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Bank of Japan & the Bond Crisis

Bank of Japan & the Bond Crisis 

BoJ Statement 4-24-2019

The Great Financial Unknown is now upon us. After 10 years of Quantitative Easing, the European Central Bank (ECB) in Europe owns 40% of the national debts in the EU and it can neither sell them nor stop buying without creating a Panic in Interest Rates. Likewise, the Bank of Japan (BoJ) owns between 70% and 80% of the ETF bond market in Japan. The Bank of Japan confirmed it is ending free market determination of interest rates for the municipal level and that they “will not require any procedures such as auction as the method of determining lending conditions.”  today it may introduce a lending facility for its exchange-traded fund buying program, which would allow it to temporarily lend ETFs to market participants.

4. Introduction of Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF) Lending Facility
The Bank will consider the introduction of ETF Lending Facility, which will make it possible
to temporarily lend ETFs that the Bank holds to market participants.

The statement at the end of the announcement on the last page on its monetary policy has left traders in shock. This appears that the BoJ realizes that it now effectively has destroyed its bond market and realizes that there is not only the end of a free market, but there is a contagion of surrounding lack of liquidity.

We have never before in the history of human society ever witnessed such a major financial crisis. The BoJ makes it clear it will continue its policy of Quantitative Easing. It stated plainly:

The Bank will continue with “Quantitative and Qualitative Monetary Easing (QQE) with
Yield Curve Control,” aiming to achieve the price stability target of 2 percent, as long as it is
necessary for maintaining that target in a stable manner.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Still Snowing in the Heart of America – The Longer Winter & Shorter Summer Cycle

Still Snowing in the Heart of America – The Longer Winter & Shorter Summer Cycle 

COMMENT: Well you said this winter would be long and the summer shorter. It is still snowing here in the heart of America. It looks like your computer is correct again. Instead of funding research for billion dollars to pretend there is global warming, they should just subscribe to Socrates. Would save a heap of money.

RG

REPLY: Of course you are right. However, the hand out billion grants so they can get studies to justify raising taxes to bring in $100 billion. They are not interested in the actual reliable forecast. There is no juice in that for them. They want more revenue. Unfortunately, if this summer is also short and winter returns rapidly in the fall, buy some electric-underwear. We are in for colder periods ahead into 2024.

Global Government and Mass Surveillance May Be Needed to Save Humanity, Expert Says

Global Government and Mass Surveillance May Be Needed to Save Humanity, Expert Says

A prominent Oxford philosopher who is known for making terrifying predictions about humanity has a new theory about our future, and it isn’t pretty.

Over 15 years ago, Nick Bostrom, author of Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies, made the case that we are all living in a Matrix-like computer simulation run by another civilization.

Here’s a summary of that theory, explained by Vox:

In an influential paper that laid out the theory, the Oxford philosopher Nick Bostrom showed that at least one of three possibilities is true: 1) All human-like civilizations in the universe go extinct before they develop the technological capacity to create simulated realities; 2) if any civilizations do reach this phase of technological maturity, none of them will bother to run simulations; or 3) advanced civilizations would have the ability to create many, many simulations, and that means there are far more simulated worlds than non-simulated ones. (source)

Will humanity eventually be destroyed by one of its own creations?

If you find the idea of living in a computer simulation that is run by unknown beings troubling, wait until you hear Bostrom’s latest theory.

Last Wednesday, Bostrom took the stage at a TED conference in Vancouver, Canada, to share some of the insights from his latest work, “The Vulnerable World Hypothesis.”

While speaking to head of the conference, Chris Anderson, Bostrom argued that mass surveillance could be one of the only ways to save humanity – from a technology of our own creation.

His theory starts with a metaphor of humans standing in front of a giant urn filled with balls that represent ideas. There are white balls (beneficial ideas), grey balls (moderately harmful ideas), and black balls (ideas that destroy civilization). The creation of the atomic bomb, for instance, was akin to a grey ball — a dangerous idea that didn’t result in our demise.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Iran Warns False Flag “Accident” Could “Lure” Trump Into War

Iran Warns False Flag “Accident” Could “Lure” Trump Into War

Following US declarations that Washington and its allies intend to take Iranian crude exports down to “zero” by cancelling waivers previously granted to eight nations, tensions are now soaring over the Strait of Hormuz, with Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) attempting to lay down the law amid fears the US Navy could move to block Iran’s access, given the IRGC’s new terror designation. 

On Wednesday Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said if the US intends to pass through the Persian Gulf’s vital choke point — the waterway’s narrowest strait routinely patrolled by Iran’s military — it must dialogue with those who defend it”Sharif’s wordswere essentially a provocative declaration that the US military must ask Tehran’s “permission” to enter the strait. However, he elsewhere explained that he doesn’t believe that President Trump wants war with Iran, but that he could be “lured into one” by his more hawkish advisers. Image via Mehr News Agency

Iran’s foreign minister on Wednesday warned the United States of unspecified “consequences” if it tried to seal off to Tehran the Strait of Hormuz, the strategic passage into the oil-rich Gulf. — Channel News Asia

“I don’t think he wants war,” Zarif said in an interview at the Iranian mission to the UN in New York, according to Reuters“But that doesn’t exclude him being basically lured into one.”

“Those who have designed the policies that are being pursued do not simply want a negotiated solution. But let me make it clear that Iran is not seeking confrontation, but will not escape defending itself,” Zarif said further.

The Iranian foreign minister also interestingly suggested the possibility that American operatives or their allies could try “to plot an accident” to create a broader crisis, in perhaps a continued cryptic reference to tensions in the Persian Gulf over the Strait of Hormuz.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Economic Iliad & Odyssey

Economic Iliad & Odyssey 

The term “iliad” in Greek mean a series of miseries or disastrous events and “Odyssey” meant a long wandering or voyage usually marked by many changes of fortune. Welcome to the Economic Iliad & Odyssey. What we are facing is truly extraordinary. There is absolutely NO economic theory from Adam Smith to Keynes that ever addressed negative interest rates no less sustaining such a trend. There have been four major players who ventured into the negative interest rates territory but the disasters of this policy in Europe and Japan were implemented in hopes to stimulating the economy. In the case of Switzerland, they were seeking to prevent capital flowing into the Swiss franc as a safe-haven.

We are now on the threshold of the most PROFOUND economic event which has never before in history ever taken place. This is where opinion becomes worthless. All we can do is approach this on a collective basis internationally and without bias.

Next Stop On The War Train – Iran, Venezuela Or North Korea?

Next Stop On The War Train – Iran, Venezuela Or North Korea?

If you learn one rule about how governments function today, it should be that political leaders are usually puppets and the real decision makers are almost never out in the open. The questions is, how does one know for certain that this is the case with a specific leader? His rhetoric might be compelling, he probably knows every buzzword to spark your interest, and he might even throw you some legislative scraps from the political table every once in a while to make you think that he’s going to follow through on his campaign promises, but does he actually believe in the principles he originally championed?

The litmus test for any US president is to examine the type of people he invites into his house. Who does he surround himself with? The cabinet is the president’s constant companion and decision making team. The cabinet is looking over his shoulder and influencing everything he does. If you want to find who is pulling the strings of a president, this is a good place to start.

Once you identify the major players in the cabinet, it’s important to discern what they want. What goals are they trying to squeeze out of a first or second term in the White House? What is the geopolitical or social trend they are creating through their influence? This should not be hard to read…

The problem with our current president, Donald Trump, is not that he is very different from previous presidents, but that he is very similar to them in many ways. While conservatives that voted for Trump did so most of all in the hopes that he would follow through on his promise to “drain the swamp”, he has instead been actively filling the swamp with ever more slimy and parasitic creatures.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Assange’s Imprisonment Reveals Even More Corruption Than WikiLeaks Did

Assange’s Imprisonment Reveals Even More Corruption Than WikiLeaks Did

Consortium News has launched a new series titled “The Revelations of WikiLeaks”, geared toward helping readers come to a full appreciation of just how much useful information the outlet has made available to the world with its publications. Which is good, because there’s a whole lot of it. Understanding everything that WikiLeaks has done to shine light in areas that powerful people wish to keep dark makes it abundantly clear why powerful people would want to dedicate immense amounts of energy toward sabotaging it.

What’s even more interesting to me right now, though, is that if you think about it, the completely fraudulent arrest and imprisonment of Julian Assange arguably exposes more malfeasance by government and media powers than than what has been revealed in all WikiLeaks publications combined since its inception. And we can use that as a weapon in waking the world up to the dystopian manipulations of the powerful, in the same way we can use WikiLeaks publications.

Really, think about it. Thanks to WikiLeaks we know about a military cultural environment in the Iraq war that was toxic enough to give rise to US servicemen merrily gunning down civilians, including two Reuters war correspondents, while whooping and exchanging verbal high-fives. We know that the CIA cultivated a massive cyber-arsenal which enables them to spy through smartphones and smart TVs, remotely hijack vehicles, and forge digital fingerprints on cyber-intrusions to make it look to forensic investigators as though hackers from another nation was responsible, and that they lost control of this arsenal. 

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Thousands Of Amazon Alexa Eavesdroppers Can Also Access Users’ Home Addresses

Thousands Of Amazon Alexa Eavesdroppers Can Also Access Users’ Home Addresses

Bloomberg has it in for Amazon these days.

Two weeks after we finally got confirmation what everyone had known for so long, namely that an internal Amazon team numbering in the thousands was secretly listening in to Alexa users’ commands without their prior knowledge, Bloomberg reported that the same team also has access to location data and can easily find a customer’s home address.

Citing five (supposedly former) employees familiar with the program, Bloomberg writes that the covert “Alexa team”, which is spread across three continents, and transcribes, annotates and analyzes a portion of the voice recordings picked up by Alexa, “to help Amazon’s digital voice assistant get better at understanding and responding to commands”, also has access to Alexa users’ geographic coordinates and can easily type them into third-party mapping software and find home residences, according to the employees (who signed nondisclosure agreements barring them from speaking publicly about the program, which apparently did not prevent them from speaking off the record with Bloomberg).

And while there has yet to be any evidence that Amazon employees have attempted to track down individual users, two members of the Alexa team who seem to have grown a coscience, expressed concern that Amazon which is fast becoming the world’s biggest monopoly across virtually every industry, was granting unnecessarily broad access to customer data that would make it easy to identify a device’s owner.

“Anytime someone is collecting where you are, that means it could go to someone else who could find you when you don’t want to be found,” said Lindsey Barrett, a staff attorney and teaching fellow at Georgetown Law’s Communications and Technology Clinic, who noted that location data is more sensitive than many other categories of user information. Widespread access to location data associated with Alexa user recordings “would set up a big red flag for me.”

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

She Wrote The Patriot Act. Her Next Job Is With Facebook

She Wrote The Patriot Act. Her Next Job Is With Facebook

Facebook announced Monday that Jennifer Newstead, a Trump appointee who served in the Department of Justice (DoJ) under President Bush, will join the social media company as General Counsel, supervising its global legal functions.

Newstead replaces Colin Stretch, who announced in 3Q18 that he will exit. Stretch will remain with Facebook through the transition phase, expected to be completed in the coming months.

“Jennifer is a seasoned leader whose global perspective and experience will help us fulfill our mission,” said Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer. “We are also truly grateful to Colin for his dedicated leadership and wise counsel over the past nine years. He has played a crucial role in some of our most important projects and has created a strong foundation for Jennifer to build upon.”

Newstead brings a terrifying history of lobbying and legislating for an Orwellian style of mass electronic surveillance of Americans.

The Hill explains she was credited with writing the controversial 2001 Patriot Act, a piece of legislation that stripped Americans of their First and Fourth Amendments in the name of fighting the War on Terror.

In a 2002 statement, Assistant Attorney General Viet Dinh described Newstead’s role in drafting the Patriot Act: “Her enhanced leadership duties and her excellent service on a range of issues — including helping craft the new U.S.A. Patriot Act to protect the United States against terror — have earned her this important distinction. She is first among equals.”

Congress enacted the Patriot Act in the wake of September 11, 2001 attacks, the Act expanded the scope of the government’s surveillance powers to investigate terrorism, organized crime, and drug trafficking. It allowed government investigators to use roving wiretaps and the ability to collect telephone records from US carriers.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Globalists Detail Short and Long Term Guidance for Further Centralisation of Powers

Globalists Detail Short and Long Term Guidance for Further Centralisation of Powers

During this month’s Spring Meetings in Washington DC, the IMF and World Bank held their annual Development Committee conference which looked at the economic outlook and potential risks for the global economy.

As is tradition, IMF head Christine Lagarde produced a written statement outlining several areas of priority. All of them were predicated on ‘reaching the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals‘. Whilst on paper the statement is geared towards emerging and developing countries, elements of it relate notably to western nations such as the United Kingdom, despite Britain being considered an advanced economy.

To explain, let’s first examine the stance taken on monetary policy:

In countries with elevated inflation or where exchange rate depreciations could trigger inflation pass-through, central banks should focus on containing inflation expectations (Angola, Argentina, Iran, Turkey). By contrast, monetary policy can be more accommodative where expectations are well anchored (Brazil, Indonesia).

In October 2018, a communique from the thirty-eighth meeting of the International Monetary and Financial Committee stated that where inflation was ‘close to or above target‘, central banks should tighten policy. On the opposite end of the scale, banks should ‘maintain monetary accommodation where inflation is below target‘.

As we have already seen since the 2016 EU referendum, the sustained fall in the value of sterling was according to the Bank of England ‘entirely‘ responsible for a subsequent spike in inflation. Doing what very few thought they would, the BOE raised interest rates in response – the first rise in over ten years. They then followed up with a second hike nine months later, with inflation remaining above the central bank’s mandate of 2%. …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…


PEPE ESCOBAR: War on Iran & Calling America’s Bluff

PEPE ESCOBAR: War on Iran & Calling America’s Bluff

Vast swathes of the West seem not to realize that if the Strait of Hormuz is shut down a global depression will follow, writes Pepe Escobar.

. . . . .

The Trump administration once again has graphically demonstrated that in the young, turbulent 21st century, “international law” and “national sovereignty” already belong to the Realm of the Walking Dead.

As if a deluge of sanctions against a great deal of the planet was not enough, the latest “offer you can’t refuse” conveyed by a gangster posing as diplomat, Consul Minimus Mike Pompeo, now essentially orders the whole planet to submit to the one and only arbiter of world trade: Washington.

First the Trump administration unilaterally smashed a multinational, UN-endorsed agreement, the JCPOA, or Iran nuclear deal. Now the waivers that magnanimously allowed eight nations to import oil from Iran without incurring imperial wrath in the form of sanctions will expire on May 2 and won’t be renewed.

View image on Twitter

View image on Twitter

President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iran deal upheld his highest obligation: to protect the safety and security of the American people. Why Iran sanctions are necessary: http://45.wh.gov/SUUPiW

The eight nations are a mix of Eurasian powers: China, India, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, Italy and Greece.

Apart from the trademark toxic cocktail of hubris, illegality, arrogance/ignorance and geopolitical/geoeconomic infantilism inbuilt in this foreign policy decision, the notion that Washington can decide who’s allowed to be an energy provider to emerging superpower China does not even qualify as laughable. Much more alarming is the fact that imposing a total embargo of Iranian oil exports is no less than an act of war.

Ultimate Neocon Wet Dream 

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Saudi Oil Minister: We Won’t Ramp Up Oil Production Soon

Saudi Oil Minister: We Won’t Ramp Up Oil Production Soon

Khalid al Falih

Saudi Arabia plans to stay within the limits of its ceiling under the OPEC+ production cut deal in May and will certainly not rush to ramp up production, although it would respond to customer needs if they want more oil, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said on Wednesday.

As the U.S. announced on Monday that it would be ending sanction waivers for all Iranian oil customers, the Trump Administration said that it “had extensive and productive discussions with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and other major producers to ease this transition and ensure sufficient supply.”

While the U.S. and President Trump appear certain that Saudi Arabia would compensate for Iranian losses, the Kingdom seems reluctant to start swiftly raising production before seeing actual figures for how much Iranian oil will actually be lost and how tight the market will be.

Saudi Arabia’s oil production in May is pretty much set and will differ “very little” from previous months, Reuters quoted al-Falih as saying in Riyadh today.

Last month, OPEC’s de facto leader and largest producer Saudi Arabia followed through its commitment from February to cut deeper and pump well below 10 million bpd in March. Saudi Arabia’s crude oil production dropped by a massive 324,000 bpd from February to stand at 9.794 million bpd in March—just as al-Falih had said the Kingdom would do. Saudi Arabia pumped around 9.8 million bpd in March, some 500,000 bpd below the 10.311-million-bpdcommitment in the OPEC+ deal.

Speaking today, al-Falih said, as carried by Reuters:

“Inventories are actually continuing to rise despite what is happening in Venezuela and despite the tightening of sanctions on Iran. I don’t see the need to do anything immediately.”

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Living With Integrity

Living With Integrity

It’s time to choose a new direction.

Every so often, our work in the premium side of PeakProsperity.com is deemed so important that our paying subscribers request we share it with the general public. Last week’s ‘Off The Cuff’ podcast received so many of these requests that we are releasing it to all here.

In last week’s Off The Cuff podcast, Chris delivered a very personal message about how we each decide to live our lives.

A growing number of people are watching the “prosperity” around them — record high asset prices, record-low unemployment, new technologies, etc — and yet feeling that we’re making the wrong trade-offs as a society. All that wealth is flowing into fewer and fewer pockets, ecosystems are faltering and an alarming number of species are dying off, depression rates (especially among the youth) are skyrocketing.

In short: there’s more money flowing around than ever, and yet we and the planet are becoming sicker and unhappier.

Why?

From Chris’ point of view, it comes down integrity. The modern human way of life lacks integrity as a guiding principle. For those of us who desire a better future, brining our actions into better alignment with our integrity is the path to true prosperity.

My ultimate diagnosis of what’s going on in the United States culture and a lot of Europe culture — probably in other cultures, but I can’t speak to them as well – it’s that they lack integrity. Now, integrity isn’t simply “Oh, I don’t lie”. Integrity means that your actions are for the greater good. Sometimes there are acts of integrity which actually are not optimal for you; they’re optimal for the larger society around you.

Integrity is thinking out seven generations. Integrity is saying that beauty matters in our life, and that when we take out a species, we’re taking away something extraordinarily beautiful.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The US Chamber of Commerce’s “New” Take on Climate Change

The US Chamber of Commerce’s “New” Take on Climate Change

Picture

The climate is changing, and humans are contributing to these changes. We believe that there is much common ground on which all sides of this discussion could come together to address climate change with policies that are practical, flexible, predictable, and durable.
                                                                                      — The US Chamber of Commerce

The US Chamber of Commerce, through its Global Energy Institute (GEI), recently announced the launch of a major new climate initiative called the American Energy: Cleaner, Strongercampaign. It’s admitted purpose is to “counter the Green New Deal (GND) with an energy innovation agenda…to persuade the public and Congressthat technology is better than regulation in addressing climate change.” (emphasis added).

In taking a swipe at the GND, the Chamber has handed its progressive Democratic authors and supporters a key victory—certainly something it had not intended to do.

Whatever the Green New Deal is or isn’t, the idea of it has accomplished what was thought Impossible just months ago–the admission by traditionally conservative deniers that climate change is real and needs to be acted upon now. The Chamber’s announcement boldly states inaction is not an option. The actions to be taken, however, remain matters of dogmatic ideological debate.

On its face, the Chamber’s call to action is a far cry from its 2017 policy priorities. Today climate change is on the minds of voters because it is on the lips of every Democrat in Congress, as well as those vying for the party’s presidential nomination. The Chamber’s newly announced campaign is an effort to remain relevant.


Not every Democrat has embraced the GND. All, however, have acknowledged that climate policy is one of the Party’s top three priorities going into the 2020 elections.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Wealth Bubble Leaves U.S. Economy in Uncharted Territory

wealth bubble

Wealth Bubble Leaves U.S. Economy in Uncharted Territory

There have been numerous signs that the U.S. is likely to go through another major recession at some point. And regardless of when or if a recession happens, it won’t change the fact that the U.S. economy is already in hot water.

At MarketWatch, the “hot water” is explained in terms of a U.S. “wealth bubble” that reveals a peculiar pattern:

Today the United States sits in the midst of the largest wealth bubble in post-World War II history, as measured by household net worth (or wealth) relative to gross domestic product. As I showed in detail recently in the Journal of Business Economics, only two other postwar bubbles come close, with peaks in 1999 and 2006, just prior to the tech stock crash and the Great Recession.

The largest wealth bubble (household net worth relative to GDP) is shown in a chart from the same article. (Shaded areas are recessions):

wealth bubble

As you can see at the bottom, the wealth bubble is “5 times the size” of the GDP.

But notice how the wealth bubble “pops” just before the 2000 and 2008 recessions. If you look at the end of the blue line, it appears the largest wealth bubble since World War II may already be popping.

Also notice how the green line dips before the 2000 tech stock “recession,” and the red line before the 2008 recession (caused mainly by subprime mortgages).

But according to the MarketWatch report, there’s another crucial detail to point out:

In both prior bubbles, the crashes led to a drop in the value of net worth to about 4 times GDP. Even that level remained high relative to prior history, since in no single quarter before 1998 had the household net worth-to-GDP ratio ever reached 4.0 or higher.

With that being said, according to the chart above:

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
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