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Greek Contagion Spreads As Several Italian Bank Stocks Failed To Open

zerohedge.com / by Tyler Durden / 06/29/2015 07:45 -0400

While things have normalized since the open thanks entirely to the SNB’s aggressive EUR-buying, CHF-selling intervention (good to see that central banks have read the BIS’ report and have learned from their prior intervention mistakes), earlier this morning we got a snapshot of what happens if and when the SNB, and then the ECB itself, finally lose control when as a result of the Greek crisis the contagion promptly spread a few hundred kilometers west to Italy where as the WSJ reported, “several Italian banks failed to start trading on Monday as fears over a Greek debt default induced many investors to shed peripheral stocks, including Italian, with banks suffering the most.

As the paper reported sales orders on Italian stocks, in particular financial stocks, piled up before the market opening. At the start, the sales orders were so numerous that the system couldn’t manage to process them, something that often happens when specific news causes a sell-off on a stock.

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Graccident – The Gray Swan Strikes

acting-man.com / Pater Tenebrarum / June 29, 2015

Tsipras Takes Door Number Three

Late last week, Greece’s creditors offered a bailout extension of several months, in the course of which Greece would have received sufficient funding to make all payments due during this time period. In order to receive this package the Greek government would have had to sign a final offer made by the creditors. If one looks at the details of the negotiations, only a tiny difference remained between the Greek offer and the offer made by the creditors in the end, reportedly amounting to approximately €100 million. This makes the Mr. Tsipras’ assertion that the final offer tabled by the creditors was an “affront to Greek dignity” not especially credible. It should be noted in this context that these arithmetic games are complete nonsense anyway. In light of €360 billion of public debt, does anyone really believe it will make an iota of difference whether the retirement age in Greece is increased in 2022 or 2025, or whether the small VAT exception for the tourism industry is revoked or not? We believe there are far more important reforms Greece needs to implement.

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Greece to shut banks and stock exchange on Monday as crisis deepens

gata.org / By Lefteris Papadimas and John O’Donnell / Sunday, June 28, 2015

Greece’s banks and stock exchange will be shut on Monday after creditors refused to extend the country’s bailout and savers queued to withdraw cash, taking Athens’ standoff with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund to a dangerous new level. …

The head of Piraeus Bank, one of Greece’s top four banks, speaking after a meeting of the country’s financial stability council, said banks would be shut on Monday while a financial industry source told Reuters the Athens stock exchange would not open.

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Central Banks Scramble To Stabilize Crashing Markets: China Fails, Switzerland Succeeds (For Now)

zerohedge.com / by Tyler Durden / 06/29/2015 06:51 -0400

Following a week in which the Chinese stock bubble popped and a weekend in which the Eurozone bubble followed, it was all up to central banks to stabilize the devstation that would follow should the Plunge Protection Team, now global, not show up.

And while US equities futures were looking grim overnight, China at least started off on the right foot, rising a little over 2% in early trading following China’s scramble to stabilize markets as it knows the alternative could very well be (deadly) civil unrest.  And then something unexpected happened: the market did not follow the Chinese central bank script. In fact, as noted earlier, stocks plunged tumbling as much as limit down for CSI-300 futs, and the SHCOMP crashing the most since 1996.

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Good On You, Alexis Tsipras (Part 1)

davidstockmanscontracorner.com / by David Stockman / June 29, 2015

Late Friday night a solid blow was struck for sound money, free markets and limited government by a most unlikely force. Namely, the hard core statist and crypto-Marxist prime minister of Greece, Alexis Tsipras. He has now set in motion a cascade of disruption that will shake the corrupt status quo to its very foundations.

And just in the nick of time, too. After 15 years of rampant money printing, falsification of financial market prices and usurpation of democratic rule, his antagonists—–the ECB, the EU superstate and the IMF—-have become a terminal threat to the very survival of the kind of liberal society of which these values are part and parcel.

In fact, the Keynesian central banking and the Brussels and IMF style bailout regime—which has become nearly universal—-eventually fosters a form of soft-core economic totalitarianism. That’s because the former first destroys honest financial markets by falsifying the price of debt. So doing, Keynesian central bankers enable governments to issue far more debt than their taxpayers and national economies can shoulder; and, at the same time, force investors and savers to desperately chase yield in a marketplace where the so-called risk free interest rate has been pegged at ridiculously low levels.

That means, in turn, that banks, bond funds and fast money traders alike take on increasing levels of unacknowledged and uncompensated risk, and that the natural checks and balances of honest financial markets are stymied and disabled. Short sellers are soon destroyed because the purpose of Keynesian central banking is to drive the price of securities to artificially high and unnatural levels. At the same time, hedge fund gamblers are able to engage in highly leveraged carry trades based on state subsidized (free) overnight money, and to purchase downside market risk insurance (“puts”) for a pittance.

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JPMorgan’s Imaginary ‘Silver Hoard’ Is Explained

bullionbullscanada.com / by Jeff Nielson / 27 June 2015

To say that this makes absolutely no sense is the greatest of understatement. Obviously there had to be an ulterior motive to this sham, as JPM would certainly never engage in any behavior to deliberately drive-up the price of silver, which is precisely what it seemed to be doing here. Now, via Bill Holter, we see this “ulterior motive”, plain as day:

they [i.e. the One Bank] sit on a naked short time bomb of more than 950 million ounces!

How do you defuse an absurdly gigantic, naked-short, time bomb in the silver market? With an absurdly gigantic “hoard” of physical silver, (conveniently) delivered to the market, as needed, to prevent implosion of this time bomb. And (in our criminalized system) if you don’t have a hoard of real silver available for this defusing; imaginary silver will be a perfectly good substitute.

Let me refer back to the commentary which first scoffed at reports of JPM’s imaginary silver hoard:

The purpose of JPMorgan pretending to hold “a massive long position”?

That’s an easy one. If JPMorgan pretends to be holding a 350-million ounce hoard of silver and its criminal accomplices who operate and (supposedly) police these markets go along with this massive sham; that is 350 million “ounces of silver” which this fraud-factory could claim to dump onto the market – as part of some future operation to crash the price of silver.

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Carnage Continues: EU Equity Futures Crash 7%, Bund Yields Plunge 20bps, Italy/Spain Bonds Dumped

zerohedge.com / by Tyler Durden / 06/29/2015 02:04 -0400

It appears Greece matters after all – US futures are tumbling, Japanese stocks are tanking (as JPY is bid on mass carry unwinds), Chinese stocks are limit down and collapsing.. and now European equity futures are open and in free-fall. Bunds are well bid, down 20bps to 72bps.

  • *EURO STOXX 50 FUTURES FALL 7% AT MARKET OPEN

DAX is down over 5%…

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Sudden Stop Thesis: What Are the Odds of Grexit Within Three Weeks?

globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com / Mike “Mish” Shedlock / Monday, June 29, 2015 12:22 AM

Four years ago I thought odds of an eventual Grexit were nearly certain. Some people still don’t believe so, while others are just beginning to understand the obvious.

Former Pimco Co-CEO El-Erian Sees 85% Grexit Odds With ‘Massive’ Contraction Coming.

Greece is heading for a “massive economic contraction” and is likely to be forced out of the euro zone, according to Mohamed El-Erian, the former chief executive at Pacific Investment Management Co.

“There’s an 85 percent probability that Greece will be forced to leave the euro zone” in the next few weeks, El-Erian said in an interview from New York. “What we are seeing here is what economists call the sudden stop, when the payment system stops. The logic of a sudden stop is a massive economic contraction, social unrest and it’s going to make continued membership of the euro zone very difficult for Greece.”

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Greece Imposes Capital Controls

armstrongeconomics.com / by Martin Armstrong / June 29, 2015 

Alexis Tsipras has imposed capital controls as Greek banks are to remain closed. The European Central Bank (ECB) said it was not increasing emergency funding to Greek banks, clearly trying to hurt the Greek people to force them to stay in the Euro to protect jobs in Brussels.

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Silver back to 50 per oz

truthingold.com / Dave in Denver / June 29, 2015 at 10:51

Silver is one of the most underappreciated commodities around. Back in 2011, an ounce of gold was worth 32 ounces of silver. Today, that same ounce of gold translates to 74 ounces of the grey metal. Does that mean gold has gotten more valuable or that silver has gotten cheaper?

Since its peak a few years ago, silver prices have dropped nearly 70%. Gold priceshave also fallen by an astonishing 35% during the same period, which convinces me that investors got overly pessimistic about silver during the pullback.

So, what should the true price of silver be?

In order to properly value silver, we need the silver-to-gold ratio. Historically, silver shadows the movement of gold prices. When gold drops, silver prices are close behind.

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Chinese Stocks Crash Most In 19 Years, Re-Open Limit Down (Despite PBOC Hail Mary)

zerohedge.com / by Tyler Durden / 06/28/2015 23:22 -0400

Carnage…

  • *CHINA STOCK PANIC SELLING TO CONTINUE, CENTRAL CHINA ZHANG SAYS

This leave China’s CSI-300 broad stock index futures up just 7% year-to-date…

  • *CHINA CSI 500 STOCK-INDEX FUTURES FALL BY MAXIMUM 10% LIMIT
  • *CHINA CSI 500 STOCK-INDEX FUTURES FALL BY LIMIT FOR 2ND DAY

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Markets Stabilizing after Initial Reaction

marctomarket.com / by Marc Chandler / June 29, 2015

The markets initially responded dramatically to the weekend new of the Greek referendum, capital controls and an extended bank holiday.  The markets quickly stabilized and have recovered a bit in the European morning.  The Swiss National Bank confirmed intervention to limit the franc rise.
Meanwhile, the cut in China’s interest rates and reserve requirements, also announced over the weekend, failed to prevent a continued slide in Chinese shares.  The Shanghai Composite lost 3.3% while Shenzhen was off 6%.   The former is off almost 25% since the June 12 peak; it is still up 25% for the year.  It is it hard to apply the conventional rule of thumb of a bear market as a 20% fall.    Although we argue that the weekend rate cut was driven by several considerations, the precipitous fall in the equity market was surely a key factor.
Reports indicate that regulators are considering suspending initial public offerings to help stabilize the market.   There are at least 28 IPOS (which could see as much as CNY4 trillion liquidity tied up) starting later this week.   There is much precedent for such a measure.

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“Contained” Greek Contagion Smashes Japanese Banks Lower

zerohedge.com / by Tyler Durden on 06/28/2015 – 21:20

Despite all the ‘smartest men in the room’ proclaiming that Greece doesn’t matter, and Greek risks are “contained”, Japanese stocks are tumbling led by bank stocks. Topix Banks Index has plunged the most since Feb 2014 (and 2nd most since the Taper Tantrum in 2013).

“Contained”… Japanese banks down 3.5% – the most in 18 months

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Greece, Democracy and Magical Thinking

charles hugh smith

charleshughsmith.blogspot.com / CHARLES HUGH SMITH / SUNDAY, JUNE 28, 2015

Regardless of what the Greek people choose, at least the choice will be theirs, along with the consequences.
What is representative democracy but organized bribery on a mass scale?Politicians seeking control of the spigots of state wealth and power promise endless swag to voters. Those who promise the most swag and do so with the most inspirational Soaring Rhetoric ™ win elections and gain control of the spigots of state wealth and power.
What are promises of endless swag but lies cloaked in magical thinking? The magical thinking has many manifestations: the aptly named Laffer Curve, used to justify cutting taxes to the already-wealthy; entry into the Eurozone, a magical land of unicorns and endless prosperity, based not on hard work and the creation of value, but on membership alone; the blowing of serial asset bubbles in real estate and stocks (works equally well in Asia and the West), and various iterations of Manifest Destiny: it’s our right to grow rich, preferably on the labor and resources of others.
Representative democracy offers choices with no consequences: no matter which politico and party is elected, the promises of endless swag remain unchanged.

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Bank Holiday: Greek Banks and Stock Market Shut Until July 7; Capital Controls Imposed

globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com / Mike “Mish” Shedlock / Sunday, June 28, 2015 11:26 PM

After the ECB shut off ELA, prime minister Alexis Tsipras imposed capital controls while blaming the ECB just as I predicted.

Of course, that was an easy prediction. Yet, even at the last moment, many did not believe it would come to this.

Let’s tune into the Guardian Live Blog for some details.

Bank Holiday

  • Speaking on live TV, Alexis Tsipras is saying that the Greek central bank has been forced to recommend a bank holiday and the introduction of capital controls.
  • He blames the ECB, and other institutions, for trying to obstruct the democratic referendum he has called for next Sunday. This is a “insult” that shames European democracy, he says.
  • Tsipras also appeals for calm, and he insists that bank deposits are secure.

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The Bush Family Goes “All In” For Number Three (With The Help Of Its Bankers)

zerohedge.com / by Tyler Durden on 06/28/2015 21:00

Submitted by Nomi Prins via TomDispatch.com,

Money, they say, makes the world go round. So how’s $10 billion for you? That’s a top-end estimate for the record-breaking spending in this 1% presidential election campaign season. But is “season” even the right word, now that such campaigns are essentially four-year events that seem always to be underway? In a political world stuffed with money, it’s little wonder that the campaign season floats on a sea of donations. In the case of Jeb Bush, he and his advisers have so far had a laser-focus on the electorate they felt mattered most: big donors. They held off the announcement of his candidacy until last week (though he clearly long knew he was running) so that they could blast out of the gates, dollars-wise, leaving the competition in their financial dust, before the exceedingly modest limits to non-super PAC campaign fundraising kicked in.

And give Jeb credit — or rather consider him a credit to his father (the 41st president) and his brother (the 43rd), who had Iraq eternally on their minds. It wasn’t just that Jeb flubbed the Iraq Question when a reporter asked him recently (yes, he would do it all over again; no, he wouldn’t… well, hmmm…), but that Iraq is deeply embedded in the minds of his campaign team, too. His advisers dubbed the pre-announcement campaign they were going to launch to pull in the dollars a “shock-and-awe” operation in the spirit of the invasion of Iraq. Now, having sent in the ground troops, they clearly consider themselves at war. As the New York Times reported recently, the group’s top strategist told donors that his super PAC “hopes to ‘weaponize’ its fund-raising total for the first six months of the year.”

The money being talked about$80-$100 million raised in the first quarter of 2015 and $500 million by June. If reached, these figures would indeed represent shock-and-awe fundraising in the Republican presidential race. As of now, there’s no way of knowing whether they’re fantasy figures or not, but here’s a clue to Jeb’s money-raising powers: according to the Washington Post, his advisers have been asking donors not to give more than a million dollars now; they are, that is, trying to cap donations for the moment. (As the Post’s Chris Cillizza wrote,“The move reflects concerns among Bush advisers that accepting massive sums from a handful of uber-rich supporters could fuel a perception that the former governor is in their debt.”) And having spent just about every pre-announcement day for months doing fundraisers and scouring the country for money, while preserving the fiction that he might not be interested in the presidency, Jeb, according to the New York Times, bragged to a group of donors that “he believed his political action committee had raised more money in 100 days than any other modern Republican political operation.”

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Michael Pento: Most Dangerous Time-Since the History of Economics, Gold and Silver Update and More!

Greg Hunter, Published on Jun 28, 2015

SoT #40 – Paul Craig Roberts: Greece / TPP – Omens The West Is Collapsing

investmentresearchdynamics.com / Dave Kranzler / 

Everything in this country is becoming Third World – nothing functions anymore.  –  Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, Shadow of Truth, in reference to the completely rigged financial markets and failed democracy in the United States

Based on the reaction tonight by the stock market futures to the EU/Greek situation – the S&P 500 futures are down 25 pts/1.2% – I would hazard the opinion that the zombies on CNBC were slighly off-base when they asserted last week that a Greek default was already “priced into the market.”

This idiocy displayed on CNBC is emblematic of the extreme degree to which propaganda has infected our media.  But it also highlights the degree to which the American public has willingly turned a blind eye to the Orwellian fog that has completely enveloped our system.

A perfect example of a dysfunctional financial market is the Comex silver market.  The open interest in silver futures is currently nearly 1 billion ounces of silver.  Against this, the Comex vaults are reporting 57 million ounces of actual physical silver that is available to deliver into the silver futures open interest.   Never in the history of the known universe has any commodities futures market experienced a dislocation this extreme between the paper contracts which represent the underlying commodity and amount of physical commodity available to deliver into those contracts.

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How Could The “Greek Experts” Be So Wrong?

zerohedge.com / by Tyler Durden on 06/28/2015 20:24

With Greece disintegrating before our very eyes, here are some recent blasts from the recent and not so recent past, showing just how clueless some of the most and least respected, strategists, bureucrats, drama majors, and former Goldman employees have been when it comes to Greece.

First, here is Tom Lee, best known for predicting in August 2008 that stocks will rise “much higher”  by the end of 2008, with the S&P expected to rise to 1450, instead of plunging some 40% lower and wiping out countless people who listened to Lee. From June 23, 2015:

The Greek debt drama is a “sideshow” for U.S. investors, who should be encouraged by signs of a stronger American economy, longtime stock market bull Thomas Lee said Tuesday.

“Greece isn’t the systemic risk that it was three years ago,” he told CNBC’s”

“Focus on U.S. fundamentals, which have been really good.”

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Here’s How The Supreme Court Rigged Healthcare Stocks

wallstreetexaminer.com / by  • 

This is a syndicated repost courtesy of Money Morning – We Make Investing Profitable. To view original, click here.

U.S. markets were relatively quiet last week with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) dropping 0.4% to 17,946.68, the S&P 500(INDEXSP:.INX) also slipping 0.4% to 2101.49 and the NASDAQComposite(INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) shedding 0.7% to 5080.51.

The real action was in China, where the Shanghai Composite Index collapsed by 7.4% on Friday and neared a 20% drop which would constitute bear market territory. Chinese stocks saw their biggest two-week plunge since December 1996.

While the market Shanghai market is still up an extraordinary 70% since last November, China’s central bank ran to the rescue Saturday morning by cutting its benchmark lending rate to a record low and lowering reserve requirements for some lenders.

Farmers may have to return to their fields if Chinese authorities aren’t able to stop the obviously insane stock market bubble from bursting.

For us, Europe is the more dangerous place to be right now…

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About Those SSDs….

market-ticker.org / by Karl Denninger / 2015-06-28 06:30

Oh boy….

It looked just like another page in the middle of the night. One of the servers of our search API stopped processing the indexing jobs for an unknown reason. Since we build systems in Algolia for high availability and resiliency, nothing bad was happening. The new API calls were correctly redirected to the rest of the healthy machines in the cluster and the only impact on the service was one woken-up engineer. It was time to find out what was going on.

The story goes on to describe what is in simple language called a real damn mess.

In short, after much investigation it appears that a random sector can be erased from some SSDs (solid-state drives) when a TRIM command is issued.  TRIM tells the drive that a given block is no longer in use and can be safely reclaimed, and is very important to SSDs for wear-leveling purposes.

The updates on the story appear to show that the manufacturer that this was isolated to, Samsung, takes it very seriously (as they well should!)

I’ve seen something similar with a different manufacturer — under certain conditions I can provoke critical metadata damage on Windows machines with certain SSDs.  This is an especially bad problem because it renders backups invalid and most backup software does not verify the disk structure that it creates is actually restorable!  (Most will verify that the backup image file can be read, but that’s not the same thing.)

Yes, I found this bug the hard way.

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The War On Some Drugs

zerohedge.com / by Tyler Durden on 06/28/2015 19:50

Submitted by Doug Casey via InternationalMan.com,

Drugs are a charged subject everywhere. Longtime readers know that although I personally abstain from drugs and generally eschew the company of users, I think they should be 100% legal.

Few people consider how arbitrary the current prohibition is; up until the 1920s, heroin and cocaine were both perfectly legal and easily obtainable over the counter. Some people “abused” them, just like some today “abuse” fat and sugar (because they’re enjoyable).

But drugs are no more of a problem than anything else; life is full of problems. In fact, life isn’t just full of problems; life is problems. What is a problem? It’s simply the situation of having to choose between two or more alternatives. Personally, I believe in people being free to choose, and I rigorously shun the company of people who don’t.

Hysteria and propaganda aside, the fact is that most recreational drugs pose less of a health problem than alcohol, nicotine, or simple lack of exercise.

Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes (of whom I’m a great fan) was an aficionado of opium products. Sigmund Freud enjoyed cocaine. Churchill is supposed to have drunk a quart of whiskey daily. Dr. William Halstead, father of modern surgery and cofounder of Johns Hopkins University, was a regular user throughout his long and illustrious career, which included inventing local anesthesia after injecting cocaine into his skin.

Insofar as recreational drugs present a problem, it arises partly from overuse, which is not only arbitrary, but can be true of absolutely anything. The problem comes, however, mainly from the fact that they’re illegal.

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As Greece Shutters Banks, Fears Grow Of Eurozone Implosion… Wave Of Contagion Expected After Dramatic Weekend Raises “Grexit

investmentwatchblog.com / BY · JUNE 28, 2015

Wave of contagion expected after dramatic weekend raises “Grexit” chances

LONDON, June 28 (Reuters) – European markets are braced for a wave of contagion from Greece on Monday, with heavy losses for southern European government bonds and regional stock markets expected as investors scramble to discount a possible “Grexit” that most had still assumed was unlikely as late as Friday afternoon.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras late on Friday surprised creditors by calling a snap referendum on what he said were the unacceptable terms offered to keep the country from bankruptcy.

Greece’s European partners on Saturday shut the door to extending the existing credit lifeline beyond Tuesday night’s deadline, an extension that would have accommodated the planned July 5 referendum. The European Central Bank on Sunday then capped the amount of emergency financing it extends to Greek banks at last week’s levels despite reports of further heavy deposit withdrawals over the weekend.

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Why Germany Is The Biggest Loser

greece-atmwallstreetexaminer.com / by  • 

This is a syndicated repost courtesy of Confounded Interest – Online Course Notes For Financial Markets. To view original, click here.

This week should be interesting.

Greek bank “holidays” (a euphemism for banks being closed), drained ATM machines, threats from creditors, etc. We will keep a close eye on Greek Credit Default Swaps, Greek Debt Yields and The Euro (or Gyro).

Who are the stakeholders in the Greek sovereign default? Germany is a big loser.

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Pension Funds Are “Compromising Their Solvency” OECD Warns

zerohedge.com / by Tyler Durden on 06/28/2015 19:15

Four months ago in “The Global War On Pensioners”, we highlighted the impact perpetually suppressed risk-free rates are having on pension funds. The critical point is this: the lower the investment return assumption (the assumed discount rate), the higher the present value of pension liabilities, meaning funds must either concede that liabilities have ballooned in the low yield environment, or take greater risks to justify elevated investment return assumptions.

This state of affairs has exacerbated an already bad situation for many public sector pension funds in the US and has helped fuel a shift towards “alternatives” by funds determined to maintain investment return assumptions despite the fact that ZIRP and NIRP are making those assumptions more unrealistic by the day. For a detailed recap, see the following:

For more on the risks posed by the intersection of pension funding gaps and persistently low rates, we go to the OECD’s Business and Finance Outlook (first discussed here in the context of bond market liquidity last week):

The relationship between the liabilities of pension funds and annuity providers and the assets backing those liabilities (i.e. the funding ratio) determines the financial situation of these institutions, including their solvency. Interest rates play a role for both the asset and the liability side of the balance sheet of these institutions and understanding how interest rates affect both is essential to understanding the potential impact of low interest rates.

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