People are genetically biased against change, because change means potential danger. People are also genetically biased against acknowledging this bias, because they wish to see themselves as being able to cope with both change and danger. Put together, this means that when changes come, people are largely unprepared or underprepared. This little bit of psychology 101 may seem redundant, but it is indispensable if we wish it to recognize the implications of Europe -and the entire world with it, in its slipstream- having already entered a period of change so profound it is impossible to predict what the impact will be. This ignorance and denial threatens to lead to a needless increase in nationalism, fascism, violence, misery, death and warfare. If we were to acknowledge that the change is inevitable, and prepare ourselves accordingly, much of this could be avoided.
Amid the ever-expanding easing program in Europe (longer? more-er? different-er?), one of the gravest concerns was (amid a growing scarcity of collateral), finding willing sellers (at any price) to meet the needs of central bank asset purchasers could be a problem. However, as The FT reports, it appears the Chinese stepped up to the plate to 'help' The ECB (rather The Bundesbank) out from its dilemma. Just as we saw with Chinese selling US Treasuries (whether to diversify away from the major reserve currencies, deal with outflows, or to manage a liquidity crisis at home), The PBoC's reserve management wing, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange, has been selling some of its German government bonds since the ECB began buying them in March, say two sources close to central banks in China and Europe. This news has prompted further weakness in Bunds today, despite expectations of Draghi unleashing more buying in December.
Dennis Gartman, author of the institutionally well followed ‘The Gartman Letter,’ has asked questions about gold’s peculiar price action last week and raised the question as to whether there was official central bank manipulation of gold prices.
Vladimir Putin’s approval rating in Russia has soared to yet another all time high; leaving all those who don’t like Putin or were hoping for some sort of regime change in Russia continue to be out of luck. One reason why we are even posting about this is that the Western press has also reported on the event, employing a somewhat less neutral tone of voice. What makes the sour grapes style reporting in the Western media especially funny is that while it is true that the Kremlin exerts extraordinary influence on the media in Russia, one wonders in what way their reportage on Syria is different from the reporting in the happily self-censoring US mainstream media on the Iraq war, especially in the run-up to said war.
From best bank to totally broke and freezing clients’ accounts in less than one year. Could this happen in the US?
In the US, there is a natural tendency to punish political candidates when they lie, but mostly about their personal peccadillos. If a country’s political culture is such that all agree on condemning intentional lies and liars, especially when their goal is to promote hatred, a country may avoid big evil. But this is not the case in Venezuela. Its government has run the country’s economy and society into the ground, overseeing the world’s steepest decline in output, highest inflation rate, and second highest murder rate, not to mention shortages beyond compare. And now it is systematically lying about the causes of the mess it created and inventing scapegoats.
"Now they can stand up and preach. People say this is democracy, but I don’t think it is democracy to let Nazis say what they want"...
In September, the total physical gold held in custody at the NY Fed dropped another 19.9 tons in September, down to 5,919.5 tons. This was a doubling in gold withdrawals from 10 tons in August, and is the highest withdrawal since January. At just under 5,920 total tons in NY Fed inventory, this is the lowest amount of gold held in NY Fed custody in decades.
Most investors don’t take kindly to change. “The market” chooses to stay in the here and now; each human component vibrant and alert while the whole is passive and inert…like a herd of wildebeests, protected by its mass and collective wisdom that each one of them is statistically safe from lions as long as they stay together.
"I feel ashamed of Europe's inability to effectively address this human drama, and of the level of debate ... where everyone tries to shift responsibility to someone else. And now, those who sowed winds are reaping whirlwinds."
"His name is perhaps the strongest example of those who support anything that weakens nation states, they support everything that changes the traditional European lifestyle. These activists who support immigrants inadvertently become part of this international human-smuggling network."
Gold is up 3.1% in October and had even larger gains in other currencies. Entering gold’s “seasonal sweet spot” in November, December, January and February.
- World stocks on course for best month in four years (Reuters)
- Global Stocks Up Amid Stimulus Hopes (WSJ)
- BOJ Refrains From Adding Stimulus Even as Inflation, Growth Wane (BBG)
- U.S. Avoids Debt Default as Congress Passes Fiscal Plan (BBG)
- China naval chief says minor incident could spark war in South China Sea (Reuters)
- Exclusive Club: No High-Frequency Traders Allowed at Luminex (WSJ)