The US Treasury Market Smells a Rat

The yield spread collapses to lowest since 2007.
Prices of US Treasury securities fell across the spectrum on Monday, and yields rose. From the two-year yield on down, yields set new nine-year highs.
This sell-off – and the accompanying surge in yields – has occurred for months without downdraft in stocks and without a slowdown in economic growth. It’s a dreamy scenario where the Fed’s tightening has no negative impact on the economy. But the Treasury market at the longer end smells a rat.
Not for this year. But for later.
On top of it there comes a big bout of Fed uncertainty. Janet Yellen, who will be replaced next year by Jerome Powell as Fed Chair, announced today that she would also vacate her slot as governor on the Federal Reserve Board – a job she could have hung on to until 2024 – thereby making room for a fifth Trump appointee to the powerful Board of Governors. In early October Trump nominated and the Senate approved Randal Quarles as a member of the Board. Leaves four slots to fill on the Board of seven members. And no one knows what the Fed will look like next year.

This post was published at Wolf Street by Wolf Richter ‘ Nov 20, 2017.



On The West’s Demise To The Sidelines Of History…

The world is changing, but the west is clinging on to a unipolar vision of the world that has passed. It’s attempts to discard this changing reality in exchange for a western worldview expressed in their politics and media are so ungrounded, it’s comical as it is dangerous. This western bubble of reality laid down before the wests general public seems to hold up for now, although fragile and less and less by the day. Really, Russia again? Outside this western bubble however, credibility is lost daily as the west places itself on the sidelines of history.
The fundamental building blocs in western hard power and soft power are not under attack as the mediapolitical landscape could make us feel they are, it is more that they are revealed for what they are without the sugarcoating. As the multipolar world creates the political and economic power to pursuit alternatives and show new perspectives and interpretations, they now have the power to reflect the actions of the west mirrored back upon themselves as apposed to ‘just the way things are’ in the world.
Suddenly we are presented with another version of reality that also begs for a different version of history for the past decades. Our economic system seems to benefit the few as those few have a well managed grip on politics. Local business and craftsmanship, the real economy, have given way to the privileged multinationals and the financial world, the world of tax breaks and tax havens.
Whilst the real economy is breaking down, the central banks were printing money like never before to keep the banks and the familiar names afloat -so long as the Apple’s and Facebook’s and other household names keep the indices up, all is good. At the root of this infinite printing of money lies of course the petrodollar. The 1973 deal with Saudi-Arabia where the US would support the house of Saud so long as OPEC would sell all oil in US dollars only and buy US bonds, creating an immense need for dollars in the world and preventing inflation as the Federal Reserves printing presses make way for the economic, political and military US might since. Since, the whole international trade system has been dollar based. If Bolivia wants to sell logs to Venezuela, it will still use dollars. And by US law, every dollar has to be cleared by the bank of New York, thus making this transaction subject to US law. And don’t you dare circumvent it. Blocking Iran from the dollar-trade for not selling oil in dollars, and thus blocking it from the swift-system, and thus from world trade, was therefore the nuclear bomb in economics. Their currency devalued 50%. The earlier threats to the petrodollar -Libia selling oil for gold, Iraq for euro’s- have been met with heavy resistance. Now, in Syria, it seems the world has changed. The predominantly Saudi-US creation of ISIS to destabilize the nations of Iraq and Syria into chaos has now failed. Could we again see Syria, Iraq and Iran work together to create the Friendship Pipeline (a.k.a. the Islamic Pipeline in the west), exporting oil from Iran to Europe? Or will it be more of the same political-economic-monetary-military export of the west, with freedom, democracy and human rights as it’s sugarcoating?

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 20, 2017.


Money and Markets Infographic Shows Silver Most Undervalued Asset

Money and Markets Infographic Shows Silver Most Undervalued Asset
– Silver remains severely under owned and under valued asset
– Entire silver market worth tiny $100 billion shown in one tiny square
– ‘All of the World’s Money and Markets in One Visualization’
– Must see ‘Money and Markets’ infographic shows relative size of key markets: silver bullion, gold bullion, cryptocurrencies/ bitcoin, largest companies, 50 richest people, Fed balance sheet, currency, stocks, property, cash, debt & derivatives
– Small allocation by investors and world’s richest will see silver surge like bitcoin
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by Visual Capitalist
Millions, billions, and trillions…
When we talk about the giant size of Apple, the fortune of Warren Buffett, or the massive amount of global debt accumulated – all of these things sound large, but they are actually extremely different in magnitude.
That’s why visualizing things spatially can give us a better perspective on money and markets.

This post was published at Gold Core on November 20, 2017.


“People Ask, Where’s The Leverage This Time?” – Eric Peters Answers

One of the Fed’s recurring arguments meant to explain why the financial system is more stable now than it was 10 years ago, and is therefore less prone to a Lehman or “Black monday”-type event, (which in turn is meant to justify the Fed’s blowing of a 31x Shiller PE bubble) is that there is generally less leverage in the system, and as a result a sudden, explosive leverage unwind is far less likely… or at least that’s what the Fed’s recently departed vice Chair, and top macroprudential regulator, Stanley Fischer has claimed.
But is Fischer right? Is systemic leverage truly lower? The answer is “of course not” as anyone who has observed the trends not only among vol trading products, where vega has never been higher, but also among corporate leverage, sovereign debt, and the record duration exposure can confirm. It’s just not where the Fed usually would look…
Which is why in the excerpt below, taken from the latest One River asset management weekend notes, CIO Eric Peters explains to US central bankers – and everyone else – not only why the Fed is yet again so precariously wrong, but also where all the record leverage is to be found this time around.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 19, 2017.


Is a December Rate Hike Necessarily Bad News for Gold?

Conventional wisdom holds that an interest rate hike in December will be bad for gold.
But will it?
There is actually evidence the opposite could be true.
Higher interest rates generally boost the dollar. This puts downward pressure on the price of gold. So, one would expect a rate hike to cause gold to tank. But over the last two years, the opposite has happened. In fact, we have seen double-digit increases in the price of gold after rate hikes.
So what gives?
The biggest factor is that we generally know the Federal Reserve is going to raise rates long before it actually acts. We’ve heard talk of a December rate hike since July. In fact, analysts say the likelihood of a quarter point December hike stands at 97%.
So, with several months to anticipate a hike, it is generally already baked into the price of gold by the time it happens. The market has been factoring it in all along. The Economic Times of India provides a succinct explanation of what has happened over the last two years.

This post was published at Schiffgold on NOVEMBER 17, 2017.


Stocks and Precious Metals Charts – The Willful Mispricing of Risk

Today was a stock options expiry.
Gold and silver rallied smartly, back up to the levels where they roughly were before they were bushwhacked on the Comex into the FOMC meeting and Non-Farm Payrolls boogie woogie.
I guess the theory that this smackdown of gold to retest 1270 earlier this week was a gambit ahead of stock option expiry was tradeable.
We are in a new era. I am hearing this on TV and in comments and on chat forums.
We are in an era where risk has been abolished by the central banks and their free money. So there is little difference between prime and subprime, between 2 year and 10 year Treasuries, and between stocks and bonds.
According to some of the Pied Piper pundits stocks are better than riskless cash, because stocks are going to keep rallying forever after, and cash is trash. Buy buy buy, and don’t be left behind.
This is the kind of mantra that the sell-side and the wiseguys of the Street too often resort to when they are taking profits from their pool after a big price run higher, and unloading mispriced junk on mom and pop, through the funds and institutions.
Once the selling starts in earnest, and it will beyond any doubt at some point, by whatever event that may happen to trigger it, this is going to get ugly very quickly. But this is the system that we have today. This will be the third bubble and bust since the repeal of Glass-Steagall, one of the highest funded PR and political campaigns in modern history.

This post was published at Jesses Crossroads Cafe on 17 NOVEMBER 2017.


Is New Fed Chief A ‘Swamp Critter Extraordinaire’?

– Is the New Fed Chief Jeremy Powell a ‘Swamp Critter Extraordinaire’?
– Trump surrounding himself with elites disconnected from everyday society
– Realities of America’s difficulties not recognised by US power makers
– Powell will likely continue to protect Wall Street over Main Street
– Savers should diversify to protect themselves from Fed’s ponzi policies
Editor: Mark O’Byrne
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Just like many of his other campaign promises, Trump isn’t doing a great job of draining the swamp. His nominee for Fed Chair is Jerome Powell.
Powell is a ‘swamp critter extraordinaire’ so declared by Bill Bonner last week. We’re inclined to agree. Name-calling is poor sportsmanship when it comes to politics, but hey, Trump started it.
When Trump traveled around the United States campaigning for the most privileged position in the country he lashed out at the seemingly abstract promise to ‘Drain the Swamp’ at every opportunity. He used it to criticise anything he didn’t like about the status-quo.

This post was published at Gold Core on November 17, 2017.


Rickards On Gold, Interest Rates, & Super-Cycles

When the Fed raised interest rates last December, many believed gold would plunge. But it didn’t happen.
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Gold bottomed the day after the rate hike, but then started moving higher again.
Incidentally, the same thing happened after the Fed tightened in December 2015. Gold had one of its best quarters in 20 years in the first quarter of 2016. So it was very interesting to see gold going up despite headwinds from the Fed.
Meanwhile, gold has more than held its own this year.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 16, 2017.