en Hong Kong Retail Sales Plunge 7.5% YoY, Fall For 14th Consecutive Month <p>Hong Kong&#39;s retail sales <strong>fell for the 14th consecutive month in April</strong>, plunging 7.5 percent from a year ago. April was slightly less severe than a <a href=";desktop=true">revised</a> estimate of a <strong>9.8 percent YoY contraction in March</strong>.</p> <p>April sales of jewellery, watches, clocks and valuable gifts <a href="">fell</a> 16.6 percent in value terms, <strong>a 20th consecutive month of decline</strong>, while durable consumer goods <a href=";desktop=true">fell </a>the most at 31.6 percent, followed by electronics and photographic equipment which fell 23 percent. Consumers seem to be drinking more alcohol and buying more groceries however, as supermarket sales and alcoholic drinks and tobacco were up 2.4 percent and 5 percent respectively.</p> <p><a href=""><img height="357" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p>The <a href="">slowing economy</a> in mainland China continues to have a significant impact, as tourists from mainland China, <span style="text-decoration: underline;">which make up 73.8 percent of the total</span>, <strong>fell 4 percent from the prior year</strong>.</p> <p><em>From <a href="">Reuters</a></em></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em>&quot;Many types of retail outlet still recorded notable falls in sales, <strong>reflecting the continued drag from the slowdown in inbound tourism as well as the more cautious local consumer sentiment amid subpar economic conditions</strong>,&quot; the government said in a statement.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Hong Kong is struggling with mounting economic challenges from the prospect of rising U.S. interest rates, <strong>which has stepped up capital outflows</strong>, and from China&#39;s economic slowdown.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Mainland tourists are avoiding the city amid political tensions with China and growing calls from radical activists for greater autonomy from Beijing.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>&quot;<strong>The near-term outlook for retail sales will continue to depend on the performance of inbound tourism</strong>,&quot; the government added.</em></p> </blockquote> <p>With China&#39;s manufacturing PMI <a href="">contracting for a 14th straight month</a> in April as well, the difficult times that Hong Kong is experiencing don&#39;t look to be ending any time soon. Also, as we have discussed <a href="">many times</a> and as Reuters mentions above, as the Fed discusses further rate hikes, fears of a significant currency devaluation have sparked capital outflows, which will also continue to hurt Hong Kong.</p> <p><a href=""><img height="313" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="857" height="510" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> China Consumer Sentiment Hong Kong Reuters Wed, 01 Jun 2016 02:40:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 562413 at Abenomics "Death Cross" Strikes As Japan PMI Plunges To 40-Month Lows <p>Since Abenomics was unleashed on the world (with QQE starting in April 2013), things have not worked out as the smartest men in the Japanese rooms predicted. In fact, with April&#39;s final manufacturing PMI printing at 47.7, operating conditions in Japan worsened at the sharpest pace in 40 months... since Abe began his three arrows. <strong>Output tumbled at the fastest pace in 25 months and new orders are the worst since Jan 2013</strong>. This is the death cross for Abenomics...</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The weakest Japanese manufacturing PMI since the start of Abenomics...</p> <p><a href=""><img height="426" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p>Commenting on the Japanese Manufacturing PMI survey data, Amy Brownbill, economist at Markit, which compiles the survey, said:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;The aftermaths of the earthquakes in one of Japan&rsquo;s key manufacturing regions continued to weigh heavily on the manufacturing sector. <strong>Both production and new orders declined sharply midway through the second quarter of 2016. A marked fall in international demand also contributed to the drop in total new orders, as exports declined at the fastest rate since January 2013.&rdquo;</strong></p> </blockquote> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Flashing the &quot;death cross&quot; of Abenomics three arrows...</strong></span></p> <p><a href=""><img height="319" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p><em><strong>As it is now clear that the massive expansion of the Bank of Japan balance sheet has done nothing... in fact worse than nothing... for the Japanese economy.</strong></em></p> <p><a href="">Time for some more &#39;depends&#39;.</a></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="960" height="511" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Abenomics Bank of Japan Japan Markit Wed, 01 Jun 2016 02:29:33 +0000 Tyler Durden 562444 at Special Forces Insider Warns Of Serious Civil Unrest This Summer: "Everything Is Right For Things To Go Very Wrong" <p><a href=""><em>Submitted by Mac Slavo via,</em></a></p> <p><img src="" alt="riots1" width="480" height="250" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-22562" /></p> <p>In the lead up to the Presidential election we’ve seen pockets of riotous behavior across America. Whether supporting Trump, Sanders, Hillary or Cruz, average Americans appear to be ready to go to war with their government or with each other. This sentiment, coupled with continued economic degradation and a general feeling of a populace that has for decades been marginalized by the political machine in the United States, is showing all the signs of serious civil unrest on the horizon.</p> <p>In the following interview with <a href="" target="_blank"></a>&nbsp;special forces commando Tim&nbsp;Kennedy weighs in,&nbsp;describing the current situation as a trench having been dug and filled with accelerants just waiting to be ignited.</p> <p>Kennedy is a continuity of government expert, which means he’s well versed in not only how the powder keg of civil unrest could potentially explode, but what The-Powers-That-Be will do once it does.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>For civil unrest to happen you have to have a bunch of little things that set up for the perfect situation. You have to have a reason.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>People are so emotionally involved in this Presidential election right now… and finally for the first time realizing there is something wrong with our country… the eyes are open… we know that something’s not right.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Even though we have a President saying ‘<em>I’m trying to break down borders</em>‘ we’ve never had so much hate between different racial segments… <strong>what’s even more scary is that we know all of these things individually &nbsp;are setting up the perfect opportunity for serious civil unrest… </strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Now that we’re moving into summer… we’re moving into the Presidential election… we’re sending troops into Iraq… we’re looking at groups and segments of people who are supporting specific Presidential nominees…</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>We have a perfect conducive environment for some serious problems… you think riots in Missouri were bad? Just wait until July… wait until August. </strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>The trench has been dug&nbsp;and it is full of accelerants… everything is right for things to go very wrong.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p><iframe src="" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>Kennedy warns that once civil unrest happens on a nationwide scale, you’d better have taken steps to prepare, because just as we saw in Venezuela, Argentina and elsewhere during such tense periods, essential goods disappear from the shelves almost overnight.</p> <p>And while such events are often dismissed by Americans as improbable, your concerns over the possibility are not without merit.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>As an individual you have to get ready.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Don’t care if&nbsp;people think that you’re crazy… don’t think that you’re being a fanatic… that you’re being a prepper.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I’m only responsible for my family…&nbsp;My family is going to have food… My family is going to have water… We are going to be safe.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>And if you think I’m crazy because I want to make sure my family is protected, fine, that’s the way it is.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>But as an individual you need to look and research about ways to prepare in whatever city you live in.</p> </blockquote> <p>In short, should widespread civil unrest, whether this summer or at any point in the future, spread across America and be followed by military and law enforcement intervention, you absolutely cannot depend on the government to be there to provide any meaningful assistance.</p> <p>That means you need to take steps to prepare your own personal continuity plan.</p> <p>In her best-selling book <a href="" target="_blank">The Prepper’s Blueprint</a>, Tess Pennington succinctly summarizes the reality of the situation:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>Disasters do not discriminate.</strong> In the aftermath of the event, you will be on your own, left to provide for your family with the supplies and knowledge you have accrued. If you are prepared with the mental and spiritual foundation to overcome disaster, then you will transition into survival mode more quickly.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>…When you plan for extended disasters you must take into account that you could be on you own for up to a month or longer. To carry you through this unpredictable time, you must add additional layers to your preparedness foundation so that it incorporates essential knowledge and additional supplies.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Excerpted from&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">The Prepper’s Blueprint: The Step-By-Step Guide To Survive Any Disaster</a></em></p> </blockquote> <p>By preparing for the possibility of a widespread civil unrest scenario you’d also be readying yourself for other potentially deadly events, thus focusing on core supplies and knowledge is key.</p> <ul> <li><strong><a href="" target="_blank">Emergency Food Supplies</a></strong>&nbsp;will be absolutely critical. Even during a snowstorm or hurricane that are often forecast well in advance we see panic in grocery stores&nbsp;in the lead up, often leaving store shelves razed and completely empty. Stockpiling easy-to-cook, <a href="" target="_blank">highly nutritious meals</a> will be critical. Such supplies can be acquired&nbsp;in <a href="" target="_blank">grab-and-go buckets</a>&nbsp;or <a href="" target="_blank">family packages</a> for multi-day or multi-week emergency scenarios.</li> <li><strong><a href="" target="_blank">Portable food supplies</a></strong> may come in handy should you be caught in the middle of civil unrest and riots. These come in the form of high-calorie-food bars that can be hidden in a backpack, your car, or supplement existing food storage supplies. At a whopping <a href="" target="_blank">3600 calories per bar</a>, five of these are enough for a week’s worth of emergency survival nutrition.</li> <li><strong><a href="" target="_blank">Emergency Water</a></strong> will be essential in a scenario where city governments are overwhelmed with rioting or looting. A number of disaster scenarios could lead to water in an entire city being either too dangerous to drink or simply turned off at the source. Having a <a href="" target="_blank">gravity water filter at home</a> will allow you to stay hydrated during times of crisis. If you’re caught out in the open, keeping a portable water filtertration system like the <a href="" target="_blank">Katadyn Hiker Microfilter</a>&nbsp;or <a href="" target="_blank">Micropur Water Treatment Tablets</a> in your back pack could be a life saver.</li> <li><strong><a href="" target="_blank">Nuclear, Biological, Chemical (NBC) Protective Equipment</a></strong> is an additional safety measure, especially in riot scenarios where poisonous gases could be used by both law enforcement or rioters. Moreover, such gear is the <a href="" target="_blank">last line of defense in the event of a serious NBC disaster</a> that could include the release of poison gases in crowded, tightly confided spaces like subways, or in a worst case scenario, an attack on a domestic nuclear power plant.</li> <li><strong>Firearms, Ammunition and Body Armor</strong> will be essential. People will panic. People will become violent. And people are going to get hurt. Be armed with enough ammunition to keep your family safe and secure, and <a href="" target="_blank">know how to use your equipment</a>. But remember, if you have to shoot at a threat, there is a strong possibility they will be shooting back. As such, consider <a href="" target="_blank">body armor</a> as a means of protection in extremely volatile and potentially violent situations.</li> <li><strong>First Aid and Trauma Supplies</strong> will be essential to your safety. In a serious emergency there will be no hospitals and you will need to become the doctor.&nbsp;Collapse doctor Joe Alton has written <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=0988872536&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=123feebet-20" target="_blank">The Survival Medicine Handbook</a> for just this reason. You’ll want to have a first aid kit, but we also strong encourage you to&nbsp;consider <a href="" target="_blank">trauma kits for serious injuries</a>. And it’s always a good idea to <a href="" target="_blank">have antibiotics</a> to prevent infection in the event you can’t get to an emergency room.</li> <li><strong>Barter and Trade</strong> could come into play as well, especially when&nbsp;store shelves are empty. And while the above supply list could be used for barter, so too can <a href="" target="_blank">silver bullion</a> like coins and bars. Hard currency has been used in Zimbabwe, Argentina and Greece when either currencies collapsed or banks were closed down due to emergencies.</li> </ul> <p>The above supply list includes some of the very basics one should have in their preparedness supplies. For extensive supply lists and scores of disaster scenarios we encourage you to read Tess Pennington’s highly acclaimed <strong><a href="" target="_blank">The Prepper’s Blueprint</a></strong>.</p> <p>Whether it’s civil unrest this summer or as the result of an economic collapse in the future, or any number of other disaster scenarios, having at least a 30 day supply of essential necessities will mean the difference between life and death. At the very least, they&nbsp;will help make a very uncomfortable situation a bit more bearable.</p> <p>As Tim Kennedy has highlighted, <em><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>the trenches have been dug and the accelerant has been poured.</strong></span></em></p> <p><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>All we’re waiting for now is the spark.</strong></span></em></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="467" height="226" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Greece NBC Nuclear Power Reality Wed, 01 Jun 2016 02:15:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 562430 at Philippines' New President Endorses Murdering Corrupt Journalists <p>If the US media delights in its every day interactions with Donald Trump, who not only refuses to follow the conventional playbook, but has torn it apart and burned it for good measure, it would have an absolute field day with the Philippine president-elect Rodrigo Duterte. </p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="400" /></a></p> <p>The reason is that earlier today, Duterte who takes over the local presidency on June 30, <strong>said that corrupt journalists were legitimate targets of assassination and should be killed, as he amped up his controversial anti-crime crusade with offers of rewards for killing drug traffickers</strong>.</p> <p>As <a href="">AFP reminds </a>us, Duterte won this month's elections by a landslide largely due to an explosive law-and-order platform in which he pledged to end crime within six months by killing tens of thousands of suspected criminals.</p> <p>It's not just corrupt journalists that are the target of Duterte's wrath: the "foul-mouthed politician" has launched a series of post-election tirades against criminals and repeated his vows to kill them - particularly drug traffickers, rapists and murderers. </p> <p>In a press conference called on Tuesday to announce his cabinet in his southern hometown of Davao, Duterte said journalists who took bribes or engaged in other corrupt activities also deserved to die. <strong></strong></p> <p><strong>"<span style="text-decoration: underline;">Just because you're a journalist you are not exempted from assassination, if you're a son of a bitch</span>," </strong>Duterte said when asked how he would address the problem of media killings in the Philippines after a reporter was shot dead in Manila last week.</p> <p>Something tells us Trump would empathize; although there are mitigating factors. As AFP notes, the Philippines is one of the most dangerous nations in the world for journalists, with 174 murdered since a chaotic and corruption-plagued democracy replaced the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos three decades ago.</p> <p>On the other hand, Duterte's blunt solution has an eerie sense of vigilante justice:&nbsp;<strong>"Most of those killed, to be frank, have done something. You won't be killed if you don't do anything wrong," </strong>Duterte said, adding that many journalists in the Philippines were corrupt.</p> <p>Duterte also said freedom of expression provisions in the constitution did not necessarily protect a person from violent repercussions for defamation. <strong>"That can't be just freedom of speech. The constitution can no longer help you if you disrespect a person," </strong>he said.</p> <p>Duterte raised the case of Jun Pala, a journalist and politician who was murdered in Davao in 2003. Gunmen on a motorcycle shot dead Pala, who was a vocal critic of Duterte. His murder has never been solved. </p> <p>"If you are an upright journalist, nothing will happen to you," said Duterte, who has ruled Davao as mayor for most of the past two decades and is accused of links to vigilante death squads.&nbsp; <strong>"The example here is Pala. I do not want to diminish his memory but he was a rotten son of a bitch. He deserved it.</strong>"</p> <p>* * * </p> <p>What jumps out here is the question of just what the president-elect believes makes a journalist "non-upright": considering the country's history with journalistic violence and murders and regressive retaliation, one would assume that something as innocent as writing an investigative piece exposing the corruption of the existing government, or perhaps even the president, would be sufficient grounds for putting said journalist on the "assassinate" list. </p> <p>One of the world's deadliest attacks against journalists took place in the Philippines in 2009, when 32 journalists were among 58 people killed by a warlord clan intent on stopping a rival's election challenge. More than 100 people are on trial for the massacre, including many members of the Ampatuan family accused of orchestrating it.</p> <p>Duterte has named Salvador Panelo, the former defense lawyer for the Ampatuans, as his presidential spokesman, <strong>a nomination criticized by the victims' families and journalists' organizations</strong>.</p> <p>The president-elect also hopes to crack down in dramatic fashion on country's big drug problem. </p> <p>Duterte, who will assume office in one month, also said he would offer bounties to law enforcement officers who killed drug traffickers. He said three million pesos ($21,000) would be paid to law enforcers for killing drug lords, with lesser amounts for lower-ranking people in drug syndicates.</p> <p>Outlining some of his other plans for his war on crime, <strong>Duterte said he would give police special forces shoot-to-kill orders and send them into the main jail in Manila where prisoners run drug trafficking operations</strong>.</p> <p>So... a country full of Judge Dredds who have virtually unchecked power over whom to kill. Surely, what can go wrong. </p> <p>Finally, Duterte would also root out corruption in the police by largely the same means: he would enlist junior soldiers to <strong>kill corrupt top-ranking police officers who were involved in the drug trade.</strong></p> <p>"I will call the private from the army and say: 'Shoot him'," Duterte said. </p> <p>Finally, in a line that would lead to unprecedented media ratings if it was uttered by Trump, <strong>Duterte also urged police not to wait until he assumed the presidency, and start killing criminals immediately. "Now, now," he urged them.</strong> </p> <p>Police earlier confirmed killing 15 people in a series of drug raids across the country over the past week, which Amnesty International described as a sharp and sudden escalation in the long-standing problem of questionable deaths by Filipino security forces.</p> <p>* * * </p> <p>Finally, there was this:</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="101" /></a></p> <p>The first ever, self-administered powersharing arrangement with the army in modern history?</p> <p>To be sure, the new Philippino approach to fixing a crime-ridden society will be different from anything tried before (and perhaps after). It may even work. if so, we wonder how many other somewhat "radical" leaders will adopt Duterte's approach of enabled vigilantism, whose outcome will be very binary: either the complete eradication of crime, which we find unlikely, or total social de-evolution and rampant, and even more violent crime.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="640" height="427" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Corruption Donald Trump Nomination ratings Wed, 01 Jun 2016 02:03:16 +0000 Tyler Durden 562438 at Wikileaks Asks If This Is The "Smoking Gun" Email That Will Bring Down Hillary <p>All along Hillary Clinton has pled that when it comes to her violation of Federal regulations, she was at worst naive, hardly malicious and - as of recently - merely doing what each of her state department predecessors has done; and she has been very careful to make it clear that she never purposefully and intentionally "stripped" confidential data in order to send it through her unsecured server as such an act would imply not only a breach of email retention policy, but a <strong>willful </strong>abuse of confidential documents. </p> <p>Well, moments ago Wikileaks unveiled what it believes may be the FBI's "smoking gun" in its case against Hillary. In a tweet, <a href="">Wikileaks </a>highlights one specific email and asks "<strong>Is this email the FBI's star exhibit against Hillary Clinton ("H")?</strong> "</p> <p>The email in question (<a href="">link</a>)</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="586" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The full email chain is below (<a href="">link</a>):</p> <p><iframe src=";view_mode=scroll&amp;access_key=key-t0ElLlxuZRpv3fdmhvz1&amp;show_recommendations=false" width="100%" height="600" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="1108" height="1083" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Wed, 01 Jun 2016 01:50:41 +0000 Tyler Durden 562441 at Largest US Health Insurer Exits California, Illinois Obamacare Markets <p>Just over a month ago, we reported that in addition to Georgie, Arkansas, Michigan and Oklahoma, the largest US health insurer UnitedHealthcare announced it would also depart the following "Affordable" Care Act state exchanges: Connecticut, North Carolina; Nebraska, Pennsylvania and Texas. That, however, was just a preview of what's to come, because on April 19, <a href="">UnitedHealthcare made its divorce with Obamacare complete </a>when it announced plans to exit most of the Affordable Care Act state exchanges where it currently operates by 2017. And earlier today, United continued executing on this warning, when it first announced that it would stop offering Affordable Care Act plans in Illinois in 2017 followed promptly by news UnitedHealthcare was abandoning California at the end of the year as well. </p> <p>As <a href="">PBS reports</a>, while United announced in April it was dropping out of all but a handful of 34 health insurance marketplaces it participated in, the company had not discussed its plans in California. UnitedHealth’s pullout also affects individual policies sold outside the Covered California exchange, which will remain in effect until the end of December. </p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>“United is pulling out of California’s individual market including Covered California in 2017,” said Amy Palmer, a spokeswoman for the state exchange.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It’s expected that UnitedHealth will continue offering coverage to employers in California and to government workers and their families through the California Public Employees’ Retirement System.</p> </blockquote> <p>Amy Palmer, a spokeswoman for the state exchange said UnitedHealthcare policyholders will know their options for 2017 coverage when health plans and rates for next year are announced in July. It is safe to say any "options" will not be cheap. </p> <p>Concurrently, the company also announced it will stop offering Affordable Care Act plans in Illinois in 2017. According to the <a href="">Tribune</a>, the departure of the insurance company will reduce the number of coverage options for consumers in 27 counties. Like in California, Illinois members will have access to their benefits through the end of the year. The change does not affect the company's group insurance business or Medicare plans.</p> <p>Furthermore, on Tuesday, UnitedHealthcare disclosed on a website dedicated to insurance brokers that it plans to offer on-exchange plans in only three states — Nevada, New York and Virginia. A company spokeswoman confirmed that it will withdraw from the Illinois exchange.</p> <p>Critics of the Affordable Care Act have seized on the company’s exit, state by state, as further evidence the health-law insurance exchanges aren’t sustainable financially and that premiums will rise even higher for consumers.</p> <p>The Obama administration has countered that the number of health plans offering exchange policies has increased since the 2014 launch, and that it expects the individual market will continue to stabilize as adjustments are made.</p> <p>Unfortunately, as we showed recently, the critics so far have been spot on, and as the <a href="">WSJ reported recently</a>, health insurance premiums are set to skyrocket just in time for the election, creating a major hurdle for Hillary days ahead of the election. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="864" /></a></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="240" height="142" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Illinois Medicare Michigan Obama Administration Obamacare Oklahoma Tribune Wed, 01 Jun 2016 01:33:58 +0000 Tyler Durden 562437 at Sweden's Migrant Rape Epidemic Explained <p>How did peaceful Sweden go from being a quiet, low-crime country to being the country with the second-highest incidence of rape in the world? <strong><em>Why has Sweden experienced a 1,472% increase in the annual number of rapes?</em></strong></p> <p>Here is Ingrid Carlqvist of is Gatestone Institute to explain...</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="214" height="141" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Wed, 01 Jun 2016 01:21:18 +0000 Tyler Durden 562399 at Yuan Tumbles As China PMI Miraculously Hugs The Flatline Despite Steel Industry Orders Crash <p><em><strong>Since May 2012, China Manufacturing PMI has miraculously stayed within a 1 point range of the knife-edge 50 level between contraction and expansion.</strong></em> May 2015 just printed 50.1, the same as April with New Orders weaker and business activity expectations (hope) tumbling to 4 month lows. The Steel Industry PMI collapsed from 57.3 to 50.9 with <strong>New Steel Orders collapsing from 65.6 to 52.7 - the biggest monthly drop in record</strong>. And while <strong>non-manufacturing PMI remained in 'expansion territory at 53.1, it fell back from a brief bounce in April</strong> with employment and business expectations both weaker. For now, equity markets are unreactive but offshore Yuan is tumbling on the news, not helped by a sizable devaluation in the official fix.</p> <p>The magic of manufacturing data... as non-manufacturing slowly catches down...</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="314" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Disappointment triggering more offshore Yuan selling...</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="312" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Not helped by yet another devaluation by PBOC...</p> <ul> <li><strong>*CHINA SETS YUAN FIXING AT 6.5889 VS 6.5790 DAY EARLIER</strong></li> <li><strong>*PBOC CUTS YUAN FIXING TO LOWEST LEVEL SINCE 2011 FOR THIRD DAY</strong></li> </ul> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="323" /></a></p> <p><em>Charts: Bloomberg</em></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="964" height="505" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> China Equity Markets Yuan Wed, 01 Jun 2016 01:19:57 +0000 Tyler Durden 562436 at Japan Is First To Panic; Won’t Be The Last <p><a href=""><em>Submitted by John Rubino via,</em></a></p> <p>The most widely-reported result of the recent G-7 meeting was Japan&rsquo;s attempt to convince the other major economies to admit that a crisis is imminent and take appropriately radical steps.<strong> The response seems to have been a bunch of blank stares. </strong>As India&rsquo;s Business Standard noted:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><h2><a href="">G7 pact offers minimal cover for Abenomics reset</a></h2> <p>A Group of Seven compromise offers minimal cover for Shinzo Abe. The Japanese prime minister&rsquo;s plan to revitalize the world&rsquo;s third-largest economy needs fresh impetus. Abe didn&rsquo;t get as much international backing as he might have liked from hosting the rich nations&rsquo; club. But, the summit communique can, just about, be spun his way.</p></blockquote> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>Abe&rsquo;s counterparts, understandably, do not share his view that the world risks another Lehman Brothers-style financial crisis.</strong> That is important because Abe has inexplicably committed to raising the country&rsquo;s sales tax next April, a surefire way to choke off recovery &ndash; unless a shock of this scale emerges.</p></blockquote> <p>So Japan &mdash; which, remember, has already borrowed eye-popping amounts of money, increased its central bank balance sheet by more as a percent of GDP than have either the Fed or ECB, and pushed interest rates on most of its government bonds into negative territory, all to no avail &mdash; <strong>has decided to act on its (manifestly justified) sense of panic by starting a new round of deficit spending</strong>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><h2><u><a href="">Japan&rsquo;s Abe Plans Up to $90.7 Billion Stimulus, Nikkei Says </a></u></h2> <p>(Bloomberg) &ndash; Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to propose a fiscal stimulus package of as much as 10 trillion yen ($90.7 billion) after warning Group of Seven leaders that the global economy faces significant risk of another crisis, according to the Nikkei newspaper.</p></blockquote> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Abe will seek a second supplementary budget worth 5 trillion yen to 10 trillion yen after July&rsquo;s upper-house election, the Nikkei reported Saturday without attribution. Proposals will include accelerating the construction of a magnetic-levitation train line from Nagoya to Osaka, issuing vouchers to boost consumer spending, increasing pay for child-care workers and setting up a scholarship fund, the Nikkei said. </p><p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;When you want to get the economy going, as long as demand in Asia is weak, you need additional public spending,&rdquo; Martin Schulz, a senior economist at Fujitsu Research Institute in Tokyo, said by phone. &ldquo;Since private spending is still not picking up, the government is simply taking up the slack.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The stimulus package would be the second this fiscal year after Japan approved a 778 billion yen supplementary budget this month to aid recovery from earthquakes in the Kumamoto region.</p> </blockquote> <p>And about that tax increase&hellip;</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><h2><u><a href="" target="_blank">Japan Abe set to delay sales tax hike by one-three years &ndash; sources</a></u></h2> <p>(Reuters) &ndash; Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will postpone a sales tax hike planned for next year, perhaps by as much as three years, government sources say, a move he will justify as part of G7 efforts to avert another global financial crisis.</p></blockquote> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>While the tax hike was seen as critical to reining in Japan&rsquo;s massive public debt, Abe and his aides have signalled the chance of deferring it as Japan&rsquo;s economy skirts recession and a threat of deflation re-emerges ahead of summer upper house elections. </p><p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;ve reached a global agreement to cooperate to avoid another big crisis from erupting &hellip; As G7 chair, Japan will spearhead such moves to contribute to the global economy using all policy tools available,&rdquo; Abe told reporters after the Group of Seven (G7) leaders&rsquo; summit in western Japan on Friday.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;<strong>We must reignite powerfully the engine of Abenomics</strong>. That undoubtedly would include a decision on what to do with the sales tax hike,&rdquo; he said, offering his strongest hint yet that next year&rsquo;s tax hike will be delayed.</p> </blockquote> <p><u><strong>What does this mean? In a nutshell, the next phase of the global economic crisis has begun. </strong></u>First, governments responded to the 2000 tech stock crash with lower interest rates and big deficits. Then they responded to the housing/banking/derivatives bust of 2008 with even lower interest rates, bigger deficits and experiments like QE. <em>Then</em> they responded to the resulting anemic recovery with negative interest rates and more QE.</p> <p>None of the above has produced the kind of growth in the US, Europe or Japan that slows the upward march of debt/GDP, which means everyone is still digging their own financial graves. Since this is not an acceptable long-term strategy (eventually the sides of the hole cave in and bury you), something else has to be tried by the people who hope for re-election a few years hence. So now we&rsquo;re back to massive deficits, but with a negative interest rate twist. <strong>Think about it: When a government issues negative-rate debt, <em>it earns a profit</em> on the transaction. And when it sells its debt to its own central bank it in effect owes the money to itself.</strong> A site called Forex Live just published an interesting analysis of this unprecedented situation:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><h2><u><a href="" target="_blank">A paradigm shift is under way on deficits</a></u></h2> <p><strong>If you can print your own money, you can issue unlimited amounts. The only risks are inflation and a decline in the currency.</strong></p></blockquote> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>It just so happens that inflation and a decline in the currency are exactly what many governments want. </p><p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In the developed world, inflation is non-existent and the currency war rages. The trump card in that game is default via monetization and it&rsquo;s coming.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The dominant ethos of the past 25 years has been a drive towards fiscal discipline. Politicians and political commentators have built their reputations and careers as misers. There is something inherently, almost pathologically wrong about defaulting.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>That will all change.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>The idea of default sounds like it would create panic; if not in the streets then in markets. But it&rsquo;s easier than you might assume and it will happen sooner than you think.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The hard part is already done. It&rsquo;s simply a matter of taking the debt the central bank already owns and writing it off. To ease the shock value of it, the debt will simply be converted into bonds the central bank will continue to &lsquo;own&rsquo; but will have 0% coupons and no maturity.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><u><strong>Japan will be the first to do it</strong></u></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Japan is a demographic nightmare and has been unable to stir inflation for the past 20 years despite zeroed out rates. The debt-to-GDP ratio is a mind-blowing 227.9% with a fresh stimulus budget coming. There is no way out.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>At the moment, the BOJ owns 35% of Japan&rsquo;s government debt and at the current pace of buying it will hit 63.3% at the end of 2020. With the stroke of a pen, all that could disappear.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I don&rsquo;t even think it would be disruptive. The central bank could launch a new round of QE at the same time as the announcement and keep control of what&rsquo;s left of the bond market. At the moment, Japanese 10-year are yielding -0.11%. The means you have to pay interest to the government just so they&rsquo;ll give you your money back in 10 years. Almost everyone who owns Japanese bonds is an insurance company or pension fund that has no other choice.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><u><strong>How do markets react</strong></u></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Governments face hard choices but they will find that monetization is far easier than Eurozone-style austerity (how many governments won re-election after that?) or stalled out growth.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Certainly in the first episode there will be some worries in markets. Gold will undoubtedly rally and the currency will decline. It may even create some inflation.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>But like QE, the first forays will be small and governments will quickly fall in love with the ability to spend in ever-larger amounts.</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>This is disturbing on a lot of levels, but it&rsquo;s also quite conceivable. </strong>When governments figure out that in a world of deflation (caused by the industrial overcapacity and bad debt from their previous policy mistakes) they really can borrow and spend whatever they want &mdash; and if it causes inflation, well, great, <em><strong>they win the currency war &mdash; then the floodgates will open.</strong></em></p> <p>Japan, as it has with past monetary and fiscal insanities, is leading the way. And if history is any guide the rest of us will follow along shortly.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="205" height="79" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Abenomics Bond default Deficit Spending Global Economy India Japan Lehman Monetization Newspaper Nikkei None Recession recovery Reuters Yen Wed, 01 Jun 2016 01:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 562429 at Housekeeping Note On Site Redesign <p>As readers may have noticed, there have been some cosmetic changes to the layout of the website.</p> <p>First and foremost, we responded to readers' repeated requests and have finally added a mobile version of the website. </p> <p>Second, we have revised the desktop version of the site in a move we hope will make the site faster, as well as more resilient to heavy traffic outages. </p> <p>We have also changed the formatting of the comment section to be able to accommodate more indented comments as well as added a "reply-to" functionality within the comments.</p> <p>There are ongoing fixes we will implement over the next hours to restore full functionality, as well as improve speed. </p> <p>Over the next few weeks we will be rolling out further modest changes to streamline the site. </p> <p>This is a work in progress: as such, we are willing to listen to readers' constructive suggestions on how to improve the browsing experience. </p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="1024" height="596" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Housekeeping Wed, 01 Jun 2016 00:31:30 +0000 sacrilege 562431 at