France Prepares To Bomb Syria In Retaliation For Refugee Crisis

Filed under 'what the f##k?', French President Francois Hollande is preparing for air strikes in Syria in a somewhat mind-numbing approach to to stem a flood of refugees from the Middle East into Europe. Using the always-ready excuse of "grappling with the threat of terrorism," Bloomberg reports Hollande's response to Europe’s biggest refugee crisis since World War II by increasing the bombing of the very place from which the refugees are fleeing...

Meanwhile In Brussels, Farmers Take On The Riot Police With "Hay Cannon"

As events unfold that have to be seen to be be believed in Belgian capital Brussels, European farmers - protesting plunging food prices, blamed on Russia's food embargo, which was retaliation to Europe and US sanctions - are demanding EU intervention to bail them out. What was originally a parade of tractors quickly turned violent as farm equipment rammed police barricades and police released tear gas and water jets in response to the farmers unleashing their "hay cannon." Boomerang anyone? "EU farmers are paying the price for international politics...There have been hundreds of suicides as a result of disastrous agricultural policies."

WTI Crude Tumbles To $44 Handle (As Algos Forget US Closed)

Despite US markets being closed for Labor Day, WTI Crude futures traders algos appear to be following the post-EU close run-the-stops pattern. Despite rising tensions in the middle-east and China promising their market is stable, WTI Crude is down almost 4%, back to a $43 handle...

More "Seller Strikes"? ECB Monetizes Fewest Bonds In August Since Start Of Q€

What is the reason for the drop? Well, one can believe the ECB's stated explanation which is that due to European summer vacations, activity in Europe has ground to a halt. Of course, this would suggest that monetization in the Eurozone is continent on managers' summer vacation plans, which is probably an even more troubling explanation of ECB activity bottlenecks than what may be really going on in Europe. The alternative? As we noted over the weekend when we reported that now even the IMF is discussing the upcoming limits to BOJ QE as a result of sellers running out of BOJs to hand over to the BOJ, the same may be taking place in Europe

If You Think That Was A Crash...

Last week’s volatility to the downside was entirely predictable, as the first leg down during this ongoing market crash reached the correction stage of 11%. The technical bounce was a given, as the 30 year old HFT MBAs on Wall Street have been trained like rats to BTFD. In their lemming like minds, it has worked for the last six years of this Federal Reserve created “bull market”, so why wouldn’t it work now. Last week was their first lesson in why it doesn’t work during bear markets, and we’ve entered a bear market. John Hussman seems amused at the shallowness of the arguments by Wall Street shills and CNBC cheerleaders about the future of the stock market in his weekly letter. After this modest pullback from all-time highs, the S&P 500 is still overvalued by 92%...

The Situation That Smoldered For Decades Is Now Exploding

Don’t expect to see any end to desperation and instability in MENA, but do expect new demographic crises out of other regions: Indonesia, Ukraine, Pakistan, West Africa, and Brazil, with its cratering economy. It’s not inconceivable that China might bust apart politically, with centrifugal consequences. The global economy is contracting. We have indeed attained the limits to growth. Cheap oil is bygone and the capital infrastructure we have won’t run on expensive oil — including the oil industry itself. New technology or further central bank legerdemain is not going to fix that. We’re in population overshoot and a scramble is underway to bail on the places that just can’t support the people who live there. National boundaries will be defended. Sentimentalists will have to step aside. History is not a bedtime story about bunnies and kittens.

Glencore Capitulates: Scrambles To Avoid Default By Selling Equity, Dumping Assets, Cutting Dividend

Early this morning Glencore finally capitulated and admitted defeat not only on its expansionary phase (it was just last year Glencore had approached Rio Tinto to engage in a merger), but on its shareholder "friendliness", with a stunning annoucement that it would proceed in a $10 billion debt reduction, issuing $2.5 billion in equity in the form of a rights offering, sell $2 billion worth of assets (such as "proposed precious metals streaming transaction(s) and the minority participation of 3rd party strategic investors in certain of Glencore’s agriculture assets, including infrastructure"), cut working capital by $1.5 billion, cut capex and its loan book by a further $1-$1.8 billion... oh, and it would also scrap its final $1.6 billion dividend as well as next year's interim payout, saving a further $2.4 billion. All this because our "best way to trade China's blow up" was finally picking up steam.

Chinese Stocks Surge Then Tumble At The Close, Stun Market News Algos; Futures Levitate On Back Of USDJPY

Chinese stocks opened with a bang, and as we previously noted soared higher at the open after China's long 4-day holiday weekend, which however subsequently slowly (but very surely) fizzled, eating away at the hope that the 3-day drop in the Shanghai Composite would finally come to an end following comments from PBOC governor Zhou that the recent rout in Chinese stocks is almost over, and result in a relief rally in Europe and the US. Alas, all that was promptly swept away at the end of trading in China when the Shanghai Composite tumbled at close of trading to confirm just how unpleasant a "death cross" is coupled with loss of central bank control, and to push the Shanghai Composite down 2.5% for the day and 3.4% for the year.

China's "S&P" Limit Up 10%, Banks Plunge 5% As Xinhua Confirms "Stock Market Stabilized"

Presented with little comment aside from a snarky glare as Xinhua's headline "After a roller coaster rush since July 2014, China's stock market has stabilized and risks have been released to some extent, the securities regulator said Sunday." CSI-300 was limit up 10% shortly after the open, then was hammered 5% lower. Shanghai Composite was not as easily manipulated and is down 0.5%!!

CyberWar & The False Comfort Of Mutually Assured Destruction

As an investor, you have enough to be concerned about just taking into account factors like inflation, deflation, Fed policy and the overall state of the economy. Now you have another major threat looming – financial warfare, enabled by cyberattacks and force multipliers. What can you do to preserve wealth when these cyberfinancial wars break out? The key is to have some portion of your total assets invested in nondigital assets that cannot be hacked, wiped out or disrupted by financial warfare. The time to take defensive action by acquiring some non-digital assets is now.

China Stocks "Death Cross", Default Risk Hits 2-Year High As Regulators Promise G-20 'Whatever It Takes' To Stabilize Market

Even before China reopened from its 5-day holiday, regulators were pitching Chinese stocks as cheap (37.3x P/E) and less-margined (+108% YoY) and promised to "safeguard stability" in a "variety of forms" seemingly pouting cold water on The FT's recent report (and the malicious instigator of China's market crash). All of this is quite ironic, given China's chief central bankers admitted "the chinese bubble has burst." As stocks open, CSI-300 (China's S&P 500) has confirmed a 'Death Cross' which in 2008 was followed by a further 60% decline. More troubling, however, is the incessant rise in interbank rates as despite CNY530bn of liquidity injected in the last 3 weeks, overnight rates have doubled. China credit risk jumps to 2-year highs and AsiaPac stocks are generally lower at the open (as US futures dumped'n'pumped) not helped by Japanese weakness on BoJ tapering concerns. PBOC strengthened the Yuan fix for the 4th day in a row - the most since Sept 2010.

Why The New Car Bubble's Days Are Numbered

Having recently detailed the automakers' worst nightmare - surging new car inventories - supply; amid rapidly declining growth around the world (EM and China) - demand, it appears the bubble in new car sales is about to be crushed by yet another unintended consequence of The Fed's lower for longer experiment. As WSJ reports, Edmunds.com estimates that around 28% of new vehicles this year will be leased - a near-record pace - leaving 13.4 million vehicles (leased over the past 3 years in The US) - compared with just 7 million in the three years to 2011 - set to spark a massive surplus of high-quality used cars. Great for consumers (if there are any left who have not leased a car in the last 3 years) but crushing for automakers' margins as luxury used-care prices are tumbling just as residuals have surged.

The "Great Unwind" Has Arrived

The world is in the waning days of a historic multi-decade experiment in unfettered finance. International finance has for too long been effectively operating without constraints on either the quantity or the quality of Credit issued. From the perspective of unsound finance on a globalized basis, this period has been unique. History, however, is replete with isolated episodes of booms fueled by bouts of unsound money and Credit – monetary fiascos inevitably ending in disaster. We see discomforting confirmation that the current historic global monetary fiasco’s disaster phase is now unfolding.

ESPN: Cutting The Cord Or Political Turn Off?

The catchphrase that seems to be picking up more and more steam is “cutting the cord” when referring to those that are dropping traditional cable TV for viewing choices or alternatives by other means. However, is “cutting the cord” really the reason for ESPN’s loss of millions viewers? Perhaps a large part of the underlying reason is: ESPN (like a few notable others such as NBC™) has seemingly transformed at near hyper-speed from sports reporting – to political sports reporting. The political edge now rampant throughout the shows, games, interviews, et al is overbearing, overburdening, and overdone.