Switzerland

Why 'Robbing Peter' To 'Pay Paul Something-For-Nothing' Doesn't Work

Yes, the voters are a nuisance. Still, it pays to let the masses think they are in charge; you can get more out of them that way and the welfare state only really worked as long as people got something for nothing. Nothing-for-something will not be attractive to the voters.

Futures Levitate To Session Highs As ECB Enters The Bond Market; Crude Hits $51

In an overnight session dominated by the latest political developments out of the US where Hillary Clinton officially claimed the democratic nomination, the financial newsflow focused on China's trade data, where exports fell 4.1% from a year earlier, in line with expectations, but imports dropped 0.4% from a year earlier, the smallest decline since they turned negative in November 2014, driven entire by soaring "imports" from Hong Kong - aka capital outflows - which soared by 243% y/y.  The other main news was the official launch of the ECB's corporate bond buying, which helped drive government bonds yields in German to new record lows, and the average yields on investment-grade corporate debt below 1%.

Free Money Leaves Everyone Poorer

The Deep State, in addition to being malignant and entertaining, is incompetent. It fights wars just to lose them. It solves problems and makes them worse. Led by the Yellen Fed, it “improves” the economy and leaves 9 out of 10 people poorer than they were before.

Obama Administration Protectionism Goes "Nuclear" - Seeks "Total Ban" On Chinese Steel

A huge global trade war is on the horizon, regardless of whether Hillary or Trump wins the election, as the Obama administration's own protectionists are on the cusp of a “Pyrrhic victory” over China. In 2011, the US put huge tariffs on Chinese-made tires (to the detriment of consumers and the auto industry). China responded with anti-dumping tariffs on GM.

Futures Flat Following Friday's Jobs Fiasco: All Eyes On Yellen Again

Every ugly jobs report has a silver lining, and sure enough following Friday's disastrous jobs report, global mining and energy companies rallied alongside commodities after the jobs data crushed speculation the Fed would raise interest rates this month.  “The disappointing U.S. jobs report on Friday means that a summer Fed rate hike is off the table,” said Jens Pedersen, a commodities analyst at Danske Bank. “That has reversed the upwards trend in the dollar, supporting commodities on a broader basis. The market will look for confirmation in Yellen’s speech later today.”

"Marxist Dream" Crushed - In Landslide Vote, Swiss Reject Proposal To Hand Out Free Money To Everyone

This weekend the Swiss population was called upon to make a historic decision, when Switzerland became the first country worldwide to put the idea of free money for everyone, technically known as Unconditional Basic Income, to a vote. As reported previously, the outcome of this referendum would set a strong precedent and establish a landmark in the evolution of the debate of handing out free money in a centrally-planned world. And as predicted, based on early vote projections it has been a landslide decision against the "free lunch."

8 Lessons That We Can Learn From The Economic Meltdown In Venezuela

We are watching an entire nation collapse right in front of our eyes. All of this is happening even though Venezuela has not been hit by a war, a major natural disaster, a terror attack, an EMP burst or any other type of significant “black swan” event. When debt spirals out of control, currency manipulation goes too far and government interference reaches ridiculous extremes, this is what can happen to an economy. The following are 8 lessons that we can learn from the epic economic meltdown in Venezuela...

Switzerland's Gotthard Base Tunnel: Swiss Engineered, Foreign Made

We previously introduced the Gotthard Base Tunnel, the longest and deepest tunnel in the world. The 35 mile long tunnel which cuts underneath the Alps helps remove natural barriers to trade and tourism, and is undoubtedly a testament to Swiss precision engineering. However, as Bloomberg reports, the tunnel that was 17 years in the making and had workers on three shifts working around the clock to build, was built primarily by foreigners... with only 14 percent of the workers from Switzerland.

Venezuela's Gold Reserves Plunge To Lowest Ever As Maduro Repays Debt With Gold

Venezuela’s gold reserves have plunged to their lowest level on record after the country sold $1.7 billion of the precious metal in the first quarter of the year to repay debts. The country is grappling with an economic crisis that has left it struggling to feed its population.The OPEC member’s gold reserves have dropped almost a third over the past year and it sold over 40 tonnes in February and March. Gold now makes up almost 70% of the country’s total reserves, which fell to a low of $12.1 billion last week

Switzerland Prepares To Vote On "Free Lunch" For Everyone

In early June the Swiss will be called upon to make a historic decision. Switzerland is the first country worldwide to put the idea of an Unconditional Basic Income (of $2,500 per month for every man, woman, and child for doing absolutely nothing) to a vote and the outcome of this referendum will set a strong precedent and establish a landmark in the evolution of this debate. The main argument of the supporters of this initiative is that it would support the people that will, or already do, lose their jobs to automation and technological progress; a defensive move against “the rise of the robots” as they put it. The promise of a free lunch is by no means a new thing in politics. Getting “something for nothing” is an age-old shiny trinket that has been dangled before the eyes of the public since time immemorial...but at the end of day, someone will have to pay for it.

US Spy Plane Disrupts Civilian Flights While Spying On Russia

By now we are accustomed to hearing about US spy planes flying recon missions that are either infringing or extremely close to infringing on the borders of other countries - especially Russian borders. A US defense attache has been summoned by Russia's Defense Ministry to explain why a US spy plane was not only flying close to Russia's border on Sunday, but dangerously close to civilian aircraft as well.