We would argue the main reason for Blackrock’s attempt to persuade the exchanges to adopt its recommendations on trading halts is that Blackrock itself is inconvenienced by downside volatility. Presumably the company is no stranger to leverage (how else can it squeeze out large returns with a portfolio this large in a ZIRP world?) and is therefore forced to exercise stop loss orders itself when the market declines fast. Such attempts to “regulate” everything, even the price swings markets are allowed to make, are attempts to stem oneself against nature.
While record mainland deficits covered by the petroleum sector is nothing new in Norwegian budget history, on the contrary it is closer to the norm, the 2016 budget did raise some eyebrows. The other side of the ledger, the net inflow to the SWF from activities in the North Sea will, again according to budget, be lower than the required amount to cover the deficit. This has never happened before and is testimony of the sea change occurring in the world of petrodollar recycling.
The Dow-Jones Industrial average closed over 17,000 today, for the first time since August. Do not misinterpret this recent rise. Happy Days are not here again.
If you think this sounds like some kind of conspiracy theory, consider that France just banned any transaction over €1,000 Euros from using physical cash. Spain has already banned transactions over €2,500. Uruguay has banned transactions over $5,000. And on and on.
Having government control over the levers of the economy can have advantages. For example, by taking prompt action, the Chinese government was able to pull the economy out of the recession remarkably fast, basically by fire-housing the stimulus package that was equivalent to 12% GDP. That’s the advantage. The only problem is that these kinds of short-term advantages come with long-term, painful consequences.
What most investors do not realize currently is they could go to "cash" today and in five years will likely be better off. However, since making such a suggestion is strictly "taboo" because one might "miss some upside," it becomes extremely important for measures to be put into place to protect investment capital from the coming downturn. Of course, since Wall Street does not make fees on investors holding cash, maybe there is another reason they are so adamant that you remain invested all the time.
The US Federal Reserve orchestrated an artificial boom from 2001 to 2007 through artificially low interest rates and has resumed doing so once again. Entrepreneurs operating under faulty market signals created by the Federal Reserve malinvested hundreds of billions of dollars into capital intensive projects primarily in the housing sector. We paid for our boom with millions of destroyed jobs, wasted labor, and wasted resources. The Chinese Central Bank learned nothing from the Fed’s catastrophic experiment. They will reap the same rewards.
The collapse is not over by any stretch...
Now that the yuan deval debacle has served to accelerate capital outflows, Beijing is set to double down on efforts to curb the degree to which capital controls are openly subverted and as WSJ reports, China is has now “put a new annual cap on overseas cash withdrawals using UnionPay.”
With Japan's economy already sliding into its 5th recession of the past decade, once pensioners open their retirement statements in a few weeks and find a 15% plunge in their purchasing power, Japan can skip recession and proceed straight to a consumer-driven recession. But wait, there's more: because if pensioners are angry now, wait until they learn that they have lost everything, after buying all those junk bonds that Carl Icahn is now actively selling with both hands and feet, because: JAPAN PENSION FUND TO INVEST IN JUNK BONDS, NIKKEI SAYS. And just like that, with or without Krugman's active economic advice, Japan's fate is sealed because much to Japan's dismay, "junk" bonds are called that for a reason.
In considering NIRP, Central bankers are failing to address an even greater potential problem, which could easily become cataclysmic. By forcing people into paying to maintain cash and bank deposits, central bankers are playing fast-and-loose with the public’s patient acceptance that state-issued money actually has any value at all. There is a tension between this cavalier macroeconomic attitude and what amounts to a prospective tax on personal liquidity. Furthermore, NIRP makes the hidden tax of monetary inflation, of which the public is generally unaware, suddenly very visible. We should be in no doubt that increasing public awareness of the true cost to ordinary people of monetary policies, by way of the debate that would be created by the introduction of NIRP, could have very dangerous consequences for the currency.
Holding gold is simply recognition that the Fed’s actions over the last 30 years have potentially severe consequences that pose threats to the value of most financial assets, the almighty dollar and ultimately your clients’ purchasing power. Owning gold is in effect not only a short on the dollar and on the credibility of the Federal Reserve, but most importantly a one of a kind asset that protects wealth.
When risk sold off last week in the wake of the Fed’s so-called “clean relent,” it signalled at best a policy mistake and at worst the loss of any and all credibility. Tonight, Yellen gets a do-over.
And just like that Weimar 2.0 is born.
Great companies like Hewlett-Packard are now being run not by adult professionals but day-trading punters. Carly Fiorina was one of the latter. She excelled at mastering her flash cards and pitching financial bubbles from the time of the misbegotten Lucent IPO, to her campaign for the Compaq acquisition, to her final days at Hewlett-Packard. What she didn’t excel at was learning a single thing that qualifies her to be President of the United States - not the least of which is humility. Fiorina needs to shut-up, sit down and flush her flash cards. The furtherance of liberty, prosperity and peace are not what Torquemada’s do.