Saturday, April 30, 2011

Gresham's Law in the Eurozone, Again

"Tyler Cowen brought up Gresham's Law in his NY Times column this past weekend:
IS a euro held in an Irish bank in Dublin, or in a Portuguese bank in Lisbon, as sound and secure as a euro in a German bank in Berlin? That apparently simple question holds the key to understanding why the euro zone may splinter and bring a new financial crisis.
In Ireland, there has been a “silent bank run” on financial institutions for much of the last year. In February, for instance, Irish private sector deposits dropped at an annual rate of 9.8 percent. That’s largely because some depositors doubt the commitment of the Irish government to the euro. They fear that they will wake up one morning to frozen bank accounts, followed by the conversion of their euro deposits into a lesser-valued new Irish currency. Pre-emptively, the depositors send their money outside Ireland, where it still represents safe euros or perhaps sterling, accessible by bank transfers and A.T.M. cards. This flight of capital reflects a centuries-old economic principle known as Gresham’s Law, sometimes expressed casually as “bad money drives out good money.” In this context, if two assets — euros inside and outside Ireland — are not equal in value in the eyes of the marketplace, sooner or later the legally fixed price parity will fall apart.
This reminded me of a Telegraph story back in June, 2008 that I blogged where it was alleged that Germans were hoarding Euro notes issued from Germany and dumping Euro notes issued from Southern Europe. I thought it was worth reposting:
In response to my posting on Gresham's Law and reserve currency status, a reader directed me to the below article that shows not all Euros are considered equal. Apparently, Germans are hoarding German-issued Euros and dumping Southern-issued Euros en masse..."

EU probing CDS market for collusion — full statement [updated]

Friday’s stunning announcement from the EU Commission below:
The European Commission has opened two antitrust investigations concerning the Credit Default Swaps market. CDS are financial instruments meant to protect investors in the event a company or State they have invested in default on their payments. They are also used as speculative tools. In the first case, the Commission will examine whether 16 investment banks and Markit, the leading provider of financial information in the CDS market, have colluded and/or may hold and abuse a dominant position in order to control the financial information on CDS. If proven such behaviour would be a violation of EU antitrust rules. In the second case, the Commission opened proceedings against 9 of the banks and ICE Clear Europe, the leading clearing house for CDS. Here, the Commission will investigate in particular whether the preferential tariffs granted by ICE to the 9 banks have the effect of locking them in the ICE system to the detriment of competitors. 
“CDS play a useful role for financial markets and for the economy. Recent developments have shown, however, that the trading of this asset class suffers a number of inefficiencies that cannot be solved through regulation alone. We are therefore opening two new cases to improve market transparency and fairness in the CDS market. The first case will investigate privileged access to CDS transaction data by Markit, an information service provider. The second will examine the existence of preferential treatment by ICE Clear, a CDS clearing platform, of some well established banks who themselves promote this platform at the expense of others. Lack of transparency in markets can lead to abusive behaviour and facilitate violations of competition rules and the Commission should react accordingly. I hope our investigation will contribute to a better functioning of financial markets and, therefore, to a more sustainable recovery,” said Joaquín Almunia Commission Vice President in charge of Competition Policy..."

Radical Plan to Cut Military Spending and Help Balance the Budget

"My long held belief is the US cannot afford to be the world's policeman. Moreover, I question whether it is wise to pursue such a policy even if we could pay for it. Regardless, it is beyond absurd to leave cuts in defense spending off the table when the budget deficit is $1.5 trillion.

The US has troops in 140 countries. Admittedly many of those are small operations. However, why should the US be meddling in the affairs of those countries in the first place?

The US has 150,000 troops in Europe and Asia. Why? The cold war is over, the odds Europe will be invaded by Russia close to zero, and even if the odds are higher, why should it be US troops and US expense protecting Europe?

The question I have had is what would a massive pullback in troop levels save? Courtesy of Foreign Policy magazine, today I have an answer.

Please consider A Radical Plan for Cutting the Defense Budget and Reconfiguring the U.S. Military by retired Col. Douglas Macgregor..."


Warren Buffett: There's "No Question" The Dollar Will Keep Falling

"Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger don't like gold (or silver), and they're not eager to place any FX bets, but Buffett's view on the dollar seems pretty unequivocally negative.

Via Liz Claman, Buffett told the crowd in Omaha: No question that the purchasing power of U.S. dollar will decline over time. Only question is at what rate it will happen.
He says he's had fears that it could happen at a quicker rate..."


Underwater Mortgages, Student Loans Will Keep the Economy Weak

"By now, we're all familiar with the meme that underwater mortgages are keeping the prospects of economic growth down.But there's another bubble in the system: negative university degree equity.
More than 11 million Americans still struggle financially because of underwater mortgages. The financial strain is undermining consumer confidence and prolonging the recession. But millions are also saddled with degrees that aren't really worth the tens of thousands of student loan debt associated with them.

Some analysts see no end to falling house prices, a trend that will push even more American homeowners into negative equity. According to a Bloomberg report, housing prices dropped 5.7 percent in February. Few analysts are paying attention to the declining value of college degrees..."


Unofficial Problem Bank list increases to 984 Institutions

"Note: this is an unofficial list of Problem Banks compiled only from public sources.

Here is the unofficial problem bank list for Apr 29, 2011.

Changes and comments from surferdude808:
The FDIC got back to closing banks this and released its enforcement actions for March 2011, which contributed to many changes to the Unofficial Problem Bank List. In total, there were six removals and 14 additions this week. After these changes, the list includes 984 institutions with assets of $422.1 billion, compared to 976 institutions with assets of $422.2 billion last week..."

US Economic Confidence Sinks to 2011 Low; 55% Say Economy Still in Recession or Depression

"A pair of recent Gallup Polls shows distinct loss of confidence in the US economy. The first poll shows Americans' Economic Confidence at the 2011 Low. A second poll shows 55% still think the economy is in a recession, or worse.

Please consider Americans' Economic Confidence Declines Further
Gallup's Economic Confidence Index dropped to -39 in the week ending April 24 -- a new weekly low for 2011. This continues a downward trend that began in mid-February. The current deterioration of confidence contrasts sharply with the improving trend found at this time a year ago..."

Underwater Mortgages a Threat to Recovery; Expect No More Than 3% Growth Until Housing Recovers

"In a Technical Note on GDP Bloomberg reports "First quarter Advance Real GDP Real GDP increased 1.8 percent (annual rate) in the first quarter of 2011, following an increase of 3.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010. The deceleration in real GDP in the first quarter reflected a sharp upturn in imports, a deceleration in consumer spending, a larger decrease in federal government spending, and decelerations in nonresidential fixed investment and in exports that were partly offset by a sharp upturn in inventory investment."

Underwater Mortgages a Threat to Recovery

Given the renewed housing bust what might one expect going forward?

A senior economist for Wells Fargo believes it is unreasonable to expect more than 3% growth going forward as long as housing remains deeply underwater.

Please consider Phoenix’s Underwater Mortgages Show Weakness in Housing Threatens Recovery..."


Losing Faith (In The U.S. Economy)

"Are the American people losing faith in the U.S. economy? The statistics that you are about to read might surprise you. Not everyone believes that the U.S. economy is dying (there are still millions out there that will swallow anything that the mainstream media tells them), but the reality is that there is a growing chunk of the population that has completely lost faith in our leaders and in our economic system. A brand new Gallup poll has found that the number of Americans that believe that we are in a "depression" is actually larger than the number of Americans that believe that the economy is "growing". That is absolutely shocking because according to official government figures, the U.S. economy is growing right now and virtually nobody in the mainstream media or the government has used the term "depression" to describe the economic downturn that we went through recently. In fact, according to Gallup a total of 55% of the American people believe that we are either in a recession or a depression right now. This is clear evidence that the American people are losing faith in U.S. government economic statistics and instead they are basing their opinions on what they see in their own communities. Despite the pablum about an "economic recovery" constantly being spewed by Ben Bernanke and Barack Obama, faith in our economic system continues to decline. The truth is that the American people are not stupid. They can see what is happening to the economy..."


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

FHFA: 30-year fixed mortgage passes 5%

"The average interest rate on a 30-year, fixed mortgage reached 5.06% in March, an increase of 9 basis points from the previous month, according the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

It's the first time the rate passed 5% on the 30-year FRM since June. The low since then was 4.38% in November. The FHFA calculates the average interest rate on purchase mortgages of less than $417,000 closed during the week ended March 31..."


Case Shiller Double Dip Almost Here

"Last year, we took a Closer Look at the Second Leg Down in Housing.
Today, the S&P Case Shiller NSA 20 checked in at 139.27; the previous post-bubble low is 139.26.
Here’s the release:
“Data through February 2011, released today by S&P Indices for its S&P/Case-Shiller1 Home Price Indices, the leading measure of U.S. home prices, show prices for the 10- and 20-city composites are lower than a year ago but still slightly above their April 2009 bottom. The 10-City Composite fell 2.6% and the 20-City Composite was down 3.3% from February 2010 levels. Washington D.C. was the only market to post a year-over-year gain with an annual growth rate of +2.7%. Ten of the 11 cities that made new lows in January 2011 saw new lows again in February 2011. With an index level of 139.27, the 20-City Composite is virtually back to its April 2009 trough value (139.26); the 10-City Composite is 1.5% above its low.”..."

European Debt Once Again Front and Center

"Bloomberg details the history of the liquidity solvency problem in the European periphery:
Today’s data brought the debt crisis back to where it started. Greece last year obtained a 110 billion-euro lifeline from European governments and the International Monetary Fund. Ireland followed with a 67.5 billion-euro package and Portugal is now negotiating for 80 billion euros in aid.
A bail out for Portugal? Must mean that things are improving (i.e. the bailouts helped) Greece and Ireland... or not.
Greece’s debt ballooned to 142.8 percent of GDP, the highest in the euro’s 12-year history, the EU figures showed. Ireland’s debt surged the most, by 30.6 percentage points to 96.2 percent of GDP..."

Robert Shiller Tells Fox Business There Is "A Real Possibility Of Further Decline" In The Housing Market

"Case-Shiller Index co-author Robert Shiller spoke with FOX Business Network's Connell McShane and Dagen McDowell about the company's report out today indicating home prices fell by 1.1% in February. Shiller said he is “pessimistic” and believes that home prices could go down “much more” than the predicted “five or ten percent decline.” Shiller also addressed tomorrow's Federal Reserve press conference saying “I think it's a good thing the Fed Chairman talks to the people and not keep secrets.” Highlights can be found below, courtesy of Fox Business Network..."


QEII = Ponzi Scheme, Says Pimco

"Yes, we get the point. QE2, the cruise ship-like moniker for the Federal Reserve’s money injection program, doesn’t have many fans. Least of all giant bond firm Pimco, which today again compared QE2 to a giant Ponzi scheme.

This view, of course, also reflects the pounding Pimco and their bond ilk have taken from the Fed. Yields, or returns, on Treasury securities have been falling as the Fed has continued its massive bond-purchasing program. Pimco boss Bill Gross last fall first started comparing QE2 to a fraudulent Ponzi scheme, before he dumped U.S. government holdings from the world’s biggest bond fund.

Today, it was the turn of Pimco marketing strategist and portfolio manager Anthony Crescenzi. In a piece titled, “The End of QEII: It’s Time to Make the Donuts,” Crescenzi wrote:
“Investors are no doubt worried they may have bought into an unsustainable scheme: the creation of a scourge of debt so large that the Fed itself has had to purchase the debt to keep the game going.”

Greece Budget Deficit worse than forecast

"From the WSJ: Greece's Budget Deficit Higher Than Expected
Greece's budget deficit in 2010 was 10.5% of gross domestic product, significantly larger than forecast ... Lower-than-expected government revenue was the main culprit behind the higher deficit number. ... The Greek government was targeting a 2010 deficit of 9.4% of GDP ...

The missed target was "mainly the result of the deeper-than-anticipated recession of the Greek economy that affected tax revenue and social security contributions," the Greek government said in a statement after the Eurostat announcement.
More austerity coming - the beatings will continue until morale improves!

The yield on Greece ten year bonds increased to 15.3% today and the two year yield is up to 24%. It seems like the markets expect a credit event soon.

Here are the ten year yields for Ireland at 10.5%, Portugal up to a record 9.6%, and Spain at 5.5%..."


Monday, April 25, 2011

Japan is even worse than the economic data suggest

"Since April 8th, the Japanese yen has been the strongest of the major currencies. Yet as is often the case, the yen's performance in the foreign exchange market  does not appear to be a reflection of the Japanese economy.

On the contrary, the situation in Japan is arguably even worse than the somber economic data would suggest. The power shortages and damaged factories are taking a larger toll than was initially evident. Press reports, for example, warn that the contagion via the supply chains may have greater global impact, which in turn could impact the manufacturing activity outside of Japan. Toyota, the world's largest auto producer, has indicated that its output collapsed by nearly 2/3 in March compared with a year earlier. Honda's loss of output was similar while Nissan reports its auto output was cut by a little more than half. One press report indicated that Toyota will cuts its output from its Melbourne, Australia plant by half this month and next, citing a shortage of parts that were to be shipped from Japan.

While the disruption emanating from Japan will hit other auto sectors on the margin, the disruption of the Japanese economy itself appears more severe. Moody's today revised this year to 0.0%-1.0% from 1.5% and with downside risks..."


Doug Kass: Déjà Vu, This Is 2008 All Over Again

"The "2011 is 2008 all over again"-meme has really exploded in the last few days, obviously helped by the fact that the dollar is near its 2008 lows, and oil is near its 2008 highs, combined with the fact that the market (for now) seems oblivious to it all.
Doug Kass is the latest to jump on the bandwagon.
In a Real Money column today, he writes:

It is clear to this observer that the U.S. economy's forward momentum peaked in February as first-quarter 2011 growth, expected to be +3.5% 90 days ago, looks closer to +1.5% now. Most notably, higher costs for life's necessities (food, gasoline, etc.) have begun to sap the purchasing power of an already vulnerable consumer. Meanwhile, home prices are exhibiting no signs of recovery and, arguably, have begun to experience a second dip. In contrast to cash-rich large corporations, small businesses continue to suffer, as evidenced by low readings in confidence surveys. Domestic loan growth is still weak and our local and state governments are preparing for European-style austerity (along with the implementation of higher marginal tax rates). Over there (in Europe), central banks are tightening, and austerity measures are being implemented. In Japan, the natural disaster has created dislocations and a material slowdown in growth. The Middle East remains a powder keg and a risk to worldwide growth. And even in China, growth is decelerating under the pressure of a series of tightenings aimed at lower inflation.
At best, subpar growth looms on the domestic economy's horizon; at worst, a double-dip is still possible.

He concludes:

It feels like deja vu all over again..."


March Survey: Almost half of housing market is now distressed properties

"From Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance HousingPulse: HousingPulse Distressed Property Index Rises for Month; Homebuyer Traffic Flattens
The HousingPulse Distressed Property Index (DPI), a key indicator of the health of the U.S. housing market, rose to 48.6 percent in March – the second highest level seen in the past 12 months.
The HousingPulse DTI indicated that nearly half of the housing market is now distressed properties. This trend is likely to continue as a backlog of foreclosures and mortgage defaults make their way through the housing pipeline..."

American Hellholes

"The U.S. economy is dying and we are heading for the next Great Depression. The talking heads in the mainstream media love to spin the economic numbers around and around and they love to make it sound like the economy is improving, but the truth is that it doesn't take a genius to see what is happening to the U.S. economic system. All over the nation many of our greatest cities are being slowly but surely transformed into post-apocalyptic wastelands. All over the mid-Atlantic, all along the Gulf coast, all throughout the "rust belt" and all over the entire state of California cities that once had incredibly vibrant economies are being turned into rotting, post-industrial hellholes. In many U.S. cities, the "real" rate of unemployment is over 30 percent. There are some communities that will start depressing you almost the moment that you drive into them. It is almost as if all of the hope has been sucked right out of those communities. If you live in one of those American hellholes you know what I am talking about. Sadly, it is not just a few cities that are becoming hellholes. This is happening in the east, in the west, in the north and in the south. America is literally being transformed right in front of our eyes..."


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Portuguese Budget Deficit Revised Up Second Time to 9.1%

"Courtesy of Google Translate, please consider Portugal again revised upwards the deficit in 2010

Portugal's public deficit stood at year-end 2010 to 9.1 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), five tenths above the 8.6 percent reported three weeks ago.

Early estimates on the Portuguese executive deficit in 2010, which received clearance from Brussels, they set a decline in the deficit to 7.3 percent, which Portugal is ranked as one of the countries of the European Union ( EU) with a greater reduction.

But last March 31, the caretaker government rose to 8.6 percent deficit for the loss of large public transport and a nationalized bank, which had not been included in the accounts submitted to Brussels.

The new upward revision is that the harsh adjustment measures implemented in the country Luso during the past year to reduce the public deficit-increasing tax burden, reducing public spending, cuts in salaries of civil servants, etc .- are having a more limited effect than expected.

These changes also had an impact on the level of public debt, which rose from 92.4 per cent of GDP to account for 93 percent, equivalent to 160,470.1 million..."

As The Japanese Government Pension Fund Announces Commencement Of Asset Liquidations, Will The Japanese Bond Market Finally Crack?

"In the world of bonds, few things have perplexed investors as much as the ridiculously low (and going lower) rates of Japanese Government Bonds (JGBs), at last check yielding 1.22%. Granted "deflation" in Japan has long been quoated as the key driver for the ongoing decline in real and nominal rates, but in practical market terms it was always the fact that there was a buyer of first and last resort, usually this being either Japanese citizens directly or their proxy, the Japanese Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF) that kept yields in check and sliding. No one has been following the story of the perpetually collapsing JGB yield better than SocGen's Dylan Grice (for the best overview of this issue we suggest: "Upcoming Government Funding Crises: Japan Edition"). And while as Dylan has pointed out before, the direct purchase of bonds by the population has slowed if not reversed entirely (and in the aftermath of the March 11 earthquake we are confident many have entered run off mode - we will attempt to confirm as soon as official fund flow data is released), the GPIF has always been a buyer of last resort. Until now. Reuters reports that the Kyle Bass pain trade, which has for so long gone counterintuitively, may be about to pay off in spade.
From Reuters:
Japan's public pension fund is planning to withdraw about 6.4 trillion yen ($78 billion) from its assets in this financial year to cover a shortfall in pension payouts, the Nikkei business daily reported on Sunday.

The Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF) holds assets of about $1.4 trillion, larger than both the Canadian and Indian economies, and is a major force in the Japanese government bonds (JGB) market, where it parks two-thirds of its assets.
And if one isn't buying, it means that one is...
The GPIF is likely to raise cash by selling JGBs and other assets in its portfolio as pension contributions and tax income continue to fall short of pension payouts which are growing as Japan's population ages, the newspaper said.

For the financial year that ended in March, the GPIF withdrew about 6 trillion-7 trillion yen to cover the shortfall, the Nikkei said.

This financial year, the fund plans to secure about 4.7 trillion yen for the purpose by not reinvesting money redeemed from JGBs coming to maturity, and raise another 2 trillion yen by selling stocks and bonds, the Nikkei said..."

China Proposes To Cut Two Thirds Of Its $3 Trillion In USD Holdings

"All those who were hoping global stock markets would surge tomorrow based on a ridiculous rumor that China would revalue the CNY by 10% will have to wait. Instead, China has decided to serve the world another surprise. Following last week's announcement by PBoC Governor Zhou (Where's Waldo) Xiaochuan that the country's excessive stockpile of USD reserves has to be urgently diversified, today we get a sense of just how big the upcoming Chinese defection from the "buy US debt" Nash equilibrium will be. Not surprisingly, China appears to be getting ready to cut its USD reserves by roughly the amount of dollars that was recently printed by the Fed, or $2 trilion or so. And to think that this comes just as news that the Japanese pension fund will soon be dumping who knows what. So, once again, how about that "end of QE" again?
From Xinhua:
China's foreign exchange reserves increased by 197.4 billion U.S. dollars in the first three months of this year to 3.04 trillion U.S. dollars by the end of March.

Xia Bin, a member of the monetary policy committee of the central bank, said on Tuesday that 1 trillion U.S. dollars would be sufficient. He added that China should invest its foreign exchange reserves more strategically, using them to acquire resources and technology needed for the real economy.
And as if the public sector making it all too clear what is about to happen was not enough, here is the private one as well:
China should reduce its excessive foreign exchange reserves and further diversify its holdings, Tang Shuangning, chairman of China Everbright Group, said on Saturday.

The amount of foreign exchange reserves should be restricted to between 800 billion to 1.3 trillion U.S. dollars, Tang told a forum in Beijing, saying that the current reserve amount is too high.

Tang's remarks echoed the stance of Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of China's central bank, who said on Monday that China's foreign exchange reserves "exceed our reasonable requirement" and that the government should upgrade and diversify its foreign exchange management using the excessive reserves.

Tang also said that China should further diversify its foreign exchange holdings. He suggested five channels for using the reserves, including replenishing state-owned capital in key sectors and enterprises, purchasing strategic resources, expanding overseas investment, issuing foreign bonds and improving national welfare in areas like education and health.

However, these strategies can only treat the symptoms but not the root cause, he said, noting that the key is to reform the mechanism of how the reserves are generated and managed.
The last sentence says it all. While China is certainly tired of recycling US Dollars, it still has no viable alternative, especially as long as its own currency is relegated to the C-grade of not even SDR-backing currencies. But that will all change very soon. Once the push for broad Chinese currency acceptance is in play, the CNY and the USD will be unpegged, promptly followed by China dumping the bulk of its USD exposure, and also sending the world a message that US debt is no longer a viable investment opportunity. In fact, we are confident that the reval is a likely a key preceding step to any strategic decision vis-a-vis US FX exposure (read bond purchasing/selling intentions). As such, all those Americans pushing China to revalue, may want to consider that such an action could well guarantee hyperinflation, once the Fed is stuck as being the only buyer of US debt..."


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Home Builders still see no recovery

"From David Streitfeld at the NY Times: Builders of New Homes Seeing No Sign of Recovery
Builders and analysts say a long-term shift in behavior seems to be under way. Instead of wanting the biggest and the newest, even if it requires a long commute, buyers now demand something smaller, cheaper and, thanks to $4-a-gallon gas, as close to their jobs as possible. That often means buying a home out of foreclosure from a bank.

Four out of 10 sales of existing homes are foreclosures or otherwise distressed properties. Builders ... cannot compete despite chopping prices.
This has led to the "distressing gap" between new and existing home sales! Here is a repeat of the graph showing existing home sales (left axis) and new home sales (right axis). This graph starts in 1994, but the relationship has been fairly steady back to the '60s. Then along came the housing bubble and bust, and the "distressing gap" appeared (due mostly to distressed sales)..."


Interest on the National Debt: "Brother Can You Spare a $Trillion?"

"Several people have asked me to comment on the YouTube video "Brother Can You Spare a $Trillion".

Link in case the embedded video above does not play: Spare a Trillion?

I already have, in advance. I have been harping about interest on the national debt for years, and explicitly brought the subject up twice recently, most recent of which is Interactive Map: Paul Ryan vs. Obama Budget Details; Path of Destruction

Interest on the national debt is a serious issue and unfortunately far too many ignore it..."


Axel Merk: Why Is Anyone Still Waiting to Sell the Dollar?

"The Fed can buy billions, even a trillion or so, but if and when the market is moving against the policymakers then there is no stopping. The Fed cannot stem that tide. There is only so much that they can manage and so it is something that they have to watch very carefully. At the same time, they are not terribly concerned. If the bond market is falling, you do not know whether it is because of more economic growth or because of more inflation, and you really only know after the fact..."


Friday, April 22, 2011


"At last week’s Morningstar Investor Conference in Chicago Jeff Gundlach, bond guru and founder of DoubleLine Capital said the USA is confronted with a terrible deflationary battle that will ultimately end in default (see the full presentation here). I was shocked to read this from Gundlach who is truly a master of the debt markets. He appears to connect all of the dots with near perfection only to come to what I believe is a maniacal conclusion (that we will default)..."


Another Class Action Suit Filed in Federal Bankruptcy Court Against Lender Processing Services

"The noose is tightening around Lender Processing Services.

Last week, various news outlets revealed that Federal banking regulators had issued consent orders against major servicers, MERS, and LPS. Kate Berry of American Banker pointed out that LPS is exposed to making payments to servicers:
In addition to the 14 biggest mortgage servicers, two of the biggest vendors to the industry received cease-and-desist orders from regulators Wednesday. One was stronger than the other.
Lender Processing Services Inc. and Merscorp Inc.’s Mortgage Electronic Registration System were both cited for “significant compliance failures” and “unsafe and unsound business practices” related to foreclosures. Regulators are requiring both companies to hire independent consultants, take remedial steps to address past failures and hire additional staff.
But only LPS, a publicly traded company in Jacksonville, Fla., that provides foreclosure-related services to banks, faces the possibility of having to reimburse servicers and borrowers if an independent review finds anyone was financially harmed by its failure to properly execute mortgage documents.
In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, the company noted that “the order does not make any findings of fact or conclusions of wrongdoing, nor does LPS admit any fault or liability.” The filing said the agencies “have not yet concluded their assessment of whether any civil money penalties may be imposed.” LPS shares fell 3%, to $30.19 each.
This is still a limited basis for liability, but LPS appears to be on the track of death by a thousand unkind cuts..."


The EU's Dirty Secret: Germany Is The Biggest Welfare Recipient There Is

"The standard way of thinking about the eurozone is this: Germany is strong, France is a bit less strong, and everyone else mooches off their strength.

Certainly that's how it's appeared lately, post-crisis, but that's thinking way too small.
Floyd Norris at NYT sheds some light on what's actually been the case, going back to the creation of the Euro: Germany is the biggest beneficiary around, and everyone else has been losers.

Basically, because periphery countries like Portugal and Greece and Spain are not able to devalue their currencies to a point where they have competitive labor forces, Germany is the huge winner.
Its trade balance has surged from being in a small deficit pre-Euro to a huge surplus post euro.

These charts, via NYT, show how it looks.

Sans euro, Germany's neighbors would be far more competitive than they are now. Also, if we went back to each country having their own currencies, the Deutsche Mark would surge beyond where the euro is now, making Germany even less competitive as BMWs became less affordable for everyone else.

The workers of Spain, Italy, France and everyone else are crippled to benefit the Germans, and its insistence on a strong Euro. Also it should be noted that pre-crisis, the huge consumption booms in countries like Greece were another subsidy to the Germans..."


Bob Chapman : SLV & GLD ETFs are government Operations

"Bob Chapman the international forecaster talking with Discount Gold and Silver trading radio yesterday says : I do not see gold stopping until we get to $1650 , $1600 and get ready for $2000 , and silver they can't cover and it's going to go up like this everyday until HSBC and JPM decide that they gonna do something and I can tell you something and that is that the federal reserve and the treasury and JPM and HSBC have sat down to figure out what the heck they are gonna do , is it partial default is it full default or is the federal reserve gonna come in and buy out the positions and nobody is going to get any silver you know they will be lucky if they get cash ..."


Bob Chapman - JPM and HSBC sold 45 ounces of silver for every ounce of silver they own

"...what the market is telling you is that there is a terrible problem out there and it is not being solved and that problem is JP Morgan Chase and HSBC are short , they can't cover their shorts that means they've been betting silver is going to go down and right now at that price over $46 an ounce they're offsite they are losing 90 billion dollars now somewhere along the way they to call a force majeure and what that means is : we can't deliver and what they is they leveraged their bet on the short side and for every ounce of silver they had they sold 45 , which normal is 9 in fractional banking they're trapped and they can't get out ..."


Greece "Velvet Restructuring" Imminent, Blames Upcoming Second Bankruptcy On Citigroup Trader

"It appears rumors that Greece is set to restructure its debt are about to come true. According to Greek daily Ta Nea, reported by the Guardian, "the government was mulling "a velvet restructuring" that would include extending outstanding debt and a voluntary agreement with lenders to modify repayment terms." More: "Greece is considering ways to restructure its debt – such as by extending the life of its loans – two national newspapers claimed on Friday, joining a flurry of recent reports on the prospect that Athens might be forced to default." Not surprising, this comes hot on the heels of continued lies about the stability and viability of the eurozone and the euro, which recently surged to nosebleed levels only to allow it to drop from the highest possible position when the realization that the dominoes are falling finally sets in. But never one to be bound by the confines of reality, where one is accountable and responsible for their actions1 (1: except all millionaires and billionaires bailed out by the Bernanke Put), Greece is now calling in Interpol to put the blame for its latest and greatest bankruptcy on a Citigroup trader: "A London trader working for US bank Citigroup is to be questioned by investigators over an email at the centre of an investigation by the Greek authorities into rumours that Athens could be forced to restructure its national debt as early as this weekend." So, it is a trader fault for pointing out the market's reaction to what is so glaringly obvious even a caveman finance minister from Athens will realize it, and not the fact that one needs to apply a new patch in order to express Greek debt to GDP. The lunacy. The lunacy..."


24 Signs Of Economic Decline In America

"The following are 24 more signs of economic decline in America. Hopefully you will not get too depressed as you read them....

#1 On Monday, Standard & Poor’s altered its outlook on U.S. government debt from "stable" to "negative" and warned the U.S. that it could soon lose its AAA rating. This is yet another sign that the rest of the world is losing faith in the U.S. dollar and in U.S. Treasuries.

#2 China has announced that they are going to be reducing their holdings of U.S. dollars. In fact, there are persistent rumors that this has already been happening.

#3 Hedge fund manager Dennis Gartman says that "panic dollar selling is setting in" and that the U.S. dollar could be in for a huge decline.

#4 The biggest bond fund in the world, PIMCO, is now shorting U.S. government bonds.

#5 This cruel economy is causing "ghost towns" to appear all across the United States. There are quite a few counties across the nation that now have home vacancy rates of over 50%..."


Three Years of Happy Headlines Have Done Nothing

"The NYT just can’t understand what the heck is wrong with people:
Amid rising gas prices, stubborn unemployment and a cacophonous debate in Washington over the federal government’s ability to meet its future obligations, the poll presents stark evidence that the slow, if unsteady, gains in public confidence earlier this year that a recovery was under way are now all but gone.
Capturing what appears to be an abrupt change in attitude, the survey shows that the number of Americans who think the economy is getting worse has jumped 13 percentage points in just one month. Though there have been encouraging signs of renewed growth since last fall, many economists are having second thoughts, warning that the pace of expansion might not be fast enough to create significant numbers of new jobs.
The dour public mood is dragging down ratings for both parties in Congress and for President Obama, the poll found..."

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Gold - a Flight to Quality

"The New York Times reports Gold Tops $1,500 an Ounce in 'Flight to Quality'
The list of factors that have supported the price of precious metals in recent weeks is long. It includes worries about the sustainability of European debt levels — and whether countries like Greece will soon default; the threat of a possible downgrade of U.S. credit ratings amid an impasse over raising the debt limit and dealing with the budget deficit; the weaker dollar; rising inflation in many parts of the world and continued unrest in North Africa and the Middle East, which has pushed up oil prices.

“We’re seeing a perfect storm for gold and silver prices,” said Robin Bhar, a senior metals analyst in London for the French bank Crédit Agricole.

“Gold is sometimes a currency, sometimes a commodity and sometimes a store of value,” analysts at Merrill Lynch wrote recently. “As purchasing power of workers in emerging markets increases, we see demand for gold as a commodity increasing over the next few years,” the Merrill Lynch report said..."

Even Ben Stein Is Warning That An Economic Collapse Is Coming

"He sure has come a long way since "Ferris Bueller's Day Off". During a recent television segment for CBS, Ben Stein declared that "the tea leaves are ominous" and he warned that an economic collapse may be coming. In particular, Ben Stein is deeply concerned about inflation. During his recent appearance on CBS, Stein proclaimed that the Federal Reserve is "just shoving money out the door as fast as it can" and that this could have horrific consequences for the U.S. financial system. Sadly, Ben Stein is exactly right on this point. The Federal Reserve has already injected enough money into the financial system to create an inflationary disaster. Fortunately most of this liquidity is still being held by the banks (this will be further explored below), but once all of that money starts getting released into the financial system it is going to unleash economic chaos..."


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Whipsaw Wednesday – Dollar’s Destruction Saves Markets (apparently)

"The Dollar is down from 76 yesterday to 74.5 this morning, a stunning 2% drop for a currency in a country that didn't have an earthquake or a revolution overnight. 75.63 was our low of last November (a one-day spike and we were back at 81 by the end of the month as the market fell apart) and before that we only touched 74.23 briefly in November of 2009 (it's a bad month for the Dollar) and we flew up from there to 78 in December and 80 in January..."


A new IMF reserve currency without the problems of the substitution account – The creation of Special Transaction Rights

"With discontent at the current state of the international monetary system still lingering, is there an alternative to the decades-old discussions about gold, Bretton Woods Systems, and Special Drawing Rights? This column claims there is. It proposes a new IMF reserve currency with the creation of Special Transaction Rights.

In the wake of the global financial crisis, the discontent with the current international monetary system lingers on (see for example Vines 2010). But is there an alternative given the decades-old discussions about gold, Bretton Woods Systems, Bancor, and Special Drawing Rights (SDRs)? Yes, there is.
In this column I outline a proposal for the creation of Special Transaction Rights. Special Transaction Rights (STRs) would circumvent the problems of the substitution account associated with SDRs (and the Triffin dilemma), and they would also foster reserve diversification and the build up of local bond markets..."


Expecting an early Greek default

"Greece is going to restructure its debts — and it’s going to do so before mid-2013. That’s the clear message sent by the latest Reuters poll of 55 economists from across Europe: 46 of them saw a restructuring in the next two years, with four saying it would happen in the next three months.

This is a major development. The markets haven’t believed Greece for a while — but now they don’t believe the European Union, either. Remember that back in November, the EU put out a statement laying out a mechanism for restructuring a member’s debt “in the unexpected event that a country would appear to be insolvent”. It clearly says that “any private sector involvement based on these terms and conditions would not be effective before mid-2013″.

But almost nobody believes that Greece can last that long any more. Landon Thomas has the story..."


Debt, Like Matter & Energy, Was Not Destroyed

"UBS’ Art Cashin directs us to the Economist’s Buttonwood column for an interesting take post S&P downgrade. The debt in the system has not been eliminated — it has merely been moved from banker to taxpayer:
It is three years since Bear Stearns was pushed into the arms of J P Morgan and the fundamental debt problem has not been resolved. The debt has been moved around but not eliminated. This has undoubtedly bought time and I quite understand the point made frequently by my colleague on Free Exchange that governments and central banks have acted to protect workers from losing their jobs and to prevent consumption from collapsing. In this, they have had a fair degree of success.
But the debt is still there.
It must be eliminated by growth, inflation or default. In the case of Greece, the growth option looks out of the question and the country cannot really generate inflation on its own because it does not control its money supply; default at some stage seems inevitable. Like Greece, Portugal has a competitiveness as well as a debt problem; eliminating the former without depreciating the currency involves force-feeding the population with gruel for many years. At some stage, default may seem the better option.
The US has better growth prospects than most European nations and has the “exorbitant privilege” of issuing debt in the world’s reserve currency, which keeps the cost down. But it resembles one of those Greek myths when the hero’s power is accompanied by a curse; in this case, a political system that is not designed for serious deficit-cutting (the point made by S&P). The world’s dominant power tends to think its financial strength will never drain away. But Spain, having absorbed all that gold and silver from Latin America, still defaulted on its debts in the 16th century; Louis XIV, the sun king whom other monarchs dreamed of emulating, set France on the road to financial ruin; and Britain started the 20th century with a huge empire and piles of overseas assets but was rationing food in peacetime by the late 1940s.”..."

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Modern Monetary Baloney, Fundamental Values, and the Unaddressed Requirement for Reform

"I agree with David Lindorff in his excellent piece, An Oh Please Moment , that the timing of the SP downgrade of US debt is highly questionable.
"Ya S & P amacıyla ulusal borç hakkında ulusal histeri eklemek, bu uyarı ve sosyal programlara daha radikal kesimler kazanmak güçlü Cumhuriyetçiler ve / veya Wall Street Bankacılar baskısı olmuştur, ya da S & P basitçe yeniden esiyor." "Either S&P has been pressured by powerful Republicans and/or Wall Street Bankers to issue this warning, in order to add to national hysteria about the national debt and win more drastic cuts in social programs, or S&P is simply blowing it again."
Oy yana Acentaları çok açıktır ki ödemek için komut hakkında değerlendirme üreten, bir süredir Wall Street monied çıkarlarının cebinde olmuştur, iki alternatiften hangi doğru aklımda çok az soru var. Since the Ratings Agencies quite obviously have been in the pocket of the Wall Street monied interests for some time now, generating ratings on command for pay, there is much less question in my mind about which of the two alternatives are correct.
The bankers, having obtained huge sums of personal wealth by buying the government and looting the Treasury, are engaged in an aggressive campaign to make sure they can keep their ill gotten gains, without indictment, and pigs that they are, without any of the pain to be obtained from gaming the US financial system in a massive fraud and causing its collapse. Onlar daha fazla vergi avantajları ve halktan dolaylı sübvansiyonlar teşvik ederek onların servet artırırken, alt ve orta sınıflar üzerinde oldukça dürüstçe ve unashamedly ağrıyı doğrudan çalışırlar. They seek to direct that pain quite squarely and unashamedly on the lower and middle classes, while increasing their wealth by promoting even greater tax benefits and indirect subsidies from the public. biri değil kovuşturma suçu yok, her zamankinden daha fazla aşırılıkları failleri emboldens. When one does not prosecute crimes, it emboldens the perpetrators to ever greater excesses..."


Shadow Inventory Undermining All Major Metro Markets Now

"...Three of these counties contain the major bubble metros of Las Vegas, Miami, and Phoenix. This so-called “shadow inventory” will be thrown onto the market in the not-too-distant future and will clearly add to the glut of MLS listings.

It is very hard to determine how soon the banks will start to reduce this backlog of distressed properties. The servicing banks are clearly in no rush either to put seriously delinquent homeowners into default or to foreclose on those properties which are already in default. In December 2010, according to Lender Processing Services, 34% of seriously delinquent homeowners had not made a mortgage payment in at least 12 months. In early 2009, that number was only 10%.

The servicing banks can delay putting these homes into foreclosure to avoid having to write them down, but they will definitely be hitting the housing markets in these counties over the next few years.
How does this impact you? If you are an investor thinking of buying one or more properties in Miami-Dade County, for example, you need to know that 24.9% of all active first liens there were seriously distressed. This means that more than 91,000 properties are almost certainly going to be dumped onto the market. Will that exert downward pressure on prices? Absolutely.

If you are seriously considering investing in Miami-Dade, it is essential to factor in this huge and growing shadow inventory and be prepared for a further drop in prices of 10-20% or more. We’ll look at Miami-Dade in depth in the next issue..."


The Primary Dealer - New York Fed Ponzi Circle Jerk Continues

"Exactly one week ago, we commented on what many said was a "strong" 3 Year auction primarily courtesy of a 57.4% primary dealer takedown. We also said: "Keep an eye on CUSIP QC7: it will be the most monetized 3 year paper by the Fed over the next 2 weeks." Today was the first POMO operation since last week's auction focusing on 3 year paper. We present the results of the $6.678 billion POMO below. They, and the 28% flip of the entire PD take down, speak for themselves. Bottom line - not so covert monetization continues in broad daylight, with Primary Dealers naturally getting their (just the) tip value for allowing the ponzi to continue, as everyone else praises the low interest rates on Treasurys, and says just how easy it will be for the Treasury to find Treasury buyers once Qe2 is over. One thing is certain: had PDs known they would have to hold on to these bonds instead of just collecting a hefty fee for flipping them back to the Fed, they would still have submitted far higher interest rates..."


NYSE Margin Debt Surges To Highest Since February 2008, Net Speculator Leverage Second Highest Ever

"The NYSE has released its monthly margin debt update for March. Not surprisingly, with everyone, and yes EVERYONE, chasing nothing but levered beta, margin debt surged to a fresh 3 year high at $315.7 billion, the highest since February 2008. But far more troubling is that when netting out positive margin balances such as Free Credit Cash Accounts and Credit Balances in Margin Accounts, the investor net worth, or alternatively net leverage, as it is defined, plunged by $18.2 billion to ($75.2) billion. This is the second highest net leverage ever seen on on the NYSE, only lower compared to the $79 billion hit at the absolute peak of the credit bubble in June 2007. We all know what followed after. Ironically, when this kind of mass hysteria happens in commodities the CME can't wait to hike margins to cool those evil, evil speculators. It is only natural that the Globex will hike ES margins in 5....4....3....."


Paul Farrell On The 10 "Doomsday Trends" Set To Destroy America

"Capitalism has become a religion for the Super Rich, with many such “saviors.” Heresies must be denied, such as this one: Doomsday Capitalism is destroying America from within. Here are highlights, with links to a few of the earlier hundred columns on topic. Ten macro trends building to a perfect storm, a critical mass, a flash point:

1. Doomsday Capitalism: Death of the American dream, spirit, soul

After our bankrupt Wall Street was resurrected in 2008 — thanks to their Trojan Horse, an ex-Goldman CEO inside the Treasury conning trillions from a clueless Congress — it became obvious that capitalism is killing America’s soul. Nobody trusts government. And no matter who’s elected, wealth, Wall Street and the Super Rich rule America; total collapse is coming.

Why? Sen. Bernie Sanders, the independent from Vermont, said it best: “There is a war going on in this country … the war waged by the wealthiest people in America on the disappearing and shrinking middle class of our country. The nation’s billionaires are on the warpath. They want more, more, more. Their greed has no end and they are apparently unconcerned for the future of this country if it gets in the way of their accumulation of power and wealth.”

2. Doomsday Democracy: ‘Mutant Capitalism’ killing ‘We the People’

Stop kidding yourself, democracy is dead: “All men are created equal” is a quaint political fiction. The public has no real say in a nation where wealth buys votes, a naive public is easily manipulated and elected officials have a price.

In “The Battle for Soul of Capitalism,” Bogle warned us the “Invisible Hand” no longer serves “We the People” nor the public welfare. Today, Wall Street and the insatiable Super Rich 1% rule America. And they are obsessed with restoring the same unregulated free-market Reaganomics that loves gambling in the same speculative $580 trillion derivatives casino that triggered the 2008 meltdown.

3. Doomsday Conspiracy: Wall Street takeover, the new ‘Invisible Hand’

The Super Rich have always had some hand in America’s destiny, operating from the shadows. Today, this conspiracy of Wall Street, Corporate CEOs, politicians and Forbes 400 billionaires operates openly, with absolute power and an arrogance that is corrupting the nation’s soul, their souls, your soul. This conspiracy has no moral compass , yet ironically, is legal.

Why? Wealth can easily buy favorable laws, making even the most unethical, selfish, corrupt behavior legal by fiat. And their high-priced lobbyists all over Washington, Congress, government regulatory agencies and the Fed all have the power to grab the rewards of capitalism for the Super Rich, while transferring the liabilities to the other, clueless 99% of America’s taxpayers

4. Doomsday Politics: Monopoly of Super-Rich Anarchists rules America

Forget buzzwords like oligopoly, plutocracy, socialism. Today Washington is a pure anarchy, a game played by tens of thousands of high-priced lobbyists squeezing the best deals out of America’s budget, solely for their clients’ interests, never the general public. Our economy is a monopoly of Super-Rich Anarchists. They know the only votes that count are in Congress. And they’re for sale.

Lobbyists are “brokers.” Today there are 261,000 lobbyists brokering special interests, all fighting for the maximum possible slice of a $1.5 trillion federal budget pie — special regulations, exemptions, loans, tax loopholes, earmarks, access, agency appointments, defense contracts, you name it — endless gambits that further consolidate the power and wealth at the top for Super-Rich Donors...


Monday, April 18, 2011

How Far Can the Fed Go in Manipulating Markets Before It Becomes a Self-Serving Private Banking Fraud?

"When does public policy become private fraud?

Ben, geçen haftadan bu yana Matières à Reflexion bağlantıları Fed tarafından borç piyasaları manipüle bu video vardı ama görünüşe göre çok kaçırdın çünkü istek üzerine buraya taşındı ve önemi, etkileri anlamadı. I have had this video on the manipulation of the debt markets by the Fed in the Matières à Réflexion links since last week, but moved it here on request because apparently many missed it, and did not understand its importance, the implications.

Bu Fed ve üye bankalar algı ve sadece uzun vadeli faiz oranlarının kontrol girişimi değil, aynı zamanda gazetelerde gösterilmiştir altın ve gümüş fiyatları, yönetmek için kağıt türevleri işlem için gerekçe bir oldukça iyi bir örnektir bu tür Gibson'un Paradox Summers tarafından Larry oranları dönem için uzun ilişki var bir. It is a fairly good example of the rationale for the Fed and its member banks dealing in paper derivatives to manage perception and attempt to control not only longer term interest rates, but also the price of gold and silver, which have been shown in papers such
Gibson's Paradox by Larry Summers to have a correlation to long term rates.

Biri bu ilişki artık var olmayan veya ABD, bir altın standart olmadığı için ve FED uzun vadeli oranları bozmaya türevleri kullanabilir, sırf o Fed ve onların çokuluslu bankacılık ortakları anlamına gelmez önemli argüman yapabilir ve altın, gümüş, hisse senedi fiyatları, LIBOR, vb gibi diğer şeyler yapıyor One may make the argument that this correlation no longer exists or matters since the US is not on a gold standard, and that just because the FED may use derivatives to distort long term rates, that does not mean the Fed and their multinational banking associates are doing it with other things like gold, silver, stock prices, LIBOR, etc.

Ama aslında Fed kendi transkript ve çeşitli üyeleri ve bankacılar, teklif gelen kanıt bakımından en az altın ve gümüş pazarında algı hala aktif bir endişe olduğunu ve Fed ciddi ilgi gösteriyor. But in point of fact the evidence from the Fed's own transcripts, and quotes from various members and bankers, demonstrates that the perception of at least gold and silver in the market is still an active concern and of serious interest to the Fed.

ilgili belgelerin sürümünü var son defans anlamsız değildir. There recent stonewalling on the release of the relevant documents is not frivolous. Ne ve masum yeterince kendi ömrü elde bir başlar, birlikte gördüğüm biz ihlalleri ve vurgunculuk özel doğmak zorla TALF açıklamaları ve durum niyet olur orijinal çok daha büyük ve daha çok da kapsamlı daha. What starts out innocently enough obtains a life of its own, and the cover ups ensue, along with the abuses and private profiteering as we saw in
the TALF disclosures , and the situation becomes much greater and more far-reaching than its original intent. İyi niyetli program gerçekten kamu güvenini yağma için bir para makinesi haline gelebilir. A well intentioned program can indeed become a money machine for looting the public trust.

Elbette sorun, Fed ve ilişkili özel bankaların kendi kağıt, ya da kağıt üzerinde türevleri yazma yeteneği tükendi asla iken, onlar çok iyi mali destek için fiziksel altın ve gümüş tükenebilir olmanızdır mühendislik, talep edilirse için 'durmak ve teslim ediyoruz.' The problem of course is that while the Fed and its associated private banks can never run out of their own paper, or the ability to write derivatives on that paper, they can and may very well run out of physical gold and silver to support their financial engineering, if the demand is made to 'stand and deliver.' Bu uzun tahvil alışverişi ve sıfır süresi, doların notlarına değerinin daha aşırı limit önce ulaşılarak onların zayıf noktalarından biri olarak burada tespit edilmiştir. This has long been identified here as one of their weak spots which may be reached before the more extreme limit of the value at exchange of the bonds and the notes of zero duration, the dollar.

Bunun çok daha asla onları çökertiyor orijinal düzeni, ancak sürekli örtbas genişleyen hemen her zaman. It is never so much the original scheme that brings them down, but it is almost always the ever-expanding cover up.

Başka bir deyişle, altın ve gümüş külçe ve Hazine güçsüzlük ve Fed ve üye bankalar maruz bırakabilir böylece fiyat ve oranlarının manipüle ederek algı yönetiminde serbestçe faaliyet yeteneklerini kısıtlamak. In other words, gold and silver bullion may expose the weakness of the Treasury, and the Fed and their member banks, and thereby restrict their ability to operate freely in managing perception by manipulating prices and rates. Bu onlar için böyle bir husumet tutun neden, ve bu yüzden de ilişkilerinde birçok saklamaya çalışıyorum, hatta medyanın dostu kaynaklardan histerik saldırıları teşvik etmektedir. This is why they hold such an animosity to it, and attempt to conceal so many of their dealings in it, even promoting hysterical attacks from friendly sources in the establishment media..."

Did The S&P Downgrade Warning Just Make A Debt Ceiling Compromise Even More Difficult?

"As S&P noted in its downgrade, and made all too explicit during the follow up call, the rating agency has now started a two year timer on the administration and the legislative branch to come up with not only a fiscal solution, but a credible solution by the end of 2012. Yet as Reuters points out, the "S&P's action -- downgrading its outlook on the U.S. rating to negative from stable -- does not guarantee a deal." Basically expect more posturing from both sides of the aisle, which ironically may merely lead to a cementing of intractable positions, and kick the can so far down the street that not even S&P can see where it lands: a non-compromise compromise that the Hill is so good at, yet one which won't fly any longer. " While the White House dismissed the action, saying all sides were making progress toward agreement, Republicans and Democrats remain far apart on where to make the cuts that will be needed for long-term deficit reduction." Any call for a bipartisan agreement on deficit reduction on fiscal reform is a welcome one, and in that context, I think that (the S&P move) adds to what we believe is some momentum towards that end," said Jay Carney, White House spokesman." Yes, ironically everyone: democrats and republicans are both claiming the S&P decision, which without doubt originated from Wall Street in the first place, validates their policies. Yet the biggest winner out of all this may be the Tea Party: "It is a vindication of the Tea Party and their stance that we are spending too much," Republican Representative Blake Farenthold, a member of the House Tea Party Caucus, said in a telephone interview." ...Or not: if the Tea Party continues "cutting" deficits like it did last week, when it was ultimately uncovered that instead of a $38 billion cut the ultimate impact on the budget was about $353 million, the Tea Party will most certainly burn all its credibility very soon if it continues to "tackle" fiscal sustainability with the same fervor..."


Next Phase of Sovereign Debt Crisis; Greek 2-Year Yields Top 20%; Greece Denies Restructuring Plan; Why the Denial?

"A Greek newspaper reported that Greece is in talks with the IMF regarding debt restructuring. Ancak, Yunanistan Maliye Bakanı bu inkar "Yeniden Yapılanma konuşacağımız olduğunuz bir konu değil" yayınladı. However, Greek Finance Minister issued this denial "Restructuring is not an issue we're discussing".

Geçen hafta medya yeniden masada olduğunu Alman yetkililer, bir hayır-haber duyuru üzerine gaga gitti. Last week, the media went gaga over a no-news announcement from German officials that restructuring was on the table. Herkes pazar izlerken çünkü bir heyecan yarattı olmamalıdır bir yapılanma geliyor gayet iyi biliyor. It should not have caused a stir because anyone watching the market knows perfectly well a restructuring is coming. Yunanistan inkar bunu durduramazsın. Denials from Greece cannot stop it.

Inkar Yunanistan Neden? Why the Denials from Greece?

Soran kafasında muhtemelen "Neden Yunanistan yeniden olmayacak ısrar mi?" Soruyorsun Inquiring minds are likely asking "Why does Greece insist it will not restructure?"

Cevap basit: Yunan kamu emeklilik planları Yunan borç çöp yüklenir. The answer is simple: Greek public pension plans are loaded with Greek sovereign debt garbage. Bir yeniden yapılanma bu planları ve emekliler için beklenen ödeme değerlerini paramparça olurdu. A restructuring would shatter the values of those plans and the expected payouts to the pensioners..."

The Fed is Now Pumping $200 BILLION Per Month

"… and we just passed $200 billion per month.
I’ve shown the below chart before in other pieces. However, given its significance, it deserves regular review.
This is a chart of the adjusted US Monetary Base. It’s essentially a very simple means of charting how much money the US Federal Reserve is pumping into the system (on top of QE 2 which is providing another $100 billion in liquidity per month).
As you can see, starting in January 2011, the Fed left a paperweight on the “print”button. Since that time, it’s put $500 BILLION into the system. When you combine the $100 billion in liquidity provided by QE 2, we’re talking about $800-900 billion enter the financial system in 2011 alone.
There is only one period in which the Fed engaged in a similar amount of money pumps. And that was… during the depth of the 2008 Crisis from October- December 2008 (the two periods are comparable as the Fed didn’t have QE2 in 2008)..."

Marc Faber : US could expropriate Gold

"Marc Faber , editor & publisher of "The Gloom, Boom & Doom Report" talks about his preferred ways to invest in gold " well basically I do not think that people should punt on Gold but they should be their own central bank and gradually accumulate gold reserves as a currency and they should basically hold it physically but not in the US outside the US " " I think there is the risk that the US will once again as they did in 1933 collect the gold expropriate the gold they will not take away and not pay anything they'll pay probably the market price and after they will revalue it it by say five times "