The purpose of this article is to outline, with facts, large global structural issues that everyone, bulls and bears alike, should be fully aware of. This article will focus on much larger structural issues that have been building for years and decades. And no this article is not so much about central banks, debt issues, Greece, China, deficits, etc. While all these are important as part of the overall picture, they are mere current symptoms of a much larger issue that is at the core of all that is already in play and will only deepen in our societies in the decades to come.
"His legacy will be that of the nation's greatest destroyer, and he certainly is the greatest enemy that I, personally, and my family and employees, have ever had."
"By stepping back and looking at the big picture, we can see that real estate should be correcting and trending down. The reasons why our grandparents bought their homes have changed. Government intervention cannot last forever. It will change from accommodation to devastation, when they finally run out of ideas. As for buying a house, I would consider it more of a luxury as opposed to an investment, and one has to be prepared for the possibility of it being a depreciating asset, especially if one decides to move."
Venezuela’s hyperinflation is reaching its final stages. It is probably already far too late for the government to stop the complete collapse of its currency. The bolivar is in the process of transforming from a medium of exchange to tinder for wood-stoves. Venezuelans who had the presence of mind to convert their savings into gold or foreign currency in good time are likely to survive the conflagration intact. Governments never seem to learn. They all believe they can somehow overrule economic laws by diktat. This is not only true of Venezuela’s government, but of practically every government in today’s world. Central planning of money has been adopted everywhere. Venezuela merely shows us what the end game for every fiat money system looks like.
"The modern financial animal is wont to assume that he or she lives in an age of science. The truth is we live in an age of pseudoscience. Far from dealing in science, central bankers, and, to a degree, investment bankers and security analysts, employ magical thinking... For an individual to fix Libor is a crime. For a central bank to suppress European bond yields is an act of financial statesmanship..."
Tehran, Beijing, Moscow, Islamabad, and New Delhi have been actively establishing interlocking security guarantees. They have been simultaneously calling the Atlanticist bluff when it comes to the endless drumbeat of attention given to the flimsy meme of Iran’s "nuclear weapons program." And a few days before the Vienna nuclear negotiations finally culminated in an agreement, all of this came together at a twin BRICS/SCO summit in Ufa, Russia -- a place you’ve undoubtedly never heard of and a meeting that got next to no attention in the U.S. And yet sooner or later, these developments will ensure that the War Party in Washington and assorted neocons (as well as neoliberalcons) already breathing hard over the Iran deal will sweat bullets as their narratives about how the world works crumble.
"It wan't raining when Noah built the ark."
Nowhere is this new "glamour" bubble more visible than in the divergence between these "sexy" names built up on nothing but hype, or as David Einhorn would call them "story" stocks, and good old "resource" companies: those engaging in such "old economy" activities as energy and materials.
Across the board commodities are weak again today as CCFD unwinds and mal-investment booms collapse across the world. Copper is under the most pressure today, plunging to its lowest since June 2009... but of course, Dr. Copper now knows nothing about economics because eyeballs trump reality in the new normal... even as Goldman warns lower prices are to come.
WTI gave up earlier gains and is tumbling once again to 4-month lows, back into the $48 handle range... S&P Energy stocks are now back at Dec 2012 levels as Forward P/Es collapse back to reality...
- In Asia/Pacific, the sales decline was primarily due to lower sales in China and Japan.
- Decreases in Latin America were primarily due to continued weak construction activity
- Sales declined in EAME primarily due to the unfavorable impact of currency, as sales in euros translated into fewer U.S. dollars.
- Sales declined in North America as weakness in oil and gas-related construction was largely offset by stronger activity in residential and nonresidential building construction.
- Greek PM keeps lid on party rebellion to pass bailout vote (Reuters)
- Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras Remains Popular Despite Tough Bailout Deal (WSJ)
- Beijing's stock rescue has $800 billion bark, small market bite (Reuters)
- Capital exodus from China reaches $800bn as crisis deepens (Telegraph)
- Why Investors Shy Away From China’s $6.4 Trillion Bond Market (WSJ)
- Oil Rigs Left Idling Turn Caribbean Into Expensive Parking Lot (BBG)
- Bank of America replaces CFO in management shake-up (Reuters)
- The Financial Buzz? Pearson to sell Financial Times (Reuters)
Who could have possibly seen this coming? Almost three years we first detailed how America has become an entitlement nation where "work is punished." It appears President Obama is about to discover this first hand as his populist 'raise the minimum wage' strategy is showing yet another major unintended consequence. On the same day as New York acts to mandate a $15 minimum wage for fast food workers, Seattle's $15 minimum wage law - which is supposed to lift workers out of poverty and off public assistance - has hit a snag. As Fox News reports, evidence is surfacing that some workers are asking their bosses for fewer hours as their wages rise – in a bid to keep overall income down so they don’t lose public subsidies for things like food, child care and rent. So not only is work 'punished' it is now 'disinentivized by mandate' as part-time America toils amid ever-rising costs of living.
One of the many destructive myths Americans like to tell themselves is that the U.S. government is a staunch defender of human rights and democracy around the world. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth.
"My faith is that governments and central banks will continue to run up debt and debase currencies until a crisis brings the whole experiment to a disastrous conclusion. There is simply no historical precedent to reach any other conclusion. I also have faith that human beings will always prefer a piece of gold to a stack of paper. Separate a paper currency from its perceived value and you just have a stack of paper and ink. However, if they would just print it on softer and absorbent stock and put it on rolls, it might have some intrinsic value if we run out of toilet paper."