A “new era”: 48% of the French consider themselves living in poverty or on the way to it.
During the its first term, the Obama Administration thus far has proven itself in favor of increased Government control and Central Planning. That is, the general trend throughout the last four years has been towards greater nationalization of industries (first finance, then automakers and now healthcare and insurance), as well as greater reliance on our Central Bank to maintain our finances.
Remember when fundamentals mattered? Neither do we, and why should they: the New Normal market has long since stopped pretending to be able to discount a future that is entirely politically driven, and thus irrational, and the only thing that matters is being able to respond as fast as possible to blinking red headlines. This explains the best performing asset classes on November: at the very top, something one would never expect to see - the Nikkei, which soared on "hopes" the return of politician Shinjiro Abe would mean the nationalization of the BOJ, 3% inflation targeting, and a surge in monetization. And while this is good for Japanese equities, it would crush all local banks who hold the bulk of their assets in JGBs, which would in turn plunge, and likely result in another bank sector bailout, no to mention annihilate pension funding for tens of millions. But such is the new normal.
Dominoes are lined up. Next in line: one of the world’s largest (but dying) shipyards.
- Egypt protests continue in crisis over Mursi powers (Reuters)
- Greece hires Deutsche, Morgan Stanley to run Greek voluntary debt buy back, sources say (Kathimerini)
- Executives' Good Luck in Trading Own Stock (WSJ)
- Hollande Presents Mittal Nationalization Among Site Options (Bloomberg)
- Eurozone states face losses on Greek debt (FT)
- Spain's rescued banks to shrink, slash jobs (Reuters)
- EU Approves Spanish Banks' Restructuring Plans (WSJ)
- At SAC, Portfolio Managers Are Treated Like Stocks (BBG)
- China considers easing family planning rules (Reuters)
- European Court to Rule Over ECB’s Secret Greek File (BusinessWeek)
- And another top tick indicator: Asia Funds Buy London Offices in Bet Volatility Is Past (Bloomberg)
- Harvard Doctor Turns Felon After Lure of Insider Trading (BBG)
- Zucker Is Lead Candidate to Head CNN (WSJ) - it's not true until CNN misreports it
- Iran "will press on with enrichment:" nuclear chief (Reuters)
US Tries To Wrest Control Of Hostess Liquidation As Management Seeks To Pay $1.75 Million In "Incentive" BonusesSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 11/19/2012 18:07 -0400
The Hostess bankruptcy liquidation, the result of a bungled negotiation between the company, its equity sponsors, its striking workers, and the labor union, over what has been defined as unsustainable benefits and pension benefits, is rapidly becoming a Ding Ding farce. The latest news in what promises to be an epic Chapter 22 fight is that the judge, pressured by various impaired stakeholders, among which none other than the US trustee, is that the bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain has ordered the company and its unions to seek private mediation to attempt averting what the company has already said is an inevitable unwind of operations. More to the point, and as we predicted on Friday, if there is an outright purchase of the company, it will be a standalone entity, without its unions: Hostess will draw strategic buyers and private-equity investors for its brands, Rayburn said, without naming potential bidders. The company is “more attractive” to buyers without the unions, he said. In other words, if the Union had hoped that their workers would be retained by the purchasing entity, their dreams just got shattered. But while the Union may be sad, it is about to add another emotion to its arsenal: blind fury. Because it is here that things get truly surreal. As the US Trustee, a Justice Department official responsible for protecting creditors, disclosed, as part of the winddown of Hostess, wants to pay as much as $1.75 million in incentive bonuses to 19 senior managers during the liquidation.
Two weeks ago, when Spain unveiled the specifics of the SAREB, also known as the Spanish Bad Bank initiative, which is simply the haphazardly put together chaotic plan to shift toxic assets from Spain's already insolvent banking sector to a bank that is even more insolvent than all others as it is fulled to the brim with "assets" such as land which has already been discounted by 80%, and backed with Spanish government guarantees, which are largely worthless as the entire country has been on the verge of demanding a bailout for 4 months now, we summarized it simply as follows: "it is ugly - far uglier than many had expected. And while the Spanish government expects private interest to take some of this massively discounted 'crap' off their hands, we have three words: 'deleveraging' and 'no bid!" We were right, although one wouldn't get that impression if one reads the official party line. Here is how Reuters summarized the government's party line: "Spain's bad bank is generating a lot of interest amongst international investors, an economy ministry source said. The bad bank would be possible with only domestic participation but non-resident investors gave the vehicle credibility, the source said." That's a lie. Here is the truth.
Silver remains the most under appreciated and under reported on asset in the world despite continuing positive fundamentals.
The Telegraph published an unusually bullish article on silver yesterday which suggests that silver might rise by over five times in the next few years.
Emma Wall interviews fund manager Ian Williams who says that "silver is about to enter a sustained bull market that will take the price from the current level of $32 an ounce to $165 an ounce and we expect this price to be hit at the end of October 2015."
The Obama Administration thus far has proven itself in favor of increased Government control and Central Planning. That is, the general trend throughout the last four years has been towards greater nationalization of industries (first finance, then automakers and now healthcare and insurance), as well as greater reliance on our Central Bank to maintain our finances.
The people have spoken. It’s seen as a solution.
Exxon Mobil is no longer the world's number-one oil producer. As of yesterday, that title belongs to Putin Oil Corp – oh, whoops. We mean the title belongs to Rosneft, Russia's state-controlled oil company. With TNK-BP in its hands, Rosneft will be in charge of more than 4 million barrels of oil production a day. And who is in charge of Rosneft? None other than Vladimir Putin, Russia's resource-full president. Gazprom in control of Europe's gas, Rosneft in control of its oil. A red hand stretching out from Russia to strangle the supremacy of the West and pave the way for a new world order– one with Russia at the helm. It is not as far-fetched as it might seem – or as you might want it to be. Or imagine this: Russia could join OPEC.
Tensions between Japan and China over the Senkaku (Diaoyu) islands are continuing, as indicated by continued obstacles to Japanese businesses in China, a drastic decline in tourism, and Chinese patrols near the islands. This is both a Sino-Japanese issue and a part of a broader confrontation between China on one side and the United States and its allies on the other. Given Japan’s reliance on the U.S. security umbrella, Tokyo’s moves are to some extent constrained by American actions. Nevertheless, Japan’s size and resources mean Tokyo retains considerable autonomy in handling its relationship with Beijing. At this point, Tokyo has three options... Taking a proactive course on China policy requires stable and high-quality leadership, something which is lacking in Tokyo.
No, it is not a glitch in the matrix: we previously used the same title about a month ago when showing the relative imports of crude in the US vs China. This time the topic is slightly different, but the players are the same. The premise: "Japan, US call off joint drill to 'retake' disputed islands fearing backlash from China." At least it is now clear who calls the shots from not only a tactical (see China starts drilling for crude in a US-protected Afghanistan yesterday), but strategic standpoint as well.
Global gold production remains at its level of the late '90s, even though prices have risen to over $1,700 per ounce from $252 per ounce in 1999 or roughly 16% per annum in dollar terms. Only Rio Tinto and Ivanhoe's Oyu Tolgoi mine in Mongolia stand out as a major new gold mines expected to begin production in the near future. Bulls note that global production has remained impervious to the price of gold. This may continue to be the case due to the increasingly obvious geological constraints being seen in the gold mining sector. Resource nationalism is beginning to become an important factor again. This will also almost certainly affect supply at a time when demand is increasing from people throughout the world and many hedge funds, pension funds and central banks’ due to geopolitical, systemic and monetary risks. The lesson of QE is that fiat currencies increasingly grow on trees. Gold does not. This is the primary reason that gold will continue to protect investors in the coming months.
While the plight of precious metal mining in the 3rd largest gold producer in the world has been well-documented here, as on ongoing strike in various South African mines has crippled precious metal supply, so far the mining shut down had not spread outside the continent of Africa (excluding the occasional Bolivian and Venezuelan mine nationalization). Today, however, even more mining capacity was taken offline, as India's Goa, the country's second largest iron ore producer, announced it was temporarily ceasing all mining activity "after an expert panel formed by the central government found "serious illegalities and irregularities" in mining operations." While no gold production has been impacted yet, this move, which likely has political overtones, will likely shift to other extractors soon, as more production capacity is taken offline, for either labor or kickback reasons. And as reported previously, demand by the now largest importer of gold in the world China, refuses to decline with supply, which has clear implications for the equilibrium price. It remains to be seen if Goa going dark will push iron-ore prices higher. It is quite likely that the collapse in Chinese iron-ore demand offline is far greater than anything Goa will remove from the market and as such will hardly push iron prices higher.