Sears – What Comes Next?

Sears, Roebuck & Co. is an American department store that was founded by Richard Warren Sears and Alvah Curtis Roebuck back in 1886. It was based originally in Chicago and it gave birth to the mail order industry. It was the Amazon of the 19th century. Sears issued catalogs that were distributed throughout the country by the railroads. You could order products from Sears and everything would be delivered by railroad.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Oct 2, 2016.

90 Days Later: Still No Signs Of Brexit ‘Doom & Gloom’

For the first half of the year, we were warned early and often by authorities that the Brexit vote could be a calamity for the ages.
For example, the IMF claimed that a ‘Leave’ result would threaten to ’cause severe damage’, while Standard and Poor’s said that it would ‘paralyze’ investment in the UK.
But, as Visual Capitalist’s Jeff Desjardins notes, it turns out that the real Brexit casualty isn’t the UK economy – instead it is the reputation of the many professional economists who wrongly predicted doom and gloom as the likely aftermath.
Today’s chart looks at the three months before and after the Brexit vote, which took place on June 23, 2016.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 1, 2016.

According To JPMorgan, This Is The Biggest Risk Facing Deutsche Bank At This Point

Deutsche Bank uncertainties were added to concerns about BoJ tapering spooking global equity markets over the past week. Widespread press reports about Deutsche Bank clients and counterparties reducing their financial exposure to the bank, including their derivatives exposures, alarmed market participants.
At the same time, JPMorgan warns, the amount borrowed by euro-area banks at the ECB’s USD auction this week spiked to $6.35bn raising fears about funding.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 1, 2016.

Gold And Silver – Qrtly, Monthly Charts. Last Weekly Commentary.

This will be our last weekly commentary on the markets. What we know for certain is that the globalists have a stranglehold on the markets, and more importantly, a stranglehold on all Western nations to the point where life has become a theater of the absurd, negatively and without an end in sight.
We have been leaning in this direction for some time. Time off at the end of August, when access to a computer and news was limited to an hour a day, and we chose to use only a small portion of the allotted time, drove home the point, or more appropriately the pointlessness of what is going on all around the world.
Two anecdotal stories put our sense of senseless activities into a context. 1. The boiling frog, and 2. Rip Van Winkle. The frog analogy compares how when put into a pot of boiling water the frog will immediately jump out to escape from the danger of being boiled alive. When a frog is placed into a pot of tepid water, there is no sense of any danger. The temperature of the water is then gradually increased and the frog adjusts to the change until the point where the frog eventually becomes boiled alive. With Rip Van Winkle, when he awakens after a 20 year sleep, all of the changes that have taken place after his two decade absence are so glaringly obvious to him.

This post was published at Edge Trader Plus on October 2, 2016.

Florida Democrats Outraged Over ‘Fried Chicken’ Voter Registration Drive

Just yesterday we revealed a fraudulent scheme by a young democrat to re-register dead voters in his critical home swing state of Virginia (see “Meet The Young Virginia Democrat That Registered 19 Dead People To Vote In Virginia“). Of course, House Minority Leader David Toscano (D-Charlottesville) said the whole thing was much ado about nothing and shamelessly pivoted to blame Republicans for constantly trying to suppress voter turnout.
‘First of all, there was no voter fraud – they caught him. Nobody cast a vote. .’.’. There’s still no evidence of that going on in the state. But there is evidence every time you turn around that the Republicans are trying to make it more difficult for citizens to vote in elections.’ Really? Guess we can officially add “necrophobia” to the growing list of alleged Republican fears that results in their pervasive suppression of voters based on everything from race to income, sexual orientation and now, mortality.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 1, 2016.

This is Why US Gov. Deficit Numbers are a BIG Lie

But where did the money go? Fume and gnash your teeth. The US gross national debt – after having been successfullydisappeared from public discussion – has jumped by $1.38 trillion in fiscal 2016, which ended Friday. Ironically, this is not one of my infamous typos.
So OK, there were some timing issues with the debt ceiling and so forth a year ago, after which the debt jumped $340 billion in one day.
To smoothen out those factors, we look at fiscal 2016 and 2015 combined: the gross national debt ballooned by $1.71 trillion over those two years, $850 billion on average each year. There were only four years in the history of the US, when deficits exceeded this average: 2009-2012.
Not too shabby, for a booming economy. But follow me. This is just to lay down some basic numbers, as we’re drilling into the mystery of how the government borrowed $4 trillion more than it said it spent since 2003. Those $4 trillion in borrowed money – the bonds are still out there – went up in smoke, according to government numbers. But money doesn’t go up in smoke. It flows somewhere. So follow me.

This post was published at Wolf Street by Wolf Richter ‘ October 1, 2016.

German Media Says Merkel Can Not Afford To Bail Out Deutsche Bank

Having kept mostly silent during the past week when Deutsche Bank stock was crashing, its default risk soaring, and only a spurious rumor by French AFP, based on a Twitter report, prevented the bank’s stock from going into a three day weekend at all time lows , on Saturday the German press woke up to the ongoing local banking crisis, reiterating what stoked the crisis in the first place, namely Angela Merkel’s statement last weekend that it won’t bail out Deutsche Bank.
Repeating not only what Merkel herself said last week – a statement which first prompted this week’s plunge in DB stock – but what we have said all along, namely that a bailout of Deutsche Bank would be political suicide for the Chancellor due to pressure from AfD, and may lead to the collapse of Europe, where other nations, namely Italy, have been pushing for a similar bailout of their own banking systems only to be met with stern denials by German, Reuters reports that according to much of the German media, Angela Merkel cannot afford to bail out Deutsche Bank given the hard line Berlin has taken against state aid in other European nations and the risk of a political backlash at home.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 1, 2016.

Doug Noland’s Credit Bubble Bulletin: A Take on Deutsche Bank

This is a syndicated repost courtesy of Credit Bubble Bulletin. To view original, click here. Reposted with permission.
September 30 – Wall Street Journal (James Mackintosh): ‘Lehman failed the way all banks fail: It ran out of cash and liquid assets it could quickly sell to pay clients and counterparties as they ran for the exit. In principle, the same could happen to any bank, as they never have enough easy-to-sell assets to pay back every depositor immediately. Deutsche is now in focus in part because clients have been spooked by its plummeting shares… But Lehman was particularly vulnerable, due to its reliance on the overnight repurchase, or repo, market and on hedge funds to finance itself. Billions of dollars of cash and other assets from its so-called prime brokerage business drained away in its final few days, while repos couldn’t be renewed and banks and other counterparties demanded extra collateral to back derivatives trades. Deutsche is different. It has a far more diversified client base, sourced from German retail banking and multiple institutional business lines. It has a lot more liquidity, amounting to $246.8 billion at the end of June, equal to 12% of assets, against the $45 billion Lehman had a month before its downfall, 7.5% of assets.’

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner by Doug Noland ‘ October 1, 2016.

Hillary’s Huge Estate-Tax Hike

‘Hillary Clinton Proposes 65% Top Rate for Estate Tax’ blared a headline in The Wall Street Journal. Since the current top statutory tax rate on estates is 40 percent, Clinton’s proposal is nothing if not audacious. I can’t recall Barack Obama, our most left-leaning president, ever calling for a 65 percent increase in tax rates for the rich.
Going after inheritances and estates is textbook Marxism. That is not an exaggeration. The third plank in Karl Marx’s 10-point platform for achieving socialism through democratic means – see his 1848 textbook to communism, The Communist Manifesto – was the abolition of inheritances. To repeat: it was point three in Marx’s 10-point plan.

This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on Oct 1, 2016.

Germany’s Banking Crisis Accelerates

I think there will be a government bailout of Deutsche Bank this year. Commerzbank may be in equally bad shape. Its shares are sliding.
If Germany’s government must intervene, then European depositors will ask themselves: Which banks are safe?
They can deposit euros in banks in every nation in the eurozone. But which banks? Which nations? Germany has been the favorite.
Some hedge funds are now pulling money out of Deutsche Bank. Bloomberg reports:
The funds, a small subset of the more than 800 clients in the bank’s hedge fund business, have moved part of their listed derivatives holdings to other firms this week, according to an internal bank document seen by Bloomberg News. Among them are Izzy Englander’s $34 billion Millennium Partners, Chris Rokos’s $4 billion Rokos Capital Management, and the $14 billion Capula Investment Management, said a person familiar with the situation who declined to be identified talking about confidential client matters.
To pull out, they must put in. This is digital money. To get your digital money out of Bank A, you must have it sent to Bank B. This is essentially simultaneous. So, the banking sector as a whole is not imperiled. The money supply does not shrink. But confidence erodes.
I don’t see any nation’s banks in the eurozone competing successfully with Germany. The Netherlands has conservative banks, but they are small. Austria is also known for its conservative banking. But the money will probably stay inside Germany’s banks.

This post was published at Gary North on October 01, 2016.

The Biggest Heist In Human History

Here’s your economics quiz for the day:
Question 1 – What do you think would happen if you put $3 trillion into the financial system?
a – Stock prices would rise
b – Stock prices would fall
c – Stock prices would stay the same
Question 2 – What do you think would happen if you put $3 trillion into the economy? (Via fiscal stimulus for infrastructure projects, extended unemployment benefits, food stamps, etc)
a – Activity would increase and the economy would grow
b – Activity would slow and the economy would shrink
c – Activity would stay the same, so growth would remain unchanged
If you picked ‘a’ for both questions, then pat yourself on the back because you got the right answers.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 1, 2016.

Keiser Report: Haters or Losers (E974)

The following video was published by RT on Oct 1, 2016
Max and Stacy discuss losers and haters in the financial space: from George Osborne admitting quantitative easing (QE) makes the rich richer, to foreigners dumping Treasuries in a global loser economy and investors dumping Trump-supporting virtual reality entrepreneurs. In the second half, Max interviews author and credit analyst Chris Whalen (@rcwhalen) about Donald Trump’s economic plans and Wells Fargo’s latest crimewave.

Stealth Bailout of 2 Franken-Banks Now Happening in Spain

Obscured somewhat by the spectacular antics of Deutsche Bank, there appears to be another bailout of two of Spain’s franken-banks: mostly state-owned Bankia and wholly state-owned Banco Mare Nostrum (BMN). The news was released so quietly that even in Spain barely a living soul is aware it’s happening.
The Next Madcap Merger
The two banks, each the product of two madcap mergers of Spain’s most insolvent savings banks, will be merged into one giant entity that is expected to become Spain’s fourth biggest bank by assets. The merger has been on the cards for a number of months since Spain’s Economy Minister (and former Lehman Brothers advisor) Luis de Guindos began dropping hints that one of the first jobs of Spain’s next elected government would be to find a solution to BMN’s ownership issues. Now it’s being brought forward, probably because the chances of Spain having an elected government any time this year are fading by the hour.
For the moment, BMN is completely state-owned, after its four constituent state-owned parts – Caja Murcia, Caixa Peneds, Caja Granada y Sa Nostra – were rescued by Spain’s taxpayers and lumped together for the modest price of 1.6 billion in 2010. But by the end of this year all that was supposed to have changed. Plans had been drawn up for an IPO of the bank, but in the current environment, with banks falling like flies all over Europe, investors refuse to go near it.

This post was published at Wolf Street by Don Quijones ‘ October 1, 2016.

Deutsche Bank Charged By Italy For Market Manipulation, Creating False Accounts

For Deutsche Bank, when it rains, it pours, even when everyone tries to come to its rescue.
One day after its stock soared from all time lows, following what so far appears to have been a fabricated report sourced by AFP which relied on Twitter as a source that the DOJ would reduce its RMBS settlement ask with Deutsche Bank from $14 billion to below $6 billion (and which neither the DOJ nor Deutsche Bank have confirmed for obvious reason), moments ago Bloomberg reported that six current and former managers of Deutsche Bank, including Michele Faissola, Michele Foresti and Ivor Dunbar, were charged in Milan for colluding to falsify the accounts of Italy’s third-biggest bank, Monte Paschi (which itself is so insolvent it is currently scrambling to finalize a private sector bailout) and manipulate the market. Two former executives at Nomura Holdings Inc. and five at Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena were also charged.
The news comes in a time of heated relations between Italy and Germany, when the former has been pushing to get German “permission” for a state bailout of its insolvent banks only to be met by stiff resistance by the latter as Merkel and Schauble have demanded a bail-in of private investors instead, even as – ironically – it has been Deutsche Bank’s woeful financial state that has been in the Wall Street spotlight this past week.
In what appears to be another case of “Wells Fargo-esque” scapegoating of junior employees to keep senior execs off the hook, just weeks after Milan prosecutors shelved a probe against Monte Paschi’s former chairman and CEO for alleged market manipulation and false accounting as it “risked undermining investor sentiment”, a judge approved a request by Milan prosecutors to try the bankers on charges involving two separate derivative transactions arranged with Nomura and Deutsche Bank, said a lawyer involved in the case who was in the courtroom Saturday as the decision was announced Bloomberg reports.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 1, 2016.

Virtue Signaling, or … Why Clinton Is in Trouble

If you’ve ever played a team sport, you’ve experienced a game that was a mismatch on paper. Now usually that game goes according to form. The better team scores early and often, and the inferior team doesn’t sniff a win. But sometimes the game gets tight. Sometimes the better team makes a few unforced errors, and the inferior team capitalizes. Sometimes there’s a lucky bounce of the ball for the inferior team. And then another. And another.
There’s a moment in every game of this unexpected type – the upset in the making – when the individual players on the better team (call them the status quo team) begin to doubt. They feel the game slipping away, even though they know that they’re the better team. What happens to many players in that moment of doubt is, to use the game theoretic phrase, they decide to defect. It doesn’t mean that they quit. It doesn’t mean that they give up. In fact, without exception, they all believe that their team will still prevail. But they start to think about what a loss, however improbable, would mean for their personal, individual goals. They never even entertained those thoughts at the beginning of the game. It was all about the team, and a team victory would naturally go hand in hand with personal development and personal goals. But now … now that the unthinkable is suddenly thinkable … they start acting directly in favor of their own self-interest, not the team’s communal interest. They start signaling their virtue.
Virtue signaling is a behavior that visibly demonstrates the individual qualities of the player to some external audience, whether or not it improves the chances of the team to win. It’s not overtly detrimental to the team. In fact, for all outward appearances, it’s rather supportive of the team. But it makes all the difference in the world if an offensive lineman is more concerned with making HIS block than protecting the quarterback no matter what. It makes all the difference in the world if a shooting guard is more concerned with meeting HIS scoring average than playing team defense. It makes all the difference in the world if a Democratic Party functionary is more concerned with tweeting HIS outrage at the latest nonsense that Trump is spouting than in volunteering for a get-out-the-vote effort in Greensboro, North Carolina.

This post was published at FinancialSense on 09/30/2016.

Mental illness soaring among young women in the UK

September 2016 – UNITED KINGDOM – The number of young women who self-harm and experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and chronic mental illness has skyrocketed in the last decade, according to a new NHS survey. The proportion of young women in England with PTSD has risen rapidly in recent years. One in eight women (12.6%) aged 16 to 24 now has the disorder – a threefold increase since 2007, the last time a similar survey was conducted, when 4.2% said they had it. Rates of self-harm among this group have also soared. Almost a fifth (19.7%) of young women self-harmed in 2014 – up from 11.7% in 2007 and three times the number who did in 2000 (6.5%), the survey showed.
However, the true extent of self-harming is likely to be even higher at around a quarter of young women and girls, the researchers said. Around 25% of respondents said they self-harmed in a written survey, while just a fifth said they did so in face-to-face interviews. Most of those who reported self-harm hadn’t sought help and the researchers warned that people who start at a young age might end up using it as ‘a long-term strategy for coping.’ The report added: ‘There is a risk that the behavior will spread to others, and also that greater engagement with the behavior may lead in time to a higher suicide rate.’ The research, Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey: Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing, England, 2014, also found that rates of common mental disorders, such as anxiety and depression, are higher among young women than any other demographic.

This post was published at UtopiatheCollapse on October 1, 2016.

Did the Fed Really Say they Could Buy Stocks?

The Fed told Congress it would buy stocks if Congress allowed it. This statement has caused a lot of people to scratch their heads. Will this cause all the stock bears to rethink their prognostications of a major stock market crash? This was not even on the radar of most people.
Some have reported this story as ‘the first time in U. S. history’ that the Federal Reserve has openly spoken about purchasing of stocks rather than bonds and mortgage-backed securities. While this news may have been shocking to most, South Carolina Republican Mick Mulvaney asked Janet Yellen before the House Financial Services Committee about the Fed’s authority to buy stocks to stimulate the economy. Mulvaney asked:
‘There’s been some attention in the last few months about the recent decision by the Bank of Japan to start purchasing equities and my question to you is fairly simple. Is the United States Federal Reserve looking at the possibility of adding the purchase of equities to its tool box as it looks at monetary policy?’
Yellen answered:

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Oct 1, 2016.

Islands of Socialism: The State’s Economic War Against Blacks

Donald Trump makes an essential point when he visits black churches and predominantly black inner-city neighborhoods and tells the people there that they ‘have nothing to lose’ by supporting the abandonment of almost a century of statism run amok in their communities. While Republicans share some of the blame for this, it has primarily been the Democratic Party’s urban political machines that have sabotaged millions of black lives (and many others) with socialistic central planning scheme after central planning scheme for generations. America’s inner cities are islands of socialism that have proven time and again that Americans are no better at socialism than the Russians were. Let’s briefly review some of their evil and destructive work over the past half century.
First, the federal government literally bulldozed hundreds of decent, working-class neighborhoods in the inner cities during the 1960s that were filled with modest private homes and apartments, small businesses, playgrounds, parks, and peaceful citizens and replaced them with ‘public housing’ in the name of ‘urban renewal’ (See Martin Anderson’s book, The Federal Bulldozer). Socialized housing predictably turned into dilapidated slums because of the complete absence of property rights in housing. Unlike private rental housing where tenants can be held responsible for any damages they cause to the property, government housing tenants were (and are) let off the hook by the state. Unlike private housing, where improvements that increase a property’s value benefit the property owner, there is no incentive to spend one’s own time and money on improving government housing projects. America’s government housing projects are almost identical in appearance to what one would have seen in the former Soviet Union and Eastern and Central Europe during the twentieth century.

This post was published at Lew Rockwell on October 1, 2016.