In principle, the BRRD, or “bail-in directive” as it is also known, is quite a good idea. The fact that lending money to fractionally reserved banks or even merely depositing it with them, involves risks needed to be firmly reestablished. One simply cannot expect that banks and their creditors will be bailed out by taxpayers at every opportunity. Besides, the admission that there are risks in banking that have hitherto been glossed over or have even been lied about was long overdue. However, Europe’s governments are now likely to find out that the current monetary system with its fractionally reserved banks is actually incompatible with this admission, so to speak.
An unseen bubble at the heart of the financial system is deflating with unknown consequences. When bubbles deflate, and here we are talking about one in the hundreds of trillions, bad debts are usually exposed. Even though much of the reduction in outstanding OTC derivatives is due to consolidation of positions following the Frank Dodd Act, much of it is not. When free markets reassert themselves, and they always do, the disruption promises to be substantial. We appear to be in the early stages of this event. If so, demand for physical gold can be expected to escalate rapidly as a financial crisis unfolds.
Earlier today everything changed when Saudi Arabia's unveiled what may be a stunning Hail Mary: one which is great news for the suddenly liquidity challenged Saudi government, and is very bad news for the future price of oil. According to the Economist, Saudi Arabia is contemplating taking Saudi Aramco - arguably the world's most valuable company - public. Here are the implications.
Saudi Arabia, which entered 2015 with virtually no debt and an FX reserve war chest that amounted to around three quarters of a trillion dollars, is now viewed as less creditworthy than a country where a coalition of socialists, left-wingers, and communists just overthrew the government.
Iceland refused to be blackmailed. Iceland refused to take on the extra debt (and debt slavery) that came with the blackmail. Iceland refused to touch its social programs. Iceland has the strongest economy in the Western world.
Nomi Prins' Financial Road Map For 2016: "The Potential For Chaotic Fluctuations Is Greater Than Ever"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 01/05/2016 19:15 -0400
We are currently in a transitional phase of geo-political-monetary power struggles, capital flow decisions, and fundamental economic choices. This remains a period of artisanal (central bank fabricated) money, high volatility, low growth, excessive wealth inequality, extreme speculation, and policies that preserve the appearance of big bank liquidity and concentration at the expense of long-term stability. The potential for chaotic fluctuations in any element of the capital markets is greater than ever. The butterfly effect - the flutter of a wing in one part of the planet altering the course of seemingly unrelated events in another part - is on center stage.
There’s really one supreme element of this story that you must keep in view at all times: a society (i.e. an economy + a polity = a political economy) based on debt that will never be paid back is certain to crack up. Its institutions will stop functioning. Its business activities will seize up. Its leaders will be demoralized. Its denizens will act up and act out. Its wealth will evaporate. Given where we are in human history - the moment of techno-industrial over-reach - this crackup will not be easy to recover from. Things have gone too far in too many ways. The coming crackup will re-set the terms of civilized life to levels largely pre-techno-industrial. How far backward remains to be seen.
The Central Bank of Portugal conveniently released their results between Christmas and New Year, when the trading desks in Europe are virtually empty...
For those wondering what comes to mind for the average Chinese web surfer with regard to nations in Europe, we present the following map from Foreign Policy who “plotted the most common Chinese-language Baidu query for each European nation.” Highlights include "likes to fight" for Russia, "why doesn't it annex Portugal" for Spain, and "beautiful women" for Ukraine.
- Oil ends 2015 in downbeat mood; hangover to be long, painful (Reuters)
- Recession, retrenchment, revolution? Impact of low crude prices on oil powers (Guardian)
- Midwest Flooding Might Make the Oil Glut Worse (BBG)
- From Oil Glut to Shortage? Some Say It Could Happen (WSJ)
- Ten Years After Blowup, Amaranth Investors Waiting to Get Money Back (WSJ)
- China Fires a Warning Shot at Yuan Speculators With Bank Bans (BBG)
It has come down to this: a year in which the US stock market (led by a handful of shares even as the vast majority of stocks has dropped) has gone nowhere, but took the longest and most volatile path to get there, is about to close either red or green for 2015 based on what happens in today's low-volume session following yesterday's unexpected last half hour of trading "air pocket" which brought the S&P back to unchanged for the year.
If you are an institutional investor and you bought Novo Banco bonds, you just had a bad morning...
The U.S. dollar is currently accepted as the world’s reserve currency, but it hasn't always been this way...
The movement toward deeper European integration appears to have halted, and gone into reverse, as the EU seems to be unraveling along ideological, national, tribal and historic lines. If these trends continue, and they seem to have accelerated in 2015, the idea of a United States of Europe dies, and with it the EU. And this raises a question about the most successful economic and political union in history - the USA.
“I think 10-year USTs are quite attractive because of my outlook for the weakening economy. Actually I believe we’re already entering a recessionin the US. Given the weakness in the global economy and the deceleration of growth in the U.S., I would imagine that by next year the Fed will cut rates once again and launch QE4."