- Developed-Country Growth Slows, OECD Says (WSJ)
- Charter Agrees to Buy Time Warner Cable for About $55 Billion (BBG)
- Dollar hits one-month high as periphery woes weigh on Europe (Reuters)
- IMF Says Yuan No Longer Undervalued Amid Reserve-Status Push (BBG)
- Hanergy secured $200m loan ahead of solar group stock tumble (FT)
- Congressional Inaction Threatens NSA Spy Program (WSJ)
- Germany sees progress on Greece, EU officials to confer on Thursday (Reuters)
- Hayes ‘motivated by greed’, prosecutor says in Libor case (FT)
- Whistleblowers Find SEC Rewards Slow and Scarce (WSJ)
While yesterday most markets were closed and unable to express their concerns at the very strong showing of "anti-austerity" parties in Spain's municipal election from Sunday, then today they have free reign to do just that, and as a result European stocks are broadly lower, alongside the EURUSD which dripped under 1.09 earlier today, with Spanish banks among the worst performers: Shares of Banco Sabadell, Bankia, Caixabank and Popular were down 1.8 to 2.3% earlier this morning, and while the stronger dollar was a gift to both the Nikkei and Europe in early trading, after opening in the green, Spain's IBEX has since slid into the red on concerns of what happens if the Greek anti-status quo contagion finally shifts to the Pyrenees.
China launches international gold fund with over 60 countries as members. The large fund, which expects to raise 100 billion yuan or $16 billion, will develop gold mining projects across the economic region known as the New Silk Road.
Overnight Xinhua also reported that a gold sector fund involving countries along the ancient Silk Road has been set up in northwest China's Xi'an City during an ongoing forum on investment and trade this weekend. (read more about the "New Silk Road" which could change global economics forever here). The fund, led by Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE), is expected to raise an estimated 100 billion yuan (16.1 billion U.S. Dollars) in three phases. The amount of capital allocated to nothing but physical gold purchases (without plans for financial paper intermediation a la western ETFs) will be the largest in the world.
Economic events and data in the week ahead.
“The world economy is like an ocean liner without lifeboats ...” - HSBC.
Fail to prepare ... Prepare to fail ...
The financial world today is now an island on its own – separated from the real economy, as can be seen by the paradox of record high valuation in the stock market coinciding with record low inflation, employment , productivity and no hope. There is asset inflation, but deflation in the real economy. When the world has been this long at the zero-bound, the misallocation, the inability to reform, and a toolbox without new tools creates a mandate for change. "I expect stocks to trade sideways for the balance of 2015 and have now sold all my fixed income, increased my gold exposure, and I’m looking to buy mining companies and overall to increase my exposure to commodities beyond the normal allocation."
The present Chinese leadership appears to be trying to gain (regain?) more - if not full - control over the country’s economic system, while at the same time (re-)boosting the growth it has lost in recent years. President Xi Jinping, prime minister Li Keqiang and all of their subservient leaders – there are 1000?s of those in a 1.4 million citizens country- apparently think this can be done. We truly doubt it. We don’t think that they ever understood what would happen if they opened up the country to a more free-market, capitalist structure. That doing so would automatically reduce their political power, since a free market, in whatever shape and form, does not rhyme with the kind of control which the Communist Party has been used to for decades, and which the current leaders have grown up taking for granted.
One year ago, we explained "How The Market Is Like CYNK." Earlier this week, China's richest man found out how right we were, in the hardest way possible
While admitting that reaching agreement between the two countries will be difficult to achieve, George Soros - speaking at The World Bank's Bretton Woods conference this week - warned that unless the U.S. makes 'major concessions' and allows China's currency to join the IMF's basket of currencies, "there is a real danger China will align itself with Russia politically and militarily, and then it is not an exaggeration to say that we are on the threshold of a third world war."
"China... across the board... is preparing for something big in currency markets... The world has an unease about the dollar system... former President Hu of China said 'the dollar is a product of the past'."
- Once-Unthinkable Criminal Pleas by U.S. Banks Get Investor ‘Meh’ (BBG)
- The E-Mail That Helped Catch Barclays: ‘ISDAfix Is Manipulated’ (BBG)
- CFTC Said Preparing ISDAfix Probe Talks in Weeks: Credit Markets (BBG)
- Islamic State takes control of Syria's Palmyra in westward advance (Reuters)
- Tensions High as Greece Gets Smallest Aid Rise Yet (BBG)
- The Rise of the $50,000 Rental (BBG)
- U.S. says South China Sea reclamations stoke instability (Reuters)
- First Hanergy Now Goldin: Hong Kong Stocks Drop Like Stones (BBG)
We have all read the latest crop of media articles challenging gold’s investment relevance. The typical approach to bearish gold analysis is to attribute hypothetical fears to gold investors, and then point out these concerns have failed to materialize. Sprott believes the investment thesis for gold is a bit more complex than simplistic motivations commonly cited in financial press. We would suggest gold’s relatively methodical advance since the turn of the millennium has had less to do with investor fears of hyperinflation or U.S. dollar collapse than it has with persistent desire to allocate a small portion of global wealth away from traditional financial assets and the fiat currencies in which they are priced.
“A depression is coming? Let’s put interest rates at zero. The economy is still in trouble? Let’s have the central bank print trillions in new securities. The banks are not lending? Let’s change the accounting rules and offer government guarantees and funds. People are still not spending? Let’s have negative interest rates. The economy is still in the tank? LET’S BAN CASH TRANSACTIONS!”
A cashless society is promising to have very tangible costs to our liberties and future prosperity.
China Officially Launches Critical Local Government Debt Swap — But Is The PBoC Really Just Issuing Treasury Bonds?Submitted by Tyler Durden on 05/19/2015 22:30 -0400
China has pitched its local government debt swap program as a way for heavily-indebted provinces to deleverage. Now that the program is officially off the ground, what are the implications for banks and for the PBoC?