Cameron Uses EU Fine to Bolster Support

Last week, the unelected European Commission demanded that the United Kingdom pay an additional $2.8 billion to fund the European Union. The new charges resulted from the fact that the British economy had grown faster than had been expected in the past year. The demand sparked outrage from Great Britain’s Prime Minister, David Cameron, and media, particularly as France and Germany would receive rebates, financed largely by the new funds being demanded from the UK. Looked at in a different light, it is simply a tax on growth that will not sit well with the British public, and could perhaps hasten the day that the UK will split from the Eurozone.
The EU is struggling with recession, and the survival of the euro, the world’s second largest currency, is threatened with continued devaluation, and potential extinction. Already, two of the Eurozone’s most powerful members, Germany and France, are experiencing negative economic growth. Although the 18-member Eurozone is run as a “one country, one vote” basis, few have any doubt that Germany, by far the richest and strongest member nation, dominates policy as the first among equals. Germany is a ‘sound money’ nation which does not believe in the Anglosphere’s Fed-led easy money policies of Quantitative Easing (QE) and Zero Interest Rate Policy (ZIRP). In addition, as a nation with massive reserves, Germany accepts more easily the policies of austerity, when assets experience falling prices while money retains and even increases its purchasing power, benefitting the savings of frugal Germans.
But as recession threatens throughout the Continent, the calls for governments to unleash more socialist-style spending have increased. Recently, EU member governments proposed EU spending cuts of some $2.6 billion. However, they were overturned by the left-leaning EU parliament. Instead, they asked more funds to be contributed to the EU by member nations, precipitating the showdown with Great Britain.

This post was published at GoldSeek on November 3, 2014.

Gold Daily and Silver Weekly Charts – Will the Fed Ever Learn?

“They will act in accord with the proverbs, ‘that a dog will return to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed goes back to wallowing in the mud.’”
2 Peter 2:21-22
No. The Fed will not learn.
The Fed will keep repeating their policy errors because they are well paid not to learn. And the economic bobble heads will keep agreeing with them and rationalizing their failures because that is the judicious thing to do if you wish to succeed in a disgraced profession.
The Fed wishes for the ECB and the other central banks to do dumb things like they and some of their friends are doing so that they all do the same dumb things together. There is safety in numbers apparently. Hey, we all did dumb things out of good intentions. Who could have known? No one saw the bubble coming. No one could have known that what we were doing was making things worse.
The Fed is a creature of the Banks. Its members are all members of the same ‘Club’ and their livelihoods and privileges are supplied by the financial-political complex.
Insiders never speak ill of insiders. And whistleblowers and reformers are left at the curb.
As a regulator the Fed is one of the worst possible choices, just a quarter step removed from pure ‘self-regulation’ by the Banks. The Fed are their proxies and manservants. The recent tapes of Fed meetings with Goldman are no surprise except to those who live in fantasies with their models and jargon.
I’m sorry, but that is just how things are in the real world. The US and UK are caught in an awful credibility trap, and are destined to suffer stagnation and growing inequality until reform comes. And as we see in the case of Japan, that can be a very long time.
Speaking of things that make you go what the heck?, on CNBC this morning the assertion was that ‘the gold market is not driven by supply and demand. It only responds to fear and greed.’ That is, it’s only fundamental basis is emotion.
And you know what? In the West, in London and New York, that’s true.

This post was published at Jesses Crossroads Cafe on 03 NOVEMBER 2014.

Milking the Dairy Industry

A recent CBC report exposes that Newfoundlanders and Labradorians often pay at least twice as much for dairy than Ontarians. Indeed, milk consumers in Windsor can often expect to pay around 91 cents per litre, while it’s been reported in some remote NL communities to be upwards of around 3 dollars per litre. In fact, on average, Canadians pay almost 43% more for our milk than our American counterparts – so even those on the mainland are getting gouged.
What’s going on? Even for the lactose intolerant among us, this is a raw deal.
Since the 1970s, Canada has run a system of ‘supply management’, where industry supply is directly controlled by dairy farmers’ boards and enforced by the government. In essence, this means that quotas are set for both production and market entry, requiring farmers to purchase rights-to-produce. These boards also set prices, while the government sets tiny import quotas and high tariffs to protect from foreign competition.
This is aimed at promoting protecting both consumers and producers from wild market fluctuations that come with globalized trade. It also is to promote local Canadian agriculture and ensure product quality.
What does it actually do? As has been shown, Canadian consumers across the board pay more for dairy products. In fact, it’s estimated by the Conference Board of Canada that Canadian families can expect to spend around $276 more per family on dairy alone than our counterparts in the developed world. Dairy Farmers of Canada claims that Canada, unlike our partners, does not devote subsidies to agriculture, implying that somehow consumers are not forced to give domestic producers ‘special treatment’. A cursory glance at the reality, of course, is that consumers are indeed paying a subsidy through the inflated prices. What’s more, the WTO places limits on exports for subsidized goods. While DFC claims supply management isn’t ‘subsidization’, the rest of the world seems to disagree. the world.

This post was published at Mises Canada on November 3, 2014.

Alan Greenspan To Marc Faber: “I Never Said The Fed Was Independent”

Marc Faber, editor of “The Gloom, Boom & Doom Report”, spoke with Bloomberg TV’s Trish Regan today at length on a wide variety of topics. He commented on Bill Gross’ remarks about deflation (noting “the concept of inflation and deflation is frequently misunderstood”) and explained why he thinks Japan is engaged in a Ponzi Scheme (since “all the government bonds that the Treasury issues are being bought by the Bank of Japan”). He also spoke on oil prices (warning that “if oil prices went lower, it may actually have an adverse impact on the US economy”), gold and Goldman Sachs (“Goldman Sachs is very good at predicting lower prices when they want to buy something”) and the midterm elections (adding that “I don’t think it really matters, [both parties] have blown money away.”) But it is discussion of the independence of the Fed with Alan Greenspan that will raise the most eyebrows as it seems yet another conspiracy theory dies at the hands of the fact police.
* * *
TRISH REGAN: Bond investor Bill Gross is saying deflation is a ‘growing possibility’ as governments worldwide struggle to create inflation and to stimulate growth. In his second investment outlook since joining Janus Capital, Mr. Gross writes, ‘The real economy needs money printing, yes, but money spending more so. Until then, deflation remains a growing possibility, not the kind that creates prosperity but the kind that’s trouble for prosperity.’ What do you think here about what Bill Gross is saying? Do you think in fact deflation is a real possibility for the United States?
MARC FABER: Well, I think the concept of inflation and deflation is frequently misunderstood because in some sectors of the economy you can have inflation and in some sectors deflation. But if the investment implication of Bill Gross is that – and he’s a friend of mine. I have high regard for him. If the implication is that one should be long US treasuries, to some extent I agree. The return on 10-year notes will be miserable, 2.35 percent for the next 10 years if you hold them to maturity in each of the next 10 years. However, if you compare that to French government bonds yielding today 1.21 percent, I think that’s quite a good deal, or Japanese bonds, a country that is engaged in a Ponzi scheme, bankrupt, they have government bond yields yielding 0.43 percent. So…

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 11/03/2014.

It’s Currency War! – And Japan Has Fired The First Shot

This is the big problem with fiat currency – eventually the temptation to print more of it when you are in a jam becomes too powerful to resist. In a surprise move on Friday, the Bank of Japan dramatically increased the size of the quantitative easing program that it has been conducting. This sent Japanese stocks soaring and the Japanese yen plunging. The yen had already fallen by about 11 percent against the dollar over the last year before this announcement, and news of the BOJ’s surprise move caused the yen to collapse to a seven year low. Essentially what the Bank of Japan has done is declare a currency war. And as you will see below, in every currency war there are winners and there are losers. Let’s just hope that global financial markets do not get shredded in the crossfire.
Without a doubt, the Japanese are desperate. Their economic decline has lasted for decades, and their debt levels are off the charts. In such a situation, printing more money seems like such an easy solution. But as history has shown us, wild money printing always ends badly. Just remember what happened in the Weimar Republic and in Zimbabwe.
At this point, the Bank of Japan is already behaving so recklessly that it is making the Federal Reserve look somewhat responsible in comparison. The following is how David Stockman summarized what just happened…
This is just plain sick. Hardly a day after the greatest central bank fraudster of all time, Maestro Greenspan, confessed that QE has not helped the main street economy and jobs, the lunatics at the BOJ flat-out jumped the monetary shark. Even then, the madman Kuroda pulled off his incendiary maneuver by a bare 5-4 vote. Apparently the dissenters – – Messrs. Morimoto, Ishida, Sato and Kiuchi – -are only semi-mad.
Never mind that the BOJ will now escalate its bond purchase rate to $750 billion per year – -a figure so astonishingly large that it would amount to nearly $3 trillion per year if applied to a US scale GDP. And that comes on top of a central bank balance sheet which had previously exploded to nearly 50% of Japan’s national income or more than double the already mind-boggling US ratio of 25%.
The Japanese are absolutely destroying the credibility of their currency in a last ditch effort to boost short-term economic growth.
So why would they want to devalue their currency?

This post was published at The Economic Collapse Blog on November 3rd, 2014.

BREAKDOWN: Wall Street, Money and the Merchant Class

Capitalism is NOT Wall Street.
In order to correctly comprehend the nature of the Free Enterprise system, one needs to understand the fundamentals of a business transaction.
Real business requires that goods or services are purchased from a seller by a buyer, at a price that both agree upon. A tangible product, skilled service or intellectual property may qualify as an entity of substance. But when we closely examine the composition of equities, warrants, bonds, options, futures or derivatives; we enter a realm that falls outside the scope of normal business transactions.
Some will claim that a stock represents the equity ownership of a particular enterprise. In theory, that would be correct; but in practice the average shareholder has vitally no input into the management of a publicly traded company. A warrant is a right to exercise a future defined claim. Bonds are fixed promises to repay that trade in value as interest rates vary. An Option is the ability to buy or sell purchased at a strike price during a specified time period, for an agreed cost. Futures are leveraged speculation or hedged bets on price movements. And it’s anyone guess what a derivative is . . .
Wall Street was created ostensibly as an auction market for raising capital to finance new business ventures or additional funds to grow a company. The underlying value of the stock price of a company would trade as shareholders wager on the direction of the equity or changes in their needs. Bonds were sold as loans that companies have an obligation to pay and retire the debt. Warrants, options, futures and derivatives emerged as sophisticated methods of refining the general purpose of funding business endeavors.
As any investor knows, they assume the risk or loss of their capital when they gamble on any specific instrument in a financial venture. The Capital Markets offer no guarantee that profits are assured, and provide no pledge that losses will not result. Risk is always present. But the essential question is whether this culture of finance qualifies as legitimate business?

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on NOVEMBER 3, 2014.

ARE YOU VOTING TOMORROW?

‘If voting made any difference they wouldn’t let us do it.’ – Mark Twain
I’ve concluded we are run by One Party. Voting will change nothing. We are living in a corporate fascist warfare/welfare empire of debt run by billionaires and bankers. The Republican/Democrat kabuki theater is designed to keep the sheeple distracted and angry at each other. This keeps them from focusing on the oligarchs stealing them blind, luring them into debt, and using their children as cannon fodder in un-Constitutional wars around the globe. Since 2000 we have had Republicans in complete control and Democrats in complete control. No matter who is in charge, the welfare state and warfare state grows ever larger. The national debt has grown exponentially under both parties. Neither party will change the status quo because they are the status quo. It’s the people versus the state. We are on course for a financial, economic and societal collapse. Voting will not change this course.
I will not be voting tomorrow and don’t foresee ever voting again in my lifetime. I judge people by their actions, not their words. The actions of those we have elected have been reckless, corrupt, and disastrous for the future of my children. Homey don’t play that game anymore.

This post was published at The Burning Platform on 3rd November 2014.

Gold & Silver Trading Alert: HUI to Gold Ratio at Its 2000 Low

Briefly: In our opinion speculative short positions (full) in gold, silver and mining stocks are justified from the risk/reward perspective. We are adjusting the stop-loss levels (again), so in a way we are locking-in even more of the profits from the current positions and, at the same time, keeping a chance of increasing them.
Gold, silver and mining stocks plunged heavily last week. We saw major events such as breakdowns and we saw some key levels being reached. The miners’ slide and the silver’s and gold’s breakdowns were widely commented, but there are additional developments in the ratios that investors and traders need to consider at the moment.
Before moving to the ratios, let’s start with the U. S. dollar (charts courtesy of
In the previous alert we wrote the following:
What’s next? The cyclical turning point is at hand, so we might not see many more daily upswings in the near future. The closest resistance is at the previous October high, about an index point above Wednesday’s close. Consequently, we are quite likely to see another sharp upswing, but it also seems likely that the USD Index will at least pause after reaching its previous high, at or close to the turning point.
We indeed saw a sharp upswing in the USD Index yesterday and also in today’s pre-market trading. Today, the USD Index moved to 86.74, which is very close to its early-October high of 86.87. We could see a pause or another decline from here, especially that the cyclical turning point is at hand. The situation in the currency market is very interesting at this time (especially in the USD/JPY pair) but that’s something that we will discuss in today’s Forex Trading Alert.
The USD Index moved even higher – to 87.25, but closed only slightly above the previously-broken level. It’s still quite likely to decline given the unconfirmed status of the breakout and the cyclical turning point. Consequently, the above remains up-to-date.
Let’s move to metals. Has the outlook become bullish for the precious metals sector based on the above? Just as we wrote in Friday’s alert – not necessarily.

This post was published at GoldSeek on 3 November 2014.

HAVE YOU BEEN ‘INVITED’ TO GO INTO THE HEALTHCARE MARKETPLACE?

EFFORTS to refine Obamacare dross into gold are turning into self-parodies of liberal spin.
At a recent hearing conducted by the Virginia legislature, federal Health and Human Services official Joanne Grossie told lawmakers that people shouldn’t view the cancellation of insurance policies due to Obamacare as losing insurance. It’s really an ‘invitation’ to get another policy, Grossie said.
‘If you got one of the notices that your policy was going to be discontinued because it didn’t adhere to the law, it meant that now you could go into the health insurance marketplace,’ she said. ‘So, I just want to remind you that you weren’t losing insurance; you were just losing that insurance plan and were now being invited to go into the health insurance marketplace.’
Gosh, that puts things in a whole new perspective! No doubt, the administration’s new logic can be applied to a wide range of situations in both politics and daily life.
Your wages haven’t been stagnant thanks to President Obama’s economic policies. You’ve merely been ‘invited’ to live an increasingly frugal lifestyle. You weren’t fired from your job. You were ‘invited’ to look for other employment opportunities. Your spouse didn’t divorce you. You were merely ‘invited’ to return to the single life.
You didn’t … well, you get the idea. That federal officials offer farcical answers in response to serious questions shows this administration’s disdain for, or cluelessness about, the general public. Remember, Obama promised that we could keep our coverage if we liked it. That invitation got lost in the maelstrom that characterizes the Obamacare fiasco.

This post was published at The Burning Platform on 3rd November 2014.

SP 500 and NDX Futures Daily Charts – Back to Bubble Land

“Nothing’s ever fulfilled, not until the very end. and closure. Nothing is ever over.”
Rust Cohle, True Detective
Stocks have managed to rally back into bubble territory, compliments of the policy errors of the Western financial system and the acquiescence of their house servant politicians, well paid, but servants nonetheless.
There will be another financial crisis, similar to the last three, because nothing has changed.

This post was published at Jesses Crossroads Cafe on 03 NOVEMBER 2014.

How The Petrodollar Quietly Died, And Nobody Noticed

Two years ago, in hushed tones at first, then ever louder, the financial world began discussing that which shall never be discussed in polite company – the end of the system that according to many has framed and facilitated the US Dollar’s reserve currency status: the Petrodollar, or the world in which oil export countries would recycle the dollars they received in exchange for their oil exports, by purchasing more USD-denominated assets, boosting the financial strength of the reserve currency, leading to even higher asset prices and even more USD-denominated purchases, and so forth, in a virtuous (especially if one held US-denominated assets and printed US currency) loop.
The main thrust for this shift away from the USD, if primarily in the non-mainstream media, was that with Russia and China, as well as the rest of the BRIC nations, increasingly seeking to distance themselves from the US-led, “developed world” status quo spearheaded by the IMF, global trade would increasingly take place through bilateral arrangements which bypass the (Petro)dollar entirely. And sure enough, this has certainly been taking place, as first Russia and China, together with Iran, and ever more developing nations, have transacted among each other, bypassing the USD entirely, instead engaging in bilateral trade arrangements, leading to, among other thing, such discussions as, in today’s FT, why China’s Renminbi offshore market has gone from nothing to billions in a short space of time.
And yet, few would have believed that the Petrodollar did indeed quietly die, although ironically, without much input from either Russia or China, and paradoxically, mostly as a result of the actions of none other than the Fed itself, with its strong dollar policy, and to a lesser extent Saudi Arabia too, which by glutting the world with crude, first intended to crush Putin, and subsequently, to take out the US crude cost-curve, may have Plaxico’ed both itself, and its closest Petrodollar trading partner, the US of A.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 11/03/2014.

Into the Unknown

Strange things are happening in the bond market.
Few of them are stranger than the reports Jeremie Banet, a French fund management colleague of former Pimco executive Bill Gross, quit the bond business altogether to sell croques-monsieur from a food truck.
Bill Gross, whose management style has been described as ‘bullying’, had reportedly told in front of Pimco’s entire investment committee that, ‘I never understand what you’re saying. Ever.’
With those credentials, Monsieur Banet is supremely qualified to become the next chairmen of the Federal Reserve. And if so, he has his work cut out for him.
Consider the sort of volatility that the 10-year US Treasury experienced on 15th October.

This post was published at Sovereign Man on November 3, 2014.

Stocks Pump (On ‘Bad’ Data) And Dump (On ‘Good’ Oil Price Cuts)

As we noted earlier, something is seriously broken in these ‘markets’ and when the head of Blackrock appears on CNBC and uses the “cash on the sidelines” meme to justify stocks going higher (which is unbridled idiocy remember), we suspect even the big boys are getting nervous about the decouplings, illiquidity, and BoJ-driven exuberance. The early pre-open ramp in stocks was quickly evisceratedas data missed (PMI & Construction Spending) and stocks retraced back to bond reality… but ‘they’needed all-time highs to run some more stops as USDJPY burst to 114. Once those highs in US equyities were tagged and traders realized what the Saudi actions regarding oil prices meant, WTI plunged and dragged stocks with it. Bonds, oil, HY credit, and VIX all decoupled from stocks.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 11/03/2014.

The System Is Terminally Broken

This is a world where nothing is solved. Someone once told me, ‘Time is a flat circle.’ Everything we’ve ever done or will do, we’re gonna do over and over and over again. – Nic Pizzalotto, ‘True Detective’
The Fed has formally ‘ended’ QE, but it hasn’t really. The Fed will continue reinvesting interest on its portfolio in more bonds and it will rollover maturities. We saw what happens to the stock market a few weeks ago when Fed official James Bullard asserted that the Fed needs to start raising rates: the S&P 500 quickly dropped 8%. Right at the bottom of the drop, the very same Bullard issued a statement suggesting that QE should be extended. This triggered an insanely abrupt ‘V’ move back up to a new record high for the S&P 500. Bullard either did this intentionally or is a complete idiot.
The stock market can’t function without Federal Reserve intervention. The stock market lost 8% quickly on just the thought that the Fed might start raising rates. Imagine what would happen if the Fed decided to ‘experiment’ by shutting down its market intervention operations – both verbal and physical – for a month…
As for QE, if the Fed has achieved its objective of stimulating the economy, why doesn’t it start removing the $2.6 trillion of liquidity that it has injected into its member banks (LINK)? This was money that was supposed to be directed at the economy. How come it’s sitting on bank balance sheets earning .25% interest? That’s $6.5 billion in free interest the Fed continues to inject into the Too Big To Fail banks. But why? What would happen if the Fed decided to ‘experiment’ by removing this massive dead-pool of money from the banks? The money isn’t really ‘dead,’ it’s keeping the banks from collapsing.

This post was published at Investment Research Dynamics on November 3, 2014.

166 Local Tax Increase Proposals on California Ballots; Not For the Kids

There are 166 tax increase proposals on the ballot in California. 118 of them are bond proposals. It matters little what the proposals are for.
Forget about any claim, “it’s for the kids”. Politicians have a way of doing whatever they want with the money once the tax hikes pass.
Ed Ring writing for Union Watch notes new tax revenue is in too many cases, suspiciously equal to the amount that pension contributions need to be raised in the next few years.
But wait, doesn’t money have to be spent on what the bond proposal says it’s for? If you think so, please consider this guest post by Ed Ring.
Note: everything that follows until the last line is from Ring.
California’s $12.3 Billion in Proposed School Bonds: Borrowing vs. Reform
‘As the result of California Courts refusing to uphold the language of the High Speed Rail bonds, the opponents of any bond proposal, at either the state or local level, need only point to High-Speed Rail to remind voters that promises in a voter approved bond proposal are meaningless and unenforceable.’
Jon Coupal, October 26, 2014, HJTA California Commentary
If that isn’t plain enough – here’s a restatement: California’s politicians can ask voters to approve bonds, announcing the funds will be used for a specific purpose, then they can turn around and do anything they want with the money. And while there’s been a lot of coverage and debate over big statewide bond votes, the real money is in the countless local bond issues that collectively now encumber California’s taxpayers with well over $250 billion in debt.
Over the past few weeks we’ve tried to point out that local tax increases – 166 of them on the November 4th ballot at last count, tend to be calibrated to raise an amount of new tax revenue that, in too many cases, are suspiciously equal to the amount that pension contributions are going to be raised over the next few years. For three detailed examples of how local tax increases will roughly equal the impending increases to required pension contributions, read about Stanton, Palo Alto, and Watsonville’s local tax proposals. It is impossible to analyze them all.
As taxes increase, money remains fungible. More money, more options. They can say it’s for anything they want. And apparently, bonds are no better.

This post was published at Global Economic Analysis on Nov 3, 2014.

Yellen Shocked After Fisher Again Reveals Fed Is Source Of Record Inequality

As Janet Yellen prepares to meet with President Obama this morning for the first time, it appears The Dallas Fed’s Richard Fisher has planted a rather uncomfortable tape bomb for her to explain:
FISHER: QE3 WAS A GIFT TO THE RICH So right before the Midterm elections, a week after Janet Yellen discussed inequality, she is summoned to meet with The ‘fair’ President to explain how her policy is keeping Obama’s dream alive?

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 11/03/2014.

The Slaughter Continues: Hedge Funds Tumble In October, Turn Negative For 2014 Despite Central Bank Sticksave

As we reported last week, one of the most notable features of October was not so much the relentless intervention by central banks to prop up the global capital markets Ponzi scheme and send the S&P to fresh record highs – that much should have been apparent years ago – but rather that just as hedge funds were preparing to aggressively capitalize on the first notable downturn in the “market” in years, the carpet was yanked from under everyone’s legs, and hedge funds (which by definition “hedge”, i.e., put on offsetting, short positions to plain vanilla longs, something for which they are compensated orders of magnitude higher than mutual funds) were slaughtered once again, following the biggest, or as we called it most Historic, short squeeze in 3 years.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 11/03/2014.

The ‘Fragile’ Potemkin Stock Market Conceals A Post-Industrial Slum

Submitted by James H Kunstler via Kunstler.com,
‘Holy smokes,’ Janet Yellen must have barked last week when Japan stepped up to plug the liquidity hole left by the US Federal Reserve’s final taper trot to the zero finish line of Quantitative Easing 3. The gallant samurai Haruhiko Kuroda of Japan’s central bank announced that his grateful nation had accepted the gift of inflation from the generous American people, which will allow the island nation to fall on its wakizashi and exit the dream-world of industrial modernity it has struggled through for a scant 200 years.
Money-printing turns out to be the grift that keeps on giving. The US stock markets retraced all their October jitter lines, and bonds plumped up nicely in anticipation of hot so-called ‘money’ wending its digital way from other lands to American banks. Euroland, too, accepted some gift inflation as its currency weakened. The world seems to have forgotten for a long moment that all this was rather the opposite of what America’s central bank has been purported to seek lo these several years of QE heroics – namely, a little domestic inflation of its own to simulate if not stimulate the holy grail of economic growth. Of course all that has gotten is the Potemkin stock market, a fragile, one-dimensional edifice concealing the post-industrial slum that the on-the-ground economy has become behind it.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 11/03/2014.