Feb 08

BOMBSHELL: A Week After Silver "Fix" Broken; 6 Large Miners Ditch LME

“No reason was given for why 10% of the Exchange’s “Category 5” members resigned, but I’ll bet everything I own that it has something to do with ongoing criminality in the fraudulent paper markets… I have little doubt that this draconian, shocking turn of events will catalyze additional miners — and investors — to scrutinize said paper fraud more closely…. in gold and silver, where demand is skyrocketing, supply plunging, and inventories vanishing, I would not be surprised if it acts as a “black swan” catalyst to significantly damage — if not destroy — the gold and silver Cartel.  And with it, one of the few remaining threads of “stability” in the dying global monetary system. ”

Feb 08

Dot Com 2.0 — The Sequel Unfolds

“Like a phoenix rising from the ashes of the post Dot-Com ruins people were told not only was it “different this time,” they were also instructed to observe even the phoenix bird itself had morphed into what is now commonly referred to as a “Unicorn.” And any comparisons to the prior meltdown in the land of Dot-Com were met with howls and scowls of, “You just don’t get it!” or worse.

Feb 08

Wall St. in selloff mode as techs extend rout, oil falls

“Wall Street was deep in the red in volatile trading on Monday, as technology stocks continued to sell off and oil prices remained under pressure, sending investors scurrying to safe-haven assets.” — You mean like gold? Oh yes, that which cannot be named in polite company is up by over 2% so far, meaning its performance relative to stocks on the day is approximately +4%.

Feb 08

Why a selloff in European banks is ominous

“There is more to the sector slump than just the individual bank problems, according to Garnry. The negative interest rates set by the ECB means that banks effectively have to pay to have cash on their balance sheets, while at the same time getting squeezed on their net interest margins. Debt levels are already really high on the continent, which means further loan growth is expected to be low, he said.” — See also Deutsche Bank is shaking to its foundations — is a new banking crisis around the corner?

Feb 08

Janet Yellen is finding herself increasingly fenced in


The problem is that the labor market seems to be tightening — despite a comedown in the pace of U.S. economic growth as well as slowing corporate earnings growth. The labor tightness is resulting from falling productivity, fewer qualified applicants and the still-low percentage of Americans in the labor force. Wage inflation is also on the rise.

Taken together, all of this feels a little “stagflation-y” because it suggests the economy could get the job and wage gains we’ve been waiting for, but in a way that’s bad for the stock market and the overall economy. If that dynamic deepens, Yellen will have no easy policy prescriptions…

Feb 08

China’s looming debt crisis is no cause for alarm, says PBOC expert

“Joe Zhang says while some analysts cite China’s credit-to-GDP ratio as the main reason for an impending disaster, a number of economies with high ratios have defied the doomsday forecasts for decades.” — SCMP is heavily PRC-biased (if not controlled); but here’s the “opposing view” of China-debt-doomsaying, for what it’s worth…

Feb 07

Debt, defaults, and devaluations: why this market crash is like nothing we’ve seen before


For many market watchers, a confluence of factors – led by oil, but encompassing China, the emerging world, and financial markets – are all brewing to create a perfect storm in a global economy that has barely come to terms with the Great Recession… Unlike previous pre-recessionary eras, the current sell-off has seen commodity prices, equities and credit conditions all move in dangerous lockstep.

… a tipping point may well be approaching. According to [Oliver] Blanchard’s calculations, a 20pc decline in stock markets that persists for more than six months, will translate into a decline in consumption of between 0.5pc to 1.0pc.

Spreads on high yield US energy corporates have soared to unprecedented highs. “They make Lehman look like a walk in the park” says Thygesen.

More than a third of the entire US high yield bond index is now vulnerable to crude prices remaining low or falling even further, according to calculations from Oxford Economics.

The question exercising the minds of economists and investors is the extent to which this contagion could metastasize beyond the energy sector, as banks cut off credit access, loans turn bad, and financial conditions enter a critical tightening phase.

Over the last 45 years, the S&P500 has suffered a loss of more than 12.5pc on 13 occasions. Six of these have given way to a recession in the US, providing a near 50pc probability that a global downturn is just around the corner.

What, if anything, could halt this pernicious cycle of events from unfolding?

In the short-term, analysts are unanimous: all eyes are on the US Federal Reserve. The central bank’s first rate hike in seven years last December has come to look frighteningly premature in the space of just eight weeks.

Feb 07

PBOC Has Only A Few Months Left "To Stop Collapse": Edwards

“China’s FX reserves could fall to $2.8 trillion, the lower end of the IMF’s recommended range within a few months, which could spark a tidal wave of speculative selling, forcing the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) to throw in the towel and let the market decide the level of the renminbi exchange rate…” — See also China’s Foreign-Exchange Reserves Decline to $3.23 Trillion.