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Two Wrongs Make A Right? Zillow, Trulia Soar On Incomeless Acquisition Plan

Somehow this makes perfect sense: Zillow's stock is up over 22% on news that it will acquire rival real estate company Trulia for $2 billion. Trulia is up 32%, which is about half in absolute terms of the $1 billion Zillow's market cap has grown by in the past few moments to $6 billion. Imagine if it had paid even more for Trulia? And the piece de resistance: Neither company is currently profitable on an annual basis - the combined net income of the two companies is... zero. Two wrongs do not make a right, or rather didn't. And then the new normal came around...



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How Iran's Supreme Leader Really Feels: "Annihilation Of The Murderous, Usurping Regime Of Israel Is The Only Cure"

If there was any doubt whether following the recent, and quite surprising, detente between the US and Iran, which from a state that was shunned by the US for decades has transformed into a country that has been actively courted by the US in recent months, that Iran would change its tune toward that other bossom US ally in the middle east, Israel, it can be put to reset following the latest pronouncement by Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who on Wednesday called for a referendum canvassing the Arabs and Jews that live in Israel in order to end the "Zionist state.""While waiting for an end to this cold-blooded murderous regime, mighty armed resistance is the only way to deal with it.... Israel's annihilation is the only real cure, but that doesn't mean destroying Jews in this region,"



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Silver Tumbles Most In 6 Months

Silver is down almost 3% today - its biggest drop since the end of January as precious metals both tumble back towards pre-June-FOMC levels. News on China demand appears to be the main catalyst according to desk chatter (as well as a break through the key 50-day and 100-day moving-averages) with gold testing down to its 200-day moving average at $1286.



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The Rot Within, Part III: Our Political Order Is Defined By Favoritism And Extortion

Corruption ceases to be corruption when it becomes the Status Quo; what was once recognized as corruption is seen as just another cost of doing business. Our political order is structurally corrupt: the key dynamic in every level of governance is favoritism and extortion.



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Third And Final Espirito Santo HoldCo Is Bankrupt: Is "Banco" Next?

Having admitted that the banking system problems in Portugal could be systemic, the President has a bigger problem now as the 3rd (and final) Holdco of the Banco Espirito Santo capital structure fiasco just filed for bankruptcy:

*ESPIRITO SANTO FINANCIAL GROUP SEEKS PROTECTION FROM CREDITORS

First it was ESI (storm in a teacup), then RioForte ("contained"), and now ESFG ("systemic"), and given the CEO's recent "detention" for money-laundering, we wonder how long before Banco Espirito Santo is forced to liquidate?



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Dutch Investigators End Another Ukraine Conspiracy: No Evidence Black Box Was Tampered With

Another day, another Ukraine conspiracy disproved by fact. Despite the Ukraine government's insistence that the Malaysian Airlines black-boxes had been taken (and possibly manipulated), the investigators from The Dutch Safety Board have issued a statement confirming, "no evidence or indications of manipulation of the recorder was found."



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Barclays Wants Dark Pool Complaint Against It Dismissed, Says "Nobody Was Harmed"; NY Attorney General Disagrees

File this one for the bizarro files. After Barclays was caught lying to its "sophisticated" clients about how it handles their order following the lawsuit by NY AG Schneiderman, the bank, having suffered an epic 75% collapse of trading volume in its dark pool, has decided to fight back and earlier today filed a motion to dismiss the dark pool complaint against it. Its main argument, as reported by the WSJ, is that the attorney general's complaint "fails to identify any fraud, establishing no material misstatements, no identified victims and no actual harm." In other words, Barclays alleges the dark pool participants were smart enough to figure out Barclays was lying to them when it promised their order flow wouldn't be offered up to predatory algos.



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Marketwide Short Squeeze 5th Day In A Row

For the 5th day in a row, US equity markets have been ignoted higher at the open by a sudden and extreme short squeeze among the weakest balance sheet companies. "Most Shorted" stocks have surged 3% in the last 5 days (double the S&P) but have only just managed to get back to unchanged for 2014 (against a 7.7% gain in the S&P).



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The IMF's Comedy Of Quarterly Errors Reveals The Biggest Hockeystick You Have Ever Seen

Readers are familiar with our quarterly summary of the IMF's laughable forecasts, which we compile after every quarterly release of the fund's World Economic Outlook. Moments ago, the IMF released its latest update for world growth and trade for 2014 and 2015. Since we have said it all already, we will cut straight to the charts.



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Europe Unleashes Sanctions On 15 Individuals And 18 Entities (But No Russian Companies)

We had a glimpse of what the sanctions could be but European leaders have just released the draft list of who may be affected:

  • *DRAFT EU SANCTIONS LIST TARGETS 15 INDIVIDUALS, 18 ENTITIES

Individuals include the head of Russian intelligence and Secret Service and focuses on Eastern Ukraine and Crimea entities (and no Russian companies). So just enough to please Washington, but not enough to really piss Putin off... How long before the boomerang rotates back?



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Presidential Crisis Management Through The Years

Presented with no comment...



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Europe's Proposed Russian Sanctions Leaked: Full Report

It appears the European leaders, rather than actually unleash sanctions (as the US has dictated asked), has decided to 'warn' of possible sanctions with a 10-page memo of options available to them. As The FT reports, the memo (full memo below) prepared by the European Commission and distributed to national capitals, includes a proposal to ban all Europeans from purchasing any new debt or stock issued by Russia’s largest banks and also proposes barring the Russian banks from listing new issues on European exchanges, preventing them from using London or other EU stock markets to raise funds from non-Europeans. While Germany (and many other EU nations remain nervous of the blowback) the 'options memo' is extensive and would likely have significant impact on the Russian economy.



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New Home Sales Collapse 20% From May To Dec 2012 Levels; Biggest Miss In A Year

New Home Sales in June plunged to 406k vs 504k in May... (remember that 504k print was the catalyst for 'weather' is over and the market to surge 10%) Now that has soaked in, consider this is equal lowest sales print since September 2013 (and Dec 2012) and the biggest miss since July 2013.The last 3 months of exuberance have all been revised significantly lower (most especially May's appartently make-believe number). What is even more troubling in the "survey" vs "reality" world is this collapse in sales when NAHB Sentiment surged to near cycle highs. For context, this is a 5-standard-deviation miss from economists' expectations, below the lowest guess and a massive miss from almost highest estimate Joe Lavorgna's 510k.



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US Manufacturing PMI Drops, Biggest Miss On Record

But, but, but... the rest of the world's PMIs are soaring as soft-survey data trumps any hard data facts. US Manufacturing dropped from 57.3 to 56.3 despite analysts that were convinced it should rise further to 57.5. This is the biggest miss on record, and the 2nd miss in a row. In spite of soaring markets proving the recoverty is just picking up and accelerating, new export orders weakened, manufacturing production fell, input costs surged, and employment tumbled to 10-month lows. But, stocks are surging on this dismal news...



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US Stocks Are Open, Time To Dump A Billion Dollars Worth Of Gold Futures

Another day, another opening plungefest in gold futures...



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