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"Some Folks Lied" - How The Administration Fabricated Obamacare Enrollment Numbers

Two months ago, to much fanfare by the progressive community, HHS, if not Dr. Jonathan Gruber, were delighted to report that as of August 15, Obamacare enrollment had hit 7.3 million sign ups, well above the 7.0 million goal. Then a week ago we learned that "projection mistakes were made" after the "Obama administration revised its estimate for Obamacare enrollment, now saying - with the bruising midterms safely in the rearview mirror - that it expects some 9.9 million people to have coverage through the Affordable Care Act’s insurance exchanges in 2015, millions fewer than outside experts predicted." Fast forward to today when moments ago Bloomberg reported, that "the Obama administration included as many as 400,000 dental plans in a number it reported for enrollments under the Affordable Care Act, an unpublicized detail that helped surpass a goal for 7 million sign-ups."



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5 Reasons The Halliburton-Baker Hughes Deal Is Poisoned

Halliburton’s takeover of Baker Hughes is setting out to be the oil and gas merger of the year. One of the largest such deals in years, it has not, however, met with unanimous approval. From antitrust concerns to management frictions and negative market forces, this has not been a smooth ride. And with a $3.5 billion break-up fee promised to Baker Hughes by Halliburton should the merger fall through, failure would come at a hefty price. Here are five reasons why the deal might still capsize.



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Hugh Hendry Live 1: "It Felt Like The Sun Only Rose To Humiliate Me"

In the first of three interviews with Merryn Somerset Webb, Hugh Hendry, manager of the Eclectica Fund, talks about what it takes to be a good hedge fund manager – and how he learned to stop worrying and love central banks. As he notes, the world is "guilty of the misconstruing of a bull market in equities, for what is actually the ongoing degradation in the soundness of the fiat monetary system."



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Behold The Surge In Real October Earnings

Who says there is no wage growth in real (or nominal terms)? After real wages failed to rise in real terms on 6 of the past 7 months, here courtesy of the BLS is the unprecedented surge to real average hourly earnings that took place in October.



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6 Months Before The Fed Is Said To Hike Rates, It Still Has No Idea How It Will Do That

Tt has become quite clear that the Fed neither has the intention, nor the market mechanism to do any of that, and certainly not in a 3-6 month timeframe. Which may explain the Fed's hawkish words on any potential surge in market vol. After all, if the nearly $3 trillion in excess reserves remain on bank balance sheets for another year, then the only reason why vol could surge is if the Fed lose the faith of the markets terminally. At that point the last worry anyone will have is whether and how the Fed will tighten monetary policy.



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If You Are A US Investor Who Is Bullish Japan, Look Away

Day after day, well-dressed talking heads are paraded on business media and proclaim how cheap Japan is, how Abenomics will work (he promise... if it doesn't we'll have to question everything we believe in), how GDP is backward-looking (so ignore it... and every other economic indicator), and how being long Japanese stocks (of course, hedged back to dollars because you don't want to take the currency risk that Abe is creating) is a "no brainer." The problem with that strategy is... in 2014, the JPY-hedged Japanese stock market investor in the US has not had a daily close in the green year-to-date and is down over 5% for the year... but it gets worse.



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This Is Why Rand Paul Is Hillary Clinton's Worst Nightmare

As Hilary Clinton starts to ponder the curtains she wants to hang in the Oval Office, there is only one person who can realistically stand in her way: Rand Paul.



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Dramatic Drone's-Eye View Of The Record Upstate New York Snowfall

With half the nation covered in snow, according to ABC, nowhere appears to have had it worse (or more suddenly) than upstate New York. As images pour in from lake-effect snow, to The Buffalo Bills stadium, and from scenes caught in a snow storm to pandas playing, we thought the following stunning drone's-eye-view over Erie County was both incredible in its beauty and cruel in its GDP-destroying reality.



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Multiple Expansion Is Over, Goldman Warns, "US Stocks Will Close 2015 Only 5% Higher"

"The multiple expansion phase of the current bull market ended in 2013. The strong S&P 500 YTD price gain of 10% roughly matches the realized year/year EPS growth of the index. The index has climbed by 17% annually during the past three years as the consensus forward P/E multiple surged by nearly 60% from 10x to 16x. ... We forecast US stocks will deliver a modest total return of 5% in 2015, in line with profit growth. The US economy will expand at a brisk pace. Corporations will boost sales and keep margins elevated allowing managements to both invest for growth and return cash to shareholders via buybacks and dividends. Investors will cheer these positive fundamental developments."



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This Morning's Buying Panic Brought To You By AUDJPY Fun-Durr-Mentals & VIX Fat Fingers

Because nothing says rational human stock-buying like the entire world's PMIs collapsing to multi-month lows. Thank the lord of the markets for AUDJPY which took over the mantle from USDJPY as US equities opened... Of course, it is OPEX tomorrow, so this all makes perfect sense. Now all we need is for a stock exchange to break and the unrigged game is complete...



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Here Is The Reason For The Market's Vertical Rebound From The October Lows

Not a day passes when some book-talking pundit comes on financial comedy TV with an attempt to explain that it wasn't James Bullard's hint of QE4 that sent the market soaring after the near-500 point Dow Jones drop on October 15, you see it was the great results from Q3 earnings season that were the catalyst for the unprecedented, near vertical surge over the past month. Well, they are not completely wrong. As the chart below shows, of the 165.3 point jump in the S&P, EPS growth has accounted for 1.24 of those S&P points, or about 0.7%. The rest, or 164 points is due to nothing less than Multiple expansion, i.e. the "Bullard effect".



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European Consumer Confidence Tumbles To 9 Month Lows

Despite record low bond yields and all the promises one can bear from politicians and central bankers, the people of Europe are the least confident since February. At -11.6, missing expectations of a slight improvement from -11.1 to -10.7, this is the biggest miss since August 2011. It's perhaps not surprising given the near-record highs in unemployment but oddly, confidence seems highly correlated to EUR strength (or weakness)... the opposite of what the market hopes for.



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The Latest Scandal: Goldman, Fed Employees Busted For Illegally Sharing Confidential Information

Because when the rape and pillaging of the US middle-class begins at the very top, it won't end until the sharp metal objects finally start falling.



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US Manufacturing PMI Misses By Most On Record, Lowest Since January

Recovery, we have a problem... November's Flash US Manufacturing PMI printed a 10-month lows 54.7, missing expectation sof 56.3 by the most on record and tumbling for the third month in a row. The last 2 mnths have seen the biggest drop since June 2013 ands as Markit notes, suggests a further drop in GDP growth expectations of only 2.5% in Q4. Output is down for the 3rd straight month and Surprise!! Export market weakness is being blamed... as it seems the US cannot decouple from the rest of the world's slump after all and is - as we have explained numerous times - merely on a lagged cycle. We're gonna need more Fed-fueled subprime-auto-loan malarkey to keep this dream alive.



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