Today has been a busy day for central planners around the world: the IMF and the World Bank are holding their spring meetings which has resulted in an avalanche of Bloomberg excerpts. Courtesy of Reuters, here is a full summary of the key statements by various high level officials. As usual anything that is being denied is about to hit us head on. Of particular note are the statements by TeflonTurboTaxTim Geithner.
World Bank president Robert Zoellick is currently speaking live on Reuters Newsmaker, and is discussing numerous topics related to the future of the monetary system, notable among them most likely being the fate of the dollar, and whether or not he still stand behind his recent statement that a return to the gold standard is needed for the world.
On this side of the rainbow, “How much money should an uncreditworthy entity be allowed to borrow?” is a rhetorical question. In Washington DC, it’s a topic of much rhetoric. In fiscal year 2009 Congress borrowed 53.5 cents of every dollar they spent. In FY2010 they borrowed 48 cents of every dollar (*check your numbers, Santelli). So they’ve borrowed and spent 3.5 Trillion to produce 255 Billion in GDP growth (7% efficiency!), never even bothered to pass a budget for FY2011, and still haven’t managed to get a single bankster put in jail. Now these whores are lecturing us about “moral obligations.” They also swear they’re gonna straighten up and fly right this time. There is one little detail they forgot to mention – no one actually wants to lend them money. Welcome to the last resort.
And some more bullish news for inverse consumption from JPM's Lawrence Engles Daily Note On Oil: 'As long as key economies remain on track, and given the tensions still manifest on the supply side, we remain positive on near-term price outlook and expect 2Q2011 Brent crude to average $118/bbl, prices possibly spiking towards $130/bbl, if OPEC fails act in time and raise production." Basically we are no recreating the "goldilocks" economy from late 2007/early 2008 when everyone thought crude at $150 was sustainable. And back then there wasn't quite as much "speculative actions driven by too much liquidity" as noted earlier by Charles Plosser.
The goal of Alt-Market is to facilitate barter networking and the exchange of knowledge and ideas for thriving in a faltering monetary environment.
Markets in positive territory this morning, despite mounting debt stress in Europe. MBA mortgage applications grew 2.7% v -0.7% the week prior. The increase exhibits a different trend than this week’s disappointing housing data which included a fall in February existing home sales and a -0.3% drop in the house price index v -0.2%E in January. The Portuguese government will vote on proposed fiscal austerity measures today. Given the country’s political divide, approval appears unlikely, which would further stress the debt-strapped nation and lead it quickly to an EFSF tap. It now appears EFSF expansion will take until the end of June to be resolved according to news reports, which will not bode well for those issuers trying to play hardball with the group of payers. SOVXWE traded 10bp wider yesterday and traded into 174bp this AM. Japan’s government announced yesterday that damage due to the recent earthquake will reach $185B to $308B, an amount equivalent to the damage of almost four Hurricane Katrinas. That makes it the most expensive natural disaster the world has ever seen. The government also indicated that the earthquake will take -¥2.75T hit on GDP for the fiscal year that begins on April 1.
The linear thinkers that dominate the mainstream media and the halls of power in Washington D.C. are assessing the series of disasters in Japan without connecting the dots of history. Their ideological desire to convince people that things will go back to normal in short order flies in the face of the facts. It makes me wonder whether these supposed thought leaders lack true intelligence or whether their ideological biases convince them to lie. At the end of the day it comes down to wealth, power and control. If those in power were to tell the truth about the true consequences of demographics, debt, disasters, and devaluation, their subjects would revolt and toss them out. Before the multiple disasters struck Japan last week, the sun was already setting on this empire. The recent tragic events will accelerate that descent.
- A Crisis That Markets Can’t Grasp (NYT)
- World Bank Says Japan Quake Rebuilding May Take Five Years (Bloomberg)
- Central Banks to Maintain Pressure on Yen (WSJ)
- Japan Faces Fresh Food Safety Crisis (FT)
- Coalition Air Strikes Rein in Gaddafi (FT)
- Geithner to Decide on Regulation of Foreign-Exchange Swaps (WaPo)
- Help Housing? Dump Uncle Sam (Forbes)
- Oil Companies Fear Nationalisation in Libya (FT)
While US stock futures continue doing their own thing, primarily on the back of JPMorgan's $20 billion financing for AT&T to buy T-Mobile (gotta love proximity to the discount window and/or excess reserves), with ES surging by 16 points overnight (but not Sprint - sorry guys, you are on your own) after the world apparently did not end, the black swan formation refuses to disperse. Here is the latest news update from Japan, Libya, and Yemen.
No one can predict exactly how this will all shake out, but Doug Casey has long said that a return to a gold standard, or some modern equivalent, is almost inevitable. That’s because, for the reasons Aristotle outlined 2,000 years ago (it’s durable, divisible, consistent, convenient, and has intrinsic value), gold is hands-down the world’s best money. Now, Gresham’s Law tells us that bad money drives out good, but that’s only true when legal tender laws hold sway (incentivizing people to hoard what’s perceived to be “good” money and spend the “bad” money as fast as they can). When people give up on the local legal tender, Gresham’s Law goes into reverse, and good money chases out bad. The dollarization of third-world economies is an example of this, the dollar being perceived as being good when compared to many shakier currencies.
Hacker Group Anonymous Brings Peaceful Revolution To America: Will Engage In Civil Disobedience Until Bernanke Steps DownSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 03/12/2011 21:30 -0500
The world's most (in)famous hacker group - Anonymous - known for effectively shutting down their hacking nemesis security firm (with clients such as Morgan Stanley and, unfortunately for them, Bank of America)- HBGary, advocating the cause of Wikileaks, and the threat made by one of its members that evidence of fraud by Bank of America will be released on Monday, has just launched communication #1 in its Operation "Empire State Rebellion." The goal - engage in "a relentless campaign of non-violent, peaceful, civil disobedience" until Ben Bernanke steps down and the "Primary Dealers within the Federal Reserve banking system be broken up and held accountable for rigging markets and destroying the global economy effective immediately."
Top Economists: Trust is Necessary for a Stable Economy ... But Trust Won't Be Restored Until We Prosecute Wall Street FraudSubmitted by George Washington on 03/07/2011 19:59 -0500
"You put Lloyd Blankfein in pound-me-in-the-ass prison for one six-month term, and all this bullshit would stop, all over Wall Street," says a former congressional aide. "That's all it would take. Just once."
The lack of animal spirits in the gold and silver bullion markets is also seen in the decline of the gold ETF holdings (see chart above) and the Commitment of Traders open interest (see below). Neither show any signs of speculative fever whatsoever. This would suggest that the recent record prices are due to short covering on the COMEX (possibly by Wall Street banks with concentrated short positions as alleged by the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee or GATA and being investigated by the CFTC) and buying of bullion in the Middle East and Asia, particularly in China. While all the focus is on the geopolitical risk in the Mediterranean, the not insignificant risks posed by the European sovereign crisis, the possibility of a US municipal and sovereign debt crisis and continuing currency debasement internationally are the prime drivers of gold today. Quantitative easing, debt monetisation and competitive currency devaluations have not gone away and are leading to deepening inflation which will likely result in much higher prices in 2011 and 2012.
Why choose to participate in a system that doesn’t work? A system that is designed to drain the people of wealth instead of enriching them and their lives? A system that is constructed upon irrational principles, faulty laws, and unstable values? A system on the verge of collapse? This is the question that the Alternative Market Movement (AMM) poses to the American citizen. Why continue living under an economic structure that is poised to erupt, threatening you, your family, and your ability to provide a meaningful future for them? Would anyone voluntarily choose to live under the barrel of a gun their entire lives?
- China says media must 'cooperate' after clampdown (AFP)
- Shirakawa Says Current Yen Level 'Not Working As An Additional Risk Factor' (WSJ)
- China Sees Drop in New Bank Loans (WSJ)
- EU Raises 2011 Growth Forecast, Sees Inflation Accelerating (Bloomberg)
- Europe Wary of Rethink Over Irish Bail-Out (FT)
- Charlie Sheen v Muammar Gaddafi: whose line is it anyway? (Guardian)
- BOE's King Says Raising Rate to Make a Gesture Is Self-Defeating (Bloomberg)
- Cameron Says UK Could Arm Rebels (FT)
- Bill Gross Gets `A' for Effort on Trader Greed (Bloomberg)