The most profitable business of the future will be producing Space Available and For Lease signs. Betting on the intelligence of the American consumer has been a losing bet for decades. They will continue to swipe that credit card at the local 7-11 to buy those Funions, jalapeno cheese stuffed pretzels with a side of cheese dipping sauce, cartons of smokes, and 32 ounce Big Gulps of Mountain Dew until the message on the credit card machine comes back DENIED. There will be crescendo of consequences as these stores are closed down. The rotting hulks of thousands of Sears and Kmarts will slowly decay; blighting the suburban landscape and beckoning criminals and the homeless. Retailers will be forced to lay-off hundreds of thousands of workers. Property taxes paid to local governments will dry up, resulting in worsening budget deficits. Sales taxes paid to state governments will plummet, forcing more government cutbacks and higher taxes. Mall owners and real estate developers will see their rental income dissipate. They will then proceed to default on their loans. Bankers will be stuck with billions in loan losses, at least until they are able to shift them to the American taxpayer – again.
It was only sugar water anyway.
Today's Busy Event Roster: ISM, Lack Of Personal Income, Job Losses, Construction Outlays, and GM Channel StuffingSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 03/01/2012 09:20 -0400
Very busy day today with personal lack of savings, an ISM number which will likely beat consensus so much it will be above the highest Wall Street estimate, construction lack of outlays, Ben Bernanke speech day two, GM channel stuffing, and many Fed speakers.
Gold and Silver Plunge – Called “Intervention”, “Window Dressing”, “Temporary Smash”, “Paper Fiasco”Submitted by Tyler Durden on 03/01/2012 09:11 -0400
The positive PMI data would ordinarily result in some price weakness as would the testimony from Bernanke which suggested that the Federal Reserve's ultra loose monetary policies may not continue much longer. However, the scale of the selling and size of the price falls was unusual. Respected analysts such as legendary Jim Sinclair, John Embry and Jean-Marie Eveillard suggested that the sell off was due to manipulation by bullion banks. Sinclair said it was an “intervention” and was “window dressing” that long term bullion investors should not be concerned about as inflation was coming due to “QE to Infinity.” Embry said that it was a “smash down” and a “paper fiasco.” Jean-Marie Eveillard suggested that central banks may have intervened, as they are doing in fx and bond markets, and sold gold in volume into the market. It is of course very difficult to ascertain what caused the sharp falls in the precious metals yesterday however it would be naive to completely discount what Sinclair, Embry and Eveillard believe may have happened.
- China’s Holdings of Treasuries Dropped in ’11 (BusinessWeek)
- Bundesbank at Odds With ECB Over Loans (FT)
- Euro zone puts Greece's efforts under microscope (Reuters)
- Bank of America Considers a Revamp That Would Affect Millions of Customers (WSJ)
- In Days Leading Up to MF Global's Collapse, $165 Million Transfer OK'd in a Flash (WSJ)
- Greece Approves Welfare Cuts for 2nd Bailout (Bloomberg)
- Irish Minister Pushes to Cut Bail-Out Cost (FT)
- China to Support Tech Sectors (China Daily)
- Spanish Bond Yields Fall in Debt Auction After ECB (Reuters)
- China to Expand Cross-Border RMB Businesses (China Daily)
This will be one of those "one picture is worth a thousand words" posts...
Ron Paul To Ben Bernanke: "People Lose Trust In The Government Because You Lie To Them About Inflation"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 02/29/2012 12:29 -0400
Anytime Ron Paul sits across from Ben Bernanke you know sparks will fly. Sure enough, they did: starting 3 mins 50 seconds into the clip below, Ron Paul, guns blazing, asks the Chairman if he does his own shopping, if he is aware of what true inflation is, and if he knows that Americans don't trust the government because they are being lied to about inflation. And it only gets better, once Paul starts brandishing a silver coin. The punchline: "The Fed will self-destruct anyway when the money is gone" - amen. And ironically letting the Fed keep on doing what it is doing will achieve that in the fastest possible way. In fact, letting the system cannibalize itself with no further hindrances may be the best option currently available - just go to town.
On this leap day, we have a busy schedule which includes the second Q4 GDP revision, Chicago PMI (expect another massive beat courtesy of consumers confident that they can have Apple apps, if not so much food, since they still don't pay their mortgages), various Fed speakers, of which most important will be Ben Bernanke who takes the podium in Congress at 10 am for his semi-annual monetary policy report.
Since nobody else has any interest in downtown NY real estate, Goldman's Bill Dudley, currently incidentally in charge of the New York Fed, has decided to step up. "The Federal Reserve Bank of New York (New York Fed) today announced that it has acquired the building at 33 Maiden Lane for $207.5 million from Merit US Real Estate Fund III, L.P. and established a new, wholly owned limited liability company called Maiden & Nassau LLC to serve as owner of the building. The acquisition provides a cost-effective, long-term alternative to the current practice of leasing space in this and other buildings and allows for greater control over maintenance, operation and security of the building." As a reminder, the 9th floor of 33 Liberty is where the ever elusive, but always present Plunge Protection Team, pardon the "markets group" at the Federal Reserve is housed (more here). And although in recent days it is no secret that the bulk of Fed open market stock order are routed via that one certain HFT powerhouse out of Chicago, it is always a good idea to keep all the market manipulating facilities under one roof. And so, the Fed now will have full domain over everything that transpires under its own roof. And since the building likely has an extended basement, it provides Dudley, and his muppet Ben Bernanke with a convenient location where to store the soon to be confiscated 107 tons of Greek gold.
Firstly, I prefer the label “realist” as a more apropos label than “gloom and doomer”. Most of us that have remained realists for the past six years or so have a very public track record through public blog posts and public interviews
The real world revolves around cash flow. Families across the land understand this basic concept. Cash flows in from wages, investments and these days from the government. Cash flows out for food, gasoline, utilities, cable, cell phones, real estate taxes, income taxes, payroll taxes, clothing, mortgage payments, car payments, insurance payments, medical bills, auto repairs, home repairs, appliances, electronic gadgets, education, alcohol (necessary in this economy) and a countless other everyday expenses. If the outflow exceeds the inflow a family may be able to fund the deficit with credit cards for awhile, but ultimately running a cash flow deficit will result in debt default and loss of your home and assets. Ask the millions of Americans that have experienced this exact outcome since 2008 if you believe this is only a theoretical exercise. The Federal government, Federal Reserve, Wall Street banks, regulatory agencies and commercial real estate debtors have colluded since 2008 to pretend cash flow doesn’t matter. Their plan has been to “extend and pretend”, praying for an economic recovery that would save them from their greedy and foolish risk taking during the 2003 – 2007 Caligula-like debauchery.
Debt default means huge losses for the Wall Street criminal banks. Of course the banksters will just demand another taxpayer bailout from the puppet politicians. This repeat scenario gives new meaning to the term shop until you drop. Extending and pretending can work for awhile as accounting obfuscation, rolling over bad debts, and praying for a revival of the glory days can put off the day of reckoning for a couple years. Ultimately it comes down to cash flow, whether you’re a household, retailer, developer, bank or government. America is running on empty and extending and pretending is coming to an end.