British Government Wants To Outlaw Secure Communication (To Keep You Safe)

Well at least someone finally had the candor to just come out and say it. In the wake of recent terror attacks in Europe, British Prime Minister David Cameron has called for an end to secure communications technology. In other words, he wants to ensure that you will never again be able to use encryption technology to maintain privacy. Nothing should be safe from government’s prying eyes. Nothing. This is the same sad cycle repeating itself yet again: something terrible happens, and government reacts by awarding themselves even more power and taking away even more freedom.

Another Turkish Shocker: "Netanyahu And The French Terrorists Are The Same", PM Says

Just two day after the Turkish President Erdogan's stunning outburst that "the culprits are clear: French citizens undertook this massacre and Muslims were blamed for it," and blamed Mossad for masterminding it, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Thursday accused his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu of committing "crimes against humanity" comparable to those of the Islamist gunmen behind the Paris attacks that left 17 dead.

Margin Calls? EURCHF Breaks Back Below Parity

Update: EURCHF just re-collapsed to 0.97145

12 hours after it first broke back above parity, EURCHF is back below 1.00 as post-NY-close FX trading is seeing a notable drop in the cross...

US Macro Data Surprises Are The Worst In Over 10 Years, Post-Thanksgiving

Remember that whole "cleanest dirty shirt" or "decoupling" narrative that gets trotted out day after day when any global turmoil prompts risk-off positioning and asset-gatherers and talking-heads proclaim T.I.N.A. but to invest in the "fundamentally strong" US... well... it's completely wrong! US Macro data surprises since Thanksgiving Day are the worst in at least 10 years...

"Unambiguously Bad"

As of November, oil and gas companies employed 543,000 people across the U.S., a number that’s more than doubled from a decade ago, but as Bloomberg reports, thousands of energy industry workers are now getting their pink slips as crude prices have plunged to less than $50 a barrel. "For the oil and gas industry, it’s scary," explains one worker, adding "I was blind to the ups and downs associated with the industry." Can we blame him, watching business media and one could be forgiven for believing this plunge is "unambiguously awesome." As the following chilling chart shows, however, it is not...

2 Dead, 1 Arrested After Massive Anti-Terrorism Raids In Belgium

Belgium has raised its terror alert level from 3 to 4 for police forces (maintaining alert level 2 for everyone else) as it unleashes 10 raids in Verviers (near the capital) on returning Syrian fighters:

*BELGIAN SUSPECTED TERRORISTS OPENED FIRE AT POLICE DURING RAID
*BELGIAN POLICE KILLS TWO TERRORISTS, NO WOUNDED AMONG POLICE

Anti-terrorist operations continue (despite reassurances that this not linked to the Paris attacks) as prosecutors  say the suspected terrorists planned large, imminent attacks.

3 Things - Employment, Interest Rates & Retail Sales

The majority of the jobs "created" since the financial crisis have been lower wage paying jobs in retail, healthcare and other service sectors of the economy. Conversely, the jobs created within the energy space are some of the highest wage paying opportunities available in engineering, technology, accounting, legal, etc. In fact, each job created in energy related areas has had a "ripple effect" of creating 2.8 jobs elsewhere in the economy from piping to coatings, trucking and transportation, restaurants and retail. Simply put, lower oil and gasoline prices may have a bigger detraction on the economy that the "savings" provided to consumers.

Behold The Carnage: Hedge Funds Most Short The Swiss Franc Since June 2013

It appears the Swiss National Bank decided to wait til they saw the whites of the eyes of the 'speculators'. The SNB's surprise decision to scrap the EURCHF ceiling has unleashed major pain across the hedge fund community as speculators, according to CFTC data, are the most short Swiss Francs (long the USD) since June 2013. Holding a huge 24,171 contracts short USDCHF futures (which surged 24 handles on the news) will not go unnoticed by the margin clerks...

Crude Collapses Almost 10% From Post-SNB Highs, Erases Yesterday's OPEX Ramp

Well that escalated quickly. It appears those hoping for 'stability' are once again seeing any strength immediately sold into... Having smashed higher yesterday into the OPEX/close and then again this morning (breaking above $51 post-SNB), WTI Crude has collapsed back to $46.50... the scene of the crime for yesterday's "spoof"-ramp manipulation.

The Wearable Revolution Will Not Be Televised: Google Pulls Glass

For anyone who has actually worn Google Glass, the news today will not be a surprise, but as The Wall Street Journal reports, Google will stop selling the initial version of Glass to individuals after January 19th and is moving it from the Google X research lab to be a stand-alone unit reporting to Tony Fadell, a former Apple executive who heads Nest Labs. Analysts remain confident it will be a cajillion dollar business at some point in the future (along with Apple Watch).

Muppet Murder: Goldman's "Top #6 Trade Reco For 2015" Crushed, Stopped Out After 16.5% Loss In One Day

It's a one-two for the muppet mauling masters at Goldman Sachs, who first crucified anyone who listened to the Buy Best Buy reco from Tuesday, and now, those who put their money into Top Trade #6 for 2015 by the Goldman uber traders, which was to Short CFH/SEK - obviously on margin - just got crucified after the unlevered pair just crashed 16.5%, stopping out those who listened to Goldman and sold CHFSEK to Goldman's prop, pardon flow, traders, and leading to a complete loss on margin, unless of course one has an infinite balance sheet.

Turmoil: Gold Surges As Bond Yields, Crude, And Stocks Are All Collapsing

The kneejerks are over and now the fallout. US equity markets have tumbled back to yesterday's lows (and beyond), US Treasury yields are in total free-fall (down another 10bps, led by 7Y and 10Y yields crashing). Crude prices have reversed the entire post-SNB surge and is heading back to yeaterday's pre-ramp levels... Gold is pushing notably higher at $1265

The Fed & The Price Of Oil

Given the potential for financial losses triggered by oil's price collapse to cascade into the financial sector at large, the Fed may well be forced to intervene either directly or indirectly... Unleash the oil weapon...

Swiss Stocks Collapse Most In 25 Years: Surveying The European Close Carnage

Swiss 10Y rates crashed over 10bps by the close (having plunged as low as 3.3bps at one point) but the entire Swiss curve is negative at any maturity less than that. EURUSD crashed over 200pips back below 1.16 - the lowest since November 2003. Swiss stocks crashed around 15% before bouncing back to a 8-9% loss - the biggest drop since 1989. Away from Switzerland (and Greece) European stocks and sovereign bonds saw initial dips bought on ECB QE implications but EU Sovereigns did bleed back wider. European VIX spiked from sub-29 to over 32 and all the way back down to close lower on the day.

Did The SNB Just Suffer The World's Biggest Daily Loss Ever?

"By our calculation the FX reserves portfolio on FX alone will have lost in the region of 60bn CHF, assuming EURCHF at 1.03 and USDCHF at 0.88. Though some of this is likely to have gained on bond holdings; this would be far outweighed by losses on FX." - Citi's Stephen Englander