Initial Jobless Claims Miss For 4th Week In Row

After last week's jerk higher (now revised even higher to 314k), this week saw a modest 17k drop to 297k (magically back below the 300k Maginot Line) but still missed expectations. Obviously, initial claims still linger near 14 year lows but the smoother 4 week average rose around 5k to 299k. Continuing claims rose 39k and has hovered at these decade-long lows for 6 weeks now - though unadjusted Regular State (ex) employees claiming UI benefits jumped 125K from 2.065 million to 2.190 million.. It appears the trend of improvement has ended/stabilized.

Putin Offers Full Amnesty For Money Repatriation, Threatens Crackdown Against FX Speculators

most notable announcement by Putin was that Russia would provide a "full amnesty" for holders of offshore funds, in a push to repatriate some of the $125 billion in capital that is said to have left the nation in 2015. To entice Russia billionaires to keep their cash in Russia Putin reminded everyone how hostile the west could be toward Russian money, using the Cyprus bail-in as an example. To wit: "I announce a full amnesty for capital returning to Russia, and i repeat, a full amnesty. What does that mean? Those people who fully legalize, fully bring back their capital to Russia, should be protected from being dragged to various law enforcement agencies, and from having to prove where they got their money from, and from being exposed to criminal investigations." Do Russians want to be "ripped-off abroad" once again when the next Cyprus takes place? Their best choice is to return to Russia, Putin added.

ECB Keeps Rates Unchanged, As Expected

At today’s meeting the Governing Council of the ECB decided that the interest rate on the main refinancing operations and the interest rates on the marginal lending facility and the deposit facility will remain unchanged at 0.05%, 0.30% and -0.20% respectively.

What Wall Street Expects From Mario Draghi Today

While the ECB's announcement is due out in minutes, the only thing the market is looking forward to is Draghi's actual press conference due to take place in just over an hour. It is here that the former Italian and Goldman banker is expected to take jawboning to new levels, even if - as is customary - he actually does nothing and considering the ECB's balance sheet, which after all its private covered bond and ABS QE is growing at the "torrid" pace of some €4 billion per week, not even enough to offset the natural decline in the ECB's balance sheet, his actions so far have achieved absolutely nothing the algos are starting to get impatient.

Frontrunning: December 4

  • Thanks Fed: Meet the high schooler who made $300K trading penny stocks under his desk (Verge)
  • Protesters block NY streets after officer cleared in chokehold death (Reuters)
  • U.S. Plans Probe of New York Police Chokehold Death (BBG)
  • Sharpton Leads Civil-Rights Meeting on Chokehold Decision (BBG)
  • Staten Island on Edge Over Grand Jury Decision In Death of Eric Garner (WSJ)
  • Draghi Tests Speed Limit as ECB Awaits Stimulus Evidence (BBG)
  • European Stocks Approach Seven-Year High Before Draghi Statement (BBG)
  • Britain targets multinationals that try to dodge taxes (Reuters)
  • Oil Trains Hide in Plain Sight (WSJ)

Algo Eyes On Draghi Ahead Of ECB Announcement

Today we'll learn more about whether Mr Draghi becomes Super Mario in the near future as the widely anticipated ECB meeting is now only a few hours away. We will do another summary preview of market expectations shortly, but in a nutshell, nobody really expects Draghi to announce anything today although the jawboning is expected to reach unseen levels. The reason is that Germany is still staunchly against outright public QE, and Draghi probably wants to avoid and outright legal confrontation. As DB notes, assuming no new policy moves, the success of today's meeting will probably depend on the degree to which Draghi indicates the need for more action soon and the degree to which that feeling is unanimous within the council. Over the past weekend Weidmann's comment about falling oil prices representing a form of stimulus highlights that this consensus is still proving difficult to build. It might need a couple more months of low growth and inflation, revised staff forecasts and a stubbornly slow balance sheet accumulation to cement action.

Government's Small Business Administration Exposed As Corporate Welfare For Big Business

Many people have noted that the more insidious or corrupt a law or agency, the more positive sounding its name. The most egregious example during my lifetime, was naming legislation that stripped Americans of most of their civil liberties the “Patriot” Act. In a similar vein, which red-blooded American could ever be opposed to something called the Small Business Administration (SBA). As such, the SBA is the perfect vehicle for cronyism, corruption and corporate welfare, which indeed appears to be its primary reason for existence.

Russia's Monetary Solution

The hypothesis that follows, if carried through, is certain to have a significant effect on gold and the relationship between gold and all government-issued currencies. The successful remonetisation of gold by a major power such as Russia would draw attention to the fault-lines between fiat currencies issued by governments unable or unwilling to do the same and those that can follow in due course. It would be a schism in the world's dollar-based monetary order.

The New Exodus: 700,000 Young Spaniards Have Left Home Looking For Work Abroad

In the 16th century, Spain was, in fact, the greatest power in Europe during a significant chunk of the renaissance, and she had her overseas dominions to prove it. How times have changed. Today Spain is in financial straits, and most of her former colonies are in far better economic shape. And as the gloomy economic landscape in Europe has dried up opportunities for young Spaniards, many have started to look to South America to start new careers.

17 States Sue Obama Over "Unconstitutional" Executive Action On Immigration

A year ago, following the whole Supreme Court farce, a bevy of states proved there are more than just "idiot voters" left in the US, when they decided to sue Obamacare outright over one or more of its provisions. They were promptly shut down by a judicial system that is as corrupt as the government itself (needless to say, both working at the behest of their true financial puppetmaster: Wall Street). And yet, in the aftermath of the now epic fiasco that is Obamacare, and not to mention the violent reaction to the administration as demonstrated in the midterm elections, the president may have a tougher time to brush away the next round of adverse reactions against his latest hugely unpopular executive order, one involving the amnesty of over 5 million illegal immigrants. According to AP, Texas is leading a 17-state coalition in suing over the Obama administration's recently announced executive actions on immigration.