Credit Crisis

Why FINRA’s Private Court Just Got Served

While this story reads like a Hollywood movie, my hope is that it shines a light and ignites some much needed discussion on the oft hidden, and thus ignored, graft that permeates our most fundamental societal institutions.  In this intricate account I describe the incestuous relationship between FINRA and the Banks.  The affects of which can be seen in the cocksure culture of management across the entire sector and that is about to get far worse. However, this is but one root in a forest of consequences impacting everyday people.

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Inflection Points

Gold prices are up between 13% and 23% year-to-date in the major currencies. However, this upward trend started long before the recent price rally.

The "Terrifying Prospect" Of A Triumph Of Politics Over Economics

All of life’s odds aren’t 3:2, but that’s how you’re supposed to bet, or so they say. They are not saying that so much anymore, or saying that history rhymes, or that nothing’s new under the sun. More and more 'they's seem to be figuring out that past economic and market experiences can’t be extrapolated forward - a terrifying prospect for the social and political order.

The Printing Press: A Great Way To Fool People

"The reason that we’re still here, when we really should have fallen apart based on how much debt there was out there, and various other measures of instability, is that a printing press has turned out to be a great tool for fooling people...but in the longer term gold is a beneficiary of the instability that necessarily flows from borrowing too much money"

HY Credit Spreads Have Never Been This High Outside Of A Recession

"We are in the bottom of the 8th or 9th inning, and unless the Fed steps in to add liquidity to the market, which seems unlikely, I don’t expect extra innings... there is no question that the bubble will burst, resulting in a mini or not-so-mini credit crisis."

The Case For Outlawing Cash

In 2008, almost every major U.S. bank was on the edge of bankruptcy. But if the feds succeed in cutting us off from cash, that will never happen again. Because the banks will just whack us all – with the full approval of the Fed, the cronies in Congress, and zombies everywhere – to make themselves whole again. If this new campaign succeeds, it will be almost impossible to protect yourself.

Frontrunning: February 15

  • China’s Yuan Makes Largest Gain Since 2005 on PBOC Cue (WSJ)
  • Japan's Nikkei soars over 7%, for its biggest gain since 2008 (BBG)
  • Global shares rise as firmer Chinese yuan eases deflation fears (Reuters)
  • Banks' Surge Takes Europe's Stock Rally Into 2nd Day; HSBC Rises (BBG)
  • Oil extends rally on prospects OPEC could act to counter low prices (Reuters)
  • Europe's Higher-Yielding Bonds Benefit as Global Turmoil Eases (BBG)

Through The Looking Glass On Rates

Negative interest rates act effectively as a hidden tax funneled directly to banks. They are inherently unhealthy. Currently, they could indicate also a measure of unease among two of the four most powerful central banks. If so, that could well escalate.

"Negative Rates Are Dangerous" OECD Chair Warns "Our Entire System Is Unstable"

"There is excessive debt everywhere and negative interest rates are dangerous... My number one fear? That’s the same as asking me where it will start. When you view the economy as a complex, adaptive system, like many other systems, one of the clear findings from the literature is that the trigger doesn’t matter; it’s the system that’s unstable. And I think our system is unstable... Central Bank models are just wrong"

The Return Of Crisis

Let me be blunt: this next crash will be far worse and more dramatic than any that has come before. Literally, the world has never seen anything like the situation we collectively find ourselves in today. The so-called Great Depression happened for purely monetary reasons. Before, during and after the Great Depression, abundant resources, spare capacity and willing workers existed in sufficient quantities to get things moving along smartly again once the financial system had been reset. This time there’s something different in the story line...

JPMorgan Unveils The "Bogey" For NIRP In The US

"it seems reasonable to judge that the Fed’s current political situation is more parlous than is the case among its overseas counterparts. For all of the above reasons, we believe the hurdle for NIRP in the US is quite high, and we would need to see recession-like conditions before the Fed seriously considered this option."