Weak Chinese And European Macro Data Briefly Halts Futures Levitation

It is unclear how much of this morning's momentum-busting weakness in futures is the result of China's horrendous Service PMI, which as we reported last night dropped to the lowest print on record at the contraction borderline, but whatever low volume levitation was launched by the market after Europe's close yesterday may have fizzled out if only until Europe close (there is no POMO today). Still, futures may have been helped by yet another batch of worse than expected European data, namely the final Eurozone PMI prints, which in turn sent the EURUSD to day lows and the offsetting carry favorite USDJPY to highs, helping offset futures weakness. Because in the New Normal there is nothing like a little bad macro data to goose the BTFATH algos...

"The US Is Bankrupt," Blasts Biderman, "We Now Await The Cramdown"

There are many ways to look at the United States government debt, obligations, and assets. But TrimTabs's Charles Biderman cuts straight to the bottom line and add it all up - $89.5 trillion in liabilities and $82 trillion in assets.  There.  It’s not a secret anymore, and although these are all government numbers, for some strange reason the government never adds them all together or explains them - but we will. No one can really know what will have value in this politicized crony capitalistic system as the hyper-monetization ramps up... all I can suggest is to hedge your bets with some physical precious metals and some minimal leveraged real estate. Unfortunately, the more you know, the more you know you don’t know... invest and live accordingly.

Another Settlement – JP Morgan Receives Slap On The Wrist Despite Years Of Fraudulent CFTC Data

The Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has been long viewed as one of the most corrupt of American institutions – and that’s saying a lot... when a retiring judge accuses the other remaining judge of being a total bought and paid for Wall Street crony, you know something is wrong. And sure enough, today we learn the CFTC will impose a meager $650,000 fine on JP Morgan, despite years of warnings about fraudulent data reports. You gotta love American justice. In the same week that an NYPD officer’s illegal and fatal chokehold was ruled a homicide (incredibly the man who shot the video has now been arrested), JP Morgan gets off with another slap on the wrist. As Glenn Greenwald noted, it’s Liberty and Justice for Some.

China Warns "What We Do Or Don't Do [In The South China Sea] Is Up To Us, Noone Else"

Having spied on RIMPAC for a week or two, it appears the Chinese imperialist rhetoric is rising once again. China can build whatever it wants on its islands in the South China Sea, Reuters reports a senior Chinese official said on Monday, rejecting proposals ahead of a key regional meeting to freeze any activity that may raise tensions in disputed waters there: "what China does or doesn't do is up to the Chinese government. Nobody can change the government's position." Of course, after showing what is at stake here, it should hardly be surprising that China is pushing back again. But don't worry, China's Ocean Affairs minister added "trust in us Asian people to use Asian means and wisdom to resolve our own problems."

China Services PMI Crashes To Record Low

At this point these soft-survery-based PMIs are becoming a running joke. Japanese macro surprise data has done nothing (and we mean nothing) but disappoint recently and currently stands at 3-month lows. So it makes perfect sense that July Japan Services PMI would print its first expansion since March. On the other hand, after exploding to 18-month highs in June, China Services PMI collapsed to a 2005 record low. As BofA warned previously, it is important to understand how crude these surveys are - these data get way too much air time. They give a timely, rough read on the economy, but should get little weight once hard data are released.

Who Gains & Who Loses From Ex-Im Bank (In 2 Simple Maps)

In an effort to expose the effect of Ex-Im Bank's financing (costs and benefits) on America, Mercatus Center has created 2 charts. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the maps show that Washington state, home of Boeing, garners the bulk of the benefits in terms of both Ex-Im Bank disbursements and as a percentage of total state export value, even though taxpayers across the nation are equally exposed to liability.

25 Critical Facts About This Ebola Outbreak That Every American Needs To Know

What would a global pandemic look like for a disease that has no cure and that kills more than half of the people that it infects?  Let's hope that we don't get to find out, but what we do know is that more than 100 health workers that were on the front lines of fighting this disease have ended up getting it themselves.  The top health officials in the entire world are sounding the alarm and the phrase "out of control" is constantly being thrown around by professionals with decades of experience.  So should average Americans be concerned about Ebola?  If so, how bad could an Ebola outbreak in the U.S. potentially become?  The following are 25 critical facts about this Ebola outbreak that every American needs to know...

Deutsche Bank "Raises The Warning Flag": What The Most Important Chart For The Market Reveals

"The risk sell-off we've seen in recent weeks frustrates us a little as the chart we've published most this year has pretty much predicted that tougher times would come around July. We've been paying it a lot of attention for over a year now but decided to wait until the autumn before we raised the warning flags. The chart in question (included in today's pdf) is the one showing the Fed balance sheet and the S&P 500 (as a proxy for risk generally). As you can see, since the Fed balance sheet was used as an aggressive policy tool post-GFC, the graph suggests that the S&P 500 is well correlated with the size of the Fed balance sheet...  This is important as virtually all of the mega rally in the last 5 years has come in the Fed balance sheet expansion periods." - Deutsche Bank

3 Things That Can't Stay Hidden Long: The Sun, The Moon, & The Truth

"The consensus narrative on market developments is set to implode," warns Steen Jakobsen, Saxo Bank's chief economist and chief investment officer. In his latest note, he explains precisely how to position ahead of the storm, with everything from calls on gold to German government bonds and more importantly, and their underlying rationale. As Jakobsen concludes, "Yes, the truth is often ugly, but often liberating too. We need to move away from chasing paper profit to investing in people, ideas and prospects. We should not fear the coming sell-off, but embrace and use it for creating a true mandate for change. It’s about time."

David Stockman: The Collapse Of The American Imperium

"If you look at the entire radar screen of things developing both domestically and internationally, we are plunging deep into a perfect storm of policy failure. There is blowback everywhere. First, the wreckage of prior policy mistakes of our intervention with foreign policy is coming home to roost. Second, monetary central planning is now coming to a dead-end. It is inflating the third financial bubble of the century and the Fed is now clueless as to how it will manage to unwind the massive balance sheet expansion it has been undertaken. And third, the fiscal doomsday machine continues to crank on. Washington is ignoring the fact that we are six years into a business cycle expansion and we are still running massive deficits and there is no cushion for the next upset that comes to the economy. Now, why is all of this important? Because I think the foreign policy failures -- the collapse of the American Imperium as I call it -- is at the center of this, and it will push all of these things in the wrong direction."

How French Models Protest Low Wages

France's nude art models have had enough - protesting low wages and poor working conditions, nude models in Paris went on strike. This is not the first time La Coordination des Modeles has staged protest: back in 2008, they held a naked protest outside Paris' city hall after regulations stripped them of their tip-jar. The models demand equal treatment afforded most French workers, like job security or vacation pay. As The Guardian reports, the Paris mayor of cultural affairs noted "this was a lovely protest in the French, gaulois spirit of resistance." Perhaps there is a reason to cheer for socialism after all: the lower the wages, the more naked...

De-Dollarization Continues: Russian Oligarchs Shift Cash To Hong Kong Dollars On Sanctions Concerns

Last week we noted the very significant activity by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority as it bought USDollars in size to support its peg. It appears we have found at least one smoking gun for why they were forced to do this. In what appears to be another sanctions-blowback, Russian oligarchs are de-dollarizing their cash holdings and shifting to Hong Kong Dollars. As Bloomberg reports, various Russian entities are shifting up to 40% of their cash to HKD. “Keeping money in Hong Kong dollars is essentially equivalent to keeping it in U.S. dollars because of the currency peg," notes BofA's Vladimir Osakovskiy, adding "for Russian companies it’s still much safer from the standpoint of sanctions."

Ron Paul Implores "Why Won't Obama Just Leave Ukraine Alone?"

President Obama announced last week that he was imposing yet another round of sanctions on Russia, this time targeting financial, arms, and energy sectors. The European Union, as it has done each time, quickly followed suit. Even when the goals are clear, sanctions have a lousy track record. Sanctions are acts of war. These sanctions will most definitely have a negative effect on the US economy as well as the Russian economy. Why is “winning” Ukraine so important to Washington? Why are they risking a major war with Russia to deny people in Ukraine the right to self-determination? Let’s just leave Ukraine alone!

Obama To Corporate CEOs: "If You Have A Complaint, You Can Keep your Complaint"

President Barack Obama has a direct message for the leaders of America’s biggest companies: if you have a complaint, you can keep your complaint. "If you look at what’s happened over the last four or five years, the folks who don’t have a right to complain are the folks at the top," Obama said in an interview with The Economist published over the weekend. As The WSJ adds, Obama maintained that complaints from corporate CEOs in the current environment should be taken with “a grain of salt” as most policies he has implemented have "generally been friendly towards business." In other words, thank me for the recovery, but don't blame me for the inequality - an irony we have noted numerous times.

Lessons In Investment Warfare

There is a war being conducted out there in the financial markets. A war between debtors and creditors, between governments and taxpayers, between banks and depositors, between the errors of the past and the hopes of the future. How can investors end up on the winning side ? History would seem to have the answers. We would argue today that central bank bubble-blowing has made the entire market high-risk, with a broad consensus that with interest rates at 300-year lows and bonds hysterically overpriced and facing the prospect of interest rate rises to boot, stocks are now "the only game in town". If history is any guide, the identity of the losers seems to be self-evident.

Post-European Close Buying-Panic Lifts Dow Green For 2014

Despite European weakness, US equity investors decided bailing out BES with taxpayer money means BTFD. As soon as Europe closed, VIX was monkey-hammered lower and stocks took off, first running today's stops, then Friday's highs, then pressing all major indices into the green for August. Notably, "most shorted" stocks were sold hard early on and that provided the ammo for the bounce. VIX was clubbed over 2 vols lower back under 15 as EURJPY became all the fun-durr-mentals stocks needed to surge. Treasury yields rose as stocks rose but 10Y ended the day -0.5bps (30Y +1.5bps). The USD flatlined as modest EUR weakness was offset by GBP/AUD strength. PMs slipped lower as oil and copper gained. Credit markets rallied along with VIX. The Dow closed unch for 2014.