In its efforts to 'protect' its citizens from terrorists, France deemed it necessary in March to "fight against the use of cash and anonymity in the French economy," and drastically reduced the public's freedom and privacy to spend. Today, that freedom and privacy took another blow as the French government passed "Le Patriot Act" dramatically beefing up the government's spying powers.
"China’s capital account might be closed—but it’s not that closed. Between 2003 and 2012, $1.3 trillion slipped out of mainland China—more than any other developing country... GFI says the most common way money leaks out in the developing world is through fake trade invoices. The other big culprit is “hot money,” likely due to corruption—which GFI gleans from inconsistencies in balance of payments data. In China, both activities have picked up since 2009." Just like in the U.S., the so-called government “stimulus” in China achieved nothing more than to stimulate an oligarch crime spree. Hence the global boom in $100 million real estate, art and everything extremely high-end. As intended, the bailouts and stimulus on a global basis went directly to the 0.0001%.
A big part of the U.S. equation is U.S. executives are looking at yields and realizing that to not borrow at these unsustainable levels could be a missed opportunity they will sorely regret. If you run a viable business and “investors” are throwing free money at you for future growth, why not leverage up and buy back some stock. This is ultimately something the Fed needs to focus on and lean against.
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"How the agency obtains GDP figures is 'anybody’s guess,'" one economics professor tells WSJ, referring to the ambiguity surrounding China's official GDP data. Amid a worsening economic situation which includes industrial production data that doesn't match up to the headline GDP figures coming out of Beijing, analysts weigh in with their own projections for how the world's economic growth engine is really performing.
"So yes, we made mistakes, as many organizations of our size do, but we are acting quickly to remedy them, and have taken steps to ensure they don't happen in the future," acting CEO Maura Pally writes, in a lengthy blog post defending the Clinton Foundation and attempting to assure the public that the charity will not be a vehicle whereby foreign donors can influence public policy in the US.
The lines have been drawn in many police departments: it’s us vs. them. Trust in many departments has been utterly shattered within some communities because the police hold themselves to a different standard than they do the populace. But the recent cases of police brutality are simply a symptom of a much larger problem. Society in the US is breaking down, civility has been lost, and the country is rapidly becoming uncivilized. This extends within and across all of the most important institutions.
There was once a time, perhaps, when unprecedented things happened only occasionally. In today’s financial markets, unprecedented things are commonplace. The Queen in Lewis Carroll’s ‘[Alice] Through the Looking-Glass’ would sometimes believe as many as six impossible things before breakfast. She is probably working in the bond markets now, where believing anything less than twelve impossible things before breakfast is for wimps.
It appears as though Hillary Clinton may be witnessing her “Geithner moment,” because as Reuters reports, several Clinton family charities will now refile a half decade worth of returns after failing to report “tens of millions” in contributions from foreign governments.
Death by a thousand cuts now has a venture capital version. Observe as I walk through FinTech startups literally disassemblet the almighty money center bank.
In a fiat currency system, perception is, by definition, everything. Paper money has no intrinsic value. So the people saving it and accepting it in exchange aren’t expressing faith in the money itself but in the competence and honesty — and power — of the institutions managing it. Let that faith erode and those slips of colored paper and ephemeral computer bits revert to their intrinsic value. And on the credibility front, the trends aren’t encouraging.
We've long argued that the implications of the shift away from a global economic order that has prevailed since the end of WWII are far reaching and may include the demise of what has largely been a unilateral political and economic system characterized by the dominance of US foreign policy and Western notions of politics and capitalism. Now, it appears as though de-dollarization and the end of US hegemony may have gone viral because, as The NY Times reports, a US “retreat” from the world order it has largely shaped was the unspoken topic de jour at this year’s spring meeting of the IMF and World Bank in Washington.
“We absolutely think it is for military aircraft...the main question is, what else would land there? Unless they are planning to turn these into resorts..."
June 1, 2015 is a very important day for American civil liberties and the Constitution. On that day, Section 215 of the Patriot Act, one of the most egregious pieces of legislation passed in U.S. history, will expire automatically without reauthorization from Congress. Naturally, this is causing a panic attack within the heart of the NSA, FBI and all the authoritarian lackey legislators in Washington D.C. With the chances of a clean reauthorization next to none, these crafty “representatives” and their puppeteers need to figure out a way to sneak it into another piece of legislation. What better way to do this than making it a part of something that ostensibly appears to be reining in surveillance powers. Enter the USA Freedom Act.
Should Gary Gensler truly be Clinton's chief financial officer, and should Hillary become America's next president, then ladies and gentlemen, in the fine tradition started by Hank Paulson who nearly brought the entire wastern world to ruin, the next US Treasury Secretary will be the following fine former Goldman Sachs employee and "champion for everyday Americans."