LIBOR

Podcast

Dreamstime

Wolf Richter: The Era Of The Fed "Put" Is Over

It now wants lower asset prices (just not too fast)
Monday, April 2, 2018, 3:39 PM

To all those investors expecting the Fed to step in to backstop the recent weakness seen in the stock market, Wolf Richter warns: The cavalry isn't coming.

After years of force-feeding too much liquidity into world markets, the central banking cartel is now aware of the Franken-markets it has created. And now with a new head at the US Federal Reserve, and soon at the ECB, central bankers have shifted their priority from supporting asset prices to now actively engineering lower prices. » Read more

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Everything Is Suddenly Deteriorating, Fast

Is this "it?" It's sure looking like it may be.
Friday, March 30, 2018, 8:37 PM

Executive Summary

  • Geopolitical unity is fracturing as countries are forced to compete more
  • LIBOR is signaling a credit emergency in Europe
  • The market is sending signs a major war and/or a major recession may be imminent
  • The last remaining heroes for risk-on capital, the FANG stocks, are quickly becoming villains

If you have not yet read Part 1: The Future Ain't What It Used To Be, available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

The central banks of the world have failed: colossally, completely and dangerously.  Yes, they will try to rescue the “markets” once again, as they did in 2011 and 2016 when things similarly looked to be falling apart.

The reason they might not be able to succeed this time?

They are out of maneuvering room. 

Nothing will happen if interest rates are clubbed back down a percent or two.  To do that, though, would require the same sort of lock-step coordination as prior times.  The ECB, BoJ and Fed would all have to operate seamlessly again. 

The most immediate of my concerns, even more than the tech-wreck that began a few weeks ago, is the rise in the LIBOR interest rate.  Why?  Because trouble always moves from the outside in.

Let’s do the math  With $350 trillion worth of assets tied to LIBOR, that means each 1% rise in the LIBOR rate translates into $3.5 trillion dollars of increased interest costs.

LIBOR is now at its highest rate since 2009, and it's spiking for reasons nobody can fully explain. In my mind, higher LIBOR means that there’s less trust and/or liquidity in the system.  It also means borrowing costs are heading up for... » Read more

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Using Gold to Protect Yourself In Advance of the Greatest Wealth Transfer of Our Lifetime

A how-to guide
Friday, April 4, 2014, 9:44 AM

Executive Summary

  • The case for gold's manipulated price, and how that can be used to work to your advantage
  • Calculating the "floor" beneath which gold will likely not fall
  • The coming Great Wealth Transfer, which almost certainly will occur in our lifetime
  • How much to invest in gold
  • How to invest in gold
  • Exit strategies: when will it make sense to sell your holdings? And what should you exchange them for?

If you have not yet read The Screaming Fundamentals For Owning Gold, available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

Market Manipulation

Before we can address the idea of storing some of your wealth in gold (and/or silver) we have to visit the topic of market manipulation. As many of you are aware this is an area of exceptional controversy, although I am not entirely sure why given the distressing laundry list of recently proven, and often grotesquely brazen, market manipulations performed by big banks in many other market areas.

Big banks have been proven or alleged to have manipulated energy markets, LIBOR, currency markets, the global oil market, and aluminum, among other things and all of these transgressions happened after they got caught engaging in forgery and fraud during the mortgage swindles of 2005 to 2007.

On one side of the manipulation debate, we might place the Gold Anti-Trust Action (GATA) organization alleging constant official manipulation to suppress the price of both gold and silver, and on the other we might place Jeff Christian, managing director of the metals research firm CPM, whose position is that all price movements can be explained by ordinary market forces.

I happen to be somewhere in between those views as I think both legitimate and illegitimate forces are part of the landscape. But I am heavily tilted towards market manipulation as the explanation for why gold (and silver) tend to move downwards violently from time to time and why the prices for each are not higher than they currently are.

The SEC has a clear definition of market manipulation and I’ve reproduced it here but swapped out the words ‘security’ and ‘stock’ with ‘gold’ to make it that much clearer:

Manipulation

Manipulation is intentional conduct designed to deceive investors by controlling or artificially affecting the market for gold. Manipulation can involve a number of techniques to affect the supply of, or demand for, gold. They include: spreading false or misleading information about gold; improperly limiting [or expanding] the supply of gold; or rigging quotes, prices or trades to create a false or deceptive picture of the demand for gold. Those who engage in manipulation are subject to various civil and criminal sanctions.

(Source)

I also added the two words "or expanding" because that condition also applies to commodities. 

How likely is it that some firms have been trading in gold in such a way as to create a false, rigged, or deceptive picture of gold (and silver) prices?  It’s all but proven in a court of law, but don't hold your breath waiting for that final proof, as the US court system has vigorously defended banks from such lawsuits for decades. 

I also happen to believe that gold is officially suppressed in price because it's what I would do if I were at the helm of the Fed and cared only for bolstering confidence in the dollar specifically, and fiat currencies generally, making the stock market a more attractive alternative, and also lending credence to political and monetary decisions (for the record, I am merely placing myself in the mind of the enemy here). Given that set of mandates, I would order up some hefty gold suppression because gold has a very bad habit of casting a bright light on rotten monetary and fiscal policy. 

Suppressing the price of gold just makes so much sense that I would consider it a form of derelict strategic weakness if the Fed et al. were not doing it.

One of the more important times to suppress the price of gold would be when... » Read more

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Off the Cuff: Vacuum of Leadership

Where have all the Churchills gone?
Thursday, December 5, 2013, 3:21 AM

In this week's Off the Cuff podcast, Chris and Mish discuss:

  • Raising taxes until morale improves
    • Europe's misguided approach to its woes
  • Tough medicine for underfunded pensions
    • Detroit bankruptcy may be a key precedent
  • Manipulation & fraud
    • Two things the TBTF banks get away with
  • Vacuum of leadership
    • A defining crisis of our time
Daily Digest

Image by futureatlas.com, Flickr Creative Commons

Daily Digest 7/15 - Oil May Determine South Sudan's Future, UK Charges 2 Brokers In Libor Inquiry

Monday, July 15, 2013, 12:57 PM
  • Precious Metals Stocks: The Most Undervalued Asset Class
  • China Wealth Eludes Investors as Stocks Earn 1%
  • What Sweden Can Tell Us About Obamacare
  • It’s Amazing to Be a Working Mom in France—Unless You Want a Job
  • Britain Charges 2 Former Brokers in Libor Inquiry
  • Oil May Determine South Sudan's Future
  • Climate change is a bigger threat to the Tour de France than doping
Daily Digest

Image by Topato, Flickr Creative Commons

Daily Digest 6/16 - Nuclear Plants Closing Early, What Sweden Can Tell Us About Obamacare

Sunday, June 16, 2013, 10:21 AM
  • Even Pessimists Feel Optimistic About the American Economy
  • FX Rates Said to Face Global Regulation in Libor Review
  • Aetna Pulls Out Of California Individual Insurance Market In Response To Obamacare
  • Suddenly, Retiree Nest Eggs Look More Fragile
  • China’s Great Uprooting: Moving 250 Million Into Cities
  • What Sweden Can Tell Us About Obamacare
  • Nuclear Plants, Old and Uncompetitive, Are Closing Earlier Than Expected
  • Elon Musk Conceives New 'Hyperloop' Transportation System: Neither Plane, Train, Boat Nor Car. Is it ET3?
Insider

Protecting Your Wealth from Deflation

And from a broken system run for the benefit of the banks
Monday, April 15, 2013, 5:18 PM

Executive Summary

  • The current gold slam has *nothing* to do with the fundamentals for precious metals, which are very favorable right now
  • How bad would deflation be?
  • Evidence that deflation is arriving
  • Why our current monetary system has become so compromised by the banks
  • How to best protect your wealth from both deflation and the banks

If you have not yet read Part I: This Gold Slam is a Massive Wealth Transfer from Our Pockets to the Banks, available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

About Those Wealth Transfers

The biggest news of the recent past is the flow of gold from West to East. 

(Source)

With China importing 835 tonnes of gold in 2012 that we know about (and they may well be doing more under the table for official purposes) and also standing as the number one producer of gold, with ~360 tonnes of domestic production, none of which is exported, China is consuming at least 44% of total yearly world gold production.

Connect that with India importing between 200 and 300 tons per quarter (2011 imports were 967 tonnes, and 2012 was 864 tonnes), and this represents another 33% of total world mine output.  Add in Russia buying more official gold, and you suddenly find that a commanding proportion of the newly mined gold in the world is headed East, where it used to stay largely in the West.

To be clear, I view gold as money and therefore wealth itself.  Everything else that can be manufactured out of thin air is merely a claim on wealth.  In these terms, the West is slowly but steadily bleeding control of wealth to the East, something I thought our leaders were both aware of and focused on.

Knowing the lower prices will only exacerbate this West-to-East flow, I therefore thought that the bullion banks and central banks would not have dared push that dynamic any further.   But apparently no, obviously I was wrong, which pains me on several levels.

Add to this the various things going on in the world today, and I honestly thought we were in the most gold-favorable landscape of my life.

Consider:

  • Negative real interest rates (powerfully gold- and commodity-friendly throughout history)
  • North Korea threatening nuclear and conventional war
  • Open confiscation of wealth in Europe from bank accounts
  • Japan doubling their monetary base in a brazenly desperate bid to stoke inflation by attacking Japanese trust in their own currency
  • Extremely unfavorable bond yields up and down the yield ladder
  • Continued European stress and discord with the possibility of a Eurozone disintegration

Taken together, this level of system, sovereign, and institutional uncertainty is about as gold-friendly a situation one could concoct... » Read more

Podcast

David Collum: We're Headed for a Showdown

Broken markets and abuse of law have consequences
Saturday, December 29, 2012, 3:49 PM

In the Big Rock Candy Mountains,
The jails are made of tin.
And you can walk right out again,
As soon as you are in.

-- Harry McClintock, Big Rock Candy Mountain (1928)

Fresh from releasing his exhaustive and excellent Year In Review last week, Dave Collum sits down with Chris to discuss the key developments of 2012 in detail. » Read more

Blog

2012 Year in Review

Free markets, rule of law, and other urban legends
Friday, December 21, 2012, 3:34 PM

Background

I was just trying to figure it all out.

~ Michael Burry, hedge fund manager

Every December, I write a Year in Review that has now found a home at Chris Martenson’s website PeakProsperity.com.1,2,3 What started as a simple summary intended for a couple dozen people morphed over time into a much more detailed account that accrued over 25,000 clicks last year.4 'Year in Review' is a bit of a misnomer in that it is both a collage of what happened, plus a smattering of issues that are on my radar right now. As to why people care what an organic chemist thinks about investing, economics, monetary policy, and societal moods I can only offer a few thoughts.

For starters, in 33 years of investing with a decidedly undiversified portfolio, I had only one year in which my total wealth decreased in nominal dollars. For the 13 years beginning 01/01/00—the 13 toughest investing years of the new millennium!—I have been able to compound my personal wealth at an 11% annualized rate. This holds up well against the pros. I am also fairly good at distilling complexity down to simplicity and seem to be a congenital contrarian. I also have been a devout follower of Austrian business cycle theory—i.e., free market economics—since the late 1990s.4

Each review begins with a highly personalized analysis of my efforts to get through another year of investing followed by a more holistic overview of what is now a 33-year quest for a ramen-soup-free retirement. These details may be instructive for those interested in my approach to investing. The bulk of the review, however, describes thoughts and observations—the year’s events told as a narrative. The links are copious, albeit not comprehensive. Some are flagged with enthusiasm. Everything can be found here.5 » Read more

Blog

What to Do When Every Market Is Manipulated

Hint: cut the strings
Wednesday, August 15, 2012, 10:34 AM

If you don't know who the sucker at the card table, is it's you.

~ old gambler's saying

What do the following have in common?

LIBOR, Bernie Madoff, MF Global, Peregrine Financial, zero-percent interest rates, the Social Security and Medicare entitlement funds, many state and municipal pension funds, mark-to-model asset values, quote stuffing and high frequency trading (HFT), and debt-based money?

The answer is that every single thing in that list is an example of market rigging, fraud, or both. » Read more