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Why Scotland Has All The Leverage, In One Chart

As always, the bottom line is about leverage and bargaining power. It is here that, miraculously, things once again devolve back to, drumroll, oil, and the fact that an independent Scotland would keep 90% of the oil revenues! As we showed several days ago, Scotland's oil may be the single biggest wildcard in the entire Independence movement. It is this oil that as SocGen's Albert Edwards shows earlier this morning, is what gives Scotland all the leverage.



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Ukraine President's Days Numbered After Broad Accusations Of "Betraying National Interests"

 Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko faces rising criticism for his decision to delay implementation of part of a European Union deal to avoid threatened Russian retaliation. And this is why neither side can afford to blink, because the moment one side folds, its domestic support collapses. And blinking is precisely what Ukraine just did and with that it set in motion the events that will likely terminate prematurely the brief, irrelevant presidency of Ukraine's "Chocolate Baron" Poroshenko. It got so bad over the weekend, that former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who was the person least actively supported by the CIA and US state department in Ukraine's less than peaceful transition in February, and thus lost a May presidential election to Mr. Poroshenko, said the delay in implementing the EU free-trade part of the pact until 2016 was "a betrayal of national interests."



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This Is What Happens When The 'Unrigged' Market Breaks

It appears Rule 575 is having an impact today. Quietly this morning, CBOE traders were told at 1027ET that the S&P 500 index was "currently unavailable for trading." As the following chart shows, this halted a drop in the market and instantly enabled a levitation to near the day's highs. Unrigged?



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Is Risk-On About To Switch To Risk-Off?

Even the most avid Bulls should grasp that market corrections of 10% to 20% are statistical features of all markets. Cranking markets full of financial cocaine so they never correct simply sets up the crash-and-burn destruction of the addict.



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What It Looks Like When The Second Auto Subprime Bubble Pops

One can kiss the US subprime-driven "manufacturing renaissance" goodbye. The reason, as we reported moments ago, Industrial Production dropped 0.1%, driven by a -0.4% contraction in manufacturing, the worst print since the "harsh winter collapse" of January 2014. The answer to the key question, what drove the tumble, is simple: what goes up has come down, in this case production of Motor Vehciles and Part, after posting its best number in 5 years, just posted... it worst monthly drop in five years, or since May 2009 to be precise. As the chart below shows, following July's month's 9.3% surge in production of motor vehicles and parts, August has come and wiped out all the gains, with a 7.6% plunge, the bigest collapse since May 2009.



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US Industrial Production Follows China; Misses With Biggest Drop Since Jan

But but but... the survey all said record highs... Yet another piece of hard data hits the tape and disappoints. While Fed surveys point to an exuberant economy, Industrial Production fell 0.1% in August (missing +0.28% expectations) for its worst print since January's "weather"-related plunge. This comes on the heels of Chinese Industrial Production at its worst in 6 years... perhaps explaining why global GDP expectations continue to test cycle lows. US Capacity Utilization also dropped to 78.8% (lowest since Feb) and the weakness was all Manufacturing driven as production slumped 0.4% MoM - its worst since Jan. So who you gonna believe? Soft surveys? or Hard data?



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Record Highs? 47% Of Nasdaq Stocks In Bear Market, Down 24% On Average

With the S&P 500 hitting fresh record highs day after day (apart from last week), everything must be great, right? Wrong! As we have noted previously, the leadership in this market is becoming more and more narrowly focused as stunningly 47% of Nasdaq Composite stocks are down at least 20% from their highs with the average stock in the index in a bear market (down 24%). The same is true for the Russell 2000, with over 40% of stocks in bear market and an average drop from recent highs of 22%. By contrast only 31 names in the S&P 500 have seen drops of 20% or more this year. It appears, just as there has been an up-in-quality rotation in credit markets, so stock investors appear to have rotated into momentum winners, chasing returns in an ever-more narrow group of extreme beta stocks.



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Key Events In The Coming Week: Fed Votes, Scotland Votes, And More

US Industrial Production and the NY Fed Empire State Manufacturing survey are the two main releases for the US. In Europe, the euro area trade balance will be the notable print. Beyond today, US PPI, German ZEW and UK CPI are the main economic reports tomorrow. Wednesday will see the release of BOE’s meeting minutes, the US CPI, and the Euro area inflation report. On Thursday, President Obama will host Poroshenko and on the data front we have Philly Fed, initial claims, and building permits to watch out for, but the biggest market moving event will surely be the Scottish independence referendum. German PPI will be the key release on what will otherwise be a relatively quiet Friday.



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Empire Fed Spikes To 5-Year Highs; Employment Plunges To Worst Since Dec 2013

Following last month's biggest plunge in 2 years to 4-month lows, it is likely no surprise that the soft-survey-based Empire Fed index exploded to 27.5 (smashing 15.71 expectations) to its highest since October 2009. Of course - away from the headline exuberance, employment plunged to its lowest since 2013, the average workweek slipped, and new orders barely rose (while Prices Received soared). Seems like seasonal adjustments played a strong hand in this exuberance... given hardly any sub indices jumped.



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Frontrunning: September 15

  • Snow is coming: OECD Cuts Economic Growth Forecasts (WSJ)
  • World waits for white smoke from U.S. Fed (Reuters) - Understandable error: they meant "green"
  • Scots Breakaway at 45% Odds as Economists Warn of Capital Flight (BBG)
  • Ukraine President Poroshenko Faces Backlash Over EU Trade Deal Delay (WSJ)
  • German Anti-Euro Party Advances in Merkel Homeland Voting (BBG)
  • Clinton Hints at 2016 Run as Super-PAC Packs Iowa Steak Fry (BBG)
  • Air France, Lufthansa Hit by Strikes in Fight for Future (BBG)
  • U.S. sees Middle East help fighting IS, Britain cautious after beheading (Reuters)
  • Ex-Billionaire Charged by Brazil With Financial Crimes (BBG)


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US Equity Futures Unable To Rally Despite Avalanche Of Bad Global News

Something appears to have changed not only because the USDJPY is not some 100 pips higher overnight on, well, nothing but because the S&P, which is treading water, has yet to spike on no volume reasons unknown. That something may be algos which are too confused to buy ahead of this week's Fed announcement which may or may not have some notable changes in language or the Scottish referendum on the 18th. Or it could simply be that algos are no longer allowed to openly manipulate and rig the market on the CME as of today now that "disruptive market practices" are banned (why weren't they before)? In any case, keep a close eye on the market today: not all is at it has been for a while, unless of course it is still just a little early and the rigging algos (which haven't gotten the Rule 575 memo of course) haven't woken up just yet.



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Kohl's And The Rest Of The Retailers Are In Deep Trouble

When you see the headlines touting strong retail sales, you need to consider what you are actually seeing in the real world. RadioShack will be filing for bankruptcy within months. Wet Seal will follow. Sears is about two years from a bankruptcy filing. JC Penney’s turnaround is a sham. They continue to lose hundreds of millions every quarter and will be filing for bankruptcy within the next couple years. Target and Wal-Mart continue to post awful sales results and have stopped expanding. And as you drive around in your leased BMW, you see more Space Available signs than operating outlets in every strip center in America.



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Why The Rigging Of The Gold Market Matters

So why does it matter if the gold price is rigged? A freely-determined gold price is central to ensuring that reality and not financial bubbles guides us in our financial and economic activities. Suppressing the gold price is rather like turning off a fire alarm because you can’t stand the noise.



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The Biggest Risk For Investing In Alibaba Is...

What is the biggest risk for investors in China's e-commerce giant Alibaba? In one word: politics.



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