Global Financial Breakdown:
China looks like it is heading for its version of the 1929 stock market crash
While all Western eyes remain firmly focused on Greece, a potentially much more significant financial crisis is developing on the other side of world. In some quarters, it’s already being called China’s 1929 – the year of the most infamous stock market crash in history and the start of the economic catastrophe of the Great Depression.
In any normal summer, a 30pc fall in the Chinese stock market – a loss of value roughly equivalent to the UK’s entire economic output last year – after an ascent which had seen share prices more than double within the space of a year would have been front page news across the globe.
The dramatic series of government interventions to stem the panic – hitherto unsuccessful, it should be added – would similarly have been up there at the top of the news agenda. Yet the pantomime of the Greek debt talks, together with the tragi-comedy of will they, won’t they leave the euro, has relegated the story to little more than a footnote – even though 940 companies, more than a third, have now suspended trading on China’s two main indices.
“America in 1929 and China today – are at roughly similar stages of economic development”
The parallels with 1929 are, on the face of it, uncanny. After more than a decade of frantic growth, extraordinary wealth creation and excess, both economies – America in 1929 and China today – are at roughly similar stages of economic development. Both these booms, moreover, are in part explained by extremely rapid credit growth. Indeed, China’s credit boom dwarfs that of even the “roaring Twenties”. Borrowed money, or margin investing, played a major role in both these outbreaks of speculative excess.
True, the Chinese stock market bubble is only a one-year wonder, whereas the build-up to the Wall Street Crash of 1929 was more sustained. Even so, the comparison still holds. As noted by JK Galbraith in his classic account, The Great Crash 1929, even as late as 1927 it was possible to argue that American stocks represented fair value.
It was only in the final year that the “escape into make-believe” happened in earnest, when the stock market rose by nearly 50pc. This applies to the Shanghai Composite, too. Stripping out the lowly-rated banking sector, valuations for just about everything else have rocketed, making those that ruled on Wall Street in the run-up to October 24, 1929, look relatively modest. Nor do the similarities end there. As in 1920s America, China’s stock market boom has ridden in tandem with an equally speculative real estate bubble.
The macro-economic backdrop is also surprisingly similar. Then, as now in China, rural workers had emigrated to the cities in vast numbers in the hope of finding a more prosperous life in fast-growing industrial sectors. In 1920s America, virtually all these sectors – from steel to automobiles and the new technologies of radio and consumer durables – grew like Topsy, inspiring households to invest in them and chase the apparently bountiful profits they were generating.
A similar explosion in industrial activity has taken place in China, only more so. China has packed more development into a few short decades than any country in recorded history before, creating a worldwide glut in industrial capacity that even global demand, let alone domestic Chinese demand, is struggling to accommodate.
Already, there are warning signs of a slowdown, similar to those that front-ran the 1929 crash – depressed commodity prices and a virtual hiatus in global trade growth. The Chinese economy is like one of those cartoon characters who manages to keep running long after leaving the edge of the cliff, only belatedly to look down and plunge into the abyss.
Naturally, there are many dissimilarities too, not least that China is still essentially a planned and centrally-controlled economy which has so far managed to defy the usual rules of economics. The consensus is that this time will be no different, that even if the stock market does continue to crash, the impact will be no worse than 2007-08, when the Shanghai Composite fell by two-thirds. Yet after a massive fiscal and monetary stimulus, the wider economy barely lost a beat. Have no fear, the Chinese authorities have it all under control. Believe it if you will.
I don’t buy it. Indeed, I can see very little evidence for China’s technocratic elite having things under control. The firebreaks that China put in place over the weekend to mitigate the panic are, in practice, not much different from those applied during the Great Crash of 1929, only this time it’s public rather than private money that promises to quell the fire. They failed spectacularly in 1929. This time around, they’ve thrown the kitchen sink at the problem, but so far it has produced only a mild, and wholly unconvincing, rebound. The fire still smoulders, threatening to break out anew.
“China cannot forever, Greenspan-like, keep answering each successive bubble by creating another”
Besides, China cannot forever, Greenspan-like, keep answering each successive bubble by creating another. First it was gold, then housing, and when cooling measures threatened an all-out bust in the property and construction markets, the taps were turned on afresh, producing a further flood of money into the stock market. The authorities were happy to tolerate the bull market at first, hoping it might encourage a switch from debt to equity financing, but there seems little chance of that now. The stock market boom has only succeeded in adding to the debt.
Whether any of this turns into a calamitous economic meltdown obviously depends on the rest of the response. Policymakers have learned a thing or two since 1929; we now know that the real damage in financial crises is done not by the crash itself, but by a collapsing banking sector. Stock markets are only a signal of credit contraction to come. Even so, I doubt China has as much of a handle on its banks, and more particularly its shadow banking sector, as it pretends.
One further thought on these parallels. Now that the export-led model of economic of growth seems to have reached its natural end, at least for China, president Xi Jinping pins his hopes on internal consumer demand to drive growth, and he’s vowed to continue with the free-market reforms of predecessors to help achieve this. Unfortunately, it’s proving a difficult transition. Part of the problem with free markets is that by definition they cannot be controlled. Busts are as much part of their DNA as the wealth-enhancing properties of their booms. As China is about to discover, bad downturns come with the territory.
This is Big folks:
Other Chinese financial headlines: China bans Major shareholders from selling their stakes for next 6 months. * Chaina’s Banks Pump funds in effort to Quesll Stock market Panic * China Stock Sellers frozen out of 71% of Market * China’s Stock Market Collapse not over Yet. * China Central Bank to support Stock Market Stability, Curb Risks * China Stocks Plunge as State Intervention Fails to Stop Plunge * China Turmoil grows: 10% Reminbi Drop Predicted
July 8: U.S. marks Simultaneous “Glitches”
In a strange turn of events -All news sources cite curious computer glitches today. New York Subways stall leaving commuters hot and stranded. United Airlines grounded all of it’s flights. The NYSE cited an unknown computer glitch that suspended trading all afternoon. The Wall Street Journal Website crashed and more than 2500 people lost power in Washington, DC. We are awaiting further info on the cause of all these inconvenient happenings.
YIKES! Hackers send ‘unexplained’ orders to German Patriot missile battery
This post is appearing on Autoblog Military, Autoblog’s sub-site dedicated to the vehicles, aircraft and ships of the world’s armed forces. July 8, 2015
Well, this is absolutely terrifying. According to The Local, hackers attacked a German Patriot surface-to-air missile battery, like the one shown above, stationed along the Turkish-Syria border. The cyber attack caused the battery to carryout “unexplained” orders.
It’s believed that cyber attackers managed to exploit the Patriot battery in two different ways. The first exploit was through the Sensor-Shooter-Interoperability, which controls interactions between the actual, physical missile launcher and its control system, while the other was on the guidance chip. These weaknesses could have allowed the hackers to steal data or, more worryingly, actually take control of the battery.
That’s a highly troubling scenario, particularly following the attack on Malaysian Flight 17 over the Ukraine, not to mention worries over aviation security in the Middle East and North Africa. While those concerns focused on highly transportable, shoulder-fired SAMs, the Patriot is a far more dangerous weapons system – according to a BBC fact file, it can track up to 100 targets and send guidance data to nine individual missiles.
Considering that, it’s likely this attack is going to raise a lot of eyebrows among the military-industrial complex’s upper echelon.
Europe Sets Final Deadline for Greece Deal
Eurozone leaders have offered Greece a final chance to present a credible rescue plan – or face a likely exit from the euro.
Athens must submit a loan request and reform plan by Thursday– though in the meantime officials are devising “detailed” plans for a so-called Grexit scenario.
The leaders of all 28 EU member states will then discuss any Greek proposal at a “decisive” summit on Sunday. European Council President Donald Tusk called it “the most critical moment” in the history of the EU.
He added that “the euro area authorities stand ready to do whatever is necessary to ensure the financial stability of the euro area as a whole”.
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Read more at http://www.trunews.com/europe-sets-final-deadline-for-greece-deal/#7lo1ouYpQ43kJyP5.99
China & Russia may assist Greece through BRICS
China and Russia could use this week’s BRICS summit and Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) conference to formulate a BRICS-based rescue plan to tackle the Greece debt crisis, writes Duowei News, a US-based Chinese political news outlet.
Greece is on the verge of a eurozone exit after the country’s voters refused the terms of an international bailout offer via a national referendum on Sunday, with European leaders such as German chancellor Angela Merkel and French president Francois Hollande calling on Athens to “make serious, credible proposals” to resolve the dire situation.
While emergency summits are being conducted in Brussels, China and Russia will participate in the BRICS summit — along with Brazil, India and South Africa — and the SCO conference — with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan — from July 8-10 in the Russian city of Ufa.
The summits commence just a day after the New Development Bank (NDB), formerly referred to as the BRICS Development Bank, held its first summit in Moscow on July 7. China is the largest contributor to the US$100-billion NDB, established on July 15 last year, with a share of US$41 billion, while Russia has contributed US$18 billion.
Duowei believes Beijing and Moscow may use the meetings as an opportunity to raise options on how BRICS could provide assistance to resolve the situation in Greece.
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Banker Suicides Continue
Disinfo.com January 25, 2015
**This is a story from January but I thought that it was pertinent as the trend of Financial expert Suicide continues and financial woes accrue:
Last year we ran stories about the unusually high number of suicides among bankers. The trend is continuing in 2015, reports ZeroHedge, with the death of a “cheerful” Dutch playboy financier making it four suicides at one bank alone, ABN Amro:
Following the deaths of 36 bankers last year, 2015 has got off to an inauspicious start with the reported suicide of Chris Van Eeghen – the 4th ABN Amro banker suicide in the last few years. As Quotenet reports, the death of Van Eghen – the head of ABN’s corporate finance and capital markets -“startled” friends and colleagues as the 42-year-old “had a great reputation” at work, came from an “illustrious family,” and enjoyed national fame briefly as the boyfriend of a famous actress/model. As one colleague noted,
“he was always cheerful, good mood, and apparently he had everything your heart desired. He never sat in the pit, never was down, so I was extremely surprised. I can not understand.”
As Niburu details, friends and colleagues were startled by the news that Chris van Eeghen had committed suicide.
He worked in Amsterdam for ABN / AMRO in the position of “head of syndicate and corporate finance markets.”
Again, there is again a familiar pattern, namely that there is no indication that Van Eeghen had plans to take his life…
United States Mint Runs Out of Silver
Wednesday, 08 Jul 2015 09:11 PMMint sales of American Eagle silver bullion coins jumped 239% from 2,023,500 ounces in May 2015 to 4,840,000 ounces in June 2015. Until sales were suspended, the United States Mint sold 2,609,000 ounces in the first seven days of July. It is worth noting that the Mint only sells new coins, which means the current supply in the market is not enough to satisfy demand.There were likely several causes behind the significant increase in demand, including Greece, low silver prices, and the gold to silver ratio.The deteriorating situation in Greece and investor fears of its impact on Europe and the world has contributed to an uptick in silver sales. Silver is sometimes considered the poor man’s gold, and gold is considered a safe haven asset in times of economic uncertainty. Also the capital controls on Greek banks is a reminder that possession of physical silver provides additional financial security in an economic crisis.Low prices, especially when the fundamentals imply undervalue, spur buying. Silver prices have sunk to new lows for 2015 even though there is increased global industrial demand for the precious metal. One ounce of silver fell to as low as $14.65 before slightly recovering.And more investors buy silver whenever the gold to silver ratio gets too high. This key ratio is defined by how many ounces of silver are needed to buy one ounce of gold. The historical ratio averages around 50 ounces of silver to buy one ounce of gold. With the new low prices in silver, it now takes 77 ounces of silver to buy one ounce of gold. Either gold is overpriced or silver is underpriced. Investors are betting that silver is underpriced.
If demand for American Eagle silver bullion coins continues to outstrip supply, expect the United States Mint to ration its replenished inventory to partially satisfy sales to its authorized purchasers until market equilibrium is reached.
© 2015 Newsmax Finance. All rights reserved.
In the Lukewarm, Laodicean ( Rev. 3:15)Category :
Baylor revises sexual conduct policy: Pastor Jeffress comments on convenient convolutions:
Baylor Website reports that Baylor University has dropped language in its sexual conduct policy specifically outlawing sexual relationships between same-sex partners, although a spokesperson’s response to questions from the Waco Trib indicates that the university does not appear to be endorsing gay and lesbian couples or sex outside of marriage.
The university’s sexual misconduct policy previously listed “homosexual acts” among the sexually related conduct that could prompt disciplinary action, along with adultery, fornication, incest, sexual abuse, harassment and assault. But that clause is dropped under a new sexual conduct policy approved by Baylor’s Board of Regents at its last meeting and posted on the Baylor website. The university’s website, however, has not updated its Statement on Human Sexuality policy since March 2004.
A July 2, 2015, article in the Waco Trib outlined the changes, quoting an e-mail from Baylor spokeswoman Lori Fogelman as saying “these changes were made because we didn’t believe the language reflected the university’s caring community. The university has a responsibility to articulate clearly and consistently Baylor’s commitment to its values as a Christian university.”
Fogleman deferred on what this means for married same-sex couples at Baylor in light of the Supreme Court’s ruling knocking down bans on same-sex marriages, referring instead to the application section on the policy, which states that it is to be “interpreted in a manner consistent with the Baptist Faith and Message of 1963,” the doctrine outlining the faith principles governing the Southern Baptist Convention.
Here’s how the language in the policy has changed:
Former sexual misconduct policy: In all disciplinary procedures, Baylor University will seek to be redemptive in the lives of the individuals involved and to witness to the high moral standards of the Christian faith. Baylor will be guided by the understanding that human sexuality is a gift from the creator God and that the purposes of this gift included (1) the procreation of human life and (2) the uniting and strengthening of the marital bond in self-giving love. These purposes are to be achieved through heterosexual relationships within marriage. Misuses of God’s gift will be understood to include, but not be limited to, sexual abuse, sexual harassment, sexual assault, incest, adultery, fornication and homosexual acts.
Revised sexual conduct policy: Baylor will be guided by the biblical understanding that human sexuality is a gift from God and that physical sexual intimacy is to be expressed in the context of marital fidelity. Thus, it is expected that Baylor students, faculty and staff will engage in behaviors consistent with this understanding of human sexuality.
This author has contacted fellow Baylor alumni, old friend and pastor of First Baptist Church of Dallas, Dr. Robert Jeffress, to comment on this latest, disappointing Baylor action. After first speaking with a Baylor Regent, Dr. Jeffress stated, “Sadly, both the curious timing of and Baylor’s convoluted explanation for the policy change makes it appear as if Baylor is more interested in political correctness than being Biblically correct. I hope that I am wrong.”
**Because inquiring minds need to know, I am sure that all Baylor Alumni join this author and wonder,in light of this bit of editing magic, if dancing on campus will still put one on the fast track to hell?
Wars and Rumors:
Israel’s Syrian Dilemma:
The War between rival forces hostile to Israel leaves Jerusalem facing difficult choices over which alliances it should seek.
FOR SOME time now two major Muslim forces have been fighting for control over the Fertile Crescent. On the one hand, the radical Sunni ISIS wants to set up an Islamic Caliphate in Iraq, Syria and beyond; on the other, Shi’ite Iran aims to establish a “Shi’ite Crescent” in much the same space that would include a Shi’ite regime in Baghdad, a pseudo-Shi’ite Alawite regime in Damascus and the Shi’ite militia Hezbollah ever more prominent in Lebanon.
These two rival forces are both hostile toward Israel and strongly supportive of the Palestinians.
read more in JPOST.com
ISIS terrorists are arriving in Europe hidden among migrants crossing the Mediterranean on boats, warns EU’s top prosecutor
The European Union’s top prosecutor says she has been told that Islamic State terrorists are being smuggled across the Mediterranean hidden among migrants.
Michele Coninsx, head of the EU’s judicial co-operation agency Eurojust, has confirmed she received the intelligence as part of the organisation’s efforts to respond to illegal immigration, terrorism and cybercrime.
Ms Coninsx said Eurojust’s co-ordination efforts are ongoing and she could not divulge what EU nations have told the agency.
But she said groups such as ISIS are also using proceeds from people-trafficking to fund terrorism.
Ms Coninsx, a career prosecutor from Belgium said: ‘We’re going after the criminals. We’re going after the money.
‘It is an alarming situation because we see obviously that these smugglings are meant to sometimes finance terrorism and that these smugglings are used sometimes to have and ensure infiltrations by members of the Islamic State.
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Russia is expected to finish the construction of a submarine base, close to Alaska, on the Kamchatka Peninsula by the end of October.
“Upgrades to the Russian Navy’s ballistic nuclear missile submarine (SSBN) base in the Pacific could be completed by October, Russian Navy chief Adm. Viktor Chirkov said,” says USNI News.
The improvements to the Russian Navy’s boomer base on the Kamchatka peninsula will include improvements that will allow the operation of the new Project 955 Borei-class submarines.
“The system for basing the Borei-class strategic submarines in Kamchatka is moving along according to schedule and the work will be completed by October 1 of this year,” Chirkov said in the Sputnik news service.
According to reports in The Moscow Times and Pravda, among others, Anatoly Shlemov, the head of the state-owned United Shipbuilding Corporation’s state defense order department, recently said that Russia will build two-classes of fifth-generation submarines as part of Vladimir Putin’s military modernization plan.
After years of decline in the wake of the Soviet Union’s collapse, Russia’s Defense Ministry has poured money into the construction of a new generation of nuclear-powered submarines. The first new types, the Borei- and Yasen-class, have already entered service.
The two new types of nuclear submarine will be based on a common design, the difference being in the weapons compartment of the submarine. This simplifies construction of the two classes by relying as much as possible on common components and design.
Russia will continue building Borei-class fourth generation SSBN (Ship, Submersible, Ballistic, Nuclear) submarines past 2020 the Russian Navy’s Commander in Chief, Admiral Viktor Chirkov recently told TASS in an interview.
Dempsey report: Russia, China posing military threat; war with major power probable
WASHINGTON – America’s new military strategy singles out states like China and Russia as aggressive and threatening to U.S. security interests, while warning of growing technological challenges and worsening global stability.A somber report released Wednesday by Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, warns of a “low but growing” probability of the United States fighting a war with a major power, with “immense” consequences.Russia has “repeatedly demonstrated that it does not respect the sovereignty of its neighbors and it is willing to use force to achieve its goals,” the 2015 National Military Strategy says.“Russia’s military actions are undermining regional security directly and through proxy forces.”It points to Russian troop presence in the Ukraine conflict, though Moscow denies it has deployed its military in eastern Ukraine to bolster a separatist insurgency.And the report expresses concern about states developing advanced technological capabilities that are causing the U.S. military to lose its edge in that field.
“When applied to military systems, this diffusion of technology is challenging competitive advantages long held by the United States such as early warning and precision strike,” the paper says.
In addition to China and Russia, the paper also includes Iran and North Korea — highlighting their nuclear and ballistic missile capabilities — in a list of countries that pose “serious security concerns” to America and its allies.
“Since the last national military strategy was published four years ago, global disorder has trended upward while some of our comparative advantages have begun to erode,” Dempsey told reporters.
The 2011 report spoke little of Russia.
“China’s actions are adding tension to the Asia-Pacific region,” the document states, in reference to China’s land reclamation efforts to build islands in the contested South China Sea to boost its military and civilian presence.
America’s enormous military has an annual budget of about $600 billion, dwarfing that of any other nation.
And faced with nonstate adversaries like the self-proclaimed Islamic State group that has seized significant portions of Iraq and Syria, Dempsey warned of long and complex fights ahead.
“Future conflicts will come more rapidly, last longer, and take place on a much more technically challenging battlefield,” he wrote in the foreword to the report.
Violent extremist groups “pose an immediate threat to transregional security by coupling readily available technologies with extremist ideologies,” the report states.
More: Russia Biggest Threat to American National Security says Air Force Chief
Russia is the biggest threat to US national security and America must boost its military presence throughout Europe even as Nato allies face budget challenges and scale back spending, the US air force secretary, Deborah James, said on Wednesday.
“I do consider Russia to be the biggest threat,” James said in an interview after a series of visits and meetings with US allies across Europe, including Poland.
James said Washington was responding to Russia’s recent “worrisome” actions by boosting its presence across Europe, and would continue rotational assignments of F-16 fighter squadrons.
“This is no time to in any way signal a lack of resolve in the face of these Russian actions,” she said.
James said she was disappointed that only four of Nato’s 28 members had thus far met the Nato target of spending 2% of gross domestic product on defense.
“This is not something that came up out of thin air. This is something that we as NATO members agreed to do. All of us need to be advocates,” she said.
Read more at http://www.trunews.com/russia-is-biggest-threat-to-american-national-security-says-us-air-force-chief/#rSbyXeF736EGK8DP.99