The (Mis)Uses Of Disorder

America is going to learn something about the uses of disorder before this year is out. One of these is to compel the construction of a coherent consensus as to what is actually happening in the world, apart from our wishes and fantasies. That is, if we are not torn apart in the process of getting to that.

Cuban Caption Contest: "Che-Che-Changes" Edition

“I don’t know Obama in person... but he came to power in an election, not a revolution. He was supported by corporate America,” Guevara says. “The colour of skin is one thing, the colour of ideology is another.

Spot The Sucker: Brazil Stocks Edition

If you are a foreign investor in Brazilian equities and you can't look at the net purchases chart shown here and tell us who the sucker is, well then you are the sucker.

Fed Warns Brexit Poses Contagious Risk To US Economy, Spikes GBP Volatility To Record Highs

As the battle between Brits' fiercely historic "independence" and the establishment's Project Fear, anxiety is building over the looming Brexit decision. Despite rallies in most markets over the past few weeks, UK-related risk premia remain extremely-elevates with British corporate bond risk notably decoupled from EU's credity risk but it is the FX markets where the biggest dislocations are with Cable volatility at its most elevated ever relative to EUR. While equity markets remain unimpressed by the FX and credit market concerns, Fed's Lockhart warns "BREXIT POSES RISK THAT CAN SPILL BACK TO U.S. ECONOMY."

An Output Freeze Is Still The Big Red-Herring For Oil

Update: SOME OPEC MEMBERS WON'T ATTEND DOHA MEET: EL-BADRI

Despite everything that could go wrong at Doha, oil prices are maintaining the new “high” on hopes of an output freeze, even if only at January levels. "Any such deal would still not be a game changer. It would really just maintain the excess supply that is now in place," warns one analyst, adding that it’s more about what they say than what they actually do in Doha.

Stocks Stumble After Lockhart Echoes Williams, Warns "Rate Hikes Justified As Early As April"

Seemingly echoing Fed's Williams earlier hawkish comments, Atlanta Fed's Lockhart notes that full employment is "getting closert and closer," and warns that "rate hikes are justified in 2016, possibly soon," adding that LOCKHART SAYS RATE HIKE JUSTIFIED AS EARLY AS APRIL FOMC. It is clear the messagge that is being sent - don't keep buying stocks in anticipation of our 'put' (but don't sell 'em below 2000 either). Or is it a desperate attempt to reclaim some lost credibility?

JPMorgan Warns "Reduce Equity Exposure... Don't Chase Crude"

"First quarter earnings will be difficult," warns JPMorgan's global head of equity strategy, suggesting investors consider reducing market exposure and/or "consider buying protection." While Rees is not quite as directly 'sell-it-all ' - adding that he hopes H2 earnings will pick up - his overall message, beneath the JPM vineer, is not bullishly biased. "We are not chasing the oil rally," Rees adds, noting the technical short-covering nature of this most recent move, adding that "the worst is not behind us."

Bloomberg Explains Why "Nobody Believes This Rally"

"I’m not buying anything; I’m sitting on my hands and waiting. I would definitely sell this rally because it’s totally central-bank driven and has nothing or very little to do with fundamentals."..."The question everyone should be asking is what has really changed in the last three months? Global concerns, while slightly less, are still there."

It's Day 26 Of The Rally - Decision Time

In September/Octover 2015, the S&P 500 miraculously rallied just over 13% in 25 days amid falling earnings expectations, before collapsing back to fresh cycle lows. It has now been 25 days (and just over 13%) since the Mid-Feb lows (and earnings expectations are plumbing new lows)...

Markets Will Eventually Normalize - "Over The Fed's Dead Body"

See how it works? Central banks destroy the real economy with cheap money and extractive policies. Then, as the economy slumps, they need to bring their policies in line with the slumping economy. They need to swear off raising rates back to normal. And since their policies can never produce real prosperity, they can never produce an economy that can support normal interest rates. Normal? Forget it. Eventually, normal will make a comeback. But not because the Fed wants it. Instead, the markets will normalize – brutally ­– over the Fed’s dead body... which is just the way we’d like it.

Peak Drama: Valeant's Ex-Goldman CFO Responds, Refuses To Resign From Board, Accuses Valeant Of Smear Campaign

Update: That didn't take long. Just minutes after Schiller's response, Valeant took another shot at its former CFO: VALEANT SAYS IT STANDS BY ITS STATEMENT ON SCHILLER'S CONDUCT

As we wrote first thing this morning, while the fate of Valeant CEO Pearson was largely known (he is now out) and that Ackman will go down with the Valeant ship was largely as expected, what was a complete shock in the copmany's press release was that the decision to throw its former CFO, Howard Schiller who formerly ran Goldman's healthcare group, under the bus and accuse him of cooking the company's books. Moments ago Schiller responded, with an even more surprising announcement, sending the Valeant drama to previously unseen heights...

AAPL Flash-Smashes Higher On Heavy Volume Double "Fat Finger"

Given the much anticipated release of some new iGadgets today, it appears someone or something was exuberant this morning as two extreme high volume spikes sent prices up from around $107 to over $110 in a micro-second.. only to drop back again. We assume the HFT liquidity providers were not in any way responsible for this idiocy...

Existing Home Sales Crash Most In 6 Years: NAR Blames Slowing Economy, Bubbly Home Prices

Existing home sales plnged 7.1% MoM in February, massively missing expectations of a 3.0% drop. Absent the regulation-driven drop in November, this is the largest MoM drop since July 2010 as realtors warn that "home prices and rents outpacing wages and anxiety about the health of the economy are holding back a segment of would-be buyers."