By Don Quijones: When a consortium, led by the Spanish company Sacyr, bid to expand the Panama Canal for $2 billion under budget, it was an offer Panama couldn’t refuse. What the government didn’t know at the time was how Spanish construction firms operate.
Personal Perspective: I’ve Hammered On Japan’s Fiscal Nightmare, Abenomics, TEPCO, And Debacles... But There's More To Japan
Dear Readers, friends, traders, gladiators, hard-working guys dreaming of retirement.... My personal relationship with Japan goes back to 1996, so here’s something different, something that isn’t cynical and harsh and dark, but appreciative and I hope enjoyable.
The ECB’s money-printing and bond-buying promise, lovingly dubbed Outright Monetary Transactions, became the bailing wire and duct tape that has kept the Eurozone together to this day. Turns out, it’s illegal under the EU treaties and unconstitutional in Germany.
By Maria Camila Morales, Translated by Don Quijones: For a while it seemed the government’s unique mathematics had miraculously enabled Argentina to overcome insurmountable economic challenges. Now reality caught up with it.
By Nick Cunningham, OilPrice.com: Fracking poses a growing risk to water supplies. Groundwater contamination has been making headlines, but in parched states like Texas and California, fracking’s massive consumption of water threatens fracking itself.
It’s “a technology everyone is going to have,” said a Bay Area real estate broker as he explained why realtors use drones to shoot aerial videos of high-end properties. And it’s illegal. But no one is going to be able to stop it, he implied.
Paul Krugman Flip-Flops And Finally Agrees with Stilettos-On-The-Ground Economist Bianca Fernet on Argentina
By Bianca Fernet, Argentina: Paul Krugman, undisputed celebrity of the scintillating world of economics, shocked with an article accusing Argentina of “macroeconomic populism” – for following the very policies he’d advocated for years, now that there's an economic meltdown.
By David Moenning, Heritage Capital Management: Everybody knows January is one of the best months of the year for the stock market. Therefore a positive January tends to be a self-fulfilling prophecy for the rest of the year. And when the opposite happens in January?
The Fed uses the easing unemployment rate as proof that its heroic policies are successful and that Bernanke could ride off into the sunset with a nimbus above his head. Other official measures are less gung-ho. And the most important one has become the Fed’s nightmare.
By John Mauldin, Mauldin Economics: 13 out of 13 major investment banks think that interest rates will rise and that bonds will fall this year. Everybody is on the same side of the boat. But 2014 may hold some surprises, effectively delaying the bond bear market.
It’s not like Europe is out of the woods, after years of recession, lurching from bank bailout to country bailout, and sweeping remaining fetid matters under the rug. But its banks are now sinking deeper into an even greater morass: the emerging-markets fiasco.
The last stock-market bears have gone into hibernation, browbeaten and humiliated and ridiculed by years of brilliant rallies. Clinging to their analyses and the now silly notion that stocks should trade based on economic realities, they lost clients and money and their jobs.
Kudos to the Bank of Japan. Its heroic campaign to water down the yen has borne fruit. The people may not have noticed it because it’s not indicated on their bank and brokerage statements, but 20% of their magnificent wealth has gone up in smoke in 2013.
Monday is Janet Yellen’s first day on the job as Chair of the Federal Reserve, and so, all wishful thinking aside, it’s crucial that we obtain, one way or the other, a clear picture of what her glorious tenure will look like.
By Don Quijones: "We will not be taking any questions on the specifics of the Spanish situation."
Not that 2013 was such a great year in Germany, economically speaking, with growth stalling at barely above the zero line. But it was a superb year for extracting taxes from hard-working people. And it shoved Germany deeper into two decades of retail quagmire.
By Doug Hornig, Casey Research: Gold mining stocks have been in a slump for over two years. They're the most volatile securities in the world. They’re “burning matches.” I'll give you several reasons not to touch them with a 10-foot pole. And one why you maybe should.
It’s back, a new and improved contraption, a synthetic structured security that on its polished surface looks like that triple-A rated mortgage-backed toxic waste that helped blow up the banks and your 401(k) in 2008. But this time, it’s different. It’s even worse.
By John Ward, The Slog. A joint paper by the Bank of England and the Bank of Canada outlines plans to abolish default and to bail-in customers. Inside the mind of the Central Banker, there lurks an obscenely inverted demon.