Sunday, October 31, 2010
By Gregory White:
Bill Gross of PIMCO has attacked quantitative easing as a "Ponzi Scheme," and charged the American public and our politicians, not Ben Bernanke, with fault.
The Fed, in effect, is telling the markets not to worry about our fiscal deficits, it will be the buyer of first and perhaps last resort. There is no need - as with Charles Ponzi - to find an increasing amount of future gullibles, they will just write the check themselves. I ask you: Has there ever been a Ponzi scheme so brazen? There has not. This one is so unique that it requires a new name. I call it a Sammy scheme, in honor of Uncle Sam and the politicians (as well as its citizens) who have brought us to this critical moment in time. It is not a Bernanke scheme, because this is his only alternative and he shares no responsibility for its origin. It is a Sammy scheme - you and I, and the politicians that we elect every two years - deserve all the blame.
While Gross isn't sure if QE 2 will work due to our liquidity trap predicament, he is sure who to blame for getting us into this mess. Gross targets the politics of the country at large.
Each party has shown it can add hundreds of billions of dollars to the national debt with little to show for it or move our military from one country to the next chasing phantoms instead of focusing on more serious problems back home. This isn't a choice between chocolate and vanilla folks, it's all rocky road: a few marshmallows to get you excited before the election, but with a lot of nuts to ruin the aftermath......read on
The mortgage & foreclosure scandal runs so deep that ordinary observers can conclude the US financial foundation is laced with a cancer detectable by ordinary people. The metastasis is visible from the distribution of mortgage bonds into the commercial paper market, money market funds, the bank balance sheets, pension funds under management, foreign central banks, and countless financial funds across the globe. Some primary features of the cancerous tissue material are mortgage bond fraud, major securities violations, absent linkage to property title, income tax evasion, forged foreclosure documents, duplicate property linkage to single mortgage bonds, NINJA (no income, no job or assets) loans to unqualified buyers, and more. In fact, more is revealed it seeems each passing week toward additional facie to high level and systemic fraud. The world is watching. The growing international reaction will be amplified demand for Gold, from recognition that the USDollar & USEconomy have RICO racketeering components extending to Wall Street banks and Fannie Mae mortgage repositories.
The centerpiece question, when the US bond fraud is coupled with European sovereign debt distress, comes down to WHAT IS MONEY? The answer is Gold & Silver and not much of anything else. Other assets like crude oil or farmland are effective hedges against tainted money, but when they contain debt tethers, they too are vulnerable. Huge flows of funds are fleeing traditional asset groups. Some mistakenly still believe the USTreasurys to be a safe haven. A shock of cold water comes to them when that bubble goes into reverse perhaps several months later after reaching 2% yields. The big magnificent epiphany in the last couple years has been that a house is not a hard asset, but rather a debt instrument extension. Important questions have arisen as to what assets are free from counter-party debt risk. The grand demands for physical gold prove that the futures gold contracts are not money either, but tainted Wall Street and London securities contracts that keep the system going.
The big banks have been called too big to fail. What a ruse! They are too big to plow under without removal from power of the bankers themselves. They are too big to permit their balance sheets to be liquidated without a US banking system seizure together, and a 30% to 50% additional housing market price decline. They are too big to send into receivership without igniting a credit derivative sequence of explosions. They are too big to block the widespread practice of fraud and enforcement of law of regulations. However, a wondrous spectacle has begun to shine light. The mortgage & foreclosure scandal could turn out to be the big US Bank tombstone epitaph, as bank revenues from mortgages halt, as home owners refuse to make mortgage payments, as court cases unfold in full view, as class action lawsuits prove racketeering at a systemic level, as MERS and REMICs are frozen by the courts from further activity. Time will tell. Time will reveal extraordinary efforts by the USCongress to pass ex-post facto laws that legalize the bond fraud and contract violations from the past. Remember back in July 2007 when Bernanke claimed this was just a subprime mortgage problem. The Jackass called it an absolute bond crisis.
The Gigantic Achilles Heel Exposed
Two critical elements have been identified. The MERS electronic title registry system was designed to facilitate recording of property titles as associated mortgage bonds traded freely and changed ownership hands. Unfortunately, the title database has no legal standing, as declared by several state courts, including some supreme courts. Banks or financial firms holding the mortgage notes cannot team with the title database and force eviction during the home foreclosure process. That is the first gaping flaw. The second is the REMIC funding facility. The Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduit was designed to facilitate funding mortgages, in particular Fannie Mae mortgages. Unfortunately, the conduit funding vehicle intentionally omitted citation of the mortgage income stream owner, so as to avoid income taxes. The lack of identification means that the Fannie Mae asset backed securities might lack any legal tie to the mortgage loan income stream.
If the casual observer concludes that Fannie Mae mortgage bonds have no value, then that observer matches the same thought pattern of the Jackass, and the same as an increasing number of financial experts. The mortgage finance boom was more a racketeering scheme to send financial products through the pipeline, earn fees, set up arbitrage, enable leveraged schemes, and justify executive bonuses. At the same time, the scheme had the perceived benefit of putting money in people's hands to spend when their jobs were shanghaied on a ship to China. It concealed the destruction of the USEconomy. It made homes very convenient piggy banks to abuse in consumer binges, as people eagerly burned their furniture. Harken back to the Great Macro Asset Economy, a slippery chapter scripted by Greenspan, one of several heretical chapters. Many citizens were turned into paupers who lost all their home equity, while 22% of the nation today lives in homes bearing negative equity overhead. To claim an elaborate Ponzi Scheme seems a fair characterization. The USGovt hands are dirty. The reflection on USTreasurys is filled with risk of a popped bubble. The reflection on the USDollar is filled with risk of downdrafts since a corrosive currency.
The Europeans have their damaged sovereign debt, but the Americans can boast twin beasts in the USTreasury Bond bubble and the USAgency Mortgage Bond scam. The scam involves mortgage bond fraud from improper perfection of property title that ensures revenue stream. The scam involves securities violations from usage of the MERS title database, duplicate properties in multiple bonds, and forged documents. The scam involves faulty finance vehicles (REMIC) with deep intractible flaws in the structure of funding the loans, whose remedy would come with a $1 trillion tax bill due (estimated by bank analysts). Just last weekend, the state of California demanded as part of a class action lawsuit, with MERS at the center, between $60 and $120 billion in unpaid property title recording fees. One might wonder if any potential criminal fraud was avoided in the mortgage industry during the last decade that saved a few bucks and added to bank profit. The MERS & REMIC twins represent the two unfixable banking Achilles Heels. Can the USCongress forgive the fraud with a fresh piece of supercharged legislation?? If they do, then civil disobedience will blossom across the land, in the form of public demonstrations, marches on Washington, non-payment of monthly mortgage bills, and demands to prove property title. The global response will be to sell any bonds with a US$ denomination.
The fallout comes as shattered integrity of the USDollar after broken credibility of the USFed and ruined prestige of Wall Street, all while a sanctioned USTreasury Bond bubble puffs. The full USGovt guarantee of the Fannie Mae clearinghouse cesspool contents bridges the gap between USTBonds and USAgency Mortgage Bonds. One might argue that Agency Bonds differ from USTBonds only in the claim of linkage to mortgage income and ultimately home seizure, except that linkage is being removed in plain view to the public. The USDollar will suffer. Rather than fall versus other major currencies, the wrecked monetary system will take down all major currencies. Each fiat paper currency is being exposed as illegitimate in different ways. The consequences will be:
- All cost structures will rise, causing a worse global recession, a very heavy painful consequence.
- Income levels will not rise to meet the challenge, since monetary inflation destroys capital and erodes wealth engines in corporate structures.
- The US$-based bond markets take on a racketeering glow in global view.
The vast monetization schemes are set to come into motion for the bond market in general. The objects are hardly just USGovt debt securities, not even just Fannie Mae mortgage securities, but big bank Corporate Bonds as well. The scheme will paint the USDollar in a light with a RICO tint, as in racketeering, sanctioned by the US finance ministry and shielded from prosecution by US legal authorities and regulatory bodies. Worse still, the Financial Accounting Standards Board has permitted accounting fraud to the big dead US banks. Since April 2009, they have been permitted to declare any value they wish on their toxic balance sheets. That has enabled them to take advantage of USGovt largesse, direct USFed redemption of toxic bonds, called widely banker welfare. That has enabled them to tap the 0% money tree that produces carry trade profits. The only stipulation was the banks were required to place their excess cash at the USFed itself, which thereby hid the central bank's insolvency, and distracted attention from the absence of Loan Loss Reserves for the banks. Details on the USFed balance sheet, and big bank vulnerability to further losses, are provided in the October Hat Trick Letter. Toss in the High Frequency Trading schemes, and the US financial markets look to contain more crooked venues than the Las Vegas casinos. The USDollar lies at great risk in the process.
Big Bank Vulnerables Again
The next QE2 is a done deal but with the details missing. The next TARP-2 bailout package is having its justification and foundation fashioned from the building blocks of need and desperation, along with the cement provided by banking lobbies. The two initiatives will likely meld paths. A disorderly condition comes. An armada of lawyers is on the job ready to challenge mortgage securities, foreclosure orders, and much more. Class action lawsuits are on the docket. The US financial platforms are unraveling. The USDollar will follow a path to oblivion, locked in a destructive spiral. The Competing Currency War assures that other major nations will undermine, debase, and devalue their currencies rather than seek out, plan, and establish a new monetary system. The investment in a broken system will soon be realized as infinite, with unchecked aid, even $trillions tossed in Black Holes. The sound money experts have always argued that accelerated funds are required to maintain a bubble. Gold will therefore skyrocket in price, as the monetary system will be actively ruined from unchecked money creation. The silver price gains will be at least double the gold gains. Markets are beginning to take control, and kick aside the corrupt control levers. The horizon features a big US bank on death watch. The ripple effects will be shocking even to those who expect it. Other big banks will be dragged down in a chain reaction, while illicit control in certain key markets will be stripped away. Control will be lost by the Powerz. Confusion will rein. The bank stock index BKX signals an imminent breakdown. The dustbin awaits!!
The pressured bank stock index breakdown will be led by Bank of America, HSBC, and Wells Fargo. The Wall Street firms remain protected bastions. The comprehensive fraud in a chain link, from home loan origination to bond securitization to debt ratings to ultimate foreclosure, reveals a corrupt protected broken bankrupt system. Its financial status will be clearly broken soon in full view. Further accounting fraud sanctioned by the FASB might come about, but the date with the destiny of failure is assured. My best source from the banking world believes the wheels come completely off the renegade wagon train that blocks the free market for determining a fair gold price when HSBC fails, and that event is imminent. That renegade wagon train has trademarks bearing the name USGovt and Wall Street nameplates, a merged enterprise. A chain reaction will follow. HSBC manages the SPDR gold exchange traded fund for its gold bullion inventory (symbol GLD). To those who were shocked by the mortgage fraud, wait until they witness the broken suppression levers and devices holding down the gold market. An estimated 50 to 60 thousand tonnes of gold bullion have been naked shorted by the biggest banks. Its value is worth between $2.16 and $2.60 trillion. Wait until the GLD fund lawsuits line up, since most of their gold has been leased by the COMEX and LBMA, since many of its shares have been used to cover short gold contracts.
Perhaps Just Launch QE2 at Night
The USFed is showing some reluctance, remorse, or second thoughts about launching a gigantic second Quantitative Easing ship loaded with acid into icy waters. John Hilsenrath has reported the hesitation in the Wall Street Journal, claiming only a few hundred $100 billion of bond debt might be monetized. The prevailing sentiment is that QE2 might not succeed in reviving the USEconomy and not might succeed in clearing the sclerotic condition in the banks. Whether wrenching constipation or multiple sclerosis in the banking channels and arteries, what difference!! My main question is WHEN DID 'QE1' EVER END?? The grand bond monetization is mostly hidden from view for USTreasurys, since almost every auction is a failure. The grand bond monetization is mostly hidden from view for USAgency Bonds, since mammoth activity in Fannie Mae basements keeps the lid on evidence that their bonds have gone worthless, and contains the acidic spillover. Watch the backdoor bank welfare in a TARP-2 package soon to be tossed into QE2. Watch the overall debt monetization be kept much more hidden from view, a new national priority. The USDept Treasury and the USFed do care what the world thinks, when the threat of them pulling the global plug on the United States seems a viable option to stop the cancer from spreading even more on a global scale. A cancer has been exposed in the global reserve currency. Reaction should be much more evident in the Gold price than in currency exchange rates. They move relative to each other.
An enormous pressure point in the legal process right here, right now is the threat of Put-Backs. A mortgage security is put back to the bank that packaged the securities from a portfolio neatly arranged in tranches of loans, when the mortgage backed bond is forced by the courts to be bought back by the bank, after fraud or negligence or contractual defects were demonstrated. A fiduciary responsibility is enforced in the bond securitization process. Estimates wildly have come forth that $2 trillion, give or take a few hundred $billion, in mortgage bonds will be put back to the big banks. They are scrambling to win support from the USCongress for quick action. The TARP-1 package worth almost $800 billion was motivated by declines in the housing market. To be sure, plenty of Bait & Switch was evident, but leave that aside. The TARP-2 package might be required at least $1.5 trillion, motivated this time by securities violations, defective fraudulent MERS & REMIC devices, and contract fraud, when the specter of class action lawsuits, even with RICO claims, hangs overhead. These are felony crimes, a far cry from a declining market.
The second round of big bank TARP bailouts certainly has come in a vastly different light. To solve the challenge, look for the USDept Treasury (controlled by Goldman Sachs) and the USFed (controlled by godfathers to Wall Street banks) to conduct a more secretive monetization of the big bank bond exposure. THEY WILL MONETIZE THE PUTBACKS IN THE DEAD OF NIGHT, DONE IN SECRET, WITHOUT FANFARE, IN A MORE DIRECT CABAL EXERCISE. They will use Fannie Mae as a bad bank, a bond garbage can, its reason for being, its raison d'Ãªtre. When caught, they will claim they did it to avoid a USEconomic Depression. The truth is more that they will conceal their activity in order to retain power, to enable much more banker welfare courtesy of the captured USGovt, even to prevent a collapse on US soil.
Global Bankers Angry & Feisty & Demanding
The G-20 ministers have come forth with a vacant pledge as a working theme. Regard it as the billboard message of crisis. Ignore the words, but take serious note of the theme, since it wraps words around the alarm. The competitive currency devaluations will be devastating, even as fast moving trade deficits will be the visible outcome. National trade gaps will go out of control. The G-20 finance ministers issued an opening preliminary statement, a working theme. They will pledge to refrain from competitive devaluations and endorse market based exchange rates, whatever that means. Of course, the silent vote is not made by nations that shun attendance, like Brazil. They decided not to attend, due to stated concerns over growing hostility in competitive currency policy. China might have pulled that cord, as Brazil earned a favor. A US proposal was evaluated to set targets for current account gaps on the pathway to rebalancing global growth and realigning exchange rates. The United States will surely be kept exempt, causing more friction. The G-20 Meeting is telling of the crippling devastation coming in the Competing Currency War, which will take down the entire monetary system. And furthermore, the evidence will be seen in the trade deficits. For instance, even Turkey is setting record deficits. Large deficits will be unavoidable. The obvious outcome of the G-20 Meeting was a sharp pullback in the US monetization project planning, but it will be temporary.
Talk of a Plaza-2 Accord has begun, but it will find zero traction. Unfortunately, any such accord requires nations to take the lead in sacrificing their domestic economies and banking systems. Such nations would have to agree to higher currencies, which harm their economies. Not gonna happen!! Instead, expect conflict, disruption, and chaos to grow. What is needed is consensus and order to depreciate the USDollar in relation to the other major world currencies by direct intervention. The present day environment has no maturity, no cooperation, and no order. It is loaded with resentment, animosity, and a desire to topple the horribly corrupt and recognized villains in Wall Street and London, where power is wielded without respect and thefts are perpetrated without conscience. In fact, a spirit of retribution and deserved vengeance permeates the FOREX winds. Witness the Competing Currency Wars soon in full glory, which have moved past first gear, and are well into second gear. USFed Chairman Bernanke has in essence threatened to inflate with QE2 to infinity in order to support a system that cannot any longer be supported, a rickety US$-centric system. Commodity prices are surging, and emerging economies are battling against fast rising price inflation. The USEconomy operates under 7% to 8% annual price inflation, but emerging nations have it a bit worse. Currency appreciation is a necessary tool to keep prices under control for other nations. The BIG problem here is that they are reluctant to allow significant currency appreciation as long as the Chinese Yuan remains static and fixed. The key is China. No nation will agree to a currency rise without China doing so first, and doing so with some magnitude to matter. Emerging nations are cutting deals, even with non-Anglo industrial nations, to avoid usage of the USDollar in trade settlement. If Plaza-2 happens, it will have China as its champion.
The Yen Carry Trade has a vast hidden doorway. Japan has revealed a hidden pressure point. It is the unwind of the great Yen Carry Trade. It was the greatest financial engineering project in modern history. The Jackass found it utterly amazing that the venerable Kurt Richebacher had no idea what it was, and his popular acclaimed newsletter had a moniker devoted to credit and currency markets. Its unwind is coming to an end finally with a climax upward thrust in the Yen, amidst clouding factors like the rise of China. In fact, China is diversifying its FOREX reserves to some extent by using USTreasurys to purchase Japanese Govt Bonds, which has drawn great anger from Tokyo. Witness more currency war battles, bigger than skirmishes.
The climax chapter of the USTreasury Bond bubble, with its benchmark 0% label, removes the Yen Carry Trade since both sovereign bonds offer near 0% yield. The yield differential is eliminated. The end of the great carry trade signals a monetary system breakdown and finally a USGovt debt default. The carry trade provided tremendous demand for the USTreasurys, which has been replaced by the Printing Pre$$. The Yen currency is the quiet litmus index of the competing currency war, its turbo-charge. It remains hidden from view and free from discussion. Details are provided on it in the October issue of the Hat Trick Letter, along with many implications of the bank condition on the gold price.
Gold Consolidates Big Gains
The gold price rose almost 200 points from the beginning of August to the first week of October. It is consolidating the gains, a digestion process. The resistance was broken. More importantly, the big US bank chokehold of the gold market was somewhat broken. A bull market remains, and the strong seasonal months of December and January lie around the corner. The effect of a seasonally strong September has been seen. The Competing Currency War, the deadly round robin exercise to devaluate currencies, feeds the gold bull in magnificent style. The G-20 platitudes will be brushed aside. The gold bull is given a rich diet in huge volumes of fiat money from strained monetary presses, justified to protect export trade, committed to serve the broken banks. In the middle of the sovereign debt crisis and the mortgage bond eruption and the insolvent bank condition, GOLD IS REGARDED AS THE SAFER HAVEN, since not tied to debt and not associated with counter-party risk. Gold has emerged as a global reserve asset, a competing currency!!
Expect a consolidation in the gold price while the USDollar attempts to bounce up. The Euro currency defense is only beginning. The Euro hit 140 per US$, and has come down with a mild selloff. The damage to be done to the European Economy is being evaluated. The 78 level on the US$ DX index was not defended. A bounce was made possible at 77 instead, a firmer support level. The monetary system is crumbling. All attention is on the USDollar, especially after the mortgage foreclosure scandal erupted. Pay note to the bearish crossover of the 20-week MA below the 50-week MA. It signals a test of the 75 critical support, which will bring about a thrust move in Gold past $1400. Notice how the bullish MA crossover in March signaled a test of the upside resistance. A full 800 basis point run-up followed the reliable sentinel signal. My expected 78 to 84 range was blown out. An eerie calm does not seem likely, not with the mortgage bond fraud and home foreclosure scandal in full blossom. The United States financial structures have never looked more corrupt or broken in the national history. As the US$ standard bearer of the monetary system takes severe damage, look for the Gold price to march toward $1500 and the Silver price to march toward $30. It is written; it will be done. The bankers in the temple will eventually be placed in their deserved domicile or find themselves on the run.
Jim Willie CB is a statistical analyst in marketing research and retail forecasting. He holds a Ph.D. in Statistics. His career has stretched over 22 years. He aspires to one day join the financial editor world, unencumbered by the limitations of economic credentials. Visit his free website to find articles from topflight authors at www.GoldenJackass.com
"Gold has always been funny in that way. So many people worldwide think of it as money, it tends to dry up as the price rises."
All the gold in the world is a fixed quantity. It always has been. It just gets moved around like poker chips on a table. Some of it is still in the ground and some is above ground, in portable form. But it is all owned by someone, underground or above. If it was sufficient to simply trade paper ownership certificates then there would be no need to pull it out of the ground at all. We could just estimate how much was down there and then trade ownership rights. But it is not sufficient, especially for cross-border trade. Never has been. And this is why we pull it out of the ground.
In the monetary roles of 'numéraire/accounting unit' and 'store of value', this gold has been the most reliable money the world has ever known. But those of us who are savers know from personal experience that gold need not be the medium between every single exchange. We generally work four months out of the year to cover the government's "cost of living," seven months to cover our own cost of living, and one month to add to our capital account, our savings. We really only need the gold for that last month's efforts. Debtors, of course, work those last months just to service their debts. So they don't need gold at all.
But for a saver whose income is derived from depleting his capital, like a gold dealer or an oil producer, the required flow of gold is a much greater percentage of gross receipts than a saver who, say, produces cheap goods for Walmart. While the latter might require a flow of 5% of gross receipts in order to slowly grow his capital account, the former needs a flow sometimes as high as 95% of gross receipts just to stay even!.......read on
Fundamental and technical factors for gold are now in total harmony and gold is entering a virtuous circle that will drive the price up at its fastest pace since this bull market started in 1999.
It is a fact that gold in US dollars (and many other currencies) has gone up 400% in eleven years or 16% per annum annualized.
It is a fact that the US dollar has declined 80% in value against gold since 1999.
It is a fact that the dollar and most other currencies have gone down 98-99% against gold since 1913 when the Federal Reserve Bank of New York was created.
It is also a fact that the Dow Jones (and many world stock markets) has declined over 80% against gold since 1999.
It is a fact that gold has made a new all time monthly closing high in dollars in August 2010."
"Gold entering a virtuous circle" - Egon von Greyerz, HSL Jr, 9/6/10
Just over a year ago, Deepcaster noted the following Report, and its consequences for the U.S. Dollar.
"(In a meeting allegedly held by the Gulf States, China, Russia, Japan and France it was decided--) to end dollar dealings for oil, moving instead to a basket of currencies including the Japanese Yen, the Chinese Yuan, the EUR, and a new unified currency planned for nations in the Gulf Cooperation Council."
Report in The Independent by Robert Fisk October 6, 2009
"As a consequence in part of this unconfirmed report the U.S. Dollar took a real battering earlier this week.
Yet in spite of that and all the other market, economic and other uncertainties the U.S. Equities markets bounced blithely higher.
Indeed, anyone who thinks the U.S. Equities and other Major Markets are not rigged should seriously consider the report last week on zerohedge.com. Zerohedge reported that both the S&P and the DJIA returned exactly 14.98% in Q3 to the hundredth of a percent. The odds of that happening as a result of Free Market Action in two stock Universes containing a total of 530 stocks are, to say the least, infinitesimal........read on
Depending on its scope, a fresh round of quantitative easing could have a major impact on the dollar and inflation outlook, both potentially significant for gold, analysts said.....read story in full
I have highlighted the main issues from this Reuters story below. You have to love the Commies, how dare the people keep their savings in Gold instead of The Party's wonderful fiat Dong currency! Gee the people in Vietnam have only been saving in gold and silver since about 2,000BC and have had Indian, Chinese, French, US and their own currencies come and go from their economy over thousands of years, yet Gold has always remained the savings vehicle of choice, and will remain so even when the Dong is long gone.
Oct 29 (Reuters) - Vietnam's central bank has stopped banks selling gold deposited by customers and using the funds for loans or for converting into foreign currencies, partly to help take downward pressure off the dong............Small gold bars, sold by banks and private gold shops, are used widely in Vietnam instead of the dong as a savings vehicle and for real estate payments..........The central bank has devalued the dong three times since November and speculation about another devaluation has been putting pressure on the currency.