Brazil Posts Largest Budget Deficit Ever As Rousseff Cries “Coup,” Olympic Ad Sales Top $1 Billion

On Tuesday, embattled Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff was dealt a bitter blow when PMDB – the party of VP Michel Temer and House Speaker Eduardo Cunha – officially left the coalition government.
“Dialogue, I regret to say, has been exhausted,” Tourism Minister Henrique Eduardo Alves, a PMDB leader and former speaker of the lower house of Congress, said on Monday as he resigned from Rousseff’s cabinet.
To let the market tell it, a complete political meltdown is great news. As we showed yesterday and as we’ve discussed on a number of occasions this month, the more precarious things get politically in Brazil, the harder the BRL and Brazilian risk assets rally. Why? Because the assumption is that when it comes to the country’s floundering economy, anything is preferable to the current arrangement. With output in free fall, inflation running in the double digits, and unemployment marking an inexorable rise, it’s difficult to imagine how things could possible get any worse.
Indeed, the prospect that Rousseff and Lula will be sent packing has created so much upward pressure on the BRL that the central bank has begun selling reverse swaps to keep a lid on the currency lest its rapid appreciation should end up short circuiting a much needed economic adjustment.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 03/30/2016.

Podcast: The Inevitable Is Now Imminent

It’s just about official: With corporate sales and profits shrinking and consumer spending flatlining, the US economy will grow hardly at all this year while the rest of the world will probably drop back into recession. The result: Massive policy changes here and abroad, with major implications for stocks, bonds, precious metals and real estate.
PLEASE CLICK HERE TO LISTEN

This post was published at DollarCollapse on March 30, 2016.

Robert Kiyosaki And Harry Dent Warn That Financial Armageddon Is Imminent

Financial experts Robert Kiyosaki and Harry Dent are both warning that the next major economic crash is in our very near future. Dent is projecting that the Dow will fall to ‘5,500 to 6,000 by late 2017′, and Kiyosaki actually originally projected that a great crash was coming in 2016 all the way back in 2002. Of course we don’t exactly have to wait for things to get bad. The truth is that things are not really very good at the moment by any stretch of the imagination. Approximately one-third of all Americans don’t make enough money to even cover the basic necessities, 23 percent of adults in their prime working years are not employed, and corporate debt defaults have exploded to the highest level that we have seen since the last financial crisis. But if Kiyosaki and Dent are correct, economic conditions in this country will soon get much, much worse than this.
During a recent interview, Harry Dent really went out on a limb by staking his entire reputation on a prediction that we would experience ‘the biggest global bubble burst in history’ within the next four years…
There will be… and I will stake my entire reputation on this… we are going to see the biggest global bubble burst in history in the next four years…
There’s only one way out of this bubble and that is for it to burst… all this stuff is going to reset back to where it should be without all this endless debt, endless printed money, stimulus and zero interest rate policy.
And of course he is far from alone. Without a doubt, we are currently in the terminal phases of the greatest financial bubble the world has ever known, and it is exceedingly difficult to see any way that it will not end very, very badly.
Ultimately, Dent believes that we could see U. S. stocks lose two-thirds of their value by late next year…

This post was published at The Economic Collapse Blog on March 30th, 2016.

European Peripheral Corporate Bond Yields Tumble To Record Lows Ahead Of Draghi’s Monetization

On the day Mario Draghi announced that the ECB would launch a historic corporate bond monetization program, the first of its kind, we said that we expect bond yields to tumble imminently as the market frontruns the ECB’s open-market purchases of corporate bonds and soaks up all available supply in the market. Not even we expected what would happen next though.
As the WSJ writes, four years after ECB President Mario Draghi’s famous ‘whatever it takes’ speech sparked a decline in the cost of servicing sovereign debt in the Eurozone’s shattered periphery, the same is now seems to be happening for corporate bond issuers in those countries.
It references the Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s nonfinancial bond index for the Eurozone periphery which includes countries like Italy, Spain, Portugal and Ireland (which earlier today issued a 100 Year bond courtesy of the very same ECB), and which touched its lowest yield to maturity ever on Tuesday, at 0.76%.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 03/30/2016.

‘Economy-Wide Misconduct’ among Financial Advisers

A Culture of Acceptance
The University of Chicago and the University of Minnesota got together to create a research paper that has a pretty worrying phrase included in the conclusion: ‘economy-wide misconduct.’
Those words could mean a lot of things, but in the context of this particular research paper they referred to the widespread misconduct in the financial services industry. The study found that an astonishing 7% of all financial advisers had been disciplined in the past on account of misconduct. Their offenses included everything from giving the wrong advice to a vulnerable client to outright trading fraud.
Alarming Numbers
The study analyzed publicly available data published on the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) website and created a database that tracked over 1.2 million advisers between 2005 and 2015. This number represented over 10% of all advisers in the country during the period.
Almost all industries rely on trust between providers and customers, but this is especially true for firms in the financial industry. Trust is the cornerstone on which every single financial transaction and professional service is based. So, to have such a high proportion of advisers under disciplinary action is very worrying indeed.

This post was published at Wolf Street by Andrew May ‘ March 30, 2016.

Meanwhile In San Francisco – $400/Month To Live In A Box In Someone’s Living Room

We’ve spent quite a lot of time documenting the inexorable rise in housing prices across some of the world’s red hot markets.
Take Vancouver, for instance, where according to National Bank, one third of all homes sold in 2015 went to Chinese buyers whose voracious demand has driven prices into the stratosphere in both British Columbia and Ontario. Here’s what $2.5 million will get you in Point Grey:

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 03/30/2016.

The New Part-Time Job: “Get Paid $15 An Hour To Protest At The Trump Rally”

For those wondering why Trump rallies tend to devolve to pugilistic matches, where even belligerent 15-year-old protesting (or perhaps “provocative” is a better word) girls end up getting pepper sprayed much to the media’s fascination, the answer is Craig’s List ads such as the one below, in which allegedly “I’m feelin’ the Bern“-affiliated organizers provide paid positions for protesters at Trump rallies, and which provide not only shuttle buses, parking, and signs (as well as time cards) but also hand out $15/hour (as a “part-time employment”) for said protest activity “due to the economic inequality.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 03/30/2016.

One-Third Of All Americans Don’t Make Enough Money To Even Cover The Basic Necessities

Do you remember the days when it seemed like almost everyone in America was middle class? Unfortunately, those days are long gone and the grinding down of the middle class in the United States appears to be accelerating. According to a brand new study that was just released by Pew Charitable Trusts, household spending increased by 14 percent between 2004 and 2014, but median household income decreased by 13 percent during that same time period. Both of those figures were adjusted for inflation. What this means is that the cost of living has steadily gone up, but our incomes have gone down. In fact, as you will see below approximately one-third of all Americans don’t even make enough money to pay for the basic necessities at this point. The middle class is being squeezed like never before, and very few of our leaders seem to care.
It isn’t because we are buying a lot of luxuries that our expenses are going up. According to Pew, U. S. families are now spending a larger percentage of their budgets on the basics such as housing, food, health care and transportation than they were a decade ago. In fact, it has gotten to the point where approximately one-third of all Americans don’t bring home enough money to cover the core necessities.

This post was published at End Of The American Dream on March 30th, 2016.

Judge strikes down Metlife’s ‘too big to fail’ tag (Prudential and AIG Party!)

A U. S. District Judge swatted down the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) with a ruling about Metlife beig ‘too big to fail.’
‘Under Section 113 of the Dodd-Frank Act, the Council is authorized to determine that a nonbank financial company’s material financial distress – or the nature, scope, size, scale, concentration, interconnectedness, or mix of its activities – could pose a threat to U. S. financial stability. Such companies will be subject to consolidated supervision by the Federal Reserve and enhanced prudential standards.’
Such as:
‘American International Group, Inc.
‘General Electric Capital Corporation, Inc.
‘Prudential Financial, Inc.
‘MetLife, Inc
But wait a minute!
Reuters – U. S. District Judge Rosemary Collyer on Wednesday struck down the designation made by the heads of the country’s financial regulatory agencies that major insurer MetLife is systemically important to the U. S. financial system.
MetLife’s shares rose nearly 8 percent on the news, to $45.84, and could close at its highest level in more than four years.

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner by Anthony B. Sanders ‘ March 30, 2016.

FROM DEMOCRACY TO PATHOCRACY: THE RISE OF THE POLITICAL PSYCHOPATH

‘Politicians are more likely than people in the general population to be sociopaths. I think you would find no expert in the field of sociopathy/psychopathy/antisocial personality disorder who would dispute this… That a small minority of human beings literally have no conscience was and is a bitter pill for our society to swallow – but it does explain a great many things, shamelessly deceitful political behavior being one.’ – Dr. Martha Stout, clinical psychologist and former instructor at Harvard Medical School
Twenty years ago, a newspaper headline asked the question: ‘What’s the difference between a politician and a psychopath?’
The answer, then and now, remains the same: None.
There is no difference between psychopaths and politicians.
Nor is there much of a difference between the havoc wreaked on innocent lives by uncaring, unfeeling, selfish, irresponsible, parasitic criminals andelected officials who lie to their constituents, trade political favors for campaign contributions, turn a blind eye to the wishes of the electorate, cheat taxpayers out of hard-earned dollars, favor the corporate elite, entrench the military industrial complex, and spare little thought for the impact their thoughtless actions and hastily passed legislation might have on defenseless citizens.
Psychopaths and politicians both have a tendency to be selfish, callous, remorseless users of others, irresponsible, pathological liars, glib, con artists, lacking in remorse and shallow.

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on MARCH 30, 2016.

If This Plays Out, Friday Will Get Ugly

A ‘Warning about March Nonfarm Payrolls’
It has been a daily drum beat. Today ‘people with knowledge of the matter’ told Bloomberg that BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, would whittle down its workforce of 13,000 by about 3%, or 400 jobs, the largest round of layoffs at the firm ever.
Yesterday, The Seattle Times reported that Boeing will trim off 4,000 jobs by June. It could get much worse. According to documents the paper had obtained, at least one unit is targeting cuts of 10% overall: ‘And people with knowledge of what’s planned say that’s roughly the percentage of jobs expected to be cut statewide. That would translate to as many as 8,000 jobs being eliminated.’
Layoffs in the tech sector, including startups, have graced the news recently. Layoffs in oil and gas have been going on since 2014. Other sectors have been trimming here and there. Corporate sales are down. Earnings are down even more. And the pressure is on to do something about it. Hence the efforts to cut expenses.
But it’s not happening in huge numbers. It’s a steady trickle. And so far, it has not shown up in the weekly unemployment claims reported by the Department of Labor, which remain low.

This post was published at Wolf Street by Wolf Richter ‘ March 30, 2016.

One Out Of Three Americans Cannot Afford Food Or Rent – Episode 932a

The following video was published by X22Report on Mar 30, 2016
Economic confidence continues to decline. Japanese industrial production is a complete disaster. ADP job number make no sense when compared to other indicators. IBM, Boeing and State Street are laying off thousands of people. One out of three Americans do not have enough money to pay for food or rent. US says if England leaves the Euro zone it will be catastrophic to the world economy.

MARCH 30/BANKERS ORCHESTRATE A RAID PRIOR TO OPTIONS EXPIRY AT THE LBMA/OTC MARKETS/ SILVER OPEN INTEREST NOW RISES TO 175,000 NEAR MULTI YEAR HIGHS DESPITE A LOW PRICE/JAPANESE INDUSTRIAL PRODUC…

Gold: $1,226.90 down $8.90 (comex closing time)
Silver 15.21 down 9 cents
In the access market 5:15 pm
Gold $1224.50
silver: 15.23
Yesterday, I promised you that the bankers would attack today in both gold and silver. My boys did not disappoint me with their antics.
Let us have a look at the data for today.
At the gold comex today, we had a good delivery day, registering 20 notices for 2000 ounces and for silver we had 9 notices for 45,000 oz for the active March delivery month.
Several months ago the comex had 303 tonnes of total gold. Today, the total inventory rests at 213.04 tonnes for a loss of 90 tonnes over that period.
In silver, the open interest ROSE by 3373 contracts UP to 175,245 as the silver price was up 4 cents with respect to yesterday’s trading . In ounces, the OI is still represented by .876 billion oz or 125% of annual global silver production (ex Russia ex China).
In silver we had 9 notices served upon for 45,000 oz.
In gold, the total comex gold OI fell slightly by 2195 contracts to 480,441 contracts as the price of gold was UP $15.70 with yesterday’s trading.(at comex closing) which should have caused the OI to rise. However, we also are entering the new active month of April and that usually causes an obliteration of OI. The two cancelled each other out and we had a net loss of 2195 contracts.
We had a no changes in the GLD/ thus the inventory rests tonight at 820.47 tonnes. No doubt that will change tomorrow considering Yellen’s dovish comments today with regards to the raising of rates. 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 changes in inventory tonight and thus the Inventory rests at 330.389 million oz..
First, here is an outline of what will be discussed tonight:

This post was published at Harvey Organ Blog on March 30, 2016.

We May Have Just Witnessed A Generational Peak In Corporate Profit Margins

Over the past few years I’ve written a fair amount about the record-high levels of corporate profit margins. I’ve been focused on this topic because corporate earnings are one of the most popular ways to value equities thus the sustainability of record-high profit margins should be an issue of great concern to investors. If profit margins revert to historical averages, earnings-based valuation measures investors are using to justify investment in equities today could quickly go against them making stocks appear much more expensive than they do currently. And this process may now be underway.

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner by Jesse Felder ‘ March 30, 2016.

Gold Daily and Silver Weekly Charts – ‘The Mother of All Short Squeezes’

“I think that what we need to do is pretty clear. If one views the current version of the Democratic establishment as a different kind of evil rather than the lesser of two evils, one has to withhold support and votes regardless of the consequences. For me, it will start by not voting for Hillary. Then perhaps it would be worthwhile to organize to challenge the corporate wing.”
Jesse’s Samoan Attorney
I hear this from quite a few of the professional class, who formerly might have leaned for the more liberal side of the political equation in the recent past.
Speaking of which I enjoyed this video interview with Thomas Frank about What Has Gone Wrong with the Democratic Party. I thought it was a brilliant dissection of what has happened with that party, and the liberal establishment in general. The GOP gets plenty of attention with its own problems, which are rather significant.
I normally do not follow party politics all that closely, but one would have to be fairly oblivious not to see the shifting of the bases under the established leadership of both parties in the US. And I believe that this has some analogues in Europe as well, and especially the UK and France.
And the times, they may be a-changin’.
Gold moved lower today WITH the dollar, as the VIX measure of volatility moved to its lows for this year at least, while the SP 500 and the Dow Industrial hit their highs for this year.
Smells like the end of quarter to me.

This post was published at Jesses Crossroads Cafe on 30 MARCH 2016.