60% Of Households Get More Benefits Than They Pay In Taxes

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) just released its annual report on “The Distribution of Household Income and Federal Taxes” analyzing data through 2011 on American households. The major finding of the CBO report is that the households in the top income quintile are the real “net payers” of the US economy. The highest income quintile is basically financing the entire system of transfer payments to the bottom 60% and the entire operation of the federal government. And yet don’t we hear all the time that “the rich” aren’t paying their fair share of taxes and that they need to shoulder a greater share of the federal tax burden?

China Home Price Slump Sends Iron Ore Plunging To 2009 Lows (-50% In 2014)

Iron Ore prices crashed below the critical $70/mt level overnight, lows not seen since the bottom in 2009, as China's home prices fell for the second month in a row, accelerating losses. Average property prices across China dropped 2.6% YoY in October (a bigger drop than September's 1.2% YoY slip) with only 1 out of 70 cities seeing any positive price change (Zhengzhou +0.2% MoM). What is perhaps most entertaining is the 38.6% YoY rise in new home starts China just experienced - the biggest jump ever - as the first sign of demand (or hint from PBOC that they would 'help' with mortgages) and supply floods the market. The 'market' appears not to believe the hype.

BTFTriple-Dip-Recession - Japanese Stocks Recover GDP Losses

3 days and 1400 NKY points roundtrip and all is once again well in the world according to Abe. The Nikkei 225 has just recovered all its losses from the dismal GDP downside 'surprise' thanks to a never-ending levitation in USDJPY back over 117.00. For now, the momentumn has stalled for stocks... but we are sure another regurgitated headline-full of Japanese policy-maker bullshit will send USDJPY to 120 and NKY back to 40,000 any day now - thus proving to all that Japan is indeed 'recovered'.

Are "We The People" Useful Idiots In The Digital Age?

"Back in the heyday of the old Soviet Union, a phrase evolved to describe gullible western intellectuals who came to visit Russia and failed to notice the human and other costs of building a communist utopia. The phrase was “useful idiots” and it applied to a good many people who should have known better. I now propose a new, analogous term more appropriate for the age in which we live: useful hypocrites. That’s you and me, folks, and it’s how the masters of the digital universe see us. And they have pretty good reasons for seeing us that way."

Despite Record Highs, These 5 'People' Are Still Flipping Out

Despite the apparent economic and profit news improvements recently, JPMorgan CIO Michael Cembalest notes there are a few instances where people are still flipping out. It’s worth reviewing them, he suggests, as they're indicative of risks and opportunities in financial markets heading into 2015, and of the continued presence of central banks affecting asset prices.

Keystone Pipeline Bill Fails To Pass Senate

Update: Sorry Mary, the No's just hit 41 meaning the bill failed to procure the required 60 Yes votes. Which is good news for Obama who is spared from enforcing the Veto and ruining his "compromiser" image.

Today's primetime Congressional spectacle has begun, with the Senate now voting to pass a bill to approve the Keystone Pipeline. In largely a moot vote, in which 60 Ayes are needed to pass the bill, there will certainly not be enough support for the bill to prevent an Obama veto, which he is certain to impose and reignite the animosity between the GOP and Democrats once again. Ultimately, the only outcome will be whether Mary Landrieu's political career will be terminated as a result of a failure to pass the legislation: with one vote said to make all the difference, it will be a nailbiter, if for nobody else, then for the Louisiana senator.

Here We Go Again: Demand For Subprime Debt Is "Out Of Control"

As Kyle Bass once eloquently noted, the brevity of financial memory is about two years; and nowhere is that more clear than in the explosive resurgence of demand for new subprime-mortgage-backed products. As Scotsman Guide reports, some subprime lenders are reporting strong investor appetite for the once-reviled mortgage products (for borrowers with credit scores as low as 500 and with debt-to-income (DTI) ratios as high as 50 percent). "It's out of control; it seems like there’s 10 times the amount of demand to buy this paper as there are borrowers that want the loans," said one lender. As Bass may have also said "proceed with caution."

Dollar Drop Sparks BTFEverything-Except-Oil Algo

From its lowest 5-day range in history and near-longest streak of closes above its short-term average, the S&P 500 broke to new record highs today (as did the Dow) above 2,050, leaving every other asset class in the dust (besides USDJPY of course). The incessant push for the stops above 117.00 dragged the S&P higher on no catalyst whatsoever. Treasury yields traded 2-3bps lower on the day (and HY credit spreads widened) in the face of equity exuberance. The USD faded on the day back to unchanged on the week on the back of EUR strength (post-Germany). Gold rallied to $1195 (+0.5% on the week) and silver rose modestly but the USD weakness did nothing for the rest of the commodity complex. Copper was whacked (after China housing data) but the big story is WTI Crude plunged again (-2% on the week) closing just shy of 4-year lows. Russell 2000 and Trannies close in the red for the week. In summary: Stocks Up, Gold Up, Bonds Up... USD Down, Oil Down, Copper Down ahead of Fed Minutes tomorrow (credit and stocks protected).

 

Goldman FX Trader Fired For Participating In Currency-Rigging Cartel Even As Goldman Avoids Any Charges

Moments ago the WSJ reported that Goldman Sachs - which managed to go unscathed in the recent currency market rigging settlement - just fired a currencies trader who "allegedly was involved with the misconduct before he joined the firm." So how is it possible that Goldman, which housed one of "The Cartel's" (or was it Bandits?) riggers, was never busted in the first place? Because apparently Goldman had no clue of his impeccable FX-rigging chat room credentials when it hired him from HSBC back in 2012, credentials which he allegedly never again used while employed by Goldman because the moment he walked through the door at 200 West, he was a changed man, doing merely god's work and nobody else's.

Why, Despite Its Failure, Abenomics Is "Still Working" For These People, In Quotes

If you were forced to admit that everything you believed about markets and monetary policy was in fact completely fallacious, as this week's Japanese GDP collapse proved of Abenomics and devaluing yourself to prosperity, could you do it? Or would you stick to your blinkered views of the world... The following characters continue to have faith in the self-proclaimed ponzi scheme...

Hugh Hendry: "I Believe Central Bankers Are Terrified"

"My premise hasn’t really changed since I published my paper explaining why I had become more constructive towards risk assets this time last year. That is to say, the structural deficiency of global demand continues to radicalise the central banking community. I believe they are terrified: the system is so leveraged and vulnerable to potentially systemic price reversals that the monetary authorities find themselves beholden to long only investors and obliged to support asset prices. However, I clearly confused everyone with my choice of language. What I should have said is that investors are perhaps misconstruing rising equity prices as a traditional bull market spurred on by revenue and earnings growth, and becoming fearful of a reversal, when instead the persistent upwards drift in stock markets is more a reflection of the steady erosion of the soundness of the global monetary system and therefore the rise in stock prices is something that is likely to prevail for some time."

About That Japanese Downgrade

While we no longer live in a world in which debt matters - because central banks will just monetize it in their ongoing and no longer covert effort to reflate the final bubble - and thus debt ratings are an irrelevant anachronism from a bygone era, we can't help but recall a certain statement by S&P from September of last year, in which the rating agency reminded everyone just why Japan has to proceed with both its first sales tax hike from 5% to 8%, (which, together with weather, has now been blamed on Japan's shocking quadruple-dip recession), but also the follow up from 8% to 10%, which as we now know, has been delayed indefinitely, and which was supposed to prefund welfare spending for Japan's demographic disaster which with every passing day gets closer and closer.

How The IRS & Homeland Security Are Expanding Undercover Work

“There is a danger to democracy,” a Supreme Court spokesman said, “in having police infiltrate protests when there isn’t a reasonable basis to suspect criminality.” "It is impossible to tell how effective the government’s operations are or evaluate whether the benefits outweigh the costs, since little information about them is publicly disclosed." Just another day in the American oligarchy.

Kissinger Warns "We Need A New World Order"; Ukraine Should Forget Crimea & NATO

Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger says in an interview with Der Spiegel that there currently is an urgent need for a new world order, but its coming into being will be long and complicated. "There is the Chinese view, the Islamic view, the Western view and, to some extent, the Russian view. And they really are not always compatible," he warns, adding that introducing anti-Russian sanctions was a mistake. He added that Ukraine should not hope to become a member of NATO in the foreseeable future, as the alliance will never vote unanimously for the accession of Ukraine.