by Brendan Brown
Amongst the big winners from the Obama Fed’s Great Monetary Experiment has been the private equity industry. Indeed this went through a near-death experience in the Great Panic (2008) before its savior — Fed quantitative easing — propelled it forward into new riches. There is no surprise therefore that its barons who join the political stage (think of the last Republican presidential candidate) have no interest in monetary reform. And the same attitude is common amongst leading politicians who hope private equity will provide them high-paid jobs when they quit Washington.
The ex-politicians are expected by their new bosses to join the intense lobbying effort aimed at preserving the industry’s unique tax advantages (especially with respect to deductibility of interest and carry income) whilst establishing the links with regulators and governments (state and federal) that help generate business opportunity for the varied enterprises within the given private equity group.
Continue Reading at Mises.org…
from King World News
After another fascinating week in global markets and the ECB announcing they are going to print vast quantities of money to support the tattered European banks and bond markets, today John Mauldin spoke with King World News about the shocking level of desperation that we are now seeing around the world.
John Mauldin had this to say about the historic Swiss move and ensuing chaos: “The (historic) Swiss (move), it was kind of like the (Roberto) Duran (vs) Sugar Ray Leonard fight: He (Duran) walked back to the corner and said, ‘No mas.’ He just couldn’t take any more pain. The European Court of Justice on Tuesday said, ‘OK, you (the ECB) really can do QE.’ They (the Swiss National Bank) get a back-channel phone call that says, ‘OK, we’re not going to do just 50 billion (euros) — it’s going to be open-ended because we are going to double-down.’
Continue Reading at KingWorldNews.com…
from Jesse’s Café Américain
[...] Robert Kagan is a famous neo-con figure in US government circles. He is the husband of Victoria Nuland. Nuland, as Assistant Secretary of State for Europe, is famed for her partnering skills and diplomatic insights, summed up concerns for collateral damage from the crisis in the Ukraine with ‘f*uck the EU.’
China withdraw around 70 tonnes of gold bullion from the Shanghai Gold Exchange for the week ending 16th January.
This is the third highest amount of gold offtake from Shanghai ever.
As a result of price rigging, gold is flowing steadily from West to East. Because, whether the public realizes it or not, the world is very actively engaged in the evolution of the monetary basis of world trade, which has been referred to here and other places as the currency wars.
Continue Reading at JessesCrossroadsCafe.Blogspot.ca…
by Chris Mayer
Peter Thiel seems an unlikely source for such an important monetary insight. He’s a hedge fund manager and venture capitalist. He was the first outside investor in Facebook. And perhaps most famously, he’s one of the co-founders of PayPal.
Then again, maybe he’s not so unlikely a source. PayPal, after all, is a payment system. In those days, Thiel thought deeply about money. Why people would accept PayPal as a payment system. And how it would link up with banks and credit cards.
“When I was pitching PayPal back in the early days,” Thiel told Ezra Klein at Vox, “I would hold up a $100 bill in front of an audience. It was this hypnotic effect; everyone paid attention to me immediately. Money is a very mysterious thing… so how does it work?”
Continue Reading at DailyReckoning.com…
by Pater Tenebrarum
Falling Prices are “Really Bad” for You
It is quite comical how the idea that falling prices are somehow bad for society is continually pushed by the establishment and its mouthpieces. We imagine it is not easy to create propaganda in support of such an obvious absurdity. No doubt every consumer in the world would love nothing more than genuine price deflation. After all, what can possibly be bad about one’s income and savings stretching further and buying more, rather than fewer goods and services?
Consumers and savers all over the world must surely be scratching their heads by now after hearing for the umpteenth time that it will be somehow “good” for them if their real incomes decline and the value of their savings is eroded by rising prices. What exactly is the justification for this nonsense?
Continue Reading at Acting-Man.com…
by Andrew Hoffman
It’s 2:30 AM MST Friday morning, on my “day off.” However, I couldn’t sleep because too much is going through my head – as I digest the second “financial big bang” in just a week’s time. Many more are coming this year – perhaps as early as Monday, following Sunday’s Greek elections; and no doubt, several will be of the “black swan” variety. As discussed in yesterday’s MUST LISTEN audio blog, the two guaranteed to “rock the world” are the inevitable “Yellen Reversal” – i.e., when Janet Yellen admits the U.S. needs more QE as well; and, more calamitous yet, when the surging dollar forces the Chinese to de-peg the Yuan. In other words, whilst the Swiss National Bank and ECB got the party started this week, it’s not even 7:00 PM on New Year’s Eve. I have little doubt “midnight” will be reached in the not too distant future, perhaps this year; and when it does, Richard Russell’s expectation of the end of the gold Cartel – or as I deem it, the “New York Gold Pool,” will be forever destroyed.
Continue Reading at MilesFranklin.com…
by Raúl Ilargi Meijer
The Automatic Earth
I was going to start out saying yesterday was the saddest day in Europe in 50 years, or something like that, because of the insane and completely nonsensical largesse the ECB permits itself to launch, aimed at once again saving a banking system, but which will not only not help the European people, it will make things even much worse than they already are. Which is also, lest we overlook that ‘detail’, entirely thanks to the ECB/EU/IMF Troika,
I’ve said many times that the EU in its present form should be dismantled tomorrow morning (even though it’s not the same tomorrow morning anymore), and if Draghi’s $1.1 million x million ‘stimulus’ should make anything clear, it’s that the dismantling gets more urgent by the day.
Continue Reading at TheAutomaticEarth.com…
by Ed Steer
Ed Steer’s Gold & Silver Daily, Casey Research
Yesterday In Gold & Silver
The gold price got sold down about five bucks or so by lunch time in Hong Kong on their Friday—and then chopped more or less sideways until at, or minutes after the London p.m. gold fix. Then a thoughtful seller peeled another ten bucks off the price, with the low tick coming at 10:15 a.m. EST. Gold recovered most of that loss by the close of electronic trading.
The high and low tick were reported as $1,302.90 and $1,284.30 in the February contract.
Gold closed in New York yesterday at $1,294.10 spot, down $8.00 from Thursday’s close.
Continue Reading at CaseyResearch.com…
from Zero Hedge
“War” is back on the minds of the world’s richest men (and women). The Global Risks Landscape, a map of the most likely and impactful global risks, puts forward that, 25 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, “interstate conflict” is once again a foremost concern. As The World Economic Forum notes, these multiple cross-cutting challenges can threaten social stability, perceived to be the issue most interconnected with other risks in 2015, and additionally aggravated by the legacy of the global economic crisis in the form of strained public finances and persistent unemployment. The central theme of profound social instability highlights an important paradox that has been smouldering since the crisis but surfaces prominently in this year’s report. Global risks transcend borders and spheres of influence and require stakeholders to work together, yet these risks also threaten to undermine the trust and collaboration needed to adapt to the challenges of the new global context. Rather ominously, The WEF concludes, the world is, however, insufficiently prepared for an increasingly complex risk environment.
Continue Reading at ZeroHedge.com…
Angela Merkel’s pragmatism over the ECB’s stimulus is a turning point in the trials and tribulations of the euro
by Jeremy Warner, Davos
Davos has made me a little more optimistic about Europe than I was. This is not so much because of the welcome given by participants to last week’s announcement by the European Central Bank’s Mario Draghi of open ended quantitative easing – in itself, QE is unlikely to make any more than a marginal difference to Europe’s slump – as the political machinations that lie behind it.
While Mr Draghi was announcing his QE, Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor was coincidentally making a vitally important point to Davos participants; Germans might feel uncomfortable with money printing, they might further worry that it will ease the pressures for reform among profligate eurozone members, but the central bank is independent and must pursue its mandate in whatever way it sees fit.
Continue Reading at Telegraph.co.uk…