Keiser Report: $32 trillion in pointless trading (E799)RT

Publicado em 20 de ago de 2015

In this special episode of the Keiser Report from Chicago, Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert discuss the $32 trillion in pointless trading each and every year, which results in bankers and brokers getting rich at the expense of churned chumps. In the second half, Max interviews Janet Tavakoli of Tavakoli Structured Finance about the latest use of derivatives to transfer wealth from the general fool public

Fonte: Keiser Report

Gold Bullion Demand In ‘Chindia’ Heading Over 2,000 Metric Tonnes Again

Posted on August 6, 2015Mark O’Byrne

  • Shanghai Gold Exchange deliveries at 73.289 tonnes last week
  • 3rd largest week of gold withdrawals ever on SGE
  • Both China and India heading for over 1,000 metric tonnes in 2015 … again
  • India imports 96.1 tonnes in May alone
  • ‘Chindia’ imports 296.55 tonnes in May – 14% greater than global production
  • South Korean gold demand surges in wake of Chinese crash
  • Asian and global gold demand robust contrary to anti-gold narrative

China India Gold Demand

The recent lower prices in gold have not deterred investors internationally from buying gold coins and bars in large volumes again. Indeed the Perth Mint and the US Mint are struggling to fulfill demand for gold coins and bars.

This is particularly the case in the eastern hemisphere – especially in India and China – where demand has again increased significantly on price weakness.

Between them, these two countries are on-track to import 2,000 tonnes of gold this year – that is more than two thirds of the total annual global gold mine production, which is set to be about 2,800 tonnes this year.

The Shanghai Gold Exchange, which deals exclusively in physical bullion, saw buyers take delivery of over 73 tonnes of gold last week, the third largest withdrawal on record. This follows two weeks of steadily increasing demand as investors pull or attempt to pull money out of the Chinese stock market.

Demand out of China is on track to surpass last year’s official figure of 974 tonnes and may reach 1,000 tonnes this year. Chinese demand has been steadily growing, with the encouragement of the government. The ban on gold ownership imposed by Chairman Mao in 1949 was lifted in 2003.

Shanghai Gold Exchange - Gold Withdrawals

As such, demand from the nation of 1.3 billion people who have a strong cultural affinity to gold – and experience of monetary mismanagement and hyperinflation – has been rising from a base of nearly zero and has recently surpassed that of India to become the world’s top gold buying nation. Nonetheless, Chinese gold ownership remains very low when compared to that of India.

Prudent Indian households hold 11% of the world’s gold. That is more gold than the gold reserves that the U.S. Federal Reserve, the German Bundesbank and the Swiss central bank are believed to own put together.

Indian demand remains robust. In April and May alone the country imported over 155 tonnes of the precious metal.

Demand so far this year has greatly exceeded that of the same period last year – up 61% – as Indians take advantage of the low prices despite the fact that we are some months away from the typical gold buying season. Indian demand is also expected to hit 1,000 tonnes this year.

image: http://www.goldcore.com/ie/wp-content/uploads/sites/19/2015/08/India-gold-imports.png

India gold importsTogether, “Chindia” imported 296.55 tonnes of gold in May. This surpasses current monthly mine supply globally by 14%. Clearly there is an imbalance in the gold market when demand from two countries alone exceeds total mine supply, which must then be supplemented by existing stocks.

Yet prices remain in a downward trend as speculative short selling continues to depress prices. Indeed it not just the huge Asian nations of China and India where demand remains high. There are reports of strong demand – including by the Perth Mint – in Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia. Demand for gold in South Korea has surged in recent weeks, according to Reuters.

Koreans, nervous about the fallout from the crash in China’s stock market, are choosing to diversify into gold and take advantage of lower dollar prices.

This trend is likely to be repeated across east and south-east Asia in countries who are reliant on the increasingly important Chinese economy.

Quarterly Gold Supply 2010-2015

While it is unlikely to have significant impact on global demand – last year’s demand from South Korea amounted to only 17 tonnes – it demonstrates the psychological appeal that gold still has in times of economic crisis among people across the world – and especially in Asia.

The triumphalism with which some Wall Street commentators have covered the temporary set-back in gold prices looks misplaced and misguided. This is especially the case when the bigger picture is taken into account – including the significant macreconomic, systemic, geopolitical and monetary risks of today.

These are being ignored for now – as they were in 2007 and early 2008.

Gold will continue to retain value well into the future – a claim we would not be too confident about making with regards to paper currencies and bonds issued by the most indebted nations in the world.

Own allocated, segregated gold coins and bars of which you can take delivery.

MARKET UPDATE
Today’s AM LBMA Gold Prices were USD 1,085.00, EUR 996.05 and GBP 694.56 per ounce.
Yesterday’s AM LBMA Gold Prices were USD 1,086.50, EUR 1,000.18 and GBP 697.82  per ounce.

Gold and silver on the COMEX were nearly unchanged yesterday – down $3.20 and up 1 cent respectively – to $1,085.00/oz and $14.60/oz.

Gold in Euros - 5 years

Silver futures for September delivery fell less than 0.1 percent to $14.66 on the Comex.

Palladium for September delivery rose 0.8 percent to $602 an ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Platinum for October delivery rose 0.3 percent to $955.90 an ounce.

Read more at http://www.maxkeiser.com/2015/08/gold-bullion-demand-in-chindia-heading-over-2000-metric-tonnes-again/#D4y3USxYmyQKOLaG.99

Fonte: Max Keiser

The Great Depression: Crash Course US History #33

TRNN: The Modern History of the Greek Debt Crisis

John Weeks, the author of Economics of the 1%, explains the history behind the Greek debt burden –  

February 25, 2015

I’m joined by John Weeks. He is a professor emeritus at the University of London and author of his new book The Economics of the 1%: How Mainstream Economics Serves the Rich, Obscures Reality and Distorts Policy.Thank you so much for joining me again, John.JOHN WEEKS, PROFESSOR EMERITUS, UNIV. OF LONDON: Thank you.PERIES: John, so in the earlier segment, we were talking about how Greece got to where it is now–in great debt–and the new finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, negotiating in Europe with European finance ministers and the troika on what can Greece do in order to make sure it doesn’t default, but at the same time meet its mandate and its commitment to its voters that just elected them into power.But this segment is dedicated to how Greece got there. So, John, how did Greece get there?WEEKS: Well, it’s a long story, which I’ll shorten with, you might say–which I’ll bullet-point.But first let me say one thing everybody should get sorted out, that there’s brinkmanship being played in the European Union, but it’s not by Greece. The Greek government is accused of intemperate language and pushing things to the brink. The brinksman or the brinksmen are in Germany. They aren’t in Greece.Okay. How did we get to this situation? We need to go way back. We need to go back to World War II, when Germany occupied Greece for three and a half years. The Nazis invaded Greece. They occupied it for three and a half years. For three to half years, tens of thousands of people were killed. But the relevant thing for the current Greek debt is that during that occupation, the Nazi government required the puppet government in Athens to make loans to the German government to pay for the occupying forces. You know, you might get your head around that for a moment. So you had the Greek people paying for the soldiers that were occupying them.PERIES: They were forced to do that.WEEKS: They were forced to do that. There was no choice. And loan’s at zero interest rate.At the end of World War II, the German government recognized that this was unfair and it promised to repay it. If that were now increased at the market rate of interest all those years, it would be close to 100 billion euro, about 40 percent of the Greek debt. That debt that Germany owes Greece is not included in the reparations agreements which were made in 1953, and at several other meetings that finally cleared up what Germany owed the victorious powers–by the way, Greece got relatively little of it; most of it went to the major powers, as you might expect.Okay. So why is that relevant? It means the Greek finance minister has raised this, and it is probably something that even could be litigated. But it gives a tremendous moral strength to the Greek argument. I would say that’s the first point to make about how we got here.The second point, before we actually get to the Greek debt, is in 1953 there was a meeting in London over the debts which the German government owed to the victorious powers, and banks and the governments who were the creditors received a haircut. That is to say, the German government managed to get a renegotiation of the debts that it owed, which I think under no circumstances could be considered odious, except in the sense that the German government could have said, well, we are no longer Nazis in power, so we shouldn’t have to pay this. Now all the Greek government is asking for is a similar type of treatment.So how did they get so much debt? I would say probably one of the most important things was in the 1990s, when the Greek government wanted to enter the euro. And this is an example of be careful of what you want, because you might get it. So I’d have to stabilize the drachma in order to enter into what was called exchange rate mechanism.PERIES: Explain that, John. What do you mean destabilize the drachma to enter the euro?WEEKS: In the 1990s, in the planning for the creation of the euro, every government that wanted to join the euro–I forgot the British did not want to join. But every government that wanted to join had to link to, in effect, the Deutsche Mark and hold their currencies stable in relationship to the Deutsche Mark. So their currency was only allowed to fluctuate a little bit. And at the same time, they were required to have a certain rate of inflation and fiscal deficits and debt and so on. But those things were really secondary, because a lot of people were doing a bit of quick and dirty finance about it, such as the Italians, and also the French, in order to make those rules. So the main thing is you have to stick to the movements of the Deutsche Mark.And the way the Greek government did that was by borrowing hard currency to support the drachma in relationship to the German currency. So they built much of this debt not for wild spending on social expenditures or pensions or early retirement, all of these myths about the lazy Greeks. They built most of it up in order to enter the euro.So you got to the year 2000, and they had a substantial debt. And then you come the crisis of 2008 and the bottom falls out of the European economy, revenue declines in every country in Europe, including, of course, Greece. As revenue declines, they go from a fiscal deficit of about 2 or 3 percent, not very large at all, in 2006, 2007, until–in 2000 [sic] it’s up to 15 percent of GNP.Being in the euro, they couldn’t print money. They couldn’t borrow from themselves. So, therefore what they had to do was borrow in–from commercial banks, borrow euros from commercial banks. And that’s how they built up the debt even larger.PERIES: And so now they go into a crisis where their debt is growing at a faster rate and unable to pay it back and is unable to provide any of the basic services necessary for a state to function. And they go back to be bailed out and ask for more money in order to sustain itself.WEEKS: Yeah. You’re right. I’m going to make a couple of points on that. The first point is that the actual absolute debt is more or less stable. The problem is the ratio of debt to GNP. And when you have a declining economy–you know, you don’t have to be a statistician, you don’t have to be a Nobel Prize winner in economics to realize that if one of the your measures or criterion for success, if one of those is a ratio of debt to GNP and GNP is falling, then you’re in trouble, because the major way that countries reduce the heavy debt burden is through growth, not through reduction in how much you owe. So, for example, the United States in 1945 had a deficit coming out of the war that was 250 percent of GNP. Ten years later, it was down to 100 percent.PERIES: Okay. In the minds of the troika and the European powers, how is it that austerity actually works in their mind? Because to ordinary people, this makes no sense. You know, if government cuts back, lays off people, and there’s less revenue being generated for the state by the taxes that they would be paying otherwise, how do they see the economy growing in order to be able to pay back the loans by implementing austerity?WEEKS: Well, it’s a mystery to me, but I’ll attempt to do it.You know, some people half-seriously say, well, the German government is the moving spirit by this austerity. And in German the word for debt and the word for guilt are the same word. And so there’s this underlying idea that debt is a sinful thing. I think there is some truth to that. But I don’t think the German finance minister and Merkel and so on are coming from that place.I think that there is something more sinister going on here, if I could put it that way. Much of those debts are held–Greek debts were held by German banks. And those banks wanted full payment. Just as in the 1980s, the Latin American debt crisis that U.S. banks particularly–but there were also banks in Britain and other places held a debt of Latin American countries. They were saying, we want full payment. And they kept pressing for that until you reached a point where it was obvious that it was impossible. And only then did the U.S. government step in with some mild measures to facilitate sort of a easier repayment of the debt. That was the Baker Plan and then, subsequently, another plant in the mid 1980s.What we have now is a German government still with banks that hold about 20 percent of the Greek debt, plus Germany is benefiting quite a lot from its position of control in the European Union. And it is running a large trade surplus with the rest of the European Union, with the rest of the Eurozone in particular. And I think it is to the benefit of German big business that this austerity, these austerity policies are maintained. Now, so I think that that’s partly–if you want to know the–the formal argument that–they’re down to a very simplistic argument now. They’re just saying with this huge debt, it discourages investment; until you get it down, the economy won’t recover. This is not clear.PERIES: Now, the danger of this, of course, is it’s not just Greece, but there are several other countries that are in a similar situation, as you said earlier. Now we’re looking at Spain in a similar situation. Ireland could possibly be in a similar situation. And this could grow throughout Europe to the point that their whole continent might be in crisis. So what is the solution?WEEKS: Well, first of all, let me say you’re absolutely right. And it has finally become obvious to people throughout Europe that austerity is a class question. The austerity falls on the poor and the middle class and doesn’t fall on the rich.And debt is a class question. The debt is incurred by the rich. They–for the most part the banks and other financial institutions–hold the debt, and it’s the people who pay it off.In addition, that one thing that’s been absolutely crucial to these austerity plans is the reversal of the balance of trade of the countries suffering from austerity policies, into which they’re supposed to run a net surplus and trade. Well, again, you don’t have to know a lot of economics to understand that. So not only has Greek GNP been going down, but the amount available to Greeks has been going down, because if you run a trade surplus, what that has to mean is that what you consume domestically is less than what you produce domestically. And that trade surplus is funding repayment of the debt. It is a unrequited outflow. It’s as if the German government came and picked up in big trucks, you know, Greek olive oil and Greek whatever else Greeks export and shipped it off and didn’t pay for it. That’s in effect what it’s happening. And I think in Spain, in Ireland, that’s beginning to be recognized as what is happening. I think it’s also beginning to be recognized in France. But, unfortunately, the response in France is the rise of far right, not the rise of the left, and that is a real danger.I was–up until just a few months ago, I was quite pessimistic. I thought that the austerity policies were going to provoke a rise of fascism again in Europe. But, fortunately for all of us, in Spain and Ireland and Greece, the progressives are leading the fight against austerity, and I hope that dampens down the rise of the fascists in the other countries.PERIES: Right. And, John, we’re going to be following what the Greek finance minister has tabled in terms of what’s a more rational plan for the Greek people and how the finance ministers of Europe is going to respond, as well as the troika. And I hope you join us for further analysis on this in the near future.WEEKS: Well, I would very much like to do that and I would say to all of your listeners, keep your eye on this, because this is not some strange, arcane thing that’s going on in some small country in the corner of Europe. This is something that affects all of us in every country.

Fonte:  TRNN

How China’s Infrastructure Bank Threatens U.S. Hegemony

Glen Ford: 57 nations, many of them U.S. allies, sign on to become members of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, providing an alternative to U.S. military might and World Bank dominance –

June 30, 2015

Now joining us from New Jersey is Glen Ford. Glen is the executive editor of the Black Agenda Report and he’s a regular contributor to The Real News. Thanks for being with us, Glen.GLEN FORD, EXEC. EDITOR, BLACK AGENDA REPORT: Oh, thank you for having me.DESVARIEUX: So Glen, today, Monday, we have, 57 nations were in Beijing to sign on as part of a signing ceremony for the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. You’ve been tracking this story. What is the significance of this bank?FORD: Yes, most people wouldn’t think that that’s a very exciting occasion, and I guess if you’re not a banker it probably isn’t. But in fact what went on in China was an historically very important development. It’s as important as the U.S. pivot to the Pacific. It’s as important as Barack Obama’s bid to pass his super-secret Trans-Pacific trade bill. It’s as important as the U.S. provocations against Russia in Ukraine.And in fact, all of these developments are related. And they’re related to the reason for starting this Chinese-based bank. The United States-based Infrastructure Investment Bank, or rather, the Chinese-based infrastructure bank, is considered by the United States to be a mortal danger to its rule. That is, to U.S. imperialism in the world.The purpose of the United States military, its huge war machine that is more expensive than all the other militaries of the world combined, the purpose of that machinery is to put the United States and keep the United States in a position to control the terms of trade, and to enforce the domination of the dollar, and to give U.S. corporations and friendly European corporations an unfair advantage in the world, advantages that nobody else has. And without those unfair advantages, and without the coercive power of the U.S. military, American and European domination of the world would be doomed and we would see an end to half a millenia of Euro-American control of the world.That’s something that the United States does not want to contemplate, and that is the source of the tensions in the world. That’s why the United States did everything it could to dissuade its allies from joining this new Chinese-led infrastructure and investment bank, but many of its allies did join anyway. Including the Brits, and including Australia. And they joined because China is at the center of global economic development, and because Britain and Australia and other U.S. allies don’t want to be left out of that development.The new bank means that the U.S. and Europe cannot strangle Asian development. Because of their control, and they’ve been in control since the end of World War II, their control of the International Monetary Fund, of the World Bank, and their Japanese allies control of the Asian development bank. The Chinese have also been central in the creation of another bank. They’re putting a whole new infrastructure together. And that bank will be operational by the end of this year. It’s designed specifically to enhance the economic prospects of the BRIC nations, and that’s China and India and Russia and South Africa.The reason that this bank is so important is because it’s designed to protect the currencies of those BRIC nations from attacks by world capitalist financial extortionists and players. Players like George Soros, who make a killing out of devaluing everybody else’s country. So the BRICs nations have banded together to protect each others’ currencies, and therefore ensure that they have a smooth road to development.The purpose of these new banking institutions is to develop the economic potential of the world in a more rational way, and to integrate the economies not just of Asia, but also of Africa and of Latin America. It’s designed to develop the world in ways that are not suited only for the profits of American and European corporations.So we’re not talking about revolutionary banks, and I don’t know if there ever could be such a thing in today’s world as a revolutionary bank. But these two banks do represent a great danger to U.S. imperialism, and because of that this is a very good thing for the planet.DESVARIEUX: Glen, do you have a sense that the policies that are going to be presented in this Chinese-led infrastructure bank are going to be more in the interests of everyday people? How do we prevent, let’s say for example, China from taking an imperialist course?FORD: Everyday people, not necessarily. But the countries involved and certainly the corporations of those countries involved, yes.We have to really distinguish between the fight against U.S. imperialism and the fight of socialism. They are not necessarily the same thing. But we do know that U.S. imperialism if it is allowed to stand will prevent human life itself from being possible on planet earth. So it’s, it’s a necessity that we fight the concentration of power in these old European and American hands, and give chance to the rising nations together, banding together against, and consciously against the imperial powers, to come up with an order in the world that is fairer to its peoples.These banks, no, are not going to be taking on projects solely because they will help the common man. The common man will not be represented except to the extent that they’re represented in their governments. But new economic forces and especially state forces that can decree that the world move in a more orderly manner will have the upper hand in this bank, because China is the most important member.

Fonte: TRNN

THE DELPHI DECLARATION ON GREECE AND EUROPE

delphi declaration

European governments, European institutions and the IMF, acting in close alliance with, if not under direct control of, big international banks and other financial institutions, are now exercising a maximum of pressure, including open threats, blackmailing and a slander and terror communication campaign against the recently elected Greek government and against the Greek people.

They are asking the elected government of Greece to continue the “bail-out” program and the supposed “reforms” imposed on this country in May 2010, in theory to “help” and “save” it.

As a result of this program, Greece has experienced by far the biggest economic, social and political catastrophe in the history of Western Europe since 1945. It has lost 27% of its GDP, more than the material losses of France or Germany during the First World War. The living standards have fallen sharply. The social welfare system is all but destroyed. Greeks have seen social rights won during one century of struggles taken back. Whole social strata are completely destroyed, more and more Greeks are falling from their balconies to end a life of misery and desperation, every talented person who can leaves from the country. Democracy, under the rule of a “Troika” acting as collective economic assassin, a kind of Kafka’s “Court”, has been transformed into a sheer formality in the very country where it was born! Greeks are experiencing now the same feeling of insecurity about all basic conditions of life, that the French experienced in 1940, Germans in 1945, Soviets in 1991. At the same time, the two problems which this program was supposed to address, Greek sovereign debt and the competitiveness of the Greek economy have sharply deteriorated.

Now, European institutions and governments are refusing even the most reasonable, elementary, minor concession to the Athens government, they refuse even the slightest face-saving formula there might be. They want a total surrender of SYRIZA, they want its humiliation, its destruction. By denying to the Greek people any peaceful and democratic way out of its social and national tragedy, they are pushing Greece into chaos, if not civil war. Indeed,  even now, an undeclared social civil war of “low intensity” is being waged inside this country, especially against the unprotected, the ill, the young and the very old, the weaker and the unlucky. Is this the Europe we want our children to live in?

We want to express our total, unconditional solidarity with the struggle of the Greek people for their dignity, their national and social salvation, for their liberation from the unacceptable neocolonial rule the “Troika” is trying to impose on this European country. We denounce the illegal and unacceptable agreements successive Greek governments have been obliged, under threat and blackmail, to sign, in violation of all European treaties, of the Charter of UN and of the Greek constitution. We call on European governments and institutions to stop their irresponsible and/or criminal policy towards Greece immediately and adopt  a generous emergency program of support to redress the Greek economic situation and face the humanitarian disaster already unfolding in this country.

We also appeal  to all European peoples to realize that what is at stake in Greece it is not only Greek salaries and pensions, Greek schools and hospitals or even the fate even of this historic nation where the very notion of “Europe” was born. What is at stake in Greece are also Spanish, Italian, even the German salaries, pensions, welfare, the very fate of the European welfare state, of European democracy, of Europe as such. Stop believing your media, who tell you the facts, only to distort their meaning, check independently what your politicians and your media are saying. They try to create, and they have created an illusion of stability. You may live in Lisbon or in Paris, in Frankfurt or in Stockholm, you may think that you are living in relative security. Do not keep such illusions. You should look to Greece, to see there the future your elites are preparing for you, for all of us and for our children. It is much easier and intelligent to stop them now, than it will be later. Not only Greeks, but all of us and our children will pay an enormous price, if we permit to our governments to complete the social slaughter of a whole European nation.

We appeal in particular to the German people. We do not belong to those who are always reminding the Germans of the past in order to keep them in an “inferior”, second-class position, or in order to use the “guilt factor” for their dubious ends. We appreciate the organizational and technological skills of the German people, their proven democratic and especially ecological and peace sensitivities. We want and we need the German people to be the main champions in the building of another Europe, of a prosperous, independent, democratic Europe, of a multipolar world.

Germans know better than anybody else in Europe, where blind obedience to irresponsible leaders can lead and has indeed led in the past. It is not up to us to teach them any such lesson. They know better than anybody else how easy is to begin a campaign with triumphalist rhetoric, only to end up with ruins everywhere around you. We do not invite them to follow our opinion. We demand simply from them to think thoroughly the opinion of such distinguished leaders of them like Helmut Schmitt for instance, we demand them to hear the voice of the greatest among modern German poet, of Günter Grass, the terrible prophecy he has emitted about Greece and Europe some years before his death.

We call upon you, the German people, to stop such a Faustian alliance between German political elites and international finance. We call upon the German people not to permit to their government to continue doing to the Greeks exactly what the Allies did to Germans after their victory in the  First World War. Do not let your elites and leaders to transform the entire continent, ultimately  including Germany, into a dominion of Finance.

More than ever we are in urgent need of a radical restructuring of European debt, of serious measures to control the activities of the financial sector, of a “Marshal Plan” for the European periphery, of a courageous rethinking and re-launching  of a European project which, in its present form, has proven unsustainable. We need to find now the courage to do this, if we want to leave a better Europe to our children, not a Europe in ruins, in continuous financial and even open  military conflicts among its nations.

Delphi, 21 June 2015

 

 

The above declaration was adopted by nearly all participants in the Delphi conference on the crisis, on alternatives to euroliberalism and EU/Russia relations, held at Delphi, Greece on 20-21st of June. It is also supported by some people who were not able to be present. The list of people who signed it follows. In it there are not only citizens of EU countries, but also of Switzerland, USA, Russia and India. Many distinguished American scholars seem to be more sensitive as regard the European crisis, than the … political leaders of EU themselves! As for Russians, it is only normal and natural to bear a great interest for what is going on in EU, as EU citizens bear also an interest for what is going on in Russia. All participants in the Delphi conference share the strong conviction that Russia is an integral part of Europe, that there is a strong interconnection between what happens in EU and in Russia. They are categorically opposed to anti-Russia hysteria, which in fact is nothing less than the preparation of a new, even more dangerous cold, if not hot war.

CrossTalk: Greek pain