Of the nine passengers aboard the small Makani Kai Air plane flight that crashed off the shore of Molokai Wednesday night, eight survived. The lone fatality was Loretta Fuddy, infamous for her "I have seen the original records" confirmation of the long-form birth certificate of the US President in 2011. Fuddy, who was 65 years old and had served as Hawaii's state health director since January 2011, is described as "selfless, utterly dedicated, and committed" is a "terrible loss for the state".
Last month, we offered a plain language translation of the Warsh op-ed, because we thought it was too carefully worded and left readers wondering what he really wanted to say. Translation wasn’t necessary for Fisher’s speech, which contained a clear no-confidence vote in the Fed’s QE program. Now William Poole is more or less saying that we have no idea what’s truly behind the Fed’s decisions. But he doesn’t stop there. He’s willing to make a prediction that you wouldn’t expect from an establishment economist... Poole’s refreshingly honest take on the Fed’s inner workings – from someone who truly knows what goes on behind the curtains – is more than welcome.
It takes the planet 1.5 years to restore what humanity burns through in a year. The silver lining, the US is #1 in something once again - consumption. In fact, it would take 4.4 Earths to sustain the planet if everyone lived like Americans. Rather disappointingly, the USA is 56th in the world for alcohol consumption per capita (though we suspect that will rise).
This past Friday the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the November jobs report which sent the mainstream analysts and economists into an ecstatic state as the numbers were substantially stronger than estimates. However, in reality, the employment report continues to show that employment is being driven almost entirely by population growth rather than real economic strength. The long term implications of these secular shifts are crucially important to the future of everything from investing, to living and the future of our economy. It is not too late to change our future, but it eventually will be if we do not begin to make changes soon.
"It is an elementary obligation of a human being to repay trust with sense of obligation and benevolence with loyalty. However, despicable human scum Jang, who was worse than a dog, perpetrated thrice-cursed acts of treachery in betrayal of such profound trust and warmest paternal love shown by the party and the leader for him. From long ago, Jang had a dirty political ambition. He dared not raise his head when Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il were alive. But, reading their faces, Jang had an axe to grind and involved himself in double-dealing. He began revealing his true colors, thinking that it was just the time for him to realize his wild ambition in the period of historic turn when the generation of the revolution was replaced."... Or, in brief, if you don't like your uncle, you can execute your uncle.
From liquidity-driven perception to the Keynesian endpoint economic reality... just follow the arrows...
US equities close weak for the 4th day in a row - echoing last week but without some earth-moving data to save them tomorrow as NFP did last Friday. Bonds and gold were also hit hard and the USD was well bid on the day. The USD is now unchanged on the week though (with AUD down 2%) and 30Y bonds are also practically unchanged (though 5Y is +5bps on the week). JPY crosses were unable to get any traction in stocks before Europe closed but this afternoon saw them recouple and lift stocks back to unch on the day - only to disconnect into the close as stocks tumbled once again. The Russell 2000 ended back below its 50DMA (2nd day in a row) despite a ramp to try and save it. New 52-week lows spike to near 4-month highs. MOMO names rescued NASDAQ a little.
Following what we can only imagine was uproar following our discussion of Fidelity "allowing self-directed IRA holders to 'invest' in Bitcoin," the company has very quickly reversed policy... As MarketWatch notes,
“On an individual basis, we allowed an investor to invest in that Bitcoin Investment Trust,” said Rob Beauregard, director of public relations at Fidelity, in a telephone interview Thursday morning. “We are no longer allowing that.”
The firm is not commenting on why that was allowed, and added "reviews are going on."
Since Dec. 9, the Pitchforks Movement has been staging rallies across Italy, blocking highways and rail and subway stations and protesting in front of public buildings. The protests are relatively small, comprising a few thousand people in each city, but they are widespread, stretching from Italy's poor south to its wealthy north. The Pitchforks Movement first gained notoriety in Sicily in January 2012 when a group of agricultural producers and trucking companies blocked highways on the island for nine days to protest rising fuel and fertilizer prices, a result of austerity measures instituted by the government of Prime Minister Mario Monti.
With home prices in the UK driving people to live in boxes and Bob Shiller worried about the US, Bloomberg's Niraj Shah notes that the Knight Frank global house price index has risen to a record. The index, now 4% above the previous high in Q3 2008 is led by China and Emerging Nations (with Europe weakest) as investor speculation amid central bank liquidity fuels yet another bubble (that no one could see coming again).
Despite misses on stocks and gold, Citi FX Technicals' excellent "12 Charts of Christmas" performed well in 2013 directionally across FX, bonds, and commodities. This year, Tom Fitzpatrick and his team unveil 2014's most important charts - establishing a starting point for their outlook in the year ahead. From a slowing housing market to expectations of a strong USD; and from a "roll-over" in Consumer Confidence to strength in gold, they see the "repair process" continuing albeit at a slow pace but worry that the stock markets are looking more and more like 2000.