Cows Versus Bulls

In yet another example of central planners not comprehending the unintended consequences of their actions, Glenn Stevens - head of the Reserve Bank of Australia - commented last night on the curious lack of animal spirits holding back the global economic recovery. As Bloomberg's Richard Breslow notes though, of course, his argument is disingenuous at best since it is the actions (and consequences) of central banks crowding out other market participants and creating a culture of investors who moo (herd-like along with their yield-chasing, buyback purchasing, capex cutting peers) rather than roar... Central banks have turned investors from bulls to cows...

Poroshenko Demands Ukraine Separatists Be Declared "Terrorists" Under International Law

As the tit-for-tat public relations blitz continues to play out, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has demanded that the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) and Luhansk People's Republic (LPR) be recognized as terrorist organizations, "so that any cooperation or support the terrorists receive is recognized as such under international law." Now that the US has 'proved' that the separatists shot down MH17, we suspect the calls will grow louder... even as Poroshenko says he opposes martial law.

After Bubble Pops, Saudi Arabia Opens Stock Market To Foreign "Greater Fool" Investors

Shortly after we highlighted the utter ridiculousness of the bubble frenzy in Dubai stocks (30x IPO oversubscription for a firm that did not exist), the Dubai General Financial Markets Index tumbled 30% popping an epic 250% rally since The Fed started QE3. It seems Saudi Arabia is getting nervous at its neighbor's fall and so The Kingdom has decided it needs more great fools to keep its dream alive... and as The WSJ reports today, Saudi Arabia plans to open its $530 billion stock market to foreigners for the first time early next year, a move that will allow the Middle East's biggest economy to attract more international investment and reduce its dependence on oil revenue. Did we just find another China inflation outlet?

Whi(t)ney Tilson Does It Again

After an incredible day in Herbalife - its best performance ever - following Bill Ackman's "death blow," none other than Whitney Tilson (who oddly has not been seen on CNBC for many months) has penned a letter to his investors explaining "why I am more confident of my Herbalife short position." As a gentle reminder, Mr. Tilson entered his Herbalife short in December 2012 in the low $20s (shortly after Ackman's initial pitch) and recently made it one of his firm's largest short positions. It appears there are now two ways by which Herbalife shares implode - Ackman buys a 'minority stake' and 'fixes it' or Whitney Tilson gets on TV and shifts to a long position...

NY Fed Slams Deutsche Bank (And Its €55 Trillion In Derivatives): Accuses It Of "Significant Operational Risk"

First it was French BNP that was punished with a $9 billion legal fee after France refused to cancel the Mistral warship shipment to Russia (which promptly led to French National Bank head Christian Noyer to warn that the days of the USD as a reserve currency are numbered), and now moments ago, none other than the 150x-levered NY Fed tapped Angela Merkel on the shoulder with a polite reminder to vote "Yes" on the next, "Level-3" round of Russia sanctions when it revealed, via the WSJ, that "Deutsche Bank's giant U.S. operations suffer from a litany of serious problems, including shoddy financial reporting, inadequate auditing and oversight and weak technology systems." The shortcomings amount to a "systemic breakdown" and "expose the firm to significant operational risk and misstated regulatory reports," said the letter from Daniel Muccia, a New York Fed senior vice president responsible for supervising Deutsche Bank.

Krugman’s Latest Debt Denial: Why His Two Magic Numbers Don’t Cut It

Professor Krugman is at it again - conjuring fairy tales about a benign long-term fiscal outlook. Notwithstanding that the public debt has surged from 40% to 75% of GDP during the six short years since 2008, he claims there is no reason to fret and that there is no debt spiral anywhere in the future. In part that’s because the Keynesian priesthood has declared that interest rates have down-shifted on a permanent basis. Under a regime of even modest monetary normalization over the next quarter century, current fiscal policy will lead to interest rates that are far higher, not lower, than the growth rate of nominal income. So its time to put Greece right back into the front and center of the US fiscal picture.

Senate Democrats Push To Triple Israel's Iron-Dome Aid To $576 Million

U.S. Senate Democrats included $225 million for Israel's Iron Dome rocket interception system in an emergency funding bill on Tuesday, which, as Bloomberg reports, in addition to the $351 million that’s already under discussion for Iron Dome in fiscal 2015 would bring the potential new funding to $576 million, compared with the $176 million currently requested by the Pentagon. "Iron Dome has saved countless Israeli lives," Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in a letter dated yesterday and while the Iron Dome system is built by Haifa-based Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd, an agreement with Israel calls for more than half the funds the Pentagon provides for Iron Dome to be spent in the U.S..

1 In 25 New Yorkers Is A Millionaire

New York "has the second largest millionaire and largest billionaire population of any global city," according to analysis by Spear's magazine, but as LA Times reports, walk down the streets of The Big Apple and 1 in every 25 New Yorkers you bump into is a millionaire. But if you really want to rub shoulders with the rich... almost 1 in 3 Monaco residents are millionaires) and likely billionaires too...

"Authenticity Is As Rare As A Unicorn In Today's Politically-Motivated Markets"

In the Golden Age of the Central Banker it is impossible to distinguish fundamental economic reasons for asset class price movements from politically-driven strategic reasons. When words are used for strategic effect rather than a genuine transmission of information you create a virtual stalking horse. It’s a focus on how something is said as opposed to what is described. It’s a focus on form rather than content, on truthiness rather than truth. It’s why authenticity is as rare as a unicorn in the public world today.

The Baltic Dry Index Collapses To 18-Month Lows; Worst July Since 1986

The bulls will ignore it, shrugging that it's merely over-supply of ships that the resurgent world economy will quickly soak up as it 'recovers'... However, World GDP growth expectations are collapsing, trade volumes are slowing, and the Baltic Dry Index has continued to slump to its lowest since the start of January 2013 (a holiday period). For some context, this is the lowest July level for the Baltic Dry since 1986... "noise"

Apple's Quarter In Charts

The highlights from Apple's just released third quarter ended June 30: beat on EPS, margins and Mac sales, miss on revenue, iPhone sales and weaker Q4 topline guidance. Additionally, AAPL generated $10.3 billion in cash flow from operations and returned over $8 billion in cash to shareholders

Turkish PM Cuts Ties With US, Mulls De-Dollarization With Russia

As Turkey's graft probe continues (which the Prime Minister believes is a conspiracy - fact or not - created by The West), AP reports that Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said he no longer holds "direct" telephone conversations with U.S. President Barack Obama, suggesting a rift between the leaders who were once close. What is perhaps even more concerning is Turkey's recent de-dollarization discussions with Russia to move to settlement in local currencies. It appears 'allies' are falling by the way-side quicker than many thought...

Stocks Are Up - It's Tuesday Durr!

A hot CPI and better-than-expected home sales was all that was needed (aside from USDJPY and VIX pumps) to send the S&P 500 and Trannies to new all-time intraday record highs. Escalating sanctions threats and death tolls be buggered... this is going to the moon, Alice. Treasuries were less than exuberant and rallied 4bps off their high yields of the day (i.e. totally disconnecting from stocks) and even USDJPY decoupled through the middle of the day. The USD rose 0.3% (biggest jump in 3 weeks) testing up towards 5-month highs. Gold and silver were dumped, pumped, and then dumped as CPI and housing data hit to end the day mixed. Credit rallied but diverged again this afternoon and remains wider post-MH17. VIX closed back below 12. Only the Dow remains modestly red since MH17 headlines hit last week and in spite of all this exuberance The Russell 2000 remains -0.5% year-to-date.

Efficient Markets? August Oil Futures Flash Smash & Crash Into Expiry

August WTI Crude Oil futures expired at 230pm today... a fact that has been known for years... and yet, in the minutes before the 'last trade' settlement, the 'efficient' markets in which traders trade saw August futures flash smash higher by over $1 (running stops to the upside) and then crash to the day's lows (running stops to the downside) before closing modestly lower on the day. "unrigged"

Bubblenomics And The Future Of Real Estate

?Economics is like a Monet painting. Stand too close and all you see is a bunch of seemingly random paint strokes. Back up a few steps and an image emerges. The painting of bubblenomics started with the Plaza Accord, September 1985, where five nations agreed to manipulate the dominant currencies at the time. Japan enjoyed a 50% devaluation of the US$ vs the yen, artificially enriching its citizens so they could travel the world in busloads with eighty pounds of cameras around their necks. The consequences of that bubble have yet to be corrected. Based on healthy guidelines, the price of real estate is far too expensive today, or, more precisely, the cost of housing is too high but we may need another crisis before the market will wake up to the needed changes. In the meantime, money printing and hype will continue.

Portugal President Admits Espirito Santo Failure Could Be Systemic As Another HoldCo Goes Bankrupt

As RioForte joins its parent ESI in bankruptcy, in a strangely honest turn of events from a European leader, Portugal's President Anibal Cavaco Silva warned on Monday that fallout from the financial troubles of the founding family of Banco Espirito Santo (BES) could affect the wider economy. With Portugal's hope-strewn GDP growth expectations at only 0.9% for 2014, they do not have much room for disappointment before the nation (whose yields remain near record lows) double- or triple-dips back into recession. Silva concluded, "We cannot ignore that there will be some impact on the real economy," which is odd given every talking-head has explained it is "contained" and "priced-in."