UK Debates Money Creation £ !!

For the first time in 170 years, the British Parliament is going to debate how money is created.

The debate will be broadcast live on Thursday, November 20th starting between 12.30 & 1.00PM GMT, or 07.30 EST on the Parliament TV Channel;  Link to the UK Parliament Channel

From Bill Still, director, narrator, and producer of the documentary films The Money Masters and The Secret of Oz, both of which critique the system of monetary control by the U.S. Federal Reserve System.

Understanding Physical Asset Diversification

James G. Rickards is an American lawyer, economist, and investment banker:
View Wikipedia Bio Link Here

About economist Richard Duncan via Amazon

“Falling to plan, is planning to fail”
If you have not yet talked to an independent adviser about full diversification that includes alternative strategies, now is the time to start!

Money Market Funds: New Exit Suspensions & Exit Fees!

SEC Approves Tighter Money-Fund Rules
Plan Allows Funds to Temporarily Block Withdrawals in Times of Stress

SECMoney market funds new rules have been passed by the Securities and Exchange Commission;

Money market funds can impose a liquidity fee on redemptions if the fund’s weekly liquidity falls below the level required by regulations.

Redemptions may also be suspended temporarily. The SEC calls them redemption “gates.”

Institutional prime money market funds are required to float the net asset value, or NAV, rather than keeping share prices fixed at $1.

See link: SEC Adopts Money Market Fund Rules

Note: An investment in a money market fund is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency. Although a money market fund seeks to preserve the value of your investment at $1 per share, it is possible to lose money by investing in such a fund.

Investing Abroad: What US Investors Need to Know

At a time when overindebted governments are making increasingly desperate grabs for their citizens’ money, keeping all your assets invested in one country—and denominated in one currency—is a very bad idea.

Image courtesy of Gordon T Long

Image courtesy of Gordon T Long

A vitally important question for you

 Do you have a bank account in another country? If not, you should hurry up & get one.

Holding foreign currencies in an account outside of the United States is the way to go if you REALLY want to diversify your assets internationally—but in the last few years the US government has left no stone unturned to make it harder for investors to get a foreign bank account. It’s not too late, though—there are still feasible ways to open one. But you have to act quickly, before Washington enacts even stricter controls in a desperate grab for your money.

Most people know of the general investment benefits of not having all your asset eggs in one basket. This portfolio-diversification concept—investing in multiple asset classes—also applies to the political risk associated with your home country. It is a risk few people think about diversifying.

In short, internationalization is prudent because it frees you from absolute dependence on any one country. Achieve that freedom, and it becomes very difficult for any country to control you.

While diversifying political risk is something that everyone in the world should strive to achieve, it goes double for those who live under a government that is sinking deeper into fiscal trouble (e.g., most Western governments).

Here are a few compelling arguments on why you should diversify, diversify, diversify—across different countries, exchanges, currencies, banks, and asset classes.

1: IMF Endorses Capital Controls

Bloomberg reported that the “IMF has endorsed the use of capital controls in certain circumstances.“

“In a reversal of its historic support for unrestricted flows of money across borders, the IMF said controls can be useful…”

2: There Is Academic Support for Capital Controls

Harvard Economists Carmen Reinhart and Ken Rogoff suggest debt write-downs and ‘financial repression’, meaning the use of a combination of moderate inflation and constraints on the flow of capital to reduce debt burdens.

3: Confiscation of Savings on the Rise

The IMF, in a report entitled “Taxing Times,” published in October of 2013, on page 49, states:

“The sharp deterioration of the public finances in many countries has revived interest in a capital levy—a one-off tax on private wealth—as an exceptional measure to restore debt sustainability.”

A study from the IMF: The tax rates needed to for a sample of 15 euro area countries is 10% on households with a positive net worth.

Note: The tax would apply to anyone with a positive net worth. And the 10% wealth-grab would, of course, be on top of regular income taxes, sales taxes, property taxes, etc.

4: We Like Pension Funds

Unfortunately, it’s not just savings. From a paper by Carmen Reinhart & M. Belén Sbrancia:

A subtle type of debt restructuring takes the form of ‘financial repression.’ Financial repression includes directed lending to government by captive domestic audiences (such as pension funds), explicit or implicit caps on interest rates, regulation of cross-border capital movements, and (generally) a tighter connection between government and banks.

Yes, your retirement account is now a “captive domestic audience.”
“Directed” means “compulsory” in the above statement, and you may not have a choice if “regulation of cross-border capital movements”—capital controls—are instituted.

5: The Eurozone Sanctions Money-Grabs

Germany’s Bundesbank weighed in on this subject last January:

“Countries about to go bankrupt should draw on the private wealth of their citizens through a one-off capital levy before asking other states for help.”

And it’s not just in Germany. On February 12, 2014, Reuters reported on an EU commission document that states:

The savings of the European Union’s 500 million citizens could be used to fund long-term investments to boost the economy and help plug the gap left by banks since the financial crisis.

Reuters reported that the Commission plans to request a draft law, “to mobilize more personal pension savings for long-term financing.”

EU officials are explicitly telling us that the pensions and savings of its citizens are fair game to meet the union’s financial needs. If you live in Europe, the writing is on the wall.

Actually, it’s already under way… Reuters recently reported that Spain has introduced a blanket taxation rate of .03% on all bank account deposits, in a move aimed at… generating revenues for the country’s cash-strapped autonomous communities.

6: Canada Jumps on the Confiscation Bandwagon

You may recall this text from last year’s budget in Canada:

“The Government proposes to implement a bail-in regime for systemically important banks.”

A bail-in is what they call it when a government takes depositors’ money to plug a bank’s financial holes—just as was done in Cyprus last year.

The bank can be recapitalized and returned to viability through the very rapid conversion of certain bank liabilities into regulatory capital.

What’s a “bank liability”? Your deposits.

7: FATCA

Have you considered why the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act was passed into law? It was supposed to crack down on tax evaders and collect unpaid tax revenue.
However, the result of FATCA keeps US savers trapped in US banks and in the US dollar, where the US could implement a Cyprus-like bail-in. Given the debt load in the US and given statements made by government officials, this seems like a reasonable conclusion to draw.

Source>http://www.caseyresearch.com/articles/the-single-most-important-strategy-most-investors-ignore-1

Christine Lagarde – The Most Dangerous Woman in the World – IMF Advocates Taking Pensions & Extending Maturities of Gov’t Debt to Prevent Redemption

image The new IMF proposal led with Christine Lagarde: Debt cuts for over-indebted states are to be performed more effectively in future by defaulting on retirement accounts held in life insurance, mutual funds and other types of pension schemes, or arbitrarily extending debt perpetually so you cannot redeem.

The new IMF paper describes in great detail exactly how to now allow the private sector, which has invested in government bonds, to be expropriated to pay for the national debts of the socialist governments.

The IMF working paper from December 2013 states boldly:

“The distinction between external debt and domestic debt can be quite important. Domestic debt issued in domestic currency typically offers a far wider range of partial default options than does foreign currency–denominated external debt. Financial repression has already been mentioned; governments can stuff debt into local pension funds and insurance companies, forcing them through regulation to accept far lower rates of return than they might otherwise demand.”

Already in October 2013, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), suggested the Euro Crisis should be handled by raising taxes.

The IMF lobbied for a property tax in Europe that should be imposed where there are no such taxes.

The IMF has advocated for a general “debt tax” in the amount of 10 percent for each household in the Eurozone, which also has only modest savings.

The money people have saved, the IMF maintains should be used for debt service by sheer force.

To reduce the enormous national debt, they maintain that government has the right to directly usurp the savings of citizens. Whether saving money, securities or real estate, about ten percent could be expropriated. This is the IMF view.

Because the government debt of the euro countries has increased a total of well over 90 percent of gross domestic product, they suggest that the people should sacrifice their savings for the benefit of the state.

Socialism is no longer to help the poor against the rich, but to help the government against the people. The definition has changed.

In January 2014, the Bundesbank joined the IMF project focusing on a “wealth tax”. In its monthly report they had announced:

“In the exceptional situation of an imminent state bankruptcy a one-time capital levy could but cheaper cut than the then still relevant options”

if higher taxes or drastic limitations of government spending did not meet, or could not be implemented.

In the latest June 2014 working paper of the IMF, they have set forth yet another scheme – extending maturity;

So you bought a 2 year note?
Well, the IMF possible solution would be to simply extend the maturity.
Your 2 year note now become 20 year bond.
They do not default, you just can never redeem.

Possible remedy. The preliminary ideas in this paper would introduce greater flexibility into the 2002 framework by providing the Fund with a broader range of potential policy responses in the context of sovereign debt distress, while addressing the concerns that motivated the 2002 framework.

Specifically, in circumstances where a member has lost market access and debt is considered sustainable, but not with high probability, the Fund would be able to provide exceptional access on the basis of a debt operation that involves an extension of maturities (normally without any reduction of principal or interest).

Such a “reprofiling” operation, coupled with the implementation of a credible adjustment program, would be designed to improve the prospect of securing sustainability and regaining market access, without having to meet the criterion of restoring debt sustainability with high probability.

Now the June 2014 report has a new, far-reaching proposal.
This shows how lawyers think in technical definitions of words. There is no actual default if they extend the maturity.

You could buy 30-day paper in the middle of a crisis and suddenly find under the IMF that 30 day note is converted to 30 year bond at the same rate!?

More from Martin Armstrong post here

Argentina said we cannot afford to make the next bond payment, due June 30

First it was Austria declaring it never guaranteed the debt, and then France announcing 60% of their debt is illegal, and now Argentina cannot repay its debt.

Do we see a trend here?
Will bank accounts & pension funds get raided by the now legal Bail-In policy, to save the bond holders?

Uncertainty about the government’s strategy pushed Argentine stocks down about 3.5 percent in Thursday trading.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Wednesday that Argentina can’t continue to pay creditors who agreed to restructure their bonds after its 2001-02 default on $100 billion in debt unless it also pays $1.33 billion to the holdouts demanding full payment.

President Cristina Fernandez’s leftist government has until now refused to pay the holdouts and says the court rulings make it impossible to meet the next payment to holders of restructured debt…

Link to Reuters: http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/06/19/us-argentina-debt-idUSKBN0ET1RK20140619

image

Austria starts the Default Once Again?

INTERVIEW MIT JUSTIZMINISTER WOLFGANG BRANDSTETTER

Austria has just cancelled the sovereign guarantee of one of its states -Kärnten- on the outstanding Hypo Alpe Aria Bank debt.

The “Minister of Justice” Wolfgang Brandstetter said to the Press: “One could have never believed in the sovereign guarantee…Every bigger investor should have known that a 25 bn € guarantee taken by an annual state budget of 2 bn € can never work …”

Source: Posted by Martin Armstrong

Abenomics: Sales Collapse, Inflation Soars, Income Negative

Even the soothsayers and Abenomics spin doctors expected a downdraft after Japan’s consumption tax was jacked up to 8% from 5%, effective April 1st. But not this.

The tax hike had been pushed through parliament by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s predecessor. It was supposed to save Japan. But no one wants to pay for government spending.

Japan is in terrible fiscal trouble. Half of every yen the government spends is borrowed, now printed by the Bank of Japan. Expenditures can’t be cut, apparently, and government handouts to Japan Inc. had to be increased. Yet something had to be done to keep the gargantuan deficit from blowing up the machinery altogether, and it was done to those who spend money.

But here is the thing: money that people and companies keep in the bank earns nearly nothing, and even a crappy 10-year Japanese Government Bond yields less than 0.6% per year.

But if buyers frontloaded major purchases by a few months or even a year to beat the consumption-tax increase – buying that refrigerator or heavy-duty truck a year earlier than they normally would, for example – they’d save 3% of the purchase amount. That’s pure income. And tax-free for individuals. The biggest no-brainer in Japanese financial history.

Every company and individual frontloaded whatever was sufficiently practical and substantive, and whatever they could afford. It started late last year and culminated in the January-March quarter. As a result, GDP soared at an annual rate of 5.9%, a phenomenal accomplishment for Japan.

The Japanese have been through this before. Ahead of the prior consumption-tax hike from 3% to 5% effective April 1, 1997, consumers and businesses went on a buying binge of big-ticket items. The economy boomed for a couple of quarters, then woke up with a terrific hangover as spending on durables by businesses and consumers ground to a halt, and the economy skittered into a nasty recession that lasted a year and a half!

The Ministry of Economics, Trade, and Industry just released a dose of reality. Total retail sales in April plunged 19.8% from March and were down 4.4% year over year. But this includes sales of perishable and small items not suited for frontloading, and convenience-store sales (which rose a smidgen). In stores where people buy durable goods, such as appliances, watches, or cars, sales were awful.

At “large retailers,” sales swooned 25.0% from March and 5.4% year over year. At supermarkets, where people also buy some durable goods, sales fell 3.9% year over year – people even stocked up on non-perishable food and beverages. At department stores, where people buy jewelry, designer clothing, or French purses, sales fell 10.6% year over year. It wasn’t just retail. Sales between businesses – nearly 2.5 times the value of retail sales – plunged 20.4% from March and 3.7% year over year. In short, it was the largest decline in sales since March 2011, when the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami that killed over 19,000 people, brought commerce to a near-standstill.

Those sales were in prices that had been inflated by 3%. That tax-hike money doesn’t stay with the seller but is turned over to the government. In actual merchandise sales, the scenario is 3 percentage points worse. So sales at, for example, large retailers on a comparable basis dropped 28%, not 25%.

At the end of January, the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA) forecast that passenger and commercial vehicle sales would dive 9.8% in fiscal 2014, to 4.85 million units, the lowest since earthquake year 2011. JAMA’s prediction was pooh-poohed as catastrophist.

Turns out, the good people at JAMA are optimists; vehicle sales got demolished in April. As measured by registrations, all categories plunged: new cars, including minis (cars with tiny 500cc engines) -56.0% from March; trucks of all sizes, including minis -54.0%; and total vehicles sales, retail and commercial, cars, trucks, and buses -55.9%, from 783,384 units in March to 345,226 units in April.
It was the worst performance since December 2012 (December being historically the weakest month of the year in Japan) when the economy was still suffering from the aftershocks of the earthquake nine months earlier.
Here is the chart of that epic collapse in total vehicle sales:

image Most of the vehicles sold in Japan are made in Japan – despite decades of screaming by US automakers, which have yet to get their foot in the door. This means production schedules are going to get cut, hours will be reduced, component purchases will be whittled down…. It has already happened.

In April, production was cut by 18% to 770k units, including export units, which are doing well. And the whole chain reaction of a large complex manufacturing sector slowing down will worm its way into the statistics over the coming months. Same as in 1997.

The slowdown will add to the slowdown already underway in business and consumer spending on durable goods. And all the hype about the phenomenal January-March quarter and how Abenomics was performing miracles, and how consumers were finally starting to spend is already turning into furious spin-doctoring as economists are fanning out to explain that this time, it’ll be different, that April was just a blip, that all this frontloading won’t lead to a long recession, as it did last time.

And on May 30, the hapless Japanese consumers woke up to find out officially what they’d already figured out on their own: inflation in April had soared 3.4% for all items from a year earlier, with goods prices up a dizzying 5.2%. But their incomes have been stagnating.

The wrath of Abenomics is slamming them: inflation without compensation. Inflation mongers will be ecstatic, but this can’t possibly be good for the Japanese people, or the economy.

Have you reviewed your financial strategy lately?
If you have not contacted me yet for an independent financial consultation, what’s taking you so long?

Adrian.rowles@dv-p.com

Source to whole article; http://www.testosteronepit.com/home/2014/5/30/the-wrath-of-abenomics-sales-collapse-inflation-soars.html

Massive BOJ-Buying Silences JGB Market

On Monday, the newest 10-year Japanese government bond — the yield on which is used as a benchmark for bank loans and a barometer of trust in government finances — didn’t trade even once.

Traders say it is another sign of how the Bank of Japan’s massive bond buying program has silenced the market.

If the 10-year JGB goes a full 24 hours without being traded, it will be the first time since Dec. 26, 2000, according to the Japan Bond Trading Co., which publishes rates.
That seems likely, since most investors close their books at 3 p.m. Tokyo time.

image

Link Massive BOJ-Buying Silences JGB Market !! 

Banking Union Time Bomb: Eurocrats Authorize Bailouts AND Bail-Ins

The confiscation of depositor funds
The real story for taxpayers and depositors is the heightened threat to their pocketbooks of a deal that now authorizes both bailouts and “bail-ins”

The Unsettled Question of Deposit Insurance;
But at least, you may say, it’s only the uninsured deposits that are at risk (those over €100,000—about $137,000). Right?

Not necessarily.
According to ABC News, “Thursday’s result is a compromise that differs from the original banking union idea put forward in 2012. The original proposals had a third pillar, Europe-wide deposit insurance. But that idea has stalled.”

Two pillars are now in place” – two but not the third.
And two are not enough to protect the public.

As observed in The Economist in June 2013, without Europe-wide deposit insurance, the banking union is a failure…

WEB OF DEBT BLOG

As things stand, the banks are the permanent government of the country, whichever party is in power.

 – Lord Skidelsky, House of Lords, UK Parliament, 31 March 2011)

On March 20, 2014, European Union officials reached an historic agreement to create a single agency to handle failing banks. Media attention has focused on the agreement involving the single resolution mechanism (SRM), a uniform system for closing failed banks. But the real story for taxpayers and depositors is the heightened threat to their pocketbooks of a deal that now authorizes both bailouts and “bail-ins” – the confiscation of depositor funds. The deal involves multiple concessions to different countries and may be illegal under the rules of the EU Parliament; but it is being rushed through to lock taxpayer and depositor liability into place before the dire state of Eurozone banks is exposed.

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