That will teach them! Having received full credit for for co-operation and suspending some individuals, Lloyds Bank has been fined the staggeringly wrist-slap-like sum of $105 million for the "manipulation, attempted manipulation, and false reporting of Libor." As WSJ reports, the British bank becomes the seventh financial institution to strike a deal with U.S. and U.K. authorities who are conducting a long running probe into allegations of widespread attempts to manipulate Libor. With no less than the head of the Bank of England calling the bank's actions (mainpulating JPY Libor for at least 2 years) "reprehensible," and the CFTC adds individuals bevahior was a "gross breach of trust." Well we are sure after this they will never manipulate another market ever again...
A look at the price action in the major currencies, US Treasuries and the S&P 500.
Let's take a look at the amount of settlements/fines from various banks and financial institutions around the world since the crisis.
Japanese exports have disappointed expectations for 6 of the last 7 months. June saw exports drop 2.0% (versus an expectation of a rise of 1.0%). This is the first consecutive month drop in exports since Dec 2012 (before Abenomics was unleashed). Despite eysterday's incessant bullshit from various BoJ member about the economy being on track for receovery etc. the adjusted trade balane has now been in deficit for 39 months in a row with June's unadjusted trade-deficit dramatically worse than expected at JPY822billion. For a sense of how much this disaster means to markets that have become so numbed thanks to central bank intervention, USDJPY fell 2 pips on the news... it's not the economy, stupid; it's the BoJ.
?Economics is like a Monet painting. Stand too close and all you see is a bunch of seemingly random paint strokes. Back up a few steps and an image emerges. The painting of bubblenomics started with the Plaza Accord, September 1985, where five nations agreed to manipulate the dominant currencies at the time. Japan enjoyed a 50% devaluation of the US$ vs the yen, artificially enriching its citizens so they could travel the world in busloads with eighty pounds of cameras around their necks. The consequences of that bubble have yet to be corrected. Based on healthy guidelines, the price of real estate is far too expensive today, or, more precisely, the cost of housing is too high but we may need another crisis before the market will wake up to the needed changes. In the meantime, money printing and hype will continue.
A dispassionate look at the issues and events shaping the investment climate in the week ahead.
Near-term outlook for the dollar, without resorting to inflammatory and unproven claims.
While we have again and again explained why Abenomics is ultimately doomed as you simply cannot print your way to prosperity (a message The Fed appears to be discovering rapidly), when Goldman Sachs unleashes an Abenomics-bashing piece, one has to wonder just what options Abe has left as economic data starts to collapse (and approval ratings drop just as fast). Simply put, as we concluded before, "Monetary debasement does NOT result in an economic recovery, because no nation can force another to pay for its recovery... Eventually the monetary debasement raises all costs and this initial benefit to exporters vanishes. Then the country is left with a depleted capital base and a higher price level. What a great policy!"
On July 16, 1661, the bank of Johan Wittmacher - a Latvian merchant of Dutch descent - became the first in history to issue paper banknotes - Kreditivsedlar. After only seven years, the bank collapsed. But the idea of paper notes lived on to infect the evolution of money ever since. Today’s commercial banks take in customer deposits, maintain a laughably small portion in reserve, and use the rest of our money to make idiotic loans for their maximum benefit. When they fail, they’re bailed out by taxpayers and do the same thing all over again. In Wittmacher’s time, this was fraud. Today it’s not only legal, it’s the industry standard. So... happy birthday paper money. It’s a hell of a system you’ve brought us.
One can't help but wonder just how concerned the powers that be are becoming when such an esteemed mainstream media outlet as Bloomberg News would deem fit to defend the almighty US Dollar. "There are always people who say the dollar is going to be replaced, but it hasn't happened," chides one strategist (clearly forgetting that nothing lasts forever). As growing concerns of "exorbitant privilege" spread from the usual anti-imperialist foes (Russia and China's de-dollarization) to close allies like France and now to the world's growth engine - BRICS, it seems defending what was previously unquestionable itself should be grounds for alarm...
Overview of the price action in the forward exchange market and a look ahead.
As the US spreads its message of cheer around the world, it appears an increasing number of trade 'partners' are more than willing to consider alternatives to the hegemony. As AFP reports, China's Yuan usage in global trade and finance has more than doubled this year. While still notably below USD usage in international payments it remains firmly in second place for trade finance and according to a recent survey by HSBC, the number of US companies planning to use Yuan has almost tripled this year (from 8% to 22%). De-dollarization continues...
America, Europe or Asia: those are the usual continental suspects which come to mind when asked where the world's most expensive cities for expats are located. They are also incorrect. According to the most recent study conducted by Mercer consultants not only the world's most expensive city, but also the second most expensive place for foreigners to live at this moment, are located in the one continent which we predicted two years ago, would become a Chinese colonial feeding ground. Africa.
This clown parade of clueless opinions (did we mention Goldman had BES at a buy until this morning?), stretched all the way to the very top with Bank of Portugal itself issuing the following pearl:
- BANK OF PORTUGAL SAYS BES DEPOSITORS CAN STAY CALM
Uhhh, what else would the Portugal central bank say? Panic and withdraw your deposits from a bank whose exposures to insolvent entities have been largely unknown until today (and even now).
- Espirito Santo Financial Suspends Shares, Bonds on ESI Exposure (BBG)
- Europe Stocks Drop for Fifth Day as Espirito Santo Sinks (BBG)
- Espirito Santo Creditors Doubt Containment on Missed Payment (BBG)
- French Stocks Seen Extending Losses on Economy Concern (BBG)
- Stocks Slide With Portugal Bonds as Yen Gains; Oil Drops (BBG)
- U.S. Probes Hacking of Government Computers at Personnel Agency (WSJ)... finds terabytes of porn
- It's Congress' fault: Obama rejects criticism over border crisis (Reuters)
- Israel Mobilizes 20,000 Troops for Possible Gaza Invasion (BBG)
- Chinese hackers pursue key data on U.S. workers (NYT)
- Donetsk Primed for Siege as Ukraine Army Hems In Rebels (BBG)