"Obama's Tax-The-Rich Plan Is Futile" Druckenmiller Warns, America's Aging Population Is A "Massive, Massive Problem"

"Young people are not going to be talking about cutting back," exclaims billionaire hedge fund manager Stanley Druckenmiller, ominously concluding "there will be nothing to cut back." The reason he is so doom-full about the future - an aging population will present a "massive, massive problem" for the U.S. in 15 years - as Bloomberg reports, because of demographics, "we're just using more and more of society’s resources to fend for the old people," warning that Obama's plans to tax the rich to pay for more social services for the poor would be futile.

Will A Spike In Rates Hurt Stocks? (Spoiler Alert: Yes)

The current consternation among global equity markets is centered around the recent considerable rise in bond yields globally. Historical precedents, or the lessons they contain, which bear some resemblance to present market conditions suggest the recent spike in bond yields would appear to have historical evidence to back up those who harbor concerns about its potential negative impact on stocks – a negative impact that may be of a long-term nature.

Flash Crash Scapegoat Nav Sarao Complained More Than 100 Times About The Real Market Manipulators

Several weeks ago, when the CFTC and DOJ's laughable attempt to scapegoat the May 2010 flash crash on the actions of a live-in-his-parents-basement UK trader, we explained "Why Sarao Is The Flash Crash Patsy: He Threatened To Expose The "Mass Manipulation Of High Frequency Nerds." It now turns out that he not only threatened to expose the real market manipulators, but he acctually did it. More than 100 times.

Senate Passes Obama's TPP Fast-Track Trade Proposal

Two days ago there was some rejoicing and much surprise when the "Warren-faction" of Senate liberals turned against Obama, and failed to vote for a fast-track approval of the TPP. That surprise lasted for about 48 hours when moments ago, in a 65-33 vote, the Senate finally advanced a measure allowing Obama to expedite approval of trade agreements, a bill with bipartisan support in that chamber which however according to Bloomberg may run into strong opposition from House Democrats.

A View From The Valley - Are We Approaching Peak Optimism?

Sitting in Silicon Valley, it feels like we’ve reached the peak again. Hot money is chasing deals at ridiculous valuations. Housing prices are more than incomes can cover. Optimism is high. Jobless Claims are at cyclical lows. We’ve seen this before, in 2000 and 2007.

The Recovery Itself Unravels; Consumer Recession

If March was supposed to herald at least the beginning of the anticipated yearly rebound, April put that idea to rest. We have pushed way past last year’s “aberration” in the polar vortices and way past even the immediate aftermath of the 2012 slowdown (which hit in the also-snowy winter of 2013). You can make the argument that the full US economy is not in recession but it is now exceedingly difficult to sustain any position that doesn’t put the consumer already there.

Former NATO Commander, Presidential Candidate Makes Millions Pushing Penny Stocks

Gen. Wesley Clark has been a busy man since retiring from public service with a plan to make $40 million. In addition to chairing notorious investment bank Rodman & Renshaw, the former NATO allied commander and one-time Presidential hopeful has thrown his face and fame behind a plethora of OTC-listed companies, Bloomberg reports. From grilled cheese sandwich trucks to hydroponic lettuce companies run by the real-life Bud Fox, Clark's name has become so synonymous with doomed penny stocks that one fund manager calls his very appearance on a company board "a red flag."

Lack Of Short Squeeze In Today's 30 Year Auction Lead To Weak Demand

Following two very strong auctions earlier this week which as we showed previously had a massive short heading into the 1pm deadline, we made a simple prediction: because there was virtually no short overhang in the 30Y this morning, with the paper trading 0.11% in repo, we expected the auction to turn out ugly. Sure enough, an ugly 30 Year auction is precisely what we got moments ago when $16 billion in 3 decade paper was sold at a 3.044%, the highest yield since November, and a whopping 1.8bps tail to the 3.026% When Issued.

Bundesbank Blasts Draghi For Breaking Bailout Taboo

"The head of Germany's Bundesbank ripped into the European Central Bank on Thursday, saying emergency funding for Greek banks broke the taboo of financing governments and it was not up to central banks to decide who was or wasn't in the euro zone," Reuters reports.

As If 85 Million Avon Shares Short Suddenly Cried Out And Were Suddenly Silenced... By A Fake LBO Letter

How do you make what had been a very good couple of years for tens of thousands of Avon Products shorts into an absolute nightmare of a day? By doing what PTG Partners just did when moments ago it announced that, out of the blue, it would like to purchase AVP for a price of $18.75 or nearly three times higher than the Avon stock price moments before the announcement. Because why pay double when triple would do.

Saudis Declare Victory Over Shale Just As US Oil Production Jumps, Bakken Wells Hit Record

Yesterday, the FT reported that Saudi Arabia gloated in declaring victory over US shale. “There is no doubt about it, the price fall of the last several months has deterred investors away from expensive oil including US shale, deep offshore and heavy oils,” a Saudi official told the Financial Times in Riyadh, giving a rare insight into the kingdom’s thinking on oil strategy. Which is great, but there are two problems. First, any time someone say "there is no doubt about it", or "unambiguously this or that", it is a lie. Second, Saudi Arabia is dead wrong.

 

In Stunning U-Turn, NBC Retracts Story That Obama Lied About bin Laden

It would appear someone at NBC News got a rather large tap on the shoulder. In what is a stunning reversal of their confirmation that President Obama lied and lying about the killing of bin Laden, NBC News has updated their original story - that "two intelligence sources tell NBC News that the year before the U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden, a 'walk in' asset from Pakistani intelligence told the CIA where the most wanted man in the world was hiding" - to this - "Sources say that while the asset provided information vital to the hunt for bin Laden, he was not the source of his whereabouts." As Slate concludes, while NBC’s story doesn’t use the word correction or retraction, that’s what this appears to be.

Consumer Comfort Tumbles For Longest Streak In 18 Months

Confirming Gallup's demise of the confidence of the consumer, Bloomberg's non-government-sanctioned Consumer Comfort index has now fallen for the 5th straight week - the longest streak of uncomfortableness since Nov 2013. The index is barely above unchanged for 2015 with people in The South and NorthEast feeling the misery the most in the last week (and rather oddly, only the 65+ age cohort saw an improvement - rising rates?).

Bund "Stable" As Put-Call Ratio Collapses To 6-Month Low

Bund yields rose once again overnight, testing last week's melt-up 77bps top briefly but have 'stabilized' as US markets come online hovering 1bps lower. As bund prices have collapsed so it appears knife-catchers have been busily leveraging up with Call option open interest soaring dramatically (and put option open interest). This has smashed the put-call ratio from multi-year highs in mid-March (before the collapse began) to 6-month lows now. Whether this is a contrarian's dream is unclear (suggesting that there is further price downside as the weight of positions are skewed to the upside is unclear).