Little by Little We Went Insane

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. More fiat debt anyone? Courtesy of Tim Price @ Sovereign Man:

“Are we finished ? The answer is no.”

– Mario Draghi, President of the European Central Bank, 5th June 2014, having just cut ECB deposit rates to minus 0.1 percent.

“The first panacea for a mismanaged nation is inflation of the currency; the second is war. Both bring a temporary prosperity; both bring a permanent ruin. But both are the refuge of political and economic opportunists.”

– Ernest Hemingway.

“The way to crush the bourgeoisie is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation.”

– Vladimir Lenin.

If it looks like insanity, smells like insanity, tastes like insanity, feels like insanity and struts about barking, “This is insanity”, then perhaps it might just be insanity.

“We were in the jungle. We had too much money. We had too much equipment. And little by little, we went insane.”

Not the words of Mario Draghi – yet. They are the words of film director Francis Ford Coppola in relation to his magnum opus, ‘Apocalypse Now’, a film that so outrageously exploded beyond its budget and beyond any reasonable compass that during its making it started being referred to as ‘Apocalypse Later’.

Coppola’s unique vision came at a price. What was expected to be a 14-week shoot in the Philippines ended up taking more than a year. Coppola fired his leading man, Harvey Keitel, after just two weeks. His replacement, Martin Sheen, turned out to be fighting alcohol addiction and suffered a heart attack on set.

Numerous members of the crew went down with tropical diseases. At key points, helicopters hired for pivotal action sequences were suddenly redirected to quell a revolt in the southern Philippines. Then a typhoon hit, the set was destroyed and the production was shut down.

Throughout all of it, Coppola was dealing with increasingly worried money men back in Hollywood as the film’s budget ran dry. As the film’s scriptwriter, John Milius, pointed out: “Studio executives, you know, are not noted for their social courage”. Continue reading

Meet The Brand New, And Shocking, Third Largest Foreign Holder Of US Treasurys

Don’t you just love the smell of fraud in the morning, courtesy of Zerohedge:

Something hilarious, and at the same time pathetic, happened earlier today: at precisely 9 am the US Treasury released its delayed Treasury International Capital data (which was supposed to be released yesterday but was delayed because it snowed) which disclosed all the latest foreign Treasury holdings for the month of January. Among the key numbers tracked and disclosed, was that China’s official holdings increased from $1.270 trillion to $1.284 trillion, that Japan holdings declined by a tiny $0.2 billion, that UK holdings increased by $7.8 billion to $171 billion, and that holdings of Caribbean Banking Centers, aka hedge funds, declined by $16.7 billion. Here is Reuters with the full data summary (save it before this article is pulled).

So why is it hilarious and pathetic? Because just three short hours later, the Treasury – that organization that has billions of dollars at its budgetary disposal to collate, analyze and disseminate accurate and error-free data – admitted that all the previously reported data was in effect made up!

Of course, it didn’t phrase it as such. Instead, what TIC did was release an entire set of January numbers shortly after it had released the “old” numbers, which differed by a small amount but differed across the board – in other words, not a small typo here and there: a wholesale data fudging exercise gone horribly wrong. For example:

Instead of a $14 billion increase, China’s revised holdings were only $3.5 billion higher.
Instead of unchanged, Japan’s holdings suddenly mysteriously increased by $19 billion in January.
Instead of plunging by $17 billion, the Caribbean Banking Centers were down by a tiny $1 billion.
And instead of the previously reported increase of just under $1 billion, the all important Russia was revised to have sold $7 billion, bringing its new total to just $132 billion ahead of the alleged previously reported dump of Fed custody holdings in mid-March.
That this glaring confirmation that all TIC data is made up on the fly, without any real backing, and merely goalseeked is disturbing enough. For what it’s worth, the latest TIC data is here. Feel free to peruse it before it is revised again

However, what was perhaps more disturbing than even that was the revelation that as of January, the US has a brand new third largest holder of US Treasurys, one which in the past two months has added over $100 billion in US Treasury paper, bringing its total from $201 billion in November, to $257 billion in December, to a whopping $310 billion at January 31.

The country? Belgium

image

Continue reading

Russell Napier: “We Are On The Eve Of A Deflationary Shock ”

Courtesy of Zerohedge:

In the aftermath of Ray Dalio’s conversion to an inflationista earlier this year (even if he has since once again been pushing a deflationary agenda when he once again went long Treasurys in late September as Zero Hedge reported previously), which promptly got such permanent deflationists as David Rosenberg to change their multi-year tune, it seemed as if there was nobody left in the deflationary camp. Which, implicitly meant Bernanke was winning as the world’s expectations for a return to inflation were rising (remember: hyperinflation has nothing to do with inflation per se, and everything to do with loss of confidence in a currency, even if formerly a reserve), and also meant the Fed would need to do less to further its reflationary agenda.

Alas, as the Taper Tantrum and the shock upon its subsequent withdrawal showed, not to mention the recent outright disinflation in Europe, any rumors that the Fed was back in control were wildly exagerated, and here we find ourselves, entering the last month of 2013 with loud speculation that not only will the BOJ increase its own QE but the ECB itself will have no choice but to join the QE party (even as the Fed may or may not taper although it is increasingly looking likely that with an economy this late in the cycle, Yellen will simply forego tapering altogether, and may even navigate Bernanke’s chopper) in order to stoke even more inflation as the current amount was, surprise, insufficient. We ignore all discussion of what such a reckless action would mean for the credibility of fiat, although we remind readers that right now both the US and Japan monetize 70% of their gross bond issuance, and thus deficit. Continue reading

TEPCO Official Admits Fukushima “Out Of Control”

The question to ask, in regard to this disaster is, have they ever been in control. From substandard equipment to opaque reports on the state of the cores, which are unconfirmed because its too dangerous to approach…all is under control as the markets aren’t meant to crash, yet!

image

Courtesy of The Hedge:

A month ago, when we quoted an independent expert that “TEPCO has lost control of Fukushima” many took offense, despite all signs to the contrary. Perhaps the skeptics will reevaluate their position following today’s news reported by AFP, which cited Kazuhiko Yamashita, who holds the executive-level title of “fellow” at Tokyo Electric Power, who finally admitted what those not mired in prejudice about the state of nuclear energy refuse to accept, that the nuclear plant was “not under control.” This promptly led to the government, which last weekend learned it would host the 2020 Olympics and promised that Fukushima would not be a concern by then, to scramble and “reassure people on Friday that they have a lid on Fukushima.” Unfortunately, the lies, like the radiation in the plant, are now finally seeping through and more are becoming fully aware of just how serious the catastrophe truly is, and drove yet another steak through the heart of the official narrative by Prime Minister Abe as they “flatly contradict” his assurances.

AFP elaborates:

In a meeting with members of the opposition Democratic Party of Japan, Yamashita was asked whether he agreed that “the situation is under control” as Abe had declared at the International Olympic Committee meeting in Buenos Aires.

He responded by saying, “I think the current situation is that it is not under control,” according to major media, including national broadcaster NHK.

News of his comment prompted a rush by the government and TEPCO to elaborate on Yamashita’s remark, saying he was talking specifically about the plant’s waste water problem, and not the facility’s situation in general.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, Abe’s right-hand man, separately said Yamashita was repeatedly pressed by DPJ lawmakers when he made the remark.
The punchline:

The view of TEPCO as a company does not contradict Abe’s statement, Suga added.
Actually no, it does. What is more humiliating is that the admission comes a day after an official PR campaign was launched to ease the world’s concerns that Japan really has no clue what it is doing.

Japan’s reputation as a ‘safe pair of hands’ gave it the edge to win the race to host the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. The decision immediately boosted investor confidence – despite the ongoing Fukushima nuclear crisis.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe assured the International Olympic Committee that the Fukushima leak was not a threat to Tokyo and took personal responsibility for keeping it safe,’ writes leading economist Professor Dr Stefan Lippert in World Review.

Persistent concerns over the leak of radioactive water from the nuclear power plant had dogged Tokyo’s Olympic bid. The crippled nuclear plant is about 250 km (155 miles) north east of Tokyo and there are fears the amount of contaminated water is getting out of control.

But winning the bid gave shares in Japan ‘an instant lift with construction companies, real estate and tourism expecting to benefit from the economic impact of staging the games,’ says Professor Dr Lippert.

This is expected to create 150,000 jobs and have a US$30 billion economic impact for Japan while boosting the mood of investors and spurring Japan’s economic recovery after two decades of lacklustre growth and the March 2011 triple disaster of earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident.

‘It will support the popular belief that that Japan’s turnaround has finally begun, and contribute to the upbeat feeling in Japan since the beginning of Abenomics,’ he adds.

Dr Lippert believes that the International Olympic Committee’s decision on September 7, 2013, emphasises that the international community sees Japan as a haven of stability and wealth in the region.

‘Internationally, the vote is as an expression of confidence in Japan and its revival,’ he says.

If that is indeed the case, than the “international” community should be embarrassed at being complicit with a lying government, which will do everything in its power to misrepresent reality, and boost a flailing economy courtesy of the funding surrounding the 2020 Olympics even as the human cost of such a plan is, effectively, unknown and potentially unprecedented.

Finally, for those curious about the real state of play, we repost the four summary charts showing what the current situation at Fuck-u truly is:

image

image

image

image

The Sea off Fukushima is boiling

While most people are only concerned about xfactor, its back on in the UK this very eve, but off the East Coast of Japan we have a real story, still developing after 2 years of an essential news blackout.

“After a 29-month cover-up, the Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) is now calling for international help and has all but admitted Fukushima’s radiation leaks are spiraling out of control. In addition to the leaking water storage units that are unleashing hundreds of tons of radioactive water each day, Tepco now says 50% of its contaminated water filtration capability has been taken offline due to corrosion,” courtesy of Natural News.

image

This is not just worrying, in my opinion, it is the worst disaster in our known history on this planet. Our leaders are not bringing this up in parliament, we are distracted with so many non stories and shiny trinkets, when this gets into the food supply and it will (bio-magnification), expect cancer rates to go through the roof. This needs international help and mobilisation now, if the US public figured out they will and could already be irradiated on the West coast, heads would roll and markets would crash. This boils down to money and the effect on share prices of nuclear companies and markets themselves. Instead they’re off to start another war with a sovereign nation.

Life is worth much more than fiat money, its unmeasurable and priceless. Our leaders actions so far, are harrowingly silent and incompetent, who wants to crash the markets when you’re a narcissist?