• Pivotfarm
    08/03/2015 - 15:25
    The quest for perfection is man’s unattainable goal. Man can never be perfect if we are to believe the English philosopher Thomas Hobbes. Man is man’s wolf and all of that.

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The Cyber Wars Begin: Obama Says US "Must Retaliate" Against China For Historic Data Breach

The US has determined that the Chinese cyber attack on the databases of the Office of Personnel Management "was so vast in scope and ambition that the usual practices for dealing with traditional espionage cases [does] not apply," The New York Times reports. In short: "this agression will not stand, man."



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11 Red Flags As We Enter The Pivotal Month Of August 2015

Things are unfolding in textbook fashion for another major global financial crisis in the months ahead, and yet most people refuse to see what is happening.  In their blind optimism, they want to believe that things will somehow be different this time.  Well, the coming months will definitely reveal who was right and who was wrong.  The following are 11 red flag events that just happened as we enter the pivotal month of August 2015...



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Did We Just Hit The Threshold For Short Covering In Gold?

Two weeks ago we noted something that has never happened before in gold - hedge funds, according to CFTC, had a net short position for the first in history. The past week saw a very surprising negligible shift of just 11 contracts as the short position shrank to 11,334 contracts. However, the aggregate net long position has dropped to a level that in the past has represented a threshold for signficant short-covering (21% and 17% rallies respectively). So with hedgies as short as they have ever been in history and aggregate positioning at a historically crucial level, one wonders if gold is due for a bounce...



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The Great Greek Fudge

A third Greek bailout involving loans from the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), the eurozone’s bailout scheme, is now being negotiated. The start was quite rocky, with haggling over the precise location in Athens where negotiations need to take place and Greek officials once again withholding information to creditors. Therefore, few still believe that it will be possible to conclude a deal in time for Greece to repay 3.2 billion euro to the ECB on 20 August. Several national Parliaments in the Eurozone would need to approve a final deal, which would necessitate calling their members back from recess around two  weeks before the 20th, so it’s weird that French EU Commissioner Pierre Moscovici still seems so confident that the deadline can be met.



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"Asia Crisis, Tech Bubble Burst, Lehman"... And Today

Note that the classic sign of crisis and capital flight, higher interest rates, falling currency, and falling bank stocks are now visible in Brazil (and elsewhere). Indeed, the correlation between Brazilian bond yields and Brazilian financials/BRL turned sharply negative during each of the past 3 systemic crises (Asia ‘98, Tech ‘02 & Lehman ’08) and is doing so again today.



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The Latest Government Trust Fund To Go Bankrupt

Earlier this week I told you about Social Security’s Disability Insurance Trust Fund (DI), which will become insolvent in a matter of months.  The DI problem (just like the rest of Social Security) has been a long time coming.  But rather than form some meaningful solution, Congress has instead opted to commit financial fraud by commingling DI monies together with the other Social Security funds. Now comes the Highway Trust Fund. The difference between DI and the Highway Trust fund is that this one won’t be insolvent in a matter of years or months. Their own data shows that it may very well be toast… today.



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Head Of Collapsed Mt.Gox Exchange Arrested With Half A Billion In Bitcoin Still Unaccounted

Some were confused if the Mt. Gox founder, Mark Karpeles, was going to get away with nothing more than an excuse, even if - as many speculated - he had personally fabricated exchange data entries and embezzled millions of dollars for his own account. Earlier today we got the answer when nearly 18 months after his infamous apology, Mark Karpeles was arrested in Tokyo. FT reports that Japanese police have arrested Mark Karpelès, the head of the bankrupt Japan-based bitcoin exchange Mt Gox. The arrest charge is that he made an illegal entry to the system in February 2013 and increased the balance of his account by $1 million.



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Greece May Miss ECB Payment As Germany Says Bailout Timeline Is Unrealistic

With Greece facing a critical €3.2 billion payment to the ECB on August 20, creditors are under immense pressure to conclude official discussions on a third bailout program within the next three weeks. Now, Focus magazine says some German officials doubt whether the quadriga's timeline is realistic. 



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German Government Launches Investigation of Journalists for Treason

Widespread outrage across Germany is erupting following the revelation that the nation’s Attorney General has launched an investigation into treason charges for two journalists working for Netzpolitik. The charge is treason. The crime is journalism.



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Osama bin Laden Sister, Stepmother Killed In Private Jet Crash

We didn't think much yesterday morning when we read reports that a 2010 Embraer Phenom 300 private jet, with a Saudi Registration HZ-IBN, crashed at a car auction site in Hampshire. Just like one year ago, the reason for the importance of the crash was made apparent only hours later.  Shortly after the crash, reports in UK media outlets, including the Daily Mail and Mirror, alleged that the $11 million jet was owned by Jeddah-based Salem Aviation, a company named after Osama bin Laden’s elder cousin, who himself was an amateur pilot and died in a plane crash. Among the other casualties: Osama bin Laden's sister and stepmother.



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"There's A Bubble In Pessimism Worldwide, Come On, You Read Zero Hedge!"

When all of your arguments have been crushed with brutal determination, what better way to prove you have no idea what you are talking about than to name drop this website, and start laughing hysterically.



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Economics 101: Wal-Mart Hikes Minimum Wages, Prepares To Fire 1000

"Please remember, these people are our neighbors and friends. You have a skill that will be very much in need when this goes down. You are experts in the job market and you know what it takes to get hired. This is a time for us to step up and do what we can to help."



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Paying In A Broken World

It does not matter what you hold your savings in only that it will retain value when conventional paper currencies become a despised possession. When that happens you need the ability to buy the things you need with what you physically have on hand. The question you must answer is what will you have on hand when that day comes.



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The World Map Of Hubris & Humiliation

The journey from hubris to humiliation in EM has taken roughly 5 years. As BofAML notes, despite muted asset returns, 2015 has seen the emergence of two big trends: the risk of a bubble in US health care & technology; and the crash in EM/Resources/Commodities. The two trends are best exemplified by the "Map of Hubris & Humiliation" which shows among other things that the market cap of MSCI Russia is currently equivalent to Intel’s, while the market cap of Netflix equals that of MSCI Chile.



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