Did Michelle Obama Also "Borrow" For Her 2008 Speech

“...is based upon the application of certain basic truths: that integrity is all important, that your word is your bond, that if you owe a person money you pay him back, that you work hard, enjoy what you do and show a loyalty to those with whom you work and do business. He instilled in me simple, clear cut values and a will to succeed.”

- Rob Marsh, "Business success in South Africa", 1992

Valuation Fallacies (Or Why The Last Big Bubble Justifies This One)

Given the rather extreme nature of the times, extreme statistics are more prevalent perhaps than at any other point. They run the spectrum, as do human intentions, from the purely mistake to the malicious. The better stats, as the best lies, are often difficult to discern because they contain some truth such as the oft-quoted relationship between P/E’s and inflation. However, facts - those annoyingly unspinnable demons - show the 'stocks are cheap based on inflation-based multiples' essentially advises that the last big stock bubble justifies why we shouldn’t be worried about another one.

Melania Trump Accused Of Plagiarising Convention Speech From Michelle Obama

The highlight of the first day of the Republican convention was the speech by Donald Trump's wife Melania, who was seeking to make a memorable impression on the world, and may have done just that... only not in the way she had envisioned.  Because in her potentially breakthrough moment, Melania appears to have lifted some of her first night convention speech from a surprising source: a similar speech by none other than Michelle Obama.

"Whatever It Takes" Has Failed - European Economic Confidence Crashes To 4-Year Lows

If the premise of central-banking largesse is to maintain (or inspire) economic confidence, then Mario Draghi's smoke and mirrors have officially failed. This morning's ZEW data on German and European Consumer confidence is a disaster. Both the current situation and expectations for Germany tumbled but most worryingly, the 'hope' for European economic growth has crashed to its lowest since Draghi promised to do "whatever it takes" in the summer of 2012.

Erdogan Goes Too Far, Market Warns As Lira, Turkish ETF Suddenly Tumble

While so far the Western diplomatic response to Erdogan's unprecedented putsch has been mostly stunned silence (with just the U.N. human rights chief expressing alarm about the mass suspension or removals of judges so far), the market is starting to get concerned, and moments ago the Turkish Lira suddenly tumbled, sliding below Friday's closing level, while at the same time the MSCI Turkish ETF plunged as well.

BofA Finds Something Odd: With The S&P At Record Highs, Traders Have Never Been More Nervous

A strange paradox emerges when flipping though the latest BofA Fund Managers' Survey: with the S&P trading at all time highs, investor buying of protection against sharp decline in stock market at record high, something which would not be happening if the market was "normal" and if traders expected a continuation of the recent upward trend in stocks.

"The Case For Donald Trump Is Simple"

The alternative is President Hillary Clinton... Fair enough to argue that Mr. Trump represents a huge risk. But honesty requires that this risk be weighed against a clear-eyed look at the certainties a Hillary Clinton administration would bring.

Turkey Latest: Tens Of Thousands Purged; "Gulenist Media" Shut Down; Pilots Behind Russian Jet Downing Arrested

Turkish president Erdogan continues his witch hunt purge for the third day, and as of this morning the office of the Turkish prime minister removed from duty 257 staff suspected of being linked to the failed coup Reuters cites a source in the PM’s team as saying Tuesday. The number of those suspended from duty in the PM’s office has reached 10 percent of the estimated 2,600 total personnel of Prime Minister Binali Yildirim’s staff.

America Has Become A "Parasitocracy"

Everyone wants to get something for nothing. Everyone wants to be a rentier. And every society has them. But a rentier is a parasite. And the more of them you have, the weaker the economy becomes – until it eventually succumbs to revolution, depression, war, or hyperinflation.

Housing Starts Decline Year-Over-Year Amid Downward Revisions

Thanks to generous downward revisions, June's Housing Starts 'jump' of 4.8% MoM suggests everything is awesome. However, year-over-year Starts dropped 0.2%, the second annual drop in 3 months. Both single- and multi-family starts rose MoM but rental unit starts fell notably YoY (-22% versus a 13% rise for single-family). Overall permits rose 1.5% MoM (slightly better than expected) but multi-family permits rose more than single-family permits (+2.5% MoM vs +1.0% MoM) as Rental Nation USA continues to gather pace.

ISIS Flag Found In German Train Axe Attacker's Bedroom

Just hours after a 17-year-old Afghan refugee attacked passengers with an ax and knife on a train in Germany on Monday night, AP reports ISIS has claimed responsibility. This is likely not a surprise to many as a witness said that the attacker was shouting 'Allahu akbar' during the attack and Joachim Herrmann, Bavaria's interior minister, told ZDF Television "during a search of his room, a hand-painted IS flag was found."

This 'Market' Discounts Nothing Except Monetary Cocaine

In short, the market is not trading on a rebound in GDP, revenue growth or a breakout of already elevated profit margins. It’s just high on one more dose of monetary cocaine that in short order will prove to have been not even that.

Goldman Beats On Rebound In FICC, Prop Trading As Headcount, Comp Slashed

After last quarter's brutal results, which saw the worst revenue for Goldman Sachs since Q4 2011, the question about Goldman's Q2 earnings report was not if it would beat but by how much. Moments ago we got the answer when the company reported Q2 EPS of $3.72, handily beating consensus estimates of $2.68, but down 21% from last year's $4.75 (ex-charges) EPS. The reason for the rebound was stronger top-line growth which at $7.93 billion, was the best print in one year, if still down 12.5% from a year ago. 

Frontrunning: July 19

  • Turkey's Erdogan recounts night of coup, mulls death penalty (AP)
  • Dissidents Silenced, GOP Convention Turns Attacks on Clinton (WSJ)
  • U.S. police deaths build momentum for law to treat attacks as hate crimes (Reuters)
  • Police across US patrolling in pairs after ambush attacks (AP)
  • UK will not invoke EU Article 50 this year, government lawyer says (Reuters)

Piling On To The "Surreal" Response To Turkish Turmoil: Here Comes The Central Bank

In less than half an hour, the Turkish central bank will steal the public spotlight, if only very briefly, from Erdogan when it announces whether it will cut rates by 50 bps, 25 bps, (or - less likely - it won't cut at all). But in light of the recent stunning transformation in the country's political landscape, does this decision really matter? According to the market yes; according to Bloomberg's Richard Breslow, it is simply one more indication of how surreal the response to the Turkish turmoil has become.

US Futures Dip, European Stocks Slide After EU Court Slams Italian Bank Bailout Plans

After a head-scratching S&P500 rally - which not even Goldman has been able to justify - pushed stocks to new all time highs with seemingly daily record highs regardless of fundamentals or geopolitical troubles, overnight US equity futures dipped modestly, tracking weak European stocks as demand for safe haven assets including U.S. Treasuries and gold rises. Asian stocks outside Japan fall. Crude oil trades near $45 a barrel. 

Hans-Hermann Hoppe: "Put Your Hope In Radical Decentralization"

"The EU is the first step on the way toward the creation of a European Super-State, and ultimately of a one-world government, dominated by the USA and its central bank, the FED... Don’t put your trust in democracy, but neither should you trust in a dictatorship. Rather, put your hope into radical political decentralization, not just in India and China, but everywhere."

Iron Ore Rally "Getting Carried Away Again" As China Inventories Soar To 20-Month Highs

Following the crash after March/April's 'mania', Iron ore prices have resurged to 2-month highs on the heels of stimulus-hype and rampant speculation. However, this echo-bubble appears to be bursting as Macquarie sounds the alarm that prices are "getting carried away again" with fundamental support entirely lacking as China inventories soar 30% year-over-year to 20-month highs.