Despite all the talk of a "positive climate" Greek talks with their creditors have ended badly for the desperately cash-strapped nation. As WSJ reports, Greek proposals for a revised bailout program don’t have enough detail - are "piecemeal and vague" - to satisfy the government’s international creditors, eurozone officials said. Furthermore, as Dow Jones reports, EU finance ministers are unlikley to meet again until mid-April (and in the meantime, Greece has to pay salaries, pensions, and most critically IMF debts due on April 9th). It appears clear that the EU is prepared to let Greece entirely run out of money in an effort to squeeze Tspiras as much as possible (though that action will likely further force a pivot to Putin).
Just a week after Jean-Claude 'I am not a hawkish warmonger' Juncker pressed for the creation of a Unified European Army to combat the 'looming' threat of their massive trade partner Russia; RT reports Arab leaders have agreed to form a joint military force from roughly 40,000 elite troops and backed by warplanes, warships and light armor at a Sharm el-Sheikh summit. Egyptian President Abdel Sisi has announced a high-level panel will work out the structure and mechanism of the future force. The work is expected to take four months. It appears The Endgame of this global game of Risk is fast approaching as one-by-one, geographically proximate nations join forces for whetever comes next.
When we left you yesterday, we were trying to connect the bloated, cankerous ankles of the US economy (Part 1) to the sugar rush of its post-1971 credit-based money system (Part 2). Today, we look at the face of our government. It is older... with more worry lines and wrinkles. But whence cometh that pale and stupid look? That is also the result of the same advanced diabetic epizootic that has infected American society.
- “Bubbles in credit” has jumped as the biggest concern (30%), having been third on the list in January’s survey,
- “Supply” has risen to be the second biggest concern (19%),
- “Geopolitical conflict” is the third biggest concern (14%), but this is down from being the top concern in January’s survey,
- "Deflation in Europe" (the second biggest concern two months ago), is now down in 7th place (just 3%).
No wonder complacency reigns supreme: any time the stock market tumbles by more than 3%, a Federal Reserve flack runs to a microphone and starts talking about how the Fed stands ready to launch QE4 or "whatever it takes" to push stocks back into rally mode. For context, recall that both VIX and VXX tend to reach 40 in real moments of panic/fear. That the VXX "soaring" 2 points from 24 to 26 now qualifies as an extreme of fear is absurd. Yet this is the logical result of central banks constantly "saving" equities every time they swoon the slightest bit: traders and punters know that the Fed making reassuring sounds is all that's needed to reverse any decline and restart the Bull advance.
"How many rich people do you know today that are poorer than they were at the peak in 06/07 (apart from Dick Fuld), I don't think I know any.. QE has been distributive to the rich... but now that the world has started this policy it is unable to end it... the next recession will be a hard one because the tools in the toolbox are not there to avert a severe downturn... where are the liquidity worries at the moment? Equities would be the toughest to exit.. it's like a 5-lane highway going in and goat trail coming out... Brazil is great example"
Finally The "Very Serious People" Get It: QE Will "Permanently Impair Living Standards For Generations To Come"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 03/28/2015 - 23:18
"In the long run classical economics would tell us that the pricing distortions created by the current global regimes of QE will lead to a suboptimal allocation of capital and investment, which will result in lower output and lower standards of living over time. In fact, although U.S. equity prices are setting record highs, real median household incomes are 9 percent lower than 1999 highs. The report from Bank of America Merrill Lynch plainly supports the conclusion that QE and the associated currency depreciation is not leading to higher global output. The cost of QE is greater than the income lost to savers and investors. The long-term consequence of the new monetary orthodoxy is likely to permanently impair living standards for generations to come while creating a false illusion of reviving prosperity."
This is the death rattle of the American dream, which was built on the idea that no one is above the law, that our rights are inalienable and cannot be taken away, and that our government and its appointed agents exist to serve us.
At the end of the day there is a considerable irony. The Fed has now become the tool of liberal Keynesian do-gooders - exemplified by the school marm who heads it. But its policies are exclusively benefiting Wall Street and the top 1%. They are redistributing income and wealth to the top, not the bottom of society as liberals have always claimed. Needless to say, main street does not need that kind of “help”. And it would do far better on its own hind legs if the monetary politburo joined its Soviet colleagues in the afterlife of mistaken ideologies.
With speculation growing of a Greek pivot from The Twilight Zone to The Eurasian Zone, the following somewhat mind-numbing chart tells you all you need to know about how The Greek people feel...
Ripped from the pages of The Onion, this is not. California Democrat Barbara Lee proposed a resolution in the House of Representatives that claims women will eventually be forced into prostitution since they face "disproportionately harmful impacts from climate change." So, first 'we' blame weakness in economic growth on excess cold, and now excess global warmth - according to Lee's House Concurrent Resolution 29 - will drive women to "sex work, transactional sex, and early marriage."
The black line's trend is nobody's friend.
If, as one claims, one is innocent of i) using a personal email account to send out confidential information and/or to take advantage of one's political position to abuse opponents and ii) deleting said confidential emails against government regulations, what would one do when faced with a government subpoena demand? If one is the IRS' Lois Lerner, one would claim, against subsequently revealed facts, that a hardware error led to a permanent loss of all demanded emails, even though by email protocol definition, said emails are always stored on at least one off-site server. Or, if one is Hillary Clinton, one would just format the entire server.
"When an HFT that is not a member of an association executes an off-exchange trade, the HFT’s identity is usually not reported to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, or FINRA, which is the only association currently in existence. This frustrates FINRA’s surveillance efforts as it cannot quickly link trades to the HFTs responsible for them. This is a serious problem because, according to FINRA’s current Chairman, certain market participants disperse their trading activity across multiple markets in an attempt to hide various forms of market abuse, including layering, spoofing, algorithm gaming, and wash sales."
- SEC Commissioner Luis Aguilar.