from The Money GPS:
After all the preparation, all the expectation, cheerleading and doomsaying, China’s Yuan-denominated crude oil futures contract began trading tonight and appears to be off a good start with well over 10 billion yuan notional traded within the first hour.
So far it has tracked WTI futures well, trading at around a $2 premium to WTI (when translated from yuan to USD)…
by Nathan McDonald, Sprott Money:
The market stands on a sinkhole, waiting for the next feather to drop. A feather that will bring down the system and send us into another economic crisis that will make the 2008 crash look like an opening act.
For years, I and many others within the precious metals space have written about a hidden war unfolding behind the scenes. To those with wide open eyes, you can see it, you can feel it. I am speaking of the currency and trade wars that Jim Rickards has written extensively about in many of his books—and now, things have ratcheted up to a whole new level.
Over the course of the past week, the jawboning from the US government has turned into action, and they have placed a number of trade tariffs on China . This is part of a campaign promise that President Trump made, and it appears he intends to keep it, no matter how much it might “rock the boat.”
by Charles Hugh Smith, DailyReckoning:
Defenders and critics of “free trade” and globalization tend to present the issue as either/or:
It’s inherently good or bad. In the real world, it’s not that simple. The confusion starts with defining free trade (and by extension, globalization).
In the classical definition of free trade espoused by 18th century British economist David Ricardo, trade is generally thought of as goods being shipped from one nation to another to take advantage of what Ricardo termed comparative advantage:
from Truth In Media:
The CEO of Square and Twitter, said on Wednesday that “the world ultimately will have a single currency, the internet will have a single currency. I personally believe that it will be bitcoin”.
Dorsey went on to elaborate that he thinks it would happen “probably over ten years, but it could go faster.” However, Dorsey also admitted that Bitcoin “does not have the capabilities right now to become an effective currency” because “it’s slow and it’s costly”. Drosey’s Square app, to much fanfare late last year, started to allow people to buy and sell Bitcoin via the app in many states. Dorsey explained how “there are newer technologies that build off of blockchain and make it more approachable” and said that as more people use Bitcoin, the problems start to go away..
by Wolf Richter, Wolf Street:
Bull markets climb a wall of worry. What the heck happened?
OK, it was an ugly week. Facebook (FB) dropped 14% and lost $75 billion in market cap. It’s down 10% year-to-date. It’s currently trying to dig itself deeper into its self-inflicted debacle. It wasn’t just Facebook. Alphabet (GOOG) dropped 10% in the week and is down 2.4% year-to-date. This was a broad selloff.
The S&P 500 index dropped nearly 6% for the week and 9.9% from the peak on January 26. It’s down 3.2% year-to-date. At 2,588, it’s just 7 points above the low point on February 8, which is begging to be taken out on Monday. This drop is big enough to show up on a long-term chart, but given the nine-year 320% rally, why would anyone be surprised?