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Weekend Reading: Are The Bulls Back?

“The contrary investor is every human when he resigns momentarily from the herd and thinks for himself...”


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Trump's Decision To Debate Sanders In California Is His Most Genius Move Yet

If the Trump/Sanders debate proceeds as planned in California, you’re about to witness one of the most important moments of a 2016 general election that hasn’t even begun yet. To say such a debate would be an unmitigated disaster for Hillary Clinton would be the understatement of the century. Let’s explore why.


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What Killed The US Consumer, In One Chart

"The failure of American consumption to pick up over the past year and more in the manner expected can be explained not just by increased consumer caution but also by the increasing costs of two essentially nondiscretionary items for most Americans. That is the soaring cost of medical care and the rising cost of rents." That will be all.


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In Stunning Reversal, IMF Blames Globalization For Spreading Inequality, Causing Market Crashes

In a stunning reversal for an organization that rests at the bedrock of the modern "neoliberal" (a term the IMF itself uses generously), aka capitalist system, overnight IMF authors Jonathan D. Ostry, Prakash Loungani, and Davide Furceri issued a research paper titled "Neoliberalism: Oversold?" whose theme is a stunning one: it accuses neoliberalism, and its immediate offshoot, globalization and "financial openness", for causing not only inequality, but also making capital markets unstable.


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ISIS Commander Killed In Falluja Airstrikes As A Familiar Face Emerges

US-led coalition air and artillery strikes have killed 70 ISIS fighters in Fallujah, including the militants’ leader in the Iraqi city, a military spokesman said Friday. Baghdad-based Colonel Steve Warren said that over the last four days, 20 strikes in the besieged city had destroyed ISIS fighting positions and gun emplacements. “We’ve killed more than 70 enemy fighters, including Maher Al-Bilawi, who is the commander of ISIL forces in Fallujah."


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What Would Ludwig von Mises Do In Venezuela?

The crisis in Venezuela is the most modern illustration of the horrific consequences of socialism and the devastating reality of hyperinflation. What makes this disaster all the more infuriating is that it could have been avoided with a basic understanding of history. We’ve seen the disaster of socialism and interventionism in various forms play out across the world time and time again with similar results, and yet new generations of central planners — backed by ideologically aligned intellectuals — are consistently able to fool people into believing that “this time will be different.”


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Explaining Bernie-Conomics Using Two Beers

It's simple really...


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Yellen Says Rate Hikes Soon As Need More Ammo "In Case Of Shock" - Live Feed

*YELLEN: ECONOMY IS CONTINUING TO IMPROVE
*YELLEN: WITH GAINS, HIKE IN COMING MONTHS MAY BE APPROPRIATE
*YELLEN: DON'T HAVE TYPICAL SCOPE TO CUT RATES IN CASE OF SHOCK


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BTFVIX?

With Goldman suggesting VIX should be in the upper teens based on 'fundamentals' and event risks galore on the horizon (FOMC, Brexit, Spain elections, US elections, etc.) Geneva Swiss Bank suggests it is time to BTFVIX...


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Hedge Fund Billionaire Slams Democracy, Says The "Tyranny Of The Majority Is An Unhealthy Development"

In his latest letter to investors, OakTree Capital's Howard Marks goes political (slamming Trump's tariffs and Bernie's minimum wage machinations), shedding some blinding light on the economic reality of America, the dismal failure (and increasing impotence) of central bankers, and the ongoing "tryanny of the majority" warning that if everyone wants to tax-the-rich, soon there will be no rich to tax. As he concludes, short-term fixes simply cannot create wealth out of thin air (see Venezuela), as Churchill once said "for a nation to try to tax [or stimulate or devalue] itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle."


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Alibaba’s SEC Probe: What’s Missing From This Disclosure?

On 24-May-2016, Alibaba Group disclosed what appears to be an informal SEC investigation. This is the first time this matter has been disclosed. Details are scant, leaving the investor unable to adequately assess the risk it poses. Using the template of who/what/where/when/why, we will examine what is missing. Our conclusion is you are left with a risk that management views as material but you cannot analyze. We generally recommend avoiding such scenarios.


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This Week's Main News From The Oil Sector

For those who need a quick and easy recap of all the main events that took place in the oil and gas services sector, here it is courtesy of Credit Suisse's James Wicklung who present the various "things we've learned this week."


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Stocks, Bonds Slide As Hawkish Yellen Sends July Rate-Hike Odds To Record Highs

Following Yellen's uncharacteristicaly hawkish tone, the odds of a July rate-hike have shot higher - now higher than June or September have ever been - to record highs. This has sent short-term bond yields higher, the yield curve dramatically flatter, stocks lower, and gold down...


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Here's Why All Pension Funds Are Doomed, Doomed, Doomed

It's looking increasingly likely that third time's the charm: this set of bubbles is the last one central banks can blow. And when markets free-fall and don't reflate into new bubbles, pension funds will expire, as they were fated to do the day central banks chose zero interest rates forever as their cure for a broken economic model.


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Death By A Theta Cuts

Implied volatility should remain structurally elevated into and through an eventual recession (and likely bear market) before subsiding once the next sustained recovery has begun. That is precisely why we have struggled with the idea that the high-volatility regime intact since last August may truncate at less than a year. If our reasoning is correct and volatility remains structurally elevated, it follows that the recent three-month cyclical trough, as the longest such period on record, is statistically unlikely to last much longer.


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