Friday, September 30, 2016

Musical Interlude: Karl Jenkins, “Palladio”

Karl Jenkins, “Palladio”

"A Look to the Heavens"; "Why Do We Look to the Stars?"

"Distorted galaxy NGC 2442 can be found in the southern constellation of the flying fish, (Piscis) Volans. Located about 50 million light-years away, the galaxy's two spiral arms extending from a pronounced central bar give it a hook-shaped appearance. This deep color image also shows the arms' obscuring dust lanes, young blue star clusters and reddish star forming regions surrounding a core of yellowish light from an older population of stars.

But the star forming regions seem more concentrated along the drawn-out (right side) spiral arm. The distorted structure is likely the result of an ancient close encounter with the smaller galaxy seen near the top left of this field of view. The two interacting galaxies are separated by about 150,000 light-years at the estimated distance of NGC 2442."

"Why Do We Look to the Stars?"

"The Cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever will be. Our feeblest contemplations of the Cosmos stir us — there is a tingling in the spine, a catch in the voice, a faint sensation of a distant memory, as if we were falling from a great height. We know we are approaching the greatest of mysteries.

For as long as there has been humans we have searched for our place in the cosmos. Where are we? Who are we? We find that we live on an insignificant planet of a hum-drum star lost in a galaxy tucked away in some forgotten corner of a universe in which there are far more galaxies than people. This perspective is a courageous continuation of our penchant for constructing and testing mental models of the skies; the Sun as a red-hot stone, the stars as a celestial flame, the Galaxy as the backbone of night.
The size and age of the Cosmos are beyond ordinary human understanding. Lost somewhere between immensity and eternity is our tiny planetary home. In a cosmic perspective, most human concerns seem insignificant, even petty. And yet our species is young and curious and brave and shows much promise. In the last few millennia we have made the most astonishing and unexpected discoveries about the Cosmos and our place within it, explorations that are exhilarating to consider. They remind us that humans have evolved to wonder, that understanding is a joy, that knowledge is prerequisite to survival. I believe our future depends powerfully on how well we understand this Cosmos in which we float like a mote of dust in the morning sky. Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere."
- Carl Sagan

Chet Raymo, “Sanctus”

by Chet Raymo

“Early in Claire Messud's new novel, “The Woman Upstairs”, the narrator asks herself and others whether they would rather be able to fly or be invisible. I suspect most who visit this blog would prefer to fly. Me too. Until lately. More on that later. For now I want to ask a less frivolous question, one more likely to split down the middle: Do you prefer, as a matter of personal taste, Romanesque or Gothic?

Gothic aspires, Romanesque inspires. Gothic soars. Romanesque hunkers. Gothic seeks to let go of the earth. Romanesque grips like a barnacle. Gothic favors light over matter. Romanesque uses matter to contain light. Gothic flys, heavenward in spires and ribs and buttresses. Romanesque makes the world beyond the walls invisible.

I have visited the great Gothic cathedrals of Europe, admired their beauty, and stood astonished at their engineering. But it is the Romanesque abbeys and monastic houses, such as the Cistercian Abbey of Le Thoronnet in Provence, that most deeply stir my soul. It is an architecture of inward turning, of silence, of rest. Of the subtle play of light on stone. Of firmness. Rootedness. An architecture of the circle, diurnal and annual, where every prayer is a whisper, and every whisper echoes infinitely along a corridor or vault.

There, I've had my say. Let the Gothicists among you have yours.

To fly or be invisible? My days of flying, or wanting to fly, are over. Now, at age 79, I would choose to be invisible. To watch unseen. To walk like a specter in a Romanesque cloister, listening to the wind and the voices of the monks leaking from the abbey choir. To feel the coolness of rough-hewn stone against my invisible palm, to trace shadows that I do not cast myself. To discard the cloak of my skin, to dissolve my bones in the moted air, to become as insubstantial and surrendering as a Te Deum chanted at Matins end.”

"Heaven and Hell"

"A belligerent samurai, an old Japanese tale goes, once challenged a Zen master to explain the concept of heaven and hell. The monk replied with scorn, "You're nothing but a lout- I can't waste my time with the likes of you!" His very honor attacked, the samurai flew into a rage and, pulling his sword from its scabbard, yelled "I could kill you for your impertinence." "That,"the monk calmly replied, "is hell." Startled at seeing the truth in what the master pointed out about the fury that had him in its grip, the samurai calmed down, sheathed his sword, and bowed, thanking the monk for the insight. "And that," said the monk "is heaven." The sudden awakening of the samurai to his own agitated state illustrates the crucial difference between being caught up in a feeling and becoming aware that you are being swept away by it. Socrates's injunction "Know thyself" speaks to the keystone of emotional intelligence: awareness of one's own feelings as they occur."
- Daniel Goleman

The Daily "Near You?"

Arvada, Colorado, USA. Thanks for stopping by.

“Kiss It Goodbye: Social Security Benefits Will Be Cut In 2017”

“Kiss It Goodbye: Social Security Benefits Will Be Cut In 2017”
by Jed Graham

"No matter who wins the White House in 2016, there’s no getting around it: Social Security benefits will be cut starting in 2017. A 1983 pact between President Reagan and the Democrat-led Congress to stave off an imminent Social Security financing crisis included a hike in the official retirement age from 65 to 67 somewhere in the far-off future. But that pact is pushing the limits of age-related reforms, even as a new funding crisis builds for the retirement program.

The retirement age rose to 66 in two-month increments between 2000 and 2005. Between 2017 and 2022, the retirement age will rise to 67. In practical terms, workers claiming benefits at age 62 in 2022 and beyond will face a 30% reduction in the annual benefit that they receive throughout their lives. When the retirement age was 65, those claiming benefits at 62 suffered a 20% cut. The cuts are intended to be an actuarially fair trade-off allowing people to get a benefit that’s smaller but runs for more years.

While it may be fair, that doesn’t mean it won’t hurt. If that 30% cut were in place today, it would shrink the available benefit for a $30,000-earner turning 62 down to the poverty level, a bit less than $12,000 a year. That’s hardly enough to ensure income security for members of the working class who live long enough to deplete their savings.

In Trust Fund We Bust: Yet despite the coming rise in the retirement age, Social Security’s cash deficit is set to explode to $361 billion in 2025 from $74 billion in 2014, the Congressional Budget Office estimates. The CBO’s estimates point to the $2.8 trillion trust fund being depleted late in 2029, after which program revenues will cover only about 75% of scheduled benefits.

Something has to be done to put the program on a firmer footing, and Republican candidates stepped forward with their ideas. Chris Christie and Jeb Bush had both put themselves squarely behind a further increase in the retirement age. Christie specifically advocated a hike to age 69, closing a bit more than one-third of the financing shortfall. But a hike to age 69 would mean that early retirees would have a whopping 39% benefit cut for life. To avoid that scenario, Christie proposed raising the earliest eligibility age for claiming benefits to 64, in tandem with the retirement-age increase.

Delay Retirement: There’s some logic in that approach, says the American Enterprise Institute’s Andrew Biggs, deputy Social Security commissioner under President Bush. Instead of further eroding the benefit that seniors will rely on late in life, workers would face the penalty in their early 60s. Ideally, they would keep working longer so that they’d be able to spread their savings over fewer years of retirement. “Delaying retirement is a really, really effective way of increasing retirement income,” Biggs said. His message to Republicans is not to focus on solvency alone but also on “how do you make the system more effective?”

Looking for ways to encourage later retirement may be more important than ever, now that ObamaCare’s subsidies, which grow much more generous as income falls, are pushing in the opposite direction.

The political left attacked Christie’s overall proposal as “a disaster for the poor,” with Paul Krugman noting that lower earners’ life expectancy has grown much more slowly than higher earners’. Undoubtedly, a rise in the earliest retirement age would most affect those who have difficulty extending their careers and little savings to fall back on. Social Security Administration data show that about 30% of beneficiaries in their early 60s rely on the program for at least 80% of total income.

There are two ways of insulating lower earners from benefit cuts. President Bush and Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., previously proposed to bolster Social Security’s minimum benefit in ways that might provide a net increase to help keep the lowest earners out of poverty. A second possibly complementary option would be to ask workers to set aside a fraction of additional income in a personal account that could eventually be tapped to offset benefit cuts early in retirement. If this extra saving were mandatory, it might be criticized as a tax hike. Yet if it were done on a voluntary basis, letting workers opt out of a new savings initiative, there would be much less of a sure thing that financially stretched workers would participate in.”

Greg Hunter, "Weekly News Wrap-Up 9/30/2016"

"Weekly News Wrap-Up 9/30/2016"
By Greg Hunter’s

"The United States is reportedly suspending diplomacy with Russia, and it also says it’s preparing military options in Syria. The U.S. has asked Russia to stop its bombing campaign in Syria, and Russia will not agree to do so. State Department spokesman John Kirby says, “More Russian lives will be lost, and more Russian aircraft will be shot down.” This is a serious escalation between Washington and the Kremlin, and the only outcome to this is a wider war in Syria that could mean an eventual global war between America and Russia that would, no doubt, involve all allies as well.

Deutsche Bank (DB), that was deemed the “most systemically dangerous bank” by the IMF this year, is in big trouble. Depositors and hedge funds have been pulling money out of the bank, and the stock price is falling like a stone. Deutsche Bank shares fell nearly 6.7% on Thursday, and Wall Street sold off. Now, there are rumors that Germany will have to step, in but that is politically dicey and by no means guaranteed. DB has been compared to Lehman Brothers, which many say started the 2008 financial meltdown. DB is much larger and way more leveraged than Lehman was in the last financial calamity. Many other banks, especially in Europe, are plagued with big solvency problems and liquidity problems. DB could be the first very big domino that starts a chain of defaults.

The mainstream media (MSM) says Hillary Clinton won the first Presidential debate over Republican Donald Trump. The overwhelming percentage of online polls say it was Trump who was the big winner. This is despite the fact that NBC’s Lester Holt interrupted Trump more than 40 times, while interrupting Clinton only 7 times. Also, big subjects embarrassing to Clinton were omitted from the debate such as the Clinton Foundation, which many call a global charity fraud, and the email scandal, where Clinton told many lies and jeopardized national security. (There is much more in the video newscast.) Join Greg Hunter as he talks about these stories and more in the Weekly News Wrap-Up."

"How It Really Is"

"If Central Bankers Were Klingons"

I doubt I'm the only one thinking this about now...
Then again, the banksters are Klingons actually, aren't they?

“Deutsche Bank Nears Collapse”

“Deutsche Bank Nears Collapse”, Introduction
by Brian Maher

“Ghost of Lehman Haunts Deutsche Bank,” says The Wall Street Journal with a fright. Lehman got hauled off to the boneyard eight years ago this month. Cause of death: the subprime mortgage crisis. And its shade has been spooking the markets ever since. Lehman succumbed to a classic bank run. The Journal puts it thusly: “Lehman failed the way all banks fail: It ran out of cash and liquid assets it could quickly sell to pay clients and counterparties as they ran for the exit.”

Now Deutsche Bank is in a similar fix. Jim Rickards often speaks of the “snowflake” that can trigger an avalanche. Any individual snowflake is a nothing in itself. But when the snow builds high enough, it just takes that one last flake to bring down the mountain. Could Deutsche Bank be the snowflake that triggers another 2008-like avalanche?

Lehman was leveraged 24:1 at time of death. But Deutsche Bank’s leveraged more than 40:1 today. That’s at least 40 claims on every buck in the vault. If everyone demands theirs at once, all but one go scratching. And the bank...erupts.

Trouble started this summer when Deutsche Bank’s U.S. subsidiary was one of two banks that failed the Fed’s annual stress test. (Deutsche Bank flunked the same exam last year.) Investors sent Deutsche Bank shares to their lowest point in 30 years. Then two weeks ago, the U.S. Justice Department “proposed” the bank fork over $14 billion for its role in the 2008 mortgage crisis. That sparked fears it could clear the bank’s thinly capitalized cupboards. And that’s got lots of folks nervous.

Bloomberg said 10 hedge funds have removed cash reserves from the bank. “Why would you keep collateral with Deutsche Bank right now?” asks Raoul Pal, independent researcher and harsh critic of the bank. “If you are a hedge fund right now, you start pulling lines and go somewhere else.”

“It is all about confidence now,” adds Julian Brigden of Macro Intelligence 2 Partners, an independent research company dealing with hedge funds. “If a client has some derivatives at Deutsche Bank, he starts to think- will I get paid?” Then he puts the hammer on the nail: “Things can get out of hand quickly.”

The IMF let Deutsche Bank have it good and hard this June, saying it "appears to be the most important net contributor to systemic risks." At one point, Deutsche was mixed up in $72 trillion of derivative financial instruments — about a quarter of total global exposure. That’s what led precious metals analyst Jim Willie to wail “it will be Lehman TIMES FIVE” if Deutsche Bank sinks. Lehman nearly capsized the ship. And times five? “Unlike the collapse of Lehman Bros. in 2008, which the western central banks were able to contain thanks to $13 trillion in bailout funds,” Willie goes on, “a failure of Deutsche Bank would trigger a systemic banking contagion the likes of which the Western world has never seen.” 

And that’s the risk in today’s hyperconnected Rube Goldberg contraption of a banking system. Start some trouble somewhere and it’s out of control in two seconds flat. A picture is worth 72 trillion words:
Click image for larger size.
Jim Rickards has noted that Deutsche Bank’s derivatives exposure is down from a comic-worthy $72 trillion to (only!) $42 trillion. Isn’t that good? Less exposure, less counterparty risk? No, says Jim. It’s actually not. It’s a disguised bank run: “That means counterparties are already terminating and replacing contracts. There’s a silent run on the bank already.” Jim likens the situation at Deutsche Bank to a “Lehman moment on steroids.” And here we note the great irony of zero interest rates and QE and all the acrobatics central banks used to keep the banks going… They’ve crippled the banks.

Sure, they’ve gotten to borrow money for next to zilch. But the blade slices both ways. Ultralow interest rates have limited what they make on loans and earn on their other investments. That’s cut into profits. And it’s left them less cushion to meet a crisis. Banks with falling earnings also have gone further out on the risk branch in the search for yield.

In short… Zero rates make the system less stable over time. Not more. Even that great monetary vandal Ben Bernanke admitted (don’t laugh), “Very low interest rates, if maintained too long, could undermine financial stability.” He said that in May 2013. It’s now going on eight years that interest rates have been at or near zero. And a lot more snowflakes have piled atop the mountain... just waiting.

Below, Jim Rickards shows you how grim the Deutsche Bank crisis really is. Will it be the snowflake that brings it all down? Read on..."

"Deutsche Bank Nears Collapse"
By Jim Rickards

"One of the biggest banks in the world has come several steps closer to complete collapse. I rely on signals from around the world for our information. These signals are what the intelligence community calls “indications and warnings,” and I use them to update my investment hypotheses. Sometimes the signal is weak. But sometimes the signal is flashing bright red. This is one of those times.

The bank in question is Deutsche Bank. It’s the largest bank in Germany, by far, and one of the twelve largest in the world. It is difficult to overstate the importance of Deutsche Bank not only to the global economy, but also in terms of its vast web of off-balance-sheet derivatives, guarantees, trade finance, and other financial obligations on five continents.

Deutsche Bank’s gross notional derivatives exposure is €42 trillion- over 25 times what the bank reveals on the size of its balance sheet. This figure has dropped recently from over 70 trillion, which means counterparties are already terminating and replacing contracts. There’s a silent run on the bank already. As usual retail depositors are the last to know. The financial distress at Deutsche Bank is like a “Lehman Moment” on steroids. But Deutsche Bank is certainly in the “too big to fail” category. Therefore it won’t be allowed to fail. Germany will intervene as needed to prop up the bank.

First, let’s examine Deutsche Bank itself. Then we’ll look at the signal that tells us what’s happening. That signal, incidentally, is being ignored by most Wall Street analysts. The problems at Deuatsche Bank are well-known. They have suffered throught bad debt write-offs and mark-to-market trading losses just like many of their big bank peers. But the problems go deeper. Deutsche Bank's capital is barely adequate under generous ECB "stress tests", and is completely inadequate under real world scenarios involving a global liquidity crisis of the kind we saw in 2008. 

Recently, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that it was seeking $14 billion to settle charges that Deutsche Bank engaged in misleading sales practices with regard to residential mortgage backed securities between 2005 and 2007. Of course, that’s just a claim. But, even if Deutsche Bank settles the case for a fraction of that amount, say $5 billion, it will significantly impair an already weak capital base.

Not surprisingly, Deutsche Bank’s stock has suffered enormously. From a pre-Lehman interim high of €104 per share, it fell to €34 per share by early 2015. That’s a 68% decline, mostly driven by the global financial crisis of 2007-08 and the European sovereign debt crisis of 2011-2015. Just when investors thought things could not get worse, they did. From the €34 per share level in 2015, Deutsche Bank stock fell again to €10.25 per share in recent days. That’s a massive decline off the lower 2015 base.

This sequence makes an important point. When a stock falls 70% or more many investors assume the profit potential from a short position is gone. In effect, investors ask, “How much lower can it go?” The answer is that no matter how low a stock goes, it can always go lower until it hits zero. This is the financial equivalent of Zeno’s Paradox. Zeno, a fifth century Stoic Greek philosopher, imagined an arrow shot across a room. He said that an arrow would first cross half the room. Then it would cross the remaining half. Then the remaining half, and so on in an infinite series of remaining half-rooms. Zeno said the arrow could never cross the room because of the infinite time needed to cross an infinite number of half rooms. (Newton’s calculus resolved this paradox in the 17th century).

Likewise, a stock can fall 90%, and then fall 90% again, and 90% again and so on until it hits zero. Deutsche Bank is not going to zero. But it could go to €2 per share before Germany steps in to truncate the collapse and stop the bleeding. A €2 per share end-point is down over 80% from current levels.

The question is, what could take Deutsche Bank down from here despite the huge losses the stock has suffered already? This brings us to our market signal. At Intelligence Triggers, we use a method called causal inference to make forecasts about events arising in complex systems such as capital markets. Causal inference methodology is based on Bayes’ Theorem, an early 19th century formula first discovered by Thomas Bayes. This is the same method we used to correctly forecast the outcome of the Brexit vote. Now we’re using it to forecast the likelihood of a Deutsche Bank stock collapse in the next few months.

What signals are we getting that indicate a collapse? The strongest signal is not coming from Germany — it’s coming from Italy. While the world is waiting for the denouement of the Deutsche Bank drama, another bank fiasco is playing out in Italy. This involves the Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena (BMP), the world’s oldest bank still in operation, founded in 1472. BMP was the only top bank to fail the ECB’s recent stress tests. It is required to raise capital and has announced plans to do so. The capital raise is being led by JP Morgan and a syndicate including Goldman Sachs and some of the largest banks in China.

The syndicate was formed in July and was supposed to announce results by the end of September. We’re almost there and the news is not good. Reuters recently reported that the capital raising effort is not going well, and the syndicate expects they will delay any announcement until after important Italian elections scheduled for November.

What do the travails of BMP have to do with Deutsche Bank? Both banks are too-big-to-fail and are failing, but BMP is closer to the brink. It’s the “canary in the coal mine” for Deutsche Bank. Italy wants to bail-out BMP with taxpayer money. That’s the standard playbook that governments used in 2008. But the rules have changed.

At the G20 Leaders’ Summit in Brisbane in 2014, it was decided that bailouts would be replaced by “bail-ins.” In a bail-in taxpayer money is not used to recapitalize the sick bank. Instead bondholders and depositors take haircuts and are involuntarily converted into equity holders.

Imagine if you had $500,000 on deposit at the bank and you got a notice in the mail that said your deposit was now $250,000 (the insured amount) and the other $250,000 had been converted into stock in a “bad bank,” which might or might not produce returns in the future. That’s what happens in a bail-in.

The German government under Angela Merkel is telling Italy that they cannot bail-out BMP; they have to use the new bail-in rules instead. But what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. If Germany forces Italy to bail-in BMP, then Italy will insist that Germany also bail-in Deutsche Bank when the time comes.

Germany won’t like that, but if they don’t bail-in Deutsche Bank, the European Union will come apart because of acrimony between Italy and Germany. Compared to this dispute, UK Brexit is a sideshow. Greece is a sideshow of a sideshow. Italy is the real deal. If Germany and Italy can’t cooperate, then there is no European Union.

This is why the BMP capital raise syndicate pushed their announcement out past November. They know that if they announced their failure today, the bail-in option would be required immediately and the government would lose the elections. If the government can get past the elections intact, the bail-in of BMP (or bail-out as the case may be) can come in December.

Markets won’t wait while German and Italian politicians tiptoe around the bail-in question. They will draw their own conclusions and start a run on Deutsche Bank. It’s already happening. That will take the stock down another 90% on top of the multiple crashes that have already occurred.

The German government will let Deutsche Bank stock fall to €2 before they intervene. That’s how existing stockholders make their “contribution” to the bail-in. Deutsche Bank won’t fail and the stock won’t go to zero. But there’s still plenty of room to fall, and this story is far from over. The eurozone is in trouble."

"I'm in Awe at How Fast Deutsche Bank is Falling Apart"

"I'm in Awe at How Fast Deutsche Bank is Falling Apart"
by Wolf Richter

"Deutsche Bank, with $2 trillion in assets, amounting to 58% of Germany’s GDP, one of the most globally interwoven banks, with gross notional derivatives exposure of €46 trillion, right at the top along with JP Morgan (booked as €41 billion in derivative trading assets after netting and collateral)– this creature of risk and malfeasance, is finally starting to scare its counterparties. This is how Lehman came unglued. Slowly and then all of a sudden.

Bloomberg News today: "Some funds that use the bank’s prime brokerage service have moved part of their listed derivatives holdings to other firms this week, according to an internal bank document seen by Bloomberg News. Millennium Partners, Capula Investment Management, and Rokos Capital Management are among about 10 hedge funds that have cut their exposure, said a person familiar with the situation…"

So far, these are just the first of Deutsche Bank’s 200 hedge-fund clients that use it to clear their derivatives transactions. Banking is a confidence game. When confidence sags, the whole construct comes tumbling down. And the first movers have a big advantage in getting their cash out in in time.Bloomberg: "Clients review their exposure to counterparties to avoid situations like the 2008 collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and MF Global’s 2011 bankruptcy when hedge funds had billions of dollars of assets frozen until the resolution of lengthy legal proceedings."

As the leak ricocheted around the world, Deutsche Bank shares plunged 6.6% in late trading today in Frankfurt to €10.25, having been down 8% at one point earlier. Shares are at the lowest level since they started trading on the Xetra exchange in 1992. They’re down 68% from April 2015. Just before the financial Crisis, they briefly traded at over €100 a share. By that measure, they’re down over 90%!

This comes after a 7.6% plunge on Monday. That rout was initiated Friday afternoon when Aunt Merkel, fretting about the general elections in the fall of 2017, informed voters via a leak that she had told CEO John Cryan in a “confidential meeting” that state aid was “categorically” out of the question. Merkel’s popularity has recently taken a hit, and a big, immensely unpopular taxpayer bailout of bank stockholders and bondholders could cost her the election. The onslaught of contradictory denials that this episode has produced was a sight to behold.

So Tuesday, shares took a breath; Wednesday, they rose 2%; and today by mid-afternoon, they rose another 1% to €10.87, as falling knife-catchers were grabbing what they could, before all heck broke loose again.

Deutsche Bank’s market capitalization has shriveled to €14 billion ($15.7 billion), a few bad trading days away from the $14 billion in fines that the US Department of Justice wants in order to settle the allegations surrounding Deutsche Bank’s residential mortgage-backed securities that blew up during the Financial Crisis.

Deutsche Bank isn’t getting singled out. US Banks have already settled their RMBS allegations: Bank of America for $16.7 billion, JP Morgan for $9 billion, Citigroup for $7 billion, Goldman Sachs for $5 billion, and so on. They all settled for less than the original amount. Deutsche Bank will be able to settle for less as well. But its problem isn’t just the Department of Justice.

Today’s massacre came when evidence trickled out that the next phase has begun: that some financial institutions, particularly in the derivatives arena where Deutsche Bank is so exposed, are beginning to lose confidence and are withdrawing cash. When word got out that counterparties were losing confidence in Lehman, it started a stampede for the exits– and triggered the collapse.

Problems at a big bank are always categorically denied by both the government and the bank. Banking is a confidence game, and confidence has to be maintained at all costs or else the bank is toast. So, in that vein, Deutsche Bank spokesman Michael Golden, told Bloomberg: “We are confident that the vast majority of [our trading clients] have a full understanding of our stable financial position, the current macroeconomic environment, the litigation process in the U.S., and the progress we are making with our strategy.”

But the government, looking at a financial system that might face an existential crisis if Deutsche Bank were allowed to collapse, appears to take this seriously. On Tuesday, the German daily Zeit Online reported that, “despite all the denials,” the government is working on a bailout plan as it “fears a financial emergency”: Officials in Berlin [German government], Brussels [EU government], and Frankfurt [ECB] are working on a contingency plan for the largest German financial institution, according to information Die Zeit received. Also state aid could be paid. It would become effective when the bank needs additional capital but cannot raise it in the markets.

The plan has several components. The bank could sell parts of it business to other financial institutions at inflated prices so that it would find relief but not lose money on the transaction. As incentive for reluctant buyers, the government could hand out guarantees. In addition, the government could buy a large stake in the bank – “25% is being discussed.” This would dilute stockholders even further. But at the current share price, it would not even raise a lot of money. So if push comes to shove, with shares sinking further, the stake could be much larger with ugly consequences for current stockholders.

As by now expected, the government denied the bailout plan point blank via our hapless spokesman: “This message is incorrect. The federal government is not preparing any rescue plans. The reason for such speculations does not exist.” But some counterparties with money on the line aren’t buying the denials; they’re already losing confidence and voting with their feet. And bank investors are not amused. Read "EU Banking Mayhem, One Bank at a Time, then All at Once."
Last modified on Friday, 30 September 2016 11:55
"ECB, Federal Reserve and Bank of Japan BUYING Deutsche Bank Stocks
 To Prop-up Appearance of Stability! False Rumor of DOJ Fine Setllement"
by Newsroom

Friday, 30 September 2016 14:02 - "SuperStation95 has learned that The European Central Bank (ECB), the US Federal Reserve and the Bank of Japan (BoJ) went on a stock-buying spree focused on Deutsche Bank  (DB) stocks today, for the specific purpose of propping-up the failing bank.  Public knowledge of Deutsche Bank problems has lead to a 92% DROP in Stock value over the past nine years, with the stock sliding below 10 EUROS per share for the first time ever, this morning.

Then, suddenly, DB stock began to rise.  A RUMOR said the DB was negotiating a settlement with the US Justice Department of $5.4 Billion in fines for market-rigging as opposed the the $14 Billion previously made public. But the US Justice Department refused to comment; as if they were told to keep their big mouths shut or face destroying the largest bank in Germany and taking worldwide markets with them.

Later today, the RUMOR was published by Agence France Presse (AFP) and like magic, DB stock began to rise, significantly! Seemingly confirming the rumor, Agence France Press reports that Deutsche Bank is nearing a $5.4 billion settlement with the US Justice Department. This catalyzed another leg higher in Deutsche Bank stock and lifted the whole market as it would appear that unconfirmed sources have 'fixed' the world's most systemically dangerous bank (despite the fact that short-dated counterparty risk is soaring). And now AFP is walking back their comment: "DEUTSCHE BANK SETTLEMENT MAY BE ANNOUNCED COMING DAYS - AFP"

We look forward to the 1605 ET denial from The DOJ. (i.e. 4:05 PM eastern US time on a Friday, after markets close) Once again we remind readers that Monday is a bank holiday in Germany. For now, the professionals know exactly what is afoot- anything to slow the outflows of cash... and counterparty risk hedges are soaring.

Put simply, what the world sees taking place right now is the deliberate manipulation of share prices for DB, by government entities, for the sole purpose of fooling the public!

Naturally, Deutsche Bank has refused to comment on speculation around the level of the DoJ fine.  (Probably because the rumor is complete fraud and they probably know it! Stay tuned as this fraudulent fiasco continues..."

“The Nature of Courage”

“The Nature of Courage”
by ClassicLit

“Tolkien had experienced war and violence first hand in World War I. Like many of the writers from his era, his world could never be the same, after seeing his best friends die, and his land in ruin. Shippey writes, “The life experiences of many men and women in the twentieth century have left them with an unshakable conviction of something wrong, something irreducibly evil in the nature of humanity, but without any very satisfactory explanation for it.”

Defeat seems inevitable. The forces of evil are strong. And, the quest isn’t really a quest at all. Rather, it’s an anti-quest, the attempt to destroy the representation of evil. The road is long and difficult; there are many obstacles; and many die along the way… Then, why do they even attempt the journey?

The truly courageous answer- Tolkien calling it a “potent but terrible solution” is to say that victory or defeat has nothing to do with right and wrong, and that even if the universe is controlled beyond redemption by hostile and evil forces, that is not enough to make a hero change sides.”

"You Cannot Kill Me Here"

"You cannot kill me here. Bring your soldiers, your death, your disease, your collapsed economy because it doesn't matter, I have nothing left to lose and you cannot kill me here. Bring the tears of orphans and the wails of a mother's loss, bring your Jesus on a cross, bring your hate and bitterness and long working hours, bring your empty wallets and love long since gone but you cannot kill me here. Bring your sneers, your snide remarks and friendships never felt, your letters never sent, your kisses never kissed, cigarettes smoked to the bone and cancer killing fears but you cannot kill me here. For I may fall and I may fail but I will stand again each time and you will find no satisfaction. Because you cannot kill me here."
- Iain S. Thomas
Two Steps from Hell, “Downstream”

The Daily "Near You?"

Dublin, New Hampshire, USA. Thanks for stopping by!

"How It Really Is"

Who owns ya, baby?

"International Financial Alert as Deutsche Bank Approaches Catastrophic Collapse"

"International Financial Alert as Deutsche Bank 
Approaches Catastrophic Collapse"
by Mike Adams

 "Since 2008, I’ve been warning Natural News readers about the inevitable, mathematically unavoidable global debt collapse. For the last eight years, crooked politicians and criminal banksters have been “kicking the can down the road” with endless money printing and currency debasement. Now, it appears, we’ve all run out of road.

Deutsche Bank now stands on the verge of financial collapse. Under the delusional, idiotic policies of Angela Merkel- which are only exceeded by the idiotic policies of Barack Obama- Deutsche Bank has vastly expanded its leveraged debt to the point of fiscal lunacy. Now, as explains, the derivates debt exposure from Deutsche Bank is greater than all the assets in the entire nation of Germany: "If you think Germany can bail out Deutsche Bank you’re delusional. Their total derivative exposure grossly exceeds the entire net value of everything in Germany! Not just the government’s resources, but all private resources as well. In other words, even if the government wanted to bail them out, even if they’d survive bailing them out, politically they can’t, even if they attempted to confiscate everything of value within the nation.

Should Deutsche Bank collapse, the debt exposure from other banks that have purchased debt instruments from Deutsche will be catastrophic, and the collapse will ripple through the banking system like a raging firestorm burning through deadwood. Watch the amazing film “The Big Short” to get a TINY taste of what’s to come,  (the derivatives debt collapse will absolutely dwarf the subprime mortgage collapse.)

“A failure of Deutsche Bank would trigger a systemic banking contagion the likes of which the Western world has never seen,” writes Jim Willie at “Unlike the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008 which the Western Central banks were able to contain thanks to $13 Trillion in bailout funds, a failure of Deutsche Bank would trigger a systemic banking contagion the likes of which the Western world has never seen.”

From that same article: "My best German source informs me that 3 major banks are in trouble, and these 3 banks are battling every single night to fight off insolvency and failure. He says CitiGroup in New York, Barclays in London and Deutsche Bank in Germany– every single night are in trouble. In conclusion, Deutsche Bank owns $75 trillion in OTC swaps with the Central banks and other major banks, so expect a daisy chain of derivative failures for the $1.6 quadrillion derivative market if it were to fail! Deutsche Bank cannot break down by itself. It would result in the complete breakdown of the European Monetary Union!”

It was all inevitable, of course. As explains: "This is an unsustainable practice since without output expanding at a rate that exceeds expansion of debt, you must eventually stop or the economy will contract even though debt is expanding, and once that begins to occur it is a black-hole event horizon from which you cannot escape until virtually everyone who is in debt has been liquidated and those who hold that debt will take monstrous losses- in many cases 100% losses!"

If you don’t understand what’s happening, you will be financially wiped out. I don’t know how else to warn you about all this. Many people are still delusional, thinking that since nothing has crashed since 2008, crashes can’t happen. Those people are about to be taught a very expensive lesson in economic reality. The very same people who are living in debt denial right now will be many of the same ones flinging themselves off buildings and bridges when they are wiped out in the near future.

Six weeks ago, I released a new video that explains all this. It’s called “Faith Money and the coming collapse.” Watch it here if you seek to understand the catastrophe that’s about to unfold:

Strategies for avoiding a wipeout: Once the next global debt collapse begins cascading throughout the international banking system, many private checking and savings accounts will be wiped out. Many investment accounts will be destroyed as banks go under and try to “bail in” by confiscating customer money on the way down. This means whatever money you think you have in the banks- nothing but electronic digits- stands a very real risk of being worth ZERO.

As I have repeatedly urged for the last eight years, you need to convert your fiat currency “money” into things of REAL value. What things have real value? Some of my favorites include: Physical gold and silver, farm land, EMP-proof tractors, firearms, ammunition, medical supplies, first aid kits, storable food supplies, quality hand tools, garden seeds, water filters, livestock (like backyard chickens), diesel fuel, etc. Download my complete list of suggested survival supplies with The Coming Collapse survival report.

Things that WON’T have value in a post-collapse apocalyptic scenario include: Your stupid iPhone 7. Your idiotic fashion jeans. Your brand name purse. Your impressive new luxury sedan. Your fashion sunglasses. Your new big screen TV. Your politically correct Starbucks crappuccino. If you’ve spent your money on all that useless crap, you’re going to be in a world of hurt when it all hits the fan… a phenomenon that is mathematically inevitable. The wise people are buying food, gold, bullets and Band-Aids. They’re the ones who are going to make it through the fiscal insanity that’s coming.

And by the way, if Donald Trump gets elected, the global banksters are going to deliberately crash the global debt pyramid in order to blame Trump. So the day after the election, if you find out Trump just won and you still have so-called “money” sitting in banks like Wells Fargo or Citigroup, you’re a financial fool. History is about to teach you a very harsh lesson in economic reality. Don’t be caught with your pants down, sexting with Anthony Weiner, when all this happens.

The day is going to come very, very soon when all the people who laughed this off will be begging for food and living in tent cities. Don’t be one of those people. If all your assets are currently denominated in fictional electronic bank records, you’re going to be financially obliterated in short order.”

"So Tell Me..."

"In a room sit three great men, a king, a priest, and a rich man with his gold. Between them stands a sellsword, a little man of common birth and no great mind. Each of the great ones bids him slay the other two. ‘Do it,' says the king, ‘for I am your lawful ruler.' ‘Do it,' says the priest, ‘for I command you in the names of the gods.' ‘Do it,' says the rich man, ‘and all this gold shall be yours.' So tell me- who lives and who dies?"
- George R.R. Martin

"The Good Ship 'World Economy' Meets The Giant Derivatives Wave, At Last"

"The Good Ship 'World Economy' Meets The Giant Derivatives Wave, At Last"
Any questions?

Again, this is no surprise, it was never a matter of "what", only "when." You were warned countless times... I hope for your sake you've withdrawn all you can from your bank account. Get up, right now, and go to the ATM and take what you can. 
- CP

"Deutsche Bank may well be the scapegoat this time around just like Lehman was the scapegoat in 2008. Central Banks in collusion can prevent just one bank from collapsing. It was the co-collapsing of AIG and Goldman Sachs that prompted then-Secretary of Treasury, ex-Goldman CEO Henry Paulson, to put in motion the bailout of the U.S. and European banking system.

Yesterday it was reported that the rate the Fed charges the banks to borrow collateral surged to its highest rate in 7 years– LINK. The rush to borrow collateral was no doubt prompted by OTC derivatives-related counter-party collateral calls. A collateral call is like a margin call in a stock account. This occurs when a derivatives trade goes south for an entity that is on the long side of the derivatives bet– a bet that Deutsche Bank won’t default, for instance– and the counterparty to that trade demands more collateral to be posted in order to insure that the bet can be paid off if the “long side” loses.

Now multiply that concept across thousands of derivatives trades involving hundreds of hedge fund and bank counterparties totalling $100’s of trillions. (Total world-wide derivatives estimated at $1.5 QUADRILLION- CP) It does not take too many collateral calls before counterparties and Central Banks run out of collateral that can posted against these OTC derivatives margin calls. That’s happening now."


“Credit Default Swaps Explained in 5 Minutes”
Remembering why these lunatics have now created $1.5 QUADRILLION of these "derivatives" is very simple: every policy written, a bet, really, paid a commission to the originator! And you're talking policy amounts of hundreds of millions of dollars. Bets. That's why you hear it derisively called a casino...
“This Is How Much Liquidity Deutsche Bank Has At This Moment, And What Happens Next”

Here is the IMF's chart showing the key linkages of the world's riskiest bank:
Click image for larger size.

Risk exposure...
You'd be well advised to read this article:
"Derivatives - The Economy's Achille's Heel?"

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Musical Interlude: Leonard Cohen, “Hallelujah”

Leonard Cohen, “Hallelujah”

Stay strong, folks...

Insider: "Deutsche Bank COLLAPSE Tomorrow- Friday 9-30-2016"; Will Wipe Out Banking System Worldwide!"

Insider: "Deutsche Bank COLLAPSE Tomorrow- Friday 9-30-2016";
 Will Wipe Out Banking System Worldwide!"
by Newsroom

"German Bank insiders are confirming to SuperStation95 that Germany's largest bank, Deutsche Bank, will "collapse" tomorrow, Friday, September 30, 2016. The German government has no plans to bail out the bank and its demise could wipe out Banks in the US and other countries worldwide! According to the insider: "System downfall tomorrow. A collapse of this bank is unavoidable now, and it wipes out everything immediately." (DB holds $75 TRILLION in derivatives, counterparties include all the major US banks and many others worldwide. Collateral calls are frantic, desperate. - CP)

Wolfgang Gerke, President of the Bavarian Finance Centre, the German bank sees a serious imbalance. "This is absolutely not about peanuts. We experience real shockwaves. The Bank is in real trouble," Gerke said the Thursday edition of the "Passauer Neue Presse." This is as good as a death sentence. It is insider info (presumably from the DB itself), that the financial collapse is to take place on 30 September.   

MORE: A "run" is taking place against Deutsche Bank in Germany as citizens rush to take out money  but they are being systematically delayed. At least one Depositor ordered 2,000 Euros transferred out yesterday via wire transfer. At close of business, Deutsche Bank had still NOT sent the money. When challenged, the bank claimed they needed to verify all the information. The Depositor now says he feels they no longer have liquidity and cannot pay depositors.  

Update 12:58 PM EDT: Germans are being quietly told that ALL BANKS in Germany will close on October 1, ALL ATMS, Credit and Debit Cards are likely to be "unavailable" for unknown duration! European Central Bank Chairman  Draghi refused to talk about Deutsche Bank today, saying It is not his fault the bank appears to be in trouble.

German Insider: There is panic in DB now. A lot of People withdraw money, close accounts. One guy says he transferred 25,000 Euro and the bank called him back if the amount and transaction is correct and true! Still has not sent the money!"

Update 13:07 Thursday, 29 September 2016: Stock markets worldwide have now tuned-in to this situation and they are falling fast."
"This is a developing story, please check back.”
Remember that little song from childhood?
"Ring around the rosie, pocket full of posies,
Ashes, ashes, we all fall down..."

This is no surprise, it was never a matter of "what", only "when." You were warned countless times... I hope for your sake you've withdrawn all you can from your bank account. Get up, right now, and go to the ATM and take what you can. 
- CP

Technical Context: 
NOTE, This does NOT take into consideration the collapse 
of Deutsche Bank or the Consequences

"7 FAQs About Sept. 30th D-Day"

"Tomorrow- Sept. 30- is a watershed moment in the saga of the collapse of the international monetary system. I’ve been making a nuanced argument for over a year about Sept. 30. Tomorrow, a new version of the International Monetary Fund’s special drawing right (SDR) will go live. It’s important you understand the facts and implications about this development… and not just the sound bites or “bumper sticker” information that you’ll read in headlines or short messages.

The material we publish is carefully researched, written and published. We don’t like to make claims without backing them up. So if you’ve seen my writings about Sept. 30, please read this entire issue. It’s probably the most important thing you’ll read all month.

My thesis is simple: The international monetary system is due for a collapse- meaning a loss of confidence in paper currencies. This is what I meant when I titled my second book “The Death of Money.” This kind of collapse has happened three times in the past 100 years- in 1914, 1939 and 1971. Each time, the system was replaced and reset when leaders of the world’s powers assembled and rewrote what are called “the rules of the game.”

For reasons that I’ve carefully chronicled the global monetary system is primed for another collapse. Everything that made 2008 terrible has become a complete nightmare today. Even scarier, the world’s central banks will not be able to rescue the system when it does collapse.

“Since Federal Reserve resources were barely able to prevent complete collapse in 2008,” I wrote in my New York Times best-seller "The Death of Money," “it should be expected that an even larger collapse will overwhelm the Fed’s balance sheet.” Simply put, next time, printing another $3 trillion-plus won’t be politically feasible. “The specter of the sovereign debt crisis suggests the urgency for new liquidity sources, bigger than those that central banks can provide, the next time a liquidity crisis strikes. The logic leads quickly from one world to one bank to one currency for the planet.”

Leading the way will be the International Monetary Fund. “The task of re-liquefying the world will fall to the IMF because the IMF will have the only clean balance sheet left among official institutions. The IMF will rise to the occasion with a towering issuance of SDRs, and this monetary operation will effectively end the dollar’s role as the leading reserve currency.”

I like to explain it like this…
• In 1998, when Long Term Capital Management collapse, Wall Street bailed out the hedge fund.
• In 2008, when the financial system collapsed, central banks and government bailed out Wall Street.
• Now, when the central banks and government collapses, who will bail them out? And with what?
• The answers are: The International Monetary Fund… and SDRs.
Tomorrow is a critical day in that story. Understand it. I’ve assembled the top seven questions readers have been sending me about tomorrow, below. Please read them carefully...

"7 Things You Need to Know the ‘New World Money’ Goes Live Tomorrow”
By Jim Rickards

"1) Is tomorrow THE day that the dollar “dies” and is replaced? Tomorrow, Sept. 30, is when the International Monetary Fund (IMF) officially adds the Chinese yuan to its basket of currencies comprising its special drawing right (SDR). It has enormous long-term implications for the dollar.

Does that mean the dollar becomes worthless overnight? Of course not. Tomorrow’s event may not even make major headlines. You won’t hear about it in the news. And it won’t cause the dollar to crash immediately. This is a development with long-term implications, but in itself, it will not make waves. But that’s the point- the dollar will die- but with a whimper, not a bang. The dollar replaced the British pound sterling as the world’s dominant currency last century. But it was a gradual process that took place between 1914 and 1944. It didn’t happen overnight, nor will SDRs replace the dollar overnight.

When you wake up October 1st, you won’t find anything noticeably different. You’ll still have dollars in your pocket, you’ll still get paid in dollars, those will be worth something. But tomorrow will nonetheless be a very significant turning point. Membership in the exclusive SDR currency club has changed only once in the past 30 years. The SDR has been dominated by the “Big Four” (U.S., U.K., Japan and Europe) since the IMF abandoned the gold SDR in 1973. This is why inclusion of the Chinese yuan is so momentous.

2) Do I need to dump all of my dollars, stocks and other investments and get into gold? No. I do believe you should own gold, and I believe it’s ultimately heading to $10,000 an ounce. But I don’t recommend you put any more than 10% of your investable money into gold, or any other asset for that matter. Some people say, “Jim Rickards recommends selling everything and going all into gold.” I don’t say that and I never have. You never want to put all your eggs in one basket. I recommend a diversified portfolio that includes gold, fine art, raw land, cash, bonds, select stocks and some alternatives in strategies like global macro hedge funds and venture capital. You need to be nimble in today’s unpredictable macroeconomic environment. We provide guidance on these in my newsletter, "Jim Rickards’ Strategic Intelligence."

3) What do you mean when you say the “New World Money” goes live tomorrow? The SDR has been around since 1969… It’s true, the SDR was invented in 1969. And there were a number of issues of SDRs in the 1970s. Indeed, the IMF has issued SDRs three times since their creation more than 40 years ago. Each time was linked to a crisis of confidence in the U.S. dollar…

In 1969, the French and others recognized the United States was printing too many dollars. At the time, foreigners could still exchange dollars for gold, and there was a run on Fort Knox. The IMF created the SDR to smooth the rough monetary seas, issuing 9.3 billion SDRs through 1972.

In 1979, U.S. inflation soared out of control, past 14%. Oil-producing countries fretted the value of their dollar reserves was plunging. The IMF issued 12.1 billion SDRs through 1981.

In 2009, in response to the Panic of 2008, the IMF issued 182.7 billion SDRs during August and September. That was the first time the IMF issued SDRs in almost 30 years. That was in response to the global liquidity crisis when it looked like the world’s central banks couldn’t act fast enough. So the IMF issued over $100 billion of SDRs.

But the Panic of 2008 changed everything. Central banks around the world expanded their balance sheets enormously to combat the crisis. The Fed’s balance sheet exploded from $800 billion pre-crisis to about $4 trillion today, for example. They won’t be able to respond the same way when the next crisis strikes, which I expect sooner rather than later. They’re out of powder.

The only financial institution with a balance sheet clean enough to respond to the crisis will be the IMF. The IMF acts like the “central bank of the world.” It will have to issue massive amounts of SDRs to hold the international monetary system together. The result will be the end of the dollar as the leading global reserve currency. That’s why today’s developments represents such a dramatic change from the past.

4) Do you expect a major market move when Chinese yuan is finally added to the SDR tomorrow?I’m not forecasting that… but it wouldn’t surprise me if it happened. The economy is on the brink of recession. We’ve had a full year, 4 consecutive quarters, with average growth of about 1.2% and with some revisions that may even go lower. This is not just weak growth, it’s extraordinary weak, and dangerously close to recession.

Global trade has fallen dramatically. Stocks are in bubble territory and volatility is returning. You never know what event will cause a crash, but it could literally come at any time. The point is, it could be tomorrow… (Deustche Bank - CP) it could be six months from now. The real question is: What are you waiting for? No one can time these things… and when the trigger happens it’ll be too late. How many warnings do you need?

5) Will tomorrow’s SDRs have a positive impact on the price of gold? SDRs are inflationary. If you flood the market in dollars of SDRs, gold will spike dramatically, probably taking it to $10,000. Will that happen tomorrow? Again, probably not. But the trend is in place. What are you waiting for? You can expect that the dollar will be devalued by 50–80% in the coming years.

6) “Can I buy SDRs?” Officially, no, you can’t. The IMF is the only institution that can print and distribute world money. Only its member states that are within its elite “basket” can freely exchange SDR as currency. Typically, SDR’s are used to take loans or make repayments made by the IMF. They are also used by its members central banks to sell in order to help currency reserves during times of economic crisis. Now, it is true that a “private sector” version of SDRs will become available, called M-SDRs. The IMF has published a technical paper introducing the concept of a private SDR market. In the IMF’s vision, private companies and corporations can issue bonds denominated in SDRs. Who are the logical issuers of the bonds?

Probably multinational or multilateral organizations like the Asian Development Bank and maybe big corporations like IBM and General Electric. Who would buy these SDR-denominated bonds? Mostly sovereign wealth funds. China will be substantial buyers. 

7) What’s the next important step in this New World Money Development? On Oct. 7, the IMF will hold its annual meeting in Washington, D.C., to consider additional steps to expand the role of SDRs and make China an integral part of the new world money order. But there’s another looming development that has implications for the adoption of SDRs… The return of the BRICS.

“BRICS” is an acronym for Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, which are among the largest emerging-market economies and make up about 22% of global GDP. Five years ago, discussion in international monetary circles was all about the rise of the BRICS. It appeared the BRICS would mount a serious challenge to U.S. dollar hegemony. Then the BRICS story went quiet in 2014–15. It looked like the BRICS story was fading in importance. But now that’s changing.

At the G-20 Leaders’ Summit in Hangzhou, China earlier this month, BRICS made a very interesting demand. They may be 22% of the global economy, but they only hold 14.89% of the votes at the IMF. Any individual country or group of countries with 15% has veto power over certain major IMF decisions, including the issuance of SDRs. Only one country has over 15% today, and that’s the United States. The BRICS are now demanding that their IMF vote move closer to their share of the world economy and past the 15% threshold.

If that happens, then the IMF will not be able to flood the world with SDRs in a liquidity crisis unless the BRICS agree. No doubt the BRICS will agree, but only if other steps are taken at the same time to destroy the privileged position of the U.S. dollar in global payments and reserves. The BRICS are back in town, and it has implications for the adoption of SDRs… and the dollar.”