In a brief but perfectly succinct interview on CNBC yesterday, Ron Paul shared his opinion on the need to own gold (and the physical demand for the manipulated metal) and the Detroit bankruptcy ("we're going to see more Detroits"). He concludes that "long term, you can expect governments not to change" and that they’ll keep taking on more debt and printing more money until people lose confidence in both the U.S. dollar and the U.S. military, both of which will be shake the foundation of a fiat/dollar system.
At precisely 4 am Eastern two opposite things happened: the German IFO Business Climate for July printed at a better than expected 106.2 vs 105.9 in June and higher than the 106.1 consensus: news which would have been EURUSD positive. And yet the EUR tumbled. Why? Because at the same time the ECB provided an update to the chart that "keeps Mario Draghi up at night" as we reminded readers yesterday - the ECB's all important credit creation update in the form of the M3, which not only missed expectations (of +3%) but declined from 2.9% to 2.3%. But more importantly, ECB lending to private sector shrank for the 14th consecutive month in June, and slid to a new record low 1.6% in June, down from a 1.1% in May.
The judge has decided to over-rule both objections and that nothing with regard the Chapter 9 process is held up.
- *DETROIT JUDGE OVERRULES OBJECTIONS CLAIMING BANKRUPTCY INVALID
- *DETROIT JUDGE SAYS HE HAS POWER TO GRANT GOVERNOR SUIT IMMUNITY
- *DETROIT BANKRUPTCY FILING IS VALID, FEDERAL JUDGE RULES
- *DETROIT BANKRUPTCY ELIGIBILITY TO BE DECIDED IN FEDERAL COURT
Now, we proceed to the Federal eligibility hearing (whether the city is eligible to proceed with Chapter 9). Remember this took almost a year with Stockton, CA. For now, Unions 0 - Orr 1 but it seems like neither side will be a winner when this is all over (which makes sense as while there is the law and the Obama-law, there is simply no money). The current plan (for now rejected by creditors) means a 90% loss for muni-worker retirees, 81% loss for unsecured creditors, and a 75% loss for secured creditors.
With the Detroit bankruptcy hearing under way (constitutional crises notwithstanding), we thought it useful to cut through the rhetoric, break-down the mutally-assured-destruction barriers, and peer into the cold-hard facts as the city looks to restructure its $18 billion in debt.
With yet another promise about to go up in smoke (that of PM Rajoy's claim that Spain will be out of recession this quarter), we thought it worth a brief reflection on just what a disaster the nation is and how much it is weighing on the entire EU. Spain has been in recession for seven quarters in a row and survey indicators suggest it will extend to eight. House prices continue to collapse. Government revenue to GDP is among the worst in the union. But unemployment is where Spain has its peers beat - at 6.2 million unemployed, Spain accounts for almost one-third of the entire unemployed population of Europe. With expectations that the unemployment rate will break above 28% next year and a government embroiled in scandal, Rajoy's planned address to discuss the politicial and economic situation to his nation in August may just be the catalyst for the social unrest that has laid relatively dormant for so long. Is Spain the new Detroit?
When the city of Detroit filed for bankruptcy last week, it became the largest such filing in United States history. Detroit’s population has dropped from 1.8 million in 1950, when it was America’s fifth-largest city, to less than 700,000 today. Its industrial base lies shattered. And yet we live in a world where cities have never had it so good. More than half of the world’s population is urban, for the first time in history, and urban hubs generate an estimated 80% of global GDP. These proportions will rise even higher as emerging-market countries urbanize rapidly. So, what can the world learn from Detroit’s plight? Stories like Detroit’s have played out several times in developed countries during the last half-century. And, as the fate of Mexico’s northern towns suggests, emerging economies are not immune from this process. Detroit’s fate should serve as a warning, not only for China, but for the next generation of urbanizing countries (for example, India) as well.
Anyone that thinks that the U.S. economy can keep going along like this is delusional. We are in the terminal phase of an unprecedented debt spiral which has allowed us to live far, far beyond our means for the last several decades. Unfortunately, all debt spirals eventually end, and they usually do so in a very disorderly manner.
Day after day 'positive' anecdotal data points are latched on to by a self-confirming media (and plethora of talking heads and asset-gatherers) unable to see anything but their 'it's all good in the long-term' thesis. The truth is, as Bloomberg's Rich Yamarone notes, there’s no way to assess last week’s economic data as anything other than poor. Chinese GDP continued to deteriorate, U.S. core retail sales and the index of leading economic indicators for June were flat, industrial production was at the same level as in March, and housing, the lone oasis of prosperity, slowed as new starts plunged nearly 10 percent from the previous month. Toss in the city of Detroit filing the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history and the tone of America’s economic outlook took a decisive turn for the worse. Of course, this is all good for stocks is our new (ab)normal reality of single-factor Fed-liquidity-driven mass hypnosis.
There is more to this Ponzi than meets the eye...
The Innovator’s Dilemma strikes again, this time with the news that the city of Detroit has filed for bankruptcy protection. As a business term, ConvergEx's Nick Colas reminds us that the “Dilemma” describes how successful companies fall from grace because they ignore new competition with disruptive technologies at the low end of their markets. In a world that increasingly revolves around intellectual capital (a.k.a. people), government at all levels needs to think about how they do not fall prey to the same error. As for Detroit, any lasting solution likely needs far more government intervention than is currently possible. And so to where Detroit goes from here, we’ll borrow from another business paradigm that parses all solutions to troubled operations into three buckets: "Fix, Close or Sell." In summary, Detroit’s failures are certainly of its own making. The way forward will need leadership that is unavailable locally.
Back in June 2011 we first reported how "Goldman, JP Morgan Have Now Become A Commodity Cartel As They Slowly Recreate De Beers' Diamond Monopoly" in an article that explained, with great detail, how Goldman et al engage in artificial commodity traffic bottlenecking (thanks to owning all the key choke points in the commodity logistics chain) in order to generate higher end prices, rental income and numerous additional top and bottom-line externalities and have become the defacto commodity warehouse monopolists. Specifically, we compared this activity to similar cartelling practices used by other vertically integrated commodity cartels such as De Beers: "the obvious purpose of "warehousing" is nothing short of artificially bottlenecking primary supply." Over the weekend, with a 25 month delay, the NYT "discovered" just this, reporting that the abovementioned practice was nothing but "pure gold" to the banks. It sure is, and will continue to be. And while we are happy that the mainstream media finally woke up to this practice which had been known to our readers for over two years, the question is why now? The answer is simple - tomorrow, July 23, the Senate Committee on Banking will hold a hearing titled "Should Banks Control Power Plants, Warehouses, And Oil Refiners."
- Earthquake Sends Kiwis Screaming From Wellington Buildings (BBG)
- China quake death toll more than doubles to 54, hundreds hurt (Reuters)
- In 2011, Michigan Gov. Snyder said bankruptcy wasn't an option for Detroit. Two years later, he changed his mind (WSJ)
- GlaxoSmithKline says Chinese laws might have been violated (FT)
- SEC Tries Last Ditch Move to Put SAC’s Cohen Out of Business (BBG)
- Detroit’s Bankruptcy Reveals Dysfunction Common in Cities (BBG)
- Obama to start new offensive on economy (FT)
- As WTI and Brent reunite, Gulf of Mexico faces squeeze, not glut (Reuters)
- Extended Stay Files for Public Offering (WSJ)
- Apple Developer Website Hacked: Developer Names, Addresses May Have Been Taken (MacRumors)
- Treasuries Not Safe Enough as Foreign Purchase Pace Slows (BBG)
Detroit will be followed by many cities, and this was not hard to see coming, not at all - as exemplified by the ample warnings given not just by me but by at least one other pundit who was derided for her candidness.
It is so sad to watch one of America's greatest cities die a horrible death. Once upon a time, the city of Detroit was a teeming metropolis of 1.8 million people and it had the highest per capita income in the United States. Now it is a rotting, decaying hellhole of about 700,000 people that the rest of the world makes jokes about. Detroit is only just the beginning. When the next major financial crisis strikes, we are going to see a wave of municipal bankruptcies unlike anything we have ever seen before. All over the nation, our economic infrastructure is being gutted, debt levels are exploding and poverty is spreading. We are consuming far more wealth than we are producing, and our share of global GDP has been declining dramatically. We have been living way above our means for so long that we think it is "normal", but an extremely painful "adjustment" is coming and most Americans are not going to know how to handle it. So don't laugh at Detroit. The economic pain that Detroit is experiencing will be coming to your area of the country soon enough.
The following brief video created by TheRules.org, using data sourced from this website, is the latest vivid demonstration of the most adverse (and dangerous) side effect of nearly five years, and counting, of global monetary intervention by central banks: a world in which the poor get poorer, the rich get richer, and the middle class disappears. The video's punchline "The richest 300 people on earth have as much wealth as the poorest 3 billion" is not exactly correct: in truth the situation is even worse: the richest 200 people have about $2.7 trillion, which is more than the poorest 3.5 billion people, who have only $2.2 trillion combined.