Tyler Durden

Tyler Durden

ZeroHedges' Tyler Durden is the hero of Fight Club, the 1999 movie based on Chuck Palahniuk's novel that reflected Chuck's experience in the Cacophony Society Quote: "Goddamn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables, slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need. We’re the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War’s a spiritual war… our Great Depression is our lives. We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won’t. And we’re slowly learning that fact. And we’re very, very pissed off." --> see more about Tyler on snbchf

Articles by Tyler Durden

UBS Tells Managers They Can Hire 1 Employee For Every 5 Who Leave

Like the other lagging European investment banks (Deutsche and SocGen immediately spring to mind), UBS is resorting to the last resort of the embattled megabank CEO when shareholders are demanding higher profits ‘or else’. After a decade where UBS cut thousands of jobs in its investment bank unit, Sergio Ermotti is turning to one of the few business lines where fat can feasibly be cut: UBS’s once legendary asset-management business.

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Gold & Basel 3: A Revolution That Once Again No One Noticed

Real revolutions are taking place not on squares, but in the quiet of offices, and that’s why nobody noticed the world revolution that took place on March 29th 2019. Only a small wave passed across the periphery of the information field, and the momentum faded away because the situation was described in terms unclear to the masses.

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Rothschilds To Take Swiss Bank Private In 100 Million Francs Bid 

Benjamin de Rothschild’s family plans to take Swiss Bank Edmond de Rothschild (Suisse) S.A. private as it consolidates and simplifies the bank’s legal structure. According to Bloomberg,  Edmond de Rothschild Holding SA will acquire all publicly held Edmond de Rothschild (Suisse) bearer shares at 17,945 francs per share, a 6.7% premium to Tuesday’s closing price, in a deal worth about $100 million.

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Albert Edwards: Investors Should Brace For A World Of Negative Rates, 15percent Budget Deficits And Helicopter Money

Modern Money Theory, Jan 2004 - 2019

Eariler this week, when the San Fran Fed published a paper that suggested that the recovery would have been stronger if only the Fed had cut rates to negative, we proposed that this is nothing more than a trial balloon for the next recession/depression, one in which the Federal Reserve will seek affirmative “empirical evidence” that greenlights this unprecedented NIRPy step (in addition to QE of course).

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Swiss National Bank Suffers $15 Billion Loss On 2018 Market Rout

SNB US Stock Holdings, Jun 2014 - 2018

In the third quarter of 2018, the hedge fund known as the Swiss National Bank did something it had not done in years: it sold stocks. As we showed in November, the overall value of the SNB’s US listed long holdings rose by over $2 billion to $90 billion, but all of this was due to the price appreciation as the central bank sold around $7bn of equities in Q3. This compares to purchases during 1H18 of around $6bn.

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Hedge Funds, ETFs, Central Banks Suffer Billions In Losses On Apple

Biggest Losers

It wasn’t that long ago that Apple was the most beloved stock by the hedge fund community, and although in recent months the company’s popularity faded somewhat among the 2 and 20 crowd it is still one of the most popular names among the professional investing community. Which on a day that saw AAPL stock tumble as much as 10% is clearly bad news.

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For The First Time In 25 Years, China Has To Make A Choice Between External Stability And Growth

Current account balance and forecasts 2000-2020

Back in August 2 we reported of a historic event for China’s economy: for the first time in its modern history, China’s current account balance for the first half of the year had turned into a deficit. And while the full year amount was likely set to revert back to a modest surplus, it was only a matter of time before one of the most unique features of China’s economy – its chronic current account surplus – was gone for good.

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Swiss Banks Curb China Travel After UBS Banker Arrested

Asia HNW Population, 2010 - 2017

Two major Swiss banks imposed restrictions on staff travel to China after a UBS employee was detained in the country, underscoring the challenges of doing business in a country which is a mecca for banks eager to capture and manage (for a generous fee) the fastest growing fortunes in the world, yet are challenged by a regime that tramples over civil rights.

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Swiss Bank Freezes $5 Billion In Russian Money

USD/RUB, Monthly Jul 2018 - Aug 2018

For years, Russian oligarchs and robber barons seeking to park their “unsourced” capital offshore and away from the sticky fingers of the Kremlin, treated Swiss bank accounts (preferably anonymous) with their “no questions asked” customer policies as, well, Swiss bank accounts.

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Capital Controls Next? Lira Rebounds After Turkey Bank Regulator Limits FX Swap Operations

USD/TRY daily

In the first tentative step toward the final option available for Erdogan to halt the Lira’s accelerating collapse – which crashed as low as 7.2362 earlier after the Wellington FX open following the the Turkish president’s latest belligerent comments – namely capital controls, the Turkish Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency imposed a limit on the amount of foreign currency and lira swap and swap-like transactions, which are not to exceed 50% of the bank’s shareholder equity.

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The Swiss National Bank Now Owns $87.5 Billion In US Stocks After Q2 Tech Buying Spree

SNB US Stock Holdings, Jun 2014 - 2018

In the second quarter of 2018, one in which the global economy was shaken by the rapid escalation of Trump’s trade war, and in which central banks were one after another hinting at their own QE tapering and rate hiking intentions to follow in the Fed’s footsteps, what was really taking place was another central bank buying spree meant to boost confidence that things are now back to normal, using “money” that was freshly printed out of thin air, and spent to prop up risk assets around the world by recklessly buying stocks with no regard for price or cost.

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Goldman: You Are Asking The Wrong $1 Trillion Question

Annual US Share Buyback Activity, 2000 - 2018

After several months of heated market speculation, to Amazon’s chagrin the question of which stock would be the first to reach $1 trillion in market capitalization was answered when Apple reported strong Q2 results (which included $21 billion in stock buybacks) and its stock soared 9% this week, rising above the very round number and elevating its YTD gain to 23% (Amazon, with a market cap of just under $900 billion, will most likely be second).

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Credit Suisse: “Our Risk Appetite Index Is Near Panic”

Next Month, Another Mishap

Sure, it’s been a bad year for investors, with the S&P posting the smallest of gains in the first half (all of which thanks to tech stocks) after several hair-raising, monthly incidents including February’s vol-spike, April’s real yield scare, May’s Emerging Market massacre and June’s trade war fears as shown in the following Citi chart…

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How To Create Your Own Personal Gold Standard And Currency Reserve

Did you know that for 99.2% of recorded human history, money was backed by a gold standard? And only for the last 47 years has the world largely moved away from the gold standard. It is easy to feel like we are on top of the world in 2018. Technology has never been better or more easily accessible. The standard of living is rapidly rising.

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Bitcoin Soars Most In 3 Months, Back Above $6,000

BTC/USD, Daily Jun 2018

After crossing below $6,000 for the 4th time in a week yesterday, Bitcoin surged overnight – jumping by as much as 10% at one point, the most in 3 months. The 10% surge is a notable outlier after weeks of constant downward pressure, but we note it’s already fading modestly along with the rest of cryptos.

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China Vows Retaliation With “Same Scale, Intensity” To Any New US Tariffs

USD vs JPY

Trump’s aggressive trade war overtures and China’s initial retaliatory moves have spooked Wall Street over the past week and again on Monday, which helped drive down the Dow Jones by 459 points, with the Nasdaq Composite quickly approaching correction territory. And as the mass exodus continues out of Wall Street’s highest-flying stocks, trade war concerns are sparking political, regulatory and market challenges that could soon derail the global growth narrative for months or even years to come.

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The Latte Index: Using The Impartial Bean To Value Currencies

The Impartial Bean

Like any other market, there are many opinions on what a currency ought to be worth relative to others. With certain currencies, that spectrum of opinions is fairly narrow. As an example, for the world’s most traded currency – the U.S. dollar – the majority of opinions currently fall in a range from the dollar being 2% to 11% overvalued, according to organizations such as the Council of Foreign Relations, the Bank of International Settlements, the OECD, and the IMF.

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“Gnomes Of Zurich” In Panic As Saudi Corruption Crackdown Sparks Flood Of Money Laundering Inquiries

Zurich

There are two divergent views on the crackdown on corruption by Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), which led to the arrest and detention of 200 princes, ministers and former ministers. On one hand, it was a masterstroke which will earn political capital with the Saudi people and catalyse an Arab Spring in which MBS is a modernizing reformer who will liberalise Islam.

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Frustrated Investors File Lawsuits Against World’s Largest ICO

2 persons

ere’s the latest sign that the massively fraudulent ICO market is headed for a collapse. Tezos’s investors are still waiting to learn when they can expect to receive the digital tokens that they paid a premium for during the company’s record-setting crowdsale. But as reports of abuse, internal strife and outright embezzlement have surfaced in the press, three groups of angry investors have filed class action lawsuits accusing the company of fraud and securities violations.

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What Gives Cryptocurrencies Their Value

Number of Bitcoin Transactions

The value of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, just like any other kind of money, comes fundamentally from what you can do with it. As a follow up to What Backs Bitcoin, I want to dig into that value. The idea, which comes from Austrian economist Carl Menger, is that just as a shovel’s value comes from its ability to dig, a currency’s value comes from its ability to help you do two things: transactions and savings.

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Demographic Dysphoria: Swiss Village Offers Families Over $70,000 To Live There

Annual Population Growth, 1951 - 2041

Across the world, demographic dysphoria is taking shape, creating numerous headaches for governments. To avoid the next economic downturn, governments are searching for creative measures to increase population growth and deliver a sustainable economy. In Europe, a near decade of excessive monetary policy coupled with a massive influx of refugees have not been able to reverse negative population growth– first spotted in 2012.

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New Gold-Backed Debit Card Launched In Partnership With MasterCard

Mobile Phone

In recent years, there has been a major debate about the respective merits of gold versus Bitcoin, even though many, not all, gold bulls are also supporters of the latter. Gold advocates generally view favourably Bitcoin’s inherent characteristics of decentralisation, finite supply and ability to operate (so far) outside of the usual interference by western central banks.

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For The First Time Ever, The “1 percent” Own More Than Half The World’s Wealth: The Stunning Chart

Today Credit Suisse released its latest annual global wealth report, which traditionally lays out what has become the single biggest reason for the recent “anti-establishment” revulsion: an unprecedented concentration of wealth among a handful of people, as shown in Swiss bank’s infamous global wealth pyramid, an arrangement which as observed by the “shocking” political backlash of the past year, suggests that the lower ‘levels’ of the pyramid are increasingly unhappy about.

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Each Bitcoin Transaction Uses As Much Energy As Your House In A Week

Bitcoin

While Bitcoin bulls will probably never have it so good as they have in 2017, we wonder whether many of them have stopped to think about the environmental downside of this roaring bull market. After all, back in the dot.com boom, people had ideas about potential internet businesses, issued pieces of paper representing ownership and watched their prices go parabolic parabolic.

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The Swiss National Bank Now Owns A Record $88 Billion In US Stocks

Value of Swiss National Bank US Stock Holdings, Jun 2014 - Sep 2017

In the third quarter of 2017, one in which the global economy was supposedly undergoing an unprecedented “coordinated growth spurt”, and in which central banks were preparing to unveil their QE tapering intentions, in the case of the ECB, or raising rates outright, at the Fed, what was really taking place was another central bank buying spree meant to boost confidence that things are now back to normal, using “money” freshly printed out of thin air, and spent to prop up risk assets around the world by recklessly buying stocks with no regard for price or cost.

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The World’s Largest ICO Is Imploding After Just 3 Months

Tezos Change for October 2017

Earlier this summer, Tezos smashed existing sales records in the white-hot IPO market after the company’s pitch to build a better blockchain for cryptocurrencies made it one of the buzziest ICOs in the world. As we noted at the time, the company capitalized on that buzz by courting VC firms and other institutional investors with a $50 million token pre-sale. After the company opened up selling to the broader public, demand soared as investors greedily bought up tokens in spite of glitches that threatened to derail the sale early on.

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Swiss Flush $3 Million In Gold And Silver Down The Drain Every Year

Euro

When it comes to flushing valuables down the toilet, the Swiss are hardly “Austrians”, and appear to be equity-opportunity dumpers, whether it is fiat or hard money. Last month we reported that Switzerland was gripped in a mystery, after it was discovered that someone tried to flush $120,000 in €500 bills down the toilet in a bathroom close to a UBS bank vault as well as three nearby restaurants, which in turn clogged the local toilets requiring thousands of francs in plumbing repairs to unclog the pipes.

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Dollar Surge Continues Ahead Of Jobs Report; Europe Dips As Catalan Fears Return

CBOE VIX Gauge, 1990 - 2019

World stocks eased back from record highs and fell for the first time in eight days, as jitters about Catalonia’s independence push returned while bets on higher U.S. interest rates sent the dollar to its highest since mid August; S&P 500 futures were modestly in the red – as they have been every day this week before levitating to record highs – ahead of hurricane-distorted nonfarm payrolls data (full preview here). U.S. jobs report will also be released Friday with a speech on monetary policy by the New York Fed chief.

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Switzerland Tops World’s Most Competitive Countries Index (Yemen Least)

World's Most and Least Competitive Countries, 2017 - 2018

Something else ‘Murica is no longer #1 in… A recently released World Economic Forum report has found that the global economy is recovering well nearly a decade on from the start of the global financial crisis with GDP growth hitting 3.5 percent in 2017. The eurozone in particular is regaining traction with 1.9 percent growth expected this year. As Statista’s Niall McCarthy points out, the improvement in Europe’s economic fortunes can be seen in the report and the following infographic which shows that six European economies are among the world’s ten most competitive.

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Dollar & Stocks Jump; Bonds & Bullion Dump In Lowest Volatility September Ever

US Data Surprise Index, 2006 - 2017

It has now been 318 trading days since the S&P 500 suffered a 5% drawdown – the 4th-longest streak since 1928… So everything is awesome…BUT…US ‘hard’ economic data has not been this weak (and seen the biggest drop) since Feb 2009…Q3 Was a Roller-Coaster…Q3 was the 8th straight quarterly gain in a row for The Dow – the longest streak since Q3 1997.

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Here Are The Cities Of The World Where “The Rent Is Too Damn High”

Number of years to buy a flat

In ancient times, like as far back as the 1990s, housing prices grew roughly inline with inflation rates because they were generally set by supply and demand forces determined by a market where buyers mostly just bought houses so they could live in them. Back in those ancient days, a more practical group of world citizens saw their homes as a place to raise a family rather that just another asset class that should be day traded to satisfy their gambling habits.

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The Global Housing Bubble Is Biggest In These Cities

UBS Global Real Estate Bubble Index

Two years ago, when UBS looked at the world’s most expensive housing markets, it found that London and Hong Kong were the only two areas exposed to bubble risk.What a difference just a couple of years makes, because in the latest report by UBS wealth Management, which compiles the bank’s Global Real Estate Bubble Index, it found that eight of the world’s largest cities are now subject to a massive speculative housing bubble.

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How Much Space Does $1,500 Rent In The World’s ‘Most Magnetic’ Cities?

How Much Space Does $1,500 Rent In The World's 'Most Magnetic' Cities?

New Yorkers who wince every time they slip a $1,500 rent check under their super’s door should consider moving to Shanghai, or maybe Berlin. According to a new study published on RentCafe, $1,500 will buy you three times more space in Shanghai than in Los Angeles and twice as much in Frankfurt. Meanwhile, rents per square foot are five times higher in San Francisco than they are in Berlin.

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Is The Swiss National Bank A Fraud?

SNB Stock Price, 2010 - 2017

The price of shares in The Swiss National Bank is up 11 days in a row, soaring 150% in the last two months. That sounds like a ‘tulip’ bubble-like ‘fraud’… The SNB is up over 120% in Q3 so far – more than double ‘bubble’ Bitcoin…

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Fed’s Asset Bubbles Now At The Mercy Of The Rest Of The World’s Central Bankers

Value of SNB US Stock Holdings

“Like watching paint dry,” is how The Fed describes the beginning of the end of its experiment with massively inflating its balance sheet to save the world. As former fund manager Richard Breslow notes, however, Yellen’s decision today means the risk-suppression boot is on the other foot (or feet) of The SNB, The ECB, and The BoJ; as he writes, “have no fear, The SNB knows what it’s doing.”

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Swiss National Bank Bubble Regains Lead Over Bitcoin

Bitcoin and Swiss National Bank Stock

But as Bitcoin rebounded from its China challenges, it overtook The SNB once again as bubbliest bubble. However, a 13% spike in the share price of The Swiss National Bank today has put an end to that leaving the central bank back in first place among the melter-uppers…

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Swiss Mystery: Someone Keeps Flushing €500 Bank Notes Down The Toilet

While there are several comments one can make here, “dirty money”, “flush with cash” and “flushing money down the toilet” certainly coming to mind, perhaps the ECB was on to something when it warned that €500 “Bin Laden” bills (which it has since discontinued to print) tend to be used by criminals. The reason for … Continue reading »

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Boris Johnson Threatens To Resign If Theresa May “Goes Against His Brexit Demands”, Pound Rises

Boris Johnson

In confirmation that Theresa May’s upcoming Florence speech this Friday is not only what many have called “the most important day for Brexit since the referendum”, but also the most opaque, the Telegraph reports that UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson will resign as before the weekend if Theresa May veers towards a “Swiss-style” arrangement with the EU in her upcoming speech.

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One-Tenth Of Global GDP Is Now Held In Offshore Tax Havens

Mossack Fonseca

Accurately measuring the scope of global wealth inequality is a notoriously difficult undertaking – a fact that was brought to light last year when the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists published the Panama Papers, exposing clients of Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca.

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Forget Tulips & Bitcoin – Here’s The Real Bubble

Swiss National Bank, Jan 2016 - Sep 2017

While the broader market for Swiss stocks has risen modestly this year, one ‘entity’ has outperformed its peers by such a staggering margin, it has left bamboozled market experts struggling for an explanation. And that company is…the Swiss National Bank. The price of a share in Swiss National Bank in August rose above 3,000 francs ($3,143) for the first time, more than double the level of a year ago, and up 50% since mid-July, as the Financial Times noted in a story about its performance.

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Six Banks Join UBS’s “Utility Coin” Blockchain Project

Here’s a piece of news that the remaining human members of Wall Street’s FX sales and trading desks probably don’t want to hear. According to the Financial Times, six of the world’s largest banks have decided to join a blockchain project called “utility coin” that will allow banks to settle trades in securities denominated in different currencies without a money transfer.

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The Secret History Of The Banking Crisis

Accounts of the financial crisis leave out the story of the secretive deals between banks that kept the show on the road. How long can the system be propped up for? It is a decade since the first tremors of what would become the Great Financial Crisis began to convulse global markets. Across the world from China and South Korea, to Ukraine, Greece, Brexit Britain and Trump’s America it has shaken our economy, our society and latterly our politics.

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“Under Any Analysis, It’s Insanity”: What War With North Korea Could Look Like

Kim Jong-Un and Donald Trump

Now that the possibility of a war between the US and North Korea seems just one harshly worded tweet away, and the window of opportunity for a diplomatic solution, as well as for the US stopping Kim Jong-Un from obtaining a nuclear-armed ICBM closing fast, analysts have started to analyze President Trump’s military options, what a war between the US and North Korea would look like, and what the global economic consequences would be.

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Risk Off: Global Stocks Slide As “Fire And Fury” Results In “Selling And Fear”

Volatility Pops, August 08 2017

US futures are set for a sharply lower open (at least in recent market terms) following a steep decline in European stocks and a selloff in Asian shares, following yesterday’s sharp escalation in the war of words between the U.S. and North Korea. In a broad risk-off move U.S. Treasuries rose, the VIX surged above 12 overnight, while German bund futures climbed to the highest level in six weeks. The Swiss franc gained 1.2 percent to 1.1320 per euro its biggest daily advance since February 2015, while the yen surged as much as 0.8% against per euro, its strongest level in three weeks while gold rose.

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Winning: U.S. Crushes All Other Countries In Latest Obesity Study

Obesity among adults, 2015 or nearest year

When President Trump promised last fall that under a Trump administration America would “would win so much you’ll get tired of winning,” we suspect this is not what he had in mind. According to the latest international obesity study from the Organization For Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), America is by far the fattest nation in the world with just over 38% of the adult population considered ‘obese.’

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Swiss Banks Paid Out €1 Billion In Negative Interest Rates In The First Half

Investment Structure at the end of Q2 2017

Overnight, the Swiss National Bank disclosed the composition and breakdown of its FX reserves as of June 30. There were no notable changes, as the central bank kept most of its asset allocations unchanged from the previous quarter, with equities, government bonds and “other bonds”, at 20%, 68% and 12% respectively. There were also no shifts in the currency composition as shown in the table below.

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When Do We Know These Are Delusional Markets

Markets Cycle

Signs of complacency and disconnect from fundamentals abound. So to sanity check, it may still be helpful to periodically remind ourselves of a few recent ones. In no particular order. The Swiss National Bank bought $ 100bn between US and European stocks. It now owns 26 million Microsoft shares (read).

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Switzerland Opens Door To Bitcoin Asset-Management Business

Falcon Private Bank

Bitcoin and other cryptos have fallen sharply over the past month in a shakeout that saw some of the early longs decide to take their winnings and walk away. But a 20% drop from the all-time highs hasn’t done much to temper wealthy investors interest in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as alternative investments potentially worthy of diversification.

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Negative Rates: The New Gold Rush… For Gold Vaults

Negative interest rates and the populist uprising that spurred the UK to vote for Brexit and Americans to elect Trump has helped reignite a rush into physical safe haven assets like gold and silver, which however has led to a shortage of safe venues where to store the precious metals (unlike bitcoin, gold actually has a physical dimension).

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The Internet Helped Kill Inflation In America, Says Credit Suisse

Burkhard Varnhlot

Whether or not San Francisco Fed President John Williams is right about US inflation and employment being about as close to the central bank’s targets as investors have seen – as he told CNBC two days ago – is irrelevant: The central bank is going to raise interest rates two more times this year no matter what happens to consumer prices, says Credit Suisse Chief Investment Officer for Switzerland Burkhard Varnholt.

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How The US Government Let A Giant Bank Pin A Scandal On A Former Employee

UBS Zurich

The following is an excerpt from David Enrich’s nonfiction financial and legal thriller The Spider Network: The Wild Story of a Math Genius, a Gang of Backstabbing Bankers, and One of the Greatest Scams in Financial History. (Read part of the prologue here; another excerpt can be found here) This excerpt takes place shortly after the accused mastermind of the Libor scandal, Tom Hayes, is fired from his job at Citigroup, kicking government investigations into interest-rate-rigging into a higher gear.

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SocGen: Beware The Ghost Of 1993

The Vix is at its lowest level since 1993, Commodities and rates are dragging the AUD down

With Monday’s financial media blasting reports about the VIX collapse to levels not seen in 24 years, going all the way back to 1993, it is worth remembering that the near record low volatility collapse of 1993 did not end well either for stocks, or for bonds, with the great 1994 bond tantrum. Reminding us of that, and of broader implications for the cross-asset space, is SocGen’s Kit Juckes with his overnight note, “The ghost of 1993”

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“Mystery” Central Bank Buyer Revealed, Goes On Q1 Buying Spree

Nikkei 225 vs. BoJ ETF Holdings 2011-2017

In the first few months of the year, a trading desk rumor emerged that even as institutional traders dumped stocks and retail investors piled into ETFs, a “mystery” central bank was quietly bidding up risk assets by aggressively buying stocks. And no, it was not the BOJ: while the Japanese Central Bank’s interventions in the stock market are familiar to all by now, and as we reported last night on sessions when the “the BoJ comes in big, the average return on the [Nikkei] is about 14 basis points higher” with Nomura calculating that “the BoJ has provided a cumulative boost to the Nikkei of about 1,400 points”.

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These Are The Most Expensive (And Best) Cities Around The World

Cheap Date Index

Every year Deutsche Bank releases its fascinating index of real-time prices around the world which looks at the cost of goods and services from a purchase-price parity basis, to determine the most expensive – and in this year’s edition, best – cities. As have done on several occasions in the past, we traditionally focus on one specific subindex: the cost of & cheap dates in the world’s top cities.

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Where There’s Smoke…

Evolution of Atlanta Fed GDP, December 2016 - April 2017

Central banks around the world have colluded, if not conspired, to elevate and prop up financial asset prices. Here we’ll present the data and evidence that they’ve not only done so, but gone too far. When we discuss elevated financial asset prices we really are talking about everything; we’re talking not just about the sky-high prices of stocks and bonds, but also of the trillions of dollars’ worth of derivatives that are linked to them, as well as real estate in dozens of countries and locations.

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Life Expectancy Indicates A Nation’s Overall Well Being – So Why Is America’s Dropping?

‘Exceptional’ America is seriously lagging behind in global life expectancy… Via: MesoTreatmentCenters.org Some additional details… Life Expectancy Indicates a Country’s Overall Well Being—So Why Is Ours Dropping? The last time U.S. life expectancy declined at birth 1992-1993: 75.8 to 75.5 years Resulting from high death rates from AIDS, flu epidemic, homicide, and accidental deaths After … Continue reading »

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100 Years Ago, Russian Stocks Had A Very Bad Day

In recent months, Ray Dalio seems to be undergoing a deep midlife and identity crisis, which has not only led to dramatic recent management changes at the world’s largest hedge fund, Bridgewater, but also resulted in some fairly spectacular cognitive dissonance, as Dalio first praised, then slammed, president Trump.

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SNB Spent $68 Billion On Currency Manipulation In 2016

SNB Intervention, 2010 - 2017

While Donald Trump has repeatedly expressed his displeasure with China for manipulating its currency, he appears to have recently figured out that over the past 2 years Beijing has been spending hundreds of billions in dollar to strengthen, not weaken, the Yuan and to halt the ~$1 trillion in capital flight from China.

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CS and UBS Tell Wealthy Retail Clients To Buy Stocks…”Here, Can You Please Hold This Bag”

BofA Client, 2008 - 2017

Warren Buffett has frequently advised aspiring investors to take a contrarian view on markets and “be fearful when others are greedy and be greedy when others are fearful.” In fact, being dismissive of the wall street ‘herd mentality’ has resulted in some of Buffett’s most successful trades over the years including his decision to load up on bank stocks during the ‘great recession’.

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Here Are The Best Hedges Against A Le Pen Victory

France "Risk" Over Germany

On Friday, after it emerged that as part of Marine Le Pen’s strategic vision for France, should she win, is a return to the French franc as well as redenomination of some €1.7 billion in French (non-international law) bonds, both rating agencies and economists sounded the alarm, warning it would “amount to the largest sovereign default on record, nearly 10 times larger than the €200bn Greek debt restructuring in 2012, threatening chaos to the world financial system on top of the collapse of the single currency.”

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FX Traders Have To (Re)Learn A New Skill

China Trade Balance with United States, April 2016-January 2017

Dear FX traders: forget the dot plot, and prepare to learn a new – or to some forgotten – skill: how to read trade flows. As Bloomberg’s Vincent Cignarella and Andrea Wong point out, currency traders accustomed to analyzing the Fed’s dot plot and monthly U.S. jobs figures to predict the direction of the world’s reserve currency are having to learn, or in some cases re-learn, a largely forgotten ability: how to scrutinize trade data. With protectionism, border tax, VAT and trade wars the buzzword of the day, suddenly international trade is all that seems to matter, and yet “It’s been decades since investors gave significant thought to the data amid easing trade tensions.”

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Swiss National Bank’s U.S. Stock Holdings Hit A Record $63.4 Billion

Value of Swiss National Bank US Stock Holdings, June 2014 - December 2016

Being able to print your own money and buy stocks at any price sure can be fun. Just as the SNB which unlike many other (if ever fewer) central banks admits to doing just that. In its latest 13F filing, the Swiss National Bank reported that the value of its portfolio of US stocks rose again in the fourth quarter, increasing by 1.6% from $62.4 billion as of Sept. 30 to a record high $63.4 billion at the end of the year.

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Largest Retail FX Broker FXCM Banned By CFTC, Fined $7 Million For Taking Positions Against Clients

fxcm teaser

The CFTC on Monday fined Forex Capital Markets, parent FXCM Holdings LLC and founding partners Dror Niv and William Ahdout to pay $7 million to settle charges it defrauded retail foreign exchange customers and engaging in false and misleading solicitations. As part of the settlement, FXCM agreed to withdraw its registration and never seek to register with the CFTC again, effectively banning it from operating in the US.

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Europe Proposes “Restrictions On Payments In Cash”

European commission

Having discontinued its production of EUR500 banknotes, it appears Europe is charging towards the utopian dream of a cashless society. Just days after Davos’ elites discussed why the world needs to “get rid of currency,” the European Commission has introduced a proposal enforcing “restrictions on payments in cash.

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80 percent Of Central Banks Plan To Buy More Stocks

Central banks foreign-exchange reserves, Global debt

Regular readers remember how, when we first reported around the time of our launch eight years ago that central banks buy stocks, intervene and prop up markets, and generally manipulate equities in order to maintain confidence in a collapsing system, and avoid a liquidation panic and bank runs, it was branded “fake news” by the established financial “kommentariat.”

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Davos (According To Donald Trump)

Davos According to Donald Trump

Bloomberg’s Anne Swardson, Zoe Schneeweiss, and Andre Tartar perfectly summed up the state of play right now during their discussion of the World Economic Forum’s annual get-together: “Never before has the gap between Davos Man and the real world yawned so widely.”

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Lagarde Urges Wealth Redistribution To Fight Populism

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, Italian Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan and Founder, Chairman and Co-CIO of Bridgewater Associates, Ray Dalio

As we scoffed oveernight, who better than a handful of semi, and not so semi, billionaires – perplexed by the populist backlash of the past year – to sit down and discuss among each other how a “squeezed and Angry” middle-class should be fixed. And so it was this morning as IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, Italian Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan and Founder, Chairman and Co-CIO of Bridgewater Associates, Ray Dalio, espoused on what’s needed to restore growth in the middle class and confidence in the future.

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Davos Elite Eat $40 Hot Dogs While “Struggling For Answers”, Cowering in “Silent Fear”

davos

For those unfamiliar with what goes on at the annual January boondoggle at the World Economic Forum in Davos, here is the simple breakdown. Officially, heads of state, captains of industry, prominent academics, philanthropists and a retinue of journalists, celebrities and hangers-on will descend Tuesday on the picturesque alpine village of Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum.

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Neo Feudalism and Basic Income

Serfdom Sucks

It is difficult to say exactly how, or when, the next collapse will be triggered, but, as SHTFPlan.com’s Mac Slavo notes, of course all the conditions are ripe for it. What can be certain is that the technocrats intent on controlling the future are already engineering the post-collapse society.

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Trump Is Set To Label China A “Currency Manipulator”: What Happens Then?

China - BoP

While China has been banging the nationalist drums in its government-owned tabloids, warning daily of the adverse consequences to the US from either a trade war, or from Trump’s violating the “One China” policy, a more tangible concern for deteriorating relations between China and the US is that Trump could, and most likely will, brand China a currency manipulator shortly after taking over the the Oval Office.

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European Stocks Greet The New Year By Rising To One Year Highs; Euro Slides

Markit Eurozone Manufacturing PMI

While most of the world is enjoying it last day off from the 2017 holiday transition, with Asia’s major markets closed for the New Year holiday, along with Britain and Switzerland in Europe and the US and Canada across the Atlantic, European stocks climbed to their highest levels in over a year on Monday after the Markit PMI survey showed manufacturing production in the Eurozone rose to the highest level since April 2011.

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Davos Staff May Sleep In Shipping Containers As Billionaires Swarm Resort

davos 2017

With January just around the corner, the world’s billionaires, CEOs, politicians and oligarchs prepare to take their private planes to Davos, Switzerland for their annual convocation at the World Economic Forum, where they discuss such diverse topics as global warming due to greenhouse gases (which exempts Gulfstream jets) and the dangers of record wealth inequality (which exempts them), while snacking on $39 hot dogs and $50 Caesar salads.

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Credit Suisse Settles With DOJ For $5.3 Billion; Will Pay $2.5 Billion Civil Penalty

Credit Suisse

Shortly after last night’s news that Deutsche Bank had settled with the DOJ for $7.2 billion, of which it would pay $3.1 billion in a civil penalty, far lower than the $14 billion number initially speculated (the stock popped as much as 4% before settling just over 2% higher currently), Credit Suisse likewise closed the books on its pre-crisis RMBS fraud when the largest Swiss bank agreed to pay $5.28 billion to resolve a U.S.

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“This Is Total Chaos” – Venezuela Shuts Colombia Border To Stop “Mafia” Currency Smuggling

Banknotes

As if things were not already chaotic enough in the socialist utopia of Venezuela, following President Nicolas Maduro’s decision to follow Indian PM Modi’s playbook and announce that the nation’s largest denomination bill (100-Bolivars – worth around 3c) will be pulled from circulation in 72 hours, he has tonight closed the border to Colombia to crackdown on currency smuggling by so-called “mafias”.

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Who Has To Work The Longest To Afford An iPhone?

Time Required for Iphone 6

How many hours must you work to buy a new iPhone? It varies dramatically around the world, reflecting disparities in productivity and purchasing power. According to a recent report by UBS that aims to measure well-being by estimating how many minutes workers in various countries must work to afford either an iphone, a Big Mac, a kilo of bread or a kilo of rice, the average worker in Zurich or New York can buy an iPhone 6 in under three working days.

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Swiss 10 year bond yields still negative, but approaching zero.

Treasury Yields

The global bond rout returned with a bang, sending 10Y US Treasury yields as much as six basis points higher to 2.53%, the highest level in over two years. The selloff happened as oil prices surged by more than 5% following Saturday’s agreement by NOPEC nations agreed to slash production, leading to rising inflation pressures. At last check, the 10Y was trading at 2.505%, up from 2.462% at Friday and on track for its highest close since September 2014, according to Tradeweb.

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Adoption Of The Euro Has Been ‘Unequivocally Bad’ For Southern European Economies

Some say that the common currency prevents less productive economies from cheating by weakening their national currencies and forces them to become more efficient and competitive. Industrial production data shows that it is not the case. Italy, France, Greece and Portugal have not only stopped producing more; they are producing now less than in 1990! The decay started immediately after the introduction of the euro in 2002!

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Global Wealth Update: 0.7 percent Of Adults Control $116.6 Trillion In Wealth

Global Wealth Pyramid

Today Credit Suisse released its latest annual global wealth report, which traditionally lays out what is perhaps the biggest reason for the recent “anti-establishment” revulsion: an unprecedented concentration of wealth among a handful of people, as shown in its infamous global wealth pyramid, an arrangement which as observed by the “shocking” political backlash of the past few months suggests that the lower ‘levels’ of the pyramid are increasingly unhappy about.

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Canadian Bank Starts Charging Negative 0.75percent Rate On Most Foreign Cash Balances

BMO Nesbitt Burns

Despite speculation over the past year that Canada may join Japan and Europe in the NIRP club and launch negative interest rates, so far the BOC has stood its ground. However, starting on December 22, for the broker dealer clients of one of Canada’s most reputable financial institutions, BMO Nesbitt Burns, it will be as if the Canadian bank has cut its deposit rate on most currencies, to match the deposit rate of Switzerland.

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BIS: The VIX is Dead, The Dollar is the new “Fear Indicator”

Leverage of US securities broker-dealer sector

Over the past few years, one of the recurring themes on this website has been an ongoing discussion of how the VIX has lost its predictive value as a market risk indicator. This culminated recently with a note by Russel Clark who explained in clear term why the “VIX is now broken.” Today, in a fascinating note Hyun Song Shin, head of research at the Bank for International Settlements, the “central banks’ central bank” has agreed with the increasingly prevailing conventional wisdom that the VIX is no longer the world’s fear barometer. Instead, Shin believes that the world’s most traded currency is now the true fear gauge: the US Dollar.

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Gold Surges Post-Trump, Nears Heaviest Volume Day Ever

Gold Flash Crash

Gold futures had their heaviest day of trading during April 2013 when a mysterious flash crash sent the precious metal collapsing with no clear fundamental/news catalyst. In June, Brexit sparked massive volume buying in the barbarous relic, but overnight, as a Trump victory became more and more of a reality, gold futures are approaching their busiest day ever.

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Former Treasury Secretary Summers Calls For End Of Fed Independence

Larry Summers

At an event in Davos, Switzerland earlier today, Former U.S. Treasury Secretary, Larry Summers, argued that Central Bank independence from national governments should be scrapped in favor of a coordinated effort between politicians, central bankers and treasury to engineer inflation. Seems reasonable, right?…what could possibly go wrong?

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The ECB Made A Mistake During Its Daily Bond Purchases

Something unexpected happened when the ECB released its latest bond purchase data at during its scheduled release time on Monday: in addition to the purchase of at least 20 separate corporate bonds under the bank’s CSPP bond buying program during the week ended October 14, amounting to a total of €1.84 billion, which lifted the number of securities held by the central bank to 660, bringing the total to amount of its holdings to €33.8 billion, or 7.1% of the €476 billion outstanding for these issues, the ECB actually sold one bond.

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The Swiss Begin To Hoard Cash

While subtle, the general public loss of faith in central banking has been obvious to anyone who has simply kept their eyes open: it started in Japan where in February hardware stores were reported that consumers were hoarding cash, as confirmed by t…

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NIRP Has Failed: European Savings Rate Hits 5 Year High

One year ago, when it was still widely accepted conventional wisdom that NIRP would “work” to draw out money from savers who are loathe to collect nothing (or in some cases negative interest) from keeping their deposits at the bank, and would proceed to spend their savings, either boosting the stock market or the economy, we showed research from Bank of America demonstrating that far from promoting dis-saving, those European nations which had implemented NIRP were, “paradoxically”, also observing a jump in their rate of savings.

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Is Someone Trying To Buy The Swiss National Bank?

By now it is well-known that as we profiled previously, one of the most ravenous buyers of US stocks in recent years, has been a central bank: the Swiss National Bank… However, it is far less known that not only is the Swiss National Bank also a publicly traded stock, but is also one of the best performing stocks in the world this year.

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Secret Swiss Military Bunkers Filled With Gold: Alternatives To Bank Deposits

For decades, Switzerland had a reputation for bank secrecy that made it the most sought after tax haven for billionaires from around the globe. But, after more than 80 years of secrecy, a series of bilateral agreements with countries around the world, including America’s Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), have forced the private-banking industry in Switzerland to embrace an entirely new era of transparency that requires a full exchange of tax-relevant information with more than a hundred countries.

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Gold Withdrawals From The NY Fed Accelerate, Hit 388 Tons Since 2014

First it was Germany who redeemed 120 tons of physical gold from the NY Fed in 2014; then it was the Netherlands who “secretly” redomiciled 122 tons of gold; then last May, we learned that Austria would be the third “core” European nation to repatriate most of its offshore gold, held primarily in the Bank of England, redepositing it in Vienna and Switzerland.

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2 Men, 3 Women 6-Year-Old Kid Burned, Stabbed By 27-Year-Old Attacker On Swiss Train

Seven people are in hospital with stab wounds and burns, police say, after an attack on a train near St.Gallen, Switzerland. The man set the train carriage on fire using a flammable liquid and also stabbed passengers, including a six-year-old child, police said. Details are sparse for now but The BBC reports, the suspected attacker, described as a Swiss man aged 27, was also taken to hospital after the incident near Salez in St Gallen Canton.

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“It’s Prohibited By Law” – A Problem Emerges For Japan’s “Helicopter Money” Plans

Over the past four days, risk assets have been on a tear, led by the collapsing Yen and soaring Nikkei, as the market has digested daily news that – as we predicted last week – Bernanke has been urging Japan to become the first developed country to unleash the monetary helicopter, in which the central banks directly funds government fiscal spending, most recently with an overnight report that Bernanke has pushed Abe and Kuroda to sell perpetual bonds, all of which would be bought by the BOJ.

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ETF Securities Reports Biggest One-Day Gold Inflow Since Financial Crisis

It never ceases to amaze how vastly different the investment styles of gold paper vs physical traders are: while we have documented previously how the latter tend to buy progressively more the lower the price (as traditional “buy low, buy more lower” investing would suggest), “investors” in gold paper-derivatives such as ETFs and ETPs are quite the opposite: in fact, they rarely buy until someone else is buying and generating momentum.

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There Is Now A Staggering $11.7 Trillion In Negative Yielding Debt

It was not even a month ago when we last looked at the total amount of negative yielding debt around the globe, and were shocked to find that according to Fitch, for the first time in history (obviously), there was over $10 trillion in negative yielding debt. Fast forward 4 weeks later, and the grand total is now $1.3 trillion higher, or $11.7 trillion.

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In Surprising Development NIRP Starts To Work, Pushing Rich Swiss Savers Out Of Cash Into Stocks

One of the rising laments against NIRP is that far from forcing savers to shift from cash and buy risky (or less risky) assets, it has done the opposite. Intuitively this makes sense: savers expecting a return on the cash they have saved over the years are forced to save even more in a world of ZIRP or NIRP, as instead of living off the interest, they have to build up even more prinicpal.

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US Negative Interest Rate Bets Surge To Record Highs

As the “deflationary supernova” sweeps across the world, dragging bond yields to zero-and-beyond, even the almighty omniscent Federal Reserve has been forced to capitulate as the ‘cheapness’ of Treasury bonds lures the world’s yield-hunters dragging …

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China and Japan Chart Update

A chart-up from China and Japan. Growth of Chinese industrial production, retail sales, fixed asset investment is at lows not seen since the Asian financial crisis. The Yuan is falling. Economic data from Japan is not a lot better.

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Chart up-date: Stocks, Bonds, Copper, Gold

Well that escalated quickly…All-time highs within reach… everything is awesome…wait what…

Quite a week:
Gold +5.25% in last 2 weeks – best run in 4 months
Silver +5.65% this week – best week since May 2015
Copper -4% this week to lowest week…

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Spain Sells 3x Oversubscribed 50-Year Bond

Following a scramble by European nations to issue ultra long-dated government paper, which saw France and Belgium sell 50-year bonds last month, while Ireland and Belgium went all the way and issued century bonds, with even Switzerland locking in 42-…

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Migrant Rape Epidemic Reaches Austria

Submitted by Soren Kern via The Gatestone Institute,

A 20-year-old asylum seeker from Iraq confessed to raping a 10-year-old boy at a public swimming pool in Vienna. The Iraqi said the rape was a “sexual emergency” resulting from “excess sexual ene…

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Gold And Negative Interest Rates

Submitted by Dan Popescu via Acting-Man.com,
The Inflation Illusion
We hear more and more talk about the possibility of imposing negative interest rates in the US. In a recent article former Fed chairman Ben Bernanke asks what tools the Fed h…

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What Happens Next (In Europe)?

A year ago today, European equities hit their highest levels ever. But, as Bloomberg reports, the euphoria about Mario Draghi’s stimulus program didn’t last, and trader skepticism is now rampant. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index has lost 17% sinc…

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Guess Which Major Bank Loses The Most From Brexit?

Banks have been lobbying intensively against Brexit. Among those leading the charge is Goldman Sachs. For three years, the bank’s executives have publicly warned about the downsides of leaving the EU… and now we know why (hint – it’s not concern fo…

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Bank Of America Reveals “The Next Big Trade”

Markets have stopped focusing on what central banks are doing and are “positioning for what they believe central banks may or may not do,” according to BofA’s Athanasios Vamvakidis as he tells FX traders to “prepare to fight the central banks,” as th…

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How Low Can The Bank Of Japan Cut Rates? Ask Gold

As we noted last night, in what was the second clear example of sheer desperation by the Bank of Japan, the central banker formerly known as Peter Pan for his on the record belief that “he should fly”, and as of this morning better known as Peter Pan…

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Square Holes And Currency Pegs

Submitted by Raul Ilargi Meijer via The Automatic Earth blog,
When David Bowie died, everybody, in what they wrote and said, seemed to feel they owned him, and owned his death, even if they hadn’t thought about him, or listened to him, for years….

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