Glenn Greenwald Previews The Senate Torture Report

Curious what to expect out of today's 600-page mega dump by the Senate Intelligence Committee revealing US torture techniques and practices, aka the "torture report"? The the following explainer by the Intercept's Glenn Greenwald should provide some useful pointers.

Obamacare Architect Gruber Testifies Before "Stupid America" - Live Webcast

Today at 9:30am Eastern, the two key people behind Obamacare will testify under oath before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. One of them is Marilyn Tavenner, the CMS Administrator and the person who was tasked with managing the implementation of Obamacare: a process that was a complete disaster as those who tried to sign up on the healthcare.gov website in late 2013 will recall (and whose overhaul cost over $2 billion).  On the other hand, Jonathan Gruber has recently gained notoriety after a series of videos with him were leaked, in which he bragged that deception and “the stupidity of the American voter” allowed Obama to ram his pet healthcare program into law.

Greek Bond Curve Inverts As Stocks Crater

Amid the collapse of the global carry trade, no nation on earth has benefited more (and is now suffering more) from the dash-for-trash, buy-the-pig-sty trade than Greek stocks and bonds. Combining carry unwinds with uncertainty over snap Presidential elections (which could usher in a left-wing anti-EU party into power) and a 'technical-only' extension of its handouts from Troika and Greek capital markets are in freefalll. The Athens Stock Index is down over 11% on the day, destroying 3 weeks of gains; the Greek 3Y bond price has collapsed (as the carry-traders pile out through small doors) inverting the yield curve - never a good sign.

Gold Surges To October Highs, Snaps Japanese Linkages

Gold prices have surged this morning to their highest since October (over $1221) as leveraged hot money greatly rotates its repo-driven way out of risk assets and into Greenspan's alternative currency. However, there is a bigger problem for the biggest pairs trade that no one is discussing - apart from us - the decoupling of the long Nikkei, short gold trade as the repo market folds in on itself from the suck out of $80 billion in collateral by China...

Surveying The Carnage: Bullion Bounces, 30 Year Below 2014 Lows, Stocks Dump

While it took a few hours for people (and machines) to realize exactly what China did last night, the fallout in risk markets is now clearly evident when a central bank decides enough-is-enough for speculative wealth creation bubble-followers. As we described last night, China's tightening has dramatically influenced the carry trade (USDJPY back under 120) and thus global stocks (from Abu Dhabi to Greece), global corporate bonds (all significantly wider) and European peripheral bonds (cracking wider) all face pressure. The beneficiary safe havens so far are precious metals (Gold > $1315) and US Treasuries (30Y at 2014 low yields). For now the mainstream media's narrative is that this oil-driven (which is fantasy as oil prices are up today) - this is the fallout from the marginal removal of $80bn of leverage collateral from the world's carry trades...

China Crashes: Shanghai Composite Plunges 5.4% Amid Record Trading, Biggest Tumble Since 2009

Those who have been following the ridiculous moves in the Shanghai Composite in recent months, knew it was only a matter of time before yet another major stock market (one which recently surpassed the Nikkei for the second largest spot in the world) crashed violently, further eroding faith in the centrall-planned "price discovery" process. The only question was when. Tonight we got the answer.

Frontrunning: December 9

  • China’s Stocks Sink Most Since 2009 as Turnover Jumps to Record (BBG)
  • Greek Stocks, Bonds Tumble (WSJ)
  • China tightens LGFV funding screws (BBG)
  • Crude Rebounds From Five-Year Low Amid Shale-Oil Spending Curbs (BBG)
  • Sexual threats, other CIA methods detailed in Senate report (Reuters)
  • U.S. Takes Security Precautions Overseas Ahead of CIA Report (WSJ)
  • Light-Speed Treasury Trading Governed by Rules Dating to 1998 (BBG)
  • Delhi to ban all internet taxi firms after Uber rape claim (Reuters)
  • Supreme Group Fined $389 Million for Overcharging Pentagon (WSJ)

It Wasn't Only China: Here Is What Else Is Crashing Overnight

It wasn't just China's long overdue crash last night. In addition to the Shanghai Composite suffering its biggest plunge since August 2009, there has been a sharp slide in the USDJPY which has broken its uptrend to +∞ (and hyperinflation), and around the time Chinese gamblers were panicking, the FX pair tumbled under 120, although since then the 120 tractor beam has been activated. Elsewhere, the Athens stock exchange is also crashing by over 10% this morning on the heels of news that the Greek government has accelerated the process to elect the next president and possibly, a rerun of the drama from the summer of 2012 when the Eurozone was hanging by a thread when Tsipras almost won the presidential vote and killed the world's most artificial and insolvent monetary union. And finally, the crude plunge appears to have finally caught up with ground zero, with ADX General Index in Abu Dhabi plunging 3.5%, also poised for the biggest drop since 2009. In fact the only thing that isn't crashing (at least not this moment), is Brent, which did drop to new 5 year lows earlier under $66, but has since staged a feeble rebound.

NIRP Arrives In The US: TBTF Banks Tell Customers To Move Their Cash Or Be Charged Fees

Back in June, the world was speechless when Goldman's head of the ECB, Mario Draghi, stunned the world when he took Bernanke's ZIRP and raised him one better by announcing the ECB would send deposit rates into negative territory, in the process launching the Neutron bomb known as N(egative)IRP and pushing European monetary policy into the "twilight zone", forcing savers to pay (!) for the privilege of keeping the product of their labor in the form of fiat currency instead of invested in a global ponzi scheme built on capital market so broken even the BIS can no longer contain its shocked amazement. Well, the US economy may be "decoupling" (just as it did right before Lehman) and one pundit after another are once again (incorrectly) predicting that the Fed may raise rates, but when it comes to the true "value" of money, US banks have just shown that when it comes to spread between reality and the economic outlook, the schism has never been deeper.

Enter US NIRP.

Chris Rock: Bring The Pain Of Economic Ignorance

American comedian Chris Rock's flair for offensive but incisive comedy is well known. But his knowledge in other fields is lacking, and in some cases utterly misinformed. In a recent interview with Frank Rich of New York Magazine, the stand-up joke spitter has it all wrong when it comes to economics. No surprise there; the entertainment industry, despite raking in billions every year, is the brain trust of economic ignorance.

PBOC Tries To Pop Equity Bubble, Tightens FX & Slashes Collateral/Margin Availability; Yuan Crashes Most Since 2008

Unlike the Federal Reserve - which openly encourages speculative wealth creation/redistribution and has never seen an equity bubble it didn't believe was contained - the PBOC appears, by its actions tonight, to be concerned that things have got a little overheated in its corporate bond and stock markets as hot money ripped into the nation's capital markets on hints of further easing and QE-lite a few months ago. In a show of force, the PBOC simultaneously fixed CNY significantly stronger (implicit tightening) and enforced considerably stricter collateral rules on short-term loans/repos. With Chinese stocks concentrated is even fewer hands than in the US (and recently fearful of the surge in margin trading), it appears the PBOC is trying to stall the acceleration is as careful manner as possible. The result, as Bloomberg notes, is a major squeeze in CNY (biggest drop since Dec 2008), interest-rate swaps ripped higher along with corporate bond yields,  and most Chinese stocks sold off (with two down for every one up) though the latter is stabilizing now.

Baltic Dry Plunges Back Below $1000 - Lowest December Since 2008

Just a few short months ago, investors were "buy buy buy"-ing the fact that The Baltic Dry Index had resurged off multi-year lows 'proving' China's renaissance and that world economic growth will re-approach Nirvana. Simply put, with collapsing commodity prices (iron ore for instance) and massive fleets of credit-driven mal-investment-based vessels, it should surprise no one that the shipping index just plunged back below 1000, now at its lowest for this time of year since 2008. Furthermore, the seasonal bounce always seen in Q3 was among the weakest ever. But apart from that, buy stocks...

Protesters Swarm Celebrity-Studded Barclays Center Where A Cop Just Pepper Sprayed Himself By Mistake: Live Feed

Tonight, the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, where the Nets and the Cavaliers are playing, has devolved from the hippest venue for US and UK "royalty", to the scene of the latest Eric Garner protest, to a mobbing of a local Target store, to confrontations between protesters and police, to the outright farcical, when moments ago a NYPD cop pepper-sprayed himself by mistake and had to get EMS treatment. Watch it all unfold live and uncensored.

17 Signs You Were A CIO In 2014

"...You never want to hear the phrases "low-rate environment," "investment solution," or "tapering" ever again. Or "China's unwind" or "low-return projections" or "quantitative easing" or "I've learned so much working for you these last few years and will really miss the team… but made me an offer I couldn't refuse."" Asset managers, prepare to nod vigorously.

Meet China's Morlocks: 1 Million Beijing Residents Live Undeground

For an estimated 1 million Beijing residents, dubbed the "rat tribe", living above ground (or in ghost cities) is a luxury they simply cannot afford. As NPR reports, with even the tiniest apartment costing a fortune (and 21 million people fighting for space), there has emerged a new 'affordable' housing option... below the city's bustling streets. Thanks to building codes that force the creation of basements and bomb shelters under new residences, there's a lot of underground space (1 - 3 floors down) that is illegally - but affordably - used for habitation. With the Shanghai Composite stock index up over 40% year-to-date, creating wealth and trickling down, how can this be possible?