Financial Review

Friday, June 13, 2014, – Infallible Source Predicts Economic Collapse!

Infallible Source Predicts Economic Collapse!
by Sinclair Noe

 

DOW + 41 = 16,775
SPX + 6 = 1936
NAS + 13 = 4310
10 YRYLD + .02 = 2.60%
OIL + .38 = 106.91
GOLD + 2.80 = 1276.90
SILV + .15 = 19.77

 

For the week, the Dow was down 0.9%, the S&P fell 0.7 percent and the Nasdaq was down 0.25%. The week’s decline was the first after three weeks of consecutive gains on the S&P 500. For the year, the broad market index is up about 4.8%. So, it was a rough week, but a good Friday the 13th.

The Producer Price Index measures prices at the wholesale level; the PPI was down 0.2% in May. The decline was driven lower by cheaper food and gas, and follows two months of strong gains. In the past 12 months, producer prices have risen 2%, matching the Federal Reserve’s inflation target. That’s down from an annual gain of 2.1% in April. Excluding the volatile food, energy and profit margin categories, (for all you people who don’t eat food or drive in cars) core producer prices were unchanged in May. Inflation, as measured by the consumer price index, has been mostly below 2% for the past two years.

 

Of course, that might change, at least for people who eat and drive cars. The price of oil has jumped the past few days, now standing at $106.91 a barrel, mainly on fears of a civil war in Iraq. The International Energy Agency played down fears over the possible loss of oil exports from Iraq in its monthly Oil Market Report, writing: “Concerning as the latest events in Iraq may be, they might not for now, if the conflict does not spread further, put additional Iraqi oil supplies immediately at risk.” Oil futures in New York rose 4.1% this week.

 

A very nasty group of rebels known as ISIS is closing in on Baghdad. ISIS stands for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant, and they are made of Sunnis. The government of Iraq is controlled by Shi’ites. ISIS has taken over the second largest city of Mosul; they have surrounded the largest oil refinery in the country, and they are moving to the capitol of Baghdad. So far, the Iraqi soldiers have been running away, but today a message from the Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, who is the highest religious authority for Shi’ites in Iraq, said people should unite to fight back.

 

In an interesting twist, before ISIS started ramping up the fight in Iraq, they were fighting in Syria, against the government of Bashar al Assad.

 

President Obama told reporters at the White House he would not send US troops back into combat in Iraq but had asked his national security team to prepare “a range of other options” to help Iraqi security forces. He specifically did not rule out the use of military action, which might include the possibility of air attacks to slow the rebel advance.

 

Pope Francis says the global economic system is near collapse. In an interview with la Vanguardia, the Pope said he was especially concerned about youth unemployment, and he denounced the influence of war and the military on the global economy, saying: “We discard a whole generation to maintain an economic system that no longer endures, a system that to survive has to make war, as the big empires have always done. Since we cannot wage the Third World War, we make regional wars. And what does that mean? That we make and sell arms. And with that the balance sheets of the idolatrous economies — the big world economies that sacrifice man at the feet of the idol of money — are obviously cleaned up.”

 

The pope said there was enough food to feed all the world’s hungry, and people’s needs should be at the heart of the economic system.

 

Following the elections in the European Union, France issued a report on debt, which contained several key findings, including the idea that the rise in the state’s debt in the past decades cannot be explained by an increase in public spending. The report also says that no one actually knows who holds the French debt. And the big conclusion of the report is that some 60% of the French public debt is illegitimate. An illegitimate debt is one that grew in the service of private interests, and not the wellbeing of the people. Therefore the French people have a right to demand a moratorium on the payment of the debt, and the cancellation of at least part of it.

 

Goldman Sachs and Bain Capital have agreed to pay a combined $121 million to settle a lawsuit that accused them and other firms of colluding to drive down the prices of takeovers before the financial crisis, according to a court filing on Wednesday. The deal, if approved by the court, would bring closure for Goldman and Bain of a seven-year-old lawsuit filed by former shareholders of the acquired companies, who claimed that private equity firms teaming up to do deals were partners in an illegal conspiracy to reduce competition.

 

The settlement deal also raises the stakes for the remaining defendants, which include some of private equity’s biggest firms. The Blackstone Group, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, TPG Capital, Silver Lake and the Carlyle Group are scheduled to head to trial in November. Now the $121 million dollar settlement is fairly small, but now that Goldman and Bains have broken ranks with the other defendants, the lawyers for the plaintiffs may gain additional bargaining power. The plaintiffs are seeking billions of dollars in damages, but because of the mechanics of antitrust law, the defendants could be liable for a multiple of that amount if they lose at trial.

 

The Justice Department has asked Citigroup for more than $10 billion to settle a probe into the bank’s sale of mortgage-backed bonds before the 2008 financial crisis. Prosecutors broke off talks with Citigroup earlier this week and are preparing to sue the bank after it offered less than $4 billion ($1 billion cash and the rest in consumer relief) to resolve the matter. The Justice Department could file a lawsuit as early as next week.

 

The department is taking a similar approach with Bank of America. Prosecutors also halted talks with the bank June 9 after it offered to pay more than $12 billion, short of the department’s $17 billion request. And then there is the outstanding case against BNP Paribas, where prosecutors are believed to be calling for more than $10 billion in fines for money laundering and sanctions violations. And this all follows on the heels of the Credit Suisse $2.6 billion fine and criminal guilty plea in a tax evasion case. No word whether prosecutors are looking at criminal charges against BofA or Citigroup. What we are seeing is that the fines are getting larger, but somehow with billions of dollars of penalties and multiple billions of dollars of wrongdoing, nobody ever goes to jail.

 

If you wonder why the prisons aren’t filled with banksters, just follow the money from Wall Street to Capitol Hill. Earlier this week we saw one of Wall Street’s favorite politicians of the decade, Eric Cantor, destroyed by a random teabagger who railed against him endlessly for pushing through Bush’s TARP bailout of the big banks. Just this cycle, the financial sector had contributed $1,396,450 to Cantor’s campaign coffers. And Cantor was just one of the politicians getting their wallets fluffed by Wall Street, a quick list of Wall Street favorites includes John Boehner, Spencer Bachus, Jeb Hensarling, and Democrats including Charlie Rangel, and Heny Stoyer. We have finally found one thing in Washington that is bipartisan – bribery, or should I say campaign finance…no, it’s bribery.

 

Elon Musk has announced that Tesla will let other companies use its inventions under an open-source-inspired agenda at the company. Here’s how Musk put it in a blog post:”Tesla will not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wants to use our technology.”

 

Tesla has hundreds of approved patents, and many pending applications, for all manner of inventions tied to electric-vehicle technology. Tesla pioneered innovations that lowered the cost and increased the safety of battery packs. Its cars recharge much faster than others on the market, thanks to connector, software, and power-management advances. Now this public company will offer these smarts up to its rivals and ask nothing but goodwill in return.

 

And while it sounds like a radical idea, it might be a very smart business move. One thing that is required for electric cars is charging stations, as ubiquitous as gas stations. And even though Tesla has patents on battery technology, and they have some of the best batteries around with longer range and faster recharging, they still need to improve the technology. And Musk apparently isn’t concerned with the competition, saying: “You want to be innovating so fast that you invalidate your prior patents, in terms of what really matters. It’s the velocity of innovation that matters.”

 

Here’s an amazing statistic, compliments of a Tweet from Bill Gates. From 1901 to 2000, the United States built millions of miles of roads and interstate highways, plus Hoover Dam, plus many other damns, plus an incredible number of building; and during that 100 year period, we used 4.5 gigatons of concrete. In the past 3 ½ years, China has been on a building boom that has consumed 6.6 gigatons of concrete.

 

 

 

Previous post

Thursday, June 12, 2014 - The Beautiful Game

Next post

Monday, June 16, 2014 - Manic Monday

No Comment

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.