Russian Roulette, Central Banks, and Gold

Grab your ultra-reliable 357 magnum revolver and load the cylinder with six, not one, rounds of ammunition. Point the gun at your head if you are a member of the struggling middle-class. Imagine pulling the trigger and hoping … Do you feel lucky? The Six Loads of Ammunition for your 357 revolver are: #1: Central banks and commercial banks exert a huge influence over all aspects of our financial lives. Paper currencies issued by central banks, digital currency units, credit card debt, pension funds, retirement accounts, checking accounts, Quantitative Easing, bond monetization, congress, regulators, Presidents, and the list goes on. […]

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Major Problems Announced At One Of The Largest Too Big To Fail Banks In The United States

Do you remember when our politicians promised to do something about the “too big to fail” banks?  Well, they didn’t, and now the chickens are coming home to roost.  On Thursday, it was announced that one of those “too big to fail” banks, Wells Fargo, has been slapped with 185 million dollars in penalties.  It turns out that for years their employees had been opening millions of bank and credit card accounts for customers without even telling them.  The goal was to meet sales goals, and customers were hit by surprise fees that they never intended to pay.  Some employees […]

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Global Banks are Dead in the Water

Anyone who doesn’t recognize that we’re facing a serious debt and financial bubble has either been living under a rock, or has retreated into their own fantasy la-la-land to cope with just how bad central bankers and governments have let things get. News flash: they’ve gotten pretty damn terrible! Banks have taken on too much bad debt that keeps turning into more non-performing loans, and we’re especially seeing that now in countries like Greece and Italy. But instead of restructuring those loans to let their stock and bondholders cover the losses, banks are resorting to what I call financial magic […]

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Central Banks Might Just Crazy Enough for Helicopter Money

Central banks around the world have a common problem. They are failures. For the past eight years, central bankers worked tirelessly to generate economic activity. They pushed interest rates below zero and printed trillions of dollars. And yet, the IMF recently cut its global growth forecast again. Most economies are stuck in neutral while threats such as the debt crisis in Europe and deflation in Japan keep growing. Now central bankers are talking about a new tool – helicopter cash (free money distributed by a government agency). It won’t work either, but don’t expect that to stop the bankers from […]

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Slovenia and the banks

I bet you’ve never heard of Slovenia. It’s the northernmost Balkan state, squeezed between Austria, Italy and Croatia on the Adriatic coast. It’s small, peaceful (by Balkan standards) and prosperous compared to the rest of the Balkans, though that isn’t saying much. It is also stunningly beautiful, in a mountains-and-lakes sort of way. It is in many ways rather like Austria. But at the moment, Slovenia is famous not for its lovely scenery, or its important history, or its rich culture. No, it is famous for its banks. And not in a good way. Slovenia’s banking crisis is a long-running […]

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European Banks Have Their Worst Two Day Stretch EVER As The Global Financial Crisis Intensifies

Over the last two trading days, European banks have lost 23 percent of their value.  Let that number sink it for a bit.  In just a two day stretch, nearly a quarter of the value of all European banks has been wiped out.  I warned you that the Brexit vote “could change everything“, and that is precisely what has happened.  Meanwhile, the Dow was down another 260 points on Monday as U.S. markets continue to be shaken as well.  Overall, approximately three trillion dollars of global stock market wealth has been lost over the last two trading days.  That is an […]

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Helicopter Money: Global Central Banks Consider Distributing Money Directly To The People

Should central banks create money out of thin air and give it directly to governments and average citizens?  If you can believe it, this is now under serious consideration.  Since 2008, global central banks have cut interest rates 637 times, they have injected 12.3 trillion dollars into the global financial system through various quantitative easing programs, and we have seen an explosion of government debt unlike anything we have ever witnessed before.  But despite these unprecedented measures, the global economy is still deeply struggling.  This is particularly true in Japan, in South America, and in Europe.  In fact, there are […]

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The Collapse Of Italy’s Banks Threatens To Plunge The European Financial System Into Chaos

The Italian banking system is a “leaning tower” that truly could completely collapse at literally any moment.  And as Italy’s banks begin to go down like dominoes, it is going to set off financial panic all over Europe unlike anything we have ever seen before.  I wrote about the troubles in Italy back in January, but since that time the crisis has escalated.  At this point, Italian banking stocks have declined a whopping 28 percent since the beginning of 2016, and when you look at some of the biggest Italian banks the numbers become even more frightening.  On Monday, shares of […]

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Here’s an Idea – Let’s Make the Banks Responsible

It’s no secret I can’t stand most banks, particularly Bank of America. The institution is doing its best to get rid of any customer service that ever existed (fewer tellers, pushing clients to online services, etc.) while airing sappy ads about how much they care. Care about what? Their bonuses? Certainly not their customers. But even with my long-standing grudge against B of A, I’m not joining the chorus calling for greatly increased regulation or busting them up along with the other big banks. I’ve got a better idea. Hold them responsible for their actions. In 2008 the financial world […]

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HSBC: the Don Giovanni of banks?

HSBC’s results were bad. But they could get a whole lot worse. The list of lawsuits they are facing resembles Don Giovanni’s catalogue of conquests, as eloquently explained by his accomplice Leporello. Don Giovanni was, of course, eventually sent to hell as retribution for his crimes. Will HSBC, too, be consigned to fire and brimstone? Somehow I doubt it… My Forbes piece on HSBC’s catalogue of lawsuits is here. And if you like Mozart, Leporello’s “catalogue aria” is here. The Italian words and English translation are here. Coppola Comment

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