Goldilocks Unemployment: A Disgusting Bowl Of Porridge

We currently have over 93 Million able-bodied people without jobs – and growing. This is why it’s near incomprehensible, as well as outright disgusting to me that such a dismal showing in both the headline number as well as the onerous implications of such a downward revision to the month prior, coupled with the outright fallacy of suggesting the rate of unemployment has moved closer still to statistical “full employment” came with near giddiness and if not outright back slapping. i.e., “This is a Goldilocks print. Not too hot – not too cold. With a report like this – The Federal Reserve won’t dare raise rates and might actually have to contemplate instituting another round of QE if not outright QE4ever!” And yes; that was the reaction paraphrased across the financial media outlets. Again, personally – I found it all repulsive.

Paul Craig Roberts: Economic Disinformation Keeps Financial Markets Up

As we have pointed out for a number of years, according to the payroll jobs reports, the complexion of the US labor force is that of a Third World country. Most of the jobs created are lowly paid domestic services. No economist should ever have accepted the claim that the economy was in recovery while participation in the labor force was declining. Having looked at the actual details of the payroll jobs report, which are seldom if ever reported in the financial media, let’s look at what else goes unreported in the media.

IMF Preparing Greek Default Contingency Plan

The biggest slow motion trainwreck in history, one that everyone knows how it ends just not when (especially since the "when" is about 5 years overdue), that of the Greek sovereign default may just got a bit more exciting earlier today when the WSJ reported that the IMF can no longer lie - like Mario Draghi did to Zero Hedge in 2013 - that there are preparation for a Plan B. To wit: "the International Monetary Fund is working with national authorities in southeastern Europe on contingency plans for a Greek default, a senior fund official said—a rare public admission that regulators are preparing for the potential failure to agree on continued aid for Athens."

China To Build Military Base In Africa Next To Critical Oil Transit Choke Point

One year ago China was well on its way to marking its territory in southern Africa, with a core military presence near the all important for global trade Cape of Good Hope which is the transit point for about 10% of global seaborne-traded oil. Fast forward to today when AFP reports that after securing Southen Africa, China is now in process of securing the second critical geopolitical area in Africa: the horn, which just happens to be right next to the infamous Bab el-Mandeb Strait located by the recently infamous country of Yemen, which in recent months has been overrun by US-armed Houthi Rebels.  According to AFP, China is negotiating a military base in the strategic port of Djibouti, the president said, raising the prospect of US and Chinese bases side-by-side in the tiny Horn of Africa nation.

The 'Lumbering' US Economy

While Crude and Copper get all the glory, the fact is, as we have detailed previously, Lumber prices are the most correlated with economic activity (ISM and GDP) of all industrial commodities. That is quickly becoming a major problem for the "Q1 was weather and now we get the epic bounceback" narrative writers.

The Most Imminent And Paramount Question For Americans Today!

Is it that we don’t care? Is it that we don’t see it? Is it that we are masochists? What is it about us that makes us so apathetic to the atrocities against our Constitutional rights? They are there for our protection and so, to we the people, they are assets that require maintenance but we are leaving them to be destroyed by the political elements. Even amongst well versed, well educated and very interested Americans there seems to be very little concern, judging by reaction, to the fact that our Constitutional rights are quite blatantly at this point, being taken away from us. Why is that not creating more of an agitated response??

"Bush vs Clinton" - If The Election Were Held Today, Who Would Win?

Since the outcome of the primaries has already been largely pre-determined, and America will soon to be presented with the next dynastic iteration of the "Bush vs Clinton" false dilemma, here is how the key (non) question breaks down as of this moment: if the 2016 election were held today, for whom would you vote?

When Obama Talks About His "Massive Fight" With Wall Street, What Exactly Does He Refer To?

When Obama talks of a "massive fight" with Wall Street, is he referring to:

- the tens of billions in handouts handed to each and every bank, unleashing the age of socialized losses and privatized profits?
- the condification of the Too Big To Fail concept?
- presiding over a Department of "Justice" that openly admitted it would not prosecute certain bankers over fears of systemic collapse consequences, thus mathin up TBTF with Too Big To Prosecute?
- the implementation of Barney Frank which was supposed to rein in banks and instead had Citigroup lawyers and lobbysists write the language write the language in the Derivatives Swaps Out provision of the Omnibus bill as a result of $70.3 trillion in total Citigroup derivatives, which the bank knows will one day require another taxpayer bailout?

The Age Of Cryptocurrency

"Bitcoin represents a monumental paradigm shift that will transform the social, political and economic landscape," according to Paul Vigna and Michael J. Casey in this presentation. Since its advent, Bitcoin has gained a reputation for instability and illicit business; naysayers fear its power to eliminate jobs and upend the concept of a nation-state. Vigna and Casey show that cryptocurrencies can also bring good. For one, they remove the middleman from the financial system, giving the power to the people and safeguarding from the devastation of a 2008-type crash. They also promote financial equality; Bitcoin has already given the world’s unbanked - those marginalized billions who’ve never had a bank account - unprecedented access to the global economy.

Something Doesn't Add Up - Strong Jobs, Weak Spending, Sagging Sales

The recovery economists are so sure is right around the corner never is. What we can reasonably assume here is that the economy was bumped in a manner not seen since the Great Recession, and that we still don’t know how that will be resolved. The inventory problem is enormous and it at least suggests far more humility about assured rebounds that have never yet arrived and to which are based on arguable figures that at best are backward facing.

A Seasoned Trader "Remembers" The Flash Crash

We suspect, given the plethora of newly-minted immodest gurus in the investment world, the following "memory" of the 2010 flash-crash - from a seasoned modest trader - will be repeated many times as 2015 progresses.

Free Trade Is Plutocratic Propaganda

In 2003, Kevin Flanagan was an information technology employee at Bank of America. They told him he was being replaced with foreign labor, and he was ordered to train his replacement. After he completed his assignment, he was laid off. Then he went to the parking lot and shot himselfThat's "free trade."

EPS 'Beats' Lose All Meaning As Downward Revisions, Buybacks Mask Weakness

The good news: companies are beating earnings estimates by the widest margin in four years. The bad news: this has very little to do with strong corporate earnings and quite a lot to do with buybacks and analysts cutting estimates. In fact, bottom-up EPS estimates fell by 8.2% in Q1, nearly double the 1-, 5-, and 10-year averages and the largest decline since 2009. Meanwhile, repurchase authorizations hit a record in April and are now set to climb to an all-time high in 2015, providing a wonderful frontrunning opportunity for everyone from retail investors to the SNB.

The Economics Of Tesla's PowerWall Don’t Make Sense For Most Customers In North America

Just like the Tesla electric car was spun as a niche product which will be adopted by everyone in the US (and the world) but increasingly appears that not only will this fad fade away only to be replaced by the next such attention-grabbing gimmick created by someone else, so the PowerWall is a product that while clearly appealing to some 40,000 early adopters "it’s yet not clear that it will expand much beyond that." According to Catalytic Engineering, the PowerWall "economics don’t make sense for most customers in North America" and that "by itself, the Tesla PowerWall residential unit won’t disrupt the energy industry, as it’s looking like a niche product."

Hundreds Leave "Boss-less" Zappos As "Get-Paid-To-Quit" Scheme Backfires

Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh wasn't satisfied with how quickly his company was transitioning to an "unconventional" boss-less corporate culture, so he sent a memo to his 1,500 employees reminding them that Zappos will pay unsatisfied workers to quit. The result: some folks quit...

China Cuts Rates (Again) In Desperate Bid To Buoy Stocks, Rescue Economy

On the heels of last week's equity rout, China cuts interest rates for the third time since November. The move comes on the heels of last month's RRR cut and follows trade data that missed expectations (again) and a PPI print that betrayed persistent deflation risks. Perhaps more importantly, Chinese stocks fell last week amid still more rumors that tighter margin requirements are on the way.