Guest post via Gold Silver Worlds.
A remarkable event has taken place in the gold and silver markets in the past two days. It didn’t go unnoticed to anyone following these markets. The gold and silver mining shares have been sold off hard. The drop was out of proportion and did not reflect the actions in the stock market nor in the metals. The fact that the miners have been leading bullion up since August, raises the question if this marks a structural shift in the direction of the shares and the metals, or if both assets will start moving separately in the coming weeks and months.
This article explains the answers on these questions based on the gold cycle analysis. It is an excerpt from The Financial Tap, a service specialized in cycle research (for more detailed insights, readers are invited to consider a free 15-day trial). In a nuthsell: the author is worried about the mining shares but is quite bullish on the metals.
Guest post by Azizonomics.
While the missiles, planes and rockets fly over Gaza and Israel, both Hamas and theIsraeli government have been engaged in a battle of social media. It is a battle to shape the perceptions of the rest of the world.
The IDF appears so far to have the upper hand in terms of social media, having notched up 143,000 followers on Twitter, although Hamas’ al-Qassam Brigades are in swift pursuit having just climbed above 20,000 followers.
Yet to view this as a simple conflict between Hamas and Israel is too superficial. It ignores the history and the context. This is a much bigger and broader tapestry.
Israel‘s escalating air attacks on Gaza follow the depressingly familiar pattern that shapes this conflict. Overwhelming Israeli force slaughters innocent Palestinians, including children, which is preceded (and followed) by far more limited rocket attacks into Israel which kill a much smaller number, rocket attacks which are triggered by various forms of Israeli provocations — all of which, most crucially, takes place in the context of Israel’s 45-year-old brutal occupation of the Palestinians (and, despite a “withdrawal” of troops, that includes Gaza, over which Israel continues to exercise extensive dominion). The debates over these episodes then follow an equally familiar pattern, strictly adhering to a decades-old script that, by design at this point, goes nowhere.
And Michael Chussudovsky writes:
On November 14, Hamas military commander Ahmed Jabari was murdered in a Israeli missile attack. In a bitter irony, barely a few hours before the attack, Hamas received the draft proposal of a permanent truce agreement with Israel.
“Hours before Hamas strongman Ahmed Jabari was assassinated, he received the draft of a permanent truce agreement with Israel, which included mechanisms for maintaining the cease-fire in the case of a flare-up between Israel and the factions in the Gaza Strip.”(Haaretz, November 15, 2012)
F-16 fighter planes, Apache helicopters and unmanned drones were deployed. Israeli naval forces deployed along the Gaza shoreline were involved in extensive shelling of civilian targets.
Latest from Bloomberg Law.
Big changes may be in store for Google. The tech giant was given an ultimatum by FTC Chairman Jonathan Leibowitz to settle its pending antitrust probe in the coming days or face a lawsuit, sources tell Bloomberg News. The agency has been investigating Google for almost two years for favoring its own services in search results, providing exclusive search services to online publishers and a whole host of other issues. If it chooses to file a complaint, the FTC can do so in either its own administrative court or the Federal court system.
Next, voters in Colorado and Washington legalized marijuana for recreational use last week, but the federal government still bans the drug. So what to do? State AGs from Washington and Colorado are meeting with US Attorney General Eric Holder’s office to see if the federal government plans to sue to block the measures. Does the federal law trump the state pot measures? We wouldn’t be surprised to see the issue eventually end up in court.
Finally, more big firms are feeling the urge to merge. On Wednesday, the UK’s Norton Rose announced it is merging with U.S. firm Fulbright & Jaworski, creating a 3,800-attorney firm with 55 offices worldwide. It’s not the first time Fulbright has considered a merger. Earlier this year, it was reportedly in talks with Pillsbury Winthrop. And it’s the second major cross-border merger announced in as many weeks. Last week, SNR Denton announced a three-way merger with Canadian and European firms, creating a 2,500-lawyer conglomeration.
Full video below.
Spain has a few choices in order to start dealing with the pain the country is experiencing. None of the choices look very attractive, but something must be done in order to start fixing the economy. Mr Rajoy, what u gonna do? Via the think tank Carnegie Europe
In the great debate over the economy we sometimes forget the simple arithmetic of economic rebalancing. This arithmetic, like it or not, severely limits the options open to Spain.
For many years, thanks partly to bad policies in Spain but mainly to aggressive attempts by Germany to achieve growth by forcing a trade surplus onto its European neighbors, Spain, and many other countries in Europe, ran enormous trade deficits. It is easy and popular to blame the greed of the Spanish and the stupidity of the government for the mess in which Spain has found itself, but the policies Germany put into place in the late 1990s guaranteed that Germany, a country that had run massive trade deficits in the 1990s, would run equally massive trade surpluses in the subsequent decade.
Guest post by Doug Short.
I’ve updated the charts below through today’s close. The S&P 500 is now 7.66% off its interim high set on September 14th, the day after QE3 was announced. We’re still above the 10% correction benchmark. The 10-year note closed today at 1.58, which is 30 basis points off its interim high of 1.88, also set the day after QE3 was announced. The historic closing low was 1.43 on July 25th. But the big news today is Freddie Mac’s Weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey. The 30-year fixed has set an all-time low of 3.34 percent.
Are yields heading lower? If the post-election selloff in equities continues, the 10-year yield could certainly revisit the levels of late July. Japan is an example (admittedly an extreme one) of a developed nation with its own currency that has experienced a relentless demand for government bonds, as this chart illustrates. Currently Japan’s 10-year yield is around 0.75, less than half that if its US counterpart.
Here is a snapshot of selected yields and the 30-year fixed mortgage one week after the Fed announced its latest round of Quantitative Easing.
Guest post by Peter Tchir.
State of the High Yield Market
The ETF’s and Closed End Funds are attracting a lot of attention. Redemptions and poor performance in the past few days have caught a lot of people’s attention. It also sounds like it is hitting traditional mutual funds. It is worth looking at.
Unmitigated Disaster in Closed End Funds
Here is the craziest closed end fund I know of. The PHK fund was down 26% since its peak but still trades at a premium of 27%. I have never understood why people pay such a premium for a fixed income fund, and never will. To me it is completely irrelevant what this fund does, except as a sentiment for the least thoughtful retail investors. We saw steep declines in other closed end funds. Most had been trading at premium and are back to about intrinsic value. With the leverage they use and small market cap I rarely follow them, but the size of the move is worth looking at.
Even the leveraged loan closed end funds got hit hard. They are still at a premium but seeing drops of 3% to 5%. That is far in excess of the two day drop of BKLN which has had a 1% drop. The leverage and premium explain a lot of that additional drop.
A few points on risk and size by Golem XIV.
People always say Follow the Money. You might do better to Follow the Risk.
Risk is the pollution created by the process of making money. So where you find people making one you will surely find them hiding the other. You’ll find both at the banks.
Banks have managed to convince the regulatory authorities – their regulatory authorities, and I use the word ‘their’ advisedly – to convinced them to count the creation and storing of risk as part of the banks contribution to the nation’s GDP. I wrote about how our governments count risk creation and storage of as part of the bank’s GVA (Gross Value Added) in What the Banks Contribute to GDP. Our government’s reasoning is that risk is an unavoidable by-product of the financial industry so the industry should get credit for dealing with the stuff. But imagine counting the creation and storage of radioactive waste as part of the value added of the nuclear industry? Would it not seem perverse to celebrate increases in the amount of waste being stored and see it as evidence of what a wonderful industry it was, rather than ask why they produced so much in the first place? Would it not seem odd to talk glowingly (sorry) of the increases in radiation levels being stored, and reward the industry accordingly, rather than ask if there might not be a safer, less radioactive way of generating power? It seems to me this is the situation we are in with banking.
People are obsessed with the Euromess and the Fiscal Cliff. What about Japan? A few reflections via Caixin Online.
Every time I come to Japan to attend a conference, I am reminded of what a depression looks like in the 21st century. This time is no different: shops are not busy, restaurant owners wait anxiously outside for customers and are usually disappointed, empty taxi cabs roam the streets. Two decades after its property bubble began to deflate, Japan remains mired in deflation and contraction.
The economic statistics tell the horror story best. Japan’s nominal GDP in 2011 was 9 percent lower than in 2007 and 2.5 percent lower than in 1992! In 1992, the national debt was only 20 percent of GDP. It is now 230 percent. Essentially, 200 percent of GDP in fiscal stimulus hasn’t turned the economy around.
The depression dynamic begins with declining incomes. People then spend less to cope. Shops and restaurants become emptier. The weak demand depresses business profitability and investment. The former depresses the stock market, and the latter labor income. Both pressure people to spend even less.
Few people pay attention to Japan’s problems nowadays. Financial markets pay a lot of attention to the United States’ economic problems. But its nominal GDP rose 7 percent between 2007 and 2011 and is likely to rise another 4 percent in 2012. Japan could at best achieve zero growth in nominal GDP in 2012. The performance gap between the United States and Japan is 20 percent in nominal GDP since 2007. America’s national debt has doubled since 2007 and reached 100 percent of GDP in 2012. Its trend isn’t sustainable either. But Japan’s debt problem is more advanced in depth. Its debt crisis should occur before the United States’.