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Russia Shocks With Emergency Rate Hike, Boosts Interest Rate From 10.5% To 17%

Following the biggest rout to the Ruble in ages, Russia - unlike Mario Draghi - instead of talking the talk decided to walk the bazooka walk and shocked all those long the USDRUB by unleashing an emergency rate hike (at 1 am in the morning) from the recently raised interest rate of 10.50% to... hold on to your hats... 17.00%, a 650 bps increase!



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Down with Grumpy Cat

In our dire era of increasing economic inequality, we need a symbol for the oppression of the masses. Now is time for a new revolution. All the talk of the American entrepreneur is bullcockey. Warnings about human complexity and the need for peaceful cooperation is just a smokescreen for tyranny. Our freedom lies in tearing down those better and more well-off than us. We are the glorious heirs to the brave candlemakers who sought to block out the sun. Where our French brethren fought for freedom from natural competition, we fight for the liberty of not feeling inadequate next to an adorable feline. It is the most noble of causes. For if inequality is a crime, then Tarder “Grumpy Cat” Sauce is hostis humani generis.



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When Central-Planning Fails: "Stimulative" Chinese Rate Cuts Spark Surge In Borrowing Costs

China faces epic unintended consequences in its efforts to 'manage' everything. As Bloomberg rhetorically asks, what if a central bank cut interest rates and borrowing costs rose?



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Yes, It's Possible For A Gold-Backed Renminbi To Dethrone The US Dollar

"Mutually assured destruction" now best describes the uneasy stand-off between an increasingly indebted US government and an increasingly monetarily frustrated China. So here's a quiz: 1) Which country is the world’s largest sovereign miner of gold? 2. Which country doesn’t allow an ounce of that gold to be exported? 3. Which country has advised its citizenry to purchase gold? Three questions. One answer. In each case: China. Is it plausible that, at some point yet to be determined, a (largely gold-backed) renminbi will either dethrone the US dollar or co-exist alongside it in a new global currency regime?



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China Manufacturing PMI Drops Back Into Triple-Dip Contraction, Lowest In 7 Months

Perhaps the collapse in oil prices does have something to do with demand after all? HSBC's China's Manufacturing PMI tumbled to 49.5 (missing expectations of 49.8), its lowest since May (and first contraction). This is the 3rd contractionary print in the last 2 years as HSBC notes "domestic demand slowed considerably," with only new export orders (to whom we wonder) improving. Employment slipped yet again as did output leaving HSBC no choice but to demand "further monetary easing," due to "rising disinflationary pressures, which fundamentally reflect weak demand."



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Where Are You Going, America?

Not that all politicians are bad, but those who have genuinely good intentions get drowned out, within seconds, by the ones for whom the need to have power over others is more important than anything else. And, on the whole they’re not very smart. So they get advisors who they feel do know, and these advisors all come from the same small niche of society that steer everybody’s hard-earned cash towards that same small niche of society. 99% of economists are religious nuts who do even the Roman Catholic church one better because they chart graphs to ‘prove’ their beliefs are true - they adapt the world to their theories, not the other way around, as physicists do.



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It's Not The Economy; It's The Flow, Stupid

With The Fed due to make some highly amibiguous, always dovish promises this week, we thought a quick look at the world of stocks and bonds through the eyes of the Fed would be useful...



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What America Does Not Understand About Russia & Oil

As hard as it is to believe - given the strength of the "Russia-is-doomed" meme - Crude oil prices for Russia (in Rubles) are unchanged since February... This is important as all costs are Ruble denominated while revenues are USD denominated, leaving Russian oil companies’ margins insulated despite the dollar decline in price. In addition, the Russian government is easing the export taxes which further improve the profitability of Russian oil. So as US Shale Oil sector is destroyed by its USD costs, it appears Putin's core energy industry is somewhat insulated... and America's late-80s "defeat The Soviet Union" playbook is failing.



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"If They Only Knew How Little You Know"

Pretend, for a minute, that you’re a money manager in today’s manipulated world...



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When The Tide Rolls Out - COO, CEO & Chairman Flee FBI-Probed REIT

Run away... just 6 weeks ago when we first highlighted the FBI was probing multi-billion-dollar REIT American Realty Capital, the company's stock crashed, wiping out billions leading the CEO to note, "we don't have bad people, we had some bad judgment there." Now, as The WSJ reports, it appears the CEO David Kay, COO Lisa Beacon, and founder & Executive Chairman Nicholas Schorsch have all decided to "stabilize the company and... strengthen future leadership and strategy," by jumping ship. We are sure their jets will be fueled up and ready for the nearest extradition-free nation...



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Why Russia And China Are Buying Gold, According To An Economics Professor

We already know that to at least one, sadly all too prominent, career economist gold is held by central banks simply due to "tradition." Here is how another professor of economics perceives the value of gold to central banks.



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China, Russia Dump US Treasurys In October As Foreigners Sell Most US Stocks Since 2007

Perhaps the most notable feature of the October Treasury International Capital report is that in October foreigners sold a whopping $27.2 billion in US equities, surpassing the dump just after the first Taper Tantrum, when they sold $27.1 billion in June of 2013 when they also sold $40.8 billion in Treasurys. This was the largest selling of US corporate stocks by foreign entities since the August 2007 quant flash crash, when some $40.6 billion in US stocks were sold by offshore accounts.  However, what this month's TIC data will surely be best remember for, is that both China and Russia dumped US Treasurys in October, some $14 billion and $10 billion, respecitvely, in the process sending China's total Treasury holdings to just $1,253 billion, the lowest since February 2013 and just $30 billion more than the TSYs held by America's second largest (offshore) creditor, Japan.



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It Took A While, But The Market Finally Broke



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Oil: The Battle For Market Share & The Saudi's 1985 Playbook

In 1985, the Saudis chose volume over price to defend their market share against new production from the North Sea, as well as cheating/discounting from other OPEC members in a period of weak demand. The Saudis had warned the world of their intentions, but many thought “it was merely an elaborate warning designed to scare other OPEC countries and restore discipline.” The parallels with today’s market structure are hard to miss, and the Saudi’s essential playbook remains the same...



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