• Tag Archives Mexico
  • Two of Mexico’s Biggest Bugbears Surge Again

    Footloose hot money that has flooded Mexico can quickly dry up.
    By Don Quijones, Spain, UK, & Mexico, editor at WOLF STREET. After several consecutive months of predominantly positive developments, including the governing Institutional Revolutionary Party’s recent electoral victory in its key state, Estado de Mexico, the outlook for Mexico’s economy is no longer negative; it’s stable. That’s according to rating agencies, Fitch and Standard’s & Poor.
    It’s a remarkable turnaround for a country that began the year in the most ominous fashion, with a crumbling currency, surging inflation and a popular revolt against gasoline price hikes.
    But the peso, after plumbing to new depths of 22 pesos to the dollar on January 19, has clawed its way back to 17.8 pesos to the dollar – a 22% surge in just seven months.
    Despite its fortifying currency, Mexico’s historic bugbear of inflation continues to grow. Consumer prices, as measured by the national consumer price index, soared 6.44% in July compared to a year ago. It was the sharpest annual inflation rate increase since December 2008. It has now accelerated for the thirteenth month in a row.

    This post was published at Wolf Street by Don Quijones ‘ Aug 11, 2017.


  • Inflation Spikes Most since 2008 in Mexico. Bad Timing

    Before the Elections and despite Bank of Mexico’s ‘monetary shock.’ Inflation is a touchy topic in Mexico where wages are tight and not growing fast enough. Inflation is spiking. And consumers, trying stretch ever further just to keep up, are not happy.
    Consumer prices, as measured by the national consumer price index, soared 6.44% in July compared to a year ago, according to Mexico’s statistics agency INEGI. It was the sharpest annual inflation rate increase since December 2008, sharper than economists had forecast. It has now accelerated for the thirteenth month in a row. And it’s very much unwanted by regular Mexicans:
    ***
    The spike in inflation at the beginning of the year was to some extent due to a jump in gasoline prices brought on by deregulation of the gasoline market on January 1. At the time, some politicians in the opposition Democratic Revolution Party called on Mexicans to stage a ‘peaceful revolution’ against the price increases. It triggered a series of protests, and road blockages snarled traffic for days. But those gasoline prices didn’t come back down. On the contrary.

    This post was published at Wolf Street on Aug 10, 2017.


  • Agricultural Work Visas Soar As Farmers Struggle With Labor Shortages Amid Immigration Crackdown

    Ask any farmer in California what keeps them up at night and we would guess that nearly all of them would list ‘labor shortages’ and ‘water access’ as their top two concerns. Ironically, despite over 90 million American citizens choosing to sit out of the labor force and California having one of the highest minimum wage rates in the country, farmers in the Golden State struggle every year to find enough labor to keep fruits and vegetables from literally rotting on the vine.
    Meanwhile, as the new administration promises to crack down on illegal immigrants, farmers are feeling the labor shortages in 2017 more than ever. As the Wall Street Journal notes today, many farmers have turned to the H-2A agricultural visa program to recruit temporary workers from Mexico but the process is generally described as “bureaucratic, costly and time-consuming.”

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


  • Vicente Fox Drops F-Bomb Live On CNN; Says Trump Just “Trying To Save Face” With Voters On Border Wall

    Last night the Washington Post dumped it’s latest ‘bombshell’ White House leaks in the form of full transcripts of Trump’s calls with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull from back in January…which, in Trump years, feels like it was about 20 years ago (we covered it here: Trump Phone Call Transcripts Leaked: “New Hampshire Is A Drug Infested Den”).
    Among other things, the full transcripts revealed Trump describing the border wall as a politically important issue but otherwise the “least important thing that we are talking about,” an admission that will come as a surprise to a lot of folks who voted for him. Meanwhile, he also attempted to hedge his insistence that Mexico pay for border wall by proposing a “formula” that would allow the two countries to split the costs, a compromise, and likely the goal of his grandstanding all along, that would seemingly allow both candidates to declare victory politically.
    Here are some of the relevant exchanges from the January call:
    Trump: “Believe it or not, this is the least important thing that we are talking about, but politically this might be the most important. But in terms of dollars – or pesos – it is the least important thing.”
    “On the wall, you and I both have a political problem. My people stand up and say, ‘Mexico will pay for the wall,’ and your people probably say something in a similar but slightly different language. But the fact is we are both in a little bit of a political bind because I have to have Mexico pay for the wall. I have to. I have been talking about it for a two-year period.”

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 4, 2017.


  • Chaos Hits Barcelona’s Tourist Industry

    It’s not just the weather that’s heating up in Spain’s second city.
    By Don Quijones, Spain, UK, & Mexico, editor at WOLF STREET. It’s finally happened. After years of surging public opposition to unrestrained growth of the city’s tourist industry, Barcelona has witnessed a rash of coordinated attacks against tourist targets in the last week. It all began last Friday when a gang of four masked men slashed the tires of an open-top bus filled with holidaymakers and sprayed the windscreen with the slogan ‘Tourism kills neighborhoods.’
    Responsibility for the ambush was claimed by Arran, the youth wing of the radical separatist CUP (Popular Unity Candidacy) party, which was also behind a video posted this week of members vandalizing tourist bicycles. In recent months at least seven hotels have been vandalized by protesters in Barcelona. And graffiti telling tourists to go home has become a ubiquitous part of the urban landscape.

    This post was published at Wolf Street by Don Quijones ‘ Aug 5, 2017.


  • Apple Now Owns $51.5 Billion In Treasurys, More Than Mexico, Turkey Or Norway

    Every quarter, Apple manages to impress with its gargantuan cash hoard, which in Q2 rose to $262 billion (which however is $153 billion net of debt), a new all time high as shown in the chart below.

    While it is widely known that of this $262 billion, the vast majority, or $246 billion is held offshore, what is less appreciated is that Apple’s actual cash is just $18.6 billion. The rest is held in various securities, both short- and long-term, something we first reported back in September when we introduced readers to Braeburn Capital, the firm that actually manages Apple’s quarter trillion in asset holdings.
    In the five years that have passed since then, Apple’s AUM have grown. Substantially.
    As the company reported in its latest 10Q, as of June 30, AAPL now owns enough assets to not only put even the world’s largest hedge fund, Bridgewater with less than $200Bn in assets to shame, but some of the world’s largest holders of Treasurys. Of its total $243 billion in Short and Long-Term securities, Apple owned a whopping $51.5 billion in Treasurys, split between $20.1 billion in T-Bills and $31.3 billion in Treasury Bonds.

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


  • Hecho En Mexico: 2017 Auto Production In Mexico Surges Despite Trump Attacks

    Earlier this year, before then President-elect Trump even moved into the White House, he picked several very public fights with auto manufacturers over their increasing reliance on Mexico for incremental production volumes.
    In a January 3rd tweet, the President-elect said ‘General Motors is sending Mexican made model of Chevy Cruze to U. S. car dealers-tax free across border. Make in U. S. A.or pay big border tax!’
    General Motors is sending Mexican made model of Chevy Cruze to U. S. car dealers-tax free across border. Make in U. S. A.or pay big border tax!
    — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2017

    Then, on the same day, Trump took a victory lap after apparently convincing Ford to walk away from a new $1.6 billion production facility in Mexico. Of course, we’ve since noted that the production volume intended for that abandoned Mexico facility has instead been shifted to China…but who can keep track (see: Remember When Ford ‘Cancelled’ That Plant In Mexico? Well, They’ve Just Moved It To China).

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 25, 2017.


  • Venezuelans Are Now Paying 1000 Times More For US Dollars Than They Did In 2010

    The hyperinflationary-hell in Venezuela’s currency is deepening as a crippling dollar shortage and a threat of oil sanctions (amid President Maduro’s attempts to rewrite the constition to maintain his grip on power) take their toll on the economy.
    Venezuela’s Latin American neighbors urged President Nicolas Maduro to refrain from actions that might exacerbate the country’s political crisis in a disappointment to some regional governments that favored more direct and forceful criticism. As Bloomberg reports, Mercosur, South America’s largest trade bloc, called on ‘the government and the opposition not to carry out any initiative that could divide further Venezuelan society or aggravate institutional conflicts,’ in a joint statement issued at the end of a summit in Mendoza, Argentina. Member countries Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay were joined by Chile, Colombia, Guyana and Mexico in signing the statement.
    International condemnation of the Maduro government’s plan to rewrite the country’s constitution to maintain its hold on power is gathering pace after the U. S. said it would impose sanctions on Venezuelan officials if Maduro goes ahead.
    As we noted earlier in the week, The Trump administration is mulling over sanctions against senior Venezuelan government officials, and additional measures could include sanctions against the country’s oil industry, such as halting imports into the U. S., according to senior Washington officials who spoke to media.

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


  • Chapter 43: Medicine

    Christian Economics: Teacher’s Edition
    And the Lord will take away from you all sickness, and none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which you knew, will he inflict on you, but he will lay them on all who hate you (Deuteronomy 7:15).
    AnalysisHealing is an aspect of covenantal ethics, according to the Bible. Health is a blessing of God; sickness is a curse. This is why the early church in the New Testament used healing as a way to demonstrate God’s new work of redemption, which was evidence of the church as God’s ecclesiastical representative in history, the replacement of Israel.
    Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. And a man lame from birth was being carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple that is called the Beautiful Gate to ask alms of those entering the temple. Seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked to receive alms. And Peter directed his gaze at him, as did John, and said, ‘Look at us.’ And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, ‘I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!’ And he took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. And leaping up, he stood and began to walk, and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God (Acts 3:1 – 8).
    The ability to heal miraculously has always been regarded by the masses as evidence of a person’s special relation to God. This same attitude prevails today in an era of scientific medicine. Medical missionaries are granted access into nations that are otherwise closed to missionaries. Political leaders regard the benefits of healing as outweighing the negatives of evangelism. Jews understood this principle in the Middle Ages. They became physicians to gain acceptance in the gentile world. Moses Maimonides, the Rambam, was the most famous Jewish theologian and philosopher of the Middle Ages. He was also the senior physician of the sultan of Cairo in the late twelfth century. Christian hospitals in the later Middle Ages were ministries of churches and ecclesiastical orders. Then there is the remarkable account written by lvar Nez Cabeza de Vaca of his eight-year trek from Florida through Texas into Mexico, 1528 – 1536. He describes the strange fact that he and his companions gained the power of healing halfway through their journey. They were welcomed by Indian tribes from Texas country to Mexico because of this. Word spread in advance that they were coming, tribe by tribe. They would probably have been killed had they not possessed this power. Instead, they were supported with food and water.

    This post was published at Gary North on July 22, 2017.


  • People Not Amused by EU Efforts to ‘De-Cash’ their Lives

    By Don Quijones, Spain & Mexico, editor at WOLF STREET. In January 2017 the European Commission announced it was exploring the option of imposing upper limits on cash payments, with a view to implementing cross-regional measures as soon as 2018. To give the proposal a veneer of respectability and accountability the Commission launched a public consultation on the issue. Now, the answers are in, but they are not what the Commission was expecting.
    A staggering 95% of the respondents said they were opposed to a cash ceiling at EU level. Even more emphatic was the answer to the following question:
    ‘How would the introduction of restrictions on payments in cash at EU level benefit you, or your business or your organisation (multiple replies are possible)?’
    In the curious absence of an explicit ‘not at all’ option, 99.18% chose to respond with ‘no answer.’ In other words, less than 1% of the more than 30,000 people consulted could think of a single benefit of the EU unleashing cross-regional cash limits.

    This post was published at Wolf Street by Don Quijones ‘ Jul 14, 2017.


  • Doug Noland: Yellen on Inflation

    This is a syndicated repost courtesy of Credit Bubble Bulletin . To view original, click here. Reposted with permission.
    Global Markets rallied sharply this week. The DJIA rose 223 points to a record 21,638. The S&P500 gained 1.4% to a new all-time high. The Nasdaq100 (NDX) surged 3.2%, increasing 2017 gains to 20.0%. The Morgan Stanley High Tech Index rose 3.4% (up 24.6% y-t-d), and the Semiconductors surged 4.7% (up 21.8%).
    Emerging markets were notably strong. Equities rallied 5.0% in Brazil, 5.5% in Hong Kong, 5.1% in Turkey, 2.5% in Russia, 2.2% in Mexico and 2.1% in India. The Brazilian real gained 3.2%, the Mexican peso 3.0%, the South African rand 2.7% and the Turkish lira 2.3%. Global bond markets also rallied. Yields (local currency) dropped 27 bps in Brazil, 18 bps in South Africa, 16 bps in Turkey and 22 bps in Argentina. Here at home, five-year Treasury yields dropped eight bps (to 1.87%). U. S. corporate Credit also enjoyed solid gains. Across global markets, it appeared that short positions were under pressure.
    Markets reacted with elation to Janet Yellen’s Washington testimony – widely perceived as dovish. In particular, the chair’s timely comments on inflation were cheered throughout global securities markets. A headline from the Financial Times: ‘Fed Chair Yellen’s Inflation Concern Buoys Markets.’ And Friday afternoon from Bloomberg: ‘S&P 500 Hits Record as Inflation View Turns Iffy’.

    This post was published at Wall Street Examiner by Doug Noland ‘ July 15, 2017.


  • Mexico’s Gasoline Thieves Go Full Mad Max As Competing Cartels Declare War On Each Other And The Army

    Fuel theft in Mexico used to consist of a few villagers drilling holes in Pemex pipelines and carrying away just enough gasoline to fill their vehicles and maybe a couple extra gallons to sell on the side of the freeway. But as The Columbian notes, illegally tapping into pipelines and stealing gas from Mexico’s state-owned oil company has morphed into a very well organized criminal enterprise, run by well-armed regional cartels and supported by distribution on a commercial scale to factories and petrol stations.
    Heavy arms and violence seen in Tuesday’s confrontation in Puebla state reflect its growth into a billion-dollar business that supplies not just the people selling gas on the sides of highways – called ‘huachicoleros’ – but factories and gasoline station chains.
    It has become an industrial-scale operation, involving a string of villages and hamlets along pipeline routes, not just in Puebla, but in Guanajuato, Veracruz, Tamaulipas and other Mexican states. The government says more than 6,000 illegal pipeline taps were found in 2016 and officials have been detecting an average of about 20 taps a day this year.


    This post was published at Zero Hedge By Tyler Durden /Jul 14, 2017.


  • Vatican Press Lashes Out At Catholic Trump Voters, Calls Steve Bannon “A Supporter Of Apocalyptic Geopolitics”

    In a relatively shocking article – don’t forget the Vatican has been extremely outspoken for a man in his office – a close ally of Pope Francis has written in a widely-read Vatican publication attacking Stephen Bannon, the senior White House strategist and lamenting a drift towards fundamentalism among some US conservative Catholics who backed Donald Trump as president.
    ***
    As a reminder, The pope and Trump have voiced their differences with each other in the past. When asked in 2016 about then-candidate Trump’s proposal to build a wall along the U. S.-Mexico border, the pope appeared to imply Trump was not a Christian.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 14, 2017.


  • Implications for silver of Tahoe’s Escobal shutdown — Lawrie Williams

    The world’s second largest primary silver mine has been shuttered at least temporarily. Tahoe Resources’ somewhat controversial Escobal mine in Guatemala is to be closed for perhaps three months – possibly for longer – while court hearings are under way. In a statement to shareholders, Tahoe says that the Supreme Court of Guatemala has issued a provisional decision in respect of an action brought by the anti-mining organization, CALAS, against Guatemala’s Ministry of Energy and Mines (‘MEM’). The action alleges that MEM violated the Xinca Indigenous people’s right of consultation in advance of granting the Escobal mining license to Tahoe’s Guatemalan subsidiary, Minera San Rafael. The provisional decision is in respect of a request by CALAS for an order to temporarily suspend the license to operate the Escobal mine until the action is fully heard.
    Tahoe is putting a brave face on the decision, but problems may run rather deeper given a long running dispute over the mine and opposition to it. Escobal has effectively been closed for a month already due to a blockade of the main access road by protestors. Guatemala has not proved to be a particularly mining-friendly nation and there are accusations of irregular dealings by the company over the award of the original mining license, as well as over dealing with mine opponents in the past including a serious shooting incident involving mine security personnel.
    On the other hand, Escobal is a very significant revenue producer for the country and has single handedly moved Guatemala up from an ‘also ran’ to the world’s 11th largest silver producer and Escobal to the world’s second largest individual silver producing mine, after Fresnillo’s Saucito mine in Mexico, according to the latest figures from The Silver Institute. There could thus be some strong financial pressures to get the mine back into operation.

    This post was published at Sharps Pixley


  • GOP Lawmaker: Use Food Stamp Funds to Pay for Trump’s Border Wall

    U. S. Rep. Steve King (R-IA) rustled feathers this morning (July 12) when he proposed a radical way to fund President Donald Trump’s promised border wall.
    When asked by CNN’s Alisyn Camerota if he was comfortable using $1.6 billion – not from Mexico, but from the American people – to pay for the wall, King responded:
    ‘Absolutely yes, and more. I’d throw another five billion on the pile, and I would find half of a billion dollars of that right out of Planned Parenthood’s budget!’
    The rest, however, would be drawn from a program over 45.4 million people depend on…


    This post was published at Wall Street Examiner on July 12, 2017.


  • Catalonia and Spain to Push Each Other into Financial Abyss?

    Markets are still complacent.
    By Don Quijones, Spain & Mexico, editor at WOLF STREET.
    Even if you take into account the ECB’s binge buying of public debt in the Eurozone, the degree of complacency of market players over Catalonia’s worsening ties with the Spanish government – and any potential financial fallout – is surprising. Spain’s northeastern province can no longer issue its own debt, which is in deep junk territory, and depends on the central government’s national liquidity fund (FLA) for about 60% of its funding. Moody’s warned if Catalonia defaults, given the debts it owes Spain, markets would see it as a Spanish default.
    Fitch Ratings warned in April that Catalonia has grave liquidity problems that will require ‘proactive management’ and ‘close collaboration with the central state’ – something that’s clearly not on the cards any time soon….
    About 85% of residents of Catalonia want a referendum on independence, according to the latest poll by El Periodico, a Barcelona-based newspaper that doesn’t back independence. Many of the respondents to the survey do not want independence either; what they want is a say on the matter.

    This post was published at Wolf Street by Don Quijones ‘ Jul 7, 2017.


  • Russian academic and political leaders listen to Hugo Salinas Price about silver

    Accepting an academic honor last week at a ceremony at the Russian embassy in Mexico City, Hugo Salinas Price, president of the Mexican Civic Association for Silver, argued that Mexico’s central bank should purchase a portion of the country’s silver production for monetary reserves just as China is buying the whole of that country’s gold production. Salinas Price discloses that he has urged Russia to issue a silver ruble in anticipation of replacement of the U.S. dollar standard with a metallic money standard in the world financial system. Salinas Price also discusses the suppression of gold and silver prices by a cabal of U.S.-led central banks and financial institutions.

    This post was published at Plata.com.mx


  • Trump “Overrules” Cabinet, Prepares To Unleash Global Trade War

    While one of Trump’s recurring campaign promises was that he would “punish” China and other key US trade counterparties if elected, for taking advantage of free-trade by imposing steep tariffs and duties on foreign imports to “level the playing field”, the President’s stance changed drastically after the election, U-turning following his amicable meeting with China’s president Xi Jinping in March, but mostly as a result of pressure by his ex-Goldman advisors to keep existing trade arrangements in place and not “rock the boat.”
    Now, all that may be about to fall apart.
    According to Axios, behind the constant media scandals, “one of the most consequential and contentious internal debates of his presidency unfolded during a tense meeting Monday in the Roosevelt Room of the White House” where with “more than 20 top officials present, including Trump and Vice President Pence, the president and a small band of America First advisers made it clear they’re hell-bent on imposing tariffs – potentially in the 20% range – on steel, and likely other imports.”
    In other words, Trump – true to his campaign promises – is set to launch a global trade wars after all, one where then main country impacted would be China, however the collateral damage would extend to Canada, Mexico, Japan, Germany and the UK.
    And what may be even more striking is that Trump overruled his cabinet, as “the sentiment in the room was 22 against and 3 in favor – but since one of the three is named Donald Trump, it was case closed.” Axios adds that while “no decision has been made, the President is leaning towards imposing tariffs, despite opposition from nearly all his Cabinet.”

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 30, 2017.