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Goldman's Releases Walkthru "Toolkit" Of How It Will Respond To Second Coming Of Greg Smith's Muppetgate

Greg Smith's "tell all" book about Goldman is out, and as a result Smith, Goldman, and the infamous muppets are about to get their second half-life of 15 minute fame, starting with Smith's interview by the just as dramatic Anderson Cooper in this weekend's episode of 60 Minutes. The result is that after having to write a memo to his employees once already providing marching orders on how to handle the first iteration of muppetgate, a few hours ago Goldman again released a "briefing toolkit" titled "Media Interest in Greg Smith's Book" in which it prepares its employees for the coming brief if acute storm of renewed public criticism as a result of Goldman once again being in the headlines, if only for another 15 or so minutes.



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25 Years Later: The Dow's Biggest Loser (And Winner)

Of the current stack of 30 'Blue-Chip' stocks that comprise the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Alcoa has managed to do the worst over the past 25 years - gaining a cumulative 63% in the last 25 years (or 2.2% annually). The Dow itself, based on Bloomberg's Chart of the Day, has risen 627% since the crash in 1987 (or 8.6% annually) - almost 10x that of Alcoa; while McDonald's (perhaps perfectly summarizing what America is all about) has risen on average 12.8% per year for a 1620% gain since Black Monday. But who has impacted the Dow the most since its highs in October of 2007? (Hint: they disappointed this week!)



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If The Market's Disconnect With Economic Reality is Over, Watch Out Below

As market participants ponder the disappointing post-QEtc. performance on their 'Bernanke/Draghi-Put'-floored equities, perhaps these three charts will help in comprehending just how much hope there is in the world's equity markets. The disconnect from macro-fundamental is not unique, but has had significant and extremely rapid repercussions in the past. It seems, however, that just like AAPL, everyone believes everyone else to be the greater fool - and this time is different.



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How Ben Bernanke Became A Hedge Fund's Worst Enemy

Whether it is hope, greed, fear, repression, systemic correlation, volatility suppression, or sheer unadulterated idiocy; the smart money has been desperately underperforming the 'index' in US equity markets since Ben Bernanke unwrapped a can of QE2 on us all. Are the smart-money 'realists' playing the long-term game and the dumb-money index-trackers herding into whatever worked yesterday? Who knows? One thing is for sure, Bernanke is no friend of the hedge fund community - anymore.



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Today's Redbull-Sponsored Market Plunges By Most In 4 Months

Whether its AAPL, GOOG, or the broad equity indices, today saw the bulls 'Baumgartnered'. Despite a valiant attempt to rally into the close, because Bernanke forbid the Dow close the week red, the NASDAQ is 4% off its Wednesday lows (-1.3% on the week) as AAPL suffers its largest 3-week decline since the March 2009 lows (closing with a $609 handle -3.6% today!) and Tech is -5.7% from QEtc. The weakness was absolutely systemic as cross-asset-class correlations were extremely high and CONTEXT (our broad risk-asset proxy) tracked lower and stabilized into the close. Gold, Copper, and Oil all ended the week clustered together down around 1.7% as the USD ended practically unchanged. Credit's mid-week epic short-squeeze lingers in traders' minds as equities underperformed. Treasury yields end the week up 9-11bps. VIX jumped back above 17% suggesting further weakness for stocks. S&P futures are dropping after-hours - closing at lows of the day - disregarding the late-day cash ramp.



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This Is Why, To An Economist, QE Refuses To Work

There is practical, everyday common sense... and then there is economics. Because when it comes to explaining why a square peg won't fit into a round hole, only an economist will tell you, over and over, that it will eventually happen, one must just tweak the theory a little first, and then reality will promptly follow. And while even economists have enough of a frontal lobe (and realize there is little grant money) to pursue intractable pegs and hole problems, when it comes to the theory at the heart of their beloved Keynesian voodoo religion, namely Quantitative Easing, the answer is always one, and it is very simple: we need more! Yet even economists are not naive enough to not recognize that QE has not worked in any of its 4 previous iterations (logically, as if it had there would be no need for a fifth, open-ended one). Where it gets fun is watching them come up with amusing yet convoluted, involved and outright demented explanations, some even in chart format, why QE keeps on failing. Below, we present just such a graphic explanation which only an economist could love, or care about.



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The Ultimate World Economic Scorecard

When you are out this evening at your cocktail party, discussing the state of the world, how everyone should be buying GOOG on the dips, how AAPL looks cheap (and the mini-iPad is coming soon), all that cash-on-the-sidelines, and how sentiment is so low; perhaps this handy little global economic scorecard will help bring a sense of reality back to the conversation. Barclays' Julian Callow provides everything you need to know about financial balances and economic performance (but were afraid to look) in one handy table.



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Why Rajoy's 'Delay-And-Pray' Strategy Won't Work

The circular rationale for believing that Spain is anything other than a basket case is remarkable. As we pointed out last night, in context the market-based signals that so many are basing their opinion on (including Rajoy, Van Rompuy, and Hollande it seems) are extremely misleading. Fundamentally, as UBS explains, the hope that Spain will request a bailout anytime soon is misplaced as there is no immediate pressure to do so and the government would prefer to negotiate a more favorable MoU. However, two major issues stand in the way of that delayed reality - an insufficient bank recap; and the federal nature of Spanish government creating obstacles to deficit reduction.



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Which Of These Days Is The Sell-Off?

One of these days is not like the other...



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Senate Launches Investigation Into Libyan Consulate Attack

Just in:

  • SENATE HOMELAND PANEL TO INVESTIGATE BENGHAZI CONSULATE ATTACK
  • SENATE PANEL SEEKS BRIEFING, DOCUMENTS FROM ADMINISTRATION
  • SENATE COMMITTEE RELEASES LETTERS TO CLINTON, SPY CHIEF CLAPPER

Shouldn't this have taken place long ago? At least we now know what the watercooler talk for the next 2 weeks will be.



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The Full Obama/Romney Roast Speeches: "What Are We Doing Here?"

It's the anniversary of the 1987 crash. It's a Friday 'after' another failed EU Summit. The Dow is down 200pts. You are not buying the dip. So enjoy the full Romney vs Obama roast from last night in all its honest truthiness.



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This Is The Housing Bubble Beneath The "Recovery"

We want to 'believe', we really do; but anyone with any sense (and no skin in the game) can see through the data; the eon-like periods of foreclosure and the drastically reduced supply. No matter how 'bullish' homebuilders are, or how much they dream of a future pickup, calling the recovery (as Bob Shiller recently noted) is just a fool's errand. The truth is, for the average citizen, housing is not recovering - the wealth effect is not creating animal spirits - and we do indeed have more to fear than fear itself. The following 79 second clip from Bloomberg TV should perhaps clarify the 'difference' in demand for housing. Primary residence 'buyers' are down remarkably, while 'investors' are up dramatically - now at pre-crisis bubble levels! Perhaps, as we noted here, Och-Ziff's stepping away from the 'flip-that-house' or 'REO-to-Rental' game is as good an indicator of exuberance as any.



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Friday Humor: The Most Downloaded App At The New York Fed Today

Because someone has to generate revenue for Apple.

 



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Flashback To Mark Haines Commemorating 1987... As Stocks Plunge Most In 4 Months

On a day full of memories (and a market which is down the most in 4 months), we thought (courtesy of Doug Kass) the irreplacable Mark Haines view of the 1987 crash from 2007 (just a few days after what would be the market's absolute top) was worthy of remembrance. What is perhaps most notable in the discussion is Elaine Garzarelli's 'nailed-it' indicator-based call of the top in 1987 and subsequent total 'absolutely bullish' miss in 2007 - as central bank intervention had already removed any 'indicator-based' value from market participants' toolkits and business cycle comprehension. We wonder what Haines would have made of QEtc. and today's exuberant irrationality. Must-watch to 'check' some exuberance at the door.



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Guest Post: The Political Black Swan

What if the fiscal cliff collides with a replay of the Bush vs Gore 2000 election fiasco...



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