For several months now, I’ve been stating that the world’s central banks are in a bind. That bind is that their monetary policies are becoming less and less effective at placating the markets while the consequences of said policies (higher costs of living, the targeting of troubled banks in the credit market, etc.) are increasing.
In the 'I need to read that again to make sure I am not totally nuts' headline of the day, Reuters is reporting that 100 Sardinian miners have gone totally M.A.D. over the potential closure of the mine they work at. Barricading themselves 400 meters underground with 350 kilograms of explosives and threatening to "stay [there] indefinitely." While one certainly sympathizes with anyone who is unable to adapt to the New Abnormal Normal, one question does remain - is the 'blowing up the mine to protect their jobs' concept a Keynesian 'broken-window-fallacy' joke? or do they (like their forefathers who also occupied the mine in 1984, 1993, and 1995) hope the Italian politicians will simply back-down, collateralize the explosives with the ECB, and bail the whole mine out.
Weidmann rejected suggestions that he was isolated on the ECB Governing Council in having such reservations. "I hardly believe that I am the only one to get a stomach ache over this," he said. Alexander Dobrindt, a senior German politician who has been the Executive Secretary of the Christian Social Union of Bavaria since 2009, was more direct, saying Draghi risked passing into the history books as the "currency forger of Europe". A conservative ally of Merkel, Dobrindt echoed Bundesbank’s Weidmann that Greece should leave the currency bloc by next year. The comments show the huge divisions in Germany over the debt crisis now in its 3rd year and the understandable concerns of inflation and even hyperinflation. The Bundebank and senior politicians and allies of Merkel may thwart Mario Draghi’s big plans to do “whatever it takes” to solve Europe’s financial collapse. One way or another, the euro is certain to fall in value in the long term.
- UK is closed today
- Weidmann Says ECB Purchases Could Become ‘Addictive Like a Drug’ (Bloomberg)
- Dutch Premier Rutte Defends Austerity, Says No to More Greek Aid (Bloomberg)
- Storm Isaac forces Republicans to rework convention script (Reuters)
- Christie chose NJ over Mitt's VP role due to fears that they'd lose (NYPost)
- Ayrault warns EU fiscal pact rebels (FT)
- Is Canada's New $100 Bill Racist? (BusinessWeek)
- Will Fed Act Again? Sizing Up Potential Costs (WSJ)
- Samsung Slumps Most in 4 Years on U.S. Sales Ban Concerns (Bloomberg)
- States may require insurers to hold more capital (WSJ)
- Wen Says China Need Measures to Promote Export Growth (Bloomberg)
- Economist Appearing On Max Keiser Show Forced To Resign (Forbes)
Although the supply and demand factors do not seem to support the current price levels, there are plenty of other events to sustain and add premium.
Bail me out once, shame on you; bail me twice, shame on me; shame on me; come back for a third (and final, we promise!) bailout, only a Franco-Belgian SNAFU is capable of such Einstein-ian repetition. Dexia, that stress-test-passing bastion of all things entirely wrong with European banking and politics is back at the trough. Reuters is reporting what we have known all along, that without massive additional capital injections the bad-bank, crap-bank model simply cannot work. To wit: Dexia needs to recap its Luxembourg unit (BIL) before its apparently 'imminent' sale to a Qatari sovereign wealth fund (one more billionaire sucker family born every day it seems). The somewhat comical aspect is that the post-October (the second - and final, we promise - bailout), BIL's 'legacy' bond portfolio was 'transferred' to its parent Dexia at December 2011 prices - creating a net loss of EUR1.9bn for the subsidiary. This significantly affected the sub's solvency - making it unlikely to meet its capital requirements (which it was 'sure' would be 9% Tier 1 by now!). But given Dexia's own extensive losses - EUR11.6bn in 2011 and EUR1.2bn in the first six months of 2012 - a capital increase for Dexia BIL may force Dexia to seek funds itself. That would mean mo' money, mo' bailout from the states currently guaranteeing its borrowings - principally Belgium and France, and to a lesser extent Luxembourg - which now look set to rise to EUR90bn in aggregate!
With Vacation Over, Europe Is Back To Square Minus One: Merkel Backs Weidmann, Demands Federalist StateSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 08/26/2012 12:04 -0500
Earlier today we showed for the nth time that with insanity and insolvency ravaging the old continent, at least one person has the temerity to avoid sticking his head in the sand of collectivist stupidity and denial. That person is Bundesbank head Jens Weidmann, who until now may or may not have had the backing of Germany's elected leader, Angela Merkel. Moments ago it became clear whose side Merkel, who recently came back from vacation and is set to spoil the party that the (insolvent) mice put together in her absence, is on. From Reuters, who quotes Merkel in her just released interview with German ARD: "I think it is good that Jens Weidmann warns the politicians again and again," Merkel said. "I support Jens Weidmann, and believe it is a good thing that he, as the head of the German Bundesbank, has much influence in the ECB."
Gold $1669.80 up 20 cents - Silver $30.61 up 16 cents Silver Charges Ahead, Gold Rebuffs Cartel RaidSubmitted by lemetropole on 08/24/2012 19:03 -0500
Silver is going to blow SKY HIGH!!
It is Friday, and the market is in danger of posting its first weekly loss in months. Which means it is time for everyone's favorite Fed mouthpiece, Jon Hilsenrath to hand over the podium to his true superior, Ben Bernanke, by posting the Chairsatan's response letter to Republican Darrel Issa in which he defends QE and leave in the following: "There is scope for further action by the Federal Reserve to ease financial conditions and strengthen the recovery." And just to make sure that as Hilsenrath is to the Fed, so Reuters is to the ECB, we get the following tried and now simply pathetic regurgitation of the Spiegel rumor from this Sunday (which was since denied at least two times for the simple reason that Germany will never agree to open-ended debt monetization until global stock markets are literally collapsing) via Reuters: "ECB considering setting yield band targets under new bond buying programme according to sources." Of course, neither Ben has said anything new, nor the ECB has said something that is on the margin either credible or actionable (recall that earlier today the ECB explicitly said its hands are tied until the Kardinals of Karlsruhe make their decision in 3 weeks), but the market doesn't care, and surges. Sadly for the programmed market ramp, the non-news was leaked too early, and should have been released at 3:30 pm at the earlier. Look for a full German denial shortly.
Breaking news that the 5th Avenue and 34th street area in New York has been closed after 5 people were shot outside of the Empire state victim, including the gunman. According to police scanner reports, the perpetrator has been shot by NYPD ans is is DOA on scene, with EMS assistance requested.
There is a frequent tendency to over state the importance of the Fed and its policies and ignore the primary fundamentals driving the gold market which are what we have long termed the ‘MSGM’ fundamentals. As long as the MSGM fundamentals remain sound than there is little risk of gold and silver’s bull markets ending. What we term MSGM stands for macroeconomic, systemic, geopolitical and monetary risks. The precious metals medium and long term fundamentals remain bullish due to still significant macroeconomic, systemic, monetary and geopolitical risks. We caution that gold could see another sharp selloff and again test the support at €1,200/oz and $1,550/oz. If we get a sharp selloff in stock markets in the traditionally weak ‘Fall’ period, gold could also fall in the short term as speculators, hedge funds etc . liquidate positions en masse. To conclude, always keep an eye on the MSGM and fade the day to day noise in the markets.
- So Draghi was bluffing after all: ECB Said To Await German ESM Ruling Before Settling Plan (Bloomberg)
- German finance ministry studying "Grexit" costs (Reuters) - it would be bigger news if it wasn't
- Money Funds Test Geithner, Bernanke Resolve as Schapiro Defeated (Bloomberg)
- Top Merkel MP says Greek deal can't be renegotiated (Reuters)
- China Eyes Ways to Broaden Yuan's Use (WSJ)
- Armstrong ends fight against doping charges, to lose titles (Reuters) - Dopestrong?
- Need more socialism: Public confidence in France's Hollande slips (Reuters)
- Seoul court rules Samsung didn't violate Apple design (Reuters)
- France, Germany Unify Approach to Greek Talks (WSJ)
- Stevens Sees Mining Boom Peaking, RBA Ready to Act (Bloomberg)
When first the speculation and subsequently the confirmation that in addition to suffering massive losses on its IG-9 position, JPM had engaged in massive, reckless and criminal CDS mismarking with the intent to defraud and to boost the appearance of profit for selfish reasons, we promptly concluded that "Jamie Dimon's "tempest in a teapot" just became a fully-formed, perfect storm which suddenly threatens his very position, and could potentially lead to billions more in losses for his firm." So far, the regulators which are currently on page two of "CDS for Absolutely Corrupt Criminal Morons", are only slowly catching up. And while the stench will eventually lead to Jamie, as what happened in the over the counter, unregulated CDS market has most certainly happened at the tens of trillions in other OTC products traded by JPM, most of which are IR swaps, tying it all back nicely to the Libor scandal of which JPM is also a part, the first person who will certainly experience some major pain as the JPM scapegoating plays out, is none other than the London Whale himself Bruno Iksil, who was loved by all at JPM when he was making money, and is now being hung out to dry, once the bank is in the prosecution's cross hairs.
Industrial unrest hobbling the South African platinum industry deepened yesterday, prompting fears of a broader mining crisis in one of the main platinum and gold producing countries. Platinum and gold prices continued to soar partly due to real concerns of supply disruptions after 44 people died during strikes at a pit owned by Lonmin. About a fifth of global platinum production capacity is idled in South Africa today as the nation holds a day of mourning for 44 miners and policemen killed in the deadliest police violence since apartheid ended (see Newswire). Massive discontent has spread to two other important platinum mines. Amplats, the world’s largest platinum producer that is 80% owned by Anglo American, disclosed it had received demands for pay rises at its Thembelani mine. Meanwhile, another miner, Royal Bafokeng, said about 500 people were protesting outside its Rasimone mine, and preventing others from going to work. It seems likely that the protests will spread from the platinum sector, to other sectors, including the gold mining sector.