Saturday, August 15, 2015

Today's Links

1--America's Economic Reset Will Trigger Global Recession, New Crises

2--Trump Is the Authoritarian Ruler Republicans—and Some Dems—Have Been Waiting For

Among the additional personality features, these people are usually intimidating and bullying, faintly hedonistic, vengeful, pitiless, exploitive, manipulative, dishonest, cheat to win, highly prejudiced, mean-spirited, militant, nationalistic, tell others what they want to hear, take advantage of “suckers,” specialize in creating false images to sell self, may or may not be religious, and are usually politically and economically conservative and Republican.

It is striking that Donald Trump appears to have all these characteristics. Without question, Trump is the most prototypical authoritarian leader to ever so prominently seek the American presidency, and we have had several authoritarian presidents and vice presidents, most recently including Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew, followed by George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. But Donald Trump appears to fall within the indicia of the authoritarian leader far more than any of the others....

In my informal conversations with many people who view themselves as part of the GOP base, Trump is very popular. He is telling them what they want to hear....

if he makes a strong showing in New Hampshire and South Carolina, there will be no stopping him. ...

3--Are Automakers About To Hit The Panic Button?

4---Even The Fed Admits Recession Looms: Q3 GDP Forecast Slashed To Just 0.7%
The GDPNow model forecast for real GDP growth (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the third quarter of 2015 was 0.7 percent on August 13, down from 0.9 percent on August 6.

The previously reported nowcast of 1.0 percent for August 6 was revised down due to a minor adjustment in the method for nowcasting investment in computers and peripherals. Since a week ago, the nowcast for the contribution of inventory investment to third-quarter real GDP growth has declined from -1.8 percentage points to -2.2 percentage points.

This decline more than offset an increase in the nowcast of the third-quarter growth rate in real consumer spending from 2.9 percent to 3.1 percent after the release of this morning’s retail sales report from the U.S. Census Bureau.

5--The truth about Jeremy Corbyn
6--Kerry travels to Cuba to raise flag at American embassy

In December, the Wall Street Journal wrote: “US companies from General Motors Co. to agribusiness giant Cargill Inc. to furniture retailer Ethan Allen Interiors Inc. applauded the White House announcement on Wednesday of its move to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba and begin dismantling the embargo in place for 54 years.”...

According to an interview with yachting consultant Bob Saxon on the web site, “Cuba presents a very interesting scenario as far as yachting is concerned.”
The article notes that Cuba’s natural resources “form the basis of our superyacht playground.”
“With an agreement to establish diplomatic presences in the respective countries,” Saxon said, a picture of Cuba with ”wall to wall megayachts” will emerge.

US-Cuban rapprochement remains strong. However, American big business, the principal constituency of both major parties, is pressing strongly for a lifting of this impediment to US capital, fearing that it will continue sacrificing lucrative potential profits on the island as its rivals in Europe and Asia increase their own investments.
By “property claims,” the Wall Street Journal means claims by the American owners of plantations and factories that were nationalized by the Castro government after the revolution of 1959. The Wall Street Journal estimates the total value of these claims at “more than $6 billion.”
The brazenness with which the American ruling class is advancing on the path to the carve-up of Cuba is paralleled by the subservience of the Cuban government in allowing US imperialism to proceed with its plans.

7--US-Cuban rapprochement: The lessons of history

8--U.S. Credit Traders Send Warning Signal to Rest of World Markets

Credit traders have an uncanny knack for sounding alarm bells well before stocks realize there’s a problem. This time may be no different.
Investors yanked $1.1 billion from U.S. investment-grade bond funds last week, the biggest withdrawal since 2013, according to data compiled by Wells Fargo & Co. Dollar-denominated company bonds of all ratings have lost 2.3 percent since the end of January, even as the Standard & Poor’s 500 index gained 5.7 percent.

“Credit is the warning signal that everyone’s been looking for,” said Jim Bianco, founder of Bianco Research LLC in Chicago. “That is something that’s been a very good leading indicator for the past 15 years.”
Bond buyers are less interested in piling into notes that yield a historically low 3.4 percent at a time when companies are increasingly using the proceeds for acquisitions, share buybacks and dividend payments. Also, the Federal Reserve is moving to raise interest rates for the first time since 2006, possibly as soon as next month, ending an era of unprecedented easy-money policies that have suppressed borrowing costs

9--"History has not dealt kindly with the aftermath of protracted periods of low risk premiums." - Alan Greenspan

"Cushing's syndrome" aka central banking "overmedication" leads to a rise in "positive correlations. There is a growing systemic risk posed by rising "positive correlations....

"Negative real interest rates are correlated both with a rise in stock valuations (because dividend yields decline) and with a rise in earnings themselves, as the corporate cost of capital declines. Earnings are now at record levels in relation to US GDP, two or three times the deflated level that would be suggested by the current anemic rate of growth. However valuations continue to increase in relation to these inflated earnings, driving stock prices into the stratosphere. Since central banks worldwide are now pursuing the same easy-money policies as the Bernanke Fed, the same correlations are appearing elsewhere, with...

"Bayesian learning can deliver a strong rise in asset prices by up to 80%. Moreover, the end of the low volatility period leads to a strong and sudden crash in prices."
Expect more violent moves going forward as a consequence. For us, there is no "Great Rotation" there are only "Great Correlations"...

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