Key Events In The Coming Week

This week's busy calendar starts off with today’s global PMIs and ISMs. On Tuesday, President Obama begins a four day European trip ahead of the G7 meeting which starts on Wednesday. This G7 meeting is replacing the G8 meeting that was originally scheduled in Sochi but was cancelled after Russia’s annexation of Crimea. Tuesday’s data docket is important with Euroarea data releases including inflation and unemployment expected to further cement the ECB’s resolve in easing policy come Thursday. Wednesday features the global services ISMs and PMIs. Other data releases scheduled for that day includes the ADP employment report, which will provide an important preview to Friday’s NFP, and US trade. The Fed releases its Beige Book on Wednesday too and the second estimates of Euroarea GDP will be published on Wednesday as well. Apart from the ECB on Thursday, we also have the BoE policy meeting.

Nigel Farage May Team Up With Italy's Beppe Grillo

Reuters reports that UKIP's Nigel Farage has held talks with the leader of Italy's 5-Star movement, Beppe Grillo, to explore the idea of the two parties teaming up in the European parliament. Farage repeated previous comments that he would not work with France's National Front leader Marine Le Pen, who this week struck a deal with four other Euro-skeptic parties.

Frontrunning: June 2

  • Unstoppable $100 Trillion Bond Market Renders Models Useless (BBG)
  • Afghan president fumes at prisoner deal made behind his back (Reuters)
  • Spain to Unveil $8.6 Billion Stimulus Package (AP)
  • How fracking helps America beat German industry (Reuters)
  • Obama to Urge European Allies to Stay Tough on Russia (WSJ)
  • Frenchman 'admits' Brussels shooting in video (AFP)
  • Heloc Payment Jump to Take Bite Out of Consumer Spending (WSJ)
  • Obama Said to Propose Deep Cuts to Power-Plant Emissions (BBG)
  • Lehman Lesson Lost as Bank Lobby Gains Clout (BBG)
  • WSJ reports that WSJ reporting on Icahn insider trading probe may have killed it (WSJ)
  • KKR liquidates former Goldman Sachs traders-run hedge fund (Reuters)

Spain's King Carlos Abdicates In Favor Of His Son Prince Felipe

In a surprise announcement, several hours ago Spain's Prime Minister Rajoy declared that Spain's King Juan Carlos is abdicating after almost 40 years on the throne and his son Prince Felipe will succeed him. "His majesty, King Juan Carlos, has just communicated to me his will to give up the throne," Rajoy said. "I'm convinced this is the best moment for change."

Low Volume Overnight Levitation Pushes US Equity Futures To New Record Highs

It took a precisely 0.1 beat in the Chinese Manufacturing PMI over the weekend (50.8 vs Exp. 50.7) for the USDJPY and the Nikkei to forget all about last week's abysmal Japanese economic data and to send the Nikkei soaring by 2.1% to its highest print in 5 months. Subsequent overnight weakness from Europe, where the Eurozone Final May Manufacturing PMI dropped again from 52.5 to 52.2, below the 52.5 expected, served simply to push bunds higher back over 147.00, if not do much to US equities which as usual continue their low volume "the music is still playing" melt-up completely dislocated from all newsflow and fundamentals (because just like over the past 5 years, "there is hope").

Obama Administration Prepares To Unleash Weapons Of Mass Wealth Effect Destruction On Russia

As Senator Ron Johnson so appropriately blasted, "I'm not sure sanctions had any effect whatsoever other than, you know, the Russians have mocked them," and so it is that the Treasury's (little heard of) "Terrorism and Financial Intelligence" division is preparing to unleash its most deadly weapons yet - an arsenal of financial weaponry aimed at hitting foreign adversaries with limited cost to allies. It appears clear that while the US dropped speech-bombs and sanction-mines, proclaiming the disastrous economic significance of these efforts, Russian stocks soared (vastly outperforming the US) and the Ruble strengthened... and so - as undersecretary David Cohen tells the WSJ, "What we've done over the past 10 years is to create a new method of projecting U.S. power..." e.g. sell non-US stocks (thus buy US stocks).

Are China And Russia Moving Toward A Formal Alliance?

Are China and Russia moving toward to a formal alliance? Some believe that a new China-Russia alliance is now emerging and this will eventually lead to a multi-polar world order. Others disagree by pointing to problems in China-Russia relations such as historical mistrust, the lack of a common threat, and conflicting interests in Central Asia. However, the U.S. should be careful not to make another strategic mistake that would only facilitate a formal China-Russia alliance.

Does The US Negotiate With Terrorists?

It was a good weekend for the friends and family of Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl: after five years of being held captive by the Taliban in Afghanistan, on Saturday morning it was reported that the 28-year-old native of Hailey, Idaho was finally freed. In exchange for his freedom, the US agreed to also set free five Taliban militants held at Guantanamo. In other words, this was a pre-negotiated settlement or, stated otherwise, a negotiation.  Adding fuel to the fire is the realization that Obama was transacting largely alone: instead of abiding by a legal requirement to give Congress advance notice when prisoners are released from the detainee facility at Guantanamo Bay, Obama once again took unilateral action. Actually it wasn't completely unilateral: it was revealed that the deal was bartered by America's new middle east BFFs (courtesy of the false flagged Syria conflict): officials from Qatar who agreed to keep the detainees in their country for a year.

And then the media circus took over.

How "Accounting Mistakes" Cost California Taxpayers $32 Billion This Year

Spend more than 30 minutes watching TV in California and you will be bombarded by politicians proclaiming they single-handedly balanced the budget, brought prosperity back to the Silicon Valley alone, and turned water into wine. Yet, oddly, there is one thing none of them seem too quick to admit to. As CBS reports, the state office in charge of keeping track of California taxpayers’ money made tens of billions of accounting mistakes. CBS added it up and came up with a big number: $31.65 billion in errors. That’s more than the gross domestic product of Iceland and Jamaica combined.

Paul Volcker Proposes A New Bretton Woods System To Prevent "Frequent, Destructive" Financial Crises

We found it surprising that it was none other than Paul Volcker himself who, on May 21 at the annual meeting of the Bretton Woods Committee, said that "by now I think we can agree that the absence of an official, rules-based cooperatively managed, monetary system has not been a great success. In fact, international financial crises seem at least as frequent and more destructive in impeding economic stability and growth." We can, indeed, agree. However, we certainly disagree with Volcker's proposal for a solution to this far more brittle monetary system: a new Bretton Woods.

Spitznagel & Taleb On Inequality, Free Markets, & Inevitable Crashes

"We live in an economic age where we’ve simply lost our ability to look at the world as potentially self-organizing (and of spontaneous order - whereby order naturally emerges from bottom-up individual interactions when things are left alone rather than from top-down control), though we suspect we’ll be reminded of it again sooner rather than later. Perhaps our takeaway from economic crises will finally be different the next time around. By all means, let’s brainstorm and see if there are ways to alleviate problems and provide relief to the suffering. But any proposal that involves using coercion on unwilling citizens should be off the table. Anything else is a slippery slope to what we have today - these serial crises."

Whatever The ECB Does This Week, It Won't "Deliver A Significant Impulse To The Real Economy"

Ahead of this Thursday's ECB meeting, speculation is rife about what Mario Draghi will announce, and as the following Nomura chart highlights most pundits are convinced that the most likely announcement is a cut in the refi and deposit rate with a probability of around 90%, an LTRO in distant third at 34%, and a full blown QE dead last with 10%. However, as SocGen predicts, which is rather aggressive in its assumptions expecting a negative deposit rate of -0.1%, a targeted LTRO to "boost lending to the private sector", and a "signal" of €300 billion in asset purchases, the bulk of this new-found liquidity will almost exclusively go to boost capital markets, and the wealth effect. As for the broader economy? "We do not expect the 5 June measures to deliver a significant impulse to the real economy."

How Inflation Helps Keep The Rich Up And The Poor Down

The relentless influx of paper money makes the wealthy and powerful richer and more powerful than they would be if they depended exclusively on the voluntary support of their fellow citizens. And because it shields the political and economic establishment of the country from the competition emanating from the rest of society, inflation puts a brake on social mobility. The rich stay rich (longer) and the poor stay poor (longer) than they would in a free society.

The Memorial Day Gold Massacre - When HFTs Forget The World's On Vacation

As the rest of America began to relax last Monday with a patriotic beer in their hand and a never-forget-hotdog stuffed in their mouth, the machines that run the gold manipulation market appeared to forget that the world was on vacation. The WTF moment that we described here, appears - thanks to Nanex detailed analysis - to have been the actions of yet another rogue HFT algorithm roller-coastering through an after-hours order book in gold futures. Un-rigged?

Mapping 100 Years Of US Immigration By State

u.s. immigration from germany and mexicoSeveral days ago, we looked at the big picture of US immigration, presenting the place of origin of America's 40 million foreign-born residents. However, as is always the case with the US, focusing on the big picture at the national level ignores the nuances at the state level. The following two charts using Pew Research data, compiled by the WaPo, show the dramatic changes in the land of origin of US immigrants, beginning with 1910 when Germany was the primary driver of US-born residents, accounting for 18% of US immigrants, and proceeding through 2010, when Mexico has become the biggest source of foreign-born residents: the birthplace of 29% of all immigrants in the US.

New Massive Federal Database To Hold Financial Information of 100s Of Millions of Americans

The war on privacy continues unabated, as the U.S. government continues to prove time and time again that it views the citizenry as a bunch of cattle to be branded, herded and dealt with at will. It doesn’t seem to bother anyone in the establishment that the public has lost all faith in institutions and so-called “authority” (a concept which I do not believe in to begin with). The evidence of a growing number of Orwellian databases being created has been available for quite some time. And now, the public faces another sinister and unacceptable invasion to our privacy. A national financial database is being planned, which would contain the most intimate details of our entire financial lives. It may apply to as many as 227 million Americans.