What does this absurd gimmick tell us about him, given that he cannot possibly win the required number of delegates any longer? A sign of mental illness perhaps? Probably not. We think it is telling us that he is desperately trying to ingratiate himself with the Republican establishment – which is firmly anti-Trump for the simple reason that Trump is a genuine threat to its cozy cronyism. The only purpose of Mr. Cruz’ continued participation in the primaries is an attempt to deny The Donald the majority of delegates in order to bring about a brokered convention.
"This Has Been The Longest Selling Streak In History" - 'Smart Money' Sells For Record 14 Consecutive WeeksSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 05/03/2016 - 08:04
"Last week, during which the S&P 500 fell 1.3% in its biggest weekly decline since early Feb., BofAML clients were net sellers of US equities for the 14th consecutive week, in the amount of $2.8bn. As we noted last week, this has been the longest uninterrupted selling streak in our data history (since ‘08)—previously the longest streak was 12 weeks (in late ‘10)."
- Global stocks slide as yen, euro gains question policy potency (Reuters)
- U.S. Index Futures Signal Stock Losses as AIG Drops on Earnings (BBG)
- EU Sees Weaker Growth in Eurozone and Wider EU as China Slowdown Weighs (WSJ)
- Euro Set for Longest Run of Gains Since 2013 as Fed Focus Fades (BBG)
- German Bonds Advance as EU Cuts Euro-Area Inflation Outlook (BBG)
US "boots on the ground" on Iraq have just suffered their first casualty. Moments ago US Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced that the Islamic State killed the first U.S. serviceman in Iraq who was aiding Kurdish fighters near the northern Iraqi city of Mosul. A statement from the US-led forces in Iraq added the fatality was "a result of enemy fire." "It is a combat death, of course. And a very sad loss," Carter told reporters at a press conference in Germany.
Overnight Australia finally admitted it has succumbed to the global economic weakness plaguing the rest of the world when in a "surprise" move, Australia’s central bank cut its benchmark interest rate for the first time in a year to a record low and left the door open for further easing to counter a wave of disinflation that’s swept over the developed world. The move sent the local currency tumbling and local stocks climbing. Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Glenn Stevens and his board lowered the cash rate by 25 basis points to 1.75 percent Tuesday, a move predicted by just 12 of 27 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. The announcement has, not surprisingly unleashed havoc across FX markets and broadly pushed global mood into its latest "risk off" phase.
The last thing Democrats want to contend with just a week before the 2016 presidential election is an outcry over double-digit insurance hikes as millions of Americans begin signing up for Obamacare. But that looks increasingly likely as health plans socked by Obamacare losses look to regain their financial footing by raising rates.
For anyone concerned that $800 billion in student loans over the last decade simply won't be enough debt burden for millennials to carry, worry no more, a solution has been found.
Unfortunately, we who should have known better failed to guard against such a future. The world is disintegrating on every front - politically, environmentally, morally - and for the next generation, the future does not look promising. The following bits of wisdom, gleaned from a lifetime of standing up to injustice and speaking truth to power, will hopefully help them survive the perils of the journey that awaits...
Despite a trillion dollars of credit spewed into the Chinese 'economy' speculative finance channels, Manufacturing remains in a slump as April's China PMI tumbled to 49.4 after a brief bounce back up to 49.8 (from the 48.0 low in Feb). This is the 14th month in a row of contraction. As Caixin reports, relatively weak market conditions and muted client demand contributed to a further solid decline in staff numbers, which seems to put a nail in the coffin of anyone who believes recent price action in industrial commodities is anything but speculative fervor.
The probable end result, when subtracting from the potential Democratic vote disenchanted millennials, economic-revolutionaries, and doves could easily bury any and all hope for the Clintons to return to the White House. Many millennials won’t vote; and many impoverished whites in the Democratic Party will feel forced to switch their anti-establishment allegiance from Bernie to Donald Trump, as incongruent as that may seem, hoping for a better economic future and/or a more constructive, less confrontational hawkish attitude internationally. For all the antipathy that might exist between African-American and Latino “super-minorities” and Donald Trump, it is these major minority voting blocks that appear to be clearing the path for this Demeaner-in-Chief to exchange his ostentatious quarters in Trump Plaza for the more modest ceremonial trappings of the White House.
Of all the inane, self-serving, deals German Chancellor Angela Merkel made with Turkey, visa-free travel for 80 million Islamic Turks tops the list. “This is all a nightmare,” said one diplomat charged with making the deal work. Nightmares aside, Brussels Prepares Legal Groundwork on Visa-Free Travel for Turks.
Last week the House Armed Services Committee approved an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act requiring women to register with Selective Service. This means that if Congress ever brings back the draft, women will be forcibly sent to war. Some proponents of a military draft justify it as “payback” for the freedom the government provides its citizens. Those who make this argument are embracing the collectivist premise that since our rights come from government, the government can take away those rights whether it suits their purposes. Thus supporters of the draft are turning their backs on the Declaration of Independence.
As of today, we now have three consecutive quarters of tightening lending standards. In fact, based on the latest survey, net lending standards tightened even more than during Q4 as shown in the chart below, and are now the tightest on net since the financial crisis. Needless to say, if a recession and a default cycle has always followed two quarters of tighter lending conditions, three quarters does not make it better.
There are many who believe that the use of energy is critical to the growth of the economy. However, the thing that is not as apparent is that growth in energy consumption is dependent on the growth of debt. Both energy and debt have characteristics that are close to “magic,” with respect to the growth of the economy. Economic growth can only take place when growing debt (or a very close substitute, such as company stock) is available to enable the use of energy products. The situation we are facing today is one in which growing debt has been holding up oil prices and other commodity prices for a long time. We are now reaching limits on this process, as evidenced by growing wealth disparity, low commodity prices, and the frantic actions of governments leaders around the world regarding slow economic growth and the need for more stimulus.