Courtesy of Dave.
The Swiss National Bank Now Owns $87.5 Billion In US Stocks After Q2 Tech Buying Spree
August 9, 2018
In the second quarter of 2018, one in which the global economy was shaken by the rapid escalation of Trump’s trade war, and in which central banks were one after another hinting at their own QE tapering and rate hiking intentions to follow in the Fed’s footsteps, what was really taking place was another central bank buying spree meant to boost confidence that things are now back to normal, using “money” that was freshly printed out of thin air, and spent to prop up risk assets around the world by recklessly buying stocks with no regard for price or cost.
Nowhere was this more obvious than in the latest, just released 13F from the massive hedge fund known as the “Swiss National Bank.” What it showed is that, just like in the prior quarter, and the quarter before that, and so on, the Swiss central bank went on another aggressive buying spree and following a modest selloff in the first quarter which was a mirror image of the SNB’s buying spree during Q1 2017 – the Swiss central bank boosted its total holdings of US stocks to $87.5 billion, up 6.6% or $5.4 billion from the $82.0 billion at the end of the first quarter, and just shy of their all time high.
Courtesy of Dave.
China Will Buy Turkey On The Cheap
August 10, 2018
Like the fall of the Ottoman Empire after World War I, Turkey’s present financial collapse has been expected for years. The sloth of credit rating agencies and the laziness of bank credit committees allowed Turkey to struggle on a year or two longer than it should have, but the collapse of the Turkish lira this week after a long, sickening decline surprised no-one.
Turkey’s volatile president Recep Tayyip Erdogan might have put off the crisis, but instead decided to butt heads with US President Trump over the arrest of an American Protestant minister for alleged terrorism.
At 9:20 am Eastern time, Turkey’s lira was trading at 6.5 to the US dollar, or less than a third of what the currency was worth in 2014. Turkey’s economy is headed for extreme levels of inflation as the price of imports jumps, amid a severe contraction of output as the cost of production inputs rises out of the reach of Turkish businesses.
Turkey will end up as “an economic satrapy of China,” as I predicted last November. President Erdogan in effect threw himself on the mercy of China in a barely-coherent speech earlier today.
Depositors – Not Taxpayers – Will Take the Hit for the Next ‘2008’ Crash Because Major Banks May Use the ‘Bail-In’ System
August 8, 2018
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The Federal Reserve’s recent undermining of the Volcker Rule brings depositors closer than ever to a Cyprus-style “bail-in” in another 2008 crash. And all signs indicate another is on the way. This time, however, many U.S. banks may confiscate deposits to stay solvent because the Dodd-Frank law bars them from touching taxpayers’ monies. Indeed, most major banks have been planning the “bail-in” tactic ever since Dodd-Frank.
What’s likely to happen to depositors’ money in a major commercial bank in another 2008 crash? And for months, financial pundits and experts such as William Cohen have been warning an even bigger one is on its way because nothing has essentially changed. If it’s one of those giant too-big-to-fail types that caused that global catastrophe, chances are they’ve been planning what’s called a “bail-in” system to seize depositors’ money—temporarily, of course. But whether depositors want to withdraw $50 from the ATM for the weekend, write a cheque at the supermarket, or cash in a CD, they’ll be shut out by their banks.
And when the furious confront those banks, they’ll be told it’s an emergency and, until Monday, would they like to start procedures with the FDIC for a refund? Or accept the bank’s IOU (stocks) immediatelyfor it? (With a failing bank, stocks (aka “equities”) would be as worthless as a Confederate dollar after Appomattox.)
Forget joining fellow depositors armed with baseball bats and AK-16s to storm the banks and retrieve money on Monday. Banks will be closed. Probably ringed by paddy wagons and well-armed police with state-of-the-art equipment to handle any “disturbance.”
Courtesy of Dave.
Apple, Google, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter Subvert the US Constitution, Free Speech, and American Liberty
August 8, 2018
By Paul Craig Roberts
“Information Clearing House” – The coordinated attack on widely watched Info Wars host Alex Jones by Apple, Facebook, Google/Youtube, and Spotify is all the proof that we need that the total failure to enforce America’s anti-trust laws has produced unaccountably powerful firms that are able to exercise far more censorship, not only in America but also abroad among Washington’s vassal states, than the Nazi Gestapo or Stalin’s NKVD were ever able to achieve.
Recently the progressive Rob Kall and I discussed on his show the implications of a trillion dollar company, which Apple now is. A day or two afterward, Rob Kall wrote an article on his website OpEdNews in which he made a case that a trillion dollar company had too much power for our continuation as a free people. I agree with him. Only 16 countries out of 195 countries in the world, a mere 0.08 percent, have a GDP equal to or larger than one trillion dollars.
Think about that. Apple is larger than the GNP of almost every country in the world. In other words, Apple has the power of a major government. Apple could be a member of the G-20. Apple could institute its own currency and be part of SDR drawing rights. Apple could participate as a backer of IMF and World Bank loans. Apple could have its own military and secret service.
No sooner than Rob Kall made his case than Apple proved it, along with the other tech monopolies: Google/Youtube, Spotify, and Facebook. https://www.rt.com/usa/435259-infowars-ban-twitter-reacts/
European banks are on the hook!
ECB Fears Contagion from Turkish Lira Collapse, Bank Stocks Plunge
August 10, 2018
On Friday, the Turkish Lira plunged 15% against the US dollar. Over the past two days, it has plunged 18%. Over the past four months — shown in the chart below — it has plunged 38%:
Now even the ECB is beginning to fret about the potential impact the plummeting Turkish Lira may have on Eurozone banks that are heavily exposed to Turkey’s economy via large amounts in loans — much of it in euros — through banks they acquired in Turkey. Given the plunge in the lira, companies have trouble servicing their euro loans and are beginning to default. And loans in local currency are plunging in value along with the currency. This is how the currency crisis in Turkey, which is turning into a debt crisis, could set off contagion effects among banks in France, Spain and Italy — a risk we have been exposing for two years.
Courtesy of Dave.
Iran Sanctions Fallout: China Takes Over French Share In Giant Iran Gas Project
August 11, 2018
When it comes to the Middle East, China has not been shy about its recent ambitions to expand its geopolitical influence in the Gulf region: Just last week we reported that the Chinese Ambassador to Syria, Qi Qianjin, shocked Middle East pundits and observers by indicating the Chinese military may fill the void left in the wake of the collapse of ISIS – and most regional armies – and directly assist the Syrian Army in an upcoming major offensive on jihadist-held Idlib province.
The “[Chinese] military is willing to participate in some way alongside the Syrian army that is fighting the terrorists in Idlib and in any other part of Syria,” the ambassador said in an interview with the pro-government daily newspaper Al-Watan, subsequently translated by The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).
And having staked a military claim in Syria, China was next set to expand its national interest in that other key regional nation which has been the source of so much consternation to its neighbors and world powers in recent months and which has emerged as a key source of crude oil exports to Beijing: Iran.
It did so today when China’s state-owned energy giant, CNPC – the world’s third largest oil and gas company by revenue behind Saudi Aramco and the National Iranian Oil Company – finally took over the share in Iran’s multi-billion dollar South Pars gas project held by France’s Total, Iran’s official news agency Shana reported on Saturday.