"I feel completely blessed to be alive right now. To be a witness and participant in a moment in human history that will be written about and passed down in tales for as long as humanity remains on this planet. We are currently observing the evaporation of what Nazis referred to as “The Big Lie.” In very basic terms the concept of The Big Lie is that if you are going to lie you may as well lie big. So big in fact that the majority of well meaning citizenry could never imagine anyone lying on such a grand scale (particularly not their government “officials”) so that they don’t even question the basis of their own reality. In the case of the United States the Big Lie is that we have a free market capitalist economy. Instead we have a corporatist/fascist economy that enriches three main groups. Wall street financiers, the military industrial complex and large multi-national corporations that don’t pay taxes. So that begs the question, how can the American people be so brainwashed into thinking they live in this false reality? It’s very easy. It’s all about the money." Mike Krieger
The administration which is unable to release a photo of the biggest "success" in the fight on terrorism, could not contain its excitement in releasing more info that will certainly get US society to get even more Kafka-fied. As ABC reports: "An early read of the materials seized from Osama bin Laden's compound has not yet produced evidence of a specific, imminent terror plot against the U.S., but does show the group continues to have murderous aspirations, according to U.S. officials and to documents obtained by ABC News." And yes, we are confident we will get full blueprints of this particular data set imminently: after all America needs its daily diversion.
How A Charlotte Stripper Got Credit Suisse To Admit To Mortgage Fraud And That "Someone Should Go To Jail For This"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 05/05/2011 - 17:37
As part of today's subpoena of Credit Suisse over mortgages (which is yet another reason why when this is all said and done MBIA CDS will be back to trading spread from points), we encountered the following stunner. We won't bore you with details, so here is the gist: in a series of emails, represented below, we discover the beyond ridiculous story of a Charlotte stripper who had a Stated Income Loan with Credit Suisse, and when the Swiss bank decided to start backing into her actual income, which goalseeked to $12,000 a month (read the analysis on how this was achieved), which apparently raised some internal flags, and demanded that the loan be investigated, the broker claimed that the stripper's never formally disclosed income is credible and her loan should remain Stated. The last email in the thread: "Someone needs to go to jail on this one." And yet, nobody, not even Angelo Mozillo has, courtesy of the SEC. If there is one email thread that encapsulates all the excesses in the housing bubble, this is it. As for the rhetorical question at the end, we are confident that absolutely nobody will ever go to jail "on this one" or any other one for that matter.
As the market enjoys (and we use the term loosely) this brief lapse back into deflation, which given the economic contraction, so long anticipated at least by Zero Hedge, has finally materialized and put the ball straight back into Bernanke's monetary policy court, here is a brief reminder of reality: i) total debt subject to the ceiling increased by $2 billion overnight to $14,282,174, less than $12 billion away from a breach, and ii) more importantly, total securities held by the Fed increased by $27.3 billion in the past week to $2.5 trillion, an all time record. And yes, i) and ii) go hand in hand. Especially once the $2 trillion debt ceiling hike is announced.
And to complete this highly surreal day, we now learn that Bank of America (yes, Bank of America, the place where D-grade traders go to wither away and die and where insolvent banks go to get bailed out), posted a perfect trading record in Q1. Unreal.
NYMEX OIL, NATURAL GAS CONTRACTS REACH OPEN INTEREST RECORDS
Something is about to break. Everyone has moved from one side of the boat, to the other. What happens next is anyone's guess. And this happens just as the CME announced it is expanding its daily lock limits for crude trading from $10 to $20 just for the day. We are speechless at this update as there is no possible way to describe this as reasonable risk management.
We may be about to see how much has really changed in the one year since the first and certainly not last flash crash.
Following today's margin induced collapse in commodities we can't help but wonder if the Chairman's interpretation of crude prices as being merely an indication of the "economist's basic mantra of supply and demand" was wrong, as pretty much all statements by Fed critters, or if he was simply lying.
The anti-speculator witchhunt is bearing fruit: following the wipe out in precious metals, the next, and key, target of this commodity take down, crude, just went from triple to double digits, hitting a low of $99.70, with the $100 limit orders resulting in a surge in the USD and accelerating the drop in EUR. Stocks continue to be completely disconnected from this massive liquidation across all commodities, as every mutual fund knows all too well that Ben will always step in and make sure that the Russell 2000 never has a downtick. Yet this complete isolation of equities from other products merely confirms that not even the HFTs correlate stocks to other asset classes. It also means that HFTs are no longer present in stocks, which means that even the fake liquidity provided by HFTs is no longer there, and we will likely have a far worse flash crash the second Brian Sack loses control of the stock market.
Forgotten how much fun it is to interpret Alan Greenspan's seemingly indecipherable 1024 bit cypher during Q&A? Today, the ECB's Trichet, in a surprisingly incomprehensible press conference filled with equivocation and indecision, reminded everyone just how fun translation central planner talk can be. Luckily, SocGen's James Nixon has released a note helping us make some sense of Trichet's message. In addition, SocGen has now revised its expectation for an ECB rate hike from June to July. Alas, we are confident that when the time comes, July will become August, and so forth, until finally the ECB finally lowers the interest rate, a major slap in the face of the legacy JCT as he is about to replaced by Goldman's Draghi. Yet in the off chance we are wrong, and the ECB has merely taken a one month breather from hiking, today's 300+ pip plunge in the EURUSD could be the buying opportunity of a lifetime. Alas, for that to happen, we would like to see Goldman issue a sell EURUSD note first.
Just out from Minneapolis Fed's Kocherlakota: "A core inflation rate of 1.5 percent is still markedly below the Fed's
price stability objective of 2 percent. Accordingly, an increase of 50
basis points in the fed funds rate would still leave the Fed in a
highly accommodative stance. First, the fed funds rate would be
extremely low—between 50 and 75 basis points. As well, the Fed's
holdings of long-term assets would continue to provide significant
accommodation. Using estimates from the staff research that I mentioned
earlier, we can conclude that the total monetary policy package of the
two forms of accommodation would be roughly equivalent to maintaining a
fed funds target rate of negative 1.5 percentage points. Such a stance
can only be described as being easy monetary policy—just not as easy
as late 2010." That said, someone please remind us just how many of these so-called hawks voted against the FOMC action at the last meeting? Yeah, that's what we thought. And yes, Narayana, we will be closely watching your vote during the next FOMC meeting, because we can't shake this nagging feeling that you, just like all other Fed presidents, are mostly full of nothing but hot air.
When William Shakespeare penned the words, “All the world’s a stage“ in, As you like it, it was centuries before tense photos of tense leaders would show tense concern over tense military operations. What transpired around the killing, or killing announcement, of Osama bin Laden has been astounding. Whether you believe that bin Laden was “taken out” by this NAVY Seal operation, after nearly a decade, two wars, an over 81% increase in the military budget, and thousands of deaths, following the tragic loss of life on 9/11, or whether you believe he was dead and iced years ago and strategically used as a sign of unflappable leadership, is irrelevant. The surrounding uproar was theatre of the extravagant, no matter how you slice it. But, theatre was invented for distraction, in culture and in politics. So while all the Osama drama was unfolding, the Treasury Department issued another plea for raising the debt ceiling, aka supporting its pro-bank policy. It went something like this: We need to borrow more to pay social security obligations and not default on our debt, so other countries won’t question our ability to manage an economy (as if that hasn’t already happened) and we won’t have to pay more to borrow more. If we don’t – you know what’ll happen – yep, another financial crisis. The actual quote was: “The debt limit is the total amount of money that the United States government is authorized to borrow to meet its existing legal obligations, including Social Security and Medicare benefits, military salaries, interest on the national debt, tax refunds, and other payments.”
The Berkshire-Sokol scandal has once again been drowned away by a variety of secondary noises, which however does nothing to eliminate the latent, and increasingly broader, sentiment that something is very wrong at the firm which for so many years was nothing short of the Oracle's cathedral for the great unwashed. Today, Bloomberg's Jonathan Weil shines a light in another can of worms that has just been exposed courtesy of Berkshire's report on David Sokol's conduct by its "audit committee", letting many new and unexpected cockroaches appear.