by Bill Bonner
Record Junk Bond Issuance
Dow down 35 on Wednesday. Gold up slightly. A dull day on Wall Street, with investors holding onto most of Tuesday’s gains. Here’s another record that was broken recently …
In the late 1970s, Michael Milken persuaded his boss at Drexel Burnham to let him start a high-yield bond trading department. (High-yield bonds are non-investment grade bonds that carry high default risk. Hence their nickname: “junk bonds.”) Soon, Milken’s trading department started earning a 100% return on investment.
The junk-bond market was tiny – with total issuance only rising to about $30 billion in the mid-1980s. Milken was right about junk bonds being hugely profitable. But that didn’t stop the feds from putting him in jail in 1990 on six counts of securities and tax fraud. (Milken didn’t just stop at legitimate means of making money in the high-risk world of junk bonds.)
Continue Reading at Acting-Man.com…
by Roland Khounlivong
As the gold price rose amid safe haven buying from the tension in Ukraine, GoldMoney customers waited out the rush with the bulk of precious metal purchases occurring after the main market moves.
Head of Dealing at the online precious metals trader, Roland Khounlivong, said: ‘Our customers have been paying attention to prices and timing their purchases, with big orders coming in after Russia withdrew the imminent military threat from Ukraine.
‘That’s not to say the tensions didn’t have an impact. Buy orders, particularly for gold are up. Our Brink’s vault in Toronto, Canada and Malca-Amit in Singapore were the main beneficiaries reflecting the desire to place metals away from the potential jurisidiction risk area.
Continue Reading at GoldMoney.com…
by Martin Armstrong
We are still awaiting panic cycles at the end of the month so this is not over until the fat lady sings as they say, albeit we do not expect military action between any major powers before the October/November time period. For Obama to claim that a public vote in Crimea would violate the Constitution of Ukraine and International Law is really just as absurd that the same argument put forth by Putin that nothing in Kiev was legal because it was not signed by Yanukovych. There should be a vote, but it should be monitored independently to ensure it is real. To argue that no state may move to secede from a federal government is ridiculous. Obama said:
Continue Reading at ArmstrongEconomics.com…
by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts
According to a report in Kommersant-Ukraine, the finance ministry of Washington’s stooges in Kiev who are pretending to be a government has prepared an economic austerity plan that will cut Ukrainian pensions from $160 to $80 so that Western bankers who lent money to Ukraine can be repaid at the expense of Ukraine’s poor. http://www.kommersant.ua/doc/2424454 It is Greece all over again.
Before anything approaching stability and legitimacy has been obtained for the puppet government put in power by the Washington orchestrated coup against the legitimate, elected Ukraine government, the Western looters are already at work. Naive protesters who believed the propaganda that EU membership offered a better life are due to lose half of their pension by April. But this is only the beginning.
Continue Reading at PaulCraigRoberts.org…
by Dave Gonigam
So is this what the mess in Ukraine is all about?
The new anti-Russian government is moving to privatize the nation’s energy sector. Well, at least that’s according to the pro-Russian Interfax-Ukraine news agency.
It quoted the new prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, at a meeting with business leaders on Monday: “I’ll tell you about the idea of privatization of the energy sector at transparent auctions: Chornomornaftogaz and other companies, which are part of Naftogaz Ukrainy,” the national gas and oil company.
We find no other account of this meeting. But it has the ring of truth, at least…
Continue Reading at DailyReckoning.com…
from King World News
On the heels of more erratic action in global markets as the world awaits to see what happens in Ukraine, today Bill Fleckenstein spoke with King World News about what is going to “crater” the stock market. Below is what Bill Fleckenstein, who is President of Fleckenstein Capital, had to say in this powerful interview.
Fleckenstein: “I don’t know when psychology will shift in the bond market, if it will go slowly or fast — probably a combination of the two — but I think the bond market is on borrowed time. It’s going to take the bond market to create a question about what the Fed is doing. Eventually the bond market will show that the Fed is trapped and that will lead to a big crisis….
Continue Reading at KingWorldNews.com…
from Zero Hedge
With Ukrainians living in the Crimea region voting to join Russia, the West calling for sanctions (well some of the West), boots still on the ground, and markets apparently of the belief that all is well in the world once again, we thought the Russian perspective on the next steps was useful…
Via Sergei Markov of The Moscow Times,
The current crisis is not about Crimea. It is about the rights of Russian-speakers throughout Ukraine whom the Kremlin wants to protect from violence and discrimination. Russia does not want a military intervention in Crimea and does not want to take Crimea from Ukraine.
Continue Reading at ZeroHedge.com…
by Michael Snyder
The Economic Collapse Blog
The U.S. government and the Russian government have both been forced into positions where neither one of them can afford to back down. If Barack Obama backs down, he will be greatly criticized for being “weak” and for having been beaten by Vladimir Putin once again. If Putin backs down, he will be greatly criticized for being “weak” and for abandoning the Russians that live in Crimea. In essence, Obama and Putin find themselves trapped in a macho game of “chicken” and critics on both sides stand ready to pounce on the one who backs down. But this is not just an innocent game of “chicken” from a fifties movie. This is the real deal, and if nobody backs down the entire world will pay the price.
Leaving aside who is to blame for a moment, it is really frightening to think that we may be approaching the tensest moment in U.S.-Russian relations since the Cuban missile crisis.
Continue Reading at TheEconomicCollapseBlog.com…
by Mike “Mish” Shedlock
MISH’S Global Economic Trend Analysis
Currently Illinois state constitution requires a flat tax on income. Even with the flat tax, Democrats have hiked taxes again and again, on individuals and corporations.
The results speak for themselves – Illinois population is shrinking. Illinoisans exited the state for Indiana, Wisconsin, and Texas.
For details please see Jobs Bowl: Illinois vs. Texas and Indiana.
Blank Check Proposal for More Tax Hikes
Not content with the damage they have already caused, “Progressives” want even more. Now they want to modify the Illinois constitution to take more out of your pocket.
Continue Reading at GlobalEconomicAnalysis.Blogspot.ca…
by James Quinn
The Burning Platform
Don’t you love bipartisanship when it comes to spending money we don’t fucking have? How can the American people be so lazy and willfully ignorant about what their corrupt politician leaders do on a daily basis. This Ukrainian episode again proves we are ruled by one PARTY. The Ukraine is a bankrupt, insolvent nation. Not our problem. If a country can’t pay its debts, tough shit. They were bankrupt and insolvent before their little CIA instigated revolution. They owe the Russians $20 billion for gas they have already used.
So Obama and the snakes in Congress on both sides of the aisle are singing kumbaya and acting like old pals as they fuck you again. Where the fuck are they getting $1 billion to give to Ukraine? And don’t be fooled by the bullshit about this being a loan. They are fucking insolvent and will never ever repay the loan. This is $1 billion pissed down the toilet.
Continue Reading at TheBurningPlatform.com…
by Jeff Berwick
As I write this, the European Union has just announced a possible $15b aid package to the Ukraine (including 8 billion euros in fresh credit). Everybody has read the headlines about Europe: record unemployment, no end in sight, and so on. So you might be wondering just where the European Union, and its’ constituent nations, scrapped together the money to propose aid for the Ukraine. Well, wonder no more, because the following eight events might give you an idea of where governments go to get a little extra cash.
1. In March, 2009, Ireland seized €4bn from its Pension Reserve fund in order to rescue its banks. In November 2010, the remaining savings of €2.5bn was seized to support the bailout of the rest of the country.
2. In December, 2010, Hungary told its citizens that they could either remit their private pension money to the state or lose their state pension funds (but still have to pay for it nonetheless)
Continue Reading at DollarVigilante.com…
by Clif Droke, Gold Strategies Review
Stocks came under selling pressure on Monday in the wake of renewed concerns over geopolitical instability in Eastern Europe. An escalation of tension between Russia and the Ukraine led to a plunge in Russia’s stock market, which in turn had a spillover effect on U.S. equities.
Russia is currently the focus of Wall Street’s worries right now. One of the better proxies for Russia’s stock market is the Market Vectors Russia ETF Trust (RSX), which lost nearly 7% in value on Monday. RSX made a 4-year low today which underscores the political and economic troubles facing that region of the globe.
Continue Reading at GoldSeek.com…
by Brendan Conway
Short version: Well, that was fast!
Analysts at Nomura Securities this morning upgraded their view of precious-metals prices, and the gist of the argument is that the conditions which sent gold’s price tumbling 28% last year appear to have vanished. It’s a familiar theme to close watchers of the niche.
“Like a phoenix regenerating from its ashes, cyclical gold appears set to recover,” write Tyler Broda and six co-authors.
The shift comes with notable increases to gold and silver price forecasts: Nomura now expects gold to sell for $1,335 this year and $1,460 next, up from $1,138 and $1,200, respectively. The firm’s silver view went to $21.52, from $16.25.
Continue Reading at Blogs.Barrons.com…
New concerns surround the way the world gold price is set
from The Economist
COMMODITY prices are not just for buyers and sellers of the physical stuff. They are also the basis of derivative markets—futures contracts, options, and combinations of these and other financial instruments—which can be far larger. A twitch in the “benchmark” price can mean big shifts in the value of derivatives, and profits for the prescient.
People unhappy with the way the world gold market works suspect that more than prescience may be involved. In a class-action lawsuit filed this week, Kevin Maher, a New York-based investor in the gold and derivative markets, is suing the five banks which set the benchmark—Deutsche, Barclays, Nova Scotia, Société Générale and HSBC—for collusion. Those banks that have commented say they will defend the suit vigorously.
Another bit of bad news for the gold market comes from a forthcoming paper by Rosa Abrantes-Metz, of New York University’s Stern School of Business, and her husband Albert Metz, a ratings-agency chief (writing in a personal capacity).
Continue Reading at Economist.com…
by Monty Guild with Tony Danaher
Much has been reported about the recent surge in coffee prices but sugar prices have also risen to multi-month highs due to drought conditions in Brazil, the world’s number one exporter of these commodities. Brazilian coffee and sugar producers and analysts have been slashing their production estimates as hot, dry weather threatens 2014′s crops. According Somar Meteorologia, a Brazilian weather service, January and February have been the driest months in Brazil in 30 years.
Continue Reading at FinancialSense.com…
by Andrew Hoffman
For once, I’ll actually agree with a Federal Reserve governor; in this case, Richard Fisher, one of the “token hawks” kept around to play “bad cop” to the preponderance of “good” ones. In a statement that “Captain Obvious” himself would endorse, Fisher said QE is “distorting financial markets,” yielding “eye-popping levels of some stock market metrics.” You mean, like the most bullish sentiment EVER – amidst the worst U.S. macroeconomic environment and highest consumer prices, since the 2008 global financial crisis?
Continue Reading at MilesFranklin.com…
from Jesse’s Café Américain
Gold rallied back up into the very stiff resistance between 1350 and 1360. It is apparent on the chart.
Silver is still meh. It will get some jets on a breakout, being the high beta monster that it is, but it seems incapable of taking the spotlight from gold. It is not so much a safe haven play, which is what seems to be driving gold in the short term.
Typically we see shenanigans on the Non-Farm Payrolls Report. Stocks have finished positive on the last 10 occasions. Is there a message in this for gold?
I think it depends on international developments. Gold has not been moving reliably with or against stocks, and the moves against the dollar are simplistic if you factor out the sheer pricing bias.
Continue Reading at JessesCrossroadsCafe.Blogspot.ca…
GLD and SLV constant/Gold rises to above $1350.00/the Crimea votes to secede from the Ukraine/Turmoil over there is still the leading stories
by Harvey Organ
Harvey Organ’s Daily Gold & Silver Report
Gold closed up $11.50 at $1351.70 (comex to comex closing time ). Silver was up 35 cents to $21.54
In the access market tonight at 5:15 pm
Today gold and silver got a shot in the arm as Draghi stated that he is going to keep interest rates low for quite some time even if the economy improves as he expects. This caused gold to climb just above the big resistance level of $1350. On the horizon, tomorrow we have the jobs report and judging from all the numbers given by the BLS and the private ADP, it should be pretty bad. However you know that the BLS continues to butcher the numbers and the bankers always whack gold/silver around this event, so please be careful.
Continue Reading at HarveyOrgan.Blogspot.ca…
by Anna Yukhananov and Lidia Kelly
(Reuters) – Russian officials are pushing for the International Monetary Fund to move ahead with planned reforms without the United States, which could mean the loss of the U.S. veto over major decisions at the global lender, sources said.
Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov brought up the idea at a meeting of top finance officials from the Group of 20 nations in Sydney late last month, two G20 sources told Reuters this week.
The failure of the U.S. Congress to approve IMF funding has held up reforms agreed in 2010 that would double the Fund’s resources and give more say to emerging markets like China.
The United States is the only country that holds a controlling share of IMF votes, meaning its approval is necessary for any major decision to go forward.
Continue Reading at Reuters.com…
by Martin Armstrong
QUESTION: Martin, I would be curious about your thoughts of the following resolution below.
Note that the goal of this resolution is neither to sue the government nor to repeal ObamaCare. It is simply for Texas to “not participate” with ObamaCare.
Of course, the President would say Texas doesn’t have the right to “opt out”, but what would happen if Texas just opted out anyway?
Also, have you thought about offering your services to Ukraine to help them write their new Constitution? I agree with you that this could be something very big for the future of liberty in the world.
Continue Reading at ArmstrongEconomics.com…