Yes, the United States is one of the greatest places in the world... to be a consumer. If you want to shop, spend, and consume, the US is pretty damn near #1 in the world. But if you want to build. If you want to create. If you want to be a producer in the United States... it’s a whole different story.
This is also why the debt ceiling needs to be raised every year, and the US has doubled the national debt over the last 8 years.
There is no alternative except to take cover because the latest stock market rip is based on pure central bank hopium. Indeed, Mario Draghi has confirmed once again that the world’s central bankers have a monetary death wish. Unlike the gamblers who bought Cramer’s top 49 stock picks, the best course of action is to sell, sell, sell—–and do it now.
Already, the big banks (the ones with the closest ties to the Federal Reserve) have begun turning away deposits OR charging them.
Investors are too complacent (the Minsky-Moment). Too many are still trying to profit from the Fed subsidy of past stimulus. Investors remain loaded in risk assets, incentivized by the need to beat peers and benchmarks and comforted into complacency by the Fed ‘put’. The true level of risk is being ignored. The pervasive mentality of seeking maximum risk has become a terrible risk/reward trade for two main reasons...
It is more evident than ever that the world economy is heading into a deflationary conflagration, but today’s generation of house trained bulls wouldn’t recognize a warning if it slapped them upside their horns. They refused once again last week to exit the casino because they got another signal from Hilsenramp that the Fed is on “hold” until at least next March. Call it Ostrich Economics. But do it quick. Those side-effects are coming to the casino some day real soon.
The United States has had the world’s largest economy for about 140 years, and it roughly accounts for 22% of global GDP. However, in recent times China has overtaken the US by at least one measure of total economic strength, which is GDP based on purchasing power parity (PPP). Either way you slice it, the economies are the two strongest globally in absolute terms. That’s where the similarities end.
For the first time in years, as PanAm Post reports, lawmakers from Argentina’s ruling Front for Victory coalition have proposed upping the size of the country’s largest denomination banknote to AR$200. While some 42% of Argentineans deemed it necessary in a 2014 survey the Cristina Kirchner administration has ignored repeated requests by economists, banks, and other financial institutions to issue larger-denomination bills. Indeed, Congressman Carlos Kunkel, author of the current bill initiative, claims the measure has nothing to do with inflation, but would "reduce the cost of printing and circulating money."
We can however state with confidence that the bubble will eventually burst and that the greatest monetary policy experiment of the post WW2 era will fail – in all likelihood quite spectacularly. So we have every reason to remain long term bullish on gold and gold-related investments. Moreover, by looking closely at past lows of significance we have hopefully been able to provide a bit of a road map in case the recent low does indeed represent a major pivot point.
Venezuela’s economy is in desperate trouble. The country is highly dependent on oil reserves and has no significant substitute for black gold in the near term. That reality makes Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s recent efforts to tout the country’s technology industry laughable.
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.