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Greece Today, U.S. and Western World Tomorrow? / By Mark O’Byrne / July 31, 2015

It is lunch time and you go to the ATM to get some cash out. There is an ‘out of order’ sign.

Assuming that will be sorted out soon, you go to another ATM and are confronted with a similar sign. You hope for the best and again assume that this is a one off and will be sorted soon. However, a few hours later as you leave the office, you see queues of people at ATMs all around the city.

You turn on the news and hear that after a crash in stock markets overnight in Asia, capital controls have been imposed in your country.

Can you imagine the impact on your life if overnight capital controls were put in place and you were not able to access your company’s capital and or your life savings?

How would you feel if overnight, your bank imposed withdrawal restrictions and you could only withdraw €60 per day? And that you were prohibited from wiring your hard earned cash to an investment provider or financial institution in a different country.

Today, hardworking people in Greece – savers and business owners – continue to suffer the economically devastating effects of capital controls including bank deposit withdrawal restrictions.


Greek Stocks, Economy Collapse, Suffer Worst Declines In History / by Tyler Durden / 08/03/2015 07:41 -0400

The Athens Stock Exchange reopened on Monday and unsurprisingly, some folks were selling.

Trading was suspended five weeks ago after PM Alexis Tsipras’ dramatic midnight referendum call precipitated capital controls and a lengthy bank “holiday.” Shares opened lower by nearly 23% and the country’s banks traded limit-down, which makes sense because they are, after all, largely insolvent. Here’s NY Times:

The Athens Stock Exchange plunged 22.8 percent when it reopened on Monday after a five-week shutdown imposed by Greek authorities as part of efforts to prevent a financial collapse.

Bank stocks, which are particularly vulnerable as Greek lenders are set for new recapitalization in the coming months, took a battering, falling by as much as 30 percent.

Although foreign investors face no restrictions in the Athens exchange, local traders can only use existing cash holdings to buy shares; they are prohibited from tapping local bank deposits to buy shares as the authorities seek to prevent capital flight.


India’s gold imports up 61% at 155 tonnes in April-May / From the Press Trust of India / Sunday, August 2, 2015

NEW DELHI — India’s gold imports shot up by about 61 percent to 155 tonnes in the first two months of the current fiscal mainly due to weak prices globally and the easing of restrictions by the Reserve Bank.

In April-May of the last fiscal years, gold imports had aggregated about 96 tonnes, an official said.

In the international market, gold has been trading weakly over the past few months. On Friday, it closed at US$1,095.10 in New York market. …


The US Debut August 1st, 2015 – Cherry Hill, NJ / by Martin Armstrong / August 3, 2015 

I wanted to thank everyone who came to the Debut in the USA at the AMC Theater in Cherry Hill. It was also a special night for my family to be able to attend. I was shocked that people flew in from Texas, Ohio, the South and from Boston.


Chinese Stocks Slide Again, Copper Tumbles To 6 Year Low; Greek Market Crashes After One Month Trading Halt / by Tyler Durden / 08/03/2015 06:57 -0400

If China had hoped it would root out intervention by eliminating Citadel’s rigging algos, and unleash a buying spree it was wrong: the Shanghai Composite opened negative, and never managed to cross into the green, despite the usual last hour push higher, ending down -1.1% and down for 6 of the past 7 days.

Worse, the high-beta Chinext tumbled 8% from Friday’s late day highs upon opening. Surprisingly, this happened even as China’s final Caixin/Markit manufacturing PMI tumbled to 47.8, the lowest since July 2013 as reported previously, a collapse which normally would have been very bullish for stocks as it guarantees even more PBOC intervention. The trouble is that with the PBOC losing the market’s faith, not to mention control, bad economic news are becoming even worse news for stocks.

Adding commodity insult to stock injury, earlier today copper plunged to a fresh 6 year low, and like crude, is back in its second bear market of the past year.


Switzerland in Central America / Bill Bonner / August 3, 2015

Spectacular Growth

We spent much of January on the beach at Rancho Santana in Nicaragua. The longer we stayed, the more we liked it. It was warm and dry on the Pacific coast… but we woke up to the sound of rain on the roof this morning.

“Lake Arenal has a different climate,” our overseas real estate scout, Ronan McMahon, explained. Ronan is a young Irishman with long dark hair, a sunny disposition and a thick County Cork accent. He also advises members of our family wealth advisory, Bonner & Partners Family Office, on where to find the best real estate deals.


Mohamed El-Erian: Gold holders need patience / Dave in Denver / August 3, 2015 at 10:25

The observation that gold has been a disappointing investment of late should come as no surprise to anyone in the investment world. The fact that this has occurred in the context of developments that would normally push gold prices higher is notable. But the most consequential hypothesis of all is that gold may be losing its traditional role in a diversified investment portfolio.

To say that gold has underwhelmed investors the past couple of years is an understatement. It did not participate in the surge upwards in nearly all financial asset prices; and it has not provided protection in the more recent downturn in risk markets.

Throughout this period, gold has not benefited from rock-bottom interest rates that compensated for one of its major disadvantages as a financial holding — namely, that gold holders do not earn any interest or dividend payments. It has also shown an unusual lack of sensitivity to multiple geopolitical shocks, Greek-related concerns about the single European currency, and the massive injection of liquidity by central banks.

The performance of gold has been so dreary as to encourage a growing number of hedge funds to bet against the asset, notwithstanding its price decline of 8 per cent year to date (and 16 per cent over the past 12 months). Indeed, positioning reports point to large shorts.

Several reasons may be advanced to explain these historical anomalies. They suggest that while cyclical factors have played a role, the main drivers are much more structural and secular in nature.


Greek Stock Exchange Plummets 23% As It Reopens After 5-Week Closure / Submitted by IWB, on August 3rd, 2015

Greece massacre continue and it is approved by all… Greeks and non Greeks…so the ridiculous openly horror, crime of the Greece killing happen and there is no one to stand to protect now the victim…from criminals and police which are of the same team… Victim is blamed as bad by all the watchers around

from RT:

“The Greek stock market dived more than 20 percent on Monday immediately after opening, with the Athex Composite down to 615.12. Piraeus Bank and the National Bank of Greece both plunged 30 percent, the maximum allowed.

Banks account for about one-fifth of the main Athens index.

“The situation in Greek equity markets will have to get a lot worse before it gets better,” Luca Paolini, Pictet Asset Management’s chief strategist in London, told Bloomberg News. “There are still critical risks to be resolved.”


What Is Going To Happen In September 2015? Why Are So Many People Storing Food And Supplies? / By Michael Snyder, on August 2nd, 2015

Have you noticed that there is a tremendous amount of Internet buzz about the month of September 2015?  Never before have I seen so much speculation about what would happen in one particular month.  Some people believe that we will see an economic collapse next month, others believe that there will be some sort of historic natural disaster, and others are convinced that the judgment of God is coming.  So right now, large numbers of Americans are stocking up on emergency food and supplies like crazy.  Personally, I have never been more concerned about any period of time as I am about the last six months of 2015.  Several weeks ago, I expressed my belief that chaos will beginonce the summer ends.  These are the last days of “normal life” in America, and just about everything that we currently take for granted is about to be shaken.

A lot of people that I know have been storing up food and supplies like never before, but I didn’t realize how widespread this phenomenon was until I came across the following Natural News report

As reported by (ANP), correspondents for the news site began visiting a number of survival food websites in July, with the goal of ordering some essential bulk food items that included potatoes, carrots, mangoes, peaches, powdered eggs and powdered milk, among other items. But the more they shopped, the more they found notices on the survival food sites stating that supplies were either low or temporarily out of stock.

Only, the warnings did not say that stocks would be immediately replenished; rather, the site reported, some food items would take weeks to restock.


3/8/15: Russia Manufacturing PMI: July 2015 / by  / Monday, August 3, 2015

Russia Manufacturing PMI posted slight acceleration in downward momentum in July compared to June.

Per Markit release:

  • Operating conditions deterioration was “reflective of soft demand which undermined production and new order intakes. Jobs continued to be lost, while firms reduced their inventories at a marked and accelerated pace.”
  • Profit margins were continuing to fall under pressure: “On the price front, competitive pressures and lower demand encouraged firms to cut their charges marginally during July. That was in spite of a marked and accelerated increase in input costs.”


Homeland Security Idle on 2008 EMP Threat: “Gov’t Dysfunction Preventing … Protecting Ourselves” / Mac Slavo / August 3rd, 2015

The potential threat of an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) has officially captured the attention of politicians in Washington, who are using it as an issue to drive debate about possible military threats and infrastructure overhauls.

The catastrophe that could come from an EMP would be overwhelming and devastating to the infrastructure that hundreds of millions depend upon, yet Homeland Security has done absolutely nothing to harden the grid or take basic precautions since it was warned in a 2008 report. According to the Washington Free Beacon:

The Department of Homeland Security has failed to address a single recommendation from a 2008 Critical National Infrastructures report to assess the threat of electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attacks and solar storms

“We’ve allowed government dysfunction to prevent us from doing even the most basic things to protect ourselves,” said Chairman Ron Johnson (R., Wis.)…


“I emphasize that a once-per-century event could occur next week. It has a probability of 10 percent of occurring in the next 10 years, a time in which we can and should take measures to reduce and essentially eliminate its impact on the bulk power system of the United States,”said Dr. Richard Garwin of the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center.


Greek Stock Exchange is Finally Open Promptly Crashes over 20% / by John Galt / August 3, 2015 05:00 ET

ow this is how you crash when a stock market opens:


Big Week Starts Slowly / by  / August 3, 2015

The US dollar is mostly confined to the pre-weekend trading ranges as participants prepare for this week’s big events which include the BOE meeting, minutes and new forecasts, and the US jobs report.  The main exception is the Canadian dollar, which remains under pressure following the unexpected contraction in May, and the weekend call for national elections in October.   The Canadian dollar is off nearly 0.5%, with the US dollar at new multi-year highs.  Oil prices are at new six month  lows and also are taking a toll.

Investors are particularly interested in two equity markets today:  Greece and China.  The Athens Stock Exchange re-opened today for the first time since late-June.  The losses were in line with what the ETFs that were trading in the UK and US showed, off about 20%.  Banks and utilities were hit the hardest with 25% and 27% losses respectively.   Volume reportedly was less than 1% of the daily turnover prior to the closure.  Separately, the Greek manufacturing PMI collapsed to 30.2 in July from 46.9 in June.  New orders plunged to 17.9 from 43.2.  Although manufacturing is a small part of the Greek economy (which is part of its economic challenge) the sheer magnitude of the decline is breathtaking.

Chinese stocks fell again, with the Shanghai Composite off 1.1% and Shenzhen off 2.7%.  Although the Shanghai market briefly slipped through the 200-day moving average (~3560), it managed to close above it, and  it held above the 3500 level, which it has not closed below since mid-March, and has not traded below since early July. Margin use fell for the sixth session before the weekend, and at CNY860 bln (~$138 bln) is the lowest in four-months.  Shares in an estimated 517 companies are still not trading.


Donald Trump tops new NBC News/WSJ poll at 19%; Walker in at 15%, Bush at 3rd with 14% / Submitted by IWB, on August 3rd, 2015

Meet the Supporters Behind Trump’s Surge in Polls 2:13

Days before the first Republican debate, Donald Trump has surged into the national lead in the GOP primary race, with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush following, a new NBC News/ Wall Street Journal poll shows.

Trump is the first choice of 19 percent of GOP primary voters, while 15 percent back Walker and 14 percent back Bush. Ten percent support retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson.

All other Republican candidates earn single digit backing. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is favored by nine percent of primary voters; former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul are tied with six percent support; Florida Sen. Marco Rubio clocks in at five percent; and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Ohio Gov. John Kasich are tied with three percent apiece. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum each have one percent support, and four candidates – former HP head Carly Fiorina, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, former New York Gov. George Pataki and former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore – register less than one percent support.

  • Donald Trump – 19%
  • Scott Walker – 15%
  • Jeb Bush – 14%
  • Ben Carson – 10%


Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter Sounds Off on America – “It’s Just an Oligarchy”

Michael / Michael Krieger /  at 8:33 pm

It violates the essence of what made America a great country in its political system. Now it’s just an oligarchy, with unlimited political bribery being the essence of getting the nominations for president or to elect the president. And the same thing applies to governors and U.S. senators and congress members. So now we’ve just seen a complete subversion of our political system as a payoff to major contributors, who want and expect and sometimes get favors for themselves after the election’s over. … The incumbents, Democrats and Republicans, look upon this unlimited money as a great benefit to themselves. Somebody’s who’s already in Congress has a lot more to sell to an avid contributor than somebody who’s just a challenger.

– Jimmy Carter, 39th President of these United States

You know it’s really, really bad when a former U.S. President feels the need to come out and publicly admit the above. While it’s completely accurate and needs to be said, it’s a truly sad moment, and provides further evidence of the Banana Republic America has become.

Of course, Mr. Carter’s comments come on the heels of former Senator Gary Hart’s blistering critique published in back June, which I covered in the post: Former Senator Opines on the Incredible Corruption in America and the Fourth Branch of Government. Here’s an excerpt:

On a more personal level, how can public service be promoted as an ideal to young people when this sewer corrupts our Republic? At this point in early twenty-first-century America, the greatest service our nation’s young people could provide is to lead an army of outraged young Americans armed with brooms on a crusade to sweep out the rascals and rid our capital of the money changers, rent seekers, revolving door dancers, and special interest deal makers and power brokers and send them back home to make an honest living, that is, if they still remember how to do so.


Pop Goes The Alpha ( Natural Resources) / by  • 

If you want a cogent metaphor for the central bank enabled crack-up boom now underway on a global basis, look no further than today’s scheduled chapter 11 filling of met coal supplier Alpha Natural Resources (ANRZ). After becoming a public company in 2005, its market cap soared from practically nothing to $11 billion exactly four years ago. Now it’s back at the zero bound.

Yes, bankruptcies happen, and this is most surely a case of horrendous mismanagement. But the mismanagement at issue is that of the world’s central bank cartel.

The latter has insured that there will be thousands of such filings in the years ahead because since the mid-1990s it has engulfed the global economy in an unsustainable credit based spending boom, while utterly disabling and falsifying the financial system that is supposed to price assets honestly, allocate capital efficiently and keep risk and greed in check.


3/8/15: Greek Manufacturing PMI: In the Land of Imaginary Numbers / by  / Monday, August 3, 2015

Markit Manufacturing PMI for Greece is outright disastrous.

Euro area Manufacturing PMI for July came out with a slight decrease on June 2015 reading, still beating (marginally) flash estimate.



The Risk of Real Estate – Forget Derivative & Fiat / by  / 

The asset class within tangible assets that is in the immovable category is none other than Real Estate. This greatly varies from one location to the next. There are two problems we face with real estate because we are facing a major Sovereign Debt Crisis.

First is the fact we have a problem with leverage reflected within interest rates. While many tout derivatives and fiat money are the reason for a crisis on the horizon, of greater concern is the leverage within Real Estate. The 30 year mortgage was part of Roosevelt’s New Deal. Real Estate prices collapsed and with massive bank failures, there was no credit available so Real Estate collapsed to about 10 cents on the dollar.

Real Estate was being auctioned off an land that had sold for $2-$3 during the mid 1800s was bringing 10 to 30 cents and acre. FDR created Fannie Mae to revitalize the Real Estate market by providing 30 year mortgages to allow people to buy property. What was happening, sales were taking place at auction and were purely on a cash and carry basis. That obviously limited the buyers.


Garland gunman bought gun through DOJ False Flag Operation Fast and Furious…OBAMA ADMINISTRATION ARMING TERRORISTS GLOBALLY / Submitted by IWB, on August 3rd, 2015

A gunman killed during his attack on an Islamic prophet Muhammad art show in Garland, Texas, reportedly bought a pistol through a botched federal firearm sting.

Nadir Soofi bought a 9-mm pistol at a Phoenix gun shop in 2010, one report said, that sold illegal firearms through ATF’s heavily criticized Operation Fast and Furious to track firearms back to Mexican drug cartels.

The Senate Homeland Security Committee wants to know if that same pistol was used five years later in an alleged Islamic State-sanctioned shootout targeting right-wing blogger Pamela Geller’s event, according to a memo obtained by the Los Angeles Times.

U.S. Caught Red Handed Arming Terrorist?:


An Intermediate Bottom in Gold is Near / By Gary Savage / Sunday, 2 August 2015

Let me remind everyone that intermediate cycle lows (ICL), and especially yearly cycle lows in the metals are always hard to hold onto. Even if you catch the exact bottom, they usually resist for a week or more and try to shake everyone off. The metals bottom differently than the stock market. When stocks form an ICL they rocket launch straight up. Traders get instant gratification and a market that quickly moves away from their stop. Gold on the other hand forms much more difficult bottoms. It will usually churn back and forth for a week or longer as traders try to decide whether or not a bottom is forming. It’s during this churn, and especially after a destructive bloodbath phase, that traders can rationalize any number of reasons to get knocked off the bull no matter how good the setup is. Understandably after witnessing a devastating bloodbath phase traders are nervous and skittish that the drop is going to continue.

For gold to continue down next week we would have to count a daily cycle that has moved into the 40+ day range (average is 25-35 days). That seems unlikely to me, so I think the odds are better that we put in a daily cycle low a week ago last Friday, and Monday will be day 6 of a new cycle. That being said here is what bothers me.


Hillary – Biden – Trump – Boehner / by  / 

Behind the curtain more and more Democrats are trying to urge Joe Biden to run for President since the Inspector General suggested that Hillary should be criminally investigated for deleting emails and taking hundreds of million of dollars from foreign government while Secretary of State for he pretend charity. Our computer model had warned that the Democrats should lose 2016. However, we also saw the potential for a split in the Republicans forming a 3rd Party.


Chinese Economy Crashes To 2-Year Low; China Stocks Plunge, Asian Stocks Test 2015 Lows / by Tyler Durden on 08/03/2015 01:26

Yet again the endless reasurance from the talking heads of the world is proven fallacious as the crash in China’s stock market has apparently crashed its economy. China’s Manufacturing PMI final print for July collapsed to 47.8 – its lowest since July 2013. The reaction is not pretty. China is down 4-8% from Friday’s highs (led by high beta high-flyers in ChiNext), most Asian markets are down 2-3%, and the broad MSCI Asia Ex-Japan index is once again testing the lowest levels of 2015. But apart from that, China is contained…


Connecticut On Its Latest Cash Grab: It’s Not Greed When We Do It

Mises Daily August 1 /  / AUGUST 3, 2015

Those possessing the anti-capitalist mentality — so ascendant in our culture today — often critique market actors as being solely motivated by “greed.” Surely economic systems based on nobler motivations, they say, would better promote the long-run interests of the planet.

The Voluntary Marketplace Uses Greed as Motivation to Serve Others

This is an issue I deal with in detail in my Principles of Economics classes. The fascinating point about the market system isn’t that it is based on greed, but rather that it forces those motivated by greed to act in ways that promote the social interest. If you want to get rich, say by x amount, then you better improve the lives of consumers, through voluntary transactions, by some amount greater than x.

Such are the economic means of acquiring wealth, explained in more detail in 1922 by the German sociologist Franz Oppenheimer, writing at a time before his discipline transmogrified into an enterprise predicated on supporting greater state intervention.

However, problems arise when those motivated by greed find ways to acquire wealth through coercion. Oppenheimer called these the political means (as opposed to the voluntary means of the marketplace), and we witness them today when (1) firms benefit from their relationships to the state as opposed to the consumer, and (2) the state itself uses its legal monopoly on violence to acquire wealth.


08.03 Here we Go Again: August Opens with Shanghai and Asia Down, Down, Down / by John Galt / August 2, 2015 22:00 ET

Here we go again gang so buckle up, it’s going to be a wild month…

The Nikkei 225 is crawling down the ladder, as of this posting down about 3/4 of a percent (all charts via YahooFinance):


Monsters Of Ukraine: Made In The USA / by Tyler Durden on 08/02/2015 22:15

Submitted by Justin Raimondo via,

We’re in the summer doldrums of the news cycle, a perfect time for our government and the media – or do I repeat myself? – to drop certain inconvenient stories down the Memory Hole.My job, of course, is to retrieve them….

Remember Ukraine? I seem to recall blaring headlines about a supposedly “imminent” and “massive” Russian invasion of that country: the Anglo-Saxon media was ablaze with a veritable countdown to D-Dayand we were treated to ominous sightings of Russian troops and tanks gathering at the border, allegedly just awaiting the order from Putin to take Kiev. And it turns out there has been an invasion, of sorts – although it isn’t a Russian one. It’s the Kiev regime’s own foot-soldiers returning from the front and turning on their masters.

The war is going badly for the government of oligarch Petro Poroshenko. The east Ukrainians, who rose in revolt after the US-sponsored coup threw out democratically elected President Viktor Yanukovych, show no signs of giving up: they’ve repulsed the “anti-terrorist” campaign launched by Kiev, withstanding relentless bombardment of their cities and enduring many thousands of casualties, not to mention widespread destruction. Indeed, the brutal protracted war waged by Kiev against its own “citizens” has arguably steeled the rebels’ resolve and made any thought of reconciliation unthinkable.

As is usual with violent fanatics, the war aims of the Kiev coup leaders – to bring the eastern provinces back into the fold – have been rendered impossible by their methods and conduct. The de facto blockade imposed on the east has bound the separatists all the more tightly to Russia, and so economics as well as searing hatred of a government the easterners regard as “fascist” has sealed the country’s fate.

Unable to crack the rebels’ resolve, the “revolutionaries” who once gathered in the Maidan have begun to turn on each other. Poroshenko, fearful of the rising power of the far-right militias who make up the backbone of his makeshift army, has ordered their dissolution – and the rightists are resisting.