2/17-18-19/16 Gleaning Antichrist ISIS NWO 666 Proxy 911 WMD Phoenix Project Event Now In Play Blasphemous Petrus Romanus Pope Assures Victory For Trump By Publicly Humiliating All Catholics In Contempt Of The Evil Jesuit Fool
Seven years later during the 2008 Presidential Election, the Hillary 911 Clinton campaign put together a large American flag. All fifty stars were present, but they were all inverted. The image was even featured on Clinton’s site at one time though it has since been removed. These individuals are making it clear whose side they are on and what their intentions are.
One thing is certain, since the year 2000 our country and the world for that matter has declined rapidly. We have seen the rise of globalism on a scale not witnessed in previous history and during the year 2015 we witnessed it escalate dramatically. We heard multiple world leaders call for the integration of governments and economic systems in order to stop “terrorism” and stabilize the world. Little do most people know the destabilization is caused by Satan’s children and by design in order to bring about a new world order government that those same leaders were calling for.
Not that casting a vote for one of two evils matters…
The Antichrist NWO 666 Israeli Two State Final Solution Petrus Romanus Pope just gave the greatest endorsement of all time to the leading candidate to become the new United States President, and it’s Donald Trump. The Hell bound evil Catholic fool has assured every protestant, AKA true Christian, in America, that is not an Antichrist Israeli Two State Final Solution NWO 666 Socialist Democrat, will cast their vote to elect Trump.
Petrus Romanus stands in contempt of our Father in Christ as the accuser and has condemned himself to Hell in front of the world by claiming Trump is not a Christian if he disagrees with protecting the American Constitution. Everyone that is an American Catholic is now on par with an enemy of The Constitution and stands equal in agreement with their evil Hell bound Pope as the accuser, AKA Satan.
Lol, if you are so moved to vote for one of two evils, certainly now, based on all you have seen of this Antichrist NWO Occult effort with their evil Jesuit Petrus Romanus Pope supporting them in the United States Capitol and United Nations, Trump is obviously not favored by the evil bastards, which makes him two things, lucky not to be as dead as a Supreme Court Justice in Texas and the only candidate the Antichrist NWO 666 bastards do not want to be the President Of The United States.
Obviously the Antichrist NWO 666 and their Petrus Romanus Pope stooge are desperate at this point, for the bastards to have their evil Jesuit condemn a man, any person, publicly, and especially during an American President election season etc…, it is a crystal clear confirmation that the Antichrist NWO 666 Occult UN Agenda bastards are actually fearful that at least Americans reject their global mark of the beast at the Presidential level, which would disrupt their effort.
The Petrus Romanus Pope is going to Hell, that is certain. His own judgment shall find him there.
It’s definitely different this time…
The 2008 analog lines the current trajectory up with August 2008 right after Treasury Secretary Paulson told the world reassuringly that:
“Our economy has got very strong long-term fundamentals. And you know, your policy-makers and regulators here – we’re very vigilant.”
And we all know what happened next…
Could never happen again?
Yeah you’re probably right…
A leaked report from Germany’s Federal Criminal Police Agency reveals refugees committed over 200,000 crimes between 2014 and 2015.
The report is only supposed to be seen by police and other government employees, but it ended up in the hands of Bild, a German newspaper, Deutsche Welle reports.
What the document shows primarily is that refugees are responsible for 208,344 crimes.
A total of 32 percent of those crimes were related to asset or fraud offenses, and another 33 percent were due to theft. Of the total number of crimes, only 1 percent, or 1,688, had anything to do with sexual offenses. There were 458 cases of serious sexual assault, which includes either rape or coercion.
Not all ethnic groups were equal in the amount of crimes committed. Viewed proportionally, there were more offenders from Eritrea, Nigeria and countries from the Balkans like Serbia and Albania. In absolute numbers, Syrians committed 24 percent of refugee crimes, but Serbs only comprised 2 percent of the refugee population and managed to account for an incredible 13 percent of crimes.
Bild noted, however, the report did not include the reported cases of sexual assault in Cologne on New Year’s Eve, skewing the data slightly.
The 446 alleged sexual assaults on New Year’s Eve threw Germany into an uproar, mostly because of accusations that the German government collaborated with the media to downplay the incident. Of particular note, following the assaults, Cologne Mayor Henriette Reker put the onus on females who were assault and suggested women should abide by a code of conduct to avoid future assaults.
Due to crime rates and generally undesirable behavior, tensions over importing over a million refugees were high, and the assaults in Cologne, committed mostly by Arabs and North Africans, pushed ordinary Germans over the edge. A recent poll indicated that 40 percent of Germans want Chancellor Angela Merkel to resign due to her poor handling of the refugee crisis. She has admitted Europe has totally lost control of the situation.
This week’s EU summit in Brussels is the final opportunity for German Antichrist NEO World Order Europa Whore German Chancellor Angela Merkel to find agreement with Antichrist NWO 666 Central Bank Captured EU countries and Antichrist Muslim Jive Turkey regarding the migrant crisis and the future of Europe, and the chances of success are slim, Deutsche Welle reported.
There is a famous saying that helps to describe perfectly the situation that Americans and the entire world now face: The problems that we face will never be solved by the minds that created them.
The minds of Clinton 911 and Obozo have helped to create this world now totally full of death, destruction and despair. In fact, those three words will forever be associated with the war criminals and mass murderers in Washington DC and beyond for all of the havoc that they have helped to unleash upon our world and all of the death, destruction and despair that they have caused for humanity. Look at our handiwork in Syria within this story; are we proud of what’s going on there and in our names?
Rick Wiles opens the program by cataloging the latest escalations in the west’s march to open war in Syria, and geothermal nuclear war across the globe. Rick also greets the President and Chief Counsel of Thomas More Law Center Richard Thompson, to discuss how a retired marine discovered his daughter was being indoctrinated by Antichrist islamic propaganda and was subsequently banned from the school upon complaining. In positive news, the architects of Project X will finally unveil its name to the public. Watch out world, PRAZOR is on the scene!
NOTE: RIP Charlie. He passed away after this, his last video cast.
Dale Dorsey isn’t happy.
After working 33 years, he’s facing a 55% cut to his pension benefits, a blow which he says will “cripple” his family and imperil the livelihood of his two children, one of whom is in the fourth grade and one of whom is just entering high school.
What a cute little Banana Republic this America has become. Our government can’t put a single bank executive in jail for destroying the global economy, but when a mere peasant is caught not paying back his student debt, a team of U.S. Marshals arrive at his door to arrest him at gunpoint.
Land of the thief, home of the slave, indeed.
Having successfully called the market’s retreat in the fall of 2015, Universa’s Mark Spitznagel is not taking a victory lap as he warns Bloomberg TV that “the crash has only just begun.”
Investors are facing the most binary “let’s make a deal” market in history in Spitznagel’s view: choose Door #1 to bet on Keynesianism, central planners, and monetary interventionism; or Door #2 to bet on free markets and natural price discovery.
“There is massive cognitive dissonance here,” Spitznagel explains as history teaches us that door #2 is the right choice… but it’s not possible to do that today as investors have been coerced to choose door #1, but when door #1 is slammed open “we will see that dreaded black swan monster.”
That is what is going on right now:
“Investors want to go with The Fed when it’s working – like David Zervos… the problem is, when do you know that it is not working?”
“At some point this stops working…”
“the market is going through a resolution process, transitioning from the cognitive dissonance of Door #1 to the harsh reality of Door #2… if everyone were to change doors at the same time, that is a market crash… it can’t be done in a non-messy way.”
Must watch reality check behind the smoke and mirrors we call markets… (we note Mark’s excellent analogy starting at around 3:10)
“Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its young shoots become tender and it puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near; 33 so you, too, when you see all [f]these things [taking place], know for certain that He is near, right [g]at the door. 34 I assure you and most solemnly say to you, this generation [the people living when these signs and events begin] will not pass away until all these things take place.
Seriously – how many more times can a central bankers’ policies be exposed for the total sham that they are?
“The turmoil in global markets is making companies cautious about spending and also weakening global demand. That will be negative to Japanese exports,” Hiroaki Muto, chief economist at Tokai Tokyo Research Center in Tokyo, said before the trade report was released.
“There will be no driver for Japan’s economy as domestic consumption may remain weak, and sluggish exports and production may weaken capital spending in the coming months.”
Japanese trade data was just unleashed on the world… and it is abysmal.
*JAPAN JAN. EXPORTS FALL 12.9% Y/Y
Notably worse than the expected 10.9% drop and the biggest YoY plunge since October 2009. This was driven by a collapse in exports to the most rapidly contracting marginal economy in the world: Antichrist Communist China. According to Bloomberg, “exports to Antichrist Communist China, Japan’s largest trading partner, were down almost 18 percent, driving an overall decline of nearly 13 percent in the value of overseas shipments in January from a year earlier. Imports dropped 18 percent, leaving a 645.9 billion yen ($5.7 billion) trade deficit, the Ministry of Finance said on Thursday.”
But we thought that the market had decided Antichrist China was fine?
Some more humor from Bloomberg:
Falling exports compound poor sentiment in Japan, where wage gains have stagnated, consumer prices are barely rising and households are reluctant to spend. This year stocks have plunged and the yen has gained more than 5 percent against the dollar amid concerns over Antichrist China’s slowdown and U.S. growth. This adds to worries about the seesawing nature of Japan’s economy between modest growth and contraction.
Sarcasm aside, the chart below proves once and for all that the devaluation of the JPY did less-than-nothing to improve Japan’s competitiveness…
And then there is Imports – reflecting the “modest” improvement in the domestic economy…
*JAPAN JAN. IMPORTS FALL 18.0% Y/Y
Nope – complete carnage!! The biggest YoY drop since october 2009…
Is it any wonder Abe says no more stimulus and Kuroda did not unleash anymore QE – they know it’s over and now it’s desperation.
We leave it to Alhambra’s Jeff Snider to sum up… Japan is the very definition of insanity…
GDP fell 1.4% in Q4 2015, marking the fifth contraction out of the past nine quarters and yet the word “stimulus” remains attached to QQE, the Bank of Japan and Abenomics in general. At this point, how much more time and sample size is necessary before calling it a failure? In about six weeks, Kuroda’s massive “stimulus” will mark its third anniversary and the best that can be said of it is that GDP has gone nowhere. Two and three quarters years later, real GDP (SAAR) in the last three months of 2015 was the slightest bit higher than Q2 2013 when everyone was so sure “stimulus” was all so sure.
The media provides all the evidence necessary as to why everything is so “unexpected.”
The data suggest Japan’s economy is still plagued by the weakness of domestic demand as it enters a fourth year of record monetary stimulus, with wages not rising fast enough to persuade consumers to spend.
There is no sign of a downward spiral in the economy but with the yen rising to trade at Y113.8 to the dollar in recent weeks, the figures put pressure on the Bank of Japan for even more monetary stimulus to encourage a strong round of wage rises this spring.
While economists try to determine if technical definitions for recession have been met, the plain truth of QQE is that monetary “stimulus” put Japan into recession almost immediately and it has never left. The key for any recession definition are the words “significant” and “sustained.” In other words, it is a significant and sustained deviation from the prior or underlying growth trend. By Japan’s GDP figures alone, Japan is in a significant and sustained period of weakness or contraction even when compared to the unsatisfactory growth that prevailed before it.
The media provides all the evidence necessary as to why everything is so “unexpected.”
Since the first appearance of negative GDP in Q4 2013, long before the tax change, Japan’s average quarterly (SAAR) growth rate has been -0.07%. Period to QQE from just after the earthquake quarter, GDP averaged 1.74%. No matter how you present the GDP data, there was a significant change in economic growth dating to or close to QQE’s introduction. Since that burst of monetarism was enormous, just as policymakers had once claimed (curious, again, that commentary about QE in whatever form is derived by its tense; it will be powerful and effective vs. it was disappointing and needed more), that leaves little doubt as to the source of the economy’s digression from at least its prior trend, unacceptable as that might have been.
ABOOK Feb 2016 Japan GDP HH less Imputed RentQQ SAAR
The fact that Japanese households have borne the brunt of the disaster only confirms its negating nature. Prior to QQE, household spending and income had been better than the overall GDP figures; after QQE, that relative position has reversed and intensely so. Nobody would accuse the Japanese economy of being robust between the tsunami and the start of 2013, but at least for households there was steady growth without “inflation” and disorder. Japan was certainly in need of re-orientation and reform so that its system could finally become a full economy once again, but QQE was the exact opposite of what was required – especially since it was just amplifying what had already failed nine times (at least) before.
ABOOK Feb 2016 Japan Devastation QEs
The Bank of Japan and Abenomics in general put the Japanese economy into a recession from which it hasn’t yet recovered; nor are there any signs that it is even close to doing so. The conditioned response in the media and by economists is entirely the problem – it doesn’t take much to realize that “stimulus” created the recession, therefore more “stimulus” will likely only do the same.
“Consumption was weak, even after taking out seasonal factors, as households tightened their purse strings,” said Yuichi Kodama, chief economist at Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Co. in Tokyo. “The downside risks to Japan’s economy are likely to increase as the yen’s gains may damp capital spending and exports, and private consumption also is looking weak. There’s no clear driver to support Japan’s economy.”
That’s an astounding piece of commentary after nearly three years; to have “no clear driver to support Japan’s economy” is utterly damning. Monetarism doesn’t work, that much is inarguable no matter which data you use or how you use it. That it is directly harmful may be somewhat debatable, but that view is becoming less so with each passing quarter. Japanese households, in particular, were at least experiencing some steady growth prior and now they are most certainly not. Central bankers declare that the cost of implementing a full recovery, yet it is nowhere to be found even in overall GDP (which is the most generous account of any economy). After three years (let alone fifteen), there is no basis anymore for “stimulus.” None.
Sure enough, stocks are rallying in the dismal news in anticipation of some more insanity from
One of the more stunning economic updates this week was Antichrist Communist China’s unprecedented surge in Antichrist Communist Chinese loan creation, when as reported earlier this week, Antichrist Communist China unveiled a whopping CNY3.42 trillion in Total Social Financing, its broadest debt aggregate, an amount greater than half a trillion dollars, of which CNY2.51 trillion was in new bank loans.
The reason for the surge was largely the result of frontloading loans, as well as lending to government projects in the first year of 13th Five Year Plan, which helped to boost loan growth. Many economists had expected loans to slow sharply in February as lending to government projects wound down.
However, it turns out this was just the start of Antichrist Communist China’s latest policy, which is really just a return to its old policy of flooding the economy with debt: as Market News reports expectations that “January’s surprisingly strong new loan growth would prove temporary may have been premature as bank officials in a number of Antichrist Communist Chinese cities say February new loans look to be just as strong, even with a week-long holiday in the middle of the month.”
According to MNI, new loans so far in February were similar to the levels during the same days of January. The total so far in February is seen at around CNY2 trillion already.
MarketNews adds that this was achieved despite fewer working days in February because of the lunar New Year holiday, suggesting even more loans were churned out every working day.
It also means that if the TSF components rose at a comparable rate as in January, then the total increase in aggregate Antichrist Communist Chinese debt is on pace to surpass CNY6.5 trillion, or $1 trillion in new debt created in 2 months! This is roughly how much outside money the Fed added to the US economy during one full year of QE3.
The surge was surprising. As MNI reports, the strong January numbers had been expected to moderate for a number of reasons.
Firstly, Antichrist Communist Chinese banks typically try to get as much loan money out the door as possible early in the year to maximize interest income for the rest of the year.
Secondly, Antichrist Communist Chinese companies have been paying down foreign debt on expectations that the yuan would continue to weaken and that process has been expected to slow.
Thirdly, and perhaps the biggest surprise in the February loan growth thus far, loans for government infrastructure projects that helped boost the January data were expected to slow. That does not appear to be happening.
This means that just like Japan panicked on January 29 when it announced NIRP, so Antichrist Communist China too has taken on what may appear a step of desperation and is hoping to jumpstart the economy by flooding it with record mounts of debt. Mizuho said in a note to clients late Wednesday that a massive stimulus package is likely in the pipeline.
“We expect public infrastructure projects to receive another boost to stabilize the economic downtrend. This may include construction of intra-city railways, railways in the central and western provinces and making improvements in the agricultural sector. A new round of massive stimulus, in our view, will be announced around the National People’s Congress, which will likely convene in the second week of March,” said Shen Jianguang, chief Asia economist at Mizuho Securities Asia Ltd.
To be sure, the immediate impact from this credit surge will be favorable, if only in the near term.
The downside to the surge in lending is that while it could support economic growth as the government undertakes much-needed structural reforms, it is also increasing the country’s already high debt burden. Credit is still growing much faster than even nominal GDP, which means Antichrist Communist China is getting far less economic bang for every yuan of lending.
Finally, recall that according to a Rabobank analyst, Antichrist Communist China’s debt/GDP is already at 350%. At this rate, it will surpass Japan’s 400% debt/GDP within the year, making Antichrist Communist China the most indebted nation in the world.
Most importantly, however, is that while the threat of NPLs coming to the fore has been a major concern for many Antichrist Communist China watchers, the indiscriminate surge in Antichrist Communist Chinese debt issuance means that the trillions in bad loans will be promptly masked by all the new loan issuance. It also means that Antichrist Communist China’s day of reckoning has likley been pushed back by at least 1 or 2 quarters.
If there is a lesson from the Big Short, do the opposite of what Goldman says to do.
Rather than fix what’s broken with the real economy, ZIRP/NIRP has added problems that only collapse can solve.
The fundamental premise of global central bank policy is simple: whatever’s broken in the economy can be fixed with zero interest rates (ZIRP). And the linear extension of this premise is equally simple: if ZIRP hasn’t fixed what’s broken, then negative interest rates (NIRP) will.
Unfortunately, this simplistic policy has run aground on the shoals of reality: if zero or negative interest rates actually fixed what’s broken in the economy, we’d all be living in Paradise after seven years of zero interest rates.
The truth that cannot be spoken is that zero interest rates (ZIRP) and negative interest rates (NIRP) cannot fix what’s broken–rather, they have added monumental quantities of risk that have dragged the global financial system down to crush depth:
If zero or negative interest rates actually fixed what’s broken in the economy, we’d all be in Paradise now. Instead, we’re in a sinking submarine awaiting the implosion of predatory excesses. In other words, a financial Hell.
And today, the latest in a long line of realists has now come to the same conclusion that the only thing the central planners have left is a money-drop…
Summers hailed the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act in 1999, which lifted more than six decades of restrictions against banks offering commercial banking, insurance, and investment services (by repealing key provisions in the 1933 Glass–Steagall Act): “Today Congress voted to update the rules that have governed financial services since the Great Depression and replace them with a system for the 21st century,” Summers said. “This historic legislation will better enable American companies to compete in the new economy.”
Well, here you have it: the new economy, folks. We commonly call it the Great Recession. It has certainly been a great recession for Larry, who has made a fortune since it began.
Larry Summers’ deregulation created the perfect swampy environment for the slough of derivatives that spawned the Great Recession, too:
On July 30, 1998, then-Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Summers testified before the U.S. Congress that “the parties to these kinds of [derivatives] contract are largely sophisticated financial institutions that would appear to be eminently capable of protecting themselves from fraud and counterparty insolvencies.” At the time Summers stated that “to date there has been no clear evidence of a need for additional regulation of the institutional OTC derivatives market.” (Wikipedia)
Larry probably deserves more credit as architect of the Great Recession than Alan Greenspan. He should be credited with the general demise of the entire world because, in my never-so-humble my opinion, everything Larry touches turns to sewage.
Larry “Killer of Kash” Summers could be counted on to launch the next salvo against cash. I spell things with a “K” in Larry’s case because he was also the lead adviser during the former Soviet Union’s kollapse, guiding it to privatize the dying socialist economy. Thanks to Larry’s good work, nothing went to the little people of Russia, but everything got divvied up into the hands of very few oligarchs who became Russia’s 1%. Larry is a hard-core one-percenter.
Larry Summers is a pretentious Keynesian fool, but I refer to him as the Great Thinker’s Vicar on Earth for a reason. To wit, every time the latest experiment in Keynesian intervention fails – as 84 months of ZIRP and massive QE clearly have – he can be counted on to trot out a new angle on why still another interventionist experiment or state sponsored financial fraud is just the ticket.
Right now he is leading the charge for the greatest stroke of foolishness yet conceived. Namely, negative interest rates based on the rubbish theory that the “natural” money market rate of interest is at an extraordinarily low point. Accordingly, the central bank should drive the “policy rate” to sub-zero levels in order to achieve the appropriate level of “accommodation” in an economy that refuses to attain “escape velocity”.
As can’t be pointed out often enough, however, there is no such economic ether as “accommodation”. It’s just a blanket cover story for what Keynesian central bankers believe they are accomplishing by pegging interest rates below market clearing levels and by bending and mangling the yield curve to cause more investment.
But after 86 months it is evident that all of this putative monetary “accommodation” has failed. Falsifying the cost of money and capital can only work if it causes households and businesses to borrow more than they would otherwise; and to then lay credit based spending for consumption and investment goods on top of what can be funded out of current production and income. Another name for that is leveraging private balance sheets and thereby stealing production and income from the future.
With $62 trillion of public and private debt outstanding, however, the US economy has hit a economic barrier called Peak Debt. For all practical purposes, it can be measured as the macroeconomy’s aggregate leverage ratio, which now stands at 3.5X national income. That represents fully two extra turns of debt on the economy relative to the stable 1.50X ratio that prevailed during periods of war and peace and boom and bust during the century before 1970.
Stated differently, the Fed and other central banks have led the world economy into a planetary LBO over the last two decades or so. In the case of the US, the two extra turns of debt resulting from that rolling LBO amount to about $35 trillion.
Yes, that’s a load of anti-growth ballast that explains why there has been no “escape velocity”, and why the rate of real final sales growth since Q4 2007 is only 1.3% compared to peak-to-peak historical rates of 2.5% to 3.5%.
And I use peak-to-peak advisedly because it is now clear after the recently released December business sales and inventory numbers that we are on the verge of a recession, if not already in one. Total business sales were down 4.6% from their July 2014 peak and the business sales to inventory ratio rose again to a recessionary high of 1.39X.
Yet the Vicar and his compatriots in the Eccles Building and on Wall Street insist on pushing harder on the credit string——even though Peak Debt means that household debt is still $400 billion below its pre- crisis peak and that the entire $2 trillion gain in business debt has been recycled back into the Wall Street casino via stock buybacks and mindless M&A deals. Real net investment in business plant, equipment and technology, in fact, is actually still 18% below its 2007 peak, and even the level which had been attained at the turn of the century.
So that brings us to the harebrained theory of negative interest rates and the supposed collapse of the “natural rate” of interest on the money market. The latter proposition is just unadulterated economic voodoo. It makes Art Laffer’s magic napkin look like a model of scientific formulation by comparison.
The truth is, there is only one “natural rate” of interest, and that’s the one produced in an honest financial marketplace via the interaction of savers and borrowers. No such rate now exists and hasn’t for decades owing to the massive intrusion of the Fed in the money market. Indeed, as a purely physical matter, even the so-called Federal funds market no longer exists because the Fed has asphyxiated it under a flood of $3.5 trillion of bond-buying and the resulting giant surplus of bank deposits.
So professor Summers is apparently speaking for the kid who killed his parents and then threw himself on the mercy of the courts on the grounds that he was an orphan. That is, interest rates are in the graveyard of history because the central banks buried them there.
Interest rate pegging and the Fed’s wealth effects doctrine have failed completely, but now Keynesians like Summers claim the contra-factual.
That means the Keynesian medicine didn’t work because the Fed didn’t pump enough monetary stimulants drugs into the nation’s already drug-addled body economic. So now we have to dig even deeper into the netherworld of financial repression in order to align borrowing costs with a non-existent natural rate of interest.
It’s another case of a policy target confected from whole cloth just like the 2% inflation target. But there is one overwhelming practical problem with NIRP. To wit, if it is pushed deeper and broader than just a few basis points of negative yield on deposits of excess bank reserves at the central bank, NIRP will surely cause a flight to old-fashioned bank notes. There will be a booming business in bank note moving and storage.
So, lo and behold, after all these years of doctoring the economy, Professor Summers and fellow travelers like Professor Peter Sands at Harvard, have up and joined the war on crime!
But their newfound abhorrence of crime amounts to an economist’s version of the NRA mantra that guns don’t kill, people do. In this case, it might be said that criminals don’t launder money, avoid taxes and commit act of terrorism, large denomination bills do!
Of course, the latter have been around for centuries. Yet suddenly every NIRP advocate on the planet has joined the campaign to abolish large bills including the Benjamin Franklin here and the EUR 500 note on the other side of the pond.
Thus, Professor Summers opined as followed in a recent Washington Post op ed:
The fact that — as Sands points out — in certain circles the 500 euro note is known as the “Bin Laden” confirms the arguments against it. Sands’ extensive analysis is totally convincing on the linkage between high denomination notes and crime. He is surely right that illicit activities are facilitated when a million dollars weighs 2.2 pounds as with the 500 euro note rather than more than 50 pounds as would be the case if the $20 bill was the high denomination note. And he is equally correct in arguing that technology is obviating whatever need there may ever have been for high denomination notes in legal commerce.
Let’s see. A million dollars worth of weed currently weighs about 200 pounds. If push came to shove couldn’t El Chapo have the mules who deliver it to the street carry 50 pounds of bills on the backhaul? Better still, if drug money laundering is such a huge social blight, why not legalize the drug trade and turn the business over to Phillip Morris?
They would surely use digital money to pay their vendors. And if we want to get rid of tax evasion does the good professor really believe that Wall Street high rollers and silicon valley disrupters or just every day rich people actually get paid for whatever they do in bank notes?
The fact is, it is gardeners, waitresses and delivery boys who get paid in cash, not people with meaningful incomes. Yet bringing such putative slackers to justice doesn’t require the abolition of cash in any event. Just exempt them from income and payroll taxes entirely and let them pay their societal dues at the cash register when they purchase goods and services.
In short, there is one reason alone for the sudden campaign to abolish large denomination bills. It is a necessary predicate for the imposition of NIRP. That is to say, it would pave the way for central bank mandated confiscation of the wealth and savings of millions of American citizens in the pursuit of a cockamamie theory that would bring about the final destruction of honest price discovery and financial discipline in the Wall Street casino.
Surely, there is not much more of such destructive intervention that can be tolerated before the booby-traps of leverage and risk that have been built up over the last two decades, but especially since the financial crisis, blow sky high. Indeed, the very idea that the foolish advocates of Keynesian central banking would even entertain the notion of providing outright subsidies to carry trade gamblers—–and that’s where money market NIRP would end up——is a warning sign of the danger that lurks in the financial misty deep.
During the printathon since 2008, Central bankers have been massively and relentlessly deforming financial markets and rewarding the most outlandish and unstable forms of leveraged gambling and risk-taking throughout the warp and woof of the financial system. Yet they have no more clue about the financial time bombs they have planted than they did last time around when CDS and CDOs squared were erupting everywhere.
It is only a matter of time, and a few more bear market rallies, before the meltdown commences again. Indeed, when the impending global recession becomes fully evident, the gamblers in the Wall Street casino will panic like never before.
After a 30-year bubble, they have come to believe that the central banks are infallible and that all economic downturns and market corrections are quickly remedied with new rounds of monetary stimulus. But that is not a permanent financial truth; it’s a false generalization based on a fabulous one-time monetary trick that is already played out.
To wit, central banks have used up their dry powder. After more than two decades of reckless monetary pumping, they are now stranded on the zero bound and possessed of hideously bloated balance sheets.
So the correction scenario this time will be very different. There will be no quick reflation, meaning that the liquidation of economic malinvestments and overvalued financial assets will run for years.
In fact, during the coming down-cycle, the central banks may turn out to be wreckers, not saviors. As they resort to increasingly novel and illogical maneuvers such as negative interest rates (NIRP) they are generating fear, not confidence.
There can be no better proof than what has transpired in Japan since its lunatic central banker, Haruhiko Kuroda, announced a shift to NIRP within days after he said it was off the table. Since his January 29 statement, however, the Japanese stock market has plunged by 16% from its early January level and 25% since last summer’s peak, thereby wiping out much of the three-year long stock bubble generated by Abenomics.
Nor is Japan’s stumble an isolated case. Warning signs on the epochal shift now underway continue to accumulate on all fronts. The bellwether economies of Asia started the year with a sharp plunge, including a 11.5% export decline compared to last January in Antichrist China, a 13.5% drop in India and an 18.5% plunge in South Korea.
Likewise, Germany ended 2015 with an unexpected decline in exports and industrial production, while Japan’s trade figures also slipped badly—-with exports down 8% and imports off by 18% versus prior year. Consequently, the Japanese economy posted a recessionary 1.4% contraction of GDP in Q4.
There is no better weathervane on the global economy than the Baltic Dry Index because it captures the daily pulse of global shipments of grains, iron ore and the rest of the commodity complex. The fact that it has now plunged to an all-time low since records began in 1985 underscores that worldwide industrial activity is sinking rapidly.
In response to these deflationary currents, financial markets have retreated sharply on a worldwide basis. Among 44 significant international equity markets, nearly half are already in bear market territory as signaled by a drop of 20% or more from recent highs. And some of the most pivotal markets in the world——-Germany (DAX), Japan and Antichrist Communist China—–are down by 30% or more.
Not surprisingly, these drastic declines have so far only dented the surface on Wall Street. The unreconstructed bulls are already saying that the correction is over and are urging their clients to once again buy the dip. Nearly ever one of the major banking houses have year-end price targets for the S&P 500 well above current levels. These include a gain of 11% at Goldman, 15% at Morgan Stanley, 16% at Barclay’s and 17% at RBC Capital.
A cynic might dismiss this ebullience as merely an exercise in the usual Wall Street hockey stick game. After all, you can’t sell stock, ETFs and other financial products to investors when you are projecting a down market, and so they never do.
Yet chalking these dubious targets off to salesmanship would be to underestimate the magnitude of the coming crash.The truth of the matter is that Wall Street gamblers, like the Jim Carrey character in The Truman Show, have lived in the bubble for so long that they no longer even remotely grasp the artificiality and unsustainability of the entire financial system.
We think the chart below puts this in perspective. For the better part of three decades, the financial system in the US has been expanding at nearly twice the rate of GDP growth. Even a vague familiarity with the laws of compound arithmetic reminds us that the resulting ever-widening gap between economic output and the market value of stock and debt obligations can’t continue.
But there is an even larger point. Namely, that the weakening performance of the US economy during the last two decades did not warrant the drastic increase in the capitalization rate implied by the chart in the first place.
Stated differently, equities and debt must ultimately be supported by interest and dividends extracted from the flow of national income (GDP). Historically, the stable US financial capitalization rate—that is, the combined value of debt and equity outstanding— had been about 2.0X national income. But beginning with Greenspan’s conversion to money printing after the financial meltdown of October 1987, the capitalization rate begin to steadily climb and never looked back.
Now it amounts to nearly 5.4X national income. Yet this has occurred during a period when the trend growth rate of the US economy has been cut in half——from more than 3.0% per annum to less than 1.3% during the eight years.
Measured in dollar totals, the sum of equity and debt outstanding in the US in 1987 was $11 trillion. Today it exceeds $93 trillion. No wonder asset gatherers like Blackrock have exploded in scale!
But that’s also why they are heading for a big fall. As the post-bubble epoch of global recession and financial deflation and liquidation unfolds, the $93 trillion US financial bubble shown below will contract sharply, as will its equivalent worldwide total of $300 trillion.
So we are looking at tens of trillions of financial asset shrinkage in the years ahead. And nowhere will that implosion be more dramatic than in the ETF sector.
As shown in the chart below, the number of these entities has grown from about 600 to 5,500 in the last 12 years, and AUM has exploded from $450 billion to $3 trillion. That’s a 21% compound rate of growth since 2005. Even more significantly, almost all of that growth occurred after the 2008 financial crisis.
So let’s cut to the chase. Prior to Greenspan’s dotcom bubble, ETFs did not even exist, and they would never thrive on an honest free market. That’s because their fundamental appeal is to professional speculators and traders and to homegamers who like to bet on the financial ponies.
By contrast, there is no reason why real long-term investors would want to own a huge, motley basket of banking stocks or energy stocks or the likes of the biotech ETF portfolio. The latter (IBB) includes 150 different stocks including nearly 100 start-ups whose science is extremely difficult to assess and whose P&Ls are largely non-existent.
The sole purpose of the IBB, therefore, was to enable speculators to pile on to the momentum trade in biotech stocks which incepted about 2012. This momentum trend was then turbo-charged by the inflow of speculative capital into this sector through IBB and other ETF’s.
The same thing happened with the energy ETFs. One of the major ETF baskets in this sector is called XLE and it includes 40 energy companies ranging from giant integrated producers like Exxon to refiners like Valero, to oilfield services companies like Halliburton, to small E&P companies like Newfield Exploration. The iShares equivalent is called IXC and it is even more diversified with 96 companies spread among an even greater diversity of sizes, specializations and geographies.
Needless to say, no long-term investor would possibly believe that such a dog’s breakfast can be rationally analyzed or diligenced at the company specific level. After all, the whole point of competitive markets is to sort out the winners, losers and also-rans at the sector, industry and sub-industry level. So buying the entire industry in a single stock amounts to embracing self-cancelling financial noise and undoing all the hard work of Mr. Market at the operating performance level.
Exchange traded funds, at bottom, are a product of the financial casinos, not the free market. They offer traders and speculators the chance to “bet on black” for just hours, days or weeks at a time based on little more than headlines and momentum. Not surprisingly, the XLE has now completed a round trip to nowhere during the last five years as the oil bubble re-erupted and then collapsed.
The massive amount of trading that occurred continuously up and down this arc was economically pointless. It was a playpen for punters and robo-machines. It added no allocative efficiency or market liquidity at all to the real enterprise of American capitalism.
XLE data by YCharts
The implication is straight forward. The ETF boom functioned as a market accelerator on the way up. Speculative capital poured into these proliferating funds, and then was intermediated by Wall Street market makers into incremental demand for the thousands of individual stocks that comprise them.
This magnifying effect is important to understand because it highlights the artificiality and instability of today’s stock markets. To wit, every time an ETF started trading above the net asset value of the underlying stocks owing to speculator buying, fund providers issued new ETF shares to market makers. The latter, in turn, bought up a basket of shares on the stock exchanges representing the asset mix of the fund and swapped them for the ETF shares.
We call this the Big Fat Bid that helped undermine the two-way market forces that ordinarily keep speculation in check. But now that the worldwide financial bubble is cracking, we believe the dynamic will begin playing out in reverse. That is, ETFs will now become the Big Fat Offer that takes the market down at an accelerating pace.
The reason is straight forward. The $3 trillion world of ETFs is not an investor marketplace. It is a casino where the fast money moves in and out of short term rips, bubbles and flavors of the moment; and also a dangerous place where naïve retail investors have been lured to roll the dice on their home trading stations.
So as the global economy and financial markets slide into the long, deflationary cycle ahead, the hot money will flee sinking ETFs at an accelerating pace, thereby leaving homegamers shocked to find that they have been fleeced by Wall Street yet again. At length, retail level panic will ensue, causing a thundering implosion of the ETF sector.
What lies ahead for retail investors is probably worse. That’s because ETFs inherently embody a liquidity mismatch. Almost invariably the underlying stocks are not as liquid as the ETF shares which represent them.
This means that retail investors may be faced with painful episodes in which ETF shares gap down violently to deep discounts relative to their net asset value. Accordingly, if shareholders have attempted to protect their portfolios with stop orders, they may handed sharp losses; or they may just panic and sell.
The market plunge on August 26th last year provided a foretaste. In today’s markets, “trading halts” occur when a stock moves up or down too quickly relative to the trading range contained in market circuit breakers. Ordinarily, about 40 such trading halts occur each day, but during the August 26th plunge there were almost 1,300 such occurrences. And 78% involved ETFs, not individual stocks.
This is crucial because ordinarily only one-third of trading halts involved ETF shares. Stated in round numbers, there are ordinarily about 15 ETF trading halts per day, but on August 26th that number soared to 1,000.
Moreover, during this trial panic, the risk of large pricing gaps was painfully evident. The Vanguard consumer staples ETF called VDC, for example, plunged by 32% that day while the underlying holdings of the fund dropped by only 9%. Retail investors who panicked or who were sold out by stop loss orders were taken to the cleaners by the market makers.
The point here is not a plea for SEC regulation. Far from it!
Instead, the implication is that after a few more such episodes during this unfolding bear market——-which must inexorably happen due to the liquidity mismatch—–retail investors will become thoroughly disgusted with ETFs. They will then head for the hills right behind the fast money on Wall Street.
Yet ETFs are only one of the many FEDs (financially explosive devices) that have been fostered by our rogue central bankers. Wait until $700 trillion of financial derivatives start living up to the name Warren Buffett gave them before he went all in using them (“financial WMDs”).
Come to think of it – the crime does not lie in the anti-social behavior our Ben Franklins may occasionally facilitate. The crime is that we are ruled by a self-perpetuating elite of monetary cranks who have become so desperate that they want to eliminate something as natural and harmless as hand-to-hand currency.
The real reason the war on cash is gearing up now is political: Politicians and central bankers fear that holders of currency could undermine their brave new monetary world of negative interest rates. Japan and Europe are already deep into negative territory, and U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said last week the U.S. should be prepared for the possibility. Translation: That’s where the Fed is going in the next recession.
Negative rates are a tax on deposits with banks, with the goal of prodding depositors to remove their cash and spend it to increase economic demand. But that goal will be undermined if citizens hoard cash. And hoarding cash is easier if you can take your deposits out in large-denomination bills you can stick in a safe. It’s harder to keep cash if you can only hold small bills.
So, presto, ban cash. This theme has been pushed by the likes of Bank of England chief economist Andrew Haldane and Harvard’s Kenneth Rogoff, who wrote in the Financial Times that eliminating paper currency would be “by far the simplest” way to “get around” the zero interest-rate bound “that has handcuffed central banks since the financial crisis.” If the benighted peasants won’t spend on their own, well, make it that much harder for them to save money even in their own mattresses.
All of which ignores the virtues of cash for law-abiding citizens. Cash allows legitimate transactions to be executed quickly, without either party paying fees to a bank or credit-card processor. Cash also lets millions of low-income people participate in the economy without maintaining a bank account, the costs of which are mounting as post-2008 regulations drop the ax on fee-free retail banking. While there’s always a risk of being mugged on the way to the store, digital transactions are subject to hacking and computer theft.
Cash is also the currency of gray markets—amounting to 20% or more of gross domestic product in some European countries—that governments would love to tax. But the reason gray markets exist is because high taxes and regulatory costs drive otherwise honest businesses off the books. Politicians may want to think twice about cracking down on the cash economy in a way that might destroy businesses and add millions to the jobless rolls. The Italian economy might shut down without cash.
By all means people should be able to go cashless if they like. But it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that the politicians want to bar cash as one more infringement on economic liberty. They may go after the big bills now, but does anyone think they’d stop there? Why wouldn’t they eventually ban all cash transactions much as they banned gold and silver as mediums of exchange?
Beware politicians trying to limit the ways you can conduct private economic business. It never turns out well.
The war on cash has been in the works for a very, very long time, but the propaganda campaign to convince an always gullible public to accept the scheme seems to have been hatched in earnest late last spring. For example, here are a few excerpts from the post, Martin Armstrong Reports on a Secret Meeting in London to Ban Cash:
Martin Armstrong noted at the time:
I find it extremely perplexing that I have been the only one to report that there is a secret meeting in London where Kenneth Rogoff of Harvard University and Willem Butler the chief economist at Citigroup will address the central banks and advocate the elimination of all cash to bring to fruition the day when you cannot buy or sell anything without government approval. When I Googled the issue to see who has picked it up yet, to my surprise Armstrong Economics comes up first. Others are quoting me, and I even find it spreading as the Central Bank of Nigeria, but I have yet to find reports on the meeting taking place in London when my sources are direct.
Other newspapers who have covered my European tour have stated that the “crash” of which I speak is the typical stock market rather than in government. What is concerning me is the silence on this meeting where there are more and more reports about a cashless society would be better.
If we look at the the turning points on the ECM, yes they have been to the day when there has been a concentration of capital in a particular market. However, it has also picked the turning points in political decisions such as the formation of the G5 with 1985.65, the very day Greece asked for help from the IMF in 2010, to the day of 911. What we better keep one eye open for here at night is this birth of a cashless society coming in much faster than expected. Why the secret meeting? Something does not smell right here.
To which I added my own observation:
In the mind of an economic tyrant, banning cash represents the holy grail. Forcing the plebs onto a system of digital fiat currency transactions offers total control via a seamless tracking of all transactions in the economy, and the ability to block payments if an uppity citizen dares get out of line.
Moving along, today the world had the unfortunate experience of its attention being turned toward the malicious and authoritarian mindset of none other than Larry Summers. Bloomberg reports:
Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers urged countries around the world to agree to stop issuing high-denomination banknotes, adding his voice to intensifying criticism of a practice alleged by police to abet crime and corruption.
Summers’s call coincides with a review by the European Central Bank of its 500-euro ($558) note, whose future now looks increasingly uncertain. President Mario Draghi repeated this week that the institution was considering withdrawing the euro area’s most valuable bill to avoid aiding criminals.
“Even better than unilateral measures in Europe would be a global agreement to stop issuing notes worth more than say $50 or $100,” Summers said on his blog on Tuesday. “Such an agreement would be as significant as anything else the G-7 or G-20 has done in years.”
For now, “I’d guess the idea of removing existing notes is a step too far,” Summers wrote. “But a moratorium on printing new high-denomination notes would make the world a better place.”
First of all, why is this discredited buffoon still paraded around everywhere as if he’s an authority on anything other than hubris and ineptitude? The fact that fossils like Larry Summers still have such a prevalent voice amongst world leaders is precisely what Americans are revolting against in their support of Trump and Sanders.
Second, the incredible irony in all of this is that while banning cash would merely make life inconvenient for petty criminals, it would making government economic tyranny and elitist theft exponentially easier. Crime agains average people would explode as a result. It reminds me of the quote attributed to Aesop:
We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.
Interestingly, it appears Monopoly is ahead of the curve on this one. Indeed, while I first saw Monopoly move to “electronic banking” over three years ago, the board game’s latest iteration which will be released this summer, takes it to a whole new level.
This is starting to become very concerning.
The momentum to “ban cash”, and in particular high denomination notes like the 500 euro and $100 bills, is seriously picking up steam.
On Monday the European Central Bank President emphatically disclosed that he is strongly considering phasing out the 500 euro note.
Yesterday, former US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers published an op-ed in the Washington Post about getting rid of the $100 bill.
Prominent economists and banks have joined the refrain and called for an end to cash in recent months.
The reasoning is almost always the same: cash is something that only criminals, terrorists, and tax cheats use.
In his op-ed, Summers refers to a new Harvard research paper entitled: “Making it Harder for the Bad Guys: The Case for Eliminating High Denomination Notes”.
That title pretty much sums up the conventional thinking. And the paper goes on to propose abolishing, among others, 500 euro and $100 bills.
The authors claim that “without being able to use high denomination notes, those engaged in illicit activities – the ‘bad guys’ of our title – would face higher costs and greater risks of detection. Eliminating high denomination notes would disrupt their ‘business models’.”
Personally I find this comical.
I can just imagine a bunch of bureaucrats and policy wonks sitting in a room pretending to know anything about criminal activity.
It’s total nonsense. As long as there has been human civilization there has been crime. Crime pre-dates cash. And it will exist long after they attempt to ban it.
Perhaps even more hilarious is that many of these bankrupt governments have become so desperate for economic growth that they now count illegal drug activity and prostitution in their GDP calculations, both of which are typically transacted in cash.
So, ironically, by banning cash these governments will end up reducing their own GDP figures.
What’s really behind this? Why is there such a big movement to ban something that is used for felonious purposes by just a fraction of a percent of the population?
Cash, it turns out, is the Achilles’ Heel of the financial system.
Central banks around the world have kept interest rates at near-zero levels for nearly eight years now.
And despite having created massive bubbles and enabled extraordinary amounts of debt, their policies aren’t working.
Especially in Europe, the hope of stoking economic growth (and even the sickening goal of inflation) has failed.
So naturally, since what they’ve been trying hasn’t worked, their response is to continue trying the same thing… and more of it.
Interest rates across the European continent are now negative.
Japanese interest rates are now negative.
And even in the United States, the Federal Reserve has acknowledged that negative interest rates are being considered.
They have no other choice; raising rates will bankrupt the governments they support and derail any fledgling economic growth.
Look at how low interest rates are in the US– and yet 4th quarter GDP practically ground to a halt. They simply cannot afford to raise rates.
As global economic weakness continues to play out, central banks will have no other option but to take interest rates even further into negative territory.
That said, negative interest rates will be the destruction of the financial system.
Because sooner or later, if banks have to pay negative wholesale interest rates to each other and to the central bank, then eventually they’ll have to pass those negative rates on to their customers.
Many banks have already started doing this, especially on larger depositors.
We’ve seen this in Europe where some banks charge their customers negative interest to save money, and in some extraordinary circumstances, pay other customers to borrow money.
It’s total madness.
There’s a certain point, however, when interest rates become so negative that no rational person would hold money in the banking system.
Eventually people will realize that they’re better off withdrawing their money and holding physical cash.
Sure, cash doesn’t pay any interest. But it doesn’t cost any either.
If you have a $200,000 in your savings account at negative 1%, you’d have to pay the bank $2,000 each year.
Clearly it would make more sense to buy a safe and hold most of that money in cash.
Problem is, the banks don’t have the money.
For starters, there’s literally not enough cash in the entire financial system to pay out more than a fraction of all bank deposits.
More importantly, banks (especially in the US and Europe) are extremely illiquid.
They invest the vast majority of your deposit in illiquid loans or securities of dubious long-term value, whatever the latest stupid investment fad happens to be.
And many banks have been engaging in a substantial balance sheet shift, rotating bonds from what’s called “Available for Sale” to “Hold to Maturity”.
This is an accounting trick used to hide losses in their bond portfolios. But it also means they have less liquidity available to support bank customer withdrawal requests.
The natural side effect of negative interest rates is pushing people to hold money outside of the banking system.
Yet it’s clear that a surge of withdrawal requests would bring down that system.
Banks don’t want that to happen. Governments don’t want that to happen.
But since central banks have no other choice than to continue imposing negative interest rates, the only logical option is to ban cash and force consumers to hold their money within the banking system.
Make no mistake, this is absolutely a form of capital controls. And it’s coming soon to a banking system near you.
PS. Clearly a trend with this much momentum requires some deliberate and measured action if you don’t want your savings trapped.
Tuesday was the largest cover day since Oct 2014, driven by both fundamental accounts AND quants. Which segues nicely into the next point
As highlighted last night in the special post-close version of “RBC Big Picture,” the extent of the recent equity market-neutral deleveraging (and concurrent pnl destruction) is on par with the US debt downgrade / Lehman / Bear trades.
When you see multiple periods of -1% returns consecutively, against AUM leveraged at 10 to 14x’s, the sheer enormity of notional $$$’s plowing ‘into’ shorts on covers and ‘out of’ longs is insanely huge, and dwarfs other flows. Thus, the general violence of these extreme moves—these market forces are not just huge, but due to the nature of many of the equity quant models being derived from the same ‘core’ theses, the amplification / ‘echo’ of these books sees inherent ‘crowding’ / ‘herding.’
13Fs: Q4 filings showing the extent of the hedge fund wide destruction. Look at the positioning into start of ‘16, per the most heavily weighted Q4 sectors / allocations–Financials at 21.2%, Info Tech at 20.1%, Consumer Discretionary at 16.8% and Health Care at 13.2%:
THE HUMANITY. Obviously, this goes hand-in-hand with the points above on the extent of the performance-pain, dragging down all equities players.
Turning to another equities tailwind, how about the $22B of US IG issuance unleashed yesterday?! For context, it was the second largest day off paper YTD. This is most notable for the equities crowd not just because it shows money being ‘put to work,’ but becausethe majority of that debt was ear-marked for stock repurchases (AAPL, IBM). GS data is showing us that YTD buyback announcements are off to their strongest start ever at $132B—last week alone saw 47 new BBs totaling $42B authorized.
Piling-onto the squeeze-theme is the ‘turn’ in CTA / managed futures positioning: price momentum has shifted in SPX, crude and USTs / EDs, and need be monitored for further break-out. This certainly would add considerable fuel to the equities melt-up, as remember, being ‘price insensitive’ goes both-ways…but can also add to performance-issues, with much of that stock short base still built via Energy, Industrials and Materials. Ouch.
Also worth noting, Atlanta Fed Q1 GDP tracker today is at +2.7% (up from 0.7% in January). This ‘growthier’ move could definitely catch those who have positioned for disinflation /deflation or the dreaded recession AWFULLY upside-down.
If “everything’s fixed,” then why is the number of distressed debt issuers still the highest “since Lehman.”
And the answer is not – it’s just energy and it’s different this time.
Following this morning’s weak Starts and Permits data, even homebuilders are starting to lose faith in the recovery meme but there is a long way to go before that is priced in. Perhaps the follwoing two data points will help to wake up the rest of the investing public that all is not as well as hoped. For the 3rd week in a row mortgage applications for purchases slid (reflecting the ‘now’)…
and even more worrying, Architecture Billings tumbled into contraction (below 50) throwing doubt on the imminent future as the inquiry index plunged from 60.5 to 55.3.
Still, stocks are surging – led by homebuilders – so everything must be fine, right?
The last 3 days have been a face-ripper as US equities have soared most since August amid (oil) rumors, (banking system) hope, and (bad news is good news) dismal data. The Dow is up 900 points from Thursday’s lows…
This is all happening as “Most Shorted” stocks spike 11% off Thursday lows – the biggest squeeze since Black Monday.
And we know what happened after that dip was bought.
Jobs offshoring benefitted corporate executives and shareholders, because lower labor and compliance costs resulted in higher profits. These profits flowed through to shareholders in the form of capital gains and to executives in the form of “performance bonuses.” Wall Street benefitted from the bull market generated by higher profits.
However, jobs offshoring also offshored US GDP and consumer purchasing power. Despite promises of a “New Economy” and better jobs, the replacement jobs have been increasingly part-time, lowly-paid jobs in domestic services, such as retail clerks, waitresses and bartenders.
The offshoring of US manufacturing and professional service jobs to Asia stopped the growth of consumer demand in the US, decimated the middle class, and left insufficient employment for college graduates to be able to service their student loans. The ladders of upward mobility that had made the United States an “opportunity society” were taken down in the interest of higher short-term profits.
Without growth in consumer incomes to drive the economy, the Federal Reserve under Alan Greenspan substituted the growth in consumer debt to take the place of the missing growth in consumer income. Under the Greenspan regime, Americans’ stagnant and declining incomes were augmented with the ability to spend on credit. One source of this credit was the rise in housing prices that the Federal Reserves low interest rate policy made possible. Consumers could refinance their now higher-valued home at lower interest rates and take out the “equity” and spend it.
The debt expansion, tied heavily to housing mortgages, came to a halt when the fraud perpetrated by a deregulated financial system crashed the real estate and stock markets. The bailout of the guilty imposed further costs on the very people that the guilty had victimized.
Those few benefitting from inflated financial asset prices produced by Quantitative Easing and buy-backs are a much smaller percentage of the population than was affected by the Greenspan consumer credit expansion. A relatively few rich people are an insufficient number to drive the economy.
The Federal Reserve’s zero interest rate policy was designed to support the balance sheets of the mega-banks and denied Americans interest income on their savings. This policy decreased the incomes of retirees and forced the elderly to reduce their consumption and/or draw down their savings more rapidly, leaving no safety net for heirs.
The rigged understatement of inflation deceived people into believing that the US economy was in recovery. The lower the measure of inflation, the higher is real GDP when nominal GDP is deflated by the inflation measure. By understating inflation, the US government has overstated GDP growth.
In the 21st century US economic policy has destroyed the ability of real aggregate demand in the US to increase. Economists will deny this, because they are shills for globalism and jobs offshoring. They misrepresent jobs offshoring as free trade and, as in their ideology free trade benefits everyone, claim that America is benefitting from jobs offshoring. Yet, they cannot show any evidence whatsoever of these alleged benefits.
As an economist, it is a mystery to me how any economist can think that a population that does not produce the larger part of the goods that it consumes can afford to purchase the goods that it consumes. Where does the income come from to pay for imports when imports are swollen by the products of offshored production?
We were told that the income would come from better-paid replacement jobs provided by the “New Economy,” but neither the payroll jobs reports or the US Labor Departments’s projections of future jobs show any sign of this mythical “New Economy.”
There is no “New Economy.” The “New Economy” is like the neoconservatives’ promise that the Iraq war would be a six-week “cake walk” paid for by Iraqi oil revenues, not a $3 trillion dollar expense to American taxpayers (according to Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes) and a war that has lasted the entirely of the 21st century to date and is getting more dangerous.
The American “New Economy” is the American Third World economy in which the only jobs created are low productivity, low paid nontradable domestic service jobs incapable of producing export earnings with which to pay for the goods and services produced offshore for US consumption.
The massive debt arising from Washington’s endless wars for neoconservative hegemony now threaten Social Security and the entirety of the social safety net. The presstitute media are blaming not the policy that has devastated Americans, but, instead, the Americans who have been devastated by the policy.
Earlier this month I posted readers’ reports on the job situation in Ohio, Southern Illinois, and Texas. In the March issue of Chronicles, Wayne Allensworth describes America’s declining rural towns and once great industrial cities as consequences of “globalizing capitalism.” A thin layer of very rich people rule over those “who have been left behind”—a shrinking middle class and a growing underclass. According to a poll last autumn, 53 percent of Americans say that they feel like a stranger in their own country.
Most certainly these Americans have no political representation. As Republicans and Democrats work to raise the retirement age in order to reduce Social Security outlays, Princeton University experts report that the mortality rates for the white working class are rising.
The United States government has abandoned everyone except the rich.
Antichrist Communist China may not have troops or planes in Syria but that doesn’t mean it won’t be a part of World War III.
Even as the eyes of the world are now trained squarely on the Antichrist Mid-East where the Russian and Antichrist Iranian assault on Aleppo is set to draw the Antichrist Saudis and the Jive Turks into a ground war, the dispute over a tiny chain of islands in the South China Sea is still simmering.
“Asked about the missiles at a briefing in Beijing, Antichrist Communist Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that limited self-defense facilities on Woody Island are consistent with Antichrist Communist China’s self-protection policies and international law,” Bloomberg reports. “He described the report as Western media hype.” He also said the West should focus more on the lighthouses Antichrist Communist China has built on the islands which should help to protect the $5 trillion in shipping that moves through the region each year.
Right. It’s all “Western media hype.” This is just the Antichrist Communist PLA putting air defense systems in place on islands that Antichrist Communist China is definitely not militarizing. Nothing to see here, move along..
Russia will send the first S-300 air defense missile system to Antichrist Iran on Thursday, Russia’s RIA state news agency reported on Wednesday quoting an unidentified source.
If Russia initiates an offensive against Jive Turkey, even though they may have the legitimate right to do so, Jive Turkey will undoubtedly appeal to NATO for support. Having been “attacked” they will try to invoke Article 5 of the NATO self-defense agreement. That would require NATO to come to the defense of Jive Turkey, thus engaging Russia directly.
One intelligence source in the US said, “This Has Disaster Written All Over It.”
FIGHTING HAS BEGUN! Jive Turkey Shelling into Syria; Attacking Syrian Antichrist Arab Army and border of Russian Base in Latakia.
According to Jewsnews, those positions are held by the Syrian Arab Army (legitimate, duly-elected government of Syria) and are NOT being aimed at Antichrist ISIS terrorists! These are direct attacks by Jive Turkey upon the lawful government forces of Syria.
With their rebel allies falling to the legitimate government of Syria, Jive Turkey has now begun shelling Syria to aid their Rebel forces and Antichrist ISIS Terrorists.
Sources on the ground inside Syria claim that the Jive Turks began an intense artillery assault at about 6:00 AM eastern US time today. Jive Turkey is also said to be targeting the Kurdish YPG.
Just when it seemed that the Syria’s proxy war would remain confined within the “comfortable” realm of conventional weaponry, moments ago Reuters gave the first hint of a potential, and radioactive escalation, when it reported that Iraq is searching for “highly dangerous” radioactive material stolen last year, according to an environment ministry document and seven security, environmental and provincial officials. The loss is significant because in already setting the next steps of the narrative, Reuters reports that the same officials “fear it could be used as a weapon if acquired by Antichrist Islamic State.”
It is unclear why a “highly dangerous” radioactive substance was located in Iraq, but as Reuters adds, the material, stored in a protective case the size of a laptop computer, went missing in November from a storage facility near the southern city of Basra belonging to U.S. oilfield services company Weatherford, the document obtained by Reuters showed and officials confirmed (incidentally this is the same Weatherford which two weeks ago fired 15% of its employees after warning of “lower for longer” oil prices).
Reuters attempts to probe further were promptly contained: a spokesman for Iraq’s environment ministry said he could not discuss the issue, citing national security concerns. A Weatherford spokesman in Iraq declined to comment, and the company’s Houston headquarters did not respond to repeated requests for comment.
More details on the theft from Reuters:
The material, which uses gamma rays to test flaws in materials used for oil and gas pipelines in a process called industrial gamma radiography, is owned by Istanbul-based SGS Jive Turkey, according to the document and officials.
An SGS official in Iraq declined to comment and referred Reuters to its Jive Turkish headquarters, which did not respond to phone calls.
The document, dated Nov. 30 and addressed to the ministry’s Centre for Prevention of Radiation, describes “the theft of a highly dangerous radioactive source of Ir-192 with highly radioactive activity belonging to SGS from a depot belonging to Weatherford in the Rafidhia area of Basra province”.
A senior environment ministry official based in Basra, who declined to be named as he is not authorized to speak publicly, told Reuters the device contained up to 10 grams (0.35 ounces) of Ir-192 “capsules”, a radioactive isotope of iridium also used to treat cancer.
The material is classed as a Category 2 radioactive source by the International Atomic Energy Agency, meaning if not managed properly it could cause permanent injury to a person in close proximity to it for minutes or hours, and could be fatal to someone exposed for a period of hours to days.
Reuters adds that the ministry document said it posed a risk of bodily and environmental harm as well as a national security threat.
And with this highly radioactive substance stolen, concerns arise that it may have fallen in the hands of Antichrist ISIS, from where it could promptly be used to make a dirty bomb.
According to Reuters, large quantities of Ir-192 have gone missing before in the United States, Britain and other countries, stoking fears among security officials that it could be used to make a dirty bomb.
“We are afraid the radioactive element will fall into the hands of Antichrist Daesh,” Reuters cited a senior security official with knowledge of the theft, using an Arabic acronym for Antichrist Islamic State.
“They could simply attach it to explosives to make a dirty bomb,” said the official, who works at the interior ministry and spoke on condition of anonymity as he is also not authorized to speak publicly.
For now, there has been no indication the material had come into the possession of Antichrist Islamic State, which seized territory in Iraq and Syria in 2014 but does not control areas near Basra. However, in case of a dirty bomb going off somewhere on the Syria-Jive Turkey border, in close proximity to a battalion of Russian solders, well…
Attempts to contain a potential panic appears somewhat muted: the security official, based in Baghdad, told Reuters there were no immediate suspects for the theft. But the official said the initial investigation suggested the perpetrators had specific knowledge of the material and the facility: “No broken locks, no smashed doors and no evidence of forced entry,” he said.
Almost as if it wasn’t actually “stolen.”
Meanwhile, everyone is searing for the deadly substance: “a spokesman for Basra operations command, responsible for security in Basra province, said army, police and intelligence forces were working “day and night” to locate the material. The army and police have responsibility for security in the country’s south, where Antichrist Iranian-backed Shi’ite militias and criminal gangs also operate.”
Reuters also notes that Antichrist ISIS does not actually have to make a dirty bomb with the material: besides the risk of a dirty bomb, the radioactive material could cause harm simply by being left exposed in a public place for several days, said David Albright, a physicist and president of the Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security.
The senior environmental official said authorities were worried that whoever stole the material would mishandle it, leading to radioactive pollution of “catastrophic proportions”.
A second senior environment ministry official, also based in Basra, said counter-radiation teams had begun inspecting oil sites, scrap yards and border crossings to locate the device after an emergency task force raised the alarm on Nov. 13.
Two Basra provincial government officials said they were directed on Nov. 25 to coordinate with local hospitals. “We instructed hospitals in Basra to be alert to any burn cases caused by radioactivity and inform security forces immediately,” said one.
Something tells us any burn cases will not afflict local Iraqis; however if we were Russian soliders in Syria or Iraq’s vicinity, we would be concerned.
The final word belongs to the abovementioned David Albright who said that “if they left it in some crowded place, that would be more of the risk. If they kept it together but without shielding,” he said. “Certainly it’s not insignificant. You could cause some panic with this. They would want to get this back.”
Unless causing some panic, and a panicked counterresponse, is precisely the intention.
Reuters is reporting that Jive Turkey is asking the United States and other western allies to participate in a massive ground invasion of Syria. But of course the Jive Turks are not exactly sitting around and waiting for their western allies to get on board. Jive Turkey shelled northern Syria for a fourth consecutive day on Tuesday, even though the Antichrist NWO 666 Obozo 911 Homosexual Climate Change No Boots SPECTRE Clown administration has been asking them to stop. The targets were Kurdish and Syrian military positions, and the goal appears to be to slow down their advance toward the Jive Turkish border. The Antichrist Sunni militants that Jive Turkey has been supporting for five years are now being completely routed, and Jive Turkey is in a great deal of panic about this.
Heather Conley, the director of the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Europe Program, told CNN that given the tense current relationship between Nato and Russia, northern Europe is now being viewed as a “theatre of operations”.
“Now that we have a very new security context with Russia, it now makes sense to rethink what is needed,” she said..
A hailstorm and heavy rainfall accompanied with thick fog swept parts of the Antichrist United Arabian Emirates (UAE) on February 17, 2016. Severe flooding and low visibility conditions prompted warnings for drivers across the affected areas. 4 people died in a flood-related incident on February 18.
Dropping temperatures and a hailstorm were reported in the Al Malaiha area on February 17 while thick fog covered most of Dubai and neighboring Emirates. Very low visibility conditions were reported, prompting local authorities to warn the motorists to exercise caution and ensure the headlights or fog lights are turned on to ensure safe driving.
Heavy rainfall over the last two days triggered extensive surface flooding in parts of Nelson city and Tasman district in New Zealand on February 18, 2016, local civil defence and emergency authorities reported.
Reported flooding resulted from a period of severe weather over the last couple of days. 180 lightning strikes have been reported in the Central Otago district, and three of these struck the local houses. Rough seas and intense waves have been observed in the Auckland area.
More than 50 cm (19.7 inches) of rainfall was recorded during the last two days and significant amount of precipitation accumulated in the region’s rivers. Wairoa River has reached a 25-year flood level and Anatoki River has reported a 10-year flood level while a one-year flood level has been observed at the Maitai River.
67.8 mm (2.7 inches) of rain was recorded at Nelson airport on February 17, according to the Meteorological Service of New Zealand. For comparison, the average rainfall total for February is 46 mm (1.8 inches).
The “Pineapple Express” storm system lashed the Pacific Northwest with an abundant amount of rain over the last few days. Several high precipitation records were broken, and this winter is set to become one of the wettest winters on record.
Rivers overflowed their banks in western Washington on February 16, 2016, and more rain is expected across the region by the end of the week, according to the National Weather Service (NWS). The storm system is currently pointed toward Oregon
“It’s going to be pretty wet for a while,” said Johnny Burg, the meteorologist from the NWS.
Bellingham and Quillayute reported record 24 hours rainfall accumulation on February 15. 41.65 mm (1.64 inches) of precipitation was recorded at the Bellingham Airport, which set a new record. The old one, set in 1986, measured 25.9 mm (1.02 inches).
On the same day, 84.8 mm (3.34 inches) of rainfall was observed near Forks, at the north Washington coast. The recorded amount broke a 35-year-old record of 77.47 mm (3.05 inches).
A little less than 563.8 mm (22.2 inches) of rainfall was measured at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport from the beginning of December last year until February 15, 2016. The wettest winter period so far was recorded during 1999, when 578.36 mm (22.77 inches) was recorded between December and February. This record will most likely fall this year, with only two more weeks left until the end of the month.
Villa Richardson, Central America and parts of the North and West neighbourhoods in Córdoba were hit the worst as hundreds of houses immersed in the flooding waters. Several families were evacuated from Villa El Chaparral and the West sectors of the city, according to the Municipal Civil Defense.
Four transformer stations reported power outages and several medium voltage distributors suffered failure, The Provincial Energy Enterprise of Córdoba said. Several roads were immersed in flood water because the rainwater drainage system was overwhelmed, and numerous vehicles were stranded.
ANIMAL BEHAVIOR: Migratory Patterns And Disaster Precursors – Two Sperm Whales Die After Beaching On Coast Of East China And Another Dead Whale Found On Coast In Odisha, India, The Fifth This Month?! [PHOTOS + VIDEO]
Tropical Cyclone “Winston” is currently quasi-stationary system over the waters of South Pacific, over 200 km (124.3 miles) away from Niue. It will intensify over the next 48 hours and become equivalent to a category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. During the next 24 hours, it will make a u-turn a start moving westward, passing near the Niue and Vava’u group of islands. Warnings and alerts have been issued accordingly.
Tropical Cyclone “Winston” was located approximately 212.9 km (132.3 miles) north-northwest of Niue, and tracking eastward at a very slow pace of 3.7 km/h (2.3 mph), on February 17 at 15:00 UTC, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC).
The biggest news overnight, in addition to the endless Brexit negotiations, was a report that the PBOC will hike RRR-rates on some banks, a move that may contain credit growth after advances by smaller lenders jumped in January. It also suggests that any incremental easing in Antichrist Communist China may be off the table for some time.
As a reminder, following January’s CNY3.42 trillion surge in Total Social Financing, one estimate showed that February is already run-rating at roughly the same number, suggesting a total credit injection in the first two months of roughly $1 trillion. It is this surge that has apparently spooked the Antichrist Communist PBOC.
The central bank said in a Friday statement that some banks no longer meet criteria for preferential reserve requirement ratios and will have those levels increased. Prior to the announcement, Bloomberg News reported that some lenders will face a higher ratio as officials seek to limit the risks associated with last month’s jump in credit. The Antichrist Communist PBOC said its action wasn’t driven by the speed of lending.
A notable item is that the collective loan market share for ICBC, Antichrist Communist China Construction Bank, Agri Bank and Bank of Antichrist Communist China dropped to 20% last month from almost 40% in December, the figures show. This suggests that Antichrist Communist China’s four biggest banks weren’t the driving force behind last month’s credit binge. Small- and medium-sized lenders extended a combined 1.45 trillion yuan ($222 billion) of the new loans in January, accounting for 60 percent of the total increase.
While big banks are showing caution, smaller banks “are desperate to lend,” said Mu Hua, a Guangzhou-based analyst at GF Securities Co. “I just can’t figure out where would they find so many good projects to lend to. That’s probably raising some red flag to the central bank.”
What was truly bizzare is that between the first Bloomberg report and the subsequent PBOC confirmation, PBOC governor Zhou Xiaochuan said during a forum in Beijing that he “didn’t hear about” raising reserve-ratio rate for some banks, Antichrist Communist China Business News reported, opening up questions about just what is going on with monetary policy in Antichrist Communist China and who is making the decisions.
As a result of this PBOC confusion, US equity futures’ attempt to stage an overnight breakout failed, and the E-mini was trading down 9 points sessions lows at 1906 moments ago, while stocks in Europe and Asia trimmed weekly gains as oil fell for the first time in three days, denting optimism that this year’s rout in commodities was easing: as of this moment the European Stoxx 600 was down precisely 1.1%, while Spain’s IBEX was down 2%.
As Bloomberg adds, a global equities gauge fell for the first time in six days, bringing to an end a rally fueled by the first signs that producers may consider steps to rein in a record crude glut. Friday’s drop in energy prices dragged the Bloomberg Commodity Index lower even as industrial metals rose. Britain’s pound declined as David Cameron negotiated with European Union leaders over the U.K.’s membership of the bloc, while German bonds rose. The yen strengthened against all of its 31 major peers, with the biggest gains coming versus Asian counterparts.
“It’s a bumpy stabilization on oil, currency, spreads and equities,” said Didier Duret, who oversees about $219 billion as chief investment officer of ABN Amro Bank NV’s wealth-management unit. “The tail of energy has moved the psychology of the market.”
Reading for February 20, 2016 ~ Adar I 11, 5776
Ex 27:20-30:10 ~ Ez 43:10-27 ~ Mark 12