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
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1-- Unemployment is off-the-charts Thursday's jobless claims leave no doubt that the country is in the grips of another severe recession. More than 6.6 million Americans filed for unemployment insurance in the last week. That number exceeds the gloomiest prediction of more than 40 economists and pushes the two-week total to an eye-watering 10 million... 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
Monday's 1,000 point bloodbath was followed by Tuesday's 879 point rout, lobbing 8% off total market value in less than 48 hours. The two-day drubbing has left traders and fund managers in a state of shock. Growing pessimism and uncertainty are pushing markets to the brink of a vicious downward spiral which will lead to... 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
It’s funny how an election can change the way a man sees the world. Before the election, Donald Trump thought that stocks were dangerously inflated. In an interview on CNBC, he said “I hope I’m wrong, but I think we’re in a big, fat, juicy bubble.” That was Candidate Trump. President Trump sees things differently.... Read More
Donald Trump wants to rip up the financial rule book and let the bankers go hog-wild. But haven’t we tried that before? Last Friday, the president announced a plan to scrap the rules that were put in place in 2010 to prevent another financial meltdown. Trump wants to return to the ‘good old days’ when... 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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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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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
Is there a conspiracy to keep wages from rising or is it just plain-old class warfare? Check out these charts from a recent report by Deutsche Bank and see what you think: (Feeling Underpaid, Zero Hedge) Well, what do you know? Everywhere the global bank cartel has its tentacles, wages are either flatlining or drifting... Read More
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Last week, European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi announced a much bigger and wider-ranging stimulus package than anyone had expected. Unfortunately, the ECB’s bond buying program will have no impact on employment, business investment, inflation, lending or growth. It will, however, create a temporary incentive for corporations to buy back more of their own shares... Read More
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The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) is worried that recent ructions in the equities markets could be a sign that another financial crisis is brewing. In a sobering report titled “Uneasy calm gives way to turbulence” the BIS states grimly: “We may not be seeing isolated bolts from the blue but the signs of a... Read More
Finance ministers and central bankers from the world’s biggest economies met in Shanghai, China over the weekend to discuss many of the problems for which they alone are responsible. Leading the list of issues, was the steady deceleration in global growth which, to great extent, is the result of experimental monetary policies central banks implemented... 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
Everyone take a deep breath. This isn’t 2007 again. The banks aren’t loaded with $10 trillion in “toxic” mortgage-backed securities, the housing market hasn’t fallen off a cliff wiping out $8 trillion in home equity, and the world is not on the brink of another excruciating financial meltdown. The reason the markets have been gyrating... 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
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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
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The virus that spread to stock markets around the world and nearly destroyed the global financial system in 2008 has reemerged with a vengeance sending global equities deep into the red and wiping out more than $5 trillion in market capitalization in less than two weeks. On Tuesday, before the opening bell, major market index... Read More
Corporations are taking the retirement savings of elderly public employees and using them to inflate their stock prices so wealthy CEOs and their shareholders can enrich themselves at the expense of their companies. And it’s all completely legal. Under current financial regulations, corporate bosses are free to repurchase their own company’s shares, push stock prices... Read More
Last Friday’s stock market bloodbath was the worst one-day crash since 2008. The Dow Jones dropped 531 points, while the S&P 500 fell 64, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq slid 171. The Dow lost more than 1,000 points on the week dipping back into the red for the year. At the same time, commodities continued to... Read More
Titanic Stock Bubble Fueled by Buyback Blitz
Why are stocks still flying-high when the smart money has fled overseas and the US economy has ground to a halt? According to Marketwatch: So if retail investors are moving their cash to Europe and Japan (to take advantage of QE), and the US economy is dead-in-the-water, (First Quarter GDP checked in at an abysmal... 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
US-Saudi Subterfuge Send Stocks and Credit Reeling
U.S. powerbrokers have put the country at risk of another financial crisis to intensify their economic war on Moscow and to move ahead with their plan to “pivot to Asia”. Here’s what’s happening: Washington has persuaded the Saudis to flood the market with oil to push down prices, decimate Russia’s economy, and reduce Moscow’s resistance... Read More
Subprime Loans and Auto Sales
Soaring auto sales are not so much a sign of a strong economy as they are an indication of financial hanky-panky. We saw this same type of fakery play out in housing between 2004 – 2006, when prices went through the roof due to a mortgage-lending scam (“subprime”) that crashed the stock market and sent... Read More
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"Easy Money" Mel Watt Loosens Lending on Mortgages
Here we go again. Last week, the country’s biggest mortgage lenders scored a couple of key victories that will allow them to ease lending standards, crank out more toxic assets, and inflate another housing bubble. Here’s what’s going on: On Monday, the head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), Mel Watt, announced that Fannie... Read More
Do Tumbling Buybacks Signal Another Market Crash?
Since the end of the recession in 2009, investors have borrowed a record amount of money to finance their stock acquisitions. According to the Financial Times, margin debt on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) peaked in February, 2014 at $466 billion and has only recently dipped slightly lower. That’s $85 billion more than 2007... 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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First Quarter Growth Goes Negative while Bond Yields Plunge
If you follow the stock market, you probably think the economy is sizzling. But if bonds are your thing, then you probably think we’re still in recession. So which is the better gauge of what’s going on in the real economy; stocks or bonds? The bond market is more accurate. And recently, long-term yields have... Read More
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Are you looking for signs of froth in the stock market? Then you might want to take a look at stock buybacks. According to the Wall Street Journal, almost 20 percent of the total value of stocks today are stock buybacks, that is, corporations that purchase their own shares to push up prices. Here’s the... Read More