One month after we learned that the Brussels suicide bombers had planted hidden cameras at the home of the top Belgian nuclear official, we now learn that in a disturbing continuation of this story, the entire population of Belgium will be receiving iodine tablets, which helps to limit the effects of radiation on the body, as fears increase around the security of its nuclear power plants.
Despite his proclamation that he "saved the world from a Great Depression," the fact is that Obama will be the first President ever to not see a single year of 3% GDP growth - but only cynical fiction-peddlers would mention facts at a time like this. In yet more legacy-defending narrative, Obama told The NYTimes today that his biggest failure was being unable to sell his success in putting the American economy back on track to the American people (no matter the actual realities) careful to blame Republicans for slowing growth "by a percentage point or two." And then in a final affront to fact, Obama dismisses the conclusion of "The Big Short" proclaiming that he reined in Wall Street, overhauled the banking system, and made water from wine "the financial system substantially more stable."
The endless bleating of well-paid pundits in the corporate media about "reform" is just more circus designed to distract us from the much colder truth: the status quo is beyond reform. The choice is either collapse or well, collapse: letting the status quo strip-mine the bottom 95% will eventually lead to collapse and so will structural reforms that deprive the few of their power to create near-infinite sums of money and credit for their cronies.
Less than one week after the BOJ floated a trial balloon using Bloomberg, that it would reduce the rate it charged some banks which set off the biggest USDJPY rally since October 2014, we are back where we started following last night's "completely unexpected" (for everyone else: we wrote "What If The BOJ Disappoints Tonight: How To Trade It" hours before said "shock") shocking announcement out of the BOJ which did absolutely... nothing. "It’s a total shock,” Nader Naeimi, Sydney- based head of dynamic markets at AMP Capital Investors told Bloomberg. "From currencies to equities to everything -- you can see the reaction in the markets. I can’t believe this. It’s very disappointing."
On the 30th anniversary of the world’s worst nuclear catastrophe yet, a new report shows radioactive contamination from the 1986 explosion at Chernobyl in Ukraine still lingers in startlingly large amounts across the border in neighboring Belarus. In an exclusive report by the Associated Press, fresh milk from a Belarusian dairy farm contained a radioactive isotope, traceable to the Chernobyl disaster, at“levels 10 times higher than the nation’s food safety limits” - thirty years after the accident occurred.
There really are “two Americas” in 2016, and they are getting farther and farther apart with each passing year. On the one hand, you have lots of people smiling in New York City these days because of the stock market boom, and property values have soared to ridiculous levels in San Francisco because of the tech bubble. But in between the two coasts there are vast stretches of forgotten people that the U.S. economy has left behind.
Yellen’s secret meeting at the White House followed an emergency secret Federal Reserve Board meeting. The Fed then held another secret meeting to discuss bank reform. These secret meetings come on the heels of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s estimate that first quarter GDP growth was .01 percent, dangerously close to the official definition of recession. Thus the real reason for all these secret meetings could be a panic that the Fed’s eight year explosion of money creation has not just failed to revive the economy, but is about to cause another major market meltdown.
The greatest tragedy of the 2008–2009 financial meltdown was not that it happened. The collapse of asset prices was the necessary result of near zero interest rates. No, the most devastating aspect of the financial meltdown is that central planning alchemy lost no credibility. Policymakers around the world are still turning to Keynesian and socialist interventionism to address problems caused by Keynesians and socialists. The twin sledgehammers of central banking and almost unlimited state power have so distorted global markets (again) that some economies are now terminal. The latest victim of the interventionists and micromanagers is the nation of Japan. A once genuinely productive and innovative nation has, over the years, slowly succumbed to the cancerous rot of interventionism.
“Now that we are gearing up to bring a handful of cases in this area, I suggest that we keep in mind that the vast majority of the losses suffered had nothing to do with fraud and the like and are more fairly attributable to lesser human failings of greed, arrogance and stupidity of which we are all guilty from time to time.”
"We’re in the terminal phase of the greatest debt bubble in all of human history... The crisis that happened last time around… it was just a warning signal of what would happen if we didn’t fix our problems... and of course we didn’t fix them. It’s not sustainable... There’s going to be a permanent, massive adjustment and a loss of faith in the current system..."
The Fed’s response to its failures is to find new ways to pump money into the economy. Hence the Fed is actually considering implementing “negative interest rates.” Negative interest rates are a hidden tax on savings. Negative interest rates may create the short-term illusion of growth, but, by discouraging savings, they will cause tremendous long-term economic damage. The Fed can only keep the wolves at bay with promises of future rate increases for so long before its polices cause a major dollar crisis.