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"The Great White Hope"

“Angry white male” is now an acceptable slur in culture and politics. So it is that people of that derided ethnicity, race, and gender see in Donald Trump someone who unapologetically berates and mocks the elites who have dispossessed them, and who despise them. Is it any surprise that militant anti-government groups attract white males? Is it so surprising that the Donald today, like Jess Willard a century ago, is seen by millions as “The Great White Hope”?


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RANsquawk weekly wrap 27th May 2016


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Losing Ground In Flyover America, Part 2

There has never been a more destructive central banking policy than the Fed’s current maniacal quest to stimulate more inflation and more debt. That’s what is killing real wages and economic vitality in flyover America - even as it showers prodigious windfalls of unearned wealth on Wall Street and the bicoastal elites who draft on the nation’s vastly inflated finances. Indeed, Fed policy has had a double whammy effect on the flyover zone economy. It drove inflation up when down was needed; and its strip-mined capital from American business when increased capital investment was of the essence.


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UMich Consumer Confidence Fades From Early May Exuberance, Inflation Expectations Slump To Record Lows

Having spiked magnificently (and surprisingly) to 11-month highs (from 7-month lows) with May's preliminary print at 95.8 (driven by a massive spike in 'hope'), today's final print of 94.7 (still an 11-month high) dropped from preliminary and missed forecasts. Expectations faded notably from 87.5 prelim to 84.9 final - still an 11-month high for 'hope'. However, despite the hype in the hope, short- and long-term inflation expectations tumbled with 5-10Y outlook now at record lows.


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Austria Launches Probe Into Alleged Presidential Election Postal Vote Fraud

Five Austrian voting districts are being investigated in Austria over postal vote irregularities in the close-run presidential election, the interior minister has announced. Allegations of fraud arose from the far-right Freedom party of defeated candidate Norbert Hofer, after the Green candidate Alexander Van der Bellen just scrapped ahead with 31,000 votes when the postal ballot was counted.


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Is The Market Priced For A Summer Rate-Hike?

Last November, capital markets were discounting a rate hike five months later, based on Fed Funds futures. Same story today. Last November, the S&P 500 was trading near 2100. Same story today. Last November, VIX levels were around 14. Same story today. Last November, instead of waiting five months, the Fed hiked rates one month later; the S&P dropped by 10% over the next eight weeks... And as BofAML's Savita Subramanian warns, hiking during a profits recession usually hasn't ended well.


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Stocks Shrug As USDJPY, Crude, PMs Slide After Disappointing GDP Print

Stocks appear to have left early for the long weekend but USDJPY, Crude, and precious metals are sliding after the disappointing GDP print.


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The Consequences Of $50 Oil

If U.S. shale stays competitive, it could trigger another round of production increases from Saudi Arabia, which is determined to do its utmost to hold on to market share even as it boasts of long-term plans to build an “oil-less” economy by 2030. The Saudi bottom line has been ravaged by years of low prices, generating huge budget deficits and debts to contractors (which the Saudi government will attempt to cover through IOUs). Nevertheless, Saudi Arabia remains uniquely positioned to weather such storms; should the price fall again, it is better-placed to retain market share than the high-cost producers in the U.S. and elsewhere.


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First Quarter GDP Revised Higher To 0.8%, Misses Expectations

Following the terrible initial Q1 GDP print of 0.5% released one month ago, there was some hope that following some subsequent favorable inventory and trade data, the number would be revised substantially higher, with the whisper estimate rising as high as 1% or more, above the consensus estimate of 0.9%. Moments ago the BEA reported that in its first revision of Q1 growth, the US economy grew at only 0.8% annualized, a modest rebound from the original GDP report, however still missing consensus estimates.


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"We Come To Mourn The Dead" - Obama Is First Sitting President To Visit Hiroshima, Offers No Apology

Ealier today, Barack Obama became the first sitting US president to visit the memorial of the American atomic bombings of Japan in Hiroshima, however without offering no apology for the attacks. The trip comes amid Japanese protests over alleged crimes committed by US troops stationed in Japan. "We have a shared responsibility to look directly in the eye of history. We must ask what we must do differently to curb such suffering again," Obama said in a speech at the memorial.


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Bitcoin Surges To 2016 Highs On Rising Chinese Demand; Decouples From Gold

Ever since last September, when we explained that as a result of China's crackdown on capital controls, the one clear winner (in addition to Vancouver real estate) would be bitcoin, the digital currency has more than doubled in dollar terms, rising from $230 and surging as high as $500 a few months later. Overnight bitcoin, which had traded in a stable range with little of its characteristic volatility in recent months, made its latest breakout, surging nearly 5% from a $440-level, to a fresh 2016 high of $480, and has since retracted the move modestly, trading at $475 at last check.


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Frontrunning: May 27

  • Oil prices ease from seven-month high to below $49 (Reuters)
  • Wall Street Waits for Yellen Before Taking Off for a Long Weekend (BBG)
  • Donald Trump Celebrates Clinching GOP Delegate Race (WSJ)
  • Trump vows to undo Obama's climate agenda in appeal to oil sector (Reuters)
  • Japan Fails in Bid to Have G-7 Warn of Global Crisis Risk (BBG)
  • Valeant Rejected Joint Takeover Approach From Takeda, TPG (WSJ)

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Gundlach Predicts Yellen Will Be Dovish Today; Is "Quite Sure" Oil Prices Are Going Down Again

With verious Fed presidents having whipping up the market into a hawkish frenzy in the past two weeks, leading to a dramatic repricing in summer rate hike odds with expectations for a July rate hike now over 50%, many can be "disappointed" by Yellen's speech today, at least according to Jeff Gundlach who said Yellen appears to be more cautious on raising interest rates and he expects her comments to be dovish again on Friday, when she is scheduled to speak at an event in Harvard-Radcliffe.


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All Eyes On Yellen: Global Markets Flat On Dreadful Volumes, Oil Slides

In a world where fundamentals don't matter, everyone's attention will be on Janet Yellen who speaks at 1:15pm today in Harvard, hoping to glean some more hints about the Fed's intentionas and next steps, including a possible rate hike in June or July. And with a long holiday in both the US and UK (US bond market closes at 2pm today), it is no surprise overnight trading volumes have been dreadful, helping keep global equities poised for the highest close in three weeks; this won't change unless Yellen says something that would disrupt the calm that’s settled over financial markets.


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First Photos Of US Soldiers In Syria Released

Following the propagandist double-speak gushing forth from the Obama administration over when a "boot on the ground" in Syria is a "boot on the ground," the following photographs via Agence France-Presse confirm US special operation forces in a rural village 40 miles from Raqqa. As The Guardian reports, the Pentagon press secretary, resisted commenting on the photographs and would only describe the US special operations forces’ mission in generic terms, despite the fact that these troops are at the frontline of fighting when President Obama assured America that forces are consistently behind the forward lines.


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