In only the last ten days, the ridiculously high valuation of global bonds has once again come front and center on the world financial stage. Argentina has set a new record for absurdity by issuing the longest dated maturity bonds in at least the history of the modern era. These 100 year bonds will come due in the year 2117. They are payable in U.S. dollars by a country which has so far defaulted eight times since its independence in the last 200 years. Despite this insane track record, investors lined up to buy $2.75 billion worth of them at record high… Read More

This past weekend, you saw the stunning return to power of the man who dominated Italian business and politics for literally decades. After a hiatus since the Global Financial Crisis, Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is back in a big way. His party and its candidates have stormed their way to power in several important mayoral contests in the wealthy industrial northern heartland of the country. It just goes to show you that after nearly a decade of reformist-minded governments in this critical G7 nation (that is so indicative of everything wrong with the developed world), nothing has really… Read More

It is not hard to see how the U.S. economy has existed on life support since the middle of the 2007-2009 Global Financial Crisis and Great Recession crash. It was the enormously exploded balance sheet of the Federal Reserve that kept it going since then and helped it to crawl somewhat out of the financial mire. To do this, the Fed flushed a never before seen amount of "financial stimulus" through the economy to prop it up and stave off imminent financial collapse. This happened in a variety of stages that began with the optimistically named Quantitative Easing programs one, two,… Read More

This past week saw several of the currently underway global crises escalating while the French broke with the populists across Europe in their parliamentary elections. In the Middle East, the crisis between Saudi Arabia's allies and Iran's proxy Qatar and allies escalated as it expanded into into Syria with Iranian missile strikes against Syrian targets. The United States also shot down a Syrian government (Iranian-backed) warplane in an international incident. As Brexit talks finally got underway in Brussels today, British Prime Minister Theresa May reeled from one political blow after another in London. The so-called "most difficult negotiations in history" are… Read More

If you are like most people, you do not think about the security of your money at the bank or how safe your bank really is. Bank safety is a concept that is easy to measure and hard to find at most U.S. and Continental European banks. It simply means that the assets of the bank (its investments and loans) ought to be greater than total deposits. We call this solvency. Banks which are actually solvent boast vastly more assets than they owe their depositors. As investments fail, the bank is well enough capitalized to still pay back the original… Read More