• Category Archives Crypto Currency
  • What “Off The Grid” Indicators Reveal About The True State Of The US Economy

    It’s that time of quarter again; today we review our ‘Off the Grid’ economic indicators. And they all look pretty good in terms of launching the American economy into 2018. Pickup truck sales and used car prices remain robust, and there’s some actual inflation in our Bacon Cheeseburger Index. One warning: ‘Bitcoin’ is among the top Google search autofills for the phrase ‘I want to buy…
    We started our ‘Off the Grid’ economic indicators in the aftermath of the Financial Crisis as a way to dig deeper into the longer-lasting effects of that event on the American consumer. It seemed to us that standard economic measures like unemployment or CPI inflation missed a lot about the state of the country. So we started gathering up a list of intuitive metrics that could fill those gaps.
    A few examples from these datasets over the years:

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Fri, 12/29/2017 –.


  • I’m in Awe of How Far the Scams & Stupidities around ‘Blockchain Stocks’ are Going

    This can happen only during the very late stage of a bubble. It just doesn’t let up. UBI Blockchain Internet, a Hong Kong outfit whose shares trade in the US [UBIA], filed with the SEC to sell an additional 72.3 million shares owned by its executives. In other words, it isn’t selling the shares to raise money for corporate purposes, but to allow its executives, including CEO Tony Liu, to bail out.
    This is happening after the company – which sports zero revenues and a disconnected phone number in its SEC filings – managed to get its shares to spike briefly by over 1,100%, pushing its market capitalization to $8 billion.
    UBI Blockchain didn’t do an IPO. Instead, in October 2016, it acquired a publicly traded shell company registered in Las Vegas, called ‘JA Energy.’ It then changed the name and ticker symbol to what they’re now.
    Over the six trading days starting on December 11, 2017, its shares soared over 1,100%, from $7.20 to $87 on December 18, as the word ‘blockchain’ in its name and sufficient hype and speculator-idiocy took hold. By December 21, shares had plunged 67% to $29. They closed on Wednesday at $38.50. At this price, it still has a ludicrous market cap of $3.64 billion.

    This post was published at Wolf Street on Dec 28, 2017.


  • Bad Santa Buys Bonds, Bullion, & Bitcoin; Rotten Apple Spoils Promised Stock Rally

    This was not teh Santa Claus rally that everyone was promised…
    All thanks to ‘rotten’ Apple… as analysts lowered iPhone X shipment projections for the first quarter of next year, citing signs of lackluster demand at the end of the holiday shopping season, and the company’s shares fell Tuesday along with those of some suppliers.
    Nasdaq ended Boxing Day deep in the red…Small Caps managed to close green…

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 26, 2017.


  • Intelligence Insider Warns Of Imminent War: ‘Likely In The Next 12 Weeks… The Director Of The CIA Told Me’

    Having worked closely with U. S. intelligence agencies over the last two decades, James Rickards was once asked to simulate asymmetric economic attacks on the U. S. financial system. He is an expert at escalation scenarios and end games, and in a recent article at The Daily Reckoning he warns that the geopolitical situation on the Korean Peninsula will soon come to a head.
    According to Rickards, author of The Road To Ruin: The Global Elites Secret Plan For The Next Financial Crisis, while the world concerns itself with stock bubbles, bitcoin and debt, the most imminent threat we face is military confrontation with North Korea.
    And while the rogue state has been an ongoing threat for many years, the first half of 2018 will likely see the trigger that sets the whole powder keg off:
    The most important financial or geopolitical issue in the world today is a coming war between the U. S. and North Korea, probably in the next twelve weeks.

    This post was published at shtfplan on December 26th, 2017.


  • One Bank Is Unsure If Any Humans Still Trade Stocks In Japan, Or Have All Moved To Bitcoin

    While the wholesale disappearance of retail traders from stock markets is hardly a novel observation, it has taken on a whole new meaning in Japan, where the lack of carbon-based investors has prompted Deutsche Bank to ask if “Japan’s stocks are still traded at all by humans.”
    As Deutsche strategist Masao Muraki writes, since the US presidential election, Japanese stocks (in this case the TOPIX index) have been almost entirely defined by just three things: US stocks (S&P 500), the implied volatility (VIX), and USDJPY. This is shown in the model correlation chart below.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 26, 2017.


  • Doug Noland: Epic Stimulus Overload

    This is a syndicated repost courtesy of Credit Bubble Bulletin . To view original, click here. Reposted with permission.
    Ten-year Treasury yields jumped 13 bps this week to 2.48%, the high going back to March. German bund yields rose 12 bps to 0.42%. U. S. equities have been reveling in tax reform exuberance. Bonds not so much. With unemployment at an almost 17-year low 4.1%, bond investors have so far retained incredible faith in global central bankers and the disinflation thesis.
    Between tax legislation and cryptocurrencies, there’s been little interest in much else. As for tax cuts, it’s an inopportune juncture in the cycle for aggressive fiscal stimulus. And for major corporate tax reduction more specifically, with boom-time earnings and the loosest Credit conditions imaginable, it’s Epic Stimulus Overload. History will look back at this week – ebullient Republicans sharing the podium and cryptocurrency/blockchain trading madness – and ponder how things got so crazy.
    From my analytical vantage point, the nation’s housing markets have been about the only thing holding the U. S. economy back from full-fledged overheated status. Sales have been solid and price inflation steady. While construction has recovered significantly from the 2009/2010 trough, housing starts remain at about 60% of 2004-2005 period peak levels. It takes some time for residential construction to attain take-off momentum. Well, liftoff may have finally arrived. As long as mortgage rates remain so low, we should expect ongoing housing upside surprises. An already strong inflationary bias is starting to Bubble. Is the Fed paying attention?

    This post was published at Wall Street Examiner on December 23, 2017.


  • “This is Groundhog Day”: Spanish Stocks Battered By Catalan Vote, Bitcoin Crashes

    Spanish stocks and the euro fell, while Spanish government bond yields hit their highest levels in over a month after Catalan secessionists delivered an unexpected blow to the government of Spanish PM Rajoy by winning the Catalan regional election. Meanwhile across the Atlantic, U. S. equity futures and the dollar rose on the last trading session before the Christmas holiday. The MSCI index of world stocks was flat.
    Europe’s Stoxx 600 Index traded sideways as Spain’s Ibex 35 underperformed, dropping as much as 1.6%. Spanish stocks dominated Europe’s biggest fallers, confirming analyst expectations that any shake-out from the Catalonia vote would be mostly confined to Spain. Spain’s bonds also fell along with peripheral European government debt, though bunds were little changed after a selloff this week drove yields to five-week highs. For those who missed it, Catalan separatist parties triumphed in regional elections, outperforming some polls and reigniting Spain’s political trauma. While the Euro has stabilized since, it suffered a mini flash crash in the illiquid aftermath of the Catalan election news, momentarily dipping to $1.1817 before trimming losses to last stand at $1.1853, down 0.2 percent.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 22, 2017.


  • Americans have no savings and with very good reason: housing, education, and health care have seen extraordinary inflation while wages are stagnant.

    It has now become a daily ritual in which story after story of broke Americans plaster the web. Yet somehow on the mainstream press, very little is discussed about this topic. Americans are largely broke because inflation is vey real. Housing, education, and health care costs have soared out of control while wages have remained stagnant. The way Americans continue to pay for these items is by going into loan shark levels of debt. There used to be a pretense that ‘we’ actually cared about having a middle class but that is now thrown out the window. At this point, we are in a full on sprint towards low wage capitalism. Many people live on a paycheck to paycheck diet and are berated about saving more for retirement. The reality is, the new retirement model is working until you die.
    In the land of no savings
    Sunday morning, I wake up and take a stroll through the neighborhood. ‘Did you hear about Bitcoin? Wild right?’ I’m asked by a stranger at the park. ‘Sure seems wild. You own any?’ To which I get the following response, ‘I wish I had some money to even invest!’ I think we live in a world where most Americans are merely spectators to the wild gyrations of the market. They hear about investments too late or mistake speculation with actual investing.

    This post was published at MyBudget360 on December 21, 2017.


  • Asian Metals Market Update: December-21-2017

    ‘Spend wisely and Invest lavishly should be life mantra for 2018’
    American companies announcing large bonuses for its employees after the passage of Tax bill will result in higher consumption in the first quarter of next year. Higher retail consumption in the USA will result in higher employment and higher profitability. Global stock markets will remain firm and result in rosier projections for economic growth in the USA and China.
    Negative news surrounding crypto currencies like hacking etc this week is state manipulated. States know that block chain technology is like the Linux of the world (which is free) and not windows (which is very expensive).

    This post was published at GoldSeek on 21 December 2017.


  • 2018’s Number One Risk

    To find the market’s biggest weakness, a good place to look is at the most crowded movie theater with the smallest exit.
    European bonds.
    ***
    You’ve probably seen the charts of European high yield floating around, so I won’t reproduce it here. Yields in the low 2s for BB credits. There was also a European corporate issuer that managed to issue BBB bonds at negative yields a few weeks ago. I think that might have been the top.
    No shortage of stupid things these days:
    Bitcoin Litecoin Pizzacoin Canadian real estate Swedish real estate Australian real estate FANG Venture capital But European bonds are potentially the stupidest. Maybe even stupider than bitcoin!
    Although there is nothing stupid about it – the ECB has been buying every bond in sight, and there’s lots of money to be made frontrunning central banks.

    This post was published at Mauldin Economics on DECEMBER 21, 2017.


  • Rising Interest Rates Starting To Bite

    We have long held that interest rates have been so low (especially real rates) that it will take some time to reach a level for them to really matter and impact markets. The 2-year yield crossing over the S&P500 dividend yield this past week for the first time in the last ten years is unlikely to slow the momentum driving risk markets. Nevertheless, they are getting closer to the zip code – after two years since the tightening cycle began – where they will begin to impact fundamental valuations (what is the fundamental value of Bitcoin?) and the relative pricing of risk assets. Keep it on your radar.
    Long-term rates are so utterly distorted by the central banks we are not sure if the markets even pay attention anymore. Pancaking of the yield curve? Not the signal it used to be. Meh!

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 18, 2017.


  • The Darkest Hours

    This is a syndicated repost courtesy of Kunstler. To view original, click here. Reposted with permission.
    The Tax ‘Reform’ bill working its way painfully out the digestive system of congress like a sigmoid fistula, ought be re-named the US Asset-stripping Assistance Act of 2017, because that’s what is about to splatter the faces of the waiting public, most of whom won’t have a personal lobbyist / tax lawyer by their sides holding a protective tarpulin during the climactic colonic burst of legislation.
    Sssshhhh…. The media has not groked this, but the economy is actually collapsing, and the nova-like expansion of the stock markets is exactly the sort of action you might expect in a system getting ready to blow. Meanwhile, the more visible rise of the laughable scam known as crypto-currency, is like the plume of smoke coming out of Vesuvius around 79 AD – an amusing curiosity to the citizens of Pompeii below, going about their normal activities, eating pizza, buying slaves, making love – before hellfire rained down on them.
    Whatever the corporate tax rate might be, it won’t be enough to rescue the Ponzi scheme that governing has become, with its implacable costs of empire. So the real aim here is to keep up appearances at all costs just a little while longer while the table scraps of a four-hundred-year-long New World banquet get tossed to the hogs of Wall Street and their accomplices. The catch is that even hogs busy fattening up don’t have a clue about their imminent slaughter.

    This post was published at Wall Street Examiner by James Howard Kunstler ‘ December 18, 2017.


  • Europe, Brexit and the credit cycle

    Europe’s financial and systemic troubles have retreated from the headlines. This is partly due to the financial media’s attention switching to President Trump and the US budget negotiations, partly due to Brexit and the preoccupation with Britain’s problems, and partly due to evidence of economic recovery in the Eurozone, at long last. And finally, anyone who can put digit to computer key has been absorbed by the cryptocurrency phenomenon.
    Just because commentary is focused elsewhere does not mean Europe’s troubles are receding. Far from it, new challenges lie ahead. This article provides an overview of the current state of play from the European point of view, and seeks to identify the investment and currency risks. We start with Brexit.
    At least there’s some money on the table Last week, sufficient agreement had been obtained from the Brexit negotiations to allow the EU’s negotiators to recommend to the Council and the European Parliament to proceed to the next step, which is to discuss trade. That has now been approved.

    This post was published at GoldMoney on December 14, 2017.


  • Gundlach Reveals His Favorite Trade For 2018

    One day after Stanley Druckenmiller confessional to CNBC that as a result of central planning and markets that make no sense, the legendary hedge fund manager had a “terrible” year, and his “first down year in currencies ever” (he also said many not very nice things about bitcoin), it was Jeffrey Gundlach’s turn to confess some of his more controversial views. And so, the man who two years ago correctly predicted the Trump presidency, first discussed his best investment idea for the new year. To those who listened to his latest DoubleLine investor presentation last week, the answer will hardly be a surprise: namely commodities, because they’re “historically, exactly where you want it to be a buy.”
    “I think investors should add commodities to their portfolios,” Gundlach says on CNBC’s Halftime Report.
    Gundlach said commodities are just as cheap relative to stocks as they were at historical turning points, while the macroeconomic backdrop also supports the case for commodities; he was referring to the following chart which he highlighted last week.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 13, 2017.


  • John Burbank Shuts Flagship Hedge Fund, Plans Launch Of Cryptocurrency Unit

    The writing for John Burbank’s Passport Capital was on the wall back in August, when as we reported, in his latest letter to investors Burbank reported that at what was once a multi-billion fund, total firm assets at Passport had shrunk to just $900 million as of June 30 as a result of net outflows totaling a whopping $565 million, or a nearly 40% loss of AUM due to redemptions. The collapse in assets took place just a few months after Passport announced it was liquidating its long/short strategy in April.
    And unfortunately for Burbank, just four month later, a chapter of Passport Capital’s history comes to a close, because as Bloomberg reported, the fund would shutter its flagship hedge fund after returns slumped and following unprecedented redemptions. Passport – which shot to fame for its lucrative bet against subprime housing ahead of the global financial crisis – peaked at around $5 billion but lately managed a fraction of that after a double digit loss last year and further losses in 2017.
    The fund’s “returns over the past two years are unacceptable and cause me to rethink how to manage money in this environment,” Burbank wrote in a Dec. 11 letter to investors, the Wall Street Journal first reported overnight. Passport will continue to operate its roughly $300 million special opportunities fund, which holds some of the firm’s more successful bets on companies such as Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 12, 2017.


  • The Globalist Plan To Blame Bitcoin For Biblical Level Collapse In 2018

    They won’t teach you in your government schools, but every major economic and financial collapse is planned. It doesn’t happen by accident.
    I covered this in my book, Shemitah Trends (available for free to TDV subscribers or here on Amazon), and we began to uncover their occult timeline for financial collapses with the Shemitah and Jubilee this decade.
    By any measure, we are now at the most extreme time in history in money, finance, banking, equities, bonds, real estate and other sectors.
    We’ve never seen money printing across the board like we’ve seen in the last decade.

    This post was published at Dollar Vigilante on December 12, 2017.


  • Russia May Turn To Oil-Backed Cryptocurrency To Challenge Sanctions & The Petrodollar

    The gradual acceptance of digital currencies, with major exchanges about to launch bitcoin futures trading, may prompt some oil producing nations to ditch the US dollar in crude trade in favor of cryptocurrencies, an oil analyst says.
    ***
    As RT reports, Russia, Iran and Venezuela have more than one thing in common.
    All three are major oil producing nations dependent on the dollar since the global crude market is traditionally dominated by contracts denominated in US currency.
    Moscow, Tehran and Caracas are also facing US sanctions; penalties which are proving effective since the sanctioned countries are dependent on the US dollar to sell their crude.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 11, 2017.


  • Bitcoin vs Fiat Currency: Which Fails First?

    What if bitcoin is a reflection of trust in the future value of fiat currencies? I am struck by the mainstream confidence that bitcoin is a fraud/fad that will soon collapse, while central bank fiat currencies are presumed to be rock-solid and without risk. Those with supreme confidence in fiat currencies might want to look at a chart of Venezuela’s fiat currency, which has declined from 10 to the US dollar in 2012 to 5,000 to the USD earlier this year to a current value in December 2017 of between 90,000 and 100,000 to $1: *** Exchange Rate in Venezuela: On 1 December, the bolivar traded in the parallel market at 103,024 VED per USD, a stunning 59.9% depreciation from the same day last month. Analysts participating in the LatinFocus Consensus Forecast expect the parallel dollar to remain under severe pressure next year. They project a non-official exchange rate of 2,069,486 VEF per USD by the end of 2018. In 2019, the panel sees the non-official exchange rate trading at 2,725,000 VEF per USD.

    This post was published at Charles Hugh Smith on SUNDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2017.


  • US Futures Hit New All Time High Following Asian Shares Higher; European Stocks, Dollar Mixed

    U. S. equity index futures pointed to early gains and fresh record highs, following Asian markets higher, as European shares were mixed and oil was little changed, although it is unclear if anyone noticed with bitcoin stealing the spotlight, after futures of the cryptocurrency began trading on Cboe Global Markets.
    In early trading, European stocks struggled for traction, failing to capitalize on gains for their Asian counterparts after another record close in the U. S. on Friday. On Friday, the S&P 500 index gained 0.6% to a new record after the U. S. added more jobs than forecast in November and the unemployment rate held at an almost 17-year low. In Asia, the Nikkei 225 reclaimed a 26-year high as stocks in Tokyo closed higher although amid tepid volumes. Equities also gained in Hong Kong and China. Most European bonds rose and the euro climbed. Sterling slipped as some of the promises made to clinch a breakthrough Brexit deal last week started to fray.
    ‘Strong jobs U. S. data is giving investors reason to buy equities,’ said Jonathan Ravelas, chief market strategist at BDO Unibank Inc. ‘The better-than-expected jobs number supports the outlook that there is a synchronized global economic upturn led by the U. S.”
    The dollar drifted and Treasuries steadied as investor focus turned from US jobs to this week’s central bank meetings. Europe’s Stoxx 600 Index pared early gains as losses for telecom and utilities shares offset gains for miners and banks. Tech stocks were again pressured, with Dialog Semiconductor -4.1%, AMS -1.9%, and Temenos -1.7% all sliding. Volume on the Stoxx 600 was about 17% lower than 30-day average at this time of day, with trading especially thin in Germany and France.
    The dollar dipped 0.1 percent to 93.801 against a basket of major currencies, pulling away from a two-week high hit on Friday.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 11, 2017.