• Tag Archives Mexico
  • The Euro Is Not Dead, Claims EU Survey

    The mood has shifted.
    By Don Quijones, Spain, UK, & Mexico, editor at WOLF STREET. Europeans are finally learning to love the euro, it seems, at least according tothe latest edition of the Eurobarometer, which is published twice yearly by the European Commission: 64% of the respondents, representing 16 out of 19 Eurozone economies, believe that having the euro is ‘a good thing for their country,’ the highest proportion since 2002, and up from 56% in 2016. Only 26% of respondents thought it was a bad thing.
    A further 74% of respondents said that the euro is a good thing for the EU as a whole, the highest proportion in the 2010-2017 series. This is somewhat ironic given that even the ECB conceded this week that the main idea behind the euro as a driving force for regional economic convergence has produced, let’s say, mixed results, having essentially failed where it mattered the most, in Southern European economies:
    ‘It is striking, however, that little convergence has occurred among the early euro adopters, despite their differences in GDP per capita. In contrast to some initial expectations that the establishment of the euro would act as a catalyser of faster real convergence, little convergence, if any, has taken place for the whole period 1999-2016’
    Nonetheless, the results of the survey point to a marked improvement in Europe’s love affair with the single currency, as growth in the Eurozone has reached its highest level (a forecast 2.6% for 2017) since the financial crisis began 10 years ago.

    This post was published at Wolf Street on Dec 8, 2017.


  • Inflation Surges as Economy Bogs Down in Mexico

    Bank of Mexico caught in a vise.
    In the last week, the governor of the Bank of Mexico (or Banxico), Augustin Carstens, stepped down in order to take over the reins as general manager of the Bank for International Settlements in Basil, Switzerland, while Finance Minister Jos Antonio Meade, handed in his resignation to run as the presidential candidate for the governing PRI party in next year’s general elections.
    Despite the fact that the country’s two most senior public financial officials have left their posts within days of one another, and though the Mexican stock index is down about 9% from July, the markets still seem pretty sanguine.
    But that doesn’t mean that problems are not stacking up.
    Earlier this year Carstens felt compelled to postpone by five months his departure from Banxico, which was initially scheduled for May, in the hope that his continued presence would help steady investor nerves as well as tame inflation, which began soaring after the government’s one-off hike in gas prices at the beginning of this year.

    This post was published at Wolf Street on Nov 30, 2017.


  • There Have Been 698 Earthquakes In California Within The Past 30 Days

    Why is the west coast shaking so violently? According to the latest data from Earthquake Track, there have been 698 earthquakes in California within the past 30 days. By the time that you read this article, that number will undoubtedly have changed. In recent days I have felt such an urgency to write about the seismic activity on the west coast, and I am quite concerned that so few people seem to be paying attention to what is happening.
    As I have covered previously, scientists tell us that when seismic activity begins to escalate the probability of having a major earthquake jumps significantly. Over the past month there have been more mainstream news articles about earthquake swarms in California than I have seen in years, and the magnitude 4.6 earthquake that rattled Monterey County earlier this month made headlines all over the world.
    And it isn’t just the U. S. section of the ‘Ring of Fire’ that seems to be awakening. I have written about Mt. Popocatepetl down in Mexico several times recently, and on Friday it erupted three more times…
    Spectacular eruptions have been seen Southeast of Mexico City as Mexico’s Popocatepetl volcano spewed smoke and ash high into the air.
    The volcano had three eruptions Friday, one of which reached two and a half miles into the sky.

    This post was published at The Economic Collapse Blog on November 26th, 2017.


  • Could Italy’s Banking Crisis Drag Down Mario Draghi?

    Just don’t mention ‘Antonveneta.’ By Don Quijones, Spain, UK, & Mexico, editor at WOLF STREET. A blame game has begun in Italy that risks casting a bright light on the leadership of both the Bank of Italy and Italy’s financial markets regulator Consob. The controversial decision to award the central bank’s current Chairman Ignazio Visco a fresh six-year mandate despite presiding over one of the worst banking crises in living memory has ignited a tug-of-war between political parties and the president, who makes the ultimate decision on who to appoint as central bank chief.
    The first to cast aspersions was Italy’s former premier Matteo Renzi, who, no doubt in an effort to distract from his own party’s part in the collapse of Monte dei Paschi di Siena (MPS), called into question the supervisory role of both the Bank of Italy and Consob during Italy’s banking crisis.
    Silvio Berlusconi, a key player in the center-right coalition whose party came out on top in recent elections in Sicily, was next to join the fray. ‘The Bank of Italy did not exercise the control that was expected of it,’ he told reporters in Brussels in response to a pointed question about Visco.

    This post was published at Wolf Street on Nov 22, 2017.


  • Two-Thirds of Top Silver Miners Suffering Significant Production Declines

    The world silver market may be on the verge of a major supply crunch.
    Two-thirds of the top silver miners have suffered significant production decreases in 2017, according to information released by World Metal Statistics.
    Through the first eight months of this year, silver production in Chile has dropped 20%. Austrailian production has fallen by 19%. Silver production in Mexico is down 2%. Peru has seen a 1% production decline. And China has had the biggest drop in mine output, according to the report, falling by a whopping 25%.
    A report by SRSrocco identifies several factors driving silver mine production lower.
    I believe global silver production will take a big hit this year due to several factors including, falling ore grades, mine closures, and strikes at various projects.’
    The report highlights some of the production woes for major producers. Overall, production at top primary silver miners has fallen 9 million ounces so far in 2017 compared to the same period last year.

    This post was published at Schiffgold on NOVEMBER 15, 2017.


  • California Residents On Edge After A Swarm Of 10 Earthquakes Hits Near The San Andreas Fault

    Is the San Andreas Fault starting to wake up? On Monday, a ‘swarm’ of 10 significant earthquakes struck Monterey County, California. The largest was a magnitude 4.6 earthquake that could be felt all the way over in San Francisco. Of course this comes at a time when other portions of ‘the Ring of Fire’ are starting to awaken as well. For example, just yesterday I wrote about the alarming eruption of Mt. Popocatepetl that just took place down in Mexico. For decades the west coast of North America has been relatively stable compared to the rest of the Ring of Fire, but now that is changing.
    So should those living along the west coast be on alert? Without a doubt, the shaking that happened on Monday definitely got a lot of attention…
    A 4.6-magnitude earthquake rattled Monterey County on Monday and was felt more than 90 miles away in San Francisco, officials said.
    The quake hit at 11:31 a.m. about 13 miles northeast of Gonzales, near Salinas, and was followed by nine smaller aftershocks, with the largest measuring magnitude 2.8, said Annemarie Baltay, a seismologist with the U. S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park.
    Some experts are trying to assure us that we have nothing to be concerned about, but others are claiming that an earthquake swarm such as this ‘dramatically increases the likelihood of a major quake in California’. And not too long ago, the director of the Southern California Earthquake Center did admit the following…

    This post was published at The Economic Collapse Blog on November 14th, 2017.


  • Uncertainty Hits American Farmers and Mexican Consumers

    NAFTA 2.0 gets complicated. With the fifth round of NAFTA negotiations scheduled to begin next week, Mexico finds itself facing a very uncertain future. The free trade agreement upon which its entire national economic model was built is now looking precariously fragile. Ildefonso Guajardo, Mexico’s economy minister, told the Mexican Congress last week that the way things stand, an end to NAFTA ‘cannot sanely be ruled out.’
    In such an event, the resulting economic pain for Mexico could be considerable, according to calculations from Banco Santander. It forecasts a 15% drop in exports and a 16% fall in imports if the US declared a full trade war rather than reverting to World Trade Organization tariff rules. Moody’s Investors Service estimates Mexico’s economy could shrink as much as 4%.
    The biggest problem for Mexico’s economy is the sheer scale of its dependence on trade with the US: 81% of its exports go to the U. S., and about half of its imports come from there. Mexico is so deeply integrated into US supply chains, particularly manufacturing production that the IMF describes Mexican and American industrial production as ‘co-integrated.’ Increases in American economic output are transmitted one-for-one to Mexican output.

    This post was published at Wolf Street on Nov 13, 2017.


  • Two-Thirds Of The Top Primary Silver Miners Suffered Production Declines In 2017

    It has been a rough year for many primary silver miners as two-thirds have suffered declines in production. Also, many high ranking silver producing countries are also experiencing a pronounced reduction in their domestic silver mine supply. According to the data put out by World Metal Statistics, Chile’s silver production is down 20% in the first eight months of the year, while Australia is down 19%, Mexico declined 2% and Peru by 1%.
    The Silver Institute will be releasing their 2017 Silver Interim Report shortly which will provide an update on current silver production and forecasts for the remainder of the year. However, I believe global silver production will take a hit this year due to several factors including, falling ore grades, mine closures, and strikes at various projects.
    For example, Tahoe Resources was forced to shut down its Guatemalan Escobal Mine in July due to a temporary suspension of its operating license by the country’s Supreme Court. However, even after the Guatemalan Supreme Court reinstated Tahoe Resources Escobal Mine’s license in early September, an ongoing road blockade has hampered the ability of the project to continue mining. Regardless, Tahoe’s silver production declined a stunning 6.7 million oz Q1-Q3 2017 versus the same period last year.

    This post was published at SRSrocco Report on NOVEMBER 13, 2017.


  • GATES, BUFFETT, AND BEZOS ARE AS RICH AS THE BOTTOM HALF OF AMERICA

    Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, and business magnate Warren Buffett – the three richest people in the world – are as wealthy as the bottom half of the U. S. population combined, according to a report from the Institute for Policy Studies.
    The poorest 50 percent of America amounts to roughly 160 million people or 63 million households.
    America’s top 25 billionaires has as much wealth as 56 percent of the population, equivalent to 178 million people or 70 million households, according to the Institute for Policy Studies’ report.
    The 400 richest people in the U. S. have a combined wealth of $2.68 trillion and collectively have more than the gross domestic product of Britain, the study found. Furthermore, that group owns more wealth than the bottom 64 percent of the U. S. population (240 million people or 80 million households). This is more people than Canada and Mexico have combined.

    This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on NOVEMBER 9, 2017.


  • Two Reasons Why The Mexican Peso Appreciated in 2017

    The devaluationary spiral of the peso began with the fall in oil prices in mid-2014. At the time, the depreciation was easy to explain in terms of the deterioration of the balance of trade. With Mexico being a net oil-exporting country, the fall of oil prices meant a fall in the country’s foreign currency revenue. This situation explains the depreciation of the peso of mid-2014 and all of 2015.
    In 2016 the situation gets complicated The victory of the Brexit referendum in June 2016 deteriorated expectations of the Mexican economy’s performance, lowering the price of the peso against the dollar.
    Things got worse for the Mexican peso in November 2016, when Donald trump was elected as President of the United States. At the time, the pessimism that took hold of investors and speculation lead to a depreciated Mexican peso. As we explained in another article, the peso depreciated 14% in only three days after Trump’s victory.
    Banxico reacted without success… With this scenario, the Bank of Mexico (Banxico) begun a series of efforts to try to defend the peso by raising the benchmark interest rate in 2016. The following graph shows the price of the peso against the dollar on the left axis; on the right it shows the reference interest rate of Banxico. Banxico practically doubled its reference rate between July 2016 and July 2017.

    This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on November 6, 2017.


  • Mexico’s “Legendary” Oil Hedging Desk Spent $1.25 Billion On 2018 Puts

    Mexico’s “legendary” oil hedgers (profiled her emost recently one year ago and by Bloomberg in this exhaustive article) are confident that prices won’t linger above $50 a barrel, because this summer, which is why the world’s most-active sovereign oil-trading desk spent a near record $1.25 billion on put options to lock in export prices for next year, Bloomberg reported, citing data from the country’s Ministry of Finance.
    The news is especially notable because, as we pointed out yesterday, with WTI prices holding at 6-month highs around $54 (and Brent at $60), hedge funds have never been more bullish on the entire energy complex, having accumulated a record 1.189 billion barrel equivalent long positions in the five major petroleum contracts (Brent, WTI (x2), RBOB, HO)…

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 31, 2017.


  • NAFTA Effect: Global Manufacturers Bet on Dirt-Cheap Mexico

    That wages have remained so low for so long is not by accident; it’s by design.
    President Trump’s repeated bashing of the North American Free Trade Agreement between the US, Canada, and Mexico has failed to dull the allure of Mexico’s maquiladoras for global manufacturers looking to cash in on the country’s much cheaper labor costs. Tecma Group, a firm that helps US and Canadian firms relocate to Mexico, has more business than ever. In the past few weeks alone, it has helped a cleaning equipment company and packaging company move.
    Mexico Consulting Associates, headquartered in Chicago, has three new clients interested in Mexico. Keith Patridge, who heads McAllen Economic Development, estimates that at least 12 companies will be installed this year in the north-western city of Reynosa. Another firm, Tacna Services, has helped two companies get set up in the Baja California area.
    The southward migration of U. S. companies continues unchecked even as Trump threatens to abandon NAFTA, provoking fear and consternation among manufacturers that have production and supply chains spread across the three countries. If Trump followed through on his threat, traded goods would be subject to tariffs of around 3.5% in the case of Mexican companies and 7% in the case of US ones, according to Benito Barber, an economist for Latin America for Nomura Holdings.
    On Tuesday a new coalition of major automakers, suppliers, and car dealers urged Trump not to withdraw from NAFTA. The members of the ‘Driving American Jobs’ coalition include trade associations that represent major global car manufacturers such as General Motors, Toyota Motor, Volkswagen, Hyundai Motor, and Ford Motor.

    This post was published at Wolf Street on Oct 26, 2017.


  • Mysterious “Missing” Vegas Security Guard Left The Country Days After Vegas Massacre

    The mystery surrounding Mandalay Bay security guard Jesus Campos grows increasingly bizarre by the day. Following Stephen Paddock’s October 1st massacre in Las Vegas, Campos, who may or may not have been shot by Paddock, flaked on a press conference that he reportedly scheduled then went missing for days before suddenly resurfacing on the ‘Ellen’ show.
    Now, Fox News has uncovered Customs and Border Patrol documents showing that Campos apparently crossed the border into Mexico days after the Vegas massacre. Campos reportedly crossed the border at the same place in January but, for whatever reason, was driving a rental car this time around instead of his own vehicle. Per the New York Post:
    Mandalay Bay security guard Jesus Campos mysteriously left the country just days after the Las Vegas massacre, a report says.
    Customs and Border Patrol documents obtained by Fox News show that the 25-year-old entered the United States from Mexico at the San Ysidro border crossing in California – one week after the mass shooting.
    It’s unclear how long Campos was out of the country. The documents only show that he entered back into the US.
    The young man reportedly crossed the border at the same location in January.
    While Campos was driving his own vehicle with Nevada plates during that trip, sources told Fox that he took a rental car this time around – which was registered in California.

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


  • U.S. Deepwater Offshore Oil Industry Trainwreck Approaching

    The U. S. Deepwater Offshore Oil Industry is a trainwreck in the making. The low oil price continues to sack an industry which was booming just a few short years ago. The days of spending billions of dollars to find and produce some of the most technically challenging deep-water oil deposits may be coming to an end sooner then the market realizes.
    Drilling activity in the Gulf of Mexico hit a peak in 2013 when the price of oil was over $100 a barrel. However, the current number of rigs drilling in the Gulf of Mexico has fallen to only 37% of what it was in 2013. This is undoubtedly bad news for an industry that fetches upward of $600,000 a day for leasing these massive ultra-deepwater rigs.
    One of the largest offshore drilling rig companies in the world is Transocean, headquartered in Switzerland. They lease ultra-deepwater rigs all over the globe. When the industry was still strong in 2014, nearly half of Transocean’s fleet of 27 ultra-deepwater rigs were leased in the Gulf of Mexico. Even though Transocean was quite busy that year, its ultra-deepwater rig utilization was 89% during the first half of 2014, down from an impressive 95% in 1H 2013.
    The term utilization represents the total number of working rigs in the fleet. So, in 2013, Transocean had 95% of its rigs busy drilling oil wells. But if we look at the following chart, we can see the disaster that has taken place at Transocean since the oil price fell by more than 50%:

    This post was published at SRSrocco Report on OCTOBER 25, 2017.


  • Someone Just Panic-Bid For Over $2 Billion Notional In Gold Futures…

    Shortly after Mexico announced it would increase its FX hedging program due to inflation fears, someone decided it was the right time to buy over 17,000 gold futures contracts (over $2 billion notional), driving the precious metal up to its 100DMA once again…

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


  • MSNBC Catches Illegals Jumping Border Fence With Mexico As It Reports On Trump’s Wall

    In an delightfully ironic lesson why border protection is important for the US, an MSNBC crew was reporting on the prototypes of Trump’s proposed border wall near San Diego, when the interview was interrupted by a group of ‘migrants not from Mexico’ hopping over the existing fence.

    ‘What happened?’ the MSNBC reporter shouts as a group of agents on horseback move in to catch border jumpers. ‘The people are crossing!’
    ‘Almost on cue, a group of asylum-seekers, migrants not from Mexico, jumped over the existing fence to turn themselves in to border agents on horseback,’ the narrator explained.
    ‘It’s like, a small group of three people jumped over in the middle of the day,’ he told a border patrol agent he was interviewing. ‘There’s a girl there in a pink backpack. Can you explain to me what’s going on?’
    What’s going on is that, as the border agent explained, it’s just another day at work fighting the battle to secure the nation’s southern border.


    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 24, 2017.


  • Petro-Plunder Worsens in Mexico

    Scaring off sorely needed investments in fuel distribution systems.
    A year and a half after Mexico opened its fuel market to private competition, almost all gasoline sold at BP and Royal Dutch Shell stations continues to come from state-owned Petrleos Mexicanos, A. K. A. Pemex.
    Mexico lacks a sufficiently advanced and coordinated network of oil pipelines and storage terminals that would allow the flow of imported products from the port to the gas stations. As the company’s chief executive, Jose Antonio Gonzlez Anaya, said in a recent visit to Washington, Pemex has a ‘grotesque lack of storage and transportation capacity.’
    Mexico allowed private companies to import fuel for the first time in April 2016 under broader reforms aimed at encouraging competition and investment. So far, 32 private companies have sent diesel to Mexico and 17 have brought in gasoline, according to Mexico’s Energy Secretariat. But the volumes are a tiny fraction of the nearly 800,000 barrels per day that Pemex imports.

    This post was published at Wolf Street on Oct 19, 2017.


  • Playing the Part in NAFTA Negotiations

    As the fourth round of NAFTA negotiations comes to an end, the agreement’s survival has once again been brought into question. US President Donald Trump has threatened to strike a new deal with just Canada. Mexico downplayed the threat, saying it would walk away from negotiations if the new terms brought by the US put it at a disadvantage. For their part, the Canadians have been quiet, keeping their cards much closer to their chests.
    All this commotion belies the fact that no NAFTA member is likely to walk away from the deal. The economic realities and commercial interests that led to its formation in the first place still incentivize cooperation, no matter how much any side postures.
    Still, at first the glance, the United States appears to have the upper hand. It boasts the largest economy in the world and accounts for about a quarter of global gross domestic product. Exports account for only roughly 12% of its GDP, according to the Department of Commerce, so the US has the benefit of a strong consumer class to boost economic activity when international demand is low. Easy access to such a large and vibrant consumer market has enabled Mexico and Canada to build up their economies without having to trade much with each other. In Mexico, on the other hand, exports account for about 38% of GDP, and about 81% of those go straight to the United States. Exports account for 31% of Canada’s GDP, according to the World Bank, about 76% of which go to the US. Exports are simply more important to the Canadian and Mexican economies than they are to the US’s.

    This post was published at Mauldin Economics on OCTOBER 16, 2017.


  • Asian Metals Market Update: October-09-2017

    North Korean tensions are once again to the fore. I always believe that natural calamity are short term pains but long term gains for any nation. Reconstruction and relief efforts create more jobs for the low skilled workers than under normal days. Storms and hurricanes in the nation surrounding the Gulf of Mexico will create more jobs than before. At the end of the day low skilled job creation is something which every nation lacks. Nature will do its job in America more than its politicians. Demand for industrial metals always rises after a natural calamity in any part of earth.
    Focus will shift to pre- election moves in Japan and political changes in the UK due to a continued delay in time for Brexit. Asian demand for gold and silver will also be the key this week.

    This post was published at GoldSeek on 9 October 2017.