Reality

Japan's Pacific Rim Job: Build 250-Mile Anti-Tsunami Wall To Create Jobs

It appears Japanese policy-makers are getting inspiration from Hollywood for their latest economic 'fixes'. Having begun the building of a giant 'Game of Thrones'-esque ice-wall to hold back the radiation leaking from Fukushima (only to fail miserably); AP reports the latest cunning plan from the Japanese is to build a Pacific-Rim-esque "massive, costly sea wall to fend off tsunamis." The $6.8 billion, 250-mile-long, 41-foot-high concrete barrier public works project is seen by some as a necessary evil, and by others as a jail... Perhaps The UN's head of Disaster Risk Reduction summed it up best - "There's a bit of an over-belief in technology as a solution."

How Much Time Do Americans Spend Plugged Into The Matrix Every Day?

The average American spends more than 10 hours a day using an electronic device... and most of that activity is not even interactive. The vast majority of the time we are just passively absorbing content that someone else has created. Instead of humans being forcefully connected to “the Matrix”, we are all willingly connecting ourselves to it, as the system that defines our reality for us gains greater and greater hold over everything.

The Fed - Hawk, Dove, Or Chicken?

We often hear various Fed officials described as hawks or doves but Janet Yellen’s Fed brings to mind another avian metaphor. They are afraid to raise rates for fear that doing so would upset the asset market inflation process and derail what is left of their theory. In her press conference last week Yellen said that stock market valuations were on the high side of historical norms, an appellation that only works if one includes the stock bubble of the late 90s. It seems that she and the other members of the FOMC have decided that another epic stock market bubble is better than admitting they were wrong. This FOMC doesn’t have any hawks or doves, only chickens.

Saudi Production Comments Send WTI Sliding To $45 Handle

Following Friday's manic quad-witching melt-up in oil (and everything else), the exuberance (surprise surprise) is fading as fundamental reality is slapped back onto the face of the energy complex by Saudi Arabia. As Reuters reports, Saudi oil minister Ali al Naimi also said the kingdom was now pumping a record high 10 million barrels per day (bpd), and would only cut if non-OPEC countries cut production. The 'supply' weakness in crude has been tempered somewhat by a tumbling USD (EUR surging) for now (and also by news from Sinopec of major capex cuts).

Spot The Odd One Out

We hate to spoil the surprise, but the answer, as clearly shown by the first blue bar on the chart below, is "Energy"...

One Last Look At The Real Economy Before It Implodes - Part 3

In the previous installments of this series, we discussed the hidden and often unspoken crisis brewing within the employment market, as well as in personal debt. The primary consequence being a collapse in overall consumer demand, something which we are at this very moment witnessing in the macro-picture of the fiscal situation around the world. Lack of real production and lack of sustainable employment options result in a lack of savings, an over-dependency on debt and welfare, the destruction of grass-roots entrepreneurship, a conflated and disingenuous representation of gross domestic product, and ultimately an economic system devoid of structural integrity — a hollow shell of a system, vulnerable to even the slightest shocks.

We Must Rethink "Everything" If We Are To Survive This Strange New World

These negative rates that we see in Europe are a first glimpse of fiat currency destruction due to imploding economies.  And again the negative rates are nominal rates meaning they are negative by way of something beyond inflation.  Specifically they are moving to their natural minimum state of valuelessness because the economy is no longer strong enough to provide alternative investments for the fiat currency.  Fiat currency is shown then not to be a storage of value whatsoever.  But only a representation of strength of its respective economy.  As the economy goes to zero so does the value of its currency.  This point is exceedingly imperative to understand in our current global environment.