The SurvivalBlog.com James Wesley Rawles joins us to talk about the financial issues we face, and the inevitable inflation which James says will be “Weimar-style”, which means HYPERINFLATION. Where it gets really scary is that precious few people are prepared and in James own words, “People have no idea what the collapse of Western civilization might look like.”
Against a deflationary environment of austerity-driven wage and pension cuts combined with rising unemployment; food, commodity, and fuel prices continue to surge in Greece. The government has taken an unusual step - allowing the sale of expired food at lower prices. As Voz Populi reports, this act means the government has 'virtually admitted their inability to control prices" as the worst aspects of stagflation crush the Hellenic Republic. The regulation (allowing from one-week to one-month extensions of foods for sale post their eat-before-this-day-or-you'll-get-Salmonella date) has existed for many years, according to a ministerial decree and this action merely states that these foods must be sold at a lower price. Meat and dairy is excluded but this move is described as "an immoral act" as few believe prices will actually be reduced - since that is at the discretion of the merchant. As the National Food Agency notes: "This is also a moral dilemma, to divide consumers into two groups: those who can afford basic food and those who, because of poverty, are forced to resort to dubious quality food." We presume this will also reduce the drag on pension and healthcare costs as death rates will rise?
Are YOU Prepared?
Read More @ TheEconomicCollpaseBlog.com
The divisions are great in America, and the pressure is growing daily. How much can the people take? How long can the U.S. election kettle boil until the steam is finally released?
“Look at the November 6 elections as an elastic band. How far can you pull that thing before it snaps? If Obama wins, you’re going to get some seriously pissed off people, if Romney wins you’re going to get some pretty pissed off people,” a citizen of Philadelphia told CNBC news.
The divisive nature of the elections is pitting Americans against Americans, people who are neighbours, people who you go to work with, even families are split. The populations are rooting for their champion, but what if their hero loses. Could there be major riots across America? How come Homeland Security recently purchased literally tonnes of ammunition. America is a tinderbox of weaponry waiting to go off.
Read More @ dailysquib.com
On a regular basis we are placated by commercials to satisfy our craving to know which bathroom tissue is the most absorbent; debates ‘infomercials’ assuaging our fears over which vice-presidential candidate has the best dentist; and reality-shows that comfort our ‘at least I am not as bad as…’ need; there is an inescapable reality occurring right under our propagandized nose (as we noted here). Economic Reason has gathered together the Top 15 ‘reality’ economic documentaries – so turn-on, tune-in, and drop-out of the mainstream for a few hours…
Originally posted at Economic Reason blog,
Top 15 Economic Documentaries
See the Remaining 14 @ Zero Hedge
Nearly four years ago, we started a series of articles in which we methodically presented evidence that LIBOR was manipulated. Then, in late June, the biggest (to date) bank conspiracy was exposed, in which it was found beyond a reasonable doubt that at least one, and in many case all (including the BOE and Fed) were if not engaging, then certainly aware of numerous instances when daily USD LIBOR fixing was fudged one way or another for various non-fiduciary, read illegal purposes. When our conspiracy theory was confirmed to be conspiracy fact (as usual), we suggested the following: "Our advice to anyone who had an adjustable rate mortgage in the period between 2005 and today: speak to a lawyer immediately about suing the living feces out of Barclays, and all other banks who crawl out of the woodwork with purported settlements. Because due to their undisputed mark manipulation, it is absolutely safe to say that ARMs, which rely on Libor for interest rate formation, were grossly manipulated by the same idiot traders who left written evidence of their manipulation year after year. Now it is their turn to pay." As of last night, this too has occurred, after several homeowners, aka Adams et al (Southern New York, 12-cv-07461) launched a class action lawsuit against Bank of America and all other LIBOR banks, accusing the defendants of "unjustly enriched themselves" by manipulating the rate, which allowed them to increase the payments by homeowners on adjustable rate loans, and boosting profits.
For the majority of Americans living along the country's coastlines, anything that is not within 50 miles of the the big water is pejoratively called "flyover states", its contents to be avoided at all costs, and its contributions to society and the economy to be loudly mocked and jeered at high society cocktail parties from the Hamptons to Malibu and back (but not inbetween). That is, until election time. Because when it comes to determining the fate of America's leadership every 4 years, the bankers, lawyers, venture capitalists, socialites, marketers, hedge funders, Economist PhDs, and other very important jobs, courtesy of the Electoral College, have absolutely no impact, and it all boils down to such swing states as Ohio, Florida, Iowa and Nevada. For the full cartoon presentation of what states do matter this election, see the cartoon below.
WTI crude started moving first but soon afte the US day session opened we saw EUR weakness, US strength and precious metals started to fade rapidly. Gold and Silver have now retraced the post-FOMC Bernanke-Bump, but remain above the Draghi-Day levels...
While European equities, sovereigns, and corporate credit all seem cock-a-hoop at the tail-risk mitigation efforts of the Draghi 'promise'; demand for the safety of Swiss interest rates has quietly been creeping higher. Swiss 2Y rates are now at almost six-week lows (below -18bps), its lowest since the Draghi 'believe' speech... it seems not everyone 'believes'.
Just when we thought we may finally get one decent economic data point which even we could get excited about, we decided to look at the Non-Seasonally Adjusted September retail sales data. After all the $4.7 billion seasonal increase in headline retail sales was the second highest ever (in absolute terms, second only to 2004). Turns out our curiosity was an enthusiasm-dowsing mistake, as a number which on the surface looked good, was hardly validated by the Not-Seasonally Adjusted number, which plunged by $31.9 billion. How does this September sequential change compare to previous years? See the chart below and decide for yourselves if the massive NSA plunge in September 2012 merits the second best seasonally adjusted retail sales increase in history.
The bottom line on Citigroup's just released results: the firm reported an adjusted adjusted Net Income number of $3.268 billion ($1.06 EPS), which was "better" than the expected $0.97 (just like JPM's bottom line was better and the initial spike higher in the stock price promptly reverted into the red once people read the footnote text). How did Citi get to this number? It started with an unadjusted $964 million of Net LOSS and then added back a tax provision, CVA losses (as its spread tightened in the quarter), the loss for the sale of MSSB ($4.7 billion pre tax), and miraculously got to $3.3 billion. The MSSB and CVA/DVA adjustment also miraculously increased total revenues from $13.951 billion to $19.411 billion, making a sequential unadjusted 25% drop in Revenues equal to a 3% increase. But even if one were to assume that the bank's $3.3 billion uber-adjusted Net Income number is meaningful in any way, it is certainly notable that $1.509 million of this, or nearly 50% came from the tried and true gimmick: Loan Loss Reserves, which boosted EPS by the same percentage, even as the firm saw its Net Credit Losses soar by 11% from Q2, to $3.979 billion. This was a bigger LLR than in Q2 ($984MM) and Q3 2011 ($1,422MM). Same old goosing gimmicks, different day.
The Japanese Yen has been one of the strongest currencies among the developed nations of the world since the end of LTRO (up 6%). This strength (repatriation flows and or carry unwind?) combined with a dismal domestic economic growth environment appears to have pushed Japanese firms to spend spend spend for growth. The latest and greatest Softbank/Sprint deal will shift this year's Japanese corporate acquisition of foreign companies to near-record levels. As Bloomberg Briefs notes, this will be the country's largest overseas acquisition on record - exceeding Japan Tobacco's $19bn acquisition of the UK's Gallaher Group in 2007. However, this growth-buying-spree does not come cheap as ratings are under pressure and while LBO-style financing might make the deal 'cheap' at first, at some point the cycle will re-emerge; but for now - it appears the BoJ (who we are sure are watching intently) should maybe leave intervention off the table until Japan owns it all again and becomes even more too-bigger-to-fail.
The economic data twofer this morning was a beat and a miss. Retail sales increased by 1.1% on expectations of a 0.8% increase, with the last month's data being revised from 1.2% to 0.9%. Headline retail sales, ex autos was up 1.1% on expectations of a 0.7% print, and up from an upward revised 1.0%. Some of the main drivers in the September retail sales pick up were in electronics and appliance stores, which rose 4.5% from August (thank you iPhone 5), Gasoline Stations +2.5%, and Motor vehicle and parts dealers 1.3%, which continue to be a notable driver of retail strength for the second month in a row. As for the miss, it came from the Empire Fed, which increased from September's -10.41, to -6.16, but missed expectations of a -4 print. New Orders improved modestly from -14.03 to -8.97, and ironically was the only subindex in the entire report that staged an increase. Shipments declined to a negative print, from 2.75 to -6.40. Declines were also recorded in Delivery Times, Unfilled Orders, Inventories, Prices Paid, Prices Received, the average Employee Workweek, and most importantly, Number of Employees which declined from 4.26 to -1.08. Not even the forward looking indicators, so critical to consumer "confidence" managed to rise, dropping from 27.22 to 19.42.
You know the drill: please point out on this chart, which shows the yearly change in average hourly earnings for all US private workers, just where is this so-called "recovery", which an additional $6 trillion in public debt, and 5 quantitative easing episodes, have allegedly created out of thin air. For those confused, like us, we bring attention to the fact that in the past two months we have seen the smallest Y/Y increase in avg hourly earnings. Ever.
- Hilsenrath Humor du jour: Bernanke Advocates Stronger Currencies (WSJ)
- Auditors want two more years for Greece on deficit (Spiegel)
- More bluster: Schaeuble Rules Out Greek Default as Samaras, Troika Bargain (Bloomberg)
- And even more bluster: De Jager Says Greece Needs to Make Fiscal Reforms Immediately (Bloomberg)
- Global Economy Distress 3.0 Looms as Emerging Markets Falter (Bloomberg)
- Central bank governor stresses inflation control (China Daily)
- Greek Yields Reach Post Debt-Swap Low as Bunds Slip on Schaeuble (Bloomberg)
- Roth and Shapely win Nobel prize for economics (Reuters)
- Fed chief rounds on stimulus critics (FT)
- IMF Board Sees Biggest Power Shift Reshuffle in Two Decades (Bloomberg)
- EU Girds for Summit as Nobel’s Glow Fades on Crisis Response (Bloomberg)
- Japan security environment tougher than ever (Reuters)
After starting the overnight trading at its lows, the EURUSD has once again seen the now traditional overnight levitation, this time with absolutely no economic news, in the process raising equity futures across the Atlantic, even as unfounded Chinese optimism for more liquidity has waned leading to the SHCOMP closing down 0.3%. Perhaps the most notable event in the quiet trading session so far has been the surge in 10 year Greek debt whose yield has tumbled to post-restructuring lows, driven by more and more hedge funds piling in to piggyback on Dan Loeb's recent public GGB purchase announcement (strength into which he has long since sold), and hopes that Greece will somehow see an Official Sector Initiative (OSI) to make recovery prospects for Private Investors more attractive: a capital impairment the ECB has said would happen only over its dead body. But in the new normal, facts and rules are for chumps, and only exist to be broken. More on this amusing stupidity here. Amusingly, this comes just as Greece’s Staikouras says the economy’s downward spiral is not over yet. But, again, who cares about fundamentals
Greece Poised to Leave Euro
China’s Yuan Hits Record High
Budget Gap Tops $1 Trillion Again
Executive Order Allows Seizure of Americans’ Bank Accounts
New $100 Bills Stolen
Text Against Terror Fails
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