Some Trader Has Made A Very Big Bet That Something Very Bad Will Happen Within The Next 60 Days
A Very Big Bet In A Somewhat Unlikely Instrument – Jim Brown, the ever-alert consummate professional over at Option Investor pointed us to a rather unusual trade. Here’s last night’s edition of his valuable newsletter:
In past years I have reported on trades that were so large it appeared someone had inside knowledge of a pending event. Sometimes those were massive put positions on the S&P. A new trade just appeared that suggests there will be a market event in the near future. Last week somebody put on a call spread on the VIX using the April 20 and 25 puts. They bought 150,000 contracts for a net of $75 per contract.That is an $11,250,000 bet that the VIX will move over 20 over the next 60 days. You would have to be VERY confident in your outlook to risk $11 million on a directional position with the VIX at five year lows and the markets trying to break out to new highs.Jim then goes on to list some of the scheduled events and deadlines visible over the next 60 days (mostly in Washington).
When you add in the broad variety of geo-political possibilities, it’s a decent reason to stay extra alert.
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/art-cashin-on-big-vix-bet-2013-2#ixzz2KaKSAUwD
A key policy goal right now is to minimize short term austerity since the deficit as a percent of GDP is already shrinking quickly, and the deficit should continue to shrink over the next few years. So my view has been that something would be worked out on the “sequester” that would minimize immediate spending cuts.
It appears I may be wrong, and the “sequester” cuts might happen on March 1st.
Read more at http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2013/02/sequester-budget-cuts-appear-more-likely.html#T5KIpWlYAypSKf3D.99
Dollar Sell Off Within 4 Months-John Williams
Every two months, the central bankers of the world gather in Basel for another "Global Economy Meeting". During those meetings, decisions are made which affect every man, woman and child on the planet, and yet none of us have any say in what goes on.
The Bank for International Settlements is an organization that was founded by the global elite and it operates for the benefit of the global elite, and it is intended to be one of the key cornerstones of the emerging one world economic system. It is imperative that we get people educated about what this organization is and where it plans to take the global economy.
Sadly, only a very small percentage of people actually know what the Bank for International Settlements is, and even fewer people are aware of the Global Economy Meetings that take place in Basel on a bi-monthly basis.
These Global Economy Meetings were discussed in a recent article in the Wall Street Journal...
Every two months, more than a dozen bankers meet here on Sunday evenings to talk and dine on the 18th floor of a cylindrical building looking out on the Rhine.The article goes on to describe the room that these Global Economy Meetings are held in. It sounds like something out of a novel...
The dinner discussions on money and economics are more than academic. At the table are the chiefs of the world's biggest central banks, representing countries that annually produce more than $51 trillion of gross domestic product, three-quarters of the world's economic output.
The Bank of England's Mr. King leads the dinner discussions in a room decorated by the Swiss architectural firm Herzog & de Meuron, which designed the "Bird's Nest" stadium for the Beijing Olympics. The men have designated seats at a round table in a dining area scented by white orchids and framed by white walls, a black ceiling and panoramic views.The central bankers that gather for these meetings are not there just to socialize. No staff members are allowed into these meetings, and they are conducted in an atmosphere of absolute secrecy...
Serious matters follow appetizers, wine and small talk, according to people familiar with the dinners. Mr. King typically asks his colleagues to talk about the outlook in their respective countries. Others ask follow-up questions. The gatherings yield no transcripts or minutes. No staff is allowed.So the fate of the world economy is determined by unelected central bankers in secret meetings that nobody ever hears about?
That certainly does not sound very "democratic".
But this is the direction that "global governance" is taking us. The elite believe that the "big decisions" are far too important to be left "to the people", and so most of the "international institutions" that have been established by the elite operate independently of the democratic process.
Sadly, the truth is that all of this has been planned for a very long time.
In a recent article entitled "Who Runs The World? Solid Proof That A Core Group Of Wealthy Elitists Is Pulling The Strings", I included a quote from Georgetown University history professor Carroll Quigley from a book that he wrote all the way back in 1966 in which he discussed the big plans that the elite had for the Bank for International Settlements...
The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent private meetings and conferences. The apex of the system was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basle, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world’s central banks which were themselves private corporations.Back then, the Bank for International Settlements was only just starting to play a major role in global affairs. But over the years the BIS began to become increasingly important. The following is an excerpt from an article by Ellen Brown...
For many years the BIS kept a very low profile, operating behind the scenes in an abandoned hotel. It was here that decisions were reached to devalue or defend currencies, fix the price of gold, regulate offshore banking, and raise or lower short-term interest rates. In 1977, however, the BIS gave up its anonymity in exchange for more efficient headquarters. The new building has been described as “an eighteen story-high circular skyscraper that rises above the medieval city like some misplaced nuclear reactor.” It quickly became known as the “Tower of Basel.” Today the BIS has governmental immunity, pays no taxes, and has its own private police force. It is, as Mayer Rothschild envisioned, above the law.Yes, it most definitely does bear a striking resemblance to the Tower of Babel as you can see from the photo in this article. Once again the global elite are trying to unite humanity under a single system, and that is most definitely not a good thing.
For example, the following is an excerpt from a speech that former president of the European Central Bank Jean-Claude Trichet delivered to the Council On Foreign Relations in New York...
In the area of central bank cooperation, the main forum is the Global Economy Meeting (GEM), which gathers at the BIS headquarters in Basel. Over the past few years, this forum has included 31 governors as permanent members plus a number of other governors attending on a rotating basis. The GEM, in which all systemic emerging economies’ Central Bank governors are fully participating, has become the prime group for global governance among central banks.The speech was entitled "Global Governance Today", and you can find the full transcript right here. But most people have never even heard that such a thing as a "Global Economy Meeting" even exists because the mainstream media rarely discusses these sorts of things. They are too busy focusing on the latest celebrity scandal or the latest cat fights between the Republicans and the Democrats.
If you go to the official BIS website, the purposes of the organization sound fairly innocent and quite boring...
The mission of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) is to serve central banks in their pursuit of monetary and financial stability, to foster international cooperation in those areas and to act as a bank for central banks.But when you start looking into the details, things get much more interesting.
In broad outline, the BIS pursues its mission by:
The head office is in Basel, Switzerland and there are two representative offices: in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China and in Mexico City.
- promoting discussion and facilitating collaboration among central banks;
- supporting dialogue with other authorities that are responsible for promoting financial stability;
- conducting research on policy issues confronting central banks and financial supervisory authorities;
- acting as a prime counterparty for central banks in their financial transactions; and
- serving as an agent or trustee in connection with international financial operations.
So exactly how does the BIS achieve "monetary and financial stability"? An article posted on investorsinsight.com described how this is accomplished...
It accomplishes this through control of currencies. It currently holds 7% of the world's available foreign exchange funds, whose unit of account was switched in March of 2003 from the Swiss gold franc to Special Drawing Rights (SDR), an artificial fiat "money" with a value based on a basket of currencies (44% U.S. dollar, 34% euro, 11% Japanese yen, 11% pound sterling).
The bank also controls a huge amount of gold, which it both stores and lends out, giving it great leverage over the metal's price and the marketplace power that brings, since gold is still the only universal currency. BIS gold reserves were listed on its 2005 annual report (the most recent) as 712 tons. How that breaks down into member banks' deposits and the BIS personal stash is unknown.
By controlling foreign exchange currency, plus gold, the BIS can go a long way toward determining the economic conditions in any given country. Remember that the next time Ben Bernanke or European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet announces an interest rate hike. You can bet it didn't happen without the concurrence of the BIS Board.
In recent years, it has become increasingly obvious who really has power over our economy.
When Barack Obama speaks, the markets usually move very little.
When Ben Bernanke speaks, the markets often respond with wild gyrations.
A recent CNBC article entitled "Central Banks: How They Are Ruling the Financial World" detailed the enormous impact that central banks had on the global financial system during 2012...
In all, 13 other central banks in the world have followed the Fed's lead and set interest rates at or near zero in an effort to keep the liquidity spigots open and prop up their ailing economies. Those 14 economies represent a staggering $65 trillion in combined equity and bond market capitalizations, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
Later on in that same article, the author discussed the enormous amounts of money that global central banks were creating out of thin air...
"When you add up all the central banks in the world, it's going to be over $9 trillion," said Marc Doss, regional chief investment officer for Wells Fargo Private Bank. "That's like creating the second-largest economy in the world out of thin air."
Indeed, central banking has become an economy unto itself, a multi-trillion-dollar empire that massages and manipulates markets, which respond to the slightest news out of the respective entities' policy making committees.
So who controls the money?
The central banks of the world do.
And who controls those central banks?
The Bank for International Settlements does.
If we don't like what the Bank for International Settlements is doing, can we do anything about it?
Nope. The Bank for International Settlements is above the law...
Maybe we'd feel better about the BIS if it were more transparent, but most everything about it, including its bi-monthly member and board meetings, is shrouded in secrecy. And perhaps more worrisome is that the BIS is free from oversight. By rights granted under its agreement with the Swiss Federal Council, all of the bank's archives, documents and "any data media" are "inviolable at all times and in all places." Furthermore, officers and employees of BIS "enjoy immunity from criminal and administrative jurisdiction, save to the extent that such immunity is formally waived . . . even after such persons have ceased to be Officials of the Bank." Finally, no claims against BIS or its deposits may be enforced "without the prior agreement of the Bank."
In other words they can do whatever they want, without consequences. How's that for a leak-proof legal umbrella?
If the BIS wants to "intervene" in the financial markets, they simply just do it.
If the BIS wants to bail out big banks or even entire nations, they simply just do it.
The BIS reminds me of this old joke...
Q: Where does an 800 pound gorilla sit?
A: Anywhere it wants to.
So what is next for the Bank for International Settlements?Well, many have speculated that eventually the goal is to have just a single global currency which will be administered by a single global central bank. The BIS is already using Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), which are considered to be a precursor to the coming global currency. The BIS played a big role in the adoption of the euro, and more currency integration is almost certainly on the way in future years...
But in the end, how you feel about the BIS may come down to how you feel about a one-world currency. The bank was a major player promoting the adoption of the euro as Europe's common currency. There are rumors that its next project is persuading the U.S., Canada and Mexico to switch to a similar regional money, perhaps to be called the "amero," and it's logical to assume the bank's ultimate goal is a single world currency. That would simplify transactions and really solidify the bank's control of the planetary economy.But if the United States ever did give up the U.S. dollar, it would be a massive blow to our national sovereignty.
When someone else controls your money, it doesn't really matter that much who makes the laws. Unfortunately, the global elite seem absolutely obsessed with the idea of a global currency, a one world economic system and a global government. None of those things will happen this year, but that is where we are moving. With each new crisis that arises, the solutions that we will be given will always involve more centralization and more globalization.
Petrogold: Are Russia And China Hoarding Gold Because They Plan To Kill The Petrodollar?
Since the 1970s, the U.S. dollar has been the currency that the international community has used to trade oil around the globe. This has created an overwhelming demand for U.S. dollars and U.S. debt. But what happens when the rest of the globe starts rejecting the increasingly unstable U.S. dollar and figures out that gold can be used as a currency in international trade? The truth is that it doesn’t take a lot of imagination to figure that out.
Demand for the U.S. dollar and U.S. debt would fall off the map and there would be a rush into gold unlike anything we have ever seen before. So are Russia and China accumulating unprecedented amounts of gold right now because they eventually plan to cut the legs out from under the petrodollar and they want to gobble up huge stockpiles of gold before the cat is out of the bag? Of course they will never admit this publicly, but there are rumblings out there that this is exactly what is happening.
Not that you can really blame any nation that wants to get into gold right now. News outlets all over the globe are telling us that we are in the midst of a “currency war” as central banks all over the planet race to devalue their currencies.
So why would anyone want to be in paper in such an environment?
And of course the Federal Reserve is one of the biggest offenders. The Fed has been printing money like it is going out of style, and nobody at the Fed or in the U.S. government really seems too concerned that all of this money printing could be endangering the petrodollar.
But the truth is that the Fed is endangering the petrodollar. Just read some foreign news stories about the U.S. dollar. They mock us for our reckless money printing.In the end, our recklessness will make it very easy for the rest of the world to ditch the U.S. dollar.
At some point, it will happen. In fact, there are persistent rumors that Russia and China actually intend to make it happen.Many believe that this is the reason both nations have been hoarding so much gold recently.Just check out how much gold Russia has been accumulating. The following is from a recent Bloomberg article…
When Vladimir Putin says the U.S. is endangering the global economy by abusing its dollar monopoly, he’s not just talking. He’s betting on it.Not only has Putin made Russia the world’s largest oil producer, he’s also made it the biggest gold buyer. His central bank has added 570 metric tons of the metal in the past decade, a quarter more than runner-up China, according to IMF data compiled by Bloomberg. The added gold is also almost triple the weight of the Statue of Liberty.
‘The more gold a country has, the more sovereignty it will have if there’s a cataclysm with the dollar, the euro, the pound or any other reserve currency,’ Evgeny Fedorov, a lawmaker for Putin’s United Russia party in the lower house of parliament, said in a telephone interview in Moscow.And Russia’s gold hoarding appears to have accelerated last year. According to one recent report, Russia added 3.2 million ounces of gold to their reserves in 2012 alone.
But of even greater concern is China. Nobody really knows how much gold China has, because they do not tell us, but all indications point to the fact that Chinese gold hoarding has gone into overdrive. The following is from a Zero Hedge articlefrom a few months ago…
Because while earlier today we were wondering (rhetorically, of course) what China is doing with all that excess trade surplus if it is not recycling it back into Treasurys, now we once again find out that instead of purchasing US paper, Beijing continues to buy non-US gold, in the form of 68 tons in imports from Hong Kong in the month of June. The year to date total (6 months)? 383 tons. In other words, in half a year China, whose official total tally is still a massively underrepresented 1054 tons, has imported more gold than the official gold reserves of Portugal, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, the UK, and so on, and whose YTD imports alone make it the 14th largest holder of gold in the world. Realistically, by now China, which hasn’t provided an honest gold reserve holdings update to the IMF in years, most certainly has more gold than the IMF, and its 2814 tons, itself. Of course, the moment the PBOC does announce its official updated gold stash, a gold price in the mid-$1000 range will be a long gone memory.The other day, nobody produces more gold than China does, and nobody imports more gold than China does.Everyone agrees that China seems to have an insatiable appetite for gold, but nobody can agree on exactly how much gold they actually have. One recent estimate put China’s gold reserves at more than 7,000 tons of gold, but it could even be much higher than that. Nobody really knows.So what are Russia and China up to?
Well, for a long time both nations have expressed displeasure with the fact that the U.S. dollar is the de facto currency of the world. Leaders from both nations have suggested the possibility of adopting a new global reserve currency, but up to this point no real contenders have emerged to dethrone the U.S. dollar.
So for now, the U.S. dollar reigns supreme in international trade. Sadly, even though most Americans greatly benefit from the petrodollar, most of them do not even know what it is. For those that do not fully understand the petrodollar, the following is a good explanation of the petrodollar from a recent article by Christopher Doran…
In a nutshell, any country that wants to purchase oil from an oil producing country has to do so in U.S. dollars. This is a long standing agreement within all oil exporting nations, aka OPEC, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. The UK for example, cannot simply buy oil from Saudi Arabia by exchanging British pounds. Instead, the UK must exchange its pounds for U.S. dollars. The major exception at present is, of course, Iran.
This means that every country in the world that imports oil—which is the vast majority of the world’s nations—has to have immense quantities of dollars in reserve. These dollars of course are not hidden under the proverbial national mattress. They are invested. And because they are U.S. dollars, they are invested in U.S. Treasury bills and other interest bearing securities that can be easily converted to purchase dollar-priced commodities like oil. This is what has allowed the U.S. to run up trillions of dollars of debt: the rest of the world simply buys up that debt in the form of U.S. interest bearing securities.And all of this has worked out very nicely for the United States. It has created a massive demand for U.S. dollars and U.S. debt.But what would happen if the rest of the world rejected the petrodollar system and adopted a “petrogold” system instead?
A recent article by Jim Willie discussed how a petrogold system might work…
The crux of the non-US$ trade vehicle devised as a USDollar alternative will be the Gold Trade Note. It will enable peer-to-peer payments to be completed from direct account transfers independent of currency, and most importantly, not done through the narrow pipes and channels controlled by the bankers with their omnipresent SWIFT code system among the world of banks. The Gold Trade Note will act much like a Letter of Credit, serve as a short-term bill, and maybe even push aside the near 0% short-term USTreasury Bills that litter the banking landscape. Any bond or bill earning almost no interest is veritable clutter. The zero bound USTreasurys open the door in a big way for replacement by a better vehicle. The new trade notes will involve posted gold as collateral, whose entire system for trade usage will bear a massive gold core that also will include silver and platinum, maybe other precious metals. The idea is to avoid the FOREX systems, to avoid the USDollar, and to avoid the banks as much as possible in a peer-to-peer system that can be executed between parties holding Blackberry devices or simple PC to complete the payments on transactions. If Gold is ignored by the corrupt bankers, then Gold will be the center of the new trade system and the solution in providing a globally accepted USDollar alternative.And Russia and China would greatly benefit from a petrogold system.Today, Russia is the number one oil exporter on the planet.China is the number two consumer of oil in the world, and at this point they are actually importing more oil from Saudi Arabia than the United States is.Does it make sense that they should remain locked into a system that forces them to use U.S. dollars for all of their oil transactions?
And now Russia even has the number one oil company in the world. The following is from a recent article by Marin Katusa…Exxon Mobil is no longer the world’s number-one oil producer. As of yesterday, that title belongs to Putin Oil Corp – oh, whoops. I mean the title belongs to Rosneft, Russia’s state-controlled oil company.
Rosneft is buying TNK-BP, which is a vertically integrated oil company co-owned by British oil firm BP and a group of Russian billionaires known as AAR. One of the top-ten privately owned oil producers in the world, in 2010 TNK-BP churned out 1.74 million barrels of oil equivalent per day from its assets in Russia and Ukraine and processed almost half that amount through its refineries.With TNK-BP in its hands, Rosneft will be in charge of more than 4 million barrels of oil production a day. And who is in charge of Rosneft? None other than Vladimir Putin, Russia’s resource-full president.And Russian gas giant Gazprom supplies a huge percentage of the natural gas that Europe uses…
Gazprom, the Russian state gas company, already has Europe wrapped around its little finger. Russia supplies 34% of Europe’s gas needs, and when the under-construction South Stream pipeline starts operating, that percentage will increase. As if those developments weren’t enough, yesterday Gazprom offered the highest bid to obtain a stake in the massive Leviathan gas field off Israel’s coast.Gazprom in control of Europe’s gas, Rosneft in control of its oil. A red hand stretching out from Russia to strangle the supremacy of the West and pave the way for a new world order– one with Russia at the helm.Russia and China have a tremendous amount of leverage when it comes to energy. What if they got together with a bunch of oil producing nations in the Middle East and decided to set up a system where oil is traded for gold? Would not much of the rest of the world go along with such a system?
Of course if that happened the U.S. financial system would crash. We would no longer be able to export our inflation to the rest of the globe and prices would rise dramatically. Demand for U.S. government debt would go through the floor and interest rates on that debt and on everything else in our economy would skyrocket. Economic activity would grind to a standstill and the financial markets would collapse.And that would just be for starters.Most Americans simply don’t understand that Russia and China have the power to collapse the U.S. economy by going to a gold for oil system. All they have to do is pull the trigger.
The other day I wrote an article entitled “Show This To Anyone That Believes That ‘Things Are Getting Better’ ...” which discussed all of the reasons why the U.S. economy is already collapsing. But as bad as things are now, this is nothing compared to what things will be like when the petrodollar dies.
So pay keen attention to anything in the news about Russia or China suggesting that oil should be traded for gold. When Russia and China pull the trigger, things will get messy very quickly.
This article first appeared here at the Economic Collapse Blog. Michael Snyder is a writer, speaker and activist who writes and edits his own blogs The American Dream and Economic Collapse Blog.
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