Any hopes that tonight's meeting between the president and members of Congress, which lasted about an hour, would yield results just went up in smoke:
BOEHNER SAID OBAMA REITERATED HE WILL NOT NEGOTIATE
BOEHNER SAYS TIME FOR SENATE TO APPOINT NEGOTIATORS
Reid chimes in:
- REID SAYS BOEHNER HAS TO ACCEPT `YES FOR AN ANSWER'
Which means the government shutdown will proceed into its third day, with little hope for a political resolution on the horizon.
"We debated buying a bank, which we came close to doing. It remains an option for us," Carne Ross, a board member of the Occupy Money Cooperative (an offshoot of the Occupy Wall Street movement) says. "We eventually came to this [the debit card], as the easiest way to get a financial product out there."
Source: Not The Onion.
Mere days after the US and Iran showed very tentative signs of some diplomatic progress being possible (and hours after Netanyahu's "Rouhani's a wolf in sheep's clothing" comments), The Telegraph reports that Mojtaba Ahmadi, who served as commander of the Cyber War Headquarters for Iran, was found dead (with two bullets to the heart) in a wooded area north-west of Tehran. This follows the assassination of five Iranian nuclear scientists and the country's ballistic missile program head since 2007 - all blamed on Israel's Mossad. An eyewitness said two people on a motorbike had been involved and "the extent of the injuries indicated he had been assassinated from close range." Western officials (the 'essential' ones) said the information was still being assessed.
First, the good news. During a Senate hearing earlier today, Gen. Keith Alexander (in charge of America's Secret Cyber Army) said: "We have over 960 Ph.D.s, over 4,000 computer scientists, over a thousand mathematicians. They are furloughed. Our nation needs people like this."
Now the bad news. While the number of NSA employees is officially classified, in 2012 the NSA said more than 30,000 employees work at Ft. Meade and other facilities. In 2012 John C. Inglis, the deputy director, said that the total number of NSA employees is "somewhere between 37,000 and one billion" as a joke, and stated that the agency is "probably the biggest employer of introverts." In 2013 Der Spiegel, likely using source data from Edward Snowden, said that the NSA had 40,000 employees.
"The American people are being bamboozled into believing that you have to keep spending for ever," Ron Paul exclaims, as "neither side is truly looking for spending cuts." As he explains they all know that increasing spending is all that can maintain the status quo. In this brief CNBC clip, Paul says playing the blame game is ignorant of the reality that both sides are "rigid with bad ideas," dismissing Obama's 'faction' comments. For a glimpse at the chaos underlying the status quo (that is being exposed this week), Paul blasts that "it is a philosophy of government that is to blame; Keynesianism, Militarism, and Interventionism, and the funny-money system that we use. All that has come together and the country is bankrupt and nobody wants to amid it."
It truly is a case of deja vu all over again... No matter how much the politicians try to make the public understand what a total disaster the US economy is about to become, someone somewhere feels the need to test the market at 330ET and then smash VIX lower levitating stocks into the close... smells like algos igniting momentum to enable blocks to exit to us... Welcome to our new "efficient" markets...
Obama "Prepared To Negotiate" (After Government Reopens), Says This Time "Wall Street Should Be Concerned"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 10/02/2013 - 16:24
In an interview with CNBC's John Harwood, Obama once again shows why the polarization in Congress is at record levels. In a brief: he said he is "exasperated", and that the shutdown is "entirely unncessary" but adds that he is (finally?) prepared to negotiate, however only after he gets his way namely after the government is reopened. And another important talking point: Obama added that while gridlock in D.C. is nothing new, "this time I think Wall Street should be concerned." It is unclear how that statement makes any sense in light of Obama's right hand senator Chuck Schumer telling the man who is really in charge, Ben Bernanke, to get to work. Unless of course, Obama is now angling for a "concerning" market crash, which sends the Dow down by 20% like in the summer of 2011, and Obama can tell the stunned public "I told you so."
Bonds were well bid into the US open this morning and stocks had given up all their 'shutdown' gains and slid further on the ADP news which had nothing to further the case for taper or no taper. The big turnaround happened when rumors circulated of a 'deal' - which were later denied - but by then the momentum had caught on. Luckily the rumor coincided with POMO and we lifted a majestic 7 S&P points into the European close. Treasuries initially ignored the rise but gave in after a while with yields rising but stocks remaining notably disconnected from bonds by the close. The late-day collapse in VIX yesterday evaporated was smashed higher, divergent from stocks in the afternoon until another pathetic ramp into the close which lifted the S&P to its day-session highs but closed down for the 8th of the last 10 days. Gold and Silver blew higher on the day recovering all yesterday's losses.
In and of itself, the government shutdown appears to be a limited market event. The indirect effect, however, is on the other main risk scenario for markets – the deal on the debt ceiling (which will need to be in place before October 17). An increase in the probability of breaching the debt ceiling would likely be destabilizing for the market. For one, the effect on growth will be far larger – our economists estimate that it would imply an immediate cut in spending equal to 4.2% of GDP (4Q average of the fiscal deficit). Second, it would raise the risk of a US sovereign default because the Treasury does not believe it has the authority to prioritize interest payments above other obligations. As such, with markets firmly focused on US fiscal matters - so where to from here?
Despite its position as a "cult" stock - capable of enduring anything (according to Cramer) - the holy grail of momentum stocks is under massive pressure today. Down 9% as we write, Tesla seems to be at the center of a quadruple whammy of retail investors realizing they have become unwitting bagholders to selling institutions, an analyst's downgrade, a major potential dilution event as the firm's convertible note becomes 'convertible' and investors sell to take profits on their bond's huge gains, and an additional factor which may have led to the acceleration in the sell-off in the last hour or so, has been the emergence of an unverified YouTube video which purports to show a burning Tesla, although the firm's investor relations promptly responded, via CNBC, saying the fire is due to the car colliding with a large metal object in the middle of the road (of which roads tend to have quite many)... and burst in flames?
15 Bankers just paid a visit to the White House, listened to President Obama, and explained what a total disaster it would be if the US debt-ceiling is breached and Treasuries technically default. While the politicians exclaimed how bad a government shutdown would be, the banks have turned the panic dial to 11 as Goldman's Lloyd Blankfein noted, bankers are “in a position to really know early what the consequences are,” and it would be catastrophic. The irony that the firm which the government is trying to fine $20 billion for selling fraudulent debt and giving bad advice is now providing the same government with advice on its own bad debt, is not lost on us as Dimon was among the visitors but it is Blankfein's warning, echoing Obama, that will get the headlines, "they shouldn't use the threat of causing the U.S. to fail on its obligation to repay debt as a cudgel."
First it was the Americans. Now it is the Russians' turn. Al Arabiya reports (and Itar-Tass confirms) that "Gunmen attacked the Russian embassy in the Libyan capital Tripoli on Wednesday, Al Arabiya correspondent reported. The sound of gunfire and rocket-propelled grenades could be heard around the embassy, the correspondent added. No further details were immediately available." “There has been an incident in Tripoli tonight, in which there was shelling and attempts to enter the territory of the Russian Embassy in this country,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Aleksandr Lukashevich told RT.
BitCoin Plunges Following US Government Seizure Of Silk Road Website, "Dread Pirate Roberts" In CustodySubmitted by Tyler Durden on 10/02/2013 - 13:38
Earlier today, one of the most popular websites that use and promote the use of BitCoin, Silk Road, was shut down by the US government. As Reuters reports, U.S. law enforcement authorities raided an Internet site that served as a marketplace for illegal drugs, including heroin and cocaine, and arrested its owner, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said on Wednesday. The FBI arrested Ross William Ulbricht, known as "Dread Pirate Roberts," in San Francisco on Tuesday, according to court filings. Federal prosecutors charged Ulbricht with one count each of narcotics trafficking conspiracy, computer hacking conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy, according to a court filing. Anyone visiting the site would be greeted with the following "game over" screen.
With mortgage applications down around 60% from their peak in April, the last best hope for sustained "recovery" in housing 'was' the cash-only bid from private equity and hedge capital in the REO-to-rent or flip-dat-house trades. As we have noted previously, that last pillar was starting to falter and as Bloomberg reports, it seems is now in full crack mode as Carlyle Group switches from marginal buyer to marginal seller in its $2.3 billion real estate funds. "Our capital was useful at the front edge of the recovery," the firm notes - implying the big gains are over as rent growth fades (as employment and income growth slows). Crucially, they add, "investors really want the new Class A properties so we’re selling into that demand." We assume that by "investors" they mean greater-fool bag-holders.