Even though a meager 3 of 70 economists actually expected Mario Draghi to announce some sort of rate cut at tomorrow's ECB press conference, moments ago MarketNews reported that according to "sources" a rate change tomorrow is unlikely even amid a dip in Europe's inflation.
ECB SOURCES: RATE CHANGE THURSDAY UNLIKELY EVEN AMID INFLATION DIP - MNI
The flashing red headline, as this non-news was picked up by the algos, was enough to send the EUR, and naturally the all important EURJPY spiking by another 40 pips, and taking the correlated US equity markets, right along with it.
Still living with the misguided idea that the bulk of government spending goes to defense? Wrong. As the just released Treasury refunding presentation shows, for yet another year in a row, the bulk of government outlays was for Medicare and Medicaid, as well as Social Security, both amounting to just shy of $900 billion in 2013, a sizable increase compared to the prior year. Defense spending? It declined once again to just over $600 billion, as did Interest outlays, which net of the Fed's remittances on interest payments, declined from under $500 billion to just about $400 billion in the past year.
Bit by bit, we’re learning more about President Obama’s broken promise that you can keep your health insurance if you like it, which was repeated at least two dozen times in recent years... Obama’s pledge was no different to, say, JPMorgan’s misrepresentations about the toxic mortgages it sold to unwitting investors. Fraudulent mortgage claims were surely discussed within JPM, just as Obama’s team debated the health insurance promise. Moreover, any internal concerns about the mortgage fraud were certainly squashed, just like the reservations expressed by Obama’s more truthful advisers. Simply put: Obama told a blatant lie, which he then continued to repeat. It’s not the first time he’s lied, but this was an absolute whopper.
As was long predicted and foreshadowed (and analyzed here previously with the proposed FRN term sheet shown half a year ago), after nearly two years of foreplay with the idea of issuing inflation-friendly floating rate notes, moments ago as part of its refunding announcement, the Treasury announced the first floater issuance in history would take place on January 29, 2014, will have a 2 year tenor, and will amount to between $10 and $15 billion.
The last month has seen the USD price of Bitcoins double from $130 to $270 as a combination of wider acceptance (in China and even ebay/Paypal 'watching') and concerns over ongoing global money printing (delayed taper) have sent the cryptocurrency to new record highs. With most 'markets' now manipulated or repressed by government mandate, one wonders whether Bitcoin represents the last bastion of free market expression for concern at the fiat status quo? Or is it already 'broken'?
While it took Japan over two years to admit the Fukushima situation on the ground is "out of control", a development many had predicted for years, a just as important topic is what are the implications of this uncontrolled radioactive disaster on not only the local environment and society but also globally, particularly Japan's neighbor across the Pacific - the US. To be sure, there has been much speculation, much of it unjustified, in the past two years debating when, how substantial and how acute any potential debris from Fukushima would be on the US. Which is why it was somewhat surprising to see the NOAA come out with its own modeling effort, which shows that not only "some buoyant items first reached the Pacific Northwest coast during winter 2011-2012" but to openly confirm that a debris field weighing over 1 million tons, and larger than Texas is now on the verge of hitting the American coastline, just west off the state of California.
- Christie Sets Himself Up for Run in 2016 (WSJ)
- De Blasio Elected Next New York City Mayor in Landslide (WSJ)
- Hilsenrath: Fed Study: Rate Peg Off Mark (WSJ)
- MF Global Customers Will Recover All They Lost (NYT) - amazing what happens when you look under the rug
- Virginia, Alabama Voter Choices Show Tea Party Declining (BBG)
- Explosions kill 1, injure 8 in north China city (Reuters)
- Toyota boosts full-year guidance as weak yen drives revenues (FT)
- Starbucks wants to recruit 10,000 vets, spouses to its ranks (Reuters)
- U.S. Economy Slack Justifies Stimulus, Top Fed Staff Papers Show (BBG)
- Israel set to become major gas exporter (FT)
It was the deep of illiquid night when the momentum ignition trading algos struck. Out of the blue, a liftathon in all JPY crosses without any accompanying news sent the all important ES leading EURJPY surging by 50 pips, which in turn sent both the Nikkei up over 1% in minutes, and led to an E-Mini futures melt up of just about 8 points just when everyone was going to sleep. All of this happened completely independent of the actual data, which was chiefly European retail sales which missed (-0.6%, Exp. 0.4%, prior revised lower to 0.5%), Eurozone Service PMI which dropped (from 52.2 to 51.6) but beat expectations of 50.9 (notably the Spanish Service PMI of 49.6, up from 49.0 saw its employment index drop from 46.5 to 45.3, the lowest print since June), and finally, German Factory Orders which surged from last month's -0.3% to +3.3% in September. And while all this impacted the EUR modestly stronger, it had little if any residual effect on the ES. The bigger question is whether these slightly stronger than expected data point will offset the ECB's expected dovishness when Mario takes to the mic tomorrow).
The cruelty inherent in animal factory farming is something that we as a species should find completely and totally unacceptable. Indeed, evidence shows that when people are exposed to the nightmarish conditions faced by factory animals prior to consumption they demand change. This is precisely why corporate interests have pushed ag-gag laws throughout the nation in an attempt to criminalize the exposure of these methods.
Having described the US as "worse than Japan in the 90s" during his last appearance, ECRI's Lakshman Achuthan remains adamant that (despite Bloomberg TV anchors' insistence that stocks are at all-time highs must mean something) the US has been in recession since last year and remains so. His comments that "you wouldn't have four years of zero-interest rate policy and quantitative easing if everything was okay," are as cogent now as then as he critically explains, as we have noted here and here, that the attention being paid to 'soft data' surveys (such as ISM) is entirely mistaken since ISM/PMIs are now negatively correlated to actual production. The data (hard data doesn't lie) in hand, he notes, suggest downward revisions and well within the range of a mild recession and "the market is disconnected."
The U.S. House just passed a bill called H.R. 992 - the Swaps Regulatory Improvement Act - that was literally written by mega-bank lobbyists. It repeals the laws passed in 2010 to prevent another meltdown like the one that crashed our economy in 2008. The repeal was co-sponsored by a former Goldman Sachs executive and passed with bipartisan support from some of the House’s largest recipients of Wall Street cash. It’s so appalling... so unbelievable... so blatantly corrupt... that you’ve got to see it to believe it...
As Mike "Hidden Secrets Of Money" Maloney has said many times before, the economic crisis of 2008 was only a speed bump on the way to the main event. He believes that before the end of this decade there will be an economic crisis so historic that it will eclipse the crash of 29 and the subsequent great depression. He also believes it is both unavoidable and inevitable, because it is merely the free market releasing the stored up energy from decades of economic manipulation. As Maolney notes, "the best investment that you will ever make in your lifetime is your own financial education," and the following provides a succinct reminder of the top reasons to buy gold and silver...
Just as the European 'markets' have entirely disconnected from fundamental reality, Japan's bond market - the largest in the world - "is dead, with only the BoJ driving prices," Mizuho warns. Crucially, once again just as in Europe, "these low yields are responsible for the lack of fiscal reform in the face of Japan’s worsening finances. Policy makers think they can keep borrowing without problems." Market functions are sacrificed for the sake of ending deflation, but "liquidity has evaporated as the BOJ has gobbled up most of the market." This means that a reduction in monetary stimulus could cause a rapid drop in bond prices, which, just as in the US, "will make it difficult for the BOJ to normalize policy." Simply put, as Bloomberg notes, the BoJ has killed the nation’s sovereign bond market, leaving it unable to reflect either the success of stimulus policies or fiscal risks.
In the midst of the epic dysfunction known as the 16-day government shutdown, we lost sight of the fundamental issue whose inescapable logic cuts across politics and party lines: We are feeding the rapacious appetites of our current selves (we want what we want now) at the dire and escalating cost to our future selves (whom, we assume, will somehow have the patience and resources to bear the burden). If that sounds unworkable and unsustainable, it is...
It’s no secret by now that governments in Europe, Japan and America have spent and borrowed beyond their means. As IceCap's Keith Dicker notes, including both current debt and future unfunded liabilities, it is estimated America owes over $87 trillion dollars, while the Eurozone countries are on the hook for over $89 trillion. That’s a fistful of dollars. From a tax perspective, the incapacity of these super economic powers, becomes all the more clear. America’s annual tax revenue is only $2.5 trillion, while in Europe, they manage to squeak out roughly $5 trillion. From this view, America is leveraged 34.8x their tax revenues, while the Eurozone is leveraged at 17.8x their tax revenue. As Keith points out in his excellent letter, for the US, Japan, and Europe, Elvis has very much left the building on getting back to 'normal'.