Hollande’s Socialist Wonderland

Submitted by Pater Tenebrarum  –  The Acting Man Blog

Everything’s an Emergency

If memory serves, France remains in a state of emergency on account of the terror attack in Paris in last November. As terrible as terror attacks are, they are a statistically insignificant cause of death and injury in developed nations. It is also worth noting that the countries that seem most prone to suffering terror attacks are the ones that are most active in intervening militarily in foreign countries. This is probably no coincidence. Just saying.

 

hollandeFrançois Hollande puts on his emergency frown.

Photo credit: Kenzo Tribouillard / AFP

 

We also imagine that a state of emergency is a costly exercise (France’s government immediately exempted itself from meeting the Maastricht deficit target in the wake of the attack, so we can conclude this by inference). Moreover, the recurrence of such attacks shows that ubiquitous snooping on everybody’s digital communications is a wasted effort, if the goal is indeed to keep such attacks from happening (which is doubtful, but that is a topic for another day).

France is in fact one of the world’s top snoopers, but appears to have ignored information and warnings from Turkey’s secret service – information which reportedly was obtained by traditional investigative means and turned out to be correct.

Now there is another emergency, this time an economic one. Mr. Hollande (a.k.a. “the welfare state incarnate”, h/t Gaspard Koenig) has just declared that his government will pull out all stops in terms of labor market intervention, so as finally stop the inexorable rise in French unemployment. His main motive seems to be saving his own job, as Mish notes. Continue reading

They Tell Us Nothing But Lies

Submitted by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts – Institute for Public Economy

A British governmental inquiry has concluded that Russian President Putin “probably approved” the killing of Alexander Litvinenko by polonium poisoning.http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article44002.htm

As no evidence is provided for the surmise, we can conclude that this report on an unresolved event that happened a decade ago is part of the lies being used by the West to demonize Putin, just as the lies about MH-17 and “the Russian invasion of Ukraine.”

Litvinenko’s brother and father say that they “are sure that the Russian authorities are not involved. It’s all a set-up to put pressure on the Russian government.” Maksim Litvinenko dismisses the British report as a smear on Putin. https://www.rt.com/news/329804-litvinenko-brother-britain-murder/

And that is what it is.

“Our” government not only lies to us about the economy and the wars, it also lies about literally everything. For example, do you remember the Rwanda genocide? The story we were told is the exact opposite of the truth. Today the perpetrator of the genocide, Paul Kagame, is the President of Rwanda. http://www.globalresearch.ca/rwanda-the-enduring-lies-a-project-censored-interview-with-professor-ed-herman/5502707

Western governments and media have covered up his crimes and praise him as a great humanitarian who has healed Rwanda and is totally supported by the people. The truth is that Kagame has proved himself a worse totalitarian that Hitler, Stalin, and Poll Pot combined. He has turned Rwanda into a fear-ridden psychological prison. Anjan Sundaram, a journalist who ran a journalism training school in Rwanda, describes in detail Kagame’s destruction of all truth and all independent thought in Rwanda. In his just published book by Doubleday, Bad News: Last Journalists In A Dictatorship, Sundaram gives the gruesome details of how Rwandans, with the complicity of the West, have been brought more psychologically under control than Winston Smith in George Orwell’s 1984. Continue reading

Why It Will Continue, Continued

Submitted by Jeffrey Snider  –  Alhambra Investment Partners

With quarterly earnings we get quarterly bank earnings. Interest in them should be heightened by all that has happened since June 2014. And it is, only for seemingly the wrong reasons. Deutsche Bank, the latest, reported shockingly negative preliminary results which only continued the trend. Even though the media largely gets it backwards, at some point as enough time passes it doesn’t even matter. We are told bank earnings and revenue are under pressure from a slew of “tough markets” but what makes those markets so untenable in the first place?

Goldman Sachs, one of the purest of the former shadow banks, is shrinking. If they can’t make money in FICC then there is no money. It is bank balance sheets that manufacture the internal eurodollar “currencies” that make it all work. There is no profit in it, to the point now where what little reward looks more like 2009-type levels of decay and dysfunction.

Goldman’s revenue from trading bonds, currencies and commodities (FICC) was $1.12bn, the lowest since the fourth quarter of 2008 during the depths of the financial crisis, during which the firm recorded losses from investments and trading credit products.
Bond trading by US banks has been declining since 2009, mainly due to new rules that discourage banks from taking unnecessary risks.

The connection is blatantly obvious, but the media won’t make it because economics incessantly intrudes, demanding that what is observed isn’t real in favor of what isn’t that looks less likely by the minute. The world acts increasingly like there is a monetary shortage, a dollar shortage no less, but the media can’t seem to find it. Capital rules that “discourage banks from taking unnecessary risks” didn’t do any of that, as banks took a great many risks over the past few years regardless of jawboning about Basel. Those that took more than others, such as Goldman, Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse, are the very banks that have performed the worst in trying to make money in money. FICC is the guts of wholesale money. Continue reading

700 Days In No Man’s Land – Why They Can’t Keep It Up

This week brought another reason to get out of the casino, and to sell it short if you can tolerate some volatility.

On Friday the Japanese stock market ripped 6% higher and the European bourses were up 5% because their respective central bankers emitted some hints of more easing just ahead. Even the US market managed to find green for the week.

Apparently, the day traders and robo-machines think BTFD still works. But they are going to be sorely disappointed——just as they have been for nearly 700 days running.

That is, since the S&P 500 crossed the 1870 mark in early March 2014, there have been 35 attempts to rally higher. All of them have failed.
^SPX Chart

^SPX data by YCharts

Like the bloody trenches of World War I, the movement back and forth in “no man’s land” on the chart above has been pointless. At some juncture in the not too distant future, the stock averages are going to break this trading range, and plunge back down to earth.

In the meantime, you can’t blame the punters for trying. This week they succumbed once again to the BTFD delusion undoubtedly because the “moar money” chorus grew ever louder as Friday approached. Continue reading

The Daily Debt Rattle

Submitted by Raúl Ilargi Meijer  –  The Automatic Earth

• Nearly $8 Trillion Wiped Off World Stocks In January (Reuters)
• Dow Could Fall 5,000 Points And Still Not Be ‘Cheap’ (MW)
• Mario Draghi Denies The ECB Bazooka Is Empty (AEP)
• Felix Zulauf: The Era Of QE Is Over (FuW)
• The ‘Recovery’ Was Built On Bubbles (Chang)
• China’s Banking Stress Looms Like Banquo’s Ghost In Davos (AEP)
• The EU Prioritizes The Old And The Rich (FT)
• Will The TBTF Banks Break Themselves Up? (Forbes)
• Moody’s Just Put $540 Billion In Energy Debt On Downgrade Review (ZH)
• North Sea Drilling Sinks to Record Low (BBG)
• Aberdeen: Once-Rich Oil City Now Relying On Food Banks (Guardian)
• Oil Services Giant Schlumberger Axes 10,000 Jobs (Guardian)
• UK Treasury ‘To Count £139 Million Of Made Up Money’ As Foreign Aid (Ind.)
• VW Blames Emissions Scandal on EU’s ‘Vague Testing Requirements’ (Ind.)
• VW Probe Finds Manipulation Was Open Secret In Department (Reuters)
• DEFEAT IS VICTORY (Dmitry Orlov)
• Top UN Official Says Mass Migration ‘Unavoidable Reality’ (AFP)
• Europe’s Refugee Crisis Claims At Least Another 46 Lives In Aegean (AP)