Is the Federal Reserve really doing such a bad job… or does it actually do exactly what it's supposed to do, but the average American is in the dark about what that is? In this explosive video, Casey Summit speaker G. Edward Griffin, author of The Creature from Jekyll Island, talks about the Fed's real role in the US economy and why – contrary to common belief – it is not this banking cartel's mission to act in the best interest of the American public.
UPDATE:*JPMORGAN CFO EXPECTED TO STEP DOWN: WSJ
Jamie "The Europeans have the will, but no way; The US has the way, but no will." Dimon had a very open and wide-ranging discussion with the Council on Foreign Relations today. The conversation ranged from the unfairness of the Bear Stearns' deal (poor chap - all that very limited downside from $2/BSC share, at least initially) to the immediate threat of the pending Fiscal Cliff - and his $100mm-debt-ceiling-preparedness war-room bunker, and America's longer-term fiscal profligacy (vigilantes moving against the US bond market is virtually assured - question is when and how). He also discussed the London Whale 'error' and went on to discuss the Greeks and the Eurozone's political and economic debacle in general. Some significant anti-administration rhetoric (ironic really), summed up with the veiled threat "Hey folks, if you think Washington and American Business can go to war with each other and it ends good - terrible error!"
Economists, market analysts, journalists and investors alike are all talking about it quite openly, generally in a calm and reserved tone that suggests that - to borrow a phrase from Bill Gross – it represents the 'new normal'. Something that simply needs to be acknowledged and analyzed in the same way we e.g. analyze the supply/demand balance of the copper market. It is the new buzzword du jour: 'Financial Repression'. The term certainly sounds ominous, but it is always mentioned in an off-hand manner that seems to say: 'yes, it is bad, but what can you do? We've got to live with it.' But what does it actually mean? The simplest, most encompassing explanation is this: it describes various insidious and underhanded methods by which the State intends to rob its citizens of their wealth and income over the coming years (and perhaps even decades) above and beyond the already onerous burden of taxation and regulatory costs that is crushing them at present. One cannot possibly "print one's way to prosperity". The exact opposite is in fact true: the policy diminishes the economy's ability to generate true wealth. If anything, “we” are printing ourselves into the poorhouse.
Bloomberg Brief's chief economist Jo Brusuelas, is now tracking at a 1.5% pace of growth. The IMF's dour outlook for the world's economy has been shoulder-shrugged by many but in this compendium of everything you need to know about the US economic outlook but were afraid to ask, Brusuelas provides the facts and nothing but the facts. From slack in the labor markets, to a slowdown in investment and soft household spending, even the Fed's unprecedented QEternity is unlikely to grab us back from the edge of a malaise-like sub-2% consensus forecast for Q4.
Alcoa earnings disappoint sending sombre mood in Europe and USA/IMF states that European banks must deleverage 4.5 trillion usa dollars worth of assets by next year/Merkel visits Greece/
It seems our recent re-introduction of the world to Robert Triffin has struck a note among a number of market participants. The gold-convertible U.S. dollar became the global reserve currency under the Bretton Woods monetary system, which lasted from 1944-1971. This arrangement ended because foreign central banks accumulated unsustainably large reserves of U.S. Treasuries, threatening price stability and the purchasing power of the dollar. Today, central banks are once again stockpiling massive Treasury reserves in an attempt to manage their currency values and gain advantages in export markets. We have, effectively, returned to Bretton Woods. The trouble is, as Guggenheim's Scott Minerd notes, that the arrangement is as unsustainable today as it was during the middle of the last century. None of this should come as a surprise given the unorthodox growth of central bank balance sheets around the world. The collapse of Bretton Woods in 1971 caused a decade of economic malaise and negative real returns for financial assets. Can anyone afford to wait to find out whether this time will be different?
A critical - and under-asked - question for investors and 'believers' in Europe is "in what way the new 'fiscal compact' is actually different from the Maastricht treaty when it comes to enforcing compliance". It turns out, there really isn't any difference, and it is for the very same reasons that stood in the way of countries respecting the Maastrich treaty's limits. If there are 'no constraints on public spending', then why negotiate another 'fiscal pact' at all? As Philip Bagus has shown, the euro area is a good example for the 'tragedy of the commons'. Evidently that is not going to change until the monetary union simply falls apart.
Just two weeks after Egan-Jones started the party, S&P has downgraded Spain to BBB- (with a negative outlook). As we discussed here when Egan Jones pushed all-in with Spain to CC, of course, Moody's (Baa3 Neg) will likely follow shortly with Fitch (BBB Neg) deciding to avoid the office-raid and keep its French parents happy. The main reasons - and concern going forward, via Bloomberg:
- *S&P MAY CUT SPAIN IF POLITICAL, EUROZONE SUPPORT WANED
- *S&P MAY CUT SPAIN IF NET GOVT DEBT RISES ABOVE 100%/GDP '12-'14
- Doubts over some eurozone governments' commitment to mutualizing the costs of Spain's bank recapitalization are, in our view, a destabilizing factor for the country's credit outlook.
- In our view, the shortage of credit is an even greater problem than its cost.
UPDATE: Behold the massive bid in VIX futures at the close (after being held down all day as stocks slumped)
The S&P 500 futures (ES) dropped from the opening whistle, bounced a little, then fell all the way down to pre-FOMC levels and then wriggled sideways auctioning in a narrow range for the rest of the day after Europe closed. The Dow and S&P are now red for the month with their biggest 3-Day drop in almost three months as the 50DMA comes back into view. Oil prices surged early on but as the selling came in stocks so oil fell back under $92 dragging the Energy sector lower (as CVX's chicken-and-egg with oil and its outlook continues). All S&P sectors were red on the day but financials outperformed (-0.06%) along with Utilities. Stocks ended just off their lows (as CNBC is so happy to tell us) but Treasury yields closed at their lows - tumbling over 7bps from the 10Y auction. The USD (and gold and silver) were dead today amid all the chaos - with a slight gain in silver and the USD limped lower from a better start. Gold remains -1% on the week. The Russell and Nasdaq are now the worst performers post-QE (-4.4%) while Dow Transports are -4% (and Dow/S&P down around 2%). VIX trod water with a small compression into the close - ending around 16.3%. IG credit outperformed as HY tracked stocks lower.
This October, as the presidential election nears, we witness the strange intersection of the worlds of the gambler and the policy wonk. Daily, our best political observers reference the current prices of the presidential betting market. Unfortunately, we think their lack of knowledge of gambling mechanics leads them astray. This brief introduction to betting mechanics brings us to the first uncomfortable tension between gamblers and policy wonks: policy wonks love to quote Intrade, and gamblers think it’s by far the least important and least informative presidential betting market.
- *DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY OBJECTS TO SOLYNDRA'S BANKRUPTCY PLAN
- *SOLYNDRA HAS SPENT VIRTUALLY ALL SALE PROCEEDS, U.S. SAYS
- *SOLYNDRA PLAN FAILS TO PROTECT COLLATERAL INTEREST, DOE SAYS
It takes all of three seconds on the ground in Spain to realize that this country is hurting. Big time. It’s amazing what the combination of debt, deceit, and a bona fide banking collapse can do to a nation. Consequently, depositors are moving money out of the country en masse, often to the tiny principality of Andorra next door - a highly capitalized, low tax banking jurisdiction. This leaves the already thinly-capitalized Spanish banks in an even weaker position. As we have painstakingly pointed out a number of times, the way the banking system works in most of the world is a complete fraud since most banks only hold a tiny percentage of their customers’ deposits in cash. The moment there are more than a handful of depositors wanting their money back, the bank has a big problem. This is happening nationwide in Spain. As such, the IMF is now recommending that Spain (and other nations in the eurozone periphery) take action “at the national level” to stem this flight of funds and prevent people from moving money abroad. Capital controls by any other name should smell so foul.
Jim Sinclair’s Commentary
The loyal career bean counters better cook the books all the way to election or their careers might end.
John Williams on Lies, Damned Lies and the 7.8% Unemployment Rate Source: JT Long of The Gold Report (10/8/12)
Shadowstats.com Author John Williams wonders if politics are at play behind the latest jobs report, which shows 114,000 new U.S. jobs since September and a 0.3% drop in unemployment since August. Investors need to know how seasonal factors and month-to-month volatility affect the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ reports. In this exclusive interview with The Gold Report, Williams explains why he doubts that we are in a recovery. The take-away? Look at the unadjusted figures before you sell your gold.
The Gold Report: John, as Mark Twain famously quipped, "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics." The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) just came out with new jobs numbers that show the country added 114,000 jobs since September and the unemployment rate dropped to 7.8%, down from 8.1% in August. On Shadowstats.com, you argue that the numbers are wrong and pointed to politics as a possible reason for the incorrect figures. Are unemployment statistics being manipulated and if so how?
John Williams: I normally put out a commentary on the numbers, and, in this one, I raised the possibility of politics as a factor. The problem is very serious misreporting of the numbers and the result is what appears to be a bogus unemployment rate. The BLS reported a drop in the unemployment rate from 8.1% to 7.8%, three-tenths of a percentage point, which runs counter to what is being experienced in the marketplace.
What few people realize is that the headline unemployment rate is calculated each month using a unique set of seasonal adjustments. The August unemployment rate, which was 8.1%, was calculated using what BLS calls a "concurrent seasonal factor adjustment." Each month the agency recalculates the series to adjust for regular seasonal patterns tied to the school year or holiday shopping season or whatever is considered relevant. The next month, it does the same thing using another set of seasonal factors. Rather than publish a number that’s consistent with the prior month’s estimate, it recalculates everything, including the previous month, but it doesn’t publish the revised number from the previous month.
The assumption is that the monthly recalculations don’t make much difference over time, but they do. The depth and the protraction of the current severe economic downturn have thrown off the annual seasonal-factor adjustments. The result is very volatile seasonal factors month-to-month. That means the new calculations for the September number may have resulted in a very significant revision to the August number. Again, though, the BLS doesn’t publish that, so the headline August-to-September 2012 change in the unemployment rate is not consistent and not comparable. Last December, when the BLS put the seasonal adjustments on a consistent basis for the year, as it does once per year, the November 2011 unemployment rate had just been reported as showing four-tenths of a percentage point drop—an unusually large monthly decline that never took place. When revised to a consistent basis, the drop in headline November unemployment revised to two-tenths of a percent. That is a big change. I think something like that happened here.
The BLS knows what the actual number is. It has an actual estimate for August, which is consistent with September, but it doesn’t publish it because it says it "doesn’t want to confuse data users." But it is putting out numbers that have no meaning month-to-month. One month before the election and a month after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke announced Quantitative Easing (QE) 3, is not a time to have inaccurate numbers. The BLS should publish the consistent numbers now.
TGR: You have said that BLS has been using this recalculation method for years. Do you feel that this month the numbers were more skewed than usual because of the political timing?
JW: Because there is no transparency in the calculation and reporting process, it leaves open the possibility of manipulation. What has happened here, though, is that in the wake of the economic collapse, the seasonal factors have been heavily distorted and are not stable on a month-to-month basis. Where the concept originally might not have made that much of a difference, it does make a big difference now. I suspect that is why we woke up to such a screwy unemployment rate this time around.
The 114,000 jobs growth in the payroll survey (which reflects the number of payroll jobs, counting multiple jobholders more than once) also is suspect and subject to concurrent-seasonal-factor adjustments. There, however, the BLS publishes revised estimates for the two prior months that are on a consistent basis with the headline number. Nonetheless, jobs in even earlier months are not re-reported, although they too are recalculated each month, with the effect that jobs reported in earlier periods can be moved into present reporting, boosting the current numbers, without the related earlier changes being revised in the published historical numbers. Nonetheless, the purported 114,000 jobs gain was not statistically significant.
Jim Sinclair’s Commentary
Gold and the Euro are holding hands. This reaction clearly scheduled by the gold banks might not be that easy to pull off.
1.28931 +0.00341 (+0.27%)
2012-10-10 15:40:47, 0 MIN DELAY
Jim Sinclair’s Commentary
Whatever is required will be provided. $4.5 trillion is only a number. Once you start on the Debt Monetization Program, publicly and privately called QE, there is no way out.
The Fed is the lender of last resort to Euroland and swap they will, regardless of who is president.
The choice in the USA is between a banker and a socialist. Both love debt. One makes money from it.
IMF Sees European Banks Facing $4.5 Trillion Sell-Off By Sandrine Rastello and Simone Meier – Oct 10, 2012 6:17 AM MT
The International Monetary Fund said European banks may need to sell as much as $4.5 trillion in assets through 2013 if policy makers fall short of pledges to stem the fiscal crisis, up 18 percent from its April estimate.
Failure to implement fiscal tightening or set up a single supervisory system in the timing agreed could force 58 European Union banks from UniCredit SpA (UCG) to Deutsche Bank AG (DBK) to shrink assets, the IMF wrote in its Global Financial Stability Report released today. That would hurt credit and crimp growth by 4 percentage points next year in Greece, Cyprus, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain, Europe’s periphery.
“There is definitely a need for deleveraging in Europe,” said Michael Seufert, an analyst at Norddeutsche Landesbank in Hanover, Germany, with a “negative” rating on the European banking sector. “The danger is that this produced a downward spiral as the regulation gets stricter and stricter and the global economy cools, potentially meaning more writedowns for banks. States in the periphery are hit hardest.”
The IMF doesn’t need to lend money to Spain to help the country tackle its fiscal crisis, Managing Director Christine Lagarde indicated today. The Washington-based fund earlier this week cut its global growth forecasts and warned of even slower expansion if European officials don’t address threats to their economies.
Jim Sinclair’s Commentary
I have a solution for the student loan problem. Securitize them and get a major rating agency to rate them as AAA. Then sell it all to pension funds, widows and orphans.
You can always say nobody saw it coming. If the fine is $100,000,000 and the gross sales profits on sales are $5 billion it is great modern day business.
Bankers growing more worried about student loans By Allison Linn, TODAY
Here’s the good news: Bankers seem pretty confident that most Americans will continue to pay off most of their consumer debt on time.
Here’s the bad news: They’re not nearly as optimistic about Americans’ ability to deal with ballooning student loan debt.
A new quarterly survey of U.S. banks’ risk managers finds that more than six in 10 expect student loan debt delinquencies to increase in the next six months. Only about 13 percent expect delinquencies to decrease.
The survey of 215 risk managers, released Tuesday by the credit risk analysis firm FICO, shows that student loan delinquencies have been worrying bankers for most of the year. Nearly 64 percent of the bankers surveyed in the previous quarter had predicted an increase in student loan delinquencies, and about half were expecting such a rise when the survey was conducted in the first three months of the year.
The survey found that bankers were much more optimistic about Americans’ ability to pay off other types of debt.
About two-thirds of the bankers surveyed said they expected delinquency rates on credit card debt to stay the same or go down in the next six months. About three-fourths were expecting delinquency rates for car loans and residential mortgages to stay flat or go down.
Jim Sinclair’s Commentary
You can feel Washington’s desire to get into the fight.
Panetta: US sends forces to Jordan By LOLITA C. BALDOR and PAULINE JELINEK | Associated Press – 3 hrs ago
BRUSSELS (AP) — The United States has sent military troops to the Jordan-Syria border to bolster that country’s military capabilities in the event that violence escalates along its border with Syria, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Wednesday.
Speaking at a NATO conference of defense ministers in Brussels, Panetta said the U.S. has been working with Jordan to monitor chemical and biological weapons sites in Syria and also to help Jordan deal with refugees pouring over the border from Syria. The troops are also building a headquarters for themselves.
But the revelation of U.S. military personnel so close to the 19-month-old Syrian conflict suggests an escalation in the U.S. military involvement in the conflict, even as Washington pushes back on any suggestion of a direct intervention in Syria.
It also follows several days of shelling between Turkey and Syria, an indication that the civil war could spill across Syria’s borders and become a regional conflict.
"We have a group of our forces there working to help build a headquarters there and to insure that we make the relationship between the United States and Jordan a strong one so that we can deal with all the possible consequences of what’s happening in Syria," Panetta said.
Jim Sinclair’s Commentary
To be right and very patient is the key to making major money in this financial world when playing it straight.
Stealing is the more popular way now used by the Western world financial entities, used by almost every one of them.
To know how to wait. It is the great secret to success. –Joseph de Maistre
Norcini sees central bank support for gold, rise above $1,800 Submitted by cpowell on 08:21AM ET Wednesday, October 10, 2012. Section: Daily Dispatches
11:20a ET Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:
Futures market analyst Dan Norcini today tells King World News where he sees the support and resistance lines in gold. Norcini thinks central bank buying will continue to support the market and that the price will punch through $1,800 eventually. An excerpt from the interview is posted at the King World News blog here:
CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.
Jim Sinclair’s Commentary
When I told "Slim” (nickname) to go into his hole when the gold market reacted and stay there until I called him, he misunderstood me and bought another hole in the ground.
Carlos Slim buys yet another foreign owned Gold mine in Mexico
MEXICO CITY(BullionStreet): World’s richest man Mexico’s Carlos Slim has acquired yet another foreign owned mining asset in his country, buying Ocampo mine from Canada’s AuRico.
According to AuRico, Carlos Slim’s Minera Frisco S A B de C V, will offer $750 million for the Ocampo mine, adjacent exploration projects and an equal stake in the Orion project.
The properties include the Ocampo gold and silver mine and Venus and Los Jarros projects in northern Chihuahua state and a 50 percent stake in the Orion project in Nayarit state, on Mexico’s Pacific coast.
They said they expect the transaction to close in December. Analysts saidthe world’s richest person is betting on precious metals to show resilience as the global economy struggles to grow.
Toronto, Ontario-based AuRico Gold is a Canadian gold producer with a diversified portfolio of high quality mines and projects in North America that have significant production growth and exploration potential.
Jim Sinclair’s Commentary
Hell’s Kitchen is a better name for all these computer based mechanisms for screwing the public.
A Firm Has Taken Responsibility For Today’s Violent Stock Swings, But What Happened Is Still Weird Linette Lopez
This morning, dozens of stocks, including Pandora and Nokia, experienced violent price swings due to one trading firm’s activity within a "dark pool."
Dark pools are private stock markets that connect buyers and sellers electronically so no party’s identity is revealed.
According to the WSJ, the firm responsible for today’s price madness has been identified, and securities regulator FINRA is looking into the matter.
What caused the trades is still a mystery. They were corrected, but even the way that was done leaves questions, according to Eric Hunsader, an executive at Nanex, a Chicago based firm that tracks market data. Here’s what he said about this latestest turn of events:
"The correction, and the nature of it, tells us if [the strange trade] was an order entry error, or something else. Almost all the trades were corrected, not cancelled. Which means they were given new prices. Which means they were entered into the system with an incorrect price. One thing that is puzzling is that the new prices are not sub-pennies but the old ones were."
In other words, the mistaken trades were rounded beyond 2 decimal places of precision (18.xxxx, for example). The corrections were not (so, 18.x, for example).
Jim Sinclair’s Commentary
Bloomberg looks for trouble.
Ambassador Died in Smoke While Agents Searched for Him
On the last day of his life, U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens retired to his room in the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya at about 9 p.m. after a quiet day.
Forty minutes later, security agents heard gunfire and explosions near the front gate of the compound, which recently had been reinforced with nine-foot walls and concrete Jersey barriers, two State Department officials told reporters yesterday.
Their narrative of what happened on the night of Sept. 11 is the first detailed account of how Stevens died, and it contradicts the Obama administration’s initial contention that the attack began as a spontaneous protest over an anti-Islamic video clip. The officials also offered the first detailed description of the compound’s and Stevens’ security, which are the focus of a hearing today by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice told television news programs on Sept. 16 that intelligence at that point showed the attack started as “a spontaneous, not premeditated response” to demonstrations in Egypt over a “very offensive video.” Then it “seems to have been hijacked, let us say, by some individual clusters of extremists,” she said.
The officials who described the attack yesterday, though, said the State Department never concluded that it began as a protest over the video. There were no protests at or near the compound that day, they said, speaking on condition of anonymity while the incident remains under investigation.
Beyond the Fiscal Cliff: the Dollar At Risk? Axel Merk, Merk Funds
October 10, 2012
Looking beyond the fiscal cliff, we are afraid the greenback may be at risk no matter who wins the election. We examine the risk to the U.S. dollar in the context of the likely policies pursued under either an Obama or Romney administration.
Some context: The budget deficit as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the U.S. is worse than that of some of the weak Eurozone countries (Portugal, Italy); the Eurozone as a whole has a far lower deficit. If the “fiscal cliff” were to take place – that is, if the tax hikes and government spending cuts were to take effect as currently scheduled – the U.S. would still face a deficit exceeding 3% of GDP before factoring in any economic slowdown as a result of the cliff. The fiscal cliff the U.S. is facing would impose Eurozone style austerity measures and – just as in the Eurozone – not eliminate the deficit.
Why does it matter? Unlike the Eurozone, the U.S. has a significant current account deficit. The current account deficit is exactly the amount foreigners must buy in U.S. dollar denominated assets to keep the dollar from falling. As a result, the U.S. dollar may be vulnerable should foreigners reduce their appetite for U.S. bonds. In contrast, the fallout from the Eurozone debt crisis has had a limited effect on the Euro because the Eurozone as a whole does not need inflows from abroad to keep the currency stable.
Jim Sinclair’s Commentary
Governments do not plan to go down without a real fight.
Paris to Boost Antiterror Laws
French Police Arrest at Least 10 in Weekend Raids on Alleged Islamist Network BY SAM SCHECHNER
PARIS—The French government aims to strengthen antiterrorism laws and boost security at places of worship, French President François Hollande said Sunday, after authorities mounted a series of raids against an alleged Islamic terror network suspected of targeting France’s Jewish community.
Police swept across France over the weekend—from the northeastern city of Strasbourg to the Mediterranean city of Cannes—taking at least 10 people into custody, and killing one man suspected of participating in a grenade attack last month against a Jewish grocery store outside Paris that lightly injured one person.
The raids turned up weapons, more than €27,000 ($35,200) in cash and a list of Jewish groups in the Paris area, Paris’s prosecutor said at a news conference to discuss the operation.
On Sunday, Mr. Hollande met with Muslim and Jewish leaders, and said in an address that a new antiterrorism law, which was presented to government ministers last week, would be submitted to Parliament as soon as possible.
The law would empower French authorities to pursue French citizens who commit terrorist acts or receive terrorist training overseas, even if they haven’t committed crimes in France.
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