Posts Tagged ‘CURRENCY WARS’

Currency Wars: Debase, Default, Deny!

Currency Wars: Debase, Default, Deny! 

Hiker pausing at fork in path

Courtesy of Gordon T Long of Tipping Points

In September 2008 the US came to a fork in the road. The Public Policy decision to not seize the banks, to not place them in bankruptcy court with the government acting as the Debtor-in-Possession (DIP), to not split them up by selling off the assets to successful and solvent entities, set the world on the path to global currency wars.

By lowering interest rates and effectively guaranteeing a weak dollar through undisciplined fiscal policy, the US ignited an almost riskless global US$ Carry Trade and triggered an uncontrolled Currency War with the mercantilist, export driven Asian economies. We are now debasing the US dollar with reckless spending and money printing with the policies of Quantitative Easing (QE) and the expectations of QE II. Both are nothing more than effectively defaulting on our obligations to sound money policy and a “strong US$”. Meanwhile with a straight face we deny that this is our intention. 

It’s called debase, default and deny.

Though prior to the 2008 financial crisis our largest banks had become casino like speculators with public money lacking in fiduciary responsibility, our elected officials bailed them out. Our leadership placed America and the world unknowingly (knowingly?) on a preordained destructive path because it was politically expedient and the easiest way out of a difficult predicament. By kicking the can down the road our political leadership, like the banks, avoided their fiduciary responsibility. Similar to a parent wanting to be liked and a friend to their children they avoided the difficult discipline that is required at certain critical moments in life. The discipline to make America swallow a needed pill. The discipline to ask Americans to accept a period of intense adjustment. A period that by now would be starting to show signs of success versus the abyss we now find ourselves staring into.  A future that is now significantly worse and with potentially fatal pain still to come.

Unemployed Americans, the casualties of the financial crisis wrought by the banks, witness the same banks declaring record earnings while these banks refuse to lend. When the banks once more are caught with their fingers in the cookie jar with falsified robo-signing mortgage title fraud, they again look for the compliant parent to look the other way. Meanwhile the US debt levels and spending associated with protecting these failed…
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Currency Wars: Misguided US Economic Policy

Courtesy of Gordon T. Long of Tipping Points

Currency Wars: Misguided US Economic Policy

The critical issues in America stem from minimally a blatantly ineffective public policy, but overridingly a failed and destructive Economic Policy. These policy errors are directly responsible for the opening salvos of the Currency War clouds now looming overhead.

Don’t be fooled for a minute. The issue of Yuan devaluation is a political distraction from the real issue – a failure of US policy leadership. In my opinion the US Fiscal and Monetary policies are misguided. They are wrong! I wrote a 66 page thesis paper entitled “Extend & Pretend” in the fall of 2009 detailing why the proposed Keynesian policy direction was flawed and why it would fail. I additionally authored a full series of articles from January through August in a broadly published series entitled “Extend & Pretend” detailing the predicted failures as they unfolded. Don’t let anyone tell you that what has happened was not fully predictable!

Now after the charade of Extend & Pretend has run out of momentum and more money printing is again required through Quantitative Easing (we predicted QE II was inevitable in March), the responsible US politicos have cleverly ignited the markets with QE II money printing euphoria in the run-up to the mid-term elections. Craftily they are taking political camouflage behind an “undervalued Yuan” as the culprit for US problems. Remember, patriotism is the last bastion of scoundrels

An unusual Wall Street Op-ed piece appeared Wednesday October 13th , written by Yiping Huang, a Professor of Economics – China Center for Economic Research at the prestigious Peking University. He called for common sense from Americans and the G20 regarding the potential for destructive currency wars:

“The upcoming Group of 20 summit in Seoul could become a battlefield of this new conflict. But it doesn’t have to be. Rather than focus on currency manipulation, all sides would be better served to zero in on structural reforms. The effects of that would be far more beneficial in the long run than unilateral U.S. currency action, and more sustainable. …  it would be much better for the G-20 to focus on a comprehensive package centered on structural reforms in all countries. Exchange rates should be an important part of that package. For instance, to reduce the U.S. current-account deficits, Americans have to save more.


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Runaway Feedback Loops, Wealth Concentration and Gaming-The-System

Runaway Feedback Loops, Wealth Concentration and Gaming-The-System

Courtesy of Charles Hugh Smith, Of Two Minds

Canada, Newfoundland and Labrador, iceberg in ocean

Positive feedback loops soon reach the runaway/self-destruction stage. Concentrations of wealth and gaming-the-system are reaching just such levels.

Positive feedback loops lead to runaway scenarios. The classic example is global warming and the Arctic ice cap. As temperatures rise, the the ice melts, exposing more land or seawater. Ice reflects solar radiation, and so as it shrinks then more solar radiation is absorbed, raising temperatures more, which melts the ice faster, which then leads to more solar radiation being absorbed, and so on.

The runaway feedback loop leads to the disappearance of the Arctic ice and a much warmer planet.

Nature has multiple feedback loops, and so the solar radiation flux may be acting to reduce temperatures as the positive feedback of melting ice raises temperatures. But the point is that positive feedback is self-reinforcing and it speeds up processes as it gathers momentum.

We can see runaway feedback loops in the economy and society, not just in Nature. One of the key runaway feedbacks in the U.S. is the concentration of wealth and political power.

As wealth has become concentrated in the top 1/10th of 1%, then the political power that can be purchased with that wealth also rises, which then enables the wealthy to increase their wealth via "Federal entrepreneurship" and other means.

The political process--once potentially a force resisting or moderating wealth--has been completely captured by an ever-expanding army of lobbyists, the fast-spinning revolving door between the Central State and corporations and unprecedented levels of corporate/Elites campaign contributions.

The judiciary, theoretically a force which could have resisted this concentration of wealth and political power, has also been co-opted by a marriage of ideology and wealth/power. Thus the courts have gutted every attempt at limiting corporate/insider influence over the processes of governance; the courts have enabled corporations to have the "right to free (paid) speech" unburdened by the obligations that go with such rights.

The wealth/power feedback has reached runaway levels. "Reforms" are gutted in backroom deals, votes to benefit the banking/mortgage/foreclosure industry are done on voice calls to evade public scrutiny, and a thousand other games and tricks are played daily to subvert the common good for the benefit of the few and their armies of technocrat toadies.

The other positive feedback loop approaching runaway levels is the Entitlement/Welfare State, both
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Double Dip Est Arrivé: Institutional Risk Analyst

Double Dip Est Arrivé: Institutional Risk Analyst

Courtesy of JESSE’S CAFÉ AMÉRICAIN

Chris Whalen of Institutional Risk Analyst has this interesting interview on CNBC, sent to me by a reader.

I have not watched that television channel in some years, finding their shallowness and hypocrisy too much to bear. Of course my refuge, Bloomberg Television, has lowered its standards so much, with spokesmodels and smirking chimps, that it may have achieved parity. Are Cramer, Kudlow and Kernan still kicking? Remarkable.

This is an interesting exposition of the currency wars, and the pandering to the big financial institutions by the Fed over the past fifteen years, ultimately at the expense of the real economy in the distortions and misallocation of capital which the financial engineers have fostered.

Here is the interview with Jim Rickards to which Chris alludes.

Chris Whalen sounds like me. I wonder if he can cook? 

 


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Bullion Denominated in Euros, Pounds and Swiss Francs At New Record Highs as the IMF Prepares for a Currency Crisis

Bullion Denominated in Euros, Pounds and Swiss Francs At New Record Highs as the IMF Prepares for a Currency Crisis

Courtesy of JESSE’S CAFÉ AMÉRICAIN

What many traders are starting to realize is that the precious metals plunged with stocks in the recent market dislocation in 2008 because it was a ‘liquidity crisis’ among private institutions triggered by the credit unworthiness of individuals that provoked a general selling of assets.

What we are experiencing now is a sovereign debt (credit worthiness) crisis, which is really a currency crisis. A fiat currency is backed by nothing except the ‘full faith and credit’ of the issuer. It is not that it would have to be ‘different this time’ as some would think. It’s not even the same thing, a different type of a crisis entirely.

The markets are assessing the risks of various currencies and countries with regard to default. Gold, and to some lesser extent silver bullion, are wealth that is sufficient to itself, requiring no backing from any particular country. Quite the opposite, there are large short positions and highly leveraged paper commitments, that present significant counterparty risk to the upside, because it is unlikely to be deliverable at anything near current prices.

Regulators have long turned a blind eye to what some contend are officially sanctioned shenanigans and secretive leasing and selling. This is becoming increasingly difficult for the central banks to manage, and we may approach a breaking point unless the financial engineers and politicians can head it off once again. They have a strong vested interest in hiding their past dealings, as we saw in the case of Mr. Gordon Brown in the UK.

If there is a new panic selloff, all assets will again be liquidated in the short term, including the metals. But their rebound may be quite sharp and potentially rewarding if the sovereign debt crisis continues, since the search for safe havens will be even more aggressive, as the seats in the shelters are quickly taken.

This is why the IMF is meeting in Zurich on May 11, ahead of the formal discussions scheduled later this year to discuss the reweighting of the SDR. There is a currency crisis on the horizon, and it may involve not only the PIIGS, but the larger developing countries including the US and the UK. And they are preparing contingency plans, and seeking to head it off.

I do…
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Currency Wars

Currency Wars

Courtesy of JESSE’S CAFÉ AMÉRICAIN

"In his latest letter, Mylchreest reckons we are now in the ‘Third Gold War’ since the Second World War and this is being waged between the USA in conjunction with other western countries/institutions, notably the IMF, and various opposing sectors worldwide. In his contention, the U.S. and its allies lost the first of these ‘gold wars’ to the French (then under De Gaulle) and the second to the Middle East, helped significantly by the then pro-gold stance and purchasing power of the German Deutsche Bank .

This latest Gold War has been/is being fought covertly. "High profile sales of physical gold have, for the most part, been replaced by sales of "paper gold" in the form of futures, OTC options and unallocated gold, etc." asserts Mylchreest. But this time he reckons the veil has been lifted and the whole charade is beginning to unravel. Instead of France or Arab nations, the opponent this time is China – the 800 pound gorilla – potentially an even more formidable opponent, with a huge treasury of trillions of dollars with which to back its moves. It’s not just that it is the Chinese government which is the major participant, but also now that gold and silver ownership is being promoted to the populace there by government institutions, there is the huge pent-up, and growing interest in precious metals of the rapidly increasing Chinese middle class and its potential to affect the global demand patterns."

China: the Gorilla in the Third Gold War, Lawrence Williams

The gold war as described above is just one front in a greater and more general ‘currency war’ that is evolving as the empire of ‘the US dollar as the reserve currency,’ which has been in place since the end of WW II, declines and finally falls in the profligacy and crony capitalism of the Federal Reserve Bank and the Treasury.

This battle may manifest itself more publicly later this year in the debate over the reconstitution of the basket of currencies that the IMF’s Special Drawing Rights (SDR) will contain.

What Will Be the New World Reserve Currency

Russia Calls for Changes to the SDR

The SDR may not be the successor to the dollar hegemony in the short term. The BRICs may lobby hard enough to legitimize it,…
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Currency Wars: Markets Shudder on Downgrade of Spain

Currency Wars: Markets Shudder on Downgrade of Spain

Spanish bullfighter David Fandila El Fandi performs a pass to a bull during a bullfight at the Maestranza bullring in Seville

Courtesy of JESSE’S CAFÉ AMÉRICAIN

There was unusually heavy put buying yesterday in NY markets on the Spanish stock index ETF.

Last month a group of US hedge funds were investigated for collusion in planning short selling assaults on the euro. Having exhausted the developing world, which has largely tossed them out, have the economic hitmen finally turned on the developing world as we forecast in 2005 that they would?

This is not to say that Greece, Portugal, or Spain are without problems or fault. There is a general crisis in many of the developed country fiat currencies, including the United States. The rising price of gold and silver, despite the heavy handed manipulation by a few of the banking centers, is a sure sign of a flight from paper controlled by central banks.

The US financial interests have been shown to exercise a disconcerting amount of control over the three US-based Ratings Agencies. I wonder how long it will be before any of the US states will have their credit ratings downgraded, and how those attacks might be structured. I am sure the government would then act to curtail their naked shorting and market manipulation activity.

As the NY based stock tout crowed on Bloomberg this morning, "The US can inflate its way out of this crisis much more easily than can any other country." Well, it is an advantage to own the printing press, and to control key elements of the global financial system.

And it makes one wonder how long the economic predators will be given free rein by the co-opted regulatory agencies and government in the US, which cannot even pass a motion to debate financial reform to the floor of its Senate. I would suggest that the debate, even when it moves forward, will not produce anything sufficient to promote a sustainable recovery. That is why this debate must move now to the floors of Parliaments and legislative bodies in the rest of the world. And there has to be much more openness compelled from their central banks with regard to private dealings with the US Federal Reserve. It is now a matter of national priority. 

Wall Street Journal
Euro Drops To New One-Year Low On Spain Downgrade
By Bradley Davis
April 28, 2010

NEW YORK (Dow Jones)--The euro dropped to a


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Phil's Favorites

Walmart Testing Flippy The Job-Stealing Robot Cook

Courtesy of Zero Hedge

Walmart is testing out a new kitchen robot assistant named "Flippy" at its Bentonville, Arkansas headquarters in order to see if it might make for a valuable team member in its in-store delis, according to Yahoo! Finance

While Flippy had somewhat of a rocky start at a Pa...



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Zero Hedge

Walmart Testing Flippy The Job-Stealing Robot Cook

Courtesy of Zero Hedge

Walmart is testing out a new kitchen robot assistant named "Flippy" at its Bentonville, Arkansas headquarters in order to see if it might make for a valuable team member in its in-store delis, according to Yahoo! Finance

While Flippy had somewhat of a rocky start at a Pa...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Silver miners testing key breakout level!

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Silver miners (SIL) have had a rough 7-years, as the ETF finds itself nearly 75% below its 2011 highs. No doubt the long-term trend remains down.

SIL is has declined 27% since the first of this year (See chart below), where it is testing a falling support line at (1), with momentum currently at the lowest levels in 5-years.

While declining this year, SIL could be creating a bullish falling wedge, where it currently is in a tight jam between support and resistance.

This chart looks at the Year-to-Date performance of miners ETF’s-

...



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Biotech

Those designer babies everyone is freaking out about - it's not likely to happen

Reminder: We're available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

Those designer babies everyone is freaking out about – it's not likely to happen

Babies to order. Andrew crotty/Shutterstock.com

Courtesy A Cecile JW Janssens, Emory University

When Adam Nash was still an embryo, living in a dish in the lab, scientists tested his DNA to make sure it was free of ...



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Insider Scoop

Nvidia Bounces Back After News Of Potential SoftBank Sale

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related NVDA 10 Biggest Price Target Changes For Wednesday Boeing, Lennar, Nvidia, Gold ETF: 'Fast Money' Picks For December 3...

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Members' Corner

Blue Wave with Cheri Jacobus (Q&A II, Updated)

By Ilene at Phil's Stock World

Cheri Jacobus is a widely known political consultant, pundit, writer and outspoken former Republican and frequent guest on CNN, MSNBC, FOX News, CBS.com, CNBC and C-Span. Cheri shares her thoughts on the political landscape with us in a follow up to our August interview.

Updated 12-10-18

Ilene: What do you think about Michael Cohen's claim that the Trump Organization's discussions with high-level Russian officials about a deal for Trump Tower Moscow continued into June 2016?

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Digital Currencies

How low will Bitcoin now go? The history of price bubbles provides some clues

 

How low will Bitcoin now go? The history of price bubbles provides some clues

The Bitcoin bubble is perhaps the most extreme speculative bubble since the late 19th century. Shutterstock

Courtesy of Lee Smales, University of Western Australia

Nearly 170 years before the invention of Bitcoin, the journalist Charles Mackay noted the way whole communities could “fix their minds upon one object and go mad in its pursuit”. Millions of people, he wrote, “become simultaneously impressed with one delusion, and run after it, till their attention is caught by some new folly more captivating than the first”.

His book ...



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Chart School

Weekly Market Recap Dec 09, 2018

Courtesy of Blain.

Bears are certainly showing the type of strength we haven’t seen in a long time.   A week ago at this time futures were surging on news of a “truce” for 90 days between China and the U.S. in their trade spat.  But the charts were still not saying lovely things despite a major rally the week prior.   And by Tuesday, darkness had descended back on the indexes, with another gut punch Friday.    A lot of emphasis was put on a long term Treasury yield dropping below a shorter term Treasury.

On Monday, the yield on five year government debt slid below the yield on three year debt, a phenomenon which has p...



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Mapping The Market

Trump: "I Won't Be Here" When It Blows Up

By Jean-Luc

Maybe we should simply try him for treason right now:

Trump on Coming Debt Crisis: ‘I Won’t Be Here’ When It Blows Up

The president thinks the balancing of the nation’s books is going to, ultimately, be a future president’s problem.

By Asawin Suebsaeng and Lachlan Markay, Daily Beast

The friction came to a head in early 2017 when senior officials offered Trump charts and graphics laying out the numbers and showing a “hockey stick” spike in the nationa...



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ValueWalk

Vilas Fund Up 55% In Q3; 3Q18 Letter: A Bull Market In Bearish Forecasts

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

The Vilas Fund, LP letter for the third quarter ended September 30, 2018; titled, “A Bull Market in Bearish Forecasts.”

Ever since the financial crisis, there has been a huge fascination with predictions of the next “big crash” right around the next corner. Whether it is Greece, Italy, Chinese debt, the “overvalued” stock market, the Shiller Ratio, Puerto Rico, underfunded pensions in Illinois and New Jersey, the Fed (both for QE a few years ago and now for removing QE), rising interest rates, Federal budget deficits, peaking profit margins, etc...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of September 11th, 2017

Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...



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Promotions

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In My Top Strategies for 2017, Phil's chapter is Secret Santa’s Inflation Hedges for 2017.

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