The destruction of the dollar – so clearly visible against the Swiss Franc – took on a sudden virulent form in 1970. It has been going on just about all my life. And it's still going on. When even the Swiss couldn't handle it anymore, they too jumped into the currency war.
Entries by Wolf Richter (777)
“It’s like you’re at a party and the keg is beginning to float. When do you leave the party? Where do you go?”
Putin Liquidates State-Owned Media Groups, Tightens Stranglehold On Survivors (As Other Governments Watch Enviously)
Vladimir Putin issued decrees that liquidate RIA Novosti, a state-run news agency with reporters in 45 countries, publishing in 14 languages including English, and too much of a mind of its own. And he is building a formidable propaganda machine. Other governments watch enviously.
The government spy-services marketplace, part of Big Data, is juicy. Investors clamor to get in on it. Scores of startups have sprung up. The hottest one is Palantir. Its valuation jumped 50% in three months – to $9 billion! Its technologies, designed for the CIA to track terrorists, have transitioned to track you and me.
That the NSA might have tapped into Microsoft’s “cloud” services, along with Google’s and Yahoo’s, turned into a publicity nightmare. Now Microsoft, which collaborates tightly with the NSA and other agencies on a host of projects, counter-attacks. With very mixed results.
Today we got another morsel from the German export smorgasbord, along with a beautiful long-term chart from the German statistical agency that says it all.
Even as the world was still desperately trying to figure out what exactly Bitcoin is, it was inducted into the Wall Street hype factory today by an analyst who touted it as the best thing since sliced bread – just when all heck was re-breaking out.
A “positive spiral effect?” Lenders are closing their eyes, sales are soaring, risks are piling up, auto loan balances jumped 15% in 12 months to an all-time high, and repossessions in the subprime segment more than doubled.
One of the few rebellious Fed heads, Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker, fired a salvo when testifying before the House Judiciary Committee. He hit Wall Street risks covered by implicit government guarantees in the size of America’s GDP.
Tally: 7 deaths, 90 injuries from shootings, stabbings, tramplings, fights, pepper sprayings.... “Only in America people trample each other for sales exactly one day after being thankful for what they already have,” a tweet explained. It’s been tough for retailers too.
In Eurostat’s “harmonized” unemployment rates for EU Member States, Austria is the glory land for job seekers: 4.8% unemployment, in first place, a universe apart from Spain (26.7%) and Greece (27.3%). But this “harmonized” rate is bologna. Austria is facing a growing crisis.
Japan’s new economic religion of printing yourself out of trouble works. For the elite. This is a lesson learned from the Fed. But how are workers and consumers faring? And by implication the real economy?
The first thing I noticed after I’d removed the glossy brochure from the envelope was the crisp $5 bill. I’m a sucker for free money. After peeling it off the letter, I started reading. It was from Google and involved a lot more money – in return for just about all my private data.
Stock market bubbles – they allow investors to make the mostest the fastest – don’t happen in a vacuum. They happen in a context. But this time, the context is different. Very different.
Suddenly, there’s a solution to France’s economic crisis. Unlike the cacophonous clamor from the far right to drop the euro, this one is attractively presented with graphs and in terms that even a French politician might understand. And it’s not contaminated by partisanship.
Another Edward Snowden revelation indicates that I, a humble, incoherent, harmless, and (mostly) law-abiding American, may have gotten tangled up in the NSA’s vast spying dragnet for inexplicable reasons of national security. It’s getting personal.
The dogfight over Japan’s biggest problem, its gargantuan government deficit, entered its annual ritual of leaks and pressure tactics that usually lead to a pre-Christmas draft budget with an even bigger deficit. But this time, it’s different. Very different.
"Insurrection" is showing up in the French media, though it's still more an exaggeration than a description. "Fiscal discontent” is better, but not broad enough. Now François Hollande, the most despised French President in the history of polls, is going to turn this mess around.
Gagging Doubt: French Crackdown On French And American Bloggers Who Question Megabank Balance Sheets
France’s Financial Markets Authority slapped fines on two bloggers, Frenchman Jean-Pierre Chevallier and American Mike “Mish” Shedlock, “for having spread inexact information about the level of indebtedness” of megabank Société Générale. Instead of going after banks, bank regulators are going after bloggers! It's more convenient.