Paul Hodges: prices could fall 50% in global ‘Great Unwinding’

This clear-eyed discussion is well worth the 26 minute listen.

Merryn Somerset Webb interviews Paul Hodges about the reality of an aging population and the global economy’s ‘Great Unwinding’.  Here is a direct video link.

“Merryn: To bring that back to the oil price, the oil price up at $100 was a function not of real demand but of stimulated demand?

Paul Hodges: It was a complete and utter charade from beginning to end. There has never been, since 2009, a single moment anywhere in the world where there was a supply shortage, a customer didn’t get the oil, the petrol, or anything else that they wanted, but it was all built on wishful thinking from the central banks. They were saying, “We can create demand by printing money.”

… You have to love honest statements. Some British humor is also much appreciated.

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Greek Finance Minister admits truth: “bankruptcy can’t be fixed with more borrowing”

Oh, oh, the new Greek Finance Minister is admitting the ECB Emperor is stark naked and making perfectly logical sense in the process!! This will never do!

In this 4 minute interview, the new Finance Minister, Yanis Varoufakis, explains why Greece won’t be borrowing more (as advised by the bankers) but instead looks to “end the vicious cycle” of bailout and borrowing that has persisted through years of financial crisis. He dares to point out the madness of the ECB QE plan to issue debt to buy back more debt. It’s like a ‘who’s on first’ skit…awesome television.

Here is a direct video link.

“If you look at the existing agreement it recognizes that we can’t pay, and it imposes on us the very strange notion that as a bankrupt state we must borrow more money from our partners, even more money than they have already given us, to repay a central bank that is in the process of printing 1 trillion Euros.

Now you only have to state this to realize…how can I look the German, the Slavic, the Finnish taxpayer in the eye and say, ‘you know that I can’t really repay you the money I already borrowed from you, but’ they are asking me to borrow more to give to a central bank, for what, not for money that we borrowed from the central bank, but for monetary operations of Mr Trichet, the previous head of the ECB, carried out that failed, and from which Greece never benefited, not by 1 Euro.’”

Well gee, when you put it like that Yanis, the ECB plan clearly is preposterous. Now what happens? This is getting interesting.

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Democracy mocked: Koch brothers to spend nearly a billion in 2016 election

No one person, family or company should ever be allowed to contribute this kind of money to a ‘democratic’ contest no matter what their views or political affiliation. No fair minded person should want to buy this much personal influence.

“Top officials in the Koch brothers’ political organization Monday released a staggering $889 million budget to fund the activities of the billionaires’ sprawling network ahead of the 2016 presidential contest.

The budget, which pays for everything from advertising and data-gathering technology to grass-roots activism, was released to donors attending the annual winter meeting of Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, according to an attendee.

Freedom Partners sits at the center of the vast operation, and in 2012 alone, spent nearly $240 million as it funded nearly three dozen organizations, ranging from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to smaller Tea Party groups.

The fundraising target is the latest indication that the industrialists at the center of the network, Charles and David Koch, intend to continue building an operation that could exceed the national political parties in size and scope to help advance their libertarian principles. The spending, unrivaled for an outside organization, represents more than double the nearly $400 million the Republican National Committee (RNC) raised and spent during the 2012 presidential election cycle.”

See: Koch brothers set $889 million budget for 2016

See also: The Story of Citizens United v. FEC (2011). Here is a direct video link.

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“When it rains it pours”: weak demand hitting earnings

As we have been discussing for months, a soaring US dollar and weak global demand are hammering the earnings of US multinationals.  Much to the consensus ‘surprise’ of course…

Caterpillar Chairman and CEO Officer Doug Oberhelman told CNBC on Tuesday that he’s looking for a soft year in 2015. The construction and mining equipment giant—before the opening bell on Wall street—reported a lower profit that came in well below expectations, due primarily to the recent drop in the price of oil and lower prices for copper, coal and iron ore.

The strong dollar didn’t help either, Oberhelman said on “Squawk Box” moments after the earnings release. “It seems like when it rains it pours,” he said, “and this is one of those days.” Here is a direct video link.

Meanwhile December durable goods orders also ‘shocked’ this morning with a drop of 3.4% in December (consensus was expecting +.5% increase) and a revised -2.1% for November (previously reported as -.7%).

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Bankers nervous as Greeks review impossible debt deals

As we watched the new civil rights epic Selma this weekend, I could not help but see parallels between the struggle against the tyranny of the racial status quo in America in the early 60′s and the struggle against the financial status quo enslaving much of the world today.  If you think that comparison seems outrageous, then I would suggest you don’t yet fully appreciate what has happened in the financialization of the free world over the past 20 years.

The newly elected leader of Greece’s far-left Syriza party has pledged to negotiate a better deal with its international creditors.  The rape of Greece has been hideous to observe.  Through their usual levered tricks and debt flips, bankers made off like bandits while the Greek people foolishly followed into financial distress as harsh as the Great Depression of the 1930′s in America.

Rational math suggests that the Greeks need to default on billions in debt which cannot be repaid, exit the Euro and rebuild their economy on the back of an independent, weaker currency.  This also means forcing the elites holding bad bonds to recognize their losses and opens the door to more exits by other EU members who must take similar steps to clear the slate and start on fresh financial footings.

It’s not an end to austerity (ie., living within one’s means) that people need, but rather an end to the debt-financed facade that was sold to them as prosperity.  In this sense, the Greeks are at the leading edge of revelations coming soon to many other countries, as the tyranny of debt comes to the close of an epic chapter.

Germany’s International Broadcaster GW offers coverage of the Greek developments here this morning:  Syriza leader hails Greek election win as triumph of hope

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Copper cracks

As the bankers keep assuring the world that all is well–why are government bond yields nil to negative and central banks buying up dodgy debts all over the world then?–anyway, as the bankers push the ‘America is a self-sustaining engine of global growth’ meme, Dr. Copper appears to be cracking under the weight of weak demand. Today moving below $2.50 a pound, as it did last entering the 2009 recession, secular support lies some 40% lower in the $1.50/pound range.
Copper Jan 22 2015

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