Japan

We Are Reaching Peak Energy Demand, BP Data Suggests

Some people talk about peak energy (or oil) supply. They expect high prices and more demand than supply. Other people talk about energy demand hitting a peak many years from now, perhaps when most of us have electric cars. Neither of these views is correct. The real situation is that we right now seem to be reaching peak energy demand through low commodity prices.

Abe Ratings Crash To Record Lows, Japan Lowers Minimum Voting Age

The Abe Cabinet's approval rating plunged to 39%, matching a record low, as more than half of voters oppose the new US-sanctioned military/security legislation being debated in the Diet. The last time Shinzo Abe's approval ratings were this low, he called for a snap election and told Kuroda to unleash QQE2.0 which has only squeezed real wages to even record-er lows (24th month in a row of declines), destroyed-er elderly Japanese savings, and crushed-er the middle-class. As his popularity has waned, Abe has become more and more desperate to keep support and has, for the first time in 70- years, lower the minimum voting age from 21 to 18 (adding 2.4 million new voters who have not been demoralized yet by declining pension benefits and quality of life).

The "Smart Money" Just Sold The Most Stocks In History

According to BofA's Jill Hall, "BofAML clients were big net sellers of US stocks in the amount of $4.1bn, following four weeks of net buying. Net sales were the largest since January 2008 and led by institutional clients—after three weeks of net buying, institutional clients’ net sales last week were the largest in our data history."

China Soars 7% Off The Lows, Global Stocks Continue Rising On Ongoing "Greek Deal Optimism"

Before taking a look at Europe, an update on China. Just a few short hours ago, when looking at the bursting of the Chinese bubble where stocks were down between 3% and 5% across the board in the first post-holiday trading session after the worst week in 7 years, we said that "without assistance (levitation) from the same PBOC that just clamped down on liquidity, the China bubble has burst." And then as if by request, minutes later we got, drumroll, levitation and the stickiest stick-save by the PBOC seen in months, when the Shanghai Composite staged an unprecedented 7% surge from the lows to close 2.2% higher after tumbling as much as 5% earlier in the session. And just like that, faith in the "wealth effect" is preserved.

12 Signs That The United States And China Are Moving Toward War

If the United States and China are supposed to be such “great friends”, why are both sides acting as if war is in our future? There were years of diplomatic troubles before Japan finally made the decision to launch a “surprise” attack on Pearl Harbor. Right now, it appears we are moving into a similar period of diplomatic trouble with China.

Crossing The Event Horizon On 50 Years Of A Financially-Engineered Black Hole

"The net effect of all that will be the disappearance of nominal wealth — it crosses an event horizon into a black hole never to be seen again. The continent discovers it is a lot poorer than it thought. Fifty years of financial engineering comes to the grief it deserves for promoting the idea that it’s possible to get something for nothing."

Stocks Soar, Germany's Dax Set For Biggest Gain In Three Years On Greek Deal "Optimism"

today is Friday taken to the nth degree, with the markets having already declared if not victory then the death of all Greek "contagion" leverage, following news that a new Greek proposal was sent yesterday (which as we summarized does not include any of the demanded by the Troika pension cuts), ignoring news that Greece had again sent Belgium the wrong proposal which the market has taken as a sign of capitulation by Tsipras, and as a result futures are surging higher by nearly 1%, the German DAX is up a whopping 3.1%, on track for the biggest one day gain in three years, Greek stocks up over 8%, German and US Treasurys sliding while Greek and peripheral bonds are surging.

Who Said It?

... the long-term deficit and debt that we have accumulated is unsustainable. We can't keep on just borrowing from China, or borrowing from other countries because part of it is, we have to pay interest on that debt. And that means that we're mortgaging our children's future with more and more debt, but what's also true is that at some point they're just going to get tired of buying our debt. And when that happens, we will really have to raise interest rates to be able to borrow...

Jim Rogers: Turmoil Is Coming

"I suspect in the next year or two we will see some kind of major, major problems in the world financial markets. I would suspect when we have this correction, it's going to cause central banks to panic... they will print and spend and borrow, but there comes a time when people are just going to say 'We don’t want to play this game anymore'. And at that point, the world has serious, serious problems because there's nothing to rescue us. I suspect the next economic/financial collapse will be the one they can't deal with."

The Lesson In China: Don't Go Bubble In the First Place

What the stock bubble shows is the unthinkable degree of difficulty in trying to actually manage letting air out of any bubble in an orderly fashion. It may already be too late, as growth declines still further month by month, but stock prices go even more insane, drawing in more and more “retail” accounts and regular Chinese. In other words, the reform idea may have been impossible from the start; that the PBOC went ahead anyway, and still continues despite all that has happened, more than suggests that they now recognize the most dangerous existence is asset bubbles, far and away more important than even “necessary” growth.

5 Things To Ponder: Shades Or Umbrella

Since the beginning of this year the markets have primarily treaded water. The primary support for the bulls has been continued acknowledgement by the Fed on an inability to remove accommodative policy by raising interest rates. (Which should make you question what happens the first time they do.) The bears have been feasting on weak economic data and deteriorating fundamentals.