August gold demand in India surges ahead of the festival season in India and in comparison to low demand last year.
by Shivom Seth
Mumbai (Mineweb) – India has witnessed a massive 176% jump in gold imports in August. From $738.7 million a year ago to $2.03 billion in the last month, India’s high bullion growth has ensured that the country would not be keen to cut import duties anytime soon.
The latest data comes barely a week before the government’s planned announcement of a new five year foreign trade policy that analysts maintain is likely to include sops for domestic value added products, new rules for special economic zones, which include those in the gems and jewellery sector, and a probable review of free trade agreements that India had signed with various countries and groups of nations.
Continue Reading at MineWeb.com…
by Charles Hugh Smith
Of Two Minds
The end of risk-on cannot be prettily managed.
In ancient Roman religion and myth, Janus is the god of transitions–beginnings and endings of conflict, war and peace, journeys, trades and eras. Janus has two faces, as befits a god that looks both to the future and to the past.
In our era of omnipotent central banks worshipped by the Status Quo, we have a goddess of financial transitions–Janus Yellen, the two-faced chair/deity of the Federal Reserve–to usher in the Great Transition from risk-on to risk-off.
What is risk-on? Speculative bets directly enabled by central bank issued free money for financiers–also known by the bland technocrat perception management labels stimulus and quantitative easing (QE).
Continue Reading at OfTwoMinds.com…
by Gary Dorsch
Trying to pick a profitable trade in the foreign exchange market is similar to judging a “reverse beauty” contest, that is to say, the winner is the least ugly currency at any given moment in time. All paper currencies are ugly, because central bankers print vast quantities of fiat currency, to varying degrees, at the behest of the ruling political elite that appointed them to run the printing presses. “By this means, government may secretly and unobserved, confiscate the wealth of the people, and not one man in a million will detect the theft,” –the late British economist John Maynard Keynes, used to say.
In the arcane world of foreign exchange, the axiom, – “the trend is your friend,” – is a reliable piece of advice, since trends in currency pairs can extend for many months, or even years, and often lead to double-digit returns. As such, the US-Dollar Index, which measures the US$’s value against a basket of six major currencies, has suddenly risen +5% higher over the past nine weeks, to above the 84-level, marking its longest streak of weekly gains in 17-years. Many traders are beginning to wager that the US$’s recent bout of volatility is harbinger of a longer term rally that can extend into 2015.
Continue Reading at GoldSeek.com…
from Zero Hedge
Yesterday, in the aftermath of the popular anger aimed at Ukraine’s president Porohsneko following his “Bohnering” on Ukraine’s demands for a free trade agreement with Europe, we said the new president’s days are likely numbered. Less than 24 hours later, this has started to play out, and as the live feeds below show, the Kiev parliament is being stormed by what appears to be discontent from the right wing “Right Sector” political group, despite today’s ratification of the meaningless EU pact, whose purpose was to offset popular anger at the delay of the trade agreeement. Moments ago from Bloomberg:
Continue Reading at ZeroHedge.com…
by David Wessel
Wall St Journal Blogs
When a country’s economy grows too slowly, the standard short-term remedies are to increase government spending, cut taxes or reduce interest rates. When none of those options is available, governments often resort to pushing down their currencies to make their exports more attractive to foreigners (and, these days, to push up import prices and thus bring inflation back up to desired levels).
When the world economy is sputtering, and every big country increases spending, cuts taxes and reduces interest rates, the global economy benefits from the increase in demand. That’s the story of 2009.
But when individual countries lean heavily on pushing their currencies down, that tends to shift demand from one place to another rather than increasing the total.
Continue Reading at Blogs.WSJ.com…
Getting your foot on the property ladder will require an average salary of £51,500, according to new figures
by Peter Spence
A leap in the price of London homes in the year to July has seen their average value above £500,000 for the first time, official figures showed.
Buying a typical home in the capital set buyers back £514,000 in July, as the average property value jumped by 19.1pc in the year, and into a higher stamp duty bracket.
Houses bought for more than £250,000 to £500,000 will incur stamp duty at 3pc, while homes costing over £500,000 to £1m are charged at 4pc.
“The average London property is now eligible for a minimum £20,000 tax bill,” said Richard Snook, senior economist at PwC.
Continue Reading at Telegraph.co.uk…
Loose monetary policies have created an “illusion of permanent liquidity” that is spurring investors to make risky bets and push up asset prices, the Bank for International Settlements said Sunday.
“The longer the music plays and the louder it gets, the more deafening is the silence that follows,” Claudio Borio, who heads the BIS’s monetary and economic unit, told reporters.
“Markets will not be liquid when that liquidity is needed most,” he warned, urging “sound prudential policies (and) extra prudence on the part of market participants themselves”.
Continue Reading at France24.com…
Do the United States’ sanctions work, or are the US and Western Europe shooting themselves in the foot?
by Marin Katusa, Chief Energy Investment Strategist
The Colder War is real and it’s on. Below, I will break down a number of recent statements by Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew. In quotations are the comments out of the US Treasury Department’s Office of Public Affairs.
Russia is not bending over and giving in on the first two rounds of “sanctions” set by the United States and its bankrupt allies in Europe. So how did the US respond? With more sanctions, hoping to cripple Putin and Russia where it counts: the sale of oil and gas. Interestingly enough, it didn’t impose sanctions on Russian nuclear fuel, which just happens to power 10% of all American homes… but I digress. Let’s jump into all the comments, break them down, and see what this all means. Comments by the Treasury Secretary are indented and bold:
Given Russia’s direct military intervention and blatant efforts to destabilize Ukraine, we have deepened our sanctions against Russia today, in concert with our European allies. These steps underscore the continued resolve of the international community against Russia’s aggression.
Continue Reading at CaseyResearch.com…
by Chris Campbell
Laissez Faire Books
“While I heartily subscribe to your premise of pursuing one’s dream,” one reader, Donald J., wrote, “there are alternate perspectives worth considering.”
[We’re listening… go on.]
“Some wiseguy once said that life is what happens to you while you’re waiting for something better to come along. Milton put it a little more poetically in one of his sonnets when he wrote, ‘They also serve who only stand and wait.” And then there’s the more familiar, “Take time to smell the roses.’
Thanks for the wise words, Donald. You’re right. Sometimes, in the race to create the “next big thing,” we forget how important it is to slow down.
Continue Reading at LFB.org…
Fund managers warm up to eurozone stocks
by Sara Sjolin
NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — Investors are increasingly expecting the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates in the spring of 2015, with the dollar forecast to rise as a result, according to the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Fund Manager Survey for September.
Nearly half of the fund managers polled, 48%, believe the U.S. central bank will introduce what would be its first rate tightening in nine years in the second quarter of next year. That’s up from 38% last month. Against that backdrop, a net 86% of the respondents see the dollar strengthening further against the euro and yen.
“As the first Fed rate hike since 2006 draws closer, we’ll see a new U.S. dollar bull market and movement out of bonds,” said Michael Hartnett, chief investment strategist at B. of A. Merrill Lynch Global Research in the release.
Continue Reading at MarketWatch.com…
by Axel G. Merk, Merk Investments
“Bullying” by the Fed, ECB, Bank of England and Bank of Japan has been in place for up to six years, forcing not-so-mighty central banks, savers and investors to deal with the consequences. Understanding the dynamics may help investors to navigate what’s ahead.
First, let’s get one thing straight: it matters little what you; we; or anyone in the blogosphere thinks policy makers should do. We are bystanders that have to deal with the consequences of their actions. The cheapest action undertaken by policy makers is to coerce the markets with verbiage. Their words matter, as they control the printing presses. Having said this, if the words are not followed by action, at some point, the markets may call their bluff.
Continue Reading at GoldSeek.com…
by Leigh Thomas
(Reuters) – The OECD slashed its growth forecasts for major developed economies on Monday, urging much more aggressive ECB stimulus to ward off the risk of deflation in a subdued euro zone.
The call adds to growing pressure on the euro zone, and the European Central Bank in particular, to boost growth ahead of a meeting of finance ministers and central bankers from the Group of 20 economic powers later this week in Australia.
Updating its growth forecasts for major developed economies, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development projected growth in the euro zone at only 0.8 percent this year and rising only slightly next year to 1.1 percent.
Continue Reading at Reuters.com…
by Julia Verlaine and Gavin Finch
The world’s biggest banks are overhauling how they trade currencies to regain the trust of customers and preempt regulators’ efforts to force changes on an industry tarnished by allegations of manipulation.
Barclays Plc, Deutsche Bank AG, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc and UBS AG, which together account for 43 percent of foreign-exchange trading by banks, are introducing measures to make it harder for dealers to profit from confidential customer information and take advantage of clients in the largely unregulated $5.3 trillion-a-day currency market, according to people with knowledge of the changes.
Banks have capped what employees can charge for exchanging currencies, limited dealers’ access to information about customer orders, banned the use of online chat rooms and pushed trades onto electronic platforms, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because they weren’t authorized to discuss their firms’ practices.
Continue Reading at Bloomberg.com…
by Bill Holter
I promised yesterday to answer the question “why?” is it that silver and gold are manipulated. Some people say “who cares?” Some don’t believe it while others don’t even have clue that it’s happening. “Gold bugs” for the most part are angry but I sense they are angry for the wrong reasons. Many understand fiat money to be freely printable and without any real value but they are angry because “gold went down” or didn’t “go to da’ moon” yet. They should be “rich” by now …the flaw of course to this thought process is counting your wealth in dollars and wanting to, hoping for and planning to “sell” which leaves you back again with DOLLARS. My point to this paragraph is to show you how well the “why” gold and silver manipulation have worked so well! Even many hard asset advocates still deep down “want” more dollars which is why they want their holdings to “go up.”
Continue Reading at MilesFranklin.com…
by Chris Gaffney
Good Day! Chuck is headed down to the southeast coast of Georgia this morning so I will get to share my thoughts with all of you readers over the next few days. Many of the ‘traders’ seem to be taking a few days off as everyone awaits the results of the two day Fed meeting which begins today. I don’t expect to see too many new positions put on by investors until after we get some ‘guidance’ from Fed Chair Janet Yellen on how quickly she and her compatriots are going to ratchet up interest rates here in the US. But as Chuck told all of us yesterday, the week is full of data in addition to the FOMC meeting, and some of that data did move the markets yesterday.
The US dollar reversed its march higher yesterday after data showed US industrial production unexpectedly dropped in August. Chuck sent me this note regarding yesterday’s data:
Continue Reading at DailyPfennig.com…
from The Daily Bell
It was the time of unraveling. Long afterward, in the ruins, people asked: How could it happen? It was a time of beheadings. With a left-handed sawing motion, against a desert backdrop, in bright sunlight, a Muslim with a British accent cut off the heads of two American journalists and a British aid worker. The jihadi seemed comfortable in his work, unhurried. His victims were broken. Terror is theater. Burning skyscrapers, severed heads: The terrorist takes movie images of unbearable lightness and gives them weight enough to embed themselves in the psyche. – New York Times
Dominant Social Theme: Everything is going to hell and no one does anything, especially the great powers.
Free-Market Analysis: This Times editorial was featured at the top of the well-known Drudge Report and has obviously had an impact on the chattering classes.
It’s written in pseudo-liturgical cadences and is reminiscent of the great allegorical poem that we have often quoted by WB Yeats, “The Second Coming.”
Yeats’s poem is justly famous for the serious nature of his topic, which was the end of World War I and the ruin it had left behind. The ruin was both cultural and spiritual. After “The Great War” few certainties remained untouched. The brutal sacrifice of so many lives to achieve nothing of import led to extreme nihilism and end of cultural certainty. We live with that today.
Continue Reading at TheDailyBell.com…
by Pater Tenebrarum
Successfully Distracted …
We can probably “thank” ISIS for having distracted everyone from the ongoing spy scandal. A new barbaric and powerful terrorist group the danger of which is blown out of all proportion by politicians and the media is no doubt a Godsend for the national security apparatus and the military-industrial complex. In fact, this reminds us that ISIS looks suspiciously like an artificial creation anyway, one that has at some point undoubtedly received assistance from one or more states.
In a previous missive (see “Equal Opportunity Spy-Fest” for details), we discussed an article in German news magazine Der Spiegel (which has by the way done some excellent sleuthing beyond merely reporting on the content of the Snowden files). The article at Der Spiegel inter alia mentioned occasions when representatives of the “national security” apparatus or government spokesmen speaking on its behalf were caught in blatant lies and noted in its conclusion:
Continue Reading at Acting-Man.com…
by Karl Denninger
When are you folks in the black community going to do something about this ******* in the Oval Orifice that keeps using your orifices as playthings for his policies?
The Obama administration is moving to ease access to student loans for parents with damaged credit, a policy reversal that could saddle poor families with piles of debt but also boost college enrollment.
Under a plan likely to take effect next year, the Education Department would check the past two years of a borrower’s credit, instead of the current standard of five, for blemishes such as delinquencies or debts in collection. Also, any delinquent debts below $2,085 would be overlooked; currently, delinquencies of any amount are grounds for rejected applications.
These are what are known as “Plus” loans.
They carry a higher interest rate than Stafford loans and they have another terrifying feature — they’re not taken out by the students, but by the parents.
Continue Reading at Market-Ticker.org…
by Ed Steer
Ed Steer’s Gold & Silver Daily, Casey Research
Yesterday In Gold & Silver
NOTE: I’m off to the Casey Conference in San Antonio tomorrow morning—and until my Tuesday column next week, my daily offerings from the Lone Star State [including the one tomorrow] are going to be shockingly short, with the Critical Reads and The Photos and Funnies sections taking the biggest hits. Besides my presentation, I have lots of events I will be participating in while I’m there—and something has to get sacrificed. I hope you’ll agree that it’s better than no column at all. – Ed
Gold got sold down a few dollars by the HFT boyz at the Sunday open in New York—and it printed another new low for this move down. From there gold rallied a bit, with the high of the day coming shortly before 1 p.m. BST in London. Then the New York crowd took over—and the gold price got sold down a bit, although it did manage to finish up on the day.
Continue Reading at CaseyResearch.com…
from Zero Hedge
If over the weekend we got some terrible economic news out of China, then overnight it was turn for a major disappointment in capital flows, when Chinese Foreign Direct Investment in August crashed by 14%, far below the 0.8% increase expected, attracting just $7.2 billion in FDI, and the lowest in four years. This once again sparked fears of a Chinese hard landing and sent the Shanghai Composite tumbling 1.82%, the biggest drop in six months, after it had been up some 0.2% before the data release. The slump in FDI to -14.0% vs. Exp. +0.8% was a direct result of the anti-trust clampdown on multi-national corporations operating in China after scandals have engulfed the likes of GlaxoSmithKline in recent months.
Continue Reading at ZeroHedge.com…
While western investors seem united in their dislike for physical gold, eastern nations embrace the advantages of ownership, says Simon Mikhailovich.
by Dorothy Kosich
DENVER (Mineweb) – While “gold bullion is the most widely recognized and universally accepted value in the world,” most investors and financial analysts don’t understand gold, said Tocqueville Bullion Reserve Co-Founder Simon Mikhailovich in a keynote address to the Denver Gold Forum Monday.
“Gold happens to be the only asset these days in which there is a consensus: The vast majority of Western investors hate it,” Mikhailovich told his audience of mining professionals, institutional investors and mining analysts.
Gold bullion has been flowing east and as physical gold supplies in the west continue to decline, those who do not own gold rush to buy as those who do hold gold become afraid of selling.
Continue Reading at MineWeb.com…
by Richard Ebeling
The Daily Bell
One of the great fallacies arrogantly believed in by those in political power is the notion that they can know enough to manage and command the lives of everyone in society with better results than if people are left to live their own lives as they freely choose.
The fact is, there is far more in the world that successfully manages and “regulates” itself without the controlling hand of the government than many of us pause to reflect on or understand.
Have you ever stopped to think about how much of the world around us we take for granted? How often do any of us reflect on the law of gravity that keeps the moon revolving around the Earth or on the chemical workings of our internal organs after we have eaten a meal?
Continue Reading at TheDailyBell.com…