• Sprott Money
    01/30/2015 - 08:31
    The quick-and-easy way to categorize the retail sector of the U.S. economy would be to use the metaphor of “falling off a cliff”. However, such a characterization would be overly simplistic. A...

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30Y German Bund Yield Plunges Under 1% - Record Low

"...but it can't go any lower, right?" On the heels of yesterday's German deflation and today's near-record EU wide deflation prints... and the ongoing tumble in inflation expectations post-Q€ - the rush for the safety of Bunds continues (and with it the arb-drag on US yields) as for the first time ever, 30Y German Bunds yield below 1%...



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60% Of Retail Sales Growth In Hong Kong Was Due To The iPhone 6

The sales of iPhone, which are captured in other consumer durable sales, grew on average 60%y/y since September, propelled predominately by the launch of new product. Excluding iPhones, retail sales value would have contracted almost 1%y/y in October, at the peak of the 'Occupy' movement, and expanded a more subdued 1.3%y/y during Sep-Nov 14 (see figure 1). In other words, over 60% of retail sales growth was attributable to iPhone in late 2014.



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John McCain Threatens Anti-Kissinger Protesters With Arrest, Calls Them "Low-Life Scum"

No matter how hard one tries to suppress one's feelings... sometimes they burst out at the most inopportune moments... John McCain is at it again.



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Eurozone Deflation Ties Post-Lehman Record, Worse Than Expected

With every central bank scrambling to export deflation, and with the Saudis doing everything in their power to definancialize crude as an investment asset and destroy the US shale patch, it is probably no surprise that the ECB is utterly hopeless to prevent Europe from sliding into an all out deflationary contraction, which this morning Eurostat confirmed when it reported that in January, Euro Area deflation was "worse" (assuming it is worse when consumers pay less for goods and services, which it only is if they are sinking in debt) than the -0.5% expected reading, instead sliding from -0.2% in December to -0.6% in January, which also happens to be tied for the worst deflationary print in the Euroarea history, matching the number from July 2009 when the world was reeling in the global Great Financial Crisis depression.



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Frontrunning: January 30

  • Falling Prices Spread Pain Far Across The Oil Patch (WSJ)
  • ISIS Group Claims Responsibility for Attacks That Killed 27 in Egypt (NBC)
  • Russia Unexpectedly Cuts Key Rate as Economy Eclipses Ruble (BBG)
  • Greece’s Feisty Finance Minister Tries a More Moderate Message (NYT)
  • U.S. homeownership hits 20-year low, but new households growing (Reuters)
  • Indian Banks’ Shares Plunge as Bad-Loan Provisions Surge (BBG)
  • Underground Terror Network Said to Benefit Would-Be Jihadists in Europe (WSJ)
  • Russia warns West support for Kiev could lead to 'catastrophe' (Reuters)


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Market Wrap: Treasury-Equity Reallocation Trade Pushes Futures Lower, 10 Year Rises To 1.72%

While the US daytime trading session has lately become a desperate attempt to expand multiples on the declining earnings of the S&P500, thanks to recurring BOJ intervention in the USDJPY, to keep the S&P above the 100 SMA at all costs including generous central banker verbal intervention then it is during the US overnight session when global deflationary reality reasserts itself with a vengeance, and sure enough at last check, the 10 Year has rallied with 10Y yield hitting 1.71% before this morning’s 4Q GDP release, as well as following the latest deflation number of -0.6% out of Europe (worse than the -0.5% expected) which was the biggest price decline on the continent since 2009.  "Treasuries remained well bid overnight due to month-end index adjustments. Some talk of a  reallocation from equities to bonds trade going through in both Asia and continuing in Europe," ED&F Man head of rates and credit trading Tom di Galoma wrote in a note to explain the latest Great Unrotation, if only until the Virtu HFT algos get the full blessing of the Fed to ramp the USDJPY, and thus the stock market.



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Bank Of Russia Surprises With Unexpected Rate Cut, Brings YTD Total Of Nations Easing To 14

Yesterday we reported that in less than 1 month in 2015, so far a whopping 13 countries have proceeded with "surprising" rate cuts: Singapore, Europe, Switzerland, Denmark, Canada, India, Turkey, Egypt, Romania, Peru, Albania, Uzbekistan and Pakistan. As of this morning, make that total 14, because in one of the more "surprising surprises" so far, it was none other than the Bank of Russia which cut its main interest rate from the 17% shocker it instituted at an emergency session on December 17 to halt the Ruble collapse (as a result of the crude price plunge) to 15% less than an hour ago. At the same time it cut the deposit rate to 14% and the repo rate to 16%.



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Occupied By Wall Street – The Latest TARP Taxpayer Screw-Job Is Revealed

The Treasury-created market has benefited a few savvy investors, while saddling taxpayers with a loss. The Treasury, which has held 185 auctions to date, said it has raised about $3 billion on TARP investments that were originally valued at $3.8 billion, for a loss of $800 million at the auctions. The Treasury “set up this market where investors could come in quickly and flip and profit,” said Christy Romero, TARP’s special inspector general, in an interview. Three private funds have won almost half the shares available at auction, often netting either a profit on paper or on the resale, according to SIGTARP.  “As a banker I was happy, but as a taxpayer I was not at all happy,” said Chief Financial Officer Donald Boyer. “The discount came out of taxpayers’ pockets.” 



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"There Is No Reality Anymore..."

"There is an uneasy feeling of discontent that sits deep in the stomach, beneath the day to day exteriors, of so many people today. I feel that reality is an old world term. There is no reality anymore. The ubiquitous flow of information ensures that the truth is always available but never known with certainty. It means there is no such thing as a reality check. It’s like that dream inside a dream inside a dream. Which reality is real anymore?"



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Alexis Tsipras' Open Letter To Germany: What You Were Never Told About Greece

Despite the evident failure of the ‘extend and pretend’ logic, it is still being implemented to this day. Most of you, dear German readers, will have formed a preconception of what this article is about before you actually read it. I am imploring you not to succumb to such preconceptions. Prejudice was never a good guide, especially during periods when an economic crisis reinforces stereotypes and breeds biggotry, nationalism, even violence...



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Drink Up World: The 4 Companies That Control Global Whiskey Production

While there are eighty people who hold half the world's wealth, ten 'people' who run the world, and ten corporations that control nearly everything you buy... these four companies control what is - to some - the most precious commodity in the world... world whiskey production.



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The Next War In The Middle East Has Begun And Israel Vows "To Act Powerfully On All Fronts"

Israel and Hezbollah are at war.  On top of everything else that is going on in the world, now we have a new war in the Middle East, and nobody is quite certain what is going to happen next.  Israel has been preparing for this moment for more than 8 years.  So has Hezbollah...



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The New Greek Finance Minister Has Some Questions For The World's Journalists

"Our Foreign Minister, Nikos Kotzias, briefed us that on his first day at the job he heard in the news bulletins that the EU had approved new sanctions on Russia unanimously. The problem was that he, and the new Greek government, were never asked! So, clearly, the issue was not whether our new government agrees or not with fresh sanctions on Russia. The issue is whether our view can be taken for granted without even being told of what it is!"

- Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis

"The EU's decision on Russia sanctions was unanimous"

- European Union's Federica Mogherini



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"The Thread By Which Venezuelan Socialism Hangs May Soon Snap"

Say you are a socialist, and you have intervened heavily in the economy. Suddenly, things don’t work as you thought they would. Somehow, economic laws seem to refuse to bend to your will. However, you cannot really believe that since according to your convictions, wealth is a byproduct of government plans and decrees. So the solution to the unintended consequences of the initial intervention is to intervene further, in an attempt to refine the plan, so to speak. So you try again. And again. And again. Chances are, your name is Nicolas Maduro. In summary, the thread by which Venezuelan socialism hangs may soon snap.



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"Lost In Translation" Error Sends Belarus Bonds Plunging

Yields on Belarussian bonds exploded from 12% to 25% in the space of a few minutes this morning following reports that President Alexandr Lukashenko raised the prospect of restructuring the former Soviet republic’s external debt. As Bloomberg reports, the 2018 bonds collapsed from over 90c to 65c even as Lukashenko said Russian President Vladimir Putin was prepared to provide $500 million of aid if the situation gets “very difficult.” However, two hours later  - following the collapse in bonds - Lukashenko clarified his remarks... "Please calm down," he said, "Belarus has enough money to pay its debts in full." It turns out he meant refinance... not restructure.



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