They appear to have resorted to a 'new' dollar menu item...
There’s a potential black swan event taking place in Turkey on Sunday and no one seems to care. That is, the media isn’t devoting nearly enough coverage to Turkish elections considering the impact the outcome will invariably have on the situation in Syria, on the fate of the lira, and on the Pentagon’s strategy with regard to embedding spec ops with the YPG.
A few days ago we warned, confirming Goldman Sachs' earlier analysis that the world was running out of space to store crude distillate products, that China was running out of storage space for crude oil as it dramatically ramped up its Strategic Petroleum Reserve 'buy low' plan. While the brightest indicator at the time was "about 4 million barrels of crude oil stranded in two tankers off an eastern port for nearly two months," this week, the dial went to 11 on the oil-demand-fear-o-meter, as Bloomberg reports supertankers sailing to Chinese ports plunged to its lowest in 13 months, sending the daily rate for shipping crashing. The marginal demand-er of last resort just left the market.
"The conditions in the economies of the rest of the world have undoubtedly proved weaker compared with a few months ago, in particular in the emerging economies. Global growth forecasts have been revised downwards. This slowdown is probably not temporary."
It appears that Washington, ever a seething cauldron of bright ideas, is looking for a shooting war with China, or perhaps trying to make the Chinese kowtow and back down, the pretext being some rocks in the Pacific in which the United States cannot possibly have a vital national interest. Or, really, any interest. If Washington somehow won a naval war with China, so what? It would provide the satisfactions of vanity, but China’s danger to the US imperium lies in increasing economic power and commercial expansion through Asia, where it holds the high cards: it is there, Washington isn’t.
The only way that the Fed and the politicians can claim that the economy is “fine” and QE “worked” is to make sure that the one piece of obvious evidence which would say otherwise is kept highly restrained. The manipulation of the gold and silver market is a nothing but a product of complete systemic corruption.
It was 77 years ago this week that Orson Welles struck terror into the hearts of Americans with his live radio broadcast of the HG Wells classic War of the Worlds. What struck me while watching the PBS retrospective were the similarities between then and now. The gullibility of the masses, the power of fear, the overreaction by the media, busy bodies calling for the government to do something, and the effectiveness of propaganda are all commonalities between that Fourth Turning and today’s Fourth Turning.
China as the global Bubble’s focal point – the weak link yet, at the same time, the key marginal source of Bubble finance. China’s policy course appears to focus on two facets: to stabilize the yuan versus the dollar and to resuscitate Credit expansion. For better than two decades, similar policy courses were followed by myriad EM policymakers in hopes of sustaining financial and economic booms. Many cases ended in abject failure – often spectacularly. Why? Because when officials resort to such measures to sustain faltering Bubbles it generally works to only exacerbate systemic fragilities. For one, late-stage reflationary measures compound Credit system vulnerability while compounding structural impairment to the real economy. Secondly, central bank and banking system Credit-bolstering measures create liquidity that invariably feeds destabilizing “capital” and “hot money” outflows.
Today we got yet another tortured admission of just how ugly Greek balance sheets are, the ECB has admitted what we knew months ago, namely that more than half of all Greek loans are now nonperforming, and that as much as 57% of the loans made by Piraeus Bank the bank which fared worst, are at risk with the other Greek banks not much better off.
In the US, there is a natural tendency to punish political candidates when they lie, but mostly about their personal peccadillos. If a country’s political culture is such that all agree on condemning intentional lies and liars, especially when their goal is to promote hatred, a country may avoid big evil. But this is not the case in Venezuela. Its government has run the country’s economy and society into the ground, overseeing the world’s steepest decline in output, highest inflation rate, and second highest murder rate, not to mention shortages beyond compare. And now it is systematically lying about the causes of the mess it created and inventing scapegoats.
"Now they can stand up and preach. People say this is democracy, but I don’t think it is democracy to let Nazis say what they want"...