• Bruce Krasting
    12/18/2014 - 21:42
      The one thing that Jordan can't do in this war is appear to be weak.
  • Marc To Market
    12/20/2014 - 12:21
    When the dollar falls, we are told it is logical.  The empire is crashing and burning.  When the dollar rises, the markets, we are told are manipulated.    Well, the dollar is...

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Why It's So Hard Being A Fed Decision-Maker

"consistency"



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Greek Prime Minister Fails To Get Enough Votes To Elect President, Has Less Support Than Expected

As previewed earlier today, in a vote whose outcome was widely anticipated, Greece's Samaras failed to get enough votes (200) to push through his choice for president, Stavros Dimas.

  • GREECE'S SAMARAS FAILS TO GET VOTES TO ELECT PRESIDENT: TALLY
  • GREECE'S SAMARAS LOSES FIRST OF THREE DEC. VOTES ON PRESIDENT

As a reminder, this is the first of three votes, in which the candidate needs 200 votes. ND and PASOK have together 155 seats in the Parliament, and they expected to win some votes from independent MPs and possibly also some votes from Independent Greeks and Democratic Left MPs. According to Greek media, the government expects to win a total of 162-165 votes for Dimas in the first round. The final vote: 160 For, 135 Against, and 5 Abstain. In other words, Samaras is a crucial 20 votes short of getting his candidate pushed through in 2 weeks, after which follow a messy election that according to recent polls may well be won by left-wing Syriza and its anti-bailout leader, Samaras.



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59% Of Americans Support Post-9/11 Torture – Propaganda, Cultural Sickness, Or Both?

"By an almost 2-1 margin, or 59-to-31 percent, those interviewed support the CIA’s brutal methods, with the vast majority of supporters saying they produced valuable intelligence." Does this confirm the total degeneration of American culture into a collective of chicken-hawk, unthinking, statist war-mongering automatons? Alternatively, does it merely reflect the effectiveness of corporate-government propaganda? Is it a combination of both?



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WTI Crude Spikes Over $59, Up 9% From Lows: Biggest Intraday Swing Since April 2009

No obvious catalyst yet, aside from pure triple-witching anticipatory stop runs, but:

WTI CLIMBS AS MUCH AS 5.5%; BRENT GAINS AS MUCH AS 5.8%

Lifting WTI over $59 and Brent over $63. In fact, the $9 surge from the lows is the biggest move in crude since April 2009!



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Energy Stocks & Credit Decouple As Significant "Short Squeeze" Lifts Market

Surprise! "Most Shorted" stocks are surging today - up over 1.7%, almost double the performance of the broad market as it appears energy stocks, following a modest bounce in crude prices, have ripped a stunning 4.4% higher on the day. The credit market, however, is not so excited... We will see who is right!



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President Obama "Normalizes" Relations With Cuba, Opens Diplomatic Channels; USAID Chief Resigns - Live Feed

“It is clear that decades of U.S. isolation of Cuba have failed to accomplish our enduring objective of promoting the emergence of a democratic, prosperous, and stable Cuba,” White House says in statement. So sanctions don't work?

Rajiv Shah, the administrator for the U.S. Agency for International Development, oversaw secret US programs aimed at regime change in Cuba, abruptly resigned on Wednesday after US and Cuba announced plans to normalize relations and exchange prisoners.



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Bob Janjuah: Forget Rate Hikes, "We May Well Need QE4 From The Fed"

I realise that it is not normal to have a bearish risk view for December through to mid-January. Normally markets tend to ramp up in December and early January before selling off later in January. But this year I do think things are different. One look at the moves in core bond markets over 2014, when almost everyone I talked to had been bearish bonds, paints a stunning picture. I would entitle this picture ‘The Victory of Deflation’, or (as many folks now talk about (but still generally dismiss)) ‘The Japanification of the World’. I may end up eating my words in 2015 if the US consumer does come through, but if he or she does not, then we may well need QE4 from the Fed to battle the incredibly strong headwinds of deflation around the world. And I will revert on this subject, but to me the coming ECB QE and more BOJ QE are woefully inadequate substitutes for USD Fed QE.



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Soaring Inflation Around The Globe: Cartier Hikes Russian Prices By 50%, Suntory Whiskey Prices Surge 25% In Japan

As the Fed continues to rely on seasonally-adjusted survey data to validate its belief that the time to hike rates is coming, even as market-implied inflation swap rates are back to 2008 levels, the one thing that continues to happen everywhere but in the US is precisely what the Fed wishes for the US (as we reported yesterday): devaluaing currencies and spiking inflation (and expectations), without any accompanying rise in wages, have lead consumers to a buying frenzy in Russia, and to a far lesser extent Japan. As a result, providers of products and services in these countries have been scrambling to match prices to demand, especially since the demand is purely the result demand brought forward due to plunging currencies, not the result of some magical source of widespread wealth. Case in point, Cartier, the luxury jewelery maker, raised its Russian prices by as much as 50 percent after the ruble plunged to a record low.



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"Oil May Drop To $25 On Chinese Demand Plunge, Supply Glut, Ageing Boomers"

Most commentators remain in a state of denial about the enormity of the price fall underway. Some, failing to understand the powerful forces now unleashed, even believe prices may quickly recover. Our view is that oil prices are likely to continue falling to $50/bbl and probably lower in H1 2015, in the absence of OPEC cutbacks or other supply disruption. Critically, China’s slowdown under President Xi’s New Normal economic policy means its demand growth will be a fraction of that seen in the past. This will create a demand shock equivalent to the supply shock seen in 1973 during the Arab oil boycott. Today's ageing Boomers mean that demand is weakening at a time when the world faces an energy supply glut. This will effectively reverse the 1973 position and lead to the arrival of a deflationary mindset.... Prices have so far fallen $40/bbl from $105/bbl since we first argued in mid-August that a Great Unwinding was now underway. And there have been no production cutbacks around the world in response, or sudden jumps in demand. So prices may well need to fall the same amount again.



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Here's What's Wrong With Corporate America, And The U.S. Economy

If we had to summarize what's wrong with Corporate America and the entire U.S. economy, we can start with all the intermediaries between the provider and the customer.



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EUR Tumbles As ECB Coeure (Once Again) Signals Sovereign QE Is Coming

Just two weeks after Germnay reported that Draghi was facing mutiny and Benoit Coeure was firmly against the ECB undertaking Sovereign QE, The WSJ reports today that the very same ECB board member sees a "broad consensus around the table in the governing council that we need to do more to raise inflation and boost the economy." This of course has been interpreted by the market as meaning sovereign QE though there is no mention of an agreement on what "more" is.



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Russian Stocks Soar 17% - Most Since 2008; Ruble Back Below 62/USD

After falling for 15 of the last 16 days, the RTS (Russian Stocks) are surging 17% today, extending gains post CBR 7 Measures, the most since October 2008.The Ruble is soaring also - back below 62/USD.



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Legendary "Closing Dinner" Organizer Sage Kelly Quits Jefferies

Back in October, after reading the complaint of his ex-wife Christina Kelly (since retracted) describing in minute detail the daily life of her estranged ex-husband, we explained 'Why Every Banker On Wall Street Suddenly Wants To Be Jefferies' Managing Director Sage Kelly." And as of moments ago, they have an even greater reason to want to be Sage: he will have all the cash from being a one-man party machine for his clients (allegedly) and none of the workload. Just out from Bloomberg:

  • JEFFERIES BANKER SAGE KELLY SAID TO RESIGN TO FOCUS ON FAMILY

What family? Just kidding. That said, well-played Sage and Jefferies (where bankers will no longer need to pee in a cup to prove the lack of narcotic substances in their body), because there is nothing like confirming it was all a bad dream by getting the hell out of dodge.



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Russian Central Bank Releases 7 Measures It Will Take To Stabilize The Financial Sector

In its latest effort to counter financial instability - and show its commitment to maintaining order and support for the economy - Russia's Central Bank (CBR) has unveiled 7 new measures... Ranging from bank recaps to measures aimed at helping manage interest-rate and credit risks, the reaction in the Ruble is positive for now... as perhaps, taking a lesson from the US, The CBR removes Mark-to-Market accounting for various credit instruments.



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Stocks Bounce But Credit & Crude Continue Slide

Hope abounds once again this morning. Stocks are up (albeit off their overnight highs) and the Ruble is 'stabilizing'. However, the two crucial factors for recent volatility - crude prices and credit spreads - continue to slump. WTI crude is back below $55 (trading as low as $54.60 this morning) and HY credit spreads have pushed back to their wides around 406bps (disagreeing with stocks modest bounce).



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