Scotland – The Possible Turning Point

A number of question have been coming in about Scotland. Yes, it has the capacity to become the real Switzerland of Europe where capital would be attracted if they are out of the UK and the EU. Why? The EU is looking to more than just tax financial transactions, they are looking to even outlaw short-selling thinking they can support the Euro and their economy that way. They cannot get it through their heads that if you prevent people from selling, you will prevent people from investing.
Scotland would be entitled to the North Sea Oil. It could actually end up with a surplus budget – one of the few around in the world. It would also be interesting but separating from the UK would disrupt the bond markets for the question would then turn to who get the debt. Traditionally, it belongs to the UK and if Scotland leaves the UK it belongs to England.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on September 14, 2014.

UK School Using Biometric Fingerprint Data to Make Sure Kids Eat ‘Healthy Diet’

The use of biometrics on children in various areas of the school setting, from swiping a finger to check out a library book or scanning a palm to purchase a lunch is sadly not new.
What is new is what a headteacher recently told parents to justify the use of fingerprint scans in the lunchroom at Redhill School in Stourbridge, England.
Via EAGNews.org:
‘We are aiming to have a cashless system throughout the school. The catering system is better for parents because they don’t have to provide children with lunch money every morning. From our perspective it is far more efficient as it reduces waiting times.
‘We will also be able to monitor what children are buying to make sure they are eating a healthy diet.’
Wait. Back up a sec. Really?
Tracking each child via fingerprint to database and examine their lunch choices and determine whether they can be considered part of a ‘healthy’ diet, huh?

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on September 14th, 2014.

The Five Eyes Arrangement

The Five Eyes Arrangement has been established between all the English Anglo-Saxon nations – the US, the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Revelations about how these five nations have become paranoid spying on everything every citizen does is rather well know behind the curtain. They have all adopted the same tactics as former East Germany and this is largely targeted at money. Employees flying in to the US from operations overseas are now being harassed. I was called personally on the phone when one flew in from Switzerland with a British passport asking me why are they coming often (4 times a year) looking if they can get some sort of tax out him under the pretense that he is working here for one or two weeks at a time. When I went to Britain, I too was pulled over and questioned about where I even bought the ticket. This is getting to be crazy. They are not after terrorists – just money.
According to the New Zealand Herald, Prime Minister John Key says called Glenn Greenwald, the journalist at the Guardian who published Snowden’s papers, ‘Dotcom’s little henchman’. These politicians will not reform the system – it’s all about simply money and getting their hands on more each and every day.
Armstrong Economics

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on September 14, 2014.

BIS: Central Banks Are Inflating Asset Prices Around The World….Low Volatility Everywhere Is A Sign of High Risk-Taking… Art Cashin: ‘Things Could Theoretically Turn Into What I Call A Lehman…

CENTRAL BANKS’ BANKER WARNS: Central Banks Are Inflating Asset Prices Around The World
‘Low Volatility Everywhere’ – BIS Sounds Alarm Alert On Pervasive Complacency Masking Systemic Shocks
Here comes another BIS report, and another stark warning by the central banks’ central bank, the Bank of International Settlements, best known for selling gold at key inflection points, that not only are asset prices are at ‘elevated’ levels but that market volatility remains ‘exceptionally subdued’ thanks to ultra-loose central bank policies around the world. In other words: pervasive complacency boosting the asset bubble to unseen levels and masking the threat of systemic shocks.
First, a flashback: this is what the BIS warned back in June 2014.
‘… it is hard to avoid the sense of a puzzling disconnect between the markets’ buoyancy and underlying economic developments globally…. Despite the euphoria in financial markets, investment remains weak. Instead of adding to productive capacity, large firms prefer to buy back shares or engage in mergers and acquisitions.
As history reminds us, there is little appetite for taking the long-term view. Few are ready to curb financial booms that make everyone feel illusively richer. Or to hold back on quick fixes for output slowdowns, even if such measures threaten to add fuel to unsustainable financial booms. Or to address balance sheet problems head-on during a bust when seemingly easier policies are on offer. The temptation to go for shortcuts is simply too strong, even if these shortcuts lead nowhere in the end.

This post was published at Investment WatchBlog on September 14th, 2014.

China Bad News & Scotland No News Send Futures Lower

While USDJPY is not moving much, no clear news from Scotland (GBP is modestly weaker) and an opposition win in Sweden (Krone weaker) along with China’s dismal data (and Securities Journal note that no rate cut is coming anytime soon from the PBOC) sparked some significant selling in US stock futures at the open (-13 points). Treasury futures are modestly higher as S&P future are stabilizing around -7 points for now extending losses from Friday as AUDJPY slides…
US equity futures down notably…

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 09/14/2014.

14/9/2014: Pound, Scotland and Ireland’s Risks

There are many arguments pro and against Scottish independence. And there are many arguments pro and against Scottish independence from various perspectives, including non-Scottish/UK ones. Not to try replicate these or to pretend to provide a comprehensive list of these, let me touch upon a couple points as viewed from Ireland’s position vis-a-vis independent Scotland or Scotland remaining a part of the UK. Take the fate of the British pound were Scotland vote for independence. Most likely this will be higher in value vis-a-vis the euro in the short run due to simple short-term risk valuations, usually known as a knee-jerk reaction. However, once the markets fully factor in the disappearance of Scottish GDP and demand from the UK markets, the value of the pound will have to come down vis-a-vis the euro. There is a problem with this from the point of view of Ireland as it entails:
falling competitiveness of Irish goods and services exports to the UK; and falling attractiveness of retaining UK banks’ presence in Ireland.

This post was published at True Economics on Sunday, September 14, 2014.

Obvious Support Levels Are Not A Good Thing

Gold and Silver both look as though they are approaching some obvious support levels and when I start to see things that look too obvious I start to think the opposite is going to happen.
Gold’s support is roughly $1160-1220 as it’s not even in that zone yet, but Silver is in it’s support zone ($18.20-18.70) Watch how Gold reacts at it’s upper level or how Silver reacts to it’s lower level (whichever comes first) for clues. It’s to early to know if support is going to hold and placing bets right now in my opinion is really just gambling.
One other indicator that concerns me is the RSI for both of these charts. Both RSI levels are starting to gain steam on the downside and there isn’t really any positive divergence, which would be a key if these markets were going to bounce. In fact, the more selling we see in these charts the RSI will weaken considerably further, indicating a big move down is coming. Another way to look at it is the chances of a snap back rally decreases the weaker the RSI is.

This post was published at ZenTrader on Sept. 13, 2014.

Is Risk-On About to Switch to Risk-Off?

Cranking markets full of financial cocaine so they never correct simply sets up the crash-and-burn destruction of the addict.
1. Junk bonds. Two charts below (one from Lance Roberts and the second from Chris Kimble) suggest the risk-on extremes have reached the point of reversal.
2. Soaring U. S. dollar. Without going into detail, it’s increasingly clear that the soaring USD is destabilizing the global foreign exchange (FX) markets. FX has been the source of many of the risk-on carry trades that have been driplines of financial cocaine for global stock markets.
3. Reversal of the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing (QE) programs. Though the stock market has roundly ignored the withdrawal of $600 billion of free money for financiers stock market stimulus all year, the October end of the QE asset buying program now looms large.
The Fed has already trimmed its asset-buying binge from $85 billion/month ($1 trillion/year) to $25 billion/month. Risk-on proponents claim that this reduction has been replaced by Bank of Japan and European Central Bank QE programs, but this belief fails to take into account the diminishing returns on BOJ and ECB stimulus.
THose spigots have been open for so long that adding more monetary stimulus no longer moves the needle positively. Rather, the extreme measures push the global fianncial system into increasingly risky territory.
4. Geopolitical spillover. One key element of the risk-on trade is the magical-thinking belief that the U. S. stock market is completely decoupled from geopolitical dynamics. In other words, Japan and Europe can sink into recession, China’s growth can slow, the Mideast can be destabilized by multiple open conflicts and none of these issues will ever matter, as long as “the Fed has our backs,” “corporate profits keep rising,” etc.

This post was published at Charles Hugh Smith on SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2014.

‘For Sale’/ ‘Price Reduced’ – Inventory Is Much Higher Than The Market Understands

I took a casual drive around a several upper-middle/upper-end areas in central Denver this morning. I would just randomly turn down blocks and I was stunned at the number of ‘for sale’ and ‘price reduced’ signs I saw. The Denver Country Club area, the high end sections of Capitol Hill plus Washington Park and Platte Park. It’s starting to look a lot like it did in 2007/2008, when stranded flippers, over-mortgaged homeowners and foreclosure listings started to flood the market.
The inventory of homes for sale is much higher than is being broadcast by the industry associations and Wall Street. Furthermore, the National Association of Realtor’s ‘months inventory’ metric is likely understated by quite a bit. The NAR takes the end of the month MLS inventory for the month being reported and then divides that number by that month’s seasonally adjusted annualized sales rate (SAAR).

This post was published at Investment Research Dynamics on September 14, 2014.

Is A Stock Market Plunge Coming Soon?

In our article July 13th, 2014 we warned that a ‘significant decline is coming to the stock market.’ In that article we presented evidence of several Bearish divergences we were tracking between prices and key indicators for our subscribers at A Significant Decline is Coming to the Stock Market.
The Industrials topped on July 17th at 17,151. Soon after that top, four days after our article was published here, the Industrials fell 818 points to 16,333 on Thursday, August 7th. The S&P 500 topped on July 24th at 1,991, and then fell 87 points to 1,904 on August 7th, 2014.
Well, again we see new Bearish Divergences forming all over the place. This places us on high alert this weekend for another decline. Will it be a plunge? Let’s explore.
Our key trend-finder indicators, the combination of the Purchasing Power Indicator, the 30 day stochastic, and the 14 day stochastic, are designed such that when their individual signals are all in agreement, then the market has triggered a short-term investing/trading signal. These are momentum indicators. The theory here is that an object in motion tends to stay in motion, and in the case of the stock or precious metals markets, stay in the same direction. So, if we get a new Sell signal in these three individual indicators, then the key trend-finder indicator in its entirety becomes a Sell Signal. It means that market momentum to the downside is now strong, which means the odds of further decline are very high. That becomes an excellent place to enter a short trade, or buy an ETF that is short, or buy put options on the market.
Our key trend-finder indicators generated a new Sideways signal on September 2nd, and have remained on a Sideways signal ever since. In other words our key trend-finder indicator was telling us that we were in a period of time where the stock market would lack a strong powerful tradable trend, and further, that the previous trend which had been a three week rally was pausing or ending. This guidance was terrific and that is exactly what has happened. Stocks have oscillated up and down for almost two weeks, a lousy trading environment. In our Platinum Trading program at http://www.technicalindicatorindex.com , we chose not to enter a new position during the past two weeks for this reason. Prices moved in a very narrow range over the past two weeks.

This post was published at Gold-Eagle on September 14, 2014.

Stiglitz vs. Krugman on Scotland; Polls Diverge; New Fearmongering Tactics in Waning Moments of Campaign

New Fearmongering Tactics
In the waning moments UK prime Minister David Cameron warns Scots “Leave and You Go Forever“.
Actually, the warning probably should be “Stay and you stay forever” because the UK will never allow such a vote again.
Regardless, no country should want to be under the thumb of another.
Polls Diverge
The vote for Scottish independence is now too close to call. In a Scottish Poll Roundup one new poll over the weekend shows the “Yes” vote with a substantial 54-46 lead, but most polls show the “No” vote with a tiny lead.
ICM (online) 54% Panelbase (online) 49% ICM (phone) 49% TNS (face to face) 49% YouGov (online) 48% Opinium (online) 47% Survation (online) 47% Survation (phone) 46% If we ignore undecided voters, then judging from the last US presidential election when Nate Silver proved preponderance and clustering more important than margins-of-error which purportedly showed the election “too close to call”, one might assume the “No” vote will carry the day. I sided with Silver and called for an easy electoral college blowout, and that is precisely what happened. But this is Scotland not the US, the undecided voters are many, and this is an overall vote not a state-by-state electoral college total. Which way the undecideds break will determine the outcome.

This post was published at Global Economic Analysis on Sunday, September 14, 2014.

What Happens When “Scotland” Comes To Spain?

Friday saw the largest demonstration in the history of Barcelona with 1.8 million people showing up, exceeding all previous records, calling for Catalan independence…

As Martin Armstrong notes, demonstrators were waving independence flags and wearing yellow-and-red shirts with the phrase ‘Now is the time’ shouting ‘Independencia!’ as they swarmed into the semiautonomous area in northeastern Spain that hails Barcelona as its capital.
What is clear, we are seeing the beginning stages of what we have warned about – the rise of civil unrest that leaded to nations dividing or being overthrown in revolutions. What has taken place in Scotland is by no means going unnoticed.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 09/14/2014.

KOHL’S & THE REST OF THE RETAILERS ARE IN DEEP DOO DOO

‘Facts are stubborn things, but statistics are pliable.’
‘ Mark Twain

I never believe government manufactured numbers. They will always be adjusted, massaged, and manipulated to achieve a happy ending for the propagandists attempting to control and fleece the sheep. Yesterday, the government produced retail sales numbers for August that were weak and the corporate MSM propaganda machine immediately threw up bold headlines declaring how strong these numbers were. Positive stories were published on the interwebs and Wall Street hack economists were rolled out on CNBC, where the bubble headed bimbos and prostitutes for the status quo like Jim Cramer and Steve Liesman declared the recovery gaining strength. Woo Hoo.
If everyone else is whipping out that credit card, why aren’t you? Credit card debt has reached a new post recession high. They tell me consumer confidence is soaring. Forget about the 92 million working age Americans supposedly not in the labor force. Forget about real household income hovering at 1999 levels. Forget about median household net worth still 30% lower than 2007. Forget about what you see with your own two eyes in malls, strip centers and office parks as you motor around our suburban sprawl empire of debt. Those Store Closing, Space Available, and For Lease signs mean nothing.

This post was published at The Burning Platform on 13th September 2014.

Will The Swiss Vote to Get Their Gold Back?

On November 30th, voters in Switzerland will head to the polls to vote in a referendum on gold. On the ballot is a measure to prohibit the Swiss National Bank (SNB) from further gold sales, to repatriate Swiss-owned gold to Switzerland, and to mandate that gold make up at least 20 percent of the SNB’s assets. Arising from popular sentiment similar to movements in the United States, Germany, and the Netherlands, this referendum is an attempt to bring more oversight and accountability to the SNB, Switzerland’s central bank. The Swiss referendum is driven by an undercurrent of dissatisfaction with the conduct not only of Swiss monetary policy, but also of Swiss banking policy. Switzerland may be a small nation, but it is a nation proud of its independence and its history of standing up to tyranny. The famous legend of William Tell embodies the essence of the Swiss national character. But no tyrannical regime in history has bullied Switzerland as much as the United States government has in recent years. The Swiss tradition of bank secrecy is legendary. The reality, however, is that Swiss bank secrecy is dead. Countries such as the United States have been unwilling to keep government spending in check, but they are running out of ways to fund that spending. Further taxation of their populations is politically difficult, massive issuance of government debt has saturated bond markets, and so the easy target is smaller countries such as Switzerland which have gained the reputation of being ‘tax havens.’ Remember that tax haven is just a term for a country that allows people to keep more of their own money than the US or EU does, and doesn’t attempt to plunder either its citizens or its foreign account-holders. But the past several years have seen a concerted attempt by the US and EU to crack down on these smaller countries, using their enormous financial clout to compel them to hand over account details so that they can extract more tax revenue.

This post was published at Ron Paul Institute on sunday september 14, 2014.

Debt – Crash Course Chapter 13

Chapter 13 of the Crash Course is now publicly available and ready for watching below.
The fundamental failing of today’s global economy can be summarized simply: Too Much Debt
We have taken too much of it on, too fast, in too many markets around the world, to have any hope of making good on it. Not only does the math not work out, but also on a moral level, we are placing a tremendous obligation on future generations that will unfairly limit the prosperity they can enjoy tomorrow in order to finance our consumption today.
In the US alone, total credit market debt stands at over $57 trillion and is doing its damnedest to continue expanding exponentially. Since simple math shows us that this debt level cannot be supported, the key questions to ask at this stage are:
Will the unsupportable debt disappear via default, or inflation?
And very important:
When these debts do disappear, who will take the losses?


This post was published at PeakProsperity on Friday, September 12, 2014,.

Bonds: The New Barbarous Relic

Historically tax-free municipal bonds (Blue Plot below) have yielded less than taxable best-grade corporate bonds (Red Plot). This has been true for two reasons:
Their owners receive tax free income. State and local governments service their bonds via taxes. Though this is still true, muni-bond yields as published by Barron’s have been higher than yields for Barron’s Best Grade Bonds for 201 straight weeks (since November 2010, see red box in chart below). Although Barron’s has been publishing this data continuously since 1937, never in the past eight decades have the yields for tax free muni bonds been inverted for such an extended period.

This post was published at Gold-Eagle on September 14, 2014.

UK’s Cameron Warns Scots “No Way Back” As Independence Vote Remains Too Close To Call

With polls and surveys showing a slight bias to a “No” vote for Scottish Independence – but realistically too close to call – it appears UK Prime Minister Cameron has once again flip-flopped his strategy to deal with the northern menace. Initially it was one of scaremongery, warning of Scottish safety in light of global terrorism; then Cameron softened his stance proclaiming how “heartbroken” he will be if “our family was ripped apart.” Now, just a day later, according to The Sunday Times, Cameron will unveil his latest push tomorrow that “there will be no way back” if they vote for independence, warning that a split from the U. K. will see the two countries go their separate ways forever, with the vote result a “once-and-for-all decision.” Media bias is increasingly evident as the establishment unleashes its last minute full court press promising Scots “can have the best of both worlds.” if they back the union…
With polls too close to call (though obviously plenty to chery pick for both sides). Excluding don’t knows, the Yes shares in the 8 different companies/methods are:
ICM (online) 54% Panelbase (online) 49% ICM (phone) 49%

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 09/14/2014.

No Child Left Unmedicated

The pharmaceutical industry has completely taken over the treatment of medical and psychiatric treat, emt. Everything, and I am mean everything is geared towards getting every American on medication and keeping them on medication for the rest of their lives. There is no more vulnerable population, to this medical tyranny, than our children.
There is no greater example of this medical tyranny than the latest craze in unscientific psychiatric diagnostics than the brand new condition now being referred to as ‘Sluggish Cognitive Tempo’ (SLT). I As a former mental health therapist, I can barely hold back my laughter at this thinly veiled attempt to separate parents from their hard earned money by making them think that the their perfectly normal child is mentally ill.
Sluggish Cognitive Tempo (lol) This is a remarkably ridiculous name for an even more ludicrous diagnosis. The main characteristics of SLT are vaguely described but include some combination of daydreaming, lethargy and slow mental processing, you know, like we do when we watch television.

This post was published at The Common Sense Show on September 14, 2014.