Why Super Tuesday Voters Were Wasting Their Time…

A Strong Market Rebound
BALTIMORE – Wow! Stocks flew up on Tuesday. The Dow was up more than 350 points – or more than 2%. What’s behind it? Is it the beginning of a real comeback? Is the market telling us that Janet Yellen was right after all?
Maybe the economy really is stronger than we think. At the start of the year, it looked as though the stock market was signaling trouble ahead. Over the last 50 years, every time U. S. stocks have gone down by 15% or more, there was about a 60% chance of recession.
We thought we saw recession coming anyway; the stock market seemed to confirm it. But who knows? We’ll wait to find out.
In the meantime, we take a look at the rise of the Deep State… the ‘shadow government’ that really calls the shots.

This post was published at Acting-Man on March 4, 2016.

The Economic Collapse Of South America Is Well Underway

The 7th largest economy on the entire planet is completely imploding. I have written previously about the economic depression that is plaguing Brazil, but since my last article it has gotten much, much worse. During 2015, Brazil’s economy shrank by 3.8 percent, but for the most recent quarter the decline was 5.89 percent on a year over year basis. Unemployment is rising rapidly, the inflation rate is up over 10 percent, and Brazilian currency has lost 24 percent of its value compared to the U. S. dollar over the past 12 months.
At this point, Brazil is already experiencing its longest economic downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s, and things are getting worse for ordinary Brazilians every single day. The following comes from CNN…
But with Brazil plunging into its worst recession in over two decades – hopes for a brighter future are fading. The Brazilian economy shrank 3.8% in 2015, according to government data published Thursday. That’s the biggest annual drop since 1990 and the country is in its longest recession since the 1930s.
‘I have never seen anything like this,’ said Alves, 24, as he stood on his balcony overlooking Rocinha, a massive lower middle class neighborhood or favela in Rio de Janeiro where he grew up. ‘My parents would tell me about hard times, but today it is really tough. Prices are going up every day.’
So how did this happen?
Well, there are a couple of factors that are really hurting South American economies.

This post was published at The Economic Collapse Blog on March 3rd, 2016.

US Nonfarm Productivity Falls -2.2% In Q4 As Unit Labor Cost Rises

Another in the series of ‘I wonder if the Federal Reserve notices this?’ department.
US nonfarm productivity fell in Q4 of 2015 by -2.2%. As unit labor costs rose.

Notice that nonfarm productivity is noticeably lower than BEFORE the housing and finance crisis along with average weekly wage growth.

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner by Anthony B. Sanders ‘ March 3, 2016.

3/3/16: China Services & Composite PMI: February

China Services PMI fell to 51.2 in February, from January’s six-month high of 52.4, pointing to a much slower rate of growth than the historical series average of 55.0. This comes on foot of Manufacturing PMI registering an outright contraction in February, with the rate of reduction quickening to the steepest since September 2015 (details here:Services PMI 3mo average through February was 51.3, which is basically flat on 51.2 recored in 3mo period through November 2015 and lower than 3mo average through February 2015 (52.4).
Per Markit: ‘New business growth also slowed across the service sector in February after a solid rise at the start of the year. Furthermore, the latest increase in new orders was weaker than the long-run trend and only modest, with some panellists commenting on relatively subdued client demand. New orders continued to decline at manufacturing companies, and at a slightly quicker rate than at the start of 2016.’

This post was published at True Economics on March 3, 2016.

Dallas Fed Unplugs Oil Bulls, Warns of Liquidity Crunch, Contagion

‘Negative ripple effects’
The rally in crude oil has been red hot. In the three weeks since February 11, WTI shot up a short-crushing 34% to $34.69 a barrel at the moment. Now the talk in the oil patch is at what price these desperate shale oil drillers will once again increase production.
Continental Resources CEO John Hart and Whiting Petroleum CEO Jim Volker told analysts this week that they’d step on the accelerator once oil reaches the $40 to $45 range. After all, drillers have to produce oil to be able to service their mountain of debts. They can’t just switch to selling T-shirts.
Alas, that looming increase in production won’t help deal with the glut. And a glut it is.
Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan hammered this home as part of a wide-ranging speech today. And he wasn’t speaking only for himself or stating his own wayward opinion. Instead, he started out his comments concerning oil with this: ‘It is our view at the Dallas Fed that….’ So this is official.

This post was published at Wolf Street by Wolf Richter ‘ March 3, 2016.

Bizarro World! 15 European Countries Now Have Negative 2Y Sovereign Yields (And Japan)

As a measure of the problems facing Europe’s economy, 15 European ‘countries’ now have negative 2 year sovereign yields.
The list includes France, Germany and Italy. And the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) which isn’t a country at all, but a temporary crisis resolution mechanism by created by the euro area Member States in June 2010 (The EFSF has provided financial assistance to the three little PIGS, Ireland, Portugal and Greece).
Much of Europe continues to be slow growing (<2%) in terms of GDP growth. And inflation rates are less than 2%.

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner by Anthony B. Sanders ‘ March 3, 2016.

UBS: “There Is No Doubt That The Move In Oil Is TOTALLY Short Squeeze Led”, Here’s Why

Earlier today we showed how, courtesy of massive synthetic positions where Oil ETFs are currently net long 272k lots of oil, equal to 56% of the front month open-interest in futures, the price of oil is being propped up by ETF buying, either outright or via an ongoing, relentless short squeeze.

This was to be expected: as we warned a little over a month ago, as a result of a record number of oil shorts, there is a “constant threat of a short squeeze.” As SocGen further elaborated, “a positive surprise could happen quite sharply, as short positions are likely to be squeezed by a profit-taking move. On WTI, the in-the-money short positions are really dominating at the front end of the curve while out-of-the-money long positions are dominating at the long end of the curve: the front end of oil curve could thus be more exposed to some profit-taking.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 03/03/2016.

Breakout or Fakeout?

That’s the big question today? There’s all sorts of lousy economic news out there, which is weakening the dollar and USDJPY, which in turn is driving the metals higher. So, is this a breakout to new highs or just another fakeout before a massive Gold cartel raid?
And that’s the dilemma this morning. For the past two weeks, I’ve been giving you that chart with the trendline that goes back to New Year’s Eve. This line was pressing up against what was clearly a Cartel-painted cap. And now today…the day before the BLSBS…a BLSBS that will be used for the next 10 days to rationalize/justify whatever Mother Fellen announces on March 16…prices break to the UPside. Not only is gold back above $1250, but silver is back above it’s 200-day MA, too. See here:

This post was published at TF Metals Report on March 3, 2016.

“It Hasn’t Been This Bad Since The Viking Age”: Dry Bulk CEO Warns Of Bankruptcy Tsunami, Counterparty Risk

In the past three months we have repeatedly shown that, despite the recent modest rebound off the all time lows, the bottom is about to fall out of the dry bulk shipping market in articles such as these:
It Is Now Cheaper To Rent A Dry Bulk Tanker Than A Ferrari A “Perfect Storm Is Coming” Deutsche Warns As Baltic Dry Falls To New Record Low “Nothing Is Moving,” Baltic Dry Crashes As Insiders Warn “Commerce Has Come To A Halt” World’s Biggest Containership “Hard Aground” As Baltic Dry Crashes Below 300 For First Time Ever The Next Big Leg Lower In The Baltic Dry Is On Deck: 360 New Vessels Are About To Be Delivered Overnight, the CEO of Dry bulk shipper Golden Ocean Group, Herman Billung spoke before an industry conference in Oslo, and made it clear that our worst-case expectations may prove to be optimistic.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 03/03/2016.

3/3/16: BRIC Composite Activity – February

On a cumulative basis (based on Composite PMIs for each country), the BRIC economies as a group have posted a very disappointing performance in February 2016.
Note: for this index, 100.0 is a zero growth marker.
Russian economy Composite Indicator posted a positive upside surprise, rising from a contractionary reading of 96.8 in January to a weakly-expansionary reading of 101.2. 3mo average through February 2016, however, remains below 100 line at 97.9, which is weaker than the 3mo average through November 2015 at 100.3. The details of Russian Manufacturing sector woes are covered here:while details of Russian Services and Composite PMIs upside are covered here:As a result, Russian economy acted as a factor pushing up BRIC rates of growth in February:

This post was published at True Economics on March 3, 2016.

Equity Markets Are The Most Complacent Since The Fed Stopped Printing Money

Having risen to its highest level ever in August 2015, the volatility of volatility has collapsed. As traders position increasingly for negative interest rates in the US, the last month has seen ‘uncertainty’ crash to its most complacent in over 18 months.. and all this as well-chosen data corners The Fed (if it was truly data-dependent) to hike rates (or at best make hawkish over tones). Perhaps this is peak complacency ahead of tomorrow’s do-or-die jobs data?

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 03/03/2016.

3/3/16: Russia Services & Composite PMI: February

Russian Services PMI came in with surprising upside that bucked the trend in Manufacturing (see links here:posting 50.9 reading in February, up from 47.1 in January. On a 3mo basis, however, 3mo average through February remains below 50.0 expansion line at 48.6, which is actually poorer than 49.6 3mo average through November 2015, although much better than 43.7 3mo average through February 2015. In simple terms, February uptick in growth in Services is fragile, unconfirmed, and at this stage does not constitute a robust signal of economic stabilisation.
Per Markit: ‘Russian service providers reported a slight increase in their business activity levels during February, driven by an expansion in new orders. However, a rise in new projects could not prevent a further sharp deterioration in outstanding business in the sector. Meanwhile, job cuts were evident while price pressures continued to persist.’ Still, ‘the latest increase ends a four month sequence of contraction. Panel members partly linked rising output to an increase in new export orders, the result of a depreciating rouble.’

This post was published at True Economics on March 3, 2016.

The Tragedy Of California’s Public Pensions

It is well known that California has a pension problem that offers a challenge for public officials and current and future retirees alike. Even if people aren’t aware of the details, it has been talked about for quite some time that there are underlying aspects of the public retirement system that need to be addressed, sooner or later. The fact of the matter is that such problems can’t be ignored by the State forever; and what is perhaps more important to me, as one who professionally helps people secure their financial futures, is that the beneficiaries of these public pensions need to understand what is going on and work to prepare themselves for what is ahead.
Thus, the purpose of this short overview of the problem is to help awaken people to their own unique scenarios, to inspire them to make the proper moves before it is too late. Everyone is in a different situation and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to figuring out what one should do personally; but hopefully after considering the following, the reader will be encouraged to reflect deeper on how the pension crisis may affect their futures.
The first thing to understand is that California’s public pension system is made up of a conglomeration of ‘6 state plans, 21 county plans, 32 city plans, and 27 special district and other plans’ according to the Independent Institute Senior Fellow Lawrence J. McQuillan (McQuillan, page 3). The majority of these operate on a ‘defined benefit’ model, which means that, upon retirement, these plans pay a specific amount per month for the rest of the retiree’s life. By far, the three largest of these 86 CA pension systems are CalPERS (1.68 million retirees), CalSTRS (868k retirees), and UCRP (253k retirees). For the remainder of this article, we will refer to these as the Big Three.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 03/03/2016.

Gold Daily and Silver Weekly Charts – The Moderns’ Bte Noire

“There is no clean way to make a hundred million bucks. Somewhere along the line guys got pushed to the wall, nice little businesses got the ground cut out from under them. Decent people lost their jobs. Big money is big power, and big power gets used wrong. It’s the system…
The tragedy of life, Howard, is not that the beautiful die young, but that they grow old and mean.”
Raymond Chandler, The Long Goodbye
“The very banality and innocence of the first act only allowed the blow to fall afterwards with more awful effect.’
Robert W. Chambers, The King In Yellow
The US dollar took a trip downtown today, and silver and gold were on the move higher still.
Tomorrow we will get the Non-Farm Payrolls report, classified 813 in the Dewey Decimal system, ‘Modern American Fiction.’
The Fed is looking for cover to raise rates, because they need some room beneath their wings so that they can maneuver deftly when the next financial crisis follows their latest financial asset bubble, as night follows day.

This post was published at Jesses Crossroads Cafe on 03 MARCH 2016.

Time Is Short, Get Your Affairs In Order Now, Before The Economic Collapse – Episode 909a

The following video was published by X22Report on Mar 3, 2016
Canada sold all of its gold. Initial jobless claims are continually trending upward. Non farm productivity declined. IBM has mass layoffs but are refusing to disclose the number of layoffs. According to the US witholding tax the US only added 70,000 jobs in February. US factory orders decline. US begins the trade war with China. Central banks around the world are purchasing gold and they have been since 2008.

MAR 3/GOLD BREAKS THROUGH THE $1250 DOLLAR BARRIER/ANOTHER HUGE 2.37 TONNES OF GOLD ADDED TO THE GLD/WE FINALLY HAD A GOOD DEPOSIT OF 2.73 MILLION OZ ADDED TO THE SLV/IT SEEMS THAT THE 17.4 MILLI…

Gold: $1,257.40 up $16.30 (comex closing time)
Silver 15.13 up 13 cents
In the access market 5:15 pm
Gold $1264.10
silver: 15.25
At the gold comex today, we had a strong delivery day, registering another 87 notices for 8700 ounces and for silver we had 186 notices for 930,000 oz for the active March delivery month.
Several months ago the comex had 303 tonnes of total gold. Today, the total inventory rests at 211.15 tonnes for a loss of 92 tonnes over that period.
In silver, the open interest rose by 1475 contracts up to 163,768. In ounces, the OI is still represented by .819 billion oz or 117% of annual global silver production (ex Russia ex China). Generally as we go into an active delivery month the liquidation is much bigger.
In silver we had 186 notices served upon for 930,000 oz.
In gold, the total comex gold OI rose by a huge 6,439 contracts to 456,994 contracts as the price of gold was up $10.80 with yesterday’s trading.(at comex closing)
We had another huge change in gold inventory at the GLD, a good sized deposit of 2.37 tonnes and gold goes down early this morning? and rises only slightly? / thus the inventory rests tonight at 786.20 tonnes. The appetite for gold coming from China is depleting not only gold from the LBMA and GLD but also the comex is bleeding gold. Our 670 tonnes of rock bottom inventory in GLD gold has been broken. It looks to me that China has taken the last amounts of physical gold from the GLD. I guess the only place left for China to receive physical gold, after they deplete the GLD will be the FRBNY and the comex. In silver,/we finally had a major change in inventory/this time a huge deposit of 2.732 million oz and thus the Inventory rests at 314.350 million oz
First, here is an outline of what will be discussed tonight:

This post was published at Harvey Organ Blog on March 3, 2016.

Goldman Cuts More Than 5% Of Fixed Income Workers; BofA To Layoff 150 Bankers And Traders

For years, we noted that despite Goldman suffering progressively declining revenue…
… and occasional downward fluctuations in its bonus pool. one of its key “charms” for employees was that ever since the financial crisis, its total number of employees never declined. That is no longer the case.
As Bloomberg reports, Goldman plans to eliminate more than 5% of traders and salespeople in its fixed-income business, cutting deeper into those operations than an annual companywide cull that has already begun. Furthermore, according to a notice filed on the DOL’s WARN website, Goldman announced that it would terminate 43 workers, with the layoffs set to occur between May 9, and July 1.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 03/03/2016.

The U.S. Added Only 70,000 Jobs In February Based On Withheld Taxes

Two weeks ago, we looked at what is perhaps the best coincident indicator of the true, not-seasonally adjusted, picture of the US labor market, namely withholdings of income and employment taxes. We reported that while for most of 2015, tax withholdings rose at a rate of 5% or more from a year ago, on the back of job growth and gains in wages, commissions and other incentive pay, in recent months there has been a substantial dropoff in this key indicator.
As shown in the chart below, revenue inflows to the Treasury Department steadily slowed through the fall, bringing the annual growth rate down to just below 4% by the start of 2016. That’s when growth seemingly collapsed – to just 1.8% over the past five-plus weeks, from Jan. 11 through Feb. 16.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 03/03/2016.

I Predict That Romney….

….. will do exactly nothing other than drive even more people to Trump.
Romney’s focus on “tax returns” is particularly insane. First, there is not only no obligation to do so excerpts, which is all that anyone ever releases, prove exactly nothing. What does prove something? The required disclosures that not only more comprehensive they’re made under penalty of law.
So-called released “tax returns” are not. Those could in fact be lies and there is nothing you can do about it because there is nothing illegal about lying as a political statement, only when you lie to the government.
If you lie in a required campaign disclosure to the FEC you can go to prison.
If you lie in a campaign there is no penalty. You could literally make up a “tax return”, and I suspect others have and probably have in this election cycle because there is no legal penalty that applies to campaign lies.

This post was published at Market-Ticker on 2016-03-03.