The economic hitmen have honed their skills among the poor and relatively defenseless, and have been coming closer to home in search of new hunting grounds and fatter spoils. There is nothing 'new' or 'modern' about this. The only difference is that it is not happening in the past or in a book, it is happening here and now. "Economic powers continue to justify the current global system where priority tends to be given to speculation and the pursuit of financial gain. As a result, whatever is fragile is defenseless before the interests of the deified market, which becomes the only rule."
"Both the US and China have a vital interest in reaching an understanding because the alternative is so unpalatable," Soros wrote in an article for the New York Review of Books, with the danger imminent if Chinese economic reforms fail forcing President Xi Jinping to "foster some external conflicts to keep the country united and maintain himself in power." These "conflicts" would present themselves in the form of a Sino-Russo alliance which could draw the entire world into war.
From the first rate hike by a Fed whose balance sheet as a % of GDP was nearly identical to the current one, to the start of World War II: less than three years.
As expected, earlier today the pro-ECB top European Union court found that Draghi's impromptu announcement of an OMT, which was basically the wrapping of his "whatever it takes" policy from 2012 to prevent the collapse of the Eurozone when peripheral bond yields were hitting daily records, was perfectly legal.
Last week the government reported personal income and spending for April. After months of blaming non-existent consumer spending on cold weather, shockingly occurring during the Winter, the captured mainstream media pundits, Ivy League educated Wall Street economist lackeys, and Keynesian loving money printers at the Fed have run out of propaganda to explain why Americans are not spending money they don’t have. The corporate mainstream media is now visibly angry with the American people for not doing what the Ivy League propagated Keynesian academic models say they should be doing. An economy built upon the consumption of iGadgets, Cheetos, meat lovers stuffed crust pizza, and slave labor produced Chinese baubles, along with the production of enough arms to blow up the world ten times over, and the doling out of trillions to the non-productive class, is doomed to fail.
"Forget the 1930s; inflation is different this time," says Saxobank's Steen Jakobsen, warning that while there may be a summer of growth in Europe, hell will come afterwards, "European 'cost advantage' is disappearing fast and furiously – enjoy the summer of growth – afterwards, you can expect: zero growth, zero reform and higher inflation 'expectations'... The credit cycle has peaked... and Gold will be the best performer in commodity-led rally - we see 1425/35 by year-end."
While not the much anticipated ECB announcement from this Wednesday which may resolve the Greek impasse with one brief press release, here is a live transcript of Mario Draghi speaking at the European Parliament's committee on economic and monetary affairs, in which we expect the topic of Greece to make a prominent appearance.
"We have a problem with this, and that is central bank hubris. They now think that they are omnipotent, because, essentially the government has said we are going to pass over all control of the economy to the central banks, they say to everybody else including financial market participants that “you don’t know, you don’t understand, we have our models and they are right”. And that kind of hubristic approach is when you sow the seeds of your own destruction."
Keynesian policy of manipulating economic “aggregates” through countercyclical macro-measures appeared to work when balance sheets were not stretched to the brink. The glaringly obvious result of such policies, gross capital consumption through malinvestments epitomized through a serial bubble economy, did not discourage our money masters. The best and brightest even suggest bubbles are the only remedy to what they believe is some sort of secular stagnation. Just as drugs, the abuser must increase the dosage to feel the same high and spend accordingly.
Gold bugs weren’t wrong - just super early. If central banks ever got religion and pulled a Volcker and hiked rates to the moon, it would be a remarkably bad time to hold gold. However, throughout history, there have been times where people were very sad that they didn’t own gold. We talk about one of them here. It’s very real, and the history of fiat currencies is also quite sad.
The current bubbles are so large and fragile that air is already coming out with rates still locked at zero. However, unlike prior bubbles that pricked in response to Fed rate hikes, the current bubble may be the first to burst without a pin. It appears the Fed fears this and will do everything it can to avoid any possible stress. That is why Fed officials will talk about raising rates, but keep coming up with excuses why they can’t. Larry Lindsey will be right that the markets will eventually force the Fed to raise rates even more abruptly if it waits too long to raise them on its own. But he grossly underestimates the magnitude of the rise and the severity of the crisis when that happens. It won’t just be the end of a raging party, but the beginning of the worst economic hangover this nation has yet experienced.
At present, John Hussman notes that market losses that may seem like “worst case” scenarios are actually quite run-of-the-mill expectations. As Santayana wrote, “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it." In other words, "panic before everyone else."
Every great con game eventually comes to an end.
This is the end game of unfettered capitalism. The signs are all here. When you cast aside reasonable restraints, the unscrupulous among us will rise to the top and exploit everyone else. What we have left is a new American feudalism where CEOs move around like a pack of ruthless Somalian warlords. Riding behind the banner of efficiency, they replace employees with robots, outsource their work to foreigners and tell their employees to train their own replacements, and collude with hedge fund managers to strip companies of their most valuable assets to temporarily boost the stock price.