In light of the recent "blockchain" naming craze, this morning we said that the inevitable next round of corporate name changes would involve "JP Blockchain" and "Blockchain Sachs". Round 2: JP Blockchain vs Blockchain Sachs — zerohedge (@zerohedge) December 21, 2017 While this was supposed to be a joke, as so often happens, it ended up predicting the shape of things to come because as Bloomberg reports, Goldman Sachs - using its pre-blockchain name for the time being - is in the process of setting up a trading desk to make markets in digital currencies such as bitcoin. The bank aims to get the business running by the end of June, if not earlier, two sources said. A third said Goldman is still trying to work out security issues as well as how it would hold, or custody, the assets. Why the rush to have the world's first dedicated institutional desk? For the same reason that while Jamie Dimon was mocking bitcoin, Lloyd Blankfein saw an opportunity: unlike equities which retail investors have largely given up on realizing that equity capital markets are rigged and manipulated by central banks, retail investors are ever more fascinated with crypto - the price trends don't hurt - so much so that Coinbase now has more users than Charles Schwab. To Lloyd and Goldman this spells one thing: opportunity. As Bloomberg notes, the move positions Goldman Sachs to become the first large Wall Street firm to make markets in cryptocurrencies, "whose wild price swings and surging values have captured the public’s imagination but given pause to established institutions." Already, the bank is among just a few mainstream firms clearing a new breed of bitcoin futures offered by Cboe Global Markets Inc. and CME Group Inc. Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America Corp., for example, have been taking a wait-and-see approach. Which brings us to the next evolutionary step for cryptos: direct prop and flow trading by the world's most important bank. Goldman Sachs is now assembling a team in New York, one of the people said. While the bank hasn’t made a decision where to house the desk, one possibility is that it will operate within the fixed-income, currencies and commodities unit’s systematic trading function, which conducts transactions electronically, two people said. Darren Cohen, in the firm’s principal strategic investments group, is also looking at opportunities, another person said. “In response to client interest in digital currencies, we are exploring how best to serve them,” Michael DuVally, a spokesman, said in a statement. And since Goldman will be seeking to hook investors in during the inaugural period, guess which way the price of cryptos will move at least in the near future. (hint: not down). Ironically, in public CEO Lloyd Blankfein has been circumspect. After tweeting two months ago that Goldman was looking at how to deal with bitcoin, in a Bloomberg Television interview just a few weeks ago, he said his bank didn’t need a bitcoin strategy yet because the digital currency is still just developing and volatile. Surprisingly, it turns out Lloyd was lying.
Второй крупнейший после JPMorgan инвестиционный банк в мире - Goldman Sachs запустит торговлю фьючерсами для своих клиентов, сразу после того как крупнейшие товарные биржи разместят свои фьючерсы уже в ближайшие недели. Источник Bloomberg заявил, что план в отношении фьючерсов на Bitcoin разрабатывается в краткосрочной перспективе, однако такая услуга для клиентов будет проводиться в индивидуальном порядке. Пресс-секретарь Goldman Sachs Тиффани Галвин заявила: “ Учитывая что это новый продукт, мы будем вырабатывать спецификации, а также проводить оценку рисков в связи с фьючерсными контрактами на Bitcoin в рамках обычного процесса интеграции”. Ллойд Бланкфейн глава Goldman Sachs с 2006 года, заявил: “Если биткоин работает, мы будем этим заниматься”. В прошлом месяце в интервью CNBC Бланкфейн отметил, что он открыто настроен по отношению к биткоину, так как многие активные технологии, которые он изначально считал ошибочными, показали свою работоспособность и перспективность. Бланкфейн отметил: “Я открыт всем этим вещам ( биткоину и криптовалютам в целом), так как в мире есть множество вещей, которые я считал ошибочными, тем не менее, сейчас они вполне имеют право на жизнь и успешно работают”. Если Bitcoin - это естественный процесс перехода от физических денег к цифровым валютам, то в этом контексте Бланкфейн считает, что у биткоина есть потенциал для превращения в следующее золото, а также резервную мировую валюту. Фьючерсы на Bitcoin на товарной бирже Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) должны запуститься уже 10 декабря, таким образом, осталось менее 2 дней. Крупные инвестиционные банки и хедж-фонды, такие как Goldman Sachs и Man Group, планируют инвестировать в криптовалюту сразу после запуска фьючерсов на CBOE и CME, таким образом, можно ожидать существенного роста ликвидности в направлении биткоина. Goldman Sachs Will Trade Bitcoin Futures For Clients, CCN, Dec 08Источник: FxTeam
Submitted by Rudy Havenstein After years of seeing terrible market news and commentary, I’m pretty jaded, but when I saw the recent Marketwatch op-ed, “Janet Yellen’s true legacy is her focus on middle-class wages” (by Tim Mullaney), I thought such nonsense needed a reponse that went beyond 280 characters. (Half of Mullaney’s article is an anti-Trump rant, which is fine, and which I will ignore). "If something is nonsense, you say it and say it loud."– Nassim Taleb The article’s tagline, “Outgoing Federal Reserve chairwoman is a true populist, representing the interests of ordinary people”, reflects an Orwellian perversion of language that is so common today, a bizarro land where “inflation” is “growth”, “debt” is “wealth,” “QE” is “economic stimulus,” and “plutocracy” is “populism”. Janet Yellen heads what is arguably the most anti-populist entity on Earth. It’s a very strange world we live in, where the actions of the head of a private bank cartel are declared to be “populist” by countless econ professor cultists and their media acolytes, as average Americans stand in stunned amazement at the elites’ cluelessness. So what is “populism”? I asked Google, which hopefully excluded any Russian propaganda from the answer: Ok, I don’t know about you, but reading that I immediately thought “That’s Janet Yellen.” (I would prefer for this article to be about someone truly evil, like Alan Greenspan or Tim Geithner, as I’ve always thought of Yellen as more of a caretaker, a bit like Bruce Dern in Silent Running.) This ridiculous idea of the Fed as “populist” is not a new phenomenon. You have, for example, Canadian humor magazine Macleans back in 2014: And none other than noted hairdresser Paul McCulley said this recently: [You may remember Paul McCulley as the guy who said in 2002 (to cat afficianado Paul Krugman’s glee), “Alan Greenspan needs to create a housing bubble to replace the Nasdaq bubble.” So how’d that work out for the average American? ] Mullaney writes: We hear a lot about populism these days, a political philosophy the dictionary says is about a party or faction “seeking to represent the interest of ordinary people.” And that’s what Yellen did as Fed chair…. Really? I suppose it’s fitting that a day after the Marketwatch propaganda dropped, the @FedHistory account tweeted this: (As an aside, I ruined the #FedHistory hashtag for the Fed, but that’s another topic.) Ok, so Aldrich…Aldrich…rings a bell. Oh yeah… So who were these founding populists, “seeking to represent the interest of ordinary people,” who assembled on Jekyll Island? Clearly these were the Joe Six-Packs of the day. The “duck hunt” ruse was due to the incredible secrecy regarding the Federal Reserve’s formation: Apparently the founders of the Fed weren’t committed to the “transparency” we have today, where, for example, Fed meeting transcripts are released after a 5-year lag, presumably to give the statutes of limitations time to expire. (Another canard is that the Fed is “independent”, which apparently it is from a corrupt, feckless Congress, but hardly from Citadel, Barclay’s, Pimco, Goldman, Citigroup, JPMorgan or Warburg Pincus, but I digress.) So why such secrecy if these populists were just there to “represent the interest of ordinary people”? Surely the public would have supported the two main reasons these men formed the Fed, to stifle competition and arrange for the socialization of bank losses? I mean, to mandate price stability and stable employment? Father of the Fed Paul Warburg tries to explain: So, um…even a century ago the populace had “a deep feeling of fear and suspicion with regard to Wall Street’s power and ambitions.” Maybe for good reason, then as now. Upton Sinclair, in his 1927 novel “Oil!” (an inspiration for the film “There Will Be Blood”), happens to give a very good description of the Federal Reserve: Clearly, Mullaney sees Janet as a different animal than the founders of her cartel: “…she held interest rates low enough, for long enough, that consumers’ debt-service burdens reached 20-year lows while real household incomes recovered all of the ground lost in the recession and moved toward all-time highs.” As is typical of Fed cheerleaders, all credit for any recovery goes to the Fed, and no blame for the preceding bubble and collapse. The heroic arsonist helped put out the fire! I will concede that Yellen’s Fed did oversee lowering rates to prehistoric levels, and also induced massive additional consumer borrowing. The “debt burden”may be low now, but God help the poor debtors if rates ever return to anywhere close to average historical levels (not to scare you, but that’d be around a 5% Fed Funds Rate). Of course, by then Yellen will be long gone, giving $500k speeches (inflation, you know), collecting her COLA-adjusted pensions and perhaps muddying the minds of another generation of Berkeley undergrads. She’ll be fine. So yes, low rates are awesome, but while Citigroup (which should not exist) et al. may be able to borrow at 0%, still NO ZIRP FOR YOU! As for real incomes, I do hope we can someday get back to Nixon-era levels. To Marketwatch Tim, Janet Yellen is some sort of mythical figure, able to single-handedly create jobs, hike wages, and ameliorate the consumer debt burden. This of course is nonsense. First of all, look at Janet Yellen’s resume: Other than perhaps some hiring at the Fed and the Berkeley econ department, it is hard to imagine any jobs that Ms. Yellen herself actually created. Maybe she hired someone to garden her yard, and that’s commendable, but Yellen strangely believes that without formerly-tenured econ professors running things (to borrow from Jim Grant), the US economy would collapse: “Will capitalist economies operate at full employment in the absence of routine intervention? Certainly not.”- Janet Yellen, 1999 This is a rather laughable statement coming from someone who won the 2010 NABE “Adam Smith Award”. So how the heck did US unemployment drop to 5% in 1900 without a former Berkeley econ professor to guide it? How did it even get as low as 4% in 1890 with no FOMC? I guess it’s a mystery. Speaking of Adam Smith, he described the folly of Janet’s position well in “The Wealth of Nations”: The statesman who should attempt to direct private people in what manner they ought to employ their capitals would not only load himself with a most unnecessary attention, but assume an authority which could safely be trusted, not only to no single person, but to no council or senate whatever, and which would nowhere be so dangerous as in the hands of a man who had folly and presumption enough to fancy himself fit to exercise it. Anyway, academia has been very good to Yellen, as her 2010 financial disclosure report shows. This report shows, among many other things at the time, over $21,000 a month just in University of California pension income, “$500k-$1M” in her Heartland 500 Index fund IRA and a $50,000 “honorarium” from Chinese internet company Netease. No doubt she can also look forward to many days of giving $250,000 speeches to those who most benefited from her largesse. Having such a huge income (at least relative to the median US wage earner, who makes $30,557 a year) no doubt factors into Yellen’s fervent desire to spike the cost of living for the peasants. Throwing in Janet’s $200k Fed salary, a very conservative estimate puts Yellen’s annual income in the top 99.9% of all Americans. Quite literally, Janet Yellen is the 0.1%. (To be fair, the Fed pays its staff very well, which is probably a side-effect of being able to create currency at will). Yellen has served her 0.1% well. Besides the Fed’s latest mandate, the booming S&P 500 index, and a 4.1% unemployment rate (which, if accurate, would mean Trump would never have been elected), Yellen oversees a nirvana where American wealth inequality is now at record levels on her watch, even worse than Russia or Iran(!!), with the top 1% now owning 38.5% of everything! Yay! A few more examples: The CEO-to-worker compensation ratio is at 224-to-1 in 2016, up from 22.5 back in 1973, millennials live with their parents at unprecedented historical levels (largely because Fed and government policies have made house prices far higher than they would otherwise be), and Americans are more burdened by student loan debt than ever. I won’t even mention subprime auto delinquencies. All this is in the 9th year of our incredible global synchronized recovery! (What happens if there’s ever another recession, which of course there can’t be?) Then there are the senior citizens who have been destroyed by ZIRP and inflation (which Yellen thinks is too low): These seniors’ economic woes may explain why the elderly are the only demographic group with a rising labor force participation rate since 2000. Would you like fries with that? Meanwhile, the populist owners of the Federal Reserve are doing great Moreoever, the Fed’s real claim to fame since 2009, the stock market’s “wealth effect” (also known as “trickle down”) is lost on the 70% of Americans who make less than $50k and are not benefitting from the Fed casino. "There is absolutely no econometric evidence that there is a wealth effect except for a very slim slice of our highest wealth individuals."Lacy Hunt (I will, out of kindness, refrain from mentioning that In the pre-Fed Panic of 1907, the Dow fell 48.5% from its all-time high, while in the Fed-mentored Panic of 2008-2009, the Dow fell 54.4%.) Everything the Fed has done this century has been designed to get Americans into more debt, and most importantly to protect the (global) too-big-to-fail money-center banks. Everything else is secondary. Just one example of this reality is when a “lightbulb went on” for Neil Barofsky, the Special Inspector General of the TARP: There you have populist Yellen’s Fed in a nutshell: it’s all about the banks. (Note that “Turbo” Tim Geithner, former tax scofflaw, NY Fed President during the height of TBTF bank fraud, AIG-creditor savior, US Treasury Secretary, and overall weasel, is now being rewarded as President of Warburg Pincus). The Federal Reserve and Janet Yellen, despite the magical thinking of the Fed’s many media shills, are no more “populist” than JPMorgan Chase or Lloyd Blankfein. If the Fed ever happens to help “the average American” through some action, it’s by accident, and there is plenty of evidence that the average American has not only not recovered from Great Depression II, but is actually worse off in real terms. Time to wake up. “Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?”Johnny Rotten
04.12.2017 18:28 : В мире появились первые долларовые миллиардеры, которые заработали своё состояние на торговле криптовалютой
Ими стали братья Уинклвосс, пишет британская газета The Telegraph. Своё состояние Тайлер и Кэмерон сделали за 4 года. Они купили свои биткоины за 11 миллионов долларов. На минувшей неделе стоимость одного достигла почти 11,5 тысяч долларов. И, несмотря на критические замечания и предупреждения со стороны пессимистов, это сделало рисковых инвесторов миллионерами. А братья Уинклвосс сделались настоящими долларовыми миллиардерами. Они известны по судебному процессу против Марка Цукерберга. Братья обвинили создателя Фейсбук в том, что он украл их идею. И в качестве компенсации урегулирования спора получили 11 миллионов долларов. Их они-то и вложили в биткоин, когда тот стоил по 120 долларов. Некоторое время назад они даже запустили свою собственную биткоин-биржу и венчурный фонд. Впрочем, ранее, братья говорили, что оказались в затруднительном положении, — отмечает The Telegraph, так как они были не уверены, что смогут получить разрешение американских властей на продажу криптовалюты. Тайлер Уинклвосс ранее сравнивал биткоины с современной версией золота. Впрочем, издание напоминает, что пока неизвестно даже имя того, кто является автором самой известной в мире криптовалюты. Он известен только под сетевым псевдонимом Сатоши Накамото. Эксперты газеты не исключают, что Братья Уинклвосс могут быть среди тех, кто в курсе личности этого загадочного человека. Идея биткойна критиковали многие эксперты — глава Голдман Сакс Ллойд Бланкфейн сравнил его с фальшивыми деньгами; Федеральная Резервная система США выпустила специальной предупреждение, в котором утверждала, что электронные валюты представляют серьезные угрозы для финансовой стабильности. Издание также напоминает, что на данный момент рынок криптовалюты ни коим образом не регулируется государственными структурами и может использоваться как механизм отмыва грязных денег. Валерий Нечай с обзором иностранной прессы.
The cryptocurrency may not be a threat to the world economy, but that should not stop regulators from protecting investors from itSifting the Yukon river for gold was a waste of time for most of the 100,000 prospectors seeking to make themselves rich in the 1890s. The same can be said of the bitcoin miners who dream of striking it rich by getting their hands on some of the extremely lucrative and painfully elusive electronic currency.Relatively few people have managed to decipher the codes needed to extract bitcoins from the 21 million locked inside the mathematical problems set by its creator, the software engineer whose true identity is unknown but who goes by the name Satoshi Nakamoto. Continue reading...
Ни для кого давно уже не секрет, что вся современная мировая политическая система контролируется влиятельными людьми из финансовых кругов, однако насколько хорошо мы знаем в лицо тех «денежных господ», которые являются главными бенефициарами происходящих в экономике взлетов и падений, бесконечно повторяющихся циклов кризисов и рецессий?
Contest to succeed Wall Street bank’s head is one of the most keenly watched in finance
Authored by Mark Jeftovic via Medium.com, “[Bitcoin] won’t end well, it’s a fraud…worse than tulip bulbs…[but] if you were a drug dealer, a murderer, stuff like that, you are better off doing it in bitcoin than U.S. dollars,” — Jamie Dimon: CEO, JP Morgan Headline: JPMorgan Guilty of Money Laundering, Tried To Hide Swiss Regulator Judgement — via Cointelegraph Given the current, latest successive series of spikes to all time highs for Bitcoin, the detractors are working overtime to make the case that the crypto-currency is a Ponzi, a scam, a phantasm or at the very least, a bubble. Oddly, many of these same detractors spend a lot of time cheerleading “the other bubble”, that everything-bubble, stocks, bonds, real estate, even ETFs of ETFs, you name it. It’s easy to make superficial apples-to-screwdrivers comparisons about why Bitcoin is doomed to fail. Until you really take some time to look into it. When first was exposed to the idea back in 2013 and researched it, I realized that “this really is different”, and the reason why was because of something John Kenneth Galbraith had once written which (until then) had invariably held up as true. In “A Short History of Financial Euphoria” Galbraith said: “The world of finance hails the invention of the wheel over and over again, often in a slightly more unstable version. All financial innovation involves in one form or another, the creation of debt secured in greater or lesser adequacy by real assets.” (emphasis added) When one looks at the history this accurately maps every financial bubble from Tulipmania (which we will debunk as a suitable metaphor for Bitcoin shortly) right up to 2008 and beyond. However one place where it isn’t applicable, is to the phenomenon of Bitcoin. Crypto-currencies, at least at present, have no leverage and are near impossible to purchase on credit. In other words, if asset bubbles get that way largely through leverage, and there is comparatively no leverage in Bitcoin, then something else has to be driving it. That said… The Price of Bitcoin is a Side Show. Granted, at the moment it’s a very exciting sideshow for those who are on the train. A long time customer emailed me as I was writing this asking “at what point has easyDNS’ profits from accepting and holding bitcoin exceeded the actual operating profits of the company?” I had never considered that but some quick math revealed that even after cashing a chunk out to buy gold (not my greatest trade), that happened last year. But the price action around this isn’t what is exciting about Bitcoin and the crypto-currency revolution. What is exciting is that the centralized, bankster controlled monopoly over the issuance of money itself is finished. It’s over. Even if they successfully manage to co-opt some major crypto-currencies or issue their own, Gresham’s Law will assert itself as capital managers will select a truly decentralized crypto-currency wherein they control, or have the option to control, their own private keys to safely store their wealth while they’ll use the government version to pay taxes, etc. Whatever state issued “digital cash” comes out in the near future, I’m suspecting it will be centralized with mandatory private key custody or escrow. When that happens it shouldn’t even be called crypto-currency, call it something else like “pseudo-crypto” or “fauxcoin” to differentiate. Given the mostly bad analogies and unfounded criticisms being levelled at Bitcoin, let’s first take a serious look at what Bitcoin isn’t. Then in Part II we’ll look at what it is and why its different. What Bitcoin Isn’t “Backed by nothing” This is the goto criticism for people who simply don’t understand that crypto-currencies are based upon mathematics, zero-trust, open-source and consensus. They think that bitcoins can simply be created “at will” and are backed by nothing. They also say that as if the world’s reserve currency, the US dollar, isn’t, literally, “backed by nothing” and hasn’t been since 1972; and as if it can’t be created at will, which it most certainly has, with a vengeance. Source: St Louis Fed Indeed as Galbraith continued in our earlier passage: “This was true in one of the earliest seeming marvels: when banks discovered that they could print bank notes and issue them to borrowers in excess of the hard-money deposits in the banks’ strong rooms”. All fiat currencies today really are backed by nothing and can be created at will (that’s what the word “fiat” actually means), and perhaps unbeknownst to many we are right now in a protracted, global currency war. Every nation is “racing to the bottom”, trying to devalue their currency against their trading partners so they can: give their exporters a competitive advantage pull stronger currencies in to make money on the exchange, and service their ever expanding debts back with devalued, cheaper currency This is why everybody’s purchasing power is going down despite tenured academics and central bankers incessantly complaining about “low inflation” and political spokesmodels always talking up a “strong currency”. Bitcoin isn’t: “Backed by nothing” What is? The USD and every other fiat currency in the world. “Bitcoin is a ponzi” The idea that Bitcoin or most crypto-currencies are “a Ponzi” is easily debunked by understanding what a Ponzi actually is. As observed in CryptoAssets (Burniske & Tartar, 2017), it’s very simple: new investors pay old investors. It is important to realize that in a Ponzi, the earlier investors are literally paid with funds being injected by the new investors in a “flow through” fashion (as distinct from later investors having to pay higher prices to earlier ones to induce them to part with an asset). As long as the number of new investors and thus the influx of funds is growing at a rate faster than the payouts to the earlier investors, the Ponzi scheme thrives. When the expected payouts exceed the rate of input, it dies. One doesn’t have to look very far to find mechanisms that fit the definition exactly: Social security programs are all classic ponzis. The demographic reality today is that with the entry of the “Baby Boom” generation into retirement, given that the subsequent generations are so much smaller in size, additionally penalized by falling real wages, rising or multiple taxation, decaying purchasing power on their money and returns on any savings they can eek out suppressed into negative nominal yields; this Ponzi is in its terminal phase. (Given that these exacerbating headwinds which face later generations can be summed up with the phrase “financial repression”, it is only logical that capital would “flee” to some asset or currency which appears resistant to them.) Granted, the current ICO craze probably includes some ponzis. The Cryptoassets book describes the OneCoin Ponzi as well as how to spot a ponzi in crypto-currencies. I would have been hesitant to even call OneCoin a crypto-currency at all. It wasn’t open source and had no public blockchain. In Bitcoin or other true crypto-currencies, early holders are not receiving bitcoin from later entrants. In fact, quite the opposite is happening. Later entrants must entice earlier ones to part with their bitcoin. Since Bitcoin cannot be created at will, it must be mined at a rate that drops over time (this year approximately 640K new bitcoin will be mined, about 3.8% of the total supply). Demand for bitcoin is simply outstripping supply of new coins being mined (for reasons we will discuss in Part II). If said price action rises dramatically (like for example, Bitcoin suddenly became the highest performing asset class in the world) then a feedback loop would occur. Ever higher prices would be required to induce earlier holders to sell. Bitcoin Isn’t: A ponzi What is: Social Security Tulipmania What is described above is the same dynamic that occurs in any “bull market”, as buying begets more buying, and “fear of missing out” kicks in. It is said one of the most accurate gauges of “happiness” correlates closely to how much wealth one has when compared to one’s brother-in-law. Alex J Pollock describes it in “Boom and Bust: Financial Cycles and Human Prosperity”, as “The disturbing experience of watching one’s friends get rich”. The trick would be to have some understanding of when a strong bull market has crossed into Bubble territory. One of the more popular analogies for Bitcoin is Tulipmania: the financial bubble that occurred in 1630’s Amsterdam with none other than tulip bulbs. Bitcoin is compared to Tulipmania so often I decided to take a closer look at Tulipmania to see if the comparison was valid. What I found was that it most of what we know today about Tulipmania is superficial and self-referential, deriving primarily Charles Mackay’s chapter on Tulipmania in his seminal “Extraordinary Delusions and the Madness of Crowds” (1841). It is a scant 9 pages and is purely anecdotal, describing ridiculous prices paid by the otherwise pragmatic and level-headed Dutch and then it all just blew up like all bubbles do. Finally I found Anne Goldgar’s Tulipmania: Money, Honor and Knowledge in the Dutch Golden Age, which is the most in-depth investigation to the rise and subsequent fall of Tulipmania extant today. In it we learn about the circular references that went on to inform our present time about Tulipmania: “If we trace these stories back through the centuries, we find how weak their foundations actually are. In fact, they are based on one or two contemporary pieces of propaganda and a prodigious amount of plagiarism. From there we have our modern story of tulipmania.” She traces the lineage of MacKay’s chapter: “Mackay’s chief source was Johann Beckmann, author of Beytrage zur Geschichte der Erfindungen, which, as A History of Inventions, Discoveries and Origins, went through many editions tions in English from 1797 on. Mackay’s chief source was Johann Beckmann, author of Beytrage zur Geschichte der Erfindungen, which, as A History of Inventions, Discoveries and Origins, went through many editions tions in English from 1797 on. Beckmann was concerned about financial speculation in his day, but his own sources were suspect. He relied chiefly on Abraham Munting, a botanical writer from the late seventeenth century. Munting’s father, himself a botanist, had lost money on tulips, but Munting, writing in the early 1670s, was himself no reliable eyewitness. His own words, often verbatim, come chiefly from two places: the historical account of the chronicler, Lieuwe van Aitzema in 1669, and one of the longest of the contemporary pieces of propaganda against the trade, Adriaen Roman’s Samen-spraech tusschen Waermondt ende Gaergoedt (Dialogue logue between True-mouth and Greedy-goods) of 1637. As Aitzema was himself basing his chronicle on the pamphlet literature, we are left with a picture of tulipmania based almost solely on propaganda, cited as if it were fact.” (emphasis added) Goldgar helps the reader in pursuit of truly understanding Tulipmania by rewinding to the late 1590’s, when there were no tulips in what is now Holland, or in fact Europe. Gardens were purely functional, for growing food, herbs or medicinals. Then tulips and other curiosities began coming into the country and Europe from merchant vessels trading in the Mediterranean and Far East. The “flower garden” arose for the first time, and it was spectacular?—?giving rise to an entire movement of collectors and aficionados, whom in the early days were as a rule well-to-do and affluent. In later years, more people sought out, and then speculated in the tulip trade to not only profit, but to lay their own claims on what they perceived to be a higher economic class or status. At the risk of over simplifying her work, the Tulip trade became intertwined and inseparable from, art. “The collecting of art seemed to go with the collecting of tulips. This meant that the tulip craze was part of a much bigger mentality a mentality of curiosity, of excitement, and of piecing together connections between the seemingly disparate worlds of art and nature. It also placed the tulip firmly in a social world, in which collectors strove for social status and sought to represent themselves as connoisseurs to each other and to themselves.” The more I delved into understanding Tulipmania, the more I couldn’t escape thinking that the analogy was much more applicable to a different “asset class” which did enjoy a momentous bubble in recent times, but it wasn’t bitcoin or crypto-currencies. To belabour my point, Bitcoin was impelled not by art, beauty or any semblance of collectibility but emerged primarily as a resistance to financial repression. Something that was driven by uniqueness and fostered an aristocratic in-club all it’s own and until recently enjoyed stratospheric price action, was the aftermarket in domain names. This isn’t the place to conduct a post-mortem on that bubble, but suffice it say that the distinct characteristics of domain names more closely resembled that of tulip bulbs than Bitcoin does. (For the reader interested, I have written at length about the domain aftermarket here and here). Bitcoin isn’t: Tulipmania What was like Tulipmania? Domain names. * * * If Bitcoin isn’t a digital fiat backed by nothing, nor a ponzi nor Tulipmania, then what is it? Why has this come out of literally nowhere to become the strongest performing and fastest growing asset / currency in the world? When I started writing this post I wasn’t sure myself. I had to go back through my library and look at history and try to find some historical antecedent for what was happening. After looking back through the origins of money itself and working forward I still wasn’t any closer to a mental model that “worked”. Then around 2am the other night I woke up with the idea that I was looking in the wrong place, and it hit me with such force that I had a hard time getting back to sleep?—?even though I had made an “off the cuff” tweet that captured the basic idea of it a few weeks earlier (which I can’t find now). I’ll take you through it in Part II. (Hope to have it up soon). But in the meantime, I’ll leave you with another megabank CEO who’s take on all this is very different from Jamie Dimon’s. Goldman Sachs’ CEO Lloyd Blankfein here muses on why it’s entirely plausible that money may evolve from being based on fiat to being based on consensus. Some truly extraordinary remarks coming from a man in his position.
CEO Lloyd Blankfein attacks cryptocurrency after value dives 20% in a day, saying bank will not get involved until it becomes less volatileThe boss of Goldman Sachs became the latest high-profile critic of bitcoin, claiming it was a vehicle to commit fraud as the value of the cryptocurrency plunged 20% in less than 24 hours.Lloyd Blankfein, chief executive of the US investment bank, said: “Something that moves 20% [overnight] does not feel like a currency. It is a vehicle to perpetrate fraud.” Continue reading...
Last month, we discussed how Frankfurt was emerging as the clear winner. When UBS staff were asked to rank which city they would prefer to be relocated to, their options were Frankfurt, Amsterdam and Madrid. Our top picks would have been Paris and Dublin, which didn’t even make the short list. On 19 October 2017, Goldman’s Chairman, Lloyd Blankfein, garnered lots of media attention after he tweeted. "Just left Frankfurt. Great meetings, great weather, really enjoyed it. Good, because I'll be spending a lot more time there. #Brexit." If Lloyds is thinking about buying himself a smart pied-a-terre in Frankfurt, he’s going to have plenty of options as a Brexit-driven construction boom is taking place in the city. The sharp rise in residential property prices is justifying the construction of “skyscrapers”, as Bloomberg explains. The prices for new condominiums in Frankfurt have now reached such a high level that it pays off for project developers to build high-rise residential buildings and more and more such towers are being built in the German financial capital. This emerges from an assessment by consulting company Bulwiengesa AG. In 2017 alone, asking prices rose by 15 percent compared to the previous year. A total of eight residential high-rise buildings have been completed since 2014 in the city. 20 more could be added by 2022. Five are currently under construction and another 15 are planned. These are key findings of the study. "The cost of building skyscrapers is about twice as high as in ordinary multi-storey housing," Sven Carstensen, Frankfurt branch manager at Bulwiengesa, said in an interview with Bloomberg. "Therefore, you also need correspondingly higher revenue." He explains the increase in prices above all with the high demand pressure. Unlike other cities, Frankfurt offers little land potential. That applies especially in the city center, he said. Skyscraper are the answer. A factor should also be the exit of Great Britain from the EU. "The expected influx of Brexit newcomers will help to absorb the volume of high-rise housing," Carstensen said. One of the highest profile of the new residential skyscrapers is the 51-storey Grand Tower which, conveniently, has been under construction since the beginning of 2016 – although the Brexit vote was not until 23 June 2016. The Grand Tower will be Germany’s tallest residential building at 172 metres and contain 401 apartments and penthouses. It’s clear that many thousands of jobs will relocate from London, even if some banks, like UBS, are reversing their initial apocalyptic estimates (one fifth of its 5,000 strong workforce). While the exact figure is subject to debate, some commentators are predicting that Frankfurt will be the recipient of more than half. Bloomberg continues. While it is unknown how many bankers will ultimately move to Frankfurt, there are plenty of forecasts. "We expect that at least half of London’s declining financial jobs will be relocated to Frankfurt, which will be at least 8,000 employees over a period of several years," Helaba Chief Economist Gertrud Traud said at the end of August. According to Bulwiengesa, this year’s highest construction activity for new condominiums overall, not just for high-rise buildings, can be found in downtown Frankfurt. The consulting firm identified 24 projects with around 2200 apartments in this area. The company takes a closer look at the market once a year. The weighted average price of new condominiums is around 6190 euros per square meter in Frankfurt, according to the data. Skyscrapers are not new for Frankfurt. In the office sector, they have long dominated the skyline. But now they are increasingly being built for apartments. Carstensen: "There are thus few acceptance problems - both from the administration and from the urban society". While the shiny new towers will help, Frankfurt’s attempts to shake off its dull image and promote itself as a “lifestyle destination” still ring a little hollow. As the architecture magazine, Dezeen, noted. Frankfurt lacks the cultural and lifestyle attractions of London as well as continental rivals such as Paris and Amsterdam, but is now working hard to become more appealing to high-spending financial workers. Time will tell, but our question is how will the former London-based UBS or Goldman employee, who relocated to Frankfurt, feel on a cold Monday night as he sips a glass of Riesling 25 floors up in his glass tower?
On September 12, Jamie Dimon caused a stir (and selloff) within the cryptocurrency community when he lashed out at bitcoin, calling it a "fraud" which is "worse than tulip bulbs, predicting "it won't end well", will "blow up" and "someone is going to get killed." Oh, and just to make it clear, "any JPM trader caught trading bitcoin" would be "fired for being stupid." After briefly plunging, since then the price of Bitcoin has doubled, and earlier today, Bloomberg quoted money manager David Kotok who said that "clients bring up bitcoin all the time. They think it’s cool. It has the newness, which is attractive to some people, though others would say newness is a risk they don’t want to take." For banks, as Lloyd Blankfein learned over the past month, this means they have a choice: either get with it, and make money on the latest investing craze, or stand aside and make nothing. And now, none other than JPMorgan is "getting with it", because as the WSJ reports, despite Dimon's guarantee of a pink slip for any trader caught transaction in bitcoin, the bank is now looking at business opportunities in the planned bitcoin-futures market, which the CME has said it will launch by the end of the year. Specifically, J.P. Morgan is considering whether to provide its clients access to CME’s new bitcoin product through its futures-brokerage unit. That, the WSJ reports, means the bank’s customers could use it to trade bitcoin futures while J.P. Morgan collects fees for such services, seemingly in violation of its fiduciary duty considering its CEO just two months ago called the product a "fraud." Oops. The reversal is not definitive yet, and the process has involved assessing whether there is demand among J.P. Morgan’s customers for the proposed CME bitcoin contract, according to the WSJ source, although judging by the reverse inquiry, there clearly is. And where JPM goes, others are sure to follow: Other banks must also make the call about whether to support CME’s bitcoin futures. Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley are among the dozens of firms that offer their customers access to CME’s markets through their futures-brokerage arms. But, as everyone knows courtesy of repeat media appearances by the outspoken CEO, none of those banks has chief executive who has been as critical of bitcoin as Dimon, who has blasted it as a “fraud” and compared it with past financial bubbles. “If you’re stupid enough to buy it, you will pay the price for it one day,” he told a conference last month. And now, in delightful irony, JPM is preparing to make money by offering this "fraud" to clients. This, also, just days after JPM was busted for assisting money laundering in Switzerland after accusing bitcoin of being used as a tool for money laundering. Here, we naturally commisserate with the JPM chief: In a world in which as Mike Novogratz said earlier, retail interest in equities has been waning over the past decade as "investors no longer trust financial institutions", the only alternative to grip the public's trading and investing interest has been the very bitcoin (and other digital currencies) so loathed by establishment commercial and central banks, especially since the "money" is printed not by some central bank, but the universe of users themselves: a lack of control central banks would never willingly cede. JPM's looming decision about whether to let customers trade bitcoin futures underscores the challenges that Wall Street firms face as the cryptocurrency emerges from the shadowy margins of the financial markets and draws growing investor interest. Meanwhile, CME CEO Terrence Duffy said in a CNBC interview this month he expects trading in bitcoin futures to begin the second week of December. Launching futures would bring the virtual currency a big step closer to the financial mainstream, making it easier for both large financial firms and retail investors to trade it. Furthermore, as we showed in September, J.P. Morgan already gladly collects commcision for handling client trades of Bitcoin XBT, an ETN trading in Europe and tracking bitcoin. While the bank has said it doesn’t take positions in the note and simply routes customers’ buy and sell orders electronically to exchanges, it wouldn't be the first time JPM has lied about it considers prop trades (see the London Whale). In any case, brokering trades in bitcoin futures would be similar, as JPM would be happy to collect a spread every time a client buys or sell the "fraud." And once in, JPM will have no choice but - as a matter of ego - to be the biggest. J.P. Morgan is the second-biggest futures broker in the U.S., second only to Goldman, CFTC data show. And as more and more Wall Street firms scramble to offer the retail public access to bitcoin, last week IB CEO Thomas Peterffy, warned that CME needs to ring-fence its system for clearing bitcoin futures trades from the rest of its markets, or else losses in bitcoin could end up rippling through the broader financial system. “Unless the risk of clearing cryptocurrency is isolated and segregated from other products, a catastrophe in the cryptocurrency market that destabilizes a clearing organization will destabilize the real economy,” Mr. Peterffy wrote last week in an open letter to the chairman of the CFTC, which he also published in a full-page advertisement in The Wall Street Journal. Ironically, this legitimate warning appears to have only cemented JPM's resolve to become a bitcoin middleman, and soon, principal. Which brings us to a question we first asked two months ago: "which is it Jamie?"
Goldman Sachs (GS) plans to hire more employees for the two Eurozone sites picked as its financial hubs post Brexit.
Американский инвестбанк Goldman Sachs после Brexit сосредоточит европейские операции сразу в двух центрах - во Франкфурте и в Париже, заявил главный исполнительный директор Goldman Ллойд Бланкфейн.
Lloyd Blankfein says cities would be main hubs for handling business no longer possible in London, with American staff ‘probably preferring Paris’Goldman Sachs has stepped back from identifying a single European city as its post-Brexit EU home and has instead chosen to split its business between Frankfurt and Paris. Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman’s chief executive, said the German and French cities would be the main centres from which the US investment bank would handle business that can no longer be conducted in London after March 2019. Continue reading...
To much fanfare, mostly out of president Trump, on Thursday the House passed their version of the tax bill 227-205 along party lines, with 13 Republicans opposing. The passage of the House bill was met with muted market reaction. The Senate version of the tax reform is currently going through the Senate Finance Committee for additional amendments and should be ready for a full floor debate in a few weeks. While some, like Goldman, give corporate tax cuts (if not broad tax reform), an 80% chance of eventually becoming law in the first quarter of 2018, others like UBS and various prominent skeptics, do not see the House and Senate plans coherently merging into a survivable proposal. Indeed, while momentum seemingly is building for the tax plan, some prominent analysts believe there are several issues down the road that could trip up or even stall a comprehensive tax plan from passing the Congress, the chief of which is how to combine the House and Senate plans into one viable bill. How are the two plans different? Below we present a side by side comparison of the two plans from Bank of America, which notes that the House and the Senate are likely to pass different tax plans with areas of disagreement (see table below). This means that the two chambers will need to form a conference committee to hash out the differences. There are three major friction points: the repeal of the state and local tax deductions (SALT), capping mortgage interest deductions and the delay in the corporate tax cut. The House seems strongly opposed to fully repealing SALT and delaying the corporate tax cuts and the Senate could push back on changing the mortgage interest deductions. Finding compromise on these issues without disturbing other parts of the plan while keeping the price tag under the $1.5tn over 10 years could be challenging. Here are the key sticking points per BofA: Skinny ACA repeal: The repeal of the individual mandate is back on the table. It would free up approximately $300bn in revenue to pay for the tax plan. But this likely means no Democratic Senator will support the bill. This could prove costly as the Republicans can only afford to lose 2 votes and several Republican Senators are already on the fence on the tax plan. Byrd Rule means tax plan might not hatch: Reconciliation directives allow the tax plan to add $1.5tn to the deficit in the first 10 years (See appendix for breakdown of the cost of each plan). However, rules in the Senate state that any bill passed under reconciliation has to be revenue neutral beyond the 10 year budget window. Given that the Republicans are hoping to make the corporate tax cuts permanent, it would mean that they would need to find additional revenue in the out years while sunsetting all other tax cut provisions (e.g. personal tax cuts). This will mean the personal tax code at best will revert back to current law or at worst roll back the cuts and preserve the repeal of the deduction which would amount to a tax increase on households after ten years. Currently, the Senate plan would let reduction in the personal tax rates, expansions of the standard deduction and child tax credit and other provisions expire after 2025. The court of public opinion could threaten the tax plan. And while it remains to be seen if tax reform will pass the Senate, or like Obamacare repeal, it will get shot down by the like of McCain (and perhaps Corker), another key question, is whether the US even needs tax reform at this point - the Fed certainly could do without the added inflationary pressure - and whereas former Goldman COO and Trump's econ advisor, Gary Cohn certainly thinks so, his former boss, Lloyd Blankfein disagrees. So does Bank of America, which maintains that at this stage of the business cycle, tax cuts are not needed to sustain the current expansion. Nevertheless, BofA concedes the passage of a comprehensive tax plan would likely lead to a short term boost to growth which would translate to further declines in the unemployment rate and higher inflation. Then, as the economy begins to heat up, the Fed will likely lean against the economy by implementing a faster hiking cycle than currently projected, which will ultimately spark the next market crash, recession and financial crisis. Ironically, the seed of Trump's own destruction would be planted by his biggest political victory yet (assuming tax reform passes, of course). * * * As a bonus, here is a simulation BofA ran using the Fed's FRB/US model to calculate the potential costs of the tax plans. BofA ran its simulations assuming model consistent expectations for all sectors of the economy and using the inertial Taylor rule to set the path of the federal funds rate: "o simulate the impact of the fiscal stimulus brought on by the tax cuts, we make the fiscal setting exogenous during the first 10 year period and adjust the path for corporate and personal income taxes to take into account the government revenue effects from the tax plan." Costs aside, to get a sense of the economic impact from the two tax plans, BofA similarly models the two plans' outcomes using the FRB/US macroeconomic model. The simulation results suggest under the House plan, the US would see a boost to aggregate demand as growth would be approximately 0.4pp higher relative to baseline in 2018 and 0.3pp higher in 2019. Better aggregate demand would reduce the unemployment rate by 0.3pp by 2019 and put upward pressure on inflation. These growth and price dynamics would lead the FOMC to raise rates an additional 1 to 2 hikes over the next two years. The economic impact from the Senate plan would be slightly more modest but in the same ballpark as the House plan. Under the Senate plan, the model predicts growth to be approximately 0.3pp higher in both 2018 and 2019 and similar dynamics for the unemployment rate and inflation as seen in the House plan, leading the FOMC to tighten quicker than the current baseline path. There is also an "alternative" scenario where we a watered down version of the tax plan passes (i.e. modest tax cuts for middle-income households and a corporate tax cut near 25-28% that is deficit increasing by $600bn-$800bn on a static basis). Under the "alternative" scenario, we would see approximately half the economic impact that is seen under the House plan. Given that such a plan would likely only generate modest inflationary pressures, the Fed's response likely would be relatively muted and it would likely stay on its baseline path.
Senate Panel Approves Tax Plan as GOP Leaders Gird for Fight (BBG) U.S. towns, cities fear taxpayer revolt if Republicans kill deduction (Reuters) After House Victory, Tax-Overhaul Fight Now Goes to Senate (WSJ) Analysts flee Wall Street with gallows humor as research changes loom (Reuters) Tesla Unveils ‘World’s Fastest Production Car’ and Electric Big Rig (BBG) Bitcoin Emerges as Crisis Currency in Hotspots (BBG) Ivanka Trump and the fugitive from Panama (Reuters) Murdoch Empire in Play as Suitors Line Up for 21st Century Fox Assets (WSJ) Franken Case Puts Both Parties in Bind on Misconduct Response (BBG) Crime Wave Engulfs Sweden as Fraud, Sexual Offenses Reach Record (BBG) Google Has Picked an Answer for You—Too Bad It’s Often Wrong (WSJ) Saudi Arabia swapping assets for freedom of some held in graft purge: sources (Reuters) Metal recyclers prepare for electric car revolution (Reuters) Despite Big Push From Beijing, Electric Cars Struggle in China (WSJ) Harvard’s Days as the World’s Richest School May Be Numbered (Reuters) Sears Dials Up Discounts to Record Levels as It Copes With Slump (BBG) Zimbabwe's Mugabe Makes First Public Appearance Since Military Takeover (WSJ) Hassett Bets on 3% U.S. Growth That Summers Sees in Fairyland (BBG) Two Weeks of Frenzied Negotiations Led to Bank-Relief Deal (WSJ) Overnight Media Digest WSJ - The House of Representatives passed a bill that would usher in the most far-reaching overhaul of the U.S. tax system in 31 years, a plan that would reduce the corporate tax rate to its lowest point since 1939 and cut individual taxes for most households in 2018. on.wsj.com/2j1JjUr - New suitors are circling Twenty-First Century Fox Inc , affirming that the media empire built by Rupert Murdoch is now in play. Comcast Corp has approached the media company. Verizon Communications Inc and Sony Corp are also kicking the tires. on.wsj.com/2j0i38O - A federal judge declared a mistrial in the corruption trial of U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, giving the Democrat a political lifeline and preserving his party's control of the seat for the near future. on.wsj.com/2j1LebB - Meredith Corp has made a takeover bid for storied magazine publisher Time Inc in the range of $17 to $20 a share, according to people familiar with the situation. on.wsj.com/2j0Ht6p - An activist investor in Barnes & Noble Inc has proposed a transaction that would take the bookseller private with the help of current shareholders and a hefty dose of borrowings, an effort that could face formidable obstacles. on.wsj.com/2j0EvP6 - Emerson Electric Co boosted its takeover offer for Rockwell Automation Inc, ratcheting up an effort to bring its reluctant rival to the negotiating table and forge a new giant in industrial automation. on.wsj.com/2j21qd2 NYT - With 227 Republican votes, the House passed the most sweeping tax overhaul in three decades on Thursday as U.S. lawmakers seek to enact $1.5 trillion in tax cuts for businesses and individuals and deliver the first major legislative achievement of President Donald Trump's tenure. nyti.ms/2hDqQRs - The cable company Comcast Corp is in preliminary talks to buy entertainment assets owned by Twenty-First Century Fox Inc, including a vast overseas television distribution business. nyti.ms/2hxkbof - Tesla Inc has aimed to reinvent the automobile and the way electricity is generated for homes. In a presentation by its chief executive, Elon Musk, Tesla unveiled a prototype for a battery-powered, nearly self-driving semi truck that the company said would prove more efficient and less costly to operate than the diesel trucks that now haul goods across the country. nyti.ms/2zJPgzU - The senior American diplomat at the United Nations climate talks in Germany told world leaders on Thursday that the United States would remain engaged in global climate change negotiations even as it planned to exit the Paris agreement "at the earliest opportunity." nyti.ms/2ySE1Bd - The Federal Communications Commission voted on Thursday to allow a single company to own a newspaper and television and radio stations in the same town, reversing a decades-old rule aimed at preventing any individual or company from having too much power over local coverage. nyti.ms/2zN7YpA Britain The Times * Prudential Plc is scaling up its ambitions in Asia with plans to open a fund management venture in China and to double in size in the region every few years. bit.ly/2jxRjAk * WPP said it was prepared to increase its stake in Asatsu-DK, one of the largest marketing services companies in Japan, to about a third after requests from other shareholders. bit.ly/2jwULvg The Guardian * The business secretary, Greg Clark, has been urged by the GMB union to block the proposed merger of German energy group Innogy's British unit, npower with SSE's British retail supply business .bit.ly/2jxZCMG * The chief executive designate of GKN, Kevin Cummings, has been ousted from the FTSE 100 company weeks before he was due to take up the top job at the aerospace and engineering firm. bit.ly/2jz3GvX The Telegraph * Jaguar Land Rover has quietly started testing driverless cars on British roads that are simultaneously being used by the general public, in a clear indication that Britain's biggest manufacturer is determined the country will play a leading role in the race to develop autonomous vehicles. bit.ly/2jyNx9Z * The Serious Fraud Office has made its first charges against Unaoil employees in relation to a corruption scandal that has engulfed the oil and gas industry. bit.ly/2jy7he2 Sky News * The boss of U.S. investment bank Goldman Sachs, Lloyd Blankfein, has used his latest Twitter post on Brexit to suggest a second referendum is held. bit.ly/2jyVwnr * The GMB union's Scotland secretary, Gary Smith, has told Sky News a dispute threatening 1,400 jobs is a battle for the future of skilled manufacturing in Scotland. bit.ly/2jy60U4 The Independent * Rail passengers on the UK's leading long-distance network face disruption and cancellations after Virgin Trains staff belonging to the RMT union voted to strike by a majority of 10 to one. ind.pn/2jvIwil * Retail sales continued to grow in October according to the latest official data, easing some of the fears of a plunge in consumer spending. A survey of retailers by the CBI had suggested the fastest rate of decline in sales in October since the UK's last recession in 2009. ind.pn/2jyWfFb
For debt collectors Cabot Credit Management its near-£1bn IPO valuation was money deemed not worth chasingThe stock market, we are invited to believe, has been in a state of utter turmoil for the past few weeks. Fund managers have been hiding in bunkers, apparently, afraid to consider new investments. It’s rubbish, of course, but that doesn’t prevent every company that pulls its flotation, or IPO, from blaming the market.The latest is debt-collector Cabot Credit Management, a firm that buys portfolios of defaulting loans from banks, energy suppliers and retailers at a discount and then tries to collect the debts. Ken Stannard, chief executive, reports a “high level of engagement and interest” from “a wide array of investors” but, oh dear, “the timing has been unfortunate with respect to IPO market conditions”. Continue reading...
Пока основное внимание средств массовой (дез)информации сосредоточено на перетягивании каната республиканцами и демократами в американском конгрессе, вчера в США состоялось не менее значимое, но гораздо менее заметное для широкой публики событие. Пятнадцать ведущих американских банкиров, среди посетителей были руководители банков GoldmanSachs, JPMorgan и так далее, 02 октября посетили президента США и доступным для понимания языком постарались объяснить ему, чем может закончиться технический дефолт американских казначейских облигаций. Несмотря на то, что среди посетителей были руководители гораздо более крупных банков, чем GoldmanSachs, именно его руководитель Ллойд Бланкфейн высказал общую позицию банкиров по этому вопросу. Вкратце это выглядело следующим образом: «Вы можете спорить по политическим вопросам или даже выносить их для публичного обсуждения, но не надо использовать в качестве дубины угрозу отказа США погашать долг по своим обязательствам. Прецеденты с остановкой правительства были, прецедентов с дефолтом пока не было. Мы такого раньше не видели, и я не горю желанием оказаться свидетелем этого процесса.» Поскольку банкиры вполне ясно представляют себе, во что может вылиться отказ США расплачиваться по своим обязательствам, в том числе и для них лично, то они донесли до президента США всю серьезность происходящего, предварительно выслушав его позицию. Каких-либо дебатов о том, что США всерьез решат не оплачивать долги, не было. Этот визит был довольно показательным с разных точек зрения. Фактически представители истинных хозяев или, иными словами, совет директоров ООО «Соединенные Штаты Америки» посетил единоличный исполнительный орган данной лавочки и публично вручил ему черную метку. Вряд ли президент США рискнет ослушаться такой рекомендации. На мой взгляд, это может случиться лишь в одном единственном случае: если хозяевами Америки было принято политическое решение полностью сменить правила игры, и ответственными за надвигающийся крах было решено назначить Федеральный резерв и приближенные к нему банки. Хотя это и выглядит крайне маловероятным, но богатые люди – это особые люди, и полностью исключать такого развития событий все-таки не стоит.