Contributed by Don Quijones: Steppenwolf’s The Pusher, the opening song for the 1969 movie, Easy Rider, was about dealers who “push” tainted drugs on unsuspecting users. The pusher “don’t care if you live or if you die,” it goes. Similarly, Spanish banks pushed investment products called preferentes on unsuspecting clients.
Contributed by Christina Macpherson: According to the nuclear industry, the real hurdle to developing nuclear power isn’t cancer, birth defects, genetic instability, risks of nuclear accidents.... It’s simply overcoming the fear of radiation.
Contributed by Sasha Cekerevac for Investment Contrarians: While the S&P 500 has continued moving higher, with investor sentiment in America cautiously bullish, over the past month there has been a huge increase in volatility; and stock and bond markets in the emerging nations have been hit significantly.
France vetoed the launch of free-trade negotiations between the EU and the US, though France has racked up a big trade surplus with the US and has much to lose. The problem: cultural protectionism. It wants “an explicit exclusion of the audio-visual sector.” A catch phrase for American movies! And a theme that is in the DNA of the French political class.
The Japanese stock market has become a case study of central-bank manipulations, and of what happens eventually as reality cannot be eliminated forever. What you hear is a giant hissing sound. What you get is capital destruction and wealth transfer.
Abenomics has its detractors – in peculiar places – and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe must be experiencing some interesting pillow talk. His wife has attacked one of the major components of his economic policies, the nuclear power industry.
Contributed by Chriss Street: Edward Snowden was one of thousands of contractors with top-secret security clearances and the ability to conduct surveillance against any foe of the US. Or as he so eloquently said: “I, sitting at my desk, certainly had the authorities to wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant, to a federal judge, to even the President.” Hence the ancient question: Who will guard the guardians?
During the hearings before the German Constitutional Court, Finance Minister Schäuble, perhaps unwittingly, put his finger on yet another fatal flaw of the Eurozone: a central bank that could bail out speculators and pile the resulting losses on taxpayers of other countries, no questions asked, whenever it felt like it, without controls – “to save the euro,” as it were.
In theory, Germany’s Constitutional Court could throw a monkey-wrench into the efforts to keep the Eurozone duct-taped together; it could rule against the ECB’s money-printing and bond-buying mechanism, lovingly dubbed OMT, that would create a "brave new Huxley-world of the unlimited debt,” a world where “money is no longer earned but printed.”
Contributed by Lee Adler of The Wall Street Examiner. The Fed’s QE has been great for bubbles. Since the Fed began publishing its open market operations in 2002, we’ve seen correlations of Fed’s System Open Market Account with 3 stock market bubbles, the biggest credit and housing bubbles in history, and the creation of fake bubble jobs in 2005-2007.
Contributed by Chriss Street: Presidents Nixon and Clinton, embroiled in scandals, triangulated in favor of legislation considered vital by their opponents. President Obama, facing a blizzard of scandals, is likely to go down the same path and support conservative legislation that would reform corporate income tax and spur a renaissance in manufacturing.
Contributed by Don Quijones: Just when you thought the concept of universal justice was dead, a courageous Spanish judge, Elpidio José Silva, did what no other judge in the Western world, bar Iceland, dared to do: He refused to grant bail to a former top banker, sending him to prison before facing trial for his alleged role in Spain’s financial crisis.
Junk bonds had a phenomenal run. With each truckload of money that the Fed delivered to the markets, valuations soared and yields plunged. Desperate investors, mauled by the Fed’s zero-interest-rate policy, took on risks no questions asked. But suddenly the feeding frenzy turned into a brutal rout – a harbinger of things to come in other markets.
So, 175,000 jobs were created in May. The gains for March and April were revised down by 12,000. The unemployment rate ticked up to 7.6%, from 7.5%, or as the BLS said in its politically correct manner "was essentially unchanged." With disturbing racial disparities that we’ve become inured to. A showcase of the dreary impact of the Fed's policies on jobs!
Fed’s Fisher Hilariously Slams Fiscal-Policy Chaos, Slugs QE, And Throws In Funny Video Spoof of Congress
Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher is one of the funniest – and most disturbing – voices out there in the sea of equivocating central bankers. But this time, he outdid himself in the dreadfulness of his warning and the humor of his presentation.
The leaders of Japan Inc. listened politely as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe laid out his master plan, the cornerstone of Abenomics that would fix everything and offer big handouts to Japan Inc. As his words seeped out, the Nikkei dove 5% in a couple of hours. Not exactly a ringing endorsement of his hodgepodge of old ideas and new contradictions.
The “Chinese dream” is the dream of the whole nation and also of every individual Chinese, explained Fu Ying, chairwoman of the Foreign Affairs Committee. The slogan had been coined by President Xi Jinping after he’d ascended to the throne of the Communist Party. It would benefit the world, she said. But for the richest Chinese, it has already come true.
Contributed by Michael Lombardi, MBA for Profit Confidential: While an economic slowdown is looming over the global economy, no one seems to care, as stock markets continue to reach new record-highs — giving investors false hopes of economic growth. But how long can this mirage actually last?
Contributed by Don Quijones: When the Prince and Princess of Asturias arrived at Barcelona’s opera house, they were treated to more drama than they’d bargained for. It wasn’t just about the Royals but about an aspiring nation’s frustrated dreams of independence – and the forces of action and reaction between Catalan and Spanish nationalism.
This is so bad, it’s almost funny. It happened May 31, at the end of the month, Friday afternoon, when no one was supposed to pay attention, minutes before the close of the stock market, when volume had died down to a trickle, and when the move was guaranteed to produce huge results.