- Fed Anxiety Rises as QE Raises Risk of Loss With Political Cost (BBG)
- Iran Nuclear Deal Expected as Early as Friday (WSJ)
- Israel rejects mooted interim Iran nuclear deal, Kerry heads to talks (Reuters)
- JPMorgan Banker Backed $200 Million Madoff Loan in 2008 (BBG)
- Unleashing the food nazis - FDA Says Trans Fats Aren't Safe in Food (WSJ)
- Draghi Aggression Shows Pledges Backed by Rate Surprise (BBG)
- S&P Cuts France's Credit Rating by One Notch to Double-A (WSJ)
- S&P criticises France’s high tax rates for stifling growth (FT)
- Payroll Gains in U.S. Probably Cooled Amid Government Shutdown (BBG)
While today's big event is the October Non-farm payrolls print, which consensus has at 120K and unemployment rising from 7.2% to 7.3%, there was a spate of events overnight worth noting, starting with Chinese exports and imports both rising more than expected (5.6% and 7.6% vs expectations of 1.9% and 7.4% respectively), leading to an October trade surplus of $31.1 billion double the $15.2 billion reported in August. This led to a brief jump in Asian regional market which however was promptly faded. Germany also reported a greater trade surplus than expected at €20.4bn vs €15.4 bn expected, which begs the question just where are all these excess exports going to? Perhaps France, whose trade deficit rose from €5.1 billion to €5.8 billion, more than the €4.8 billion expected. Of note also was the French downgrade from AA+ to AA by S&P, citing weak economic prospects, with fiscal constraints throughout 2014. The agency added that the country has limited room to maneuver and sees an inability to significantly cut government spending. The downgrade, however, was largely a buy the EURUSD dip event as rating agencies' opinions fade into irrelevance.
A little over a week ago, the world’s first Bitcoin ATM was launched to much fanfare in a Vancouver coffee shop called Waves Coffee, is off to a fast start, conducting $100,000 (Canadian) worth of transactions in its first eight days of operation. The rollout of Bitcoin ATMs is a huge positive for the network going forward. The difficulty of buying bitcoins has been a huge obstacle that has prevented more people from getting involved. These ATMs will change that paradigm entirely for the communities in which they are installed...
If you’re 24, buried in college loans and looking for a job in a city that’s affordable but not completely depressing, you’re probably wondering where to start (while spoon-feeding yourself ice cream in your high-school bedroom). On the other hand, if you’re in your early 30s and New York or Los Angeles is grinding you down into a quivering husk of financial and emotional instability, it might be time to get out. Either way, with new data showing that 36 percent of adults between the ages of 18 and 31 are currently living at home with mom and dad (the highest number in 40 years, according to Pew Research Center), vocativ thought it was high time to crunch the numbers and figure out where the hell you can actually live these days and still retain some self-respect.
Did you know that 40 percent of all American workers make less than $20,000 a year before taxes? And 65 percent of all American workers make less than $40,000 a year before taxes. If you work on Wall Street, or have a cushy job with the federal government, or work for a big tech firm out on the west coast, life is probably pretty good for you right now. But the truth is that most Americans are not living the high life. In fact, most Americans are just trying to figure out how to survive from month to month. If we truly did have a free market capitalist system, the entire country would be a land of opportunity and things would be getting better for everybody. Unfortunately, that is not the case at all. The following are 21 facts about "wealthy America" and "poor America" that are hard to believe...
David Stockman has never been shy of expressing his true feelings (about Bernanke's "Born Again Jobs Scam", Calamity Janet Yellen, Obamacare's resentment-encouraging rollout, and the entire Keynesian state wreck ahead). But this time, he aims his acerbic ire at the "markets." During a brief interview on FOX Business, the author of The Age of Deformation exclaimed "There’s no one in the stock market today except drugged-up day-traders and robots... This is utterly irrational." The blame (and benefactors) are clear, he blasts, "how could someone in their right mind believe that you can have interest rates... at zero for nine years?... That is the greatest gift to the speculators, to the 1%, to the leveraged traders, to the carry trade ever imagined!" He concludes, "we're almost on the edge of another explosion at the present time."
Has a second civil war been “gamed” by our government? And are Americans being swindled into fighting and killing each other while the banksters who created the mess observe at their leisure, waiting until the dust settles to return to the scene and collect their prize? Here are some examples of how both sides of the false left/right paradigm are being goaded into turning on each other.
The following viral video, amusing as it may be (the real entertainment starts two minutes in) superficially, is a microcosm summation of some of the things most wrong in the US: an individual who refuses to take responsibility for their actions of careless stupidity despite being seen in broad daylight by dozens of onlookers, promptly devolving into a petty criminal, and then doing everything in his (or, judging by the driving, her) power to get the entire episode brushed under the rug while creating exponentially more damage to everyone involved including completely innocent bystanders. If only the protagonist wasn't so ridiculously stupid, he could just as well be your average Wall Street banker, where he would fit right in with any bank that cultivates just this kind of criminally reckless behavior whose consequences - the more dire the better - end up costing everyone else. Or, alternatively, since it comes from Chicago and since he is dumb enough, your average politician.
The Fed seems to be facing two major risks: first, premature tapering disrupting markets and triggering global turmoil across asset classes, thereby threatening the fragile economy recovery; second, delayed tapering further fuelling asset price bubbles, which could burst eventually and do major damage. UBS' Beat Siegenthaler notes the September decision suggested a Fed more worried about the fragile recovery than about the potential for asset bubbles and other longer-term problems associated with extended liquidity injections. Whereas it had originally assumed that a gradual tapering would result in a gradual market reaction, Siegenthaler explains it is now clear that the situation is much more binary; and as such, the hurdles for tapering might be substantially higher than originally thought.
Remember all those YouTube clips (the same medium used to nearly justify World War III) that caught the president lying again and again with promises and assurances everyone would be able to keep their existing insurance plan under Obamacare even though he knew full they wouldn't, until a week ago, thanks to what is left of the non-brownnosing media, as much was revealed to the general public? Well, it's time to come clean, and once again via clip. Moments ago, in an interview with NBC, the charming and very photogenic president said he was "sorry."
Readers should consider carefully the fundamental difference between a “real economy” and a “financial economy.” In a real economy, the debt and equity markets as a percentage of GDP are small and are principally designed to channel savings into investments. In a financial economy or “monetary-driven economy,” the capital market is far larger than GDP and channels savings not only into investments, but also continuously into colossal speculative bubbles. It would seem to me that Karl Marx might prove to have been right in his contention that crises become more and more destructive as the capitalistic system matures (and as the “financial economy” referred to earlier grows like a cancer) and that the ultimate breakdown will occur in a final crisis that will be so disastrous as to set fire to the framework of our capitalistic society.
Once upon a time, a few deluded individuals held hope that quantiative easing may actually do something to improve the plight of the common person instead of simply transferring wealth from the poor to the rich at an ever faster pace. Five years of failed monetary policy later, which has done nothing to stimulate the economy and everything to stimulate unprecedented non-risk taking that makes even the epic asset bubble of 2007 pale by comparison, this naive assumption has been thoroughly destroyed. However, for all those who don't splurge on yachts, mega mansions, and private jets, the pain is just starting. The latest evidence of this comes from Japan where according to a survey by the Bank of Japan released today, the share of Japanese households with no financial assets rose to a record as falling incomes forced people to dig into their savings. According to Bloomberg, as a result of Abe's disastrous "reflation at all costs" policies, the proportion of Japanese households without financial assets reached 31 percent up from 26 percent a year earlier and the highest since the poll began in 1963.