Russia To Cut Dependence On U.S. Dollar, Payment Systems

Russia’s Mir credit card to go European #SPIEF pic.twitter.com/BYMg99X2wC
— SPIEF (@SPIEF) September 27, 2016

Russia will speed up work on reducing its dependence on U. S. payment systems and the dollar as a settling currency in response to U. S. sanctions, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Monday.
Quoted by Reuters, Ryabkov said that “we will of course intensify work related to import substitution, reduction of dependence on U. S. payment systems, on the dollar as a settling currency and so on. It is becoming a vital need.” The reason for that is that “the US is using its dominating role in the monetary and financial system to impose pressure on foreign business, including Russian companies.’

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 7, 2017.

Repsol, Statoil Pull Foreign Oil Workers From Venezuela

One day after Venezuela allegedly squashed a “military rebellion“, in anticipation of further political and social turmoil in the socialist nation, energy giant Repsol SA pulled all foreign workers from its fields in Venezuela, Bloomberg reports adding that Norway’s Statoil ASA also removed all expat staff.
According to Bloomberg, Repsol field workers left the country in the past few weeks, with a skeleton expatriate staff remaining at the company’s offices in Caracas. Separately, Statoil withdrew its last three foreign workers before the July 30 election to ensure their safety, Erik Haaland, a company spokesman, told Bloomberg by phone.
The immediate result of the departures will be an even bigger decline in Venezuela’s oil output – the only remaining asset which Maduro can readily exchange for dollars – further exacerbating the country’s financial crisis as the inflow of hard currency slows further.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 7, 2017.

Asian Metals Market Update: August-7-2017

Till Wednesday it will be a technical trade for metals and energies as there are no big economic data from USA. Thereafter the CPI and PPI numbers if they rise at a fast pace can alter the interest rate hike expectations. Political news and political developments can cause a hara-kiri in metals as well as currency markets. The big answer which investors will be looking for is ‘has the US dollar bottomed out’. Every nation wants a weaker currency. Europeans will not be happy if their currency continues to gain. Comments and some mild downgrade of growth targets will be just enough to ensure that euro falls.
Rising global stock markets can give the much needed impetus to higher bullion prices.

This post was published at GoldSeek on 7 August 2017.

WEF Chairman Borg Resigns As Citi Advisor For Exposing Himself, “Comparing Penis Sizes”

Anders Borg, the former Swedish finance minister and current chairman of the World Economic Forum’s Global Financial System Initiative, has stepped down from a second top job after he was forced to apologize for what Bloomberg dubbed “unpleasant” behavior at a party in the Stockholm archipelago. Borg, 49, informed Citi that he will resign from his role as senior adviser, according to an emailed statement from the bank, Bloomberg reported. The resignation follows Borg’s Saturday resignation as deputy chairman of investment corporation Kinnevik with immediate effect.
Borg, who lost the 2014 election after navigating Sweden’s finances for eight years and was widely hailed as the man responsible for his country emerging from the 2008 global recession virtually unscathed, issued a public apology this past Friday after a shocking report in Sweden’s Aftonbladet.
What happened? As the Swedish newspaper reported on Friday, during a private party on Husaro, an island in the Stockholm archipelago last Friday, at approximately 11.00 PM, the “noticeably intoxicated” former finance minister decided to expose his penis and grope other men, trying to compare penis sizes. Sources said that he also called female guests “sluts” and “whores.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 7, 2017.

Just Wait a Little While

The trouble, of course, is that even after the Deep State (a.k.a. ‘The Swamp’) succeeds in quicksanding President Trump, America will be left with itself – adrift among the cypress stumps, drained of purpose, spirit, hope, credibility, and, worst of all, a collective grasp on reality, lost in the fog of collapse.
Here’s what you need to know about what’s going on and where we’re headed.
The United States is comprehensively bankrupt. The government is broke and the citizenry is trapped under inescapable debt burdens. We are never again going to generate the kinds and volumes of ‘growth’ associated with techno-industrial expansion. That growth came out of energy flows, mainly fossil fuels, that paid for themselves and furnished a surplus for doing other useful things. It’s over. Shale oil, for instance, doesn’t pay for itself and the companies engaged in it will eventually run out of accounting hocus-pocus for pretending that it does, and they will go out of business.
The self-evident absence of growth means the end of borrowing money at all levels.

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner on August 7, 2017.

“That’s The Wrong Way To Go” – Robert Shiller Slams America’s “Excessive Lust For Wealth”

The Transformation of the ‘American Dream’
‘The American Dream is back.’ President Trump made that claim in a speech in January.
They are ringing words, but what do they mean? Language is important, but it can be slippery. Consider that the phrase, the American Dream, has changed radically through the years.
Mr. Trump and Ben Carson, the secretary of housing and urban development, have suggested it involves owning a beautiful home and a roaring business, but it wasn’t always so.
Instead, in the 1930s, it meant freedom, mutual respect and equality of opportunity.
It had more to do with morality than material success.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 7, 2017.

Tesla To Raise $1.5 Billion In Bond Offering

Just days after reporting its biggest quarterly cash burn in history, Tesla announced on Monday it plans to raise about $1.5 billion in new cash, although in a welcome change for equity investors, this time it decided against an equity or convertible sale, and will offer bonds instead to take advantage of the insatiable bond market, as the carmarker seeks to ramp up production of its latest Model 3 electric vehicle. Tesla had over $3 billion in cash on hand at the end of the June quarter, compared with $4 billion at the end of the previous quarter and $3.25 billion a year earlier.
The debt offering comes as Tesla has reportedly received thousands of advance reservations for the Model 3, which Elon Musk said were averaging at about 1,800 per day since the car’s launch in late July. Tesla counts on the Model 3, its least pricey car, to become a profitable, mass market electric car maker although it may have difficulties in a market that is becoming increasingly competitive.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 7, 2017.

How Tax Reform Slays the Bull Market

Originally posted at Briefing.com
Have you ever gone outside your comfort zone? It can be uncomfortable. Recently, I was taken outside my comfort zone as my fear of open heights and the presence of many roller coasters at a local amusement park collided. That experience got me thinking about this week’s column idea, which is going to take you outside the comfort zone of conventional thinking.
Specifically, you’ll be taxed with the unconventional thought that a tax reform plan just may be the thing that slays this bull market.
A 9-Month Gestation Period
For the last nine months, tax reform has been at the tip of every market pundit’s tongue as the one thing the stock market is pining for since it would help the economy break free from its low-growth stupor.
The impetus for the breakout would be lower tax rates for businesses, lower tax rates for individuals, and an incentive for businesses to repatriate cash held overseas. Other measures would help, too, yet that triumvirate is at the core of why economists and market pundits think economic growth and corporate earnings growth would accelerate to a new level.

This post was published at FinancialSense on 08/07/2017.

Winter Is Coming? S&P P/E Ratio Near 10 Year High and CAPE Is At Black Friday Levels

This is a syndicated repost courtesy of Snake Hole Lounge. To view original, click here. Reposted with permission.
Global central bank (including the US Federal Reserve) has been providing massive liquidity to financial markets, paritcularly (in the case of The Federal Reserve) since June 2007.

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner by Anthony B Sanders ‘ August 7, 2017.

China’s Reserves Continue To Decline As Capital Outflows Accelerate, “Outbound Travel Spending” Surges

The confusion over the direction of Chinese capital flows continues to grow.
On one hand, overnight the PBOC reported that China’s foreign-exchange reserves “posted a sixth straight monthly increase” as the yuan strengthened and economic growth remained robust, Bloomberg reported. Specifically, Beijing said that China’s foreign currency stockpile rose $23.9 billion to $3.081 trillion in July, higher than the $3.075 trillion estimate. The narrative was ready to go: as Bloomberg stated, “solid economic data and the presence of curbs on moving money abroad have helped restore confidence in the currency and ease outflow pressure. The foundation for steadier cross-border capital flows has become more solid, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange said last month.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 7, 2017.

Here’s what happened when they raised taxes 2,000+ years ago

In 353 BC, as violent class warfare broke out across ancient Greece, one wealthy Athenian lamented in his journal,
When I was a boy, wealth was regarded as a thing so…admirable that almost everyone affected to own more property than he actually possessed. Now a man has to be ready to defend himself against being rich as if it were the worst of crimes.
Ancient Greece had become deeply divided at that point.
The opportunities from new ‘technology’ and new trade routes created a lot of wealth for many people. Others were left behind.
Plato called it ‘the two cities’ of Athens – ‘one the city of the poor, the other of the rich, the one at war with the other.’
Eventually the poorer citizens were able to take over ancient Greece’s prized democracy. And, putting themselves firmly in control of government institutions, the new politicians came up with the most creative ways of raising taxes, seizing property, and redistributing wealth.

This post was published at Sovereign Man on August 7, 2017.

Gold and Silver : The Battle for Control

There was some important price action in the Precious Metals Complex this past week as both gold and silver each tested important overhead resistance again. Always keep in mind that time is relative when it comes to the size of big patterns vs smaller patterns. When a multi year trendline is in place the breaking out and backtesting process can seem like it takes forever before you see some type of resolution to the pattern or trendline which has been the case with gold and silver recently.
Lets start with the long term weekly chart for gold we’ve been following for a long time now which shows its 2011 bear market downtrend channel. Almost exactly one year ago this month gold touched the top rail of its 2011 bear market downtrend channel at 1305 which held resistance. After a small decline gold once again rallied back up to the top rail of the 2011 bear market downtrend channel and failed once again. After another small decline gold has rallied back up to the top rail of the 2011 bear market downtrend channel which now comes in around the 1280 area.
I can count 9 touches now of the top rail so we know it’s very hot and to be respected. As I’ve mentioned on each of the previous hits to the top rail that it was up to the bulls to show us they were ready to take control away from the bears if they could take out that 6 year downtrend line. As you can see on this weekly chart for gold, now is the time for the bulls to step up to the plate and let the bears know they mean business. They can’t do it with talk, they need to show their strength.

This post was published at GoldSeek on Monday, 7 August 2017.

Kunstler Warns “Being In This World Actually Entitles You To Nothing”

The trouble, of course, is that even after the Deep State (a.k.a. ‘The Swamp’) succeeds in quicksanding President Trump, America will be left with itself – adrift among the cypress stumps, drained of purpose, spirit, hope, credibility, and, worst of all, a collective grasp on reality, lost in the fog of collapse.
Here’s what you need to know about what’s going on and where we’re headed.
The United States is comprehensively bankrupt. The government is broke and the citizenry is trapped under inescapable debt burdens. We are never again going to generate the kinds and volumes of ‘growth’ associated with techno-industrial expansion. That growth came out of energy flows, mainly fossil fuels, that paid for themselves and furnished a surplus for doing other useful things. It’s over. Shale oil, for instance, doesn’t pay for itself and the companies engaged in it will eventually run out of accounting hocus-pocus for pretending that it does, and they will go out of business.
The self-evident absence of growth means the end of borrowing money at all levels. When you can’t pay back old loans, it’s unlikely that you will be able to arrange new loans. The nation could pretend to be able to borrow more, since it can supposedly ‘create’ money (loan it into existence, print it, add keystrokes to computer records), but eventually those tricks fail, too. Either the ‘non-performing’ loans (loans not being paid off) cause money to disappear, or the authorities ‘create’ so much new money from thin air (money not associated with real things of value like land, food, manufactured goods) that the ‘money’ loses its mojo as a medium of exchange (for real things), as a store of value (over time), and as a reliable index of pricing – which is to say all the functions of money.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 7, 2017.

The Volcker Rule & the London Whale

‘It is not down in any map; true places never are.’
‘Moby Dick’
Herman Melville
News reports that prosecutors have dropped their case against Bruno Iksil, the former JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) trader many know as the ‘London Whale,’ comes as no surprise to readers of The IRA. Iksil, who resurfaced earlier this year, has been living in relative seclusion in France for the past few years.
In previous comments posted on Zero Hedge, we dispensed with the notion that the investment activities of Iksil and the office of the JPM Chief Investment Officer were either illegal or concealed from the bank’s senior management. The fact is that Iksil and his colleagues at JPM were doing their jobs, namely generating investment gains for the bank.
The outsized bets made by the ‘whale’ in credit derivatives contracts resulted in a loss in 2012, but the operation generated significant profits for JPM in earlier years. As veteran risk manager Nom de Plumber told us in Zero Hedge in 2012:
‘This JPM loss, whether $2BLN or even $5BLN, is modest in both absolute and relative terms, versus its overall profitability and capital base, and especially against the far greater losses at other institutions. In practical current terms, the hit resembles a rounding error, not a stomach punch. As either taxpayers or long-term JPM investors, we should be more grateful than sorry about the JPM CIO Ina Drew. If only other institutions could also do so ‘poorly’………’

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner on August 7, 2017.

SocGen: Stock Valuations Remain “Remarkably High” Yet Nobody Cares

As discussed earlier, with most traders taking the next 1-2 weeks off for vacation, global markets remain on auto pilot, hitting new all time highs overnight driven by strength out of China where reflationary spirits have returned after industrial commodities surged on speculation that the PBOC’s recent attempt to contain excess liquiduity have failed (explaining the 3 consecutive days of reverse repo drains). Meanwhile, as SocGen’s Andrew Lapthorne writes, global equity markets continue to move higher, with both MSCI Developed and Emerging adding 0.4% last week. DM Is now up 12.4% in 2107 and EM an impressive 23.8% higher.
Most markets saw gains last week, with Europe playing catch-up, having tracked down or sideways for the last few months. In local currency terms, the Eurozone is still in negative territory over the last few months, but this is more than made up for by the strength of the currency, with the MSCI Eurozone index up 5% in USD over the same timeframe. That said there were a few soft patches. The Nasdaq was down, as was the S&P 500 on an equal-weighted basis. The Russell 2000 dropped 1.2%. Japanese small cap growth stocks also faltered with the volatile Mothers index falling 3.9%.
Will the euphoria continue? For the answer look at the Euro. As SocGen’s Andrew Lapthorne writes, earnings momentum appears increasingly polarised, “with the US enjoying its usual reporting season bounce on the back of analyst upgrades, and both Pacific ex Japan and Japan seeing sharp improvement in analyst optimism.” However both Europe ex UK and Emerging Markets, the standout US dollar performers this year, are yet to see a pickup in upgrades, with downgrades remaining more common. A big reason for this is the recent surge in the Euro, which is fast approaching 1.20, the level beyond which analysts have said any further gains will have an adverse impact on earnings.
What about fundamentals? Here there is far less confusion, and as Lapthorne writes, “stock valuations remain remarkably high, but as valuations alone tell us little or nothing in terms of market timing, it seems valuation concerns are increasingly ignored.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 7, 2017.

SWOT Analysis: What’s Next for the Yellow Metal?

Strengths
The best performing precious metal for the week was platinum, up 3.10 percent on money managers cutting their bearish views on the metal in light of the new Russian sanctions signed into law earlier in the week. Russia is the world’s second largest producer of platinum. Gold traders and analysts surveyed by Bloomberg are bullish on gold for a seventh week, reports Bloomberg, making it the longest run since early March. In addition, BullionVault’s Gold Investor Index, which measures client buyers against sellers, rose in July when gold prices reached an almost four-month low. The Perth Mint released gold coin and minted bar sales figures for July, coming in at 23,675 ounces and up from June’s figure of 19,259 ounces, reports Bloomberg. In an attempt to push for more transparency, London Bullion Market Association released data showing its $298 billion gold stash, reports Bloomberg. The data will ‘soon be augmented by trade reporting, which will further enhance the ability of market participants as well as regulators to track and asses market activity,’ said Joni Teves, a strategist with UBS in London. In July, $2.4 billion was pulled from SPDR Gold Shares, the biggest withdrawal since May 2013, reports Bloomberg. However, investors weren’t necessarily abandoning bullion-backed ETFs; they may have been moving their money into less expensive options. As the chart below shows, assets in the iShares Gold Trust reached an eight-month high. Perhaps this is because SPDR Gold charges a fee of 40 basis points, while iShares Gold Trust has an expense ratio of 25 basis points.

This post was published at GoldSeek on Monday, 7 August 2017.

Stock Market News Today: Futures Rise Despite North Korea Nuclear Tensions

This is a syndicated repost courtesy of Money Morning. To view original, click here. Reposted with permission.
The stock market news today is highlighted by the index’s ninth straight day of gains for futures this morning as markets prepare another fresh round of earnings reports. However, rising tensions in North Korea have investors increasingly concerned after China announced support for the latest round of United Nations’ sanctions.
Here are the numbers from Friday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
Index Previous Close Point Change Percentage Change Dow Jones 22,092.81 +66.71 +0.30% S&P 500 2,476.83 +4.67 +0.19% Nasdaq 6,351.56 +11.22 +0.18% Now here’s a closer look at today’s most important market events and stocks, plus Monday’s economic calendar.

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner by Garrett Baldwin ‘ August 7, 2017.