Here Come the Money Helicopters!

Submitted by William Bonner, Chairman – Bonner & Partners

Negative Wealth Effect

DELRAY BEACH, Florida – The sky in South Florida is gray. A cold wind blows across the sand. Since the start of the year, the Dow is down about 7%. But certain stock market sectors have undergone a much harder pruning. First, energy… then the tech… and now banks.

Martin Wolf

Martin Wolf, chief economics commentator of the Financial Times: easily one of the greatest monetary cranks alive today, an establishment-approved snake oil seller of a quack economist who has never seen a printing press he didn’t like. If the Soviet Union still existed, we would strongly recommend that he move there and become chief economics commentator of the Pravda. The man is positively dangerous to the free market economy and liberty in general.

Photo credit: Regina Kuehne / KEYSTONE

Shares in too-big-to-fail bank Citigroup are down almost 28% so far this year. And shares in Europe’s biggest bank, Deutsche Bank, are down by more than 36%.

1-DB, weeklyDB, weekly – this doesn’t look good. Deutsche Krank (krank = German for “ill”) is the biggest bank in Europe. If it were to fail, it would be the functional equivalent of the Creditanstalt insolvency in 1931 – click to enlarge. Continue reading

Two Sets of Retail Sales, But Only One Economic Trend

Submitted by Jeffrey Snider  –  Alhambra Investment Partners

The January retail sales report demonstrates perfectly the nature of this whole recovery, but especially the last year or so when everything holding to the primary narrative boils down to the unemployment rate – a statistic that is more and more determined by peculiar assumptions and calculations. The advance release from the Census Bureau had enough positive vigor to provide palpable enthusiasm in place of the very reluctantly increasing glumness.

Retail sales increased for a third straight month in January as Americans kicked off 2016 by spending freely on cars, clothing and online merchandise…
Greater job security, improving wage growth and falling gasoline prices may be persuading more consumers to loosen their purse strings after a fourth-quarter slowdown. A pickup in household purchases, which account for the lion’s share of the economy, would help the U.S. stave off the negative effects of a strengthening dollar, sluggish foreign demand and tumultuous financial markets.

When initially searching for how or where consumers were “spending freely”, I failed to see anything resembling strength or “greater job security, improving wage growth”, etc. Instead, the retail sales report was the usual flavor of awful, with sales growth overall including autos just 1.44% in January. Strong consumers would be represented by at least 5% if not steadily above 6%. That rate was the same as the snowy cold of February 2015 and worse than the awful November that started the hugely concerning Christmas season. Auto sales themselves were up just 3.5%; a broad-based disappointment no different than the recessionary levels that have become alarmingly common since the end of 2014.

ABOOK Feb 2016 Retail Sales Unadjusted

It wasn’t hard to find what the mainstream is relieved about, however, as there was a huge discrepancy with the “seasonally” adjusted figures. Seasonal adjustments are not just altered for seasonal swings month-to-month but they are also reconfigured by formula for differences in numbers of weekends or even the arrangements of holidays within the month, or even as compared to the same month in the prior year. Continue reading

Is This Debt’s Last Rattle?

Submitted by Raúl Ilargi Meijer  –  The Automatic Earth

Crowd outside Wall Street Stock Exchange on BlackThursday Oct 24 1929

What we see happening today is why we called our news overview the “Debt Rattle” 8 years ago. The last gasps of a broken system ravished by the very much cancer-like progress of debt. Yes, it took longer than it should have, and than we thought. But that’s pretty much irrelevant, unless you were trying to get rich off of the downfall of your own world. Always a noble goal.

There’s one reason for the delay only: central bank hubris. And now the entire shebang is falling to bits. That this would proceed in chaotic ways was always a given. People don’t know where to look first or last, neither central bankers nor investors nor anyone else.

It’s starting to feel like we have functioning markets again. Starting. Central bankers still seek to meddle where and when they can, but their role is largely done. It’s hard to pinpoint what exactly started it, but certainly after Kuroda’s negative rate ‘surprise’ fell as flat on its face as it did, and then fell straight through the floor and subsequently shot up through the midnight skies, a whole lot more ‘omnipotence credibility’ has disappeared.

Kuroda achieved the very opposite of what he wanted, the yen soared up instead of down -big!-, and that will reflect on Yellen, Draghi et al, because they all use the same playbook. And the latter so far still got a little bit of what they were shooting for, not the opposite. Still, one could also make a good case that it was Yellen’s rate hike that was the culprit. Or even Draghi’s ‘whatever it takes’. It doesn’t matter much anymore.

Though what should remain clear is that it was in their interference in markets to begin with, as extremely expensive as it has been extremely useless and dumb, that the real guilt resides. Or we could take it even a step further back and point to the credit bubbles blown in the west before 2008. Central banks could have let that one go, and allow it to run its natural course. Instead, they decided they should inflate their own balance sheets. What could go wrong? Continue reading

Varoufakis tells Irish people to ‘send Michael Noonan packing’

Submitted by Yanis Varoufakis  –  The Yanis Varoufakis Blog

Former Greek finance minister accuses government of pandering to oligarchs

At a Right2Change meeting in Dublin’s Mansion House, the former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis accused the Irish government of pandering to oligarchs.
Video: Ronan McGreevy

Ireland faces a “stark choice” at the next election between those who have imposed austerity on the Irish people and those who have an alternative vision, the former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis has said.

Mr Varoufakis told the Right2Change meeting in the Mansion House thatMichael Noonanand Brendan Howlin were both part of a conspiracy to crush the Irish people.

“The Irish general election will either condone and legitimise the Irish people’s violation at the hands of an unscrupulous local regime and a brutalEuropean Central Bank, ” he said.

“Or the general election will repudiate and condemn those who violated the Irish people. Your government did what all oligarchs wanted them to do – they blamed the victims.

“(Enda) Kenny said Irish people went mad borrowing. Really? What happened is that a small band of Irish international bankers, developers and politicians built up a gargantuan debt that you have to take on.”

Mr Varoufakis, an academic economist, became Greece’s finance minister when Syriza took power in January 2015.

He resigned seven months later claiming that the Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras had reneged on his promise to renegotiate Greece’s debt deal with the EU.

Speaking via video link to the Right2Change meeting, he accused Mr Noonan of failing to support debt relief for the Greek people at EU level because it would draw attention to his own failure to fulfil his commitments to get debt relief for Irish people too.

“Now you have a chance to send Mr Noonan packing. Our struggle was also a struggle for the Irish people. If our moderate proposals prevailed, a template would have been created for Irish debt restructuring for the end of debt in Dublin.”

He also made reference to Mr Howlin’s remarks during his budget speech, “who speaks of Syriza now?” in which the Minister for Public Expenditure contrasted growth rates in Ireland with the stagnation in the Greek economy.

Mr Varoufakis told the meeting in the Mansion House: “Brendan Howlin had the audacity to say, ‘who speaks of Syriza now?’. That is why why they (the European Union) crushed us. They crushed to us to crush your spirits, to lie to your faces and still get relected on the platform and the campaign of fear.

“I trust that the people of Ireland will crush the hopes of their political establishment. It is crucial for all of Europe that this happens.”

Mr Varoufakis has been involved with a number of other left-wing campaigners in the foundation of the DiEM25 (Democracy in Europe Movement 2025), which was launched in Berlin last week.

Its purpose is to democratise the institutions of the European Union or “it will disintegrate with terrible consequences for everyone”, he warned.

He said those involved in the Right2Change movement were seeking to put the “demos” back into Irish democracy “in a way the Irish people deserve.”


President Kennedy and His Brother Robert Kennedy Were Murdered By The Military-Security Complex

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

Presstitute Media, such as the UK Telegraph, spend a lot of energy debunking exposes of government conspiracies. For example, the thousands of highrise architects, structural engineers, physicists, nano-chemists, demolition experts, first responders, military and civilian pilots, and former government officials who have provided vast evidence that the official story of 9/11 is a made-up fairy tale at odds with all evidence and the laws of physics are dismissed by presstitutes as “conspiracy theorists.”

Similarly, those, such as James W. Douglass, who have proven beyond all doubt that President John F. Kennedy was not assassinated by Oswald but by his own paranoid anti-communist military-security complex, are dismissed as conspiracy theorists.

The 9/11 Commission Report and the Warren Commission Report were cover-ups. VP Dick Cheney and the neoconservatives he sponsored needed a “new Pearl Harbor” in order to begin their military assaults on the Middle Eastern countries that had independent foreign policies instead of being US/Israeli vassals. 9/11 was their orchestrated “new Pearl Harbor,” and this fact had to be covered up when 9/11 families persisted in their demands for an investigation and could not be bought off for large sums of money.

Similarly, the Warren Commission had no choice but to cover up that a popular American president, John F. Kennedy, had been murdered by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the CIA, and the Secret Service, because he was believed by paranoid anti-communists to be “soft on communism” and thereby a threat to the security of the United States. The cold war was on, and the Warren Commission could not hold those responsible accountable without destroying the public’s confidence in the American military and security services.

Nevertheless everyone aware of the forged case against Oswald knew what had happened. One of these people was Attorney General Robert Kennedy, JFK’s brother. Continue reading

The Daily Debt Rattle

Submitted by Raúl Ilargi Meijer  –  The Automatic Earth

China’s Central Bank Says No Basis for Continued Yuan Decline (BBG)
Why Kuroda’s ‘Bazooka’ May Be Out of Ammunition (WSJ)
BoJ Deputy Says Japan Needs Bolder Measures To Unlock Growth (FT)
Swedish Central Bank Move Creates a Global Shudder (NY Times)
Bond Investors Looking Out for Stimulus Hint in Draghi Testimony (BBG)
There Are Still a Few Tricks Seen Up Central Bankers’ Sleeves
Former Dallas Fed President Calls Out Central Banks (CNBC)
Nomura Drops to Pre-Abenomics Level as Japan’s Brokers Slump (BBG)
Deutsche Bank Buyback Sparks Backlash From Newest Investors (BBG)
This is How Financial Chaos Begins (WS)
Pension Funds See 20% Spike In Deficit (AP)