Putting Things In Context ...
- Banks to Pay $3.3 Billion in FX-Manipulation Probe (BBG)
- Symbolic being the key word: U.S., China sign symbolic emissions plan, play down rivalry (Reuters)
- Europe (so really Russian sanctions) is the new "snow in the winter" - Carney Sees Europe Stagnation Impact as Growth Outlook Cut (BBG)
- Eurozone Industrial Output Points to Weak Third Quarter Growth (WSJ)
- Not everyone around Abe is insane: Kuroda Ally Flags Warning on Delaying Sales-Tax Increase (BBG)
- Hong Kong to scrap daily yuan conversion limit to boost stock investment (Reuters)
- Barclays Falls After FX Settlement Delay Reduces Discount (BBG)
- Some unhappy Yahoo investors asking AOL for rescue (Reuters)
Overall, CPI’s are used to index payments on over $10 trillion in liabilities. Any underestimation of CPI benefits the federal government at the expense of the taxpayer and amounts to a backdoor default on its financial obligations. Please understand this could be deliberate or the result of dubious econometric methods. Using a bad model is like using a random number generator as a compass. To get an idea of the sums of money involved, for every 1% of CPI underestimation the federal government saves $8.4 billion on social security payments alone. The lack of transparency regarding quality adjustments (and their perceived complexity) provides a perfect smoke-screen for covert debt management through CPI under-reporting.
Chris Martenson is an economic researcher and futurist, specializing in energy and resource depletion, and co-founder of PeakProsperity.com. As one of the early econobloggers who forecasted the housing market collapse and stock market correction years in advance, Chris rose to prominence with the launch of his seminal video seminar, The Crash Course, that interconnected forces in the economy, energy, and the environment that are shaping the future, one that will be defined by increasing challenges as we have known it. Chris’s insights are in high demand by the media as well as academic, civic, and private organizations around the world, including institutions such as the U.N., the U.K. House of Commons, and the U.S. State Legislatures. So with that we’d like to welcome Mr. Chris
While some companies, those lucky few which have no debt on their balance sheet, have the option to mothball projects and wait for the lack of supply to catch up with demand and also price (at least in a world in which physical supply and demand still have some bearing on trading of paper gold) others, those who have creditors breathing down their neck, whose extraction cash costs are above the spot price and who aren't hedged, are essentially out of options. One such company is Russian gold producer Petropavlovsk, which is now worth just $60 million and is in a perilous financial situation, with speculation it may even default on $310 million in convertible bonds in February.
Which country will be next?
The fatal flaw in the eurozone model is that there’s no way, no escape clause, to rectify the inherited differences between north and south. Moreover, because there isn’t, the differences must and will get bigger. There’s nothing any kind of stimulus by the ECB or EU can do about that. The EU was founded on ideals of peace. But unless someone does something, fast, it will be the source of bitter and bloody fighting. Better wisen up now, guys (and I don’t mean the leadership, they’ll go on till the end). In math, there are things that just don’t add up. This is one of them.
"The chaos that one day will ensue from our 35-year experiment with worldwide fiat money will require a return to money of real value. We will know that day is approaching when oil-producing countries demand gold, or its equivalent, for their oil rather than dollars or euros. The sooner the better." - Ron Paul
More than originally estimated, apparently...
With the Swiss gold stored at the Bank of Canada, now having been transferred out of the Bank of Canada’s Ottawa vault to an unknown location, the Swiss public would be wise to question the SNB on this move. The Swiss gold stored at the Bank of England in London seemingly being ‘actively managed’ one of the world’s largest centres for unallocated gold trading, the Swiss public would also be wise to enquire on this issue. And with significant historical quantities of Swiss gold that were stored with the US Federal Reserve Bank in New York no longer there after the SNB seemingly brought their US vaulted gold holdings to zero, the Swiss public need to question why these particular holdings were targeted for sales from 2000-2005 and not domestically held gold.
Marty Fridson, CIO at Lehmann Livian Fridson Advisors, has been a leading figure in the high-yield bond market since it was known as the "junk bond" market — and he sees as much as $1.6 trillion in high-yield defaults coming in a surge he expects to begin soon... “And this is not based on an apocalyptic forecast,” he warns.
A week ago, when showing the following chart of Chinese housing trends, we reported that the "burst Chinese housing bubble leads to first annual price decline since 2012", and warned that it is only a matter of time before both China's GDP, extensively reliant on housing construction, as well as Chinese bank assets, vastly consisting of housing-related loans and other fixed income exposure, take a major hit. This happened yesterday, when in an exchange filing China's Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, the largest lender by assets in both China and the entire world, reported its biggest jump in bad loans since at least 2006. Specifically, ICBC’s nonperforming loans rose to 115.5 billion yuan in September from 105.7 billion yuan in June. The increase was the biggest since quarterly data became available.
Shortly before leaving the Fed this year, Ben Bernanke rather pompously declared that Quantitative Easing "works in practice, but it doesn’t work in theory." There is, of course, no counter-factual. But to suggest credibly that QE has worked, we first have to agree on a definition of what "work" means, and on what problem QE was meant to solve. We think the QE debate should be reframed: has QE done anything to reform an economic and monetary system urgently in need of restructuring? We think the answer, self-evidently, is “No”.
While the analogy of Vladimir Putin playing geopolitical chess (while the rest of the world plays checkers) has been a popular one, the French ambassador Gerard Araud has a different - somewhat stunningly honest - persepctive: Putin "is more a poker player really, putting all the money on the table; saying, 'Do the same' and of course we blink. We don't do the same." As Bloomberg reports, Araud goes on to express entirely un-Juncker-like, how Putin has outmaneuvered his opponents and humiliated Ukraine. Simply put, he adds, the Russian president "has won because we were not ready to die for Ukraine, while apparently he was," leaving the ominous question, "when is Putin going to stop? Whatever we decide is a disaster for us."