How To Play The "Common Knowledge Game" Effectively

In the Common Knowledge Game, fundamentals – whether they are of the stock-picking sort or the macroeconomic sort – don’t matter a whit, and your personal view of those fundamentals matters even less. The only thing that matters is whether or not the QE-works lesson has been absorbed by the learning process of investment professionals, and that’s driven by the lesson’s transformation into common knowledge by Missionaries (like Deutsche Bank's Torsten Slok).

Goldman Asks "Should Stocks Fear Rate Hikes?" (Spoiler Alert: Yes)

While day after day we are bombarded with musings from talking-heads proclaiming that no matter what happens in the future, buying stocks and buying moar stocks is the way to go, the data has a different story to tell. As Goldman Sachs notes, at a forward PE of 17.5x, the equity market looks more expensive today than it was during any of the last four cycles. Furthermore, as Goldman puts it, we find it more challenging to rationalize the current high PE multiples.

Cyber-Attacks Are The New Cold War

Warfare today (and in the future) is (and will be) fought differently.  In the 1950’s with the creation of more destructive bombs and weaponry, the idea was ‘Mutually Assured Destruction’ (MAD).   The movie War Games helped us learn that there are no winners.  The warfare ideology today is ‘Multilateral Unconstrained Disruption’ (MUD).  This unrestrictive warfare is meant to disrupt societal functioning; to ‘poison’ information to elevate distrust of all computer information. Cyber-activity is the new ‘cold war’.

Why Markets Are Manic - The Fed Is Addicted To The "Easy Button"

Honest price discovery is essential to capitalist prosperity since it is the miraculous mechanism by which capital is raised from savers and investors and efficiently allocated among producers, entrepreneurs and genuine market-rate borrowers. What the central banks have generated, instead, is a casino that is blindly impelled to churn the secondary capital markets and inflate the price of existing assets to higher and higher levels - until they ultimately roll-over under their own weight. The Easy Button addiction of our central bankers is thus not just another large public policy problem. It is the very economic and social scourge of our times.

ActionAlertPLUS!

"Twitter has likely the greatest array of company-specific catalysts of any company in its sphere this year, including Periscope, core monthly active user (MAU) acceleration from the Google partnership, and new core features like embedded video.... building out the "tail" should allow Twitter to grow well-above average over the next several years. With a global ad load between 1% to 2% and 85% from mobile, we think TWTR has more revenue runway than any other company in the Internet space. Our target is $55."

The Baltimore Riots: The Stunning Comments By Orioles Owner's Son

"...my greater source of personal concern, outrage... is focused upon an American political elite that have shipped middle class and working class jobs away from Baltimore and cities and towns around the US... plunged tens of millions of good hard-working Americans into economic devastation... in order to control an unfairly impoverished population living under an ever-declining standard of living and suffering at the butt end of an ever-more militarized and aggressive surveillance state."

Twitter Confirms Leak: Stocks Plummets On Disastrous Results, Outlook Cut

Well, the leak (which ironically came out on Twitter only, and not Facebook) was right, and the full story is even worse than Selerity reported:TWITTER 1Q LOSS PER SHARE 25C; TWITTER INC 1Q ADJ. EPS 7C , EST. 4C.
That much we knew. Here is where it gets worse:

  • TWITTER 1Q REV. $ 435.9M, EST. $456.2M
  • TWITTER SEES 2Q REV. $470M TO $485M, EST. $538.1M
  • TWTR SEES YR REV $2.170B-$2.270B, SAW $2.3B-$2.35B, EST $2.37B

And now perhaps someone will ask how much of Facebook's 1.4 billion "users" are actually real.

How BofA's Depositors Funded The Bank's "Fugazi P&L"

When we first exposed in February how yet another bank - Bank of America - has been quietly preserving the post Glass-Steagall world in which cash depositing taxpayers are on the hook for a bank's stupidity, some shrugged it off and looked to stress test to solve all the problems. However, it appears - for once - the SEC is not willing to just ignore the bank's actions. Just as JPMorgan's CIO Office, aka the London Whale, took advantage of fungible, taxpayer-insured funding in the form of excess US deposits over loans, to corner the US credit market (in what was clearly a directional prop trade); so, as WSJ reports, The SEC is investigating whether BofA broke rules designed to safeguard client accounts, potentially putting retail-brokerage funds at risk in order to generate more profits using large complex trades.

Twitter Results Leaked? Revenue, Mobile Users Miss

It had been a relatively good quarter so far when it comes to leaked earnings... until moments ago when website scouring service Selerity managed to sniff out Twitter results, and they are not pretty.

For-Profit College Closures: The Next Billion Dollar Taxpayer Bailout?

The sudden closure of Corinthian Colleges' remaining campuses has displaced some 16,000 students. If all of their student debt is canceled — which is possible — it will cost taxpayers more than $200 million. With the government cracking down on the for-profit education space and with nearly 90% of students at for profit-colleges dependent on loans, the demise of the for-profit model could end up costing taxpayers quite a pretty penny.

Japan Proves Monetary Policy Is Nothing But Destructive

Thus, the mistaken conceit of monetarism is on full display, especially in Japan, as they boil down their efforts to substitute financial wealth for true wealth as if they could simply conjure industrious creation from nothing. And Japan is proving useful as the full and complete refutation of every facet of such a notion, even if the mainstream resists so far confessing it.

Furious Baltimore Mom Offers Hope, Restores Faith In Humanity

It was all too easy to see the devastation unleashed on Baltimore last night as angry protesters showed their disgust at the police by burning, breaking, and looting their city; and give up hope for America's future. But there was a bright spot... a sign that people really do know right from wrong...

Debt Pile-Up To Fuel Further Oil Price Pressure

"An 'oil-debt nexus' could create a vicious circle whereby overindebted companies pump more oil to ensure they can pay interest on their loans, adding to the current global oil glut, and further depressing energy prices," WSJ notes, citing a BIS report. The interplay between the industry's growing debt pile and falling prices is a microcosm of the deflationary dynamic that’s taking hold in the macroeconomy and that serves, in Citi's words, to destroy creative destruction, creating "zombies" along the way.