Richard Koo Crushes The QE Dream (In 1 Brief Paragraph)

Late on Friday afternoon, desparate to relive his mid-October 'world-saving' heroics, The Fed's Jim Bullard unleashed some more Fedspeak aimed at the promise of moar money to save the world (i.e. stocks) if things don't work out. But it is his concluding comment that sparked the most 'keyboard-smashing-angst' for those not buying the spoon-fed omnipotence of the central planners. Bullard stated unequivocally that "the lesson of QE is that it works fairly well." While we are not exactly sure what his definition of 'works' is, as the chart below and Richard Koo's QE-dream-crushing commentary shows, by reflating assets by their hand, the central planners are putting the cart before the horse... and Japan is a perfect example of the vicious economic spiral that leads to...

There Is No Inflation (Unless You Eat Food, Use Water, Live In A House, Get Sick, Go To School, Or Do Taxes)

Government data reports are so funny. The blaring headlines today tells us that prices dropped in December. We are all saving billions from the drop in oil and gas. Hallelujah!!! The corporate MSM never digs into the numbers to get the real truth. These reports and their distribution to the sheep are designed to keep you sedated and calm. Facts are not necessary. How this data pertains to your everyday life is not important to the .1% who control the flow of information. Your government keepers will continue to drown you in propaganda and misinformation. But the average person should know they are being lied to. They see how much money they have left over at the end of every month. If any.

Russia's Modest Proposal To Greece: "Exit Europe And We Will Lift The Food Import Ban"

Just to make things interesting, overnight Russia told a beleaguered Greece, and specifically its hurting farmers, that it "may lift its ban on food imports from Greece in the event it quits the European Union" according to Russian Minister of Agriculture Nikolai Fyodorov who spoke in Berlin on Friday. “If Greece has to leave the European Union, we will build our own relations with it, the food ban will not be applicable to it,” Fyodorov said as reported by Tass. In other words, Russia has casually thrown out feelers to Greece (and any other peripheral European country) and given it the option of joining the greater Russian sphere of influence (because the USSR 2.0 and satellites is still not trademarked), should it decide that 5 years after the first Greek "bailout" things for the country caught in an endless depression are as good as they will get with a bunch of Goldman bankers in charge.

What Really Happened At The SNB Yesterday: One Person's Take

At the hastily arranged press conference on January 15, SNB's president, Jordan, looked like a red-faced school boy caught with the hand in the cookie jar. None of his explanations made any sense. The SNB was clearly caught by surprise itself and didn't have time to make up some better lies. But why this sudden change of heart, throwing in the towel causing book losses of somewhere around CHF 75bn  (>10% GDP)? Some theories...

"We Have Been Captured... We Are Parented, Not Represented"

Self-government is the gift our founding fathers made possible and out of lack of respect for the sacrifices of the past, the constitutional rights of the present and the freedoms of future Americans we allow it to be traded for a comfortable existence.  We must stop and truly understand the concept of self-government as it was meant to be and then mentally reconcile that with the current state of our government.  We are parented not represented.  We are enslaved with encroaching laws that are demeaning to rational self sufficient adults.   And by a legislative body that feeds from our bosom, fights with our fists and has buried us in debt to a foreign body who they sold the rights to our currency.  How is this in any way a self-governed society?  We have been captured by a group of fraudulent citizens who control our money, our military and have desecrated our constitution.

The Greek Bank Run Spreads To All Four Largest Banks

After yesterday's report that two Greek banks had suffered sufficiently material deposit withdrawals to force them to apply for the unpopular and highly stigmatizing Emergency Liquidity Assistance program with the ECB, now the other two of Greece's largest banks have also succumbed to reserve depletion after the Greek bank run appears to have gone viral. As Greek Capital.gr reports, now all four Greek banks have requested ELA assistance from the ECB.

Japan Set To Surpass China As America's Largest Creditor

When it comes to America's foreign creditors, only two names matter (except for Belgium whose Euroclear service continues to be used by an anonymous entity(s) to buy up US Treasurys): Japan and China. And it is in the Treasury buying and selling dynamics of these two entities that we can see how Japan's monetary policy has impacted its holdings of US paper, which just hit a new all time high of $1,242 billion, while on the other hand Beijing's official holdings of Treasurys have remained unchanged since the summer of 2011, and which in July declined yet another month to just $1,250 billion, the lowest since January 2013.

Behold, The Great Wall Of Saudi Arabia: 600-Miles Of Protection From ISIS

Oh the irony. You just have to laugh when you see this closed, autocratic regime scramble to build a neo-feudal wall in order to protect itself from radical terrorists of its own creation. Instead of building this Medieval monstrosity, you’d think the Saudis might want to figure out who amongst them had funded ISIS in the first place, but that would make too much sense.

This Won't End Well

If you thought the market's reaction to the Swiss National Bank's decision was extreme... imagine what happens when this unwinds...

Lessons For Winning Liberty In A World Of Statism

Friends of freedom often become despondent when it seems that every day brings another growth and intrusion of government over people’s lives. But there is no reason to be disheartened, because there are lessons for winning liberty – from the opponents of freedom. If we keep the classical liberal ideal of individual rights and laissez-faire capitalism before us, we can and will win liberty in our time – for our children and ourselves.

Volatility Is Back

Despite proclamations of stability in oil prices this week, Oil implied-volatility has surged back to new cycle highs this week (near record highs). Credit volatility has been rising for a number of weeks and now equity volatility has been dragged higher (to its highest weekly close since Dec 2012). Thanks to the SNB decision, FX volatility has also exploded this week - the biggest spike since May 2010 to its highest since Dec 2011. Rate volatility remains the least affected for now - though has been on the rise all year and now stands at it highest in 4 months. Simply put, since QE ended... volatility is back.

Did "Stealing From Americans" Just Stop? AG Holder Moves To End Civil Asset Forfeiture

Since 2011, we have been warning of the rise of 'civil asset forfeiture' (here) with the 'stealing of American's hard-earned assets' having been on the rise signficantly in recent months; as the apparent final stage of empire begins. However, in an odd apparent success for "safeguarding civil liberties," Reuters reports that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said today that State and local police in the United States will no longer be able to use federal laws to justify seizing property without evidence of a crime.

5 Things To Ponder: A View Of A Correction

It has been a rough start to a new year as all of the gains following the end of the Federal Reserve's flagship "QE-3" campaign have been erased. There is currently little concern by the majority of Wall Street analysts that anything is currently wrong with the markets. While earnings estimates are rapidly being guided down, it is likely only a temporary issue due to plunging oil prices. However, not to worry, the economy is set to continue its upward growth trajectory. Maybe that is the case. But as investors we should always have a watchful eye on the things that could possibly go wrong that could lead to a rapid decline in investment capital.

About That "Strong" Dollar

At the moment, the US dollar is choice. This isn’t necessarily a vote of confidence for the dollar. It’s more like a vote against all the others. If big institutional investors must choose between bankrupt America and bankrupt Europe, right now they choose America. But this is a decision that can and will be changed in an instant. Just look at the Swiss franc...

Counterparty Concerns Surge: US Bank Credit Risk At 11-Month Highs

Canary... meet coalmine. While the divergence between US financial stock prices and their credit risk has been significant since Fed's Bullard saved the world in mid October. In fact the divergence really began when oil prices peaked and began to accelerate lower but really picked up this week after the Swiss National Bank news. Between energy-sector-based structured notes, massive short Treasury positions, and the potential for contagion from Swissy's massive moves, it would appear - judging by the major decompression in US bank credit risk this week to its worst since Feb 2014 - that counterparty risk is on the rise again.

Knight 2.0: Jefferies Rescues FXCM With $300 Million Bailout, CNBC Reports

In an apparent replay for 2012's Knight Trading algo-implosion $400 million cash-infusion bailout, Jefferies (owned by NY-based I-bank Leucadia) is riding its white horse to the rescue of FXCM and its $200-million-plus client losses:

  • *LUK IN $300M DEAL TO LET FXCM CONTINUE NORMAL OPS: CNBC
  • *LEUCADIA GIVE FXCM $300M IN FINANCING CNBC

Leucadia will get $250m in senior notes as part of the deal, CNBC says. So - in summary - a central bank blew up an FX broker and a mid-market junk-bond underwriter bailed them out... must be good for a green close for the week in stocks!

Here Comes Johnny 5: HFT's Favorite Exchange BATS To Acquire FX Trading Platform

Reuters just reported that none other than the HFT's bestest buddy exchange, BATS, which earlier this week was slapped with the biggest monetary penalty ever for continuing the practice of Hide Not Slide (at least until UBS' dark pool was slapped with an even bigger fine for conducting subpennying without informing most of its clients), is about to buy the FX trading platform of KCG, formerly Knight Capital which too blew up after one of its algos went haywire and blew up the firm in milliseconds.

  • BATS GLOBAL MARKETS IN TALKS TO BUY FX TRADING PLATFORM HOTSPOT FROM KCG HOLDINGS KCG.N FOR NEARLY $400 MLN - SOURCES KCG.N - RTRS

Which, of course, is great news for all those who have stepped back from the rigged circus and merely enjoy "markets" for the comedic farce they have become