BANGKOK (Reuters) – A group of young transgender Thais sits together in women’s clothes behind rows of men, waiting for military officers to call their names and decide whether they must be drafted as soldiers.
Rising external demand and commodity prices will boost expansion, says ADB
After Wikileaks revelations that Citigroup picked Obama’s cabinet, it appears the Trump administration is succumbing to ‘same globalism, different bank.’
Weeks after the Daily Mail exposed an internal struggle between Kushner-linked Goldman Sachs operatives and Trump advisor Steve Bannon, it has become clear that an “ideological coup” led by globalist bankers is well underway – claiming populist Steve Bannon as their latest victim. This ties in with Roger Stone’s warning that Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner has been leaking anti-Bannon information to MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough.
Well, it appears the Goldman globalists have won… for now. Wednesday evening, former Breitbart lead investigative reporter Lee Stranahan dropped an insightful Periscope video in which he laid out exactly what’s going on in the White House – pointing out who’s running the show, and imploring people to simply research the players for themselves.
In a nutshell: Weeks after meeting with Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein at the Four Seasons bar in DC, Jared Kushner-friendly Goldman alums have successfully maneuvered Trump’s top advisor Steve Bannon off the Natl. Security Council – further strengthening the globalist cabal’s influence over President Trump. Jared Kushner, it should be pointed out, has a well documented history of donating to Democrats; including Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and Robert Mendez (D-NJ).
— ZeroPointNow (@ZeroPointNow) April 6, 2017
Let’s look at the ex-Goldman operators within the Trump White House:
Gary Cohn – recently Goldman’s #2, is Trump’s chief economic advisor – who was granted an unprecedented accelerated payout of $285 Million in order to go work at the White House.
Dina Habib Powell, another top Goldman alum and former president of the Goldman Sachs foundation:
— ZeroPointNow(@ZeroPointNow) April 6, 2017
Instead of draining the swamp, Goldman alums Cohn, Powell, and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin are the swamp…
The populist, nationalist agenda that Donald Trump was elected on is getting pushed out of the White house.
The fact that Powell is in (who was in the Bush administration), as a Security advisor, is deeply troubling. She’s got Ben Rhodes’ old job.
Goldman Sachs has taken over…
We voted for the working people who have been taken advantage of by companies like Goldman Sachs. You’ve been screwed by Goldman Sachs. Look up TARP. You didn’t vote for Goldman Sachs.
We did not vote for Globalism.
And before you say “Wait, Steve Bannon is from Goldman!” – full stop… Bannon addressed how the megabank has changed and no longer shares his values.
What can Trump voters do?
Stranahan has one request for any and all who oppose this ideological coup by Goldman Sachs: CALL THE WHITE HOUSE!
— ZeroPointNow(@ZeroPointNow) April 6, 2017
See entire Periscope here:
The change in nations Core populations (25-54yr/olds) have driven economic activity for the later half of the 20th century, first upward and now downward. The Core is the working population, the family forming population, the child bearing population, the first home buying, and the credit happy primary consumer. Even a small increase (or contraction) in their quantity drives economic activity magnitudes beyond what the numbers would indicate.
To highlight the linkage of Core populations to economic activity, the chart below shows the European 25-54yr/old population vs. the best indicator of economic activity, total energy consumption (data available starting from 1980). The implications are pretty straightforward. European economic activity (& resultant energy consumption) will contract for decades, at a minimum, with the declining Core population. The pie is shrinking and now it’s simply a fight for who gets bigger slices.
Given this, consider Germany was well aware of it’s post WWII collapsing birth rate and the impact of this on economic growth as this shrinking population of young made it’s way into the Core. Consider Germany’s Core population peaked in 1995 and it’s domestic consumer base has been shrinking since, now down over 3.3 million potential consumers (about a 9% Core decline…remember a depression is a 10% decline in economic activity, which a 9% and growing decline in German consumers would have almost surely induced).
The chart below shows Germany’s Core population from 1950–>2040…but understand this is no guestimate through 2040. This is simply taking the existing 0-24yr/old population (plus anticipated immigration) and sliding them into the Core through 2040. Germany’s Core population is set to fall by over 30% or 10+ million by 2040 (far more than the 7 million Germans of all ages who died in WWII).
But Germany had a plan. With the advent of the EU and Euro just as Germany’s Core began shrinking, Germany was able to avoid the pitfalls of a shrinking domestic consumer base, circumvent the strong German currency, and effectively quadruple it’s effective export market across Europe. German exports, as a % of GDP, have essentially doubled since the advent of the Euro (22% in ’95 to almost 50% in ’16). The chart below highlights Germany’s shrinking Core vs. rising GDP (primarily via exports) since 1995.
And this had the desired effect of turning what was a rising German debt to GDP ratio during re-integration of E. Germany into a falling ratio (chart below).
So the German motivation for the EU and Euro are fairly plain as are the resultant economic transfusion from South to North. But for Germany to be a winner, there had to be a loser in this shrinking pie game. Hello PIGS (Portugal, Italy, Greece, Spain), you lost. As the old poker adage goes, when you don’t know who the sucker at the table is…it’s you. Particularly when you “win big” at first and it all seems so easy…but then it all turns.
The chart below shows the PIGS Core population peaking about 15 years later than in Germany but likewise clearly rolling over. By 2040, the PIGS Core population will be back at it’s 1960 levels…down from the 2010 peak by 17 million or about a 30% decline.
But if we look at the PIGS combined GDP and Core population…we see a very different picture than in Germany. The chart below shows the PIGS GDP turned down ahead of the Core population peak. The rise in GDP in these nations was a credit bubble premised on cheap EU wide interest rates more appropriate for Germany. Exports as a % of GDP (which were higher than Germany’s in ’95) have risen less than half of Germany’s increase (rising as a % primarily due to declining PIGS GDP). Low German wage increases and high quality German goods helped displace PIGS domestic manufacturing base.
To extend the game a bit longer (and multiply the harm), un-repayable government debt has been substituted to keep the PIGS consuming since 2007 (chart below).
How it played out…
The chart below shows the impact of the implementation of the EU and Euro on the different parties. Clearly the PIGS were fattened up on cheap credit. These nations became used to unsustainably fast growth and the good life, buying really nice German exports and undermining their own national brands.
But then the phony PIGS growth turned to real and deep contraction (chart below). However, the slowdown was quick and shallow for Germany and the BLICS. French GDP likewise turned upward after a shallow contraction but did so on a large increase in debt and continuing high levels of unemployment. Quite the opposite of the trends in Germany.
The raw trade data confirms Germany’s gain against an ageing domestic population came at the expense of the PIGS.
And just to square the circle, I need to talk a little about the BLICS (Belgium, Luxembourg, Ireland, Cayman Island, and Switzerland…yes, I understand Cayman Island is not in Europe, but bear with me as it is a British Overseas Territory). These nations with a total population of about 24 million have been disproportionate beneficiaries of the new EU system. These financier nations have been the biggest winners of all with huge amounts of money flowing through them (BLICS GDP below).
But why would small to tiny financier nations be the greatest beneficiary of the new EU? Untold quantities of nearly free ECB money & distortions does wonders for those who can get their hands on it. In this respect, a peek at these nations US Treasury holdings is quite telling. These tiny nations are now five of the top 13 foreign holders of US Treasury’s (Ireland is #3, and Cayman Island #5, Switzerland #6, Luxembourg #7, and Belgium has slipped to #13). That these are America’s creditors is laughable really!
I’m just guessing but the timing and size of BLICS Treasury purchases sure looks like it was front running in conjunction with the ECB’s 2011 LTRO and subsequent 2014 TLTRO?!? The chart below shows the BLICS Treasury holdings back to 2001. “Financialization” writ large for nations that don’t produce much of anything.
In fact, since the July 2011 debt ceiling debate (debacle?!?) when Congress determined the US would never live within it’s means, it has been the BLICS that have done the heavy lifting to maintain the foreign Treasury bid while China (and cumulative BRICS) have been selling despite record dollar surplus’ (chart below). As an aside, from ’00 through July ’11, China recycled about 50% of it’s dollar trade surplus into Treasury’s…from July ‘ll China only continues to sell Treasury’s despite record trade surplus…but luckily the BLICS stepped up just as China and the BRICS bowed out.
The chart below highlights that the BLICS are now, as of January 2017, the largest holder of US Treasury debt overtaking the declining holdings of both Japan and China.
As Europe’s Core population collapses (and economic activity with it), the Euro and ECB seem to be serving a select few at the expense of the majority. The imbalances and distortions will only grow as the attempts to mask who the Euro and ECB truly serve continue. What little vitality exists is being transfused to prop up the few. Hope this has been thought provoking and make of this what you will.
Snowflakes at the ultra-liberal Northern Arizona University are demanding that their President, Rita Cheng, step down today after a student asked for her opinion on ‘safe spaces’ and got a rather shocking dose of reality as a reply.
During a forum hosted by Cheng, NAU sophomore Breanna Kramer asked the following (per KPNX):
“How can you promote safe spaces, if you don’t take action in situations of injustice, such as, last week, when we had the preacher on campus and he was promoting hate speech against marginalized students? As well as, not speaking out against racist incidents like blackface two months ago by student workers followed by no reform and no repercussions?”
And while Kramer expected a softball response from her school’s president, what she actually got was a heaping dose of ‘real life’…which, of course, immediately ‘triggered’ every snowflake within an earshot of the president’s ‘microaggression‘.
“As a university professor, I’m not sure I have any support at all for safe space. I think that you as a student have to develop the skills to be successful in this world and that we need to provide you with the opportunity for discourse and debate and dialogue and academic inquiry, and I’m not sure that that is correlated with the notion of safe space as I’ve seen that.”
In the aftermath of the atrocity, NAU students took to Facebook to do what all snowflakes do when their bastions of liberalism refuse to bend to their every demand…namely, organize a protest…
Meanwhile, the mass-triggering event caused local news agencies to spring into action with a series of accusatory questions…
Q: What does President Cheng think about the NAU SAC asking for her resignation if she doesn’t provide a safe space for all students?
A: NAU is safe. Creating segregated spaces for different groups on our campus only [leads] to misunderstanding, distrust and [reduces] the opportunity for discussion and engagement and education around diversity. Our classrooms and our campus is a place for engagement and respect – a place to learn from each other. NAU is committed to an atmosphere that is conducive to teaching and learning.
Q: Does she only bring up diversity and equality on campus when it opens up the school for grant and fund eligibility?
A: President Cheng has been addressing diversity and equality in her words and her actions since the day she arrived at NAU. Her leadership in advocating for our students and their success is reflected in the fact that our enrollment mirrors the diversity of our State.
Q: Is she willing to sit down with NAU SAC representatives (if she hasn’t already) to hear their concerns and see what she can do to address them?
A: Yes. The President is and has always been willing to meet with representatives of student groups. There were hundreds of people at Wednesday’s forum – faculty staff and students. The few dozen who left, missed the opportunity to hear the questions of others, including several similar to theirs, and the answers that followed.
We’ll set the over/under at 1 week for Cheng’s remaining tenure at NAU….
While today’s market was certainly more exciting than many had expected, first surging on the blockbuster ADP report, then plunging in the biggest intraday drop in 14 months after “some” Fed members warned stock prices are “quite high“, there is a chance that it will get even more exciting tomorrow, should either Trump or Xi utter a word “out of place” during the first summit between the two world leaders at Mar-A-Lago.
How should traders approach tomorrow’s key risk event? Courtesy of Bloomberg’s ex-FX trader Mark Cudmore, here are some thoughts.
With fundamental trading semi-paralyzed ahead of Thursday’s Trump-Xi meeting, it’s only prices that matter for the moment.
- The summit between the Chinese and U.S. leaders could have profound implications, but it’s nearly impossible to have any bias going in to the meeting. There’s genuine potential for both positive and negative surprises.
- As a result, markets are in a holding pattern as we wait to see whether risk-aversion is really ready to step it up a notch. Key levels across assets have not yet broken, with the 2.3% line in 10-year Treasury yields being the most critical.
- The context is a global economy that’s strengthening. Excess liquidity remains in the system meaning that yield and returns will continue to be chased overall. The flip side is that there are flickers of risk-aversion in markets that are not used to volatility.
- That environment leads to an adamantly divided market. On one side are those who cite growth and liquidity as a reason to always buy the dip. On the other, those who fear calamity, citing the idea that low volatility has induced excess leverage to chase returns and a misallocation of capital.
- I have sympathy with both views and while trading each individual asset requires conviction, sensible risk management of a portfolio requires a more balanced perspective. I believe markets are vulnerable to a larger correction this month, but the structural macro story leads me to be bullish longer-term, so I don’t expect a sustained bear market.
- Thursday’s high-profile meeting may not provide any concrete outcomes, but it’s likely to at least provide sufficient excuses for markets to act, even if it is on a pre-ordained path.
Unsatisfied by Cudmore’s take? Here are some more analyst opinions on what to expect tomorrow.
Citigroup Global Markets Asia (Ken Peng, investment strategist)
Oanda Asia Pacific (Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst)
Guotai Junan Fund Management (Guo Rui, vice president)
ING (Jingyi Pan, markets strategist)
ANZ (Khoon Goh, head of Asia research)
Mizuho Bank (Ken Cheung, Asia currency strategist)
The government will fund 1,500 devices to stop scam callers and rogue traders.