John Williams of Shadowstats.com has a grim view of 2014. He says, “It’s really going to be a currency panic . . . when the fundamental selling pressure really starts to pick up, when the selling gets heavy . . . in turn, the weakness will be seen in a spike in oil prices and a spike in gasoline prices.” Williams says there will be a panic out of the dollar and he predicts, “Once you see a massive sell-off here, I see the game as being over.”
Join Greg Hunter of USAWatchdog.com as he goes One-on-One with economist John Williams.
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold
Source: The World Fact Book (CIA)
This entry gives the dollar value for the stock of all financial assets that are available to the central monetary authority for use in meeting a country’s balance of payments needs as of the end-date of the period specified. This category includes not only foreign currency and gold, but also a country’s holdings of Special Drawing Rights in the International Monetary Fund, and its reserve position in the Fund.
Here is the list for the top 50 countries based on statistics for Dec 31, 2013 (with exception of few older estimates):
- China $ 3,820,000,000,000
- Japan $ 1,268,000,000,000
- European Union $ 863,800,000,000
- Saudi Arabia $ 739,500,000,000
- Switzerland $ 531,100,000,000
- Russia $ 515,600,000,000
- Taiwan $ 414,500,000,000
- Brazil $ 378,300,000,000
- Korea, South $ 341,800,000,000
- Hong Kong $ 309,000,000,000
- India $ 295,000,000,000
- Singapore $ 270,500,000,000
- Germany $ 248,900,000,000
- Algeria $ 192,500,000,000
- France $ 184,500,000,000
- Italy $ 181,700,000,000
- Thailand $ 167,600,000,000
- Mexico $ 167,100,000,000
- United States $ 150,200,000,000
- Malaysia $ 139,400,000,000
- Libya $ 120,900,000,000
- Turkey $ 117,600,000,000
- Poland $ 107,800,000,000
- United Kingdom $ 105,100,000,000
- Denmark $ 89,500,000,000
- Philippines $ 85,040,000,000
- Indonesia $ 83,450,000,000
- Israel $ 80,740,000,000
- Iraq $ 71,240,000,000
- Canada $ 68,550,000,000
- Iran $ 68,060,000,000
- Peru $ 65,150,000,000
- United Arab Emirates $ 58,040,000,000
- Czech Republic $ 56,220,000,000
- Netherlands $ 54,820,000,000
- Romania $ 53,410,000,000
- Sweden $ 52,230,000,000
- Lebanon $ 51,950,000,000
- Norway $ 51,860,000,000
- Spain $ 50,590,000,000
- Australia $ 48,800,000,000
- South Africa $ 48,460,000,000
- Nigeria $ 47,700,000,000
- Colombia $ 43,740,000,000
- Qatar $ 40,090,000,000
- Chile $ 39,890,000,000
- Hungary $ 38,490,000,000
- Angola $ 37,940,000,000
- Kuwait $ 34,350,000,000
- 50 Argentina $ 33,650,000,000
Is Wall Street rigged?
Michael Lewis’s new book, Flash Boys, details how a group of financial firms, through technology and paid access, are able to get a fraction of a second heads-up on stock price movements.
Because of the way the US financial system is spread out over more than 40 individual “markets” – many of which are just banks of computer servers that match up buyers with sellers – these high-frequency trading (HFT) companies have devised computer algorithms that figure out when a large stock purchase is being made.
When the order hits on one exchange, there may not be enough shares available. High-speed traders then quickly place buy orders on other exchanges fractions of a second ahead of the original purchaser, to whom they then sell their stock for a slightly higher price.
Although each trade probably brings in only fractions of a cent of profit, on high-volume trades those numbers can add up quickly.
Lewis’s book, and resulting publicity tour, which has included a in-depth segment on CBS’s 60 Minutes, has sparked a debate over whether high-speed trading is legal – or moral. Lewis says these traders have “rigged” the stock market, and many pundits and analysts agree.
“The significance of Lewis’s book is that it explains in user-friendly terms how the colossal profits of high-frequency traders really amount to an unconscionable tax on the ordinary investor, or at any rate on the pension funds and other financial institutions on which our livelihoods depend,” writes the Guardian’s John Naughton.