Six months ago we warned that Austria was considering it, and now, as Kronen-Zeitung reports, with no rigged Swiss-like referendum required, Austrian Central Bank Governor Edwald Nowotny has committed to repatriating 110 tonnes of gold. This is part of Nowotny's new "gold strategy" and with his position (on paper) as one of Draghi's foremost lieutenants, appears to be a huge stab in the back for super-Mario. While gold withdrawals from the NY Fed are incessant, this time it appears the Bank of England faces the trust-fall as 80% of Vienna's gold is held there.
Last Thursday, it was Avon that was cheated higher after a fake takeover filing provided just enough momo juice for the machines to destroy any and every short in the stock instantly. Today, it was Quest Diagnostics turn to be manipulated.
"So to avoid getting hassled by the state, don’t act nervous, but don’t act too calm either. Don’t stare straight ahead unless you’re on the telephone, in which case don’t look around. And disembark right amidst all the other passengers with lots of luggage."
When in doubt how to boost GDP, always revert to that old Keynesian favorite. War.
If any evidence was needed that the market is dying at the zero bound, it came in this week’s violent 15-minute rip when the algos read the Fed’s release to mean there will be no rate hike in June. It put you in mind of monetary rigor mortis - the last spasm of something that’s already dead but doesn’t know it. The Great Financial Bubble dying at the zero bound has been inflating with just three interruptions - 1987, 2000 and 2008-09 - for the last 33 years. As a result, the market value of stocks, bonds and other debts have simply become decoupled from national income.
For the past three years, the biggest argument supporters of Obamacare would trot out every single time when faced with opposition to the mandatory tax, would be that despite widespread predictions of soaring prices, US medical care service costs had remained low and even, on occasion, declined. All that changed moments ago when core US inflation finally spiked the most since 2013 driven by a 0.7% monthly surge in medical care service costs: the highest since 2007!
Murray Energy, the third-largest coal producer in the US, will layoff 21% of its employees with the majority of the cuts coming in West Virginia, which is staring down a $195 million budget gap thanks to the slide in coal prices. Meanwhile, CEO and founder Robert Murray is buying more coal mines.
A lot of people have got very excited as the price of WTI has bounced back from the lows reached a few months ago. If oil fails to break and hold above $62 this time around, however, their enthusiasm could well be misplaced, as the fundamental factors that caused the price decline in the first instance are still in place.
Yesterday the average SHAK restaurant was worth $48 million. Today it is $53 million and rising, following the overnight 6% surge in the company's market cap. Because why not.
While admitting that reaching agreement between the two countries will be difficult to achieve, George Soros - speaking at The World Bank's Bretton Woods conference this week - warned that unless the U.S. makes 'major concessions' and allows China's currency to join the IMF's basket of currencies, "there is a real danger China will align itself with Russia politically and militarily, and then it is not an exaggeration to say that we are on the threshold of a third world war."
On a turbo-charged illiquid day ahead of the Memorial Day weekend, stocks, bonds, USD, and commodities are turmoiling after this morning's hotter-than-expected CPI print. Stocks and Bonds were instantly sold (hawkish-er signal), the USD soared (hawkish-er signal) and crude, copper, and precious metals tumbled. Fundamentally speaking of course the US Open is soon and so the algos will, we are sure, rescue one of these (or will they)... and then there's Yellen at 1ET.
The market appears to have chosen the hotter-than-expected Core CPI print (as opposed to weakest headline CPI YoY print since Oct 2009 of -0.2%) as key. Core CPI rose 0.3% MoM in April - the most since March 2006; and 1.8% YoY - the most since Jan 2013. The biggest driver of the surge in consumer prices is medical care costs - which rose 0.7% - the biggest increase since January 2007 (thanks Obamacare).
"German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble conceded the possibility that Greece may need a parallel currency alongside the euro if the country’s talks with creditors fail," Bloomberg reports. Meanwhile, "sideline" negotiations between Greek PM Tsipras and Angela Merkel breakdown in Riga.