The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
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The imposition of the nationwide lockdowns required elite consensus. There's no way that a project of that magnitude could have been carried out absent the nearly universal support of establishment elites and their lackeys in the political class. There must have also been a fairly-detailed media strategy that excluded the voices of lockdown opponents while--... Read More
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There's no doubt that the Coronavirus is a serious infection that can lead to severe illness or death. There's also no doubt that 'virus hysteria' has been used for other purposes. Wall Street, for example, has used virus-panic to advance its own agenda and get another round of trillion dollar bailouts. In fact, it took... Read More
The Senate's $2 Trillion Coronavirus Relief Package is not fiscal stimulus and it's not a lifeline for the tens of millions of working people who have suddenly lost their jobs. It's a fundamental restructuring of the US economy designed to strengthen the grip of the corrupt corporate-banking oligarchy while creating a permanent underclass that will... Read More
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The next bailout will be our last
Imagine if the congress approved a measure to form a public-private partnership between the US Treasury and the Federal Reserve. Can you imagine that? Now imagine if a panicky and ill-informed Congress gave the Fed a blank check to bail out all of its crooked crony corporate and Wall Street friends, allowing the Fed to... Read More
The Fed is reopening its most controversial and despised crisis-era bailout facility, the Primary Dealer Credit Facility. The Wall Street Journal describes the PDCF as "an overnight loan facility for primary dealers (that) provides round-the-clock backup source of funding to banks." The WSJ's description grossly understates the facility's real purpose which is to transfer the... Read More
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1-- Investors are cashing in and heading for the exits According to Bloomberg News: "Investors made their biggest dash for cash in history" in the last week. "They channeled $137 billion into cash-like assets and a record $14 billion into government bonds in the five days through March 11.....(while) money managers are liquidating en masse."... Read More
On Thursday, the Federal Reserve announced its biggest market intervention to date, a massive $1.5 trillion injection into the short-term funding markets ("repo") aimed at preventing grossly-inflated stock valuations from resetting at lower prices. There should be no misunderstanding about the Fed's real intention or whether its meddling will work. When financial assets are purchased... Read More
Last week's violent gyrations in the stock market are the result of a tug-of-war between two well-represented groups of investors. One group thinks the Coronavirus will severely impact the global economy pushing stocks further into the red, while the other group believes the Fed will intervene in the market once more and save the day.... Read More
Imagine if stock prices decoupled from the real economy and steadily rose on the back of central bank policy. Imagine if a decade of historic low rates, perennially-optimistic forward guidance and trillions of dollars in bond purchases triggered the longest rally in Wall Street history. Imagine if investors shrugged off bad news, (flagging GDP, poor... Read More
There's a chance that the coronavirus will be contained in the United States and that fewer people will be infected than in China or Iran. But there's also a possibility that the highly-contagious virus will spread and that there will be sporadic outbreaks across the country. If this latter scenario takes place, then the ructions... Read More
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There are three main reasons why stocks are falling hard. 1-- Uncertainty. It's impossible for investors to gauge the economic impact of the rapidly-spreading coronavirus or its effect on stock prices. Investors buy stocks with the expectation that their investment will grow over time. In periods of crisis, when the environment becomes unfamiliar and opaque,... Read More
When investors buy stocks, stock prices rise. That is the immutable law of the market. It doesn't matter if the money comes from big financial institutions, Mom and Pop day-traders or Central Banks. The same rule applies: Buy more stocks and prices go higher. So when the Federal Reserve launched its recent "repo rescue" operation,... Read More
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A five-alarm fire has broken out in a little known, but critically important area of the financial system where high-quality bonds are swapped for cash. The "repo" market, which is short for repurchase agreements, is part of the nondeposit, shadow banking system that remains largely unregulated despite the fact that it was ground zero in... Read More
Why did the Fed raise its benchmark interest rate when inflation is still running below the Fed’s target, workers wages have hardly budged and the economy is not even growing at 1 percent? Yellen was asked that question at a press conference on Wednesday following the release of the FOMC’s statement. Her answer helps to... Read More
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The U.S. economy is weak. Very weak. But the Federal Reserve is planning to raise interest rates anyway. Why? Here’s what’s going on: According to the Atlanta Fed the US economy is expected to grow at a respectable 2.8 percent for the first quarter of 2017 That’s not bad considering that, for the entire year... Read More
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Donald Trump has a plan for dealing with the stock market bubble. Make it bigger. Before the election candidate Trump blasted Federal Reserve chairman Janet Yellen for keeping interest rates too low for too long to keep the economy humming along while Obama was still in office. The president elect accused Yellen of being politically... Read More
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Why is the Fed creating incentives for US corporations to destroy themselves? Why is the Fed pushing insurance companies and retirement funds into bankruptcy? Why is the Fed raising interest rates when inflation is still well below its 2 percent target? Things are not always what they seem. In theory, the Fed’s low interest rates... Read More
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Trump’s economic plan has sent stocks ripping higher for six weeks straight. But what’s going to happen to stock prices when Congress gives Trump’s plan a big thumbs down? Has anyone thought about that yet? And what about the Fed? Does anyone seriously think that Fed chairman Janet Yellen is going to sit on her... Read More
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In Donald Trump’s first four years as president, he will not only choose three judges for the Supreme Court, he’ll also pick five of the seven members on the Fed Board of Governors. It would be impossible to overstate the effect this is going to have on the nation’s economic future. With both houses of... Read More
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Here’s your economics quiz for the day: Question 1– What do you think would happen if you put $3 trillion into the financial system? Question 2– What do you think would happen if you put $3 trillion into the economy? (Via fiscal stimulus for infrastructure projects, extended unemployment benefits, food stamps, etc) If you picked... Read More
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Why has the Fed created incentives for US corporations to loot their companies and drive them deeper into debt? Despite four consecutive quarters of negative earnings, weak demand and anemic sales, US corporations continue to load up on debt, buy back their own shares and hand out cash to their shareholders that greatly exceeds the... Read More
The US economy has never been as mismanaged as it is today. Don’t take my word for it, just look at the bond market. On Thursday, the yield on 30-year US Treasuries dropped to a record-low 2.18 percent while the benchmark 10-year Treasury slid to 1.37 percent. (less than 1 basis point above its all-time... Read More
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On Tuesday, the 10-year German bund slipped into the bizarro-world of negative rates where lenders actually pay the government to borrow their money. Aside from turning capitalism on its head, negative rates illustrate the muddled thinking of central bankers who continue to believe they can spur growth by reducing the cost of cash. Regrettably, the... Read More
What do you think this chart means? (The post-recession economy is worse than we thought, Fortune) It means the U.S. economy is in the throes of the lousiest recovery since World War 2. “But how can that be”, you ask? “After all, hasn’t the Fed kept interest rates at zero for seven years while hosing... Read More
Zero rates and QE have stopped working and that has investors worried. Very worried. If you want to know why stocks have been taking it on the chin lately, look no further than the quote above. Mr. Valeri nails it. The Central Banks have lost their touch which is why investors are cashing in and... Read More
America’s richest investors are betting trillions of dollars that the US economy will stay lousy for years to come. Who are these wealthy investors? Bondholders. And their views on the state of the economy are reflected in the yields on long-term US Treasuries. At present, the yields on long-term debt are very low which means... Read More
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Let’s say you lend your brother-in-law, Pauli, 5,000-bucks so he can get his fledgling construction business off-the-ground. Then, you find out a week later that ‘good-old Pauli’ has shot the wad playing the horses at Long-acres and buying cocktails for his loafer-friends at Matt’s Mad Dog tavern? Would you feel like you’d been ripped off?... Read More
When the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and S&P peaked in May 2015, investors were still confident that the Fed “had their back” and that any steep or prolonged downturn in stocks would be met with additional liquidity and a firm commitment to maintain zero rates as long as necessary. But now that the Fed... Read More
Why is the economy barely growing after seven years of zero rates and easy money? Why are wages and incomes sagging when stock and bond prices have gone through the roof? Why are stocks experiencing such extreme volatility when the Fed increased rates by a mere quarter of a percent? It’s the policy, stupid. And... Read More
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2016 started with a thud on Monday when news from China sent global stocks into freefall. The Shanghai index plunged 242 points before a system-wide circuit breaker kicked in and trading was halted. All three major US indices followed Asia’s downward slide with the Dow Jones leading the pack with a triple-digit loss on the... Read More
Why is the economy still in the doldrums after 6 years of zero rates and three rounds of Quantitative Easing? It’s because consumers aren’t consuming and there’s too much debt. You see, despite the Fed’s wacko theories about pumping liquidity into the financial system to make investors feel wealthier, people actually have to buy things... Read More
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Imagine your doctor put you on a daily dose of oxycontin, phenobarbital and Quaaludes for six years straight. Then he suddenly cancelled your prescription. Do you think your behavior might become a bit erratic? This is what’s going on with the stock market. It’s trying to shake off six years of overmedication brought on by... Read More
After 6 full years of zero rates and extreme pump-priming that flushed more than $10 trillion dollars into global markets, the Federal Reserve decided that even the slightest uptick in its benchmark Fed Funds rate would trigger enough destructive volatility in emerging markets that it would be better to postpone the rate hike until some... Read More
Why Are Stocks Going Berserk?
If you’ve been following the markets for the last three weeks, you’ve probably figured out that something is wrong. The markets are no longer behaving the way they should, and that has people worried. Very worried. In the last 15 trading days, the Dow Jones has experienced an unprecedented 13 triple-digit days, which means that... Read More
"Margin Call from Hell"
The crisis that began seven years ago with easy lending and subprime mortgages, has entered its final phase, a currency war between the world’s leading economies each employing the same accommodative monetary policies that have intensified market volatility, increased deflationary pressures, and set the stage for another tumultuous crack-up. The rising dollar, which has soared... Read More
Draghi's "No-growth" QE
Let’s say you’re diagnosed with colorectal cancer. But instead of going to a professional for help, you decide to treat yourself with glycerol suppositories and high doses of Vitamin C. Well, then, you’re probably going to die, right? This same rule applies to economics. If you try to reduce unemployment and boost growth by doing... Read More
If This Doesn't Make You Mad...
Why is the Fed threatening to raise interest rates when the economy is still in the doldrums? Is it because they want to avoid further asset-price inflation, prevent the economy from overheating, or is it something else altogether? Take a look at the chart below and you’ll see why the Fed might want to raise... Read More
Unbelievable. On Wednesday, stocks were hammered after economic data showed that the US and global economies were headed for a major slowdown. By mid-day, the Dow was down 460 points before clawing its way back to minus 173 points. It looked like the market was set for another triple-digit flogging on Thursday when the Fed... Read More
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In the Blink of an Eye
Six years of zero rates and trillions of dollars of asset purchases couldn’t stop stocks from falling sharply on Wednesday. All three major indices moved deep into the red, with the Dow Jones leading the pack, dropping an eye-watering 460 points before rebounding nearly 300 points by the end of the session. Risk-free assets, particularly... Read More
Global CBs Secretly Load up on Equities Pushing Prices Higher
Central banks have shifted into stocks and are buying up everything that isn’t bolted to the floor. That’s the gist of the story that breathlessly appeared in the Financial Times about a week ago and swept across the blogosphere like a Santa Anna brushfire. And there’s some truth to it too, if taken with a... Read More
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The New York Times and the Fed's Transcripts
There’s good propaganda and bad propaganda. Bad propaganda is generally crude, amateurish Judy Miller “mobile weapons lab-type” nonsense that figures that people are so stupid they’ll believe anything that appears in “the paper of record.” Good propaganda, on the other hand, uses factual, sometimes documented material in a coordinated campaign with the other major media... Read More
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The Fed's Taper Sends Global Shares and Emerging Markets Tumbling
The selloff that began in May 2013, when the Fed announced its plan to scale back its asset purchases, resumed with a vengeance on Monday as global shares were slammed in heavy trading sending the Dow Jones for a 326 point-loss on the day. The proximate cause of the rout was a worse-than-expected manufacturing report... Read More
Margin Debt Hits All-Time High in December
The Fed’s easy money policies have pushed margin debt on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) to record levels laying the groundwork for a severe correction or another violent market crash. In December, margin debt rose by $21 billion to an all-time high of $445 billion. Buying equities on margin, that is, with loads of... Read More
Is This the Big One?
Global stocks were hammered on Friday for a second straight day on news of a slowdown in China and turbulence in emerging markets. The Dow Jones Industrials suffered its worse drubbing in more than two years, tumbling 318 points on Friday to end a 490 point two-day rout. Emerging markets currencies were whipsawed by capital... Read More
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America's Missing Investors
Guess who’s investing in America’s future? Nobody, that’s who. Just check out this excerpt from an article by Rex Nutting at Marketwatch and you’ll see what I mean. The article is titled “No one is investing in tomorrow’s economy”: Now the author seems to believe that the lack of net investment is just a temporary... Read More
It's Closer Than You Think
“We are on the eve of a deflationary shock which will likely reduce equity valuations from very high to very low levels…..it is increasingly likely that one event will be the catalyst to very rapidly change inflationary into deflationary expectations. Indeed, when key prices are already falling across the globe, one should expect one key... Read More
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"Cha-ching!"
Remember how Quantitative Easing was going to “get the banks lending again”? Well, it hasn’t worked that way. In fact, after 4 years of zero rates and $3 trillion in monetary pump-priming, “banks are lending less to small businesses and consumers than before the financial crisis”. (International Business Times) But how can that be, you... Read More
She Knows How the Game is Played
“As a first line of defense, we have a variety of supervisory tools, micro- and macro-prudential, that we can use to attempt to limit the behavior that is giving rise to those asset price misalignments.” Janet Yellen’s circular, Greenspan-like response to a simple question about How the Fed should deal with “asset bubbles”. On Thursday,... Read More
Where's the Outrage?
A former Federal Reserve official who helped the Central Bank manage its bond buying program, dubbed QE, has admitted that the program is a fraud. In a shocking op-ed in Monday’s Wall Street Journal, Andrew Huszar apologized for his role in the Fed’s $1.25 trillion asset purchase program which he described as “the greatest backdoor... Read More
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Escape From The Dollar
Paul Craig Roberts thinks the Fed has backed itself into corner. A rise in interest rates would strengthen the dollar, give the dollar new life as world reserve currency, and halt the movement into gold, but a rise in rates would collapse the bond and stock markets and reduce the value of derivatives on the... Read More