Weekend Reading: DNC – Discerning & Notional Conjugations

This week, the headlines have been dominated by the Democratic National Convention pushing Janet Yellen’s latest FOMC non-action to 'page 6'. "Global instability is now the perma-excuse for the Fed.” The only question will be where that instability pops up next?

Monte Paschi Fails European "Stress Test" Meant To Restore Confidence In Europe's Struggling Banks

Moments ago, the European Banking Authority published the 2016 bank stress test results, whose purpose - as every other year -  is to inspire confidence in Europe's struggling banks; it differs from a market-based assessment of bank stress - that particular "test" can be seen by observing the stock prices of such giant banks as Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse, both of which recently hit all time lows. As previewed yesterday, Italy's 3rd largest, and most insolvent bank, Banca Monte di Siena was the worst performer in European regulators’ stress tests, and the only lender to have its capital wiped out in the exam. 

The FOMC Butterfly That Will Ruin The World

Imagine the financial crisis knocked you out and you did not wake up from the coma that followed until this day. Then, presented with the following three charts you were asked to guess where the federal funds rate was trading...

European Bank Stress Test Preview: What To Expect And How To Trade It

While the main event in today's European bank stress test was leaked moments ago, when Monte Paschi board member Turicchi said that the bank has finalized a bank consortium for a critical capital hike, suggesting that contrary to last minute jitters the bank has found the needed number of willing banks to provide €5 billion in fresh capital it needs resulting in the bank's 3rd bailout in the past 2 years - this one courtesy of the private sector - there may still be some surprises.

Hedge Funds Badly Lag The S&P500: July's Top 20 Winners And Losers

July may have been a good month for the S&P 500, which is up over 3.5%, generating more than half of the S&P's entire YTD 2016 return (6.4%) in just one month, but it was another painful month for the active investing "smart money" - of the roughly 40 (rotating) marquee names in our hedge fund tracking universe, only one is beating the broader market this month.

The Real Motive Behind Al-Nusra "Split" From Al Qaeda

The purpose behind this rebranding of al-Nusra Front seems to be to legitimize itself and make it easier for its patrons to send money and arms. The US blacklisted al-Nusra Front in December 2012 and pressurized Saudi Arabia and Turkey to ban it too. Though, al-Nusra Front’s name has been in the list of proscribed organizations of Saudi Arabia and Turkey since 2014, but it kept receiving money and arms from Saudi Arabia.

US Oil Rig Count Rises At Fastest Rate Since Jan 2010

With inventories once again on the rise, demand set to seasonally tumble, and production on the rise, the lagged response to the bounce in crude prices continues in the US oil rig count, rising 3 last week to 374. This is the 8th rig count rise in the last 9 weeks. The 58 rig rise (+18% off the lows) is the fastest since Jan 2010. Oil prices had melted up all day (despite record OPEC production) as the USD weakened, and extended gains despite the rig count rise.

Peter Schiff Slams The Fed's 'Loud Talk, No Stick' Policy

Theodore Roosevelt’s famous mantra “speak softly and carry a big stick” suggested that the United States should seek to avoid creating controversies and expectations through loose or rash pronouncements, but be prepared to act decisively, with the most powerful weaponry, when the time came. More than a century later, the Federal Reserve has stood Teddy’s maxim on its head. As far as Janet Yellen and her colleagues at the Fed are concerned, the Fed should speak as loudly, frequently, and as circularly as possible to conceal that they are holding no stick whatsoever.

Oil Surges After OPEC Production Hits Record High: Here's Why

Despite the return of the record OPEC oil production, crude is now surging for one simple reason: oil is inversely correlated with the dollar. And thanks to today GDP shock, which showed that the US economy grew far slower than expected, the dollar has crashed. Confused? Don't be: "Dollar weakness follows disappointing U.S. GDP data, consumer confidence." As a result, ugly economic data has sent the dollar tumbling, oil soaring, and the S&P near all timehighs. Q.E.D.

Merkel Ignores Nation's "Anxiety & Fear"; No Change To Open-Door Migration Policy

Merkel refuses to admit that she is wrong and will not reverse her refugee policy despite all the problems, attacks, rapes, and terror. This is the precise reason why career politicians are no longer acceptable. They will never defend the people nor will they ever admit a mistake. She is making a decision for all of Europe and this amounts to a completely undemocratic position whereby no citizen of any other member States has any right to object or vote her out of office.

US Admits It "Found A Problem" In Calculation Of GDP

For years we have complained against both the BLS' and the BEA's comical seasonal adjustments, which "serve" just one purpose: to goalseek the data to a desired, politically-mandated outcome, and which culminated last May when the Department of Commerce announced it would seasonally adjust last year's woeful Q1 GDP data not once but twice in order to get a better result.  Now, it appears that there indeed was a problem.

"Hope"? Nope...!

Despite the protestations that everything will be awesome from Hillbama, the American people strongly disagree. The gap between tumbling 'expectations' (77.8) and 'current conditions' (109.0) is at its worst (least hopeful) since August 2006... shortly before overall confidence crashed in America.