• Monetary Metals
    07/28/2014 - 02:38
    Notice the “icicles” dripping all over the place? They occur at different times of the day. What are they? Each one is a brief but dramatic price drop.

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No Inflation Friday: Dollarized Panama Issues Price Controls For Basic Goods

Less than four weeks after starting his new job, Panama’s President Juan Carlos Varela already has a serious challenge to deal with: empty grocery shelves. This is largely a self-inflicted wound that was bound to happen. 
Fresh on the heels of his victory in May, the then President-elect announced that one of his first orders would be to regulate prices for staple food products. He followed through on his promise, establishing price controls on certain brands of roughly two dozen items like chicken, rice, eggs, and bread.  And within a matter of weeks, many grocery store shelves are already empty, at least for the regulated items.  It’s not quite Venezuela or Cuba where it can be downright impossible to buy a roll of toilet paper. But it’s more proof that price controls almost always backfire.



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High Yield Credit Market Flashing Red As Outflows Surge

As we have been highlighting for a few weeks, something is rotten in high-yield credit markets. This week, the mainstream media is starting to catch on as major divergences in performance (high-yield bond spreads are 30-40bps off their cycle tights from just prior to MH17 even as stocks rally to new record highs) and technicals weaken. However, as BofA warns, flows follow returns and this week saw the biggest outflows from high-yield funds in more than a year. Investment grade bonds saw notable inflows as investors chose up-in-quality, rather than reach-for-yield, for the first time in years... equity investors, pay attention.



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Israel Cabinet Unanimously Rejects John Kerry's Gaza Truce Proposal

Over the past few days, John Kerry flew to Egypt, where among other things, he proposed a weekling Gaza Truce. Alas, that was one taxpayer funded trip for the Secretary of State flushed down the drain:

  • ISRAEL CABINET UNANIMOUSLY OPPOSED KERRY PLAN: CHANNEL 1
  • ISRAEL'S SECURITY CABINET HAS REJECTED GAZA CEASEFIRE PROPOSAL, SEEKS MODIFICATIONS -GOVT SOURCE

Or, largely just as was expected (because even Bloomberg is now reporting how the entire middle east is mocking John Kerry).



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Pentagon Says Russia Preparing To Transfer "Powerful Weapons" To Ukraine

No red lines, no YouTube clips, no WMD this time: just more "straight to propaganda" speculation by the Pentagon. "Russia is preparing the transfer of more powerful weaponry into Ukraine and it could happen at any time, the Pentagon spokesman said Friday, citing the latest U.S. intelligence. The transfer could be "imminent," Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren told reporters. It's believed the weaponry will be driven into Ukraine "potentially today," Warren said, but it is not clear if Russian troops will be involved."



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David Einhorn On The M&A Bubble And "Dreams" As An Investment Thesis

"there are a number of tech stocks that are caught up in a smaller version of the 1999-2000 internet bubble, and as we mentioned, we created a bubble basket to short them. At this year’s Sohn Investment Conference in May, David presented athenahealth (ATHN), a healthcare IT company, as an example of a bubble basket stock. In response to our assertion that the shares are absurdly overvalued, CEO Jonathan Bush summed things up perfectly a few days after the conference when he told Bloomberg TV, “And those who buy our stock should not be sort of bottom [line] watching value investors. They should be people who dream of a health care cloud.” At Greenlight, dreams do not form the basis of investment theses."



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Man Carrying Ebola Virus In World's Fourth Most Populous City, Dies In Quarantine

Update: It has been confirmed that the Liberian man who died in quarantine, did in fact have Ebola. Cue panic mitigation.

While the state of Sierra Leone is scrambling to locate the missing woman who is "on the loose" in the capital Freetown with a documented case of Ebola, we can at least close the book on the other developing story we reported yesterday involving a person who collapse in the international airport of Nigeria's megacity, Lagos, and who was being tested for Ebola. The man has died.



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Are We Addicted to Failure?

Like all addicts, Central Planners are confident they can manage the monkey on their back. But this is a self-serving illusion; it's the monkey who controls the addict, not the other way round. If we're not addicted to failure, why do we tolerate a central bank that creates one rush-high-overdose-crash after another? Perhaps it's time to confess that we're addicted to failure because we're too afraid to face life without this financial addiction. Pretty sad, huh? Like all observers, those of us without monetary heroin in our veins wonder when the poor addict will finally wake up and choose a path that isn't self-destructive. But as many of us know from personal experience, it often takes a near-death experience to awaken the instinct for survival in the addict. Sadly, sometimes not even that is enough, and a once-great nation spirals down to ruin.



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Number Of French Jobless Rise To New Record

With "recoveries" like these who needs staged, false flag conflicts and wars covering over 10% of the globe? Well, socialist France for one which moments ago announced that total jobless rose from 3.389 million to 3.398 million, a new record high. Surprisingly, while the year-over-year unemployment change for people under 25 declined by 3.1%, it was workers 25-49 which saw a material 3.3% increase in joblessness, but it was workers aged 50 and older that saw a veritable surge in unemployment, rising by 11.5% from a year ago. Surely, just like in the US, this is due to young people retiring in droves.



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Oil Spikes, Stocks Dump As Van Rompuy Gives Green Light To Extend Russian Sanctions To Oil

Curious why Brent just spiked by over 1% (and the S&P500 took a leg lower)? The reason is headlines from Reuters citing Europe's unellected dictator, Van Rompuy who has said that sanctions should include Oil technology. However, in a hilarious twist, the unellected muppet of Europe's insolvent banks, hopes to get his sanctions cake and snort Russia's gas too, adding that Europe's sanctions should exclude the gas sector.

  • LETTER FROM EU COUNCIL HEAD VAN ROMPUY TO MEMBER STATES SAYS RESTRICTIONS ON SUPPLYING TECHNOLOGY TO RUSSIA SHOULD INCLUDE OIL, BUT EXCLUDE GAS SECTOR-EU SOURCES

Here it appears that Europe's unelected leaders are somehow deluding themselves that if faced with escalating sanctions, Russia will not unilaterally cut off the gas to Europe.



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RANsquawk - Weekly Wrap 25th July 2014



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11.7% Of The World's At War: Global Geopolitical Risk Mapped

You can be forgiven for thinking that the world is a pretty terrible place right now, exclaims JPMorgan's Michael Cembalest. With 11.7% of the world's population currently at war (and a considerably larger percentage seemingly on the verge), it seemed an appropriate time to summarize the main geopolitical risk points in the world.



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CYNK Shares Reopen For Trading, Plummet 86% To $2.01 Then Rise 150% Off The Lows As BTFDers Arrive

If you shorted CYNK at the all time highs well over $20 several weeks ago, just before the stock was halted after the SEC finally woke up to its duty of protecting investors from pump and dump ponzi schemes (such as the broader market for example) congratulations: you are now up a lot to quite a lot, as the stock has just reopened for trading some 86% lower (on the usual volume of virtually no shares, even though the FT just told us that illiquidity is bullish), a price at which it still has a market cap of over $500 million! The only question: how does this company, which technically doesn't exist, still have any equity value left?



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Dutch Send 40 Unarmed Military Police "Forensic Experts" To MH17 Crash Site

In an effort to make the MH17 crash site safer, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has announced that he will be sending 40 unarmed military police. As AP reports, the military police will help the investigators (along with forensic experts) "to look for remaining remains and personal belongings" and "to try to piece together exactly what happened." While pro-Russian separatists have ensured the site is a safe place for the Dutch investigators (who have been given the lead role since Holland was so hard hit), Rutte acknowledged that it "remains a risky place to work," and "will constantly reassess the situation."



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"The Bigger They Are, The Harder They Fall"

The S&P500 has now gone nearly 800 days since a correction of more than 10 percent – the “meaningful” level for many analysts. The more extended the market becomes, the larger the eventual decline may be. Over the last 50 years, the longer the time between market corrections, the steeper the drop once the correction does occur.



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Q2 Closes With A Durable Goods Whimper And 1.6% Y/Y Drop; Core Capex Orders Revised Much Lower; Shipments Tumble

Q2 manufacturing is now in the books, and despite all those euphoric manufacturing surveys, it was a big dud. And as it goes, so does that CapEx rebound that is always just around the corner, but never actually here. Bring on the latest round of downward Q2 GDP revisions...



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