On 12 June Japan's Nikkei index fell 6.25% to 12,445, it rallied a touch the next day, but that drop was sharp enough to send shock waves through the Japanese political establishment and to put chills into the heart of the global investment community. Just a few weeks earlier, on 22 May, the Nikkei peaked a few points short of 16000 under the influence of bold statements from the Japanese Prime Minister and the Governor of the country's central bank, who said, more or less, that they intended to run the printing presses flat out to get rid of the deflation that has plagued the country for two decades, and to restore a "healthy" rate of inflation, somewhere around 2%.
Long-term investor and columnist Rodney Hobson had felt it was difficult to find opportunities in the UK stock market, but the recent reaction to economic news has allayed his concerns
In Part One of our account of Chris Martenson's anatomization of the way the gold price is manipulated by the bullion banks, we looked primarily at how the manipulation is carried out. In this blog we look at Martenson's rather more far reaching assertion that there is a reason why the authorities turn a blind eye to blatant price manipulation, even though it is technically illegal.
The average wage rate in China and to a lesser extent in Thailand has been surging, especially in period since 2007. In other countries in the region it has remained more-or-less constant.
Professional traders and the army of day traders who watch the gyrations of their particular markets day in and day out take it as written that markets are manipulated. Everyone is at it. In a real sense, this is simply how markets work. "Horse trading" where buyers and sellers each try to gain an advantage works if there are enough buyers and sellers out there to create the conditions for a competitive market. Anti-trust and government or pan-national organizations aimed at discovering and breaking up cartel price-fixing activities are all about trying to ensure that markets stay competitive and prices are always under competitive pressure.
The illegal trade of animals or animal parts has become one of the most lucrative black market activities in the world. Driven by the promise of high profit margins, poachers in Africa – namely militias, armed groups, and insurgent groups – have driven rhinos and elephants close to extinction, while murdering hundreds of park rangers in the process. NGOs and governments now face a race against time to reduce demand for wildlife trade, particularly in Asia, as well as to equip those on the frontline to fight a well-armed enemy.
A new price fixing scandal involving some of the major banks has come to light, and looks as if it could be on a comparable scale to the Libor scandal. The latter saw at least three banks, and probably an additional ten or more, involved in fixing the daily quoting of inter-bank borrowing rates (Libor) on a market worth upwards of $500 trillion. Like Libor, the interest rate swap fix, known as ISDAfix, is also set by banks through a voluntarily reporting process that has banks phoning through the swap rates they are striking each morning. Like Libor, ISDAfix too, seems to have been manipulated to the benefit of traders at some major banks.
There is no shortage of intelligence in Russia. From chess grandmasters to super scientists, Russians have proved again and again that they love tough intellectual challenges. Their S-400 anti aircraft and anti ballistic missile systems have highly sophisticated radar control technologies that can track large numbers of incoming targets and engage a goodly number simultaneously (exactly how many the Russians, understandably, are not saying). Their top managers and functionaries are well accustomed to navigating their way through political and bureaucratic labyrinths that would leave most advanced market CEOs in danger of stroking out. So why, oh why, is their economy in such a shambles?
QFINANCE brings you some of the biggest news stories from the past five days, May 17th to 23rd, in finance and business – essential reading to keep you up to date with the latest topics.
Last Monday saw plenty of action in the markets of the Far East with the price of Silver falling by 7% at one point before recovering to around 4% down at US $21.40 as I type this. However if we move to my subject of today there were also wild swings in the exchange rate of the Japanese Yen which were initially triggered by these words uttered on Japanese television by economy minister Amari.