Reuters

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IMF Brings Good Tidings: Prepare For Another Lost Decade





"It will surely take at least a decade... for the world economy to get back to decent shape" is the somewhat shockingly honest (and at the same time hopeful that ECOpocalypse does not happen before) outlook that the IMF's Olivier Blanchard offers in a recent interview with Hungary's Portfolio.ru via Reuters. His diatribe of expectations that Germany would have to accept higher inflation, the US had to fix its fiscal problem, "Japan is facing a very difficult fiscal adjustment too" is more an understatement of facts than a forecast but on the bright-side he thinks China has turned the corner on its asset boom (but faces slower growth ahead). The reality is that, as he also notes, debt reduction (via default or deleveraging) is unavoidable and while he believes that this can be done without stifling growth in this credit-fueled world in which we have lived (though no mention of the tooth fairy). Dismissing the idea of inflation-targeting, he warns "You can have an economy in which inflation is stable and low, but behind the scenes the composition of the output is wrong, and the financial system accumulates risks." It seems the IMF is waking to the new reality - perhaps as evidenced by their actual disagreement with Greece over fantasy GDP data - though we fear what another decade of this will do to global instability.

 
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Frontrunning: October 3





  • No Joy on Wall Street as Biggest Banks Earn $63 Billion (Bloomberg)
  • And more good news: IMF’s Blanchard Says Crisis Will Last a Decade (Reuters)
  • Hobbit Returns to Find Middle Earth Has Become Expensive (Bloomberg)
  • Freddie's Foreclosure Plan Hits Roadblock (WSJ)
  • Who will buy the FT? Pearson CEO Scardino Will Step Down as Fallon Takes Over (BBG)
  • Jeremy Lin Said to Be in Talks With Harvard on Licensing Deal (Bloomberg)
  • Jon Weil tears apart the NYAG "prosecution" - Eric Schneiderman Will Have to Do Better Than This (BBG)
  • Portugal Offers to Exchange Bonds as It Seeks Debt Market Access (Bloomberg)
  • Is unlimited growth a thing of the past? (FT-Martin Wolf)
  • European Bank Capital Results Overtaken by Tougher Global Rules (Bloomberg)
  • China’s Slowdown Reverberates as ADB Cuts Forecasts (Bloomberg)
  • Tokyo has no plan to extend currency swap deal with Seoul (Reuters)
 
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Overnight Sentiment: Go Back To Bed





Tonight's session has been even more boring than yesterday's, when nothing happened. Several data points came out of Europe, some better than expected, some worse, but all massively beaten down to where any uptick is merely a dead cat bounce. Retail sales in the euro zone rose 0.1 percent in August from July, when they also gained 0.1 percent. From a year earlier, sales dropped 1.3 percent. A composite PMI of manufacturing and services industries in the euro area fell to 46.1 in September from 46.3 in August, Markit Economics said. That’s above an initial estimate of 45.9. The problem is that the PMIs of the most notable countries: Germany (at 49.7 on expectations of 50.6, lowest since March 2006), France (45.0, down from 46.1, and below consensus of an unchanged print -keep a close eye on this suddenly fast-motion trainwrecking economy), Spain, UK and Sweden all missed badly. In the U.K., where the services PMI dropped to 52.2 in September from 53.7 in August. But don't call it a stagflation: it's been here for years - U.K. retail prices rose 1 percent in September from a year earlier after a 1.1 percent gain in August, the British Retail Consortium said. Some additional data via BBG - Britons injected a net 9.8 billion pounds into their housing equity in the second quarter, the Bank of England said. Elsewhere, one central bank that refuses to join the global easefest is, not surprisingly, Iceland’s central bank kept the sevenday collateral lending rate unchanged at 5.75 percent for a second meeting. None of this has been able to move the futures which are net flat with Treasuries steady, before the US ISM Services number (est. 53.4 from 53.7), the total joke of an indicator which is the ADP Employment (est. 140k from 201k) but which wrong as it always is, is the only advance hint into Friday as traders prepare for Friday’s nonfarm payrolls report (est. 115k, unemployment rate rising to 8.2%).

 
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Eric Sprott: Do Western Central Banks Have Any Gold Left?





Somewhere deep in the bowels of the world’s Western central banks lie vaults holding gargantuan piles of physical gold bars… or at least that’s what they all claim.

Our analysis of the physical gold market shows that central banks have most likely been a massive unreported supplier of physical gold, and strongly implies that their gold reserves are negligible today. If Frank Veneroso’s conclusions were even close to accurate back in 1998 (and we believe they were), when coupled with the 2,300 tonne net change in annual demand we can easily identify above, it can only lead to the conclusion that a large portion of the Western central banks’ stated 23,000 tonnes of gold reserves are merely a paper entry on their balance sheets – completely un-backed by anything tangible other than an IOU from whatever counterparty leased it from them in years past. At this stage of the game, we don’t believe these central banks will be able to get their gold back without extreme difficulty, especially if it turns out the gold has left their countries entirely. We can also only wonder how much gold within the central bank system has been ‘rehypothecated’ in the process, since the central banks in question seem so reluctant to divulge any meaningful details on their reserves in a way that would shed light on the various “swaps” and “loans” they imply to be participating in. We might also suggest that if a proper audit of Western central bank gold reserves was ever launched, as per Ron Paul’s recent proposal to audit the US Federal Reserve, the proverbial cat would be let out of the bag – with explosive implications for the gold price.... We realize that some readers may scoff at any analysis of the gold market that hints at “conspiracy”. We’re not talking about conspiracy here however, we’re talking about stupidity. After all, Western central banks are probably under the impression that the gold they’ve swapped and/or lent out is still legally theirs, which technically it may be. But if what we are proposing turns out to be true, and those reserves are not physically theirs; not physically in their possession… then all bets are off regarding the future of our monetary system.

 
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Silver’s Bullish ‘Golden Cross’; Morgan Stanley Like Silver In Q4 and 2013





 

Technical indicators such as MACD, RSI and STO show that silver is slightly overbought short term.

However, silver can remain overbought in the short term as was seen in silver’s rally in 2011 when silver nearly doubled by surging from below $27/oz to nearly $50/oz in just 3 months - from January 27th 2011 to April 28th 2011.

 

 
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China Just Killed All "China Bails Out Europe" Rumors For Good





Just in case there are still any hopes that the FT, or any other credible media outlet, may come up with a story, like it used to do almost daily back in 2011 and early 2012, that China, whose stock market continues to plumb 3 year lows, has some capacity to inject cash (that it doesn't have) into a broke continent (which would never repay said cash even if it existed), here comes none other than China's Sovereign Wealth Fund to make sure there is never again a rumor that China will bail out Europe. From Reuters: "China would be interested in buying into a Eurobond backed by core euro zone countries and considers investment in bonds issued by heavily indebted European countries unrealistic, a senior official with China's $480 billion sovereign wealth fund said. Jin Liqun, chairman of the supervisory board of the China Investment Corporation (CIC), said until fundamental problems of fiscal, social and monetary policies in euro zone countries burdened by debt are solved, there could be no investment." They never will be so scratch that possibility out. Now we can limit the universe of idiotic Europe is saved (it isn't - it is only a matter of time now before the ship sinks) rumors to at least one less.

 
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Frontrunning: October 2





  • RBA Cuts Rate to 3.25% as Mining-Driven Growth Wanes (Reuters)
  • Republicans Not Buying Bernanke’s QE3 Defense (WSJ)
  • Spain ready for bailout, Germany signals "wait" (Reuters)
  • EU says prop trading and investment banking should be separated from deposit taking (Reuters)
  • Call for bank bonuses to be paid in debt (FT)
  • Spanish Banks Need More Capital Than Tests Find, Moody’s Says (Bloomberg) ... as we explained on Friday
  • "Fiscal cliff" to hit 90% of US families (FT)
  • The casualties of Chesapeake's "land grab" across America (Reuters)
  • U.K. Government Needs to Do More to Boost Weak Economy, BCC Says (Bloomberg)
  • World Bank Sees Long Crisis Effect (WSJ)
  • UBS Co-Worker Says He Used Adoboli’s Umbrella Account (Bloomberg)
  • And more easing: South Korea central bank switches tack to encourage growth (Reuters)
 
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Overnight Sentiment Better On Yet More Easing





In a world in which markets are simply policy instruments of central planners it is no surprise that the only thing that matters is how much money is injected by any given central bank at any given time. Last night, following the Fed and the BOJ, it was the turn of Australia, which in a "surprise" move cut policy rates by 25 bps. From SocGen: "Reacting to a weaker global economic outlook, which has moderated the outlook for growth in Australia, the Reserve Bank of Australia cut its policy rate today by 25bp to 3.25%, a move that was predicted by only a minority of forecasters (including us). Nevertheless, we believe that markets are too aggressively priced for further rate reductions: we expect a low of 3.00%, to be reached by year-end, but the swap market is currently discounting a low of 2.4% by mid-2013. The reasons the RBA stated for lowering rates centered mostly on the global economic outlook, which has softened over recent months, not least because of greater uncertainty about near-term prospects in China, and hence the outlook for Australia is seen as a “little weaker”. The RBA also stated that the resource investment peak may be lower than previously thought." Sure enough, the move sent Australian stocks to 5 month highs, and global equity futures spiking. Of course, in the open-ended global race to debase perhaps it is more surprising i) they did not do this sooner and ii) not more banks have "cut" yet. Ironically, while the ECB, BOE and SNB are still contemplating next steps to catch up with Bernanke, it is the BOJ which in the abysmal failure of its own QE 8 from three weeks ago, is now contemplating QE 9 - the foreign bond edition (because buying treasury and corporate bonds, ETFs and REITs is never enough). Naturally, all this additional liquidity and promises thereof, has sent futures to fresh highs as more and more latent inflation is loaded up in the global monetary system.

 
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Guest Post: The Global Spring





Serfdom has simply been pushed too far.  Globally.  What we are about to witness, incredibly, is not just a change in the way that one or two countries or even a specific region of the world operates.  No, what we are about to witness is a complete transformation globally, a change that we believe will be incredibly positive and will ultimately free us from the shackles upon the minds of humanity as a species. Whether it was the intention from the outset or not, what globalization has created is a very small class of incredibly wealthy people that are extraordinarily corrupt as a group and also above the law. The writing is on the wall folks.  The global economy is headed back down into depths that will prove worse than 2008, and this time no amount of money printing and propaganda will be enough to hold things together.  TPTB know this. What we have today is not Socialism or Capitalism, it is Ponzism.

 
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Australian Government 'Finds' Extra $338bn Assets (But No Unicorns Yet)





In what could easily be a Friday Humor post, Reuters reports that the Aussie government's statisticians, taking a page out of the German's 'creative' accounting book, have found an additional $338bn of assets for the nation. 'Cheers' all around as the Australian Bureau of Statistics (and Lies) revised household wealth up by AUD14,380 for every one of the country's 22.6 million people - as new estimates of unlisted shares and other equity pushed the nation's total financial assets to AUD3.1tn (compared to an originally reported AUD2.77tn. As the miners from down-under continue to struggle against a fading China, this miraculous 'find' has dropped the ratio of debt to liquid assets from a worrisome 170.1% to a meager 129.1%. Rumors are circulating that the ABS is now looking for the ark of the covenant, the philosopher's stone, and Shangri-La.

 
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As Iran Rial Implodes By 20% In One Day, Follow The Death Of A Currency In Real Time





Iranian clerics' attempts to curb speculation in the Rial and stabilize the currency appear to have backfired as the un-official (real) Rial rate traded as low as 34,250 Rial to the USD this morning - a massive 20% plunge. Demand for gold is surging (as Tehran exchange volume is up almost 18% today) as the population appears to be readying itself for hyperinflationary death - as we wrote yesterday, it really is no fun in Iran. The following tables/links will allow the real-time monitoring of that market's collapse - since Bloomberg's official rates are entirely useless. Instead of allaying fears about the availability of dollars, the centre seems to have intensified the race for hard currency as "The government's initiative ... brought to the surface a tremendous lack of confidence in its ability to manage the currency,"

 
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Eurozone Unemployment at Record Levels





Factory output has shrunk for 14 consecutive months and businesses must continue to trim the fat of their organizations during these recessionary times. The report showed that 18.2 million people were jobless in September; this is an increase of 34,000 people versus the previous month. As living standards fall and livelihoods are being wretched voter anger is becoming increasingly palpable, especially in countries such as Spain and France. History provides countless lessons as to the political consequences of detached economic policies and their real effects.  Northern Europe’s gamesmanship in rewriting previously agreed banking debt support may set a dangerous precedent and tear apart the tenuous ties of trust between governments - who after all must act together if they are ever to forge a solution to their current economic plight.

 
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Frontrunning: October 1





  • Trade Slows Around World (WSJ)
  • Debt limit lurks in fiscal cliff talks (FT)
  • Welcome back to the eurozone crisis (FT, Wolfgang Munchau)
  • Euro Leaders Face October of Unrest After September Rally (Bloomberg)
  • Dad, you were right (FT)
  • 25% unemployment, 25% bad loans, 5% drop in Industrial Production, and IMF finally lowers its 2013 Greek GDP forecast (WSJ)
  • Global IPOs Slump to Second-Lowest Level Since Financial Crisis (Bloomberg)
  • France's Hollande faces street protest over EU fiscal pact (Reuters)
  • EU Working to Resolve Difference on Bank Plan, Rehn Says (Bloomberg)
  • China manufacturing remains sluggish (FT)
  • Samaras vows to fight Greek corruption (FT) ... and one of these days he just may do it
  • Leap of Faith (Hssman)
  • Germany told to 'come clean’ over Greece (AEP)
 
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Overnight Sentiment Improves On Record Eurozone Unemployment, 14th Consecutive PMI Contraction





After dropping to its 200 DMA, and threatening to breach its recent support level of 1.2800, the EURUSD has seen the usual powerlift over the past 4 hours, on two key events out of Europe: Eurozone unemployment, which came at a record 11.4%, up from 11.3% (which just happened to be revised to 11.4%) but because it was in line with expectations of the ongoing recession, all was forgiven. The other event was Eurozone manfucaturing PMI, which rose by the smallest amount possible from the 46.0 in August to 46.1, on expectations of an unchanged print. That 0.1% "beat" is what has so far set off a near 100 pip rush higher in the EURUSD, which has ignored the Chinese weakness overnight (the SHCOMP is closed for the Chinese Golden Week), as well as the UK PMI which did not share in the European "improvement" and tumbled from 49.5 to 48.4 on expectations of a 49.0 print (so much for that latest BOE easing), and instead is transfixed by headlines proclaiming the strongest PMI in 6 months. What also is being ignored is the components in the Eurozone PMI, with the leading New Order index falling to 43.5 from 43.7. But the data being ignored the hardest is the French PMI which tumbled to 42.7, the lowest print in 41 months, of which as MarkIt's chief economist Chris Williamson said "France is perhaps the new worry, with its PMI slumping to the lowest for three-and-a-half years." Coming at a 3+ year low when France desperately needs its new wealth redistribution budget to be credible, is not the best possible outcome. Bottom line: Europe is in a recession, but maybe not outright depression just yet, so the thinking is - buy the EUR, strengthen the currency, make German exports weaker, and make sure the recession becomes a full on depression. Or something like that.

 
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China Bails Out World's Largest Maker Of Solar Panels





Chinese local governments are facing the prospect of major unemployment problems should the swathe of solar panel makers, that have been subsidized from birth to now-near-death, continue to suffer from US and European tariffs (as well as simple gross mis-allocation of capital amid massive over-capacity). However, as is the way of the mal-investing world today, no barrier to rational economic theory is too low for government status-quo maintenance as it would appear that local banks have been strong-armed into extending loans to keep them alive. As Reuters reports, debt-laden (NYSE-traded) SunTech Power Holdings  - which is close to removal from the exchange due to its dismal equity price - has just received new 'bailout' loans. First, it was a race to debase. Now, we have the race to bailout the world's most worthless companies (especially in channel-stuffed industries) as the New Normal trade wars continue.

 
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