Chinese Economy “A Lot Worse Than You Think,” Bloomberg Says

Meanwhile, in China, things are “a lot worse than you think,” says Bloomberg metals analyst Kenneth Hoffman who recently visited the country to assess the outlook for metals demand. This doesn’t exactly come as a surprise. Falling demand from China has been a major factor in the collapse of iron ore prices which just today caused Australia’s fourth largest miner to suspend production altogether and which last month prompted Fortescue Chairman “Twiggy” Forrest to break out the old “let’s start a cartel” suggestion when discussing how to firm up prices. To let Bloomberg tell it, demand from China for the steelmaking ingredient won’t be picking up anytime soon:

China’s steel and metals markets, a barometer of the world’s second-biggest economy, are “a lot worse than you think,” according to a Bloomberg Intelligence analyst who just completed a tour of the country.

White House Admits, US States Need To Be Better Prepared For Fiscal Volatility

“What the Great Recession has shown is that things have fundamentally changed,” The White House warned this week and, as Bloomberg reports, states would have to cut spending or raise revenue by a combined $21 billion in the event of a recession, further exacerbating economic weakness, Moody’s Analytics found in a stress test of state finances. While investors are willingly buying bonds with both hands and feet, The White House warns, states “need to be much more prepared for very volatile fiscal conditions than they had been in the past.”

Japan QE Limit Approaching As Goldman Says BoJ Risks Losing Crediblity

As the BoJ continues to widen the gap between Japan’s haves and have-nots with its JGB monetization frenzy and multi-trillion yen foray into Japanese equity markets, and with the now unfabricated wage growth data from 2014 suggesting Abe’s “strategy” whereby wage growth begets economic growth which in turn begets confidence either isn’t working very well or never existed in the first place, the chairman of Nippon Life is joining a bevy of other folks in Japan who apparently still live in the real world and are skeptical of the sheer insanity that passes for monetary policy in Tokyo. As Reuters reports, Kunie Okamoto thinks further easing is foolhardy as the central bank already has a monopoly on the market:

It is… unwise to assume that Japanese yields will not spike simply because domestic investors hold more than 90 percent of government debt, Kunie Okamoto said in an interview with Reuters.

Germany Orders 100 Tanks To “Ensure Troops Are Ready To Respond To Russian Assertiveness”

With Jean-Claude Juncker demanding a Unified European Army, it appears Germany is wasting no time in simultaneously boosting its own economy with warfare spending and comforting a ‘fearful populace’ with more military might. As Reuters reports, Germany plans to procure more than 100 additional Leopard 2 tanks, increasing its total Leopard 2 tank inventory by a whopping 45% a government spokesman said on Friday, as it seeks to ensure its “troops are ready for action in response to concerns over recent Russian assertiveness.”

Martin Armstrong Asks: “Is There Something Behind The Power Outage In Washington DC?”

Submitted by Martin Armstrong via Armstrong Economics,

Power-Grid

The April 7th, 2015 power outage in Washington DC is curious to say the least. Virtually instantaneously, the government declare it was not a terrorist attack. After all, how could that possibly be when the NSA guards the country. If there was an attack on the power-grid, then the NSA would have to answer for their failure. So clearly, if it was an attack, they would never admit it.

Instead, this has been attributed to a piece of metal breaking loose from a power line 43

Define Irony: Obama Concerned China Using “Size, Muscle” To Bully Other Countries

To be sure, China has had a good couple of months when it comes to projecting their rising superpower status to the rest of the world. Indeed, Beijing’s military made history three times last week alone by agreeing to sell some $5 billion in subs to Pakistan, by getting set to start the country’s first nuclear submarine patrols, and by swooping in to rescue more than 200 evacuees in the embattled Yemeni port city of Aden (and risking armed conflict in the process) in what Reuters notes is “the first time that China’s military has helped other countries evacuate their people during an international crisis.”