Will The First $3 Billion Of A Ukraine Bailout Immediately Go To Russia?

Submitted by Pater Tenebrarum of Acting-Man blog,

This is really too funny. Apparently, the Ukraine owes $3 billion to Russia in bonds that have been issued under UK law. One of the stipulations of the bonds is that if the Ukraine's debt-to-GDP ratio should exceed 60%, the bonds will become immediately callable.

Once the Ukraine gets funding from the IMF,  this is of course going to happen right away – its debt-to-GDP ratio will then most definitely exceed 60%, so the first $3 billion of any aid the Ukraine receives in the form of loans will right away flow into Russia's coffers.

Of course there may be litigation first, but as Greek bondholders have found out, all those who held bonds issued under UK law were actually paid in full, while everybody else had to accept the 'PSI' and could basically go pound sand.

Of course it was all 'voluntary', but funny enough, the holders of Greek bonds issued under UK law didn't turn out to be as altruistic as all the other ones. At least we have not heard of any 'voluntary' contributions made by them. It seems rather doubtful that Mr. Putin will be eager to become a voluntary contributor to bailing out a government which he deems illegitimate. Instead he's going to take his money and run – or alternatively, make as-of-yet unspecified demands.

According to NBC:

As Western leaders prepare a bailout package for embattled Ukraine, they face a startling irony: Thanks to the almost bizarre structure of a bond deal between Ukraine and Russia, billions of those dollars are almost certain to go directly into the coffers of the Putin government.

 

As CNBC has reported, some aid money is bound to go into Russia as a result of energy trade and other economic factors. But the situation is actually much more acute than just that: An existing agreement between the two countries makes an immediate, direct transfer from Ukraine to Russia legally enforceable.

 

In December, Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to lend Ukraine $15 billion. Few details were released at the time, except that Ukraine would issue bonds and Russia would buy them in installments through 2014.

 

The first and only installment occurred in late December, while then-Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych was still in charge in Kiev. The second installment was slated to happen in late February, but it never occurred, because the pro-Russian president had fled Ukraine and a new government was in place.

 

That first installment was $3 billion — in U.S. dollars, as dictated by the terms of the deal — issued on Dec. 24. It carries a lenient interest rate considering the shattered state of Ukraine's economy: a coupon of only 5 percent, payable semi-annually on June 20 and Dec. 20. It is short-term debt, maturing on Dec. 20, 2015.

 

Startlingly, the notes are governed by U.K. law and subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of British courts. And most crucially, there is an odd clause in the bonds that has a direct impact on European and American taxpayers, as CNBC learned through a review of the bond agreement:

 

Paragraph 3 (b) under Covenants:

 

(b) Debt Ratio So long as the Notes remain outstanding the Issuer shall ensure that the volume of the total state debt and state guaranteed debt should not at any time exceed an amount equal to 60 percent of the annual nominal gross domestic product of Ukraine.

 

The implications of that clause are that the minute the West or the International Monetary Fund extends a large loan to Ukraine, that country will almost certainly have a debt-to-GDP that exceeds 60 percent, immediately putting the Russian loan into default. That gives Russia the right to demand immediate repayment. And because the bonds are governed by British courts — which, presumably, neither Ukraine nor Russia can manipulate — it would be extremely difficult for Ukraine to avoid making the payment, using its new bailout money.

 

(emphasis added)

The American and European tax cows will no doubt be thrilled.

 


 

Putin-gimme

Gimme!!!   Putin unexpectedly sees his money reappear via IMF magic.

(Photo source unknown – The Web)

 


 

Putin-GIMMMEEE

If he doesn't get it right away, he will look like this.


    



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Good news: Belize is working to improve its popular residency program

March 14, 2014
Ambergris Caye, Belize

One of the great things about being a foreigner in developing countries is how easy it is to get access to influential decision-makers.

If you’re in the UK or US, for example, the chances of sitting down with the President or Treasury Secretary are almost nil.
In developing countries, this access is much easier to obtain. I often start with a country’s biggest law firm—top lawyers are typically very well-connected… as are real estate agents and property developers.

Through this approach, I’ve routinely been able to meet with Prime Ministers, Presidents, Ambassadors, government ministers, etc. around the world to gain unique insights into who exactly is running the country, and what their next moves are.

Here in Belize it’s no different. And I just had the chance to sit down for a nice chat with Jose Manuel Heredia, Jr., the country’s Minister of Tourism.

In our conversation, we talked investment opportunities in Belize, residency, and what the government is doing to make things easier and more streamlined for foreigners.

He gave me some really insightful data, including a sneak peak at how they are planning on vastly improving Belize’s popular retiree program.

Once these improvements are made, I would rank residency in Belize quite favorably relative to other options. So this country should definitely be on people’s radars if they’re looking for a potential escape hatch.

You can read excerpts of the interview below:

Simon Black: It’s no secret that Belize certainly has a lot of great things going for it. This isn’t some hidden paradise nobody has ever heard of—the word is definitely out. Beautiful Caribbean setting. English language. And so close to the US and Canada—as you point out, at 2.5 hours, it’s quicker to fly from Dallas to Belize than from Dallas to Washington, DC.

And it’s really been growing, changing, improving… it certainly has since I was last here.

Minister of Tourism: I would love to say that even though my hometown is right here in San Pedro, Belize, I believe this is one of the best destinations in the world.

If you had asked me six years ago about Belize, I would have felt that it was just another place to be. But today, learning to appreciate what we have and seeing what Belize has and having traveled so much now, I can see that we have a complete package.

Simon: Speaking of a complete package, let’s talk about a popular package here that Belize offers for foreigners—a sort of ‘residency’ package you call the QRP.

MoT: The QRP (Qualified Retired Persons) program was founded and initiated several years ago. We are always trying to make it more attractive.

To qualify, someone has to be able to demonstrate $2,000 in monthly income, and be at least 45 years old.

Simon: Is it a really bureaucratic process?

MoT: Being the minister, I try to make sure that I can expedite this process to get it done as soon as possible, so that people feel like they can get things done in Belize.

I mean, I actually get involved personally to make sure that people have confidence that when they’re applying, they will be able to have their QRP and residency within the shortest possible time.

Once through the process, people have residency to live in the country and can bring anything that they want to bring into the country– household goods, a car, a boat, an airplane, all free of duties. And any income is not taxable as well.

Simon: In the past, there have been some issues with this program—that the QRP does not lead to Belizean citizenship. But you mentioned that this is probably changing.

MoT: Yeah. In the past, if you wanted to become a citizen of the country, even though you might be living ten years over here on the QRP, and you wanted to become a citizen, you would have to give up your QRP and start from scratch [with a different residency program].

We want to change this. The attorney general and myself, we talk to [the other ministers and leaders in government], and say that if you have lived legally for five years in Belize, even under the QRP, you can qualify for citizenship.

Simon: That’s fantastic, it’ll fix a major flaw in the program, thanks for that information.

So, one of the other very interesting things about this place is that there is some interesting investment opportunity in the tourism space. Here in Ambergris Caye, the island definitely goes through periods where some of the hotels have an occupancy rate of practically 100%.

MoT: Yes. As I mentioned before, forty percent of tourists to Belize come here to the island.

Simon: And those tourist numbers are growing rapidly.

MoT: Yes- we embarked three years ago on an aggressive marketing campaign, and it has started to pay off fruitfully. Two years ago, our tourism growth was 10.5%. Last year it was another 7.5%. Based on the numbers we saw in January, we are projecting similar growth this year.

Simon: Belize has a lot of islands, but this is definitely one of the nicest and most developed. But being an island, it is constrained by size, and that limits supply. Do you know how many hotel rooms are on the island now?

MoT: If I am not mistaken, then I am sure we have about two thousand rooms.

Simon: Two thousand rooms. Okay. Not really a ton of space, then.

MoT: No. Thirty years ago, back when San Pedro was a small fishing village with probably no more than two thousand residents, we had one hotel with just 7 or 8-rooms.

Simon: And you mentioned earlier, you’ve worked with a few other major airless to establish new service to Belize, including Copa in Panama… so that will really open the South American market to you.

So, with two thousand rooms, do you know, more or less, what the occupancy rates are right now across all those rooms on the island?

MoT: At this moment, I think we are doing better than sixty percent.

Simon: What was it like back in 2008, 2009 in the early days of the recession?

MoT: At that point, it was no more than forty percent. Slow season was terrible. A number of the hotels had to close during that time because it was just not sustainable.

Simon: And the slow season is getting shorter and shorter now.

MoT: Yes. Slow season used be the end of July. August. September. October. November. Today, the peak season runs all the way to September.

Simon: That’s really interesting. Some friends of mine are getting involved in the hotel business here, and they’ve shown me the numbers. It matches exactly what you’re saying—the growth rates are very interesting, and they’re projecting to be able to return 20% or better to investors, even under a rather conservative scenario. And they’re very confident in making the investment here.
MoT: The investment confidence here is strong; it has to do with a government’s credibility. Belize used to be perceived as one of the most corrupt countries in the region. And when we took over a few years ago, the credibility of the previous government was zero.

Simon: Yeah, Belize was pretty famous for scandal and corruption.

MoT: Today, the credibility of government is higher. And with the confidence so great now, I am seeing more and more nationwide development starting to happen. The potential is great.

Simon: Excellent, thanks so much for the insights.

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The world is SCREAMING for a new financial system

March 14, 2014
Ambergris Caye, Belize

One of the key lessons we can take away from history is that the global financial system changes… frequently.

In ancient times, Roman coins were used across the region by Romans and non-Romans alike who engaged in trade and commerce.

Given how destructively successive Roman governments debased their coins, however, the reserve burden eventually fell to the Byzantine Empire, whose gold solidus coin became the dominant currency in world trade.

Over the centuries, this standard changed several more times. The Venetians, Florentines, Spanish, French, British, etc. each issued the world’s dominant currency at one point or another.

But the fundamentals of those currencies changed. Governments engaged in wanton debasement, mismanaged their economies, and accumulated massive debt levels. And eventually the world shifted to new currencies.

Since the end of World War II, the US dollar has been the dominant currency in the world.

And even though Richard Nixon ended the dollar’s convertability to gold and unilaterally abandoned the US government’s obligations under the Bretton Woods system back in 1971, the world has still clung to the dollar for the past 43-years.

But this is changing rapidly.

The Chinese, which have their own economic issues to deal with, are starting to dump Treasuries in record numbers.

Central banks are buying up more gold. Foreign countries are entering into bilateral currency swap arrangements with one another. And world governments are starting to (rather embarrassingly) demand that the US get its budget and fiscal house in order.

Most tellingly, though, member nations of the International Monetary Fund are starting to revolt.

As one of the major organizations spawned from the post-war financial structure, the IMF’s original goal was to ensure the smooth development of a new global financial system.

Over 180 countries have since become members of the IMF. But the organization runs on a quota system, with each member nation having a certain percentage of the IMF’s overall votes.

The US, for example, has the most power by far with a 16.75% share of the vote. Japan is a distant second with a 6.23% share.

This puts the US in the driver’s seat. And it’s been that way for decades.

But most of the other 180+ nations have had enough. And they’re pushing the United States to massively overhaul the current quota system.

Even typical allies are breaking ranks. Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey recently told reporters at a financial conference that they will “actively lobby” the US to reform the IMF quota issues, and that “Congress must understand that it is in the interest of the US to reform the IMF. . .”

India. China. Just about everyone imaginable is pushing for major IMF reform. Everyone except the Land of the Free. The US government seems to like things the way they are. And Congress has been very intransigent in adopting any planned reforms.

These people have their heads buried in the sand so deep that they can’t even hear the rest of the world SCREAMING for a new financial system.

This is going to happen, whether the US wants it to or not.

And while no foreign government wants a collapse of the dollar, they do very much want an orderly rebalancing of the financial system. This is already under way.

The US government may pretend that everything is fine and dandy. But given the overwhelming objective evidence out there, folks who aren’t on board with this major trend are ignoring it at their own peril.

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This pretty much sums up the sad state of the US Constitution

March 14, 2014
Ambergris Caye, Belize

My research team recently passed along a piece of legislation they were looking at called the “ENFORCE the Law Act of 2014.”

It immediately piqued my interest… because anytime you see all CAPS in government documents, it signifies some absurd acronym. And the ‘ENFORCE the Law Act’ did not disappoint.

ENFORCE stands for “Executive Needs to Faithfully Observe and Respect Congressional Enactments”.

And the stated objective of the legislation is “to protect the separation of powers in the Constitution of the United States by ensuring that the President takes care that the laws be faithfully executed. . .”

The bill goes on with specific language to authorize Congress bringing civil legal action against the President of the United States, or any cabinet secretary, for implementing some rule or executive order that does not conform with Article II of the Constitution.

This pretty much sums up the sad state of affairs in the Land of the Free.

When Congress has to pass a new law just to get the President of the United States to, you know, follow the Constitution that he swore to ‘support and defend’, you can be certain that the system has become broken beyond all repair.

This isn’t a commentary on the current POTUS; the disturbing trend of rapidly expanding executive abuse has been increasing for years.

It has nothing to do with Mr. Obama, or Mr. Bush before him, or future Presidents that will continue to expand their offices.

It’s the system itself that is fundamentally flawed. The model is simply no longer valid. Having an election and voting in a new commander-in-chief won’t fix the problem. All you’re doing is changing the players. It’s time to change the game.

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China’s Credit Nightmare Explained In One Chart

Everyone knows that after years of kicking the can and resolutely sticking its head in the sand, China is finally on the verge, if hasn’t already crossed it, of a major credit event, confirmed by the first ever corporate bond default which took place a week ago. Few, however, know just why China is in this untenable position. If we had to select one data point with which to explain it all, it would be the following: just in the fourth quarter of 2013, Chinese bank assets rose from CNY147 trillion to CNY151.4 trillion, or, in dollar terms, an increase of almost exactly $1 trillion!

By comparison, US bank assets in the same period rose by just over $200 billion, a number which consists almost entirely of the reserves injected by the Fed.

And if we had to show it in one chart, it would be the following comparison of total Chinese and US bank assets: the two lines shown below are on the same axis, and at the end of 2009, the US had just a fraction more assets than China. Since then the US has added $2.3 trillion in bank assets, exclusively thanks to the Fed’s reserve creation. As for China… total bank assets more than doubled from $11.5 trillion to a record $25 trillion! This is a number that is nearly double that of the US, and represents a pace of $3.5 trillion per year – or nearly four concurrent QEs – a rate of “financial asset” addition five times greater than in the US!

 

Another way of showing just the past three years:

 

What’s worse: China is now hooked to a “flow” pace of $3.5 trillion each and every year, just to generate an annual GDP of about 8% and declining with every passing year. Any reductions in the pace of monetary flow will have magnified implications on China’s growth, and from there, social, and globa, stability.

But what does this really mean? Simple: in this epic, unprecedented, feverish pace to “grow” the economy and create hot, if worthless, money out of assets, all assets, even “magic” assets (i.e. thin air), the following took place:

CITIC Trust tried to auction the collateral but failed to do so because the developer has sold the collateral and also mortgaged it to a few other lenders.

Until now nobody cared because defaults were prohibited in China and nobody really cared what was underneath the hood. Now, defaults are allowed and, in fact, are encouraged. Which is why suddenly everyone is starting to cast curious glances into the dark shadows where the engine is supposed to be.

They won’t like what they find.

Curious for more: read Chart Of The Day: How China’s Stunning $15 Trillion In New Liquidity Blew Bernanke’s QE Out Of The Water, and Some Stunning Perspective: China Money Creation Blows US And Japan Out Of The Water


    



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FBI Blocked In Harry Reid Corruption Probe

Utah state prosecutors have received accusations of wrongdoing and gathered evidence in a wide-ranging corruption scandal involving Majority Leader Harry Reid and rising Republican Senator Mike Lee. However, as The Washinton Times reports, FBI agents have been thwarted in their efforts to launch a full federal investigation by the Justic Department. "DOJ risks creating the perception of a cover-up," warned one senior FBI official.

 

Via The Washington Times,

FBI agents working alongside Utah state prosecutors in a wide-ranging corruption investigation have uncovered accusations of wrongdoing by two of the U.S. Senate’s most prominent figures — Majority Leader Harry Reid and rising Republican Sen. Mike Lee — but the Justice Department has thwarted their bid to launch a full federal investigation.

 

The probe, conducted by one Republican and one Democratic state prosecutor in Utah, has received accusations from an indicted businessman and political donor, interviewed other witnesses and gathered preliminary evidence such as financial records, Congressional Record statements and photographs that corroborate some aspects of the accusations, officials have told The Washington Times and ABC News.

 

But the Justice Department’s public integrity section — which normally handles corruption cases involving elected figures — rejected FBI agents’ bid to use a federal grand jury and subpoenas to determine whether the accusations are true and whether any federal crimes were committed by state and federal officials.

 

The information involving Mr. Reid and Mr. Lee is not fully developed but centers on two primary issues:

 

Whether both or either politician sought or received money or other benefits from donors and/or fundraisers in connection with doing political favors or taking official actions.

 

Whether Mr. Lee provided accurate information when he bought, then sold a Utah home for a big loss to a campaign contributor and federal contractor, leaving his mortgage bank to absorb large losses.

 

“There are allegations, but they are very serious allegations and they need to be looked at by somebody,” Sim Gill, a Democrat who is the elected chief prosecutor in Salt Lake County, told The Times. “If true, or even if asserted, they truly should be investigated and put to rest, or be confirmed.”

Paging Frank Underwood?

Spokesmen for both senators denied their bosses engaged in any wrongdoing and said the lawmakers were unaware of the investigations.

But the rabbit-hole goes deeper…

The investigative efforts have been further complicated by the fact that Mr. Reid worked to get Mr. Lee’s chief counsel, David Barlow, confirmed in 2011 as the U.S. attorney in Salt Lake City. That action — a Democratic Senate leader letting a Republican be named to a key prosecutor’s position in the Obama administration — raised many eyebrows and angered some Democrats.

 

Subsequently, the entire office of federal prosecutors in Utah was forced to recuse itself from the corruption case after questions surfaced about a conflict of interest involving one prosecutor and a subject of the probe. After the recusal, state prosecutors secured a court order transferring the federal evidence gathered up to that point to their possession.

However, it appears, the local FBI office got a tap on the shoulder…

People familiar with the probe said both FBI agents and local investigators have been frustrated for months by the Justice Department’s inaction on the initial accusations and evidence against the two senators, and those concerns were recently elevated to FBI headquarters.

 

The special agent in charge of the Utah office was summoned earlier this month to Washington to meet with senior FBI officials, and the bureau’s Utah office has been instructed that the FBI agents working the case may only assist in the state probe and cannot pursue federal criminal investigative leads — unless Justice finally approves a corruption probe.

 

 

“But in this case, DOJ risks creating the perception of a cover-up rather than let agents use the normal tools and follow the evidence wherever it leads — Republican, Democrat, Senate or not,” the senior FBI official said.

Ya think!?

“Based upon what we know today, we were surprised that the DOJ ran away,” he said.

 

Read more here


    



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Is The Deep State Fracturing Into Disunity?

Submitted by Charles Hugh-Smith of OfTwoMinds blog,

I recently discussed the Deep State and "throwing Wall Street under the bus" with my friend and colleague Jim Kunstler.

When we speak of The Powers That Be or the Deep State, this ruling Elite is generally assumed to be monolithic: of one mind, so to speak, unified in worldview, strategy and goals.

In my view, this is an over-simplification of a constantly shifting battleground of paradigms and political power between a number of factions and alliances within the Deep State. Disagreements are not publicized, of course, but they become apparent years or decades after the conflict was resolved, usually by one faction winning the hearts and minds of decision-makers or consolidating the Deep State's group-think around their worldview and strategy.

History suggests that this low-intensity conflict within the ruling Elite is generally a healthy characteristic of leadership in good times. As times grow more troubled, however, the unity of the ruling Elite fractures into irreconcilable political disunity, which becomes a proximate cause of the dissolution of the Empire if it continues.
I recently proposed the idea that Wall Street now poses a strategic threat to national security and thus to the Deep State itself: Who Gets Thrown Under the Bus in the Next Financial Crisis? (March 3, 2014)

Many consider it "impossible" that Wall Street could possibly lose its political grip on the nation's throat, but I suggest that Wall Street has over-reached, and is now teetering at the top of the S-Curve, i.e. it has reached Peak Wall Street.

Consider what the extremes of Wall Street/Federal Reserve predation, parasitism, avarice and power have done to the nation, and then ask if other factions within the Deep State are blind to the destructive consequences:

How The Fed Has Failed America, Part 2 (March 12, 2014)

The Fed Has Failed (and Will Continue to Fail), Part 1 (March 11, 2014)

Can anyone not in Wall Street or the Fed look at this chart and not see profound political disunity on the horizon?


source: Poll Shows Why QE Has Been Ineffective (STA Wealth Mgmt)

I recently discussed the Deep State and "throwing Wall Street under the bus" with my friend and colleague Jim Kunstler: here's the resulting podcast, which you can download or listen to on whatever device you are using at the moment: KunstlerCast 250 — Chatting with Charles Hugh Smith

Jim's trademark wit and clarity guide the discussion, and he kindly lets me blather on about the Deep State. I think you'll find the discussion of interest; you certainly won't hear this topic being aired elsewhere.

I have covered the Deep State and profound political disunity for many years:

Going to War with the Political Elite You Have (May 14, 2007)

The Shape of Things To Come (July 8, 2011)

The Master Narrative Nobody Dares Admit: Centralization Has Failed (June 21, 2012) 
 


    



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Russia Crashes Into Bear Market As Europe Drops Most In 9 Months

Broad European stocks dropped 3.3% on the week – the biggest fall since June of last year. Despite a late-day surge on the back of surprising relief from Lavrov’s comments on not invading Ukraine (well, he’s hardly going to pre-announce) Germany has seen its worst 2-week drop in 28 months. Sovereign bond spreads rose 10-13bps on the week for the peripheral nations (which is actually notable given how tight they trade now). Russian stocks have plunged 22% from Feb 18th highs and Russian 10Y bond yields surged to near 10% yields. Ukraine’s short-date bonds remain at yields around 50% and the Hyrvnia is losing ground.

Germany’s DAX is back at 5-month lows and this is the worst 2-week slide since Nov 2011…

 

Russia enters a very fast bear market…

 

As Russian 10Y yields surge…

 

Charts: Bloomberg


    



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Kerry Summary: “There Will Be Costs”

Kerry speaks. The punchline:

  • KERRY SAYS RUSSIA NOT PREPARED TO TAKE STEPS BEFORE REFERENDUM
  • KERRY SAYS U.S. AND INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY WILL NOT RECOGNIZE OUTCOME OF CRIMEA REFERENDUM

And of course, the hollow threats – the costs are back.

  • KERRY SAYS THERE WILL BE COSTS IF RUSSIA DOES NOT CHANGE COURSE
  • KERRY SAYS IF RUSSIA DOES ESTABLISH FACTS ON THE GROUND THAT THREATEN UKRAINIAN PEOPLE ‘THAT WILL BEG AN EVEN GREATER COST’

Everything else was superfluous:

  • KERRY SAYS TALKS WERE `CANDID, DIRECT’
  • KERRY SAYS HE, LAVROV DISCUSSED FREEZE ON MILITARY DEPLOYMENTS… and?

But before you accuse him of slacking, Kerry put in a solid workday into it:

  • KERRY SAYS HE HAD 6 HOURS OF TALKS WITH LAVROV, and
  • KERRY SAYS HE AND LAVROV TO STAY IN TOUCH IN NEXT FEW DAYS

In summary: Kerry came, spoke with Lavrov, and all he had to show for it was some $50k in taxpayer funds spent for the first class ticket to London.


    



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“World’s Greatest Hedge Fund In History” Generated $91 Billion Profit In 2013

While investors enjoy collecting and reading the monthly and year end letters by distinguished hedge fund managers, the only one that really matters is the annual report by the world’s “greatest hedge fund in history” (not our words, those of Warren Buffet). It is here where we find that in 2013, the Fed generated a record $90.5 billion in Interest Income, surpassing the previous all time high of $88 billion set in 2011.

 

However, despite the record surge in profits, this year the Fed’s remittances to the Treasury fell materially from 2012 (due to the absence of one-time gains), and were virtually unchanged for the past 4 years, at just shy of $80 billion.

 

But what is most disturbing is that the Fed is getting increasingly less bang for the buck courtesy of its own ZIRP policy. This is best manifest in the declining Return on Assets: recall that in 2013 the Fed’s total assets rose by over $1 trillion from $2.9 trillion to $4.0 trillion as of December 2013, a 38% increase. And yet the profit boost was a fraction of this increase. Sure enough, ROA tumbled, and continues to drop: at 2.2% down from 2.8% in 2012, the Fed’s “efficiency” is now the lowest since QE began in 2008, when ROA was just 1.9%.

 

If there was one place where everything was normal, it is in the Fed’s salaries and benefits line. At $3.2 billion it just hit a new all time high, and posted an increase of 4.6% from 2012, a number which incidentally is far more indicative of the real cost of living increases which the Fed is happy to provide for its own employees if nobody else among the 99%.


    



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