by Andy Hoffman, Miles Franklin:
As if Hillary didn’t have enough “going for her” – assuming her goal is the biggest landslide defeat in U.S. history – the Democratic Party just admitted its server was hacked, setting the stage for additional “smoking gun” revelations. Worse yet, a list of (likely, just a small part of) her planned tax hikes is now public, of roughly $1 trillion over 10 years. Including a huge increase in income taxes; a “fairness tax” on the rich; and a big increase in the death tax. And that doesn’t even include her Bernie Sanders-like desire for free college tuition (FYI, Sanders quit the Democratic Party on Wednesday); which, if legislated, could cost as much as Obamacare.
And did I mention that the Social Security Administration just admitted it is bankrupt – “coincidentally,” simultaneous with the introduction of a Congressional bill titled, I kid you not, “SAVE UP,” to “bail-in” Social Security with higher taxes? In other words, as I’ve been screaming from the rooftops for years, particularly as we are in the early stages of what will be the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression (with much more debt, and an imploding currency to boot), it won’t be long before we become the Socialist States of America – with European-style tax rates that will destroy the vast majority of your savings. Which is why the urgency to cash out IRAs; and get out of the system – or “GOTS, as Jim Sinclair calls it; has never been more powerful.
In a nutshell, today’s article relates to the destruction of the “propaganda leg” of the government’s “evil tripod” of money printing, market manipulation, and propaganda. Yes, money printing is alive and well – shortly, to “go Japanese” and “European.” And YES, market manipulation is more virulent than ever – as evidenced by the “dead ringer” algorithms supporting the “Dow Jones Propaganda Average” every day this week. Not to mention, the (largely failed) attempts to suppress Precious Metals, which I’ll get to shortly.
However, starting with Wednesday’s pathetic FOMC policy statement – prompting me to tape “the Fed died today”; and ending with yesterday’s unfathomably horrible 1Q GDP report, it’s gotten to the point that literally, NO ONE is listening anymore. Nor does anyone care what “Wall Street” has to say – like Goldman Sachs suggesting Wednesday’s FOMC statement was, LOL, “incrementally hawkish.” And consequently, raising its estimate of the “odds” of a September rate hike from 25% to 30%. This, less than 24 hours before the Atlanta Fed’s “GDP now” tracker reduced its estimate of 2Q GDP “growth” from 2.4% to 1.8%. Which in turn, was followed by yesterday’s BEA, or Bureau of Economic Analysis’s, report on 2Q GDP growth, of…wait for it…just 1.2%, whilst 1Q “growth” was reduced from 1.2% to 0.8%. However, the “icing on the cake” was the BEA’s admission that the “double seasonal adjustments” undertaken last year – to goose chronically weakening GDP results – don’t work; and thus, must be revised again. But don’t hold your breath, as this time they expect it to take two years to “fix.”
Trust me, U.S. data cooking insanity is about to “go Chinese,” as the worst economic Depression in history gains momentum. No matter where one looks, the outlook is worsening – from Ford admitting the (massively oversupplied, historically subprime-laden) auto industry has peaked; to McDonalds’ miserable experience in the dying restaurant market; to plunging global trade volumes; Caterpillar’s 43rd straight month of declining revenues; the nation’s longest “non-recessionary” streak of plunging durable goods orders; collapsing E&P capex, as the next leg of the “transitory” crude oil plunge takes hold; the sixth straight quarter of declining corporate earnings – which would be much worse if GAAP accounting were used; the lowest homeownership in five decades – coupled with the highest rents in U.S. history; and exploding healthcare costs, care of Obamacare and some of the world’s worst demographics.
Why else would global interest rates be lower than at any time in history – with the majority of QE-supported Western bonds trading at negative yields, and U.S. Treasuries destined for the same fate? That is, until hyperinflation wipes all such bonds out, in what will be history’s most destructive bubble implosion. Summing the sorry state of the collapsing global economy up perfectly, the CEO of UBS, one of Switzerland’s largest banks, said yesterday “there is very little visibility about the future on every front, both macro and geopolitical. I don’t see any relief in the foreseeable future.” Which sadly, will turn out to be the understatement of the century.
Which segues perfectly to the topic of Europe’s dying – or better put, dead – banking system. Which I assure you, is just getting started on the “Road to Perdition” that will destroy the savings of millions of Europeans in the coming years. Deutsche Bank, whose stock appears primed to enter a “Lehman death spiral” at any time, may be the poster child of European financial failure. However, Italy’s entire banking system is in the same position, as evidenced by Monte Paschi, Italy’s third largest bank, failing the ECB’s softball-like “stress test” last night. And by softball-like, I mean it doesn’t include the potential impact of shock-to-the-system events like, say, the BrExit; negative interest rates; or even the domino-like collapse of hundreds of trillions of derivatives – most of which, can’t be quantified because they are held “off balance sheet.”
That said, Monte Paschi still failed the test; and thus, required another bailout last night – which I assure you, will have a very short lifespan. Meanwhile, the second worst performing bank in the study (which “coincidentally” excluded Greek and Portuguese banks) was UniCredit, Italy’s largest bank. Not to mention, the fact that countless others, including Deutsche Bank, only “passed” because the bar was so low – at 7% of capital – that it was nearly impossible to fail. Which is why it’s so ominous that Italy’s banks performed so poorly, amidst “stress” scenarios not even a fraction of what they are likely to endure in the coming months. To which, all I can say is this. Anyone, pardon my French – or Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Irish, or even German – stupid enough to maintain large, soon-to-be-negative-yielding balances; of soon-to-be-hyper-inflated currency of European banks; deserves exactly what they are about to get.
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