New Protest Idiocy Lows: "Resisting" By Not Paying Federal Taxes

If you thought the last round of protest idiocy was counterproductive, you ain’t seen nuthin’ yet. Just when you think they’ve hit rock bottom, the liberal protests hit new lows. The Guardian recently published an article detailing a revival in “tax resistance,” which is a practice of not paying your taxes to “resist” government...

Eurozone PMI Jumps To 56, Highest Since April 2011; Job Creation Best In A Decade As Inflation Surges

Eurozone private sector and manufacturing growth unexpectedly jumped to the highest since 2011 in February and job creation reached its fastest since August 2007, propelled by strong demand and optimism about the future, the latest Markit PMI survey found. The Markit Eurozone PMI registered 56.0 in February, up from 54.4 in January , the highest reading since April 2011.

Greek Bonds Rally On Revived Bailout Hopes

The yield on Greece's bonds have tumbled the most since June after creditors agreed on Monday to resume talks in Athens over steps needed to continue a bailout of the nation, driving expectations that Greece will be able to meet its deadline for debt redemption by July.

Wal-Mart Rises After Earnings, Comps, Guidance Beat Expectations, Sales Miss

With concerns over the state of the US consumer still lingering, analysts were looking forward to today's Q4 results by America's largest retailer for some further clarity, and they were not disappointed with what they saw: WalMart reported non-GAAP Q4 EPS of $1.30, beating expectations of $1.29 by one cent. Total revenue of $130.9 billion, an increase of 1.0% from a year ago, marginally missed estimates of $131.2 billion.

Frontrunning: February 21

  • Global Stocks and Bond Yields Rise (WSJ)
  • Despite Dissents on White House Policy, Mattis Holds Sway (WSJ)
  • Trump’s Travel Ban Won’t Hit the U.S. Economy, At Least This Year (BBG)
  • Pundit Brings ‘Global Jihadist Movement’ Theory to White House (WSJ)
  • HSBC Plunges After Missing Profit Estimates on Revenue Drop (BBG)
  • Euro-Area Economic Recovery Broadens as France Outpaces Germany (BBG)

Israeli Soldier Sentenced To 18 Months In Prison For Killing Wounded Palestinian Assailant

Over a month after clashes erupted outside of a court where an Israel soldier was convicted of manslaughter for executing a wounded Palestinian assailant, an act caught on video which stunned media around the globe, the saga finally ended on Tuesday when he was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment on Tuesday, far less than prosecutors requested, in one of the most divisive cases in Israel's history.

US Futures, European Stocks Rise Despite HSBC Plunge; Dollar, Oil Jump

European stocks rose again with S&P futures higher, while Asian stocks were mixed. The dollar rose jumped on hawkish comments by Philly Fed's Harker, oil rose following optimistic OPEC comments, while gold dropped. Markets have largely ignored results by financial heavyweight HSBC, which posted its largest fall since mid-2015 after reporting a 62% plunge in pretax profit.

Meanwhile, Rioting Breaks Out In Sweden

Just a day after 'fake news' criticizes Trump’s comments on Sweden, a riot in so-called "Little Moghadishu" - the Swedish borough of Rinkeby - occurs. 100s of young people throw stones at police, set fire to eight cars forcing police to fire warning shots...

Alan Greenspan: Ron Paul Was Right About The Gold Standard

"When I was Chair of the Federal Reserve I used to testify before US Congressman Ron Paul... we had some interesting discussions... We would never have reached this position of extreme indebtedness were we on the gold standard, because the gold standard is a way of ensuring that fiscal policy never gets out of line."

France's Muslim Demographic Future

These questions are not spoken about openly in the fierce pre-election presidential debate raging in France. The question is not politically correct. But in these times of expanding Islamism, they weigh silently in favor of Marine Le Pen.

The Death Of Venture Capital?

Few business communities swing from boom to bust as reliably as Silicon Valley, but detecting shifts in this opaque world can be challenging. However, Bloomberg's US Startups Baromater has tumbled over 20% from a year ago with initial financings down over 30% - suggesting all is not so rosy in the VC business.

Oops! The Economy Is Like A Self-Driving Car

The economy can grow (just like a self-driving car can move forward) (1) if workers can make an increasing quantity of goods and services each year, and (2) if non-elite workers can afford to buy the goods that are being produced. If these workers find fewer jobs available, or if they don’t pay sufficiently well, it is as if the engine of the self-driving car is no longer working.

Google Nation - Visualizing The World's Most Valuable Brands

The world’s most valuable brand is owned by a company that you likely interact with every day. In fact, you may have even gotten to this web page using it. That brand is Google – and it dominates the internet with a 64% market share in search, while generating 41% of all digital advertising revenue globally...

How Many Euro Crises Will This Make? It's Getting Hard To Keep Track

Every few years, it seems, one or another mismanaged eurozone country falls into one or another kind of crisis. This leads to speculation about the end of the common currency, which in turn spooks the global financial markets. Then the ECB conjures another trillion euros out of thin air and calm returns for a while. At least, that’s how it’s gone in the past. The latest crisis has more than the usual number of flash-points and could, therefore, be something new and different.

Government Knows Best - Junk Food Ban Goes Global

One small problem has emerged as a Nanny State in the Pacific islands considers banning imported sugary foods to combat their obesity epidemic..."No country in the world has been able to demonstrate reductions in its obesity prevalence, so we’re not that different...It’s just that our levels are higher to start with.”

People Are Suddenly Worried About China (Again)

While Trump seemingly remains the only topic worthy of discussion blanketing the airwaves, as the following chart from Goldman demonstrates, it has been China where policy uncertainty has stealthily exploded in the past three months.