H/t reader squodgy:
“They want us to roll over to be tickled.
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Modern finance has many complex moving parts, and this complexity masks its inner simplicity.
Let’s break down the core dynamics of the current financial system.
Credit is the foundation of the current financial system, for credit enables consumers to bring consumption forward, that is, buy more stuff today than they could buy with the cash they have on hand, in exchange for promising to pay principal and interest with their future income.
Credit also enables speculators to buy more assets than they otherwise could were they limited to cash on hand.
Record high stock and bond prices are flashing danger signs to former Reagan White House Budget Director David Stockman.
“I don’t think we are going to have a liquidity crisis. I think it’s going to be a value reset. I think there is going to be a jarring downward price adjustment both in the stock market and in the bond market.
This phantom or phony wealth that has been created since the last crisis is going to basically evaporate.”
So, what asset is safe? Stockman says gold and goes onto explain,
By David Stockman
Since last November 8th the Russell 2000 has risen by 30% and the net Federal debt has expanded by an astounding $1.0 trillion dollars.
In a rational world operating with honest financial markets those two results would not be found in even remotely the same zip code; and especially not in month #102 of a tired economic expansion and at the inception of an epochal pivot by the Fed to QT (quantitative tightening) on a scale never before imagined.
And we do mean exactly those words. By next April the Fed will be shrinking its balance sheet at $360 billion annual rate and by $600 billion per year as of next October.
Altogether, the Fed’s balance is scheduled to contract by upwards $2 trillion by the end of 2020. And it’s apparently on a path that is so locked-in—-barring a recession—that Janet Yellen affirmed in her swan song that the Fed’s giant bond dumping program (euphemistically called “portfolio runoff”) would no longer even be mentioned in its post-meeting statements.
So the net of it is this: The Fed will sell more bonds in the next 3-4 years than had been accumulated by all of the central banks of the world in all of recorded history as of 1995!
The end of the financial system as we know it is near.
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Money manager Peter Schiff correctly predicted the financial meltdown in 2008.
Now, 10 years later, what does Schiff see today? Schiff says,
“I predicted a lot more than just the stock market going down back then. I predicted the financial crisis, but more importantly, I predicted what the government would do as a result of the financial crisis and what the consequences of that would be because that’s where we’re headed.
The real crash I wrote about in my most recent book is still coming…
– All the Money in the World
– How Much the World is Worth
– The Flow of Money During Financial Crisis
– Net Worth of World’s Richest People
– Net Worth of World’s Biggest Companies
– The Liquidity Pyramid a.k.a. Exter’s Inverted Pyramid
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Britain cannot afford to borrow more without jeopardising the country’s financial stability, a senior Bank of England official has warned.
Richard Sharp said the Government had already borrowed an extra £1 trillion since the 2008 financial crisis.
Borrowing more could put the country at risk of suffering from a collapse similar to that experienced by Venezuela, he suggested. Mr Sharp, a member of the Bank’s Financial Stability Committee, spoke just days after Philip Hammond announced a £25 billion spending spree in the Budget and at a time when the Labour Party is advocating borrowing an extra £250 billion.
His comments, which will be seen as a warning to the Chancellor not to loosen the purse strings too far, mark a departure for the Bank, which usually steers clear of commenting on Government finances.
H/t reader squodgy:
“Well, if that isn’t a warning, nothing is.
Obviously the MSM have just been given the nod to start to gently herd us into a pre-collapse pen of propaganda, letting us know incrementally that we are at the precipice.
Other newspapers here are letting us know the range of medicines & treatments available from the once beautiful NHS, is being curtailed and rationed, and care for the elderly is being cut.
Can’t beat selfish, hard skinned Conservatives to show no empathy, nor incompetent Labour/Liberals to waste money faster than a man with ten arms.
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Once upon a time the United States had the largest and most vibrant middle class in the history of the world, but now the middle class is steadily being eroded. The middle class became a minority of the population for the first time ever in 2015, and just recently I wrote about a new survey that showed that 78 percent of all full-time workers in the United States live paycheck to paycheck at least part of the time. But most people still want to live the American Dream, and so they are going into tremendous amounts of debt in a desperate attempt to live that kind of a lifestyle.
According to the Federal Reserve, the average U.S. household is now $137,063 in debt, and that figure is more than double the median household income…
Global stocks rose in value after the People’s Bank of China poured $47 billion into its financial system. That means “central banks have little to worry about in 2018 – if markets get fractious, just bung a load of money at them,” said Blain.
The 2008 crisis, which was about consumer debt, was triggered by mortgages. We still have consumer debt crisis problems ahead, warns Blain, adding the next financial crisis is likely to be in corporate debt.
Moscow (AFP) – Venezuela signed a debt restructuring deal with major creditor Russia on Wednesday, as ratings agencies declared Caracas in partial default.
The country is seeking to restructure its foreign debts, estimated at around $150 billion, after it was hit hard by tumbling oil prices and American sanctions.
A Venezuelan delegation led by Finance Minister Simon Zerpa signed the deal restructuring $3.15 billion of debt taken out in 2011 to finance the purchase of Russian arms.
H/t reader squodgy:
“Looks like they’re prioritising their debt by re-arranging things with creditors they feel they’ll need in the future.
Rejection of America, who merely rape countries on behalf of bankers, is understandable, but that leaves China, Russia and the odd rebellious European renegade to climb aboard with the know incentive that they will be entitled to be involved in part of the biggest oil reserves in the world.”
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As Venezuela teeters right on the brink of complete financial collapse, Bloomberg reports that Russia has agreed to restructure roughly $3.2 billion in outstanding obligations. While details of the restructuring agreement are scarce, both sides reported that the deal spreads payments out over 10 years with minimal cash service required over the next six years.
Russia signed an agreement to restructure $3.15 billion of debt owed by Venezuela, throwing a lifeline to a crisis-wracked ally that’s struggling to repay creditors.
The deal spreads the loan payments out over a decade, with “minimal” payments over the first six years, the Russian Finance Ministry said in a statement. The pact doesn’t cover obligations of state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA to its Russian counterpart Rosneft PJSC, however.
Last month, S&P warned that UK lenders could incur £30 billion of losses on their consumer lending portfolios consisting of credit cards, personal and auto loans if interest rates and unemployment rose sharply. Much like in the U.S., S&P warned that “loose monetary policy, cheap central bank term funding schemes and benign economic conditions” had fueled an “unsustainable” yet massive expansion of consumer credit that will inevitably end badly.
Per The Guardian:
The rapid rise in UK consumer debt to £200bn from car finance, personal loans and credit cards is unsustainable at current growth rates and should raise “red flags” for the major lenders, ratings agency Standard & Poor’s has warned.
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro announced this Sunday that the government had reached an agreement to refinance and restructure the Venezuelan debt with Russia.
“We have reached an agreement with Russia, this week will be signing an agreement where refinancing is established,” the president said.
(ANTIWAR.COM) — The cost of America’s global war on terror has yet to be reckoned with, and there’s a very good reason for that. By and large, the US has not been paying for all of these wars, but rather has been borrowing to pay for the conflict.
In the long run that’s going to be expensive. Paying off the war is going to mean not only paying the prices of the conflict but the massive interest accrued in borrowing the cost of those wars.
A new report suggests that just the interest on all that debt will, over the course of decades of servicing it, cost an estimated $8 trillion. So far, they say, the US has paid $534 billion in overseas contingency operations interest.
High inflation could cost the British Government tens of billions of pounds in extra interest payments because so much of its debt is index-linked.
More than one-third of gilts – excluding those bought by the Bank of England – are linked to the retail price index measure of inflation.
One week ago, we and many others wondered, if the time has finally come for Venezuela, which was facing a “no grace period” $842 million principal payment for bonds issued by state-run energy company PDVSA, to default on its billions of unrepayable obligations. As we reported then, the liquidity crisis for Venezuela was especially acute because even if it did make the first PDVSA payment, it was facing a second, even larger one today, when PDVSA had to make another $1.121BN payment.
Well, despite a several day transfer delay, Venezuela did make the first payment, however it was not clear if Caracas would also make today’s payment, although as Reuters reported earlier, “markets remained optimistic that President Nicolas Maduro’s government will make the payment, though investors expect delays. PDVSA last week struggled for days to deliver funds for a separate bond payment amid confusion over which banks were charged with transferring the money.”
PDVSA bonds were down slightly in early trading on Thursday, while Venezuelan bonds were mixed, according to Thomson Reuters data.
However, as we previewed again last week, and as Reuters confirmed today, “most economists say a default is increasingly likely in the medium term as Venezuela’s collapsing socialist economic model has left the once-prosperous population destitute and led to deterioration of the OPEC nation’s vital oil industry.”
It now appears that that is indeed the case, and the long overdue Venezuela default, which has been speculated ever since 2014, is finally nigh, because during a nationwide TV address, Venezuela’s socialist president Nicolas Maduro said the country will seek to restructure its global debt after the state-owned oil company makes the PDVSA payment due at midnight. Maduro blamed a financial blockade that is preventing the nation from rolling over its debt, according to Bloomberg.
“I decree a refinancing and restructuring of all foreign debt and all Venezuelan payments,” Maduro said. “We’re going to a complete reformatting. To find an equilibrium, and to cover the necessities of the country, the investments of the country.”
As the Dow Jones Index hits another all-time high today, smart money is rushing to the exits. You see, smart money knows when something is too good to be true. Unfortunately for the retail investor who is suffering from acute BRAIN DAMAGE, they are doing quite the opposite. As institutions sellout on each new market price rise, retail investors are happily buying… hand over fist.
And why shouldn’t they? These are good times. Well, maybe not for Americans living in Houston, parts of Florida, California or in Puerto Rico. Whatever happened to the news on the massive flooding and hurricane damage in Houston, Florida and Puerto Rico? I remember seeing videos of Miami Beach High-Rise Condos with seawater 5-8 feet surrounding the entire area. Does anyone have an idea of what happens to electrical systems when salt water floods buildings? It’s not good.
Regardless… the amount of destruction major U.S. cities have experienced in the past three months is like nothing we have witnessed before. Regrettably, a lot of these homes and businesses will never be rebuilt. Not only don’t we have the money to do it, more importantly, we also don’t have the available energy. While the massive destruction by hurricanes, flooding and fire have not impacted the stock market currently, they will.
As I mentioned at the beginning of the article, retail investors are propping up the markets. However, they aren’t the only ones, or should I say, the only factor in keeping the markets from falling off a cliff. Thanks to Uncle Sam, total U.S. debt has increased by $590 billion in just the past month and a half. Here is a table of U.S. debt from the data published by the fine folks at TreasuryDirect.gov:
H/t reader Squody.
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The world’s largest oil companies are in serious trouble as their balance sheets deteriorate from higher costs, falling profits and skyrocketing debt. The glory days of the highly profitable global oil companies have come to an end. All that remains now is a mere shadow of the once mighty oil industry that will be forced to continue cannibalizing itself to produce the last bit of valuable oil.
I realize my extremely unfavorable opinion of the world’s oil industry runs counter to many mainstream energy analysts, however, their belief that business, as usual, will continue for decades, is entirely unfounded. Why? Because, they do not understand the ramifications of the Falling EROI – Energy Returned On Invested, and its impact on the global economy.
By Charles Hugh Smith
Every single line item in our entire Bernie Madoff scam of a system is cooked.
My theme this week is The Great Unraveling, by which I mean the unraveling of our social-political-economic system of hierarchical, centralized power. Let’s start by looking at how the basis of governance has transmogrified from consent of the governed to consent of the conned.
In effect, our leadership leads by lying. As we know, when it gets serious, you have to lie to preserve the perquisites and power of those atop the wealth-power pyramid, and well, it’s serious all the time now, so lies are the default setting of the entire status quo.
As the stock market continues to rise on the back of some of the worst geopolitical, financial, and domestic news, the U.S. Treasury has been quietly increasing the amount of government debt, with virtually no coverage by the Mainstream or Alternative Media. So, how much has the U.S. debt increased in the past few days? A bunch.
The surge in U.S. debt that took place over the past two days all started when the debt ceiling limit was officially allowed to increase on Sept 8th. In just one day, the U.S. Treasury increased the public debt by $318 billion:
H/t reader squodgy:
“Gotta Blow up soon, it’s TOTALLY unserviceable and unsustainable.”
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H/t reader squodgy:
“Why the Central Banks just cannot raise interest rates…….and what MUST be the eventual trigger for the Economic collapse and reset.”
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