China’s historic post-2009 debt binge flew largely under the radar — fooling most observers into thinking the global economy was recovering rather than just re-leveraging. Now Beijing is back at it, borrowing over $1 trillion in this year’s first quarter, buying up commodities and creating the illusion of global growth. But this time the scam […]
These are shockingly bad times for big banks, especially when you consider that the overall economy is supposed to be fairly healthy. The latest example is Germany’s Deutsche Bank: Deutsche Bank Q1 ‘most challenging in several decades’: CFO (CNBC) – Deutsche Bank posted a 58 percent drop in net profit in the first quarter, to […]
Combine record-high stock prices with weak corporate earnings, a too-strong dollar and rising turmoil in Europe, Asia and Latin America, and the result is a dangerously vulnerable market. Time to go “risk-off”, in other words. But keep stacking gold and silver.
First it was the banks reporting horrendous numbers — largely, we were told, because of their exposure to recently-cratered energy companies. Now it’s Big Tech, which is a much harder thing to explain. The FAANGs (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google) own their niches and not so long ago were expected to generate strong growth […]
For as long as most gold and silver investors can remember, the paper markets — that is, banks and speculators placing bets with futures contracts — have set the price of those metals. And within the paper markets, “the commercials” — fabricators and big banks — have consistently fooled speculators like hedge funds into going […]
Coming into this corporate earnings season, everyone seemed to expect disappointment. But they thought it would come from the energy sector and the banks that had lent that sector way too much money (see Goldman Sachs is a flattened slug). Technology was, as always, thought to be immune to the vagaries of the Old Economy. […]
Goldman, Morgan Stanley and IBM release numbers that look, well, depression-like. Housing starts plunge, gold and silver spike, China’s bond market seizes up, and Deutsche Bank prepares to name names in its gold manipulation scandal. And US stocks keep rising…what’s wrong with this picture?
So it seems that China’s economy, caught in the grip of a credit crisis just a few months ago, is all better. And so, by extension, is everyone else. As the Wall Street Journal explains it: China Calms Anxiety With Economic Fixes WASHINGTON—The world’s financial leaders started the year worried about China’s decelerating economy dragging […]
For years now, the easiest way to finesse a debate over whether precious metals markets are manipulated has been to say, “well, if they’re not manipulated they’re the only market that isn’t.” That was unsatisfying, though, because as the big banks got caught scamming their customers on interest rates, mortgage bonds, forex and commodities trades, those […]
After three decades of epic deficit spending and three years of extraordinary money creation, Japan’s economy is enjoying a rollicking inflationary boom. Just kidding. Exactly the opposite is happening: Japan households’ inflation expectations hit three-year low – BOJ (Reuters) – Japanese households’ sentiment worsened in the three months to March and their expectations of inflation fell […]
Most US companies will report earnings this month, and most analysts think the results will be depressing. That’s bad news for stock prices and might add to the (already considerable) pressure on governments to step up their stimulus programs. Gold and silver, meanwhile, seem to like all this financial turmoil.
Corporate profitability is one of the canaries in today’s financial coal mine. If companies are making more money each year they tend to hire more people, pay more taxes and generally make life easier for everyone else. But when earnings decline, everything from government budgeting to personal financial planning gets much harder. Viewed through this […]
This sounds like a belated April Fool’s joke, but it’s not. In Germany it’s apparently a crime to offend a foreign politician. Germany Investigating Comic Suspected of Offending Turkish President Erdogan (Wall Street Journal) – German prosecutors have opened an investigation against a television comedian on suspicion of offending Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, escalating […]
The rationale for today’s easy money policies is pretty straightforward: Falling interest rates and rising government deficits will counteract the drag of excessive debts taken on in previous stimulus programs and asset bubbles, enabling the developed world to create wealth faster than it takes on new debt. The result: a steady decline in debt/GDP to […]
Between the “Panama papers” and the DC Madam’s customer list, we might be witnessing the end of personal (and corporate and government) privacy. The result? Less financial and geopolitical risk-taking and more gold buying. But don’t get burned by failing precious metal dealers. Here’s how to make sure you get what you pay for.