The A-Z Of Foreign Governments That The NSA Is "Authorized" To Spy On

You know you've made it when you land on the official "yes, you can spy on them" NSA list. As WaPo reports, this exhibit lists the 193 foreign governments as well as foreign factions, political organizations and other entities that were part of a 2010 certification approved by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. These are the entities about which the NSA may conduct surveillance, for the purpose of gathering foreign intelligence. One thing comes to mind... what about Canada?

The Stock Market's Seven-Year Itch

"If past is indeed sometimes prologue, this simple chart might be hinting that a rally similar in arithmetical range and time-span – if not in percentage gain – to the Tech bubble itself is becoming dangerously overripe and that, if so, the most propitious time to effect an exit is not when the fat lady interrupts her warbling of the anthem to shriek, 'Fire!' at the audience instead."

Shorts Squeezed Most In 11 Months As Russell Surges But Outperformed By Gold In H1

Gold is the best performing asset in H1 2014 (just beating crude oil). The USA is the worst-performing macro-economy in the world's majors in H1. The S&P 500 is up now 6 quarters in a row - its best run since 1998. The Russell 2000 had its best month since September but Trannies are leading the Dow by over 900bps year-to-date. "Most shorted" stocks had their 'best - biggest squeeze' month in 11 months. Gold and silver had great months. Today saw stocks rally then fade and bond yields rose then fell (down 1-2bps). The dollar slipped markedly on the day to 2-month lows as commodities surged (ex Oil) with Gold, silver, and copper all reaching multi-month highs (amid short-covering and CCFD unwinds). VIX closed the month higher.

Forget 'Shrugged'; Atlas Just May Throw Up His Hands

Financial markets do the one thing better than nearly any other form of protest or lauding of government policies. When the financial markets are falling that’s a tell-tale sign something somewhere is wrong. Same for the lifting, where the rise lifts all giving policy makers as well as the general public at large explicit feedback of what is, as well as, what’s not working. Yet, once those indicators become an adulterated vehicle with the ability to mask true economic information, everything is lost. Just how pungent does today’s economic corpse need to stink before everyone understands it hasn’t been resting, or recovering, but has been dead for who knows how long? With a print of nearly 3% negative GDP, sustaining, or plodding along, or any other descriptor stating “recovering” is ludicrous.

President Obama To Dictate His New 'Executive Action' On Immigration Reform - Live Feed

It's been a busy day for President Obama and he needs a win... a bright shiny PR moment, surrounded with immigrant children explaining how he is the Pied Piper that will save them all from the despotic servitude they come from. In an unplanned press conference President Obama will address his immigration reform at 1450ET through executive action. No lesser man than Cantor-buster Dave Brat opined that the President's policies "sound nice", like "the Kids’ Act, the DREAM Act, the ENLIST Act," but did little to address the growing influx of children. “The reason we have those thousands crossing the border is because of poor policy in the first place,” Brat added. We are sure Obama disagrees - besides, this has to be good for GDP, right? - The Broken Border Fallacy.

Gold Spikes To 3-Month Highs

It appears the same 'contagion' that is driving copper prices higher is also impacting gold and silver this morning. As we have noted previously, the CCFD unwind drives synthetic short (hedge) covering and inevitably rolls down the curve to drive spot strength (as the paper gold market tail wags the 'physical' market's dog). Gold is at 3 month highs and silver getting close...

WTF Chart Of The Day: "Holy $340 Billion In Quarter-End Window Dressing, Batman"

Behold: a record $340 billion in reverse repos submitted by the world's financial institutions with the Federal Reserve, an increase of $200 billion overnight, and amounting to a record $3.5 billion on average among the 97 operations participants. Considering this is a clear quarterly event, it goes without saying that all the reverse repo is, is a quarter-end window dressing mechanism underwritten by Mr. Chairmanwoman itself.

Europe Gives Bulgaria A Bank System Lifeline As Battle Over "South Stream" Pipeline Heats Up

Earlier today Reuters reported that the European Commission said on Monday it had approved a Bulgarian request to extend a credit line of 3.3 billion levs ($2.30 billion) in support of banks that have come under speculative attack. “The Commission concluded that the state aid implied by the provision of the credit line is proportionate and commensurate with the need to ensure sufficient liquidity in the banking system in the particular circumstances,” the EU executive said in a statement. The statement said Bulgaria’s banking system was “well capitalised and has high levels of liquidity compared to its peers in other member states. For precautionary reasons, Bulgaria has taken this measure to further increase the liquidity and safeguard its financial system”. The move follows runs by jittery depositors on two major Bulgarian commercial banks in the space of a week. And while this latest backstop of the Bulgarian bank system should provide a respite from bank insolvency fears (if only for the time being), one wonders about Europe's true intentions.

Obama To Overrule Supreme Court? President Considers "Mitigating" Obamacare Ruling

Having had his omnipotence chipped away at last week, President Obama has - seemingly - been pushed too far by the Supreme Court's decision on contraception and Obamacare this morning: The White House stated...

SUPREME COURT DECISION ON CONTRACEPTION COVERAGE JEOPARDIZES HEALTH OF WOMEN EMPLOYED BY THESE COMPANIES
WILL WORK WITH CONGRESS TO MAKE SURE WOMEN AFFECTED BY RULING WILL HAVE SAME ACCESS TO CONTRACEPTION
WILL CONSIDER WHETHER PRESIDENT CAN ACT ON HIS OWN TO MITIGATE EFFECT OF SUPREME COURT RULING

Totalitarian? You decide... One wonders if the phrase "do you know who I am?" was uttered this morning?

Copper Surges To 4-Month High

Copper has rallied almost 6% in the last few weeks with a 1.25% surge today sending the 'economic' metal back to near 4-month highs. This must means demand is picking up, right? This must mean the world is ok, right? Chatter is that this morning's home sales 'noise' surprise spike was the catalyst but it appears much more likely that a combination of a continued squeeze of a very-extended spec short position and the ongoing unwind of China's commodity-finance-deals is the real catalyst. As the market comes to terms with synthetic demand (CCFD unwinds buying back hedges) dominating any excess supply in the spot market, futures positioning still has more room to go.

"What Do You Want For Free?"

"Why shouldn't the rich pay more taxes?" Simply put, there are not enough billionaires to pay the bill for everyone else. The problem is not that the rich do not pay enough, it is that government takes too much from the economy as a whole.

100 Years Ago Today: "Keep Calm And Buy Stocks - World War I Is Priced In"

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Amid the growing geopolitical powder keg of 2014, the deafening roar of BIS-deniers proclaiming that everything bad is priced-in and nothing good is priced-in dominates the mainstream media. This is nothing new... as no less than The Financial Times proclaims on June 30th 1914 that "stock markets have been scarcely affected by the assassination of the heir to the Austrian throne... there's no evidence that stock holders took fright" as it's priced in (or contained?). It seems things didn't quite work out as 'priced-in'.

Supreme Court Gives Obamacare Opponents Biggest Legal Victory Yet

Moments ago the US Supreme Court - the same Supreme Court which two years ago upheld Obamacare but as a tax, something the administration has since sternly denied - dealt Obamacare its biggest legal blow to date, and alternatively handing Obamacare opponents their largest court victory yet, when in a 5-4 vote SCOTUS ruled that business owners can object on religious grounds to a provision of President Barack Obama's healthcare law that requires closely held private companies to provide health insurance that covers birth control. 

The USD Is Tumbling; Near 2 Month Lows

Equities have flip-flopped this morning, giving up the new normal opening-squeeze higher gains as USDJPY fades. Bonds are rallying. But it is the USD Index that is the most notable this morning as it tumbles back towards 2-month lows in a hurry... This is the biggest 2-day plunge in 3 months.

Laundering Illegal Money? There's Ultraluxury New York Real Estate For That

Today, we can finally end any debate on the topic of just where the world's illegal money comes to roost. The answer: ultra-luxury real estate, primarily in New York, courtesy of a report in New York magazine that catches up with what we first said in the summer of 2012, and which is titled, appropriately enough: "Stash Pad."

Iraq Receives First Fighter Jets From "Our Russian Friends"

Having offered "complete support" for Iraq's embattled PM Maliki, the troubled nation receives its first shipment of "America deluded us" Russian fighter jets. As RT reports, the Iraqi Ministry of Defense on Sunday confirmed receiving five Su-25 fighter jets in accordance with the deal with Moscow. Iraqi Army Lieutenant General Anwar Hamad Amen Ahmed explained, "our Russian friends have also sent their own experts to assist us in preparing the aircraft. All the logistics have been planned for as well." The proxy war continues...

Russia Reveals "Plan B": Gazprom Says Gas Transit Via Ukraine May Be Stopped Completely

A few days ago, when we wrote our "explainer" on the need for Russia to have an alternative pathway for its gas, one which bypasses Ukraine entirely and as the current "South Stream" framework is set up, crosses the Black Sea and enters Bulgaria before passing Serbia and Hungary on the way to the Central European energy hub located in Baumgarten, Austria, we said that "one short month after Putin concluded the Holy Grail deal with Beijing, he not only managed to formalize his conquest of Europe's energy needs with yet another pipeline, one which completely bypasses Ukraine for numerous reasons but mostly one: call it a Plan B."  Today we find just what said Plan B is. As Itar-Tass reports, citing Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller, "Russia’s gas giant Gazprom does not rule out gas transit via Ukraine may be stopped completely."

Pending Home Sales Jump In May; Drop YoY For 8th Month In A Row

Pending home sales surged by 6.1% MoM in May; this is the largest jump since April 2010 (when first-time buyers scrambled to sign contracts before tax credits expired. However, exuberant spike aside, this is the 8th month in a row of a year-over-year drop in home sales. NAR is ever-optimistic suggesting "sales should exceed an annual pace of five million homes," amid low rates, inventory and job creation (goldilocks?). The sales, unsurprisingly, are all high-end: "The flourishing stock market the last few years has propelled sales in the higher price brackets," as lower-cost home sales plunge.

Draghi Disaster: European Household Loans Plunge By Most On Record

here is the punchline, and proof that anything the ECB can and will try to do, will be a complete disaster: Loans to households fell by €42.8bn (its largest decline on record), having risen by €5.1bn in April. This was mainly related to lending for house purchases (which do not count towards banks' allotment in the TLTRO) and took place almost entirely in France.