Wall Street Panics Over Global Recession Fears

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Chinese factories slow down significantly

by Kit Daniels

Wall Street plunged Tuesday after investors feared weak data from China, the world’s second-largest economy, would lead to a global recession.

China’s manufacturing sector suffered its quickest deterioration in over six years, leading to a three-year market low and other sectors of the Chinese economy also slowed down significantly.

In response, all three major U.S. stock indices, the Dow Jones, the S&P 500 and NASDAQ, were down two percent in early trading.

“While a measure of calm has returned to these markets recently and they have seen relief rallies, many of the underlying negative fundamentals are still in place,” said Nariman Behravesh, chief economist for IHS. “As a result, the downside risks for most commodity prices, exchange rates, and stock markets are likely to persist for some time, while growth in many parts of the world, especially in emerging markets, is likely to deteriorate further.”

Investors panicked once China’s official manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) dropped to 49.7.

“The PMI was below 50, which is a psychologically important level and puts into real focus the fact that China is contracting,” said Joe Rundle, a senior sales trader at ETX Capital. “With the weak data coming out, we’re going to see the negative sentiment from the last few weeks continuing.”

This pessimistic outlook may become self-fulfilling.

In fact, Canada has already fell into a recession after its economy retreated 0.5% in the second quarter and 0.8% in the first.

“Canada’s manufacturing sector continues to face growth headwinds from heightened global economic uncertainty and sharp falls in energy sector capex plans,” said Cheryl Paradowski, president and chief executive officer of SCMA.

Collapsing oil prices have also hurt Canada, which is the world’s fifth-largest oil producer.

The decaying conditions in Canada and China could trigger a global recession.

Economics 102: WalMart Cuts Worker Hours After Hiking Minimum Wages

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Retailer cuts workers’ hours in a desperate attempt to offset wage hikes

by Zero Hedge | August 31, 2015

This year, some American executives who heeded loud calls for across-the-board wage hikes for America’s lowest-paid workers received a complimentary refresher course in undergad economics courtesy of the free market.

Take Dan Price for instance, the 31-year old CEO of Seattle-based Gravity Payments Systems who found out the hard way that setting the pay floor at $70K comes with all manner of unintended consequences.

And then there’s Wal-Mart.

Earlier this year, the retail behemoth became one of several corporate heavyweights to raise wages for its meagerly compensated workers, around 500,000 of which are now set to receive at least $9/hour and $10/hour by Q1 2016. The move will cost somewhere around $1 billion this year.

Now one thing that should have been abundantly clear from the start is that if ever there were an employer that could ill-afford a $1 billion across-the-board pay raise without immediately making up the difference by either firing some employees, cutting hours, or squeezing the supply chain it’s Wal-Mart. After all, they’re the “low price leader”, and you don’t hold on to that title by passing labor costs on to customers.

Predictably, the company moved to extract more “value” from its suppliers and when that didn’t prove sufficient, the folks in Bentonville brought in the “plumbers.”

But the story didn’t stop there. Late last month we highlighted an internal memo circulated at Arkansas recruiting firm Cameron Smith & Associates which looked to be an attempt to prepare the firm’s employees for layoffs at Wal-Mart’s home office. Then, not a week later, Bloomberg ran a story detailing the grievances of some senior Wal-Mart employees who suddenly realized that although they may still be making more than their subordinates, the wage hierarchy had been distorted and that distortion had nothing to do with merit. As we put it, “higher paid employees don’t understand why everyone under them in the corporate structure suddenly makes more money and if people who are higher up on the corporate ladder don’t receive raises that keep the hierarchy proportional they may simply quit which means that, for Wal-Mart, raising the minimum for the lowest paid workers to just $9/hour will end up costing the company around $1.5 billion if you include the additional raises the company will have to give to higher paid employees in order to retain their ‘talents’and avoid a mid-level management mutiny.”

Well, don’t look now, but undergrad economics is rearing its ugly again at Wal-Mart as the retailer cuts workers’ hours in a desperate attempt to offset wage hikes. Here’s Bloomberg with more:

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., in the midst of spending $1 billion to raise employees’ wages and give them extra training, has been cutting the number of hours some of them work in a bid to keep costs in check.

Regional executives told store managers at the retailer’s annual holiday planning meeting this month to rein in expenses by cutting worker hours they’ve added beyond those allocated to them based on sales projections.

The request has resulted in some stores trimming hours from their schedules, asking employees to leave shifts early or telling them to take longer lunches, according to more than three dozen employees from around the U.S. The reductions started in the past several weeks, even as many stores enter the busy back-to-school shopping period.

A Wal-Mart employee at a location near Houston, who asked not to be identified because she didn’t have permission to talk to the media, said her store had to cut more than 200 hours a week. To make the adjustment, the employee’s store manager started asking people to go home early two weeks ago, she said. On Aug. 19, at least eight people had been sent home by late afternoon, including sales-floor associates and department managers.

The employee said she’s covering an area once staffed by multiple people at one of the busiest times of the year — the back-to-school season. On a recent weekday, she had a customer who had to wait 30 minutes for an employee to unlock a product the shopper wanted to purchase, she said.

The staff at a location in Fort Worth, Texas, were told that the store needed to cut 1,500 hours, according to a worker who asked not to be named for fear of being reprimanded.

So there you have it. Further proof that across-the-board wage hikes – like socialized medicine and free college – is a concept that sounds good when considered in a vacuum, but when implemented is subject to economic realities that conspire to make the end result look far less desirable than proponents might have imagined.

And therein lies the problem. Projecting how these “experiments” might turn out isn’t difficult, which makes one wonder how policymakers and corporate management teams seem to get them wrong on a fairly consistent basis. Then again, when you live in a world governed by the principle that the cure for debt is still more debt, it’s easy to see why some still believe, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that you can have your cake and eat it too.

Citigroup Chief Economist Thinks Only “Helicopter Money” Can Save The World Now

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China has bungled its attempt to slow the economy gently and is sliding into “imminent recession”

by Zero Hedge | August 30, 2015

Having recently explained (in great detail) why QE4 (and 5, 6 & 7) were inevitable (despite the protestations of all central planners, except for perhaps Kocharlakota – who never met an economy he didn’t want to throw free money at), we found it fascinating that no lessor purveyor of the status quo’s view of the world – Citigroup’s chief economist Willem Buiter – that a global recession is imminent and nothing but a major blast of fiscal spending financed by outright “helicopter” money from the central banks will avert the deepening crisis. Faced with China’s ‘Quantitative Tightening’, the economist who proclaimed “gold is a 6000-year old bubble” and cash should be banned, concludes ominously, “everybody will be adversely affected.”

China has bungled its attempt to slow the economy gently and is sliding into “imminent recession”, threatening to take the world with it over coming months, Citigroup has warned. As The Telegraph’s Ambrose Evans-Pritchard reports, Willem Buiter, the bank’s chief economist, said the country needs a major blast of fiscal spending financed by outright “helicopter” money from the bank to avert a deepening crisis.

Speaking on a panel at the Council of Foreign Relations in New York, Mr Buiter said the dollar will “go through the roof” if the US Federal Reserve lifts interest rates this year, compounding the crisis for emerging markets.

“So why it matters is that the competence of the Chinese authorities as managers of the macro economy is really in question – the messing around with monetary policy, the hinting on doing things on the fiscal side through the policy banks. But I think the only thing that is likely to stop China from going into, I think, recession – which is, you know, 4 percent growth on the official data, the mendacious official data, for a year or so – is a large consumption-oriented fiscal stimulus, funded through the central government and preferably monetized by the People’s Bank of China.

Well, they’re not ready for that yet. Despite, I think, the economy crying out for it, the Chinese leadership is not ready for this.

So I think they will respond, but they will respond too late to avoid a recession, and which is likely to drag the global economy with it down to a global growth rate below 2 percent, which is my definition of a global recession. Not every country needs go into recession. The U.S. might well avoid it. But everybody will be adversely affected.”

Or translated from ‘economist’ to English – a massive helicopter drop of cash (well 1s and 0s) into the inflating hands of Chinese soon-to-be-consumers is al lthat can the world from another recession… and The Chinese leadership may need to stare into the abyss before they actually pull the trigger.Just think of the pork prices?

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Mr Buiter had some more to add on the idiocy of Chinese Equity markets. He said the stock market crash in Shanghai and Shenzhen…

…is a sideshow. Consumption effects, you know, wealth effects, minor. Almost no capex in China is funded through share issue. And so it is a symbol of the policy failure rather than intrinsically economically important.

China’s problems are excessive leverage in the corporate sector, in the local government sector, and the very fragile banking system, and shadow banking system. As Chen pointed out, it won’t be allowed to collapse because it is underwritten by the government, but it won’t be a source of great funding strength.

There is excess capacity and a pathetically low rate of return on capital expenditure, right? Invest 50 percent of GDP and get, even in the official data, 7 percent growth. The true data is probably something closer to 4 ½ percent or less. So it is an economy that, I think, is sliding into recession.

And what the stock market reminds us of, I think, especially this sequence of the government first cheerleading the stock market boom and bubble – because quite a few of the local pundits believed that this was a great way of deleveraging without paying for the corporate sector, to have a stock market bubble. And then, of course, the rather panicky and incompetent reaction in response.

So, once again, why it matters is that the competence of the Chinese authorities as managers of the macro economy is really in question.

*  *  *

So, it seems, all of a sudden – despite the permabulls, asset-gatherers, and commission-takers saying otherwise – China matters! As Bloomberg notes,China’s deepening struggles are starting to make a bigger dent in the global economic outlook.

“We’re seeing evidence that the slowdown is broader than expected” in China, saidMarie Diron, a London-based senior vice president at Moody’s and one of the report’s authors. “It’s long been clear that there’s a slowdown in the manufacturing and construction sector, but the service sector was more resilient. That’s still the case, but we’re seeing some signs of weakness in the labor market.”

“We continue to believe that the greatest risks to our growth forecasts remain to the downside,” Schofield wrote. Actual growth is “probably even lower” because of “likely mis-measurement in China’s official data,” he wrote.

*  *  *
Which, is exactly what we have been saying for the last 2 years as the rolling collapse of China’s ponzi becomes ever more evident (and hidden by ever more manipulation)…

Here, for those curious, are links to previous discussions:

And so on and so forth.

In short, stabilizing the currency in the wake of the August 11 devaluation has precipitated the liquidation of more than $100 billion in USTs in the space of just two weeks, doubling the total sold during the first half of the year. 

In the end, the estimated size of the RMB carry trade could mean that before it’s all over, China will liquidate as much as $1 trillion in US paper,which, as we noted on Thursday evening, would effectively negate 60% of QE3 and put somewhere in the neighborhood of 200bps worth of upward pressure on 10Y yields. 

And don’t forget, this is just China.

The potential for more China outflows is huge: set against 3.6trio of reserves (recorded as an “asset” in the international investment position data), China has around 2trillion of “non-sticky” liabilities including speculative carry trades, debt and equity inflows, deposits by and loans from foreigners that could be a source of outflows (chart 2). The bottom line is that markets may fear that QT has much more to go.

What could turn sentiment more positive? The first is other central banks coming in to fill the gap that the PBoC is leaving. China’s QT would need to be replaced by higher QE elsewhere, with the ECB and BoJ being the most notable candidates. The alternative would be for China’s capital outflows to stop or at least slow down. Perhaps a combination of aggressive PBoC easing and more confidence in the domestic economy would be sufficient, absent a sharp devaluation of the currency to a new stable. Either way, it is hard to become very optimistic on global risk appetite until a solution is found to China’s evolving QT.

CHINA CONFIRMS IT HAS BEGUN LIQUIDATING TREASURIES, WARNS WASHINGTON

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China cut its holdings of U.S. Treasuries to raise dollars to support the yuan

by ZERO HEDGE | AUGUST 28, 2015

On Tuesday evening, we asked what would happen if emerging markets joined China in dumping US Treasuries.

For months we’ve documented the PBoC’s liquidation of its vast stack of US paper. Back in July for instance, we noted that China had dumped a record $143 billion in US Treasuries in three months via Belgium, leaving Goldman speechless for once.

We followed all of this up this week by noting that thanks to the new FX regime (which, in theory anyway, should have required less intervention),China has likely sold somewhere on the order of $100 billion in US Treasuries in the past two weeks alone in open FX ops to steady the yuan. Put simply, as part of China’s devaluation and subsequent attempts to contain said devaluation, China has been purging an epic amount of Treasuries.

But even as the cat was out of the bag for Zero Hedge readers and even as, to mix colorful escape metaphors, the genie has been out of the bottle since mid-August for China which, thanks to a steadfast refusal to just float the yuan and be done with it, will have to continue selling USTs by the hundreds of billions, the world at large was slow to wake up to what China’s FX interventions actually implied until Wednesday when two things happened: i) Bloomberg, citing fixed income desks in New York, noted “substantial selling pressure” in long-term USTs emanating from somebody in the “Far East”, and ii) Bill Gross asked, in a tweet, if China was selling Treasuries.
Sure enough, on Thursday we got confirmation of what we’ve been detailing exhaustively for months. Here’s Bloomberg:

China has cut its holdings of U.S. Treasuries this month to raise dollars needed to support the yuan in the wake of a shock devaluation two weeks ago, according to people familiar with the matter.
Channels for such transactions include China selling directly, as well as through agents in Belgium and Switzerland, said one of the people, who declined to be identified as the information isn’t public. China has communicated with U.S. authorities about the sales, said another person. They didn’t reveal the size of the disposals.

The latest available Treasury data and estimates by strategists suggest that China controls $1.48 trillion of U.S. government debt, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That includes about $200 billion held through Belgium, which Nomura Holdings Inc. says is home to Chinese custodial accounts.

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The PBOC has sold at least $106 billion of reserve assets in the last two weeks, including Treasuries, according to an estimate from Societe Generale SA. The figure was based on the bank’s calculation of how much liquidity will be added to China’s financial system through Tuesday’s reduction of interest rates and lenders’ reserve-requirement ratios. The assumption is that the central bank aims to replenish the funds it drained when it bought yuan to stabilize the currency.

Now that what has been glaringly obvious for at least six months has been given the official mainstream stamp of fact-based approval, the all-clear has been given for rampant speculation on what exactly this means for US monetary policy. Here’s Bloomberg again:

China selling Treasuries is “not a surprise, but possibly something which people haven’t fully priced in,” said Owen Callan, a Dublin-based fixed-income strategist at Cantor Fitzgerald LP. “It would change the outlook on Treasuries quite a bit if you started to price in a fairly large liquidation of their reserves over the next six months or so as they manage the yuan to whatever level they have in mind.”

“By selling Treasuries to defend the renminbi, they’re preventing Treasury yields from going lower despite the fact that we’ve seen a sharp drop in the stock market,” David Woo, head of global rates and currencies research at Bank of America Corp., said on Bloomberg Television on Wednesday. “China has a direct impact on global markets through U.S. rates.”

As we discussed on Wednesday evening, we do, thanks to a review of the extant academic literature undertaken by Citi, have an idea of what foreign FX reserve liquidation means for USTs. “Suppose EM and developing countries, which hold $5491 bn in reserves, reduce holdings by 10% over one year – this amounts to 3.07% of US GDP and means 10yr Treasury yields rates rise by a mammoth 108bp ,” Citi said, in a note dated earlier this week.

In other words, for every $500 billion in liquidated Chinese FX reserves, there’s an attendant 108bps worth of upward pressure on the 10Y. Bear in mind here that thanks to the threat of a looming Fed rate hike and a litany of other factors including plunging commodity prices and idiosyncratic political risks, EM currencies are in free fall which means that it’s not just China that’s in the process of liquidating USD assets.

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The clear takeaway is that there’s a substantial amount of upward pressure building for UST yields and that is a decisively undesirable situation for the Fed to find itself in going into September. On Wednesday we summed the situation up as follows: “one of the catalysts for the EM outflows is the looming Fed hike which, when taken together with the above, means that if the FOMC raises rates, they will almost surely accelerate the pressure on EM, triggering further FX reserve drawdowns (i.e. UST dumping), resulting in substantial upward pressure on yields and prompting an immediate policy reversal and perhaps even QE4.”

Well now that China’s UST liquidation frenzy has reached a pace where it could no longer be swept under the rug and/or played down as inconsequential, and now that Bill Dudley has officially opened the door for “additional quantitative easing”, it would appear that the only way to prevent China and EM UST liquidation from, as Citi puts it, “choking off the US housing market,” and exerting a kind of forced tightening via the UST transmission channel, will be for the FOMC to usher in QE4.

LIES YOU WILL HEAR AS THE ECONOMIC COLLAPSE PROGRESSES

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It is undeniable; the final collapse triggers are upon us.

by BRANDON SMITH | ALT MARKET | AUGUST 28, 2015

In the years since the derivatives disaster, there has been no end to the absurd and ludicrous propaganda coming out of mainstream financial outlets and as the situation in markets becomes worse, the propaganda will only increase.

This might seem counter-intuitive to many. You would think that the more obvious the economic collapse becomes, the more alternative analysts will be vindicated and the more awake and aware the average person will be. Not necessarily…

In fact, the mainstream spin machine is going into high speed the more negative data is exposed and absorbed into the markets. If you know your history, then you know that this is a common tactic by the establishment elite to string the public along with false hopes so that they do not prepare or take alternative measures while the system crumbles around their ears. At the onset of the Great Depression the same strategies were used. Consider if you’ve heard similar quotes to these in the mainstream news over the past couple months:
John Maynard Keynes in 1927: “We will not have any more crashes in our time.”

H.H. Simmons, president of the New York Stock Exchange, Jan. 12, 1928: “I cannot help but raise a dissenting voice to statements that we are living in a fool’s paradise, and that prosperity in this country must necessarily diminish and recede in the near future.”

Irving Fisher, leading U.S. economist, The New York Times, Sept. 5, 1929: “There may be a recession in stock prices, but not anything in the nature of a crash.” And on 17, 1929: “Stock prices have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau. I do not feel there will be soon if ever a 50 or 60 point break from present levels, such as (bears) have predicted. I expect to see the stock market a good deal higher within a few months.”

W. McNeel, market analyst, as quoted in the New York Herald Tribune, Oct. 30, 1929: “This is the time to buy stocks. This is the time to recall the words of the late J. P. Morgan… that any man who is bearish on America will go broke. Within a few days there is likely to be a bear panic rather than a bull panic. Many of the low prices as a result of this hysterical selling are not likely to be reached again in many years.”

Harvard Economic Society, Nov. 10, 1929: “… a serious depression seems improbable; [we expect] recovery of business next spring, with further improvement in the fall.”

Here is the issue – as I have ALWAYS said, economic collapse is not a singular event, it is a process. The global economy has been in the process of collapse since 2008 and it never left that path. Those who were ignorant took government statistics at face value and the manipulated bull market as legitimate and refused to acknowledge the fundamentals. Now, with markets recently suffering one of the greatest freefalls since the 2008/2009 crash, they are witnessing the folly of their assumptions, but that does not mean they will accept them or apologize for them outright. If there is one lesson I have learned well during my time in the Liberty Movement, it is to never underestimate the power of normalcy bias.

There were plenty of “up days” in the markets during the Great Depression, and this kept the false dream of a quick recovery alive for a large percentage of the American population for many years. Expect numerous “stunning stock reversals” as the collapse of our era progresses, but always remember that it is the overall TREND that matters far more than any one positive or negative trading day (unless you open down 1000 points as we did on Monday), and even more important than the trends are the economic fundamentals.

The establishment has made every effort to hide the fundamentals from the public through far reaching misrepresentations of economic stats. However, the days of effective disinformation in terms of the financial system are coming to an end. As investors and the general public begin to absorb the reality that the global economy is indeed witnessing a vast crisis scenario and acknowledges real numbers over fraudulent numbers, the only recourse of central bankers and the governments they control is to convince the public that the crisis they are witnessing is not really a crisis. That is to say, the establishment will attempt to marginalize the collapse signals they can no longer hide as if such signals are of “minimal” importance.

Just as occurred during the onset of the Great Depression, the lies will be legion the closer we come to zero hour. Here are some of the lies you will likely hear as the collapse accelerates…

The Crisis Was Caused By Chinese Contagion

The hypocrisy inherent in this lie is truly astounding, to say the least, considering it is now being uttered by the same mainstream dirtbags who only months ago were claiming that China’s financial turmoil and stock market upset were inconsequential and would have “little to no effect” on Western markets.

I specifically recall these hilarious quotes from Barbara Rockefeller in July:

“Something else that doesn’t matter much is the Chinese equity meltdown—again. China may be big and powerful, but it lacks a retail base and fund managers experienced in price variations, never mind a true rout…”

“Doom-and-gloom types have been saying for a long time that we will get a stock market rout when the Fed finally does move to raise rates. But as we wrote last week, history doesn’t bear out the thesis, not that you can really count on history when the sample size is one or two data points…”

Yes, that is a bit embarrassing. One or two data points? There have been many central bank interventions in history. When has ANY central bank or any government ever used stimulus to manipulate markets through fiat infusion and zero interest fueled stock buybacks or given government the ability to monetize its own debt, and actually been successful in the endeavor? When has addicting markets to stimulus like a heroin dealer ever led to “recovery”? When has this kind of behavior ever NOT created massive fiscal bubbles, a steady degradation of the host society, or outright calamity?

Suddenly, according to the MSM, China’s economy does affect us. Not only that, but China is to blame for all the ills of the globally interdependent economic structure. And, the mere mention that the Fed might delay the end of near zero interest rates in September by a Federal Reserve stooge recently sent markets up 600 points after a week-long bloodbath; meaning, the potential for any interest rate increase no mater how small also has wider implications for markets.

The truth is, the crash in global stocks which will undoubtedly continue over the next several months despite any delays on ZIRP by the Fed is a product of universal decay in fiscal infrastructure. Nearly every single nation on this planet, every sovereign economy, has allowed central and international banks to poison every aspect of their respective systems with debt and manipulation. This is not a “contagion” problem, it is a systemic problem to every economy across the world.

China’s crash matters not because it is causing all other economies to crash. It matters because China is the largest importer/exporter in the world and it is a litmus test for the financial health of every other country. If China is failing, it means we are not consuming, and if we are not consuming, then we must be broke. China’s crash portends our own far worse economic conditions. THAT is why western markets have been crumbling along with China’s despite the assumptions of the mainstream.

China’s Rate Cuts Will Stop The Crash

No they won’t. China has cut rates five times since last November and this has done nothing to stem the tide of their market collapse. I’m not sure why anyone would think that a new rate cut would accomplish anything besides perhaps a brief respite from the continuing avalanche.

It’s Not A Crash, It’s Just The End Of A “Market Cycle”

This is the most ignorant non-explanation I think I have ever heard. There is no such thing as a “market cycle” when your markets are supported partially or fully by fiat manipulation. Our market is in no way a free market, thus, it cannot behave like a free market, and thus, it is a stunted market with no identifiable cycles.

Swings in markets of up to 5%-6% to the downside or upside (sometimes both in a single day) are not part of a normal cycle. They are a sign of cancerous volatility that comes from an economy on the brink of disaster.

The last few years have been seemingly endless market bliss in which any idiot day trader could not go wrong as long as he “bought the dip” while Fed monetary intervention stayed the course. This is also not normal, even in the so-called “new normal”. Yes, the current equities turmoil is an inevitable result of manipulated markets, false statistics, and misplaced hopes, but it is indeed a tangible crash in the making. It is in no way an example of a predictable and non-threatening “market cycle”, and the fact that mainstream talking heads and the people who parrot them had absolutely no clue it was coming is only further evidence of this.

The Fed Will Never Raise Rates

Don’t count on it. Public statements by globalist entities like the IMF on China, for example, have argued that their current crisis is merely part of the “new normal”; a future in which stagnant growth and reduced living standards is the way things are supposed to be. I expect the Fed will use the same exact argument to support the end of zero interest rates in the U.S., claiming that the decline of American wealth and living standards is a natural part of the new economic world order we are entering.

That’s right, mark my words, one day soon the Fed, the IMF, the BIS and others will attempt to convince the American people that the erosion of the economy and the loss of world reserve status is actually a “good thing”. They will claim that a strong dollar is the cause of all our economic pain and that a loss in value is necessary. In the meantime they will, of course, downplay the tragedies that will result as the shift toward dollar devaluation smashes down on the heads of the populace.

A rate hike may not occur in September. In fact, as I predicted in my last article, the Fed is already hinting at a delay in order to boost markets, or at least slow down the current carnage to a more manageable level. But, they WILL raise rates in the near term, likely before the end of this year after a few high tension meetings in which the financial world will sit anxiously waiting for the word on high. Why would they raise rates? Some people just don’t seem to grasp the fact that the job of the Federal Reserve is to destroy the American economic system, not protect it. Once you understand this dynamic then everything the central bank does makes perfect sense.

A rate increase will occur exactly because that is what is needed to further destabilize U.S. market psychology to make way for the “great economic reset” that the IMF and Christine Lagarde are so fond of promoting. Beyond this, many people seem to be forgetting that ZIRP is still operating, yet, volatility is trending negative anyway. Remember when everyone was ready to put on their ‘Dow 20,000′ hat, certain in the omnipotence of central bank stimulus and QE infinity? Yeah…clearly that was a pipe dream.

ZIRP has run it’s course. It is no longer feeding the markets as it once did and the fundamentals are too obvious to deny.

The globalists at the Bank for International Settlements in spring openly deemed the existence of low interest rate policies a potential trigger for crisis. Their statements correlate with the BIS tendency to “predict” terrible market events they helped to create while at the same time misrepresenting the reasons behind them.

The point is, ZIRP has done the job it was meant to do. There is no longer any reason for the Fed to leave it in place.

Get Ready For QE4

Again, don’t count on it. Or at the very least, don’t expect renewed QE to have any lasting effect on the market if it is initiated.

There is truly no point to the launch of a fourth QE program, but do expect that the Fed will plant the possibility in the media every once in a while to mislead investors. First, the Fed knows that it would be an open admission that the last three QE’s were an utter failure, and while their job is to dismantle the U.S. economy, I don’t think they are looking to take immediate blame for the whole mess. QE4 would be as much a disaster as the ECB’s last stimulus program was in Europe, not to mention the past several stimulus actions by the PBOC in China. I’ll say it one more time – fiat stimulus has a shelf life, and that shelf life is over for the entire globe. The days of artificially supported markets are nearly done and they are never coming back again.

I see little advantage for the Fed to bring QE4 into the picture. If the goal is to derail the dollar, that action is already well underway as the IMF carefully sets the stage for the Yuan to enter the SDR global currency basket next year, threatening the dollar’s world reserve status. China also continues to dump hundreds of billions in U.S. treasuries inevitably leading to a rush to a dump of treasuries by other nations. The dollar is a dead currency walking, and the Fed won’t even have to print Weimar Germany-style in order to kill it.

It’s Not As Bad As It Seems

Yes, it is exactly as bad as it seems if not worse. When the Dow can open 1000 points down on a Monday and China can lose all of its gains for 2015 in the span of a few weeks despite institutionalized stimulus measures lasting years, then something is very wrong. This is not a “hiccup”. This is not a correction which has already hit bottom. This is only the beginning of the end.

Stocks are not a predictive indicator. They do not follow positive or negative fundamentals. Stocks do not crash before or during the development of an ailing economy. Stocks crash after the economy has already gone comatose. Stocks crash when the system is no longer salvageable. Since 2008, nothing in the global financial structure has been salvaged and now the central banking edifice is either unable or unwilling (I believe both) to supply the tools to allow us even to pretend that it can be salvaged. We’re going to feel the hurt now, all while the establishment tells us the whole thing is in our heads.

CBO warns debt becoming unsustainable…

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CBO report forecasts unsustainable debt in long term

BY STEPHEN DINAN

The economy is sluggish but growing and inflation remains low, painting a decidedly mixed picture for the federal government, the Congressional Budget Office reported Tuesday, saying the fiscal situation is improving this year but will snap back by 2018 to swelling deficits and unsustainable debt.

The inflation rate is so low that Social Security beneficiaries probably won’t get a cost-of-living raise after this year, the CBO said. But tax revenue is up and spending has stayed pat, which is helping reduce the pool of red ink in the federal budget.

Combined, those numbers mean the government will run a deficit of $426 billion in fiscal year 2015, down about $60 billion from 2014 and marking the smallest deficit of President Obama’s tenure.


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The good news will continue for a couple of years as the economy belatedly but fully rebounds from the recession of December 2007 to June 2009. By 2018, though, debt will rise as government spending grows and the economy will cool again, the CBO said.

“The growth in debt is not sustainable,”CBO Director Keith Hall said in presenting the estimates. “At some point, it’s going to get to a very high level. Obviously, you can’t predict tipping points, but at some point this becomes a problem.”

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Democrats saw the short-term outlook as progress and said it’s time to close tax breaks and bring in more revenue for spending on investments such as infrastructure.


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Republicans kept their focus on the longer-term warnings in the CBOreport. They noted that taxes will remain higher than their historic average over the past five decades but deficits will persist because spending will still outpace revenue.

Budget watchdogs pleaded with all sides to go beyond the numbers and talk about solutions to persistent debt.

“I don’t know how anyone can declare victory when trillion-dollar deficits are just on the horizon,” said Judd Gregg, a former senator and a co-chairman of the advocacy group Fix the Debt. “While deficits are down this year, the real story is that they are on the rise and that our national debt is at record-high levels and growing.”

Watchdogs pleaded with presidential candidates to start talking about the national debt in their campaigns.

For the most part, that conversation has been muted. Democrats have called for tax hikes to pay for more spending, and Republicans generally have focused on other issues.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, however, has sparred with former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a fellow Republican presidential candidate, over the fate of Social Security. Mr. Christie argues that the program needs benefit adjustments to survive.

The CBO report said Social Security spending will be slightly lower than analysts projected five months ago because fewer people will qualify for disability payments. Still, the $66-billion-a-month payout this year makes Social Security the largest single federal program, which is projected to represent 5.7 percent of gross domestic product in 2025.

Medicare and Medicaid, the government’s health care programs for the elderly and the poor, also are growing quickly and are projected to reach a combined 6.2 percent of GDP within a decade.

Defense and other basic domestic spending, however, continue to dip as a percentage of government spending and the economy, reaching levels not seen in decades.

Democrats say cuts to domestic discretionary programs such as education and infrastructure have gone deep enough and that it’s time to reverse them, and they reject Republican calls for limits on growth in entitlement spending.

The CBO said the economy is recovering, though more slowly than predicted. The GDP, the report said, will grow 2 percent this year and rise to 3.1 percent next year before slowing again.

Mr. Hall said recent turmoil in stock markets has not changed those estimates.

“The economic fundamentals, at least so far, haven’t been changed,” he said.

In a more pressing finding, the CBOsaid the government has room to stave off a debt limit breach through November or December — a longer time frame than projected a few months ago. Mr. Hall credited higher tax receipts this year as the reason.

Debt held by the public will dip this year to 73.8 percent, down from 74 percent in fiscal year 2014, and will fluctuate for a few years before beginning a steady climb by 2020 and nearing 77 percent in 2025. Those are levels unseen since 1950, when the country was getting out from under the burden of World War II.