• 09/21/2014 - 14:52
    Dear Janet; If I may be so forward, as a concerned citizen of the Constitutional Republic of the United States, it is with great consternation that I feel compelled to write you this distressing...

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Retailer Tesco Explains How Companies Are "Solidly Beating" Expectations In One Sentence

UK supermarket operator Tesco has suspended four executives after discovering a $408 million "serious accounting issue" in its latest financial statements. In a reflection of Walgreen's earlier 'forecassting errors', it appears everyone's optimism is now costing them their jobs as Tesco admits the executives were "early booking commercial income and delayed booking costs." And that - in one simple sentence - is the optimistic, we-are-sure-the-income-will-be-there, way to "solidly beat" expectations quarter-after-quarter.



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This Is How Italy "Fixes" Its Unsustainable Debt Problem

There is a "hard way" of doing, as in fixing, things and then there is... the European way. Below we show how Italy's debt/GDP for 2013 just was "reduced" by 5% making the country appear far more "sustainable" and attractive to debt investors (the ECB?). As Bloomberg reports, Italy’s 2013 public debt was revised to 127.9% of GDP from a previous estimate of 132.6% of GDP, the country’s statistics agency Istat says in report.



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Key Events In The Coming Week

With the snoozer of an FOMC meeting in the rearview mirror, as well as Scotland's predetermined independence referndum, last week's key events: the BABA IPO and the iPhone 6 release, are now history, which means the near-term catalysts are gone and the coming week will be far more relaxed, if hardly boring. Here is what to expect.



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Despite 'Record' Opening Weekend, Goldman Fears "The iPhone Effect" On Retail Sales May Disappoint

The exuberant images this weekend of lines-around-the-block at Apple stores were met with triumphant flashing red headlines this morning when Apple announced the sale of more than 10 million iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models (more than expected). Typically, new product launches do not move the needle on aggregate US economic data. Apple’s iPhone has been the most notable exception, with past launches occasionally having a substantial effect on core retail sales. However, Goldman notes, with the launch of the new iPhone 6/6+ this month, estimates (based on historical data) of a 0.1 to 0.7ppt boost to September core retail sales is highly uncertain due to seasonal adjustments that have been highly erratic, and could easily take a big bite out of the Apple effect.



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G-20 Post Mortem: Hopes, Fears, & Dashed Exepctations

We, like Bloomberg's Richard Breslow, were bemused this weekend by the communiques from the wisest men in the room at the G-20 meeting. On one side of their mouths they warned of "excessive risk-taking," in markets noting that there were "mounting economic risks" also. On the other hand, stories continue to print of US equity strength implying optimism over global growth - despite the ongoing collapse in consensus GDP expectations. However, away from this hope and fear, it was the almost coordinated responses of the PBOC (Chinese Finmin Lou Jiwei signaling not to get carried away with stimulus expectations), ECB (Visco saying may not need additional QE step since EUR had dropped 'enough'), and finally the BOJ (Iwata saying Abenomics misunderstood, USDJPY 90-100 'fair); all dashing market expectations of a smooth hand over from a feckless Fed to a free-printing rest-of-the-world. Stocks (and carry) responded by selling off.



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Frontrunning: September 22

  • Quid pro quo Clarice: Iran seeks give and take on Islamic State militants, nuclear program (Reuters)
  • Alibaba’s Banks Said to Boost IPO Size to Record $25 Billion (BBG)
  • European Stocks Fall Amid China Concern as Tesco Slides (BBG)
  • Tesco Suspends Executives, Probes Error That Triggers New Profit Warning (WSJ)
  • Kurds say they have halted Islamic State advance on Syrian town (Reuters)
  • Because luck and managing money is genetic: Financial Elite's Offspring Start Their Own Hedge Funds (WSJ)
  • Islamic State Onslaught Spurs Mass Exodus of Syrian Kurds (BBG)
  • Rockefellers, Heirs to an Oil Fortune, Will Divest Charity From Fossil Fuels (NYT)


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US Equity Futures Slide Under 2000, Recover Losses After USDJPY Tractor Beam Reactivated

While some were wondering if last night's sudden, commodity-liquidation driven selloff would last, most were not, expecting that the perfectly predictable levitation in the USDJPY around a round "tractor beam" number would provide a floor under the market .Sure enough, starting around midnight eastern, the USDJPY BTFDers emerged, oblivious to comments from former BOJ deputy governor Iwata who late last night said the obvious, and what we have been saying since January 2013, namely that a weak yen puts Japan at recession risk, and that a USDJPY in the 90-100 range reflects Japan fundamentals. And, as expected, the 109 level is where the algos have hone in today as a strange FX attractor, which also means that ES has reverse sharper overnight losses and was down just 7 points at last check even as the poundage in the commodity sector continues over rising fears of a sharp Chinese slowdown driven by its imploding housing sector (most recently observed here) without an offsetting stimulus program, following several comments by high-ranked Chinese individuals who poured cold water on any hopes of an imminent Chinese mega-QE or even modest rate cut.



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Liquidations Continue: Stocks, Dollar Slide, Precious Metals Pounded In Asia Trading

Markets are very active in the early Asian trading session (following the G-20-'s warnings over excess risk-taking). Precious metal liquidations continue with silver bearing the brunt (back below pre-Lehman levels) and gold down modestly. Stocks from China to US are all down notably too. The USD is weakening as EUR strengthens on the back of ECB comments about the possibility of no more stimulus and chatter that the PBOC may be selling USDs. Treasury yields are down (having retraced all FOMC losses). Iron Ore futures in Singapore just hit a record low below $80.



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We Are Living In A State Of Keynesian "Bliss"

Back in 1930, Keynes looked out into the future and saw that with the proper management of the economy, monetary policy and the like, the world could attain a type of utopian stasis: Keynes expected growth to come to an end within two to three generations, and the economy to plateau. He referred to this imaginary state of equilibrium as "bliss," noting “thus for the first time since his creation man will be faced with his real, his permanent problem - how to use his freedom from pressing economic cares, how to occupy the leisure, which science and compound interest will have won for him, to live wisely and agreeably and well." However, Keynes did say this would happen if mankind avoided any calamitous wars and if there was no appreciable increase in population. Two more flawed base assumptions there could not have been.



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Presenting The Two-Tier Market: Mapping Europe's Microwave Tower Network

The image below is a screen capture of the Google Earth map file which will be released officially tomorrow on his blog, with public documents linking each tower to its owner. The creator of the map thinks that it "should make some noise," although considering the vast financial resources and power over politicians the HFT lobby has, we wouldn't be surprised if, quite quickly, this latest story is promptly disappeared. After all, the last thing retail investors need to be reminder of every day, is that there is a rigged market for frontrunning, predator HFTs, and then a market for everyone else, i.e., the prey.



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The PetroYuan Cometh: China Docks Navy Destroyer In Iran's Strait Of Hormuz Port

Since China fired its first 'official' shot across the Petrodollar bow a year ago, there has been an increasing groundswell of de-dollarization across the world's energy trade (despite Washington's exclamations of 'isolated' non-dollar transactors). The rise of the PetroYuan has not been far from our headlines in the last year, with China increasingly leveraging its rise as an economic power and as the most important incremental market for hydrocarbon exporters, in the Persian Gulf and the former Soviet Union, to circumscribe dollar dominance in global energy - with potentially profound ramifications for America’s strategic position. And now, as AP reports, for the first time in history, China has docked a Navy Destroyer in the Southern Iranian port of Bandar-Abbas - right across the Straits of Hormuz from 'US stronghold-for-now' Bahrain and UAE.



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ISIS Slams "Mule Of The Jews" Obama, Demands Killing Of "Disbelievers" Especially "Filthy French"

Having released the Turkish hostages, because "Turkey refused to agree to the US demand for 'active support of the coalition'," ISIS have come out swinging (in its first 'official' statement since President Obama unveiled his 'strategy' for "degrading and destroying" them), with a call for all followers of Allah to make the coalition campaign the "last crusader campaign," and calls Obama "vile", more foolish than Bush, and a "mule of the Jews." Warning Americans and Europeans that "you will pay a great price, when your economies collapse," ISIS blasts Kerry, "the uncircumcised old geezer," for his "false arguments." The statement concludes by telling ISIS followers, "if you can kill a disbelieving American or European - especially the spiteful and filthy French - or an Australian, or a Canadian, or any other disbeliever from the disbelievers waging war, including the citizens of the countries that entered into a coalition against the Islamic State, then rely upon Allah, and kill him in any manner or way however it may be."



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Global Leading Indicator Plunges To Economic "Slowdown", Goldman Warns

Just two short months ago, Goldman Sachs was exuberant over the 'expansion' signals that the firm's Global Leading Indicator Swirlogram was exhibiting as it confirmed their 'economists' expectations that the Keynesian hockey-stick of hope would once again re-appear majestically in H2 2014 and lift America (and the world) to escape velocity. That dream is over. Confirming the collapse of world GDP expectations, Goldman's GLI has plunged into 'slowdown' with momentum starting to slow. Perhaps, just perhaps, as we noted previously, this time is not different and the annual cycle of extrapolating early-year hope is rapidly turning to late-year disappointment.



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The Fallacy Of US Dollar "Strength"



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