I concluded a few years ago that once anything gets big, it goes bad. What might start out as a noble cause eventually becomes corrupt, mismanaged, and worthless. When I realized the thousands and thousands I had donated to the Catholic Church over the years was funding the priest abuse cover-up, I stopped giving and walked away from the corrupt organization run by evil men. I’ve given money to the Wounded Warrior organization. Another waste of money. The executives were partying with 50% of the contributed funds. Never give a penny to this organization again. The same goes for every large charity organization. The bigger they get, the more it is about the people running the operation.
Any organization that spends more than 10% of their funds on overhead, should be shunned. That’s why I only give to the local foodbank near my house. They directly help people in need every day. No middleman. No advertising campaigns. No massive organization. One building, a couple people running it, volunteers feeding the down on their luck, and no lavish homes and perks for executives like the Cancer scams, United Way, ALS, and a myriad of other massive bureaucracies designed to bilk you.

This post was published at The Burning Platform on 11th March 2016.

That’s All There Is: Draghi Drags His Heels And Says ECB Isn’t Likely To Cut Interest Rates Further

This is a syndicated repost courtesy of Confounded Interest. To view original, click here. Reposted with permission.
Mario Draghi tried to reel back his stimulus torpedo by saying further stimulus isn’t likely. Investors responded by singing ‘Is that all there is?’
({Bloomberg) -0 The European Central Bank can cut interest rates further but isn’t likely to, Mario Draghi said after unveiling stimulus on Thursday that brought borrowing costs to record lows, expanded asset purchases and offered a borrowing subsidy to lenders.

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner by Anthony B. Sanders ‘ March 10, 2016.

Credit Card Debt In The United States Is Approaching A Trillion Dollars

For the first time ever, total credit card debt in the United States is approaching a trillion dollars. Instead of learning painful lessons from the last recession, Americans continue to make the same horrendous financial mistakes over and over again. In fact, U. S. consumers accumulated more new credit card debt during the 4th quarter of 2015 than they did during the years of 2009, 2010 and 2011combined. That is absolutely insanity, because other than payday loans, credit card debt is just about the worst kind of debt that consumers could possibly go into. Extremely high rates of interest, combined with severe penalties and fees, can choke the financial life out of almost any family in no time at all.
These days, most Americans use credit cards for various purposes, and they can be very convenient.
And if you pay them off every single month, they don’t become a problem.
Unfortunately, a lot of people are not doing this. According to CNBC, total U. S. credit card debt rose by an astounding 71 billion dollars last year alone…
Last year, credit card debt in the U. S. surged by approximately $71 billion to $917.7 billion, according to a new study from CardHub.com. The research also found that most of the debt accrued in 2015 came in the fourth quarter, when Americans tacked on more than $52 billion.

This post was published at The Economic Collapse Blog on March 11th, 2016.


The Man with the Inflation Plan
Proving beyond a shadow of doubt that Keynesian absurdity knows no bounds, Larry Summers has graced the FT – one of the West’s premier establishment propaganda mouthpieces advocating central economic planning as practiced by modern-day regulatory democracies – with yet another cringe-worthy editorial.

This post was published at Acting-Man on March 9, 2016.

ECB Close to ‘Stimulating’ a Global Meltdown

Traders sent global markets into wild spasms Thursday on news of further monetary easing by the European Central Bank. With rates already negative and no eurozone inflation in sight, who could possibly believe this is going to end well? Far from stimulating spending and investment, increasingly desperate policy measures by Draghi & Co. are achieving the opposite, creating a climate of fear and uncertainty for lenders, borrowers and households. The only reason easing still works at all in the U. S. is that, unlike their European counterparts, American consumers are hard-wired to spend every dime they can get their hands on. Even so, this won’t suffice to prevent the tottering economies of China and Europe from imploding. Nor can the U. S. economy remain even weakly buoyant as the rest of the world sinks into a bog of deflation. Under the circumstances, an investor would have to be out of his mind to buy stocks at these levels with expectations of a rally to significant new highs. What rallies we’ve seen lately are driven almost entirely by short-covering. Be ready for a 5000-point drop in the Dow, just for starters, after the last bear throws in the towel.

This post was published at Rick Ackerman on March 10, 2016.

Commercial property bubble gets out of control: Commercial real estate is now up 102 percent from the lows reached in 2009.

We live in a system were bubbles grow and pop at an increasingly faster pace. This is largely due to massive market intervention bycentral banks and their masters with investment and commercial banks. The goal is to always create more liquidity if you are a bank. However there is no clean mechanism to filter liquidity into the appropriate areas of the economy so enormous waste occurs typically in the form of asset inflation. The bailouts were largely a ‘trust the banks’ operation and here we are almost one decade since the Great Recession hit and we’ve basically made the middle class a minority in the United States. In the mean time banks are doing fantastic. One area where a bubble appears to be ongoing is in commercial real estate. Commercial real estate is going gangbusters even though the typical family is barely scraping by. So what gives?
The bubble in commercial real estate
Commercial real estate took it on the chin last time alongside residential real estate. Obviously with the economy contracting there is going to be some fallout with commercial real estate. Businesses need to make income so they can pay their leases. Business dries up and so does the rent payment.

This post was published at MyBudget360 on March 10, 2016.


Gold: $1,258.70 down $13.30 (comex closing time)
Silver 15.61 up 6 cents
In the access market 5:15 pm
Gold $1250.80
silver: 15.48
At the gold comex today, we had a poor delivery day, registering 8 notices for 800 ounces and for silver we had 101 notices for 505,000 oz for the active March delivery month.
Several months ago the comex had 303 tonnes of total gold. Today, the total inventory rests at 212.04 tonnes for a loss of 91 tonnes over that period.
In silver, the open interest fell by 358 contracts to 169,264 despite the outside/upside reversal yesterday with silver advancing by 19 cents . In ounces, the OI is still represented by .846 billion oz or 122% of annual global silver production (ex Russia ex China).
In silver we had 101 notices served upon for 505,000 oz.
In gold, the total comex gold OI rose by an enormous 15,074 contracts to 504,118 contracts as the price of gold was up $15.40 with yesterday’s trading.(at comex closing).
We had another rather large change in gold inventory at the GLD, a deposit of 5.95 tonnes of gold from the GLD/ thus the inventory rests tonight at 798.77 tonnes. The appetite for gold coming from China is depleting not only gold from the LBMA and GLD but also the comex is bleeding gold. Our 670 tonnes of rock bottom inventory in GLD gold has been broken. It looks to me that China has taken the last amounts of physical gold from the GLD. I guess the only place left for China to receive physical gold, after they deplete the GLD will be the FRBNY and the comex. In silver,/we had a huge change in inventory/this time a huge deposit of 1.333 million oz and thus the Inventory rests at 323.965 million oz.

This post was published at Harvey Organ Blog on March 11, 2016.

Everything Was Working Great… And Then Today’s ECB Blog Post Left JPMorgan “Dazed And Confused”

In a historic first, earlier today ECB vice president Vitor Constancio (the same one who in October 2014 explained that the European stress tests refuse to consider a scenario with deflation “because indeed we don’t consider that deflation is going to happen” just a few months before Europe got its first deflationary print since the crisis) penned an official ECB opinion piece, some might call it a blog post, titled “In Defense of Monetary Policy” just hours after the ECB’s historic “all in” gamble which included the first ever monetization of corporate bonds.
In it he tried to do two things:
To explain why, despite repeated rumblings that monetary policy is longer relevant, it is in fact essential, or as he says “not only is it wrong to start talking down monetary policy – it’s actually dangerous“, and to do this he attempts to prove a counterfactual saying that without QE, European deflation would be far worse than it is now, and that structural reforms, while critical “it is difficult to see how they could spur growth significantly in the next two years, especially when the current problem is lack of global demand.” In other words, yes, we should no longer stimulate, but we can’t stop as governments are too inefficient, and take too long to do what they have to, so we will keep stimulating. The second one is both a justification for negative rates, in which far from the now accepeted reason that the ECB no longer wants to impair bank profitability, what Constancio suggests is that the only gating factor is fears about a flight to cash should rates go even more negative (and hence why the ECB has been so aggressively moving to eliminate the 500 bill).

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 03/11/2016 –.

Global Liquidity Falls to 2008 Crisis Levels

This is a syndicated repost courtesy of Confounded Interest. To view original, click here. Reposted with permission.
According to the BofA Merrill Lynch Global Liquidity Tracker, global liquidity is now back to 2008-9 crisis levels.
Our real-time Global Liquidity Tracker (GLT) is a composite indicator of liquidity conditions in emerging and developed economies. To estimate our GLT indicator, we employ a dynamic factor model used by global central banks. Our Liquidity Tracker extracts a common unobserved factor reflecting the greatest common variation among market spreads, asset prices, monetary and credit data across different frequencies. We combine our US, Euro area, Japan and EM Liquidity trackers into a global composite using financial weights reflecting the average relevance of an economy in terms of market capitalization and private sector credit.
All of this allows us to produce timely estimates of liquidity conditions in an effort to asses the state of the global economy. A reading of zero indicates liquidity at its long-run average while activity between -3 and 3 represents the standard deviation from this average.

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner by Anthony B. Sanders ‘ March 10, 2016.

Good Times, Bad Times – Real Estate and Aging

A Mountain of Debt – But at Least We Have an iPhone
Whenever I encounter someone from the younger generation (40 years or younger), I make it a point to apologize for leaving them a country in far worse shape than the one I enjoyed. Surprisingly, none of them believe that apologies are necessary, as most have no clue what I am talking about.
They seem to be totally happy that the national debt has quadrupled under the last two presidents. They do not mind that their education was paid for not by their parents but by an ever rising $1.3 trillion debt that they are responsible for themselves.
They seem to be very grateful that we gave them the iPhone, iPad and similar devices so they can now post their photos and other personal data for the world to see.
The moral of the story: When you have never seen the good times, you won’t know you are living in bad times.
Anyway, I digress, this post is actually supposed to be about real estate and aging.

This post was published at Acting-Man on March 11, 2016.

The Fed’s Dilemma: The Wrong Kind of Inflation

Observe how two years later, the Fed’s expected ‘transitory’ factors are still here:
‘Recent sizable declines in oil prices will likely hold down overall inflation in the near term. But as the effects of these oil price declines and other transitory factors dissipate and as resource utilization continues to rise, the Committee expects inflation to move gradually back toward its objective.’ -Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen, December 2014
‘…once oil and import prices stop falling, the downward pressure on domestic inflation from those sources should wane, and as the labor market strengthens further, inflation is expected to rise gradually to 2 percent over the medium term.’ -Yellen, February 2016
The Fed’s next move with interest rates is the biggest issue driving global credit and equity markets. The fundamental idea is that the economy is like a candle: if it burns too bright, it burns out faster; if it burns too low, it could snuff out. Moderating the flow of oxygen is a means of managing the candle’s flame.

This post was published at FinancialSense on 03/10/2016.

Draghobert the Terrible Strikes Again

A Whiff of Panic
Ahead of Thursday’s ECB meeting, there was a widespread consensus that Europe’s chief printing press supervisor would make up for the alleged ‘mistake’ of under-delivering on monetary lunacy last time around. Therefore, a sizable dose of fresh absurdities had to be expected, with only small disagreements on the details. It is fair to say the man didn’t disappoint.
There was an even greater consensus that the punters populating the casino were eagerly awaiting such news, and that they stood ready to deploy wagon-loads of money (mostly other people’s) in the direction wished for by the central planning puppeteers. This particular detail didn’t quite work out as expected, at least not at first. For instance, after an initial swoon, the ECB’s very own confetti became more rather than less expensive.

This post was published at Acting-Man on March 12, 2016.

Weekend Reading: The Bull/Bear Struggle Continues

Submitted by Lance Roberts via RealInvestmentAdvice.com,
The standoff between the ‘bulls’ and ‘bears’ continued this week as prices struggled to rise. The ‘bulls’continue to ‘hope’ that the recent turmoil that started at the beginning of this year has come to an end. The ‘bears’ continue to point out silly things like an ongoing earnings recession, weakening economic data, and deteriorating technicals to make their case.
Silly ‘bears’.
Interestingly, on Thursday, the ECB launched its biggest ‘bazooka’ yet pushing further into negative interest rates, increasing their already failed QE program and crossing every finger and toe for ‘good luck.’ Via the ECB:
‘At today’s meeting the Governing Council of the ECB took the following monetary policy decisions: (1) The interest rate on the main refinancing operations of the Eurosystem will be decreased by 5 basis points to 0.00%, starting from the operation to be settled on 16 March 2016.
(2) The interest rate on the marginal lending facility will be decreased by 5 basis points to 0.25%, with effect from 16 March 2016.
(3) The interest rate on the deposit facility will be decreased by 10 basis points to -0.40%, with effect from 16 March 2016.
(4) The monthly purchases under the asset purchase programme will be expanded to 80 billion starting in April.
(5) Investment grade euro-denominated bonds issued by non-bank corporations established in the euro area will be included in the list of assets that are eligible for regular purchases.’

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 03/11/2016 –.

SP 500 and NDX Futures Daily Charts – ‘Reconsidering’ the ECB’s Recent Action

According to the official spin, traders ‘reconsidered’ what the ECB did this week, and what Draghi had subsequently said, and gleefully cast off all doubts and concerns about risks and started buying equities.
Yes, I am sure that this is what happened.
Just as I am sure that all the lying, manipulating, and looting will also continue, until morale improves and confidence in our glorious central banks returns.
The SP futures were leading the charge higher, in a familiar pattern we tend to see whenever the Fed and the financial powers that be wish to instill confidence in their mighty judgements.
Next week we will have quite a bit more macroeconomic data as indicated in the advance chart below. There will aslo be the March FOMC meeting.
Will they or won’t they?
Have a pleasant weekend.

This post was published at Jesses Crossroads Cafe on 11 MARCH 2016.

Gold Daily and Silver Weekly Charts – Instilling Confidence in the Central Banks

Today was just one of those days where the ‘invisible hand’ tries to instill some confidence in the wise and benevolent judgement of the money masters, after a central bank, in this case the ECB, does something very visible and ‘lays an egg’ in doing it.
So after all this today, are you feeling more confident in The Recovery?
The chart formation in gold remains intact, but not activated or nullified as of yet.
There will be the March FOMC meeting next week.
Have a pleasant weekend.

This post was published at Jesses Crossroads Cafe on 11 MARCH 2016.

Canadian Housing & Mortgage Investment Corporations – Time To Worry?

Authored by James Price, Shane Obata and Richardson GMP, via Valuewalk.com,
The Canadian housing market has done extremely well for a very long time. As such, many people expect the trend to continue. That said, there are major vulnerabilities in the Canadian economy that pose a threat to the housing market’s continued success. In the following report we will examine the economy, the financial position of households, the housing market and the risks facing it. Lastly, we will analyze the mortgage market and Mortgage Investment Corporations (MICs). We are not convinced that the housing market is about to crash. Nonetheless, we remain extremely cautious.
Canadian Housing & Mortgage Investment Corporations – Overview
2015 was a rough year for Canada as falling commodities, specifically oil, filtered through to the rest of the economy. In real terms, GDP has been almost flat since late 2014 – shortly after oil started its long decline.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 03/11/2016 –.

Strike! China’s Growing Labor Unrest

Labor unrest is on the rise in China, driven by its economic slowdown and rising expectations for wages and labor rights, and exacerbated by problems in both local governance and China’s social safety net. Risks for businesses – both those with operations in China and those whose supply chains depend on Chinese manufacturing – are proving increasingly problematic.
Incidents of labor unrest in China are increasing. According to the China Labor Bulletin (CLB), Chinese workers engaged in around 185 strikes in 2011. In 2015, the CLB reported 2944 strikes – 16 times as many. Better reporting and data collection may account for some of this growth – but even taking this into consideration, the increase in the frequency of labor protests is alarming.
Another indication of mounting unrest is China’s increasing public security budget. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) fears that labor protests could escalate and broaden into political uprisings. As such, the CCP places a high priority on policing strikes and labor unrest. The growing need for repressive measures at home to cope with more frequent strikes is reflected in China’s expanding public security spending. National public security spending increased by 15.3 billion RMB (2.4 billion USD) in 2015 and local public security budgets have increased by over 200 billion RMB (30.7 billion USD) since 2010.

This post was published at FinancialSense on 03/11/2016.