McDonald’s ‘McPick 2’ Deal Illustrates Inflation

By Astrology Traders
The following is an excerpt from this weekend’s Astrology Traders update.
McDonald’s ‘McPick 2′ Deal Will Now Cost You $5 Instead of $2 Inflation is rearing it’s head at McDonald’s. I warned about this in the January 10th Astrology Traders update. January 6th was an important date, illustrated in the astrology, as critical for the dollar- suggesting a weak dollar and inflation. On the same date a story popped up in the news, McDonald’s officially eliminated the popular $1 menu, replacing it with a McPick $2 menu. Well, that didn’t last long. Now the menu will cost $5-This is HYPERINFLATION!
Below is an excerpt from the January 10th Astrology Traders:
The Dollar
The media narrative for a strong dollar continues unabated, while oil, the commodity backing the dollar, is falling through the floor of price support. According to Jeff, oil is potentially headed to $20 dollars a barrel near its 2002 lows. It does seem a coincidence for oil prices to plunge through long time support levels at $35 dollars a barrel on January 6th , the date I have highlighted as critical for THE DOLLAR!

This post was published at ZenTrader on March 13, 2016.

We Are Headed Toward a Cashless Society?

In this article, Claudio Grass, Managing Director at Global Gold Switzerland, talks to economist and Mises Institute Senior FellowThomas DiLorenzo. This exclusive interview covers central bank monetary policies, Keynesian economics, the economic’recovery,’ political correctness, and much more.
Claudio Grass: Thomas, it is an honor to have this opportunity to talk to you. I am also pleased to announce that you will be delivering the keynote speech at the BFI Inner Circle Wealth Forum in Florida on April the 18th and 19th. Let’s get started! Given the limited impact of loose monetary policy thus far, where do you think we are headed on the central bank front? Do you think it is likely that the Fed moves interest rates into negative territory, like many central banks across the globe have already done? What would the implications of such a step be?
Tom DiLorenzo: On the central bank front, we are headed where Japan has been over the past twenty years or so: more and more easy money in a quixotic quest to push interest rates into negative territory, a truly crazy idea. The craziness of this stems from the fact that the entire academic economics profession abandoned Keynesianism in the 1970s. Its failure to explain stagflation was considered to be the final nail in the Keynesian coffin. Franco Modigliani’s presidential address to the American Economic Association in the late ’70s was a remarkable white-flag-of-surrender speech by one of the prominent Keynesians. He confessed that Keynesian ‘stabilization policy’ had been a failure. Then, like a bad horror movie, Keynesianism reared its ugly head fifteen or twenty years later as though it had never been discredited. Thus we now have the crazed policy of negative interest rates based on the thoroughly-discredited idea that only ‘aggregate demand’ matters, and if we can just have the central bank push interest rates low enough, people will spend more and businesses will invest more, and all will be good. After the crash of 2008, caused by these same Fed policies, I recall the old Keynesian propagandist/economist Alice Rivlin on TV advising everyone to go out and spend wildly on anything. ‘It doesn’t matter what you spend it on,’ she said, ‘just spend it.’

This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on MARCH 14, 2016.

Japan Is “Fixed” – Machine Orders Suddenly Spike By Most In Over 13 Years

The Aussies did it with their employment data (and then admitted it), and now we see Japan’s Economic and Social reserch Institute post the most ridiculous macro print ever. Over 4 standard deviations from expectations and almost double the highest expectations, Japan Machinery Orders spiked 15.0% MoM – the biggest since Jan 2003.
Up 15% MoM versus expectations for a 1.9% rise… the biggest beat since Feb 2009 (oddly coincidental given everything that is going on)

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 03/13/2016 –.

“There Won’t Be A Wave Of Layoffs,” “No Stimulus Is Needed”: China Insists That No One Panic

It would funny to watch as Chinese policymakers attempt to pull off the impossible if it weren’t so downright frightening.
Beijing, long the global engine for growth and trade, finds itself at a rather vexing crossroads. NBS protestations to the contrary, the Chinese economy is decelerating rapidly in the face of a massive rebalancing towards consumption and services-led growth. The country’s move away from a smokestack economy has for all intents and purposes reset assumptions regarding how we think about global trade.
When the perpetual commodities bid from China disappeared, it became quickly apparent that sluggish growth may simply be something the world has to live with for the foreseeable future – especially considering the malaise gripping Brazil and Russia and uncertainties around whether or not India will be able to carry the entirety of the BRICS’ burden.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 03/13/2016 –.

Energy Wars Of Attrition – The Irony Of Oil Abundance

Authored by Michael Klare via,
Three and a half years ago, the International Energy Agency (IEA) triggered headlines around the world by predicting that the United States would overtake Saudi Arabia to become the world’s leading oil producer by 2020 and, together with Canada, would become a net exporter of oil around 2030. Overnight, a new strain of American energy triumphalism appeared and experts began speaking of ‘Saudi America,’ a reinvigorated U. S. A. animated by copious streams of oil and natural gas, much of it obtained through the then-pioneering technique of hydro-fracking. ‘This is a real energy revolution,’ the Wall Street Journal crowed in an editorial heralding the IEA pronouncement.
The most immediate effect of this ‘revolution,’ its boosters proclaimed, would be to banish any likelihood of a ‘peak’ in world oil production and subsequent petroleum scarcity. The peak oil theorists, who flourished in the early years of the twenty-first century, warned that global output was likely to reach its maximum attainable level in the near future, possibly as early as 2012, and then commence an irreversible decline as the major reserves of energy were tapped dry. The proponents of this outlook did not, however, foresee the coming of hydro-fracking and the exploitation of previously inaccessible reserves of oil and natural gas in underground shale formations.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 03/13/2016 –.

Watch 35 Years of the World’s Economy Evolving as a Living Organism

Here are the key points that this diagram has taught us:
History doesn’t go in a straight line: for many countries (including the US), the last 35 years have been an economic rollercoaster ride. Another example is Japan, which reached a peak of 17.6% of the global economy in 1994, but now stands at just 6%.
The global economy actually moves in waves: over the years, recessions in the US have impacted the entire global economy. For instance, rising US interest rates from 1986-1989 and an oil price shock in 1990 briefly slowed economic growth in the US. Also, the year 2001 saw the dot-com bubble burst and 9-11 attacks, which ended a decade of economic growth. But it was the Great Recession from 2007-2009 that had the biggest impact, causing the US and European economies to slow while emerging countries (mostly in Asia) continued to gather steam.
Watch video here

This post was published at The Burning Platform on 13th March 2016.

Mystery HFT “Dude” Is Crushing The Turkey Stock Market

“There’s a giant bull in the [Turkey stock market] china shop,” exclaims one trader, but (unsually for Turkey), “nobody knows anything for sure” about who he, she, or it is. As Bloomberg reports, a mystery investor who first appeared a year and a half ago with $450 million of bets on a single day, almost double the market average, is now executing major transactions with increasing frequency, scaring away competitors who can’t figure out when he or she will strike next, traders and bankers said.
Turgay Ozaner and his partners at Istanbul Portfolio have been scouring the official daily trading recap for months for signs of the shadowy figure’s identity, but it’s a code they’ve yet to crack. As Bloomberg reports,
‘Nobody knows anything for sure,’ Ozaner said in his office in a picturesque neighborhood on the shores of the Bosporus. ‘And this is Turkey, where usually we all know what’s going on.’ At least one European bank’s clients have stopped taking short-term positions in Turkish stocks after concluding the investor is using an algorithmic system in which complex formulas decide trades, while others are avoiding the market until they have more information, a person familiar with the matter said.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 03/13/2016 –.

2016, The Year Of The Red Monkey: Expect Wild, Unending Volatility

The past 25 years of “growth” and brief recessions may not be a good guide to the next few years.
In the lunar calendar that started February 8, this is the Year of the Red Monkey.
I found this description of the Red Monkey quite apt:
“According to Chinese Five Elements Horoscopes, Monkey contains Metal and Water. Metal is connected to gold. Water is connected to wisdom and danger. Therefore, we will deal with more financial events in the year of the Monkey. Monkey is a smart, naughty, wily and vigilant animal. If you want to have good return for your money investment, then you need to outsmart the Monkey. Metal is also connected to the Wind. That implies the status of events will be changing very quickly. Think twice before you leap when making changes for your finance, career, business relationship and people relationship.”

This post was published at Charles Hugh Smith on SUNDAY, MARCH 13, 2016.

“X-Rated” Markets Expose A Gaggle Of Fantasy-Enablers

Authored by Mark St. Cyr,
It was U. S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart’s candor which famously described his test in an obscenity trial (‘… I know it when I see it,’) when arguments were posed as to why something did, or did not, meet the threshold exceeding the Roth test. Today, the obscenity as to just how adulterated the very fabric of the financial markets have become was ripped clean and laid bare for all to see this past week.
The markets were sent screaming first down, then up, by nothing more than some economic two-bit fantasy both during, and after, the latest ECB’s monetary dictates. These perversions are so visibly adulterating they can no longer be denied by anyone with a modicum of business, or common sense. They are both fiscally and economically disgusting perversions. Period.
As shameful as this has become, what’s just as disgraceful is the cohort of so-called ‘smart people’ arguing why not only is all this trash good, but also, giving detailed explanations of economic theories, equations, formulas, extrapolations, causation, blah, blah, blah as to explain the nuances of it all. I have just one statement for the so-called ‘smart crowd.’ Please stop it. You are now not only embarrassing yourselves ever the more (if it were even possible at this stage) You are now annoying everyone with any decency of what free markets are supposed to represent. You’ve gone past the once laughable stage to the outright vulgar. So please – spare us.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 03/13/2016 –.

For Stocks, a Reality Too Ugly to Behold?

The magic of Consensual Hallucination.
The simple fact is that corporate earnings data is out there for everyone to see, but no one wants to see it. Instead, everyone wants to see and believe the sweet fairy tale that Wall Street and Corporate America spin with such skill just for us, because if everyone believes that everyone believes in this fairy tale, even knowing that it is a fairy tale, it will somehow lead to ever higher stock prices.
This is part of a phenomenon we’ve come to call ‘Consensual Hallucination.’
But that fairy tale got spun to new fanciful extremes in 2015.
Revenues of the S&P 500 companies fell 4.0% in the fourth quarter and 3.6% for the year, according to FactSet, with most of the companies having by now reported their earnings. And these earnings declined 3.4% in Q4, dragging earnings ‘growth’ for the entire year into the negative, so a decline in earnings of 1.1%.

This post was published at Wolf Street by Wolf Richter ‘ March 13, 2016.

“Let Them Come For Me!” Maduro Defiant As Thousands Protest In Venezuela

Some Venezuelans aren’t happy with Nicolas Maduro, and it’s easy to see why.
Inflation in the socialist paradise is projected to run at a mind boggling 720% this year after topping 200% in 2015. Long queues are common at grocery stores, where the country’s beleaguered citizens wait in hopes of grabbing the last of increasingly scarce basic staples like rice and, famously, toilet paper. According to a trade group of drug stores, 90% of medicines are now scarce.
As we documented last month, the acute economic crisis – Venezuela is the worst performing economy in the world – is the result of years of disastrous policies pursued by the socialist government which has pushed out private industry and badly mismanaged the country’s oil wealth. Default is now virtually assured, as 90% of crude revenue needs to be diverted to debt payments. Thanks to rising imports and falling oil sales, the CA deficit has worsened, forcing Caracas to liquidate assets to fund a budget deficit that’s projected to hover near 20% of GDP for the foreseeable future.
The economic malaise has fueled a political crisis. Last month, Maduro used a Supreme Court stacked with allies to push through a decree granting the presidency ‘emergency powers.’ Opposition lawmakers – who, you’re reminded, in December won 99 of 167 seats that were up for grabs in what amounted to the worst defeat in history for Hugo Chavez’s leftist movement – were livid and decided to accelerate plans to remove to the hapless leader.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 03/13/2016 –.

The Most Expensive Housing Markets In USA Have The Worst Tax Climates

This is a syndicated repost courtesy of Confounded Interest. To view original, click here. Reposted with permission.
The most expensive housing markets are in the USA tend to be on the Pacific Coast (San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, Seattle) and in Megalopolis (Boston, New York City, Brooklyn, Washington DC).
The coast is the most, as they say. But the Pacific Coast and Megalopolis are also known for having the most taxes (California, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Vermont).

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner by Anthony B. Sanders ‘ March 13, 2016.

Merkel Heading For Humiliation As State Elections Swing To Anti-Immigrationists

“The AfD is a party that is not bringing together society and not offering the appropriate solutions for the problems, but it is stirring up prejudice and polarizing.’
That’s from Angela Merkel who spoke last Saturday to Bild am Sonntag about the threat she believes the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany party poses to the country.
Apparently, voters weren’t listening.
In what amounts to a sweeping indictment of the Iron Chancellor’s open-door refugee policies, Merkel’s conservatives lost in two of the three state elections on Sunday with AfD scoring significant wins at the ballot box.
‘With three states in play on Sunday, support for Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union declined in the southwestern region of Baden-Wuerttemberg — the biggest prize — in Saxony-Anhalt in the formerly communist east and in the western region of Rhineland-Palatinate compared with five years ago, according to exit polls for national broadcaster ARD,’ Bloomberg reports, adding that ‘If confirmed, the results would mean the CDU failed in its bid to win back Baden-Wuerttemberg and take Rhineland-Palatinate
Some 20% of Germans live in the regions at stake. That means Berlin will need to seriously consider what the results say about voters’ mood before the next federal ballot in 18 months. Turnout, Bloomberg says, was higher than the last elections in 2011.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 03/13/2016 –.

A Short History Of (Unsuccessfully) Calling A Bottom In Oil

If at first you don’t succeed, keep trying to call the bottom in oil prices.
As Bloomberg writes, catching a falling knife is hard, especially when it’s covered in oil. The International Energy Agency today said oil prices may have bottomed out. Several people have tried to call the oil’s floor since prices started falling in the summer of 2014. So far nobody has been right.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 03/13/2016 –.

Truth Is Inconvenient

All profess to want the truth. In reality few really do and even fewer can recognize it. Truth is inconvenient. It conflicts with what most have been taught which is little more than propaganda and brainwashing to accept the predatory behavior of the State.
‘There are none so blind as those who will not see’
The following video provides a perspective few have. Truth is inconvenient especially when it is presented to the brainwashed. Watch this video and see how much of it you disagree with. Is your disagreement rational or merely based on ‘acceptable norms’, ‘believing in good citizenship’ or some other rationalization that if mostly indefensible with logic:

This post was published at Economic Noise on March 9, 2016.

Why I Don’t Trust This Rally

This is a syndicated repost courtesy of Money Morning – We Make Investing Profitable. To view original, click here. Reposted with permission.
Stocks kept rallying last week despite the fact that economic conditions are not improving anywhere in the world.
Investors predictably celebrated the European Central Bank’s (ECB) decision to lower interest rates further below zero and to buy more debt (including investment grade corporate bonds) in a continuation of its desperate efforts to revive a moribund European economy.
The fact that investors are willing to celebrate government actions to confiscate their savings through negative interest rates illustrates the short-term mentality driving markets closer to a day of reckoning.
You just cannot grow economies by destroying capital, yet that is precisely what negative interest rates accomplish.

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner by Michael E. Lewitt ‘ March 13, 2016.

Goldman Warns Its Clients They Are Overlooking “The Largest Macro Market Risk”

In the aftermath of Friday’s market “reassessment” and subsequent surge, when the ECB’s “bazooka” was found quite stimulative for risk assets after all (as opposed to the Thursday post-kneejerk reaction) one would think that Goldman which still has a 2,100 year end target on the S&P500, would be delighted. Oddly enough, just like Bank of America, Goldman’s reaction is somber, and instead of joining the euphoria unleashed by the surge in energy, momentum and corporate debt-related risk, the firm’s chief strategist David Kostin says the bounce won’t last as it is on the back of firms with “Weak Balance Sheet”, and that both energy and momentum stocks will return their downward trajectory once the dollar it rise as soon as the week when the Fed reverts to a far more hawkish stance.
As Kostin explains, a big part of the unwind of the recent renormalization in value-vs-momentum factors, is on the back of the spike in oil:
Earlier in the week commodity prices, and specifically crude oil, caused violent swings in market momentum that has dominated investor focus. After rising by 31% in 2015, our momentum factor (ticker: GSMEFMOM) has declined by 5% YTD, with its volatility leaping to the highest levels since 2009. This month alone the factor has experienced daily returns falling in the 2nd percentile (-3%) and 99th percentile ( 5%) since 1980. Energy firms currently account for 25% of the factor’s short leg. Since bottoming at $26 on February 11, WTI crude has risen by $12 (44%) and driven the S&P 500 Energy sector to outperform the broad market by 265 bp (12% vs. 9%).

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 03/13/2016 –.


PM Sector longs have had a laugh at our expense over the past couple of weeks as gold has continued to edge higher after we called it down, but it is looking more and more like they will end up like those 4 fools in the classic Clint Eastwood Spaghetti Western, A Fistful of Dollars. Clint rides into a tiny flyblown town and the 4 fools shoot around his mule’s feet. After advising the undertaker to Get 3 coffins ready, having made a slight underestimation, Clint returns and challenges the 4 fools by saying ‘When you apologize to my mule like I know you’re going to’. Needless to say they do not respond in the required manner to this demand and so Clint quickly dispatches them to the great satisfaction of the undertaker.
While the PM sector bulls have been working themselves up into a lather the Commercials have been piling up the shorts to a huge level, and since these guys are never seriously wrong, it means trouble, big trouble. If you go against them, especially at extremes, you are a fool. I have received any number of Emails in the recent past telling me that ‘It’s different this time’ and that the COTs don’t matter etc, here is an example, which I have slightly edited with asterisks, because this is a family website where vulgarity is not permitted – ‘Same rules don’t apply. Big demand no supply. Paper commercials can go fu** themselves. No one is going to sell their physical at these sh** prices.’ Now I don’t think that I need to tell you that when primitives like this are bullish, it’s time to watch out. I certainly do not believe that the Commercials are going to be outsmarted by people of this caliber.

This post was published at Clive Maund on March 12th, 2016.

Oil Prices Should Fall, Possibly Hard

Submitted by Art Berman via,
Oil prices should fall, possibly hard, in coming weeks. That is because fundamentals do not support the present price.
Prices should fall to around $30 once the empty nature of an OPEC-plus-Russia production freeze is understood. A return to the grim reality of over-supply and the weakness of the world economy could push prices well into the $20s.
A Production Freeze Will Not Reduce The Supply Surplus An OPEC-plus-Russia production cut would be a great step toward re-establishing oil-market balance. I believe that will happen later in 2016 but is not on the table today.
In late February, Saudi oil minister Ali Al-Naimi stated categorically, ‘There is no sense in wasting our time in seeking production cuts. That will not happen.’

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 03/13/2016 –.