Guest Post: Are Constitutional Conservatives Really The Boogeyman?

Power, or perceived power, is a viciously addictive narcotic. It doesn't matter what political or philosophical background a person hails from, very few have the self discipline or the self awareness necessary to relinquish the trappings of power once they have tasted it. This truth applies to conservatives as much as it applies to liberals. The bottom line is, whether Obamacare is successfully implemented or not, whether the debt ceiling is raised again or not, whether the Left passes every agenda on its list or not, our system is broken and it is going to collapse. There is no way around it. More debt and more fiat printing means stagflationary collapse. Default and austerity means stagflationary collapse. If liberals want to place blame for this conundrum, then they should focus on the people who actually set the original fire – international and central bankers. Constitutional conservatives have been the only people attempting to inform the American public of the facts surrounding our current fiscal crisis.

BNP Warns "You Can Never Leave" From The Fed's "Hotel California"

In the 1977 Eagles song, Hotel California, a luxury hotel appears inviting and offers a tired traveller comforting relief from his journey. It turns out to be something of a nightmare, however, and he finds that "you can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave". BNP's Paul Mortimer-Lee asks "does that sound a little bit like QE and the Fed?" The FOMC signalled its intention to check out of QE at its June meeting, but by September, it found it could not leave. Is that not just like QE1 and QE2, the scheduled ends of which had to be reversed within relatively short periods? The question now is whether or not we should expect repeated market obstacles to a QE3 exit. Why? Because, as we have noted numerous times, flows matter.

Even Professional Wrestlers Understand "The Fed Is The Enemy"

When 325lb WWE/WWF Professional Wrestler "Kane" speaks, one tends to listen and so when Glenn Thomas Jacobs addresses the reality of the Fed and the actions of the Jekyll-Island-created "entity" the world should perhaps pay attention. When an admittedly eloquent giant of mass media explains discusses "our enemy the Fed," and the tasks facing Americans, we hope (for 2 brief minutes) the message gets past the Miley Cyrus headlines...

Stocks Dump To End Best Month Since January

Good news (Chicago PMI) was very bad news and sent stocks into freefall early on. Hedgers then appeared to lift their protection (sending VIX lower) and igniting a surge back to the highs in stocks, tagging the stops, and then stocks slumped to end October (among the best month in the year for most indices) with a 2-day losing streak (the first in over 3 weeks) but EU stocks outperformed. Stocks had been ignoring the "taper-on" trends in Bonds (7Y TSY +5bps on week), USD (+1.3% on week), and precious metals (-2% on the week), but into the close, volume picked up and equities tumbled. Silver and Gold were monkey-hammered lower (ending Oct +1% and-0.3% respectively). FX markets saw USD bid aggressively (though CAD strengthened against the greenback). Credit remains considerably less enthusiastic than stocks. An ugly close for stocks... (blamed on Israel for now)

Treasury's Deceit Exposed By This Ballsy Government Official

Do you remember the $700 billion bailout of the financial system in 2008? It seems these days that most investors do not. People are partying like it’s 1929… as if all the issues and challenges that plagued the banking sector just a few years ago have miraculously vanished. This thinking is absurd, and even a casual glance at the balance sheets of so many banks in the West shows objectively that the entire system is still precariously leveraged, undercapitalized, and illiquid. In the wake of the bailout, Congress created a special position to oversee how the funds were spent. Like anything else in government, they used an unnecessarily long name followed by a catchy acronym – Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or SIGTARP. SIGTARP just released its quarterly report to Congress… and it’s scatching, suggesting that “the toxic corporate culture that led up to the crisis and TARP has not sufficiently changed.”

BofAML: "This Gold Pullback Is A Dip To Buy" And Stocks Are "Ripe For Stalling"

BofAML's NacNeill Curry remains bullish gold. He notes the impulsive gains from the 1251 low of Oct-15 and break of the 2-month downtrend (confirmed on the break of 1330) imply the medium-term trend has turned bullish. We look for an ultimate break of the 1433 highs of Aug-28, with potential for a push to 1500/1533 long-term resistance. Curry suggests traders buy this dip at around 1310 - warning that this view is nagated with a break below 1251. For those awaiting, a break of 1375 (Sep-19 high and right shoulder off a multi-month Head and Shoulders Top) is additional confirmation of the trend turn.

President Obama Addresses Investment Summit (Flip-Flops From "Sell" To "Buy"?) - Live Webcast

Just a few weeks ago, President Obama (and his right hand men in the Treasury) issued what was about as explicit a "sell" signal on US equities as is possible. His goal was to 'scare' congress into action on the back of an equity market collapse... of course, the Republicans folded with no such collapse in stocks (though bonds did implode). Today, following his "Buy Obamacare" pitch yesterday, the President delivers remarks to the SelectUSA Investment Summit - we assume his message will be BTFATH...

Guest Post: Instability Starts On The Margins

What is the prudent response when hefty profits beg to be booked and assets purchased with leverage/debt start declining? Sell, sell, sell. A financial sell-off doesn't even need a real crisis to spread like wildfire; it simply needs nosebleed asset valuations, excessive leverage/credit and risk priced at "the bull market is guaranteed to last essentially forever" levels. Prudence alone will ignite the conflagration.

Another Embarrassment For Obama As Senate Blocks Nomination Of Mel Watt To Head Fannie, Freddie

In what is merely the latest humiliating blow to Obama, moments ago, in a 42 to 56 vote, Senate Republicans blocked President Barack Obama's nominee to oversee the FHFA - the administration in charge of mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which in turn are so instrumental to restoring housing as the primary source of "High Quality Collateral" (and its securitization), which in turn is critical to allow the Fed to eventually step away from QE. The defeat on a procedural vote for the nominee, Democratic Representative Mel Watt of North Carolina, came despite an aggressive White House push in the past few days to round up support. The vote against limiting debate on Watt's nomination was 56-42, four short of the needed 60 votes to move ahead in the Senate. Whether this means that Moody's ADP's Mark Zandi is back on the table as a potential nominee is unclear as of this writing.

Investors "Wrapped In A Blanket Of Near-Universal Optimism"

It's official - in addition to the S&P, complacency and optimism have just hit all time highs, as absolutely nothing can ever go wrong again thanks exclusively to the stream of central bank liquidity which is rising all sinking boats. Strategas explains:

  • Investors around the globe “left our team warmly wrapped in the blanket of near-universal optimism” during recent client visits in Europe, Asia, Latin America, say Strategas global asset allocation analysts Nicholas Bohnsack, Ryan Grabinski in note.
  • That optimism itself could be a risk
  • Investors do not see any “lurking macro squall,” they’re optimistic on near-term growth and equities generally; U.S. stocks are favored
  • Investor optimism driven by threshold for Fed tapering “higher and likely delayed relative to expectations"
  • China won’t have hard landing; Europe recovering; inflation moderating as oil falls

And so all is well. Indeed, why worry? Uncle Janet has your back now and forever. As for the equity bubble that everyone now admits is clear and present, who cares...

Glenn Greenwald's Farewell (For Now) Letter: "Stand Against The Attack On Press Freedoms In The US"

"As I leave, I really urge everyone to take note of, and stand against, what I and others have written about for years, but which is becoming increasingly more threatening: namely, a sustained and unprecedented attack on press freedoms and the news gathering process in the US. That same menacing climate is now manifest in the UK as well. Allowing journalism to be criminalized is in nobody's interest other than the states which are trying to achieve that. I hope everyone who believes in basic press freedoms will defend those journalistic outlets when they are under attack – all of them – regardless of how much one likes or does not like them."

The Fed's Choice: A Balance Sheet That Is $4.5 Trillion Or $5 Trillion... Or Much More

Now that an October taper is out of the question, bored investors, in a world in which fundamentals no longer matter, are looking forward to the next possible FOMC meetings and potential taper announcement dates, with three specific dates sticking out: December/January, which are really one cluster, and June, as possible announcement dates. Why are these dates important: because while a September tapering announcement would have resulted in a $4 trillion final Fed balance sheet (assuming the tapering proceeded to a full QE halt) before even more QE was unleashed, any subsequent taper dates imply a nice round number to the final Fed balance sheet at the end of 2014: either $4.5 trillion, assuming a January 2014 taper, or $5 trillion if the Fed waits until June to announce a tapering. This can be seen on the following chart from Bank of America...