Apple's market capitalization of $730 billion may now be more than double that of Exxon Mobil, but when it comes to taxes paid to the US government, it's no contest: the company with record profitability that so many progressive hipsters adore and for whose products they line up with annual regularity is billions of dollars below its "fair" contribution to the US Treasury. Ironically, it is eclipsed by that other company that so many progressives love to hate: Exxon Mobil, which paid $4 billion more in tax than Apple, yet whose valuation has been cut by 15% over the past year as a result of the collapse in oil prices.
If yesterday stocks surged on the worst 4-month stretch of missing retail sales since Lehman, one which BofA with all seriousness spun by saying "it seems not unreasonable to suspect that the March 2015 reading on retail sales gets revised up next month", then the reason why futures are now solidly in the green across the board even as German Bunds have just 14 bps to go until they hit negative yields and before the ECB is fresh out of luck on future debt monetization, is that overnight China reported its worst GDP since 2009 together with economic data misses across the board confirming China's economy continues its hard landing approach despite a stock market that has doubled in the past year.
Back in January we asked the following: “who will be the first to offer a negative rate mortgage?” As WSJ reports, this bizarre characteristic of the new paranormal is spreading throughout Europe on the back of Mario Draghi’s trillion-euro adventure in debt monetization land: "Tumbling interest rates in Europe have put some banks in an inconceivable position: owing money on loans to borrowers. At least one Spanish bank, Bankinter SA, the country’s seventh-largest lender by market value, has been paying some customers interest on mortgages by deducting that amount from the principal the borrower owes."
Is the BoJ's back against the wall? We certainly think so as the evidence increasingly supports the notion that the central bank is bumping up against the limits of accommodative monetary policy and may soon be headed — as we've variously predicted —for "failed nation" status.
Gold prices jumped overnight on initial rumors and again in the last hour as Indian officials note that March Gold imports surged to 125 tons (more than double last March's 60 tons). As Reuters reports, Gold imports in the fiscal year 2014/15 ended March 31 jumped to 900 tonnes, up 36% from a year ago. Surging imports are helped by a falling price since the beginning of the year combined with the relaxation of government (capital control) import restrictions, and despite further efforts by the government to "monetize gold."
At this point calling Japan a failed Keynesian banana republic is an insult to banana republics everywhere.
Breaking the Definintion of Money and Inhibiting Seigniorage (Money Printing) with Asset Backed BitcoinSubmitted by Reggie Middleton on 04/03/2015 13:01 -0400
Taking the gold-backed dollar into the next millenium and imbuing it with all of the attributes of the Bitcoin blockchain.
This long-term weakening of the economy is the direct result of financialization and the Federal Reserve's policy of propping up impaired debt with more debt and constantly bringing demand forward with zero interest rates. The U.S. economy is slowing to stall speed--the point when gravity overcomes the lift provided by central bank free money. This deceleration is evident in a number of indicators such as gross domestic product (GDP), which is now at 0% according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta's GDPNow model.
The political pressure on Germany is rising in Europe. The country faces a choice: Continue business as usual or change the strategy? Only the latter option may give it real influence on shaping the future course of economic and political affairs in Europe. Playing defense is the comfortable choice, but it may be the wrong strategy. What needs to be done? Below is a proposal for saving the Eurozone in a way that would safeguard Germany’s interests, too
Does it really take purportedly intelligent people six years to see that the macros are not responding? Better still, isn’t it time for the Fed to explain the exact channel by which its interest rate pegging and forward guidance is supposed to be transmitted to the main street economy? After all, if these channels are blocked or ineffective - then its flood of liquidity never leaves the canyons of Wall Street. In that event, the central bank actually functions as a financial doomsday machine, inflating the next financial bubble until it bursts. Then, apparently, its job is to rinse and repeat.
Sometime after the initially soft Q1 GDP “print” expect a “trial balloon” of more debt monetization [QE4] issued by some FOMC constituent. Naturally this will weaken the dollar and immediately suspend/reverse the Fed’s dollar based concerns articulated earlier in this post. However, this will also serve to “piss” off both Kuroda [BoJ] and Draghi [ECB]…as their heavily depreciated and shorted currencies will, at least initially, sharply reverse course…and the continual game as to which global economic zone can depreciate their currency the fastest is “on”…again.
Janet’s Yellen’s pettifogging today about her patient lack of impatience was downright pathetic. Her verbal hair-splitting is starting to make medieval ritual incantations sound coherent by comparison. But unlike the financial media’s dopey dithering about “dot plots”, Yellen at least has something to hide behind all the gibberish. Namely, she and her merry band of money printers are becoming more petrified each month that they will trigger a thundering Wall Street hissy fit if they move to “normalize” interest rates - even as they are slowly beginning to realize that continuance of ZIRP much longer will only intensify the market’s addiction to rampant speculation, free money carry trades and the associated risks to financial stability.
Moments ago the January TIC data update was released, and while China continued selling US paper, liquidating another $5.2 billion in January and bringing its new total to the lowest since January 2013, Japan - yes that Japan whose central bank is now moentizing 100% of its own debt issuance because the country is now effectively insolvent and absent constant monetization of its debt it is finished - bought $8 billion in US debt, in the process trying China as America's largest foreign creditor for the first time in history, with both nations holdings $1.239 trillion in US TSYs.
When even JPMorgan strongly implies that the ECB's QE is about to fail, one short week after it started, now may be a time to panic: "In all, we note the above analysis challenges the ability of the Eurosystem to meet its quantitative target without distorting market liquidity and price discovery."