Argentina Goes Full-Venezuela - Plans To Regulate Prices, Profits, & Production

Just weeks after defaulting (yet again) on its debt (whether technically or not), and shortly after raising the minimum wage by 31% (to $523 a month) amid runaway inflation, it appears Argentina has gone full-Venezuela. As WSJ reports, the great minds that 'run' Argentina have decided to pass legislation (dubbed "the supply law") letting the government regulate private-sector prices, profit margins and production levels. The opposition is up in arms, "this is absolutely ridiculous. It's part of a very primitive ideology that says government officials should decide what people should make, how much they should make and how much they should charge," adding that "we already know exactly what it is like to suffer from these kind of interventionist economic policies," in Venezuela.

CNBC Viewership Plunges To 21 Year Lows

The punchline: this was the lowest rated month in the core demographic since February 1993! In fact, in CNBC's entire Nielsen-rated history, there is only one month in history when demo viewership was lower, back in November 1992, when demo viewership was just 1000 less at 27,000.

The Real Reason American Capitalism Is Failing

What does it take to produce prosperity? Property rights – you have to believe that you can control and enjoy what you produce. Stable money – you have to be able to count on the medium of exchange. Freedom of action – you have to be able to go on with your business without too much state intrusion. Meanwhile in the US, the planners… regulators… controllers… meddlers… and zombies – all those who prevent real prosperity – grew bolder and more numerous.

Russia Blasts NATO's "Pre-Emptive Deployment" Plan For Undermining The Peace Process

As if like clockwork, on the heels of news from Russia of plans to shift their military doctrine towards pre-emptive reactions (and potential nuclear strikes), the NATO Summit has come out swinging with it's own plan change:

*GEN. BRADSHAW, NATO’S DEPUTY SUPREME COMMANDER: NATO REACTION FORCE COULD BE DEPLOYED PREEMPTIVELY

Russia's response - "not surprised" NATO is trying to dominate Europe, adding that "NATO plans undermine the Ukraine peace process."

Quality Of Jobs Created In August Deteriorates Again

Back in 2011 we noted that while the market, and at the time, the Fed, have been focused exclusively on the quantity of jobs created each month, a far more important aspect of the US economic recovery is the quality of newly created jobs. It took the Fed about three years to catch up but it finally did, and Yellen no longer cares so much about the headline NFP print or the unemployment number but rather how good the newly created jobs are, manifesting in the quality of wages and earnings. So what was the quality of seasonally-adjusted job gains in August? In a word: disturbing. Of the 142K jobs created, just under half came from the lowest paying jobs possible: education and health; leisure and hospitality; and temp-help. The best paying jobs, finance and information, added a whopping 4K jobs between them. Finally, about that much delayed US manufacturing renaissance: stick a fork in it - in August the number of manufacturing jobs created was exactly 0.

Ukraine, Separatists Agree On Cease-Fire; EU May Suspend Sanctions

UPDATE: So far no good...*HEAVY ARTILLERY BLASTS HEARD IN UKRAINE'S MARIUPOL: RIA

While we had grown weary of trashed truces and snapped cease-fires in Israel, it appears, according to Interfax, that Ukraine and the pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine (having gained notably over the army in recent days) have agreed a cease-fire:

*UKRAINE, SEPARATISTS AGREE ON CEASE-FIRE FROM 6PM TODAY, PRELIM. PROTOCOL TO CEASE-FIRE SIGNED IN MINSK: BBC

Great news, especially for Merkel (and Hollande) who has already come out and noted that the cease-fire means EU could suspend sanctions (saving face and avoiding some further escalation). The question is - how much of Putin's 7-point-peace-plan will Ukraine acquiesce to? If any?

Labor Participation Rate Drops To Lowest Since 1978; People Not In Labor Force Rise To Record 92.3 Million

No matter how you spin it, today's data was bad: because not only did the headline data disappoint, the labor force participation rate dropped once again to 62.8% from 62.9%, matching the lowest since 1978, as a result of the people not in labor force rising once again, and hitting a new all time high record of 92,269,000, up 268,000 from the prior month. In fact, in August the number of people not in the labor force increased by nearly double the number of people who found jobs, which as we reported previously, was only 142K.

The Market Reacts To Mark Zandi's "I Don't Believe It" Jobs Data

While Mark Zandi may not "believe the data," it appears the market does (for now). The dismal jobs data sparked a kneejerk bond rally, sending yields plunging from the week's highs, and stocks and gold jumped higher (we assume on hopes that bad news is great news for assets as Yellen will have an excuse to be more dovish). The initial moves are fading (as always) but stocks are still pushing higher.

August Jobs Tumble To Only 142K, Lowest Monthly Print Of 2014 And Below Lowest Forecast; Unemployment Rate 6.1%

So much for the latest recovery: with not a single analyst expecting a NFP print below 190K, the BLS just reported that August payrolls tumbled from a revised 212K to only 142K, which was not only below the lowest Wall Street estimate of 190K, but it was also the the lowest monthly jobs print in all of 2014 and the biggest miss to expectations since the "polar vortex"! The Unemployment rate dripped modestly from 6.2% to 6.1% confirming yet again it has become a completely meaningless metric.

As Fighting Rages In Mariupol, Ukraine Soldiers Say President Would "Betray The Country" If He Backs Peace

"Our artillery has come and is being deployed against the rebels," said the mayor of Mariupol, Yuri Khotlubey. The commander of the Azov volunteer militia, Andriy Biletsky, said his men had regained territory from the rebels in a counter-offensive after they came within just five km (three miles) of Mariupol on Thursday. And while leaders meet in Minsk to discuss peace, "A ceasefire would be a disaster, we would lose everything. By fighting we can resist the invasion and send them back. With a ceasefire they will consolidate and carry on after a while," said Ukrainian soldier Taras.  And an interesting undercurrent has emerged: now the Ukraine army is stronly against a ceasefire, with one possibly leading all the way to yet another presidental coup. To wit: Another Ukrainian soldier who gave his name as Mykola said Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko - who was attending the second day of a NATO summit in Wales on Friday - would "betray the country" if he backed a peace plan at this time.

Frontrunning: September 5

  • Euro left reeling after ECB's liquidity splurge (Reuters)
  • Coalition Emerges to Battle Islamic State Militants (WSJ)
  • Ukraine Gas Chief Takes on Gazprom in Race With Winter (BBG)
  • Nato leaders fail to agree spending targets (FT)
  • JPMorgan Had Exodus of Tech Talent Before Hacker Breach (BBG)
  • Mercedes-Benz Sales Rise Despite Weak German Demand (WSJ)
  • Secret Network Connects Harvard Money to Payday Loans (BBG)
  • ICE looks to crack financial data market (FT)

Futures Slump Ahead Of Nonfarm Payrolls As ECB QE Euphoria Fades

It has been an odd session: after yesterday's unexpected late day swoon despite the ECB launch of "Private QE", late night trading saw a major reversal in USDJPY trading which soared relentlessly until it rose to fresh 6 year highs, briefly printing at 105.70, a level not seen since October 2008, before giving back all gains in overnight trading. It is unclear if it was this drop, or some capital reallocation from the US into Europe, but for whatever reason while Europe has seen a stable - if fading in recent hours - risk bid, and European bonds once again rising and Irish and Italian yields both dropping to record low yield, US equity futures have slumped and are now trading at the lows of the session ahead of a US nonfarm payroll print which is expected to rise and print for the 7th consecutive time above 200K, at 230K to be precise, up from 209K in July (down from 288K in June). It is unclear if the market is in a good news is bad news mood today, but for now the algos are not taking any chances and have exited risky positions, with the ES at the low end of the range the market has been trading in for the past week centered aroun S&P 2000.

Russian General Demands Preemptive Nuclear Strike Doctrine Against NATO

While NATO is contemplating its existential purpose in a world where the Cold War has suddenly come back with a vengeance, and the military alliance has found itself woefully unprepared to deal with a Russia which no longer accepts the supremacy of the west (appropriately enough NATO is doing this on a golf course) Russia is also strategizing, only instead of issuing "sharply-worded catchphrases" and hashtags, a Russian general has called for Russia to revamp its military doctrine, last updated in 2010, to clearly identify the U.S. and its NATO allies as Moscow's enemy number one. That in itself is not disturbing: we reported as much yesterday and is merely more rhetorical posturing. Where things, however, get very problematic is that the general demands that Russia spell out the conditions under which the country would launch a preemptive nuclear strike against the 28-member military alliance.