Another Huge Foreclose Hits NYC Billionaire Row

https://assets.bwbx.io/images/users/iqjWHBFdfxIU/iPFENNj86ytU/v3/1200x-1.jpg

Meet The Money-Laundering, Nigerian Oil Magnate Behind New York’s $50MM Condo Foreclosure

Yet another luxury condo at Manhattan’s One57 tower, a member of “Billionaire’s Row,” a group of high-end towers clustered along the southern edge of Central Park, had gone into foreclosure – the second in the span of a month.  The 6,240-square-foot, full-floor penthouse in question, One57’s Apartment 79, sold for $50.9 million in December 2014, making it the eighth-priciest in the building and likely the largest residential foreclosure in Manhattan’s history.

According to Bloomberg, the owner of the apartment attempted to conceal his/her identity by using a shell company (you know how those kooky billionaires can be) but was able to obtain an ‘unusually large’ mortgage with an even more unusual term: one-year.

In September 2015, the company took out a $35.3 million mortgage from lender Banque Havilland SA, based in Luxembourg. The full payment of the loan was due one year later, according to court documents filed in connection with the foreclosure.

The borrower failed to repay, and now Banque Havilland is forcing a sale to recoup the funds, plus interest.

Of course, it was only a matter of time until the mystery man behind Manhattan’s most recent luxury real estate epic fail was exposed.  As such, meet Nigerian oil magnate, Kola Aluko.

https://i2.wp.com/www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user230519/imageroot/2017/06/24/2017.06.24%20-%20Kola%202_0.JPG

As it turns out, the world renowned, Nigerian-born, billionaire playboy is about $25,000 behind on his property taxes.  But, that is probably the least of his worries as the New York Post points out that he currently wanted by authorities in both Nigeria and Europe for defrauding the Nigerian government out of oil sale profits.

But Aluko has bigger problem, it seems. The 47-year-old tycoon is under investigation in Nigeria and in Europe for alleged money-laundering crimes.

A Nigerian court, according to various reports, tried to freeze Aluko’s assets, including his One57 unit, as part of the alleged scheme to defraud the government of oil sale profits.

Meanwhile, it seems that the only reason Aluko isn’t already in prison is because the Nigerian courts can’t seem to find him to serve papers.  Apparently he’s been hiding out on this 213-foot, $100 million yacht, the Galactica Star, for over a year.

https://i2.wp.com/www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user230519/imageroot/2017/06/24/2017.06.24%20-%20Kola%20Boat%201_0.JPG

Over the past year, the boat has been spotted making port calls in Cancun, Mexico and Turkey.

https://i2.wp.com/www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user230519/imageroot/2017/06/24/2017.06.24%20-%20Kola%20Boat%202.JPG

Of course, if you’re going to be an international playboy then you need to have rich and famous friends and, as it turns out, rappers Jay-Z and P. Diddy seemed to have fulfilled that role for Aluko.  Back in 2012 the rap duo apparently hosted Aluko’s birthday party in Beverly Hills.  Then, just a few years later in 2015, Jay-Z and wife Beyonce rented Aluko’s mega-yacht for the bargain basement price of just $900,000 per week to sail around the Mediterranean.

https://i0.wp.com/www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user230519/imageroot/2017/06/24/2017.06.24%20-%20JayZ_0.JPG

Well, presumably it was fun while it lasted.

Source: ZeroHedge

 

What Amazon Did To Malls, It Will Now Do To Grocery Stores

Amazon bought Whole Foods today. Widespread carnage in the grocery stock prices followed. Jim Cramer called it a major deflationary disruption saying stores cannot compete.

https://mishgea.files.wordpress.com/2017/06/amazon-whole-1.png?w=625

“If I was the Federal Reserve, I would have a meeting on this. Inflation is going to go down…. You have to rethink food … Costco knows how to compete. It will be in there tooth and nail with toilet paper and paper towels. … But Kroger, a crisis in Cincinnati, crisis.”

“Major Disruption of Society”

https://mishgea.files.wordpress.com/2017/06/whole-food-markets.png?w=625

SupplyChain247 reports Amazon’s Move to Purchase Whole Foods Is ‘Disruption of Society’

TheStreet’s Action Alerts PLUS Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer said Amazon’s move to acquire Whole Foods is a disruption of society, “this is what I regard to be a move by Amazon to destroy the margins and own the business of food and groceries in this country,” Cramer said.

With Amazon putting down $13.7 billion to buy Whole Foods, Bezos is sending a powerful message to his retail rivals;

  • Food suppliers will now be dealing with an even larger grocery store, meaning potentially pressured profit margins for organic players such as Hain Celestial.
  • Amazon officially shows intent to enter bricks-and-mortar retail in a larger way than just bookstores. Combine that with its unmatched digital presence, Walmart, Target and others have been put on notice.
  • Grocer stores like Kroger will now be in an even bigger price war.
  • Amazon Prime integrated into Whole Foods could hurt Costco over time. Many Costco members are also Prime members.

“What Amazon did to the mall, it will now do to grocery stores,” said Cramer.

Here is a Tweet to think about:

https://s15-us2.ixquick.com/cgi-bin/serveimage?url=http%3A%2F%2Fww2.hdnux.com%2Fphotos%2F61%2F76%2F72%2F13102721%2F3%2F1024x1024.jpg&sp=b76e76c7757b7554682dd83e6c322f6e

By Mike “Mish” Shedlock

 

Central Banks Are Driving Many To Cryptocurrencies

Two years ago, Bitcoin was considered a fringe technology for libertarians and computer geeks. Now, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, such as Ethereum, are gaining mainstream adoption. However, mainstream adoption has been propelled by financial speculation instead of by demand for a privately minted and deflationary medium of exchange. After the Fed’s rate hike this week, Bitcoin and alternative cryptocurrencies, such as Ethereum and Dash dropped in value instantly. Bitcoin, for example, dropped by approximately 16% in value while other coins dropped by approximately 25%. However, Bitcoin’s price recovered to the previous high within 18 hours.

https://i0.wp.com/www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/06/14/20170617_btcx1.jpg

Contrary to popular belief that Bitcoin is deflationary, the currency currently has an annual inflation rate of approximately 4%. The reason that Bitcoin allows investors to hedge the expansionary monetary policies adhered to by central banks is because the demand for Bitcoin is growing at a pace that is higher than the increase in the supply of Bitcoin. As explained in a Mises Daily article written by Frank Shostak in 2002, the term inflation was originally used to describe an increase in the money supply. Today, the term inflation refers to a general increase in prices.

If the original definition is applied, then Bitcoin is an inflationary currency. However, as I discussed in the 2017 edition of In Gold We Trust, the supply of newly minted Bitcoin follows a predictable inflation rate that diminishes over time. Satoshi modeled the flow of new Bitcoin as a Poisson process, which will result in a discernible inflation rate compared to the stock of existing Bitcoin by 2020. Every four years, the amount of Bitcoin minted annually is halved. The last programmed “halving” occurred in June of 2016. Therefore, the next halving will occur in 2020. The inverse of the inflation rate, the StFR, also indicates the decreasing flow of newly minted coins into the Bitcoin economy. The stock to flow ratio (StFR) of Bitcoin is currently 25 years; however, the StFR ratio will increase to approximately 56 years. This means that the StFR of Bitcoin should surpass gold’s during the next five years. Prior to January 3, 2009, no Bitcoin existed. Therefore, Bitcoin’s StFR was effectively zero. However, the rapid reduction in the amount of Bitcoin mining over time results in an increasing StFR over time. By 2024, only 3.125 Bitcoin will be mined every ten minutes resulting in a StFR of approximately 119 years.

If the new meaning of inflation is applied, then Bitcoin is deflationary because the purchasing power of each unit increases overtime.

When I began investing in Bitcoin in 2014, a Model S Tesla worth $70,000 cost 230 Bitcoin. Today, a Model S Tesla worth $70,000 costs 28 Bitcoin. On June 11 of this year, the price of Bitcoin reached a new all-time high above $3,000 after trading at approximately $2,300 two weeks ago. Furthermore, Bitcoin’s market capitalization of $40 billion is expected to rise further as the uncertainty surrounding this technology decreases. Bitcoin’s price data only covers the past six years, which means there is basically no data available for statistical analysis.

Risk Assessments

The Ellsberg paradox shows that people prefer outcomes with known probability distributions compared to outcomes where the probabilities are unknown. The estimation error associated with forecasts of Bitcoin’s risks and returns may be negatively biasing the price downward. As time passes, people will become more “experienced” with Bitcoin, which may reduce uncertainty and the subsequent discount it wields on the price of Bitcoin.

An economic downturn occurs approximately once every ten years in the US, and it has been a decade since the 2007/2008 financial meltdown. If the economy cannot handle the increase in rates, and the Fed is forced to reverse their decision, the price of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are likely to respond positively. Although the cryptocurrency market took a steep plunge after Janet Yellen’s second rate hike of 2017, prices fully recovered within a day. The quick rebound underscores the lack of assets that allow investors to accumulate wealth safely. Negative interest rates in Europe and fiat demonetization in developing countries are still driving demand for Bitcoin and alternative cryptocurrencies. Although Bitcoin was initially ridiculed as money for computer nerds and a conduit for illegal activity, investors are beginning to see the potential for this technology to be an integral part of wealth management from the perspective of portfolio diversification.

Demelza Hays via The Mises Institute | Clipped From ZeroHedge

NAR Cites “Housing Emergency” as Starts Unexpectedly Dive 5.5 Percent: NAR “Befuddled”

https://s14-eu5.ixquick.com/cgi-bin/serveimage?url=http%3A%2F%2Fblog.newinhomes.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2017%2F05%2Fconstruction-6-642x336.jpg&sp=e923574909156e73634c83abbc3a079a

The second-quarter economic report misery continues in a major way today with housing starts and permits unexpectedly falling.

The Econoday consensus was was for starts to rise 4.35%. Instead, starts fell 5.5%. Adding insult to injury, April was revised lower by 1.37 percentage points making the consensus estimate off by an amazing 11.22 percentage points.

The bad economic news keeps building, this time in the housing sector. Housing starts fell an unexpected 5.5 percent in May to a far lower-than-expected annualized rate of 1.092 million with permits likewise very weak, down 4.9 percent to a 1.168 million rate.

All components show declines with single-family starts down 3.9 percent to a 794,000 rate and permits down 1.9 percent to 779,000. Multi-family starts fell 9.7 percent to 298,000 with permits down 10.4 percent to 389,000. Total completions did rise 5.6 percent to a 1.164 million rate, which adds supply to a thin market, but homes under construction slipped 0.7 percent to 1.067 million.

Adding to the bad news are downward revisions to starts including April which is now at 1.156 vs an initial 1.172 million. Looking at the quarter-to-quarter comparison, starts have averaged 1.124 million so far in the second quarter, down a very sizable 9.2 percent from 1.238 million in the second quarter. Permits, at an average of 1.198 million, are down 4.9 percent.

Residential investment looks to be yet another negative for second-quarter GDP.

Housing Emergency?

Mortgage News Dailly has some amusing comments by Lawrence Yun, the National Association of Realtors chief economist, in its report Drop in Housing Starts Could Intensify Inventory Issues.

The negative report prompted the following statement from the National Association of Realtor’s Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “Housing shortages look to intensify and may well turn into a housing emergency if the discrepancy between housing demand and housing supply widens further. The falling housing starts and housing permits in May are befuddling given the lack of homes for sale and the quick pace of selling a newly-constructed homes. Meanwhile, job creations of a consistent 2 million a year will push up housing demand further. One thing that moving up is the housing costs for consumers: higher home prices and higher rents.”

NAR “Befuddled”

Yun is befuddled. That’s hardly surprising given that it does not take much to befuddle economists.

Let me clear up the confusion:

  • People cannot afford homes so they are not buying them.
  • Builders will not purposely build homes to sell at a loss.
  • The alleged demand for new homes is imaginary.

Such analysis is beyond the scope of most economists, so I am happy to help out.

By Mike “Mish” Shedlock

I was wrong about Ethereum

https://martinhladyniuk.files.wordpress.com/2017/06/8e8ec-1pefoggpju2yc3xlxyvnlnq.png?w=625

I was wrong about Ethereum because it’s such a good store of value…

no wait, let me try again.

I was wrong about Ethereum because it’s such a decentra…

nope.

I was wrong about Ethereum because everyone is using it as a supercomputer…

No.

I do admit I didn’t see this Ethereum bubble coming, but then again I wrongly assumed that no startup would need or even dare to ask $50 million in funding and I also wrongly assumed that people would use common sense and that leading developers would speak out against this sort of practice. Quite the opposite it seems.

Ethereum’s sole use case at the moment is ICOs and token creation.

https://martinhladyniuk.files.wordpress.com/2017/06/20d2d-1ta-18j7fq5drlgmvkastrg.gif?w=625

What’s driving the Ethereum price?

Greed.

Greed from speculators, investors and developers.

https://martinhladyniuk.files.wordpress.com/2017/06/dd025-16j36g9dnmdn5zwhcygwmvq.gif?w=625

Can you blame them? 

Speculators and investors: No.

Developers: Absolutely.

So let’s think for a minute and think what determines the price? Supply + demand. Pretty straightforward.

Supply: the tokens that are available on the market, right? But with every ICO there are more tokens that are being “locked up”. Obviously the projects will liquidate some, to get fiat to pay for development of their project, but they also see the rising price of Ethereum. So at that point greed takes over and they think, totally understandable, “We should probably just cash out what we really need and keep the rest in ETH, that’s only going up anyway it seems.”
And obviously there are new coins being mined, but if you look at the amount of ETH these ICOs raise, at this point, it’s just a drop in a bucket.

Demand: You have the normal investors (who are already very late to the game at this point… as usual), but the buy pressure that these ICOs are creating is crazy and scary. Take TenX for example, it’s an upcoming ICO at the end of the month. The cap is 200,000 ETH (at current ETH price of $370) that’s $74,000,000 for a startup. Here’s the best part: it’s only 51% of the tokens. Effectively giving it an instant $150 million valuation (if it sells out, which it probably will).
Another example is Bancor, a friend of mine runs a trading group, he collected 1,100+ BTC to put into Bancor. This needs to be converted into ETH before the sale starts. These are decent size players, but not even the big whales who participate in these ICOs.

https://martinhladyniuk.files.wordpress.com/2017/06/d249a-1aycmygxz5x0g7grgqo-o0g.jpeg?w=625

What will the price do next?

It can go quite a bit higher, there are so many coins being taken off the market by these ICOs, that it can still continue for a while and everyone is seeing this and thinking: “Why aren’t I doing an ICO”. There are lots more coming.

At one point it will crash, hard. What the trigger will be? Bug(s) in smart contracts, major hack, big ICO startup that fails/fucks up, network split, even something as silly as not having a decent ICO for a couple of weeks which creates sell pressure from miners and ICO projects can cause a big crash. It’s not a question of “if”, it’s a question of “when”. That being said: Markets can remain irrational for quite a long time.

Usually when a bubble like this pops we could easily see 70–80% loss of value (for reference: Bitcoin went from $1,200 to $170 after 2013–2014 bubble). This is however quite the unusual situation and I’m not sure to what kind of bubble I can really compare it.

I’m sure most of you have seen “Wolf of Wall Street”. Just re-watch this clip and see if you find any similarities with the current situation. (bonus clip)

What I really find interesting is what the ICO startups will do, Bitcoin had hodlers and investors mainly, individuals who most of the time had a fulltime job and didn’t need to sell. With Ethereum there is this huge amount being held by companies who need to pay bills. Will they panic dump to secure a “healthy” amount of fiat funding, will they try to hold through a bear cycle?

Taking Responsibility:

Everyone loves making money, you can’t blame traders or investors from taking advantage of this hype. That would be silly. People will buy literally anything if they can make a quick buck out of it.

The responsibility here is with the developers, Consensys and the Ethereum Foundation but they don’t take responsibility since they’re getting more money. This will end with the regulators stepping in.

The reason why I say that it’s with developers, Consensys and the Ethereum Foundation is simple:

  • The developers of a project assign these crazy token sale caps, more money than any startup would ever need.
  • The Ethereum foundation members+ core developers use their own celeb status to actively promote these projects as advisors, for which they’re compensated well, luring in people who have no clue what they’re buying.
  • Consensys promotes all of this since it’s the marketing branch of Ethereum. The more fools that buy in, the better.

Let me illustrate this with an example. Have you heard of primalbase? It’s an ICO with a token for shared work spaces. Why would a shared work space need its own token? It doesn’t, it really really really doesn’t. Let’s take a look at the advisors:

https://martinhladyniuk.files.wordpress.com/2017/06/6a588-1hyey0dln9laomkewvtzm0w.png?w=625

First thing that an advisor should’ve said in this case was: “Don’t do it, it’s stupid, it makes no sense.” But well there we have Mr Ethereum himself.

We all know that Vitalik has a cult-like following with the Ethereum investors so it will be very easy for primal base to launch their ICO and use Vitalik’s face and name to get itself funded.

This is just one example, if you go through all of these ICOs you find a lot of familiar names and faces. Nothing wrong with being an advisor, but when you’re just sending people to the slaughterhouse…

The sad part is that a lot of people will lose a lot of money on this, some of them obviously more than they can afford to lose, that’s how it always goes. The regulators will step in after this bubble pops and what scares me is the fact that it will damage all of crypto, including Bitcoin, not just Ethereum and its ICO’s.

https://martinhladyniuk.files.wordpress.com/2017/06/99108-1fjx5ibm_funxytvx8im-va.jpeg?w=625

But you’re just an Ethereum hater

I’ve heard all the accusations:

  • I hate Ethereum because I’m a Bitcoin Maximalist. I’m not, I like other projects too, like Siacoin for example.
  • I hate Ethereum because I missed out. I did miss out on the crowdsale, but I traded plenty of Ethereum and it’s ICOs and made some nice profit.
  • I hate Ethereum because I don’t understand it. Really? Do you? The only smart contracts running on it are ICO token sales. Or contracts to buy ICO tokens the second they become available.
  • I hate Ethereum because I’m jealous of Vitalik. No, it’s impressive what he did at his young age. At the same time I think he’s largely responsible for this bubble and he has made a lot of mistakes. We all make mistakes, but bailing out your friends from the DAO while other hacks and losses aren’t compensated or fixed just shows total lack of integrity. Or it’s everything or it’s nothing. And when it comes to immutability in crypto, it should be nothing.

For the people that are scared that Ethereum will replace Bitcoin

Ethereum is not a store of value. It isn’t capped. Yes, I know they’re planning to switch to PoS (which it already kind of is). Do you think they managed to create the first software implementation ever without any bugs? Doing such a major change on a (currently) $30 billion market is completely irresponsible, borderline insanity. Even if we assume that there are no bugs, what about the miners? The miners who bought their equipment to mine Ethereum, the miners that supported the network for years. “But they knew we were switching to PoS.” Of course they knew, and do you think they’ll just give up on such a profitable coin? Some might switch immediately to Zcash and Ethereum Classic but there will be another fork and we’ll have ETHPoS and ETHPoW, with of course all the Ethereum tokens being on both chains. Even Ethereum developers think that his is a very likely scenario.

Ethereum’s fees are lower. They are, sometimes, by a bit. If you’re trying to send something when no token sale is active obviously, else you have people spending $100’s to get in on the token sale and clog up the network. Also doesn’t apply when you send something from exchanges since for example with Poloniex it’s about $1.9 vs $0.28 for Bitcoin. Oh and another exception is when you actually use it for smart contracts, which require more gas to process than a normal transactions from account A to account B. You know.. the actual reason why Ethereum was created.

Ethereum is not decentralized. Bitcoin isn’t as decentralized as it should be, we all know that, but compared to most other coins, Bitcoin is very decentralized. Vitalik has called himself a benevolent dictator in the past. He is the single point of failure in this project and if he gets compromised in any way that’s the end. There is no way of knowing if this happens and since people blindly follow everything he says, he has the power to do anything. Satoshi was smart enough to remove himself from the Bitcoin project.

Ethereum is not immutable. Don’t have to spend much time on this: see DAO and split that lead to Ethereum and Ethereum Classic.

Ethereum has the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance. But but but.. all those big banks use Ethereum. No, they don’t. They use “an” Ethereum, which is a (private) fork of Ethereum. By that definition 99% of all altcoins are using Bitcoin. Still a separate chain. The fact that we’re talking about a private blockchain here actually makes altcoins more like Bitcoin than “an Ethereum” that EEA uses like Ethereum. You can compare it to 2013–2014 when some companies started to get interested in blockchain vs Bitcoin, only difference here is that for Ethereum it’s part of their marketing campaign to lure in potential investors.

If you think I’m just full of crap, which is fair, I am just some random popular guy on Twitter who has been around from before Ethereum. Have a look at what Vlad has to say about the current state of Ethereum here and here. Vlad Zamfir is probably the smartest guy on the Ethereum team, and I say this while I don’t agree with him on many of his opinions, I do respect him.

Conclusion:

If you’re an actual developer, be realistic and honest with your investors. Do you really ever need more than $5 mill? Finish a MVP first and then do a tokensale, if you really really need to do an ICO. Plenty of rich crypto investors and traders now that would love to be part of your project and who would be happy to just invest for equity. Yes, it will probably be less than what you can get in an ICO, but at least you didn’t sell out and it shows you actually really care about your product/service/…

If you’re a trader or investor, be realistic about the bubble. I know you hear this a 100 times when you’re trading but: don’t invest what you can’t afford to lose. 
I have some Ethereum, not as a long term investment, but because the price is going up and I need it to invest in tokens which I can quickly flip as soon as they come on the market. That’s just the type of market we’re in. Everyone is making a lot of money, awesome right? What could potentially go wrong.

https://martinhladyniuk.files.wordpress.com/2017/06/c07e5-1bvz_kr86wkgx_jobtahdew.gif?w=625

By Whale Panda | Medium

Cryptocurrencies Will Make The Next Crisis Worse … For Banksters

(The International Reporter, Editor’s Note): Let me remind Bundesbank and all the other banks, that after the 2008 crisis and the ‘too big to fail”criminality that since then has stolen tax payers money globally, that nobody is interested in the banking industry anymore. Along with their compounding interest rates they are seen as liars, cheats, thieves and outright criminals cashing in on the misfortune of others. Digital currencies are far safer…so far… and are the only outlet since these same criminals have been rigging the precious metals prices, currencies exchange rates and the markets in general to their own benefit and to the detriment of everyone else.

* * *

(ZeroHedge) When global financial markets crash, it won’t be just “Trump’s fault” (and perhaps the quants and HFTs who switch from BTFD to STFR ) to keep the heat away from the Fed and central banks for blowing the biggest asset bubble in history: according to the head of the German central bank, Jens Weidmann, another “pre-crash” culprit emerged after he warned that digital currencies such as bitcoin would worsen the next financial crisis.

As the FT reports, speaking in Frankfurt on Wednesday the Bundesbank’s president acknowledged the creation of an official digital currency by a central bank would assure the public that their money was safe. However, he warned that this could come at the expense of private banks’ ability to survive bank runs and financial panics.

As Citigroup’s Hans Lorenzen showed yesterday, as a result of the global liquidity glut, which has pushed conventional assets to all time highs, a tangent has been a scramble for “alternatives” and resulted in the creation and dramatic rise of countless digital currencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. Citi effectively blamed the central banks for the cryptocoin phenomenon.

https://i1.wp.com/www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/06/04/citi%20lor%205_0.jpg

Weidmann had a different take, and instead he focused on the consequences of this shift towards digitalisation which the Bundesbank president predicted, would be the main challenge faced by central banks. In an ironic twist, in order to challenge the “unofficial” digital currencies that have propagated in recent years, central banks have also been called on to create distinct official digital currencies, and allow citizens to bypass private sector lenders. As Weidmann explained, this will only make the next crisis worse:

Allowing the public to hold claims on the central bank might make their liquid assets safer, because a central bank cannot become insolvent. This is an feature which will become relevant especially in times of crisis when there will be a strong incentive for money holders to switch bank deposits into the official digital currency simply at the push of a button. But what might be a boon for savers in search of safety might be a bane for banks, as this makes a bank run potentially even easier.

Essentially, Weidmann warned that digital currencies – whose flow can not be blocked by conventional means – make an instant bank run far more likely, and in creating the conditions for a run on bank deposits lenders would be short of liquidity and struggle to make loans.

“My personal take on this is that central banks should strive to make existing payment systems more efficient and still faster than they already are – instant payment is the buzzword here,” the Bundesbank president said. “I am pretty confident that this will reduce most citizens’ interest in digital currencies.”

Which, considering the all time highs in both Bitcoin and Ethereum, would suggest that citizens faith and confidence in the existing “payment systems”, and thus central banks, are at all time lows.

* * *

The Next Financial Crisis Has Already Arrived In Europe, And People Are Starting To Freak Out

 

China Says “Don’t Panic” As Yield Curve Inversion Deepens Amid Liquidity Collapse

The curious case of the inverted yield curve in China’s $1.7 trillion bond market is worsening as WSJ notes that an odd combination of seasonally tight funding conditions and economic pessimism pushed long-dated yields well below returns on one-year bonds, the shortest-dated government debt.

10-Year China bond yields fell to 3.55% overnight as the 1-Year yield rose to 3.61% – the most inverted in history, more so than in June 2013, when an unprecedented cash crunch jolted Chinese markets and nearly brought the nation’s financial system to its knees.

https://i0.wp.com/www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/06/11/20170613_china2_0.jpgThis inversion is being exacerbated by seasonally tight funding conditions.

June is traditionally a tight time for banks because of regulatory checks, and, as Bloomberg reports, this year, lenders are grappling with an official campaign to reduce the level of borrowing as well.

Wholesale funding costs climbed to the most expensive in history, and the 30-day Shanghai Interbank Offered Rate has jumped 51 basis points this month to the highest level in more than two years.

https://i0.wp.com/www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/06/11/20170613_china1_0.jpg

And this demand for liquidity comes as Chinese banks’ excess reserve ratio, a gauge of liquidity in the financial system, fell to 1.65 percent at the end of March, according to data from the China Banking Regulatory Commission. The index measures the money that lenders park at the PBOC above and beyond the mandatory reserve requirement, usually to draw risk-free interest.

“Major banks don’t have much extra funds, as is shown by the excess reserve data,”
analysts at China Minsheng Banking Corp.’s research institute wrote in a June 5 note. Lenders have become increasingly reliant on wholesale funding and central bank loans this year, they said.

https://i0.wp.com/www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/06/11/20170613_china3_0.jpg

As The Wall Street Journal reports, an inverted yield curve defies common understanding that bonds requiring a longer commitment should compensate investors with a higher return. It usually reflects investor pessimism about a country’s long-term growth and inflation prospects.

“But the curve inversion we are seeing right now is one with Chinese characteristics and it’s different from the previous one in the U.S.,” said Deng Haiqing, chief economist at JZ Securities.

The current anomaly in the Chinese bond market is partly the result of mild inflation and expectations of a slowing economy, Mr. Deng said. “At the same time, short-term interest rates will likely stay elevated because the authorities will keep borrowing costs high so as to facilitate the deleveraging campaign,” he said.

Notably, it appears officials are concerned at the potential for fallout from this crisis situation.

In an article published Saturday, the central bank’s flagship newspaper, Financial News, said that the severe credit crunch four years ago won’t repeat itself this month because the central bank will keep liquidity conditions “not too loose but also not too tight.”


Chinese financial markets tend to be particularly jittery come June due to a seasonal surge of cash demand
arising from corporate-tax payments and banks’ need to meet regulatory requirements on capital.

On Sunday, the official Xinhua News Agency ran a similar commentary that sought to stabilize markets expectations. “Don’t panic,” it urged investors.

Sounds like exactly the time to ‘panic’ if your money is in this.

Source: ZeroHedge