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The Last Days Of The Growth Story

Most of us have heard of the seven stages of grief. Shock, Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Guilt, Depression, Acceptance. Where are we in our journey through these stages when it come to the financial crisis, and to growth? There’s only one stage that even remotely sounds right: Denial. We’re not even close to Anger yet, not when it comes to the larger population. We simply deny that something has really changed. And even if you wish to claim that it hasn’t, no-one can deny the possibility that it has. Still, that is exactly what happens. Denial, everywhere you look. Freud’s ideas are (ab)used to hide reality from us (to ‘sell’ the message), while Keynes’ ideas are abused to hide the reality that you can’t buy growth with debt your children will have to pay back. Pretty simple, when you think about it.



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Stocks Drop On Oil Dump & ECB Reality-Check

While some pointed north to the aweful events in Ottowa, it appears the bigger driver of weakness in stocks today (aside from a sudden absence of broken VIX markets, a lack of Fed Speakers, and the truth about ECB bond-buying being exposed) was the plunge in crude oil. WTI tumbled from over $83 to a low $80 handle after inventories surged more than expected and that appeared the catalyst for equities to catch down to credit weakness. Treasury yields closed the day unchanged but sold off notably in the EU session (like yesterday). The USDollar strengthened for the 2nd day in a row (now up 0.55% on the week) on EUR weakness (CAD volatile around shootings), weighing on commodities. Silver was monkey-hammered early, copper and gold slid, then oil plunged (down 2% on the week). Yesterday's big winner Trannies tumbled the most today (-2%) as stocks gave up half the week's gains today.



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Canadian Capital On Lock Down As A Result Of Ongoing "Terrorist" Shooting Incident - Live Webcast

RCMP Press Conference at 2pmET - Live Feed

Two days after two Canadian soldiers were hit by a car driven by Martin Couture-Rouleau, a 25-year-old Canadian who, as The Globe and Mail reported, "converted to Islam recently and called himself Ahmad Rouleau."

At least two people are injured, including a soldier, after shots were fired in the Parliamentary precinct in Ottawa on Wednesday morning; one shooter is dead and police suspect as many as two others are on the loose. A dark-clothed gunman fired the shots just before 10 a.m. at the Canadian War Memorial, where a uniformed soldier was shot. The gunman then fled for Parliament Hill, where he unleashed more gunfire inside Centre Block. A security guard was injured before the sergeant-at-arms shot the suspect dead, according to multiple reports. Ottawa Police said there was also an incident near the Rideau Centre, a large mall metres from Parliament Hill. Still active shooter, 3 separate shooting sites, Multiple gunmen, 1 gunmen dead, soldier dead



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Saudi Cleric Blasts Twitter As "Source Of All Evil" As Riyal Slides To Lowest Since 2008

The last 2 days have seen enormous volatility in the Saudi Riyal exchange rate, purportedly oil-related FX hedging programs as the SAR dropped to its lowest sicne Dec 2008, but the most extreme 'moves' were left to The Kingdon's top Muslim cleric. As The BBC reports, Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh, the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, exclaimed that Twitter is "the source of all evil and devastation". As the 12th most influential Muslim in the world, it perhaps matters that he says users were using Twitter to "promote lies, backbite and gossip and to slander Islam," but citizens of Saudi Arabia, who are some of the heaviest users of Twitter, did not appreciate his remarks, summe dup by one tweet, "People need an outlet to express themselves, to start to disclose what's hidden and drop the masks, without fear or commands, or censorship from anyone."



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What Happens When Cash Is No Longer Trash?

Those who actually create value as opposed to chasing yield with nearly-free money will actually have some traction once the swamp of excess liquidity drains.



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Save Yourself The $250,000: This Is What Bernanke Said Behind Closed Doors

There was a time when one couldn't get Bernanke to shut up: whether it was swearing to Congress how the Fed is not monetizing debt, explaining to Ron Paul that gold is nothing but "tradition", or otherwise issuing one after another after another debt monetizing quantitative easing program in hopes that "this time" the trickle down from the record high stock market would finally unleash central-planning utopia, Bernanke's verbal insight was in a state of constant deflation. However, ever since his departure from the marble halls of the Marriner Eccles building, suddenly Bernanke's insight has hyperinflated to the tune of some $250,000 per hour of Bernanke's time (time during which he says such profound insights as "No Rate Normalization During My Lifetime"). So without further ado, and without having to fork over a ridiculous quarter of a million dollars, here is what the Chairsatan really said...



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If You Like Your Broken Markets... Treasury Futures Edition

"If you like your broken markets," it would appear you can keep them... but this time in bond futures. June 2015 30Y Futures prices are surging today (up a stunningly fat-finger-esque 7.4% (or 10 points)). This, however, is being traded... there is volume being exchanged... and at 151-19/32, it implies 30Y Bond yields will be below 2.4% by the middle of next year (from 2.99% today).



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WTI Crude Slides Below $81

It appears some of the 'fundamental' legs of the face-ripping ramp in stocks are fading. Broken Markets - nope; Fed Speakers - nope (blackout period); Crude rising - nope (WTI back under $81)



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The Complete Robin Hood Conference Summary

From Tepper's "Short The Euro," call (which he hopes does better than his "bond bull is over" call) to Icahn's "HY credit is in a bubble... and I am short" warning, The 2-day Robin Hood conference in NYC had something for everyone. Paul Tudor Jones thinks US equities will outperform the rest of the world this year but "the piper will be paid one day," and Larry Fink says "equities are health" after last week's correction... and Whitney Tilson is short Lumber Liquidators (trade accordingly).



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Guest Post: There Is A Plunge Protection Team - It’s Called The FOMC

Congress gave the Fed a mandate to “promote maximum employment, production, and price stability”; it never explicitly authorized propping up stocks. Yet through a remarkable theoretical stretch called the “wealth effect,” that’s exactly what the Fed is doing.



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Chain Store Sales Growth Worst Since 2010 (Or Why "The Fed Turned The Market Around")

If you wondered why "The Fed turned the market around" last week, acting so sensitively aggressive to act with stocks only down modestly from record highs, one glance at the following chart might answer the question. During last week's turbulence, ICSC-Goldman Chain Store Sales growth plunged to a mere 2.1% YoY - the weakest in 5 months and worst for this time of year since 2010. Does this seem like a nation of consumers willing to take up the animal spirits, confident-about-the-future, torch of escape velocity spending from The Fed?



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Harley Bassman: "The Fed Is Trying To Land A Jumbo Jet On A Football Field"

Once upon a time, one of the best sell-side analysts in the MBS space was Merrill Lynch's "Convexity Maven" Harley Bassman: he was so good, in fact, he was quickly soaked up to the buyside, or at least the prop-trading side, when several years ago he left Merrill to join Credit Suisse as a prop trader. It was here that he provided some insightful trade ideas such as "The "Anti-Widowmaker" Trade: Get Paid To Wait For The Japanese House Of Card To Collapse" and previewed the "Inevitable 'Taper'" at a time when most still didn't think the Fed was running out of paper to monetize. Then, about a year ago, Bassman disappeared again, only to reappear in a new capacity at recently-troubled bond manager Pimco. It is from here that following a year-long silences, he has just sent out his latest letter, in which he picks up on his favorite topic: implied volatility in rates, and the arbitrage opportunities it provides courtesy of epic risk mispricing in the current quote-unquote market, courtesy of the Fed's 6 year+ centrally-planned manipulation of, well, everything. 



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When Is A White House Transcript Not A Transcript?

From the "most transparent and open administration ever"...



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Wall Street Is One Sick Puppy - Thanks To Even Sicker Central Banks

Last Wednesday the markets plunged on a vague recognition that the central bank promoted recovery story might not be on the level. But that tremor didn’t last long. Right on cue the next day, one of the very dimmest Fed heads - James Dullard of St Louis - mumbled incoherently about a possible QE extension, causing the robo-traders to erupt with buy orders. And its no different anywhere else in the central bank besotted financial markets around the world. Everywhere state action, not business enterprise, is believed to be the source of wealth creation - at least the stock market’s paper wealth version and even if for just a few more hours or days. The job of the monetary politburo is apparently to sift noise out of the in-coming data noise - even when it is a feedback loop from the Fed’s own manipulation and interventions.



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Someone Didn't Do The Math On The ECB's Corporate Bond Purchasing "Trial Balloon"

Because after doing the math, we find that the biggest stock market surge in 2014 was over what boils down to be a central bank injection of... $5 billion per month?



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