Friday Humor? Man Pays DMV Tax Bill With 300,000 Pennies

As Americans weather unprecedented division and vitriol amid the impending presidency of Donald Trump, there’s one thing many can still agree on: the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is a deplorable place that yields unending frustration, wasted time, and excessive fines.

Sanctions, What Sanctions? Russia Bond Yields Plunge To 3 Year Lows

After three years of US sanctions on Russia, Putin's cost of funding his nation's economy has tumbled as Russian government five-year ruble notes climbed further this week, pushing the yield to the lowest on a closing basis since February 2014. Along with being the best performing stock market in the world since Trump's election, Russia's bond market has soared (while China's has tumbled).

Questions Emerge Why Trump Security Advisor Spoke Repeatedly With Russian Ambassador

Tell us if you have heard this one before. The Washington Post reports that two people familiar with the issue, who spoke on condition of anonymity, claim that President-elect Trump's choice for national security adviser, Michael Flynn, held multiple phone conversations with Russia's ambassador to Washington on the day the US announced retaliation for Moscow's interference in the election.

Taiwan Tech Giant May Open US LCD Plant In Response To Trump's "Make In America" Call

 Hon Hai Precision Industry and its Japanese subsidiary Sharp have begun studying the possibility of building a liquid crystal display panel plant in the U.S., a Sharp executive told Nikkei on Friday. The joint investment plan was proposed by Son, the Sharp executive said, and was put 'on the table' in response to Trump's 'Make in America' call.

Axel Merk On Gold In Presidential Transition Years

Since Nixon took the US dollar off the gold standard in 1971 there have been seven Presidential transition years, i.e., years when a new president was inaugurated. The S&P 500 on average was negative for those seven calendar years of Presidential transition. The average return in Presidential transition years is +14.8% for gold and -0.9% for the S&P 500.

Art Cashin On The History Of Friday 13th In The Markets

In his daily note, everyone's favorite veteran floor trader, UBS' Art Cashin, reprises the history of Friday the 13th in the markets, and finds that it is far less scarier than some may believe, and in fact has a mild upward bias as it is up 55% to 60% of the time. There are, however, accidents, and on Friday, October 13, 1989, the attempted LBO of UAL collapsed and the Dow plunged 190 points, equal to 860 points today.

The Story Of The Fed's Shrinking Balance Sheet Starts To Pick Up Speed

"We think the Fed's balance sheet will start shrinking in Q4 of this year. Fed Chairs usually like to get major initiatives under way before they leave, and Yellen is likely to feel more strongly about that because some potential successors have talked about a relatively disruptive balance sheet reduction. The Fed will not sell... instead they will stop reinvestment and mature their portfolio away. We look for an extended taper lasting almost three quarters." - RBC

DOJ Finds Pattern Of "Racial Discrimination" And Unconstitutional Use Of Force By Chicago Police

"The Justice Department announced today that it has found reasonable cause to believe that the Chicago Police Department (CPD) engages in a pattern or practice of using force, including deadly force, in violation of the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution.  In addition, the department also identified serious concerns about the prevalence of racially discriminatory conduct by some CPD officers."

Here We Go Again: Syria's Assad Named As Suspect In Chemical Weapons Attack

International investigators have said for the first time that they suspect President Bashar al-Assad and his brother are responsible for the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian conflict. As the use of chemical weapons is banned under international law and could constitute a war crime, any naming of suspects could lead to their prosecution

About That Record Streak Of Gains In The FTSE 100

With the mainstream media crowing proudly of the record 14-day winning-streak in Britain's FTSE 100 stock index (up 18 of the 19 days since The Fed hiked rates), we thought it worth a look at just what is going on in good ol' blighty...

Volkswagen Tells Its Managers Not To Travel To The US

Volkswagen has warned its senior managers not to travel to the United States after six current and former managers were indicted for their role in the German carmaker's diesel test-cheating scheme. The company is worried the US may arrest its employees, after US AG Loretta Lynch said the DoJ would continue to pursue "the individuals responsible for orchestrating this damaging conspiracy."

Here Are The Winners And Losers From Trump's "Border Tax Adjustment"

Potential Winners: Companies with a majority of their input costs contained within the U.S; Potentially lower tax rate of 20% on sales and full deduction for input costs; U.S. Exporters: as export revenues are not subject to U.S. tax.
Potential Losers:Products, services, and intangibles imported into the U.S.; Automakers, Oil and Gas, to Retailers can be impacted; U.S. Multinationals that have relied on aggressive tax planning to shift earning overseas.