That Saudi Arabia has been furious at the US for refusing to be the monarchy's puppet Globocop, and in the last minute declining to bomb Syria following Putin's gambit in which World War III seemed a distinctly possible consequence of John Kerry's hamheaded "YouTube-substantiated" false flag campaign, is no secret. However, while the US has largely forgotten this latest foreign policy debacle and the humiliation it brought upon the Department of State, Saudi Arabia is nowhere close to forgetting. Or forgiving. And this time the anger comes from the one man who truly matters, and whom we dubbed several months ago as the puppetmaster behind the Syrian campaign: the man in charge of Saudi intelligence, Prince Bandar Bin Sultan.
- Despite budget win, Obama has weak hand with Congress (Reuters)
- Carney Brings In McKinsey for Bank of England Strategy Rethink (BBG)
- Bill Gates Buys Stake in Spanish Construction Company FCC (WSJ)
- Jerusalem Mayor Barkat Seeks New Term in Race Arabs Sitting Out (BBG)
- J.P. Morgan Aimed to Limit Damage (WSJ)
- EU Lawmakers Reject Draghi Call for Bank Bondholder Clemency (BBG)
- Wall Street Profits May Halve in Second Half (WSJ)
- Petrobras-led group wins Brazil oil auction with minimum bid (Reuters)
- Apple to Refresh IPads Amid Challenges for Tablet Share (BBG)
- Italy plans to offer guarantees on govt bond derivatives (Reuters)
- Berkshire Beats Apple as Favorite Stock of Tiger 21 Group (BBG)
Overnight global markets have gone decidedly nowhere, in expectation of the long-overdue September payroll report, and seemingly oblivious of the Goldman pre-announcement all clear that "Any positive number will be discounted because it came before the DC theatrics and if it’s weak it confirms that tapering should be put off longer." In other words, both the September, and accompanying July and August revisions (recall it was the revisions where the August NFP number ended the FOMC's taper talk) are meaningless because everything will be spun bullish. For those who do care - mostly headline reacting HFT algos - here is the summary: consensus is for 180k (unemployment rate unchanged at 7.3%). Note that the survey period for today’s payrolls report was prior to the shutdown which started on October 1st. As for how the amusingly named "market" will react to the news: see Goldman quote above, or better yet: just call the NYFed trading desk.
China's attempts to curb runaway inflation in its housing market - which in a country in which the relatively young capital markets lack the breadth and depth of their western equivalents remains the only venue in which to park any of the excess cash generated from the global central bank liquidity avalanche - continue to be met with failure after failure. Overnight, the China Statistics Bureau reported that in September new home price across the country's 70 tracked cities, rose in virtually all of them, or 69 compared to a year ago. On a monthly basis, or compared to August, new home prices rose in only 65 of China's cities, compared to 66 in the month prior. And while the CSB data differs from the Shanghai Uwin data reported yesterday, the government's data while less stunning still shows the extent of the Chinese housing bubble and the persistent inflation plaguing the country: Beijing new home prices rose 1% M/m; and 16% Y/y; Shanghai new home prices rose 1.4% M/m; and 17% Y/y in September.
It is rare that investors are given a road map. It is rarer still that the vast majority of those who get it are unable to understand the clear signs and directions it contains. When this happens the few who can actually read the map find themselves in an enviable position. Such is currently the case with gold and gold-related investments.
Last month the world witnessed a paradigm shift: China surpassed the United States as the world’s largest consumer of foreign oil, importing 6.3 million barrels per day compared to the United States’ 6.24 million. This trend is likely to continue and this gap is likely to grow, according to the EIA’s October short-term energy outlook. So what does this shift in oil imports mean?
Responding to widespread criticism regarding its health care website, the federal government today unveiled its new, improved Obamacare program, which allows Americans to purchase health insurance after installing a software bundle contained on 35 floppy disks...
The collapse of American society is accelerating. For the moment, much of our social decay is being masked by the tremendous level of affluence that we are experiencing in aggregate. It has been reported that 4 out of every 5 adults in the United States "struggle with joblessness, near-poverty or reliance on welfare for at least parts of their lives", but in general Americans still enjoy a debt-fueled standard of living that is far beyond what most of the rest of the world enjoys. When that debt-fueled standard of living permanently disappears, it is going to unleash chaos unlike anything that America has ever seen before. So how can we be so sure that this is going to happen? After all, the United States didn't descend into complete and utter chaos during the Great Depression of the 1930s. Wouldn't an economic depression unfold in a similar manner today? Unfortunately, a lot has changed since then. A lot more Americans were self-sufficient back in those days, and the truth is that the character of our nation has been rotting and decaying for decades.
Remember when data mattered? Well, it doesn't anymore (and hasn't since the advent of central planning in 2009). Just to confirm that here is Goldman's preview of tomorrow's nearly two month delayed, September Non-far payrolls, which will be great no matter what, meaning the Fed remains in charge well into 2014. To wit:
"Any positive number will be discounted because it came before the DC theatrics and if it’s weak it confirms that tapering should be put off longer."
Seriously, since absolutely nothing can possibly be bad news any more, can Bernanke just tell us what the closing print on the S&P for every trading day until the end of 2013 is (when it will usher in the new year at right about 1800) and then for 2014, when assuming 1 SPX tick for every $3.5bn in POMO flows, the S&P should close out that year at 2100. It's not like anyone even pretends there is a discounting mechanism left.
"It is really going to end badly," is the ominous warning that Damien Cleusix has issued to his clients as he believes we are now reaching the top of the secular bull market. Crucially, he sees US stock markets as "grossly over-valued" but that it is hidden from most people's perceptions because (just as in 2000 and 2007) there are marginal sectors that make the 'aggregate' seem reasonable (not to mention the dreams of forward earnings.) His novel approach of a point-in-time Price-to-Sales comp shows the median valuation its highest in 23 years.. and Alan Greenspan's infamous "exuberance" valuations in 1996 were 40% below current levels of elation. Today, the big difference with 2000 and 2007 is that government and central banks have already spend a lot of firing power to "make believe" that everything is fine again. He concludes, "there will be no place to hide when the tide turns."
At some point in the future, interviewers may ask Americans, "How could you just sit by whilst the atrocities occurred?" Americans may shrug their shoulders and say that they were not really aware of what was happening. If and when this comes to pass, will they be lying? Possibly not. It may be that those who had simply "tuned out" were no longer cognizant of the meaning of events around them and were functioning as automatons—servants of the American Reich. The warning signs are becoming more numerous with each passing day. The choice for Americans today is whether to wait and see whether history repeats or whether to plan to be elsewhere before the deterioration advances further.
It would appear, despite the President's urging, that Obamacare's helpline is living up to its mnemonics. As The National Review reports, President Obama emerged on Monday to assure Americans that the “kinks” surrounding the federal and state health-care exchanges are improving and urged consumers to call the exchange hotline if they continue to encounter problems online. Shortly after he made the suggestion, Twitter lit up with reporters and others who attempted to do so but failed to get through to a navigator as promised. Indeed, Mr. President, 1-800-318-2596 to you too...
Yes, the United States dodged another bullet with a last-minute deal on the debt ceiling. But, with 90 days left to bridge the ideological and partisan divide before another crisis erupts, the fuse on America’s debt bomb is getting shorter and shorter. As a dysfunctional US government peers into the abyss, China – America’s largest foreign creditor – has much at stake. For more than 20 years, this mutually beneficial codependency has served both countries well in compensating for their inherent saving imbalances while satisfying their respective growth agendas. But here the past should not be viewed as prologue. A seismic shift is at hand, and America’s recent fiscal follies may well be the tipping point. The days of its open-ended buying of Treasuries will soon come to an end.
"The question is not 'tapering'," Marc Faber exclaims to his hosts on CNBC's Squawk Box this morning, "the question is at what point will they increase the asset purchases to say $150 [billion] , $200 [billion], or a trillion dollars a month." QE-4-EVA is here to stay, as Faber explained "every government program that is introduced under urgency and as a temporary measure is always permanent." Simply put, "The Fed has boxed itself into a position where there is no exit strategy," and while inflation may not be present in the 'chosen' indicators, Faber blasts, there's been incredible asset inflation - "we are the bubble. We have a colossal asset bubble in the world [and] a leverage or a debt bubble." There will be massive wealth destruction, he concludes, "one day this asset inflation will lead to a deflationary collapse one way or the other. We don't know yet what will cause it."
The high-beta honeys were not amused (despite another melt-up in NFLX into earnings) as the Russell 2000 underperformed (-0.25% on the day). The Dow and S&P ended practically unch, Nasdaq bid (helped by AAPL ahead of the product news tomorrow) and Trannies closed their highs of the day exuberating all the way... Treasury yields rose 2-3bps (steepening). FX was quiet with the USD very slightly higher (helped by JPY weakness) but AUDJPY was in charge of S&P 500 trading today. Oil dropped 1.6% closing back under $100 (first time in over 3 months) and Silver rallied 1.3%. Hedgers were active (6though clearly the selling was limited) as credit spreads and volatility markets saw protection buyers active.