Japan is heading for a full-blown solvency crisis as the country runs out of local investors and may ultimately be forced to inflate away its debt in a desperate end-game, one of the world’s most influential economists has warned.

Olivier Blanchard, former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund, said zero interest rates have disguised the underlying danger posed by Japan’s public debt, likely to reach 250pc of GDP this year and spiralling upwards on an unsustainable trajectory.

“To our surprise, Japanese retirees have been willing to hold government debt at zero rates, but the marginal investor will soon not be a Japanese retiree,” he said.

Prof Blanchard said the Japanese treasury will have to tap foreign funds to plug the gap and this will prove far more costly, threatening to bring the long-feared funding crisis to a head.

“If and when US hedge funds become the marginal Japanese debt, they are going to ask for a substantial spread,” he told the Telegraph, speaking at the Ambrosetti forum of world policy-makers on Lake Como.

Analysts say this would transform the country’s debt dynamics and kill the illusion of solvency, possibly in a sudden, non-linear fashion.

Japan
Japan’s public debt is in uncharted waters for the world CREDIT: BLOOMBERG

Prof Blanchard, now at the Peterson Institute in Washington, said the Bank of Japan will come under mounting political pressure to fund the budget directly, at which point the country risks lurching from deflation to an inflationary denouement.

“One day the BoJ may well get a call from the finance ministry saying please think about us – it is a life or death question – and keep rates at zero for a bit longer,” he said.

“The risk of fiscal dominance, leading eventually to high inflation, is definitely present.   I would not be surprised if this were to happen sometime in the next five to ten years.”

Arguably, this is already starting to happen. The BoJ is  soaking up the entire budget deficit under Governor Haruhiko Kuroda as  he pursues quantitative easing a l’outrance.

The central bank owned 34.5pc of the Japanese government bond market as of February, and this is expected to reach 50pc by 2017.

Japanese officials admit privately that a key purpose of ‘Abenomics’ is to soak up the debt and avert a funding crisis as the big pension funds and life insurers retreat from the market. The other unstated goal is to raise nominal GDP growth to 5pc in order to ‘bend down’ the trajectory of the debt ratio, a task easier said than done.

Prof Blanchard did not elaborate on the implications of Japan’s woes for the global financial system, but they would surely be dramatic and there are growing fears that this could happen within five years. Japan is still the world’s third largest economy by far. It is also the global laboratory for an ageing crisis that the rest of us will face to varying degrees.

Once markets begin to suspect that Tokyo is deliberately engineering an escape from its $10 trillion public debt trap by means of an inflationary ‘stealth default’, matters could spin out of control quickly.

Japan
The Bank of Japan will own half the entire public debt by 2017 CREDIT: JAPAN MACRO ADVISORS

It might lead to an abrupt reappraisal of sovereign debt risk in other parts of the world, especially in Europe with its own Japanese pathologies of low-growth and bad demographics. Roughly $7 trillion of debt is trading at negative yields worldwide, an accident waiting to happen for the bond market.

Prof Blanchard said the risk for the eurozone is the election of populist “rogue governments” that let rip with spending in defiance of Brussels. “Investors would have serious thoughts about buying their sovereign bonds,” he said.

The European Central Bank would be legally prohibited from activating its back-stop mechanism (OMT) to prevent yields soaring since these governments would not be in compliance with EU rules. “Some of them have very high debt and presumably would have to default,” he said.

He refused to single out candidates. One of them is clearly Portugal, where a Socialist government backed by Communists and the Left Bloc has already been in a fiscal fight with Brussels. Last year’s deficit was 4.2pc of GDP, far from the original target of 2.7pc.

bonds
Almost $7 trillion of debt is trading at negative rates CREDIT: BLACKROCK

Portugal’s public debt is 129pc of GDP, near the danger line for a country with no lender of last resort. Spreads on its 10-year bond yields have jumped to 325 basis points over German Bunds.

Spain is also pushing its luck on fiscal policy. Italy faces a banking crisis and its anaemic economic recovery is losing speed. Rome has cut its growth forecast to 1.2pc this year, too little to make a dent on a debt ratio still stuck at 132.7pc of GDP.

The worry is what will happen in the next global downturn – or when the effects of cheap oil and quantitative easing fade – given that public finances are already so stretched.

One thing he is not worried about is running out of monetary ammunition. “There is an argument that QE actually becomes more effective, the more you use it,” he said.

As a central bank buys more bonds, the more it has to pay to convince the last hold-outs to sell their holdings. “The effect on the price plausibly becomes stronger and stronger,” he said.

Prof Blanchard said the authorities should stick to plain vanilla QE rather than experimenting with “exotic stuff”.

He waved aside talk of ‘helicopter money’ with contempt, calling it nothing more than a fiscal expansion by other means. It makes little difference whether spending is paid for with money or bonds when interest rates are zero.

Italy
Italy’s debt is not coming down despite the eurozone recovery. Time is running outCREDIT: TRADING ECONOMICS

He said negative interest rates – or NIRP – have complex side-effects and damage the banks, which can’t pass on the rates to depositors. “Banks are already in enough trouble without adding this one,” he said.

Professor Blanchard refuses to join the apocalyptic chorus on Brexit but advises the British people to enter these uncharted waters with open eyes. Divorce will not be a short shock followed by swift recovery.

“The cost of exiting will not be seamless, and the uncertainty will last for a very long time afterwards.  Firms deciding whether to locate plant in the UK or in the Continent will wait. Investment will drop,” he said.

But the sky will not fall for the Gilts market. “Will financing be more difficult after Brexit? Will investors see the British government as more risky? I don’t think so,” he said.

Prof Blanchard has been one of the world’s top theoretical economists over the last quarter century and might have won the Nobel Prize by now if he had not been cajoled into IMF service by his fellow Frenchman, Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

He transformed the IMF into a brain-trust of progressive ‘Keynesian’ thinking – or strictly speaking the MIT school of  New Keynesian andNeoclassical Synthesis – much to the fury of Berlin. A leaked document from the German finance ministry said the institution should be renamed the ‘Inflation Maximizing Fund’.

Professor Blanchard has had the last laugh on that joke. Seven years after the Lehman crisis the eurozone is in outright deflation and yields on 10-year German Bunds are trading at an historic low 0.11pc.  Touché.

 —————————-

One of the epicenters of the global financial crisis that started during the second half of last year is Japan, and it looks like the markets in the land of the rising sun are entering yet another period of great turmoil. 

The Nikkei was down another 390 points last night, and it is now down more than 1,300 points since a week ago.  Why this is so important for U.S. investors is because the Nikkei is often an early warning indicator of where the rest of the global markets are heading.  For example, the Nikkei started crashing early last December about a month before U.S. markets started crashing really hard in early January.  So the fact that the Nikkei has been falling very rapidly in recent days should be a huge red flag for investors in this country.

I want you to study the chart below very carefully.  It shows the performance of the Nikkei over the past 12 months.  As you can see, it kind of resembles a giant leaning “W”.  You can see the stock crash that started last August, you can see the second wave of the crash that began last December, and now a third leg of the crash is currently forming…

Nikkei - Federal Reserve

And of course the economic fundamentals in Japan continue to deteriorate as well.  GDP growth has been negative for two out of the last three quarters, Japanese industrial production just experienced the largest one month decline that we have seen since the tsunami of 2011, and business sentiment has sunk to a three year low.

The third largest economy on the entire planet is in a comatose state at this point, and Japanese authorities have been throwing everything but the kitchen sink at it in an attempt to revive it.  Government stimulus programs have pushed the debt to GDP ratio to 229 percent, and the quantitative easing that the Bank of Japan has been engaged in has made the Federal Reserve look timid by comparison.

But none of those extraordinary measures has been successful in stimulating the Japanese economy, so now the Bank of Japan has been been trying negative interest rates.  Unfortunately, these negative rates are also having some unintended consequences.  According to the Wall Street Journal, the negative interest rate program is putting additional stress on the Japanese financial sector…

The Bank of Japan started imposing a minus 0.1% rate on some deposits held by commercial banks in February, meaning that those banks now have to pay a small fee when they add to their money parked at the central bank. The financial sector has suffered amid worries that banks can’t pass on negative interest rate to their depositors and therefore will take a hit to their profits.

I would keep a very close eye on the big banks in Japan.  It is my conviction that there is a lot more brewing under the surface than we are being told about so far.

In addition, many analysts in Japan are complaining that all of this manipulation by the BOJ is essentially destroying normal market behavior.  The following comes from Bloomberg

Nobuyasu Atago, who also had worked at the BOJ and is now the chief economist at Okasan Securities Co., pointed out that instead of serving as a important source of cash for borrowers, the credit market has become a profit center for dealers looking to buy securities from investors and sell them to the central bank. While the strategy may be lucrative now, financial institutions face the risk of massive losses, he said.

“By making the trade with the BOJ the only source of profit, markets are exposed to unexpected volatility when that trade ends and the BOJ moves toward the exit,” Atago said. “Markets are being destroyed.”

The more global central banks try to “fix things”, the more they make our long-term imbalances even worse.

To me, it makes no sense to have a bunch of unelected, unaccountable central planners constantly monkeying with the financial system.  In a true free market system, we would allow market forces to determine the course of events.  But of course we don’t have a free market system anymore.  Instead, what we have is a heavily socialized system that is greatly manipulated by the central planners.

That is why global financial markets gyrate wildly if Janet Yellen so much as sneezes.  They know who holds all the power, and investors are constantly on edge as they wait for the latest pronouncement from our central banking overlords.

At this point, 99 percent of the global population lives in a country with a central bank.  Our world is more deeply divided than ever, and yet somehow everyone in the world has agreed to adopt this insidious system.

It sure is quite a coincidence, isn’t it?

Getting back to Japan, things are so bad now that the Japanese government is actually considering giving gift certificates directly to low-income young people.  The following originally comes from Bloomberg

The Japanese government plans to include gift certificates for low-income young people in its fiscal 2016 supplementary budget, Sankei reports, without saying who provided the information.

Recipients would be able to use them for daily necessities.

The government sees gift certificates as more effective in stimulating consumption than cash handouts, which may be deposited.

This is what the end of democracy looks like.

When the government just starts handing out money like candy, you might as well turn out the lights because the party is over.

Since 2008, global central banks have cut interest rates 637 times and they have injected approximately 12.3 trillion dollars into the global financial system through various quantitative easing programs.

Has all of this monkeying around solved our problems?

Of course not.

Instead, our long-term problems have grown progressively worse and now a new financial crisis has begun.

Keep an eye on Japan, and also keep an eye on Europe. 

Huge problems are bubbling right under the surface, and when they come bursting into the open they will deeply affect the United States as well.

Emergency meetings, banker summits, crashing European banks, and the worst bank reports since the Great Recession

By Federalreserve (00491) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 

  • The Federal Reserve Board of Governors just held an “expedited special meeting” on Monday in closed-door session.
  • The White House made an immediate announcement that the president was going to meet with Fed Chair Janet Yellen right after Monday’s special meeting and that Vice President Biden would be joining them.
  • The Federal Reserve very shortly posted an announcement of another expedited closed-door meeting for Tuesday for the specific purpose of “bank supervision.”
  • A G-20 meeting of finance ministers and central-bank heads starts in Washington, DC, on Tuesday, too, and continues through Wednesday.
  • Then on Thursday the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund meet in Washington.
  • The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta just revised US GDP growth for the first quarter to the precipice of recession at 0.1%.
  • US banks are widely expected this week to report their worst quarter financially since the start of the Great Recession.
  • The European Union’s new “bail-in” procedures for failing banks were employed for the first time with Austrian bank Heta Asset Resolution AG.
  • Italy’s minister of finance called an emergency meeting of Italian bankers to engage “last resort” measures for dealing with 360-billion euros of bad loans in banks that have only 50 billion in capital.

 

President Obama’s meeting with Fed Chair Yellen

It is rare for presidents to meet with the chair of the Federal Reserve.

The last time President Obama met with Janet Yellen was in November of 2014, a year and a half ago. It is even more rare for the vice president of the United States to join them. In fact, I’ve heard but haven’t verified that it has never happened in a suddenly called meeting with the Fed before.

For security reasons, the president and vice president don’t regularly attend the same events. There are, of course, many planning sessions or emergency meetings where they do get together, but not with the head of the Federal Reserve. Emergency meetings where the VP is included in the planning session would include situations related to dire national security in case the VP winds up having to take over.

(George Bush and Dick Cheney were exceptional to the point that everyone commented on how often the VP was included in meetings with the president, but I always figured that was because George Bush couldn’t think and speak without Cheney acting as the ventriloquist.)

In fact the meeting with the prez and vice prez is so rare that the White House is bending over backwards to assure the entire nation that the president is not meeting with Yellen to try to influence the Fed, which is required to act independently of politics (so they claim).

According to the White House, President Obama is meeting with the Fed chair and Biden to discuss the nation’s “longer-term economic outlook,” even though Yellen just told the entire nation that the economy was strong and had arrived nearly back at “full health.” The president says they will be “comparing notes.” Do their notes about the nation’s outlook disagree? “Compare notes” sounds sufficiently vague to cover everything imaginable.

 

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said both Obama and Yellen are focused on ways to expand economic opportunities for the U.S. middle class. He called the meeting an opportunity for the two to “trade notes” while emphasizing that Yellen makes decisions about monetary policy independently. (SFGate)

 

Either such meetings are, indeed, extremely rare, or the White House doth protest to much because they spent more time this week emphasizing what the president was not going to do than what hewas going to do in assuring us all that the president will not try to influence Yellen.

 

“The president has been pleased with the way that she has fulfilled what is a critically important job,” Earnest said. He added that Obama has “the utmost respect for the independent nature of her role.”

 

Earnest also said that, “even in a confidential setting” Obama would not “have a conversation that would undermine” the Fed’s ability to make “critical financial decisions independently.” I’m waiting to here the next words — “trust us!”

If such meetings with the Fed are so rare they require careful defensive explanation, why the sudden call of the meeting, oddly timed between two specially called, emergency meetings of the Fed — or, at least, “expedited” meetings of the Fed. It can’t just be that the president wants to plan what he will be saying at this week’s G-20 conference, if he’s to speak there. That kind of planning would happen in advance because one knows the conference is coming. One striking peculiarity of the president’s meeting with the Fed is that it appeared to have been called immediately after the Fed announced Monday’s “expedited” meeting of the Board of Governors.

We are in an election cycle, and I already speculated in my last article that, with the anti-establishment, Fed-hating candidates Sanders and Trump doing so well in their bids for the presidency, we could be sure the Administration would be doing all it can with the Fed to put some accelerant on this economy and forestall the recession that I believe we have already begun.

A recession would prove Trump and Sanders right in their statements about a coming recession or about the failed recovery actions of the Fed and Wall Street. So, the Fed and the President have every reason to work together to make sure an announcement of recession never happens. That could be what “comparing notes” on the economy’s future means — how do we assure the economy doesn’t fall apart in the next few months before the election since we have that common interest?

(In that case, the president is right that he will not be influencing the Fed — not in the sense of telling it what to do. He will be brainstorming with the Fed what they can both do in their own self-interest. No need for presidential persuasion or coercion because the Fed’s head is in the noose with the presidents if this economy fails.)

That would explanation why the White House is saying, in advance of any accusations, that the president isn’t trying to influence the Fed. They want to get ahead of the story. (Of course, it could just be that they recognize such rare meetings will lead to the kind of speculation I’m now brattishly doing.)

The recession that has already begun — Atlanta Fed revises US GDP down AGAIN!

The president’s meeting with the Fed and the Fed’s two meetings with the Fed were all called right after the Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank revised the revisions of its previous revisements to say the US economy now looks like it will report in for the first quarter at 0.1% growth.

It seems the Federal Reserve’s downward revisions of anticipated US GDP growth for the first quarter of 2016.

They have just revised their estimates of GDP down to a 0.4% growth rate than I read an article stating they have revised it again down to 0.1%!

Isn’t this where I said this quarter was going? That last number is within a rounding error of going negative and is less then the margin of error for their data. It was only back in February that the Fed anticipated a cruising speed of 2% growth for GDP in the first quarter. They have revised that number down almost every week.

Of course, the fact that the Fed and the President called an unscheduled, closed-door meeting to include the VP does not mean there is any connection between the events, and I certainly am not concluding even for myself that there is something dire happening here … but stay with me. There is more to perk the ears.

US banks expected to report worst quarter financially since start of the Great Recession

That’s no minor announcement for a coincidence in timing. What if the numbers to be reported are even worse than has been anticipated, and the Fed is seeing bank trouble in some of those numbers, and the President has received advanced information about some of those numbers? What if they foresee turmoil as the numbers come out? All speculation on my part, of course. What isn’t speculation on my part is that Wall Street is already predicting that this week’s quarterly bank reports are going to look like the start of the Great Recession, and some pretty big players are using some pretty severe language.

 

Analysts say it has been the worst start to the year since the financial crisis in 2007-2008 and expect poor first-quarter results when reporting begins this week…. Analysts forecast a 20 percent decline on average in earnings from the six biggest U.S. banks, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S data. Some banks, including Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N), are expected to report the worst results in over ten years. (Reuters)

Whoa! That means a report for Goldman Sachs that is worse than any time just prior to or during the Great Recession! When you consider how bad the last decade has been, being worse than that is pretty bad. Moreover, the timing is considered unusually nasty:

 

This spells trouble for the financial sector more broadly, since banks typically generate at least a third of their annual revenue during the first three months of the year…. Bank executives have already warned investors to expect major declines…. Citigroup Inc (C.N) CFO John Gerspach said to expect trading revenue more broadly to drop 15 percent versus the first quarter of last year. JPMorgan Chase & Co’s (JPM.N) Daniel Pinto said to expect a 25 percent decline in investment banking. Several bank executives have warned about declining quality of energy sector loans.

“The first quarter is going to be ugly and we don’t think that necessarily gets recovered in the back half of the year,” said Jerry Braakman, chief investment officer of First American Trust, which owns shares of Citigroup, JPMorgan, Wells Fargo and Goldman. “There are a lot of challenges ahead.”

 

Yes, one of the biggest areas of bank troubles is emerging now from defaults in the energy sector that I have been saying will play a major role in birthing this banking crisis. (Translate that primarily oil and gas.)

 

BofA’s Michael Contopoulos warned last week, it may be the worst default cycle in history with “cumulative losses over the length of the entire cycle could be worse than we’ve everseen before.”

Over the weekend, the FT got the memo with a report that … said that “the global bond default rate by companies is running at its highest since 2009 with the US accounting for the vast majority, according to rating agency Standard & Poor’s. A further four defaults this week, with three coming from the troubled oil and gas sector, pushed the overall tally to 40 with a little over a quarter of 2016 done.” (Zero Hedge)

 

According to the Wall Street Journal, these defaults are from “massive energy loans that most investors didn’t even know about until recently.” The recovery rate of these bad debts is falling extremely fast.

 

The growth of the high-yield bond market allowed drillers to take on far more debt than in past booms, leaving them more vulnerable to default. The emergence of shale technology allowed companies to expand reserves and the loans backed by those properties. Some of those loans may now be underwater. (Bloomberg)

 

You can thank the Fed’s zero-interest-rate policy for that easy, crazy credit bubble!

Is anyone starting to feel a little financial crisis deja vù? Last time it was declining housing-sector loans. This time, as I’ve been saying for the last few months we would soon see, it’s declining energy-sector loans. Same song, different verse. Looks like all of that is now materializing.

In code words, Wells Fargo tells us that their trench-worthy report has not even begun to fully write down the bad debts or move into foreclosures that would cause write-downs: (That is, at least, what I read in public bankerspeak.)

 

John Shrewsberry, Wells Fargo’s chief financial officer, said on a January call with analysts. “We were working with each customer to help them work through this. It doesn’t do us any good to accelerate an issue, or to end up as the holder of a number of oil leases as a bank.

 

Since we start the big-bank reporting season on Wednesday, we should know right away if this is the next leg down in the Epocalypse, but you will probably have some coded language to look through. Something as big as this would certainly merit a flash meeting with the president and vice president, multiple meetings of the board of governors, and a G-20 financial summit in Washington along with meetings with the IMF and World Bank.

Not saying that’s what it is. Just sniffing out the kinds of stories that could be related to all these meetings, some planned earlier, others suddenly and all held somewhat secretively.

 

Just about every major banker and finance minister in the world is meeting in Washington, DC, this week, following two rushed, secretive meetings of the Federal Reserve and another instantaneous and rare meeting between the Fed Chair and the president of the United States.

So what does it all mean?

Here it is in part from the above which is summary of David Wilkerson’s The Vision:

It’s about to happen — very soon, one nation, and I’m speaking prophetically — if I’ve ever heard anything from God in my life, I heard it. Very soon a European or North African or Eastern nation is going to default on its international loan and when that happens, within two weeks, Mexico is going to default. (Note from Rob: Mexico owes $100 billion — 80% of it to American banks. This was true at the time of this prophecy but Mexico’s debt now stands at $500 billion; I am not sure how much of it is held by US banks.)  and here’s what is going to happen: about two weeks after the first country goes bankrupt, (we’re going to survive that, because most of that (money of the first country) is owed to European banks—German, Swiss and French banks) but a second country is going to go down, probably Argentina or Brazil, and we’ll kind of live that down and say: “Well, maybe it’s not going to hurt,” but two weeks after the first country goes down, Mexico’s going to default on $100 billion.  (Much more now)  And when the banks open the next day at 9 in the morning, $15 billion an hour is going to be withdrawn from our American banks -they’re going to be running our banks—the Arabs—all the Latin American countries, they’re going to be running our banks–and before the day is over, the USA is going to have to declare a “bank holiday.”

SIX MONTHS OF HORROR:

And we’re going into six months of the worst hell America has ever seen — there’s going to be chaos — not even the National Guard’s going to be able to quiet it down — we’re going to have to call out the whole U.S. Army. (Notice: the US military is called out for the crash, just as Jade Helm is across the whole Southern border with Mexico now.  When Mexico defaults, there would be an invasion of the US, many not understanding that its economy would be next to crumble.)

… Now I’m going to give you a word of advice: the first country goes bankrupt — I’ve documented this and I’ve got it sealed in an envelope, and I’m going to call all my friends and I’m telling you — this is the first time I’ve said it in a public meeting like this — but the first country that bellies up, you go get every dime you have — church, get your money out of the ban -because there’s going to be a ‘bank holiday’ and you won’t be able to get a dime for six months.

In the full version of David Wilkerson’s prophecy above, Pastor Lindsey Williams was given the same thing by the Elite in 2009: Europe will be the first to default and have its economies crash. The US will follow suit right after, along with other countries. Lindsey even gave a timetable of two weeks before it affects the US and to prepare for this event.)


David Wilkerson Prophecy and Germany

David Wilkerson: Global Economic Collapse Begins in Germany
James Bailey – 5/11/15 [link]

In my previous post, Why the Greek Drama Will Soon Become a Tragedy, I shared a prophetic vision from the late David Wilkerson in which he warned of bank runs starting in the United States within about two weeks after the first country goes bankrupt. The purpose of this post is to clarify what he meant.

With all the focus on Greece, it would be easy to assume they will be the first country to default. However, in another message David Wilkerson said he saw it starting in Germany. So we could see a scenario where Greece misses one or more loan payments without causing a financial melt-down for European banks, at least not right away. However, the losses caused by the Greek default would make it very hard for European financial institutions to absorb, which could then cause Germany’s economy to collapse. The whole system would start coming unglued.

As Europe’s largest economy, Germany has been carrying more than their fair share of the load in the European Union. Over the past five years, they have been a major contributor to bail out funds not only for Greece, but also Portugal, Italy, Ireland, and Spain. In the process, they have put themselves at risk if any of those nations default.

Today we see Greece reaching a critical point of needing additional funds to avoid a banking crisis. However, Germany cannot continue to support the weaker European nations forever. After five years of playing “extend and pretend”, the German people are weary of sending their hard-earned money to bail out other nations, especially Greece because they are not showing signs of recovering and are not complying with the terms of the loans. But now the Germans have put themselves in a predicament because they have extended so much credit to Greece that a default there could take down Germany too. Recognizing this danger, the Germans have grown increasingly reluctant to continue sending more funds. The gig is just about up.

Professional violinist Maurice Sklar shared the following prophetic insight showing Germany would play the key role in the coming financial disaster in Europe:

There is an even greater financial disaster that is falling upon Europe that will collapse the euro, cause panic and chaos there. Germany will refuse to prop up the euro any more. Basic needs in the poorer European nations will be threatened. Many will lose their money overnight as the stage is set for the financial takeover of the Antichrist system. This is imminent, and the dollar will also follow, although it will survive for a season more.

I believe we are now very close to the day when Germany will refuse to send any more bailout funds, especially to Greece. However, the big question is what happens after that?

Only the Lord knows the answer because the global economy is now in uncharted territory for at least two reasons, derivatives and debt.

  1. Derivatives – Never before in history have so many financial institutions exposed themselves to so much risk in the form of derivatives, which are financial products that derive all of their value from an underlying asset. Derivatives allow financial institutions to leverage their assets many times over. As a result, many investors hold a claim to the same asset while none of them actually own anything of real value. This approach works great when market values are moving up because profits are multiplied, but it is very dangerous when market values are moving down because losses are multiplied too. Large losses can force even very large banks to go bankrupt.

  2. Debt – Never before in history have there been so many nations in so much debt. Sovereign debt levels have increased significantly among almost all developed nations since the 2008 collapse of the housing market. The enormous debt burden makes it almost impossible to absorb the cost of any unexpected disasters.

The combination of the derivatives and debt leaves no wiggle room. Any large default could cause the global financial system could come crashing down like a house of cards.

That is exactly what David Wilkerson saw happening. In the audio message shown at the bottom of this post, he reveals the first country to go bankrupt is Germany, not Greece.

So when we hear the news that Greece has missed their first loan payment to the IMF or ECB, we should not panic or run out and withdraw all of our funds from the bank. If David Wilkerson’s vision is correct, the country to watch is Germany.

We should also keep in mind the difference between missing a payment and being declared in technical default, which occurs 60 days later if the payment is still due. So there is a question about when the two-week clock starts ticking.

Yesterday a visitor to this site, named Frank, shared more information about David Wilkerson’s vision.

I thought you might like to see the results of a bit of research I’ve done, in which I found an old audio message by David Wilkerson, in which he identifies the first important European country to suffer an economic collapse: Not Greece, but Germany! (Not to say Greece won’t collapse, but read on).

To give some background, first, in his book, “The Vision,” at the beginning of chapter 1, Wilkerson states, “I see total economic confusion striking Europe first, and then affecting Japan, the United States, Canada, and all other nations shortly thereafter.”

So, the economic collapse begins in Europe. There is a slightly different version of this which is circulating on various sites on the internet, usually titled “David Wilkerson’s Economic Vision.” This is the one you quoted, where he narrates how the collapse starts in Europe, spreads to South America, then Mexico, then the U.S. Notice he again mentions Europe first, and then later, “the first country (that) goes bankrupt,” but doesn’t identify the country. Well, I did some more digging and found this audio sermon by Wilkerson:

AT EXACTLY 2:03 (see audio below) HE STATES: “It’s going to start in GERMANY!!!” After that he says it will “spread to Japan, and finally to the U.S.” I believe Greece defaulting on its loan to the EU will certainly weaken Germany, but it’s when GERMANY, the economic powerhouse of Europe, defaults, that the real clock, according to Wilkerson, starts ticking.

Greece defaulting on one or more of its future commitments to the EU/Germany may take a long time to cause a collapse in Germany; however, since so much of world commerce is interlocked, a panic resulting from a Greek default or combination of defaults could also develop very quickly. The German banking system is tottering on the brink of collapse as we speak.  About a month ago, Duesseldorfer Hypothekenbank AG, a German bank, nearly collapsed after a margin call for $375 million. 

Deutsche Bank had a $75 trillion derivative exposure, and that was reported a year ago:

So, it wouldn’t take much to tip Germany (and other EU) countries over the edge, setting of a panic in short order.  

I’m thinking that if Wilkerson’s vision in this case plays out, and it sure looks that way, Greece will start defaulting on some of those debts, and the EU will be able to withstand some of these for a short while. But when Germany, considered the most financially solid of all EU countries, defaults, it will cause investors to totally lose confidence, and we will see a frenzied run on banks, a bank holiday, Cyprus-like currency reset (or worse), followed by a collapse, which then spreads worldwide.


There Are Indications that a Major Financial Event in Germany Could Be Imminent
Michael Snyder – 9/21/15 [link]

Is something about to happen in Germany that will shake the entire world?  According to disturbing new intel that I have received, a major financial event in Germany could be imminent.  Now when I say imminent, I do not mean to suggest that it will happen tomorrow.  But I do believe that we have entered a season of time when another “Lehman Brothers moment” may occur.  Most observers tend to regard Germany as the strong hub that is holding the rest of Europe together economically, but the truth is that serious trouble is brewing under the surface.  As I write this, the German DAX stock index is down close to 20 percent from the all-time high that was set back in April, and there are lots of signs of turmoil at Germany’s largest bank.  There are very few banks in the world that are more prestigious or more influential than Deutsche Bank, and it has been making headlines for all of the wrong reasons recently.

Just like we saw with Lehman Brothers, banks that are “too big to fail” don’t suddenly collapse overnight.  The truth is that there are always warning signs in advance if you look closely enough.

In early 2014, shares of Deutsche Bank were trading above 50 dollars a share.  Since that time, they have fallen by more than 40 percent, and they are now trading below 29 dollars a share.

It is common knowledge that the corporate culture at Deutsche Bank is deeply corrupt, and the bank has been exceedingly reckless in recent years.

If you are exceedingly reckless and you win all the time, that is okay.  Unfortunately for Deutsche Bank, they have increasingly been on the losing end of things.

Prior to the “sudden collapse” of Lehman Brothers on September 15th, 2008, there had been media reports of mass layoffs at the firm.  To give you just a couple of examples, CNBC reported on this on March 10th, 2008 and the New York Times reported on this on August 28th, 2008.

When big banks start getting into serious trouble, this is what they do.  They start getting rid of staff.  That is why the massive job cuts that Deutsche Bank just announced are so troubling

Deutsche Bank aims to cut roughly 23,000 jobs, or about one quarter of total staff, through layoffs mainly in technology activities and by spinning off its PostBank division, financial sources said on Monday.

That would bring the group’s workforce down to around 75,000 full-time positions under a reorganization being finalised by new Chief Executive John Cryan, who took control of Germany’s biggest bank in July with the promise to cut costs.

Cryan presented preliminary details of the plan to members of the supervisory board at the weekend. A spokesman for the bank declined comment.

Deutsche Bank has also been facing mounting legal troubles.  The following is a brief excerpt from a recent Zero Hedge article

The bank, which has paid out more than $9 billion over the past three years alone to settle legacy litigation, has become something of a poster child for corrupt corporate culture.

In April, Deutsche settled rate rigging charges with the DoJ for $2.5 billion (or about $25,474 per employee) and subsequently paid $55 million to the SEC (an agency that’s been run by former Deutsche Bank employees and their close associates for years) in connection with allegations it deliberately mismarked its crisis-era LSS book to the tune of at least $5 billion.

But it was out of the frying pan and into the fire so to speak, because early last month, the DoJ announced it would seek to extract a fresh round of MBS-related settlements from banks that knowingly packaged and sold shoddy CDOs in the lead up to the crisis. JP Morgan, Bank of America, and Citi settled MBS probes when the DoJ was operating under the incomparable (and we mean that in a derisive way) Eric Holder but now, emboldened by her pyrrhic victory over Wall Street’s FX manipulators, new Attorney General Loretta Lynch is set to go after Barclays PLC, Credit Suisse Group AG, Deutsche Bank AG, HSBC Holdings PLC, Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC,UBS AG and Wells Fargo & Co.

Of course the legal troubles are just the tip of the iceberg of what has been going on over at Deutsche Bank over the past couple of years.  The following is a pretty good timeline of some of the major events that have hit Deutsche Bank since the beginning of last year.  It comes from a NotQuant article that was published back in June entitled “Is Deutsche Bank the next Lehman?”…

  • In April of 2014,  Deutsche Bank was forced to raise an additional 1.5 Billion of Tier 1 capital to support its capital structure.  Why?

  • 1 month later in May of 2014, the scramble for liquidity continued as DB announced the selling of 8 billion euros worth of stock – at up to a 30% discount.   Why again?  It was a move which raised eyebrows across the financial media.  The calm outward image of Deutsche Bank did not seem to reflect their rushed efforts to raise liquidity.  Something was decidedly rotten behind the curtain.

  • Fast forwarding to March of this year:   Deutsche Bank fails the banking industry’s “stress tests” and is given a stern warning to shore up it’s capital structure.

  • In April,  Deutsche Bank confirms its agreement to a joint settlement with the US and UK regarding the manipulation of LIBOR.   The bank is saddled with a massive $2.1 billion payment to the DOJ.  (Still, a small fraction of their winnings from the crime). 

  • In May,  one of Deutsche Bank’s CEOs, Anshu Jain is given an enormous amount of new authority by the board of directors.  We guess that this is a “crisis move.”  In times of crisis the power of the executive is often increased.

  • June 5:  Greece misses its payment to the IMF.   The risk of default across all of its debt is now considered acute.   This has massive implications for Deutsche Bank.

  • June 6/7:  (A Saturday/Sunday, and immediately following Greece’s missed payment to the IMF) Deutsche Bank’s two CEO’s announce their surprise departure from the company.  (Just one month after Jain is given his new expanded powers).   Anshu Jain will step down first at the end of June.  Jürgen Fitschen will step down next May.

  • June 9: S&P lowers the rating of Deutsche Bank to BBB+  Just three notches above “junk.”  (Incidentally,  BBB+ is even lower than Lehman’s downgrade – which preceded its collapse by just 3 months)

Are you starting to get the picture?  These are not signs of a healthy bank.

What makes things even worse is how recklessly Deutsche Bank has been behaving.  At one point, it was estimated that Deutsche Bank had a staggering 75 trillion dollars worth of exposure to derivatives.  Keep in mind that German GDP for an entire year is only about 4 trillion dollars. 

So when Deutsche Bank finally collapses, there won’t be enough money in Europe (or anywhere else for that matter) to clean up the mess. 

This is a perfect example of why I am constantly hammering on the danger of these “weapons of financial mass destruction.”

If Deutsche Bank were to totally collapse, it would be a financial disaster far worse than Lehman Brothers.  It would literally take down the entire European financial system and cause global financial panic on a scale that none of us have ever seen before.

On a personal note, I apologize for not posting anything last week.  I traveled to two very important conferences and was living out of a suitcase for about eight days.

There has been a bit of a lull in the action over the past couple of weeks, but I expect that to end very shortly.  I believe that the rest of 2015 is going to be incredibly chaotic, and we are going to see some things happen that most people could not even conceive of right now.

In the days that are directly ahead, I encourage people to keep a close eye on both Germany and Japan.

Big things are about to happen, and millions are about to be totally shaken out of their complacency.


 

Sources

http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/watch-japan-for-all-is-not-well-in-the-land-of-the-rising-sun

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/04/11/olivier-blanchard-eyes-ugly-end-game-for-japan-on-debt-spiral/

What in the World is Going on with Banks this Week? Emergency meetings, banker summits, crashing European banks, and the worst bank reports since the Great Recession

http://www.ubm1.org/?page=wilkerson