Tuesday, 1 October 2013

The Great Shutdown.

Baltic Dry Index. 2003 -43

LIR Gold Target by 2019: $30,000.  Revised due to QE programs.

"The great merit of gold is precisely that it is scarce; that its quantity is limited by nature; that it is costly to discover, to mine, and to process; and that it cannot be created by political fiat or caprice."

Henry Hazlitt

Leading the news this morning is the partial shutdown of the US federal government in Washington. The markets are braced for only a short token partial closing. Anything more and 2013’s crash season will live up to its name. From London, it looks like both sides have backed themselves into corners of their own making. It’s hard to see where a compromise lies that doesn’t involve the surrender of one of the parties. From London, it appears to me that the brinkmanship might go on towards that October 17th date with disaster.

Now if only we Europeans could shut down Barroso, Van Rompuy, and Baroness Whatsit, and all the rest of the Brussels public trougher’s. Until then Britain’s best bet remains UKIP.

Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.

H. L. Mencken.

U.S. government shutdown begins after Congress fails to break impasse

WASHINGTON | Tue Oct 1, 2013 12:41am EDT
(Reuters) - The U.S. government began a partial shutdown on Tuesday for the first time in 17 years, potentially putting up to 1 million workers on unpaid leave, closing national parks and stalling medical research projects.

Federal agencies were directed to cut back services after lawmakers could not break a political stalemate that sparked new questions about the ability of a deeply divided Congress to perform its most basic functions.

After House Republicans floated a late offer to break the logjam, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid rejected the idea, saying Democrats would not enter into formal negotiations on spending "with a gun to our head" in the form of government shutdowns.

The political dysfunction at the Capitol also raised fresh concerns about whether Congress can meet a crucial mid-October deadline to raise the government's $16.7 trillion debt ceiling.

With an eye on the 2014 congressional elections, both parties tried to deflect responsibility for the shutdown. President Barack Obama accused Republicans of being too beholden to Tea Party conservatives in the House of Representatives and said the shutdown could threaten the economic recovery.

Elsewhere, there wasn’t much to rejoice about either. China’s starting to wobble again. Japan’s going to increase its sales tax from next year, although they will announce yet another stimulation program later in the day, no doubt intended to weaken the Yen and push on with their beggar thy neighbour export trade war. Italy is, well Italy, on ECB life support, like the now righted Costa Concordia resting on platform of goodwill from Frankfurt and Berlin. With little sign of any serious structural reform occurring outside of the Vatican’s mafia bank, how long the goodwill will last is anyone’s guess. Euros anyone?

Italy is not technically part of the Third World, but no one has told the Italians.

P. J. O’Rourke

China September Manufacturing Index Misses Preliminary Estimate

By Bloomberg News - Sep 30, 2013 12:00 PM GMT
A Chinese manufacturing index (EC11CHPM) rose less than analysts forecast in September, unexpectedly weakening from a preliminary estimate in a result that casts doubt on the strength of the economy’s rebound.

The Purchasing Managers’ Index from HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics rose to 50.2 in September from 50.1 in August. The final number was less than last week’s 51.2 preliminary reading and the 51.2 median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey. A similar gauge from the government is due tomorrow.

----“It is possible that activities weakened in the last 10 days of the month,” said Wang Tao, a Hong Kong-based economist for UBS AG, commenting on the gap between the preliminary and final readings. “This also brings focus on the release of the official PMI tomorrow.”

Momentum “seems to have been wobbly this month” and August and September may mark this year’s peak for growth in industrial production, Wang said.

China September Manufacturing Index Rises Less Than Forecast

By Bloomberg News - Oct 1, 2013 4:23 AM GMT
A Chinese factory gauge rose less than economists forecast in September, signaling limits on the nation’s rebound from a two-quarter economic slowdown.

The Purchasing Managers’ Index was at 51.1, the National Bureau of Statistics and China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said today in Beijing. That compares with 51 in August and the 51.6 median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey.

Abe Proceeds With Japan’s First Sales-Tax Increase Since 1997

By Isabel Reynolds & Chikako Mogi - Oct 1, 2013 5:32 AM GMT
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe proceeded with an April sales-tax increase and will implement a stimulus program as he tries to rein in the world’s biggest debt burden without jeopardizing efforts to end deflation.

The levy will rise to 8 percent from 5 percent now, Abe, 59, said in Tokyo today, the first increase since 1997. Abe will unveil the size of a package of stimulus measures later today, the ruling party chief told reporters. Economists have projected a 5 trillion yen ($51 billion) plan that will include public works spending and tax breaks encouraging companies to boost capital spending and wages.

With households already hit by a rising cost of living and declines in pay, proceeding with the higher levy enacted by the previous government poses the biggest risk yet to Abe’s efforts to end two decades of Japanese stagnation. His next challenge in coming weeks is following through on pledges for domestic economic reforms that persuade companies to invest at home.

----The economy will contract an annualized 4.5 percent in the three months after the sales tax is increased in April before returning to growth, according to the median calculation of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. For the 2014 calendar year, the expansion is seen slowing to 1.6 percent from 1.9 percent this year, the median estimates show.

Italy in Disarray as ECB Pledge Keeps Nation From Brink

By Alessandra Migliaccio & Chiara Vasarri - Oct 1, 2013 12:01 AM GMT
Italy’s government is on the verge of collapse and two of its most senior executives have lost the confidence of shareholders. Thanks to Mario Draghi’s promises, bond investors see the turmoil as more of a blip than a crisis.

Yields barely budged yesterday even after Prime Minister Enrico Letta spent the weekend fighting Silvio Berlusconi’s efforts to topple his government. Intesa Sanpaolo SpA (ISP), Italy’s second biggest bank, replaced its chief executive officer and Telecom Italia SpA (TIT) CEO Franco Bernabe is preparing to resign.

Without Draghi “little would have stood in the way of catastrophe,” Nicola Marinelli, who helps oversee $180 million as portfolio manager at Glendevon King Ltd. in London, said in an e-mail. “Italy would be facing very high refinancing rates, difficulties in issuing bonds at auctions, and the clear prospect of going out of the euro or defaulting on its debt.”

Italy’s politicians are benefitting from the unintended consequences of ECB President Draghi’s promise last year to “do whatever it takes” to backstop the euro

"Those entrapped by the herd instinct are drowned in the deluges of history. But there are always the few who observe, reason, and take precautions, and thus escape the flood. For these few gold has been the asset of last resort."

Antony C. Sutton

At the Comex silver depositories Monday final figures were: Registered 43.71 Moz, Eligible 121.70 Moz, Total 165.41 Moz.  

Crooks and Scoundrels Corner
The bent, the seriously bent, and the totally doubled over.

Today, more bad news from the left side of the Atlantic. America’s future high spenders are increasingly defaulting, long before they get to buy Chinese and Japanese made bargains they don’t need, or take gambling vacations in America’s casino’s they can’t afford. Perhaps Benny and the Fedster’s could step in and buy up and write-off some of the defaulted debt. After all, why should it only be socialism for banksters. Besides as Rory O’Sullivan so aptly notes below “defaults can dramatically affect their credit rating and make it harder to borrow in the future.” Why stop the young from becoming serial defaulters like AIG, Bear Stearns, WaMu, Lehman, Refco, or MF Global? It’s the American way.

“It’s financial disaster for borrowers. Defaults can dramatically affect their credit rating and make it harder to borrow in the future.”

Rory O’Sullivan, policy and research director at Young Invincibles, a Washington nonprofit group.

Student-Loan Defaults Rise in U.S. as Borrowers Struggle

By Janet Lorin & John Hechinger - Sep 30, 2013 9:16 PM GMT
About one in seven borrowers defaulted on their federal student loans, showing how former students are buckling under higher-education costs in a weak economy.

The default rate, for the first three years that students are required to make payments, was 14.7 percent, up from 13.4 percent the year before, the U.S. Education Department said today. Based on a related measure, defaults are at the highest level since 1995.

The fresh data follows the announcement by Barack Obama’s administration that it would seek to restrain skyrocketing college expenses by tying federal financial aid to a new government rating of costs and educational outcomes. The rising number of defaults shows the pain of borrowers, said Rory O’Sullivan, policy and research director at Young Invincibles, a Washington nonprofit group.

“Our generation is behind in the economic recovery and not recovering as fast as we need to,” said O’Sullivan, whose group represents the interests of people ages 18 to 34.

---- Today’s report covers the three years through Sept. 30, 2012. The default rate, which includes graduates and those who dropped out, shows the share of borrowers who haven’t made required payments for at least 270 consecutive days.

The rate doesn’t include those who are putting off payments, through deferral or economic hardship called forbearance, or borrowers who are on federal income-based repayment programs, meaning it understates their hardship, O’Sullivan said.

“The world is a place that’s gone from being flat to round to crooked.”

Mad Magazine.

The monthly Coppock Indicators finished September:
DJIA: +167 Up. NASDAQ: +213 Up. SP500: +203 Up. All three are back positive again, thanks to continued Fed QE.  High risk speculators will now use any stocks sell-off to go long. After the last Fed meeting and QE U-turn, the Bernocchio put is back on.

No comments:

Post a Comment