Recently, there has been a parade of central bankers along with their lackeys on Wall Street coming on the financial news networks and desperately trying to convince investors that there are no bubbles extant in the world today. Indeed, the Fed sees no economic or market imbalances anywhere that should give perma-bulls cause for concern. You can listen to Jerome Powell’s upbeat assessment of the situation in his own words during the latest FOMC press conference here. The Fed Chair did, however, manage to acknowledge that corporate debt levels are in fact a bit on the high side. But he added that “we have been monitoring it carefully and taken appropriate steps.” By taking appropriate steps to reduce debt levels Powell must mean slashing interest rates and going back into QE. The problem with that strategy being that is exactly what caused the debt binge and overleveraged condition of corporations in the first place.
By Alasdair Macleod – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle
Introduction and summary
The monetary, financial and political weaknesses of the EU are about to be exposed by the forthcoming global credit crisis.
This article assumes the combination of end of credit cycle dynamics and the rise in trade protectionism in 1929 is a valid precedent for gauging the scale of a developing global credit crisis today, as described in my earlier article published here. Then, it was heavier tariffs coinciding with a less destabilising inflation cycle than we face today, a combination that saw stock markets collapse. Today, we have the additional factors of far greater monetary inflation, far higher levels of government debt, low savings coupled with record consumer borrowing, and unbacked fiat currencies likely to lose purchasing power instead of gold-backed currencies which increased their purchasing power.
Declining international trade has already become evident in only a few months, and prescient observers detect early signs of a rapidly developing global recession. In response, the ECB has announced it will target lending to non-financial businesses with its TLTRO-III programme from September onwards.
By Alasdair Macleod – Re-Blogged From Silver Phoenix
After two decades, the euro’s minders look set to drive the Eurozone into deep trouble. December was the last month of the ECB’s monthly purchases of government debt. A softening global economy will increase government deficits unexpectedly. The consequence will be a new cycle of sharply rising bond yields for the weakest Eurozone members, and systemically destabilising losses in the bond portfolios owned by Eurozone banks
It’s the twentieth anniversary of the euro’s existence, and far from being celebrated it is being blamed for many, if not all of the Eurozone’s ills.
By Dr. Tim Ball – Re-Blogged From WUWT
In a recent article, I used an illustration of 1200 km circles around a weather station to illustrate the extent the IPCC considered it represented. A comment about the article asked if I was aware of the map distortion and its effect on the circle of coverage. It was an arcane but important observation. He was pointing to the distortion created by using a Mercator projection map.
I am very aware of the distortion. My entire career involved working with maps. This included flying in the Air Force; teaching courses and running labs about maps and map reading; studying climate weather maps; the movement and migration of people driven by climate change; and teaching a course in political geography. I provided major research for a book on the search for the Northwest Passage on the Pacific west coast written by Sam Bawlf titled, “The Secret Voyages of Sir Francis Drake.” Dr. John Dee, science advisor to Queen Elizabeth I, gave Drake his sailing and scientific instructions. This included accurately determining the longitude of the west coast of North America. This research resulted in Drake visiting the Dutch map maker Abraham Ortelius (1527-1598) after his return. Two months after Drake’s visit Ortelius produced a new world map with the coast shifted 60° of longitude to its proper position.
By John Rubino – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle
When Italy elected a bunch of rowdy populists back in March, the rest of the eurozone assumed (or at least hoped) that the weight of responsibility would bring Rome back into line. But so far the Italians appear to be serious about ending austerity and forcing the ECB to finance their spending ambitions. The just-passed Italian budget calls for a rising deficit, in direct disobedience of Continental (read German) authorities.
By John Rubino – Re-Blogged From Dollar Collapse
Europe is frequently held up as an example of how the rest of the world should behave on a variety of issues. But this comparison misses at least two things: First, “Europe” is actually a lot of different countries in a lot of different situations. Second, much of what seems to work over there only does so because it’s being financed with ever-increasing amounts of debt.
For countries, as for individuals, borrowing money is fun at first but beyond a certain point becomes debilitating, as interest payments begin to crowd out everything else. That’s where a growing number of Europe’s failed states now find themselves, with overly-generous pensions and overly-restrictive labor laws making it virtually impossible to run a functioning market-based economy.