The Vacant Condos in Vancouver

Suddenly lurking in the shadow inventory.
The magnificent housing bubble in Canada has been stumbling recently, propped up largely by the two largest cities, Toronto and Vancouver.
Home prices declined 0.1% in January from a month earlier, the second month in a row of declines, according to the Teranet-National Bank National Composite House Price Index. Even Toronto booked a decline of 0.2%. The oil-dependent regions got hit harder. Prices rose only in four of the 11 metro areas in the index. On a 12-month basis, the index was still up only 5.9%, the lowest 12-month gain in three months.
But Vancouver has none of this slow-down rigmarole. Its housing market is booming, with prices up 12.5% year-over-year, beating Toronto’s 12-month gain of 8.5%. Due to their size, they account for well over half of the index.
In Vancouver, prices have now soared 40% from the peak of the bubble just before the Financial Crisis. This chart by NBF Economics and Strategy of the Teranet-National Bank House Price Index shows just how crazy prices have been in Vancouver:

This post was published at Wolf Street by Harry Dent ‘ March 10, 2016.

2008 Redux Times 10 Is Brewing

Using the ‘jobless claims’ metric, the financial media and snake oil salesmen would have us believe that the Government-compiled jobs market metrics indicate ‘sustained strength in the labor market that should further dispel fears of a recession’ – Reuters’ Animal Farm.
A reader asks: ‘if the jobs market is so good why did my bilingual daughter, who graduated with a 3.8 GPA from Ga. Tech [Dr. Paul Craig Roberts’ undergrad school], not get a job offer for two months until someone I know hired her?’
A funny thing, those Government compiled, manipulated and propagated reports. I answered with: ‘She was fishing in the wrong fishing hole for jobs – she should have been sending her resume to Burger King and Starbucks. But it sounds like the service sector is starting to shed jobs as well. I honestly don’t know how they are coming up with their jobs reports. As for the jobless claims, it makes sense that the claims are dropping like this. As the labor force shrinks, especially the component that would qualify for jobless benefits, the number of people who file for jobless benefits shrinks, right?’
The first time I read ‘1984,’ I tried to imagine Orwell’s vision superimposed on the United States. Now I don’t have to imagine. Instead of Big Brother spying on us through our televisions (and they might through ‘smart’ tvs), the Government monitors us through our cell phones, emails and web-browsing. It’s truly frightening and it’s quite stunning how so few in this country understand – or are willing to accept – the degree to which it occurs on a daily basis.

This post was published at Investment Research Dynamics on March 10, 2016.

Life And Times During The Great Depression

The economy of the United States was destroyed almost overnight.
As VisualCapitalist’s Jeff Desjardins notes, more than 5,000 banks collapsed, and there were 12 million people out of work in America as factories, banks, and other shops closed.
Many reasons have been supplied by the different economic camps for the cause of the Great Depression, which we reviewed in the first part of this series.
Regardless of the causes, the combination of deflationary pressures and a collapsing economy created one of the most desperate and miserable eras of American history. The resulting aftermath was so bad, that almost every future Central Bank policy would be designed primarily to combat such deflation.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 03/10/2016.

Secret Monetary Group Warns a Catastrophe Is Coming

The Bank for International Settlements is nothing if not obscure. As the central bankers’ bank, it seems little-more than a back-door, private club for monetary elites to rub shoulders. And it’s located in Switzerland which has always carried a reputation for financial secrecy.
Then it has this going for it – John Keynes of ‘Keynesian economic theory’ opposed its dissolution back in the 1940s. His was the kind of thinking that has largely influenced central banks to hijack our economies with manipulative monetary policies! So you’d probably think I hate these guys.
But you’ve got to give credit where credit is due. The Bank for International Settlements is one of the few financial institutions that warned of dangers to the global financial system as early as 2003.
So by time the financial crisis struck, they’d been warning about it for years. Its former chief economist, William White, even dared to challenge former Fed Chair Alan Greenspan about cheap money policies that helped start the crisis!
Once again, this group is on the right side of history.

This post was published at Wolf Street by Harry Dent ‘ March 10, 2016.

Global Liquidity Collapses To 2008 Crisis Levels

The last time that global liquidity conditions contracted at this pace was March 2008 (right as stocks dead-cat-bounced on the back of The Fed’s guarantee of Bear Stearns’ sale to JPMorgan)… and things escalated rather quickly thereafter.
Liquidity conditions also contracted (though not as severely as the current conditions) in Dec 2011… which prompted Bernanke to unleash QE2…

Bloomberg defines BofAML’s Global Liquidity Tracker as follows:

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 03/10/2016.

Cry Havoc! Draghi & ECB Deploy Stimulus of Rate Cuts, QE and More! ECB Deposit Rate Drops To -0.40%)

Here we go again! The musical chairs of Central Bank stimulus has now moved to the European Central Bank and Draghi.

(Bloomberg) – Mario Draghi unleashed his most audacious stimulus package yet, unexpectedly testing the lower bounds of all the European Central Bank’s interest rates and expanding its monthly bond purchases by a third. The euro sank and stocks rose.
The 25-member Governing Council, meeting in Frankfurt on Thursday, cut the rate on cash parked overnight by banks by 10 basis points to minus 0.4 percent and lowered its benchmark rate to zero. Bond purchases were increased to 80 billion euros ($87 billion) a month from 60 billion euros, and corporate bonds will now be eligible. A new series of long-term loans to banks will begin in June.
Yes, the ECB Deposit Facility Announcement Rate dropped to -0.40%.

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner by Anthony B. Sanders ‘ March 10, 2016.

The Next Startup Fraud? Jessica Alba’s $1.7 Billion “Honest Company”

Back in the summer of 2014, roughly a year and a half before the second bubble of profitless, “story”, aka “tech”, companies had burst, we wrote in dismay, that “the true indicator of just how bubbly the second coming of the dot com era has become comes courtesy of none other than Jessica Alba’s, yes the actress, own startup: a company launched in 2012 and which makes “non-toxic” diapers (as opposed to toxic diapers?), called the Honest Co., has raised $70 million at a valuation just shy of $1 billion in preparation for an IPO.”
What was the company’s business model? Simple: one part Amazon monthly subscription purchase, and one part promise that its products are clean and don’t contain what it says are harsh chemicals found in many mainstream products; apparently that is a critical deciding factor for today’s largely unemployed Millennial generation:

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 03/10/2016.

Goldman Is About To Be Stopped Out Of Its Gold Short

Given China’s new focus on a basket of currencies, rather than pegging to the dollar alone, today’s record-breaking reversal in EUR has sparked a yuuge 300 pips rally in Offshore Yuan (from 6.5270 to 6.4940) pushing to its strongest level since mid-December. At the same time, Gold is accelerating as China opens, pushing up to $1288 – new 13-month highs. Most critical is we are within $5 of Goldman Sachs “short gold” stop at $1291…
Yuan surges to 3-month highs…

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 03/10/2016.

Post-Draghi Panic Leads To Bidding Scramble For 30 Year Paper

And so things are back to normal: following yesterday’s unexpectedly poor 10 Year auction, which tailed notably while the bid to cover dipped despite it trading at the -3.00% fails rate in repo, moments ago the Treasury sold $12 billion in a 30Y reopening of Cusip RQ3, at a yield of 2.72%, stopping through the 2.731% When Issued by 1.1 bps, the most since mid-2015.
This was explainable considering the repo rate ahead of today’s auction was a whopping -1.50%, which as the chart below shows, was the lowest on record.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 03/10/2016.

Leaking Beachfront Nuclear Reactor Near Miami Threatening Florida Everglades

According to a study released by Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez on Monday, the waters of Biscayne Bay measured 215 times the level of radioactive tritium as is found in normal ocean water.
Tritium is a radioactive isotope traceable to nuclear plant cooling tower operations. In this case, the leakappears to be emanating from the aging canals in the Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Station located nearby.
‘This is one of several things we were very worried about,’ said South Miami Mayor and biological sciences professor, Philip Stoddard, as the Miami New Times reported. ‘You would have to work hard to find a worse place to put a nuclear plant, right between two national parks and subject to hurricanes and storm surge.’
Biscayne Bay harbors one of the largest coral reefs on the planet and is situated near the Everglades. Hot, salty water from the canals appears to be flowing back into both national parks, which has caused concern among environmentalists and others from the time Turkey Point planned to expand its reactors in 2013.
‘They argued the canals were a closed system, but that’s not how water works in South Florida,’ Stoddard remarked.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 03/10/2016.

MARCH 10/GOLD AND SILVER SOAR AFTER AN OUTSIDE DAY REVERSAL/GOLD RISES TO $1272.60 UP $15.60/SILVER RISES UP 19 CENTS TO $15.55/SURPRISINGLY THE OPEN INTEREST ON SILVER HARDLY CHANGED DESPITE THE…

Gold: $1,272.60 up $15.40 (comex closing time)
Silver 15.55 up 19 cents
In the access market 5:15 pm
Gold $1273.50
silver: 15.56
Today the bums had gold and silver in their sights as they whacked gold down to $1239.65 and silver to $15.22 at 8 am with the Draghi announcement of an increase in NIRP and more QE. Then gold had a terrific outside day reversal climbing to a high of $1273.00 (and it closed at $1272.60). Silver finished up 19 cents to $15.55
At the gold comex today, we had a poor delivery day, registering 0 notices for nil ounces and for silver we had 7 notices for 35,000 oz for the active March delivery month.
Several months ago the comex had 303 tonnes of total gold. Today, the total inventory rests at 212.04 tonnes for a loss of 91 tonnes over that period.
In silver, the open interest fell by only 253 contracts to 169,622 despite the massive raid orchestrated by our crooks. In ounces, the OI is still represented by .849 billion oz or 122% of annual global silver production (ex Russia ex China).
In silver we had 7 notices served upon for 35,000 oz.
In gold, the total comex gold OI fell by 10,066 contracts to 489,044 contracts as the price of gold was down $6.70 with yesterday’s trading.(at comex closing). I do not think that the bankers are too happy as the liquidation was small for the tumultuous raid orchestrated by them. With the huge reversal in gold today, I would suspect that the OI returned to its previous highs.
We had another rather large change in gold inventory at the GLD, a deposit of 2.08 tonnes of gold from the GLD/ thus the inventory rests tonight at 792.82 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 had no change in inventory/this time and thus the Inventory rests at 322.632 million oz
First, here is an outline of what will be discussed tonight:

This post was published at Harvey Organ Blog on March 10, 2016.

“I’m Out” – Bulls Dropping Like Flies After Evercore Says Tactical Bull Is Over, “Buy Gold”

All it takes to find out just how much conviction so called bulls have in this rigged, centrally-planned market and short squeeze, which only goes on as long as faith in central planning still exists, is a major intraday reversal, coupled with a surge in gold. Like the one today in the aftermath of Draghi’s abysmal press conference. The result: first Goldman saying “the recent relief rally might be short-lived”, and now here is Evercore ISI’s Rich Ross with a note in which he once again expected the S&P to plunge to 1,670 in a note titled simply enough…
I’m Out.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 03/10/2016.

German bank that almost failed now being paid to borrow money

The 12.5 hours spent crossing the Pacific on Qantas flight 27 feels like going through a wormhole.
The flight departs Sydney, Australia at 12:50pm and arrives to Santiago, Chile the same day at 11:20am. In other words, the plane lands 90 minutes before it departs.
When I landed yesterday, the captain came on the P. A. and said, ‘Ladies and Gentlemen, I have good news; if you enjoyed Wednesday March 9th, it’s still Wednesday March 9th!’
It really does feel like going back in time.
This feeling was only reinforced when I whipped out my phone and saw that German bank Berlin Hyp had just issued 500 million euros worth of debt… at negative interest.
I wondered if I really did go through a time warp, because this is exactly the same madness we saw ten years ago during the housing bubble and the subsequent financial crisis.

This post was published at Sovereign Man on March 10, 2016.

Gold Daily and Silver Weekly Charts – Credibility Trapped

“Even if TARP saved our financial system from driving off a cliff back in 2008, absent meaningful reform, we are still driving on the same winding mountain road, but this time in a faster car.”
Neil Barofsky
“The people who designed the [bailout] plans are either in the pocket of the banks or they’re incompetent.”
Joseph Stiglitz
‘In poor countries, officials receive explicit bribes; in D. C. they get the sophisticated, implicit, unspoken promise to work for large corporations.’
Nassim Taleb, The Bed of Procrustes
“…the biggest risk we can take is to try the same old politics with the same old players and expect a different result.”
Barack Obama, Democratic National Convention 2008
“But at some point the Obama Administration should acknowledge that this particular former CEO of Goldman Sachs is still driving the policy bus. If the Republicans are in control of the Congress come next January, maybe they should subpoena [Robert] Rubin to appear periodically. At least then we all can hear directly to the person who is actually making national economic policy.”
Chris Whalen, The World According to Robert Rubin
“On Sunday afternoon, facing a revolt by his own party’s senators, Obama dumped Larry [Summers] as likely replacement for Ben Bernanke as Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board.

This post was published at Jesses Crossroads Cafe on 10 MARCH 2016.

How Vancouver Is Being Sold To The Chinese: The Illegal Dark Side Behind This Real Estate Bubble

One month ago, when describing the latest in an endless series of Vancouver real estate horror stories, in this case an abandoned, rotting home (which is currently listed for a modest $7.2 million), we explained the simple money-laundering dynamic involving Chinese “investors” as follows.
Chinese investors smuggle out millions in embezzled cash, hot money or perfectly legal funds, bypassing the $50,000/year limit in legal capital outflows. They make “all cash” purchases, usually sight unseen, using third parties intermediaries to preserve their anonymity, or directly in person, in cities like Vancouver, New York, London or San Francisco. The house becomes a new “Swiss bank account”, providing the promise of an anonymous store of value and retaining the cash equivalent value of the original capital outflow. We also explained that hundreds if not thousands of Vancouver houses, have become a part of the new normal Swiss bank account: “a store of wealth to Chinese investors eager to park “hot money” outside of their native country, and bidding up any Canadian real estate they could get their hands on.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 03/10/2016.

Gold Bullion Outlook

He who trims himself to suit everyone will soon whittle himself away.
Raymond Hull
Gold has closed above $1230 and indicating that a bottom is in or that one is close at hand. The trend has turned neutral from negative thus giving Gold a much-neededboost to potentially test the $1350 ranges. India however, dealt the gold markets a negative blow by maintain the tax on Gold and suggesting that they would increase it slightly. This development could be overshadowed by a more positive development that concerns central bankers. Central bankers overall have been purchasing Gold rather aggressively over the past 24 months. However, the biggest buyers are not from thewest; they are Russia, China and Kazakhstan. Central bankers in the West are embracing negative interest rates with open arms.

This post was published at GoldSeek on 10 March 2016.

How This New ‘Fear Gauge’ Could Fix the VIX

Volatility has gripped the markets for much of 2016, with wild up-and-down swings roiling markets and giving way to fear (and near-panic) among investors.
If you follow the stock market, you know what the VIX is. It’s the volatility index. It’s also known as the ‘fear index’ or ‘fear gauge’ because increased volatility is almost always accompanied by a surge of fear.
But here’s something you may not know: the VIX is about to face some competition – and with good reason.
Yesterday, Bats Global Markets, the second-largest exchange operator in the United States, and T3 Index, an Australian developer of index products, introduced their own version of the fear gauge with the announcement of their Spikes (SPYIX) product.
Today, I want to take a closer look at what traders mean when they talk about volatility, show you exactly what the VIX is and what it does (and doesn’t do), and tell you why now is the perfect time for a new, more modern approach to how we track volatility.
Let’s get to it…

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner by Shah Gilani ‘ March 10, 2016.