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Friday, October 31, 2014 3:30 PM

Could Non-Citizens Determine the Outcome of the Midterm Elections?

Here's the question of the day: Could Non-Citizens Determine the Outcome of the Midterm Elections?

Some elections, especially for Senate are so close, the unfortunate answer is "yes" as the following video insight from Insight from the Libre Institute explains.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

12:38 PM

Nikkei Futures Up Limit, Yen Collapses, Dollar Up, Gold Down as BoJ Pledges "Unwavering Determination" to Get 2% Inflation

"Whatever it Takes" Japanese Style

It's a world truly gone mad.

In a surprise move today, the Bank of Japan announced further quantitative easing, dominated by long-term Japanese government bonds. The BoJ also announced it  and would triple annual purchases of exchange traded funds and property investment trusts.

BoJ governor Haruhiko Kuroda defied objections from four fellow board members, arguing that a tax-hit economy and a lower oil price have led to “a critical moment” in the country’s bid to escape from deflation.

The Financial Times quotes Kuroda as follows: The extra action “shows our unwavering determination to end deflation. There was a risk that despite having made steady progress, we could face a delay in eradicating the public’s deflation mindset. This is a pretty drastic step, so I think there will be a significant effect [on the economy].”

Stunning Market Reaction

  • Nikkei futures up lock limit (1160 points)
  • S&P 500 up 1.0% (new all-time high)
  • Yen plunges 2.5%
  • Dollar rises 0.9%
  • Gold sinks 2.75%
  • Oil down 1.1%

Nikkei Futures

S&P 500 Futures

Yen Futures

US Dollar Futures

Gold Futures

Oil Futures

One of my top two trade ideas worked today: Long the Nikkei hedged with a short-yen position. Gold certainly didn't. I still have faith central bank madness will eventually light a fire on my second key idea.

Buyer of Only Resort

Not only is Japan's population in decline, the remaining population is aging. Somehow, Japan believes its economy ought to grow anyway. In addition, Japan wants 2% inflation even though that is the last thing Japanese savers need.

Given that Japanese pension funds are now net sellers of Japanese government bonds, and given Japan's pledge to destroy the Yen to fight deflation, the buyer of only resort of Japan's government bonds is the Bank of Japan.

Currency Crisis Awaits

Japan's government debt is over 250% of GDP. Japan's debt is so high that an interest rate of somewhere between 2 and 3 percent will consume 100% of tax revenue.

Amusingly, the central bank wants 2% inflation and 0% bond rates. How's that going to work?

The answer is "It's not".

Today's message is clearly "get the hell out of the yen".

Somewhere down the line, a global currency crisis awaits. I am willing to hold gold indefinitely until that happens.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Thursday, October 30, 2014 8:53 PM

Looking for a Good Education at a Low Price, Perhaps Free? Head to Europe

On June 7, 2014 I wrote Looking to Drastically Reduce College Costs? Study Abroad!

Yesterday, a writer for the Washington Post expressed the same opinion.

Please consider 7 countries where Americans can study at universities, in English, for free (or almost free).

Since 1985, U.S. college costs have surged by about 500 percent, and tuition fees keep rising. In Germany, they've done the opposite.

The country's universities have been tuition-free since the beginning of October, when Lower Saxony became the last state to scrap the fees. Tuition rates were always low in Germany, but now the German government fully funds the education of its citizens -- and even of foreigners.

What might interest potential university students in the United States is that Germany offers some programs in English -- and it's not the only country. Let's take a look at the surprising -- and very cheap -- alternatives to pricey American college degrees.


Americans can earn a German undergraduate or graduate degree without speaking a word of German and without having to pay a single dollar of tuition fees: About 900 undergraduate or graduate degrees are offered exclusively in English, with courses ranging from engineering to social sciences.


This northern European country charges no tuition fees, and it offers a large number of university programs in English. However, the Finnish government amiably reminds interested foreigners that they "are expected to independently cover all everyday living expenses." In other words: Finland will finance your education, but not your afternoon coffee break.


There are at least 76 English-language undergraduate programs in France, but many are offered by private universities and are expensive. Many more graduate-level courses, however, are designed for English-speaking students, and one out of every three French doctoral degrees is awarded to a foreign student. "It is no longer needed to be fluent in French to study in France," according to the government agency Campus France.


This Scandinavian country is among the world's wealthiest, and its beautiful landscape beckons. It also offers some of the world's most cost-efficient college degrees. More than 300 listed programs in 35 universities are taught in English. However, only Ph.D programs are tuition-free.


Norwegian universities do not charge tuition fees for international students. The Norwegian higher education system is similar to the one in the United States: Class sizes are small and professors are easily approachable. Many Norwegian universities offer programs taught in English.


About 150 English programs are available, and foreign nationals only pay an insignificant registration fee when they enroll.


Some Brazilian courses are taught in English, and state universities charge only minor registration fees. Times Higher Education ranks two Brazilian universities among the world's top 400: the University of Sao Paulo and the State University of Campinas. However, Brazil might be better suited for exchange students seeking a cultural experience rather than a degree.
That excellent information (more in the above link) is from Washington Post foreign affairs writer Rick Noack.

I believe it's near-crazy to pay $30,000 (or far more) in the US for what can be had in Europe for free.

Eventually costs will crash in the US for the simple reason, they must. Online education ensures that outcome.

For details, please see Future of Education is At Hand: Online, Accredited, Affordable, Useful

Here's my more recent followup post: Teaching Revolution: Online, Accredited, Free; Start Learning Now!

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

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