary and fiscal firepower." So if you are on this list (ahem China, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia) - our condolences - you are about to be dragged into the epic slow-motion ongoing collapse of the developed world, kicking and screaming, with some 44 caliber persuasion if needed, but you will be there, before it all falls apart. The time to repay all favors to Uncle Sam is coming.
Even as Italian bonds surged on hopes that the $40 billion Italian austerity plan (putting this to scale, $400 billion in Italian debt has to be refinanced in the next 12 months) proposed by Monti which is supposed to lower the nation's debt load (putting this to scale, Italy has €1.9 trillion in debt), coupled with expectations that this time (we lost track of which one this actually is) the European summit on December 9 will actually achieve something, the liquidity situation, and not just any liquidity but EUR-funded liquidity (the one that the Fed can do nothing to help by lowering the OIS swap rate) deteriorated massively overnight, as European banks deposited a whopping €20 billion in additional cash with the ECB despite the coordinate central bank intervention yesterday. Total deposits are now at €333 billion, just €50 billion short of the all time high hit in June 2010 when Greece failed for the first time and there was no clarity that the Bernanke Put had gone global, implying the need for an eventual Mars bail out. And confirming that the liquidity crunch is now shifting to the local currency, another €7 billion was borrowed from the punitive Marginal Lending Facility. So now what we have is a liquidity crisis that has been confirmed to not be only USD-based but also EUR. Congratulations Fed. Yet since the market is slow in understanding complex things it is surging, as it looks at Italian bonds which as noted earlier are soaring on nothing but hope, it will take a little before this filters to all the right places.
As expected, the Fed has just bailed out the world once again:
- FED, ECB, BOJ, BOE, SNB, BANK OF CANADA LOWER SWAP RATES - BBG
- ECB, FED other major central bank to lower the pricing of existing USD liquidity swaps by 50BPS
And as we have been writing every single day, the worldwide dollar crunch is now confirmed:
- At present, there is no need to offer liquidity in non-domestic currencies other than the U.S. dollar,
This means that the global situation is far, far more dire than the talking heads have said. Luckily, when this step fails, which it will, Mars can always come and bail us out.
The export miracle, that we have been cantankerously remonstrating against the possibility of for much of the last year, appears to be running into a wall of reality. The Economist puts its usual number-centric and acerbic spin on the nonsense that economists spew with regard to everyone exporting their way out of the debt-laden deleveraging quagmire we are in. Economists are constantly urging governments to adopt policies that would reduce global imbalances—which, in crude terms, means that China should slash its current-account surplus and America its deficit. Yet they ignore the biggest imbalance of all: the current-account surplus that planet Earth appears to run with extraterrestrials. The world exported $331 billion more than it imported in 2010!
It's A Boat, It's A Plane, It's The Great Wall Of China: Part Of Symbolic Chinese Landmark CollapsesSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 10/20/2011 14:02 -0500
It's one thing for China to have a rather embarrassing episode during a boat launch, or even when demonstrating the pride of its airforce. But when a part of the Great Wall Of China itself collapses, literally, you know the proponents of the Chinese Soft-Landing scenario (leaving aside that copper is now down 10% for the week) may want to reassess their thesis. From China Daily, "The damaged portion of the Great Wall is located in a remote area near the county of Laiyuan in Hebei Province, about 200 kilometers southwest of Beijing. The area is home to a dozen small mines, with some operating as close as 100 meters to the centuries-old wall. Villagers and local cultural heritage protection officials told Xinhua that about 700 meters of the wall, which was built during the reign of Emperor Wanli during the Ming Dynasty (1573-1620), had already collapsed, and more walls and even towers are likely to collapse if the mining continues unchecked." And while this is admittedly a symbolic development, we follow up this news with a piece from SocGen's Albert Edwards who has some quite factual observations on why China is now in stall speed and has little hope of a Hollywood ending.
No, it isn't 2008. It is a pale imitation. At least based on the Columbus Day (yes, bonds were closed then too) rally back in 2008 when the S&P soared by a ginormous 11%. Obviously what happened next was a roughly 40% plunge in stocks over the next several months. Suggesting the same could happen again would be preposterous: after all everyone knows Mars is willing and ready to bail out the world when the time come now that every single central bank is dodecatuple all in on preserving the status quo. Not for nothing, but even Greece recently ran out of ink...
"We look at conservatively estimated earnings yields and compute an equity risk premium of 600 to 700 basis points. That is an extraordinarily high reward for anyone willing to invest in stocks. History shows it is a bargain. We will seize it. Our longer-term target for the S&P is above 2000 by the end of this decade, if not before." -- David Kotok
By now, we know that isolated central bank intervention has a half life of about 24-48 hours. Next, we will find out what the duration of a concerted global central bank intervention will be. The kneejerk reaction so far, at least in the EURUSD is good to quite good. And when the impact of this latest bailout is phased out, as it eventually will, who will step in for the next much needed heroin shot of unlimited liquidity? Mars? Or, more likely, Uranus.