With just 10 days until a June 5 IMF payment that Athens almost certainly will not make unless it strikes a deal for the disbursement of more bailout funds, things just got quite a bit more interesting on the EU political front after Spain’s Popular Party was dealt a dramatic electoral blow on Sunday by the leftist Podemos and center-right Ciudadanos.
"Like pushing a rock up a hill," is how some trader’s view the current disconnect between the physical market for crude oil and the futures market with speculators pushing futures prices higher while the physical market remains moribund.
With US markets closed for the Memorial Day holiday, and some of the key European markets likewise shuttered for public holiday including the UK, Germany and Switzerland, it is difficult to find where one can observe or trade the weekend's newsflow, which is once again centered on developments in Europe, where on Sunday Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s People’s Party suffered its worst result in a municipal election in 24 years while Greece continues to threaten with default 5 some years after it should have officially pulled the plug.
We're all about to be taken to the woodshed, warns David Stockman in this excellent interview... "it's a coup d'etat, the central banks have taken over - it's an unconstitutional domination of the entire economy."
Retired central banker, blogger, bond guru and hedge fund consultant Ben Bernanke just uttered the following total rubbish...
*BERNANKE: NO LARGE MISPRICINGS IN U.S. SECURITIES, ASSET PRICES
In an effort to save whoever it is that will pay him $250,000 next for these wise words, we offer five charts.
A 4.8 magnitude earthquake shook Las Vegas and surrounding areas Friday morning causing roads and bridges to be closed. In the 36 hours since the quake's occurrence, water levels at Lake Mead have plunged precipitously. While we know correlation is not causation, the 'coincidence' of an extreme loss in water levels occurring in the aftermath of one of the largest quakes in recent Vegas history does raise a suspicious eyebrow - especially when there has been no official word on the precipitous decline.
It seems comical, yet ill-omened, how Barack Obama is herding the already decimated middle class along a path sure to reach economic oblivion, while maintaining support from much of the old guard of school-government-trade unionists which has kept the Democratic Party afloat during the last five decades in a conservative sea dominated by currents of old-time religion and misguided patriotism. ISIS’ literal style of decapitation is repugnant and shocking. US’ self-imposed economic decapitation may not appear at first as shocking, but the end result will be as gruesome to America’s working class: not the proletariat of old, but most everyone holding both blue and white collar jobs.
It appears the reality that we exposed in all its unbelievable ponzi-ness has filtered into the psyche of Chinese investors.. though ever so gently for now. Hanergy's self-dealing self-referential loans collateralized by stock and Goldin financial's farcical flop, along with 500% return year-to-date stocks by the dozen, has sparked some selling with CHINEXT down around 4%, Shenzhen down 1-2% (both heavily dominated by these high-flying idiot-maker stocks) while Shanghai Composite and CSI-300 (China A-Share proxy) is bid... because why wouldn't you greatly rotate to the index that is only up 47% YTD and not 92%?
The music industry was the first entertainment business to confront the digital transition, although, as Goldman notes, it was not exactly a willing pioneer... It wasn’t until 2004 when Apple iTunes debuted that consumers grew more and more primed to free music; and after a small bump in sales in 2004 from the launch of iTunes, the declines resumed as the double whammy of album unbundling and a 30% wholesale price cut took its toll. From 2004 to 2014, US music unit and dollar sales declined cumulatively by another 50%, erasing US$5 bn in annual sales.
With recent DC politicking on both the Export-Import Bank and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, we revisit Ron Paul's 1981 essay "The Case for Free Trade" which explains the basics of truly free trade... "Although we think of ourselves as a free-trading nation, it takes more than 700 pages just to list all the tariffs on imported goods, and another 400 to inventory all the non-tariff restraints, such as quotas and "orderly marketing agreements..."
"Greek hospitals have run out of supplies such as painkillers, scissors and sheets as budget cuts have left the health service unable to provide even basic provisions for operations and medical procedures," The Independent reports. With Tsipras still refusing to compromise on campaign "red lines," the end game is quite clearly approaching.
It’s not monetary easing, but the attitude of investors toward risk that distinguishes an overvalued market that continues higher from an overvalued market that is vulnerable to vertical losses. That window of vulnerability has been open for several months now, and the immediacy of our downside concerns would ease (despite obscene valuations) only if market internals and credit spreads were to shift back toward evidence of investor risk-seeking. Eventually, the final refuge of speculation is to abandon historically reliable measures wholesale, resting faith instead on the advent of some new era in which the old rules simply don’t apply.
The fact that such books dominate the book sales in this category tells us a thing or two about how the near consensus of approval once enjoyed by the Fed (and other Western central banks) is long gone.
We all know the difference between reality and wishful thinking. Many of us know just how quickly the jaws of reality can crush the life out of unicorn and fairytale stories when fiction is used to cover the facts. Where the businesses and happy customers that are supposedly represented on an income statement turn out to be little more than the Non-GAAP application of a fairy’s wand and pixie dust. However, this doesn’t stop people from buying in (literally) to the illusion. And what has far more onerous consequences is when the story tellers themselves begin to believe their own works of fiction.