• Tag Archives Bitcoin
  • 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.


  • These Are The 30 Biggest Risks Facing Markets In 2018

    Once upon a time, Wall Street analysts had just two things to worry about: interest rate risk and corporate profits – virtually everything else was derived from these. Unfortuantely, we now live in the new normal, where central banks step in every time there is even a whiff of an imminent market correction (as BofA explained last week), and the result is that nobody know what is and what isn’t priced into the market any more, simply because the market in the conventional sense of a future discounting mechanism no longer exists (as Citi explained earlier this summer).
    Which is why, paradoxically, even as the VIX slides to record lows, the number of things to worry about on Wall Street grows longer and longer. In fact, according to Deutsche Bank’s Torsten Slok, there are no less than 30 material risks investors should beware in the coming year, ranging from a U. S. equity correction to a reversal of Brexit to Irish presidential elections, to a “Bitcoin crash,” rising inflation, danger from North Korea and results from special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 10, 2017.


  • Bitcoin Mania Shows The World Financial System Is a Con

    The hidden agenda in the so-called tax reform bill is to act as stop-gap quantitative easing to plug the ‘liquidity’ hole that is opening up as the Federal Reserve (America’s central bank) makes a few gestures to winding down its balance sheet and ‘normalizing’ interest rates. Thus, the aim of the tax bill is to prop up capital markets, and the apprehension of this lately is what keeps stocks making daily record highs. Okay, sorry, a lot to unpack there.
    Primer: quantitative easing (QE) is a the Federal Reserve’s weasel phrase for its practice of just creating ‘money’ out of thin air, which it uses to buy US Treasury bonds (and other stuff). The Fed buys this stuff through intermediary Too Big To Fail banks which allows them to cream off a cut and, theoretically, pump the ‘money’ into the economy. This ‘money’ is the ‘liquidity.’ As it happens, most of that money ends up in the capital markets. Stocks go up and up and bond yields stay ultra low with bond prices ultra high. What remains on the balance sheets are a shit-load of IOUs.
    The third round of QE was officially halted in 2014 in the USA. However, the world’s other main central banks acted in rotation – passing the baton of QE, like in a relay race – so that when the US slacked off, Japan, Britain, the European Central Bank, and the Bank of China, took over money-printing duties. And because money flies easily around the world via digital banking, a lot of that foreign money ended up in ‘sure-thing’ US capital markets (as well as their own ). Mega-tons of ‘money’ were created out of thin air around the world since the near-collapse of the system in 2008.

    This post was published at Wall Street Examiner on December 8, 2017.


  • Crypto-Cornucopia Part 4 – “Without It, You’re Talking Mad Max”

    Authored by Dr. D via Raul Ilargi Meijer’s The Automatic Earth blog,
    Part 1 “Bitcoin Is A Trust Machine” here.
    Part 2 “This System Is Garbage, How Do We Fix It?” here.
    Part 3 “A System With No Justice, No Order, No Rules, & No Predictability” here.
    Well, all parts of the system rely on accurate record-keeping.
    Look at voting rights: we had a security company where 20% more people voted than there were shares. Think you could direct corporate, even national power that way? Without records of transfer, how do you know you own it? Morgan transferred a stock to Schwab but forgot to clear it. Doesn’t that mean it’s listed in both Morgan and Schwab? In fact, didn’t you just double-count and double-value that share? Suppose you fail to clear just a few each day. Before long, compounding the double ownership leads to pension funds owning 2% fake shares, then 5%, then 10%, until stock market and the national value itself becomes unreal. And how would you unwind it?
    Work backwards to 1999 where the original drop happened? Remove 10% of CALPERs or Chicago’s already devastated pension money? How about the GDP and national assets that 10% represents? Do you tell Sachs they now need to raise $100B more in capital reserves because they didn’t have the assets they thought they have? Think I’m exaggerating? There have been several companies who tired of these games and took themselves back private, buying up every share…only to find their stock trading briskly the next morning. When that can happen without even a comment, you know fraud knows no bounds, a story Financial Sense called ‘The Crime of the Century.’ No one blinked.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 9, 2017.


  • Bitcoin’s ‘Message’ & Tax Reform’s ‘Hidden Agenda’

    Authored by James Howard Kunstler via Kunstler.com,
    The hidden agenda in the so-called tax reform bill is to act as stop-gap quantitative easing to plug the ‘liquidity’ hole that is opening up as the Federal Reserve (America’s central bank) makes a few gestures to winding down its balance sheet and ‘normalizing’ interest rates. Thus, the aim of the tax bill is to prop up capital markets, and the apprehension of this lately is what keeps stocks making daily record highs. Okay, sorry, a lot to unpack there.
    Primer: quantitative easing (QE) is a the Federal Reserve’s weasel phrase for its practice of just creating ‘money’ out of thin air, which it uses to buy US Treasury bonds (and other stuff). The Fed buys this stuff through intermediary Too Big To Fail banks which allows them to cream off a cut and, theoretically, pump the ‘money’ into the economy. This ‘money’ is the ‘liquidity.’ As it happens, most of that money ends up in the capital markets. Stocks go up and up and bond yields stay ultra low with bond prices ultra high. What remains on the balance sheets are a shit-load of IOUs.
    The third round of QE was officially halted in 2014 in the USA. However, the world’s other main central banks acted in rotation – passing the baton of QE, like in a relay race – so that when the US slacked off, Japan, Britain, the European Central Bank, and the Bank of China, took over money-printing duties. And because money flies easily around the world via digital banking, a lot of that foreign money ended up in ‘sure-thing’ US capital markets (as well as their own ). Mega-tons of ‘money’ were created out of thin air around the world since the near-collapse of the system in 2008.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 8, 2017.


  • Bitcoin Phase Transition or Plateau Move?

    Hackers have managed to get $70 million worth of Bitcoin, revealing the risk of all electronic forms of money to which cryptocurrencies are not exempt. The prices keep soaring and requests to add it to Socrates have been coming in so we are complying. With the futures about to begin, this should make it a more transparent market. The problem now is a single trade can be registered just buy one coin to put up prints that do not reflect volume. A future contract will help reveal the true depth of a market.
    If we accept the quotes as real, then Bitcoin’s market capitalization is now larger than that of major US banks Citigroup or JP Morgan standing at about $ 220 billion. The problem that emerges is the reclassification legally of Bitcoin. Because it is pretending to be a currency rather than a stock, governments can simply take the latest print and declare that to be a profit and tax you on that number. If the governments would accept Bitcoin as legal tender in payment of taxes, that would be fine. However, if they demand their own currency (dollars) which then forces one to sell Bitcoin to pay the tax, then the price will collapse and they will force you to pay the tax on the inflated number. You can claim you lost money selling it below that figure and they then allow a tax credit but spread out over 10 years. Bitcoin should swap everything to shares and that will eliminate the clash with the government.

    This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Dec 8, 2017.


  • What Is Money? (Yes, We’re Talking About Bitcoin)

    Good ideas don’t require force. That describes the Internet, mobile telephony and cryptocurrencies.
    What is money? We all assume we know, because money is a commonplace feature of everyday life. Money is what we earn and exchange for goods and services. Everyone thinks the money they’re familiar with is the only possible system of money – until they run across an entirely different system of money. Then they realize money is a social construct, a confluence of social consensus and political force– what we agree to use as money, and what our government mandates we use as money under threat of punishment. We assume that our monetary system is much like a Law of Nature: since it’s ubiquitous, it must be the only possible system. But there are no financial Laws of Nature for money. In the past, notched sticks served as money. In other non-Western cultures, giant stone disks (rai, a traditional form of money on the island of Yap) and even salt served as money.

    This post was published at Charles Hugh Smith on WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 06, 2017.


  • Robot Monster! Transportation Stocks, Bitcoin Zoom, Tech Stocks Stutter and Hindenburg Omen Keeps Flashing

    This is a syndicated repost courtesy of Snake Hole Lounge. To view original, click here. Reposted with permission.
    Another day in the land of Central Bank bubbles.
    According to Bloomberg, transportation stocks have rallied more than 8 percent in a week, realigning them with industrials at new highs in a coupling that is one of the market’s oldest bullish technical indicators. According to the century-old Dow Theory, simultaneous records in the groups trigger a buy signal for U. S. stocks. Optimism that changes in U. S. tax policy will benefit the industry reignited the Dow Jones Transportation Average on Monday, pushing it back to an all-time high along with the industrials gauge.

    This post was published at Wall Street Examiner by Anthony B Sanders ‘ December 5, 2017.


  • Market Goes ‘Full Bitcoin’

    Authored by Lance Roberts via RealInvestmentAdvice.com,
    Market Review
    What the ‘heck’ was that?
    This past week seemed to be the story of Christmas coming early. Earlier this week the markets surged higher on hopes that ‘Ole’ St. Tax Cuts’ would soon be here. But that dream seemed to be short-lived on Friday, at least at the open, as General Mike Flynn seems to embody the ‘Grinch’ trying to steal Christmas.
    But at the end of it all, not much actually changed. Well, except for the fact that volatility not only made an appearance as stock prices swung wildly in both directions, but also in Treasury rates. As expectations of tax reform grew, rates spiked higher but then sank just as quickly as fears of turmoil in the Administration sent money into the safety of bonds.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 3, 2017.


  • Wonder Who Was Buying Yesterday’s Market Breakout? Here’s The Answer

    Wonder who was buying the euphoria blow-off top stock market breakout yesterday? One clear answer, according to Nicholas Colas of DataTrek Research, is answer is ‘Mom and Pop’. Nick looked at the publicly available trade data on Fidelity’s retail website and found net buy orders across both single stocks (mostly tech) and ETFs. And, no surprise, some bitcoin names as well.
    Here’s what else Nick discovered.
    Retail investors have lost some of their reputation for being the ‘Dumb money’ over the last few years. After all, anyone ‘Dumb’ enough to own the largest US listed ETF (SPY) or the biggest tech names (AAPL, GOOG, etc) has done very well for over half a decade.
    Still, whenever we see a big up day for US stocks, we can’t help but wonder what the retail investor is buying when stocks hit (yet another) all time high. Are they getting cautious and lightening up? And what names do they still like?
    Fidelity Investments lets you see their customers’ Top 10 names traded, in real time if you have an account and one day-delayed if you don’t.
    Here’s some color on today’s market action, courtesy of that information source:
    Fidelity’s retail accounts were net buyers in 9 out of the top 10 names traded by their customers. The only exception: Kroger. Tech names held the top 4 positions in terms of total order volumes. Ranked by total activity, they were: Nvidia, Micron Technology, Apple and Amazon.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 1, 2017.


  • UK’s Top Fund Manager: “So Many Lights Flashing Red, I’m Losing Count”

    Neil Woodford is the founder of Woodford Investment Management, with $20 billion under management, and was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to the economy in the Queen’s 2013 Birthday Honours List. However, he’s not very happy in his latest outlook for equity markets, nor is he happy with the recent performance of his funds, although he’s been in this situation before – ahead of the tech crash in 2000 and the sub-prime crisis in 2008. According to the Financial Times.
    Neil Woodford, the UK’s most high-profile fund manager, has said he believes stock markets around the world are in a ‘bubble’ which when it bursts could prove ‘even bigger and more dangerous’ than some of the worst market crashes in history. The founder of Woodford Investment Management, which manages 15bn of assets, warned investors to be wary of ‘extreme and unsustainable valuations’ in an interview with the Financial Times, likening the level of risk to the dotcom bubble of the early 2000s. ‘Ten years on from the global financial crisis, we are witnessing the product of the biggest monetary policy experiment in history,’ he said. ‘Investors have forgotten about risk and this is playing out in inflated asset prices and inflated valuations. ‘Whether it’s bitcoin going through $10,000, European junk bonds yielding less than US Treasuries, historic low levels of volatility or triple-leveraged exchange traded funds attracting gigantic inflows – there are so many lights flashing red that I am losing count.’ Woodford likes to be contrarian: few people believed that Brexit was a buying opportunity, for example. Given his value investing style, it’s not surprising that’s he’s avoiding high-profile momentum driven names and boosting holdings in old economy ‘bricks and mortar’ companies, literally. The FT continues.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 1, 2017.


  • Bitcoin Soars After CFTC Approves Futures Trading: First Trade To Take Place Dec.18

    Bitcoin is back over $10,000 after the the CFTC confirmed what had been previously reported, namely that it would allow bitcoin futures to trade on two exchanges, the CME and CBOE Futures Exchange, also granting the Cantor Exchange permission to trade a contract for bitcoin binary options.
    The CFTC announced that through a process known as “self-certification,” CME and Cboe stated that their contracts comply with U. S. law and CFTC regulations. The US commodity regulator also said that the it held ‘rigorous discussions’ with the exchanges that resulted in improvements to the contracts’ designs and settlement.
    As to when the first bitcoin futures will cross the tape, the CME said it has self-certified the initial listing of its bitcoin futures to launch Monday, December 18, 2017.
    ‘Bitcoin, a virtual currency, is a commodity unlike any the Commission has dealt with in the past,’ said CFTC Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo. ‘As a result, we have had extensive discussions with the exchanges regarding the proposed contracts, and CME, CFE and Cantor have agreed to significant enhancements to protect customers and maintain orderly markets. In working with the Commission, CME, CFE and Cantor have set an appropriate standard for oversight over these bitcoin contracts given the CFTC’s limited statutory ability to oversee the cash market for bitcoin.’
    ‘Market participants should take note that the relatively nascent underlying cash markets and exchanges for bitcoin remain largely unregulated markets over which the CFTC has limited statutory authority. There are concerns about the price volatility and trading practices of participants in these markets. We expect that the futures exchanges, through information sharing agreements, will be monitoring the trading activity on the relevant cash platforms for potential impacts on the futures contracts’ price discovery process, including potential market manipulation and market dislocations due to flash rallies and crashes and trading outages. Nevertheless, investors should be aware of the potentially high level of volatility and risk in trading these contracts.’

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 1, 2017.


  • Nobel Laureate Stiglitz Says Bitcoin Should Be ‘Outlawed’

    Bitcoin has soared this year by more than ten-fold, defying all of the Wall Street veterans who have compared it to the Tulip Bubble and/or a Ponzi scheme. That doesn’t mean that Bitcoin is a legitimate investment; it just means that bubbles have no set expiration date.
    The Nobel laureate economist, Joseph Stiglitz of Columbia University, appeared on Bloomberg television yesterday and had this to say about Bitcoin:
    ‘One of the main functions of government is to create currency. And Bitcoin is successful only because of its potential for circumvention, lack of oversight. So it seems to me it ought to be outlawed. It doesn’t serve any socially useful function.’
    Consider the remarks Stiglitz made yesterday to our more detailed assessment along the same lines back in 2014. We wrote:
    ‘The business writers at Reuters are also dead wrong on Bitcoin being like other currencies whose ‘value depends on people’s confidence in it.’ Let’s take the U. S. dollar. Backing the use of the U. S. dollar as a world currency is the following: a Congress made up of 435 Representatives in the House and 100 Senators in the Senate; 535 people elected from all over the United States who have the power to tax the income of every American receiving wage, dividend, interest or even Social Security income at whatever rate they see fit in order to pay the Nation’s bills and debt obligations to other countries.

    This post was published at Wall Street On Parade on November 30, 2017.


  • 29/11/17: Four Omens of an Incoming Markets Blowout

    Forget Bitcoin (for a second) and look at the real markets.
    Per Goldman Sachs research, current markets valuation for bonds and stocks are out of touch with historical bubbles reality: As it says on the tin,
    ‘A portfolio of 60 percent S&P 500 Index stocks and 40 percent 10-year U. S. Treasuries generated a 7.1 percent inflation-adjusted return since 1985, Goldman calculated — compared with 4.8 percent over the last century. The tech-bubble implosion and global financial crisis were the two taints to the record.’
    Check point 1.
    Now, Check point 2: The markets are already in a complacency stage: ‘The exceptionally low volatility found in the stock market — with the VIX index near the record low it reached in September — could continue. History has featured periods when low volatility lasted more than three years. The current one began in mid-2016.’

    This post was published at True Economics on Nov 29, 2017.


  • Did Janet Yellen Just Recommend Buying Bitcoin

    Janet Yellen’s last semi-annual testimony before Congress as Fed Chair has just concluded, and as usual it was filled with long-winded platitudes, which were enough to make the blood of anyone actually listening to her slow-motion drawl, come to a boil.
    For one, Yellen’s hypocrisy hit bitcoinian levels when she had the temerity to say that she is ‘very disturbed’ about the trend toward rising inequality, noting that the central bank only has a ‘blunt tool’ that can’t be used to target certain groups. She’s right: the “blunt tool”, also known as a money printer, is can – and has – been repeatedly used to target a certain group: the ultra wealthy, i.e., the 0.1%, those who as Credit Suisse showed two weeks ago, have never been wealthier.
    And just to make sure all your blood has boiled over, Yellen added that the Fed is very focused on ‘very disturbing long-term trends’ in inequality adding that “our own focus”’ is on taking those trends and studying them… and making them bigger than ever she should have also added.
    Demonstrating her extensive skills of pointing out the obvious, Yellen also said that ‘we’re suffering from slow productivity growth,’ and there should be a focus on how that can be improved. It appears that the Fed is unaware that most employees spend several hours a day on Facebook, LinkedIn and SnapChat; it also appears that the Fed is unaware that most employers are aware of this, and is why there has been so little wage growth to “reward” this collapse in productivity.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on 29, 2017.


  • US Futures, World Stocks, Bitcoin All Hit Record Highs

    US equity futures continued their push higher into record territory overnight (ES +0.1%), and the VIX is 1.5% lower and back under 10, after yesterday’s blistering surge in US stocks which jumped 1%, the most since Sept. 11, following Powell’s deregulation promise, ahead of today’s 2nd estimate of U. S. Q3 GDP which is expected to be revised up. U. S. Senate Budget Committee sent the tax bull to the full chamber to vote, and on Wednesday Senators are expected to vote to begin debating the bill. It wasn’t just the S&P: MSCI’s all-country world index was at yet another record peak after all four major Wall Street indexes notched up new highs on Tuesday. Finally, completing the trifecta of records, and the biggest mover of the overnight session by far, was bitcoin which topped $10,000 in a buying frenzy which saw it go from $9,000 to $10,000 in one day, and which is on its way to rising above $11,000 just hours later.
    In macro, the dollar steadies as interbank traders and hedge funds fade its rally this week; today’s major event will be testimony by outgoing Fed chair Janet Yellen after Powell said there is no sign of an overheating economy; the euro has rallied on strong German regional inflation while pound surges on Brexit bill deal news; yields on 10-year gilts climb amid broad bond weakness; stocks rise while commodities trade mixed.
    In Asia, equity markets were mixed for a bulk of the session as the early euphoria from the rally in US somewhat petered out as China woes persisted (recovered in the latter stages of trade). ASX 200 (+0.5%) and Nikkei 225 (+0.5%) traded higher. Korea’s KOSPI was cautious following the missile launch from North Korea, while Shanghai Comp. (+0.1%) and Hang Seng (+-0.2%) initially remained dampened on continued deleveraging and regulatory concerns before paring losses into the latter stages of trade. Notably, China’s PPT emerged again with Chinese stock markets rallied in late trade, with the CSI 300 Index of mainly large-cap stocks paring a drop of as much as 1.3% to close 0.1% lower. The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.1%, swinging up from a 0.8% loss, with property and materials companies among the biggest gainers on the mainland. The Shanghai Stock Exchange Property Index surged 3.8%, the most since August 2016. The Shenzhen Composite Index was little changed, after a 1.2% decline, while the ChiNext gauge retreated 0.4%, paring a 1.5% loss. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index was little changed as of 3 p.m. local time, while the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index fell 0.3%Stocks in Europe gained, following equities from the U. S. to Asia higher as optimism over U. S. tax reform and euro-area economic growth overshadowed concerns about North Korea’s latest missile launch. The Stoxx 600 gained 0.8%, reaching a one-week high and testing its 50-DMA. Germany’s DAX, France’s CAC, Milan and Madrid were all up between 0.5 and 0.7% and MSCI’s all-country world index was at yet another record peak after all four major Wall Street indexes notched up new highs on Tuesday. ‘It seems to me markets are still trading on the theory that the glass is half full,’ said fund manager Hermes’ chief economist Neil Williams.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 29, 2017.


  • Why Capital Controls Usually Fail, China Versus Bitcoin Edition

    One of the recurring themes of financial history is government over-reach leading citizens to mistrust the local currency and move money overseas, prompting the government to try to trap that wealth within its borders. This nearly always fails because rich people are clever and borders are really hard to seal.
    The latest chapter in this story involves China – which has engineered an epic debt binge in the past decade, and bitcoin – which has emerged as a highly efficient way to move capital across national borders. The following chart shows that between 2009 and 2016 China’s debt soared to levels comparable as a percentage of GDP to that of the US leading up to the Great Recession:

    This post was published at DollarCollapse on NOVEMBER 26, 2017.


  • Biggest Bubble Ever? 2017 Recapped In 15 Bullet Points

    Yesterday we presented readers with one of the most pessimistic, if not outright apocalyptic, 2018 year previews, courtesy of BofA’s chief investment, Michael Hartnett who warned that in addition to the bursting of the bond bubble in the first half of the year, the stock market could see a 1987-like flash crash, potentially followed by a sharp spike in (violent) social conflict. However, in addition to his forecast, Hartnett also had one of the more informative, and descriptive, reviews of the year that was, or as he put it: 2017 was the perfect encapsulation of an 8-year QE-led bull market.
    Here are his 15 bullet points that show why in 2017 we may have seen the biggest bubble ever (and why we can’t wait to see what 2018 reveals).
    Da Vinci’s ‘Salvator Mundi’ sold for staggering record $450mn Bitcoin soared 677% from $952 to $7890 BoJ and ECB were bull catalysts, buying $2.0tn of financial assets Number of global interest rate cuts since Lehman hit: 702 Global debt rose to a record $226tn, record 324% of global GDP US corporates issued record $1.75tn of bonds Yield of European HY bonds fell below yield of US Treasuries Argentina (8 debt defaults in past 200 years) issued 100-year bond Global stock market cap jumped1 $15.5tn to $85.6tn, record 113% of GDP S&P500 volatility sank to 50-year low; US Treasury volatility to 30-year low Market cap of FAANG+BAT grew $1.5tn, more than entire German market cap 7855 ETFs accounted for 70% of global daily equity volume The first AI/robot-managed ETF was launched (it’s underperforming) Big performance winners: ACWI, EM equities, China, Tech, European HY, euro Big performance losers: US$, Russia, Telecoms, UST 2-year, Turkish lira

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