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UMich Confidence Misses By Most In 13 Months

Following the Conference Board's tumble in confidence, Bloomberg's consumer comfort index surged this morning (rather aberrationally) to highs not seen since 2007. However, while UMich consumer confidence rose from last month to its highest since July 2007, it missed expectations by the most since October 2013. It would seem the survey respondents in UMich and Bloomberg confidence are stockholders, and Conference Board respondents are not... UMich data is dominated by a surge in current conditions with the outlook flat.



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Chicago PMI Suffers 4th Biggest Drop Since Lehman

Having surged to last October's highs last month, Chicago PMI tumbled back to mediocrity in November, missing extrapolatedly exuberant expecatations by the most since July. As 60.8 (against 63.0 expectations) this is barely above the levels of Q1's polar vortex as New Orders, Employment, and Production all fell (with only 2 components rising). This is the 4th largest MoM drop since Lehman but MNI remains confident that "the trend remains positive..."



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Prosperity Amidst the Ruins

All the blather about "growth" and GDP is just propaganda to misdirect our attention from the real problem: the total domination of governance and finance by a class of vested interests and mega-wealthy cartels/oligarchies.



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Core Durable Orders Drop Most Since Polar Vortex, Core CapEx Lowest Since May

If yesterday the BEA provided the sugar high for Q3, with a GDP number that will be soon revised lower, then today's economic barage has so far been a disaster, with both Initial Claims, Personal Income and Spending, and now core Durable goods and capital goods shipments and orders missing across the board.



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Initial Jobless Claims Spikes Above 300k To 3-Month Highs, Biggest Miss In 11 Months

Having trended gradually higher for the last 5 weeks (missing expectations for 4 of them), initial jobless claims printed an uncomfortable 313k (against expectations of a 288k print - the biggest miss in over 11 months) pushing to its worst level in 3 months. This is the biggest week-over-week rise in almost 4 months. Continuing claims hovers at 14-year lows and dropped this week to 2.316 million. Perhaps worryingly, this rise in initial claims is considerably larger than the average shift for this time of year...



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US "Secret" Deal With Saudis Backfires After Oil Minister Says US Should Cut First

Who could have seen this coming? With oil prices holding at 4-year lows, heavily pressuring around half of US shale production economics, the "secret" US deal (see here and here) with Saudi Arabia to crush Russia via oil over-supply in a slumping demand world appears to be backfiring rapidly for John Kerry and his strategery team. Capable of withstanding considerably lower prices for longer, Saudi Arabia's oil minister Ali al-Naimi proclaimed "no one should cut production and the market will stabilize itself," adding rather ominously (for the US economy and HY default rates), "Why should Saudi Arabia cut? The U.S. is a big producer too now. Should they cut?" With prices expected to drop to $60 on no cut, maybe the "unequivocally good" news for the US economy from lower oil prices should be rethunk.



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Two FBI Agents Shot Near Ferguson Protests

While the second day of protests in Ferguson were far more contained as a result of the tripled presence of national guard troops in the St. Louis suburb, with media instead focusing on events in New York, LA and other major metropolitan centers, St. Louis violence failed to avoid the headlines for another day when shortly before 3 am, two FBI agents were shot early Wednesday morning in north St. Louis County.  The good news according to Reuters, is that this latest assault was "not directly related" to racially charged unrest in and around nearby Ferguson, an agency spokeswoman said.   "The incident is not directly related to the Ferguson protests," Wu said, but did not elaborate further.



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Frontrunning: November 26

  • National Guard, police curb Ferguson unrest as protests swell across U.S. (Reuters)
  • Ferguson Reaction Across U.S. Shows Complex Racial Split (BBG)
  • Democratic senator Schumer: Democrats Screwed Up By Passing Obamacare In 2010 (TPM)
  • Veto threat derails Reid tax deal (Hill)
  • Justice Department Investigating Possible HSBC Leak to Hedge Fund (WSJ)
  • Merkel hits diplomatic dead-end with Putin (Reuters), and yet...
  • Merkel Said to Reject Ukraine NATO Bid as Rousing Tension (BBG)
  • HSBC, Goldman Rigged Metals’ Prices for Years, Suit Says (BBG)


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"Failed" Bund Auction At Record Low Yield And All Other Key Overnight Events

While there has been no global economic outlook cut today, or no further pre-revision hints of "decoupling" by the appartchiks at the US Bureau of Economic Analysis,  both European and US equities are pointing at a higher open, because - you guessed it - there were more "suggestions" of "imminent" QE by a central bank, in this case it was again ECB's Constancio dropping further hints over a potential ECB QE programme, something the ECB has become the undisputed world champion in. The constant ECB jawboning, and relentless central bank interventions over the past 6 years, led to this:

  • GERMANY SELLS 10-YEAR BUNDS AT RECORD-LOW YIELD OF 0.74%

The punchline: this was another technically "failed" auction as it was uncovered, the 10th of the year, as there was not enough investor demand at this low yield, and so the Buba had to retain a whopping 18.8% - the most since May - with just €3.250Bn of the €4Bn target sold, after receiving €3.67Bn in bids.



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U.S. Drone Strike Math – 41 Terrorists Targeted, 1,147 People Killed

A lot of Americans have an impression that drone strikes are less damaging to civilian populations than conventional airstrikes. This would be false..."A new analysis of the data available to the public about drone strikes, conducted by the human-rights group Reprieve, indicates that even when operators target specific individuals – the most focused effort of what Barack Obama calls “targeted killing” – they kill vastly more people than their targets, often needing to strike multiple times. Attempts to kill 41 men resulted in the deaths of an estimated 1,147 people, as of 24 November." We strongly believe that the reason so many Americans blindly support the widespread use of drones is due to the mistaken belief that they are precise and result in few civilian casualties. It’s important to get some of the facts out to the public in order to have a more informed debate on the matter.



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Caught On Tape: Car Ploughs Into Demonstrators During Ferguson Rally In Minneapolis

Suddenly the countrywide Ferguson protests, which had progressed peacefully at least until now, took a turn for the ugly, when as the Star Tribune reported moments ago, A vehicle plowed through a group of demonstrators in Minneapolis several hours ago during a march and rally in the wake of last night's grand jury decision.



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The Unbearable Over-Determination Of Oil

Is the price of oil today driven more by global growth and supply/demand factors or by monetary policy factors? We hope it doesn’t surprise anyone when we say that we think monetary policy dominates ALL markets today, including the global oil market. What’s the ratio? Our personal, entirely subjective view is that oil prices over the past 3+ months have been driven by 3 parts monetary policy to 1 part fundamentals. How do we come up with this ratio? For the past 3+ months the oil Narrative has been dominated by public statements from influential answer-suppliers talking up the oil price dynamic of a rising dollar and monetary policy divergence. That’s the source of our subjective view of a 3:1 dominance for monetary policy-driven factors over fundamental-driven factors. However – and this is the adaptive part where we play close attention to Narrative development and dissemination – the noise level surrounding this Thursday’s OPEC meeting is absolutely deafening.



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"Bearish" Mark Spitznagel Profiting Strongly Since 2009, Warns "Only So Much Debt An Economy Can Take"

Mark Spitznagel, author of "Dao of Capital" and among Wall Street's most bearish investors, is (profitably) holding out for a disaster. Despite noting that "The Fed has taken it further than it has ever taken it before," NY Times reports that Spitznagel's fund Universa has profited strongly even as stocks hit record highs. Large pessimistic bets usually lose a lot of money when stocks are rising, but Universa is saying that its investment strategy has been able to produce consistent gains since then, including a 30% return last year. While ackowledging Fed policy is capable of driving stock prices higher, Spitznagel warns, it will ultimately be self-defeating, "there is only so much debt that an economy can take on."



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Grant Williams: The Consequences Of Economic Peace

The following chart-heavy presentation from Grant Williams is among his best as he wends his way methodically from the 19th century to the present day (and into the future) examining "The Consequences of the Economic Peace." From Keynes to Kondratieff and from Napoleon to Nixon, Williams looks at the ramifications of several decades of easy credit and attempts to draw parallels with a time in history when the world looked remarkably similar to how it does now (as he notes "that last time didn’t end so well, I’m afraid.") The real day of reckoning (Williams notes rather ominously), when the unconscionable level of debt that has been built up during the fiat money era finally topples over under its own weight like the giant wave in The Perfect Storm, lies ahead of us.



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