Tuesday, May 31, 2016
Monday, May 30, 2016
"Submitted by John Rubino via DollarCollapse.com,
One of the defining traits of the past few years’ “recovery” has been the torrent of money flowing from big banks to favored clients, and from there into trophy properties like high-end real estate, superyachts, and fine art. This might be the first financial bubble to completely bypass the 99%.
And now it’s ending. Falling oil prices and negative interest rates (rich people own a lot of government bonds) seem to have sucked the animal spirits out of the 1%, leading to stories like this:
(New York Times) – One of the latest symbols of the overinflated luxury housing market is a pink mansion perched above the Mediterranean on the French Riviera.The 13,000-square-foot property, built and owned by the fashion magnate Pierre Cardin, is composed of giant terra cotta orbs arranged in a sprawling hive. The home’s name befits its price. “Le Palais Bulles,” or “the Bubble Palace,” is being offered for sale at approximately $450 million.The listing is part of a global pileup of homes listed for $100 million or more. A record 27 properties with nine-figure prices are officially for sale, according to Christie’s International Real Estate. That is up from 19 last year and about a dozen in 2014.If you add in high-priced “whisper listings” that are offered privately, brokers say the actual number of nine-figure listings worldwide could easily top 40 or 50.“It’s a bumper crop,” said Dan Conn, chief executive of Christie’s International Real Estate. “It’s just a new world in terms of what people are building and offering for sale.”The rise in nine-figure real estate listings comes just as sales of luxury real estate have cooled. Many say the sudden surge in hyperprice homes — often built and sold by speculative investors — is the ultimate bubble signal.“When you have a record number of homes for sale at a price point of $100 million or more, that tells you these homes aren’t selling,” said Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel Inc., a real estate appraisal and research firm. “It’s not as deep a market as some might hope.”Still more nine-figure homes are on the way. Real estate agents and developers say a home under construction in Bel Air is likely to have more than 50,000 square feet of living space, with finishes rivaling a superyacht’s. The price will be yacht-like, too, at around $300 million. Among the home’s amenities: the world’s largest safe..."
Sunday, May 29, 2016
"If you have been waiting for “the next Lehman Brothers moment” which will cause the global financial system to descend into a state of mass panic, you might want to keep a close eye on German banking giant Deutsche Bank. It is approximately three times larger than Lehman Brothers was, and if the most important bank in the strongest economy in Europe were to implode, it would instantly send shockwaves rippling across the entire planet. Those that follow my work regularly know that I started sounding the alarm about Deutsche Bank beginning last September. Since that time, the bad news from Deutsche Bank has not stopped pouring in. They announced a loss of 6.8 billion euros for 2015, Moody’s just downgraded their debt to two levels above junk status, and they have been plagued by scandal after scandal. In recent months they have gotten into trouble for trying to rig precious metal prices, for committing “equity trading fraud” and for their dealings in mortgage-backed securities. The following comes from Zero Hedge…
A month after admitting to rigging precious metals markets,Deutsche Bank has been hit with a double-whammy of more alleged fraudulent behavior today and the stock is sliding. First, Reuters reports that the bank took a charge of 450 million euros for “equity trading fraud,” and then Bloomberg reports that The SEC is looking into Deutsche’s post-crisis mortgage positions.
This is a bank that is steadily bleeding money, and so the last thing that it needs is for government agencies to be putting immense pressure on it. Unfortunately for Deutsche Bank, the SEC seems determined to kick it while it is down…
Troubled Wall Street giant Deutsche Bank is under another investigation, this time by the Securities and Exchange Commission regarding the pricing and reporting of certain mortgage-backed securities.The SEC wants to know whether the Frankfurt, Germany-based bank artificially raised the value of mortgage-backed securities in 2013 and later hid those losses for an extended period of time, Bloomberg first reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
"If you allow someone to pump hours of “programming” into your mind every single day, it is inevitable that it is eventually going to have a major impact on how you view the world. In America today, the average person consumes approximately 10 hours of information, news and entertainment a day, and there are 6 giant media corporations that overwhelmingly dominate that market. In fact, it has been estimated that somewhere around 90 percent of the “programming” that we constantly feed our minds comes from them, and of course they are ultimately controlled by the elite of the world. So is there any hope for our country as long as the vast majority of the population is continually plugging themselves into this enormous “propaganda matrix”?
Just think about your own behavior. Even as you are reading this article the television might be playing in the background or you may have some music on. Many of us have gotten to the point where we are literally addicted to media. In fact, there are people out there that become physically uncomfortable if everything is turned off and they have to deal with complete silence.
It has been said that if you put garbage in, you are going to get garbage out. It is the things that we do consistently that define who we are, and so if you are feeding your mind with hours of “programming” from the big media corporations each day, that is going to have a dramatic affect on who you eventually become.
These monolithic corporations really do set the agenda for what society focuses on. For example, when you engage in conversation with your family, friends or co-workers, what do you talk about? If you are like most people, you might talk about something currently in the news, a television show that you watched last night or some major sporting event that is taking place.
Virtually all of that news and entertainment is controlled by the elite by virtue of their ownership of these giant media corporations.
I want to share some numbers with you that may be hard to believe. They come directly out of Nielsen’s “Total Audience Report“, and they show how much news and entertainment the average American consumes through various methods each day…
Watching live television: 4 hours, 32 minutes
Watching time-shifted television: 30 minutes
Listening to the radio: 2 hours, 44 minutes
Using a smartphone: 1 hour, 33 minutes
Using Internet on a computer: 1 hour, 6 minutes
When you add all of those numbers together, it comes to a grand total of more than 10 hours.
And keep in mind that going to movie theaters, playing video games and reading books are behaviors that are not even on this list.
What in the world are we doing to ourselves?
The combination of watching live television and watching time-shifted television alone comes to a total of more than five hours.
If you feed five hours of something into your mind day after day, it is going to change you. There is no way around that. You may think that you are strong enough to resist the programming, but the truth is that it affects all of us in very subtle ways that we do not even understand.
And as I mentioned above, there are just six giant corporations that account for almost all of the programming that we receive through our televisions. Below is a list of these six corporations along with a sampling of the various media properties that they own…"
"While Obama was in Hiroshima in a historic trip as the first standing president of the only nation to have ever used a nuclear weapon during wartime, and warning about the dangers of nuclear power without offering an apology to Japan, Russian president Putin was in Greece seeking to resume where he left off one year ago, ahead of the turbulent Greece "referendum" and capital controls, following which the Greek people have turned increasingly against remaining in the Eurogroup, a shift Putin certainly hopes to capitalize on..."
"Outspoken author and fund manager Nassim Taleb gave his first commencement speech at the American University in Beirut,offering advice on judging success, the importance of self-respect, what greed and fear can teach, the uselessness of nonsense, and the importance of having skin the game with every decision one makes...
This is the first commencement I have ever attended (I did not attend my own graduation). Further, I have to figure out how lecture you on success when I do not feel successful yet –and it is not a false modesty..."
"In a stunning reversal for an organization that rests at the bedrock of the modern "neoliberal" (a term the IMF itself uses generously), aka capitalist system, overnight IMF authors Jonathan D. Ostry, Prakash Loungani, and Davide Furceri issued a research paper titled "Neoliberalism: Oversold?" whose theme is a stunning one: it accuses neoliberalism, and its immediate offshoot, globalization and "financial openness", for causing not only inequality, but also making capital markets unstable.
There are aspects of the neoliberal agenda that have not delivered as expected. Our assessment of the agenda is confined to the effects of two policies: removing restrictions on the movement of capital across a country’s borders (so-called capital account liberalization); and fiscal consolidation, sometimes called “austerity,” which is shorthand for policies to reduce fiscal deficits and debt levels. An assessment of these specific policies (rather than the broad neoliberal agenda) reaches three disquieting conclusions:
- The benefits in terms of increased growth seem fairly difficult to establish when looking at a broad group of countries.
- The costs in terms of increased inequality are prominent. Such costs epitomize the trade-off between the growth and equity effects of some aspects of the neoliberal agenda.
- Increased inequality in turn hurts the level and sustainability of growth. Even if growth is the sole or main purpose of the neoliberal agenda, advocates of that agenda still need to pay attention to the distributional effects.
Wait... you mean that the IMF becoming, gasp, Marxist? Did last summer's dramatic interaction with Greece and its brief but memorable former Marxist finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, leave such a prominent mark on the IMF's collective subconsiousness, that it is now overly rejecting the tenets on which the IMF was originally founded?..."
"It is no secret that the relationship between the United States and China has been strained for quite some time. Earlier this monthwhen the US sailed its guided missile destroyer the USS William P. Lawrence within 12 nautical miles of Chinese-occupied Fiery Cross Reef, it ended in China scrambling of two fighter jets and three warships to shadow the destroyer and convince it to leave the area.
The US admitted that it sailed the USS William P. Lawrence by the disputed island in order to "challenge excessive maritime claims" made by China. In turn, China had this to say about the US effort: "This action by the U.S. side threatened China's sovereignty and security interests, endangered the staff and facilities on the reef, and damaged regional peace and stability."
As the US meddles in the South China Sea disputes, China has been increasingly vocal about its displeasure, and that came out very directly in recent comments made on Thursday.
The United Nations is getting ready to rule on a maritime dispute between China and the Philippines, and in discussing that potential ruling Yang Yujun, spokesman for the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said at a briefing that US involvement in these types of disputes is the greatest threat to the region.
From Russia Today
On Thursday, China said that it would not recognize the UN verdict on the issue, unless China’s claims are honored.“No matter what kind of ruling the Court makes, China will not accept nor recognize the adjudication,” Yang Yujun, spokesman for the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said at a briefing. “This is China’s right conferred by the international laws. By doing so we are actually abiding by and observing the international laws.”The tension is being exacerbated even further by a continuously growing American presence in the region, whose many allies also lay claims to the islands. China has called the US involvement in the dispute the “greatest” threat to the region.“Certain countries outside the region frequently show its military strength in the South China Sea area and this is actually the greatest threat to peace and stability in the region. We urge them to stop stirring up a storm in a teapot and stop sowing seeds of discord so as to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea, which conforms to the common interests of all parties,” Yang said..."
Former Morgan Stanley Chief Asia Economist: "Don't Listen To The Ruling Elite, The World Economy Is In Real Trouble"
Authored by Andy Xie, the former Morgan Stanley chief Asia-Pacific economist, originally posted Op-Ed at The South China Morning Post,
Andy Xie says the world's elite that are attending the G7, G20, Davos and other wasteful meetings are wrong to try to pin the blame for the turmoil on people’s psychology; all signs point to a prolonged period of global stagnation and instability.
Before the current G7 meetings waste of time, The G20 working group meeting in Shanghai didn’t come up with any constructive proposals for reviving the global economy and, instead, complained that the recent market turmoil didn’t reflect the “underlying fundamentals of the global economy”. The oil price has declined by 70 per cent since June 2014, while the Brazilian real has halved, and the Russian rouble is down by 60 per cent. The global economy is on the cusp of another recession, and these important people blamed it all on some sort of psychological problem of the people.
Over the past two decades, the global economy has been blessed with the entry and participation of 800 million hard-working Chinese, plus the information revolution. The pie should have increased enough in size to make most people happier. Yet, the opposite has happened. The world has gone from one crisis to another. People are complaining everywhere. This is due to mismanagement by the very people who attend the G20 meetings, the Davos boondoggle, and so many other global meetings that waste taxpayers’ money and put inept leaders in the limelight.
One major complaint that people have is that the system is rigged – that is, the rising income concentration is not due to free market competition, but a rigged system that favours the politically powerful. This is largely true. The new billionaires over the past two decades have come mostly from finance and property. Few made it the way Steve Jobs or Bill Gates did, creating something that makes people more productive..."
"It’s unclear what China was thinking when it was borrowed all those trillions to quadruple its capacity to make steel, cement and other basic industrial products. There’s no record of it checking in with the other countries that have such industries to see if a sudden surge of cheap imports was okay with them.
"The most widely-reported result of the recent G-7 meeting was Japan’s attempt to convince the other major economies to admit that a crisis is imminent and take appropriately radical steps. The response seems to have been a bunch of blank stares. As India’s Business Standard noted:
"With the price of gold and silver pulling back and consolidating recent gains, today legendary Pierre Lassonde spoke with King World News and predicted that the price of gold will skyrocket as China’s Gold Exchange becomes like a casino.
"I have recently posted a piece in which I tried to debunk a few popular myths about modern warfare. Judging by many comments which I received in response to this post, I have to say that the myths in question are still alive and well and that I clearly failed to convince many readers. What I propose to do today, is tolook at what Russia is really doing in response to the growing threat from the West. But first, I have to set the context or, more accurately, re-set the context in which Russia is operating. Let’s begin by looking at the AngloZionist policies towards Russia..."
Sunday, May 15, 2016
"On the heels of some fierce trading this week in the dollar, gold and silver, below is an extremely important update on the war that is raging in the gold and silver markets.
"On the heels of some fierce trading this week in the dollar, gold and silver, below is an extremely important update on the war that is raging in the gold and silver markets.
Sunday, May 8, 2016
"When it comes to tracking the nuances at the all important marginof the gold market, few are as observant as ADMISI's Paul Mylchreest, whose December 2014 analysis showed the stunning role gold holds in the new normal as a funding "currency" for BOJ interventions in the form of a long Nikkei/short gold (and vice versa) pair trade, indicating that central banks directly intervene in gold pricing (by selling, of course) when seeking to push paper asset prices higher.
In his latest report he follows up with an even more disturbing analysis on the state of the gold market. Specifically, he looks at what historically has been the hub of gold trading, the London bullion market, and finds that it "is running into a problem and is facing the biggest challenge since it collapsed from an insufficient supply of physical gold in March 1968."
We suggest readers set aside at least an hour, and two coffees for this "must read" report. For those pressed for time, the executive summary is as follows: using data from the LBMA and Bank of England on gold stored in London vaults and net UK gold export data from HM Revenue & Customs, Mylchreest calculates that the “float” of physical gold in London (excluding gold owned by ETFs and central banks) has recently declined to +/- zero.
Summarizing the data in the report.